The Council of Elders were the first to raise an outcry when news of Poison Corpses reached the medical academy.
Head Elder Ling Guyi and Fifth Elder Mu Lianxin had long been expelled from Medical City for inducing early labor in Chu Qingge. They were forever banned from the right to practice medicine. Thus, the current council only consisted of Second Elder Li Xiuyuan, Third Elder Shen Jueming and Fourth Elder Li Tianci. The three of them had been busy choosing new elder candidates from the pool of medical academy directors. The news hit them just when they had called in Luo Zuishan for a talk.
It was simply too shocking, so second and fourth elders couldn’t hold back their expressions even in front of Luo Zuishan.
“Gu Qishao, just what are his origins? He couldn’t be another Poison Sect descendant, right?!”
“He raised that many Poison Corpses? He’s definitely got ulterior motives, ulterior motives!”
“I heard that Han Yunxi’s on good terms with that Gu Qishao. Even if he’s not part of the Poison Sect, he’s still related to them somehow.”
Third Elder Shen remained calm. He was on good personal terms with Han Yunxi and Gu Qishao, but news like these left him at a loss for what to say. He refused to believe that a woman like Han Yunxi could be part of the Poison Sect, much less raise Poison Corpses to hurt the world. Before the truth was revealed, he chose to keep quiet. Luo Zuishan was silent as well, but his back was drenched in sweat. Soon enough, his entire shirt had been soaked until one might think he was too hot. He wished he could fly to South Ning right now so he could tie up and hide away Little Qi. That stinkin’ brat, he raised that many Poison Corpses? Just what does he want to do?
Does he think he can do what he wants just because he can’t die? Doesn’t he know he’ll be 100 times more wretched than Han Yunxi if his secret’s exposed? Han Yunxi doesn’t even love him, why’s he so intent on playing hero?!
Preposterous! Childish! Imbecile Luo Zuishan mentally cursed Gu Qishao but couldn’t help relenting in the end.
Little Qi, ah, Little Qi. You’ve left the medical academy for so many years already. Why are you mixing yourself up in their mess again? Have you forgotten all the suffering from the past? Are you never going to grow up?
Luo Zuishan was listless and lost when he left the Council of Elders. He somehow ended up wandering into his quarters, then into the room where he’d kept Little Qi when he stayed over. Even now, it remained unchanged from before. He would never forget the body of that child covered in scars, or his traumatized spirit and stubborn, despairing eyes. He knew then that Little Qi would come back one day for his revenge. Thus, he had prayed everyday that Little Qi could truly grow up one day and put his hatred behind him to become a new man.
After all, those who lived mired in vengeance and hate were pitiful things. Those who only lived for the sake of revenge were even more wretched. Since you’ve already left, why not live your life well under a different name?
Academy Head Gu Yuntian stood in the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds with his hands behind his back, his feet inches from the end of an endless cliff. His head was raised to look at the bright moon in the sky. He was dressed in elegant white robes while long black hair cascaded down his back. He looked both indolent and carefree, but the years had added an air of maturity to his form.
A celestial doctor, ethereal and refined. Of course, all of that was a sham. Next to him stood none other than the banished elder of the medical academy, Head Elder Ling Guyi. Header Elder Ling had gone through multiple cities after being expelled from Medical City. He was like a rat on the street that provoked hues and cries from onlookers. In the end, he secretly returned to the medical academy. With Gu Yuntian covering for him, it was easy to enter and leave the academy as he pleased.
In the mountains, the clear moon was an exceptionally still sight. The summer forests should be filled with noise this time of night, but as these were the Poison Sect’s grounds, there was hardly a peep. Unlike the harsh reactions of the Council of Elders and various deputy directors, Gu Yuntian was uncommonly calm regarding the news of Poison Corpses. After a white, he sighed.
“Gu Qi Sha, Gu Qishao...heh, how interesting.”
Head Elder Ling wasn’t anywhere near as composed. He couldn’t help but add, “Academy Head, that rascal must have kept his memories back then. He tricked us!”
After Little Qi was infected with the pestilence, his heart stopped. The two of them assumed that the boy had died, leaving Gu Yuntian grieving at his feet. He and Head Elder Ling had started speaking of the past and mentioned many things about the Poison Sect, including its nurturing poison arts. Even Jun Yixie of the Hundred Poisons Sects didn’t have to skills to raise so many Poison Corpses. Little Qi must have overheard their conversation to learn of their existence, and the secret prescription to raising Poison Corpses. Thus, it was very possible that this Gu Qishao was none other than their Little Qi.
After the medical academy wiped out the Poison Sect and assumed control of its nurturing poison arts, they handed over all pertinent information to the Academy Head for safekeeping. This knowledge was passed down to successive generations. Poison Corpse--even just poison gu--far surpassed all types of martial arts. The medical academy was reluctant to destroy such a potent weapon.
“Maybe that Han Yunxi girl taught him how. It’s uncertain whether that Gu Qishao really is our Little Qi,” Gu Yuntian intoned.
“Gu Qi Sha suddenly changed his ways and opened up Pill Fiend Pharmacy with Han Yunxi. Gu Qishao is proficient in poisons and often makes trips to Pill Fiend Pharmacy. It all has to be connected! He clearly knew that everyone’s talking about the Poison Sect and took this chance to show off his Poison Corpses. He’s provoking us!” Head Elder Ling held fear within his heart. His reputation was already in tatters. If anything untoward happened to Gu Yuntian, there would be nobody who could protect him anymore.
When Gu Yuntian didn’t speak, Head Elder Ling tried to persuade him. “Academy Head, as I see it, that Han Yunxi girl doesn’t know anything about nurturing poisons. Her expertise lies in detoxification and she’s no expert in poisoning others. Gu Qishao has to be Little Qi from the past, I’m certain! He raised all these Poison Corpses just so he could come back and take revenge! Academy Head, I think it’s better to be prudent in these matters. Suppose Little Qi really remembers the truth from all those years? If he says everything, then we’ll--”
“Heheh. Suppose he does know and shares it all? He’ll need people to believe him first,” Gu Yuntian wasn’t afraid at all. “Little Qi...heh, it’s been years since we’ve met. As a father, I still rather miss him.”
But his focus was on Han Yunxi! “We’ll know the truth once we capture that girl and ask her,” he laughed out loud.
It was a pity that the destruction of the Poison Sect hadn’t wiped out its descendants. Gu Yuntian only knew that their remnants still remained, but he had no idea how powerful they might be. The previous Academy Heads had spent surplus energy trying to track them down in secret, but Gu Yuntian wasn’t interested in such affairs. Ever since losing his “live experimental subject” Little Qi, he began to focus on studying the Poison Sect’s method of “using humans as gu” instead. Although the Poison Sect records did specify that such humas could neither age nor die, there wasn’t any details. However, he believed that the sect’s descendants must be continuing their research in this field. He hadn’t missed any clues or hints linking to that direction over the past few years.
Thanks to the incident with Long Tianmo, he set his eyes on the Hundred Poisons Sect. Even now, Xi Yubo was still locked in jail. But neither of these threads had led him anywhere. Thus, Han Yunxi’s new status was very interesting to him!
“Academy Head, it’s better for us to be cautious…” Head Elder Ling’s efforts to coax him was redirected to a change in topic.
“Li Jianxin still hasn’t given this academy a clear answer yet. Looks like Celestial Mountain has wholly fallen under Long Feiye’s hands.”
Head Elder Ling was familiar with Gu Yuntian’s personality. Without a choice, he could only give up on his coaxing for now. “That rascal Long Feiye is simply defying the medical academy. Various capitals already fear and reject Han Yunxi, but he’s still protecting her! Academy Head, if that man wins the world, he’ll definitely come threaten our academy’s respected name!”
Head Elder Ling still held a grudge from when Lady Lianxin had sold him out. Her only goals were to revitalize the Mu Clan, but the only ones to give her that chance would have been Long Feiye and Han Yunxi.
“Ning Cheng made a good choice. He’s able to adapt to circumstances!” Gu Yuntian said playfully. He had spent his entire life obsessed with medicine and never got involved in political struggles. In this subject, he didn’t know much at all.
“Academy Head, you mean to say…” Head Elder Ling grew doubtful…
Ten days passed with no replies from Celestial Mountain. However, Gu Yuntian personally issued a final diplomatic note to all doctors within Medicine City and South Ning. Medicine City was to stop all trade with Pill Fiend Pharmacy and South Ning or accept the consequences; all doctors were to leave South Ning or revoke their rights to practice medicine.
Pressure fell upon Medicine City at the news. The Wang Clan head wrote multiple letters to Long Feiye along with South Ning’s commander-in-chief’s estate. Neither Long Feiye nor the sword sect master anticipated Gu Yuntian to be so ruthless. Their delaying tactics wouldn’t last past a month at this point. If not for the concentrated efforts of the sword sect master and the three Honored Elders to stop him, Long Feiye would have left the mountain already.
Under these circumstances, he couldn’t bear to let Han Yunxi face the troubles alone. Since he couldn’t leave the mountain, he exchanged frequent letters with Gu Beiyue instead to discuss countermeasures.
Three days later, Han Yunxi and Gu Qishao finally reached South Ning Prefecture. Despite all the news they heard along the way, her first stop wasn’t the commander-in-chief’s estate, but the Duke of Qin’s estate to find Gu Beiyue. Unexpectedly, a huge crowd of officials and the clan heads of South Ning’s five most prominent families had already surrounded the back entrance. She knew about the actions of Medical City like the back of her hand, so she knew what why they were here as well. Before she even got off the carriage, a crowd of officials and guards had rushed forward to encircle her completely.
“They’re seeking death…” Gu Qishao had a sinister expression on his face. His mood had been sullen over the past few days because Gu Yuntian hadn’t shied away from his threats at all. It looks like I’ve overestimated his intelligence. He doesn’t understand my warning at all.
Han Yunxi stopped him from drawing his sword and got off the carriage. She swept her gaze across the crowd and said coldly, “This wangfei is in a rush to save someone. I’ll have to trouble everyone to make way. Everything else can be left for later!”
All five family heads of the most prominent clans burst out into laughter.
“Save someone? Han Yunxi, you’re probably going in to hurt them as a Poison Sect descendant! Don’t even think of stepping into the Duke of Qin’s estate today. Someone come, capture and send her off to Medical City!”
After this I owe 1 more chapter from last week, +1 sponsored chapter release, +6 free bonus chapters. Working through them bit by bit~