Gu Yuntian didn’t deny that Gu Qishao was Gu Qi Sha, nor that he was the same Little Qi expelled by the medical academy all those years ago.
He only looked at him in disbelief and cried, “Little Qi, I never expected you to seek refuge with the Poison Sect!”
His words were a mix of surprise, shock, and wrath. Compared to the past, Gu Yuntian had gotten much better at acting. But Gu Qishao wasn’t the easily fooled Little Qi, either. He chuckled and replied with something that left the entire crowd in an uproar.
He said, “Father, I learned all my poison arts from you. Why are you tossing the blame to the Poison Sect? You’re much more formidable than them.”
There was too much information squeezed into that single statement for everyone to process at once.
Gu Qishao called Gu Yuntian, “father?”
Heavens, did we hear wrong? Everyone looked lost as they exchanged glances with their neighbors, hoping that someone could pick out the mistake. Even the department heads and elders closest with Gu Qishao in the past showed expressions of surprise.
“Gu Beiyue...he… What did he just say?” Han Yunxi muttered. If this was Gu Qishao’s big surprise, it really was a shock! She would never have guessed in this lifetime!
“I never would’ve thought..” Gu Beiyue’s calm gaze showed traces of surprise. He had long guessed that Gu Qishao was Gu Qi Sha, Head Elder Ling’s foster son. He also knew that Gu Qishao ate medicine in his youth, which was already something fishy. This fellow must know many of Medical City’s secrets. In fact, he might have learned his poison skills from the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds.
But Gu Beiyue never expected these results. Gu Qishao was actually Gu Yuntian’s son!
Isn’t this joke a little too much?
No one was calmer than Gu Qishao and Gu Yuntian in this moment. The former had his lips quirked up into a mesmerizing smile like a spectator watching a show. Whatever others said seemed to have nothing to do with him. The latter had long prepared himself for Little Qi’s eventual return for revenge, so he didn’t panic.
“Little Qi, you were clearly brought back by Ling Guyi as his foster son. Back then, this old man was moved by compassion to agree to have him leave you at the medical academy. I never expected you to be so ungrateful and repay my kindness with enmity. You stole medicinal ingredients in the past, and then sought refuge with the Poison Sect. Now you’ve come to humiliate this old man and the medical academy’s good name. What kind of intentions are you harboring?”
An angry Gu Yuntian wanted to charge to Gu Qishao’s side, but the vines kept him trapped. He viciously ripped aside a few blocking his way, allowing the thorns to pierce his skin. “Little Qi, you have to take responsibility for the words you’ve said today and clear things up. Otherwise, don’t even think of leaving Medical City.”
“Father.” Gu Qishao repeated. It was obvious he was doing it on purpose.
Father had watched him grow up. During his hidden childhood at the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds, he had no mother and no friends. It was rare to even see another human being except for his daddy. But after being tricked into the medical academy to be Academy Head Ling’s foster son, he couldn’t bring himself to call that man “father” no matter how Academy Head Ling tried. Perhaps even his father didn’t know that this was the sole pining he held in his heart at that time. It was his final and only hope. Academy Head Ling was always lying to him, saying how he could see his daddy if only he was obedient and drank his medicine.
Later on, he had to fake amnesia and call Academy Head Ling “daddy, daddy” nonstop. From that moment, those words lost all meaning within his heart to become a mockery instead. Gu Qishao’s tone now was so natural and so sweet that everyone listening felt that they were a father and son pair.
“Father, since I’ve been born, why are you afraid to acknowledge me? What are you afraid of?” Gu Qishao chuckled. He looked so happy, but his heart must be bleeding until all those stares, right?
Everyone had old scars that would cause them pain, but it wasn’t anyone who had the courage to rip them open personally and show the bloody wounds for everyone to see.
Didn’t Gu Qishao fear pain most of all? How could he keep smiling?
Han Yunxi had no idea of the details, but seeing Gu Qishao’s simple-minded smile made her heart suddenly ache.
“This old man, afraid? Gu Qishao, should you be the one who’s scared? Your mouth is full of nothing but nonsense. Ask anyone here, who’s going to believe your balderdash?!”
It was clear that the crowd stood on Gu Yuntian’s side.
“Of course I have proof. Otherwise, why would I come seeking death?” Gu Qishao’s smile was relaxed.
Gu Yuntian felt a jolt of alarm, but he quickly calmed down. The sole person involved with this matter, Gu Qishao’s mother and his wet nurse, had long been eliminated. He refused to believe that Gu Qishao could bring out any evidence against him now.
“You have proof? Heheh, then release this old man first! Bring out your evidence and let everyone see. Show this old man as well! If it’s really my fault, then this old man can’t escape in front of all these righteous heroes and men today. If you’re cooking up wild tales to smear me and Medical City, then don’t blame me for being brusque!” Gu Yuntian’s self-assurance put everyone at ease.
After all, if Gu Qishao was really Gu Yuntian’s son, then many things would lose direction as a result.
“Good!” Gu Qishao waved his hand and dismissed the vines, which fell to the floor. Gu Yuntian quickly walked out of their area and into safety.
“Where’s the proof?” he demanded coldly. Right now, everyone was fixated on Gu Qishao to wait for him to show them the goods.
“Just what is he planning?” Han Yunxi had no confidence at all as she knitted her brows at Gu Beiyue. “This guy…”
Nearby, the Northern Li imperial doctor was staring at Gu Qishao like a hawk. Waiting for answers took but an instant; everyone in the crowd soon grew restless.
Department Head Lin from the medical academy cried out, “Gu Qishao, where’s the proof? Bring it out and let us see.”
“That’s right, what’s with all this dawdling? Hurry and bring it out! Or can’t you?” another department head shouted.
Gu Qishao raised an elegant hand before pointing rudely at Gu Yuntian. “Do you have the guts to mix our blood and prove relations?”
Dead silence fell upon the crowd. Nobody expected Gu Qishao to propose such a method. It was common practice for both proving relations and for use in court. Did Gu Qishao really have a handle on things? Was he actually Gu Yuntian’s son, after all? Even the two department heads shut up and looked towards Gu Yuntian, who remained calm without a trace of fear.
Gu Yuntian wasn’t afraid? But if Gu Qishao wasn’t so certain, he wouldn’t cheat himself like this either!
As uncertainty loomed over the crowd, everyone grew doubtful as to who to believe. Han Yunxi was smiling. As soon as she heard Gu Qishao said “drops of blood” to verify relations, she almost burst into laughter. There was nothing scientific about this method at all, but Gu Qishao wouldn’t suffer any losses for trying! In this time period, mixing drops of blood to prove paternity was a standard test. Leaving aside Gu Qishao, even Gu Beiyue by her side and Cloud Realm’s number one medical expert, Academy Head Gu Yuntian all deeply believed in the method.
There were two ways to check for blood relations with the drip test. One was dripping blood upon the bones, the other was mixing two drops of blood together. The first simply dropped a sample of blood on the bones of the subject’s deceased parents. If the blood could be absorbed by the bones, then they could prove familial relations. The famous medical manual Record of Washed Grievances 《洗冤纪录》, the world’s first legal forensic text, had detailed such methods within its pages. Although its use was meant for cracking cases, it created more incidents where people were wrongly charged and sentenced. That was because different bones had different absorption rates for blood. If the skeleton wasn’t withered and still contained traces of soft tissue, then blood from both relatives and outsiders alike would be repelled from the bones. If the bones were utterly rotten and bleached white from exposure, then the skeleton would show signs of corrosion and absorb any blood that touched its surface. Thus, using blood to prove relations all relied on a matter of probability.
Fortunately, Gu Yuntian was still alive, so Gu Qishao didn’t have to use the bone-dripping method. He just needed their blood to mix to prove they were family. This method was very common and mixed two subjects’ blood into a bowl of clear water to see if the droplets would combine. If they did, then the subjects were related; otherwise, they were strangers. Once again, errors abound in the method.
That was because any type of blood from two people--or even a person and an animal--could mix together eventually! If Gu Yuntian agreed to Gu Qishao’s test, then Gu Qishao would win for sure! Han Yunxi still wasn’t convinced that Gu Qishao was truly Gu Yuntian’s son, but she knew if Gu Qishao won, then their work would go much smoother!
“Father,” Gu Qishao called out sweetly. “Do you dare?”
“I dare!” Gu Yuntian actually agreed.
Han Yunxi firmly believed that Gu Qishao wouldn’t lie under these circumstances because the consequences were too severe. So where did Gu Yuntian get the guts to stand firm?
“Someone come, bring over a bowl of water!” Gu Yuntian said briskly.
A complicated look flickered past Gu Qishao’s eyes. He too, seemed taken aback by Gu Yuntian’s reaction, but he remained firm and bit into the skin of his finger first. The water soon arrived, but before Gu Qishao could drip his blood into the bowl, a worried Han Yunxi called out.
“Old Fiend, hold on!”
Everyone looked over at her voice. Fortunately, she had disguised it to sound hoarse and husky. Ignoring their stares, Han Yunxi strode forward to take a taste of the water. Once she was certain that no salt or other acids had been added into the liquid, she grew at ease. Although any type of blood could mix in water, acids and salts in the liquid would keep the blood inert instead of mixing.
Gu Yuntian agreed so easily that she had to help out Gu Qishao’s side, too. Tasting it showed that this truly was nothing but clear water.
Now Han Yunxi grew bewildered. So which of these two is lying?
“Who are you supposed to be?” Gu Yuntian asked Han Yunxi coldly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter