Han Yunxi’s trio were the only ones left in the apricot woods once the crowd rushed out of the forest to see what was the matter. The world grew quiet in their wake. Gu Beiyue looked at Gu Qishao from a distance with knitted brows. His fists were still clenched! Nothing had ever left his calm, gentle self so depressed and discontented besides Han Yunxi’s matters.
Gu Yuntian’s sins are unforgivable! Medical City has gone too far!
Han Yunxi simply stood by Gu Qishao’s side while staring at him. Her eyes were redder than a rabbit’s. She felt like she had to do something. In fact, she wanted to hug Little Qi tightly, but the man before her was nothing like the child in Head Elder Ling’s stories. Nor was he anything like the Little Qi in Gu Yuntian’s medical records. Little Qi had long grown up and hidden himself in the very depths of Gu Qishao’s heart. He would never appear again.
This was Gu Qishao, a man who didn’t need anyone to protect him anymore. He was the Qi gege who protected her instead…
Time was cruel. No one could return to the past and protect Little Qi. Both fate and luck played a part in shielding others. It wasn’t just anyone who had the serendipity to meet. That was why so many people had to bear their pains and sufferings alone in this world. Han Yunxi didn’t know what to do, but Gu Qishao only smiled at her. This left her even more at a loss!
Finally, she couldn’t help herself and raged, “Enough, stop it! Don’t smile anymore! You idiot!”
Perhaps Han Yunxi herself didn’t even know how much Gu Qishao wanted to hide his horrific scars from her sight. If possible, he’d rather she never know at all and only see him smile.
“Poison lass, you think your Qi gege’s helping you? Heheh, Qi gege’s been waiting for this day for ages. Come on, there’s a good show waiting for us ahead!” As he spoke, he took Han Yunxi’s hand and pulled her towards the woods. Gu Beiyue finally reacted enough to hurry after them. The entire way, Gu Qishao flew very fast. His grip on Han Yunxi’s hand was very tight, even though he could clearly hear her calling out.
“Little Qi, let’s leave! Why don’t we get out of this place? Little Qi, let’s never come back, alright?”
He only pretended to hear nothing.
By the time they reached the medical academy, there was nothing but pandemonium. Chu Xifeng and Xu Donglin had already forced their way into Gu Yuntian’s back courtyard and discovered the entrance to his secret underground chamber before countless members of the academy. Then they retrieved a giant pile of poison texts from its chests. Both of them had received Gu Qishao’s news only last night. He had told them how to sneak into the academy, then the location of the underground chamber. In fact, he even knew where the manuals had been squirreled away. Although the academy had guards, Gu Qishao’s pointers were more than enough for the duo to complete their mission with ease.
The guards that had tried to hold them back, as well as the various directors of the academy, were all scared witless by the sight of the manuals. They were still trying to figure out what was going on when Gu Qishao’s agents in the academy lured over a massive crowd. Once the people saw the books, the news went public to all corners. By the time the guests of the Apricot Woods Conference arrived on the scene, all of medical academy had learned of the happenings. Thus, it was nothing but chaos when Gu Qishao, Han Yunxi, and Gu Beiyue caught up.
Department Head Ouyang had ordered men to completely surrounded Chu Xifeng and Xu Donglin, accusing them of planting the poison texts here to frame the academy.
“You and Gu Qishao are all one lot!” Department Head Lin reprimanded them.
Before Chu Xifeng could explain, Gu Qishao sauntered forward while shoving aside the people in his way. Laughing coldly, he said, “Department Head Lin, do you dare to let everyone take a look at the secret chambers? Oh, that’s right, you haven’t even seen it yourself. How about you go down first?”
Department Head Lin had no idea what was down there, but he and Department Head Ouyang had the same thought: at a time like this, they had to protect the academy’s name no matter what was the truth!
“Gu Qishao, don’t involve the medical academy in your old grudges with your father!” Department Head Lin warned. Before he could call for people to capture Gu Qishao, the man’s tone grew ambiguous.
“Department Head Lin, do you know where Lady Lianxin is?”
Department Head Lin’s face turned ashen at his words. He once had an affair with Lady Lianxin, but the two of them had stopped meeting each other already! What does he mean by that? Could it be that Gu Qishao knows something? Yes, the medical academy’s reputation was important, but Department Head Lin was more concerned with his own reputation in front of such a crowd. Moreover, his own wife was watching the ruckus amongst them. He immediately shut up, afraid to cause Gu Qishao any more trouble.
But Department Head Ouyang had no such weaknesses in Gu Qishao’s hands. He ordered coldly, “Someone come, are you all deaf? Hurry and capture this confederate of the Poison Sect!”
“Hold it!” Finally, Medicine City’s old Wang spoke up. “Department Head Ouyang, this is quite a number of poison manuals. Judging from the academy’s defenses, could anyone just slip them in?”
“Exactly. As I see it, we should send a few representatives to take a look at the underground chamber,” Mu Qingwu regarded the entire situation as too unclear at the present. It was still early for him to speak, but he couldn’t resist chiming in. “Have a good look at what’s going on so we can have clear evidence. Otherwise, people might misunderstand Medical City in the future.”
If Mu Qingwu’s words only contained veiled hints, then Tang Li’s words were outright suspicion. “Department Head Ouyang, you’re all in such a rush to capture people. Is there some unspeakable secret you’re hiding from us?”
“Impertinence!” Department Head Ouyang snapped as he refuted the views. “These are private matters of Medical City. We don’t need to show proof to these ladies and gentlemen. I ask that everyone return to the Apricot Woods Conference, which will begin immediately! The academy will have its own arrangements for the Poison Sect after the conference!”
Ning Jing couldn’t help but laugh despite her disinterest in the proceedings. “If you’re not feeling guilty, then why can’t you be more magnanimous?”
Seeing Ning Jing support him greatly improved Tang Li’s mood. He immediately jumped onto a nearby boulder and proclaimed, “Everyone judge for themselves, is the medical academy harboring a guilty conscience? Is that why they won’t let us look inside the chamber?”
“What’s in there anyways? Does everyone want to know?”
“We do!” over half the crowd cried back.
“Then let everyone say, are the medical academy’s actions right now from a guilty conscience?”
“Yes!” the crowd chorused again, their voices resounding throughout the entire academy. Even many of the academy’s own members chimed in. Gu Qishao was exceptionally quiet amongst them all, but a cold smile graced his features, sinister enough to destroy the world! Actually, anyone clever enough could tell that the medical academy was making things more conspicuous by trying to cover it up. Tang Li’s instigation stirred up feelings in the spectators so that even Medical City’s own people were itching for the truth.
Finally, Third Elder Shen spoke up. “Department Head Ouyang, as this old man sees it, this isn’t some private matter of the city.”
Luo Zuishan glanced at Little Qi, feeling as if his heart would break. He too, decided to risk everything and stepped forward next to Tang Li. “Department Head Ouyang, if this really were some private matter of the academy, then why does destroying the Poison Sect need discussion from multiple parties? Since everyone’s here today, I ask that Department Head Ouyang please give us an explanation. Is the Poison Sect a private or public matter?”
More of the academy members grew restless after Third Elder Shen and Luo Zuishan spoke up. All of them wanted Department Head Ouyang’s explanation. But despite this, Department Head Ouyang refused to compromise, hoping that his own strength could quell the raging waves. With a single glance, he had guards surround the crowd!
“Someone come! The conference’s about to begin, so please escort these honored guests back to the Apricot Woods!”
As soon as he finished, a cold voice stunned the crowd. “No one’s allowed to leave!”
Everyone turned towards the source, only to see the unknown female standing next to Gu Qishao.
“You…” Department Head Ouyang never got a chance to speak before Han Yunxi ripped off the disguise on her face. Too many in the crowd had seen her face before, but all of them were taken aback by the sight. The clamorous scene finally calmed down.
“She’s Han Yunxi…” Ning Jing muttered to herself, while Tang Li was secretly chortling.
The Northern Li imperial physician narrowed his eyes and studied Han Yunxi silently. Mu Qingwu was dazed, his eyes shining as he succumbed to a foolish smile. Medicine City and the various other power factions were all gasping or surprised.
This woman actually came? Then where’s His Highness Duke of Qin? Is he nearby?
Department Head Ouyang and the other upper ranks of the medical academy all exchanged glances. They were still reeling from shock when Han Yunxi began to speak.
“Department Head Ouyang, it’s not worth it for the medical academy to go through all these pains recruiting followers to destroy the Poison Sect. Today I, Han Yunxi, came to say two things, so I’d like to trouble you to hear me out on behalf of the academy.”
Although her words were meant for Department Head Ouyang, the rest of the crowd settled down to listen tensely as well.
“First, I, Han Yunxi, am indeed a descendant of the Poison Sect. There’s no doubt!” Han Yunxi acknowledged her status openly.
Although everyone had heard of the news, they were still flabbergasted that she’d admit it publicly. Beneath their surprise were also hints of silent admiration. At the very least, this woman’s courage was a worthy match for His Highness Duke of Qin.
“Secondly, hasn’t Medical City said that they’ll destroy me and the Poison Sect?” Finally, Han Yunxi smiled, an expression even crueler than Gu Qishao’s. “I’ll stand here and make a bet with the medical academy today! If the underground chamber has no hidden poison texts, then I’ll leave my life here. If there is, then may the medical academy and all the people here give the Poison Sect back its innocence!”
Heavier silence settled onto the crowd at her words. Gradually, everyone’s gazes shifted towards Department Head Ouyang to wait for his reply. A woman had staked her life on a bet, making it impossible for Department Head Ouyang to keep being stubborn. He could only pray silently that the academy he’d pledged loyalty to for years wasn’t as terrible and disappointing as Gu Qishao claimed.
Finally, he agreed. “Fine, then shall we have these ladies and gentlemen stand as our witness? Please go down into the chambers!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter