The shadow guard spoke in hushed tones with Gu Beiyue for a long time, the contents only known to themselves. Even the surrounding shadow guards had chosen this time to withdraw from the scene. All of them knew that His Highness Duke of Qin would never relay a verbal message unless it was extremely confidential. Even if His Highness’s flying hawk messengers were perfectly safe, it was possible for someone to intercept them midway. Thus, sending a human messenger was the best bet.
His Highness Duke of Qin and Gu Beiyue had secret communications to begin with, while Gu Beiyue’s true identity was only known to Head Commander Chu. Just what had the shadow guard relayed this time? It was impossible not to be curious, but the guards feared their master even if Gu Beiyue was an amiable man. Thus, they chose to leave him alone.
The talk with the shadow guard lasted a long while, with Gu Beiuye smiling occasionally throughout as he nodded calmly. Finally, the shadow guard handed Gu Beiyue one last item: a large, pinkish-purple envelope.
“Doctor Gu, this is that thing.”
Gu Beiyue only opened the envelope after the shadow guard had left. Inside were ten individual envelopes. None of them were new, but all of them had already been opened before. Gu Beiyue stared blankly at the collection before a trace of sadness flickered past his eyes. Still, he quickly resumed his smile. He didn’t read the letters, but sealed them all up and then called for another shadow guard.
“Esteemed wangfei will be leaving in secret tonight. Make arrangements.” After that, he urged repeatedly, “But there’s no need to inform her. After the trial this afternoon, he’ll tell her personally.”
The shadow guard obeyed the orders and left.
Morning passed quickly. Soon enough, it was noon and the gates of the medical academy were crowded with people that flooded its streets from beginning to end. Even if everyone couldn’t squeeze in to the front, they still wanted to linger around the trial area to hear the results as quickly as possible. Inevitably, it would end with Gu Yuntian’s crimes and the Poison Sect’s innocence, but the severity of the crime and its punishment, as well as how to recover the Poison Sect’s name, were all topics of discussion.
Would Gu Yuntian be put to death? Or suffer a fate worse than death? Both relied on the trial and would greatly affect both the man and the Gu Clan, which in turn affected the strengths of all clans in Medical City. Would they clear the Poison Sect’s previous criminal name and recognize its status in Cloud Realm Continent, or return everything it lost and open up its forbidden grounds? Both choices would affect the medical academy and the continent’s various power factions in different ways. After all, Han Yunxi wasn’t just the Poison Sect’s descendant, but the wangfei of the south central region’s commander-in-chief’s estate!
All of the related parties arrived at the trial location on time. A row of chairs were arranged in an arc outside the medical academy’s gates, with the new academy head Gu Beiyue sitting in the very center. Despite his new position, he was still wearing his customary white robes and looked serene and lovely. Usually, he gave off an aura of warmth even when he wasn’t smiling, but today he looked powerful and threatening. Although he didn’t look angry, he had shed the air of a scholar with that of a well-accomplished, extraordinary figure of authority. His ever-present warmth possessed a strength of its own.
By his right sat the three department heads in the order of Department Head Huo, Ouyang, and the newly appointed Shen Jueming. Beyond them were the Council of Elders members including Han Yunxi, Luo Zuishan, Li Xiuyuan, Li Tianci and the rest. Beyond that were the directors of the medical academy. On his left sat Gu Qishao, then Mu Linger and various honored guests. They came from Medicine City, the Tang Clan, Tianan Country, Western Zhou, Tianning, and Northern Li. If this was the past, the guests of the academy would be sitting according to the strength of their individual representatives. Medicine City would be sitting near the end thanks to their shallow connections with Medical City, while Northern Li would be close to the front.
However, Gu Beiyue had changed the rules. A smart man could see at a glance that the new academy head was expressing the medical academy’s new stance to outsiders. Gu Qishao and Mu Linger could be excepted from the rankings, but Medicine City and the Tang Clan were obviously close to him. Mu Qingwu silently rejoiced over the fact that he had chosen the right side. Otherwise, who knew how his father would punish him later. Duanmu Baiye had already received a letter from his father to befriend Gu Beiyue and Han Yunxi as best as he could. Although he didn’t want to, he knew that he couldn’t offend them in the present anymore. The military official from Tianning only wore a black expression. He already knew that friendly terms with the medical academy was impossible for him. As for Bai Yanqing, who was in disguise as the Northern Li imperial doctor, all he did was stare coldly at Gu Beiyue. Today, Bai Yuqiao wasn’t by his side. Tang Li and Ning Jing were sitting right next to the people from Medicine City. Since they were still having a cold war, neither of them paid attention to the other.
Before the trial for Gu Yuntian began, Gu Beiyue first absolved the Poison Sect of its guilt. He cleared up the origins of the internal conflicts between the Poison Sect and the medical academy in bygone years and said that the latter was guilty of crimes against the former. He lifted the ban on the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds and returned it and its poisonous plants, along with a vast swath of land behind the academy, back to the Poison Sect. After that, he acknowledged the Poison Sect as part of the medical academy.
The medical and poison branches of the original academy were restored, while responsibilities of the Poison Sect were all given to its sole descendant, Han Yunxi. As the master of the poison beast, she was the best choice as Poison Sect’s sect leader. Lil Thing had been hiding in the poison storage space to recover from its wounds since its last meeting with its gentleman. It seemed to sense the surrounding atmosphere and snuck out to see the show. Of course, it made sure to stay low-key by hiding in Mama Yunxi’s medical pouch and only peeking out its head.
But it soon sensed that something was wrong. Its eyes snuck a look towards Bai Yanqing and felt that he smelled somewhat familiar. However, it couldn’t tell anything without the scent of his blood.
Once the Poison Sect was done with, it was time to try Gu Yuntian. The man was brought up with Ling Guyi to the stage, both of them wearing chains on their hands and feet. The roaring crowd grew silent at their approach and looked over. Gu Yuntian was an old man, but he had preserved his looks quite well. However, he seemed to have aged a decade today. Half of his hair had turned white, and he stood listlessly with his head hanging. Wizened and pathetic, he looked more like beggar. On the other hand, Head Elder Ling’s face was covered in tears. Even now, he was still crying.
In truth, the distance between Heaven and Hell wasn’t very far at all.
Even detestable people had their pitiful sides, but Gu Yuntian was an exception. He was nothing if not abominable! When he was forced to kneel, Han Yunxi, Gu Beiyue, and Mu Linger all looked towards Gu Qishao at the same time. However, he didn’t react like they expected. He was sitting with his legs crossed while scorning Gu Yuntian. Here was the moment where they truly witnessed Little Qi’s strength.
“Someone come, bring out the evidence of Gu Yuntian and Ling Guyi’s crimes!” Gu Beiyue said loudly.
Young medical assistants delivered all of the proof. Gu Beiyue outlined them one by one. They included not only the tortuous deeds against Little Qi, but all sorts of nasty things they’d done in the medical academy over the past few years. Of course, the ugliest proof came from Gu Qishao himself. Everyone listened quietly to the proceedings. Gu Beiyue and Han Yunxi stopped minding Gu Qishao because too much attention would just be an insult. He wasn’t someone who needed their pity. Mu Linger listened to each testimony with her own ears and felt her eyes turn red. But she remembered her vow to Han Yunxi and didn’t cry.
Of course, besides them, everyone else in the crowd was looking at Gu Qishao as well. They had even more complicated expressions than the last reveal at the Apricot Woods Conference. Most of them pitied or sympathized with his plight. Gu Qishao openly faced them all. He was even wearing a smile on his lips as he disdained Gu Yuntian. None of the stares moved him. One who was truly strong didn’t need to bear suffering, but shoulder the pity and sympathy of outsiders instead.
Finally, Gu Beiyue finished discussions with the three academy heads and the Council of Elders to pin Gu Yuntian with his crimes. He was to be paraded before the public before being locked away in Medical City’s Nine Lives Hall. That was a place meant for infectious patients of incurable diseases. Although different patients were kept in different isolation rooms, it was still a dangerous location. Medical workers had to take preventive pills before entering the hall and couldn’t stay long in case they caught one of the illnesses. For Gu Yuntian to be locked up there long-term meant that his fate was set.
Meanwhile, Head Elder Ling had achieved merits by helping with the case, so he simply got the death penalty. Hearing this, he exhaled in relief. When Gu Qishao first threatened him with his stores of evidence, he knew that he and Gu Yuntian were hard pressed to escape. Thus, he chose to betray Gu Yuntian in exchange for a clean death.
Thanks to Gu Yuntian, Gu Beiyue pinned the Gu Clan with the crime of harboring a criminal and banned them from any involvement in medical academy administration affairs for the next decade. After the trial finished, Gu Beiyue rose to his feet as representative of the medical academy to express his regrets for what had happened. Then the department heads, Council of Elders, and medical academy directors rose as one to join Gu Beiyue in facing Gu Qishao.
Gu Qishao didn’t expect this and hastily stood up, his expression cautious. “Gu Beiyue, what are you doing?”
Gu Beiyue didn’t reply beyond giving him a deep bow. “Little Qi, Medical City is sorry for what they’ve done! Medical City will welcome you home at any time.”
As soon as Gu Beiyue finished, everyone behind him all bowed in unison and chorused, “Little Qi, Medical City will welcome you home at any time.”
Gu Qishao blinked and laughed, but there were tears in the corners of his beautiful eyes.
So as it turned out, I still have a home?
When he was expelled from the medical academy, he had been hit with eggs and rotten vegetables the entire way out. He had lost his home then, and the ability to go back. Now Gu Qishao studied Gu Beiyue’s serious, devout face and laughed louder and louder, the sound easy and carefree. He was about to reply when Bai Yanqing stood out from the crowd.
“Academy Head Gu, Little Qi was fed medicine as soon as he emerged from his mother’s womb. Then he was experimented on with pills and tested with various diseases. Why hasn’t he died? Why does he have no aches or pains now? It couldn’t be that he’s some freak?”
An uproar rose at his words. Actually, everyone had been considering the same questions, but no one had the gall to voice it in public. Bai Yanqing walked forward until he was standing right in front of Gu Beiyue and Gu Yuntian. “Furthermore, Little Qi was infected with the plague back then and apparently died. Even his pulse and breathing stopped. Why did he come back to life? If he can revive from the dead, was he a freak infant when he was born? Does his life and death differ from regular humans?”
The uproar died down. Although Bai Yanqing was questioning “Academy Head Gu,” everyone didn’t know whether he meant the new or former academy head. In the silence, the crowd stared at Gu Qishao again. This time their gazes lacked pity or sympathy, but were filled with curiosity and a bit of fear. It was as if they were facing a monster.
“I wanted to ask too. Gu Yuntian, does Little Qi still count as a human?”
“He shouldn’t right? He was a freak from the moment he was born. To survive all that without dying means he couldn’t die from the moment he came into this world, heheh!”
“Then that’s really not human...hehe, even birds and beasts don’t have a body as good as his, right?”
A few people with ulterior motives began to question and mock in loud voices. Gu Qishao’s smile had all but vanished, his long eyes narrowed into slits as his expression turned ruthless. His fists were clenched. Before he could make a move, however, Han Yunxi suddenly stepped forward and tightly clutched his hand...
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Happy 800 Chapters of PGC!
In honor of today, we have two special graphics. First, congratulations from my good ol' junior bro and fellow translator GuanZhong (check out his work Song of Exile and The Sketch Artist here on volare):
Fans of PGC may recognize the art from the official manhua adaptation of PGC. We're also introducing our first ever PGC World Map courtesy of volare marketing princess Yuuko (General of the Bushii Army, 2nd in command of PGC's snusnu sect)! As many of the geography descriptions in PGC can be rather vague, this was put together after both of us poured over various mini passages in the book and to be taken with a little grain of salt! Still, I'd say it gives us a good overall view of Cloud Realm Continent:
You can view the full-size map here, or bookmark it on the PGC Tables GoogleDocs! Please note: Mysterious Continent has not shown up in the story yet, but it will...sometime in the future! Reference from the map were taken from a photograph showed during Legend of Yun Xi's preview screening.
All that aside, it's been 902 days (2 years, 5 months, and 21 days) since I published my first chapters of PGC on November 19th, 2016. With 570 chapters left to go, we're looking at a completion date in the next couple o' years. For the curious--yes, PGC does have an official sequel that's currently getting its own fan translation (link on Novelupdates). I will not be heading that project, and fans who do not want spoilers for PGC's ending should avoid the series, haha!
The Medical City arc is wrapping up soon, but we're heading deep into cliffhangers, plots, and chaos in the upcoming weeks. !?! (Дﾟ≡ﾟДﾟ) ?!! I'm also going on vacation from end of May - early June soooo I'll try my best to stockpile chapters for scheduled release before I'm gone. All that aside, thanks to each and every one of you for joining me on this translation journey. Let's all stay together 'til the end!
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