A thick book smacked Bai Yanqing’s face before scattering to the four winds. His face was livid and ghastly pale, and a bloody cut had appeared on his nose. A furious Han Yunxi shouted, “May I trouble everyone to take a closer look. Does the evidence only say that Gu Yuntian and Ling Guyi checked the breathing and pulse rate?”
Han Yunxi didn’t give Bai Yanqing the chance to speak as she shouted over him. “Your medical skills are so lacking that you don’t even know what suspended animation is. You can’t even tell the living from the dead. This isn’t your fault, but who told you to be an idiot? Still, using you one-sided knowledge to making deductions that slander Gu Qishao as a freak is an unforgivable crime! You’re a doctor, so you should know the seriousness of the diagnosis process. Before verifying anything, you came to a decision and hurt other people’s namesake. You don’t deserve to be fifth rank, much less a physician!”
Bai Yanqing looked towards Gu Yuntian. He felt wronged--how could he understand something when Gu Yuntian himself was ignorant too?
“It’s already a blessing for the common people that types like you don’t kill them in cold blood! I don’t have wild hopes for you to cure any patients!” Han Yunxi cursed on.
Most of the people present were on the side of Medical City’s new leader, especially the veterans of the medical academy. They still harbored distress for Little Qi’s sake, so they wouldn’t step out to help Nazha Delin here. Meanwhile, the hecklers from before were too afraid to speak after seeing one of them lie half-dead on the ground.
Only Bai Yanqing and Han Yunxi were left to duel each other.
He only found a chance to speak during a lull in her rage. “Esteemed wangfei,” he spoke quickly, “That’s not fair. Wasn’t Gu Yuntian unable to discern Little Qi’s suspended animation either?”
Han Yunxi only laughed coldly. “In other words, you admit that Little Qi was in suspended animation, not revived from the dead?”
Bai Yanqing realized that he’d just slapped his own face. He was as sharp as an old fox, but how did fall into Han Yunxi’s pace so quickly? He told himself to remain calm.
“Even if Gu Qishao didn’t revive from the dead, he started taking medicine as early as his mother’s womb. He ate nothing but medicine for years, so how could he grow up normally? And still be so healthy?” Bai Yanqing challenged.
“Are you really a fifth rank Divine Doctor?” Han Yunxi asked.
“Please answer this one’s question first, esteemed wangfei,” Bai Yanqing replied.
“Gu Qishao was used to test medicines since his childhood, so he went through the normal process of a patient taking pills. This isn’t much different from the condition of a healthy humans taking medicine to recover from an illness. The only exception is the fact that Gu Yuntian used poisonous pills to induce disease. May I ask, why can’t Gu Qishao survive to live a healthy life? When he was taking medicine as his meals, he drank decoctions, ate medicinal plants, and herbs as pat of a vegetarian diet. Why wouldn’t he grow up? Monks in temples eat vegetarian meals everyday, but they’re still fine.”
Han Yunxi shook her head again. “Nazha Delin, forget it if you don’t understand common medical knowledge, but why do you even lack common sense? There’s no need for you to be a doctor anymore, much less a human being!”
The hush that greeted her words soon exploded into laughter.
No need to be a doctor or a human being! Han Yunxi had cursed him well and good! Bai Yanqing’s face alternated between shades of white and red. He never thought his intelligence and subtle thinking would result in a crushing defeat the first time he faced off against Han Yunxi. He was trying to think up a rebuttal when Gu Beiyue stepped forward.
“Gu Qishao, shall I take your pulse?” Gu Beiyue’s voice wasn’t very loud, but everyone in the crowd could hear him.
Han Yunxi had proved that Gu Qishao had in suspended animation and was now healthy, but everyone was still curious about his body. They watched as Gu Qishao offered up his wrist and Gu Beiyue examined it carefully.
“How is it? This young gentleman wants to know what kind of freak I am too, hehe!” Gu Qishao teased.
Gu Beiyue smiled. “Gu Qishao, I’m sorry to say that your pulse is exactly the same as that of normal humans. Even if you want to be a freak, it’s impossible.”
Gu Qishao shrugged his shoulders. “Aiya, what a shame.”
“If you don’t believe this academy head, you can try for yourself,” Gu Beiyue addressed the rest.
The crowd exchanged glances. All of them wanted to try, but they didn’t dare. Bai Yanqing, on the other hand, boldly stepped forward as he’d been waiting for this chance. Gu Qishao magnanimously gave him his wrist, and the old man went to test his pulse. Immediately, his face turned black. Gu Qishao’s pulse readings were completely normal.
How can this be?
Have I miscalculated? Gu Qishao isn’t a Poison Gu Human after all?
All these years, he had been looking for the secret formula to raise Poison Gu Humans and how far the Poison Sect had gone in their research. Nobody could be sure. He even suspected that the formula had fallen into medical academy hands, and that Gu Yuntian had raised Gu Qishao into just such a specimen. That was how he thought the man survived all those experiments without dying.
But Gu Qishao’s pulse readings were completely normal. Did I guess wrong?
“How is it?” Gu Beiyue asked.
Bai Yanqing was stunned, but he remained calm. Quickly, he made to bow towards Gu Qishao. “My apologies!”
Even Bai Yanqing admitted that Gu Qishao’s pulse was normal, so why would anyone else in the crowd have a reason to doubt the outcome?
“Apologies? How much is that worth?” Han Yunxi laughed icily.
Bai Yanqing lowered his head. He wanted to express his regrets, but Han Yunxi immediately issued orders. “Someone come, strip three ranks from Nazha Delin’s medical standing and send him to the second-level study hall to re-study from scratch!”
This was nothing but humiliation for a fifth rank Divine Doctor! Even the teachers at the second-rank study halls were fourth rank physicians at best. If the real Nazha Delin heard about this, he’d probably kill himself on the spot. Bai Yanqing himself felt utter disgrace at the outcome, but he was still more worried about his own freedom. The second-level study halls of the medical academy were completely sealed off. One was required to stay at least a year in them before coming out. He didn’t have that much time to spend inside, but if he escaped, they would chase after him and expose his disguise.
“Academy head, esteemed wangfei, please calm your anger. This old man was only--”
“Someone come, send him away now!” Han Yunxi didn’t give him a chance to finish.
Bai Yanqing could simply refuse the orders, but that would only drive him out of the medical world. As a representative of Northern Li, the repercussions of his banishment would be huge. He needed at least one to two more days here. Tonight, there was still an important task waiting for him!
Bai Yanqing backed up a few steps before finally moving to stand in front of Gu Qishao. Once again, he displayed his sincere apologies. “Gentleman Gu, this one misspoke just then. My apologies, I hope you’ll forgive me.”
Was it really that easy to apologize to Gu Qishao? If not for Gu Beiyue’s needle under his armpit right now, he would never let Bai Yanqing off. Just then, the doctor had surreptitiously stuck two acupuncture needles into his skin while examining him.
“Forgiveness? Haha, sure! Shout three times: ‘I’m not human, but a freak!’ and this young gentleman will forgive you,” Gu Qishao chuckled.
Bai Yanqing was ready to kill as his hands clenched into fists, but he still cooled down quickly. Nothing was more frightening in this man than his rationality.
“Alright, then! Fine!” he was so petty and low and no one second-guessed his disguise. Soon enough, he really did shout out the words. “I’m not human, but a freak!”
Gu Qishao was fully satisfied and wore an beautiful smile. Han Yunxi saw this and finally smiled as well. Bai Yanqing had no more pride to hang around any longer, but left in awkward straits. Despite his calm, he’d never been more embarrassed in his life. Finally, Han Yunxi fed the antidote to the “dead man,” who heard about everything that happened before fleeing in alarm.
“If suspended animation resulted from poison, then curing the poison will wake the patient. If it came from illness, then waking comes after the illness is cured. Gu Qishao was fed medicine, so his case belongs to the latter,” Han Yunxi finished up.
Actually, there was still a point of doubt to her final explanation, but it was still enough to pass in front of the crowd. After all, Gu Qishao’s normal pulse made their guesses beyond a doubt, while she had no idea what was really going on with his constitution.
“Does anyone else still suspect Gu Qishao’s body?” Gu Beiyue asked loudly.
Everyone shook their heads in denial. Gu Qishao clasped his hands together and felt even better. Mu Linger only sniffled madly from the sidelines, forcing herself not to cry. With the trial finished, the attendants prepared to escort Gu Yuntian back to his cells when Han Yunxi stopped them. She said coldly, “You can’t even tell the difference between the living and the dead. Where did you get your eighth rank Sage Doctor title? Erase all of Gu Yuntian’s medical ranks.”
With his titles gone, Gu Yuntian’s name would be erased from the records of doctor rankings in the academy. Dumbfounded by the turn of events, Gu Yuntian suddenly glared at Han Yunxi and roared, “What right do you have to do this? You don’t have the right! You don’t!”
Han Yunxi ignored him while Gu Beiyue agreed with her views. He waved a hand to signal the attendants to lead the man back to the prisoner’s cart. Didn’t Gu Yuntian value his ranking most of all? Then they’d destroy it and let him suffer!
Gu Yuntian was thus paraded through the streets, where the people of Medical City threw eggs and vegetables at him the entire way. Even a few rocks were mixed into the batch. Gu Qishao followed the progress of the cart from the rooftops with a chilly air. He didn’t say a word. Behind him followed Mu Linger. She knew this was the best outcome, but it couldn’t heal the wounds in Qi gege’s heart. After all, Gu Yuntian was his own father and sole relative in this world. How could Qi gege really be someone without a heart? Still, she simply trailed him in silence without speaking up.
At night, Gu Beiyue entertained all of the guests to Medical City with a feast in his position as academy head. Gu Qishao and Mu Linger didn’t show up at the party, but a few people spotted them heading into the Nine Lives Hall with Gu Yuntian. Han Yunxi didn’t show up either because she was organizing the few sect manuals left behind by the Poison Sect in their forbidden grounds. Once the feast was over, a shadow guard prepared to escort Gu Beiyue back, but he made a detour to the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds to meet Han Yunxi instead.
The path from the academy to the forbidden grounds had a section of mountain trail that was quite difficult to walk. The shadow guard asked curiously, “Doctor Gu, we’ve already prepared the carriage. You didn’t tell esteemed wangfei that you were sending her off tonight?”
“No, I need to tell her something extremely important first before I send her off,” Gu Beiyue said with a heavy tone as he felt the items in his sleeve. As they entered the forbidden grounds, they headed for the Skypit. There was a building next to it where Han Yunxi was staying right now.
“Doctor Gu, be careful underfoot. It’s right up ahead,” the shadow guard reminded.
Abruptly, a sword awn suddenly appeared in the air to arc towards Gu Beiyue. In alarm, the guard cried, “Doctor Gu, watch out!”
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Happy extra release to make up for the missing chapter from last week-ish! Also note that today (Sunday's) release of PGC will be delayed as I need to drive a long way to run some important errands.
...don't fall off the cliff while I'm gone, folks.
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