The shadow guard shoved Gu Beiyue harshly aside. He might have stood on his own originally, but this time he toppled over. Long Feiye’s pill had only recovered 30 percent of his internal energy, so he could both maintain his balance and even dodge with lightness techniques when needed. However, he wouldn’t expose his skills unless absolutely necessary.
When Gu Beiyue fell to the ground, he saw three black-masked assassins appear on the scene. Ten more shadow guards came out from their hiding places to take up defensive positions. Soon enough, they began to fight with the mystery trio while the first shadow guard retreated to stand protectively in front of Gu Beiyue.
The three assassins were all wielding long swords with skills far surpassing Gu Beiyue’s group. Their each move and strike were more than enough to deal with their 10 opponents. In only a while, the fighting grew intense.
“This...they…” the shadow guard gaped at the sight. The three assassins were clearly using Celestial Mountain swordplay styles. Judging by the strength of their sword awns, they had mastered Nirvana Heart Arts as well.
Who...are they? They’d have to be top disciples from the two Courtyards or Depositories to have such skill with the sword.
His Highness Duke of Qin had long gained control over Celestial Mountain Sword Sect, leaving Cang Qiuzi’s faction under his thumb as well. It was impossible for these assassins to sneak off the mountain. Even if they were rebels loyal to Cang Qiuzi, why would they target Gu Beiyue? The man had no grudge with them. Currently, Gu Beiyue was knitting his brows at the sight. The shadow guard noticed his stern expression and silently realized that things were bad. With the current situation, wouldn’t Doctor Gu suspect His Highness Duke of Qin of being behind the scenes?
Thinking up to here, a frightening thought crept into the shadow guard’s mind as he suppressed a chill. Could it be that these are really assassins sent by His Highness?
Dcotor Gu was no simple man. His agreement with His Highness Duke of Qin was a complete secret to esteemed wangfei. Could His Highness Duke of Qin have just used him to get Medical City and then get rid of him afterwards? Technically speaking, Doctor Gu should be His Highness Duke of Qin’s strongest ally after controlling Medical City. But if he betrayed His Highness first to ally with other powers, then His Highness Duke of Qin would lose the whole game in one careless move. It was much harder to deal with Gu Beiyue than Gu Yuntian. While the latter was a madman about medicine, the former had heavenly talent!
“This swordplay style is certainly familiar!” Gu Beiyue’s calm tone betrayed no sign of his feelings, but it scared the shadow guard to death.
“What are you so flustered about?” Gu Beiyue asked next.
“I...I...Doctor Gu, their swordplay style…” the shadow guard didn’t know how to explain. Gu Beiyue was about to speak when the guard suddenly shoved him aside again. In the next second, a fresh sword slash separated the two with a shrill whistle.
Another assassin! That was close! The shadow guard went ahead to face him regardless. No matter what their origins were, he had to follow the Duke of Qin’s old orders if he hadn’t received any new ones, and that meant: protect Doctor Gu to the death.
He and Gu Beiyue both turned to see another black-robed assassin. But unlike the others, his mask covered his entire head, making it impossible to discern his identity. Only two eyes peered out at them. His figure was clearly male, but everything else was a mystery.
“Doctor Gu, this one has better martial arts skills than the other trio. We can only flee.” Higher ranked shadow guards had undergone hundreds of battles and were able to pick out differences with a glance. He pulled Gu Beiyue and turned towards the medical academy, but the dark-robed assassin quickly moved to block them. He pointed his sword at Gu Beiyue in silence, but his eyes were filled with obvious killing intent.
Gu Beiyue narrowed his eyes at him in silence. Although only 30 percent of his martial arts were back, his eyes were as good as ever. More than the shadow guard, he realized that the other assassin trio far surpassed the 10 shadow guards they were fighting. Soon enough, they would win the battle. Meanwhile, the man blocking their way was a top tier martial artist. He could even be on par with Long Feiye. Just who were these men, and why did they want his life?
“We can’t escape, we’ll have to find ways to seek rescue instead!” Gu Beiyue murmured.
The shadow guard quickly took out a distress signal flare, first to remind the guards by Han Yunxi’s side to be on watch, next to seek aid from the shadow guards still stationed within Medical City. Once the flare went flying, the dark-robed assassin began his attack. His long sword swept out with enough force to topple mountains and overturn seas, an overpowering force that was impossible to evade!
The shadow guard watched dumbstruck. Besides a few sect elders and the Celestial Sword Sect leader, the only person with such skill was His Highness Duke of Qin!
Heavens, just who is this assassin?
The shadow guard couldn’t avoid the blow, so he turned and tackled Gu Beiyue to the ground, using his own body to shield him from the attack. As the sword awn struck against his back, he spat out a mouthful of fresh blood that stained Gu Beiyue’s shoulder scarlet.
“Doctor Gu, quick...quickly, go!”
Gu Beiyue knew that the shadow guard was seriously wounded, but never thought it’d be so severe. He’d once seen such fierce sword qi--from Long Feiye’s blade. He pushed at the guard, who suddenly fell to one side with his eyes wide open. He was dead…
Gu Beiyue knitted his brows. He closed the eyes of the shadow guard just as the other three assassins eliminated their 10 opponents. Although they knew Gu Beiyue was in trouble, they hadn’t been able to make it to his side. Gu Beiyue’s warm and gentle eyes gradually grew cold. He didn’t flee, but stared at the dark-robed man as he approached.
“Just who are you? What kind of grudge do we have between us?”
The dark-robed assassin only sneered as he stepped closer. Gu Beiyue began to back away, his heart filled with misgivings. This dark-robed assassin had struck so fast and mercilessly just then, but seemed in no hurry to finish the job now. Just what are his motives?
“Do we know each other?” Gu Beiyue tried next.
The dark-robed assassin remained silent, causing Gu Beiyue to break into a cold smile. “This one is rather familiar with your Celestial Mountain swordplay style.”
The dark-robed assassin stilled his steps at that. Noting this, Gu Beiyue’s eyes suddenly narrowed. He was about to speak when his opponent struck out with his sword again. Gu Beiyue immediately retreated, his single step suddenly lengthening into a long stride that increased the distance between him and the dark-robed assassin.
That’s right, he had used his shadow arts!
A self-complacent light rose in the dark-robed man’s eyes before he quickly gave chase. Gu Beiyue turned and ran, because 30 percent of his martial arts wouldn’t be enough to support him for long. He could only try the same feint one to two more times, which meant he couldn’t use his techniques unless absolutely necessary. Very soon, he sensed the killing intent behind him growing stronger. He stopped until the blade was about to stab through his shoulder and suddenly shifted positions to narrowly dodge the blow.
Despite evading successfully, he stumbled to the ground. Two times of dodging had already wasted much of his internal energy. He didn’t know if he could keep going. With no time to think, he scrambled to his feet because the sword behind him was drawing closer. However, he saw Han Yunxi standing nearby as soon as he looked up, gaping at him in shock. Gu Beiyue stood rooted to the spot as she stared. Their gazes were less than 20 paces apart, but it felt like hundreds of thousands of mountains and rivers separated them both, making them no more than strangers.
Han Yunxi had seen him use his shadow arts!
Meanwhile, an overpowering sword qi headed for his shoulder with neither of them paying attention.
“The white robed gentleman…” Han Yunxi muttered, her voice so low that Gu Beiyue couldn’t hear a word.
“Miss Yunxi, I…” Gu Beiyue’s words stuck in his throat. He had so much to say and no way to say it. Even ‘Miss Yunxi’ was so soft that only he himself could hear.
She trusted him so much, but he’d hidden this behind her back? He had been so loyal, yet she had no idea about his sufferings?
Lil Thing immediately ran out to tug at Gu Beiyue’s trousers and warn him to dodge. It hadn’t recovered enough to knock Gu Beiyue out of the way with its own strength yet. Fortunately, Chu Xifeng sped forward next and pulled Gu Beiyue away. At the same time, Xu Donglin dragged Han Yunxi out of the way.
The heinous sword awn was like an arrow freed from its bow as it arched past them and shattered the edges of a boulder.
“Cheep!” Lil Thing cried in alarm as it pointed at the dark-robed assassin. It seemed to recognize the man.
“Celestial Mountain swordplay style!” Xu Donglin blurted out.
Han Yunxi forgot all about Gu Beiyue’s reveal because this was even more startling. She didn’t understand martial arts, but she remembered the strength of the sword qi during Long Feiye’s duel with the sword sect master. She knew that few people in the world were capable of releasing such potent levels of sword qi.
Who was this dark-robed assassin? Why did he want to kill Gu Beiyue? Gu Beiyue shook his head. Even if he forced himself to remain cool, his eyes were already flustered and at a loss. The secret he’d kept painstakingly for years and his identity as a Shadow Clan member were all exposed to her. What would she think now? How could he pass his future days peacefully?
Lil Thing jumped from Gu Beiyue’s body back to Han Yunxi and tugged on her sleeve to get her attention. It kept pointing frantically at the dark-robed assassin as if trying to make a point. By now, the other trio of killers had already finished off the other shadow guards and landed behind the dark-robed man. The quartet faced off against Han Yunxi’s group.
“Who are you people?” she asked coldly.
The dark-robed assassin didn’t speak and even intentionally avoided her scrutiny. With a wave of his hand, the other three rose to attack.
“Retreat!” Chu Xifeng cried immediately. Although they had brought 10 more guards with them, this dark-robed assassin was enough to take them all on. They had no chances of victory here, so they could only escape to save their lives! Chu Xifeng had meant to do this ages ago. “Esteemed wangfei, let’s run first! Quickly!”
“If we’re leaving, then we leave together!” Han Yunxi rejected instantly. She quickly grabbed Gu Beiyue’s hand and looked into his eyes. “No matter who you are, you have to leave with me. You owe me an explanation!”
Gu Beiyue looked at her stubborn gaze and quirked his lips into a warm smile. It was filled with doting, but for some reason it made one’s heart ache. He then shook free her hand and avoided her gaze…
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