“Chu Xifeng, divide the people into two paths. Hurry and take esteemed wangfei away from here!” Gu Beiyue wasn’t sure if the dark-robed assassin was aiming for him or Han Yunxi, but under these circumstances, she was in more danger! Whether he was the white-robed gentleman or Doctor Gu, he wanted Han Yunxi to be safe and sound.
As soon as he finished speaking, Gu Beiyue started running in a different direction. At the same time, the assassins rushed forward for the kill, dividing up the forces of their defensive guards. Chu Xifeng felt his heart jolt when the dark-robed assassin looked at them. He pulled Han Yunxi away and ordered a few shadow guards to back them up as they retreated. With insufficent hands, Gu Beiyue was left to Xu Donglin alone to guard. The two groups went in different directions, so the dark-robed assassin headed without hesitation after Gu Beiyue.
Lil Thing reacted lightning fast and leaped off of Han Yunxi to bolt after the group. Then he jumped onto the dark-robed assassin’s body and started biting him like mad. Unfortunately, Lil Thing had been injured too severely on Celestial Mountain to recover so soon. All it could do was bite him now! It bit through the man’s clothes and into his flesh, tasting fresh blood on its tongue. The flavor made it give a start and freeze!
The dark-robed man slapped Lil Thing off his body, where it fell head-first against the ground. It stared at the dark-robed man’s retreating form blankly until it finally recovered its senses. It chased after him again, but this time it didn’t dare to touch the dark-robed man. Instead, it made Gu Beiyue its new goal.
“His target is Gu Beiyue! Chu Xifeng, all of you hurry over there, quick!” Han Yunxi was almost insane. She had shot a few poisoned needles, but they were all useless.
Instead of obeying, Chu Xifeng tried to force Han Yunxi to leave. Furious, she simply crouched on the ground to make him stop. “Chu Xifeng, I’m ordering you to save him!”
The dark-robed assassin wasn’t after her, but Gu Beiyue! She could tell that Gu Beiyue’s shadow arts weren’t as powerful as before. Otherwise, he would have taken her and fled long ago. In the Skypit, she had witnessed the true strength of his skills.
“Esteemed wangfei, no one can be certain that his target is only Gu Beiyue. We don’t have enough men right now, so you have to leave first. Once you’re safe, this subordinate can come back to support him right away. The distress signal was already fired, so the reinforcements will come soon,” Chu Xifeng coaxed urgently.
“I’m ordering to go over there now!” Han Yunxi raged.
For an expert like that dark-robed man, killing Gu Beiyue and Xu Donglin was only a matter of minutes. By the time the reinforcements arrived, they’d just be picking up the corpses. Chu Xifeng had the best martial arts of all the shadow guards, so if he went to save them, he might be able to hold out until backup came. While he was still hesitating, Han Yunxi rose to her feet and grabbed him by the collar.
“If anything happens to Gu Beiyue, this wangfei won’t forgive you!”
“Esteemed wangfei....” Chu Xifeng was still hesitant.
His Highness Duke of Qin had many tasks for him, but the most important one had come after the incident with Carefree City. He was to stay by Han Yunxi’s side and protect her at all times. They were even going ot send her away tonight, so he couldn’t allow her to fall into any more danger. She had wanted to stay at the Poison Sect overnight, but he’d finally convinced her to leave. They had saw the distress flare on the way back before running into Gu Beiyue. If it wasn’t simply a stroke of luck, he would have never let esteemed wangfei witness the scene.
While Chu Xifeng was wavring, Xu Donglin had already been knocked aside by sword qi nearby. He fell heavily to the ground and spat out a mouthful of blood. When he tried to stand up, he lost energy after a few times and fainted dead away.
Now it was only Gu Beiyue himself against the dark-robed assassin!
Chu Xifeng was anxious too. He signaled with his eyes for a few shadow guards to rush to Gu Beiyue’s rescue and surround the dark-robed man. Seeing this, Gu Beiyue shouted at Han Yunxi, “Go, ah! Leave now!”
He began to run in the opposite direction, but the dark-robed assassin quickly killed off the shadow guards in his way before giving chase. Gu Beiyue used his lightness techniques one more time before vanishing into the darkness with his pursuer hot on his heels.
“If you’re not going, I’ll go!” Han Yunxi said ruthlessly as she broke free of Chu Xifeng’s grasp. The differences in strengths were so obvious that Gu Beiyue was sure to die on his own! Unfortunately, she didn’t get far before Chu Xifeng caught her.
“Esteemed wangfei, it’s dangerous. You--”
“Just who’s that assassin? Do you know him?” she demanded.
Chu Xifeng was astonished. “Esteemed wangfei, although he knows Celestial Mountain swordplay style, he’s definitely not sent by His Highness Duke of Qin. Nor can that man be His Highness himself! Esteemed wangfei, how could you--”
“I never said he was Long Feiye!” she raged.
Chu Xifeng felt his heart jolt before realizing he’d said something inappropriate. Actually, he had his suspicions too! The dark-robed assassin’s sword skills were truly too similar to His Highness Duke of Qin. He harbored no killing intent towards esteemed wangfei, but was wholeheartedly set on killing Gu Beiyue. That was already very suspect. After all, the current medical academy was already divided between the medical and poison factions. Gu Beiyue might control Medical City, but he only held dominion over the medical faction. Esteemed wangfei had sway on the poisons side and controlled half of the medical academy. Moreover, esteemed wangfei was the mistress of the south central region’s commander-in-chief’s estate, so her life was much more valuable than Gu Beiyue’s.
Logically speaking, any enemy of theirs would choose to kill esteemed wangfei instead! But this assassin had no animosity towards her. Chu Xifeng knew Gu Beiyue’s true identity, but His Highness Duke of Qin had given the man multiple secret missives to discuss various major matters. Even he didn’t know the contents of the exchanges between the pair. His Highness Duke of Qin and Gu Beiyue’s collaborations went beyond the depth of his knowledge.
“Esteemed wangfei, I…” Chu Xifeng didn’t even know how to explain himself anymore. He too, felt that the dark-robed assassin was covering up the obvious.
Actually, Han Yunxi didn’t suspect Long Feiye because she hadn’t had time to stop and slowly consider the facts. She wouldn’t suspect someone lightly, much less jump to conclusions. She questioned Chu Xifeng because she wanted to goad him into action. Now she interrupted him again. “If it’s not Long Feiye, then rescue his victim immediately!”
Chu Xifeng still didn’t budge, making Han Yunxi almost angry enough to spit up blood. “Well, well, I never thought Long Feiye was someone like this. Is he planning to dismantle the bridge after crossing the river? If he kills Gu Beiyue today, will he kill this wangfei tomorrow?”
Chu Xifeng finally caved. If a serious misunderstanding arose from this, he wouldn’t be able to shoulder the burden even if he died! Seeing that the rest of the shadow guards were still keeping back the first assassin trio, he took esteemed wangfei and chased Gu Beiyue. But they arrived in time to see him forced to the edge of the cliff by the dark-robed assassin. He stabbed at Gu Beiyue, who ran out of room to retreat and stepped out into the abyss!
This was a scream from Han Yunxi’s heart, because her mouth couldn’t form any words. How frightened must she be to have lost her voice? Chu Xifeng finally gave it his all and threw himself forward, but he was late--much too late! Gu Beiyue stepped on air before falling off the cliff.
“Gu Beiyue!” Han Yunxi finally managed to shout, her sob-laced voice resounding through the entire mountain. She too, ran forward, but the dark-robed assassin actually flew to the side to avoid her. By the time she reached the cliff, she only saw an unending darkness stretching out beneath her by the light of the moon.
“Gu Beiyue! Gu Beiyue! You owe me an explanation! Gu Beiyue!” Her lips were trembling, as was her body. She almost lost control of herself; fortunately, Chu Xifeng grabbed her before she fell too.
She shook him off and glared at him. “It’s all your fault!”
Meanwhile, row after rows of black shadows landed around them: the reinforcements. The assassin trio flew to land behind the dark-robed man, who had already re-sheathed his weapon. Han Yunxi glared at them and noticed the bite marks on his shoulder left by Lil Thing. It was bleeding nonstop.
Chu Xifeng felt stifled, but he still stood protectively in front of Han Yunxi. Even if they had the advantage in numbers, they were no match for those four right now. The dark-robed assassin had sword skills on par with His Highness Duke of Qin. Even if another batch of shadow guards arrived, they still wouldn’t be able to defeat them. Thus, their most important task now was to protect esteemed wangfei! Han Yunxi narrowed her eyes at the dark-robed man, who once again avoided her gaze. He backed up two steps and then left with the trio following. None of the shadow guards gave chase. Han Yunxi only looked at Chu Xifeng briefly, but she didn’t order him to pursue them, either.
Once they were certain the killers were gone, Chu Xifeng didn’t hesitate to send people down the cliff to search for Gu Beiyue. Only a few men were left to guard Han Yunxi. Compared to her sudden loss of control, she was scarily calm now. Her eyes seemed in a trance as she stared down into the cliff. The shadow guards by her side exchanged glances, afraid to say too much. Actually, even men of Chu Xifeng’s caliber needed extra care descending such a steep cliff face, to say nothing of Gu Beiyue when he fell off.
There was practically no chance that he survived the fall…
The moon shone silently upon their dark and soundless world. No one noticed that Lil Thing had vanished in the middle of the chaos. Han Yunxi’s mind was completely blank. Everything had happened so suddenly tonight: Gu Beiyue’s identity, the assassin’s sword skills, and this cliff. She didn’t want to think about anything. She only wanted Chu Xifeng to bring Gu Beiyue back.
As the night grew darker, dawn approached. She wondered whether she’d have the hope to see the man as warm as an April spring breeze again. Once upon a time, he’d told her in her most vulnerable moment, ‘Miss Yunxi, don’t be afraid.’
But her heart was shaking now. She was scared!
Very soon, all of the shadow guards that Long Feiye had stationed in Medical City arrived on the scene. Wave after wave of them descended down the cliff. It was almost daylight, but Han Yunxi hadn’t shifted her eyes from the edge. Would a nightmare greet her upon daybreak?
Gu Beiyue had met with a huge calamity, but Gu Qishao still had no idea. Currently, he had just stepped out of the Nine Lives Hall with an exhausted expression. Mu Linger had been waiting for him by the entrance and now rushed up to meet him.
“Qi gege, quickly wash up and change your clothes in case you get infected by the illnesses in there.”
Gu Qishao knit his brows at her before laughing out loud. “Lass, you’re really cute.” How nice would it be if he could really be infected by such diseases?
But suddenly, Luo Zuishan came to find him. “Little Qi, something’s happened to Doctor Gu by the cliffs of the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds. Hurry and go take a look!”
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I've been thinking, was GBY delivering LFY's other letters to HYX when he went to the forbidden grounds? Hmm...
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