Long Feiye and Han Yunxi landed first. The canyon was far deeper than they expected. A small mountain stream wound through a mass of thriving plants that blanketed the area in a chilly shade. Even the very air was damp with moisture. The couple looked around their surroundings but didn’t find Bai Yanqing’s corpse nor anything else amiss. After all, Long Feiye had personally stabbed his sword through the man’s heart. Moreover, he had checked the man for breathing after his body landed on a tree bough. Once he was sure there was none, he’d kicked the corpse into the canyon.
Even if Bai Yanqing was still alive at that point, how could he survive such a high fall? His body might even be in pieces by now. As they assumed the body was closeby, they didn’t start searching, but waited for Gu Beiyue and the shadow guard to come down first. Han Yunxi wasn’t in a good mood, especially after reaching the bottom. Her depression was written all over her face. Having sensed this long ago, Long Feiye murmured, “Relax, you weren’t the one who killed him.”
He knew that she was stuck on the “patricide” accusation. Even he didn’t expect Bai Yanqing to spew such words and acknowledge his daughter at the last minute. Perhaps that was when Han Yunxi had thoroughly lost her calm?
Han Yunxi looked at Long Feiye. “I….was it right of me to let you kill him?”
She really was flustered back then, but there was no time to think. Now she couldn’t even remember what Long Feiye had said in turn. On the other hand, he remembered everything. The same time Bai Yanqing acknowledged his daughter, Han Yunxi had stood dumbstruck until she finally said, “Long Feiye, I only trust you in this world. Why are you still hesitating?”
She had no intention to commit patricide. In fact, she refused to acknowledge a father like Bai Yanqing at all. Long Feiye tightened his grip on her hand. “Han Yunxi, you only have to remember: you weren’t the one who killed him, but me! Back then, the Wind Clan colluded with the Black Clan, Di Clan, and all the rest to destroy my East Qin. I have to pay back the debt!”
Despite the enmity between East and West Qin in the past, it was the Black Clan that had truly destroyed West Qin, while the Wind Clan sent out troops to destroy East Qin in turn. Even if Han Yunxi hadn’t made her choice today, Long Feiye wouldn’t have shown any mercy!
She looked up, and he continued, “Bai Yanqing is not your father. You’re not the Han Clan’s Han Yunxi!”
“No. He is…”
“Why did Lady Tianxin conceal her identity and marry into the Han estate?” Long Feiye interrupted. “Why did she suffer a difficult labor? Bai Yanqing clearly knew who you were, but still refused to recognize you to this very day! Don’t you think that everything about it is strange? Can you trust the words of a man on the verge of death when he acknowledges you as his daughter?” Although Long Feiye meant to comfort with his words, there was logic behind his reasoning too.
Han Yunxi looked at him and wanted to say something more, but ended up saying nothing. She was wondering whether she had been too impulsive. With Bai Yanqing dead like this, who else would know what happened to Lady Tianxin? Suppose Bai Yanqing wasn’t actually her father? Then where could her real father be? Was he alive or dead? Where was she supposed to look for him?
As Han Yunxi fell into silence, Long Feiye grew quiet as well. He simply held her hand and entwined their fingers together. Actually, nothing was better than a hug or holding hands where words failed to do a thing. They waited a while longer before the shadow guard arrived with Gu Beiyue in tow.
“Have you found the body?” Gu Beiyue asked.
“We were waiting for you. It should be nearby, let’s split up and look,” Long Feiye replied.
Gu Beiyue glanced at Han Yunxi and knew that she was feeling off. A faint smile rose to his lips. Long Feiye wasn’t waiting for him at all, but giving Han Yunxi time to calm down. It had to be said that he thought the couple had been too impulsive with the whole Hundred Poisons Sect affair. But Gu Beiyue kept such thoughts to himself. Despite their rashness, there was no better way. Judging from how long Bai Yanqing had waited for them at the bottom of the mountain, he was going to provoke the two sides to the end no matter what the truth between East and West Qin might be.
With the shifting gameboard of Cloud Realm Continent before them, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi already walked this far. If they didn’t seize this chance to find a reason to alliance, then what were East and West Qin supposed to do in the wake of Bai Yanqing’s death?
Very soon, the group split up to search for Bai Yanqing’s body. However, they started to panic when they couldn’t find signs of it anywhere in the surroundings. None of the surrounding vegetation or little mountain stream showed any signs of the corpse. At most, there was a pool of blood nearby.
“Your Highness, are you certain that Bai Yanqing was already dead?” Gu Beiyue’s pale face had already turned bloodless and ghastly.
If Bai Yanqing had survived, then their troubles had just gotten bigger!
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi weren’t looking much better. He stated seriously, “I personally tested him for breathing! A stab through the heart--” But he suddenly stopped as he recalled something.
Once upon a time, hadn’t someone he stabbed with a dagger to the heart survived just fine as well?
Seeing Long Feiye’s pause, Gu Beiyue quickly asked, “What happened?”
“I’m sure I already killed him. Let’s search some more!” Even when faced with Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue, Long Feiye didn’t tell them Gu Qishao’s secret.
“Alright!” Gu Beiyue didn’t press the issue.
They split up between south and north and searched almost the entire expanse of the canyon until early next morning before reconvening at the original spot.
“Could someone have stolen the body away?” Han Yunxi wondered. She too, had see the sword pierce through Bai Yanqing’s heart. It wasn’t even an injury by sword qi, but an actual stab wound from Long Feiye’s sword. How could anyone still be alive after that?
Long Feiye had then tested Bai Yanqing for breathing. In her eyes, that was already prudent enough--perhaps even superfluous.
“That’s an unlikely possibility,” Gu Beiyue answered.
Besides high level experts like Jun Yixie and Bai Yanqing, the rest of Hundred Poisons Sect was filled with disciples who specialized in poisons. Even Bai Yuqiao’s martial arts skills were only so-so. No one from the sect could have made it down such a deep canyon. Moreover, Shi Jiuxia had already surrendered to Han Yunxi, so who in Hundred Poisons Sect would dare risk searching for Bai Yanqing’s body now? He was already dead, so finding it would be useless.
“Could some poison beast have carried it off?” Han Yunxi asked next. But even she realized that was a flimsy suggestion. Not only were corpse-eating poison beasts rare, any creature that stole the body or took care of it on the spot would have left marks behind! But they’d found nothing except some blood. As the three of them fell silent, a single worry rose in their minds. None of them voiced it until Gu Beiyue spoke first.
“Your Highness, princess, Bai Yanqing might have...faked his death.”
“But he was clearly--”
“Have you two heard of the Poison Sect’s Poison Gu humans?” Long Feiye interrupted Han Yunxi.
When he found out that Gu Qishao had survived his stab wound and couldn’t die, he had been searching for the reasons this entire time. In the past, the Poison Sect had gotten into trouble with Medical City because they were conducting research on Poison Gu. Then the entire sect had been destroyed.
Rumors had it the research on Poison Gu had been left unfinished. Gu Qishao’s father, ex-Academy Head Gu, had been secretly looking into the findings himself. However, no one knew if someone had succeeded in completing the formula, or if any Poison Sect descendants had seized it for themselves. Who could be certain? Who could guarantee?
Long Feiye didn’t believe such things, but Gu Qishao’s existence had forced him to change his views.
At Medical City’s medical skills competition, Gu Yuntian’s secrets had been exposed. Although he had been researching the Poison Sect’s secret manuals, the things unearthed from his underground chamber showed that he hadn’t succeeded. Thus, Gu Yuntian did not turn Gu Qishao into a Poison Gu human. But it was true that the man couldn’t die. Why was that? Gu Qishao was familiar with everything about the Poison Sect, so could someone have found another way to make their own Poison Gu formula?
Of course, there was no time for Long Feiye to wonder about Gu Qishao now. He only knew that undying humans really did exist in this world. When he had killed Bai Yanqing, he hadn’t thought of such things. Time had been tight. For one thing, the female mercenaries and poison guards couldn’t hold back the crowds indefinitely and more witnesses would come if they delayed; for another, Baili Mingxiang was poisoned and Han Yunxi needed time to treat her poisons; for a third, the people below the mountain wouldn’t wait for forever. In hindsight, Bai Yanqing was a direct descendant of the Poison Sect, so if he hadn’t died from the sword strike, then he had to be a Poison Gu human!
“Poison Gu human…” Gu Beiyue broke into a cold sweat.
Han Yunxi looked pale but didn’t say a word.
Both of them were reeling from the implications, because that explanation would cover why the body had suddenly disappeared. Bai Yanqing wasn’t dead, which meant they were in big trouble.
But the fact that Bai Yanqing had an undying body meant that they had even more to worry about!
Long Feiye was the calmest of the trio. He asked, “Just what kind of thing is a Poison Gu human?”
There were plenty of rumors about them. Some said they never died, decayed, or aged; some said they were impervious to blades and hundreds of poisons; some claimed that Poison Gu humans were the next stage of advancement for Poison corpses and could be raised and domesticated.
Gu Beiyue and Han Yunxi both shook their heads. Poison Gu humans had started out as a legend of the Poison Sect. Not only them, but all the elders in Medical City were hard-pressed to give straight answers. A complicated look flickered past Long Feiye’s eyes. It looked like he’d have to meet with Gu Qishao again, even if he never wanted to see that discreditable fellow in this lifetime.
“Is there any way to kill a Poison Gu human?” Long Feiye asked next.
“Your Highness, right now the trouble isn’t how to kill Bai Yanqing, but how to stop him!” Gu Beiyue pointed out.
“Once he shows himself, all the excuses we used today will be overturned!” Han Yunxi was worried about that too.
As long as Bai Yanqing revealed himself, nothing else would need to be said. His presence enough would convince everyone that Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had been spewing lies today. Thus, no matter what the world thought, the East and West Qin factions would be unsatisfied. Forget about her--even Long Feiye would have trouble convincing the crowd.
“Your Highness, today’s events merit more discussion,” Gu Beiyue didn’t want to say much, but he had to speak up now that Bai Yanqing was still alive.
Both he and Han Yunxi were worried that Bai Yanqing would expose their lies, yet Long Feiye was more interested in something else.
He looked at Han Yunxi and asked, “Do you regret it?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
...let this be a lesson to you folks. Even if you're almighty and powerful like Long Feiye, don't skip out on sleep! All those nights of watching over Han Yunxi must have muddled his judgement when "killing" Bai Yanqing, especially with such a blatant example like Gu Qishao before him...!
But! Major props to Long Feiye for keeping Gu Qishao's secret even from his wife and good ally. That's what we call a man of his word. :)