When Han Yunxi looked back, both men shut up. Long Feiye kept staring straight ahead with an expressionless face while Gu Qishao threw his arms behind his head with a piece of sogon grass dangling out of his mouth. He looked at the side of the path, his face full of swagger. With Gu Qishao’s personality, anyone who walked by him looked set for a beating. Of course, Long Feiye was an exception. He’d long turned into one of Gu Qishao’s creditors.
Han Yunxi glanced between them and rolled her eyes. She was too lazy to bother with the pair and walked back to join Gu Beiyue and Baili Mingxiang.
“Princess, His Highness and him…” Gu Beiyue asked doubtfully.
“I bet they were probably incompatibly from birth,” Han Yunxi chuckled.
Gu Beiyue smiled back, but he quickly turned serious. “Princess, you can still depend on Qishao to do his job.”
In fact, besides his treatment of Mu Linger, Gu Qishao was very dependable on matters of principle. If not for him fooling around with Myriad Merchant Hall or rescuing Gu Beiyue, they might still be at Three-Way Black Market this day.
As they walked on, Han Yunxi suddenly recalled the pot of noodles she’d made last night. Teasingly, she asked, “How did that bowl of noodles taste last night?”
If the shadow guard hadn’t come by to report, Han Yunxi would never believe that Gu Beiyue had finished off an entire bowl.
Gu Beiyue was quite discerning. “It would taste better with a bit more salt.”
Han Yunxi looked at him doubtfully before she finally managed to say, “Gu Beiyue, you’ve made progress!”
“Hm?” Gu Beiyue was clueless.
“You know how to flatter people now!” Han Yunxi declared. Gu Beiyue’s answer was perfect: it neither embarrassed her or seemed too fake. Anyone who hadn’t seen the tragic state of those noodles firsthand would assume Han Yunxi’s cooking was alright after his statement. Even she felt better after hearing his words and felt that she wasn’t as terrible as she thought.
On one side, Baili Mingxiang couldn’t help but burst into laughter. This was the first time the princess had ever satirized Doctor Gu. When Han Yunxi looked over, she immediately ducked her head and realized she’d been rude. Han Yunxi stared at her for a long time before she finally said, “Mingxiang.”
“Here,” Baili Mingxiang looked up.
Han Yunxi walked over with a grin. “When we go back, I’ll find you for cooking tips and make Gu Beiyue a few more dishes to try.”
Seeing Han Yunxi smile, Baili Mingxiang finally stopped tensing up and being cautious. She nodded her head in delight. “Alright!”
Gu Beiyue smiled soundlessly, content beyond compare.
With Han Yunxi behind them, Long Feiye and Gu Qishao had no more chances to keep “arguing.” Soon enough, he stopped to wait for her to catch up. As soon as Han Yunxi reached his side, he took her hand and entwined their fingers tightly together. Gu Qishao circled around to Han Yunxi’s other side so they were walking shoulder-to-shoulder. Ignoring Long Feiye’s vicious glare, he wore a bright and dazzling smile.
If it was a contest of shamelessness, Long Feiye was his inferior. As soon as Long Feiye pulled Han Yunxi to his other side, Gu Qishao followed along until he was walking next to Long Feiye. Behind them, Gu Beiyue, Baili Mingxiang, Xu Donglin and the rest of the guards were all laughing to themselves.
Just like that, the group moved as a happy wave towards the Poison Sect’s sacrificial altar.
Of course, by the time they got there, they turned serious. Although the stele had undergone a scary transformation in Han Yunxi’s dream, it currently had no changes from where they left it last. Gu Qishao went over and was instantly captivated by the poison plants in the color glaze wall. These were the prettiest plants he’d seen. Their stems and leaves were transparent and shone with a faint, colorful light. Their dreamlike, illusory quality made them seem unreal. He had never seen such plants before, so he couldn’t tell whether they were poisonous. But judging from his experiencing cultivating medicinal plants, he could guess that these specimens had been alive for a very long time.
“Poison lass, these plants should have lived for a least a couple hundred years,” Gu Qishao remarked.
“A couple hundred years? Then did someone recently pick their fruits?” Han Yunxi asked. She was very professional when it came to distinguishing poisons, but not the age of plants. If not for the detox system’s analysis, she wouldn’t be able to tell with her eyes alone.
“The fruits were plucked at least 10 years ago!” Gu Qishao observed.
“How can you tell?” Long Feiye couldn’t help asking.
Gu Qishao only looked at him with a chuckle. “Heheh!”
It wasn’t that easy to goad Long Feiye. He snorted coldly and said, “You must have saw the wrong thing.”
By contrast, it was extremely easy for Long Feiye to provoke Gu Qishao. He immediately rebutted, “I can’t be wrong. Judging from the thickness of the rootstock, the size and color of the leaves, and the edges of a few others, you can differentiate between various plants. I can only give a rough estimate, not an accurate guess. And also--”
Long Feiye raised a hand to stop him. “Alright, I understand.”
Gu Qishao gave a start as he realized he’d fallen into Long Feiye’s paces. His beautiful face immediately fell while the others narrowly laughed out loud. Fortunately, they held it back. Han Yunxi couldn’t even figure out the poison plants, so Long Feiye wasn’t expecting much from Gu Qishao either. He asked instead, “Where was the wolf totem image located?”
Han Yunxi walked in front of the wordless stele and shut her eyes. Using her memory, she tried to find the location of the wolf totem in her dreams. Many times, it was impossible to recall dreams, but Han Yunxi had a fresh recollection of last night. As soon as she closed her eyes, images from the dream appeared in her mind. She quickly pinpointed the location on the stele.
“Here. That’s where the blood came out of the forehead,” she pointed at the stele.
Long Feiye and the rest looked at the empty space in disbelief. If not for Han Yunxi’s dream, who would be able to find any secret switches on the smooth surface? Han Yunxi looked at Long Feiye, then the rest, and asked, “I’ll...begin, then?”
Everyone immediately looked towards Long Feiye, Gu Qishao included. Long Feiye grasped Han Yunxi’s free hand and nodded. Han Yunxi steeled her resolve and bit through her finger to squeeze out a drop of blood. She was about to smear it on the stele when Long Feiye suddenly took her hand and pressed it down with her. Very soon, they let go of each other.
Unlike yesterday, Han Yunxi’s blood stayed on the stele a while before being absorbed within. And yet as soon as that happened, the entire stele began to quake. The altar shuddered with it, the tremors growing stronger like an earthquake! Long Feiye protected Han Yunxi and backed away, the rest following along. But all of their eyes were fixated on the wordless stele, afraid to miss a second.
Soon enough, the scene from Han Yunxi’s dream came to life. The wordless stele suddenly split in the center. At first, it was just a long and narrow crack, but it soon grew wider as if pulled apart by a fordmless energy. Gradually, a doorway formed in its place.
Though she called it a “door,” it was more like a cave opening leading to an unknown world. It was too dark inside to see any light, so no one knew where it’d lead them.
“Well, well, so this was the big secret of the Poison Secret!” Gu Qishao scooted closer. While everyone else was hesitant, he had no fear at all. Very soon, he reached the entrance and glanced back at Han Yunxi and Long Feiye. “We’re really going in?”
“Mm,” Long Feiye nodded.
“Then come on already, I’ll lead the way for you guys!” Gu Qishao said before plucking a small night luminous pearl from his sleeve. In the darkness, the pearl gradually grew brighter until it illuminated their surroundings.
“I think we should take the lead instead, Gu Qishao. You should be more careful,” Han Yunxi said.
“I’ll lead the way, no problem!” Gu Qishao said as he prepared to enter, but no matter what he did, his foot couldn’t step into the darkness. It seemed like he’d ran into something hard, because there was a thump.
“You hit...the Xuan gold stele?” Han Yunxi asked.
“Seems like it. It’s this incredible?” Gu Qishao couldn’t believe it and kicked harder at the entrance, but almost ended up knocking himself off his feet. He staggered back a few steps until he regained his balance.
“It really is Xuan gold. Poison lass, this isn’t some illusion, right?” Gu Qishao asked in astonishment.
“Princess, how about you go try instead?” Gu Beiyue suggested.
These words reminded everyone that she had been the one to open the door, so perhaps she was the only one qualified to enter. Long Feiye’s gaze turned complex before he too, went forward to try it himself. His results were no different from Gu Qishao.
Han Yunxi stepped forward and prepared to try when Long Feiye pulled on her hand. Before everyone’s eyes, she carefully tested it out and...actually stepped inside.
As soon as Han Yunxi took the first step, the inside of the cave glowed with light. Following that was an absolute force that all but started to pull her in! Long on guard, Long Feiye held on before she was utterly sucked in, but his strength soon paled before the power of the cave. Instead of struggling, he simply used his other arm to hug Han Yunxi tight. Because of that, both of them were sucked into the entrance.
“Hold onto them!” Gu Qishao shouted as he pounced on Long Feiye’s foot. Gu Beiyue immediately grabbed onto Gu Qishao’s hand as they started flying into the cave.
Baili Mingxiang and Xu Donglin were still standing speechless until Gu Beiyue shouted, “Xu Donglin, Miss Mingxiang, get over here!”
Xu Donglin was waiting for those very words. He grabbed Baili Mingxiang and grabbed the hem of Gu Beiyue’s robes seconds before the doctor was completely swallowed up by the darkness.
Once everyone was inside, the opening gradually shrank until it soon disappeared from sight. The Xuan gold door resumed its former appearance as if nothing had happened at all. The surrounding shadow and poison guards exchanged looks of disbelief. All they could do now was guard the entrance until Han Yunxi and the rest returned.
But...just where had they gone?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Next chapter, join our characters as they....transmigrate to the modern world! Ahaha, that'd be a good April Fools' joke!