After bidding farewell to Pill Furnace Master and Ye Xiao, Long Feiye and the rest galloped away madly towards the north. None of them brought up Han Yunxi’s pregnancy again, nor did Long Feiye blame Gu Beiyue for hiding the truth.
When people left things in their hearts, there were usually two reasons. One was to allow the facts to ferment before an explosive reaction one day. The other was because there was no need to discuss it any further as long as everyone was on the same page. For these men, it was probably the latter.
Aside from making time, they did nothing else during the trip. Gu Qishao led the group in the very front through shortcuts connecting Medical and Medicine City. He had taken these paths since he was a child countless times. Occasionally, he’d glance back at Long Feiye--one because he was puzzled as to how the man could shoulder such heavy swords, and two because of the Moye sword. Since the Ganjiang sword had returned to Long Feiye’s side, it was likely he’d be stuck following the guy until the Moye sword spirit was moved into its new blade. Of course, no one cared about things like that at a time like this, but if Poison lass was here, she’d probably be laughing at him by now.
If Poison lass is pregnant, will she lose her appetite and not eat well?
Just where did they lock her up? Can she sleep well there?
And what about those signs of miscarrige? Will it affect her health in any way?
Gu Qishao’s mind was filled with questions as he looked at Long Feiye and wondered what he could be thinking about? Over the past three months, Gu Qishao had not only ran all over the place looking for Han Yunxi, but also tracked down some Qimen Dunjia masters to study the art himself. He’d like to see how Bai Yanqing would try to trap them again. Although similarly possessed of an immortal body, he was at least younger than the other guy. He was waiting to fight him face to face! Even if Gu Beiyue couldn’t promise that Fourth Young Miss Ren was in Bai Yanqing’s hands, this was still a clue.
Compared to the fruitless search of the past three months, this was a great piece of news. Still, none of them had time to celebrate while they rushed on the road. They just wanted to reach Medical City faster and start searching from there. They were so preoccupied by the fact that none of them thought to send a letter to Ning Cheng in Northern Li about the update. Meanwhile, the letters that Ning Cheng mailed to Tianan would have to make a few more rounds until they reach Gu Beiyue’s hands. For now, he was in the battlefield of a small skirmish. Despite this, he had to endure the worry in his heart and work himself to the bone to kill his enemies.
Mu Linger was away in the distant Tang Clan, looking after little Tang Tang. She too, was worried and anxious, but she listened to Lady Tang’s coaxing and didn’t leave the mountain to cause a ruckus. Her paltry martial arts skills would already be a hassle against Bai Yanqing’s poison guards, to say nothing of the man himself. Mu Linger wasn’t just worried for her big sis, but also Gu Qishao. She knew Qi gege had to be running around Cloud Realm Continent for the past three months. A few days ago, the Di Clan’s Myriad Merchant Hall’s Fifth Elder wrote to ask about transferring a shipment of medicinal ingredients for urgent use in Ning Cheng’s army. Mu Linger thus remembered Jin Zi as well.
Even now, Jin Zi had never contacted her, much less ask her to return. One year ago, he had kept to his promise. Mu Linger would sometimes ask herself if she was the same as well. Little Tang Tang wasn’t an infant in swaddling clothes anymore, but someone who could lift her head and even sit up. Her eyes were extremely big and glowing with health and vigor, a lively pair of pupils. Lady Tang thought they resembled Tang Li’s, but Mu Linger felt they looked more like Ning Jing’s. Everyday, she would go with Lady Tang and little Tang Tang to sit outside in the mountains for a bit. Although she knew the baby’s parents weren’t coming back anytime soon, she still persisted in the daily ritual of waiting for their return. To Lady Tang, this was probably the sole highlight of her days.
“Lady Tang, will Tang Li take a concubine if he returns?” Mu Linger had been wanting to ask this question for a while now, for Ning Jing’s sake.
Lady Tang paused for a long while before she remarked, “This isn’t something for me to decide.”
Mu Linger immediately understood. She suddenly wished that Tang Li and Big Sister Jing didn’t come back. Instead, she wanted Tang Li to rescue Ning Jing and go far, far away. She’d be in charge of smuggling their daughter down the mountain and into their arms! Tang Li already knew that Ning Jing was incapable of bearing any more children, so he should be clear on the consequences if he brought her back to the Tang Clan.
Seeing Mu Linger fall silent, Lady Tang patted her on the shoulders and added, “Don’t think so much. As long as they can return safely, my little granddaughter will be stronger than anything with her father and mother behind her!”
“Yes!” Mu Linger nodded earnestly.
Little Tang Tang seemed to sense their grief, because she pursed her lips and suddenly burst into tears. Lady Tang quickly picked her up to coax her, her face wreathed with pain.
While the ignorant continued to wait anxiously for news, those with an inkling were even more tense. A few days later, Long Feiye’s group arrived secretly in Medical City. He had already instructed the shadow guards to spread false news beforehand that they were in Jiangnan. If Bai Yanqing was hidden in Medical City, then the fake news should dull his senses to them for a bit.
Upon their arrival, Long Feiye’s first task was not to start a wife-hunt because Fourth Young Miss Ren had only sent out a single clue. Where there was a first, there’d sure to be a second. Long Feiye knew Han Yunxi well enough to trust that she could use the shortest possible timeframe to send out decisive details within the prescriptions. Thus, they would secretly stand guard and wait to avoid startling the snake in the grass. Meanwhile, they’d encircle all of Medical City and the most suspicious Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds in case Bai Yanqing sensed something amiss and escaped.
Long Feiye transferred all the crack troops of the shadow guards here while Chu Xifeng and Xu Donglin acted as their commanders. Baili Mingxiang was with Chu Xifeng at the Tang Clan, but accompanied him when he came to lead his men. It wasn’t that she wanted to avoid the army barracks, but because she too wanted to contribute to the princess’s rescue efforts. When Bai Yanqing found out the princess was dual cultivating with His Highness, she lost her usefulness. However, the princess never asked her to retur the Raging Fire Lotus left with her for protection. Leaving aside all other favors, something like this mean she couldn’t abandon the princess now! After arriving at Medical City, Baili Mingxiang didn’t join the shadow guards, but went to stay with a few female mercenaries from the City of Daughters.
Aside from his secret fortifications, Long Feiye had also made a reproduction map of Medical City so everyone could analyze and discuss it together. They were trying to figure out the most probable place for Bai Yanqing’s hiding spot. Poison Sect was at the top of the list, but that place was so huge and filled with so many secret corners that even Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao were at a loss.
“Here where the sacrificial altar is is one major location. Last time the mysterious man in black appeared there,” Long Feiye pointed at the spot.
If that mysterious man turned out to be Bai Yanqing, then it meant he had a hiding place around the altar that they didn’t know about. But if he was someone else, then he had to be an orphan or scion of the Poison Sect. Perhaps with his help, they could made advances.
Long Feiye rested his hands on the map with hooded eyes, his expression intent. That handsome, gaunt face was as cold as ever, but filled with caution and concentration that had been missing for the past three months. Gu Beiyue watched from the sideliness, filled with gratification. He knew that His Highness’s old self was coming back. Thank goodness the clue from Fourth Young Miss Ren had come. Otherwise, he couldn’t begin to imagine what His Highness would feel knowing the princess was pregnant with no clues at all. It was possible he could’ve broken down instead.
His Highness’s current calm and reason came from a sense of duty--both to the princess and the little one!
Gu Qishao simply sat by for an entire afternoon in silence. He seemed absentminded because he didn’t say a word. Suddenly, he stood up and asked, “What if they’re in the dimension within the sacrificial altar?”
Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue both looked at him in alarm. If that was the case, then they’d never be able to get inside and rescue them. Unless one had the blood of the Poison Sect’s direct descendants, it was impossible to poen the enclosed dimension. Moreover, that place was filled with illusions. If Han Yunxi had been brought in unconscious, she might not even know she was stuck in a fake and give them false information unknowingly.
“As I see it, that’s not very possible. The illusions of the enclosed dimension originate from people’s hearts and vary with their feelings. Bai Yanqing’s not guaranteed to control himself under the circumstances, so he wouldn’t take the risk,” Gu Beiyue said reasonably.
Long Feiye agreed with Gu Beiyue’s views. Moreover, when they’d left the altar last time, he’d left multiple men behind to watch the space. If Bai Yanqing had shown up, he would have been spotted ages ago.
Gu Qishao didn’t reply, but Long Feiye muttered to himself, “That dimension would be a fine hiding spot if one wasn’t afraid of illusions.”
After a few moments of silence, Gu Qishao stood up again and asked, “Long Feiye, if that black-robed man wasn’t Bai Yanqing, then could he be secretly spying on him from the shadows as well?”
Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue both agreed with his view. Bai Yanqing was a bloodline descendant of the Poison Sect, so that black-robed man was likely the same. Perhaps the two were even acquainted with each other? While the trio thought this over, Tang Li hurried into the room and handed another prescription to Gu Beiyue.
“Hurry and take a look! This came from a small town in the western region of Medical City! They said there’s a big problem with it!”
The prescription wasn’t the original article, but written from memory by the pharmacist in charge. With Foruth Young Miss Ren’s orders before them, all doctors knew to keep quiet about suspicious prescriptions and prepare everything as instructed. They’d either have the client grab the ingredients themselves or prepare it personally.
This particular prescription was very unique, so the doctor was forced to act first and report later. He had the client leave with the medicine before informing Gu Beiyue of the discrepancies. A certain name for an ingredient in the prescription had stuck out as exceedingly strange. The so-called item was a “Drilling Earth Breeze,” a seldom-seen and rarely understood medicine across Cloud Realm Continent. It wasn’t used to prevent miscarriages either, because its excessive use in pregnant women would agitate the flesh, bones, blood, and qi.
Judging from the paper, Gu Beiyue could tell the prescription came from Fourth Young Miss Ren’s hands. Ordinary doctors were incapable of writing up such a thing. However, he too was stuck upon the problem of “Drilling Earth Breeze.” It was the only outlier in an otherwise normal order, so what did Fourth Young Miss Ren mean by this item?
“Drilling Earth Breeze?” Long Feiye muttered to himself…