Gu Qishao said, “Poison lass, just then you used poison?”
Gu Qishao couldn’t figure out why Han Yunxi had poisoned Long Zun’s retinue. Although he couldn’t tell what kind of poison it was, he was certain the toxin was a slow-acting poison that wasn’t very strong.
“Shhh…” Han Yunxi murmured. If any of Ning Cheng’s men heard that, she wouldn’t be able to wash clean her sins even if she jumped into the Yellow River.
Gu Qishao drew closer. “Tell me in secret?”
Mu Linger immediately scooted over as well. “I’ll just secretly listen in.”
Overnight, Mu Linger had completely extricated herself from yesterday’s disappointment. She had the best recovery rate across the continent--when it came to heartache, that is. At the same time, Gu Qishao had the best physical recovery rate. In some ways, the two of them were a fated match by that reason alone.
Han Yunxi only replied with two words, “It’s a secret!”
“I won’t tell,” Gu Qishao vowed immediately.
“If you call me big sis, I’ll tell you,” Han Yunxi interrupted.
Mu Linger immediately turned her head aside. “Hmph!”
“Lass, hurry and call her sis!” Gu Qishao urged aggressively.
Mu Linger immediately turned around. It looked like she’d comply, but she only ended up staring at Gu Qishao’s beautiful face and giving another contemptuous snort. Han Yunxi knew Mu Linger wouldn’t do it, while Gu Qishao only pursed his lips and ignored her.
“Han Yunxi, do you hate Long Feiye? Are you going to take revenge? Will you fight against him? Will you use poison?” Mu Linger suddenly asked a whole string of questions. Actually, she’d wanted to ask them last night for Qi gege’s sake.
Han Yunxi’s eyes immediately dimmed before she asked, “Linger, do you still remember Mute Granny?”
“Long Feiye killed her! I suspected back then, but you didn’t believe me!” Mu Linger’s temper flared into life. Her feelings for Mute Granny were no less inferior than that of a grandmother related to her by blood. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have the guts to block Long Feiye’s carriage back then. When she thought over it carefully, she could figure out that half of her drive came from Qi gege’s goading. In other words, he’d long found out the truth himself.
But she would never say bad things about Qi gege in front of Han Yunxi.
Han Yunxi looked towards Gu Qishao, who immediately averted his gaze. But soon enough, he looked back again. “I lied to you.”
“Why?” Han Yunxi asked.
Gu Qishao and Long Feiye had always been on opposing sides, so there was no reason for Gu Qishao to trick her. Moreover, his personality wouldn’t allow a chance to get back at Long Feiye to slip by! This was too illogical!
Han Yunxi was unsatisfied that Gu Qishao tricked her, but she couldn’t figure out why. Moreover, there was another question lingering in her mind.
Gu Qishao’s gaze grew bitter. It was all because of his agreement with Long Feiye: he’d keep the secret of Mute Granny’s death if Long Feiye told no one about his “undying” body. Thus, he told Han Yunxi everything from his failure to kidnap Mute Granny at the Hidden Enclosure, to his plot to expose Long Feiye, to Han Yunxi’s support of Long Feiye instead that lost him his entire Pill Fiend Valley. That was as far as he went with the truth.
“Poison lass, the reasoning was simple. It’s because you trusted him and not me. No matter what I did, you wouldn’t have believe me, isn’t that right?” Gu Qishao’s voice grew gruff and cold as he went on. “Poison lass, it actually wasn’t me who lied to you, but you who refused to believe me! What right do you have to call me into account?”
His tone was severe and serious.
Han Yunxi gave a start. She felt as if Gu Qishao had soundly trampled on her heart! It was so painful that her souls immediately came to life!
This truly was the reality. But why did she suddenly feel so terrible? Here was the cheery man who never got mad or cold at her no matter how she cruelly she rejected him. Now he’d suddenly turned into ice.
How deeply did she hurt him back at Pill Fiend Valley? While he was doing his best to expose the truth about Long Feiye and help her, she...she actually used lame arguments to forcefully snatch away the Pill Fiend Valley he’d worked so hard for! Once again, Han Yunxi recalled everything that Gu Qishao had experienced in his youth. She couldn’t begin to imagine how much effort, care, and cost he’d put into creating his valley!
Han Yunxi stared at him blankly as her hands curled into fists inside her sleeves. The nails dug into her palms until they drew blood, almost as if she was punishing herself.
For the first time ever, Han Yunxi was disgusted with herself!
Mu Linger watched from the sidelines, afraid to make a peep. She was very surprised. Last night, Qi gege had been yelling about going back to apologize, but...but why was he questioning and blaming Han Yunxi now?
Would Han Yunxi believe him otherwise? Would she persist in demanding a logical explanation otherwise? Gu Qishao had no choice!
Seeing her look guilty and hurt, he couldn’t help but want to take her into his arms and tell her the entire truth--that she hadn’t stolen Pill Fiend Valley from him, but that it’d been given up willingly. Otherwise, how could she ever get what even Long Feiye couldn’t hope to steal?
After a while, Han Yunxi looked up and said faintly, “Old Fiend, I’m sorry.”
Poison lass, I’m sorry! Gu Qishao echoed in his heart at the same time.
“Apologies won’t cut it. You tell me, how are you going to pay me back?!” Gu Qishao’s tone was severe. Before Han Yunxi could answer, he added seriously, “How about with your body?”
Han Yunxi gave a start while Mu Linger gaped. Only Gu Qishao ended up guffawing as he said happily, “Poison lass, think it over!”
Han Yunxi finally exhaled. If this fellow could still laugh and joke with her, then he was feeling fine. She kicked Gu Qishao aside while Mu Linger’s ashen face recovered a bit of its color.
“Old Fiend, so you were the one who tried to kill Long Feiye at the Hidden Enclosure too. You…” Han Yunxi got straight to the point. “Weren’t you stabbed in the heart by Long Feiye then? How did…” She trailed off to stare at his heart while Mu Ling cried out in alarm.
“What? Did that happen? Qi gege, why didn’t you tell me?”
Gu Qishao rolled his eyes at all. “What’s with all the fuss? Long Feiye made a mistake and missed my heart entirely! He went off course!” As he spoke, he pulled open his collar. “What kind of freak do you guys take me for? As if I could live after a stab to the heart!”
Mu Linger immediately shut her eyes. “Pervert!”
Han Yunxi looked closely and noted that Gu Qishao, despite having looks to rival a woman’s, was most definitely male. His chest was clear and well defined, the stuff of daydreams. Of course, she’d seen even more fascinating chests, but right now her focus was on the region over his heart. There really were no marks of injury there besides a small scar a few inches away from his heart.
Actually, if she had looked closer, she would have discovered that this was a fresh scar. It couldn’t be more than three days old. But Han Yunxi didn’t step forward to examine it with her hands. Mu Linger peeked through her fingers and turned scarlet at the sight of Qi gege’s pecs. It felt like she’d been lit on fire.
Although Long Feiye was certain that he’d stabbed the assassin in the heart, Han Yunxi still believed Gu Qishao’s claims after seeing his scar. It had been a dangerous tussle in the dark, so it was perfectly possible for Long Feiye to miss. How could she have ever entertained the notion that undying humans existed in this world?
At last, her doubts towards Gu Qishao disappeared.
Afraid that Han Yunxi would pursue the issue, Gu Qishao hastily redressed and changed the topic. “Poison lass, if you want to lead an expedition south, Qi gege will go with you. We’ll wipe Long Feiye’s forces out! You can never trust his words again!”
Gu Qishao couldn’t figure out why Long Feiye had wanted to kill Mute Granny in the past, but now he understood. It was to hide the truth about Han Yunxi’s identity! Compared to fibbing about the old woman, Long Feiye’s crimes were more unforgivable. After finding out Han Yunxi’s status, he’d tried to use her for his own means! It was perfectly acceptable for the descendants of the East and West Qin imperial clans to meet openly and fight for the throne. But Gu Qishao looked down on those who used women for their own ends!
Han Yunxi only sighed with emotion.
Even a carefree man like Gu Qishao’s convinced that East and West Qin are eternal enemies. What can we say about the rest of the world?
This was why she hadn’t sent him or Mu Linger to deliver her message to Long Feiye. How was she supposed to explain that she didn’t hate Long Feiye and make them believe her words?
How could the West Qin princess not detest the East Qin imperial prince?
And how could she ever choose Gu Qishao to deliver her sentiments to Long Feiye and ask him how he felt about her?
She knew how well Gu Qishao treated her!
Neither Gu Qishao nor Mu Linger were part of the East or West Qin factions. The grudge between the two dynasties had nothing to do with them, so Han Yunxi didn’t want to drag them in too deep. After all...after all, she had to leave them a way out. She knew better than anything the consequences of making Long Feiye an enemy.
“Old Fiend, Linger, how about you two help me out with something! It’s very important, but I can only trust you guys!” Han Yunxi lowered her voice.
“Speak!” Gu Qishao didn’t hesitate.
“Wake up Bai Yuqiao and interrogate her to find the whereabouts of Gu Beiyue!” Han Yunxi said seriously. She didn’t even trust Ning Cheng’s own men.
With Gu Beiyue in Bai Yanqing’s hands, nobody knew his status. If Ning Cheng’s men went to rescue him, she couldn’t guarantee that Ning Cheng would choose to sacrifice Gu Beiyue again just to capture Bai Yanqing! Thus, she could only trust Gu Qishao!
Gu Qishao’s entire face turned solemn as he muttered back, “He did me a favor. No matter which clan he belongs to, I’ll definitely save him!”
“I’ll definitely save him too!” Mu Linger vowed. Qi gege’s benefactor was hers as well.
“Right now Ning Cheng still trusts me. Later I’ll tell him that I left this in your hands. Bai Yuqiao will stay here while I accompany him south tomorrow,” Han Yunxi continued.
As long as she left with Ning Cheng to the south, Gu Qishao would have an easier time dealing with Ning An on his own.
“Understood. We’ll definitely succeed!” Gu Qishao’s eyes flashed sinisterly.
As expected, Han Yunxi convinced Ning Cheng to her ways. The next day, Ning Cheng formally announced Han Yunxi’s status across the lands to verify all the rumors. Han Yunxi hung up the West Qin flag while all the troops in the capital gathered to send her off south as leader of their expedition!
Long Feiye received this piece of news as soon as he reached the army…
Notes from PGC’s Author, Jie Mo: This chapter was meant to let Han Yunxi repay her debts from snatching Pill Fiend Valley in the past…