Chapter 234: The unreliable Qishao
The night grew darker...
There was a cotton quilt spread out next to the bed. Han Yunxi hugged a pillow as she sat leaning against the bedframe with her legs crossed. She could hear the wind whistling outside and felt like she was somewhere outside in on a moonless, windy night. A single oil lamp illuminated the dim, quiet room. Han Yunxi knew she wasn't going anywhere tonight, so she rejoiced that the fellow behind her now wasn't too outrageous and let her keep watch instead. Still, she had no idea where she'd offended Long Feiye for him to get back at her so thoroughly. Why did he insist on leaving her behind?
Just what was up with him tonight?
Han Yunxi naturally found it impossible to sleep under these circumstances. One hour later, she couldn't hold back the urge to speak anymore.
"Hey, you asleep?"
When there was no reply, she asked again, "Hey, let's have a chat?" In her memories, they'd never really had a good talk before, much less stay together so quietly. There was still no reaction from behind her, so had that fellow really fallen asleep?
On the bed, Long Feiye hadn't even taken off his outer robes yet. His hands were crossed beneath his head like a pillow while his legs stuck up in the air. Those dark, intense pupils resembled frost in the night, cold and clear. He was staring at the ceiling as if puzzling over a problem, his mind vigorous and clear.
"Hey, just what kind of business do you have tonight? Why don't we have a proper conversation?" Han Yunxi spoke again.
This time, Long Feiye spared a glance her way, but it was only one glance. Very soon, he'd withdrawn to his usual expressionless gaze. As long as he made sure this woman wasn't leaving, then he didn't have to pay her any more attention. He had a huge pile of things to think over.
Han Yunxi didn't want to spend an entire night doing nothing, but since she was staying, she might as well use the chance to get closer to that man. "Say, how do you think Jun Yixie will take care of Long Tianmo?"
"Just what kind of background does Jun Yixie come from? Why is the emperor of Northern Li so fond of him?"
"That's right, why do you think Gu Qishao wants to investigate me?"
"Perplexing Butterfly Illusion...is it from the Tang Clan?"
Han Yunxi tried her best to find topics that could rouse Long Feiye's interest, but she didn't get a single response. Fine, in the end she fell silent too. But it wasn't long before she suddenly turned around. She thought she'd catch Long Feiye awake, but she only saw him lying on his side, a hand propping up his head with his eyes closed. His black robes allowed him to blend into the night, which outlined his cold features in sharp relief. It made him seem mysterious and somehow untouchable.
So he looks this quiet when his eyes are closed.
With his eyes shut, it seemed like the entire world had fallen into slumber with him. Han Yunxi subconsciously held back a breath as she grew dazed. Perhaps she'd leaned in too close, but she had the illusion that she had just turned over to see a person sharing the same bed as her.
"Hey..." she whispered. After a long time passed with no reaction from Long Feiye, she carefully snuck closer like a thief and examined his face close-up. In the dark, she could even see his long eyelashes and was tempted to touch them with her hands.
"You're really asleep?" she murmured to herself as she leaned back. Silently, she climbed onto the edge of the bed to look at him. The more she looked, the more her lips drew up into a curve. But it wasn't long before her smile gradually faded, to be replaced with creased eyebrows and a expression filled with resentment. How much could you really 'like' someone when you were always worried about personal gains and loses? Out of 10 points, how many points would those feelings take up?
Long Feiye, is there anyone in this world that you'd truly like without a motive?
"Long Feiye, do you understand what 'like' means?" Han Yunxi asked. Then she simply turned around and forgot about it. Sleep was better.
At the same time, Long Feiye slowly opened his eyes, his gaze complicated...
Early next morning, a groggy Han Yunxi woke up to find herself sleeping on the bed, while Long Feiye was reading a secret missive in the rocking chair by the window. When he looked over, Han Yunxi tugged the corners of her lips into a grin. "Mornin'."
Long Feiye simply nodded before dropping the bombshell, "Long Tianmo's been delivered to the medical academy."
"Really?" Han Yunxi was so surprised she nearly fell out of the bed. "When did this happen?"
"Last night. I went for a personal trip to verify it was him," Long Feiye replied truthfully.
Again, Han Yunxi was startled. "Weren't you asleep last night?"
Long Feiye wasn't alarmed, but spoke like he was mentioning the weather. "Who told you I was asleep?"
What did those words mean? Could it be that he knew everything she did and said last time? He was only pretending to be sleeping?
Long Feiye, you're nothing but a wretch!
Han Yunxi's chilly face instantly turned red. She quickly evaded Long Feiye's gaze and got off the bed. "I'm going to the medical academy!" Even though her clothes and hair were a mess, she was in a rush to run out the door. Long Feiye stopped her just in time.
"Long Tianmo's swollen stomach disappeared..."
"What?" Han Yunxi was startled. Her red face instantly paled. His stomach had disappeared? Did he recover, or did the illness change?
If he recovered with no signs of illness from the consultation, Xi Yubo could claim he'd cured him. If his illness had changed, then how much of a handle could Luo Zuishan claim on the ailment then? She'd never relied on undependable weapons for battle, but this was her first time being completely ignorant of a patient's status.
Seeing her anxious, Long Feiye said mildly, "It's very possible that Jun Yixie's meddled with things...you be careful...I...I'll be in Medical City the entire time." So speaking, he left ahead of Han Yunxi.
He'll be in Medical City the whole time, so she didn't need to fear?
Han Yunxi was too worried to notice how rare it was for Long Feiye to say such words. She too, left in a rush.
Right now, there was one other person even more worried than Han Yunxi. This was none other than the previously self-confident Luo Zuishan. Gu Qishao had told him he'd reveal the truth about Long Tianmo's stomach once they reached the medical academy, then promised to help him defeat Xi Yubo. But now Long Tianmo's illness had changed. Since last night, he'd gone mad searching for Gu Qishao. Finally, he found the man on his roof this morning. Luo Zuishan climbed up the ladder and personally dragged Gu Qishao towards the edge of the building.
"Brat, this old man's decades' worth of reputation is about to be ruined at your hands. But you can still sleep!"
Gu Qishao allowed him to drag him until he was about to tumble off the roof, then did a float so he could float to the ground. Even then, his eyes were still half-shut as he gave a lazy stretch. "It's just a title of director at most. If you like it so much, you can be the new medical academy
Head Elder after I kill him in the future."
A stunned Luo Zuishan was quick to muffle his mouth. "O Ancestors, spare these old bones of mine, won't you?!"
"Sure can!" Gu Qishao agreed merrily, but his lips had drawn into a ghastly, cold expression filled with hate for the medical academy.
"Just what are we supposed to do now? Long Tianmo's illness change and his swollen stomach's gone. Hurry and go take a look!" How could Luo Zuishan not worry? If Gu Qishao couldn't figure out what was wrong, he'd be ruined at the consultation.
"That's gotta be a fake. Xi Yubo hasn't done anything yet, so how could his stomach disappear?" Gu Qishao was convinced. He didn't care whether or not Long Tianmo had arrived, he was more concerned about Han Yunxi's whereabouts. Both of them had been kidnapped, but Long Tianmo had been returned. Han Yunxi should be returned eventually as well, right?
"How are you so sure he's a fake? Brat, just what went on with Long Tianmo's stomach? What did Xi Yubo do to it, tell me," Luo Zuishan urged.
Gu Qishao gave him an impatient glance, to lazy to reply. He was about to leave when Luo Zuishan snagged him and said sternly, "Qishao, if you won't speak, do you believe I'll tell the head elder you're back?"
Gu Qishao narrowed his eyes as his face took on a dangerous expression. "You wouldn't dare."
"Just what's the matter with him, are you telling me or not!" Luo Zuishan was so angry that his beard was close to catching on fire. At the same time, voices of Medical Apprentices came from the courtyard, but Luo Zuishan didn't loosen his grip on Gu Qishao.
When Gu Qishao sensed that outsiders were coming, he lowered his voice and spoke to Luo Zuishan's ear, "Gu, Xi Yubo planted Gu in him."
Luo Zuishan's grip slackened at the words, giving Gu Qishao the chance to struggle free and vanish.
Luo Zuishan's heartbeat quickened in alarm. Gu...hadn't been brought up by anyone for a very, very long time. He knew about Gu, but not how to use them. He never thought that Xi Yubo understood them! No wonder Gu Qishao was so sure that the Long Tianmo sent their way was a fake. If Xi Yubo had planted the Gu, it'd typically be only Xi Yubo who could remove them unless a Gu arts master was involved. Besides Gu Qishao, what other Gu masters existed in this world?
Yet Gu Qishao had arranged for a public consultation while clearly knowing about Xi Yubo planting Gu! Gu was one of the medical academy's greatest taboos! This fellow had to have a plot for returning to the academy this time!
Just what does he want to do?
Luo Zuishan's mind was a chaotic mess of thoughts that left him unable to answer. By now, a young Medical Apprentice had arrived. "Director Luo, Qin Wangfei's arrived. The Council of Elders is asking for you."
Han Yunxi had arrived as well?
Of all the times to show up, this girl had to show up now? Long Tianmo and Han Yunxi were both here, so the consultation would naturally start immediately.
"Director Luo, the Council of Elders doesn't wait. Please go on," the Medical Apprentice reminded in a low tone.
Luo Zuishan looked in the direction where Gu Qishao had disappeared, his old tears hidden in his heart. Couldn't this fellow Gu Qishao be more reliable? Now what was he supposed to do? How could he proved that the Long Tianmo they'd delivered was a fake?
"Director Luo?" the Medical Apprentice urged again.
Without a choice, Luo Zuishan could only brace himself to head towards the Elders' Hall.
Over at the Elders' Hall, Qinwang Rong, Xi Yubo, and Gu Beiyue had long arrived. Once Han Yunxi entered, Qinwang Rong immediately strode forward to ask, "Han Yunxi, what kind of people kidnapped you? How did you come back?"
Han Yunxi would love to sell out Jun Yixie right then and there, but she decided to save that for another day. Instead, she sighed and said, "I was unconscious. By the time I woke up, I was already at Medical City."
As she finished, Luo Zuishan entered the room, along with a few head elders...