Chapter 248: Tang Li's suspicions
Han Yunxi was right here, but where was she? Why couldn't he hear her?
If the person before him was anyone but Gu Qishao, he might have harbored some doubts. Though there were tons of king cobras around him, they were still of a common species. Poison like theirs should be nothing for Han Yunxi, so she shouldn't be in danger. But because it was Gu Qishao who had spoke, Long Feiye was too anxious to think twice. It was all too possible for Han Yunxi to go with Gu Qishao and look for the poison beast's blood in the Sky Pit. With a shudder, Long Feiye expelled internal energy from his back, viciously dislodging a hand that Gu Qishao had placed on his shoulder. He wasn't even aware of how angry he'd truly become.
"Where is she?!"
But Gu Qishao only laughed out loud. "She's still at the medical academy!"
"Gu Qishao, you dared to lie to your lordship!" Long Feiye raged. He could count the number of times he'd been tricked on his fingers, but this was his first time accepting a lie.
"It's an honor for this gentleman!" Gu Qishao was in excellent spirits.
"Long Feiye, hurry and go! These snakes have been drugged!" Tang Li shouted as soon as he heard that Han Yunxi wasn't here. He landed to one side some distance away from Long Feiye and Gu Qishao. Against the mass of poisonous snakes, his formidable assassination weapons were all useless. Luckily, he still had one of Long Feiye's silver thread gloves so he could deal with them barehanded. Still, there were simply too many snakes, all of them vicious. He wouldn't be able to keep it up if this kept on. If Han Yunxi wasn't here, they should leave immediately.
Gu Qishao had only seen Tang Li once, but had no idea who he was. He only assumed that he was one of Long Feiye's personal guards and ignored his very existence. "Long Feiye, this gentleman will have you taste the flavor of a merciless death, too!"
So speaking, he ignored the snakes around him and had them bite him as he wished, before scattering two clouds of white powder onto Long Feiye's body! It wasn't that Long Feiye couldn't dodge, but that he never expected Gu Qishao to cut off all means of retreat and attack him with both hands despite the snakes. Just what kind of deep set grudge did this fellow have against him? Was it worth taking such a large risk?
Although king cobra poison wouldn't take effect so quickly, once its poison surpassed a certain threshold, even antivenom wouldn't be able to save the victim in time. Of course, Long Feiye didn't have time to consider such details now. Though he immediately dodged to the side, he was still covered in quite a quantity of white powder. Heaven knows what it was, but as soon as it hit him, a fragrant aroma began emanating from his body. It was also impossible to wipe off.
Long Feiye's sole weakness was probably poison. Under such circumstances, there was no way he could gain an advantage. The fragrant scent from his body immediately attracted the surrounded cobras to him like bees to honey. They even ignored Gu Qishao and Tang Li as they threw themselves at the duke. Long Feiye's reaction was quick enough. His first move was to leap in the air so as to protect his feet. At the same time, he drew out his sword and swung it in a circle, clearing out a swath of snakes around him.
But more snakes soon rushed forward to replace their fallen brethren!
Above his head, snake after snake dropped from the ceiling; below his feet, snake after snake piled up to reach for him, with the snake at the very top of the pile arching its head to reach him. Around the pile was a dense swarm of the creatures that formed a circle to surround Long Feiye. One could well imagine how terrifying it was to be surrounded by thousands of snakes in a dim, damp, underground cave.
There were snakes all around Long Feiye, each of them revealing their blood-red tongues and sharp fangs. It was impossible for him to retreat. He could only stop in place and hack at them incessantly while avoiding the ones near his body. The crazed cobras knew no fear, so no matter how Long Feiye treated them, they'd keep attacking until he killed them all. Admittedly, his swordsmanship was immaculate. The aura of the sword gleamed with multiple colors, each strike capable of toppling the mountains and overturning the seas. Though he couldn't escape, neither could the snakes get any closer to him. As the sword swung in circles again and again, the poison snakes were repeatedly hacked to pieces, their fresh blood splashing everywhere.
On the side, Gu Qishao leaned against the wall, looking on with interest while he flayed a snake alive with his bare hands until his fingers were soaked in blood. Once that was done, he reached his hand into the cobra's mouth and elegantly pulled out its fangs. Once they fell out, the venom hidden behind the fangs began to flow out. Gu Qishao smeared the venom all over the snake's body before he took out another bottle of medicine and covered the corpse in that as well. When everything was finished, the bloody snake had already turned black from the poisonous substances.
Since the poison cobras were all focusing on Long Feiye, Tang Li and Mu Linger could see what Gu Qishao was doing clear as day. Mu Linger hurried forward and said, "Qi gege, here! The antidote, take it quickly!"
Gu Qishao ignored her as he kept fiddling with the snake in his hands.
Mu Linger was really worried. "Qi gege, hurry and take the antidote, you'll..."
"Shh..." Gu Qishao placed his blood-covered index finger to his lips. The motion, when paired with his devastating good looks, gave him an exceptional, demonic beauty. Though Mu Linger was still anxious, she dared not urge him anymore.
Meanwhile, Tang Li was absolutely stupefied. Leaving aside Gu Qishao's skills in making poisons, his injuries were enough to shock a man. Gu Qishao now seemed leisurely and carefree despite his wretched condition. Besides the original wounds on his back, his entire body was covered in wounds. His beautiful red robes had long been torn to shreds, while the white inner robes beneath it was stained with large patches of fresh blood.
How many times has he be bitten?
Tang Li might not understand poisons very well, but he had common sense. Gu Qishao had enough injuries to die right then and there. But he looked perfectly fine aside from the line of fatigue between his eyebrows and his ashen white complexion. It didn't seem like he was in a speck of danger!
How was that possible?
Tang Li had heard Long Feiye's mother-his aunt-tell him when he was young that a certain type of person existed in this world. They would stop aging once they hit the age of 20 and maintain a youthful face and body forever. Although they still experienced pain, got hurt, and felt tired, they'd never die or decay. Even when poisoned with hypertoxic toxins, they couldn't die. All they would feel was extreme pain, but once that passed, they'd be fine again.
These types of people were called Poison Gu Humans, and raising one was the highest culmination of the poison arts. Jun Yixie had raised Poison Humans, Poison Corpses, and Poison Gu, while the Poison Gu Human was the highest level of Poison Gu types.
Poison Gu Human. That was the thought that flashed through Tang Li's head before he completely rejected the idea as a joke. How could Gu Qishao be related to them? The Poison Sect had long been destroyed without ever creating a Poison Gu Human then, much less now. Gu Qishao must have done something while drugging with the poison cobras back then, and that's why he wasn't dead from their poison now. Without the poison snakes in his way, the Tang Clan assassination weapons were naturally useful again. But before Tang Li could make a move against Gu Qishao, he had already tossed the poison snake corpse in his hand towards Long Feiye!
At this, something horrifying happened.
The dead snake suddenly came back to life in mid-air and raised its head before spraying a stream of venom at Long Feiye! Caught by surprise, Long Feiye stopped moving.
"Be careful!" Luckily, Tang Li had been keeping an eye on things and quickly gave him a warning. Long Feiye recovered fast enough to raise a hand and block himself, just in time to catch the stream of venom with his silver thread glove. Since they were impervious to all sorts of poisons, the venom was still blocked successfully, leaving Long Feiye unharmed.
He promptly made a decision and swept out with his sword again. This time, the sword qi was strong enough to form undulating ripples of circular energy. Not only did it scatter the snakes around him, but the resurrected snake as well, which went flying back to die at Gu Qishao's feet. Gu Qishao didn't pay it any attention. His entire focus was on the silver thread glove in Long Feiye's hand. Long Feiye had been hiding it the whole time so he didn't notice it until now.
"That belongs to the Poison School of the Tang Clan! You gave Han Yunxi those assassination weapons?" Gu Qishao narrowed his eyes, convinced. It seemed like he'd misunderstood Han Yunxi. She had nothing to do with the Tang Clan, but Long Feiye did! This silver thread glove was a treasure that had caused a sensation in the poison world! The Tang Clan's Poison School was one of the subordinate branches to Cloud Realm Medical Academy's Poison Sect. Even the people of the Poison Sect had coveted these silver thread gloves.
Long Feiye was too busy fighting with the snakes to reply, his body still emanating that aromatic fragrance. It was worthwhile to mention that he'd yet to suffer a single injury despite being besieged on all sides. Instead, it was Tang Li who replied to Gu Qishao while standing behind him with the Pear Blossom Rain Needles aimed at his back.
"Since you found out, then apologies." So speaking, Tang Li unleashed his needles!
Gu Qishao swerved sideways to avoid them. In the darkness of the poison snake den, it was hard for Tang Li to see whether he hit his mark. Still, judging by Gu Qishao's martial arts skills, a sneak attack like this would definitely find its target. The famed name of the Pear Blossom Rain Needles wasn't just for show. Despite that, Gu Qishao escaped safe and sound. He finally met eyes with Tang Li and said, "The Pear Blossom Rain Needles are actually in your hands. It looks like this young gentleman's underestimated you." The only ones who could be using Tang Clan's Pear Blossom Rain Needles were either its clan head or young clan head.
"Even if you've realized it, it's not too late for me!" Tang Li didn't give up, but shot another round of needles. There was a limited quantity of Pear Blossom Rain Needles available, and each use would waste a needle, but Tang Li was very generous this time. He actually shot three needles!
Unbelievably, Gu Qishao dodged them all and stood there unharmed. Pear Blossom Rain Needles relied on their speed and strength to attack. Even though they were more effective when hitting the target, the strength of the needles themselves were strong enough to injury the other party in passing. Even if Gu Qishao had been hit and survived, there was no way he'd be standing here right now!
In the midst of Tang Li's shock, Gu Qishao grabbed Mu Linger without the slightest hesitation and turned to run out of the entrance to the den. He really was thorough, because he left fatal poison at the exit right after he escaped!
"Detestable!" Tang Li's anger stacked upon anger, but instead of pursuing him, he turned to help out Long Feiye instead.
He had no idea that Gu Qishao had collapsed by the entrance of the den as soon as he released the poison, completely unable to stand. His face was deathly pale, his long, slender eyes bloodshot. Before long, he sank down to lie on his back like a corpse...
Was he going to die?