Chapter 262: Receiving without refusing the offer
Han Yunxi was in a rush to find her acupuncture needles, so she was startled when the white squirrel jump on top of the white-robed man. Why had this unknown creature caught up to them again?
What did it want to do?
The white squirrel looked at Han Yunxi with pious eyes, its tiny paws clasped together as if making a slight bow. Or perhaps it was praying towards her. In any case, it was wagging its tail furiously. Han Yunxi took a closer look. It seemed like the animal was very friendly towards her. But she was too busy trying to save a life to pay it any mind. After she was sure that the squirrel was just borrowing the white-robed man's body to stand on instead of trying to harm him, Han Yunxi lowered her head to search for her acupuncture needles again. The white squirrel glanced at the messy pile of needles, then at the white-robed man, before turning to run like a streak of smoke.
"Strange!" Han Yunxi spared it a glance. Well, whatever suited him.
Han Yunxi continued to search for her needles. Fortunately, she'd adjusted her mood quickly before she delayed too long. First she protected the white-robed man's heart vein, then preserved his vitality. The entire process took her about two hours to complete. Her doctor's habits ensured that she kept emergency medicine on her at all times, including things for treating injuries on-site as well as emergency pills. She kept a treasured cardiotonic pill on hand for a long time, unwilling to use it even on herself. But now she took that out without the slightest hesitation.
Still, Han Yunxi paused. Should she feed this to him? If she did, then that'd mean she'd have to take his face veil off. She stared at the white-robed man's quiet brows and bloody face as an internal struggle began inside her.
'Don't look...all right?'
'Mm, I'm very ugly. You mustn't look, no matter what.'
He'd spoken these words before he passed out in such a warm and gentle tone. When Han Yunxi recalled them, she found herself incapable of denying his pleas.
"Hey, you're definitely not ugly." She wasn't sure why she was so certain, but she placed the cardiotonic pill in his palm and closed his fingers around it. Since there was no way to feed him the medicine, she could only use a few more rounds of acupuncture and moxibustion instead.
Han Yunxi straightened out the white-robed man's clothing and draped her own outer robes over him. In any case, she didn't care about that too much anymore. At this moment, she had rejected the expectations for women of this time period.
It was only after she shed her outer robes that she realized they weren't even her own, but the white-robed man's. He had given his clothes to her before. She gently spread out the fabric, only to see that it was snow-white in hue without a trace of design on it. There were only a few bloodstains that stood out amongst the white like plum blossoms in snow, cold, desolate, and lonely. Speech and character could be used to define a person. Aside from being warm and gentle, just what kind of man was he?
When Han Yunxi had been bored in the past, she'd flipped through the general history books of Cloud Realm Continent. Naturally, she'd heard of the Great Qin Empire as well. It consisted of two imperial clans and the Seven Noble Families, of which the Shadow Clan acted as the imperial clan's most potent strength and most loyal subordinates. They were also the most low-key. Just like their clan name of "shadow," they stood eternally on the opposite side of the sun to protect their masters. Never did they reveal themselves.
Han Yunxi covered the man in his robes and sat down by his side with legs crossed as she murmured, "Hey, why did you save me?"
In the Sky Pit, Long Feiye and the rest had recognized him as a Shadow Clan member. She didn't think much of it, but his life-risking attempts to save her just then had caught her attention.
West Qin's royal family?
Were they related to her? No, how could that be possible? She came from the future, so the most she had was a connection with the body of the Han Family's daughter by the first wife. Truthfully speaking, it should be Lady Tianxin or her mysterious father who held the connection. Thinking up to here, Han Yunxi's lips showed a trace of delight. Coming to medical academy had stirred up a bunch of trouble, but at least she'd gained something out of it by meeting this guy. When he woke up, she was going to ask him thoroughly!
Still, the joy was momentary at best. Han Yunxi couldn't fully recover her spirits. She looked at the sky and felt a flash of hopelessness. There would be two more hours until it grew dark and approached Zi hour1. It looked like she wouldn't be able to make it back to the medical academy. Actually, even if she did make it, she wouldn't be able to save Long Tianmo. There had been no hide nor hair of the poison beast. Heaven knows where it had hidden away. Maybe it was no more than a rumor. What was the point of going back? To face those questions, sneers, and finally expulsion?
For the first time, Han Yunxi felt a strong sense of powerlessness. She massaged the space between her eyebrows, too lazy to think any further. She wasn't someone who feared trouble, so she decided to go back and make an end of things as soon as she was sure the white-robed man would be all right.
Suddenly, there was a succession of slight sounds. Han Yunxi immediately turned around, her body on guard. But it turned out to be the little squirrel running back, dragging a big pile of things with it. Han Yunxi steadied herself for a look and turned stupefied. This little white squirrel was a little too smart, wasn't it? How long had it lived for? Had it turned into some sort of goblin or spirit? Upon a giant palm leaf, it'd placed a pile of various poison plants and was dragging it towards her by the stem. Han Yunxi swept her eyes over hte pile and categorized the various poisons. Half of them could be found in her medical pouch, while the other half came from seldom-seen varieties. Under Han Yunxi's gaze, the little squirrel dragged all of the poisons to Han Yunxi's side and furiously wagged its tail to gain her favor.
Now that Han Yunxi had calmed down, she took a serious look at this squirrel. If she hadn't seen wrongly before, it had been feasting on Jun Yixie's shoulder-the very one which had been poisoned! But it hadn't gotten poisoned at all. All the poisons before her now had been brought here by this creature. Could it be that it only recognized poisons?
"Shu..." Han Yunxi suddenly seemed to realize something as she shielded the white-robed man in fright. This little thing couldn't be the poison beast Gu Shu, could it2 ?! Even though it was as tiny as a fist and probably easily crushable, Han Yunxi couldn't help her doubts when she saw the pile of poison plants. The Poison Sect's poison beast Gu Shu was capable of distinguishing hundreds of toxins and feeding on them as well. Moreover, its blood could treat hundreds of poisons as well. What was more terrifying was the fact that it itself was highly poisonous. As soon as it bit its victim, the person would be afflicted with hundreds of different poisons at the same time. By then, even a celestial being wouldn't be able to save them. Right now, this little thing fit two of the descriptions above! If it really bit her, then she'd be forever finished.
When the little squirrel saw Han Yunxi's fear, it grew anxious. It wagged its tail as if its life depended on it as it kept cupping its paws and bowing. What a furious flurry of movement! But Han Yunxi maintained her guard, unable to believe that the poison beast could be so subservient. Wasn't that an insult to the 'beast' in its name?
The little squirrel felt even more anxious than Han Yunxi that its goodwill was taken in vain. It jumped back and forth in place before ducking its head into the pile of poison plants to pick and choose amongst the plants.
Mm, its new master was angry!
It had to return all the poisons it ate by accident so she wouldn't be mad. It had been sleeping in the secret chamber for a long time until it awoke to discover people invading its turf. Immediately, it had summon the hordes of flesh-eating rats. Even though it had been locked with countless Xuan iron fetters, it could shrink and escape the secret chamber freely. Aside from its old master, this was a secret that nobody else knew. Actually, it wasn't locked up at all, but simply too lazy to come out. It allowed the medical academy's humans to drug it, that was all. Moreover, the Poison Sect was its home, so why would it leave?
It never expected this woman's blood to open the Xuan gold door. She had to be its new master. Originally, it had been hiding in the shadows to spy on Jun Yixie and Duanmu Yao, but as soon as it smelled that familiar scent, it ran to find her and snuck into her medical pouch to hide. That was the very reason why the flesh-eating rats didn't dare to approach her. After hiding in the pouch, it discovered a lot of tasty things to eat. It was only planning to eat a few bites to appease its hunger since there were plenty of poison plants outside, but somehow it couldn't stop once it started. All right, it admitted that it often forgot about the entire world when it ran into delicious food. It had no idea what was happening around it. By the time it finished and climbed out of the bag, it was to discover a bad man pulling its new master into his arms. It was planning to bite the bad man to death, but as soon as it jumped on his shoulder, it found a new realm in his shoulder. There was a poison that it'd never smelled before, a completely new strain. Thus, it forget about everything again to eat.
The little squirrel furiously picked out selections from amongst the poisons. Though Han Yunxi was afraid, she was curious as well. A close examination revealed that all the poisons chosen by the squirrel were the ones missing from her medical pouch.
It couldn't be...
Han Yunxi had yet to understand when the little squirrel picked out a giant plant and pushed it before Han Yunxi. Afraid that she wouldn't understand, the little squirrel picked up on the poison plant in its mouth and stuffed it into her pouch.
So then, it had...
Han Yunxi understood in an instant and angrily slapped her hand towards the medical pouch. "So you're the one who messed up my needles!"
Eating her poisons was fine, but she detested anyone messing up and dirtying her needles!
"Chee, chee..." the little squirrel didn't revolt, but curled up into a ball as it made pathetic whimpers.
Han Yunxi quickly removed her hand, and the little squirrel sprang out of the pouch to land on her arm, its paws clutched before its chest as if begging for forgiveness. Han Yunxi forget to be afraid as she was stuck between anger and laughter, completely losing to this little creature. She carefully reached out a hand to scratch its little head. The little squirrel didn't reject her advances at all, but raised its head and kept on acting cute.
Han Yunxi was amused. "So you're the Gu Shu?"
It wasn't clear whether the little squirrel understood Han Yunxi's words, but it changed in an instant from a pitiful creature to one who opened its mouth in a grin. Han Yunxi wasn't sure if it understood her either, much less why it was smiling, so all she did was stare at it doubtfully. When the little squirrel saw her expression, it chittered a few times before jumping to the ground.
It held its breath and puffed up its cheeks. In an instant, its tiny body disappeared to be replaced with a colossal white squirrel about the size of a lion or tiger. Its four limbs were very short and fat, and when it sat stupidly on the ground, it couldn't even stand back up. No matter which angle one looked at it, it just resembled a gigantic white furball.
Han Yunxi was stunned! Why was it like this?
The little squirrel's appearance was already an insult to the description of 'beast,' but this clumsy looking thing was even more of an insult! Heaven knows how long it'd been since it'd last moved! The Gu Shu didn't like its clumsy appearance at all and quickly resembled its previous form before hopping on Han Yunxi's arm to shoot her a smile.
Now its new owner should know its identity, right?
Of course! Without a doubt, it was the Gu Shu!
Han Yunxi had no idea why this little thing was sticking to her or treating her so well, but she was willing to receive it without refusing its offer. Her eyes curved into a smile as she scooted closer. "Little thing, you don't mind lending me some of your blood, do you?"
The Gu Shu's blood could treat hundreds of poisons and didn't take effort to extract. Long Tianmo could be saved!
1. Zi hour () - the time of day from 11PM to 1AM.
2. Shu () - Both Gu Shu () and songshu (), or squirrel, share the same character in their names.