Chapter 263: Midnight, who's arrived?
The little squirrel finally exhaled in relief when it saw Han Yunxi crease her eyes into a smile. Since new master's smiling, she must've forgiven me! Thus, it scooted over and grinned in turn, revealing it two front teeth. Han Yunxi stared at its teeth and thought of how the poison beast's blood could cure poisons while its teeth could fatally poison others. Just why did such a contradiction exist? If its blood could cure poisons, then it shouldn't be poisonous blood. Could it be that this little thing was just like a poisonous viper, hiding poison glands beneath its teeth? That way, it'd spray poison when it bit anyone? Just what kind of toxins made up its poisonous liquid?
In any case, it wasn't anything recorded in her detox system, so she couldn't even sense its existence. A strange animal like this had never shown up in modern history. Mm, she had to think of a way to get its poison for research. But right now, it was more important to get its blood, that warm, lifesaving liquid! Han Yunxi grinned as she took out a little bottle.
Hmm...a bottle for storing medicinal liquids? Was its new owner going to give it something tasty to eat?
The little squirrel's nostrils flared up as it sniffed and drew closer, but it didn't scent any hint of poison. It stopped in front of Han Yunxi and stared at her with wide, curious eyes. What was inside the bottle? But Han Yunxi simply revealed a small knife in her other hand, its edge sharp enough to hurt one's eyes. The little squirrel gave a start before it jumped up in fear and ducked far away.
New master, what are you planning?
Han Yunxi drew back the corners of her lips mischievously. "Little thing, come over. You have to pay for your irresponsibility."
The little squirrel was so scared that it was on the verge of tears. Its new owner wasn't going to roast and eat it, was she? Noooo!
When Han Yunxi saw that the squirrel wasn't moving-but wasn't escaping either-she silently rejoiced. She used the knife to slice off a bit of skin from her finger so that the blood could flow into the bottle, using it as a demonstration for the little squirrel. As soon as the little squirrel saw this, it furiously shook its head. All right, it was very smart and shrewd, but it had rejected the idea after it understood.
Han Yunxi paused before taking out a poison from her medical pouch. At this, the little squirrel grew doubtful. It'd long polished off all the poisons in that bag, so how come there was more now? Where did it come from?
Of course it'd came from the detox system. The medical pouch was nothing more that a front. Han Yunxi spread out her palm and scattered the poison into her hand. As soon as the little squirrel caught whiff of its scent, it gave a start and stood up in excitement. The same smell, the same formula! This was none other than the tasty flavor from Jun Yixie's back! Without hesitation, the little squirrel ran over as if flying, but Han Yunxi avoided it and gave it a grin as she brandished her knife.
"Just one tiny bottle of blood. It won't be enough to take your life, want to trade?" Han Yunxi knew the little squirrel would understand, but never expected it to be so ambitious. It not only nodded its head, but dug into her medical pouch to take out a little bottle with its mouth.
Did this mean...it wanted to trade two bottles of blood for two bottles of the poison?
Would that make it anemic?
Han Yunxi couldn't resist a laugh as she generously took out three servings of poison and tossed it its way. The little squirrel looked at the medical pouch, then at the things in Han Yunxi's hand, and felt perplexed. It hadn't seen anything when it dug its head in just then. Oh well, there was no time to care about that. It wanted to eat eat eat! The little squirrel immediately swept all the poisons away, afraid that Han Yunxi would renegade on her words. Of course, as soon as it finished, it dragged out a third bottle as well. After eating three servings of poison, it was going to give back three bottles of blood.
Han Yunxi smiled as she shook her head and caught the little squirrel in her hands with a lesson, "Little thing, one bottle is enough. You have to learn how to treasure yourself and care for yourself, understood?"
The little squirrel only half-understood, its bright black eyes blinking. It cast a timid glance at Han Yunxi's knife before averting its gaze. Only after eating did it begin to feel fear. It didn't know where its new owner would make the cut. Would it hurt a lot? This was the first time a human had used a knife on it. At this, Han Yunxi couldn't resist a secret snicker. Of course she wouldn't make it suffer. She would used a knife and needles alike. However, she'd make sure it couldn't run away!
Han Yunxi selected a spot on the little squirrel's leg. After the cut, she smoothly filled up a tiny bottle of blood before immediately treating the wound. Actually, it was a tiny cut, but she purposely binded it with multiple layers of tight bandage. Her expression was very serious as she warned the squirrel, "Don't thrash about, or else you'll be crippled!"
The little squirrel didn't understand her words, but her seriousness affected it. It turned to glance at its bandaged leg before its eyes rolled to the back of its head, sending it into a dead faint. Han Yunxi didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the unconscious squirrel in her hands. If everyone knew that the ferocious poison beast of legend was like this, would they discount the Poison Sect's poison beast myths as lies?
A very long time later, when Han Yunxi finally saw the little squirrel's fierce side, she'd realized she'd underestimated it. But these are words for another time.
Han Yunxi gauged the color of the skies and estimated that there was about an hour until midnight. Even if Luo Zuishan was here to lead her on a shortcut to medical academy, she wouldn't make it in time. But she didn't hesitate at all. After placing the little squirrel in her medical pouch, she cleaned up her things and resolutely helped up the unconscious white-robed man to began her journey back.
She wouldn't give up!
With the antidote on hand, she could preserve Long Tianmo's life and clear the names of her and Gu Beiyue. It also meant she could beat Third Elder and not cause the Duke of Qin's estate any difficulties. This way, she wouldn't owe that man a thing! No matter what, she couldn't give up. She had to hurry back! Han Yunxi placed the white-robed man's arm around her shoulders while her thin, frail waist supported the weight of a grown man. Soon enough, her upright back was forced to bend beneath his weight, making it impossible for her to stand straight. But she didn't even crease her brows. Even if she couldn't stand straight, she'd keep going even if she had to stay bent the entire way!
In the beginning, her pace was rather brisk, but her steps gradually grew heavier as her feet slowed and left deeper imprints. She'd never make it back at this speed. What to do? Forget about it? Actually, she could save Long Tianmo all the same even if she was late. Third Elder had even misdiagnosed him, which meant that it'd be impossible for him to save the man. But it wouldn't count as her victory if she was late.
Then again, so what if she won? She'd never been belligerent with her victories. If she gave up, she could use a night to recover her energy until the white-robed man woke up. It wouldn't be too late to go back then since Long Tianmo could still hold on for a few more days. But not winning meant she'd lose. Everyone would know that it was Han Yunxi who failed, and that Qin Wangfei hadn't kept to her word. The title of Qin Wangfei would forever enter the medical academy's blacklists and be forbidden entry inside.
Thinking up to here, the nearly exhausted Han Yunxi grit her teeth. She didn't know where she suddenly got a burst of strength-perhaps it came from the pride in her heart. She, Han Yunxi, was going to treat the poison and save a life. There was no way that she'd lose! Perhaps it was just because she didn't want to owe or implicate others.
Long Feiye, I'll return this 'Qin Wangfei' title to you clear and clean. From then on, the two of us can settle our debts and be even, right?
Han Yunxi couldn't even walk anymore, but she tightened her grip on the white-robed man's hand and started to set off again. Step by step, her pace quickened in the chilly mountain night, causing her to break out in sweat. Could she make it? Time was extremely tight!
By now, the back courtyard of the medical academy's consultation hall was long filled with people. There was Third Elder from the Council of Elders, Qinwang Rong, Luo Zuishang and a bunch of Medical Scholars, Medical Adepts and Divine Doctors that had come to watch the show. None of them had any idea of what had happened at the Poison Sect's Sky Pit, or how it had been destroyed. The poison beast was missing, but the higher echelons were too busy with the hopeless state of affairs. It was practically midnight already, but each and every one of them was filled with energy, especially Third Elder and Xi Yubo. That was because Gu Beiyue had been missing for two days, while Han Yunxi had been lost for one. Meanwhile, Long Tianmo's illness had flared up again, causing him to toss and turn on the bed in agony. Everything combined meant that Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue were ill-included to escape guilt from their crimes!
"Heheh, as it turned out, Qin Wangfei's a liar! It's already this time, I don't think she'll show up for the reexamination."
"Isn't that so? And I thought that Tianning's crown prince really was poisoned. I heard the other day that she expelled it with her needles, enough to stun the Elders."
"I heard she used a set of needles to scare Third Elder. As I see it, her needles were real, but her poison skills...hehe..."
"Aye, I pity a talent like Gu Beiyue. Why did he carry on with such a woman instead of being a right and proper imperial physician?"
"Shh, you can't speak carelessly about such things."
The guests spoke as they waited, but their words were easily misinterpreted by the other side.
"What, Qin Wangfei and Imperial Physician Gu are having an affair?"
"Really? No wonder a prudent person like Gu Beiyue would involve himself this time, so that was it..."
Rumors probably started from things like this.
Time was almost up, and the crowd's commentary was growing louder and louder. Third Elder had always preferred peace and quiet, but he didn't mind it this time. He stared at the moon in the sky and silently calculated the time on his fingertips. The more he recalled Han Yunxi's needle skills on that day, the more dissatisfied he had felt. It seemed more and more fishy as well. As expected, he'd been fooled by that woman! Tonight, Han Yunxi definitely wouldn't show up. Even if he knew that for certain, he was going to wait until midnight so no one could accuse him of bullying his juniors or not giving Tianning's Duke of Qin face!
He had already prepared his medical kit to diagnose Long Tianmo's illness live tonight. These three days, he'd flipped through countless medical texts and studied many different diseases, so he had a grasp of situation in his heart.
Now Lady Lianxin spoke up coldly. "Someone come, bring out Tianning's crown prince. As I see it, Qin Wangfei should be showing up soon!"
It was nearly midnight already. Wasn't Lady Lianxin doing this on purpose? At her words, loud laughter fell upon the room. Since time was nearly up, none of the guests bothered to be polite. Luo Zuishan felt like an ant on a hot pan in the midst of their laughs. He knew that the Sky Pit's limestone cave was destroyed, but nothing about Han Yunxi or Gu Qishao's fate!
Anxious, anxious, anxious!
Suddenly, Qinwang Rong stood up from his seat on one side, his expression completely dark and ghastly. After a few seconds, he announced without the slightest hesitation, "Third Elder, it's midnight!"
That's right. Midnight had come, but Han Yunxi had not. Yet a cry suddenly sounded from outside.
"Tianning's Duke of Qin has arrived!"