Chapter 317: Medical supplement, hard to tell true from false
Faced with Gu Qishao's adoring remark, Han Yunxi couldn't help but roll her eyes.
"I really missed you," Gu Qishao said earnestly.
Maybe she'd heard too much of his jokes, but Han Yunxi felt like rolling her eyes even more when he grew serious. People who tried their best to make jokes were the most detestable of all, weren't they?
"What else?" Han Yunxi asked helplessly.
Finally, Gu Qishao got down to business. "Where's Mute Granny?" He wanted to follow Chu Xifeng that night as well, but he was too worried about Poison lass and so followed her instead. Han Yunxi's sparkling eyes dimmed at the question.
She lowered her voice and said, "She was kidnapped and jumped off a cliff."
Gu Qishao was astonished. "And then?" Mute Granny was too vital to unlocking Han Yunxi's true origins. Everything depended on that old woman.
"Her status is unclear," Han Yunxi said, before adding, "They still haven't found her body yet."
Gu Qishao's gaze turned shrewd before he asked, "Who were the kidnappers?"
"They were dressed in black and wore face masks, so we have no idea," Han Yunxi said. She'd asked Chu Xifeng for details about the incident.
"What kind of god has the skills to snatch a person from Long Feiye?" Gu Qishao had his doubts.
"If Long Feiye had escorted Mute Granny personally that night, then she wouldn't have..." Han Yunxi was very sad. She had always kept Mu Linger's words at the back of her mind. She was the one who hurt Mute Granny. If she hadn't taken Mute Granny from the Mu Estate, none of this would have happened.
"It can't be that easy to steal a person from Long Feiye's men, either." Gu Qishao had hidden meanings within his words. But Han Yunxi didn't listen carefully enough and said, "It wasn't Mu Yingdong. He still doesn't know about it. Aye...who knows what Mute Granny's kidnappers were thinking?"
Gu Qishao thought it over before he said, "Poison lass, do you have the antidote prescription for Broomcorn Millet Poison?" Han Yunxi had expelled Mute Granny's poison in the past, but she needed an antidote to thoroughly cure her deaf-mute state.
"What's the use of making an antidote without the person to use it on?" Han Yunxi said helplessly. She'd given the prescription to Long Feiye. Most likely, he hadn't done anything with it either while he was busy searching for Mute Granny.
Gu Qishao reached over his hand. "Let me have a look. I'll help you search."
He wants to help me find the person and the antidote ingredients? Isn't he a little too idle? Han Yunxi was starting to suspect that this guy had nothing to do all day. Of course, she was still happy to give him the prescription. His skills in finding medicinal ingredients were much stronger than Long Feiye's. Broomcorn Millet Poison's antidote only needed three ingredients: Serpent Fruit, Bear Chuan1, and Panoptic Red Lotus.
Gu Qishao had to click his tongue at the list. "These are all precious ingreidents!"
"Aren't they? I've never seen any one of them. They're hard to find," Han Yunxi said seriously. If Mute Granny was still alive, she'd be more likely to find her than these three medicinal ingriedients. All of them grew under very exacting conditions and spent a long time to return maturity. They were rare to begin with, so the growing time only made them more limited.
Despite this, Gu Qishao was still confident. "Poison lass, don't worry. Leave these two things to me."
Having an extra person help out meant an extra helping of strength and a extra dose of hope. Han Yunxi nodded her head. "Mm!"
"If I do find her, how are you planning to repay me?" Gu Qishao asked with a grin.
Han Yunxi's serious expression gave way to a heheheh as she coldly narrowed her eyes. "You don't have to look for her at all."
Gu Qishao's smile stiffened. Is this woman my natural enemy? Aside from our first meeting in the cave, I feel like I've lost to her every single time.
More and more, Han Yunxi realized that she enjoyed seeing Gu Qishao when he was caught speechless like this. Still, after all the jokes she had to ask, "Gu Qishao, will you stop liking me if I'm really from the remnants of the Poison Sect?" She could see Gu Qishao's good points, but she recognized his motives as well. Ever since he grew interested in her poison skills, then her Tang Clan assassination weapons, then the embroidery on her medical pouch and his investigation into Lady Tianxin and later Mute Granny, his sole goal was to uncover her origins. He was very interested in knowing whether she was related to the Poison Sect.
Now, his motive in hunting down Mute Granny was to see whether Mu Xin really had an affair from someone from that sect. He still didn't know whether her father was Han Congan or a Poison Sect member. If she told him now that her father wasn't Han Congan, but was mostly like from the Poison Sect, what would he feel? And why was he so fixated on finding out?
"There's no 'if,'" Gu Qishao was still smiling, but his determination still shone through his tone.
"I'm saying, what if there is an 'if?'" Han Yunxi kept probing.
Gu Qishao suddenly rose to his feet and circled around the table to Han Yunxi's side. She didn't move, but waited as he approached. Gu Qishao didn't speak, but locked eyes with Han Yunxi. His gaze was as cold as a falcon locking onto its prey. Han Yunxi felt her heart give a lurch as she allowed him to stare. She was caught a little unawares by the intensity of his eyes.
Does he have a grudge with the medical academy or the Poison Sect? Is he looking for members of the Poison Sect to take revenge? Han Yunxi grew guarded and was about to avoid his gaze when Gu Qishao backed away first. His long, narrow eyes curved into two crescents as he smiled like a bear. "See that, Poison lass? Did I scare you?"
Han Yunxi was in the middle of leaning back when his words threw her for a loop. Caught off-guard, she could only gape at him before she fell backwards. Gu Qishao quickly stepped onto the table, grabbed Han Yunxi's hand, and pulled her towards him before the two of them made a circle and recovered their bearings. As he held her, he said tenderly, "Poison lass, if you really are, then I'll just pretend you aren't. Do you believe me?"
"Why are you looking for the remnants of the Poison Sect?" Han Yunxi asked very seriously. Sometimes she found it hateful when Long Feiye never told her anything, but now she realized that Gu Qishao was the truly hateful one. He could say anything with a joking grin, but he never spoke the truth.
"I want to use them as a medical supplement so I can refine them into an antidote," Gu Qishao was still sporting a grin without a trace of decency in his expression.
Han Yunxi shoved him aside. "Using humans as supplements to refine an antidote? What kind of poison do you have?"
"The most toxic poison in the world," Gu Qishao chuckled. Han Yunxi simply ignored him. She'd been treating poisons for years, but she'd never heard of using humans as ingredients to make one. It was fine if this fellow didn't want to tell her the truth. It's not like she'd tell him the truth, either. Han Yunxi finished drinking the rest of her tea before preparing to leave. There were still important matters to deal with, so she couldn't waste time chatting here with Gu Qishao.
But Gu Qishao blocked her way and gave her another tin of tea. "Here, new;y picked tea leaves." He knew she liked new teas. His tea plantation in Tianning might have been sealed up by Long Feiye, but he'd found the top-quality leaves in all the Cloud Realm Continent regardless. He was even reluctant to drink it himself!
"Thanks," Han Yunxi really did like tea. She was already at the door before she turned around. "Gu Qishao, Mu Linger likes you alot. Don't disappoint her."
"Han Yunxi, I like you a lot. You shouldn't be disappointing me," Gu Qishao said logically.
Han Yunxi simply threw the tin of tea leaves back at him before leaving without a glance. Gu Qishao caught the tin and simply kept up his helpless smile. Even when Han Yunxi's form had long left the building, Gu Qishao was still smiling. His bantering, seductive grin was bright and radiant. If Long Feiye had eyes than no one could see through, then Gu Qishao wore smiles that no one could understand. He stood at the window before glimpsing a sight of a familiar figure standing by an inn. That was none other than Mu Linger.
Actually, he'd ran into Mu Linger multiple times in the capital, but the girl had never caught sight of him. Despite this, he'd pass by her every time as if he didn't recognize her at all. This time, Gu Qishao's sights lingered on the girl before a crooked grin showed up on his face.
Mu Linger had just received a message via flying pigeon from her father, who told her to lay low for a while and avoid going back to Medicine City. Her unauthorized actions at the empress dowager's birthday banquet, including keeping the gift and standing on Duke of Qin Long Feiye's side, had spread as news to Medicine City. Both the Wang and Xie Clans were extremely discontent. At a Medicine City conference, they had said to punish her. Even denizens of the Mu Clan were crying out for severe punishment.
It was possible that the Wang and Xie Clans themselves did support Long Feiye, but how could they let go of such a good chance to show the Mu Clan genius a thing or two? On the other hand, both the old and younger generations of the Mu Clan wanted the favored Mu Linger to take a tumble or two. They were even more eager than the Wang and Xie Clans to see her punished. No matter how strong Mu Yingdong was, he couldn't resist such pressure from the public and his own clan members! Moreover, the incident was Mu Linger's fault to begin with!
He could only delay the punishment by saying that Mu Linger's whereabouts were currently unknown.
Mu Linger was in an extremely bad mood after receiving the news. She returned to her rooms and fell on her back on the bed. Her eyebrows furrowed as she shut her eyes. She was a genius pharmacist, but how many people in Medicine City really wanted to see her thrive? It was probably only father. The rest of them would rather she died, instead! She really hadn't fought for any special place or position. If possible, she wished she could be more ordinary.
Aye, and who knows where Qi gege is.
She was still sighing in her heart when she heard a familiar voice.
"The damned lass who repaid kindness with enmity, hehe."
Mu Linger sat bolt upright on the bed, astonished, "Qi gege! Qi gege, where are you?"
Gu Qishao landed from the ceiling rafters to give her a cold look. "Mu Linger, why didn't I know your heart was so sinister and vicious when I met you?"
Mu Linger knew he was referring to the incident in the Sky Pit. She bit her lip as her head hung. "I think I'm pretty sinister and vicious, too."
1. Chuan () - a word that means "river" or "plain," which doesn't make much sense in the context of the ingredient name, so I left it as pinyin.