Chapter 364: Gu Beiyue's worries
While Han Yunxi was keeping vigil, Chu Xifeng, Tang Li and Gu Beiyue were doing the same outside the door. None of them rested for an entire day and night. The irascible Tang Li had long cooled down. He sat on the steps with his head bowed, completely listless. He had never doubted Long Feiye's choices before, but he had to re-examine his thoughts now. Was it right for Long Feiye to keep that person locked up in the secret chamber?
If not for Han Yunxi, he wouldn't have needed to go to such pains to imprison that person, much less attract trouble like last night. While Tang Li was mired in his thoughts, Gu Beiyue spoke up.
"Imperial Bodyguard Chu, there's one thing this one still doesn't understand. I don't know whether I can consult you on the matter?"
Chu Xifeng was leaning faintly against the wall as he murmured, "I dare not be a consultant. If Imperial Physician Gu has anything to say, just ask as you will."
"As this one understands, His Highness's martial arts skills are formidable. How could he have gotten injured in such a fatal spot?" Gu Beiyue naturally understood Chu Xifeng's suspicions towards him. He hadn't wanted to ask before, but he still hadn't found an answer after pondering over it for a day and a night. Long Feiye's skills and naturally cautious nature meant he'd be at most poisoned unawares. How could he have gotten such a severe injury?
The area by the heart was one of the human body's weakest spots. A single dagger stabbed deep into the flesh there would topple even the world's number one expert, the sect head of Celestial Mountain Sword Sect! As Gu Beiyue saw it, anyone who could injure Long Feiye there had to be 1) someone he trusted, or 2) someone with far better martial arts skills.
Of the latter, the only possible candidates were people from the Celestial Mountain Sword Sect or mercenaries from Carefree City or the City of Daughters. But the first would never hurt Long Feiye, while the latter two only had two or three possible candidates who were better than him in combat. Still, they wouldn't have any reason to hurt him! Those old elders had already retired from the mercenary life to live in seclusion for years.
Chu Xifeng had been thinking over the same question as Gu Beiyue, but similarly without answers. His Highness Duke of Qin had performed a sneak attack on that black-robed man by stabbing his chest. He might not have seen the whole thing clearly since he was standing behind Long Feiye, but he wouldn't have seen wrongly. He was certain that Long Feiye's sword had found its mark and struck deep. His Highness Duke of Qin had never missed with his weapon, so his strike with the sword would've been even deeper than the man's counterattack with his dagger.
Logically speaking, the black-robed man would've died in the time it took to brew a cup of tea. Moreover, he had acted like he was on the verge of death. Otherwise, His Highness Duke of Qin would've never drawn so close, much less attempt to unmask him. But unexpectedly, their heavily wounded victim had actually struck back with a strong dagger strike! After that, he had the strength to push Long Feiye aside and even flee the scene. What kind of human possessed such strength after a stab near the heart?
It was completely illogical.
Chu Xifeng thought it over multiple times before concluding that His Highness Duke of Qin's sword must have missed its mark somehow. Moreover, it was a big miss. But that didn't make any sense. His Highness Duke of Qin certainly would've noticed if he made such an error. The more he thought, the wilder his thoughts grew. In the end, his worries for Long Feiye outweighed his theories and he stopped thinking altogether. No matter what had happened, everything would be fine as long as His Highness Duke of Qin pulled through!
Gu Beiyue saw that Chu Xifeng didn't answer, so he spoke up again. "Imperial Bodyguard Chu, if it's inconvenient to answer, then just pretend this one didn't say anything."
Chu Xifeng was more wary than Tang Li of Gu Beiyue. He didn't want to say anything, but he was certain that esteemed wangfei would ask him the same thing in the future. Gu Beiyue would get his answer sooner or later. If he told him about the uncanny man who'd attacked Long Feiye, perhaps he could explain what was the matter. Of course, Chu Xifeng wouldn't mention a thing about the prisoner in the secret chamber.
"Imperial Physician Gu, it's a strange story. That night, His Highness ran into an assassin. The assassin's skills were average at best and far inferior to His Highness. His Highness stabbed him in the chest, just a little short of his heart. Originally, we assumed the assassin would die, which is why His Highness approached him. But it gave the killer a chance to stab His Highness instead."
Chu Xifeng's words couldn't count as the truth, but it wasn't a lie, either. Tang Li glanced over at the words. He too, had been unable to figure it out.
Gu Beiyue was an intelligent man, but he feigned ignorance to asked, "Are we certain His Highness's sword stabbed him in the chest?"
"Absolutely! His Highness was certain that assassin was a dead man. That's why he didn't put up any kind of guard," Chu Xifeng was adamant. Gu Beiyue grew apprehensive. Though he kept his feelings in check, his pale face grew even paler.
He had carefully examined Long Feiye's wound and discovered that the dagger wound had been applied with ample strength. It was impossible for a dying man to possess such power. Even a seriously injured man wouldn't be able to manage the deed.
"Imperial Physician Gu, that assassin not only stabbed His Highness, but shoved him aside before he escaped. Even ten guards weren't enough to catch up to him!" Chu Xifeng added hastily.
Gu Beiyue felt even more jumpy after hearing the news, but all he expressed was uncertainty. "That's impossible. Perhaps His Highness didn't stab his vital point, thus allowing the assassin to trick him."
Tang Li couldn't help but speak up. "No way. My big bro would never be so careless!"
"His Highness drew near before the person died, that really was careless of him," Gu Beiyue sighed. Long Feiye's personality meant that he only let down his guard when his enemies were dead. Even if the black-robed man was supposed to be dying, it still didn't mean he was already dead! Moreover, many assailants could use poison before they died. Long Feiye should've been aware of this fact through his battle experience.
"That man was supposed to be dying. It really is strange!" Tang Li cleverly weaved his words around Gu Beiyue's hidden question. Gu Beiyue could only sense that there was another element in the story that neither men was willing to reveal. Of course, he was too preoccupied to dig into the matter. Right now, the most important question wasn't Long Feiye's carelessness, but how that black-robed man escaped death despite his fatal injury.
"Stranger and stranger. It's unexplainable," Gu Beiyue muttered to himself. Still, his heart had already began to worry. Could it be that Long Feiye had ran into a Poison Gu human? Aside from Lil Thing, only Poison Gu were capable of eternal life. Forget about one stab-even multiple stabs at their heart wouldn't kill them off. At most, it'd cause them temporary pain.
Poison Gu was the only explanation to this mystery, but how could they still exist? Methods for creating Poison Humans and Poison Corpses had been passed down from the past, but not ways to make Poison Gu. Some even said that the head of the Poison Sect never successfully created any Poison Gu. Others said the medical academy exterminated the Poison Sect before their craft came into completion.
Of course, the truth in Gu Beiyue's hands was that the Poison Sect hadn't come up with the way to create Poison Gu at all. Instead, it was something that originally existed in the medical academy as one of their top-level secrets. It had been sealed away in the forbidden area the entire time, off-limits to everyone else. The Poison Sect had tried to steal the formula in the past, but ultimately failed.
That's why he was stunned.
The Poison Sect was already gone. If there were any Poison Gu left in the world, then they were the work of Cloud Realm Medical Academy. Leaving aside how to make a Poison Gu, there was the simple mystery of how Long Feiye had provoked one of their kind. Gu Beiyue dearly wished that the entire thing was only a misunderstanding stemming from Long Feiye's carelessness. If Poison Gu really do exist, then things will get dangerous!
Tang Li and Chu Xifeng were too lazy to probe the issue when they saw that Gu Beiyue had no explanation forthcoming. If they kept going like this, they'd end up giving more information to him instead. What a loss that'd be! Meanwhile, the skies had grown darker, but there was still no movement from inside the house. Tang Li and Chu Xifeng could only exchanged worried, yet helpless, glances. Their only comfort was the fact that no news was good news....
While Long Feiye was still unconscious, a certain other person was also having a hard time of his own. This was none other than the black-robed assassin from the other night-Gu Qishao!
He was still dressed in the black clothes from that night. After losing the guards from Hidden Pavilion, he'd found a random roof and lay there on his back to rest. The pain from his wound was killing him! It hadn't hurt when he was first stabbed in the chest, so he still had strength to struggle, but once he stopped running away, the pain came in spades. He had no idea how much blood he'd lost, but now he was both tired and achy. If possible, he'd rather sleep for days.
Every time his pain reached its limit, he would want to sleep. But every time he slept, he stayed unconscious for ages. The longest time had lasted a full three months. This time, he did his best to fight his drowsiness. How could he sleep well unless he checked whether Long Feiye was actually dead and buried? At the thought, Gu Qishao's pale white face shifted to a smug, self-satisfied smile. Really, he didn't want to counterattack at all. It'd reveal his secret all too easily. But after facing Long Feiye's sword, he couldn't resist. He'd been given such an exceptional chance, so why wouldn't he try to murder that arrogant, abominable man?
He could only imagine how Chu Xifeng and Tang Li were panicking themselves witless at the Hidden Pavilion now. They wouldn't be able to hide the news for long. Once news of the Duke of Qin's death spread and his Poison lass discovered the secret behind the Hidden Pavilion's secret chamber, she wouldn't be sad anymore. Then Han Yunxi would realize who was the one really treating her well.
Gu Qishao grew even happier at that thought, and decided to eat and drink his fill. Then he'd scope out the situation at the Hidden Pavilion. Even now, he had no idea that his Poison lass loved that man more than he could ever imagine. Her sadness was close to overwhelming her with tears...