Chapter 394: Only he's allowed to bully
Mu Linger was a blunt and willful girl, but she'd always turn into a crybaby in front of Gu Qishao. Still, she wasn't like those types of girls who just troubled people with her incessant tears. As soon as she was done, she could smile just as easily. She quickly grabbed Gu Qishao's arm, afraid that he'd run away again. "Qi gege, I knew you'd come to find me."
Gu Qishao didn't like how she was wet and damp all over. He wanted to push her aside, but Mu Linger had a very tight grip. He glared at her instead, but she only arched her eyebrows provokingly, unwilling to let him go.
"Heheh, I'd definitely find you if I didn't get those two ingredients myself," Gu Qishao chuckled coldly.
Mu Linger resentfully released him at those words. Qi gege had come to find medicinal ingredients, not her. She knew this very well. She might act wayward and ignorant, but she saw through him clearer than anyone else. Ever since she knew him, Qi gege had never found her for anything without a reason.
"If I didn't find those ingredients, would you refuse to ever forgive me?" Mu Linger asked seriously. Qi gege had said that he'd forgive her about what happened in the Sky Pit if she tracked his two ingredients down.
Gu Qishao could take it when Mu Linger was acting sweet or filled with snot and tears, but he was powerless when she grew serious. "Come on, come on, let's get out of the rain first. There's something I need to discuss with you."
Gu Qishao had arrived much earlier-in fact, he'd been at the Mu Clan's lands for well over a month. But his searches had left him empty-handed.
There weren't many places to avoid the rain. By the time they found a safe cave, the rain had already stopped. Mu Linger's clothing, hair and shoes were all thoroughly soaked. She left a puddle of water in her wake as soon as she entered the cave, but she ignored all that to ask, "Qi gege, what do you need to discuss with me?"
Gu Qishao was in no hurry, and leisurely brushed off the stray raindrops from his clothes before finding a clean rock to sit down on. He shook his hands and said, "It's cold, ah!"
Cough, cough, this jerk! He only cared about his own cold, but couldn't he see that a young girl like Mu Linger was already thoroughly drenched? If it was Han Yunxi in her place, he would've made a fire for her long ago. Perhaps he'd even brave the rain to fetch her a set of dry clothes to change into. He too, knew how to take care of others, but he only ever bullied Mu Linger.
Feelings were fickle like that. People did things according to their emotions, irregardless of others' complaints. Mu Linger was already cold herself, so much that her lips had lost all color. But as soon as she heard that Qishao was cold, she hurried to find all the dry branches, leaves, and kindling in the cave and gathered them in a pile, before fetching a match from Gu Qishao to make a campfire.
Gu Qishao approached the flames without her beckoning him, his face enjoying the heat immensely.
"Qi gege, just tell me what you have to say," Mu Linger was very curious.
"Do you think you can find those two ingredients within half a year?" Gu Qishao was still talking about the ingredients.
"Half a year?" Mu Linger grew doubtful. "Just what do you need them for? Is someone poisoned? Will the poison act up within half a year?"
"Why are you bothering with so many details? Just tell me if you can do it or not," Gu Qishao grew unhappy.
"I can do it if I'm happy. If I'm not...then it's impossible!" Mu Linger had her temper as well.
Gu Qishao's eyes curved into a smile with interest. "Aiya, a little lass like you is throwing temper tantrums at a big brother like me?"
Mu Linger looked at him silently, her expression haughty yet spoiled.
Gu Qishao suddenly swooped in and grasped Mu Linger by the chin, asking her in a devilish tone, "So what does it take to make you happy?"
The sudden proximity of his oppressive aura and bewitching face made Mu Linger's heart pound. Even though she knew Qi gege was just joking, she still couldn't help but indulge in the moment. Because her heart was a fool, she turned into one too.
"As long as Qi gege is happy, Linger will be happy too," she said, her voice as gentle as clear spring water. She was a fresh and charming beauty; unfortunately, Gu Qishao saw none of it.
He immediately let her go and said in excitement, "Linger, you really think you can do it?"
Happiness was always short-lived. Ignoring the disappointment in her heart, Mu Linger resumed her proud air and raised her chin. "The Panoptic Red Lotus is within these very three mountains. As for Bear Chuan...it's actually at-" Before she could finish, a gust of wind blasted into the cave. Both of them evaded the gale just as a familiar voice spoke.
"Mu Linger, get out! I know you're inside!"
This was none other than the Mu Clan's eldest young master, Mu Chaoran. How did he find this place? Mu Chaoran was not only Mu Yingdong's eldest son, but the child of his first wife. He had an extremely high status in the clan and could be considered the rightful heir to the position of clan head. Unfortunately, his pharmacy skills were far inferior to Mu Linger, who had been born of a concubine.
The established families of the medicine world were different from nobles or the imperial clan. Families like theirs placed talent above birth. Mu Linger had been chosen by Mu Yingdong to be his successor, so Mu Chaoran had long found her unsightly. Moreover, she'd always been with Mu Yingdong in the past, so it was impossible to cause her any trouble. Now that she'd caused such a ruckus, he wasn't about to miss this golden opportunity to get back at her. Long before the entire Medicine City sent punitive forces to hunt her down, Mu Chaoran had done his own part to search for Mu Linger as well. Of all things, he happened to find her by chance today.
Mu Linger had long grown sick of her siblings, especially this particular older brother. If this was the past, she'd only take his words as the useless barking of a dog. But now she had responsibilities to fulfill, so if Mu Chaoran sold her out, she'd be in big trouble. After some hesitation, she said, "Qi gege, you go hide yourself first. I'm going to negotiate with him."
The same time she spoke, the man outside yelled impatiently, "Mu Linger, if you don't come out, I'll tell mother right again!" If he tattled to father, he'd probably try to cover up for the damned girl again. But mother would definitely make a big fuss until father was unable to stop her. Gu Qishao didn't say a word, but hid himself behind one of the larger rocks in the cave.
Since Mu Chaoran was still wasting words here, it proved that he wasn't really going to tell his mother. Most likely, he wanted something from Mu Linger herself. After making sure that Gu Qishao was well hidden away, Mu Linger simply strode forward until she was standing at the cave entrance. As expected, there was Mu Chaoran waiting by himself outside.
"Whether it's words or farts, do it quickly!" Mu Linger said in a frosty tone.
"Feral children like you with no mothers to raise them have poor breeding as expected!" Mu Chaoran shot back.
Mu Linger narrowed her eyes. "Just what do you want?"
"I want your 30 books of medicine notes, not one book less! Otherwise..." Mu Chaoran came straight to the point.
Mu Linger sucked in a cold breath. "You plunderer!" Those were her treasures, a collection of her knowledge every since she was young. Moreover, many of the pages had records of her personal secret formulas! Even one book was priceless, much less all 30.
"Just treat it like a robbery, then," Mu Chaoran shrugged his shoulders as if he was helpless to change the fact.
"And if I refuse?" Mu Linger asked coldly.
"Heheh, that's fine too! I can tell my mother right now, or..." Mu Chaoran thought it over before he grinned. "Fine, it's a good thing you're my little sister. I'll give you a chance. If you kneel in front of me and admit that your pharmacy skills are inferior to mine, I'll pretend none of this ever happened today. Nor will I tell anyone you brought an outsider into our medicinal fields."
What a beastly bully, he's looting a burning house!
Mu Chaoran had simply come today to torment her! If he told everything to his mother, she'd make such a fuss that father would be unhappy, which didn't benefit either mother or son. Since he couldn't really touch her, he could at least try humiliating her once to kill her spirits a bit!
Mu Linger clenched her hands into fists, her chest heaving. She had always avoided and yielded to this brother, but he still couldn't tolerate her existence. Everyone said that Heaven envied the great, but the truth was that humans were the ones who got jealous!
"And if I don't?" Mu Linger asked again, still cold.
Mu Chaoran simply started shouting out loud. "Someone come, ah! Come..."
"You shut up!" Mu Linger grew anxious. Aside from father, everyone else in the Mu Clan wanted to hand her over to the Medical Materials Association for an explanation! She couldn't afford the risk right now when she needed to hunt for ingredients.
"What, you've thought it through?" Mu Chaoran smiled smugly.
Mu Linger grit her teeth. She didn't want to agree, but...
"This gentleman has limits with his patience!" Mu Chaoran pushed.
Mu Linger shot him a death glare and prepared to kneel, but a red shadow suddenly flew out of the cave. With lightning-quick speeds, Gu Qishao landed behind Mu Chaoran before the latter saw his face clutched his neck with a fair white hand.
"Don't kill him!" Mu Linger grew anxious. There were plenty of incidents involving siblings hurting each other in the Mu Clan, but she didn't want such blood on her own hands. Otherwise, she would've told Qi gege to silence Mu Chaoran long ago instead of incurring such trouble.
Gu Qishao's lips curved up into a cold smile. Ignoring Mu Linger's pleas, he gradually sank his nails into Mu Chaoran's flesh.
"Don't! I didn't see a thing!" Mu Chaoran was scared to death. But very soon, he found himself unable to speak at all. Fresh blood trickled down his neck as needle-like pain pierced through his skin. Every time he tried to talk, it only caused him acute agony.
"I'm the only one allowed to bully this lass. Remember that," Gu Qishao's voice was so low that it seemed to come from the depths of hell itself. He had always tormented Mu Linger, but he would never allow anyone else the right. That was his personal prerogative.
Mu Chaoran was terrified, his body trembling in fear as he shot Mu Linger pleading looks for help. Mu Linger hadn't heard what Gu Qishao said just then, but she was scared as well. "Qi gege, he's still my big brother!"
Gu Qishao tossed Mu Chaoran harshly to the side and warned, "If you dare to speak about today, see what happens then!"
Mu Chaoran knew martial arts as well, so he understand the gravity of the threat. "I didn't see anything! Not a thing!" he half crawled, half ran away.
Mu Linger finally released a breath of relief. "Qi gege, you're still the smart one. A single warning like this will keep him away for half a year."
As long as she could help Qi gege find his ingredients by then, she didn't care what kind of punishment the Medical Materials Association would give her. If she wanted to eke an existence in Medicine City for the future, facing the consequences would be inevitable one day.
Gu Qishao slowly cleaned off his hands and said, "Just then, who did you say had the Bear Chuan?"