Chapter 1331: [Beiyue] Departure
Gu Beiyue always knew his own condition very clearly and understood her needle techniques wouldn’t be able to save him. Qin Min suddenly felt she’d been a fool. Only her acupuncture skills were more formidable, but how could it beat Gu Beiyue himself? He was the only ninth-rank Medical Sovereign in all of Cloud Realm Continent and had the top medical skills in the realm. How could she manage what he couldn’t even solve himself?
That five-year agreement and their two-year playacting were all part of his intentions to make her experience and see the truth for herself so she’d be convince to give up! Qin Min looked at Gu Beiyue’s pale yet gentle face and couldn’t believe how they’d walked past the last two years together. Her hands clutched the bloody handkerchief as her lips pursed tightly. No one would ever know just how much she wanted to throw herself into his arms and cry at this moment.
But she couldn’t. She didn’t.
"Like" was unbridled, yet "love" was restrained.
"Like" would often bother others, but "love" would not.
She simply said, "Rest well. I’ll have the medical novice stay on watch outside. If anything happens, call me immediately." Then she left without lingering.
Qin Min entered her room just in time to see Shaoyao walking out.
"Young Miss, where did you go this time of night?" Shaoyao asked with concern.
Qin Min looked up and Shaoyao was stunned, because she saw her red-rimmed eyes again. She couldn’t even remember how long it’d been since she’d seen the young Miss weepy. Young Miss claimed that red eyes weren’t crying, so she didn’t dare claim the same anymore.
She carefully asked, "Young Miss, you…did master bully you again?"
Qin Min looked at her for a long time before saying earnestly, word for word, "Shaoyao, I…will never give up!"
Qin Min didn’t give up.
A few days later, she personally took little Shadow into the palace and asked Han Yunxi to take care of him. Then she left the capital city with Gu Beiyue. Gu Beiyue had originally taken three years to visit every county in Cloud Realm Continent to inspect the situation of the medical reforms. Now he wanted to repeat that trip, so Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had no suspicions. Long Feiye wanted to send people to do it himself, but since Gu Beiyue brought it up, he permitted him to do it instead.
Little Shadow missed his parents and wanted to follow along, but they were going on official business, so he didn’t dare ask. Father had taught him lightness techniques from a secret manual just a few days. He also told him that once he mastered the skill, he could go search for them. Thus, when his parents left, Shadow began to train in earnest.
Soon enough it was summer. Rui’er went to the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds to train with Han Chen again, while Princess Yan was bored by herself in the palace and couldn’t resist harassing Shadow. Shadow only told her seriously, "Your Highness Crown Princess, I have to train my martial arts well. Only then can I catch up to my father and mother. Can you go play by yourself?"
Yan’er’s eyes spun before she ran to catch the sleeping Lil Thing and said, "Let Lil Thing train with you. It runs really fast!"
Lil Thing wanted to leave with the gentleman instead, but he forbade it. When it tried to follow him in secret, he gave it a glare instead. This was the first time the gentleman had ever acted fierce towards him. It felt like its entire world had collapsed and was still reeling from the aftereffects now. All it did was sleep all day, feeling that life was hopeless. Lil Thing was too lazy to pay attention to Princess Yan and let her jerk it around, but she suddenly threw it into the air, forcing it awake.
It had no idea what Princess Yan wanted it for, but ran as soon as it hit the ground, very fast. Seeing this, Shadow was amused and instantly gave chase. Ever since father left, no one could practice martial arts with him anymore. All of the shadow guards in the palace weren’t as fast as him.
Yan’er was happy to see Shadow glad, and called over Xu Donglin so she could sit on his shoulders and shout. "Chase! If you can catch up to them, all the shadow guards will be heavily rewarded!"
After that, the quiet palace grew lively. One could often see Shadow chasing Lil Thing and a group of people with Princess Yan chasing Shadow.
Of course, Gu Beiyue didn’t end up inspecting every single pharmacy in person. He sent his men to inspect them for him and occasionally wrote letters to the Department of Medicine. He brought one servant while Qin Min took Shaoyao as the couple retreated to Endless Mountain.
Endless Mountain was located north of Medical City, not too far away. It was a very steep peak. Gu Beiyue’s father had spent his last years here. When the couple reached its base, they found many medicinal plants there, all from Gu Beiyue’s prescription. They passed through a forest and saw a waterfall. Above it was a small courtyard like a hermitage.
For a second, Qin Min almost felt like they were going to live a carefree life at this retreat for the rest of their days. Entering the courtyard, she saw that it was full of wild medicinal plants. All of those were part of Gu Beiyue’s prescription too. She personally hunted down every single one and saw that none were missing. Without a doubt, someone had planted these on purpose to let them grow wild.
Qin Min smiled and said, "Grand Tutor Gu, so it turned out you made preparations in advance."
Gu Beiyue only smiled and said nothing.
After father and mother passed away, he and grandfather left this courtyard, but grandfather would bring him back once to twice a year to clean it up and repair the house while checking on the herbs. Grandfather’s last years weren’t spent here because he ended his own life in the Gu Estate. He never even saw his grandfather suffer an attack. Although grandfather didn’t say it, Gu Beiyue knew the courtyard was left for him along with these plants.
He walked inside and took out a chair for Qin Min to sit. "I haven’t been here in a year, so let me clean up first before you go in."
Qin Min rolled her eyes at him before winding up her sleeves and striding in! Gu Beiyue gave a start. If he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, he never would’ve expected her to eyeroll. For some reason, during the trip here Qin Min had stopped calling him Grand Tutor Gu and simply called him by name. She’d dropped all pretenses and seemed to change into another person, but he didn’t find it strange.
On the other hand, he maintained his formality and politeness.
Shaoyao followed them in along with Gu Beiyue’s manservant. Qin Min didn’t chase them off and quickly gave them tasks to do, but Gu Beiyue got a glare when he tried to join them. Helpless, he could only sit and rest.
Qin Min finished issuing tasks and began to clean up the huge tubs inside and outside the room. These were made of stone and hadn’t been used in years. They had accumulated rainwater and were full of moss and vines. After she cleaned one up, she looked back at Gu Beiyue and asked, "Shall we just use one? And keep the other one?"
"Why?" Gu Beiyue asked.
"I want to plant some flowers," she replied.
Gu Beiyue agreed. He could see that Qin Min was in a much better mood after they left the capital. Perhaps it had something to do with him not having a single episode since their departure. From tomorrow on, he would spend his days soaking in medicinal baths and have a long period of time with no coughing at all. Her mood should be even better after that.
Yet Gu Beiyue, mature as he was, also had his moments of naivete.
By the time Qin Min finished busying herself and came to take him pulse, he knew she was thinking too foolishly. Qin Min could tell his condition had worsened as soon as she took his pulse, and in fact was worsening day by day. Her lips drooped at the results. "You rest. I’ll go make up the medicinal bath. You haven’t taken one today yet!"
Just like that, they ended up living on the mountainside. Gu Beiyue spent most of the time soaking in his bath. Qin Min personally cooked their three meals but spent most of her time soaking in the medical books they’d brought with them. She persisted in taking Gu Beiyue’s pulse every day at morning, noon, and night. And she never did plant her beloved flowers in the other, uncleaned tub.
They rarely interacted while their times alone grew longer and longer.
Gu Beiyue’s manservant was in charge of collecting herbs for the baths, while Shaoyao looked after daily chores. Qin Min personally watched over Gu Beiyue from her room a window away while reading medical texts. Otherwise, she’d sit by his side to read. Gu Beiyue was bored and idle, so he would ask Qin Min for her medical books. She couldn’t help but want to laugh amidst her melancholy when seeing him reading books in the bath. Although it had been a long time since he had an attack, he was still heading towards the end of his life! How could he be so calm and indifferent? So…utterly merciless.
The false calm didn’t soothe Qin Min’s heart. She read all the medical books and finally decided to start with acupuncture. After all, this was her best skill and something she could work on. She stabbed the golden knife that Gu Beiyue had given her into the wall as a reminder while laughing and joking with him. "Since there’s no saving you, then I’ll treat you as a dead horse and use you to practice!"
Gu Beiyue was startled. He realized he could read Qin Min less and less. He couldn’t even imagine her reaction when the day came for him to leave. It wasn’t until he passed by her room one day and peeked through the ajar door that he spotted his knife in the wall and her table full of medical books.
He only sighed lightly and didn’t know what to say. In the end, he pretended not to see a thing.
Day after day, time trickled by.
Only time would tell how long Gu Beiyue could keep living…
Over the past few years, Great Qin grew in might as a nation. Its treasury was full and its industries developed. Long Feiye gradually acquired the desire to conquer the Mysterious Continent again. Of course, it was only an ambition. He wasn’t going to do it right away when he was clearly that it was a continent full of martial prowess. To take over that piece of land, armies and wealth were both useless. Only strong martial arts would do.
Under Han Chen’s pointers, he and Han Yunxi never stopped cultivating. After they fully mastered Lustbite and Phoenix power, there was still room to advance to grow stronger. Yet it was also more difficult to cultivate. Both he and Han Yunxi were waiting for the ten-year agreement to end so they could fight for the position of Wolf Sect leader. They believed that would be their first step into entering the Mysterious Continent.
In addition to state affairs and martial arts cultivation, Long Feiye hadn’t given up on another thing: searching for Ning Cheng!
Yet Ning Cheng had long left with Le Zheng for the Mysterious Continent years ago.