Chapter 1354: [10Year] Simultaneously
Han Chen’s two sentences were said calmly with an expressionless tone. But for everyone else, it was the difference between Heaven and Hell. Although there was no final conclusion, this result counted as a hope and a cure. Qin Min was shaking all over. Even her teeth chattered as she finally nodded and asked, “I, I…can I go in now?”
Han Chen just nodded without saying much.
Qin Min immediately rushed into the house while everyone else followed. Their attention was all on Gu Beiyue, so no one noticed Han Chen’s terrible complexion. For the sake of saving Gu Beiyue, Han Chen used a great deal of true qi. Within the room, Long Feiye was the same. Both of them had suffered the equivalent of serious injuries and would need a year or two to completely recover. Fortunately they didn’t involve Han Yunxi, or else she would lose the Ten-Year Agreement for certain.
Inside the rooms, everyone discovered Gu Beiyue lying unconscious on the bed while Long Feiye was sitting next to him to recover, eyes closed and pale. Qin Min hurried over to see Gu Beiyue while Han Yunxi checked on Long Feiye. She took his hand and said with distress, “Feiye, why are you like this?”
Long Feiye opened his eyes and intoned, “I’m fine.”
“Your Majesty, when will he wake up?” Qin Min was anxious.
“Currently true qi is running through his body. Apply the needles as soon as possible. Just use the method you saw in that medical book beforehand to prevent him from going astray in cultivation,” Long Feiye said seriously.
Acupuncture was Qin Min’s strong suit. She had learned the technique from that medical book when she got it and simply didn’t have a chance to use it yet.
“All right!” she nodded earnestly. While she was nervous, her dim eyes had finally brightened up. Though everyone was still worried, they all conscientiously retreated, leaving Mu Linger and Dr. Shen to help Qin Min. Little Shadow wanted to go and hug his father but didn’t dare disturb them, so he stood on the side and watched with Lil Thing sitting particularly quiet on his shoulder.
Han Yunxi assisted Long Feiye to walk out. Only then did everyone realized he’d overexhausted himself.
“Long Feiye, you…can hold on, right?” Gu Qishao asked.
Long Feiye raised his gaze to answer him. “I can’t die.”
The two met eyes and surprisingly laughed at the same time. Gu Qishao was laughing out loud while Long Feiye hooked up the corners of his lips into a light chuckle. Only Han Yunxi knew what they were chortling over, while the rest was left in a haze. How could they be laughing at a time like this?
Long Feiye said down on the side before realizing Han Chen was gone. When he asked, everyone else noticed he wasn’t in the courtyard anymore.
“Imperial father, grandpa said he was leaving and that he wouldn’t be teaching me martial arts this summer. I’ll have to wait until next year,” Rui’er said seriously.
Long Feiye was surprised. He knew Han Chen consumed much more true qi than he did, but he didn’t expect things to be this serious. He couldn’t even teach Rui’er martial arts right now. Looks like he was off to closed door cultivation.
No matter what, the stone pressing on everyone’s hearts finally eased off.
The next day, Gu Beiyue woke up. He looked much more energetic than before. Although he still coughed occasionally and spat up blood, it wasn’t the same unstoppable coughing fits of the past. Gu Beiyue knew best of all what Han Chen and Long Feiye had sacrificed for his sake. He wanted to pay Han Chen a visit to show his respects, but Long Feiye smiled and said, “Wait until you’re cured!”
Gu Beiyue smiled back. “All right, all right.”
Everyone watched Gu Beiyue’s warm smile from the sidelines and was infected with smiles themselves. That aside, they knew the remaining half-year would be hard for him. He could deviate in cultivation at any time, so Qin Min had to accompany him at all times to guard him. If anything went wrong, all of their efforts would be wasted.
No one mentioned this outright, but everyone remained grinning as if Gu Beiyue was already healed. Yet in the end, everyone but Long Feiye and Han Yunxi stayed behind. Long Feiye had to deal with a pile of dynastic affairs. If he didn’t return, those ministers would raise a fuss. Han Yunxi had to enter closed door cultivation and train her martial arts to fully commit herself to the Ten-Year Agreement. The rest of them stayed put, including Yan’er and Rui’er who kept little Shadow company. Gu Qishao was the most exaggerated one of all, preparing to build a small wooden house on the edge of the waterfall after finishing chopping all the lumber.
Gu Beiyue couldn’t stop him at all, while Qin Min only coaxed, “It’s nice to have everyone stay in case I can’t react in time. I can’t keep an eye on you every second.”
Gu Beiyue’s persuasion skills were first-class, so he finally convinced Tang Li and Ning Jing, Mu Linger and Jin Zi, as well as Dr. Shen, all away. As for Gu Qishao, he didn’t even try. He knew if he did, Gu Qishao would start cursing. Thus, in the end only Gu Qishao, Rui’er, Yan’er, and Lil Thing remained.
Gu Qishao spent several days building two wooden houses next to Gu Beiyue’s courtyard. He helped Qin Min watch over Gu Beiyue while taking care of Rui’er and Yan’er. Qin Min let little Shadow live with Rui’er on the excuse that he couldn’t disturb his father. She and Gu Beiyue stayed in the same room. At night, he slept on the bed while she slept on the couch like a servant on night duty. She woke up whenever Gu Beiyue moved. Many times, she even startled awake for no reason, scaring herself.
Shaoyao pleaded again and again, “Young miss, you’ll collapse from exhaustion like this.”
Even the little medical acolytes pitied their female mistress. “Madam, I and Shaoyao can take turns looking after him. We’ll call for you as soon as something happens, so sleep without worry.”
Qin Min ignored them. She couldn’t be certain when Gu Beiyue would have a flare-up and was afraid of sleeping too deeply, delaying treatment, and causing a huge disaster.
On this day, only Qin Min and Gu Beiyue were in their rooms. Qin Min was sitting on the side reading medical books. A set of acupuncture needles was laid out by the desk, ready to be used at any time. Gu Beiyue sat by the tea table and stared at her for a long time before finally walking over.
He sighed lightly. “Qin Min, take a break.”
It had already been over a month. He clearly saw her hard work, not just over this month but before.
Qin Min replied with a smile, “It’s fine, I’m not tired.”
Gu Beiyue was helpless. One month later, he once again coaxed, “Qin Min, take a break.”
Again Qin Min replied, “It’s fine, I’m not tired.”
But Gu Beiyue looked into her eyes and said seriously, “Take it as me begging you.”
Qin Min’s heart gave a jolt. She avoided his gaze and didn’t reply, but that night she had the medical acolyte keep watch while she slept in the outer rooms.
After this, Qin Min began to take turns with Gu Qishao, Shaoyao, and the rest to keep watch over Gu Beiyue. But whether or not she had a good night’s sleep on the days she didn’t keep watch was something she herself knew. Days passed like this in seeming tranquility. But every time Gu Beiyue’s true qi ran amok in his body, it was a fight between life and death.
Little Shadow couldn’t rest easy either, but was afraid to tell anyone else. Still, Rui’er noticed it. He and Yan’er talked it over before the latter tormented Shadow all day until he was exhausted while Rui’er sought him out to practice martial arts. After using up all the energy in the daytime, it would be easier to fall asleep at night. After all, children couldn’t hold out as long or as much as adults.
Day after day passed. Half a year’s time wasn’t very long at all.
On this day, Han Yunxi emerged from closed door cultivation. So did Han Chen.
Han Xiang refused to fight in the forbidden grounds of the Poison Sect with the excuse that Cloud Realm Continent was Han Yunxi’s territory. She wanted to change the place for their duel over the Ice Sea, which was located between the two continents. Han Chen agreed to Han Xiang’s request. After Han Yunxi emerged from seclusion, she rushed with Long Feiye to the Ice Sea. Han Chen also headed there from the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds.
Gu Qishao and Gu Beiyue learned of the news. Before Gu Qishao spoke, Gu Beiyue said, “Little Qi, you go. The two children stay.”
Gu Qishao naturally wanted to leave. No matter where or when, no matter how powerful his Poison lass had become or how high she stood, no matter whether she already had someone by her side to take care of her, he was eternally worried for her sake. But Gu Beiyue was only half a month away from healing. If something went wrong during this time, even gods wouldn’t be able to save him.
Gu Qishao was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Gu Beiyue only told him, “Little Qi, treat it as going in my place. Remind Esteemed Empress to be careful above all else and not be careless.”
This one phrase contained much meaning. It wasn’t clear how much Gu Qishao understood from his message, but he nodded. “All right, take care!”
They were planning to hide it from Rui’er and Yan’er, but the former had long found out by interrogating Shadow. Before Gu Qishao left, Rui’er took his little sister down the mountain first. Gu Qishao could only chase after them posthaste to bring them along with him.
Besides Gu Qishao, Tang Li and Ning Jing, Mu Linger and Jin Zi were all rushing towards the Ice Sea. Meanwhile, north of the Ice Sea was Ning Cheng who was still clueless about it all. He and Cheng’er were busy all day managing Xuankong Trade Consortium’s affairs. Their son Ning Yuan had taken Yujin as his godmother and spent all day with her. His personality resembled hers instead of his parents as a result. No one who saw him could guess that he was the young master of the Xuankong Trade Consortium. They would just assume he was a mini-mercenary instead.
After Gu Qishao left with Rui’er and Yan’er, Gu Beiyue’s little courtyard was much quieter than before. Qin Min still looked after him, while little Shadow accompanied his mother instead of his companions to guard his father. Gu Beiyue climbed to the mountaintop everyday to look towards the north. Qin Min and little Shadow naturally followed along.
Little Shadow asked, “Father, will Esteemed Empress win?”
Gu Beiyue smiled softly. “Yes. She’s never fought a battle she wasn’t sure of.”
Qin Min looked at him and couldn’t help recalling Gu Qishao’s words that day, but she quickly shook her mind free of the thoughts. What was the use of dwelling on them? No matter what she thought, his heart would remain the same. It was a heart she couldn’t read or enter. She only hoped that he could pass through these dozen or so days without harm. Even if she was going to leave, it had to be after setting her worries at rest!
A dozen or so days passed in the blink of an eye.
The Ten-Year Agreement match was to take place at Ice Sea.
When Han Yunxi stepped on the ice on this day, she saw Han Xiang approaching from a distance in a sled. Meanwhile, Gu Beiyue’s true qi suddenly ran amok in Endless Mountain on the other side, leaving his situation critical.
Qin Min obviously used her needles, but couldn’t control the true qi in his body. She panicked. She’d never seen this situation before!
Little Shadow and Shaoyao couldn’t help at all and could only fret on the sidelines…
1. Aka Mysterious Continent in Chinese.