Poison Genius Consort

zChapter 1349

Chapter 1349: [10Year] Promise

Upon entering the rooms, the three children sat down around the table in unison like schoolboys with their hands folded on the table. This scene made Gu Beiyue especially nostalgic: a few years ago in the palace, they had sat like this every morning in the palace to listen to him tell stories.

He didn’t have many stories himself, but spoke of history. Centuries of Cloud Realm Continent history were treated as tales that were easy to understand for the children. Rui’er would always ask why this or that happened, while Yan’er was more interested in this or that person. Little Shadow mostly remained silent until the two finished their questions before adding a few of his own. Gu Beiyue knew that these three weren’t waiting for a story now, but his answer.

Qin Min always wanted Shadow to come see him, but he refused. Yet at this point, it was time for Shadow to come. He had to personally give him the essence of the Shadow Clan. He never thought Rui’er and Yan’er would come too. Since they were here, then it was impossible to hide the facts any longer. These were all children he’d personally instructed, so he knew their tempers and matters of the heart thoroughly. Hiding his affliction from them would only raise their suspicions.

Gu Beiyue sat down and the trio looked at him at the same time. Beneath the lamp light, Shadow immediately noticed his ashen face.

“Father, are you feeling unwell?” Shadow’s calm heart grew uneasy again.

“Mm, father is sick,” Gu Beiyue replied.

“Grand Tutor!” Yan’er exclaimed in alarm.

Sick, but not telling everyone. This…

Rui’er didn’t speak, but his forehead knitted tightly as he realized things weren’t as simple as he thought.

Little Shadow quickly took his father’s wrist to check his pulse. Unfortunately, he couldn’t tell anything from it. He immediately looked towards his mother. Qin Min didn’t know how to face these children, much less Gu Beiyue’s plans. She only remained silent. Shadow looked back at his father with questioning eyes mixed with caution, apprehension, and anxiety.

Gu Beiyue stroked his head and smiled faintly. “Don’t worry. It’s just more serious than normal. I need time to recuperate.”

“So, father’s already been here for a long time, right?” Shadow asked.

Gu Beiyue’s guesses were right. He couldn’t hide anything from these children’s eyes. When he took in this boy, he only noticed his innate talent, but never expected him to be so intelligent and introspective. Perhaps he was born with it; perhaps Qin Min’s teachings all those years were to blame.

Gu Beiyue admitted it. “Mm, I’ve been here the entire time.”

“Grand Tutor, you’ve been treating your illness for over two years?” Yan’er couldn’t help asked.

Before Gu Beiyue could reply, Shadow’s tears flowed silently out of his eyes. He quickly wiped them away, but more welled up. He thought back to those days in Ningzhou. From that time on, father had started soaking in medicinal baths. Later in the capital city, father soaked in them often as well. Mother always told him that it was to nurture his body, not because he was sick. But now…

Why was he such a fool? Why didn’t he notice anything wrong? Leaving aside everything else, father’s medical skills weren’t even enough to treat himself. That was enough to scare him. Shadow didn’t want to cry, but his tears didn’t listen to him and kept flowing. He silently wiped them away nonstop, but still couldn’t stop them in time.

Gu Beiyue began to fret. He quickly took Shadow into his arms just as Yan’er burst into wails. Rui’er took her into his arms to muffle her mouth.

“Grand Tutor, what’s wrong with you? Speak,” Rui’er’s voice was a little choked up, but still calm.

Gu Beiyue helped Shadow wipe away his tears while consoling, “It’s just a rather serious illness. It’s been a while, don’t worry, nothing big will happen.”

Yan’er pushed away her brother’s hand at those words and cried, “Then why didn’t you tell everyone? Why did you lie to everyone? Sob sob…Grand Tutor, you’re a liar! You tricked everyone!”

Shadow raised his head and choked, “Father, you lied.”

Gu Beiyue didn’t know what to do. But he remained calm and said, “Yan’er, give it another six months. Your imperial mother and your Grandpa Han Chen’s Ten-Year Agreement will be up then. That’s a tough battle with a lot at stake. If your imperial mother loses, she will have to stay in the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds’ boundary to guard the tomb; if she wins, the northern border of Great Qin will be worry-free for at least several decades!”

Although Han Chen had promised Long Feiye to protect the northern border for twenty years, in his, Long Feiye, and Han Yunxi’s view, relying on his protection was ultimately temporary. It was a hard truth that one had to be strong on one’s own. After all, Han Chen often went into seclusion and didn’t take care of the Wolf Sect’s affairs at all, while its eldest young lady was no kind seed!

Half a year earlier, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi took a personal trip to the Ice Sea and Mysterious Continent and inquired into news in the south. Gu Qishao’s frequent trips there had also brought back a lot of news. The battle half a year later would be difficult!

Hearing the Grand Tutor’s words, the three children fell silent and grew confused. They had no idea why this had anything to do with the Ten-Year Agreement. Gu Beiyue gently wiped away Shadow’s tears and said, “Shadow, father’s illness is serious and still doesn’t have a cure. Today father has told you all, so will you all keep it a secret for half a year?”

Shadow’s tears welled up again, even worse than before. Yan’er began to cry soundlessly as well. Even the ever-cool Rui’er couldn’t help sniffling.

After being sick for so many years with no cure in sight, what did that imply?

They were young, but understood perfectly.

Seeing the children’s tears, Gu Beiyue felt a knife cut through his heart. These children should know about him least of all. If he realized Yan’er and Rui’er were coming, he might as well have made a secret trip to the capital city himself. Suppressing his heartache, he said, “Esteemed Empress’s Ten-Year Agreement is very important while the emperor is busy with national affairs daily. Let’s consider this a little secret between all of us, all right? Once six months have passed and the Ten-Year Agreement is over, you can reveal it, all right?”

Hearing this, the children finally understood why Gu Beiyue wanted to conceal the truth. But Qin Min turned away, wanting to cry herself.

Half a year?

Gu Beiyue only has half a year of life left!

After the Ten-Year Agreement was over, the emperor and empress would no longer be able to see Grand Tutor Gu. The man named Gu Beiyue would never exist in this world again!

Over the past two years, they had strove and worked hard. But his prophecy was like a curse on himself, fulfilled one after the other. He even estimated the time so accurately.

Gu Beiyue, you’re lying again! You even lie to children!

But I can’t expose you.

What would be the use if I did?

If the emperor and empress knew of this, what could they do? He can’t even save himself, so who can?

It really was a good excuse not to disturb the Ten-Year Agreement!

Gu Beiyue cradled little Shadow’s hand and pinky-promised him. “After half a year has passed, tell the emperor and esteemed empress in your father’s place about this matter, all right?”

Originally, Qin Min could still stay strong. It had been a long, long time since her eyes were red-rimmed, but hearing this turned them red. That was because he used “in your father’s place”!

Little Shadow had no idea about the implications of that “replacement,” nor that his father wouldn’t be alive in half a year’s time to expose the lie and reveal his secret in person.

Shadow hesitated.

“Father, what is your illness? Can you find a cure in six months’ time? If you can’t get better, will you…what will happen to you?” he asked worriedly.

“It’s a strange disease. Your mother has been looking for solutions the entire time. Don’t worry, if I can’t be cured I can only soak in medicinal baths all day.” Gu Beiyue didn’t give Shadow room to question him, but asked, “Will you promise father?”

“Really?” Shadow asked.

Gu Beiyue gradually broke into a smile. “If you don’t believe it, then forget it.”

Shadow couldn’t withstand his father’s bluff at all. He immediately hooked his finger back. “I believe it!”

After their pinky promise was done, Gu Beiyue gave Rui’er and Yan’er his fingers too. “Your Highness, princess, will you agree to this Half-Year Agreement?”

Since Shadow had already agreed, why wouldn’t they? When they thought of helping the Grand Tutor hide his lie from the emperor and empress, the brother and sister both trembled at the idea. They often hid minor matters, but something this big…

Gu Beiyue seemed to see through their hearts as he said, “Half a year later, if His Majesty metes punishment, the Grand Tutor shall bear it.”

Rui’er and Yan’er exchanged looks before extending their hands. Seeing this, Qin Min felt helpless and pained. But she still had to admire Gu Beiyue’s strategy. If he said it was a minor illness or used another excuse, the children would never believe him. If he said he was seriously ill and had no way to cure himself, the children wouldn’t even have room to suspect him.

“Rui’er, you came out to practice martial arts, right?” Gu Beiyue asked.

“There’s still a few days left,” Rui’er replied honestly.

“Shadow needs to stay and practice martial arts with me. Yan’er, you…” Before Gu Beiyue could finish, Yan’er spoke up.

“I can’t stay. If I do, imperial father’s shadow guards will come looking for me. I…I’ll go with big brother to Clearbreeze Peak.”

If this was any other time, Rui’er would definitely refuse. The girl was not only noisy but ordinary when it came to martial arts talent. Once she spent some time following him to Celestial Mountain to learn swordsmanship but almost annoyed his elders to death. She not only failed to learn the techniques but spoke a lot of nonsense.

Under the circumstances, Rui’er didn’t hesitate to agree. “All right, you go with me!”

Just like that, Qin Min made some snacks for the children. Shadow stayed behind while Rui’er left with Yan’er to Medical City overnight for fear the shadow guards would fail to find them at daybreak. Before they parted, Yan’er thought of Lil Thing and looked for it a bit before discovering it was looking at them from the roof.

“Lil Thing, are you leaving?” she shouted.

Lil Thing seemed to understand her words. It shook its head and wanted to stay.

“Then you stay and keep Grand Tutor company,” Yan’er was about to leave when she turned to remind it, “Grand Tutor is sick, don’t bother him!”

Lil Thing couldn’t understand human speech, but it nodded whenever its little mistress and masters spoke. After sending off Yan’er and Rui’er, Gu Beiyue accompanied Qin Min and Shadow to sleep on the same bed. Qin Min slept on the inside, Shadow in the middle, and Gu Beiyue on the very outside.

Little Shadow was very well-behaved and was afraid to say too much even though he dearly wanted to for fear of tiring out his father. He lay on his back, held his mother and father’s hand, and subconsciously fell asleep.

After he did, Gu Beiyue got up. Lil Thing, who had been standing vigil the entire time, immediately jumped to his shoulders.

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