“Poisoned?!” Mu Hongyu was stunned. She tossed her embarrassment aside and stepped forward. “Are you sure? Do you know what poison it is?”
Chu Liuyue covered Liao Zhongshu up with the blanket again. She did not answer Mu Hongyu’s question. Instead, she looked towards Liao Zhongshu. “Has your leg been itchy? Also, does it bleed when you scratch it?”
“Indeed… How did you know?” Liao Zhongshu nodded dazedly. Chu Liuyue just took a glance at my leg when covered by my pants, yet her guesses are spot on!
“It doesn’t matter how I know. More importantly, the poison had spread across your body. It will enter your organs within three days. By then, there really would be nothing I can do.”
Liao Zhongshu became anxious immediately. “S-so serious? But I haven’t even left the room since I got back! How did this happen? Besides, the teachers didn’t say anything either…”
“This type of poison is called ‘Red Blood Gu.’ It’s a rare poison. Once you are poisoned by it, the wounds on your body will fester and be unable to heal. What’s worse is that blood will gather around the wound. It will be itchy and hard to bear. It will rip open, even if you touch it gently. In the end, you will die from chapped skin and blood loss!”
Liao Zhongshu and Mu Hongyu’s faces paled more and more as Chu Liuyue spoke. By the time she was done, the two were pale as ghosts. Especially Liao Zhongshu—who was already pale to begin with; he could barely breathe at the end of her explanation.
“Th-this… I don’t know how… Could it be I…”
He did not finish his sentence, but Chu Liuyue and Mu Hongyu knew what he was worried about. The academy’s teachers did not even recognize such a formidable poison, not to mention treating it!
He probably only had a few days left to live his life!
Mu Hongyu looked at Chu Liuyue worriedly. “Liuyue, is it really that bad? D-do you have a solution? Since you can recognize it, you must have a solution, right?”
Liao Zhongshu looked at her hopefully.
Chu Liuyue pondered for a moment. “I know this poison, but it requires hundreds of herbs to create the antidote. Most of them are rather precious, so it would be tough to find them on such short notice…”
If this were her last life, treating such a poison would not be a problem. However, with her current conditions, it was rather tough! Some things could not even be found in Country Yao Chen.
The light in Liao Zhongshu’s eyes dimmed. He stayed silent for a while before finally saying, “I guess… I can only await my doom…” He laughed bitterly.
Mu Hongyu looked at Chu Liuyue and Liao Zhongshu, her heart aching. She had always been close to Liao Zhongshu, and he did a lot to ensure their survival this time around.
Their relationship was much stronger than that of regular classmates. But she had to watch him die now?
The room sank into silence.
Chu Liuyue asked, “How did you contract the poison?”
Confusion was plastered all over Liao Zhongshu’s face. “I-I don’t know either. I was fine before I went to Wan Ling Mountain. The wound just didn’t seem to heal ever since I returned…”
“So, you contracted it in the academy?”
“I think so… I haven’t even left the room since I returned.” Liao Zhongshu frowned as he spoke, thinking hard. “However, I don’t know where things went wrong. Since I returned, I’ve listened to the teachers’ advice, rested well, and took my medicine. I haven’t touched anything else.”
Chu Liuyue folded her arms across her chest and suddenly asked, “How does Ji Yurong usually treat you?”
“Him? He’s really nice to me. He has been taking care of me for the last few days… You suspect that it’s him?” Liao Zhongshu finally understood what Chu Liuyue meant, but he immediately denied the possibility. “That can’t be! We’ve been staying here together since we both got into the academy. We’ve also gotten along well. Even though we’re not like family, we’re really close! He doesn’t have a reason to target me.”
Mu Hongyu could not help but cut in. “Yeah! Liuyue, I know Ji Yurong too. He’s quite nice, so I don’t think he’s capable of doing something this malicious.
“You’ll never really know what a person is thinking. If it isn’t him, did you poison yourself?” Chu Liuyue was unaffected by the pair’s words. If he were innocent, why did he seem so nervous when he saw me?
Liao Zhongshu and Mu Hongyu did not have an answer since Chu Liuyue’s words made sense…
“Then, what do we know? We can’t just interrogate him, right? Even if he did do it, he’d never admit to it!” Mu Hongyu rubbed her temples. She could feel her head throbbing.
Chu Liuyue looked around and saw an empty bowl next to Liao Zhongshu. She could still smell the faint herbal scent. “Is this your bowl for medicine? Why is it so clean?”
Liao Zhongshu nodded. “Every time I finish drinking my medicine, Yurong will wash the bowl clean immediately. He said that he was worried the strong herbal scent would prevent me from getting proper rest. Hence, he’ll always wash the bowl once I’m done…”
Liao Zhongshu’s voice faded away as he began to look at the bowl strangely. “Could it really be him?”
Initially, he had been really grateful toward Ji Yurong for taking care of him. However, things seemed a little odd now.
I am patient and tolerant, so what is wrong with the smell of medicinal herbs? I’m not even bothered by it, so why was Ji Yurong so particular about it? I even told Ji Yurong that it did not matter several times, but the latter insisted on washing it.
Mu Hongyu jumped up, ran toward the bowl, and examined it carefully. “Liuyue, are you saying that there’s something wrong with the medicine? It’s a pity that the bowl has been scrubbed clean, and there’s no evidence left. How about we examine it the next time Zhongshu takes his medicine?”
Chu Liuyue pulled her lips into a faint smile and shook her head. “He won’t take action any longer. Zhongshu has also consumed sufficient poison. Ji Yurong just has to wait a few days. Besides…” Besides, Ji Yurong should have sensed my wariness. He won’t give me a chance to get to the bottom of it.
Mu Hongyu was in despair. “What should we do then?”
Liao Zhongshu forced a smile onto his face. “Hongyu, don’t think about this. Even if we find something, I think it’ll be too late. My body…”
Chu Liuyue shook her head disapprovingly with a small smile. “The more it’s like this, the more we have to investigate. There is only hope of getting the antidote if we can find the person who poisoned you. Zhongshu, you should rest well. Hongyu and I will investigate.”
After reminding Liao Zhongshu to rest well, Chu Liuyue left with Mu Hongyu.
After they left, Mu Hongyu turned back to take another glance and worriedly said, “Liuyue, how are we going to investigate? Without the antidote, Zhongshu won’t be able to hang on for much longer. Will we be in time?”
Chu Liuyue glanced in a certain direction. “The most important thing now is to stop the spread of the poison in his body.”
Mu Hongyu paused. “Didn’t you say that the antidote is tough to…”
“It’s tough to remove the poison entirely, but it’s not very difficult to suppress it.” As Chu Liuyue spoke, she began walking away.
“Hey… where are you going?”
“Heavenly Pharmacy,” replied Chu Liuyue without looking back.