The clan head, Gu Lingdao sat back heavily on the head seat after hearing the full story about his daughter from Lin Xulian. He can't believe that the daughter he's been searching for decades is already dead. And to think that hateful man was actually an emperor of a country. He can't help but blame himself for being careless and tolerant of his daughter's whims.
He also wants to blame his daughter. But as a father, he cannot find it in his heart to condemn his own flesh and blood. "This young miss, are you saying that my daughter was fooled by that man because of her skills in Gu poison? And her son, my grandson is seeking justice for his mother alone?" Gu Lingdao clarified while closing his eyes to calm himself.
"Yes, clan head Gu." Lin Xulian replied solemnly. Despite all the stories and proof that Lin Xulian presented, the elders still felt suspicious of her. "If what you said is true, then why did that Xing Guang never tried to make contact with our Gu clan?"
"He has a lot of enemies, not only his emperor brother. He also needs to protect his other siblings since they were used as hostages. There are multiple eyes watching his every move and once he tries to make contact with your clan, he would risk not only his life but multiple lives." Lin Xulian explained.
But instead of believing her, their doubt intensified instead. "Gu Ran was not weak. How could a mere emperor deem her useless and be forced to be ordered around?!"
"That is true! If she wants, she can carve a bloody path for her and her son!" Another elder added.
"Stop!" Gu Lingdao reprimanded the elders despite his sad mood and mourning heart. "Then how could you explain the identity seal in the young miss's hands? We've been searching for three decades. And now that we finally have a news about her, you are refusing to accept it?!"
"Clan head, we are only protecting our clan. What if this lady is here to fool us again and take advantage of us and our knowledge?" One of the elder interjected.
"That is right clan head. We cannot tell, maybe this lady here is the one behind Gu Ran's misfortune. And she took the seal from her to take advantage of us?"
"You already said it earlier. My daughter is not weak. Do you think anyone can just take her seal?" Gu Lingdao then faced Lin Xulian. "I will not believe you but I will also not fully doubt you, young miss. I will send someone to Xing Guang to check if he is really a member of Gu clan. If he is, then I will help you for my grandson's sake."
The elders wanted to refute but Gu Lingdao gave them a threatening glare. Seeing this, they can only bow their heads and swallow their resentment. But no one can blame them for being doubtful. Centuries ago before they seek the King of Qiangdu for shelter, their clan were hunted because the enemies claimed that they and their skills are harmful to the public. But they knew that they only wanted to take advantage of them and use their skill to dominate the world. Because of that, they doubt everyone except for the king and their own clan.
Gu Rin immediately stepped forward and kneeled in one leg in front of his father. "Father, let me handle this task about my supposed nephew. I know about him and I want to personally check if he is really one of our own." Gu Lingdao agreed to his son's request and Gu Rin immediately left.
After Gu Rin left, Lin Xulian also stepped forward. "Clan head Gu, about my request. I would like to talk to you alone."
The elders wanted to refute again, but Gu Lingdao could already anticipate their reaction and blocked them. "Are you also going to say I cannot be alone with her? That she might endanger me? Do you also think your clan head is weak?"
"We wouldn't dare, clan head." The elders collectively said with a bow. Gu Lingdao signaled them to leave and they reluctantly obeyed.
Right after the elders left, Gu Lingdao offered Lin Xulian a seat. "You can tell me your condition now."
"I would like to start with a question. Are you aware about what had happened to the Gonglu country's empress?" Lin Xulian started.
Of course Gu Lingdao knows because that empress is their King's long lost relative who was assassinated few months ago. But he decided not to mention it to Lin Xulian. "Yes, I'm aware. It was a big news after all."
Lin Xulian took a deep breath before continuing. "The truth is; my name is not Xu Lian as what Gu Rin probably mentioned. My real name is Lin Xulian. That Gonglu country's deceased empress."
Hearing this, Gu Lingdao's eyes widened and he almost lost his cool. Luckily he was able to control himself and act nonchalant. He needs to calm down and never let his guard down if ever the woman in front of him is just using the deceased empress name.
"Let's say I believe you. Then what do you want from me aside from treating the Gu poison?" Gu Lingdao asked while looking at Lin Xulian with narrowed eyes.
"I know it is hard for you to believe me but I will be completely honest and direct. I had to kill my persona as the empress so that I could leave the palace and find a cure to the Gu poison. This is all because of that Xing Baihe. My peaceful life in the palace was destroyed. And I refuse to let her go. I want to learn the art of using Gu poison to get my revenge. I want to let her get a taste of her own medicine using my own hands." Lin Xulian said oozing with dreadful aura.