Chapter 139: Asking for help, I'll play you a round
Although Madame Li wasn't a good person, Han Yunxi still admired her technical prowess. Her poisons weren't something just anyone could treat. Grand Concubine Yi and Murong Wanru must have something missing in their brains. They clearly knew Madame Li's poisoning skills were exceptional, but neglected her mighty self in favor of looking for run of the mill poison doctors?
"It's not even daybreak yet, what could Miss Wanru want me for?" Han Yunxi asked while knowing the answer.
Someone asking for help should at least attempt to play the part properly. Just sending over any old servant to find her without explaining a thing didn't count for anything.
This servant girl named Cui Ping was Murong Wanru's trusted subordinate. Of course she knew what the matter was, but Miss Wanru had only told her to find the person and bring her back. She didn't mention anything else, so it was hard for her to speak out without authorization.
"To reply esteemed wangfei, your servant isn't clear. But Miss Wanru was very anxious, so it must be something important. It's not advisable to delay. A sedan chair is waiting right outside, so let's hurry back," Cui Ping was very smart.
Han Yunxi only laughed. "What kind of important matters could she have? You go back and tell her that I have to handle a pile of urgent business here. It's not possible for me to leave, so I'll come by later."
Hearing this, Cui Ping grew anxious. "Esteemed wangfei, young Miss must have truly pressing matters. We should go back home first."
Of course Miss Wanru didn't have any immediate issues. It was Grand Concubine Yi who was in a state of emergency. As soon as she returned home, she couldn't stop coughing. Approximately ten or so poison doctors were found, but none of them could figure out the poison. Then she found a few imperial physicians, all of whom asserted that her cough came from the poison. It was enough for Grand Concubine Yi to nearly lose her mind and kill someone.
She had always harbored a fear of getting sick. Even a simple cold would drastically alter her mood, much less something as serious as this. All of the poison doctors and imperial physicians were cursed and swore at until they were kneeling on the ground. Even Miss Wanru couldn't escape her wrath. She had no choice but to find ways to call esteemed wangfei back.
"Finefinefine, you go back first. Once I finish the things I need to do here, I'll follow behind. Is that...all right?" Han Yunxi was very polite as she replied.
In the end, Cui Ping was still a servant girl. As soon as she heard this tone of voice, she didn't dare say anymore. All she could do was hurry back. Han Yunxi darted a glance at the skies, seeing that it'd grow light in about an hour. Madame Li said last night that Grand Concubine Yi wouldn't see the light of the next day. Since the poison was located in her throat, she should probably be spitting up blood by now, right?
If Grand Concubine Yi really died, she could properly assume her position as the mistress of the Duke of Qin's estate. Even if it was just a title, she'd be in a stronger position than she was now. But in the end, she still couldn't bring herself to be so ruthless. Besides, even though Grand Concubine Yi was detestable, she wasn't as sinister and vicious as Murong Wanru. At most, her mother-in-law would throw rocks at her body after she fell in a well, while Murong Wanru would take the initiative to form her own schemes. Moreover, Han Yunxi was still a doctor. If she saw someone dying and didn't try to save them, she might as well be a murderer.
She gave a lazy stretch before getting to her feet. After leaving a few tasks with little Chen Xiang, she walked slowly out the door...
At this moment, the Duke of Qin's estate was in complete chaos. Grand Concubine Yi had not only coughed blood, but a large mass of black blood!
"Imperial physicians, imperial physicians! Hurry and summon the imperial physicians! Quick!" Murong Wanru was so frightened that her face had turned white as she shouted in alarm. If Grand Concubine Yi was gone, wouldn't she be driven out of the house? All of the imperial physicians and poison doctors entered the room, frightened by her state. The poison doctors took samples of her blood for examination while everyone waited anxiously. Even the bad-tempered Grand Concubine Yi endured her itchy throat, afraid to make a sound as she stared anxiously.
But in the end, all the poison doctors could do was to verify that the poison existed. They had no idea what kind of poison it could be. In a violent rage, Grand Concubine Yi grabbed the first thing she could get her hands on-a hairpin-and threw it at them. "Good for nothings! You're all useless, all of you scram! Get out!"
Her agitation set off another fit of severe coughing as she spat up a second mouthful of black blood. It was enough to turn her face green with fear. "Is Han Yunxi here yet? Is she?"
Of course she knew that Han Yunxi's skills were much better than these doctors, but she was deathly keen on keeping up face and appearances. How could she condescend to beg Han Yunxi for treatment? Still, even if she didn't speak up, Murong Wanru should know to do it in her place!
This was a matter of life and death!
"They went to look! She's at the Han estate and won't come. I just sent someone else to find her again! How could sister-in-law act this way?" Murong Wanru replied in a rush. She really wasn't reconciled with the idea of begging Han Yunxi in person. She didn't want to give her the chance to do a good deed and expected Grand Concubine Yi to get angry. Then she'd give the order to force Han Yunxi back.
Unexpectedly, Grand Concubine Yi only glared at her and raged, "Isn't that all because of you?! Everything would've been perfectly fine if she was invited home with us last night! Would I be suffering like this then? You better go find her yourself right this instant! And you better have some manners when you ask!"
Grand Concubine Yi knew clearly that Han Yunxi was open to persuasion but not coercion. When that lass turned stubborn, even forcefully bringing her back didn't guarantee that she would treat her. It was almost daybreak already, but she didn't want to wager her life as a joke! Now she felt true regret. Last night the Duke of Qin was there too. If they had all came back together and let Han Yunxi treat her poison, wouldn't everything be all right now?
Murong Wanru was extremely astonished. After all these years, this was the first time that mufei had found fault with her.
"Mufei, I...I didn't know..."
"Enough, you're still not going? You want to drive me to my death?" Grand Concubine Yi harshly shoved her away, scaring Murong Wanru so much that she quickly left without a word.
At the same time Murong Wanru went out the front doors of the estate, Han Yunxi entered from the back. She made a direct beeline for the Peony Courtyard and rushed into Grand Concubine Yi's rooms without bothering to announce herself. "Mufei! Mufei!"
Hearing this voice, Grand Concubine Yi suddenly sat up in her bed, only to see Han Yunxi run over in a hurry.
"Mufei, what time is this already? Your poison still hasn't been treated yet? Why didn't anyone say anything! Really, that Wanru, she sent two people over to find me but both were acting so secretive and mysterious! No matter how I asked, they didn't tell me you were in trouble. Thank goodness Zhao mama told me. Aiya, what was she doing? This is a matter of life and death, so what's there to hide? She's treating you life as a joke!"
Han Yunxi complained as she took Grand Concubine Yi's hand and pretended to take her pulse. Meanwhile, she'd long started up the detox system to do a deep system scan. Madame Li's spur-of-the-moment poison wouldn't escape her technology no matter how potent it was.
Very soon, Han Yunxi had grasped the situation.
After listening to Han Yunxi's "complaints," Grand Concubine Yi's fists clenched together. She was already angry that Murong Wanru hadn't gone to ask for help herself. Who knew that the servants she'd sent hadn't told the truth as it was, either? Han Yunxi was right, this was treating her life as a joke. Why couldn't that lass grasp the seriousness of the situation? It looked like she had spoiled her too much.
Seeing Grand Concubine Yi's heavy sighs, Han Yunxi's eyes flickered slyly. Suddenly, she released her hand and gave out a cry. "This is bad!"
Grand Concubine Yi was so scared that she nearly fell out of her bed. "What happened? Am I beyond hope?"
"Mufei, your poison's reached your heart! There's no more time!" Han Yunxi said worriedly.
Grand Concubine Yi only felt her vision turn black in a sudden wave of dizziness. She abruptly grabbed Han Yunxi's hands. "Yunxi, you have to save me, you have to! Mufei doesn't want to die!"
If Han Yunxi remembered correctly, this was the first time Grand Concubine Yi had called her name in such intimate terms. When a person was facing death, things like pride, face, and resentful grudges were nothing more than clouds floating in the air.
"Mufei, it's been delayed too long! If it was just a bit earlier, even by a tiny bit more, I'd be 100 percent certain that I could treat you. But now...I really can't promise anything," Han Yunxi seemed very much at a loss.
"Then...then what do we do? What?" Grand Concubine Yi was completely losing her wits.
"Mufei, I'll try to use acupuncture needles to suppress the poison and get a doctor to find some medicine right away. I'll definitely do my best. As to whether or not I can make it in time..."
Before Han Yunxi finished, Grand Concubine Yi broke in, too frightened to hear any more. "Hurry, quickly!"
This was a last resort. She didn't want to die!
"Then mufei, lie down right now. I'll start putting in needles immediately," Han Yunxi pretended to worry.
As soon as Grand Concubine Yi was lying on the bed, Han Yunxi took out her needles and carefully stuck them in acupunture points on her heck. Meanwhile, she detailed out a prescription while a poison doctor wrote it down. As she worked against the clock and concentrated wholeheartedly on her task, no one suspected that she was pretending the entire time. Actually, she could suppress the poison just by using acupuncture alone. At the very least, it could buy her three days' worth of time. Still, how couldn't she use this chance to toy around with Murong Wanru a bit?
If she wanted to eliminate Murong Wanru while they were staying under the same roof, then she needed to win over Grand Concubine Yi's heart.
After verifying her prescription, the poison doctor ran off to fetch, boil and prepare the ingredients as fast as possible. Han Yunxi spent much longer finishing up the needles before releasing a breath to sit by the bed. By now, the skies in the east had started to turn a greyish-white like a fish's belly. It would be daybreak very soon. Grand Concubine Yi lay on the bed, her entire body stiff. She was afraid to even move a muscle.
"Mufei, does your throat still itch?" Han Yunxi asked in concern.
"No, not as much. Yunxi, do you think...do you think we'll make it?" Grand Concubine Yi was very nervous.
Han Yunxi intentionally sucked in a light breath. "If I had known earlier, then..." After getting to this point, she quickly changed the topic to console her. "Mufei, Heaven helps the worthy. You'll definitely be all right for sure!"
Any type of comforting words seemed pale and powerless before reality. Grand Concubine Yi's eyes turned red as her mind grew blank. She only hoped that the poison doctor would return quickly with the medicine. She didn't speak any more, but held on tightly to Han Yunxi's hand, as if hoping that Han Yunxi could give her some strength.
Han Yunxi hesitated briefly before extending her other hand to cover both of theirs. "Mufei, set your cares at rest. Just tell me immediately as soon as your throat itches again."
Grand Concubine Yi nodded, bracing her nerves to focus completely on her throat. Time seemed long and weary as they waited. Suddenly, hasty footsteps sounded from outside.
"It's here!" Grand Concubine Yi rejoiced.
Indeed, a poison doctor entered the rooms, personally carrying a bowl of piping hot medicine. "Esteemed imperial concubine, this is the medicine that was made according to esteemed wangfei's prescription."
The medicine was here and her throat hadn't itched a bit. There was still enough time. She had hope! She could be saved!
Grand Concubine Yi was so moved that she sat up by herself. Han Yunxi accepted the bowl and fed her spoonful after spoonful without stopping. When every drop was finished, she exhaled and spoke, extremely moved. "Yunxi, will it be fine now that I've drank the medicine?"
Even the emperor would dread the idea of death, much less an old lady like Grand Concubine Yi.
Han Yunxi saw her fear as she nodded. "Congratulations to mufei, your life won't be in danger anymore. But the medicine will need some time to take effect, so I'll remove the needles from you later."
Grand Concubine Yi nodded as her heart finally settled back down in her chest. She leaned against the headboard and silently expelled a breath. Han Yunxi quietly pulled her hand over to check her pulse. When Grand Concubine Yi calmed down enough to observe Han Yunxi's serious, focused expression, she unconsciously saw her in a new light...
 Cui Ping () - Cui is 'emerald green, kingfisher, jadeite,' Ping is 'duckweed.'