Chapter 210: Weighty information
There was no way they'd go to the Spring Hunt now. After leaving the matter of the assassination attempt to his retainers, Long Feiye didn't decide to run after Jun Yixie himself. Most likely, it wouldn't be easy to catch him, but he estimated that he wouldn't show up so soon again. Though he managed to miss out on Han Yunxi's super strength narcosis poison, the other dozen or so poisons from her various needles were a challenge to detoxify. If Jun Yixie showed up next time, Han Yunxi mused, would he try to kidnap her again, or kill her directly? It seemed like she had ruined his plans every single time.
Han Yunxi didn't know how to take care of Long Feiye's sword. She could only hold it close to her chest for the entire trip back to the capital. This sword was something that Long Feiye always took along with him. Han Yunxi didn't understand swords, but she knew that swordsmen considered them as important as their own lives. She secretly stroked the scabbard and felt that this blade carried the same aura, aggression, frigidity, nobility and mystery as its owner! As she watched him from a corner with the blade carefully in her arms, she suddenly felt a little closer to him. For the first time, she actually realized this man was sitting right by her side.
Long Feiye had known the truth long ago, but didn't silence Grand Concubine Yi. Would he show his cards to her once they returned? How would Grand Concubine Yi react once she found out Murong Wanru's state? Still, there was something Han Yunxi had to make clear.
"Your Highness, unless there's an exception, Murong Wanru will have a brief duration of consciousness tonight, enough time for a length of incense to burn out."
This was the last time Murong Wanru would be conscious before slipping into an eternal coma. It was akin to the last radiance of the setting sun before its light went out. Long Feiye didn't express his views, but as soon as they arrived at the Duke of Qin's estate, he actually set down a command.
"Esteemed Imperial Concubine and the young Lady were attacked by assassins en route and met with unfortunate ends. Announce their deaths and prepare for their funerals." So speaking, he handed Grand Concubine Yi over to Han Yunxi before preparing to drive the carriage to Marquis Pingbei's estate. Currently, Murong Wanru was still breathing. Han Yunxi didn't know what Long Feiye planned to do, but she was very clear that the girl inside would be a corpse by the time he made it to the estate. Meanwhile, she was supposed to take care of Grand Concubine Yi's death?
Han Yunxi stood rooted to her spot as she felt a chill creep up the back of her head. Though she'd always known this man was ruthless, she didn't expect him to be so cold-blooded. He was determined to thoroughly silence them! She couldn't help but feel fearful in hindsight. Did her own survival come from a miraculous exception? Suddenly, Han Yunxi thought of something and rushed forward to stop the carriage.
"Long Feiye, wait!"
"You can't do it?" Long Feiye asked unhappily.
"There's someone else who knows this secret, let's discuss it inside the estate first!" Han Yunxi was very serious. She faintly recalled Grand Concubine Yi mentioning a mama while she was eavesdropping.
Her reason was enough to stop Long Feiye. He didn't ask her for details immediately, but his eyes briefly flashed with a complicated look. Immediately, he brought Murong Wanru into the estate. All the servants were cleared from the Peony Courtyard before Grand Concubine Yi and Murong Wanru were both set on beds, still unconscious.
"When Esteemed Imperial Concubine first mentioned this fact, Murong Wanru didn't believe her, so she mentioned that there was a mama attending the birth who knew everything. As to who she was and her current state, Esteemed Imperial Concubine didn't have time to say," Han Yunxi said earnestly.
Everyone who knew the truth had been eliminated by Grand Concubine Yi years ago, Long Feiye knew after investigations. But which mama did she mean when she said one had attended the birth? Had she been eliminated? If so, Grand Concubine Yi had no need to bring her up with Murong Wanru. His birth secret was a weighty matter that he was willing to kill for. It wasn't permitted for the situation to escape his control! To find out about this mama, they still had to ask Grand Concubine Yi personally.
"When will she wake up?" Long Feiye asked coldly. Currently, Han Yunxi was examining Grand Concubine Yi's pulse.
"It's not so serious, she was just frightened. She should wake up in a while."
Long Feiye only offered one word: "Wait."
The entire Peony Courtyard had been cleared out. Most likely, Long Feiye had settled on killing those two after he'd gotten his answers. Han Yunxi didn't know how much feelings Long Feiye held for his foster mother, but she did know she herself didn't want to murder her. When faced with a white lotus like Murong Wanru, she could choose not to save her, but she couldn't do the same with Grand Concubine Yi. Even so, Han Yunxi had never been a compassionate, soft-hearted little girl, nor had Grand Concubine Yi truly treated her sincerely. It wasn't lofty reasons like kindness or filial piety that kept her from killing Grand Concubine Yi, but because there was a clear difference between 'not saving' and 'killing outright.' She was a doctor with doctor's principles. After keeping silent for a while, Han Yunxi still spoke up.
"Your Highness, all of Grand Concubine Yi's power and influence right now comes from you. I believe she'll never betray you. These years, you kept her around even after knowing she wasn't your real mother. Why do you have to kill her now?"
"Do you think she'll still be calm and sober once Murong Wanru dies?" Long Feiye rebutted disdainfully.
"Murong Wanru's only in a coma, not dead. Even if we take 10,000 steps back and assume she dies, Grand Concubine Yi still has to stay calm and sober. She's already done so for over 10 years." Han Yunxi firmly believed that Long Feiye held a much higher position in Grand Concubine Yi's heart than Murong Wanru. In other words, things such as power, influence, face, wealth, and rank would always be more important than Murong Wanru. Otherwise, Grand Concubine Yi wouldn't have needed to switch out her baby back then!
"That year, Grand Concubine Yi was willing to part with her own daughter despite earning the late emperor's favor, let alone now. The previous emperor's already passed away, while the harem belongs to someone else," Han Yunxi said. Long Feiye observed Han Yunxi with interest before she finally closed her mouth.
"You understand Grand Concubine Yi very well. You're also very intelligent," Long Feiye appraised her objectively.
"Your Highness, you should understand Grand Concubine Yi and know that she's smarter than me," Han Yunxi had to remind him. Grand Concubine Yi was a shrewd figure. Under such circumstances, it wouldn't be easy for Long Feiye to ask her about information on the mama. Her words made him hesitate.
"Your Highness, Grand Concubine Yi and chenqie both rely wholly on Your Highness. It's just that Grand Concubine Yi needs Murong Wanru to comfort her. If Your Highness trusts chenqie, then keep on pretending that you don't know a thing and leave everything to me. Chenqie guarantees that I'll give Your Highness satisfactory results."
Long Feiye kept sizing Han Yunxi up without answering.
Growing anxious, Han Yunxi said hastily, "Your Highness, for better or worse, you've called her mufei for 20 some years. You should know in your heart how she treats you."
Finally, Long Feiye broke into a cold smile. "Han Yunxi, you certainly keep to your ties of comradeship."
Ties of comradeship?
All right, Han Yunxi couldn't presume to claim such a lofty honor, nor did she want to. She just didn't want to kill Grand Concubine Yi. Her face turned agitated as she looked sincerely towards Long Feiye. His thoughts were unknown, but the sight of Han Yunxi's glittering, earnest eyes gradually increased the curve of his lips. Finally, he agreed.
"All right, your lordship will await your results."
Han Yunxi rejoiced before getting up to personally send Long Feiye out the door. She was about to shut it when Long Feiye turned back to ask, "Han Yunxi, aren't you curious about your lordship's origins?"
Han Yunxi already felt that this fellow didn't seem like Tianning royalty, but his origins had to be impressive. Heaven knows where that old mama had found this guy for Grand Concubine Yi in the past. Long Feiye's question verified Han Yunxi's conjectures, but revealed that he had yet more secrets to tell. She gave a start and immediately expressed her views. "Chenqie doesn't want to know anything she shouldn't!"
The more she knew, the less she'd be able to get free. The more she knew, the more dangerous things would be. The more she knew, the faster she'd die! She wasn't that curious, so couldn't he let her off?
Long Feiye smiled and suddenly drew closer to Han Yunxi until she was pressed against the wall. The peculiar, masculine aura specific to males suddenly surrounded her on all sides, along with a faint fragrance that spoke of aggression and ice. There was no antidote for such a scent with the ability to intoxicate Han Yunxi until her whole body felt stiff and incomparably nervous. Even though they were so close already, Long Feiye kept going until his lips were by her ear to speak. His hot breath lightly brushed against her, making her feel ill at ease. His words only added to her restlessness.
He said, "Han Yunxi, Gu Qishao misunderstood. It's your lordship's mufei that came from the Tang Clan. However, he and your lordship are both curious about Lady Tianxin's...origins."
As soon as he finished speaking, he backed away. Han Yunxi didn't even get a chance to reply before he lightly pushed her into the room and helped her shut the door. Han Yunxi didn't know how long she spaced out for before coming to her senses. There was too much weighty information in Long Feiye's words!
He said, Gu Qishao misunderstood? So he knew about the day Gu Qishao showed up at the Han estate and suspected her identity? He said, 'your lordship's mufei?' Did this guy get used to using that particular term, or was there royal blood in him after all? But which imperial clan did it belong to? If his mufei came from the Tang Clan, weren't their women all forbidden from marrying outsiders? He said, Lady Tianxin's origins? So this guy had been investigating Lady Tianxin the whole time? If so, how much did he know of her birth?
Han Yunxi was thrown into confusion by all the implications. She always assumed that this guy didn't have much to do when he went out, besides situations that needed her poison skills. Unexpectedly, he knew nearly everything about her. Her widened eyeballs spun in their sockets, lost in thought. It was then that movement sounded from behind her as Grand Concubine Yi awoke. Han Yunxi quickly retracted her thoughts and turned to see Grand Concubine Yi lying on her stomach. She was half-awake and staring at her with furrowed brows. Han Yunxi poured a cup of warm water before walking over to help her sit up and bring the rim to her lips.
Gradually, Grand Concubine Yi grew alert. She didn't drink much before pushing aside Han Yunxi's hand and asking, "Han Yunxi, what did you do to Wanru?"
Tsk, tsk, she wasn't easy to deal with after all!
Han Yunxi took out three needles from her sleeve and placed them in Grand Concubine Yi's palm. These were precisely the three that Murong Wanru had used in her attempt to kill Grand Concubine Yi. They were Han Yunxi's acupuncture needles. She didn't usually leave them lying around carelessly, but the one exception came when she was testing Princess Changping for poisons in the palace.
"Esteemed Imperial Concubine, it's your fortune that she didn't manage to frame me," Han Yunxi said coldly.
The carriage had gone on the wrong path before they were attacked by assassins. Everything had been pre-arranged ahead of time. Grand Concubine Yi was very clear on Murong Wanru's plot, but none of that mattered now. The main point was that Han Yunxi had heard and discovered something she shouldn't have. Grand Concubine Yi tossed aside the three needles before her tone turned severe.
"Where is my daughter?"