Chapter 222: Chronic complaint, sixth-rank doctor
Han Yunxi never expected her troubles to come from Crown Prince Long Tianmo.
Long Tianmo's chronic complaint had flared up again!
She was sleeping soundly in the middle of the night when news of the ailment startled her into falling out of bed. After getting her bearings, she asked many questions, but the Eunuch Luo who'd come to get her only answered a third of them. All he would say was that the crown prince's old illness had returned and that the furious emperor demanded she go to the palace. Han Yunxi immediately caught the scent of a conspiracy. Long Tianmo's old illness was none other than fetus in fetu, which differed from other ailments in that it wouldn't recur after a successive surgery. Back then, she'd completely purged her poison from Long Tianmo's body as well, so there shouldn't be any aftereffects.
Han Yunxi knew it wouldn't be so easy to leave the palace once she entered this time. If it was anyone else who was sick, she could claim ignorance and refuse them. After all, she didn't get any official salary from the Imperial Physician Courtyard and had no obligation to treat anyone. But she had been the one to personally overturn Han Congan's diagnosis for Long Tianmo, before curing him herself. There was no choice but to confront the problem. It wasn't easy to simply live peacefully in a corner. Actually, her tranquil days were gone from the day she was betrothed to Long Feiye.
Fine, since trouble had come knocking on her door, she'll go take a look. She'd like to see just what kind of aftereffects Long Tianmo had after being perfectly fine! On the way out the door, Zhao mama quickly stopped her and whispered, "Esteemed wangfei, His Highness hasn't come back tonight yet. Shall we send someone to inform him?"
Han Yunxi hesitated for a bit before rejecting the idea. "No need."
Zhao mama still wanted to persuade her otherwise, but Han Yunxi had already left the gates.
"It's not good to tarry, let's go," Han Yunxi said calmly as she urged Eunuch Luo to set out. Once they arrived at the Eastern Palace, the first person she saw was none other than Imperial Physician Gu Beiyue. When Long Tianmo was ill, Han Yunxi had hidden the truth from everyone in the world except for Gu Beiyue. While she was treating him, he had been her assistant, so of course he knew the illness couldn't possibly have returned. In other words, she'd left no trace for Emperor Tianhui to seize upon.
Despite this, Gu Beiyue's expression was very unwell. He was about to speak up when Emperor Tianhui walked out of the inner chambers. Dignified, serious, and cold, his hawk-like eyes focused on Han Yunxi like a predator targeting its prey. Han Yunxi had seen this look before when she was being threatened to save Long Tianmo last time. It would be a lie to say that she wasn't afraid.
Curing the poison pestis last time had been a lucky fluke. Han Yunxi was very aware that she had nothing to threaten Emperor Tianhui with this time. Even Long Feiye had to watch his step when answering to him. Of course, she wouldn't bend down just because of her fear. After bending forward for a generous bow, she quietly said, "Ten thousand blessings to Your Majesty."
Emperor Tianhui regarded Han Yunxi coldly as he denied her the right to rise with his silence. Back then, he'd wanted to use this woman to humiliate Long Feiye, but never expected her to stir waves after waves that ruined his plans. Han Yunxi's back was extremely sore after Emperor Tianhui stayed mute. She was about to speak up when Gu Beiyue beat her to it.
He softly reminded the emperor, "Your Majesty, the crown prince's situation is serious."
Emperor Tianhui had always trusted Gu Beiyue, but his attitude had changed ever since Gu Beiyue went to the Han Family Clinic to help out. He gave the physician a long stare and said coldly, "Imperial Physician Gu, do you still recall the consequences of Han Congan's misdiagnosis?"
"Your Majesty, whether or not esteemed wangfei misdiagnosed him remains under deliberation. His Highness's condition..." Before he could finish, a fierce, assertive voice cried out from inside the room.
"It is a misdiagnosis. Imperial Physician Gu, you're still from the Imperial Physician Courtyard and yet you can't even determine something like this. If your grandfather was still alive, he'd be filled with bitter hatred!"
Wasn't it a chronic complain that flared up again? Why did it change turn into a misdiagnosis all of a sudden?
Who said so?
Han Yunxi peered towards the direction of the voice, only to see an old man slowly walk out. He looked about 70 years old but seemed energetic and healthy. His hair was as white as crane feathers, his face as ruddy as a child's. There was a long white beard growing from his chin, and he walked with the forceful steps of a tiger. He seemed even more vigorous than a typical youngster. Most old men like this would usually carry the aura of Daoist or celestial being about them, but this particular person emanated nothing but haughty arrogance. If not for the fact that Emperor Tianhui was present in all his imperial might, his pompous air might be even more pronounced.
What kind of person dared to speak so loudly here?
"Director Xi 1, there's still no final conclusion regarding His Highness Crown Prince's illness. You're lacking a bit of a doctor's exacting nature by speaking such words," Gu Beiyue's tone was flat, but filled with indomitable authority.
Han Yunxi was alarmed. Medical City's Medical Academy Director Xi Yubo2, a long time resident of Western Zhou. She never expected him!
Cloud Realm Medical Academy had a few major directors, the youngest of whom was Han Congan. The oldest director was none other than Xi Yubo. Lady Tianxin must have done a lot to help Han Congan earn his position, because Xi Yubo's medical skills were more than enough to fling Han Congan a street behind him. Both of them were directors, but while Han Congan was merely Divine rank, Xi Yubo was a Primogenitor. As a matter of fact, being a director didn't mean anything in terms of one's medical skills. Rather, it was a symbol of one's status. The ranks of the directors, council of elders, vice-council courtyard and four great department heads were all administrative positions that held some measure of governing power within the medical academy.
The true measure of medical ability lay in their individual rankings. There were nine in total which went from lowest to highest in order of Medical Apprentice, Medical Scholar, Medical Adept, Grand Medical Adept, Divine Doctor, Primogenitor Doctor, Sage Doctor, Empyreal Doctor and Sovereign Doctor3.
Gu Beiyue's grandfather was a Primogenitor Doctor. Meanwhile, most of the ten directors from the medical academy today were Divine Doctors. Only two of them were Primogenitors who had created their own school of medical arts and accepted disciples within the medical academy. Xi Yubo was one such man. Although he was only a director, this old man was a sixth-rank doctor who possessed considerable influence in the medical world. No wonder he spoke so confidently, and no wonder Gu Beiyue's expression had looked so terrible. Heavens knows how Emperor Tianhui had managed to invited such a lofty personage here. Still, Han Yunxi couldn't be bothered with all the details. Right now, all she wanted to know was why Xi Yubo said she'd misdiagnosed Long Tianmo!
Though she was still bowing, Han Yunxi's tone wasn't weak at all. She looked straight at Director Xi and warned, "Director Xi, think it over clearly. Planting false evidence against this wangfei is a serious offense!"
The high and mighty Director Li sucked in a cold breath at these words. "What an unbridled, aggressive woman. Come with this old man and I'll let you accept the facts completely!"
Han Yunxi didn't move, but looked towards Emperor Tianhui.
"Rise!" Emperor Tianhui was extremely reluctant to have her stand up.
"Thanks to Your Majesty!" Han Yunxi didn't lose her poise as she grandly rose to follow Director Xi into the room. Emperor Tianhui and Gu Beiyue hastened to follow in her wake.
When she entered, it was to see Long Tianmo lying unconscious on the bed. He was only dressed in a layer of white under robes and his stomach was obviously swollen.
So this was the so-called chronic complaint resurfacing?
Even without a modern-day B-scan, the dissolving effects of her poison and its bloody, expelled liquid remnants were enough to make Han Yunxi swear on her life that Long Tianmo had been afflicted with nothing but fetus in fetu. It was impossible for him to relapse again. Even if she took 10,000 steps back and assumed he had yet another fetus inside him, it couldn't make him stomach swell up again so quickly! Someone must have done something to his stomach!
"Han Yunxi, you kept saying it was a poison tumor last time and that getting rid of the poison would make it completely disappear. Now look, how do you explain this?" Emperor Tianhui said coldly.
Han Yunxi didn't answer, but went forward to check Long Tianmo's pulse. At the same time, she activated her detox system, but it gave her no reaction whatsoever. However...the pulse was exactly the same as last time, a smooth one!
A pregnancy pulse was one type of smooth pulse, so Han Congan had diagnosed it as such. Meanwhile, Han Yunxi had hid the true state of affairs by claiming that poison was to blame. Well, what now? What would Director Xi say? Han Yunxi was in no rush to ask, but inspected Long Tianmo's stomach by pressing down with her hands. The results nearly caused her to draw back in shock! Heavens, the state of his stomach was identical to last time as well! It really seemed like he was pregnant!
After completing her examination, Han Yunxi shot Gu Beiyue a doubtful look. Gu Beiyue's brows were furrowed, his worried look a reminder that this was no simple matter to contend with. It was obvious that someone had tampered with things, but they had no idea about the specifics.
"Director Xi, what's your diagnosis?" Han Yunxi finally asked.
"What, are you admitting that yours was wrong?" Director Xi said disdainfully.
"Even if His Highness Crown Prince's current condition is identical to the past, it doesn't verify a thing. There are plenty of ailments with similar symptoms; I trust that Director Xi is clearer on that than I. It's very possible that the crown prince has contracted a different illness," Han Yunxi refused to yield an inch.
"Heheh, another illness. Then you tell me, what kind of illness is this?" Director Xi refused to let the matter drop.
"Even if I'm not sure, it's definitely a different one than last time," Han Yunxi was firm in her views.
"Of course it's different from last time. Your diagnosis was wrong last time to begin with!" Director Xi rejected her outright and declared, "Listen well, Qin Wangfei. The crown prince is afflicted with ascites 4."
Han Yunxi narrowly avoided a spittake at the words. Actually, this was her first thought when she heard of the crown prince's swollen stomach, but taking his pulse had eliminated the possibility from her mind. Ascites was the professional term in pathology referring to accumulated fluid in the body's peritoneal region that exceeded normal levels. All humans had some amount of fluid present in the peritoneal cavity that worked to lubricate the intestines. Underlying problems caused the amount of fluid to increase. When the quantity of liquid exceeded 200mL, it was called ascites. Ascites wasn't an illness in and of itself, but a clinical symptom of other diseases present within the body
Although Han Yunxi was a doctor of poisons, she'd spent enough years working in a hospital to see all sorts of diseases. She'd even seen children who were all skin and bones with stomachs as swollen as pregnant women. She understood diseases like this one, and she trusted Gu Beiyue to know as well. There was no reason for either of them to miss such a diagnosis on Long Tianmo. His pulse reading was completely incompatible with someone who actually had ascites. Leaving aside the incongruity with his pulse readings, there was no way for ascites to swell up a stomach in such a short time! Hadn't Long Tianmo been overseeing the Spring Hunt just a month earlier? He was perfectly fine then.
"Just by the pulse reading and time of illness alone, this can't be ascites!" Han Yunxi refuted right then and there.
Now Gu Beiyue spoke up as well. "Director Xi, disregarding the current situation, the crown prince was sick for seven years. If it was really ascites, why didn't he grown thinner? How could he have survived for seven years?"
1. Director Xi () - Xi lishi, in which Xi means "imperial/royal seal."
2. Xi Yubo () Yu is "jade," while Bo means "uncle, eldest amongst brothers, earl/count."
3. In Chinese they're written as yitu (Medical Apprentice), yishì (Medical Scholar), yishī (Medical Adept) dayishī (Grand Medical Adept), shenyi (Divine Doctor), yizong (Primogenitor Doctor), yisheng (Sage Doctor), yixian (Empyreal Doctor), and yizun (Sovereign Doctor)
4. ascites () - fushui, also known as abdominal dropsy, occurs when fluid accumulates in the peritoneal cavity.