Chapter 226: Unexpected situation
After putting the bed in order, Gu Qishao saw that Han Yunxi was still eating with relish, so he stopped his questions to sit on the side and watch her eat. In the cool, dusky light, his bewitching red robes and seductive face made him look like some sort of demon, mystical yet regal. Those long and narrow eyes narrowed minutely as if enjoying the sight of prey before him.
The more he looked, the more he liked, and the more satisfied he felt. The corners of his lips kept tugging upwards. Though it was clearly Han Yunxi who had eaten her fill, he was the one who felt complete satisfaction. When Han Yunxi finished eating and looked over, she couldn't resist rolling her eyes. Did her eating really look so attractive? This wasn't the first time Gu Qishao had stared at her until he grew dazed.
"I'm full, so you can leave now," she said mercilessly as she drank some water.
Gu Qishao had always borne her ruthless words without getting angry. He muttered to himself, "Say, Poison lass. If you like someone, will you feel full just from the sight of them?"
Han Yunxi spat out her water. What kind of crappy metaphor was that?! Did he think he was some sort of man-eating fox demon?
"If you don't leave now, the prison guards will catch you on their inspection tour," she reminded him helpfully.
Only then did Gu Qishao gather his wandering thoughts and turned serious. "You haven't answered my questions yet."
It wasn't suitable for Han Yunxi to cause him difficulties now, but she still replied with a self-assured air, "You haven't answered my questions either. What are you planning to do with these questions? How do you understand the Tang Clan so well? Why? Are these things very important to you?"
Last time, an impulsive Gu Qishao had revealed quite a lot at the Han estate. Han Yunxi remembered every single thing. Long Feiye had mentioned that Gu Qishao had misunderstood. Could it be that this fellow was after Long Feiye's secrets? Han Yunxi was sure there had to be a big mystery here. Of course, she wouldn't sell out Long Feiye even if she was behind bars. For her, that was a matter of honesty.
Gu Qishao raised an eyebrow at her before scooting over with a significant grin. "Poison lass, I'll tell you if you join me in the future, how's that?"
"Join you?" Han Yunxi really had no idea what these two words meant.
"Become my woman," Gu Qishao blurted.
Han Yunxi gave a start before she burst out laughing. "This joke isn't funny at all."
Gu Qishao wanted to say more, but Han Yunxi copied his expression, narrowing her eyes as she gave a brilliant, harmless smile. "If you won't leave, I'll shout for help."
Every time they got to the crucial point, she was like this!
Gu Qishao took a deep breath but didn't leave right away. It wasn't that he was easily frightened, but that Han Yunxi really would shout. He'd experienced it first hand multiple times. After leaving the prisons, Gu Qishao stayed on the roof, lying there with his arms beneath his head. Asking her this way was no way to solve the problem. He had to find some other method to try on this woman. Still, everything had to wait until she got out of the prisons. Luo Zuishan would arrive at the capital tonight, so he'd probably make his move tomorrow! Yet he'd hardly thought such things when the sound of pounding drums came from the justice court's gates.
Someone was here to cry grievance at the justice courts? This was rare, so it had to be a big deal.
"It's the middle of the night, what's the rush?" Gu Qishao muttered to himself as he covered his ears and went to sleep on the roof. He had no idea that the person who'd came was the medical academy director he'd invited, sixth-rank Primogenitor Doctor Luo Zuishan!
He was a person past 60 years of age, but lacked the lofty aggression of Director Xi. He had a small, thin build and was rather hunchbacked. His beard was short and white like a goat's, his eyes mousy, and his nose aquiline. At first glance, one could tell he was a meticulous old man who was hard to deal with. Despite his slight frame, he possessed incomparable vigor. He'd rushed to Tianning's capital city without rest from day to night without a hint of fatigue in his serious, severe-looking face. Instead of resting, he'd taken along a written complaint straight to the justice courts and started pounding the drums. Those who didn't know any better might really think he had a massive grievance on hand. But in fact, he was here to cry injustice on behalf of Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue. His written complaint condemned none other than Director Xi, Xi Yubo! His drumbeats shattered the peaceful night of Tianning's capital city and awakened all sorts of people.
"This person, rather interesting!"
Long Feiye gently stroked his chin, seemingly lost in thought. It was rare for him to judge a person thus. He had already been waiting for four days, but never expected Luo Zuishan to show up. Actually, there was no need to invite Luo Zuishan to take the field. His relationship with Xi Yubo meant that he'd come of his own volition as soon as he got wind of the news. Gu Beiyue had been under Long Feiye's watch the whole time, but he hadn't made any moves. Luo Zuishan's longtime residence was a border town in Northern Li Country. He had a crabby disposition and his whereabouts were often secret, but he'd actually managed to arrive in as short as four days. Who told him about what had happened?
This person had to be both intimately familiar with the crown prince's misdiagnosis and the medical academy's directors. Even if the average person knew of Luo Zuishan and Xi Yibo's feud, there was no guarantee that they'd track down Luo Zuishan so soon. Even Long Feiye himself didn't have such skills.
"It has to be a friend of Director Luo's. I'll find Wang Gong to look into it," Tang Li was very proactive. After four days had passed without Han Yunxi leaking the secret, his estimation of her had deepened. Long Feiye's insight wouldn't be wrong. Even if her origins were still unclear, she was still reliable in the end! When Long Feiye nodded, Tang Li happily went on his way. As he saw it, Luo Zuishan's arrival meant that the crisis was just about over. But things were far from being so simple.
The justice courts accepted Luo Zuishan's letter of complaint that very night, but they didn't open the case immediately and had him wait for news. Government offices had dealt with issues using systematic steps and procedures since ancient times. There was plenty of room for manipulation in between. Lou Zuishan went to the justice courts the very next day but was dismissed with one sentence: 'We've received your complaint, but it's still being processed.'
Meanwhile, Director Xi was seizing the time to treat Long Tianning at the palace. Although he had a well-thought plan, it would save much more trouble if he cured the crown prince first before meeting with Luo Zuishan. He wasn't afraid of the Council of Elders investigating, but he did fear Luo Zuishan. He was the type of man to pester and harass him by looking for a bone in a chicken egg-finding faults where there were none. As long as he found a single detail to nitpick, there'd be no end to the case. Thus, he had to hurry and help the crown prince recover consciousness before the case was opened. Then he'd get rid of all the evidence. If there was no egg, how was Luo Zuishan supposed to pick it for bones?
"It's not so easy to track down Luo Zuishan. Who has the skills?"
Emperor Tianhui was also caught off guard. He himself had exerted efforts to find Luo Zuishan in the beginning. Whoever found him within these few days had to be involved with the medical academy somehow. Emperor Tianhui's first suspicion was Long Feiye, followed by a member of the Han Family. Han Congan used to be one of the medical academy's directors, so the Han Family naturally had doors to the academy. But ever since Han Congan lost his reputation, this possibility had turned unlikely. Meanwhile, he'd never heard of Long Feiye having dealings with the medical academy. But after more thought, Emperor Tianhui determined that he was the only man with enough skills to accomplish this feat.
This fellow, when he cast his own lot back then, was he actually...
Emperor Tianhui realized the truth on the sixth day, but by then it was already too late. After Luo Zuishan was dismissed by the justice courts a second time, his irascible temper immediately flared up. He actually took out the command tablet of the Council of Elders and used it to call Xi Yibo's diagnosis into question. No matter if the patient was the crown prince or the Son of Heaven, Xi Yubo was to bring him and all related materials and personnel to the medical academy for a group consultation!
The news left Xi Yubo stunned. "Elders' command tablet? How is this possible?"
He found the entire thing unfathomable. It was already surprising enough to have Luo Zuishan show up so soon, but he'd brought along the elders' command tablet as well! That tablet was a symbol that stood for the Council of Elders, so why did Luo Zuishan have it? How could the Council of Elders believe him so easily and hand over their token?!
Historically speaking, the medical academy had only ever handed out command tablets to two directors. One of them was an Third Elder who'd already joined the Council of Elders, while the other was Gu Beiyue's grandfather. Even if the Council of Elders had trusted Luo Zuishan just that easily, the fact remained that he lived at a border town in Northern Li. For him to rush to Tianning so soon was already extremely quick. How could he have stopped by the medical academy to pick up the tablet? If it was possible, Xi Yubo would definitely suspect Luo Zuishan of faking the command tablet, but Luo Zuishan didn't have the guts for that! No matter how he thought, Xi Yubo couldn't help but feel that something was fishy.
Emperor Tianhui found him in the midst of his astonishment. He'd always been respectful towards Xi Yubo, but this was his first time being rude. "What's wrong with the Council of Elders? They suspect your diagnosis?"
"Your Majesty, there's something fishy about this. It's not so simple to invite out Luo Zuishan." Xi Yubo was still cool headed.
"Zhen wants you to finish treating the crown prince immediately and wrap up this case!" Emperor Tianhui raged.
Xi Yubo could only shake his head. "Your Majesty, it was discussed that this would take 10 days."
A sharp look crept into Emperor Tianhui's eyes as he said coldly, "Then Zhen will shield you for four more days."
But in the end, Xi Yubo still gracefully refused. "Your Majesty, you know what kind of people the Council of Elders are."
Under Tianning's laws, Xi Yubo had no need to comply with Luo Zuishan's wishes, but he had to follow the rules of Cloud Realm Medical Academy. Even a sixth-rank Primogenitor like him dared not tarry with or slight the Council of Elders. Even if he was extremely unwilling, Luo Zuishan's command tablet meant that he had to take the patient and related materials and personnel to rush towards the academy. Otherwise, he could forget about eking out an existence in Cloud Realm Continent's medical community!
Emperor Tianhui finally revealed a sinister expression. "Xi Yubo, do you think you can take away the crown prince and two of Zhen's convicted criminals?"
Xi Yubo knew that Emperor Tianhui wouldn't agree, but at this point all he could do was brace himself to stand his ground. Moreover, he still had faith in his medical skills.
"Your Majesty, I once guaranteed that I'd be the only person who could cure the crown prince's illness. Even the Council of Elders won't be able to call me into question. All they've done so far is to ask for a consultation, so...why should we scramble to make a fuss?"
Emperor Tianhui looked at him coldly without speaking.
Xi Yubo kept speaking. "If Your Majesty won't permit me to take His Highness Crown Prince away, then I can only use the excuse of an uncooperative patient to refuse the consultation. However, once I do that, my diagnosis will be invalidated by the medical community."
If Xi Yubo's diagnosis became invalid, then Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue couldn't be convicted of any crimes! Finally, Emperor Tianhui realize how difficult it'd be to move forward...