Chapter 233: Staying behind, what business have you tonight?
The table was full of delicacies and even fine wine. Those who didn't know any better might assume Long Feiye was entertaining a guest in his rooms. Han Yunxi's eyes swept over the dishes, noting that many of them were food she'd seen for the first time. Their colors, sights, and scents were all very enticing, but there were at least 20 dishes here. Wasn't it too much for two people to eat?
"Is anyone else coming over? Tang Li?" she asked doubtfully.
"Nobody," Long Feiye really was sparse with his words. Fine, this fellow had enjoyed his high position and lived in comfort since childhood. His food and clothing expenditures were all first-rate, so he couldn't lower his status when he went out. Han Yunxi overlooked the issue and sat down facing him.
She ate as she pleased, asking him questions at the same time. "What other business is there tonight? Will it take long?"
Days had passed with no news about Long Tianmo or herself. Gu Beiyue would be worried, especially when the issue of Long Tianmo's illness required such prudence. After all, Gu Beiyue and her had taken this trip to clear their good names.
Long Feiye lifted his eyes to look over, sweeping his gaze over the meat in her bowl. He seemed somewhat unhappy, but didn't express it, instead choosing to elegantly shift his sleeve as he slowly sipped some wine. He didn't look like someone who had things to do tonight at all.
All he did was answer her with two words. "Eat vegetables."
An anxious Han Yunxi silently sighed in her heart. He had the time to enjoy a good meal and fine wine, but she didn't have time to keep him company. "If it's not anything urgent, I'll go to the medical academy first," she said seriously as she haphazardly ate a few bites. Then she set down her bowl and rose to her feet. Long Feiye's grip suddenly tightened on his wine cup. If not for the sturdy material, it would have shattered long ago. Unfortunately, Han Yunxi didn't notice his hand at all.
"I'm leaving!" she said as she turned to walk away.
Long Feiye stared coldly at her retreating back. He didn't wait a moment later or earlier, but spoke up just as Han Yunxi was preparing to open the door. "Han Yunxi, how much do you know about the medical academy?"
Immediately, Han Yunxi turned back to look at him. This should be the first time Long Feiye brought up the academy with her. Could it be that his business had something to do with that? There had to be something in play if a taciturn fellow like him had spoken up. Was he bringing up Cloud Realm Medical Academy with her because of Lady Tianxin? Otherwise, he had no reason to make conversation. She'd been investigating Lady Tianxin's origins the whole time. She wanted to know why Lady Tianxin had concealed her identity while being pregnant to marry Han Congan. She wanted to know whether Lady Tianxin's difficult labor was a coincidence, or a premeditated attempt on her life. More than any of that, she wanted to know just what kind of saint her real father had been. Both what she knew, and what Han Congan knew, only led to one clue that connected Lady Tianxin with Cloud Realm Medical Academy. It was something that gave Han Congan his title as a director.
This was much more important than seeing Gu Beiyue!
"Not much, what do you want to say?" Han Yunxi walked back and stood in front of Long Feiye. Still, he was as leisurely as a floating cloud or light breeze, not anxious in the least.
"Have you heard of the medical academy's Poison Sect?" Long Feiye asked.
As expected, this fellow didn't speak much, but shocked listeners when he spoke. How could the 'medical academy' and 'Poison Sect' be in cahoots? Surprised, Han Yunxi quickly sat down like an obedient child and asked, "How could they have a Poison Sect?"
Didn't Cloud Realm Medical Academy only have a Medical Sect? Didn't they only teach medical knowledge and train doctors to save patients?
A satisfied curve crept into Long Feiye's lips when he saw Han Yunxi sit down. "Cloud Realm Medical Academy once had two great sects created for the purpose of saving people and doing good deeds, the Medical Sect and the Poison Sect. Later, the Poison Sect was eliminated and became a taboo of the academy. Few people know of its existence."
Han Yunxi found this unthinkable. She'd always heard the saying, 'medicine and poisons are of one family,' but never knew the words came to fruition at the medical academy. "Why was it destroyed?" she asked in a rush.
"Those who were experts at curing people of poisons were naturally experts at poisoning people too," Long Feiye said mildly. Han Yunxi was very familiar with these words, since they were the very ones who condemned her in Emperor Tianhui's eyes. In the end, poison was still something dangerous. Even if you had no intentions of poisoning anyone, others would reject you all the same.
But how could it be so easy to eliminate an entire sect? Because their very nature was a sect, they had to have untouchable authority, influence, and many subdivisions of power. Just like Medical City and Medicine City-they were cities as well as sects, which was why imperial powers and monarchies feared them.
"How was the Poison Sect destroyed?" Han Yunxi was very curious.
It wasn't clear whether Long Feiye didn't know or was just pretending, but he only shook his head. Han Yunxi's curiosity was left hanging without being answered, leaving her annoyed. She smoothed out her lips before asking, "What are you...telling me all this for?"
She'd lied and said that Lady Tianxin had taught her the poison arts. Had this fellow taken it for the truth and investigated the medical academy's Poison Sect?
Faced with Han Yunxi's question, Long Feiye fell silent. Why did he tell her all that? There was seemingly...no motive, besides finding a topic for conversation so she wouldn't leave.
"Just what's going on?" Han Yunxi asked curiously.
Long Feiye avoided her eyes, pausing for a bit before he spoke. "In the forbidden area of the Poison Sect within Cloud Realm Medical Academy, there exists a warehouse of poisonous plants. It's the most complete storehouse in the world, so maybe you'll find some ingredients there to solve the mystery of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion."
This should count as an adequate excuse, right?
Hearing this, Han Yunxi's bright pupils completely dimmed. Perplexing Butterfly Illusion was a poison she kept on her person at all times. It was also the most troublesome poison she'd met to date. Even now, she couldn't tell which part of the liquid was poisonous. After the detox system upgraded, it'd cultivated many new poisons from the poison pond stolen from Medicine City. It had even created antidotes for those poisons. This was a leap forward for the detox system, but none of that was useful for descrambling the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion. That little bottle of poison was just like its name, a perplexing illusion.
Han Yunxi took the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion from her medical pouch and sighed again in her heart. She'd long guessed that this fellow couldn't be nice enough to talk openly with her on Lady Tianxin's affairs. Fine, she should've guessed his motives long before. He might have showed up, but it didn't mean he rescued her without motives in mind. He was here for Medical City's poisons warehouse.
When could things turn more straightforward between her and this man?
Was it because they were so complicated that she always felt like he was a stranger, even though she was right by his side? In a flash, Han Yunxi lost all interest in Medical City and its Poison Sect's secrets. She rose to her feet with a soft smile. "Your Highness, no matter how urgent things are with the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, it'll need to wait until Gu Beiyue and I are cleared of our criminal names. I have to make a trip to the medical academy so I'll be excusing myself now."
Long Feiye didn't expect Han Yunxi to react this way and asked unhappily, "It's the middle of the night, why so urgent?"
Han Yunxi grew amused, her smile more brilliant than before. "Your Highness, of course these matters are urgent. Chenqie needs to discuss the crown prince's illness with Imperial Physician Gu in case his condition's changed. If it has and brings complications to the consultation, how will chenqie go to the poisons warehouse with you under a criminal name?"
Hearing this, Long Feiye's face changed. It was rare to see him lose control and even look worried, but he only kept silent, his expression colder than before. She took his silence as a tacit agreement to her words.
"I'm off!" Han Yunxi easily turned around.
"The medical academy isn't a place where you can casually saunter in," Long Feiye still spoke up in the end.
"Chenqie only needs to say her name to get inside. Your Highness doesn't need to wait for chenqie's return," Han Yunxi didn't turn back. Her meaning was that she'd expose her identity so there was no need to stay at the inn anymore.
"Your lordship already said there's business tonight. You can't go," Long Feiye lowered his voice.
"What business? Please speak, Your Highness," Han Yunxi finally turned back.
What business? What business?
Long Feiye's icy face turned three parts cooler, but he still didn't reply.
"Please speak if there's business, Your Highness," Han Yunxi took a few steps closer, her expression serious. Although she was angry, she still placed careful emphasis on the word 'business.' But Long Feiye only stared at her without saying a word. Was this fellow still trying to fool around with her?
"If it's nothing important, then chenqie..."
But before Han Yunxi could finish, Long Feiye cut her off. "Yes. Tonight, serve me in bed."
Han Yunxi didn't have time to shut her gaping mouth as she stood rooted to the spot. She stared at him tongue-tied, not moving an inch.
Tonight...there's business, tonight...serve him in bed!
Han Yunxi didn't know how long she took to digest his words, but by the time she recovered, Long Feiye was still sitting before her and staring at her with cold eyes. She tried her best to move her mouth into a smile, but couldn't manage no matter how much effort she used. She could only say stiffly, "Your Highness, this joke isn't a bit funny."
"Does your lordship look like he's joking?" Long Feiye said coldly as he stood him. His towering form was still five or six steps away, but Han Yunxi felt it pressing against her all the same.
"Your Highness...certainly knows how to jest," Han Yunxi subconsciously backed up a few steps.
Long Feiye arched his eyebrows and asked, "You're still planning to leave?"
"Your Highness, chenqie's been down on her luck these few days. Unfortunately, it's not convenient to serve you in bed, why don't..." Even Han Yunxi that felt her own excuses were shoddy.
Very quickly, Long Feiye interrupted her. "Then you can keep night watch."
These were words more fitting for a servant or concubine, to guard the bedside or sleep by the door. She was a proper consort, so how could she do such things? Still, Han Yunxi was in no mood to argue. As long as she didn't have to serve him in bed, she was willing to accept anything. Her pounding heart finally slowed as she calmed down. Just what is this man doing? Picking faults with her on purpose? This isn't his style at all!
After a long stretch of silence, the atmosphere grew less awkward and Han Yunxi recovered her spirits. She bolstered her courage and asked in a serious, sincere tone, "Long Feiye, if you really have nothing important then just let me go. I want to see Luo Zuishan with Gu Beiyue."
But Long Feiye's icy countenance didn't change. He only tossed her a single sentence: "Your lordship is tired. Tonight, you can keep watch by the bed."