Chapter 290: Fine, I'll wait until he comes
Wang Ruochen's words were easy and light, but how simple was it to take the gold card out of Lil Thing's mouth? Everyone could tell that he was simply saying pleasant words to appease the ice beauty. Moreover, even if he got Lil Thing's gold card, there was no telling whether he could get the owner to come and apologize to the girl! Technically speaking, the Medical Materials Association should be blamed for not looking after their guards better.
Naturally, the icy beauty in question knew that Wang Ruochen was just trying to coax her into a better mood. He couldn't actually do anything about the situation. But she really was too angry today. When she saw Wang Ruochen acting like a lecherous scum of the literati, she felt even worse and decided to make this matter her sticking point. She mentally calculated her free time before saying coldly, "Fine then, go take it and have a look!"
Wang Ruochen snapped shut the fan in his fans and ordered, "Come, men, capture it together!"
He was in this for real? Chu Qingge backed off to one side, arms crossed to watch. Although she was confident of catching the little animal, she didn't plan to lift a finger and help. Lil Thing was still sitting on the head of the first guard as it looked disdainfully down at the crowd. No matter what they were planning to do next, it wasn't afraid! A few guards had just gotten a taste of Lil Thing's formidable skills, but they still went to catch it at Wang Ruochen's orders. Every servant at the Medical Materials Association knew of Third Young Master Wang's personality. He was most skilled at putting on airs and pretending, so that they were forced to act along even if the didn't want to.
When Lil Thing saw the guards rushing over again, it simply jumped up high and leaped towards Chu Qingge. Stupid humans. Today, this squirrel grandpa will have a good time fooling around with you all!
No one expected Lil Thing to target Chu Qingge. In an instant, none of the guards dared to move. Wang Ruochen was very anxious, but he didn't dare to come forward either. Chu Qingge narrowly moved out of the way before Lil Thing could scratch her again.
"Little beast, I don't care who your master is. You're definitely dying today!" So speaking, Chu Qingge retrieved the bow on her back and aimed an arrow at Lil Thing, who immediately grew guarded after sensing her killing intent. It took, exposed its own killing intent as it bared its two front teeth at Chu Qingge. The human versus squirrel faceoff seemed on the verge of breaking out at any moment. The tightly packed crowd around the pair had only grown, attracted by the commotion. But right at this moment, a gentle voice spoke up from the crowd.
"Please hold, Miss Chu."
The owner of the voice was a man dressed in white robes. He had an excellent likeness to Wang Ruochen, but exuded a far grander air. One might say he was pure enough to transcend worldly cares and gentle enough to resemble jade. This was none other than the Wang Clan's fourth young master, Wang Ruochen's own little brother. He was the only person in Medicine City who could match Mu Linger's skill in pharmacy, Wang Shuchen.1 In the Medical Materials Association, he was the Manager of the Right in charge of the storehouse for raw materials. Although he was a low-key figure who rarely revealed himself, he was the most well-known of all the Wang Clan sons. Supposedly, he had a long line of matchmakers proposing marriage that could stretch from the Wang estate doors all to way to Medicine City's front gates.
Chu Qingge recognized Wang Shuchen as well, but she wasn't planning to give him any face. "What should I hold for? You think you can catch it?"
Wang Shuchen walked forward from the crowd, every inch the modest and graceful gentleman. "Why does Miss Chu need to wrangle with a mere shu?"
How do you curse someone without using swear words? This was it!
Chu Qingge was so furious that her face turned green. She shot an arrow at Lil Thing without warning. Fortunately, it had been on high alert and immediately dodged the weapon. Its speed was so fast that nobody saw it clearly until it reappeared on Wang Shuchen's shoulder. Of all the people here today, only Wang Shuchen gave Lil Thing a good impression.
"Move aside! Or else accept responsibility for your own death!" Chu Qingge nocked another arrow. At this, Wang Ruochen grew worried, but Wang Shuchen didn't take it to heart at all. He carefully tilted his head to look at Lil Thing and smiled. Lil Thing happened to look up at that moment and see his expression. So gentle and warm!
Although this man wasn't as gentle as his favorite white-robed gentleman, he was still as warm as a winter sun. It made one reluctant to peel their eyes away. Lil Thing could tell with his 200 some years of living that this person had to be a good man. It immediately used its head to nuzzle against Wang Shuchen's shoulders, expressing its goodwill. At this, Wang Shuchen grew surprised. This little squirrel really was too shrewd, it actually knew he would protect it.
If not for the presence of the golden card, everyone would've assumed that this was Wang Shuchen's squirrel instead. Chu Qingge held onto her loaded bow but didn't move. After all, the man standing before her was someone from Medicine City's Wang Clan. Even the imperial clan of Western Zhou had to give them some face, much less her Chu Clan. In the end, she still couldn't cause trouble between their families because of a private grudge.
Angrily she asked, "Wang Shuchen, your guards were the ones that took my silver drafts. What, does the Medical Materials Association have such untrustworthy subordinates?"
Wang Shuchen knew that the guards were to blame, but the best way to solve the problem was to call on the owner of the squirrel instead. Seeing it act so friendly to him, he carefully reached out a hand and motioned that he wanted the gold card. As it turned out, the little squirrel didn't deny him. Any person that Lil Thing recognized as a good guy had to be good. There were never any exceptions. It figured that this man dressed in white had to be taking over matters on its behalf. Thus, it happily gave up the gold card in its mouth.
Now the crowd was marveling at the sight. Someone even asked, "Fourth Young Master, could you have raised this squirrel?"
Wang Shuchen shook his head as he examined the card. Cloud Realm Continent's ubiquteious gold card all contained identification marks unique to their owners. Such symbols stood for the owner's identity and status, and were especially obvious on cards with no spending limits like this one. Wang Shuchen looked at the card carefully before he lifted his head in shock.
Seeing this, Wang Ruochen hastened to ask, "Whose is it?"
The crowd looked over as well. Chu Qingge waited with interest. In any case, she wasn't in the wrong-so she'd chase this matter to the death no matter who owned the card. Wang Shuchen didn't speak, but simply handed the card over to Wang Ruochen, who was even more familiar with the various symbols. He'd barely taken the card when he exclaimed, "Tianning's Duke of Qin!"
Tianning's Duke of Qin? The gold card belonged to Tianning's Duke of Qin, so this squirrel was his pet?
Silence fell upon the crowd as everyone exchanged glances. They quietly rejoiced that they weren't the ones involved in this mess. It wasn't just anyone who could afford to provoke the Duke of Qin. Chu Qingge was seized with panic, unable to believe her ears. She finally asked again, "Wang Ruochen, who did you say it belonged to just then?"
Wang Ruochen's expression was complicated as he recited word for word, "Long Feiye!"
Chu Qingge heard crystal clear. She stood rooted to the spot in shock, unable to make a sound. Wang Ruochen quickly returned the gold card to Wang Shuchen. If the card had belonged to anyone else, he might've taken the chance to boast of their heroics. But since it was Long Feiye, he could only resentfully give up the chance. Long Feiye was unreasonable and hard to deal with. Moreover, the man held a personal friendship with his father and the Wang Clan. The best thing to do now was to keep the little squirrel in a safe place, store away the gold card, and quickly contact Long Feiye. If the squirrel could run all the way here, Long Feiye should be closeby.
Lil Thing watched as the gold card returned to Wang Shuchen's hands, then at the deep expressions on everyone's faces. It was confused-had something big happened?
Wang Shuchen couldn't be bothered with Chu Qingge anymore. He was about to turn and leave with the squirrel when she called him back.
Her voice was cold. "I've already bought this squirrel! Even if it's Long Feiye's, I still want it!"
Many people sucked in a cold breath at her words. This girl was so bold!
"Miss Chu, the fault of this incident lies with our Medical Materials Association. I am willing to repay you ten times the cost in damages, may you forgive me," Wang Shuchen said seriously.
"Indeed, it's your Medical Materials Association's fault. But no matter what, the only thing I want is that squirrel." Chu Qingge just wouldn't let things drop.
"But His Highness Duke of Qin..." Before Wang Shuchen could finish, Chu Qingge cut him off.
"It's up to you how you'll explain things to the Duke of Qin. I don't care because I simply bought something from your guards. I don't think your Wang Clan guards are the type to take advantage of a girl like me, right?"
Wang Shuchen felt a headache coming from dealing with such an unreasonable, troublesome person. Western Zhou's Chu Clan stood for the military strength of Western Zhou. Aside from its imperial clan, the Chu Clan was the most respected family in their kingdom. Although they couldn't be compared to the Duke of Qin, they weren't people they could afford to offend. With Tianning's Duke of Qin on one side, and Western Zhou's Chu Clan on the other, Wang Shuchen could only look helplessly at Wang Ruochen, who had no ideas either. He managed to blurt out, "How about this? Miss Chu can take a seat inside to wait. If there's any words to say, we can discuss it after we find the Duke of Qin."
As it turned out, Chu Qingge agreed in one breath. "Fine, I'll wait until he comes." Her tone of voice made it sound like she and Long Feiye were old friends. In fact, Chu Qingge had been waiting to say those very words. She didn't care what the excuse was if she could have a chance to talk with that man. This was a chance she wouldn't give up.
Perhaps only the Duke of Qin could take care of Chu Qingge's stance. Wang Shuchen returned the gold card to Lil Thing and brought him along to the Association's offices. Lil Thing saw Chu Qingge follow them in and felt even more bewildered. Just what was going on? But very soon, it forgot about all of that, because it saw all sorts of precious medicinal ingredients once they entered the building.
Since it couldn't steal these things to eat, it might as well buy them instead!
Lil Thing threw the gold card at Wang Shuchen before scurrying off to a cupboard of ingredients on the side. After wandering about for half the day, it really was very hungry. It picked a few of the most precious ingredients in the cupboard and started eating them with gusto. As it saw it, it was better to eat its fill and go back quickly.
But once it started, it couldn't stop.
Wang Shuchen could tell at a glance that Lil Thing had picked the rarest ingredients to eat for its meal. He really couldn't fathom why this little squirrel was so miraculous. If its owner wasn't Long Feiye, he would've wanted to buy the squirrel for himself.
After settling Chu Qingge in a sitting room, Wang Shuchen immediately dispatched someone to contact Long Feiye...
By now it was already late night.
Han Yunxi had planned to take a small nap, but she found herself unable to fall asleep. She stood at the windows to watch the people surrounding the bounty posters gradually trickle away, before staring at its painting from far away. She wondered who had drawn this painting to make it so lifelike and similar to herself. In the middle of her thoughts, Gu Qishao's voice spoke up.
"Poison lass, I'm back!"
Han Yunxi turned to see Gu Qishao come in, a little dusty from his travels. What had he done in the space of just four hours?
Actually, Gu Qishao hadn't done much at all beyond buying off some people to spread false rumors. They were to say that Han Yunxi was in the City of Daughters. Then he spent a large sum of silver to employ a bunch of assassins from Carefree City to lie in ambush at the City of Daughters. Once those two tasks were finished, he had gone back in an excellent mood.
"Poison lass, let's go. To the Mu estate!"
Han Yunxi's doubts only grew when she saw Gu Qishao smiling like a flower. Still, she didn't feel like asking him for details when her main interest lay in the Mu family. The two of them quickly left the inn, completely unaware...that Long Feiye was already on his way to Medicine City.
1. Wang Shuchen () - Wang is a surname that means "kingly, ruler," shu is "book, calligraphy, script," while chen can be "celestial bodies, time, day."