Chapter 300: Where to move house? Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Mu Yingdong's main goal this time was to recover Mu Linger. His other reason was to sound out why Han Yunxi was investigating Mu Xin's business. Although he had no idea that Mute Granny had already fallen off a cliff, he was still a shrewd old fox. He could tell that Han Yunxi didn't really have intentions of letting Mute Granny go. He had been waiting for her to bring up Mute Granny the entire time, but instead she asked him to trade in two treasures for one person instead.
If Han Yunxi wasn't going to mention her, then he'd do it himself.
"Qin Wangfei, the agreement was to trade one treasure per person. An upright person should be trustworthy." Han Yunxi must have wanted both treasures because she liked them both very much. As long as she did, it wouldn't matter what Long Feiye wanted. Thus, Mu Yingdong dared to whet her appetite. Leaving aside the entrance token to the Mu Clan's medicine warehouse, there was the Medicine Fan, an item sought after by people all over the world. Tianning's Empress Dowager had suffered from insomnia ever since she was young. 20 years ago, the Head Imperial Physician of the Imperial Physician Courtyard-none other than Gu Beiyue's grandfather-had written a prescription for her condition. But there was only one item on the list: a Medicine Fan. The imperial house of Tianning had offered 100,000 taels to buy the item, but it had never been found.
If not for Mu Linger's sake, Mu Yingdong would never bear to part with this treasure.
When Han Yunxi still didn't speak, Mu Yingdong hastened to add, "Esteemed wangfei, the Mu Clan's entrance token can be used to exchange for Linger, while the Medicine Fan can be traded for Mute Granny."
Han Yunxi laughed. "Mu Clan Head, His Highness Duke of Qin only agreed to see your two treasures. He never promised to trade anyone for them. If you want Mu Linger to go back, then leave these two treasures here. Otherwise, you might as well take those things home."
Mu Yingdong never expected Han Yunxi's attitude to shift so quickly. He couldn't help but ask, "Then what about Mute Granny?"
Hearing this, Han Yunxi was even more convinced that he had nothing to do with that troupe of assassins. "I wouldn't trade Mute Granny for a thousand pieces of gold. It looks like we can't trade with the Mu Clan Head in good faith. In that case, I ask that you please leave," Han Yunxi said coldly.
He was clearly desperate, but he'd been painted as someone without good faith instead. Mu Yingdong was so angry that he almost spat up blood. If he knew things would end up like this, he wouldn't have brought these things here. Right now, the only thing worth rejoicing over was the fact that the granny was an illiterate deaf-mute who wouldn't be able to reveal a thing.
"Fine, then I'll just trade them for Linger. Where is she?" Mu Yingdong finally felt somewhat refreshed. Han Yunxi glanced at Long Feiye next. Actually, it was his call whether they'd release the girl. Long Feiye assumed that Han Yunxi was only fooling around with Mu Yingdong, but he never expected that she wanted to release Mu Linger for real.
He only said mildly, "You've thought it over?"
Han Yunxi immediately nodded her head. Though they'd let Mu Yingdong come so she could ask about Mute Granny, she also wanted to let Mu Linger go. She couldn't help but think that a blunt, outspokenly stubborn personality like hers couldn't harbor a truly vicious heart. Pushing was probably a momentary impulse. Moreover, Mu Linger had suffered enough in solitary confinement for a month. It'd be useless to keep her around since they couldn't really kill her. Why not trade her for some treasures to play with instead?
When Long Feiye saw Han Yunxi nod, he made no further comments. Immediately, he placed an order for Chu Xifeng to bring out Mu Linger. Han Yunxi shot him a grateful look, which he took with quiet coolness. Mu Yingdong witnessed the entire exchange with a bewildered heart. Here was a husband and wife pair who weren't strangers, but who weren't intimate, either. Their looks and aura matched, but there still seemed to be something missing between the two. After all, they'd been married for close to a year. They weren't some pair of newlyweds who'd just formed a bond.
Soon enough, Mu Linger arrived. A month of solitary confinement in darkness had made her skinnier all over and especially wan and sallow. Han Yunxi thought she'd cry at the sight of Mu Yingdong, because Mu Linger had certainly sobbed enough in the presence of Gu Qishao to be a typical crybaby. But she didn't shed a single tear, much less act like a spoiled child. Standing straight, she took large strides to Mu Yingdong's side with an icy expression, looking nothing like a hostage.
By contrast, Mu Yingdong was the anxious one who examined her from head to toe. After making sure she was only skinnier, and not injured, he set his cares at rest. "Girl, didn't you go to Medical City? How did you go missing? His Highness Duke of Qin said you tried to murder Qin Wangfei, is this true?"
Now that he'd gotten her back, Mu Yingdong didn't want to let the matter drop just like that. There had to be some form of explanation. This was the perfect chance for a counterattack, but Mu Linger simply replied, "I got lost and ran into some robbers. It was Qin Wangfei who saved me, but I repaid kindness with enmity by pushing her towards the thieves."
At these words, Mu Yingdong narrowly slapped his daughter right then and there. He might dote on her, but he was still beside himself with rage! How could she speak so boldly when Long Feiye and Han Yunxi were right there? Wasn't she afraid of losing face?
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi were caught by surprise as well. Not only did this girl hide the facts of the Sky Pit, she even admitted that she'd repaid goodness with evil. Leaving aside her terrible attitude, she still had a sense of propriety!
Mu Yingdong wore a face full of doubts as he scolded her on site. "Why would you repay kindness with enmity for no reason at all? How did father usually teach you?"
"I just...didn't like the sight of her!" Mu Linger shot Han Yunxi a glance before turning proudly to leave, completely ignoring Mu Yingdong.
As a wealthy young Miss of an established family, she'd cast aside all her upbringing, bearing, and manners. Even Mu Yingdong couldn't bear to look at the sight. When he saw the expression of loathing on Long Feiye's face, then the suppressed smile on Han Yunxi's, he only felt too embarrassed to talk. In the end, he bid his farewell and left.
Once he was gone, Han Yunxi burst out into laughter. Even though she'd been looked down on, she still felt quite merry. "Mu Linger, this girl! She's actually pretty cute."
A word like that didn't even exist in Long Feiye's dictionary. He glanced coldly at Han Yunxi before cutting to the heart of the matter with a single sentence. "Keep your distance from Gu Qishao. If your lordship sees you mixed up with him again, your lordship will break his legs!"
He should tell that to Gu Qishao. Threatening to break his legs has nothing to do with me. Han Yunxi took the two treasures and was nearly out the door when Long Feiye called after her.
"What is it?" she turned back.
Long Feiye hesitated for a long time before he murmured, "If you have time this afternoon...move back to the Hibiscus Courtyard."
Though his tone was mild, it was still an order filled with his domineering air. After Grand Concubine Yi dedicated herself to Buddhism, Han Yunxi had taken over the reins at the Duke of Qin's estate. She then moved out of the Leisurely Cloud Pavilion in the Hibiscus Courtyard. Back then, she'd argued with him over her choice and even moved in and out a few times.
"Why do I have to move back..." Han Yunxi muttered in a slow, cautious voice. She'd once asked him this very same question.
But Long Feiye only pretended he hadn't heard as he left without glancing back. His retreating form was cold and arrogant, yet somewhat lonely. Only then did Han Yunxi suddenly recall that the Leisurely Cloud Pavilion had long been dismantled in the Hibiscus Courtyard. Where was she supposed to go?
Long Feiye had already left, so she couldn't ask him. Yet by the time she reached the Hibiscus Courtyard, she discovered that the Leisurely Cloud Pavilion had been rebuilt exactly as before.
"They started construction after esteemed wangfei left for Medical City. His Highness was waiting to receive you back." Zhao mama was smiling so broadly that she couldn't close her mouth.
When she'd gone to Medical City? So, Long Feiye hadn't gone to Medical City simply for the sake of the poison grounds? Han Yunxi felt her heart warm, but then Zhao mama asked, "Esteemed wangfei, are we moving the things to His Highness's quarters, or back to Leisurely Cloud Pavilion?" She had long asked the servants in the main hall about His Highness Duke of Qin's exact words.
'If you have time this afternoon, move back to the Hibiscus Courtyard.'
But he'd never told her a specific location within Hibiscus Courtyard. Han Yunxi could admit that Zhao mama's question caused her to hesitate, but she quickly got rid of her stray thoughts and declared, "Since construction's finished on the Leisurely Cloud Pavilion, we'll naturally move back there!"
As she saw it, that was what Long Feiye meant.
"Esteemed wangfei, that might not be His Highness's intentions at all," Zhao mama said meaningfully.
Her esteemed wangfei had been imprisoned because of the crown prince before going on to Medical City. Though she'd been missing from the capital city for months, news traveled there fast. His Highness had shown up in Medical City to resolve her difficulties, then posted bounty posters searching for her all over the continent, before finally embracing his beauty and returning home from Medicine City. Obviously, the two of them had gotten into a disagreement before getting back together. Now that things were well, they should naturally live together.
"That's exactly what his intentions are. Why are you hurrying with the move yet?" Han Yunxi grew agitated, though her fair white face was faintly dusted with pink.
Zhao mama's shrewd old eyes noticed the blush immediately, so she said, "Esteemed wangfei, it's not easy for everyone to move all these things. Why don't you ask for specifics? Just in case we have to move house again."
"Zhao mama, speak any more nonsense and I'll send you back to serve His Highness instead of keeping you here." How could Han Yunxi be ignorant of Zhao mama's hints? Still, all she did was hang her head, though it did nothing to hide her reddened cheeks.
"Esteemed wangfei, please calm your anger! This old servant understands, understands!" Zhao mama's laughter was full of hidden meaning that caused all the other servants at the side to laugh as well.
Han Yunxi was embarrassed to death and wished she could hide in a crack in the ground. Still, she was quite authoritative when she raged, "What are you all hanging around for? Go and work!"
That night, Han Yunxi moved back into the Leisurely Cloud Pavilion. As she stood by the garret window, she looked towards Long Feiye's sleeping quarters like she'd done in the past and felt like an entire lifetime had passed. Only by standing at this window did she feel like she'd returned to the capital city at last.
Just when her thoughts were wandering, the light in Long Feiye's quarters suddenly lit up, indicating that its owner had returned. They had been very low-profile when they came back, so they hadn't startled anyone. Who knows what that fellow was busy with now? Just like in the past, he was always hardly at home. Han Yunxi stood there until his lights went out before going to her study. Although she was tired, she'd been staying up nights ever since she returned to study the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion. The plants they'd brought back from the secret area beneath the poison grounds was a hybrid from various highly corrosive poison plants cultivated by the Poison Sect. Because she noticed the plant had a few orchid buds, she decided to call it a Poison Orchid. As she sat at her workstation studying the plants, Lil Thing kept her company. Sometimes it'd scurry over to take a whiff of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion.
"Do you recognize this? Have you smelled it before?" Han Yunxi asked gently.
Lil Thing loved it when its master spoke with such soft tones. It immediately grabbed onto its master's finger and nuzzled her coquettishly. Han Yunxi stared helplessly at the skies. Privately, she decided not to hope for any answers from Lil Thing.
Gaining the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion means gaining the entire world.
Long Feiye had the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, but couldn't solve its secrets. Maybe a more accurate statement should be 'anyone who masters the secrets of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion will gain the entire world.' As Han Yunxi saw it, anyone who knew the secrets of the poison should be able to control the Poison Sect as well. She kept her head lowered as she diligently paired various poisons together, oblivious to Aunt Ru who was standing outside the window. She was playing with a dagger in her hands, but didn't make a move even after some time had passed.
After all, this was the Duke of Qin's estate, so it wouldn't do for Han Yunxi to die here...