Chapter 388: Anyone can make mistakes, forgive them when you can
Han Yunxi was still puzzling out Long Feiye's sudden concern over Gu Beiyue when the latter suddenly asked, "Does Gu Beiyue have a hometown?"
Han Yunxi shook her head. "I'm not sure." She always thought that she knew Gu Beiyue rather well, but when she really thought about it, she didn't seem to know much about him at all. She only knew that Gu Beiyue's grandfather was Tianning Country's previous head imperial physician as well as one of the medical academy's directors. He also had a considerable reputation in Medical City itself. When he went to Tianning to accept the post of head imperial physician, he brought Gu Beiyue with him. After he passed away, Gu Beiyue inherited his grandfather's legacy and became the youngest head imperial physician in Tianning Country's history.
"Does he still have family in his hometown?" Long Feiye asked.
Han Yunxi shook her head again. "I've never heard him mention his parents before. I don't know where his hometown is, either."
"Does he have brothers or sisters?" Long Feiye asked next.
Han Yunxi still didn't know, but she shot Long Feiye a suspicious look. "Your Highness, why are you suddenly asking about these things?"
"The emperor took a leave from court matters for a few days. Originally, I thought Gu Beiyue would be the one to treat him," Long Feiye explained simply. His reasoning was sound, but the intelligent Han Yunxi still caught whiffs of a plot behind the scenes. She not only smelled 'suspicion,' but 'hostility' as well. If Long Feiye was still jealous because of what happened with Gu Beiyue, Han Yunxi wouldn't know whether to cry or laugh. But if Long Feiye was simply suspicious of Gu Beiyue himself, then that was something worth deeper thought.
"Lil Thing is still with him. He couldn't have kidnapped Lil Thing and ran off, right?" Han Yunxi teased.
"You gave the poison beast to him?" Long Feiye was astonished.
If Lil Thing were here to see Long Feiye's current expression, it'd probably cry. When it was around, Long Feiye tossed him out the window everyday. Now that it was gone, His Highness Duke of Qin seemed unhappy. Cheep, cheep, cheep, it's really hard to please this man!
"Your Highness, Imperial Physician Gu is still a trustworthy sort," Han Yunxi half joked as she defended Gu Beiyue.
Long Feiye didn't comment, but instead he intoned, "Take off the gauze." Under Han Yunxi's meticulous care, Long Feiye's injury had all but fully healed. Han Yunxi didn't comment, but took out one of her tools and some antiseptic and prepared to cut away the gauze. Suddenly, Long Feiye remarked, "Your lordship expected this injury to need at least two months before it recovered. Gu Beiyue isn't the head imperial physician for nothing."
"That's the Imperial Physician Courtyard's fortune." Han Yunxi looked calm, but she was actually feeling a bit flustered. She assumed that Long Feiye didn't know enough medical knowledge to suspect too much, but in the end, this sort of detail hadn't escaped his eye. Typically speaking, a wound like his would need months to recover, but now it was just about healed after only one month. Moreover, Long Feiye had went against multiple warnings throughout the month and used his arms and hands freely. Though he had a good body to begin with and healed quickly, and though the medicine in her hands was superb for staunching blood flow and encouraging muscle growth, the key point lay in the fact that Gu Beiyue had done most of the treatment for Long Feiye!
Gu Beiyue had said that Long Feiye could turn into a vegetable if he never woke up the first night, but reality proved that he woke up a few days later. He also said that Long Feiye's wound needed new dressings every day for a month, and to not move his arms and hands about so freely to prevent serious consequences. But Long Feiye had exercised his limbs frequently without any ill effects. If the doctor was anyone but Gu Beiyue, they could assume his previous words were all hogwash, but that wasn't the case! Either Long Feiye's recovery rate was too good, or Gu Beiyue's medical skills were too legendary. As things stood, only the latter seemed like a possibility. In that case, Gu Beiyue had been hiding his true skills on purpose.
Han Yunxi quickly recovered and resumed her work, cutting apart the gauze and unwinding each layer. Even though the wound had already healed over, she was still very careful in cause she hurt Long Feiye.
"Should your lordship prepare a generous gift and deliver it to Imperial Physician Gu's hometown as thanks for saving my life?" Long Feiye suddenly spoke again.
Now Han Yunxi lost her calm. It had always been other people who gave Long Feiye gifts, not the other way other (if she didn't count her bracelet). If the Duke of Qin gave a present to Gu Beiyue, it was less 'giving a gift' and more like 'bestowing a reward.' There would have to be a proper sequence of steps to follow. Once it got bogged down in trivial details, they'd have to ask the Imperial Physician Courtyard for details on Gu Beiyue's hometown, then find Gu Beiyue himself. If they didn't track him down and failed to deliver the gift, that wouldn't be too much of an issue. But falsifying a sick leave to the emperor would bring big trouble!
Long Feiye, that sly man. He's trying to probe Gu Beiyue on purpose!
"Your Highness, how could a simple gift pay back a lifesaving debt?" Han Yunxi said, causing Long Feiye to arch an eyebrow. She hastened to add, "Gu Beiyue is an imperial physician, so saving lives is part of his responsibility. There's no such debt of gratitude to speak of. The fact that he didn't harm Your Highness with his treatment is already a supremely thankful affair. As chenqie sees it, we can forget about things like generous gifts in return."
Han Yunxi's words were full of courtly jargon. Beautiful as they were, her true meaning was: Long Feiye, ah, Long Feiye. Gu Beiyue might be suspicious, but he didn't kill you or nurse you to death while your life was in danger. At the very least, he's not your enemy, so you should show mercy and spare him!
Long Feiye looked at Han Yunxi for a long time before he finally spoke. "You haven't grown any taller, but your mouth is certainly speaking longer."
"Your Highness praises wrongly," Not daring to look at him, Han Yunxi kept her head down and pretended to wholly focus on Long Feiye's injury. Just like that, Long Feiye gave up on the gift idea. As to whether or not he continued to investigate Gu Beiyue in secret, that was something only he knew. In the ensuing silence, Long Feiye relaxed completely and shut his eyes. Very quickly, Han Yunxi gathered her concentration to focus on treating his wound for real. No matter who it was, they couldn't disturb her dedication when it came to things related to Long Feiye. Both inside and outside their room fell into stillness besides the chill winter wind that blew throughout the night.
The white-robed man was standing right outside the windows, his lips drawn up into a soft smile. It was the sort of expression that seemed unmoved by any thing or person, a reflection of his deep inner peace. By now, Han Yunxi had completely exposed Long Feiye's wound, but he wasn't interested in that at all. Instead, he turned and vanished soundlessly into the air.
Thanks to the month-long bandages, the skin surrounding Long Feiye's injury was paler than the rest of his chest. It was also specked with multiple, greenish-black marks where traces of medicine remained. A scar about one inch long stood out in the space next to his heart, looking rather savage against the white skin. It would exist as a reminder to its owner of the wound. Han Yunxi saw the scar and recalled everything that had happened in the Hidden Pavilion. Then she glanced at Long Feiye's cold, handsome face and felt her heart flutter.
Long Feiye, thank goodness... Thank goodness you still exist in this world.
After sensing no movement for awhile, Long Feiye opened his eyes. "What's wrong?"
"N-nothing, I'm just airing out the wound a bit," Han Yunxi explained as she cleaned up the traces of medicine on his chest and sterilized the area again. Then she fixed everything up once again. Long Feiye hadn't put on his clothes yet when Chu Xifeng rushed inside.
"Your Highness, Your Highness!" he was holding a secret missive in one hand and seemed to have some emergency news. But Long Feiye refused to get anxious with him. He didn't say a word, but waved a hand to indicate he should withdraw for now. Chu Xifeng saw the scene on the bed and knew that esteemed wangfei was treating his master's wounds again, but he still gave two meaningful coughs before backing out of the door. It only made Han Yunxi suddenly feel like she had been caught doing something sneaky.
Long Feiye was quite self-possessed, and said lazily, "Help me with my clothes." Then he got off the bed and raised his arms level with his shoulders.
His wound's already healed, but he still wants people to wait on him? Despite that, Han Yunxi not only didn't mind, but was secretly happy to oblige. She didn't laugh out loud, but her smile was plastered all over her face. She took Long Feiye's clean, pure-white inner robes and his wide-sleeves, purple outer robes, then dressed him up in both. Although she hadn't had many chances to dress him this month, she'd done it enough times for this to become a habit. Dressing him, adjusting his collar and sleeves, tying his waist band and adding on his jade pendant were all done in the space of a few movements. Would people look down on her if she said her second best skill after poisons was helping this fellow get dressed? But Han Yunxi was happy and perfectly willing to do so! Who cares what people said if she was self-satisfied. She didn't think she was a tomboy or a delicate little girl, but just herself-Han Yunxi!
After that was done, Han Yunxi feigned the servile bow of a servant girl and asked respectfully, "Your Highness, shall we call for Guard Chu now?"
Long Feiye gave a start. But instead of saying anything, he brushed his fingers against her fringe and walked out of the room himself. Han Yunxi adored what he just did and brushed her own fringe a few times, straightening out the strands of hair before she followed him out.
"Your Highness, good news from the capital. Qian Rong and the storehouse movers can all testify that we bought our grain from the imperial uncle's estate," Chu Xifeng reported. While all of Tianning was praising Long Feiye for his great achievements, they were also speculating on the origins of his grain at the same time. Naturally, he had to give them an explanation. Of course, it wouldn't come out of his own mouth, but from the imperial uncle, instead.
"Is there anything Official Yu hasn't told us yet?" Long Feiye asked.
"Words of the deceased," Han Yunxi replied. Chu Xifeng almost laughed out loud. Just yesterday he'd gone to the prisons of the senior provincial official's estate to check on Official Yu. As the vice president of the Ministry of Revenue, Official Yu was only inferior to the Minister of Revenue in his department. He had both money and power and was famously hard to deal with. He had no idea how esteemed wangfei had tormented the man, but it'd left him utterly docile. He even greeted a guard like him with the utmost respect when he visited, and answered all his questions.
More miraculous than that was the fact that Official Yu didn't have a single injury on his body. Nobody could tell that he'd been tortured to extort out a confession.