"Approve or deny? Qin Wangfei, are you implying you have a way to treat the crown prince?" Emperor Tianhui asked earnestly.
With the crown prince's illness, a simple B-mode ultrasound in the modern world would reveal the cause, followed by a standard stomach surgery. But in ancient times, that would be a bit difficult. Even so, Han Yunxi fearlessly nodded her head. Naturally, she had other methods available.
"What kind of treatment?" Long Tianmo asked in a hurry, his words revealing his trust in Han Yunxi.
"I'll create an antidote to the malignant tumor to dissolve it as poisonous blood, then make a cut on the stomach to draw out the remnants of poison with acupuncture needles," Han Yunxi replied honestly.
If she tried to cut directly into the crown prince's stomach to remove the object, it'd have to be a very deep large and deep incision. Without the proper tools, she was unwilling to take such a risk. But if she used medicine to dissolve the internal poison before expelling it from his body, then it was extremely similar to what she did with young General Mu Qingwu. As long as there wasn't too much blood lost, the risks of such a procedure were well within her control.
Han Congan spoke up first. "Then you still can't prove that the crown prince has a malignant tumor inside his stomach."
"When the tumor dissolves into poisonous blood, Divine Doctor Han can examine the blood for toxins," Han Yunxi curved her lips into a mocking smile, placing extra emphasis on 'Divine Doctor Han.'
Han Congan's face turned red, then white with hate, but he couldn't say a word.
"So the stomach has to be cut open," the empress hesitated.
"This...isn't appropriate, is it?" the empress dowager was irresolute as well. Her face looked anxious-genuinely worried-because the crown prince was her beloved eldest grandson.
"When chenqie treated the young general's poison, I also used a knife on his stomach. The empress dowager even mistook my intentions then. Esteemed empress dowager, if you don't believe chenqie, you can summon the young general for a look. There should still be a scar on his stomach from the incision," Han Yunxi's voice was very calm.
The empress dowager lowered her eyes as they flashed with rage. This blasted girl, she still remembers something like that, it's clearly a taunt. She grew silent. With her case successfully presented, Han Yunxi tossed the hot potato issue at Emperor Tianhui for him to decide.
"Your majesty, Yunxi has explained everything. Please decide on whether or not to proceed with treatment."
Emperor Tianhui traded glances with the bedridden Long Tianmo between the gauzy curtains, neither of them speaking a word. Han Yunxi was intelligent enough to come up with a completely different diagnosis from Han Congan. If Emperor Tianhui believed her, he'd let her treat him. If not, then he still couldn't make things difficult for her case. In such a situation, even Han Congan didn't dare to speak up. After all, he'd spent so many unsuccessful years trying to treat the illness. Speaking anymore would be like seeking his own death.
In an instant, the room fell into silence.
Finally, Emperor Tianhui turned to look towards Long Feiye. "Duke of Qin, what do you think?"
Han Yunxi didn't expect the emperor to ask Long Feiye. Yet he was as calm as ever as if expecting this from the start. His manner was indifferent and hard to read.
"This is a weighty matter, so imperial brother should naturally make the decision."
A few simple words had tossed the affair back to Emperor Tianhui. Of course, the emperor was no oil-saving lamp and continued to ask, "Does the Duke of Qin trust Qin Wangfei?"
Such a question forced Long Feiye to answer directly. Han Yunxi's heart was puzzled, thinking that something wasn't quite right. It was widely rumored that Emperor Tianhui and the Duke of Qin were close brothers with each other. The Duke of Qin was very authoritative, but Emperor Tianhui yielded to him as a matter of courtesy. But from what she saw now, the emperor and the duke weren't close at all. Rather, both moved very subtly against each other!
If Long Feiye answered that he trusted her, then wouldn't he be punished if Han Yunxi failed? And if he answered that he didn't, her exploits would come to an end. Now everyone was looking towards Long Feiye, who had personally gone to General Mu's residence to rescue Han Yunxi. This time, would he speak up again?
Why did he show up in person at the general's house and give Changping and the justice court official a lesson? Why did help Han Yunxi out of a predicament? Why did he allow the existence of the drop of blood on the handkerchief? Were he and Han Yunxi a genuine couple?
Was it because Han Yunxi wasn't ugly and knew medicine, so he gave her special treatment after seeing her in a favorable light? Did he accept this official wife in his heart?
Everyone was curious to the answers for these questions!
They were anticipating his response, but he only said mildly, "It's pointless if your lordship believes her. Only if the emperor and crown prince do, will she be of any use."
These light words were like four liang shifting a thousand jin that dissolved Emperor Tianhui's trap. Han Yunxi narrowly escaped laughing out loud. This fellow really was a crafty fox. Emperor Tianhui pursed his lips and was about to ask again when Long Feiye said, "Imperial brother, the crown prince isn't little anymore. It's about time for him to grow independent."
These words were undoubtedly saying that the crown prince's affairs should be decided by himself. The Duke of Qin's support gave vast influence to any imperial son, so it was natural that the emperor wanted him to support the crown prince. Emperor Tianhui forced a smile as he looked towards the prince.
"Tianmo, your imperial uncle's lesson is apt. Make your own decisions for your own affairs."
It had already been seven years, and Long Tianmo truly had enough. Though he didn't believe Han Yunxi deep in his heart, he'd rather fight for his all instead of waiting to die. He was clearer than anyone else that his father would give up on him if this illness persisted. In the silence, his voice was exceptionally bright.
"I accept the treatment!"
Han Yunxi released a breath, while Han Congan's face turned black. Without a doubt, the crown prince's reaction had rejected him completely. The emperor was still satisfied with the crown prince's courageous choice. He nodded and said, "Qin Wangfei, can we begin the treatment immediately?"
"I need to do some detailed research to ascertain the location of the tumor and its size before I write a prescription," Han Yunxi said earnestly. Now that they'd decided on treatment, she felt much more relaxed and went to do an examination right away. Quickly, she discovered the object in Long Tianmo's stomach was even bigger than she imagined and definitely alive, because she realized it'd move when she pressed on certain acupoints.
Her gaze grew dark and complicated.
"How is it?" Long Tianmo asked nervously.
Han Yunxi laughed a bit. "Don't worry, just rest well these two days without thinking too much." She backed out as she spoke while the empress and empress dowager surrounded her.
"Can you treat him immediately?"
"Whatever medicines you need, just tell us."
"The prescription is a bit complex, so I need to do thorough research before I'm certain," Han Yunxi said seriously.
At this moment, Han Congan had to make a request. "Qin Wangfei, this untalented one is old and behind the times, but I'm still well-versed in pharmacology. I'll be willing to assist you."
If Han Yunxi couldn't cure the illness, the Han Family wouldn't escape the consequences either. But if she succeeded, then he could get some glory from being her assistant. More than anything else, he wanted to see how this blasted girl had such guts, and her treatment method!
Yet Han Yunxi acted as if she didn't hear his words. "Your majesty, I'd like to request Imperial Physician Gu Beiyue as my assistant."
Compared to Han Congan, Emperor Tianhui naturally trusted Gu Beiyue more and agreed immediately. "Someone, summon Gu Beiyue here!"
But Han Yunxi stopped him. "Your majesty, this is no small matter. I'll go to the imperial physicians' courtyard and talk details with Imperial Physician Gu there. The prescription will be ready before sunset."
There were lots of people here, after all. Emperor Tianhui nodded his head and had someone lead Han Yunxi away. Han Congan watched them helplessly before the empress dowager spoke in a frigid tone. "Divine Doctor Han, I think you should go back to wait for your daughter's good news."
"Esteemed empress dowager, this commoner has served the crown prince for seven years and thoroughly understands his situation. Perhaps this commoner should be allowed to stay, in case..."
Han Congan didn't get to finish before the empress grew angry. "Pehpehpeh, Han Congan, what unlucky words are you saying? A useless thing has enough face to poke about here. Let me tell you, you're the one who found the pregnancy pulse. When the crown prince recovers, I'll make sure to settle things with you!"
Han Congan was too frightened to say any more and quickly paid his respects before fleeing. Seeing his retreating back, the empress's eyes were filled with a dark haze. She thought, if Han Yunxi can cure Tianmo this time, then I'll hold off on settling Changping's accounts. Her meritorious deed can offset her crimes.
But if Han Yunxi couldn't cure him, she'll make sure to tear up the Han Family by its roots and erase their existence from Cloud Realm Continent! And she'd brand Han Yunxi as the criminal who exterminated her clan. Neither the empress dowager nor empress left, but stayed by Long Tianmo's bedside. Emperor Tianhui didn't want to leave either, but wore a dignified and imposing expression.
Admittedly, they were all nervous. This was the crown prince's last chance. If Han Yunxi couldn't save him, then Emperor Tianhui would have to bear the pain of giving up his heir. She held the conclusion in her own hands, but none of them could predict the outcome.
Long Feiye seemed to be the least affected one as he rose to leave. "Imperial brother, let's go. Chendi will accompany you to sample some tea."
Only then did Emperor Tianhui recover enough to nod his head and follow Long Feiye out.
"It's simple to reign over a country, but difficult to reign over family," Emperor Tianhui sighed with emotion.
"Heaven helps the worthy like the crown prince. Imperial brother should be relieved," Long Feiye said mildly.
It wasn't the first time Emperor Tianhui had tried to sound Long Feiye out, but he could never figure out the latter's position. Each time, he had to give up trying. As Long Feiye grew, neither Long Tianmo or any of the other imperial sons could compete with him. Actually, if the empress dowager hadn't ruthlessly plotted against Grand Concubine Yi in the past, Emperor Tianhui would never have gained the imperial throne.
Northern Li was Tianning's enemy nation, but in Emperor Tianhui's eyes, this little brother of his, around the same age as his own son, was more terrifying than the cruel soldiers of Northern Li!
"Regarding the matter of the Northern Li spy, how are your investigations?" Emperor Tianhui asked.
"There's still a large fish in hiding, but chendi has already cast out a net," Long Feiye replied frankly.
"You should know that these spies wouldn't cause such a big splash unless we had a traitor within our ranks," Emperor Tianhui reminded him icily.
"Chendi understands. Imperial brother may be at ease," Long Feiye was calm and tranquil to the point that he seemed cold. The two of them chatted as they entered the gardens, while Han Yunxi by this time had reached the imperial physicians' courtyard.
Gu Beiyue was the Head Imperial Physician, so this place was naturally under his control. As soon as he heard that Han Yunxi had arrived for the crown prince's matter, he immediately stored all the medicines in his study and stood on guard outside the door, forbidding anyone from coming close. Han Yunxi hadn't spoke a word before he did all this, but she couldn't help but silently approve. Thought Gu Beiyue looked gentle and frail, he was formidable in his own right.
If one could call Long Feiye an icy fox, then this guy would have to be a warm one.
After closing the door, he calmly walked over with a smile. "Qin Wangfei, have you come to a diagnosis?"
This was such a big matter that anyone else would be anxious. But Gu Beiyue was eternally tranquil. Han Yunxi especially liked his gentle smile, the kind that could calm her down in an instant. Yet every time it was her that disturbed the peace in his eyes.
"It's not a pregnancy pulse," she said with a smile.
 hot potato issue (????) - tangshou shanyu, literally 'hand-burning potato,' a troublesome problem, hot topic.
 oil-saving lamp (????) - sheng you de deng, literally a lamp that saves oil, or 'someone who is easy to deal with.'
 four liang shifting a thousand jin (?????) - siliang bo qianjin, small things move bigger ones. Liang and jin are both Chinese units of weight.
 Pehpehpeh (???) - an exclamation of disdain, annoyance, or stern disapproval: pah, bah, pooh.
 chenqi (??)? a humble form of self-address for a younger brother equivalent to 'your subject' or 'your servant.'