Long Tianmo didn't understand everything when he looked at Han Yunxi, but he wouldn't refuse to help. Although Imperial Father had already bestowed rewards, he owed Han Yunxi for saving his life. He wanted to pay her back anyways, and a general amnesty was an excellent excuse. It'd win him hearts among the populace after such a long seclusion from the public. His reappearance had to have a big impact!
Long Tianmo nodded. "My prolonged illness has been cured, so this general amnesty is a good idea. Imperial Aunt can go on back first. When Imperial Father returns tonight, I'll bring this up."
Though she knew Long Tianmo would agree, she didn't expect things to go so smoothly. Han Yunxi rejoiced and viewed the crown prince in an even more favorable light.
Before she left, Long Tianmo called her back. "Imperial Qin Aunt, please give greetings on my behalf to Imperial Qin Uncle. When I'm completely recovered, I'll pay him a visit."
Han Yunxi nodded. From what she knew, Long Feiye wasn't close with the crown prince or any of the imperial sons. Long Tianmo's current step was an obvious ploy to improve relations with Long Feiye.
But Long Feiye had never visited him while he was ill, leaving him bitterly disappointed.
Of course, Han Yunxi had no time to worry about all this when she was fully preoccupied with Han Congan. After returning to the Duke of Qin's house, she didn't leave at all while waiting for news. Occasionally, she'd even send Chen Xiang outside to search for rumors.
By the afternoon of the second day, the big posters in the streets were still there, and the comments were as lively as before. Apparently various people of the Han household had visited the prisons, but had no way to see Han Congan. After going home, they had even started fighting with each other over the family properties.
Though Long Tianmo's intervention had a high chance of success, Han Yunxi was still nervous without seeing actual results. After all, time was tight.
During the night, she stood by the window, looking over the night sights of the capital with furrowed brows. Tomorrow was the last day, so what is the situation on Long Tianmo's side? And what is the truth behind Lady Tianxin's fatal labor? What kind of secrets did Lady Tianxin and Han Congan keep between them? She tossed and turned that evening, finding it hard to sleep.
But good news came early in the morning of the next day.
Little Cheng Xiang knocked on the door as she shouted, "Mistress, mistress! The emperor proclaimed a general amnesty this morning! Besides criminals who plotted rebellion against the state, all death convicts have been pardoned to lifetime imprisonment! They say the crown prince personally pleaded on their behalf!"
Han Yunxi practically leapt off the bed, washing her face and getting dressed before running to the imperial prisons. She didn't even bother eating breakfast. As soon as the general amnesty was issued, the fastest news reached the imperial prisons. From a distance, Han Congan heard many discussions and saw a few death convicts being sent back to jail.
"I heard the crown prince brought up general amnesty for the population. Hehe, this time we owe all our good luck to the crown prince!"
"Exactly, we'll be able to leave soon, right?"
"Look, all those death convicts were taken away. I reckon they're being released! Hehe, it'll be our turn soon enough!"
The talk filled the entire prison as Han Congan listened by the bars of his cell. His muddled eyes brightened significantly as he marveled at the sight. Why did he never realize Han Yunxi was so clever? She didn't plead with Emperor Tianhui but the crown prince. She actually thought of something like general amnesty for the population!
Was this really the same Han Yunxi as before?
He always thought that this daughter couldn't compare to her mother. But now his belief was shaken. Soon, Han Yunxi arrived, and even Han Congan's gazes shifted as he looked at her.
"Daughter, you're very smart."
"Looks like you've heard of the emperor's general amnesty," Han Yunxi wasn't in a good mood.
"You should take your father out of the death convicts' jail, right?" Han Congan's state of mind was much better than before. Although he was in a difficult position, he stood perfectly upright, filled with proper bearing.
Han Yunxi's stare turned mocking as her tone grew icy. "Then, when do you plan on telling me the truth?"
"At the very least, allow father to leave here first," Han Congan was insistent. Doctors were obsessed with cleanliness and he hated the smell of decay and death that permeated these prisons.
Han Yunxi's lips turned even more mocking. If Han Congan thought he could reach for a yard after getting an inch here, then he was very wrong. She narrowed her eyes and warned, "Han Congan, you won't die now, but do you believe that I can make your every day worse than death?"
She wasn't afraid to step in her shoes before the light. Though Han Congan's death had been waived, he was no bare-footed youth man anymore. Would he fear Han Yunxi's threat? Seeing her dangerous expression, Han Congan was slightly displeased, but held himself back. He pointed at the base of the wall, indicating that Han Yunxi should sit down to talk. Just like last time, she leaned against the far wall as she sat, her chilly eyes staring straight at Han Congan.
He could sense her guard rise as he sat and exhaled. "Be at ease. We're already at this point, so I won't trick you."
"Stop the useless chatter! Answer my question, how did my mother die?" Han Yunxi was frosty.
Han Congan didn't answer her question, but his words made Han Yunxi's heart stop completely. It was too unexpected!
He said, Han Yunxi, I can clearly tell you that I, Han Congan, am not your father!
Han Yunxi couldn't believe her ears. She was shocked as her eyes unconsciously widened.
Seeing Han Yunxi's astonishment, Han Congan's eyes couldn't help but flicker in grief. Everyone knew that he had never done a father's duty to his daughter, but no one knew how much he'd hoped that this daughter was his flesh and blood. It wasn't because Han Yunxi had suddenly gained fame and power. Long before, when Han Yunxi was still in her mother's womb, he had the same wish.
Too bad...he wasn't worthy of that woman.
The stunned Han Yunxi finally recovered to lose her temper. "Han Congan, you're lying!"
Lady Tianxin was a legend, brimming with talent as a kind, benevolent doctor. How could she be a wanton woman? How could she have an illicit daughter? Han Yunxi was even less inclined to believe that a mind like Han Congan's would tolerate an improper woman, much less raise someone else's child!
"I'm not lying to you, I have proof," Han Congan was very calm.
It wasn't just Han Yunxi. Anyone in Tianning's capital would refuse to believe him after hearing such a thing. Yet this was the absolute truth; otherwise, why wouldn't he treat Han Yunxi's poisonous facial scar when she was a daughter of the Han household and the Duke of Qin's promised wife?
"What kind of proof?" Han Yunxi asked hastily.
"Promise me one thing and I'll tell you everything," Han Congan was very serious. This wasn't a threat, but a guarantee. Yet the agitated Han Yunxi completely missed his intended meaning and abruptly stood up.
"You wish! I've already preserved your life, so what right do you have to make demands of me?"
No matter what, Han Yunxi wouldn't believe that Lady Tianxin would do something so improper. If she really was an illicit daughter, then it had to be because Han Congan did a disservice to Lady Tianxin. Han Yunxi was already very angry, and Han Congan's demands had just provoked her further.
Yet Han Congan was very calm as he faced the fiery Han Yunxi. "Han Yunxi, listen to what I have to say first before answering. It won't be too late." As he spoke, he withdrew a key from his sleeve and presented it to Han Yunxi between the bars.
Han Yunxi was a little startled. She recognized this key as the storehouse key, the symbol of the head of house. The Han storehouse not only contained the Han family properties, but two very important items: the Han family's collection of rare medicinal ingredients and the 《Han Clan Medical Canon》. Every medical family had its own medical canon that recorded secret prescriptions and rare historical records, passed down generation after generation. It was only given to the successor or heir to the clan. The 《Han Clan Medical Canon》 was the treasure of the Han Clan.
Owning the key equated to owning the entire Han family. Even though Han Congan was in jail and the Han name had long been thrown in disorder, its foundation was still intact. All that aside, simply the 《Han Clan Medical Canon》and its record of medical techniques was enough to raise a new generation of famous doctors to success. Han Yunxi didn't move as she stared at the storehouse key. Why had Han Congan decided to give it to her?
That was a little impossible. Leaving aside the fact that she wasn't of Han family blood, she was already a daughter married off to another family. She had no right to inherit the position as the Han Family Head.
What kind of demand was Han Congan making?
She backed up a step and kept her distance from the key. "What's the meaning of this?"
"Promise me to do your best to help the new head of house. Help the Han Family rise and place its well-being as the foremost importance," Han Congan said word by word, his red, resentful eyes glimmering with steadfast light.
Help the Han Family rise?
Han Yunxi was thrown off. She originally thought that Han Congan was going to ask her to help him get out of jail, not make demands like this.
Not for himself, but for the Han Family.
Han Yunxi had felt disappointment and disdain for this 'father' of hers. In her impressions, this old thing was both selfish and covetous, but now she saw his righteous principles. Yet Han Yunxi didn't understand why his principles relied on her to make the effort to help the Han Family start anew. What had the Han family ever done for her? Had they ever done anything? That place was filled with nothing but memories of pain and suffering. Why beg her to sacrifice and risk herself for the Han Family? Furthermore, according to Han Congan's words, she and the Han family had no blood relations at all.
Seeing Han Congan's determination, Han Yunxi's lips curled into a sneer. "You seem very confident that I'll agree."
"Because no one else besides myself knows the truth about your mother. Including your real father!" Han Congan said steadily.
"I've already said this. Your life is mine, so you have no leeway to discuss terms with me," Han Yunxi was cold.
Han Congan laughed. "If the Han Family falls to ruin by this old man's hands, what do I need this life for? I can only take my own life to apologize to generations of my ancestors!"
Han Yunxi didn't take this to heart. As she saw it, Han Congan didn't have to guts to kill himself. But who knew that as soon as Han Congan finished, he'd turn and abruptly slam his head against a wall!
Shocked, Han Yunxi cried out, "Don't!"
If Han Congan really died, all her efforts would've been for nothing. Where was she supposed to find the truth then? But Han Yunxi's 'don't' didn't stop Han Congan at all. He was serious. A single slam into the wall had already drawn blood from his skull, but he was planning to keep going!
Alarmed, Han Yunxi realized she'd misjudged this old thing. The fate of the clan was deeply ingrained in his heart.
"All right, I promise!" Han Yunxi said loudly.