Chapter 107: An extremely comfortable technique Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Long Feiye lifted his robes to sit directly across from Han Yunxi, voice cold. "Zhao mama, prepare another set of bowl and chopsticks. Your lordship will have his meal here tonight."
As soon as she heard he was staying, Zhao mama was glad. She immediately brought the items over with a smile. "Your Highness, your ladyship, just wait. Your servant will tell the kitchens to prepare a few more dishes and a bottle of Your Highness's favorite grape wine."
A pity that neither Long Feiye nor Han Yunxi heeded her, locked as they were in a battle of wills. Zhao mama realized that the atmosphere wasn't quite right and immediately shut up before walking away in a huff. Han Yunxi stared at Long Feiye for awhile before her gaze moved down to rest on the package atop the table. She purposefully set down her chopsticks and asked unhappily, "Your Highness, it's not good for you...to randomly toss things about, is it?"
No matter what it was, if he wanted to give her something, he shouldn't just lump it over. It was really rude.
"This truly is something that shouldn't be randomly tossed about. You better keep it safe, don't let your lordship see it a second time," Long Feiye coldly warned.
His words puzzled Han Yunxi. Could the item inside the package belong to her?
"It's mine?" she asked doubtfully.
Long Feiye's lips curled in disdain as he refused to answer. Han Yunxi quickly took the package and carefully opened it up, only to find...her shoe and stocking!
One shoe, one stocking, exactly the things she'd left behind at the Solitary Enclosure last night. Because she bound her foot last night, it had been too big to fit in the shoe. She could only go barefoot and had completely forgotten about this thing. Who knew that Long Feiye actually brought it back for her? Though this object shouldn't be tossed about, it didn't mean he had to throw it over with such a black expression!
Filled with discontent, Han Yunxi still remained polite. "Many thanks to Your Highness, chenqie will remember."
But Long Feiye only asked, "So you didn't wear a shoe last night and went barefoot into the dungeons, then the Han estate?"
The ancients were conservative types, and Long Feiye was an old traditionalist amongst the conservatives. So what if she went barefoot? He wasn't really her husband, so why did he care?
Han Yunxi truthfully replied, "Yes!"
Long Feiye suddenly knitted his brows, eyes narrowing dangerously. Han Yunxi didn't want to pay him any attention, but his stare started to emit killing intent into the surrounding area.
A good woman won't fight with an ancient man!
Han Yunxi hastened to explain. "Chenqie's foot was wrapped in thick bandages, so she couldn't fit in her shoe." Afraid that he wouldn't believe her, she hurriedly stuck out her foot as she pulled up her skirt. "If you don't believe me, take a look!"
Long Feiye slanted his head for a peek and saw Han Yunxi's injured foot wrapped in a thick layer of bindings from ankle to toe. Those who didn't know better might think her foot was encased in a plaster cast. He seemed satisfied with the view and stopped probing her, but coughed lightly and asked, "It's still not well after the liniment from last night?"
Han Yunxi laughed coldly in her heart. So this guy's pleased now, enough to care about others?
While he was pleased, she was discontent. Han Yunxi raised her head and smiled slightly, her expression harmless. There was no sign of the dark omens to come.
Long Feiye was dumbfounded. What was this woman smiling about?
But in the next instant, Han Yunxi's face instantly shifted to a black expression as she coldly spoke. "After receiving Your Highness's favors, it won't recover so soon."
It was just a sprain. Combined with Long Feiye's excellent liniment, she should've healed quickly. But last night she'd fallen into this fellow's hands. Simply his strength in applying the medicine was enough to ruin her foot. Han Yunxi's hostile mood had changed faster than flipping a page in a book, surprising Long Feiye. He was currently speechless as Han Yunxi laughed again.
"Many thanks to Your Highness for your care."
Long Feiye looked at her, all the more reticent as his deep gaze turned deeper. What Han Yunxi hated the most was feeling inferior in front of this man. Even if she was still a bit timid, she still met his gaze squarely. Suddenly, Long Feiye stood up.
Han Yunxi abruptly dropped her gaze, ignoring the disappointment in her heart. So what if she'd dared to provoke him? Wasn't this guy always like this? Either he'd leave her speechless with his forceful personality, or leave her behind with his silence. Yet unexpectedly, Long Feiye didn't go, but changed position so he could sit next to Han Yunxi.
"Foot," he said coldly, a single word.
Han Yunxi was stupefied and blurted out, "What are you planning to do?"
Long Feiye didn't reply, but reached out a hand to scoop up her foot and set it on his thigh.
"Let go!" Han Yunxi said ferociously, ready to struggle when Long Feiye held her back with a severe tone.
Han Yunxi still wanted to throw him off, but she couldn't move no matter how she tried. She frowned at him, unable to see his face head-on, but discovered that this fellow's profile view was even better than looking at him from the front. The perfect contours of his face looked as if they were sculpted from marble, cold yet handsome. Han Yunxi stared and stared, quietly calming down.
Long Feiye held Han Yunxi's foot in place with one hand while the other unwrapped her bandages. There was quite a lot of cloth, thick enough to cover 20 layers. Unlike last night, his movements were much gentler as he undid layer after layer, his patience comparable to a professional doctor like Han Yunxi. She observed him silently, her heart turning cautious in tune to his careful, cautious movements.
A long time later, her foot was finally freed from its bindings.
The rough treatment from this fellow last night, combined with her lack of rest, had made her foot turn three parts redder and swollen when compared to her original injury. Long Feiye's eyes were hooded as he looked on with a heavy gaze.
"Liniment," he said simply.
Startled, Han Yunxi blurted, "What?"
"There's liniment in the package," he didn't look up, eyes fixated on her foot.
Han Yunxi finally understood what he meant and searched the brocade package until she found the bottle of liniment from last night.
This fellow even came to deliver medicine.
Han Yunxi suddenly felt a little rueful for being petty and sarcastic. She didn't dare look at him, but lowered her head to hand over the bottle. Long Feiye opened it up and poured some into his palm, spreading it onto his hands before lifting Han Yunxi's ankle like he did last night. But this time, his movements were exceptionally gentle.
When he covered her foot with his hand, Han Yunxi felt as if her muscles had come in contact with a block of ice. All of her keen, burning pain disappeared. She subconsciously raised her head to look at him at the same time he looked towards her. When their eyes met, the tips of Han Yunxi's ears started burning no matter how much she willed them to stop.
She cursed herself in her heart, afraid that Long Feiye would notice.
"Does it hurt like this?" he asked mildly.
The nervous Han Yunxi immediately shook her head. Actually, it did still hurt a tiny bit. Long Feiye then covered a swollen section of his foot with his other hand.
"How about now?"
Coolness surrounded her foot from top and bottom, sinking into the skin. The taut muscles all relaxed, leaving a sense of release in their wake.
"It doesn't hurt," Han Yunxi shook her head again, but this time she meant it.
Long Feiye's hands gently kneaded her foot, but the sensation felt electrifying to Han Yunxi, who suddenly grew goosebumps. His palm was warm, but the liniment was cool, creating a mixture of hot and cold that made for an incomparably comfortable massage. It was a beautiful sensation that Han Yunxi almost couldn't stand. Long Feiye kept going with his expert hands, gradually using more force. Despite this, Han Yunxi felt no pain, only that her entire foot had relaxed. This really was enjoyable. She slowly closed her eyes and marveled, "So comfy!"
Yet right at this moment, a crash sounded from the door. Long Feiye and Han Yunxi both turned to see Zhao mama standing at the threshold, spilled wine and various delicacies resting by her feet. Zhao mama had been completely shocked by the sight. She'd served His Highness Duke of Qin for so long but never saw him personally apply medicine for someone else, especially a female. And he was even doing massage!
Looking at Zhao mama's stunned expression, Han Yunxi lowered her head in embarrassment. She somehow felt that she and Long Feiye had done something that shouldn't be seen. But Long Feiye remained indifferent as ever as he coldly said, "Zhao mama, go get some gauze."
Zhao mama didn't move, still struck dumb.
"Still not going?" Long Feiye asked unhappily.
Only then did Zhao mama's soul return to her body. Anxiously she said, "Yes! Yes! Your servant will right away!"
"Is it better now?" Long Feiye asked simply. There was no frost in his gaze now, but no consideration, either. He seemed to be asking a question of no consequence. Han Yunxi looked at his eyes and suddenly realized that she didn't understand a thing about this man.
"Better," she answered truthfully.
Long Feiye accepted the gauze from Zhao mama and started neatly binding up her foot. Han Yunxi discovered that he was an old hand at wrapping injuries, as if he did it very often. For himself? Or helping others? She was still distracted when Long Feiye finished her bindings, which were only two layers thick.
"This won't hinder you from putting on your shoe," he said expressionlessly, still recalling the previous incident. Han Yunxi couldn't hold back a burst of laughter, causing Long Feiye to crease his brows. "Is there a problem?"
"No, everything's all right." How could Han Yunxi dare to tell the truth? She was thinking, if anyone truly married this overprotective man and became his official wife, he'll probably turn possessive.
Maybe he'd hide the wife in a golden cage, or secrete her in her chambers so no one else could see her face.
Long Feiye didn't ask any questions, but set her foot back down and tossed her the liniment with a mild tone. "It's not a serious issue. Apply this again tomorrow. Don't get your foot wet and don't walk around too much."
"Un," Han Yunxi nodded. In a flash, the well-known physician had suddenly turned into a docile patient. Long Feiye rose and prepared to leave. He had no real intentions of staying for dinner.
"How goes Your Highness's investigation into the Han Family?" Han Yunxi asked anxiously.
"Nothing yet," Long Feiye replied, but didn't stop walking. Han Yunxi didn't look over or ask any more, but lowered her eyes as she listened to his footsteps, lost in thought.
Suddenly, Long Feiye spoke. "Any progress on the matter with the tea leaves?" Immediately, Han Yunxi looked up, only to see that he'd halted by the door to look back at her.
"There's been some progress. I'm going with the young general to the Celestial Fragrance Teashop tomorrow," she hastened to reply.
Long Feiye nodded. He asked no more questions, but turned and left. Only after his form disappeared did Han Yunxi slowly turn around, looking at all the dishes set on the table. It wasn't clear what she was so foolishly happy about, but she suddenly burst out in another fit of laughter. Zhao mama watched from one side, baffled. The duke hadn't stayed for dinner, but esteemed wangfei was still so thrilled?
She nervously asked, "Esteemed wangfei, these dishes are all cold. How about this old servant take them away to warm them up?"
"No need." Han Yunxi picked up her chopsticks. Her appetite seemed to have improved, because she ate and drank big mouthfuls of rice and soup.
On this night, the lanterns in Long Feiye's quarters remained burning while Han Yunxi leaned against her bedroom window, sitting in her chair to ponder over questions before inexplicably falling asleep...
 a good woman won't fight with an ancient man () - haonǚ bugen gunan dou, a reverse play/parody on the popular saying, "a good man won't fight with a woman" (), used by the speaker to indicate a superior advantage that prevents them from tussling with an inferior foe.