Chapter 223: This is authoritative might
People with ascites would start growing slimmer as the underlying causes of the condition were typically vicious diseases. How could Long Tianmo have lived through those seven years if that was the case? Director Xi's diagnosis was full of questionable points. In fact, it could even be said to lack judgement. Still, he could topple Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue's questions with one sentence.
Bold and self-assured, Director Xi replied, "You're talking about common ascites. What His Highness Crown Prince has is the seldom seen chronic ascites. It progresses slowly and resembles pregnancy. It was precisely due to Qin Wangfei's misdiagnosis and haphazard use of poison to treat him that a pathological change occurred in the disease. If this old man hadn't come in time, then His Highness Crown Prince's life...would've been done for!"
Director Xi spoke his words with certainty as if it was nothing less than the truth. Han Yunxi couldn't help but smile coldly. She'd only heard of three types of ascites: transudative, exudative, or as a result of hemoperitoneum. This was the first time she heard of anything like 'chronic (slow-acting) ascites.' This man was a Primogenitor Doctor who had certainly created his "own school of medical arts!" It was all hogwash. Who knew what Emperor Tianhui had him do to Long Tianmo to create a swollen stomach while faking a smooth pulse! A few days ago, when Emperor Tianhui made his move against Young General Mu Qingwu, Han Yunxi assumed he was seizing the chance to suppress the second imperial prince and push the crown prince forward! Yet for the sake of her elimination, he'd unscrupulously used the crown prince as well.
Once Mu Qingwu failed to gathered the required provisions and pay within half a year, his military power would be revoked. This was equivalent to taking an arm away from the second imperial prince. But now that the crown prince had met with such events at this critical juncture, the fierce fight between the two major factions of the imperial court had evened out again. In the end, it was still Emperor Tianhui that got to profit from it all.
This old fox was hitting three targets with one arrow!
Han Yunxi was going to defend herself when Emperor Tianhui suddenly issued an icy command. "Han Yunxi's medical skills are lacking. As a swindler, she nearly cost the crown prince his life. Someone come, lock her up in the imperial prisons!"
Two imperial guards immediately rushed in at the words and apprehended Han Yunxi.
"I don't accept this!"
What did it mean when authoritative might triumphed self-evident truths? What did it mean when a world with imperial power made the emperor as vast as the Heavens? Finally, Han Yunxi had witnessed it for herself.
"Your Majesty, I don't accept this. Director Xi has no hard evidence. He's framing me!" Han Yunxi said angrily.
Emperor Tianhui didn't allow her to explain. "Director Xi is a member of the board of directors at the medical academy and a sixth-rank doctor. Would he be mistaken? Han Yunxi, if you still refuse to acknowledge your wrongs, Zhen definitely won't let you off easy! Come, take her away this instant!"
Han Yunxi smiled coldly. She didn't explain further or make any more futile struggles, but curved her lips into a mocking lilt. Her eyes narrowed at Director Xi, the pupils gleaming as if she could see through everything.
"Sixth-rank doctor, does the council of elders at the medical academy know that you're this skilled?"
These were the only words she left behind before the guards took her away. Director Xi's face turned ghastly pale at them. She was clearly threatening him. Emperor Tianhui could protect him in Tianning Country, but his words had no merit in the medical academy. No matter what, news of this couldn't reach their ears.
Gu Beiyue allowed the guards to take Han Yunxi away without saying a word. He had long foreseen this before she even entered the palace, but what he wanted to know was Director Xi's diagnosis. In the silence of the room, Director Xi finally looked towards Gu Beiyue. "I heard that Imperial Physician Gu agreed with the previous diagnosis as well?"
Rubbish. If he hadn't agreed, why would he have argued for Han Yunxi just then? Director Xi's question was basically there to leave Gu Beiyue room for contention. Emperor Tianhui looked over at the question as well. He knew that Director Xi was purposely trying to draw Gu Beiyue to their side. The imperial physician was still young, but his medical skills had long reached the level of fifth-rank. There was no telling how far he'd go in the future. Add that to his grandfather's connections and his current status as Head Imperial Physician and it'd be easy for him to apply for directorship at the medical academy.
Moreover, his grandfather was a sixth-rank doctor whose tenure as a director had earned him praise from his good deeds. The prestige of his namesake had reached the apex, earning him no small measure of deep respect. Amongst the directors, he could be considered their leader in spirit. If Grandfather Gu was still alive, he'd probably be in the council of elders by now. In this line of work, prestige and order of seniority were both important factors. Even though Grandfather Gu had passed away for many years, many people would still give Gu Beiyue face and look after him. This was the reason why Emperor Tianhui placed Gu Beiyue in an important position and left him alone even after he went to the Han Family clinic to treat patients free of charge. Pulling Gu Beiyue to their side would greatly benefit Director Xi's prospects should he apply for the council of elders in the future.
Still, Gu Beiyue refused a toast only to drink a forfeit-submitting to pressure after first turning down the request. Without any explanation, he simply nodded his head. "That's right. Moreover, this junior approves of esteemed wangfei's diagnosis even now."
"You!" Director Xi didn't expect this as his old face fell. He drew closer to Gu Beiyue and said in chilling tones, "Imperial Physician Gu, outstanding heroes adapt to the trend of the times. Your grandfather has already passed away for a long time. Right now, you have no connections whatsoever with the medical academy."
"In other words, Director Xi admits that he framed a case against esteemed wangfei and is now afraid of being found out? Do you fear that the medical academy will look into this affair?" Gu Beiyue countered with a serious question.
This seemingly weak, gentle, and unassuming young gentleman never gave anyone face when he was being blunt. Director Xi was not only rejected, but shamed at the same time. His arrogant self had always been treated with the respect given to elders, with flattery that lauded him to the skies. Never had he endured such an insult. His face alternated between shades of red and white as he found it difficult to speak. Emperor Tianhui never thought Gu Beiyue would be so stubborn either. After all, Gu Beiyue had witnessed countless struggles for power during his years in the palace. He'd faced his share of temptations and people trying to draw him to their side, but had always stayed aloof from all matters. Why was he helping Han Yunxi now? Was he leaning towards the Duke of Qin's side, or had Han Yunxi somehow bewitched him? In any case, Emperor Tianhui had no plans to leave him around anymore after his words.
"Someone, come. Imperial Physician Gu has neglected his duties while aiding and abetting the wrongdoer. He knows his wrongs but refuses to change them, so send him to the imperial prisons as well!"
Han Yunxi had left with parting remarks, but Imperial Physician Gu didn't even cry out a single word of 'injustice.' He only looked pityingly at the comatose Long Tianmo before allowing the imperial guards to take him away. Director Xi fumed as he watched Gu Beiyue's receding figure before finally heaving a sigh. "He's still young, what a waste."
"Regarding the medical academy..." Emperor Tianhui trailed off. He was more concerned with that.
"Your Majesty needn't worry. No one else besides this old man can treat His Highness Crown Prince's illness. Even if the council of elders won't have any place to speak if they send people over." Director Xi wouldn't have dared to do this for Emperor Tianhui if he didn't have some level of ability.
Emperor Tianhui nodded his head in satisfaction, but the first person he met upon leaving the Eastern Palace was a harried empress dowager. This only proved that the news of Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue's conviction and subsequent imprisonment had spread extremely fast. The empress dowager had kept Mama Su's affair close at heart all this time. Emperor Tianhui had told her to control herself and stop fretting over the issue, but she'd barely rested a few days before her precious grandson met with trouble. Changping had passed away, a marriage alliance had fallen through, and the empress's condition wavered between good and bad. All she had left was the crown prince now. Although the other imperial princes were her grandsons as well, the empress had given birth to the crown prince, making him a descendent from the imperial uncle's side! Once the crown prince lost his power and influence, the imperial uncle's estate would certainly suffer losses.
"Emperor, just what has happened? Mo'er was perfectly fine, so how could he suddenly fall ill again?" the empress dowager asked seriously.
"His chronic complaint resurfaced. Fortunately, Director Xi is here, or else the consequences would be unimaginable," Emperor Tianhui sighed with emotion. He didn't even tell his own mother the truth. Twenty years ago, this mother had fought wholeheartedly for his right to the throne, but now her heart was completely dedicated to the crown prince. An imperial clan was ruthless in many ways. Between husband and wife, one would only hear stories of the new concubines' smiles, and none of the ex-favorites' tears; between brothers, there were endless accounts of mutual hatred, injury, and murder; still more between fathers and mothers, one would support a son while the other supported another, leading to inevitable struggles for power. Although Emperor Tianhui had made Long Tianmo the crown prince and spent endless energy and care to foster his growth, things were always shifting. Both the political climate and Long Tianmo himself could change. Currently, Emperor Tianhui had yet to reach his fiftieth birthday; he naturally had his own calculations at heart.
"Wasn't it a poisonous tumor? He'd be fine once the poison was cured, why did it flare up again?" the empress dowager pressed. She wouldn't be much of a mother to the crooked Emperor Tianhui if she didn't smell a plot.
"It really was a misdiagnosis. Muhou is welcome to look for yourself if you don't believe it. Zhen still has urgent matters to attend to and won't be accompanying muhou." Emperor Tianhui was respectful as ever, even as he admonished her.
The empress dowager was a smart woman. A complicated look flickered past her eyes, but there was no use suspecting anything. Instead she asked, "Then, can Director Xi cure Tianmo?"
"It'll take some time. Muhou needn't worry." Emperor Tianhui's words were like a stimulant to the empress dowager, who finally nodded her head.
"Go ahead and busy yourself, Emperor. I'll go take a look at that poor child."
Naturally, the news spread beyond the palace. As soon as day broke, the court and public alike broke into an uproar. This wasn't the first time Han Yunxi had gone to jail. But since she'd been imprisoned on account of the crown prince, even the stupidest knew that things had turned serious. At the Duke of Qin's estate, Zhao mama had ignored Han Yunxi's dismissal to search everywhere for His Highness Duke of Qin after her mistress had departed. Unfortunately, she hadn't found him.
Currently, Long Feiye was at the Solitary Enclosure, completely aware of the current state of affairs. Tang Li sat by his side, inclining his head to the side as he looked over with a teasing grin. "Your Highness Duke of Qin, you've implicated esteemed wangfei with disastrous results. Why aren't you thinking of a way to rescue her yet?"
After witnessing Han Yunxi's capabilities and courage, Tang Li had grown to like her quite a bit. Despite that, this woman's origins were still unclear. In truth, Long Feiye had been investigating her for quite some time now, but every time Tang Li probed him about it, he refused to answer. As a result, Tang Li had no choice but to keep his distance from the woman for now.
Director Xi had insisted that a misdiagnosis was to blame. Right now, the only people who could save her were those from the medical academy. Long Feiye had no connections there, but he had some in Medicine City. Doctors and medicine went hand-in-hand. A doctor without medicine was useless; medicine without doctors was trash. Medicine City and Medical City had always been like one family!
On one side, Chu Xifeng had been waiting the whole time for His Highness Duke of Qin to issue orders. Still, Long Feiye wasn't in any rush. Instead, the words he spoke were filled with meaning.
"Your lordship would rather see the extent of Gu Beiyue's skills."
Chu Xifeng and Tang Li exchanged glances at these words as they came to a tacit understanding. Neither of them said anything else. Though Long Feiye was in no rush to rescue Han Yunxi, he went to visit the prison cells of the justice courts that very same day!