Chapter 227: Favored protection, overthinking things
Rather than saying Emperor Tianhui had retreated, it was more apt to say he'd ridden a tiger and now found it difficult to dismount. Luo Zuishan had already taken out the Council of Elders' command tablet. Even if the justice courts wanted to investigate the malpractice case with the crown prince, Luo Zuishan probably won't let them now. Emperor Tianhui looked pensively at the unconscious crown prince on the bed. After some thought, he finally consented to letting Xi Yubo take him away with Han Yunxi and the rest. He didn't want to offend Medical City's Council of Elders with this matter.
Of course, he had a stipulation too, and that was for Qinwang Rong to join them.
The purpose of sending along Qinwang Rong was to keep an eye on Long Feiye. Emperor Tianhui couldn't stand the thought of Long Feiye getting involved with Medical City. However, Long Feiye still hadn't shown up by the time Luo Zuishan and Qinwang Rong were about to leave, nor did he express any views on the matter.
Did the silence mean he agreed with Emperor Tianhui's decisions?
Both the identity of the person who had led Luo Zuishan here, and Long Feiye's position on everything, had become a mystery. Emperor Tianhui and various powers in the palace were all thinking it over. Han Yunxi was currently being brought out of the prison cells, but she was filled with doubts as well. The subject on her mind, however, was Gu Qishao and his origins.
A few days ago, Gu Qishao had patted his chest and vouched for her release from the prisons. She thought this fellow was planning to break her out, but he actually had the skills to invite over Luo Zuishan. Were he and Luo Zuishan friends? Or did he have connections with Medical City's Council of Elders? When Han Yunxi had looked into Lady Tianxin, she made a special investigation into Medical City. The Board of Directors and the Council of Elders were both organizations she was familiar with, so she naturally knew of Luo Zuishan as well. At the entrance, she saw Gu Beiyue being brought out as well. The two of them exchanged smiles before walking together.
"Esteemed wangfei, was it His Highness that invited over Director Luo?" Gu Beiyue asked in a low voice.
But Han Yunxi only grinned and countered, "You were in the prisons when he visited that day as well, do you think that's possible?"
"Esteemed wangfei, for Director Luo to come in such a short time...isn't easy..." Gu Beiyue lowered his voice even further. Actually, Luo Zuishan would've shown up as soon as he heard the news, due to his rivalry with Xi Yubo. But it was impossible for such news to spread so fast, so soon. Thus, there were only two possibilities for Luo Zuishan's arrival now. One was that someone found him via the Council of Elders, while the other was that someone, probably a friend, contacted him directly.
Han Yunxi mused for a bit before shrugging her shoulders without revealing a thing. "I'm curious as well!"
Gu Qishao was a man who didn't seem to fear Heaven and Earth. Nor had he ever sworn her to secrecy. But in the end, she gave some thought for his sake after all. Once they left the justice courts, it was to see carriages on two sides. Luo Zuishan was on one side while Qinwang Rong and Xi Yubo stood on the other. Luo Zuishan drove his own carriage while a young medical youth drove another. Meanwhile, Qinwang Rong had a large carriage of his own as well as two prisoner carts.
As soon as Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue appeared, Qinwang Rong arrogantly commanded, "Someone come, take them to the prisoner carts!"
Gu Beiyue was very calm, but Han Yunxi didn't comply. She'd been looking forward to Medical City, so how could her first trip there be taken in a prisoner cart? Why did they have to sit in them when they'd yet to be declared guilty? She was about to speak when a haughty voice beat her to it.
Looking over, she saw that it was Luo Zuishan who had spoken. He'd lifted his chin high, and his goat beard stuck up as he talked. His disdainful gaze was even more arrogant than a youth's despite the fact that he was an old man, making him seem insufferably arrogant.
"What other matters do you have, Director Luo?" Qinwang Rong was still very polite.
Despite this, Luo Zuishan left him no face as he pinched his beard between his fingers with a superior air. Carelessly he said, "Everything related to this case must be brought by me without fail to the medical academy. This includes the crown prince, Qin Wangfei, Imperial Physician Gu..."
Qinwang Rong couldn't take it anymore and raged, "There's no such logic! Leaving aside the crown prince, Han Yunx and Gu Beiyue must be personally taken into custody and deliver by this prince. They're Tianning convicts!"
Even though Emperor Tianhui didn't want to offend Medical City, Qinwang Rong couldn't allow a trifling director to reach for a yard after getting an inch. He was used to others respecting him, so this was his first time meeting such an overbearing fellow.
"Convicts?" Luo Zuishan arched an eyebrow as his lips curved up mockingly. Instead of trying to defend himself, he called the person next to Qinwang Rong for questioning. "Xi Yubo, what do you think should be done, according to Medical City regulations?"
Qinwang Rong felt extremely offended by Luo Zuishan's satire. He didn't care about any rules from Medical City, but turned even more stubborn and unyielding. "Someone come, what are you all standing still for? Take the people into the prisoner carts immediately!"
The prison guards instantly took the prisoners into custody. Luo Zuishan didn't panic, but colded threatened, "Xi Yubo, do as you see fit!"
Xi Yubo's eyes flickered with ruthlessness, but he endured in the end. Playing the part of a peacemaker, he was all smiles as he walked in between Luo Zuishan and Qinwang Rong. "Director Luo, the road to Medical City is far yet. We need to rely on Tianning's guards for protection. Since everyone's going the same way, why fuss so much over all these things?"
Luo Zuishan put on a false smile. "If Director Xi sees no difference between the prisoner carts and the carriages, you and Qinwang Rong can sit in them too."
These words not only turned Xi Yubo's face black, but Qinwang Rong's entire person unwell! On one side, Han Yunxi narrowly avoided laughing out loud. It was clear that Luo Zuishan was protecting her and Gu Beiyue. Though he was rather arrogant, he was also wonderfully clever. What an amusing man.
"Director Luo, this prince will refrain from haggling with you on behalf on the Council of Elders. You're already getting on in years, don't..." Although Qinwang Rong's temper looked about to burst, Xi Yubo still forced himself to calm down. He'd experienced this Luo Zuishan's bad temper many times. He was still very confident in his medical skills, so Luo Zuishan could be as smug as he liked for the moment. Long Tianmo's illeness would be impossible to analyze and explain by Luo Zuishan, much less the Council of Elders. He was not only going to gain merit with Emperor Tianhui, but test Luo Zuishan's own temper in front of the Council of Elders!
"Qinwang Rong, Director Luo is just making a jest. You mustn't take it to heart. Since Medical City has regulations, we'll go with their rules."
So speaking, he shot a significant look towards Qinwang Rong. Though the other was reluctant to compromise, he didn't say anything and whisked his sleeves angrily before getting on the carriage. Luo Zuishan had already gotten the advantage on their first meeting. Luo Zuishan didn't draw back here, but arrogantly told Xi Yubo to bring over the carriage containing the crown prince so his own assistant could drive it. If Luo Zuishan could be said to be a flamboyant and outgoing peacock, then Xi Yubo was an astute and reserved old fox. Han Yunxi was a little concerned by Xi Yubo's present attitude.
"You two, still not coming over?"
Finally, Luo Zuishang looked at Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue, who both hurried down the steps.
"This junior Gu Beiyue greets Senior Luo."
"This junior Han Yunxi has long heard of Director Luo's great name. Many thanks to senior for coming to our rescue."
Gu Beiyue was gentle and refined while Han Yunxi was polite and modest, but Luo Zuishan only glanced at her before giving a cold snort. "Lending a hand to save a useless trash like you? Heheh, don't waste your feelings on someone uninterested or assume that's the case. This old man's simply doing things according to regulations."
Han Yunxi's smile turned stiff on her face. Fine, this old geezer did everything for the sake of embarrassing Xi Yubo. She really had thought too much. Luo Zuishan, though, did take an interest in Gu Beiyue.
"Gu Yuandong's1 grandson?"
Gu Beiyue hastened to answer. "That would be this junior. Grandfather often mentioned Senior Luo when he was alive..."
But before he could finish, Luo Zuishan cut him off with a cold snort as well. "Your grandfather's medical skills were only so-so, I think you're more or less the same."
Even the good-tempered Gu Beiyue turned stiff and grew at a loss for words.
"You'll drive the carriage, follow the one up front," Luo Zuishan tossed these words at him before climbing onto his own, leaving Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue to exchange looks. Soon enough, Luo Zuishan lost patience and urged, "Why are you both still standing there? If you don't want a ride, you can run there yourself!"
This old man wasn't cute at all!
Gu Beiyue obediently went to drive the carriage, but Han Yunxi hesitated to look around them. She didn't see anything or anyone, such as a certain familiar silhouette. Forget it. Under these circumstances, Long Feiye not showing his face was the most sensible choice. Han Yunxi lifted her skirts and stepped onto the carriage, but instead of going inside, she sat down by Gu Beiyue instead. The young medical assistant's carriage led the way, while Qinwang Rong and Xi Yubo's carriage followed behind them. Gradually, the row of carriages left the justice courts far behind.
At this moment, a figure standing atop the justice court roof grew more and more distinct. His hands were clasped behind his back, his figure tall and lofty as the wind whipped past his black hair. In the dusky light, his towering form and cold eyes gave off an icy edge. He seemed like, if nothing else, a king looking disdainfully down at the world.
Soon enough, Chu Xifeng arrived to report softly, "Your Highness, Wang Gong's found him. It really was someone surnamed Gu, but...it was Gu Qishao, not Gu Beiyue."
Long Feiye found this unexpected. He'd always known that Gu Qishao had important origins, but never thought he'd get involved with Medical City. Amongst Cloud Realm Continent's four great cities of Medicine City, Medical City, Carefree City and the City of Daughters, Medical City held the greatest power and the most difficult people to deal with. Leaving aside Emperor Tianhui, even Long Feiye didn't want to offend them easily. What was the relationship between Gu Qishao and Medical City? Why did that guy want to find out about Han Yunxi's background? Long Feiye watched the departing carriages fade into the distance before he silently gave chase.
Even at top speeds, it took about 10 days to reach Medical City. Five to six days had already passed, but Luo Zuishan hadn't spoken a single word on his own to Han Yunxi or Gu Beiyue. This old man. Even if he disdains us, he should ask about the crown prince's illness at least, right? After all, Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue had the clearest picture of the situation.
Today after noon, Han Yunxi took the initiative to sit inside the carriage, only to see old Luo sitting in the main seat with his arms crossed, eyes fast asleep. His expression was as stingy and harsh as ever.
This old man had dragged things out to this extent. Did he have full confidence to face off against Xi Yubo? Did he know that Long Tianmo's previous illness was fetus in fetu? Xi Yubo could face the Council of Elders and their consultation calmly, and it seemed he had a card in his sleeve as well. With both sides like this, Han Yunxi didn't know whether she should worry or relax. She glanced a few times at Luo Zuishan before trying to sound him out.
1. Gu Yuandong () - Yuandong is a loanword that literally means "Far East."