"No, one day is enough. This medicine will draw out all the remaining poison from within your body. Don't let the wound get wet and when you sleep tonight, make sure you don't lie on top of it," Han Yunxi explained meticulously.
Actually, if this guy wasn't afraid of pain, cutting him open really was the fastest option. Long Feiye nodded before waving his hand, indicating that she was dismissed. At this moment, the Han Yunxi with her medical pouch really did resemble a servant.
Fine, she'll endure it!
When Han Yunxi came to remove the medicine the next morning, everything had gone as she described. The poison was absorbed completely into the antidote, changing the fragrance of the herbs into a stinking mess. In the aftermath, she simply bandaged the wound. Now that she had completely sorted out Long Feiye's poison, she expected him to say something, but all he did was wave her away again when she was done.
What an arrogant and heartless man! That was her private opinion, but she didn't leave immediately. Instead, she gave a bow and said, "Your Highness, thank you for the matter at the general's estate."
Though she knew he'd gotten involved with Mu Qingwu's situation for the sake of the Duke of Qin's namesake and his own antidote, he'd still saved her life. Unexpectedly, Long Feiye's reply was like ice.
"You can treat poisons, but you're not a Bodhisattva. Remember your status and worry less about other people's business. Don't go out so often, either. Can you remember this?"
Han Yunxi suppressed the resentment in her tone. "Yes, chenqie remembers. Chenqie will take her leave now." She couldn't help but think that she'd still save a good person rather than let them die.
As for going out less often, heheh, Han Yunxi had a cold smile. Chenqie won't be able to do that! To live her entire life just sitting here overlooking household affairs was a fate worse than death. She touched the remaining three taels of silver in her sleeves and mused, A woman must have some sort of career, regardless of which time period she lives in.
Being husband and wife with Long Feiye in name only, where the well water didn't touch the river water, wasn't so bad either. Once she'd stabilized her position in the Duke of Qin's household, she should find something to do. Otherwise, where else would she go to get silver?
In the days that followed, Han Yunxi never saw Long Feiye during her strolls in the gardens. This guy comes and goes like a shadow, he probably left long ago.
But Long Feiye surprised her and actually gave her a servant girl named Chen Xiang. She was a little younger than Han Yunxi, about fifteen to sixteen years old. Her build was small and delicate, she was clean and pretty; she had a cute and clever personality and a very shy smile. Han Yunxi took a liking to her at first glance.
"Do you know any martial arts?" Han Yunxi asked her curiously.
Chen Xiang shook her head. "I don't."
"Where did you serve before?" Han Yunxi asked next.
"My family lives in the western Brookwater Village, where I was just sold here yesterday. It was a big brother named Chu Xifeng who brought me here." Chen Xiang replied obediently.
"Then what did he task you with?" Han Yunxi asked again.
"To listen to esteemed wangfei's words. He said if I serve the esteemed wangfei well, wangfei will give me handsome rewards," Chen Xiang repeated him word for word.
The corners of Han Yunxi's lips twitched into a smile that wasn't a smile as she gave Chen Xiang her first task: if Murong Wanru came looking, tell her that she was sleeping and had no time to see her. Thus, Murong Wanru came to invite her to tea and was rejected, to take a walk and was rejected, this morning she sent someone else to invite her on an excursion and was again rejected. Without Grand Concubine Yi on the premises, Murong Wanru's status wasn't enough to force her into anything.
Though little Chen Xiang was young, she was still diligent and hardworking. With her handling matters, Han Yunxi was a lot more at ease. Of course, she couldn't just laze about. Within these few days she'd thoroughly inspected her detoxification system. This system was akin to a separate dimension filled with multiple mini-dimensions. One was used to examine poisons, another for creating medicines, and yet another for storage of ingredients and medical instruments. Han Yunxi reclined in the courtyard, sunbathing while she went on a mental journey through her detoxification system. Unexpectedly, she discovered that there was still a mini-dimension she hadn't seen before, but there was no way for her consciousness to enter.
Strange, was this an area that hadn't been developed yet? The researchers hadn't mentioned this to her in the past. Han Yunxi was very curious, but she knew the feeling was useless. These technical details were things she couldn't understand even if she used her entire brain. Fortunately, the existing dimensions within the detoxification system were sufficient for her to use as she liked.
Pulling her mind out of the detox system, Han Yunxi raised her head to enjoy the warm rays of the sun. Princess Changping's ringworm poison should have erupted in full force by now, right? She imagined the beauty-loving princess walking around with her face covered, asking doctors for help. It was an amusing image. In the midst of her secret delight, little Chen Xiang ran over.
"Esteemed wangfei, someone from the gates came to say you have guests."
What kind of people would come to the Duke of Qin's estate to look for Han Yunxi?
"Who is it?" Han Yunxi opened her eyes to ask in a puzzled tone.
"The mama said they're honored guests. They're waiting in the guest hall, something about a young general and an imperial physician. She talked too fast so I didn't hear clearly," Chen Xiang answered.
Mu Qingwu and Gu Beiyue!
Han Yunxi felt a rush of joy as she got to her feet. She really did want to see Gu Beiyue and thank him in person, but couldn't find a chance to get out of the house. Neither did she know where to look for him. Long Feiye didn't like her leaving the residence. For now, she still had to exercise moderation.
She never expected Gu Beiyue and Mu Qingwu to come in person instead.
Han Yunxi changed into another set of clothes before leaving the courtyard. Once she arrived at the guest hall, it was to see Gu Beiyue and Mu Qingwu sitting together drinking tea. Gu Beiyue was still dressed in white, cultured and refined. Mu Qingwu was no longer weak and sickly, but sat with a soldier's stance, his bright eyes shining. When they saw Han Yunxi enter, both men were pleased and stood up to make their salutations.
"This humble official pays respects to Qin Wangfei, may esteemed wangfei be prosperous and well."
"You're excused, come have a seat," Han Yunxi's mood was quite good.
Mu Qingwu didn't say any more but promptly knelt on one knee before Han Yunxi, his hands clasped together in a fist. "Esteemed wangfei, today this humble official came to thank you for saving my life."
"Hurry and rise. Didn't you thank me that day already?" Han Yunxi smiled.
"That was that day. Today this humble official's come to formally thank you. This humble official has nothing to repay with you except to pledge his assistance if esteemed wangfei should ever need me." Mu Qingwu was very earnest with his bright eyes and level gaze.
He was like a little boy, only much bigger, and his sincerity was very cute.
Han Yunxi nodded her head. "All right, I'll remember." As she spoke, she took out the life and death waiver to face Gu Beiyue. "Imperial Physician Gu, I think I should pay my respects and thank you too!"
See the waiver, Imperial Physician Gu was surprised at first, before rushing to stop Han Yunxi from bowing. "Esteemed wangfei, you cannot!" Gu Beiyue was in earnest as well, his eyebrows scrunching together. Seeing this, Han Yunxi almost wanted to use her hands to smooth them out. A warm man like him shouldn't have such frowning eyebrows.
"Really, thank you," Han Yunxi offered up the life and death waiver with both hands, completely sincere. In this matter, Gu Beiyue was the only one who'd helped her without any motives.
Seeing those black words on that white paper, Gu Beiyue only said lightly, "Esteemed wangfei can destroy this for me instead. Actually, I came because..."
Before he could finish, Han Yunxi could already guess his thoughts. "That poison was something I could tell by smell."
In the prisons, she had agreed to tell Gu Beiyue how she could figure out poisons with nothing on hand, if Mu Qingwu ever woke up. Han Yunxi didn't want to lie, but if she told Gu Beiyue about the existence of the detoxification system, he'd probably never understand it in his life. This was her only recourse.
And yet these words were greeted by a familiar voice. "You sniffed it out? What a formidable nose you have, sister-in-law."
This voice...Murong Wanru.
She walked in with deliberate steps, wearing a light yellow robe on her delicate-looking body-especially that tiny waist that looked like it could be held in one arm. Her figure was rather riveting, her cheeks even more so. Murong Wanru was born as a servant girl. Even though she was adopted by Grand Concubine Yi, she had no titles of her own. When she saw Gu Beiyue and the young general, she still had to bow, her movements as lithe as a swallow. It made people feel like wanting to help her back up.
And look, Mu Qingwu was already harboring protective feelings for the girl. "Murong Wanru is being over courteous, hurry and rise."
Murong Wanru softly nodded her head before finally straightening to sit beside Han Yunxi. She kept her eyes lowered. "Sister-in-law, you still blame me, don't you? I've already beseeched you three times, you should at least give me a chance to explain."
These unfathomable words left Han Yunxi at a loss.
"Could it be that Miss Murong had some hidden trouble that prevented her from seeking out Grand Concubine Yi that night?" Gu Beiyue opened his mouth.
Only then did Han Yunxi remember. She'd never relied on Murong Wanru to save her. It was already good enough if the girl didn't try to hit her while she was down, so if Murong Wanru hadn't brought this up, she really would have forgotten.
Besides, the three times Murong Wanru looked for her recently was to drink tea or window-shop. She'd never even brought up apologizing, all right?!
What was she doing now, apologizing to her in this place? Wasn't it just to put on a show for Gu Beiyue and Mu Qingwu? It was probably to protect her image. After all, if Gu Beiyue told this to anyone else, her reputation might be ruined.
Murong Wanru sucked in a breath, looking helpless. "Imperial Physician Gu, Wanru really didn't arrange things well. Wanru is ashamed! Don't you know, I've been trying to explain myself to sister-in-law these few days, but she shut her doors against me as soon as she came back."
After she finished, Murong Wanru rose and personally poured a cup of tea, which she offered with both hands to Han Yunxi. "Sister-in-law, I know you're not a petty person. It's just that what happened was too serious. But I really didn't mean it. Drink some tea and give me a chance to explain, won't you?"
Why did it sound more and more like she was cursing her for being petty?
If you're going to explain, then just explain! What's with this superfluous speech?
Han Yunxi didn't accept the tea, but spoke coldly. "The one who asked for your help was Imperial Physician Gu, not I. You should explain things to him."
What ferocious words!
Murong Wanru was stunned for a bit, but quickly recovered her composure to face Gu Beiyue. "Imperial Physician Gu, I was going to explain to you. But, sister-in-law's ignored me for so many days that I need to ask for her forgiveness first."
Han Yunxi was about to throw up. Does she really need to kick someone else down to recover her own image?
So you're that obsessed with your reputation, huh? She'd ruin it completely for her today.
"Then you should hurry up and explain," Han Yunxi was frosty.
"After Imperial Physician Gu left that night, I was so anxious. I ran out of the house immediately, but fainted before I reached the city gates." As she spoke, Murong Wanru kept her head pitifully lowered, her voice seemingly choked with sobs. "Sister-in-law, you know that my body isn't well. Whenever I get anxious, I tend to faint. I did come back, but I told Little Sixth to ride a fast horse and report the news. Who knew that the wicked servant didn't go at all, but was hiding behind the door to sleep...sister-in-law, wouldn't you say...sister-in-law, it's all my fault!"
A mocking lilt rose to Han Yunxi's lips as she asked, "When did you find out Little Sixth never went to find mufei?"
 well water didn't touch the river water () - jingshui bu fan heshui, also known as 'I'll mind my own business, you mind yours.'
 Chen Xiang () - literally agalloch eaglewood (agarwood), but her name can also mean 'descending fragrance.'
 Little Sixth () - xiao liuzi, a servant in the Duke of Qin's household.