Han Yunxi leisurely drank a cup of tea before opening her mouth. "Father indeed instructed me on one matter." At these words, even Seventh Madame raised her head and furrowed her brows, very worried. Madame Li was very calm, but Han Ruoxue was like Lady Xu, incomparably anxious.
Of course, the tensest one was Han Yuqi, who blurted out, "What matter?"
"A big matter," Han Yunxi's tone turned serious. Han Yuqi grew even more agitated, and forgot about verifying its veracity as he leaned forward to ask again.
"What big matter?"
"Father said to leave the storehouse key with me for protection. When a suitable head of house appears, I'll hand it over. During this time, may the various young masters and mistress of the house dedicate themselves more to studying medicine, and less on competing for material gains."
At this, Han Yuqi's gaze turned cold as he angrily shouted, "Impossible! You're lying!"
How could father do such a thing?
Han Yunxi was the reason he was in prison. Besides that, this eldest young miss was the one he hated and loathed the most! Even if father had no plans to appoint a head of house, there was no way he'd hand over the key to Han Yunxi! What did she count for?!
"Esteemed wangfei, it's not appropriate to say such words without proof," Lady Xu's tone had turned cold too.
Han Ruoxue couldn't bear it either. To her, Han Yunxi's words were like a joke. "Esteemed wangfei, this joke isn't funny at all. How about you contact the justice courts and let everyone see father for themselves, just in case? We believe you, but the rest of the clan won't!" Her words were painfully blunt, but this time, Madame Li didn't stop her.
Han Yuqi was quick to chime in. "Right! Qin Wangfei, if you have any ability, bend the rules of the justice courts so we can see father once! Otherwise, we definitely won't believe you!"
"That's right, esteemed wangfei. I've heard that a life sentence doesn't have so many restricting regulations. I've tried with multiple people but couldn't see the old master, so there might be someone restricting things at the time. If you go make an exception, there shouldn't be a problem, right?" Lady Xu couldn't help but question.
"Esteemed wangfei, we naturally believe you, but this is an important matter. You said before that old master's only been imprisoned, so he still lives on. As I see it, it's more appropriate for the young masters and young mistress to see old master. It'll prevent you from being a subject for ridicule as well," Madame Li's speech was executed beautifully.
Han Yunxi nodded. Very good, the second and third houses finally united on the same front.
Everyone waited for Han Yunxi to speak, imagining that she'd refuse out of fear of being exposed. But Han Yunxi actually nodded her head. "All right, then this wangfei will take care of this immediately when she returns and arrange for father to meet you all."
She spoke so freely and easily, as if commenting on the good weather. All the people present were stunned, their faces betraying expressions of disbelief. Even the silent Seventh Madame was surprised. They...they didn't hear wrong, did they?
Han Yunxi had prohibited visitors to see Han Congan precisely because she didn't understand the situation at the Han house. Nor was she acquainted with Han Yunyi. She worried that once these people met with Han Congan and spoke to him, it'd affect her choice for Han Family head. But now the facts proved that she was most congenial with little Yi'er, so her choice was long fixed in her mind. At this point, she wasn't worried at all about the Han family seeing Han Congan. She'd rather they go as soon as they could and bother her less in the future.
Today she came to the Han estate to see little Yi'er and relax a bit, but the impatient Lady Xu came instead to demand the storehouse key. Still, this was good. It was better to take care of these things early so she could focus on the general's poison business. Han Yunxi finished her tea and set little Yi'er down, before lazily rising to her feet. Since things were set, she should go back.
But as soon as she stood up, a northwestern breeze drifted past and alerted her detoxificiation system with 'doot, doot, doot.'
Han Yunxi stood motionless, surprised by the unexpected warning. But after a while, the wind stopped, and the detoxification system's warning also stopped. From what she gathered from the alarm, the poison was very closeby, but she'd sat here for so long without any warning until now. Why did it only act up with the wind?
Without a doubt, that northwestern wind had carried over traces of toxins in its scent! Typically speaking, only hypertoxic poisons would leave a trace in the winds that blew past them. Such traces would disperse very quickly, so for her sensors to pick up the poison meant that it had to be nearby. Thus thinking, Han Yunxi turned towards the northwestern corner of the courtyard and saw a little wooden shed. It had no windows and there was a lock on the door.
Could it be from there?
But the building wasn't far away and within the detoxification system's normal sensors. Unless there were only small amounts of poison stored within, so they could only be detected when wind blew their traces over? Han Yunxi was thoroughly curious now. Why would Third Madame's courtyard contain poison? If it was stored in this wooden shed, why was there so little of it? And why kind of poison could it be?
She unconsciously walked forward, but Third Madame suddenly stood up to call out. "Esteemed wangfei, what are you looking at?"
Only then did Han Yunxi recover her senses. She paused for a long while, before saying nothing and smiling. "Nothing."
Even so, she took large strides forward. Caution flitted past Third Madame's eyes, though she didn't stop her. Han Yunxi stopped before the wooden building's door and started her detox system scanners. The results were shocking!
Even her heartbeat had quickened. After some more analysis, the detox system determined that there were three types of snake poison present. Although they weren't the hypertoxic trio of Ten-Thousand Snake Poison, they matched three from the other seven common snake poisons involved in its composition!
Han Yunxi's heart thumped wildly. It was impossible not to be suspicious! She never thought that she'd find snake poison here. Why were things so convenient? What was hidden in this wooden building? Just by scanning, she could tell there were only trace amounts of poison present. It was very possible that these were leftover remnants of poison powders. If she didn't have the detoxification system, she might not have found them even after a thorough examination.
Such trace amounts might be impossible to find once hidden in a person's body, or dissolved in water. Neither could they pose a risk to one's life. But as a powder, it was still detectable by the detox system's 'golden-gaze fiery-eyes.' Han Yunxi wasn't satisfied and scanned the premises again. But she discovered that besides the three snake poisons, there was nothing else!
The rest of the group was bewildered at seeing her standing unmoving before the wooden door. Madame Li's hands curled into fists inside her sleeves. That place was exactly where she made her poisons. But a few days ago, she'd ordered her subordinates to clear out all the poisons and clean up all the medicine cabinets. Why would Han Yunxi be interested in there now?
Han Yunxi cured the young general and discovered his slow-acting poison. Of course the general's estate would be searching for the mole that poisoned him. It couldn't be that Han Yunxi was helping out as well? That damned girl Han Yunxi might be able to treat poisons, but did she know how to examine them as well?
Even if she took ten thousand steps back to consider the possibility, even if there was poison inside that room, Han Yunxi had no reason to suspect her. Nor did she have cause to take interest in this little wooden house! Third Madame clenched her fists again and decided that she had to be overthinking things. Han Yunxi was probably interested in the building itself, that's all. She'd always been the calm type, so she wouldn't lose her footing here.
"Esteemed wangfei, what are you doing?" Han Ruoxue asked. This little thatched cottage was her mother's practice site for making medicine. It really was odd that Han Yunxi would suddenly be interested in such a thing.
Han Yunxi turned, her eyes carelessly sweeping over Third Madame without stopping. She smiled and said, "I thought this wooden building was built very well and found it appealing."
At this, Third Madame finally calmed down. She knew she was overthinking things. Han Ruoxue was about to speak when Third Madame beat her to it. "Esteemed wangfei, that's where I go to make medicine. It was built a few years ago."
So it was a medicine making house!
The Han Family was a medical family, so its sons and daughter all had to learn how to make medicine. Concubines who married into the family had to study medicine as well. Most of them learned about pharmacology, medical knowledge, recognizing medicines and making up prescriptions.
As Third Madame spoke, she walked over. "If esteemed wangfei finds it appealing, why not go inside for a look? The old master liked my shed as well when he saw it in the past."
Han Yunxi was currently suspecting Third Madame, but who knew she'd be so calm in turn? How interesting. A complicated look flitted past her eyes before she smiled. "Then let's see what's inside."
When the door was open, a fragrance of medicinal plants wafted out. The space inside wasn't very large and filled with medicine cabinets on both sides. In the center was a long table and a stove used to boil medicines. Everything was tidied up neatly and was very clean. Han Yunxi walked over, casually open and closing a few drawers to find medicinal ingredients inside. She kept a leisurely pace as she noiselessly activated her detox system to slowly search out the locations of the three snake poisons.
The wooden house was too tiny, so the rest of the people stood outside to watch from the door. Only Third Madame stepped in personally, walking behind Han Yunxi at a sedate pace with perfect composure. But it wasn't long before Han Yunxi stopped and rested her hands on a drawer before her. Third Madame felt apprehensive at the sight. She remembered very clearly that this was where she'd stored one of the snake poisons.
As Han Yunxi slowly pulled it open, Third Madame's heart started racing. Of course, there was no more snake poison left in the drawer, but other ingredients instead. But she was still afraid for no reason.
Han Yunxi was surprised. She clearly pinpointed the snake poison here, so why had it changed into medicine? Without a doubt, the original snake poison must have been cleared out, and probably recently. That's why her detox system could still pick up its traces. Han Yunxi wanted to ask questions, but decided not to in the end.
She continued to walk forward, quickly focusing on another drawer. At this, Third Madame felt another tremor in her heart. That drawer had held snake poison too. Han Yunxi opened it up and found it full of medicinal ingredients again. But the detox system kept warning her that there were trace amounts of poison here, collected from a poisonous snake.
Was this changed out too? Just a coincidence?
Han Yunxi was full of doubts as she carelessly turned to look at Third Madame. The latter didn't expect her to turn around and didn't have time to react. Her face was all afluster as she asked, "Esteemed...esteemed wangfei, what's the matter?"
 golden-gaze fiery-eyes () - huoyan jinjing, literally fire eyes and diamond pupils, phrase to describe discerning eyes, in reference to the novel Journey to the West, where the Monkey King gained these very eyes after spending 49 days being refined in Laozi's eight-way trigram Crucible with samadhi fire.