Chapter 1169: Unwilling to settle for you making do

If Gu Qishao overheard Long Feiye’s words, how would he react?

Perhaps he’d be just like Gu Beiyue. The doctor entreated, “Your Highness! There is still unrest in the four directions and the world is under chaos. You must return to the army soon! Ning Cheng and Jin Zi’s tiger troops will definitely be blocked by the snow and wind when winter falls. It’s very likely Northern Li will use that chance to change their tactics, which means you must guard against them! Even now, the western front is rife with struggles thanks to its many army camps. Their generals have a reputation for being brutal and fierce. If they aren’t satisfied, they’ll raise unrest and make the civilians suffer! As for the south...Your Highness should understand their situation very well. I expect someone’s sewing the dragon robes for Your Highness already!”

Seeing Long Feiye refuse to budge, Gu Beiyue went on, “Your Highness, even if you wait in Medical City for a year, Cloud Realm will still be yours eventually! But imagine how many rebellions and battles could happen during that time? Missing out on this year means you’ll need to spend three more wresting back the peace and establishing your own kingdom as emperor.”

Long Feiye understood all this. 

“Your Highness, neither you nor the princess will be of much help if you stay. Gu Qishao’s the best choice for hunting down ingredients and combining them. As the princess is pregnant, she cannot do such tasks!” Gu Beiyue finished.

Long Feiye waved a hand to indicate that he didn’t have to continue. After a long moment of silence, he said, “If there’s anything you need, just tell Xu Donglin. And send me any updates via secret missives.”

“Understood,” Gu Beiyue replied seriously. 

At the same time, Han Yunxi was in Fourth Young Miss Ren’s room, clueless to the truth. The young woman examined her hand and prescribed some medicine for her to try. Han Yunxi was ready to leave when Fourth Young Miss Ren called her back.

“Princess, please wait,” she said, “Let me help you examine your arm.”

Arm? While Han Yunxi was puzzling over that, Fourth Young Miss Ren murmured hastily, “Princess, I have a request.”

“What is it? Do the walls have ears?” Han Yunxi lowered her voice as well.

“It’s not that, but…” Fourth Young Miss Ren felt helpless. Now Han Yunxi was even more confused. Does this have anything to do with Gu Beiyue? She could tell that the girl liked the doctor. In fact, this was true for all females in Medical City. They liked the young and accomplished unmarried Academy Head. Aside from the elevation in status, anyone who married him would be lucky enough to wake and see his gentle as an April spring breeze smile everyday and be happy for the rest of her life.

Han Yunxi couldn’t read Gu Beiyue’s heart, especially after he said things like he didn’t love anyone. His mind was a mystery to her.

Fourth Young Miss Ren’s voice grew even softer. “Princess, there are--there are ears above us.”

Above us? Before Han Yunxi could look up, Fourth Young Miss Ren quickly stopped her. “You can look later, or else it’ll know I tattled!”

Still lost in a fog, Han Yunxi did as she was told. She pretended to leave and walked to the exit, only to glance back and see….

...and see Lil Thing hanging off the rafters, its round black eyes staring at Fourth Young Miss Ren! It hadn’t realized it’d been discovered yet. Fourth Young Miss Ren didn’t even dare to lift her head. Just how much did she fear Lil Thing? After being stared at for a few days, Fourth Young Miss Ren initially assumed that Lil Thing liked her and even tried to tease the little squirrel into a hug.

It would have been better if she didn’t try, because the action gave hr a fright. Lil Thing clearly saw her as an enemy. When she tried to play with it using a stalk of grass, it almost bit her fingers off. She ran off to find Academy Head Beiyue straight away, but never reached the door before Lil Thing forced her back. Then she tried sending a young medical assistant in her place, but he too, was turned away. Apparently, all matters of the medical academy had been temporarily handed ove to Vice Academy Head Shen while Academy Head Beiyue was refusing all visitors.

Then she thought of seeking out the princess, but Lil Thing blocked her path and almost gnawed through her shoes. Although she couldn’t understand the creature’s cheeping, she understood it was warning her not to tattle or else it’d be in trouble. Fourth Young Miss Ren didn’t understand Lil Thing very well, but she had heard of the famous poison beast since her young while growing up in Medical City! Of course she wouldn’t dare provoke the animal.

At last, she found her chance today to tell the princess in secret.

--

Han Yunxi studied Lil Thing for awhile, but the always alert squirrel never noticed her. 

This fellow, I haven’t seen hair or hide of it for days. So it was causing trouble for Fourth Young Miss Ren all this time? But why would it do that?

Fourth Young Miss Ren was her lifesaver. If Bai Yanqing had captured any other doctor, even an obstrtrics one, there was no guarantee they could have sent out those prescriptions successfully. “Cough, cough,” Han Yunxi coughed lightly.

Lil Thing didn’t react.

Han Yunxi coughed again, catching Fourth Young Miss Ren’s attention. Lil Thing still didn’t budge, its eyes flaring with animosity as it glared at the other woman. At last, Han Yunxi’s gaze turned cold before Lil Thing vanished in mid-air. Without a doubt, she had sealed it into her poison storage space.

“I’m really sorry about this. I didn’t discipline it well and caused you trouble,” Han Yunxi apologized, then pressed, “Did you have any misunderstandings with Lil Thing?”

Fourth Young Miss Ren wanted to cry. “Princess, that’s the poison beast!”

Han Yunxi was left speechless. Finally she said, “Don’t worry, there won’t be a next time. I’ll bring it back and teach it a lesson. In the future, I’ll have it make things up to you.”

“No need no need! Princess, you’re too polite!” Fourth Young Miss Ren quickly waved her hands. The best thing for the princess to do is to take Lil Thing out of Medical City. Otherwise, it’ll hold a grudge and make my days miserable.

Han Yunxi smiled helplessly. “Actually, I don’t understand it either. I’ll have Gu Beiyue talk to it later; maybe he’ll glean a few clues.”

“Academy Head Beiyue...can talk to it?” Fourth Young Miss Ren grew curious.

Han Yunxi smiled. “Lil Thing adores Beiyue. Even I’m ranked second, and I’m its master. Back in Tianning, Lil Thing would always be running off to his house and stay there the entire day. Whenever it cheeped, Beiyue knew what it wantd to do.”

Lil Thing was throwing a temper tantrum in the poison storage space. Without a choice, Han Yunxi could only release the creature and hold it firmly in her hands, covering up its eyes. Lil Thing grew quiet then and didn’t fuss anymore.

Seeing this, Fourth Young Miss Ren calmed down, then asked, “Then...Academy Head Beiyue must like it a lot too?”

Han Yunxi chuckled softly. “Gu Beiyue is a man who likes cleanliness too. If he didn’t like Lil Thing, why would he hold this furball with his bare hands? Or let Lil Thing burrow into his sleeves?”

Fourth Young Miss Ren stared at Lil Thing before a flickr of envy rose to her eyes. How happy must it be to be a squirrel who’s constantly at his side?

If Lil Thing could still understand human speech, it’d be thrilled to hear Mama Yunxi talk about the gentleman Beiyue liking it! But after losing too much of its power, it didn’t understand a thing. It peeked through Mama Yunxi’s fingers to spy on Fourth Young Miss Ren, its eyes filled with hostility. It could tell that Fourth Young Miss Ren liked its gentleman and that he treated her very well. Of all the woman in the medical academy, Fourth Young Miss Ren had the closest relationship with the gentleman.

It had to be on guard! It wanted to chase her away!

In its heart, only Mama Yunxi was a worthy match for its gentleman. No one else could compare. Once upon a time, Lil Thing wanted to recover faster so it could communicate telpathically with Mama Yunxi and have her tell the gentleman it’d stay with him for a lifetime. But after being trapped in Bai Yanqing’s poison storage space, suppressing its temper, and finally leveling up enough to share its thoughts, it had actually hurt the gentleman with its own claws. After Bai Yanqing was captured, it began to hope for a day when it could return to the gentleman’s embrace once again. Yet it couldn’t even meet his eyes now, much less burrow into his arms. It was afraid of hurting the gentleman or seeing its disdainful gaze.

Now it desperately wished it could communicate with Mama Yunxi again, if only to beg the gentleman through her not to settle for making do with itself. Fourth Young Miss Ren sensed Lil Thing’s hidden enmity and began to tremble.

“Fourth Young Miss?” Han Yunxi waved her hand in front of the girl until she recovered. She was afraid to ask before, but dearly wanted to know what Gu Beiyue was doing these days. 

After some hesitation, Fourth Young Miss Ren tried timidly, “Princess, will Academy Head Beiyue leave the medical academy this time?” 

After taking his position, Gu Beiyue had entered closed door cultivation, then left the city and only returned recently. Fourth Young Miss Ren was afraid that he’d go off somewhere again.

“He shouldn’t be, I don’t think?” Han Yunxi knew Gu Beiyue’s plans very well, but she didn’t want to reveal too much since it concerned Gu Qishao.

Fourth Young Miss Ren was delighted. She didn’t know what to say, but kept smiling at Han Yunxi. When you liked someone, your eyes would light up at the sight or mention of their matters. It was impossible to hide such joy. Seeing Fourth Young Miss Ren’s shining pupils, then recalling Gu Beiyue’s denial of love, made Han Yunxi sigh softly to herself. She wasn’t nosy enough to barge into Gu Beiyue’s personal affairs, especially when he was going to be busy these days. He probably had no time to think about romance either.

After bidding Fourth Young Miss Ren farewell, Han Yunxi brought Lil Thing back with her. In the rooms, she placed it on the table and gave it a stormy glare. No matter how I teach it a lesson, Lil Thing can’t understand me. But a glare like this should be enough to pass on my warning.

Of course Lil Thing knew Mama Yunxi was trying to discipline it, but it stubbornly refused to admit its wrongs. By the time Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue appeared, they saw human and squirrel locked in a staring contest…

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Some companion animals are cute, but Lil Thing's jealousy just feels juvenile and petty in the face of uh, I don't know, GQS teetering on the verge of death?

Listen here squirrel, your gentleman has a duty to continue the family line and make more Shadow Clan babies, which means he'll have to marry someone eventually. You can either fight LFY to give up HYX for him, or sit back and let humans do their thing. Honestly.