Mu Linger had set off for Medical City as soon as she received Gu Beiyue’s letter. To a pharmacist, the patient was number one. Gu Beiyue didn’t tell her about Gu Qishao, only that he had a patient who needed poisonous medicine cultivated from plague patients. He had searched through all sorts of possibilities with no success, so he came to ask her help.
He also told Mu Linger that his patient’s time was limited. At most, they had a month left to deal with things. When Mu Linger arrived, Xu Donglin gave her the keys to Gu Beiyue’s study. Inside, the doctor had left the girl a thick stack of notes and a pile of ingredients.
Mu Linger kept asking Xu Donglin what the patient’s illness was and why they needed poisonous medicine. Xu Donglin said nothing and pushed all the responsibility to Gu Beiyue. When she asked Xu Donglin for the patient’s whereabouts, he only did as Gu Beiyue instructed and said it was some famous physician who had been traveling around the world.
That only confused Mu Linger further.
She didn’t even know Gu Qishao possessed an undying body, so she had no idea that Gu Beiyue’s perilous patient was none other than the Qi gege she dearly missed! Growing up in the medical world, she knew many patients wanted to keep their identities secret. Anyone who could ask Gu Beiyue to be their personal doctor had to be a complex figure, so it was normal they kept their details private. Mu Linger stopped asking questions and begin to research ways to make poisonous medicine as Gu Beiyue requested.
By the time Gu Beiyue received news from Medical City, Mu Linger had already been in his study for three days and three nights. On the fourth day, she exited the room and wearily stretched. Xu Donglin had been waiting by the entrance for three days and three nights and hastily asked, “Miss Linger, how is it? Any solutions?”
Mu Linger’s arms were still stretched over her head when she looked at him. “Doctor Gu’s already asked Qi gege, right?”
Mu Linger wasn’t just a genius pharmacist, but also number one in all of Cloud Realm Continent. She was certain after reading Gu Beiyue’s notes that Qi gege had gotten involved along the way. Otherwise, Gu Beiyue wouldn’t have delved so deeply into the research.
Xu Donglin’s eyes flashed with sorrow. He didn’t dare meet her eyes as he said, “Of course. This Gu Qishao, he clearly promised Doctor Beiyue he’d be able to create the medicine, but ran off halfway. Who knows where he went? Doctor Beiyue had no choice but to find you.”
Gu Beiyue had instructed him to say those lines, too. He was such a thorough man that he knew it’d be impossible to disguise the notes from Mu Linger’s eyes.
Mu Linger placed her hands on her hips. When it came to medical knowledge, she would never be biased towards Qi gege. Huffily she declared, “This person’s almost dead! How could Qi gege act like this? It’s so irresponsible!”
“Is...isn’t that right!” Xu Donglin did his best to play along, but he nearly choked.
Mu Linger grew serious. “Guard Xu, I’ll tell you the truth. Doctor Gu’s given me a huge problem this time. Without the plague, it’s basically impossible to create the poisonous medicines he’s asking for. Actually, Qi gege’s already done thorough research. At most, Doctor Gu’s found me to fill in any gaps.”
Xu Donglin panicked. “Then what should we do? Gu--” He was about to say Gu Qishao’s almost dead, but quickly changed his tune upon Mu Linger’s doubtful look. “Doctor Gu is desperate. That patient…”
Doctor Gu said the patient only had two months left when he was still in Medical City. A month has already passed…
Xu Donglin felt like a boulder was resting on his chest, making it hard to breathe. He discovered for the first time how difficult it was to tell a lie.
“I know that!” Mu Linger was stern. She patted Xu Donglin’s shoulders and declared, “Guard Xu, we doctors and pharmacists can’t give up hope even if we know the patient is going to die! I’ll do my best!”
Xu Donglin nodded furiously. “This subordinate will thank you in Doctor Gu’s place!”
Mu Linger arched her brow at him before punching his shoulder. “What are you being so formal for?”
Xu Donglin was grieving, but Mu Linger thought he was just agitated. She grinned and added, “Don’t be so polite. Just count it as me cleaning up after Qi gege! Later...heheh, I’ll go find him for the medical costs!” Then she went on, “But...there really isn’t much hope.”
Xu Donglin did nothing but nod.
Mu Linger hesitated, then couldn’t help asking, “Guard Xu, where did Qi gege go? Is he over at the Yunning army camp? I’m guessing my big sis is about to deliver her baby soon.”
Because Medical City was still far away, the news of Han Yunxi’s successful delivery had yet to reach them.
“Probably? But he definitely won’t be living in the camp. His Highness would never allow it,” Xu Donglin forcefully pasted on a smile.
Mu Linger sighed. She was about to re-enter the rooms when she halted and looked at Xu Donglin suspiciously. “That can’t be right!”
Xu Donglin’s heart rose to his throat. “W...what’s wrong?”
Mu Linger studied him carefully. “You...instead of serving your masters, what are you doing staying here?”
“I, I…” Xu Donglin lost his wits as he stammered.
Now Mu Linger was even more suspicious. “Just who’s sick? Why do you have to stay here and wait for updates?”
Xu Donglin quickly said, “It’s one of His Highness’s friends. Miss Linger, His Highness won’t let me say, so please don’t make things difficult for me.”
“Long Feiye’s friend?” Mu Linger thought for a while, but couldn’t think of any candidates. “Does Long Feiye have any friends?”
Xu Donglin was struck speechless. Now he really didn’t know what to say. Mu Linger wasn’t too interested, however. After skipping sleep for three days straight, she was extremely sleepy. She had already studied all of Gu Beiyue’s notes and was going to make up for lost sleep before continuing.
No matter who was sick, she wanted to find a solution soon.
Xu Donglin heaved a huge sigh of relief when he saw her shut the door as if he’d just passed a massive test.
Gu Beiyue told Gu Qishao about Mu Linger arriving in Medical City. Days passed as he sent men and horses to track down new strains of poisonous medicine from the plague victims of Northern Li. Gu Qishao knew his body best, so he remained wrapped in black robes daily and stopped letting Gu Beiyue examine him.
Many doctors were fierce with their patients, either from fear or impatience, but Gu Beiyue was the world’s gentlest physician. He didn’t push Gu Qishao when the latter refused him. The doctor knew very well how much his body was deteriorating; moreover, the search for medicine had no direct connection with the state of his health.
On this day, Gu Beiyue personally went to the kitchen and cooked up a hot bowl of tangyuan.
“Taste some, it’s my first time,” Gu Beiyue smiled.
Gu Qishao lifted his head from the robes and gave him an ashen smile. “So it’s the Lantern Festival today. Poison lass should have passed through the halfway point of her confinement period, right?”
“Mm, almost,” Gu Beiyue hadn’t gone to Rear Camp. In fact, he never left this house unless it was necessary. He was afraid that Little Qi would feel lonely.
“Can Poison lass eat tangyuan during her confinement period?” Gu Qishao asked seriously.
“It depends on the fillings. There’s Zhao mama and Fourth Young Miss Ren to take care of the--”
“Mm, then I won’t worry about it,” Gu Qishao interrupted before Gu Beiyue finished.
Gu Beiyue only smiled faintly with a nod.
“They should be lighting lanterns at night, right?” Gu Qishao asked next.
“Yes, it’ll be very lively. Do you want to go see?” Gu Beiyue asked.
But Gu Qishao only pulled up his black robes to reveal his feet. Factually speaking, he had no feet anymore. Gu Beiyue thought as much, but the sight of the tree roots extending into the dirt provoked his long-buried sorrow into full force.
He turned away and didn’t speak for a long time.
“I don’t want to go,” Gu Qishao dropped his robes and stared at the sky before laughing. “Beiyue, it’s fine if we watch the moon from here too. That’s the brightest lantern of all.”
His smiled brightened as his mood improved. “In any case, Poison lass won’t be lighting any lanterns either. At most, she’ll be looking at the moon too!”
While in her confinement period, Han Yunxi didn’t light any lanterns. But she couldn’t even see the moon. Although Zhao mama had urged her otherwise, she insisted on looking after her own child. Thus, she’d been tormented half to death over the past ten days by the little fellow. Even Long Feiye, who insisted on sleeping in the same room, was losing sleep.
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye’s baby was simply here to make them pay back their debts! He was extremely fussy!
During the past ten days, he’d been rowdy during daytime and restless at night. He needed a feeding every hour and would cry whenever they were slow to satisfy him. Despite his tiny age, his howls were loud enough to wake all of the surrounding tents.
At last, Long Feiye could take no more. It wasn’t that he had no endurance or disliked his son, but that he couldn’t bear to see Han Yunxi being tormented like this. Ignoring her refusals, he had Zhao mama find four experienced mamas and two wet nurses. The baby stayed with Han Yunxi during the daytime, but slept elsewhere at night.
When Han Yunxi was in deep sleep, Long Feiye would secretly get out of bed and go check on the little fellow’s status before he felt at ease. All of the servants knew his habit, but Han Yunxi was left completely in the dark.
On the night of the Lantern Festival, Han Yunxi pleaded repeatedly until the pitiful little fellow was allowed to sleep in the same room as its parents again. Han Yunxi’s eyelids were shut in exhaustion while Long Feiye was dividing his time between taking care of his wife and dealing with Northern Li. Today the family of three had reunited, causing the couple to realize they had yet to give a nickname to their son.
“Long...Long…” Han Yunxi thought for awhile before she picked a rather vulgar nickname. “Long Long!”
Zhao mama, the servants, and nurses couldn’t help giggling at the choice.
Long Feiye was all seriousness. “My surname isn’t Long. That’s the last name of the Tianning imperial clan. The East Qin Dynasty went by ‘Xuanyuan,’ so my real name is Xuanyuan Ye.”
“Long Feiye...Xuanyuan Ye...Feiye….” Han Yunxi muttered to herself before she got it. The Fei (非) character in Long Feiye was hiding a secret all along!
“Long Feiye’s” name was secretly implying that “Ye” was not (“fei”), part of the Long Clan!
1. Xuanyuan Ye (轩辕夜) － Xuanyuan is a double-character surname that is also another way to refer to Huangdi (皇帝), or the Yellow Emperor. Ye means night.
LOL okay guys when LFY gave away his real name all I could think of was the Xuanyuan Sword video game series. It's even the same two Chinese characters lololol.