Chapter 1191: You left me behind again

When Mu Linger ran into Gu Beiyue’s study, the doctor was still in discussion with the Vice Head and elders about the deployment of the medical teams. Gu Beiyue had also decided to head for Northern Li himself. Although Mu Linger was brash and impulsive, she had enough sense to wait on the sidelines when she saw everyone else.

Seeing this, the crowd successively paid their respects and left. Gu Beiyue hastily asked, “Miss Linger, what’s wrong? Has something happened to Qishao?”

He had only left Gu Qishao with her after he was sure there would be no serious issues. Thus, he wasn’t panicking. Mu Linger saw the place clear out but still wasn’t relieved. She pulled Gu Beiyue to a corner and murmured softly, “I heard you’re marrying the Qin Clan’s eldest young Miss?”

Gu Beiyue startled before smiling with a nod to admit it. “Mm, it’s true!”

Mu Linger had a fright. Leaving aside the girl in the wheelchair, even the finest female of Medical City wasn’t a worthy match to Gu Beiyue! He was young and talented, with handsome looks and a gentle temperament. His status and position were high, his martial arts powerful, and his medical skills exquisite. How could a man like him have trouble finding a wife?

Seeing Gu Beiyue’s smile, Mu Linger knew he wasn’t joking. She studied him carefully and asked, “Why?”

“Miss Linger, these are my private matters. Let’s not discuss that. I’ll be heading for Northern Li tomorrow, so come with me to see Qishao,” Gu Beiyue refused kindly.

Mu Linger didn’t give up. “Doctor Gu, are you in some kind of trouble? Did anyone force you into it? What’s the meaning of all this?”

“Nobody forced me. I like Eldest Miss Qin, so I want to marry her. It’s as simple as that,” Gu Beiyue explained.

“You…” Mu Linger didn’t believe it. “Does my big sister and His Highness know?”

“Miss Linger, these are my personal affairs. I’ll naturally inform the princess and His Highness once I’ve set a wedding date,” Gu Beiyue turned serious. In other words, he didn’t want his master Han Yunxi getting involved with his own life either! 

Mu Linger understood what he meant, but still felt like something was off. She glanced at Gu Beiyue a couple more times but stayed silent. Instead, she privately resolved to tell her big sis and His Highness about all this. She was certain that Gu Beiyue had reasons for his choice!

Gu Beiyue hadn’t seen Little Qi in days. He saw that Mu Linger was taking care of him very well and had even straightened up his hair. Gu Qishao was looking better these days, so after an examination, Gu Beiyue told Mu Linger, “Have him soak for 10 more days and it’ll be fine. Medicine is poison too, so excessive soaking will be detrimental to his health. When the time comes, use the acupuncture techniques I told you to treat him everyday. He’s only unconscious because his body is weak. Once he regains strength, he’ll definitely wake up. I’m estimating that will be the beginning of next month.”

There was only half a month left! Mu Linger was thrilled and didn’t know what to say beyond grinning at Gu Qishao. Amused, Gu Beiyue said, “Linger, talk more often to Little Qi. He should regain his consciousness gradually so he might be able to hear your words.”

Mu Linger gave a start before she turned her back on Gu Qishao, her face completely red! Heavens, I’ve been telling Qi gege all my thoughts these days! I even...said I’d bear his children!

She wish she could ram her head into the wall and knock herself out this instant. Seeing her avoiding Gu Qishao, Gu Beiyue more or less guessed her thoughts. He pretended not to notice and smiled. “Linger, I’ll leave safeguarding Qishao to you. I’m leaving.”

If Mu Linger was smart enough, she’d understood the hidden meaning behind Gu Beiyue’s “safeguarding” statement. Unfortunately, her wits weren’t up to par. Lost in her own embarrassment, she didn’t have any time to pay attention to Gu Beiyue’s words! 

Five days after Gu Beiyue left Medical City, Mu Linger personally headed out to forage for some medicinal plants. When she came back to the rooms, she found the wooden tub empty and Gu Qishao gone! 

Mu Linger stood rooted to the spot for ages until the medical assistant entered the room. She finally recovered her wits and opened up the closet, only to find the scarlet robes she prepared for him gone as well! Like that, she stood gaping at the empty space as tears trickled down her cheeks. “Qi gege...you left me behind again! Again!”

Mu Linger ran out of the medical academy in tears and left Medical City that very day for Yunning! She knew that Gu Qishao would definitely go looking for her big sister after he woke up!

But unexpectedly, by the time she reached there after sleepless days and nights, she discovered that Qi gege wasn’t there. In fact, her big sister hadn’t even known he’d woken up.

“Then where is he?” Han Yunxi was very surprised. Sure, Gu Qishao might avoid Linger, but he should at least come to see me and Long Feiye. We worried so long over him!

“Where is he?” Mu Linger’s eyes turned red instantly. She hadn’t cried on the trip here and even forgot to rest or feel sad, but now she felt wronged and aggrieved all over. She didn’t even expect anything back from Qi gege. She’d be fine if he just woke up to talk with her and smiled a bit!

Qi gege! Do you know how much Linger misses your smiles?

“Linger, don’t cry, don’t panic, let’s look for him togther,” Han Yunxi coaxed quickly.

Long Feiye glanced at Mu Linger before heading silently out the door. If Gu Qishao could hide himself successfully from Mu Linger, then he should be fine now. He was too lazy to bother with these matters. It’d be best if Gu Qishao never came to Yunning at all!

Han Yunxi comforted Mu Linge while sending out shadow guards to search for Gu Qishao’s whereabouts. Of course, these were all for show to placate the girl and give her hope. Han Yunxi knew that Gu Qishao hadn’t come by to visit her this time just to purposely avoiding meeting Mu Linger.

This silly girl. Can’t she tell? Or does she refuse to face reality?

Mu Linger was too depressed. If she was sad about Qi gege leaving her the last time she climbed the rear mountains, now she was sad because Qi gege had thoroughly tossed her aside. Han Yunxi couldn’t coax her any, so she had Zhao mama carry over Rui’er. 

“Linger, if you cry any more, you’ll scare Rui’er,” she stated.

Mu Linger looked up and instantly stifled her crying upon the sight of the baby. Still, tears trickled down her face. When Han Yunxi saw her trying to be strong, she only felt helpless. She ended up letting Mu Linger cry if that made her feel better! 

Han Yunxi carried little Rui’er into the courtyard. After reaching one month of age, Rui’er’s daily changes came very quickly. He was more aware of his surroundings and had plenty of expressions and moods. He loved it when his mother took him out to stroll around the gardens. He was still too young to know he had a very beautiful godfather who loved to joke and find lots of tasty snacks, or that Auntie Linger was very sad. He was even more clueless to the fact that the most helpless thing in the world was wishing for something you couldn’t have.

Mu Linger cried and cried until she fell asleep. When she woke up, it was already evening and Han Yunxi was sitting by her side, reading though a booklet. Although Mu Linger didn’t know its contents, she knew Han Yunxi was very busy. 

Her stricken heart warmed slightly as she said, “Big sis, I’ve caused trouble for you again.”

Han Yunxi rolled her eyes at her before resting her gaze back on her book. “I’ll spend the night with you. Hungry? Should we get Zhao mama to make you a bowl of noodles?”

“Not hungry,” Mu Linger thought, then asked, “Big sis, I want to go find Doctor Gu in Northern Li. I’ll go save people with him!”

Han Yunxi was both surprised and pleased. She patted her on the shoulders and said, “Good going!”

Thanks to the snow disasters and plague, many of Northern Li’s cities were left undefended. Either the troops had ran off or fell victims to the plague, turning the entire country into a living Hell. Meanwhile, the Northern Li emperor had snatched away grain and medicine to retreat to one of Northern Li’s snow mountains and set up camp. 

When Ning Cheng set off, he gave the people grain and medicine, so they and the soldiers naturally surrendered. They were thankful for Ning Cheng and cooperated with his administrative efforts. Ning Cheng took two entire months to delegate his troops to different areas of the country. They managed to quarantine almost all of the plague victims while the soldiers took charge of delivering food and medicine. Treatment of the patients had to be left to the medical teams.

Han Yunxi received the latest news about the front lines. Gu Beiyue had almost reached Ning Cheng’s tent and brought along three specialist plague treatment teams. They wanted to resolve the disease before midsummer fell. 

Mu Linger was clever in the way of medicine. If she went, she would be a huge asset to Gu Beiyue!

Mu Linger bravely wiped away her tears and declared, “Big sis, keep little Rui’er and His Highness company. I want to go up that mountain and look at that tree. I’ll spend the night there and leave tomorrow morning!”

“Be careful. If you ever want to go home, come back here,” Han Yunxi said tenderly.

Mu Linger prepared to set off when she suddenly recalled something and turned back. “Big sis, did you get the letter I sent you before?”

“About Eldest Miss Qin?” Han Yunxi asked.

“Yes! That’s the one…” Mu Linger wanted to say that Gu Beiyue might have some sort of personal difficulty at hand, but Han Yunxi cut her off.

“Linger, marriage is a personal affair. Since Beiyue chose her, he must have his reasons. We should just wait to share the wedding wine with him.”

Mu Linger knitted her brows in worry, but Han Yunxi simply waved a hand to hurry her up the mountain while it was still light. As Mu Linger stepped out the door, she suddenly felt self-reproach. I haven’t even sorted out my own problems yet, so why should I be worrying about Gu Beiyue’s?

--

By the time Mu Linger reached the mountain peak, it was already dark. The end of spring and beginning of summer was approaching. Many stars dotted the sky as Mu Linger helped herself up the branches to find a place to sit. She looked up and saw the starscape above her.

That entire night, she sat spacing out in the tree before inexplicably falling asleep. Maybe it was because the tree belonged to Qi gege, but she had a groggy sense that he was by her side, protecting her…

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Ok but aren't those tree branches made up of thorny thistle vines? Is Mu Linger sitting between the spikes? Is her butt made out of steel?

Did she sleep sitting up or leaning against more spikes so she wouldn't fall down or stab herself in the face?

What a mystery...