The bridal procession stopped in front of Gu Beiyue’s house. He then personally kicked the bridal sedan door and carried off the bride on his back. The cheerful red veil covered her face, but judging from her figure, she was of medium height and on the slim side. Her dress hid her legs as Gu Beiyue carried her. If not for the fact that her special identity made it known to the entire city that she had crippled legs, no one would know she was someone who couldn’t walk.
The entire medical academy was present to see their head get married. They formed a line on both sides, forcing everyone else to stand behind them. There were no firecrackers in the courtyard, making the whispers grow in the crowd. But the Vice Academy Head, elders, and directors didn’t make a peep. Even Vice Academy Head Shen felt that Gu Beiyue had complicated reasons for marrying Eldest Miss Qin. All of these old men were trying to figure out what their young Academy Head had planned next.
Gu Beiyue carried Eldest Miss Qin into the first two courtyards but paused before the third. He muttered, “The people inside have sharp eyes and shrewd minds. It’s better if you hold onto me.”
Eldest Miss Qin hesitated, but ultimately wrapped her arms around Gu Beiyue’s neck and rested her head on his back. Once they entered the third courtyard, the hubbub outside faded somewhat, making it much quieter. There weren’t many people in the courtyard, only Long Feiye and Han Yunxi, Mu Linger, Xu Donglin, Chu Tianyin and a few high level members of the medical academy. Ning Jing and Tang Li received invitations as well, but the time was too tight for them to make it to the ceremony.
Gu Beiyue had no family members, so his masters Long Feiye and Han Yunxi were sitting in the seats of honor instead. Once the new couple entered, Long Feiye saw Eldest Miss Qin holding on extra tight to Gu Beiyue. But Han Yunxi didn’t notice this as her expression changed upon noticing something. Still, she quickly recovered her calm and hid any traces.
The wedding nanny pushed in a wheelchair to help Eldest Miss Qin sit down. Since her legs couldn’t move, she couldn’t stand. Gu Beiyue had thought of the finer details and his gentle care raised the envy of others.
“The first respects to Heaven and Earth!” the wedding nanny said loudly.
Gu Beiyue stood next to the wheelchair and bowed while Eldest Miss Qin bent her head.
“The second respects to the parents!” the wedding nanny shouted again. She had to help Eldest Miss Qin turn the wheelchair, but Gu Beiyue beat her to it and even helped straighten out the bride’s wedding veil. A man’s attention to details could be proof of his sincerity, which always laid in the little things. Vice Academy Head Shen and the others began to doubt their initial suspicions. Perhaps they were all mistaken from the start?
Maybe Gu Beiyue genuinely likes this Eldest Miss Qin?
Faced with Gu Beiyue, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi wore slight smiles. Han Yunxi’s attention was focused wholly on the bride’s legs.
After the second bow, husband and wife had to pay respects to each other. Then came the traditional “Send them to the bridal chambers!” The words made one’s thoughts drift off, but no one could imagine how such a gentle man could transform into a wolf and raise storms in bed!
He was like a celestial being aloof from the secular world who had no relation to such matters.
As Gu Beiyue prepared to leave, the attendants delivered two gifts.
“Master, this is from one of Gu Qishao’s messengers. He says it’s only to be opened tonight.”
Gu Qishao’s present was in a brocade box and seemed very mysterious.
“This one is from a messenger sent by the Ning Clan Head.”
Ning Cheng had sent over a jug of wine. The white porcelain bottle looked expensive at first glance. Long Feiye’s gaze swept over it before instructly Xu Donglin in a low voice to remember the details. Han Yunxi and Mu Linger were more curious about Gu Qishao’s gift. Neither guest had shown up, but their presents did. At the very least, this showed they cared.
Gu Qishao’s present was taken by Gu Beiyue to the bridal chambers while Ning Cheng’s wine was left on the banquet table with Long Feiye and the rest. Although they were now husband and wife in name, Gu Beiyue went through all of the usual conventions. There was eating sweet balls of dough and drinking half a cup of wine before he left to take care of the guests. He instructed the servant girl, “I’ll come back late tonight, so bring the her ladyship some food to eat. Don’t let her starve.”
Before the groom came back, the bride was supposed to sit waiting docilely on the bed. Oftentimes, one would find the groom drunk and the bride faint from hunger.
Not long after Gu Beiyue left, Han Yunxi and Mu Linger made an excuse to raise the curtains and enter the bridal chambers. Han Yunxi easily dismissed the two servant girls and had Mu Linger shut the doors. Eldest Miss Qin sat unmoving, clueless to her surroundings. She only sensed something amiss when the two intruders approached and asked, “Lan Zhi, Lan Qing, is it you?”
“New bride, guess who we are?” Mu Linger laughed.
Eldest Miss Qin had never met Mu Linger before, so she didn’t recognize her voice. Han Yunxi assumed they’d scare her, but she remained calm and said, “You two must be Beiyue’s friends.”
“Aren’t you afraid that we’re here to kidnap you?” Han Yunxi asked.
“You wouldn’t be,” Eldest Miss Qin was certain.
“Why not?” Han Yunxi asked.
“If you wanted to kidnap me, the best opportunity would have been yesterday night or this morning when I was still at the Qin Estate. Choosing now of all times is just courting death,” Eldest Miss Qin replied.
“There are plenty of people who court death in this world. Not everyone’s intelligent,” Han Yunxi argued.
“Anyone who dares to make an enemy out of Beiyue is either an idiot to the extreme--in which case they wouldn’t be able to get in--or an unparalleled genius--in which case, they wouldn’t appear now. Since the two of you can appear soundlessly by my side, you aren’t just anyone.” Eldest Miss Qin thought it over, then said, “Princess, please forgive Qin Min for being unable to bow in greeting. Miss Linger, did I guess correctly?”
“Big sis, she’s so smart,” Mu Linger blurted.
“Don’t be rude,” Han Yunxi scolded unhappily.
Mu Linger only stuck out her tongue and grinned. “Sister-in-law, you can call me Linger in the future.”
“Alright, then I won’t put on any pretense,” Eldest Miss Qin smiled as well.
Judging from her voice, she seemed open and generous. But they had no idea what she looked like. Mu Linger was dying of curiosity to know! She didn’t know why her big sister had entered the bridal chambers either. She assumed Han Yunxi was curious about the bride’s looks too.
Han Yunxi couldn’t judge Eldest Miss Qin’s intelligence from a single incident, but she was certain this lady was no fool. Besides that, she admired her calm. At the very least, Eldest Miss Qin hadn’t shown any obvious signs of panic when they popped in. However, Han Yunxi was certain her next actions would stir her calm.
“Qin Min, what’s wrong with your legs?” she asked.
“They were fine when I was still 16, but I felt uncomfortable during my birthday. They couldn’t find anything wrong, but my legs gradually lost all strength,” Qin Min remained serene as she shared her experiences.
“I heard they’ve atrophied. Even Gu Beiyue can’t cure them?” Han Yunxi asked. Since he knew Eldest Miss Qin since young, he should be clear about her leg problems.
“It’s incurable. He’s tried for many years but couldn’t find the source of the problem. They’re not really atrophied. I’ve been using needles on them for the past few years so I’ve preserved the muscles. I just can’t put any strength into them to stand,” Qin Min replied.
Actually, Gu Beiyue had never sought her out. She was the one who found him after the Apricot Woods Conference, which was also when they first met. She remembered he had been extremely busy then, but still stopped to examine her. However, he gave her a hopeless answer: there was no cure if he couldn’t understand the problem. Recently, he’d met with her privately again to have another thorough examination, though in vain, before sending someone with a marriage proposal to the Qin Clan.
She remembered him clearly asking her, “Do you have anyone you want to marry?”
His eyes hadn’t been gentle then, but absolutely serious. He’d proposed terms to her. They wouldn’t be real husband and wife, but she knew if she nodded, he would ensure her safety for the rest of her life so she could live without any worries. Wasn’t this what she always wanted?
As the Qin Clan’s eldest young Miss, her talent was outstanding and her medical skills superb. When it came to a fair match, she wouldn’t lose against the currently trending Fourth Young Miss Ren. However, her decline in fortunes after her 16th birthday sent her plummeting from the clouds and down into an abyss. She knew that even the best medical skills made her more useless than a mediocre beauty in the Qin Clan if she couldn’t be married off.
She had never wanted to vie for anything. Her medical skills weren’t for competing against others or winning benefits, but to save people. She wanted to create an all new acupuncture system to stop pain and save lives. But she couldn’t.
There was no such thing as an unmarriageable woman of the Qin Clan. If the elder sister didn’t get married, the younger sisters couldn’t, either. She either had to die or submit herself to a man older than her father and become his concubine.
Gu Beiyue was her fortune and hope. She agreed to his terms with feelings of gratitude, taking him as her savior. But he only smiled and said, “As long as I’m not delaying your prospects, that’s even better.”
She had no idea why this man wanted to marry her. Even as husband and wife in name, there were plenty of outstanding females in this city and continent. At the very least, they were women who could stand on their own two legs who were still content enough to spend their lives in an empty house after marrying him!
She’d asked him once, “Wouldn’t I delay your prospects?”
He had laughed out loud and said, “You can save me a lot of trouble. That counts as helping me out.”
She couldn’t help asking, “Do you have anyone you love?”
He said, “I’ve respected and admired a woman once, but someone loves her more than me. That’s why my love doesn’t count.”
She hadn’t understood, but she agreed to give her life to him anyways. While Qin Min was lost in her memories, Han Yunxi’s words suddenly startled her out of the blue.
Han Yunxi said, “Qin Min, your legs have been poisoned. It’s a very rare toxin. Leaving aside the fact that Gu Beiyue doesn’t know poisons, even Gu Qishao’s skills wouldn’t be able to detect a thing.”
Qin Min tore off her wedding veil in shock. “Poisoned?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Welcome to the March to the Main Story End! We're going to head all the way to C1206 throughout the day, so keep checking back for updates! I might keep uploading chapters until midnight, heheh...