Chapter 1204: Then you tell me what to do

Although Qin Min only slightly lifted her skirts, Gu Beiyue only glanced at it a few times before asking, “The princess helped you bind these?”

Not only had he personally witnessed the princess using needles and treating poisons, he’d also acted as her assistant. Han Yunxi had a unique way of binding bandages that didn’t need many layers to get the job done. Right now, Qin Min’s bandages sported Han Yunxi’s distinct binding style for injuries.

“You’re poisoned?” Gu Beiyue asked next before Qin Min could reply.

Qin Min then told him the ins and outs of the matter, leaving him astonished. However, he showed no signs of joy--at least, none that Qin Min could see on his face. She couldn’t help but explain, “Academy Head Beiyue, I only said this matter involves you because...if I can stand, then no one will say you married a cripple anymore.”

“Eldest Miss Qin, does it matter what others think?” Gu Beiyue retorted.

“Not in the past, but now it does. After all, I’ve taken the title of Academy Head’s wife,” Qin Min was very pragmatic.

Gu Beiyue then asked, “Even I don’t care, so why should you care about others’ opinions?”

Qin Min had no retort. When she saw that he still looked indifferent, she asked, “Doesn’t this count as good news?”

“Time is up. Let’s change the medicine first, we’ll discuss this later,” Gu Beiyue intoned.

Qin Min assumed he’d call for a servant girl, but he actually told her, “Eldest Miss Qin, apologies for being forward again.”

“W-we can call over a nurse. I know how to change the dressing, so I’ll just tell her what to do,” Qin Min grew nervous.

Gu Beiyue finally broke into a smile. “I’ve already dismissed all the servants. There’s no one left in this courtyard tonight except you and me.”

Qin Min finally remembered that this was their wedding night. It was truly inconvenient to call over a servant girl now and might even raise suspicions.

“Then...then I’ll do it myself,” she murmured, afraid to meet Gu Beiyue’s eyes. Unlike Han Yunxi, who felt there was no gender difference in the face of doctors, she was a lady of an established household with very prudent values. Although Gu Beiyue had seen her legs, it was a completely different situation than applying medicine to them!

“It’s no good if you touch the poison accidentally. I don’t have any antidote on me. How about you close your eyes? It’ll all be over in a moment,” Gu Beiyue said sincerely. 

He knows I prefer to be modest, but why can’t I see a hint of embarrassment in his gaze?

A self-mocking lilt rose up to Qin Min’s lips. Maybe I’m just overthinking things. Gu Beiyue’s such a merciless and rational man. His heart is nothing but frank, so he probably doesn’t feel awkward about doing anything. My heart was beating out of my chest when I saw him holding me, but he stayed calm and pushed me away with only a simple apology.

So I’m the one who’s not frank enough? Is it my heart that’s hoping for something more?

Qin Min didn’t dare think further. She knew what kind of man Gu Beiyue was, and that their marriage was only a matter of formality at best. 

“Then I’ll have to trouble Academy Head Beiyue. The princess’s medicine is right in the drawer over there,” Qin Min grew polite as well before closing her eyes like he suggested.

Gu Beiyue brought over salve and gauze before propping her legs on a chair. He carefully lifted up her dress to her knees. She only heard him say, “Indeed, it’s the princess’s handiwork,” before he starting taking off her bandages.

Soon enough, she felt the bandage lifting off her legs without much fuss or even the touch of her fingers on her skin. What smooth movements. They should be very similar to the princess’s own. 

The room was so quiet that she even started feeling nervous. After all, she was facing Gu Beiyue! She felt like she had to say something to shift the pressure. 

She said, “Academy Head Beiyue, your bandaging skills are like…”

Gu Beiyue took her by the calf and lifted her leg.

Heavens! Qin Min sucked in a breath as an inexplicable numbness spread from her calf. She couldn’t help opening her eyes, only to see…

Only to see him with his head bowed, eyes focused as he wiped off the various bits of medicine still stuck on her legs. He had no idea that she had opened her eyes, much less the chaotic state of her heart right now. 

After wiping her down, he began to smear salve on her legs. Qin Min clearly trembled when she felt his fingers touch her muscles. She squeezed her eyes shut and told herself to endure and stay calm! Her confidence had taken a blow after seeing him so impassive. 

Gu Beiyue was such a meticulous man that it was impossible for him not to notice Qin Min’s unease. After wrapping her up, he immediately stood up and explained, “Tonight was a special case, so I’ve overstepped my bounds. I’ll arrange for someone trustworthy to wait on you stating tomorrow.”

In other words, there would be no next time. 

“Oh,” Qin Min said. She didn’t dare to raise her head.

Gu Beiyue cleaned up everything and washed his hands before sitting in front of Qin Min. He chose a chair, having not sat on the bed once so far. It was impossible to avoid helping her apply medicine, but he was even more particular than Qin Min when it came to rites and etiquette! 

He sighed. “It was my oversight. I should have let the princess examine you sooner. Even putting off the marriage for a day later would be fine!”

Qin Min didn’t speak.

But Gu Beiyue went on, serious. “Eldest Miss Qin, I’m...I’m afraid I’ll be delaying the rest of your life.” If he knew Qin Min could have been cured, he never would have married her. Now that they were married, no one would dare to take her if they suddenly divorced. The status of Academy Head’s wife was too unique.

If he didn’t divorce her, was he supposed to force such an outstanding girl to be with her for the rest of his life? With her legs healed, her family, looks, and talent meant that plenty of handsome young men were hers for the taking in Medical City. Qin Min understood his drift, but she only felt a tinge of sorrow when she looked upon this quiet, gentle man.

She couldn’t help asking, “Academy Head Beiyue, why did you give up on your marriage? Is there someone you want to marry but can’t? That girl you admire?”

Gu Beiyue didn’t answer, but asked back, “Say, Eldest Miss Qin...what are you planning to do?”

“Since I married you, I’ll always be your wife! Unless you don’t want me! Our agreement is eternally binding,” Qin Min said hastily. 

“You…”

Qin Min cut him off. “You’re not me, so how do you know I’ll be delaying my life by marrying you? Academy Head Beiyue, I do have someone I want to marry, but it’s not possible. Like you, I have no place for anyone else in my heart. It’s not bad spending our lives as partners like this. You can’t break your promise, or else I’ll…” Qin Min’s voice dropped before she warned him, “Or else I’ll tell the world about...the foster baby!”

“Someone you want to marry?” Gu Beiyue was more interested in her private affairs than her threat.

“If you tell me who you want to marry, I’ll tell you mine?” Qin Min giggled as her eyes gaze turned adorably sly.

Once again, Gu Beiyue changed the topic. He stood up and declared, “Eldest Miss Qin, if you ever regret it one day, you can leave at any time. I, Gu Beiyue, has delayed you, But I won’t let you down. You can tell me any requests you want.”

A flash of disappointment flickered past Qin Min’s eyes, so quickly she didn’t even notice herself. Smiling faintly, she replied, “Academy Head Beiyue’s words are as weighty as the nine tripod cauldrons. Qin Min shall remember.”

“It’s getting late, so rest up. There’s no one in the courtyard tonight and I’ll be in the study right next door. Call me if you need anything,” Gu Beiyue intoned.

Qin Min nodded.

As Gu Beiyue prepared to leave, he glanced back and asked, “Eldest Miss Qin, who gave you the poison?”

“It must be someone within the Qin Clan, though I can’t confirm whether it’s a Qin Clan member. Tomorrow I’ll ride wheelchair back. For now we should keep this secret and have my parents be the judge,” Qin Min had long planned this out.

Gu Beiyue admired Qin Min most for her good logic and sense of propriety. Although these were Qin Clan matters, as the Academy Head’s wife, such intel would now be used by those with motives to cause her family trouble. If the poisoner really was a Qin Clan member, then not only would her family lose face, they would also lose their standing in the eyes of the public. The Ren Clan would certainly be happy with that outcome.

If the poisoner wasn’t a member of the family but a spy, then there had to be a plot afoot, which meant they needed to be careful. Qin Min might be a victim, but this matter affected the Qin Clan most of all. In the end she had let them take care of it.

“That’s right,” Qin Min remembered, “Gu Qishao’s gift for you is over there.”

Gu Beiyue recalled this matter as well. He picked up the box and opened it up before his expression clearly froze. Qin Min looked at him oddly and teased, “I heard that Gu Qishao’s an eccentric. He must have gifted something extraordinary.”

Mm. It’s...it’s not bad,” Gu Beiyue finished before walking away.

“What did he gift?” Qin Min muttered to herself. 

She wasn’t too curious, just asking casually. Her heart felt a little empty after seeing the shut door, but she didn’t know why. She suddenly remembered that she forgot to ask Gu Beiyue how he knew her favorite flowers were forsythia. She wanted to chase after him, but it was impossible now when she couldn’t walk yet.

--

Gu Beiyue reached the study before hiding the brocade box away with a helpless shake of his head. “Gu Qishao, that fellow!”

He had busied himself all day and drank quite a bit of wine, so now he was exhausted. He lied down on the bd and quickly saw Lil Thing, who had been missing for days, hanging upside down from the rafters. It waved its tail at him while baring its teeth. He couldn’t tell whether it was angry or excited. 

The princess had stayed for a few days and tried to look for Lil Thing then, but it never showed its face. At last, it had crawled out of the woodwork tonight. Seeing Lil Thing still dangling in the air, Gu Beiyue withdrew his gaze and pillowed his head with one arm.

Lil Thing scampered down and landed on his chest, cheeping nonstop. 

It was excited!

It had been stifled for days while spying on him in the dark. Only tonight did it know what kind of person he was marrying. It had been hiding in the rafters of the bridal chamber. It didn’t know what it should do--or even what it could do. But all it saw was the gentleman leaving the lady after changing her medicine.

It almost cried in that moment. So the gentleman was faking his marriage!

Although it hadn’t teared up then, its eyes were red-rimmed with tears now as it laid in his embrace…

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Can you imagine living a life where your super-powered poison squirrel buddy is jealous of any and all potential love interests that step in your way?

Lil Thing is cute and all, but I'd personally want it to stop minding my business. It's not like a squirrel/snow wolf and man can get married anyways... (=.=)