Qin Min didn't think Han Yunxi would say such things and felt that her words had hidden meaning. But she continued to feign ignorance. Actually, she didn't want to pretend either! She couldn't wait to lie down on the bed and have a good sleep. Riding the carriage here the entire way tired out every bone in her body. Although she had laid down to sleep in the tent these few days, it still wasn't enough. She had no choice but to stay tense and keep alert, just like her days living in Yunning City. She was afraid that she'd expose herself if she got too close to Esteemed Empress and the others.
Mu Linger wasn't a big deal, but the empress and Ning Jing were shrewd and had sharp eyes. She had already ruined Gu Beiyue's plans with the pregnancy, so if any other troubles cropped up with their marriage, she'd have no face to see him in the next lifetime. She still missed her days in Yunning. After being away for so long, she had no idea how little Shadow was doing. She wanted to bring him along, but gave up the idea after long and hard thought. She was so uncomfortable herself and it'd be inconvenient to take along a child, so she couldn't make things difficult for little Shadow.
"Am I alike?" Qin Min asked back.
"You look different, but your tempers are practically identical!" Mu Linger declared. "Big sis Min, tell us secretly: did Gu Beiyue set down house rules for you? Are you not allowed to do this or that at home, same thing when you go out?"
Qin Min laughed. "No. He yields to me in everything, it's just…"
It was easy to trick Mu Linger, but the empress and Ning Jing wouldn't accept a perfunctory answer. She tried to thin kof ways to change the topic as she answered. In the end, she pretended to act shy and murmured, "He won't allow me to eat as I please."
"You're not pregnant, why can't you eat as you please?" Mu Linger asked.
Qin Min intoned, "I'm still nurturing my body. He's keeping a strict watch in case I get careless again."
Only then did Mu Linger recall Qin Min's miscarriage and quickly changed her tune. "Big sis Min, Gu Beiyue is strict because he cherishes you. See how my brother-in-law dotes on my sister! That's why he keeps a close eye on her too!"
Mu Linger had just been depressed that Gu Beiyue was talking too much and ruining her big sister's chances of eating roast meat (and maybe her future chances too). But she knew that Qin Min had lost her child because of a fall, so she was afraid the topic would make her unhappy and quickly changed to comforting her instead. Ning Jing listened quietly while Han Yunxi had a good idea of events and stayed silent.
"Actually, there's no need to ban such foods," Qin Min said lightly. This allowed Mu Linger to successfully divert the topic.
"Really?" Mu Linger was thrilled.
Qin Min grew serious. "After the third trimester, you don't have to be deliberate about eating, drinking, or daily life. Spicy and sour, fried and baked, aren't absolutely prohibited as long as the food is fresh. Eating them occasionally is fine and commonly used to relieve cravings."
"But Gu Beiyue, he…" Mu Linger couldn't believe it. After all, Gu Beiyue was the top authority in the medical field!
Qin Min only replied, "You have to trust female doctors for women's affairs."
Mu Linger gave a start before laughing out loud. "Makes sense, makes sense!"
Han Yunxi clearly saw Qin Min changing the topic, but felt like she found a soulmate after hearing those words. Although she was no obstetrician, she knew that pregnancies weren't so strictly prescriptive. She just couldn't convince Long Feiye or Gu Beiyue who was on his side. Teasingly she said, "Qin Min, give Gu Beiyue some pillow talk tonight so he can intercede on my behalf in front of Long Feiye."
Qin Min smiled. "Esteemed Empress, this subject will do her best."
Mu Linger pursed her lips and laughed soundlessly. She could almost see her future filled with delicious foods to eat. Ning Jing was about to speak when Qin Min quickly took initiative and said to Han Yunxi, "Esteemed Empress, may this subject take your pulse?"
Han Yunxi immediately offered up her wrist. She heard Gu Beiyue say that Qin Min was a medical generalist with a very professional level in all fields. Moreover, she had her own set of acupuncture techniques that could cure many diseases untreated by medicine or slow to heal. She wanted Qin Min to take her pulse anyways, just to see if she had any different observations from Gu Beiyue. Normally, Gu Beiyue checked her pulse every few days, but it was only a simple examination with some advice on what to be aware of. This time, Qin Min took her pulse for quite a while.
Han Yunxi was calm at first, but seeing Qin Min's cautious expression and prolonged silence made her uneasy.
"My big sis…did something happen?" Mu Linger couldn't help asking.
Qin Min remained silent before finally saying, "Nothing major." As she spoke, she suddenly drew close to Han Yunxi and murmured something under her breath.
Han Yunxi couldn't believe it. "Really?" she asked.
"Esteemed Empress, it can be confirmed within five to six days," Qin Min respectfully returned to her seat.
"You…" Han Yunxi was surprised.
Qin Min only smiled and didn't explain. Ning Jing and Mu Linger were both lost, the latter quickly getting anxious. "What kind of secrets are you sharing?!"
Han Yunxi said, "I'm pregnant…with a girl?"
"Ah?!" Mu Linger exclaimed.
Ning Jing was shocked as well. "Qin Min, you can even tell the gender?"
Qin Min still resembled a rich young lady from a well-established family as she sat primly in her seat. Even her two hands were placed properly as she laughed lightly, giving people a pleasant feeling. She wasn't an airhead or artificial, but smiling sweetly in a way that reminded them of the sun outside the tent: warm but not hot, bright but not harsh.
It was currently the fourth month and the spring was warm, with gentle breezes blowing through the beautiful scenery.
Qin Min smiled and said, "Esteemed Empress, Madam Jing, Madam Ling, Qin Min dares to make a bet with you all."
Han Yunxi had never wanted to make a bet she wanted to lose so badly. Long Feiye dearly wanted a daughter! How could she not want the same?
"I'll bet! Qin Min, if you win…" Han Yunxi thought for a long time but couldn't think of any terms. She asked, "What do you want?"
Qin Min was happy in her heart. She was 100 percent certain the empress had a girl, but only said so out loud to distract her and change topics. Still, the empress's words turned her serious. "Esteemed Empress, this subject only begs for one thing. I hope that Esteemed Empress won't tell Beiyue."
"Go ahead and speak," Han Yunxi even wanted to switch out Gu Beiyue for Qin Min to do her regular checkups.
"Esteemed Empress, if this subject is correct, then I hope Esteemed Empress will allow Beiyue to recuperate. He's a chronic invalid who cannot be overworked," Qin Min said seriously.
Last time she had taken Gu Beiyue's pulse before he left Yunzhou. Actually, his body was quite frail. Although she had no idea what his condition was, she knew he needed rest most of all. She wasn't sure if he regularly soaked in medicinal baths after leaving Yunzhou, but his illness was serious and couldn't afford delays. Any more would only worsen the situation. He said it was treatable and not serious, so she naturally believed him. But she was afraid he'd be too busy and put things off without cherishing himself.
He was the Grand Tutor to the crown prince, teaching not just a child but Great Qin's future monarch who would protect the nation and its people in the future; he was the head of the medical academy and Medical City, shouldering the burden of treating Great Qin's people and all of its human lives; he was part of the emperor's inner circle, secretly counseling a group of strategists and sharing the burdens of the emperor to do his best for the country.
Although she didn't know his real purpose for adopting Shadow yet, she knew he wanted a heir. This was more or less related to the Shadow Clan. He was also the Shadow Clan's heir and its only descendent! He had endless things to do, so how could he ever take the initiative to ask for a break with his personality?
Ning Jing and Mu Linger both knew that Gu Beiyue was the busiest man besides Long Feiye, so they only thought Qin Min was complaining that Gu Beiyue didn't spend enough time with her. But Han Yunxi realized that Gu Beiyue needed time to rest, being a person who regularly took medicine.
"Alright!" Hna Yunxi agreed, privately thinking she'd use an excuse to make Gu Beiyue take a vacation later. No matter whether Qin Min win or lost this bet, she had to do it…
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye lived a few days in the grasslands. Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue personally went to visit Wintercrow Country and came back to talk with Jin Zi for an entire day. Long Feiye was determined to claim Wintercrow Country and was just waiting for a chance. Han Yunxi might hold military power, but Long Feiye forbade her from thinking too much while she was pregnant. She didn't ask for many details, either, but started asking after Medicine City instead. Although Mu Linger was married, she still worried after supervising the medicines there. On the same day Han Yunxi's group departed for Yunning, she let Jin Zi accompany Mu Linger back to the Mu Clan. Han Yunxi was planning to talk to Long Feiye about giving Gu Beiyue a vacation on the way back, but Gu Beiyue and Qin Min suddenly received a secret missive from Medical City the first day into their trip. Vice-Head Shen couldn't clean up the mess, so he invited Gu Beiyue to hurry back as soon as possible.
"Your Majesty, Qin Min will accompany you two," Gu Beiyue said seriously.
"No need, we're going by public roads and can find a doctor along the way," Han Yunxi refused. Gu Beiyue wanted to leave Qin Min by her side to look after her, but she wasn't weak enough for a doctor to shadow her every step just because of a pregnancy. If news of this spread, she'd be a laughingstock! Instead, it was Gu Beiyue who should have a woman looking after his needs since he was always busy.
"Esteemed Empress…" Gu Beiyue began, but the quiet Qin Min suddenly interrupted.
She said, "Beiyue, it's time to finish the Qin Clan's business. This might be a chance."
"Exactly!" Han Yunxi was just about to bring it up herself. Mu Linger had already returned to Medicine City and Great Qin's treasury was full. Imperial prestige shone strongly everywhere, so it was time to break through Medical and Medicine City to monopolize the pharmaceutical world under imperial power.
"It is about time," Long Feiye nodded.
Gu Beiyue looked at Qin Min and didn't say anything else. She met his pupils and quickly looked away, her calm heart suddenly turning anxious.
She regretted it!
It was already late night when their carriages reached a fork in the road. Long Feiye and Han Yunxi headed straight south while Gu Beiyue and Qin Min went southwest. As Long Feiye's carriage faded into the distance, Gu Beiyue looked back and said, "Eldest Miss Qin, have these past few days tired you? Sleep without worries, I'll drive the carriage."
Qin Min had already lowered the curtains on the carriage, but couldn't bear his words and muttered, "Academy Head Beiyue, I promise there won't be a next time."
Just then, she had talked too much.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
seriously though, GBY is the busiest guy in the world after LFY (or maybe even busier, since he has to wear four different hats at once). is Great Qin so starved for talent they have to put everything on his shoulders? shouldn't an emperor find more trusted counselors than just his circle of best friends??
i know, i know, this is a romance novel and we don't have time to introduce a bunch of new ministers, plus GQS and NC both ran away from their jobs...but honestly, i feel sorry for GBY. he's like the perpetual sober friend, responsible class monitor, good boy, etc. i remember this annoying me earlier in the book because he's always suffering. aish!
anyways, for what it's worth qin min is a good girl. :)