A flood of people surrounded the gates of the Qin Estate, with the front three rows all sitting in silent protest. These were all young doctors of Medical City with substantial medical ranks. Behind them were four or five rows of people, including doctors of ordinary rank and families who sent their relatives to the city for treatment. They were talking nonstop and even issued neat chants from time to time. At first, they were just denouncing the Qin Clan Head, but soon it shifted to cursing the entire Qin family and a few of its famous doctors.
Qin Min was dressed in a plain goose-yellow dress, looking light and fresh in the summer season. Shaoyao pushed her out of an alley on her wheelchair, so most people didn't notice her. Even if they did, they only noted her beauty and lamented that she was a cripple. Medical City all knew the Eldest Miss Qin was handicapped, but few realized she was as beautiful as a flower.
Shaoyao was scared by the commotion and stopped. "Madam, let's have sir's two guards come. What if they make a scene…"
"Being bullied on the doorsteps to my own home?" Qin Min interrupted. "Are you joking?"
Shaoyao pursed her lips and stayed silent. She was supposed to follow her mistress from Yunzhou to Yunning, but the latter thought she was too chatty and left her in Yunning to head north with the master alone. She was curious to know if anything had happened between them on the trip. Of course, she didn't dare ask, afraid of making madam unhappy enough to banish her to Yunzhou. She had pled for ages before madam was willing to take her to Medical City.
Shaoyao pushed Qin Min closer and closer to the crowd. At this moment, the gates suddenly opened and silenced the protesters. At last there was peace in the world!
Qin Min strained her ears while gesturing for Shaoyao to stop. She had to see who the Qin Clan sent out to deal with this first. Very soon, she was surprised, because it was none other than her second uncle's precious son, the Eldest Young Master Qin Zhengyuan (秦筝原). He was dressed in dignified white robes with a jade belt around his waist and hair tied high above his head. He stood at the gate with a serious expression despite his young years, emanating all the calmness of a healer.
Second uncle and his son couldn't wait to see her father stumble in this matter, so how could they stand up for him? Qin Min was quite clear on that. Sure enough, Qin Zhengyuan stood for awhile before shutting the doors and walking down the steps. As everyone stared at him, he turned to the doors and bowed, proclaiming loudly, "Zhengyuan only begs uncle to put saving a life as priority! If uncle disagrees, then nephew will not rise."
There was no need to elaborate. Just "saving a life as priority" was enough to explain everything. Qin Zhengyuan actually went on his knees after his declaration, right in front of the young demonstrating doctors. In a flash, the quiet scene exploded.
"So there are still sensible people in the Qin Clan!"
"Heheh, the Qin Clan Head is a prim and proper Sage rank but is less reasonable and ethical than his junior!"
"As I see it, there's no need for the Qin Clan Head to keep his position any longer. Better retire early! Or else the Qin Clan will lose all foundation in his hands!"
"Qin Clan Head! Qin Clan Elder, even your own family can't stand it anymore. Aren't you going to show yourself?"
"Hahah, don't let the Qin family kick you out personally. The old skin on your face will be plucked clean by then!"
As the speculations rose, the upright Sage rank Qin Clan Head was actually compared to a young junior and found wanting. This was a humiliating joke. Yet the doors to the estate remained shut without a murmur.
"Madam, the second household might really end up forcing old master out!" Shaoyao muttered.
Qin Min felt wrong the more she heard. She replied, "Shaoyao, haven't I told you not to call me madam all the time. You're my family's servant girl, so why call me madam?"
Shaoyao's "madam" and "old master" made Qin Min feel awkward. Shaoyao came from Qin Min's mother's family, so she should rightfully call her "young Miss" no matter which family she married into. She didn't know why Shaoyao had stopped her ten years of "young Miss" to switch to "madam" so easily.
"Madam, why are you still nitpicking that at a time like this?" Shaoyao said anxiously.
Qin Min turned to glare at her and Shaoyao stared back, but as Qin Min narrowed her eyes, she felt guilty and changed her tone. "Young Miss, can we not nitpick those details at a time like this?"
Finally satisfied, Qin Min said, "Push me over."
Although Qin Zhengyuan had the highest medical rank amongst the Qin Clan's youth, Qin Min had never put him in her eyes. As Shaoyao pushed her forward, Qin Min said in a low, helpless voice, "Shaoyao, we're here to make a scene. Can't you shout a few times?"
Shaoyao was still lost in her thoughts about the two different titles when she finally recovered her wits. "All right!" As soon as she finished, she screamed, "Ahhhhh!"
The noise not only scared Qin Min, but the few hundred people in front of them, who all looked back in alarm. Seeing this, Shaoyao gripped the wheelchair and ran forward like mad!
"Out of the way, out of the way, hurry! If I hit anyone I won't pay reparations, so move aside quickly!"
"This concerns a human life, hurry and make way! If they die, you can shoulder the consequences!"
"Quick! Quick, quick! If you don't move, there won't be time to save him! It'll be one life for another!"
Even Qin Min herself was floored by Shaoyao's exclamations, to say nothing of the crowd. Just what was she shouting? Either her words were effective or the wheelchair speeds were too frightful, but the crowd proactively opened up a path for the pair straight to the Qin Estate gates. Even Qin Zhengyuan, who had vowed to stay kneeling, had long rose to flee out of the way. By the time the wheelchair screeched to a stop, Qin Min almost flew out of her chair. Fortunately, she had gripped the armrests ahead of time.
Everyone looked at Qin Min, who swept her gaze over them and felt depressed. Although Shaoyao was the one who shouted, why did everyone look at her as the monster instead?
In the silence, Qin Zhengyuan cried out in alarm, "Qin Min!"
Those in the crowd who recognized her spoke up as well.
"Isn't this the Qin Clan's Eldest Young Miss Qin Min?"
"That's the wife of the academy head, so why…"
"When did the madam of the academy head come back?"
Those who didn't know Qin Min only lamented that Medical City's most famous crippled female could be so beautiful. Yet all gossip aside, they wanted to know why she'd shown up here and now. Did she represent her father or her husband? Those who came here to demonstrate weren't friends of the Qin Clan and were always hostile to them. But Qin Min had the title of academy head's wife, so people were much more courteous to her. Still, that didn't mean they were kind. Her identity became a key point for others to cause difficulty.
Now many of them had moved to surround her.
"Madam of the Academy Head, are you here to convince your father?"
"Madam of the Academy Head, this concerns a human life. Will the academy head make a personal appearance?"
"Madam of the Academy Head, the Qin Clan head is also the academy head's father-in-law. If he insists on his own way, it'll lose all face for our medical academy. Why don't you hurry and coax him?"
These were subtle words. Some even smiled and asked, "Madam of the Academy Head, you should be calling the shots for the Qin Clan now, right? You should hurry and make up your mind about this matter."
Qin Zhengyuan never expected Qin Min to show up and didn't dare stay quiet. He strode over and called out, "Elder sister, you're finally back. Hurry and convince uncle, he listens to you best."
The Ren Clan members hidden in the crowd were waiting to watch a good show. So what if Qin Min convinced the Qin Clan Head? At this point, their reputation was all but ruined, which fit the Ren Clan's goals exactly. Moreover, their own head had told the old man they bribed ahead of time that it'd be too late for the Qin Clan Head if he tried to save him.
The Qin Clan would lose this life for certain!
As long as there was a stain on the Qin Clan, it didn't matter that their daughter was the academy head's wife. The Qin Clan would never rise again.
Qin Zhengyuan's sinister designs and the Ren Clan's schemes were all too obvious for Qin Min, who was too lazy to bother with either of them. She only came to do what Gu Beiyue told her, so the rest she'd leave to him. She spoke according to Gu Beiyue's intentions without adding any of her own thoughts.
"Everyone should go back. If my father won't save the man, I will! If I can't save him, it won't be too late to come knocking at the doors again."
Everyone was stunned. Many thought they'd misheard and began to mutter amongst themselves.
"She said what? She wants to save the patient?"
"What a joke. Even Vice-Head Shen dare not get involved, but she will?"
"Heheh, they take human lives as nothing!"
Their whispers were low, but Qin Zhengyuan intentionally raised his voice and cried, "Elder sister, what kind of joke is this?"
Everyone else's voices rose in response.
"Madam of the Academy Head, this concerns a human life. It's not child's play, on what basis can you save him?"
"Come back if you fail? That'll be too late!"
"This…this is just treating human life as a joke! So the Qin Clan is all like this!"
Qin Min's words incensed the crowd and surprised the Ren Clan agents hidden in the mob. They got restless and prepared to speak, but a female suddenly strode into the crowd and raised her voice. "Madam of the Academy Head, I can save this man too! Please leave the task to me."
This was none other than the Ren Clan's fourth young miss, Ren Yulan (任雨岚).
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one weakness of this author is making believable mob dialogue. like, does everyone have to repeat the same thing when they talk? haha.
and it's been a long time since we've seen fourth young miss ren! does this count as a meeting of former love rivals? hahaha...anyways, qin min's a sensible girl so looking forward to her performance. everyone else tires me out, to be honest.