No one expected the old man to attempt suicide. Since Gu Beiyue lacked sufficient evidence to prove the Ren Clan's conspiracy, he could only deal the same punishment to the Ren and Qin Clans. Logically speaking, this was unfair to the Ren Clan. If he guessed correctly, the Ren Clan had already started to act. Perhaps by tomorrow morning there would be half of Medical City pleading for their cause. Gu Beiyue was capable of dealing with them—if not this time than the next—or even lay a trap in case there were no more chances.
But he didn't want to waste his precious time on such a fight. Moreover, he wanted to minimize the number of scandals coming from Medical City. Only a virtuous doctor could gain the trust of his or her patients. Many times, "trust" alone was good medicine! If too many ugly news came out of Medical City, how were the people of Cloud Realm Continent supposed to view them? How could they leave their lives in their hands?
Thus, Gu Beiyue came to find Fourth Miss Ren. The fact that she'd covered up so much this time chilled his heart. He didn't explain and only said, "Fourth Miss Ren, please bring a message to your father for me. If he wants to preserve the Ren Clan and its rising stars, including…you, then don't act rashly. Otherwise, he will pay a greater price!"
"Your Excellency Academy Head…" Fourth Miss Ren couldn't stop her tears. She had known him for so many tears, but realized for the first time that he wasn't a warm or gentle man. When he was ruthless, he showed no mercy! Or perhaps he was heartless to begin with. Their former friendship and mutual gratitude—even the politeness of the past—was all gone.
"I hope you can pass on the message." Gu Beiyue turned to leave, but Fourth Miss Ren chased after him with a choked-up voice.
"Your Excellency Academy Head, I know I was wrong!"
Gu Beiyue circled around her and kept going. Panicking, Fourth Miss Ren grabbed his wrist and asked, "Your Excellency Academy Head, I'll definitely pass on the message! I just want to ask: how long have you known Qin Min?"
She always thought like most people that he had married the crippled Qin Min to raise the Qin Clan against the Ren without being constrained by the Qin family. That was her stubborn belief. Perhaps that was why she hadn't cried so bitterly on his wedding day. But Qin Min's skills far exceeded her imagination! Although she didn't want to admit it, she had to acknowledge that Qin Min's technique was almost on par with his.
Why did she hide her skills so deeply? Was he long aware of her skills? How long had they known each other? Perhaps all of the doubts boiled down to one answer: had he married her with sincere feelings?
Gu Beiyue didn't look back beyond saying, "Fourth Miss Ren, men and women should keep their distance. Please respect yourself. Your question is a private matter and inconvenient to answer, forgive me."
He was polite and formal as always, but Fourth Miss Ren felt he was far away. She'd rather he lose his temper at her, or get impatient, or even scold, instead of this alienation. Her heart felt entirely stifled as she slowly withdrew her hand.
When Gu Beiyue returned to the medical academy, Qin Min was hiding in the study and reading medical texts. It had been less than an hour, but news of her consummate medical skills had spread throughout all of Medical City. The Qin Clan and their well-acquainted ladies and young Misses all flooded the doors wanting to pay their respects; even students of the medical academy wished to see her for instruction.
She had never liked hustle or bustle and was scared by all the attention, so she escaped to Gu Beiyue's study and made Shaoyao deal with the crowds. Gu Beiyue saw them as well and circled around them to enter the courtyard from the back door. He spotted her with her legs up, cat-like, on his wide chair in the study. She was flipping through books, but startled at his appearance and dropped her legs to sit properly. His gaze trailed down to see the embroidered shoes she hadn't had time to put on. She thought he wouldn't notice, but he looked down straight away. She was planning to pretend nothing had happened, but he kept staring at her shoes.
Awkward and embarrassed, she subconsciously drew her legs back before he realized her feelings and looked away.
"Apologies, I didn't know you were here. Excuse me," he said and immediately went out.
She wished she could find a hole in the ground and dive right in as she slipped on her shoes and muttered, "Gu Beiyue, aren't you great at acting? Can't you just pretend you didn't see a thing?"
As a doctor, Gu Beiyue had seen everything from shoeless girls to bare-legged women. He'd seen Qin Min's shins multiple times before and even helped her apply medicine in the past. The only reason he was startled wasn't due to her feet, but the fact that she was perched barefoot on the chair. This prim and proper young lady with full manners and etiquette acted like this in private? He even thought he'd seen the wrong person when first coming in.
Gu Beiyue stood outside, afraid to enter again. He had no idea whether Qin Min had put on her shoes yet. She waited a long time before walking out herself. By now, Gu Beiyue's expression had recovered and he was back to feigning ignorance as he invited Qin Min to sit in the courtyard.
When it came to embarrassment, as long as one party wasn't affected, the other would let the matter drop too. Qin Min resumed her gentle serenity and became a completely different person from the lazy cat on the chair.
"Eldest Miss Qin, your medical skills surprised me," Gu Beiyue got straight to the point. He was also curious. "Those acupuncture skills…"
The Qin Clan had a few acupuncture techniques that were only spread within the family, but none of them were Qin Min's method. He wanted to ask where she'd learned it.
"I took the essence of the Qin Clan's ten acupuncture techniques and recreated them," Qin Min admitted.
Gu Beiyue was shocked. He knew Qin Min wouldn't lie, nor was there any need. If Qin Min had created it all alone, then her medical attainments would be even higher, ensuring her future achievements as immeasurable.
Seeing him silent, Qin Min paused and asked, "Grand Tutor Gu, I didn't spoil your group's plans by saving him, right?"
Gu Beiyue knew the "your group" referred to him and Fourth Miss Ren. Her sudden appearance to censure her father and claims to treat the strange illness, his choice to pick her over Qin Min, were all liable to make anyone guess that he'd been directing her from behind the scenes.
Gu Beiyue wanted to explain himself, but Qin Min went on faintly, "Grand Tutor Gu, I was unaware of the particulars. Since I promised you to save the patient, I would do it no matter what. If this ruins your plans, may you forgive me and pass on my apologies to Fourth Miss Ren."
Gu Beiyue looked at her and felt an inexplicable, stifled feeling in his heart. Before he could speak, Qin Min stood up. She was still as polite and calm as ever, as if nothing could ever disturb her peaceful little world. "Grand Tutor Gu, if there are any other tasks in the future, just give me orders. I'll leave for now."
She turned to walk away; Gu Beiyue looked at her back and gradually creased his brows, his dark pupils showing a trace of distress. But in the end, he didn't chase her or explain himself.
Maybe it's better to be misunderstood?
Then I don't have to find chances to reject and hurt her on purpose.
"Qin Min," he muttered to himself, "When things finish at Medical City, you can go back to Yunning. Maybe you'll be happier there."
Qin Min walked off with style, but she was counting in her head. She was waiting for him! Step by step, she calculated when he would chase her to explain about Fourth Miss Ren's matters. The fact that he silently acquiesced to her probing already proved that he had arranged Fourth Miss Ren's stint. Although she didn't know his motives nor could she care, he should've warned her in advance, right? He allowed Fourth Miss Ren to interfere and even chose her over Qin Min to treat the patient. If that was the case, why bother teaching her the treatment method in the first place?
Did he know how humiliating it was when he chose Fourth Miss Ren over her in public? How awkward it felt? All the mockery in the eyes of the crowd that stared at all?
She might be open-minded, but she also had self-respect! For the sake of completing the task, she didn't mind losing some dignity, but he should've given her a heads-up ahead of time! Why did he keep quiet and leave her guessing like a fool? What did that count for?
Fortunately, she managed to grasp the chance and save the old man first by the end. She stubbornly, capriciously finished the task he wanted.
Qin Min pushed open the doors to her room and stormed instead. "Gu Beiyue, you're pissing me off!"
Shaoyao was indoors and immediately rushed at her. "Young Miss, the women outside are so scary, they…" She gave a start and grabbed Qin Min before standing on tiptoes. "Young Miss, you're crying!"
Qin Min shoved her aside. "What kind of nonsense are you spewing? What's wrong with the women outside?"
But Shaoyao's tone grew earnest. "Young Miss, you're crying!"
Qin Min suddenly drew close and glared at her servant, demanding, "Where do you see me crying?" She was full of temper and Shaoyao was just asking for a scolding.
"Young Miss, your eyes are all red," Shaoyao insisted. "Isn't that crying?"
Qin Min was stunned. Her eyes were red? Why didn't she know? She wasn't sad at all, just angry—absolutely furious. If sorrow could make people cry, could anger…as well?
"Young Miss, did the master bully you again?" Shaoyao tried.
It wasn't clear whether Qin Min heard, but she said gravely, "Shaoyao, if no tears have fallen, then it's not crying. I didn't cry. If you keep saying nonsense, I'll chase you back to the Qin Clan!"
Shaoyao wanted to ask about Fourth Miss Ren but muffled her own mouth at the threat. She nodded to show she understood.
Over the next few days, neither the Ren nor Qin Clan made any big moves. Although many came to plea mercy, it couldn't affect the outcome. The warning that Fourth Miss Ren brought back from Gu Beiyue seemed to be very effective. Meanwhile, the Qin Clan Head knew he'd been pitted. But since it was at the hands of his son-in-law and not the Ren Clan, he was willing to accept it.
Although Gu Beiyue's punishment was severe, it had an excellent effect on the medical community since neither of the families rejected his ruling. Instead, the whole community was shocked, leaving things much easier for Gu Beiyue's next changes. When Long Feiye and Han Yunxi heard the news, the former labeled his methods as "gentle violence."
A few days later, Vice Head Shen personally carried out the punishment of the two family heads, relegating them to medical slaves. The so called medical slaves were doctors with no personal freedoms who were doomed to be locked up in prison forever, treating the inmates.
Both family heads were temporarily imprisoned within Medical City's cells before they were sent away. In the interim, the Qin Clan Head requested a meeting with Qin Min…Previous Chapter Next Chapter
...and thus Qin Min learned that she actually wasn't the Qin Clan Head's daughter but the child of a mysterious medical genius! lol just kidding, it's not this is Han Congan and Han Yunxi...
i know stories exaggerate but it seems there's not one corner of cloud realm continent that isn't corrupted in some way, leaving it up to our protagonists and friends to correct and fix. must be a terrible place to live.
also gu beiyue, i never would've expected you to be...the worst male lead ever when it comes to your love interests? oh my god. here you are not only thinking of ways to hurt her but relieved that she's already hurt herself. i know you didn't want to marry her or have a love life in the first place, but seriously, what is wrong with you. shouldn't a doctor have compassion? you two obviously trust each other to share your secrets, can't you just tell it to her straight? this is...so frustrating argh!! it's already a miracle that qin min's smart enough to guess at GBY's intentions; any less intelligent girl would've died from heartbreak 5x over by now. what kind of pointless angsty "romance" is this huh?
i can't believe GBY's so determined to let QM "give up" on him that he's gone blind; the man who always considers the feelings of others in the past can't seem to see anything but his own interests and feelings now. truly, you've fallen far.
how many times does qin min have to cry before it's enough?!