Chapter 1318: [Beiyue] Reforms

What had disturbed Gu Beiyue's years of calm in his heart? Why was there such a sorrowful crease to his handsome brows? If even he himself couldn't smooth them out, who could? 

Qin Min looked at him quietly for a long time. At first she was simply looking at Gu Beiyue, but her gaze eventually drifted up to the moon. It was obviously a summer night, but there were no stars. Only the bright moon hung in the sky. Many times, the aura of the moon would overshadow the stars. Under absolute light, there was nothing else to see. 

Qin Min walked over, but the ever-cautious Gu Beiyue actually didn't notice. It wasn't until she was standing directly behind him that he recovered and looked back at her with a harsh jolt in his heart. 

It had been too long since…he'd lost himself in thought.

Despite his shaken heart, his expression was its usual gentle warmth. "Eldest Miss Qin, has everything been dealt with inside?"

Qin Min looked at the moon and asked, "What were you looking at just then?"

She didn't call him "Grand Tutor" or "Gu Beiyue." For the first time since they'd talked, she hadn't called him by any name at all. Gu Beiyue was unused to it, but Qin Min next asked, "Were you at the Qin Estate the entire time? How else could you have made it here so fast?"

She looked at him straight in the eyes. "You…aren't you very busy?"

She ended up asking three questions at once, but feared that he'd answer them. Still, her questions were quite limited and still had to be asked in the end. As she waited, she looked at him with a smile. 

Gu Beiyue, since you didn't leave, then give me a reason. A reason to remain, to stay at Medical City.

Gu Beiyue's forehead was still creased and only worsened with Qin Min's successive questions. She almost had the impulse to reach out and smooth them out, but held back in the end. She was very clear that she couldn't smooth out his brows at all. Only he himself could quell his own miscruples, hesitation, and sorrows. 

Gu Beiyue hesitated for a long, long time.

Qin Min was willing to wait, even if he took a day, a month, a year. She didn't mind.

She feared his decisiveness instead.

Unfortunately, Gu Beiyue's hesitation wasn't destined to last the night. He said, "Eldest Miss Qin, I haven't left since that night. I agreed to protect you no matter what with the Qin Clan's affairs in the past. These matters will have wide-resounding changes for both the Qin and Ji Clans. We can use tonight's matters to threaten the Ji, so I ask for Eldest Miss Qin's assistance."

Qin Min's heart turned cold at his words. 

He's actually asking for my help at a time like this? Is there anything you still can't do in Medical City? His "pleading" was clearly telling her that he had a motive to protect her at the Qin Estate. He hadn't come just for her sake.

"Grand Tutor Gu!" Qin Min shouted, but didn't continue straight away. She was hesitating too, but it wasn't much longer than his.

She simply said, I, don't want to help you!"

Clear and clean cut, prim and proper, with no reasons attached. But "don't want" was an excuse in itself. Did she not want to implicate the Ji Yifeng she once wanted to marry, or did she hated that he came back with a motive? 

Qin Min turned to head back and was almost at the door when she turned to look at Gu Beiyue. "The Qin Clan's affairs are finished," she said, "Grand Tutor Gu, you can head back. I'll leave tomorrow, so I won't bother you since you're busy."

Her expression was even calmer than his. Her tone was blander than his too. Even when she shut the doors, the movements were so light that it seemed everything that had happened was perfectly ordinary.

The doors shut.

Gu Beiyue was still standing and staring as he subconsciously reached out to pinch his furrowed brows before stroking the side of his face. He turned and vanished in an instant. 

That night, Vice Head Shen spent the entire time trying to track down Gu Beiyue in vain. Qin Min remained sitting by the window, but never saw a shade of him again. 

Nobody knew where he went that night.

During the evening, Qin Min treated the wounds on Qin Jie's face. Although the injury would heal, scares were inevitable. Qin Jie had no idea what Qin Min was planning and was too terrified to speak. 

When daylight broke, Qin Min told her lightly, "This is the end of that. If you don't want to implicate the Ji Clan, you better keep your mouth shut! And find your own excuse for the injuries on your face!"

Qin Jin was almost nodding before she thought it over and blurted out, "Qin Min, w-why should I believe you? Would His Excellency Academy Head…let go of this chance?"

Qin Min's smile was radiant. "When it comes to personal matters, His Excellency Academy Head has to listen to me!"

Qin Jin was even more mystified. Seeing Qin Min smiled, she somehow felt sorrowful. That brilliant grin didn't look good on her face at all. 

"Qin Min, I'll trust you once!" Qin Jie said before she all but fled.

After she was gone, Qin Min turned towards Shaoyao and said, "Have you finished packing the things?"

"Yes," Shaoyao hung her head, on the verge of tears.

"And the carriage?" Qin Min asked next.

"Waiting in the alleyway," Shaoyao replied.

"Then what are you waiting for? Let's go?" Qin Min personally pressed the secret switch on her bed to open up the secret passageway. Shaoyao chased after her in a choked voice.

"Young Miss, won't you stop be angry with master? You know what his temper is like."

"Young Miss, master is just that same old bad temper. He has you in his heart, or else he wouldn't have come back. He has so many subordinates that he could've sent anyone here to protect you in his place!"

"Young Miss, just yield to master once."

"Young Miss, what if you're not by master's side and he gets sick? Who will urge him to take medicinal baths?"

"Are you leaving or not?" Qin Min creased her brows.

Shaoyao sniffled before her eyes grew red and teary. "Young Miss, don't you want master anymore?"

Qin Min said nothing as she shouldered her bag and entered the passageway with a lantern in hand. What could Shaoyao do? She picked up the luggage and ran after her. Mistress and servant went underground before Qin Min activated the switch to seal the way. She knew she would never come back again. She never wanted to care about the Qin Clan's internal struggles in the first place. Soon enough when the reforms began, there would be nothing worth fighting over anymore.

She quietly walked along the passageway but suddenly spotted someone leaning against the exit in the distance, seemingly asleep. Her footsteps halted in shock.

Shaoyao was even more stunned and exclaimed, "Master!"

Gu Beiyue awoke and was also surprised to see Qin Min and her servant. He stood up and brushed off the dust on his robes. Suddenly, Qin Min rushed out like and arrow in front of him. Although she was extremely excited, she didn't know what to say when she reached him. There were tons of words to say, but in the end she only managed, "Why…are you here?"

"I…" Gu Beiyue didn't call her by titles or names either. This was his first time not using "Eldest Miss Qin" or her name.

"I, came to send you off," he finished with a small smile.

Qin Min gave a start, but quickly smiled lightly back. "Then many thanks."

He really did escort her all the way out of the secret passage, which was less than ten steps. The carriage was waiting right outside, so she didn't need him to trouble himself and climbed the steps to get in herself. Sitting in side, she peeked out the window with that same small smile. "Remember to take medicinal baths regularly."

He quietly nodded.

But she wasn't finished and added, "Otherwise, I'll send that prescription to those two masters in Yunning City." Then she dropped the curtain without hesitation and told the driver, "Depart!"

The carriage slowly drove away, but Shaoyao couldn't help crying in the car. She had no idea whether it was Young Miss who didn't want master anymore or the reverse. Qin Min leaned against the window and closed her eyes. Neither of them looked back, so no one knew whether Gu Beiyue was still standing in the same spot or already gone. 

Gu Beiyue could always find a reason for why Qin Min went south to Ningzhou. Besides the Qin Clan, very few people would care about her travels. The second day he returned to Medical City, Gu Beiyue initiated the reforms that had been planned for years. Although he already had control of the Qin and Jin Clans and various big families in opposing camps, there were still many dissenting voices. Not only did Medical City object, even members of the royal court and the common people disagreed. Many Medical City clans had interests involved with outsiders too. 

Gu Beiyue switched his usual gentle demeanor for high-pressure, iron-blooded policies, even using quite a few sinister methods that scared Vice Head Shen. For example, generations of the Gu (古) [1] Clan were skilled in acupuncture treatments. He didn't give the Gu Clan Head any time to hesitate before laying out all the scandals of their members in the past three years, including a misdiagnosis that causing death and an increase in consultation fees. 

For the Yue Clan who were experts in medicated baths, Gu Beiyue tossed them a thick account book filled with records of the Yue Clan's dealings with Medicine City's Li Clan. Every page had fishy numbers that he'd personally marked out.

For the Zhang Clan skilled in  tui na techniques, Gu Beiyue exposed the matter of Madam Zhang's affair and threatened the Zhang Clan Head to support the reforms or let all of Medical City know he'd been cuckolded. The clan head was so furious he spat up blood, but he had no other choice.

The Ji Clan wasn't spared either. Gu Beiyue didn't used Qin Min's matter, but still found other things to get a grip on them. He didn't tell Qin Min the details, nor did she ask. Everyone assumed Gu Beiyue was creating these reforms to get on Long Feiye's good side, but the latter didn't sit on his laurels. On the fifth day of Gu Beiyue's reforms, Long Feiye acted without warning and exposed all the ministers in court who had secret dealings and collusions with the major clans of Medical City. His means were even crueler and more direct than Gu Beiyue!

Both of them took half a year before finally claiming Medical City's various privileges for the imperial court. As Gu Beiyue changed Medical City, Long Feiye with Han Yunxi's help reformed the deeply rooted medical system…

1. Different Gu from Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao.

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Ruyi's Thoughts

hehe i'll make up for missed chapter within this month   PGC chapters aren't hard to translate, they're just an exercise in patience...

i really admire qin min, because she's mentally strong, yet very sensible. a lot of fem MC stories could do with her intelligence...and her heart...and her tolerance! 

and looking back..yeah, GBY has always been cruel. he trained that doctor after all, and he's never hesitated from his mission even at the cost of sacrificing himself. considering the shadow guards were basically glorified assassin/bodyguards...this makes sense.