Chapter 176: Peeping, a guilty conscience Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Just when Long Feiye’s patience was about to wear thin, Grand Concubine Yi finally finished her inspection and questions and found out how he’d left the Hall of Regrets. Han Yunxi stared at his cold expression and found it hard to understand why this fellow was so distant even to his own mother. But it seemed that Grand Concubine Yi was used to it.
Han Yunxi didn’t think much about it as she noticed Grand Concubine Yi walking her way. She withdrew her smile and adopted an easy, calm expression. Grand Concubine Yi looked at her and wanted to speak, but stopped herself. Finally, she said simply, “It’s very late, you and His Highness should go rest.”
Actually, Han Yunxi wasn’t here to take credit for some achievements. She just wanted to prove that she wasn’t some wicked scoundrel that hurt others. With a nod, she left with Long Feiye, but they’d almost reached the courtyard door when Grand Concubine Yi added a word. “Feiye, if you don’t like Princess Rongle, mufei won’t make things difficult.”
Rather than speaking to Long Feiye’s benefit, her words seemed more fitted for Han Yunxi to hear. Undoubtedly, these words were the best reward for Han Yunxi, and the greatest show of her recognition! Long Feiye knew that the reason Han Yunxi had brought him here first was likely due to his mufei causing her trouble. Judging by these words, the problem probably involved Princess Rongle. Doubt crept into his eyes, but he didn’t reply as he continued to walk forward. Meanwhile, Han Yunxi suddenly felt relaxed, as if relieved of a heavy burden. She mused, no matter how sincere Grand Concubine Yi was, it’s enough that she’s said such words.
Han Yunxi didn’t turn around, but stood in place for a bit before chasing after Long Feiye. Under the moonlight, the two intentionally slowed their steps as they walked back. When the path in the Hibiscus Courtyard forked into two directions by the flower gardens, one turned left while the other turned right. This time, Long Feiye didn’t leave immediately, but stopped to ask, “Han Yunxi, do you know the consequences of offending the emperor?”
Of course she’d considered the consequences, but she had no other choice. If Long Feiye really died, she’d be the next in line to suffer. Her reply was timid. “I think you were the one who offended him first…”
Long Feiye actually laughed lightly at Han Yunxi’s reply. “Go to the Imperial Physician Courtyard tomorrow. It’s not good to delay when there’s a plague involved.” He left as soon as he finished speaking, leaving a dumbstruck Han Yunxi standing in place with a pounding heart.
Just then...just then, had she heard wrongly?
This fellow had actually laughed. And it wasn’t a cold or mocking laugh, but a soft and quiet one. His voice was deep, cold, and gloomy, but his laughter was quite pleasant. It possessed a certain attractive charm and was gentle and warm.
Han Yunxi couldn’t believe her thoughts. How could such a cold person have such a warm side to him? She looked towards his tall, solitary back and was suddenly seized with an urge to chase after him, just so she could check if he was smiling…
Early morning the next day, Emperor Tianhui sent Eunuch Xue over with an order for Long Feiye and Han Yunxi to hand over the antidote for the poison pestis within three days. He’d specifically asked for the antidote, not the prescription itself. Yesterday, Han Yunxi had told Emperor Tianhui by the doors of the Hall of Regrets that the prescription had a single ingredient only Long Feiye could find. Long Feiye though she was joking, but it was actually the truth. She really was missing one ingredient.
“It’s called Violet Wormwood, a very rare plant. According to the records, it germinates after 30 years and grows leaves for 30 years more. It’s also very tiny, the size about the palm of a hand, but we only need one plant to make lots of antidote,” Han Yunxi explained in embarrassment as she handed over the prescription formula.
Long Feiye wasn’t familiar with medicinal plants at all, but hearing ‘30 years’ twice in a row was enough to make him realize how rare this Violet Wormwood was! He didn’t look at the prescription, but raised an eyebrow towards Han Yunxi, filled with amusement. “You’re so certain that your lordship can find it...within three days?”
If Emperor Tianhui knew the truth of the matter, would he vomit blood, then die from indignation?
Han Yunxi poked her fingers, extremely self-conscious. But she really had no choice. Even if she handed over the prescription, wouldn’t Emperor Tianhui demand for the ingredients all the same? After all, the third young master’s life was still in jeopardy. The only reason she managed to threaten Emperor Tianhui this time wasn’t because of her prescription, but because she could resolve this epidemic and save lives. If she really failed and Emperor Tianhui seized on her shortcomings, Long Feiye would be in even more trouble.
“No matter what, Your Highness had to get out first, right?” Han Yunxi smiled apologetically. Long Feiye could only look at her wordlessly, his heart stuck between wanting to laugh and feeling at a loss. There was even a hint of giving up against this woman.
She really dared to threaten and lie to Emperor Tianhui!
“Your Highness, there’s no time to lose. As chenqie sees it, why don’t we pay another visit to Pill Fiend Valley?” Han Yunxi suggested.
She’d thought of that place first for its many strange and odd medicines. Even if they didn’t have it, His Excellency Pill Fiend would definitely know where to find it. Long Feiye had the same idea as he nodded his head. He was about to depart when Han Yunxi added, “Your Highness, let’s bring along Imperial Physician Gu.”
“What for?” Long Feiye found it unexpected.
“There’s a few famous and valuable ingredients in the prescription as well. They need to be selected very carefully and the Imperial Physician Courtyard doesn’t have enough in stock. Pill Fiend Valley has planted plenty of them and Imperial Physician Gu is familiar with medicinal ingredients. It’s better if he personally handpicks them,” Han Yunxi replied.
Long Feiye wasn’t very willing, because bringing along an additional person who didn’t know lightness techniques was just an additional burden. But he couldn’t deny her sound reasoning. He nodded before having the servants arrange for horses.
Very soon, they met with a problem.
Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue sat atop their mounts as they stopped by the city gates. One was dressed in black, the other in white; one was cold and mysterious, the other warm and scholarly. They were practically a painting together. As for Han Yunxi...she was dressed nimbly in casual dress as she rode behind them, hands tightly clutching the reins. Her expression was stiff, her body wobbling left and right as she caught up to them with effort. She could ride a horse, but her technique was nothing to write home about. They only had three days’ time, but it took a day of fast riding to reach Pill Fiend Valley. That meant their round-way trip would take two days, so time was too tight for delays of any kind.
Gu Beiyue revealed an expression that was a smile yet not a smile. He didn’t urge or press her on, but looked at her gently. On the other hand, Long Feye’s face was ice-cold as he pursed his lips. Suddenly, he rose into the air before landing behind Han Yunxi’s back. The sudden appearance of another person not only startled Han Yunxi, but her horse as well. It abruptly raced forward as Han Yunxi gave a shrill exclamation. She couldn’t help but crash into Long Feiye’s lap. The latter’s eyes remained expressionless as his feet found the stirrups while his hands took the reins from Han Yunxi. Somehow, he managed to work them so that the horse calmed down and turned docile. A trick like that was something only expert horsemen could understand.
Han Yunxi was clueless. She’d broken out in cold sweat from her fright and didn’t even notice that she was in Long Feiye’s arms.
“Let’s go,” Long Feiye said placidly to Gu Beiyue.
“Your Highness first,” Gu Beiyue replied, neither haughty nor humble.
Long Feiye kicked his heels into the horse’s flank. The animal shot forward like an arrow at a speed that Gu Beiyue admired wholeheartedly. He immediately gave chase. As the horses sped along, gusts of wind buffeted them from both sides. Han Yunxi finally realized her unfavorable plight--being completely trapped by a certain someone. There was limited space on a horse’s back, so her own was completely plastered against a certain someone’s chest. At the same time, that person’s arms were reaching past her waist to hold the reins, which tightened and slackened in degrees as the scenery flashed past them.
When she accompanied him to Pill Fiend Valley last time, he’d held her in his arms the entire way. That time, she’d hidden herself inside his cloak, but this time they were closer than before.
This...wasn’t so good, was it?
Han Yunxi felt restless. She couldn’t resist lifting her head, only to catch sight of Long Feiye’s alluring Adam’s apple. Once she saw that, she couldn’t move her eyes away. She never knew a man could have such a perfect, mesmerizing body part!
Right at this moment, Long Feiye lowered his head, assaulting her senses with his virile masculinity. His movements carried with him a certain fragrant scent that tempted one to jump him. With a start, Han Yunxi turned flustered. She even forgot that she was riding a horse and attempted to turn around and flee, only for Long Feiye to grab her by the waist.
“Sit still!” he said coldly.
The horse is going so fast. Does this woman want to die? Why did she start struggling out of the blue?
Han Yunxi was brought to full alert by his lecture and sat still, her head bowed.
“What were you doing?” Long Feiye interrogated.
“Nothing…” Han Yunxi replied in a low voice with a guilty conscience.
“If it’s nothing, why were you moving around?” Long Feiye asked again.
“It was an accident.” Han Yunxi secretly congratulated herself. Fortunately, this guy didn’t catch her peeping on him just then. Otherwise, she’d die from shame!
Long Feiye didn’t ask her anything else, but the image of her hazy gaze rose in his mind again. He’d seen all sorts of lovestruck eyes in his lifetime, but he felt like this woman’s eyes were different from other people. As to where she differed, he couldn’t quite say. He released Han Yunxi’s waist and took the reins again. In a flash, the speed of the horse increased. Behind them, Gu Beiyue had seen everything with his eyes. Although Long Feiye’s speed kept increasing, he kept up without falling behind.
They finally reached Pill Fiend Valley late at night.
Even though it was late, the place was still lively. His Excellency Pill Fiend’s courtyard was dark, but everything outside of the courtyard was as bright as day. All of the people who’d came to beg for medicine had brought their own lanterns. From a distance, the points of light looked like a swarm of fireflies. Han Yunxi and company had come once with the poison python snake dan to exchange for medicine. This time though, they’d arrived empty-handed.
The three of them stopped by the gates. Gu Beiyue was a little worried and finally expressed his doubts. “Your Highness, it’s not easy to get medicine from Pill Fiend Valley.”
Long Feiye didn’t reply, but Han Yunxi was amused. She leaned in towards Gu Beiyue to whisper something in his ear. Last time, when she competed against Duanmu Yao to hunt for medicinal plants, she hadn’t revealed the location of the Wall-Hitting Ghost before the Duanmu siblings admitted defeat. His Excellency Pill Fiend was very anxious to know whether she’d found the plant, enough to chase her all the way out of his courtyard to question her. Today she was bringing back her answer as a condition for negotiations. Gu Beiyue couldn’t resist a laugh when he learned the facts.
“Shhh...be careful, don’t let that old man hear.” If His Excellency Pill Fiend knew that Han Yunxi was making fun of him this way, they probably wouldn’t be able to exchange a thing. Gu Beiyue immediately turned silent to smile soundlessly with Han Yunxi in tacit understanding. Long Feiye watched them from the side for a long time before shifting his eyes away to pound furiously at the door.
Nobody answered his knocking. Long Feiye’s gaze turned heavy before he increased his strength and pounded the door again. It was enough to attract the attention of everyone else in the courtyard. Finally, the old steward’s angry voice called out.
“Who is it? It’s late night, who dares to knock on the door?”
The door opened to an old steward ready to lose his temper until he saw the familiar faces of Han Yunxi and Long Feiye. He was immediately scared speechless. …it’s them again! After these two left last time, Pill Fiend hadn’t eaten his meals or drank his tea for the next three days. Then he left on a journey and never came back!
Original Chapter Teaser:[expand]
Long Feiye: My work here is done.
Han Yunxi: But you didn't do anything.
Long Feiye: Rule of Cool. *flicks sleeves and leaves*
Han Yunxi: Don't play "cool" with me, Mr. Melting Iceberg![/expand]
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