Chapter 423: A status she dislikes Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Once Long Feiye had appeared, Zhao mama tactfully left her ginseng chicken soup on the table by the bed and retreated quietly. Han Yunxi originally assumed that she wouldn’t be seeing Long Feiye again so soon. He should sleep at least a day and a night to make up for the rest he missed, but here he was again.
Although Han Yunxi had wanted Long Feiye to finish off the ginseng chicken soup for his health, she quickly snatched it up into her own hands when she caught his gaze drifting to the bowl. Without hesitation, she raised the bowl and drained every drop dry. The last time he’d taken advantage of her was still heavy on her mind.
Lil Thing was still curled up in the ceiling rafters, where it’d stayed all day. The sole reason was because the room was full of yummy things. Even if it couldn’t drink them, smelling them was just as good for it. It couldn’t help but look down at Mama Yunxi for her reaction.
Mama Yunxi liked Papa Long with her words and her heart, but not her actions. She’s nothing but a scaredy cat. Papa Long hadn’t said anything about liking Mama Yunxi yet, and his inner feelings were even harder to pinpoint. But every action he took clearly showed how much he liked his Mama Yunxi!
Lil Thing firmly believed that love expressed with actions was true love!
Long Feiye observed Han Yunxi’s reaction and unconsciously curved his lips into a smile. He sat down on the edge of her bed.
“Your Highness, do you need anything?” Han Yunxi asked, bewildered. As soon as she spoke, she realized that these should be words Long Feiye asked of her, not the other way around!
Can’t I come even if I don’t need anything? Long Feiye was struck speechless at her questioning. He coughed lightly and said, “Are you feeling better?”
“I’m basically all well. Tomorrow, I can put some of the Beauty’s Blood in the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion and test it out,” Han Yunxi replied confidently.
“No rush, take care of yourself first,” Long Feiye emphasized one more time. Han Yunxi silently chuckled. He’ll never know if I had secretly started up my detox system anyways.
“Your Highness, can Gu Qi Sha find the Panoptic Red Lotus and Bear chuan?” Han Yunxi asked as she recalled the other needed ingredients. Neither of those two ingredients were common items, but were the rarest amongst the rare!
“We’ve arranged to meet on the 15th of next month. If he can’t find them, nobody can,” Long Feiye said simply.
“I was originally planning to ask Mu Linger.” If it wasn’t for the fact that Mute Granny’s fate was still up in the air, Han Yunxi would’ve found the girl for ingredients long ago. Although it was very possible that it was Mu Yingdong himself had planted the poison, Mu Linger was still oblivious to it all despite being his favorite child. Even if Han Yunxi gave the girl the prescription, it was highly unlikely she’d connect the dots to Mute Granny.
Long Feiye paused before he said probingly, “It’s also possible that the antidote will be useless even if we make it.”
Han Yunxi sighed. “It’s the only clue we have. Maybe we should ask Mu Yingdong about it, instead.”
The gentleman from the Shadow Clan might know something too, but judging from their two previous meetings, Han Yunxi didn’t hold much hope of getting answers from him. She didn’t like asking and getting nothing, because it made it hard for her to control the flow of conversation.
“Better not to hit the grass and startle the snake hiding within,” Long Feiye remarked plainly. Han Yunxi understood what he was implying. Mu Yingdong had imprisoned Mute Granny as if he was waiting for something to happen. Currently, he had no idea about her situation and was expecting them to get back to him! It was very possible he was investigating into Han Yunxi himself. Under these circumstances, finding Mu Yingdong to ask about Lady Tianxin’s secrets would be a foolish move.
“Your Highness, if Mute Granny’s really gone, then what should we do?” Han Yunxi asked helplessly.
Long Feiye was silent for a long time before he replied. “Han Yunxi, is the mystery of your birth...that important to you?”
“It’s not! Not one bit!” Han Yunxi spoke from the heart. She wasn’t the real young Miss of the Han Clan, so the origins of that body had nothing to do with her. But she couldn’t tell Long Feiye all that because it was her secret and hers alone.
“My mother died in labor under extremely suspicious circumstances. If someone had wanted to harm my mother back then, why did they leave me alive? Tianxin is Mu Xin, so does my father know I even exist? Is he still possibly looking for me somewhere? Has he gotten in touch with Mu Yingdong?” Han Yunxi said sincerely. If there really was killer loose who was ruthless enough to make a move against a pregnant woman, they had to be harboring a deep set grudge. How could she be sure that they’d spare her from that wrath? Or the rest of the Han Clan? Things were far too fishy. She could only surmise that they’d left her alive for a reason.
“Moreover, that gentleman from the Shadow Clan…” Han Yunxi didn’t know how to describe it. Although the man had clearly told her the reasons he’d saved her---because of the poison beast---she still felt that it still wasn’t the truth. He’d nearly died for my sake!
After some hesitation, Han Yunxi continued, “Your Highness, if I’m really the West Qin’s orphan, wouldn’t that mean my father was once part of the imperial clan? Perhaps that white-robed man knows who my father is?” Though it didn’t matter to her on a personal level, these were still important questions to find answers for!
She might not be the original Han Yunxi, but she’d assumed her identity and all the things related to it. She could ignore the mystery of her own status, but there was no guarantee that others who knew her identity would let her off due to her ignorance. The illustrious position of the West Qin imperial orphan was a highly coveted title! Furthermore, if her father was still alive, did he still have ambitions to revive the dynasty?
The Shadow Clan had already revealed themselves. What of the other Noble Families?
Being the orphan of an imperial clan would be a source of pride as well as pressure. There would be far too many burdens to shoulder, and too many grudges to bear. She’d never be able to relax. Han Yunxi disliked the potential of such a status immensely.
Had her words successfully answered Long Feiye’s questions? In any case, he replied, “Let’s see if there’s any movement from Mu Yingdong and that white-robed man first.”
Han Yunxi nodded. If nothing came of the clue with Mute Granny, that would be their only course of action. If I’m unlucky enough to be that orphan, someone will track me down sooner or later one of these days anyway. The couple ended up chatting together until night fell and Zhao mama delivered them dinner. Fortunately, it wasn’t chicken stew this time but instead light snacks and sweets, Han Yunxi’s favorite. Su Xiaoyu was right behind Zhao mama when she came in with the food, but kept quiet without hurrying forward to serve them.
She had to admit to herself that she dreaded Long Feiye. Her guilty conscience would start up whenever she lingered too long in his presence. If Zhao mama hadn’t asked her to help with the snacks, she never would have come upstairs. It wasn’t until they left that Su Xiaoyu dropped her voice to say, “Zhao mama, it’s getting so late. Is His Highness planning to sleep here?”
Zhao mama shook her head. “No one can predict what our master will do.” It was equally likely for the Duke of Qin to stay here or leave the estate for other matters instead.
“Zhao mama, why hasn’t His Highness Duke of Qin ever spent the night with esteemed wangfei?” Su Xiaoyu asked with a face full of feigned innocence.
“How do you know he hasn’t?!” Zhao mama answered unhappily.
“His Highness only stayed over once, but nothing happened for sure that time. Both of them got up super early!” Su Xiaoyu said quite seriously. In the families of rich nobles, especially the imperial clan, it was quite common for one man to have multiple concubines. Thus, estates had more than one courtyard within their walls, each standing independently of the others as a concubine’s rooms. The lord of the estate had his own quarters as well and didn’t live with any specific woman unless he was there to spend the night.
The principle was identical to that of an emperor conferring favor to different members of his harem. Logically speaking, Han Yunxi should have her own courtyard in the Duke of Qin’s estate too. The fact that she’d been staying in Long Feiye’s Hibiscus Courtyard was already something exceedingly unusual.
Zhao mama grew displeased. “You silly little girl, why are you worrying about so many things outside of your duties?”
“Isn’t it all for esteemed wangfei’s sake?” Su Xiaoyu did her best to look wronged.
“Hurry up and do your work! Prepare the tea leaves and snacks we’ll need for tomorrow,” Zhao mama urged her away.
Su Xiaoyu immediately talked back. “Esteemed wangfei is still recovering, so she won’t get up tomorrow for her morning tea.”
“What if His Highness decides to stay overnight? Do you think he won’t drink anything?” Zhao mama curbed her impatience to reply. Sometimes, she thought Su Xiaoyu was quite intelligent, but then there were times like these, when the girl was as stupid as a pig![1. stupid as a pig - while pigs are generally intelligent creatures, Chinese tradition sees them as slow, simple-minded, and foolish creatures. One of the most famous pigs in Chinese literature is Pigsy (or Zhu Bajie)from Journey to the West.]
“Yu’er understands, I’ll prepare them immediately!” Su Xiaoyu hastened into the courtyard, where a small stove sat by the tea table. It was the very same stove she’d made mention of a few days ago. Su Xiaoyu quickly prepared everything but didn’t try to sabotage a single thing. She wasn’t stupid enough to try her tricks when Long Feiye was around, much less leave any evidence of said tricks.
Lifting her head, she glanced at the upstairs window and smiled coldly to herself. Your Highness Duke of Qin, if you actually conferred favor on Han Yunxi, you might even spare her flesh from disaster!
Although she feared Long Feiye, even the strongest man would lower his guard in the midst of lovemaking. If that took place, she wasn’t fearless about spying on them in the least. Su Xiaoyu waited patiently, but it was all for naught in the end.
Late that night, Long Feiye rose and tucked Han Yunxi under the covers as was his habit. “It’s time to sleep,” he said.
“Your Highness should rest early too,” Han Yunxi could tell he was tired.
Long Feiye nodded and left without another word. Han Yunxi wasn’t expecting anything to begin with, but the sight of his retreating figure still left her feeling disappointed. He wasn’t gone long before Han Yunxi called for Zhao mama. “Starting from tomorrow, prepare a portion of chicken soup for His Highness as well as myself.”
“Yes!” Zhao mama rejoiced inwardly. Most of the time, His Highness Duke of Qin never drank what she gave him, but she could find all sorts of ways to persuade him now if she used esteemed wangfei as a reason.
The next day, Zhao mama looked after Han Yunxi all the same, but she was allowed to go to her study. The functions of the detox system had only just recovered, so she didn’t dare try any major functions. For now, the issues of the Beauty’s Blood and Perplexing Butterfly Illusion would have to be set aside.
On the third day, Han Yunxi had wanted to pay a visit to General Baili’s estate to inquire after Baili Mingxiang, but Long Feiye forbade her. No matter what she said, he was all adamant refusal. Han Yunxi finally woke up from her state of domestic bliss and realized something was off. Long Feiye had long told Zhao mama not to let her out of the estate!
She grew gloomy. “I’m already recovered! You’ve put me under house arrest!”
“You need at least one month to fully recuperate!” Long Feiye shot back coldly.
“Find Gu Beiyue and have him take a look. I’m really fine, now. If you keep me cooped up like this, I’ll only get depressed and fall ill all the same,” Han Yunxi said seriously.
Long Feiye didn’t think twice before he answered, “It was Gu Beiyue himself would said you had to recuperate at home for a month.”
Han Yunxi wanted to cry, but she had no tears to do so. At this moment, Zhao mama hurried over with news. “Your Highness, there’s a guest asking for entrance.”
A guest asking to meet? There weren’t many people with the right to ask for an audience with His Highness Duke of Qin, because everyone knew he rarely agreed to see anyone. Since Zhao mama had come to report it personally, it couldn’t be anyone ordinary. Han Yunxi was still guessing who it might be when Zhao mama revealed that the person was looking for her, not Long Feiye.
Zhao mama said, “Your Highness, it’s Miss Mingxiang from General Baili’s estate who wishes to see esteemed wangfei.”
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