Chapter 50: Emperor's decree, a frightful thing Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Han Yunxi had thought that Long Feiye wouldn’t return so quickly, but it turned out that he’d never left. He was in the Hibiscus Courtyard when the message reached him and came to answer the summons. As soon as that proud and tall form appeared in the doorway, not only Murong Wanru, but the surrounding servant girls all grew red-faced and nervous, their hearts all aflutter. Though they wanted to look at him more, they didn’t dare try.
He was wearing loose white robes, and his ink-black hair was coiled up and held in place with a dark jade clasp. He really resembled one of the emotionless high immortals from the Ninth Heaven, remarkably handsome and leisurely, cold and withdrawn from mortal cares. Even Grand Concubine Yi couldn’t shift her eyes away. For her to have a son like this was the greatest joy of her life.
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi was secretly rolling her eyes. This fellow’s getup made it obvious that he was staying at home. For a master of the house to completely ignore the chaos outside his own door was something she could applaud inside.
Grand Concubine Yi happily pulled Long Feiye over to sit on the seat, adding oil to vinegar as she explained the situation. The way she put it, it seemed like everything was Han Yunxi’s fault. Han Yunxi kept to herself and mused, Long Feiye, if you can’t explain things, this auntie won’t help you next time even for 3,000 taels. And yet as soon as she thought this, Long Feiye turned to ask, “Han Yunxi, how do you think we should handle this?”
“Chenqie is stupid and slow-witted, please have your highness make the decision,” Han Yunxi was very humble.
“If you’re stupid and slow-witted, then take the time to think it over,” Long Feiye retorted.
Han Yunxi’s heart hardened. “As chenqie sees it, a clear explanation is necessary. The crucial points lie to how to explain and who will speak up.”
Grand Concubine Yi and Murong Wanru didn’t take her words to heart at all, but Long Feiye nodded for her to continue. Seeing this, the mother and daughter pair couldn’t help but peer over in disbelief.
Han Yunxi only said, “In chenqie’s humble opinion, it’ll be most persuasive if mufei appears in person to explain. After all, she’d be the one taking all their rebuffs, and she has standing. Moreover, there are no lack of nobles asking for treatment. If mufei goes out, they won’t dare to raise objections. As for the common people, chenqie suggests that mufei give them each a donation to treat their illnesses with other famous doctors. On the one hand, it’ll show off mufei’s benevolence; on the other, it’ll prevent idle gossip.”
She wanted Grand Concubine Yi to personally dispel the rumors?
Murong Wanru covered her mouth in disbelief. She thought, Han Yunxi, you’re indulging in wild fantasies. Just wait until you admit defeat.
“Have me go out?” Grand Concubine Yi was a little unhappy.
Han Yunxi added, “Mufei, you’re the perfect representative for his highness.” She looked towards Long Feiye. “Your highness, wouldn’t you say so?” She wanted this person here to be her support, so of course he had to speak up!
Long Feiye’s eyes flashed with a hint of admiration that no one could see before he magnanimously nodded his head. “Un.”
Grand Concubine Yi might have doted on her son, but since childhood, he’d never been close with her. When he grew up, it was even less so, especially in recent years. It was hard enough to speak to him about her feelings, much less sit and eat with him at the same table. Seeing her son nod his head, Grand Concubine Yi felt as if she was eating sweet honey and forgot about arguing with Han Yunxi.
“All right. Someone prepare the silver, I’ll take care of this issue right away.” Grand Concubine Yi was about to leave when she turned back. “Feiye, just have dinner here tonight. You haven’t eaten with your mufei in a long time.”
She didn’t wait for him to reply but hastily instructed Murong Wanru to raise the funds. Murong Wanru wanted to stay a bit longer but had no choice but to leave. When everyone was gone, there was only Long Feiye and Han Yunxi in the guest hall. Han Yunxi silently exhaled a breath over surmounting another obstacle. She better not find out who spread those rumors, or else this poison doctor might become a poisoner!
She snuck a peek towards Long Feiye. Whether it was using his name to act fiercely or inviting him out in person, this guy was always immensely useful! Just as Han Yunxi was laughing secretly up her sleeve, Long Feiye spoke. “There’s potential...”
“Hn, what?” she didn’t hear him clearly.
Unfortunately, Long Feiye didn’t repeat himself. He stood up and walked towards the door, his back as cold and imposing as he himself. Han Yunxi had the impression that he was far away despite being right under her nose. She chased after him and yelled by the door, “Hey, the cloak I returned to your study, did you see it?”
Han Yunxi thought he’d ignore her, but he actually turned around to nod his head. Startled, she casually replied with an ‘Oh,’ before suddenly breaking into a smile, feeling foolishly happy. A moment later, Long Feiye was far away. Han Yunxi suddenly realized something wasn’t right--didn’t Grand Concubine Yi want to have him for dinner? Yet he left without a word?
She coughed lightly. Seeing that no one else was around, she slipped away with quick strides. Grand Concubine Yi hadn’t told her to stay and Long Feiye was already gone, so what was the point of sticking around? The one who’d let loose Grand Concubine Yi’s doves was all Long Feiye.
When Han Yunxi returned to the Hibiscus Courtyard, Long Feiye’s chambers were already lit, meaning that he was inside. Would he stay overnight in his rooms? How many days had he come back? Where did he stay overnight outside, and how? Han Yunxi thought of a bunch of questions before realizing how bored she was. What was the use of being curious about these things? He had his dominion, she had her Leisurely Cloud Pavilion. Well water didn’t mix with river water.
She shrugged her shoulders and went back to her rooms. Chen Xiang had already prepared all sorts of savory dishes to wait for her. As soon as she went inside, Han Yunxi smelled a rich variety of foods. Only, as soon as she stepped in the door, a guard called out from behind her.
“Esteemed wangfei, Grand Concubine Yi wants you to come back immediately.”
These words again. Han Yunxi gave a muddled sigh and asked, “What’s the matter?”
“Your subordinate isn’t clear. Grand Concubine Yi also told his highness to come over, so I estimate that it’s no small matter,” the guard replied.
Han Yunxi took exception to this. What other great matters could Grand Concubine Yi have? Even if she hadn’t suggested how to fix the troubles at the gates, the smart Grand Concubine Yi would have dealt with it herself. She even summoned Long Feiye, so it was probably related to letting those doves loose.
“Un, right away!” Han Yunxi said lightly.
As soon as the guard left, her footsteps led her into her rooms. First, she grabbed a few bites to fill her stomach before going over. With such a precipice facing their family feast, she’d definitely starve for dinner there. Han Yunxi was slow in coming, but things went beyond her expectations. Long Feiye had long arrived, but Grand Concubine Yi had an extra guest in her hall: Tianning Country’s Emperor Tianhui’s personal eunuch, Eunuch Xue!
When she entered, all eyes turned to her. This made the uneasy Han Yunxi grow nervous for no reason. For the emperor’s own eunuch to come knocking at their doors meant it had to be an issue related to the emperor himself. Seeing Long Feiye and Grand Concubine Yi’s expressions, Han Yunxi’s heart was perturbed. She had a feeling this wasn’t good news.
“Servant Xue Guiping greets esteemed wangfei,” Eunuch Xue smiled ambiguously.
“Eunuch Xue doesn’t need to mind, please rise,” Han Yunxi said politely. This was no ordinary servant.
“Eunuch Xue, please take a seat,” Grand Concubine Yi spoke, and the eunuch sat on one side. In response, Han Yunxi found a seat next to Long Feiye.
“Yunxi, why don’t you explain to Eunuch Xue how you don’t know any medical skills, only how to treat poisons? Otherwise, it’ll be hard for Eunuch Xue to explain things,” Grand Concubine Yi said once she had collected herself.
These words made Han Yunxi’s heart stop. This...this, it couldn’t be that the rumors reached the emperor’s ears as well, so he wanted her to treat an illness?
Her heart was flurried, but her expression remained composed. “Eunuch Xue, what exactly is the matter?”
“To reply esteemed wangfei, the emperor heard of your prowess in the medical arts. You can treat dubious cases that stumped even Imperial Physician Gu and Divine Doctor Han, so this old servant would like to invite you into the palace and examine the pulse of the crown prince,” Eunuch Xue explained politely.
Han Yunxi’s lips twitched. These three words, ‘Examine the pulse,’ were spoken so deftly!
The crown prince was the empress and empress dowager’s treasure, cultivated by the emperor himself. But seven years ago, he fell sick with a strange illness. Han Congan was requested to treat him but still couldn’t diagnose him after all this time. Han Congan spent much of his energy and sacrificed quite a few relations to arrange for a discussion panel with the other directors of the medical academy, but he still couldn’t cure this disease.
There were all sorts of incurable diseases in the world, but somehow Han Congan managed to diagnose the crown prince with a pregnancy pulse.
How could a man get pregnant?
Everyone assumed this was a misdiagnosis, yet the directors of the medical academy all verified that it was indeed a pregnancy pulse. This angered the empress dowager and created her hate towards the Han family. She forgot all about how Lady Tianxin had saved her life and threatened to kill Han Congan multiple times. Of course this was all a big secret. The only people who knew were the emperor, empress dowager, empress, the Duke of Qin and Han Congan, as well as Imperial Physician Gu and a few medical academy directors. As for everyone else, all they knew was that the crown prince had a strange illness of which rumors abounded.
After the medical academy directors left, tragedy befell Han Congan. His consultation with those doctors yielded no results, so the empress dowager and emperor invited others in for a look. They too, showed no results, so Han Congan had to continue treating him in case they revealed too much. From then on, all of the resentment and hate fell on his shoulders.
Han Yunxi was aware of this only because of the original body’s memories. The old Han Yunxi had a chance to hear this all by accident. Now the emperor wanted her to take a pulse? Perhaps he wanted her to take her father’s place?
“Eunuch Xue, there’s been a big misunderstanding!” Han Yunxi suddenly stood up, face worried. “Eunuch Xue, although the Han is a medical family, I was born slow-witted and stupid. Everyone knows I don’t understand anything about medical arts. Perhaps the emperor listened to those rumors outside and misunderstood me?”
Eunuch Xue smiled. “Esteemed wangfei is really modest. There are no waves without wind, no smoke without fire. Esteemed wangfei must have such abilities for outsiders to spread such rumors.”
“It’s a mistake, a misunderstanding. My mufei just went out to set things straight,” Han Yunxi wanted to cry, but she had no tears.
Yet Eunuch Xue just said, “Esteemed wangfei, even if the news outside are mistakes, we can believe in the truth, yes? The young general’s incident and Princess Changping’s situation, the emperor has heard of them both. Both their illnesses confounded Imperial Physician Gu and Divine Doctor Han, but your medicine cured them within half a day. After hearing this, the emperor rejoiced and praised you as ‘blue that is made of indigo, but is more vivid than indigo’. There is much of your mother Lady Tianxin’s bearing about you.”
Eunuch Xue spoke with boundless joy, but Han Yunxi was deeply grieved to hear such words.
“Esteemed wangfei, this time it was the empress who gave her personal recommendation. Esteemed wangfei really has hidden depths! If you’re any more modest, be careful of angering the imperial countenance,” Eunuch Xue joked.
What did you call causing someone to fall from excessive praise? This was truly it! What were the rumors outside compared to this?
Han Yunxi sat back as she finally understood. She glanced towards Grand Concubine Yi’s face but only saw a ridiculing curve to her lips, as if she was watching a good show. Next to her, Murong Wanru seemed to be showing sympathy, but her eyes intentionally betrayed a sliver of self-satisfaction.
 Ninth Heaven (九天) - jiutian, the highest of the heavens. Chinese mythology believed in nine levels of heaven.
 adding oil to vinegar (添油加醋) - tianyou jiacu, to add details while telling a story to make it more interesting.
 let loose…doves (放...鸽子) - fang...gezi, idiom likely meaning to let someone’s hopes fly away.
 Emperor Tianhui (天徽皇帝) - name of Tianning’s reigning emperor. Tian can mean sky, heaven, Hui can mean emblem, fine, glorious.
 Eunuch Xue (薛公公) - xue gong gong, Xue is the surname, gong gong is a respectful term of address for an elderly man or a court eunuch.
 Xue Guiping (薛桂平) - Eunuch Xue’s full name. Gui is cassia or sweet-scented osmanthus, Ping can mean calm, peaceful, level.
 pregnancy pulse (喜脉) - ximai, a measure of the pulse that indicates the patient is pregnant. Ancient Chinese doctors used pulses to determine various illness just by the patient’s heartbeat rhythm or similar.
 blue that is made of indigo, but is more vivid than indigo (青出于蓝而胜于蓝) - qinchu yulan ersheng yulan, idiom meaning that the student surpasses the master.
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