Would Han Yunxi relent?
Both Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue were looking at her, one silent, one urging. Han Yunxi’s eyes fell as she gazed upon Gu Beiyue’s wound. When she was a practicing physician, her biggest pet peeve was her being interrupted by other people. Yet, Long Feiye had always been the exception in her new life. She didn’t dare hesitate for too long, because Gu Beiyue’s injury couldn’t afford the wait. She quickly told Long Feiye, “The injury’s very deep. It’s quite different from ones you’ve treated in the past, so you can’t do it. Let Xu Donglin quickly find another doctor to take over the work, I’ve been too tired these days to concentrate properly.”
This counted as both yielding and persisting in her views---half and half.
Gu Beiyue’s eyes flickered with laughter. He knew that Han Yunxi’s skills were more than enough to take care of his injury before Xu Donglin ever found a doctor and brought him back. Actually, she was trying to insist on her own view. This woman is always so smart.
As to be expected, she never disappointed him. As a doctor---even a doctor of poisons---one needed to have their basic principles. There were no excuses for delaying the treatment of a patient unless they didn’t want to treat them in the first place. Gu Beiyue couldn’t help but recall the first time he’d met Han Yunxi. She was decisive and to the point even back at General Mu’s estate, never mincing her words. Why should she need any excuses to treat her patients, much less choose how to treat them?
Even now, she was doing as she liked without an explanation. The only exception was when it came to Long Feiye.
Wasn’t this all he had hoped? Of everyone in Cloud Realm Continent, it was only Long Feiye who had the ability to protect this woman so utterly and completely. If she was in danger one day, it was only Long Feiye who would be able to shield her from the wolfish ambitions of the Seven Noble Families. He was always rational and rarely yielded to emotions, but...but this time, he actually felt discomfort seeing Long Feiye crease his brows at her? It was almost as if there was a trace of regret.
Have I grown so weak this time that even my heart turned frail?
Abruptly, Long Feiye pulled Han Yunxi aside without a word to stand in her place. She frowned and knitted her brows, obviously angry at his actions! Gu Beiyue immediately returned to his senses, both alarmed and anxious. He was about to entreat them to stop when Long Feiye picked up the medicine and used it to clean out Gu Beiyue’s wound. His movements were faster, but more amateurish than even Han Yunxi’s had been, and he quickly washed out the dregs of old medicine from Gu Beiyue’s injury.
But the payment for such speed was pain!
Wracked with agony, Gu Beiyue had no choice but to squeeze his eyes shut and knit his brows until his veins popped out. However, Han Yunxi neither stepped in nor made a sound. She watched, stunned, from the sidelines, because Long Feiye’s quick, crude methods had actually done the work without bringing any additional harm to the injury site. He hadn’t been lying. In the past, he’d performed treatment on much deeper, serious injuries on his own body--some of which had hurt far more than this. As long as the pain didn’t kill you, it was alright in the end.
After cleaning out the wound, Long Feiye began to apply new medicine. Once again, his movements were quick, crude, and amateurishly rough. Still, it allowed the Dragontendon Powder to penetrate the deepest areas of the wound. Gu Beiyue was in so much pain that his hands had formed into tightly clenched fists. More veins popped out on his hands, causing Lil Thing to cheep incessantly at Papa Long. Because it was so noisy, Long Feiye simply rolled him into the depths of the bed. Han Yunxi didn’t even have time to figure out how Long Feiye was even applying the medicine before he was already bandaging Gu Beiyue’s injury. It was, by no means, a beautiful job when he was done, but it was secure and firm and would keep the medicine inside, where it needed to be. How could she find objection with these results?
In her disbelief, she asked, “Long Feiye, you...just whose wounds did you bind in the past?”
Anyone who could train themselves to such levels must have done it countless times. Would any of his men incur such serious injuries so often that he would develop such a high level? It would be impossible if it was just a guard, because a lofty man like him would never deign to personally bind their wounds. So, was it Tang Li? Was it Chu Xifeng?
“Nobody you know,” Long Feiye tossed back before striding out the door.
Han Yunxi then made sure that Gu Beiyue was only suffering from pain and nothing else before chasing after him. When she saw the scene outside the doors, she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Long Feiye was meticulously washing his hands with more care than he’d ever used in binding Gu Beiyue’s injuries.
He...was a mysophobe, all right.
“I don’t know them? Are they from the Tang Clan, then?” Han Yunxi asked. She knew most of the men under Long Feiye’s command, but not the ones there.
“No, they died,” Long Feiye replied coldly, he was even getting a bit impatient with her persistence.
“Then, how were they injured?” Han Yunxi asked curiously. It wasn’t easy to incur such serious injuries. Unless the Chu Clan’s arrows or the Tang Clan’s assassination tools wounded them, what other weapons could hurt the victim?
How were they injured?
Of course it had been him injuring himself. When he was practicing with the whip in the beginning, he’d hurt himself multiple times. That weapon was just as formidable as arrows or assassination tools. Lash after lash against his legs had made lacerations a common phenomenon. Oftentimes he even whipped himself to the bone. All of the injuries were treated by himself, because his mother only gave him the medicine, not any treatment or doctors.
If it were anyone else asking the question, Long Feiye would only feign deafness and walk away, but it was impossible for him to avoid Han Yunxi when she’d chase him to the ends of the earth. In the end, he said, “It was Tang Li who hurt them, you can ask him.”
Han Yunxi grew doubtful at his words. Did he just say that I wouldn’t know who it was? Is it even more complicated than that? Fine, she’d just ask Tang Li herself.
Currently, Tang Li was asleep in his rooms. Who knew if he was having bad dreams from this conclusion right this moment?
When the two of them returned to the room, Gu Beiyue’s pain had faded enough for him to sit up and inspect his injuries. Like Han Yunxi, he was quite mystified, but he wouldn’t ask Long Feiye for answers. The man would just ignore his questions anyway.
“Many thanks to Your Highness Duke of Qin,” he clasped his hands in sincere gratitude towards Long Feiye.
“Mm,” Long Feiye accepted magnanimously.
Han Yunxi was less worried with the Dragontendon Powder in Gu Beiyue’s system now. All they had to wait was for Third Elder Shen to arrive, then updates from Gu Qishao and Mu Linger. She sat down and asked, “Doctor Gu, this injury on your leg, can it...ever fully recover? Will it affect your everyday mobility?”
“I…” Gu Beiyue trailed off. Han Yunxi didn’t press the issue, yet her heart throbbed with fear for the worst.
Finally, Gu Beiyue smiled and said, “It’s not something I myself can cure.”
“Then what about someone else? Like Third Elder Shen? He’s already on his way,” Han Yunxi quiered anxiously.
“Possibly,” Gu Beiyue said simply. Actually, his reply was just so Han Yunxi wouldn’t lose hope. He wasn’t exactly lying, but he’d said less than the whole truth. Because he couldn’t cure it, no one else in the world could either, even if it was the head of the medical academy himself.
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi was sure there was still hope if he thought so too. Even if Shen Jueming couldn’t do it, there were surely plenty of doctors more skilled than him in the academy. Even if Gu Qishao and Mu Linger couldn’t find the right remedy, there was still the Pill King! I could ask him for help.
“Third Elder Shen will arrive within 10 days at the very latest. Gu Qishao and Mu Linger will help you look for medicine too. If you need any medicine, just tell us. As long as it exists, we’ll definitely find it,” Han Yunxi replied sincerely.
Gu Beiyue nodded with a smile. “Thank you, esteemed wangfei.”
Ignoring his manners, she asked, “How did you fall into the Chu Clan’s hands? Just what happened? How could they be so ruthless to you!?”
Now Gu Beiyue was even more certain that this foolish woman didn’t suspect a thing at the Thousand Buddha Cave. It wasn’t all that surprising since she’d been focusing on the Thousand-Year Gingko Tree then and ignoring all his staring. How was he supposed to reply?
Long Feiye stood to the side with hooded eyes, also waiting for his answer.
Gu Beiyue didn’t dawdle before he remarked, “I was originally planning to visit an old friend in Medical City, but I was ambushed on the road. I thought they were only robbers and wanted to buy my way out, but they shot me before I even left the carriage. Then I lost consciousness until I woke up and saw the Chu Clan members. They gave me some medicine and then handed me over to Ning Cheng.” As he spoke, he asked, “Just what is all this about? The Chu Clan betrayed Western Zhou? And how could Great General Ning…”
A cold smile crept across Long Feiye’s features. Gu Beiyue looked soft and harmless, but his ways of thinking were subtle and his lies, in turn, were completely natural. He even used his own questions to divert any suspicions from Han Yunxi. Meanwhile, she told him everything until he sighed. “Now this is something this one doesn’t understand. The Chu Clan could have just traded me directly for Chu Tianyi. Why did they hand me over to Ning Cheng?”
Gu Beiyue really hadn’t figured that part out. He hadn’t seen Ning Cheng again until yesterday during the exchange of hostages. Han Yunxi’s questions were thrown off track by his query. “Maybe the Chu and Ning Clans hadn’t yet fallen out when Chu Yunyi gave you to Ning Cheng.” She laughed coldly and added, “I can only say that Chu Yunyi overestimated himself. Ning Cheng is the official head of Cloud Realm Trade Consortium, he must have been looking to swallow up the Chu Clan troops all this time.”
Han Yunxi didn’t bring up the Nether and Di Clans with Gu Beiyue since he didn’t need to know all those details as a mere doctor. But she had no idea that the words ‘Cloud Realm Trade Consortium’ had stirred up waves in Gu Beiyue’s heart! He had been searching for the whereabouts of the Seven Noble Families too, keeping an eye on potential movements of the clans. The Di Clan was a special case that merited extra attention, and he’d always suspected the Consortium of being connected. However, their surnames made him hesitate, while their top-level secrets were extremely hard to crack. All he had were suspicions.
“Esteemed wangfei, isn’t the Cloud Realm Trade Consortium under the ownership of the Ouyang Clan?” he asked.
“The Ouyang name is only a pretense. Both Ouyang Ning Nuo and Ouyang Ning Jing are surnamed Ning. There’s Ning Cheng and Ning Nuo, Ning An and Ning Jing, which all together make…”
Gu Beiyue understood before she even finished. “Chengnuo, a promise, and Anjing, tranquility…”
His heart shook at the revelation. What a Chu Yunyi. So he knew of the Di Clan’s whereabouts long ago, but he never bothered to tell me. The Di Clan’s Ning Family had concealed their identities while amassing a large store of wealth. Just what did they want to do?