“Stitch the tendon?” Third Elder Shen asked doubtfully, but Gu Beiyue was already speaking up.
“How...is that possible?” he asked Han Yunxi “Surgery is risky to begin with, much less something so meticulous. Esteemed wangfei, where did you hear of such a method? Does anyone know how to do it?”
Han Yunxi felt her heart ache at the earnest expression in Gu Beiyue’s eyes. How was she supposed to reply? She understood the theory behind attaching muscle and tendons, but not any of the specific skills. This wasn’t a procedure that afforded carelessness, much less when Gu Beiyue was the patient. She dared not risk it herself. Han Yunxi had see too many optimistic patients and knew their cheerful fronts hid pain and hopes all the same. Behind Gu Beiyue’s gentle smile, she saw not suffering, but a rising hope. Otherwise, why would he be more anxious than Third Elder Shen to know the answer?
Silly Beiyue, if I knew who could do it, would I wait until now to bring them up? Much less find Third Elder Shen in the first place?
By accidentally giving him hope and seeing it reflected in his eyes, she felt even less disposed to disappoint him. She stared at his knee as her mind went blank. What can I do? The worse thing is knowing how to help him but not having any of the means!
But Gu Beiyue was quick enough to catch on. “Esteemed wangfei, don’t waste your efforts on this one anymore. It’s already fortunate that I was able to preserve my life. Even if I was stuck sitting--nay, even lying down--I can still make efforts for Pill Fiend Pharmacy.” He paused, then added, “I only ask that esteemed wangfei has no objections with his one.”
Han Yunxi didn’t speak, but kept staring at his knee until Gu Beiyue steeled his heart and buried it under the bedcovers. He prodded her on purpose to ask, “Esteemed wangfei, could you be...objecting to this one?”
“Yes!” Han Yunxi declared loudly. In a flash, the silence grew even deeper. Gu Beiyue’s heart skipped a beat as he opened and closed his mouth. He had never been so flustered before, nor did his heart feel so...unwell.
“This wangfei objects to you! That’s why you’re not allowed to give up before I do!” Han Yunxi said sternly. Although she didn’t know anything about surgery, its principles were applicable enough as long as she could find the right medical to tighten the muscles and tendons! Gu Beiyue’s leg could still be saved! Besides, they still hadn’t heard from Gu Qishao. And she hadn’t even gone to ask Pill King for help! How could they give up just because Third Elder Shen called it a loss?
“Esteemed wangfei….I…. In truth, I….” Gu Beiyue didn’t know how to explain. He wasn’t someone who gave up easily, but he’d long forsaken his leg. Even without Third Elder Shen, his own diagnosis had told him things were hopeless. But before the stubborn set of Han Yunxi’s face, he suddenly felt a rush of hope and nodded his head.
“Esteemed wangfei, this one won’t give up!”
This time, he was speaking sincerely instead of trying to comfort her. That was all Han Yunxi wanted--a spark of hope to last them until the very end.
“Third Elder Shen, I’ll have to trouble you to take care of Doctor Gu’s injuries for these coming days,” Han Yunxi said.
“Esteemed wangfei needn’t worry, this one will give his utmost.” Even if she chased him away, Third Elder Shen wouldn’t leave, either. He had seen with his own eyes how this woman created miracles, so he was waiting for her to change the fates again.
Once Han Yunxi finished speaking, she began to issue orders. “Xu Donglin, send word to Pill Fiend Valley that if Gu Qishao doesn’t show up in front of this wangfei within three days, I’ll send Mu Linger to the valley itself!”
She refused to believe that the valley denizens couldn’t track down Gu Qishao somehow! But it only took the night of the second day for Gu Qishao to appear in front of Han Yunxi, weary and travel-worn.
“Poison lass, what did you tell Mu Linger?” he asked nervously as soon as he arrived.
“Did you not get any of my letters?” Han Yunxi asked, suppressing her temper.
“No? Were you looking for me?” Gu Qishao had been busy spying on Lady Lianxin this entire time to plan a bigger scheme, so he hadn’t gotten any of the messages. Knowing he wasn’t ignoring her on purpose made Han Yunxi’s temper dissipate.
She told him in a serious tone about Gu Beiyue’s situation, but Gu Qishao laughed coldly before she even finished. “Heheh, and I thought it was something catastrophic. Isn’t it just one crippled leg? He won’t die from that. Why are you even bothering? I didn’t see you panic half as much when I was shot full of arrows like a hedgehog.”
Hearing this, Han Yunxi’s expression grew dark, so Gu Qishao quickly surrendered. “Alright, alright. I don’t have any medicine for regrowing tendons, but maybe the Pill King will if you ask him.”
“Really?!” Han Yunxi was thrilled. She’d guessed right---if tendons could be re-stitched, then they had to be some sort of medicine to aid the healing process!
Gu Qishao tilted his head and chuckled. “Perhaps, perhaps not.”
Han Yunxi’s heart felt like it was riding a roller coaster with all these ups and downs. She rolled her eyes at him and turned to leave. Gu Qishao immediately gave chase. “Where’s Long Feiye?” he asked, digging for gossip.
Han Yunxi ignored him. She decided it’d be best to find Pill King directly before Gu Qishao exasperated her to death. Gu Qishao followed after her and asked, “Poison lass, where are you going?”
“Poison lass, it’s been so long since we’ve met. Did you miss Qi gege?”
“Poison lass, you didn’t tell Mu Linger anything, right?” As he trailed after her with his questions, his hands weren’t idle either. They took a mini ginseng from his sleeve before he added, “Poison lass, this is for your health.”
This was none other than Tianning Country’s national treasure, one of the only things that Emperor Tianhui had managed to take away with him when he fled the capital proper. He had exerted no amount of effort to steal it away. Unfortunately, Han Yunxi only kept walking and ignoring his disrespectable ways.
Gu Qishao resentfully shrugged his shoulders before putting the ginseng away and following. Soon enough, he asked again, “Poison lass, Long Feiye didn’t kill Gu Beiyue?” He too, knew how jealous that man could be.
Finally, Han Yunxi stopped.
“You…” Before she could finish, Gu Qishao butted in. He stopped smiling and turned very serious, a tragic air coming to his beautiful features.
In a low voice, he murmured, “Poison lass, aside from Long Feiye, Qi gege won’t tolerate you treating any other man well.”
Long Feiye was her husband and the first man to come in contact with her. He was also the only man in her heart, so Gu Qishao was helpless against that. But he’d be jealous of anyone else.
Poison lass, if it’s not Long Feiye, can you only worry about Qi gege instead?
Han Yunxi suddenly took out an acupuncture needle with a catgut thread attached. “Do you know what this is?”
“Needle and thread,” Gu Qishao answered.
“Do you know what I want to do?” she asked next.
Gu Qishao shook his head.
“I want to sew your mouth shut!” Han Yunxi declared, before tossing the objects at Gu Qishao. “Don’t you know that Gu Beiyue’s leg is crippled? Do you understand what that means? He can’t walk anymore! He can’t even stand on his own! Do you get it? For the rest of his life, he’ll be stuck sitting and lying down! Can’t you have more sympathy? Do you know I’ve been looking for you for over 10 days? Forget about sympathy then, can’t you stop joking at a time like this?” Huffing with anger, Han Yunxi went to sit down on the side. Her brows were creased like an old lady.
Nobody knew how much pressure she was facing. After giving Gu Beiyue hope for the second time around, she couldn’t afford to disappoint him!
But Gu Qishao didn’t care about Gu Beiyue at all. Whether Gu Beiyue was crippled or even dead made no difference to him, because it had nothing to do with him at all. Ever since the day he escaped from the medical academy, his entire life was dedicated to destroying the institution that ruined him. Nothing else mattered. Now he had one extra woman in his heart, but everything else was insignificant. Feeling resentful from the scolding, he went to lean against a pillar by her side, afraid to say any more.
But Han Yunxi ended up sitting there for so long, just thinking blankly to herself. Finally, Gu Qishao relented and went to sit by her side. “Poison lass…”
Han Yunxi ignored him, so Gu Qishao went to kneel in front of her next, almost as if he was begging for her attention. With one knee on the ground, he said, “Poison lass, don’t be angry, alright? I’ll help you think of a way.”
Han Yunxi’s eyes suddenly brightened at his words. “You have a solution?”
“If you smile, I’ll tell you,” Gu Qishao seemed to be coaxing his own wife, his voice inexplicably warm and gentle.
Han Yunxi didn’t notice, but she did smile from the heart, a beautiful sight. Satisfied, Gu Qishao said, “There’s a type of medicine called Muscle Growing Ointment. Supposedly, it can even restore fully torn tendons if applied daily for 100 days or more….”
“Do you have it?” Han Yunxi asked excitedly.
“No, but the Pill King might. There’s only one of its kind in the world. If I remember correctly, it should be in his hands,” Gu Qishao said honestly.
“Then we’ll go to the Pill King’s valley right away!” Han Yunxi immediately jumped to her feet, but Gu Qishao pressed her back down again.
“Send a flying messenger hawk to ask him first. It’ll save you a wasted trip.”
Han Yunxi nodded. “Thanks,” she tossed earnestly to Gu Qishao before walking off. He watched her retreating back and stroked his chin.
“Poison lass, Qi gege really wants to get injured too…” he muttered to himself.
While Han Yunxi was writing her letter to Pill King, Long Feiye was in Gu Beiyue’s room. Both Third Elder Shen and Divine Doctor Luo had left, allowing him to get straight to the point. “Would Chu Yunyi have told Ning Cheng about your secret identity?”
“No,” Gu Beiyue was certain.
“Why not?” Long Feiye asked.
“Based on what I know of him. By now Ning Cheng would have held the Chu heads under duress and pressured Chu Tianyin. With Chu Tianyin’s personality, he’d never accept becoming Ning Cheng’s subordinate. Your Highness Duke of Qin, Chu Tianyin will come find you sooner or later if he wants peaceful days.”
“And then?” Long Feiye asked with interest.
Gu Beiyue’s gentle eyes suddenly flashed with killing intent as he spoke...