Han Yunxi’s warning disappointed Baili Mingxiang. But she quickly comforted herself with the fact that it was normal for esteemed wangfei to doubt her. That was why her attitude had changed.
“Esteemed wangfei, Mingxiang doesn’t have any other--”
“I’m not Qin Wangfei anymore, you don’t need to call me that,” Han Yunxi interrupted unhappily.
“But…” Baili Mingxiang’s head whipped up.
“Long Feiye isn’t the Tianning Duke of Qin either anymore, right? Baili Mingxiang, in the past I treated us as sisters, but now our relationship’s over. You should leave,” Han Yunxi was actually feeling rather miserable. Before she transmigrated, she had been an orphan and always alone. At the Duke of Qin’s estate, everyone looked down on her and humiliated her. When she finally grew beloved, she almost began to believe that she wasn’t lonely anymore.
Unfortunately, the good times didn’t last. When she recalled Chu Xifeng’s hatred and Baili Yuanlong’s enmity, then remembered the likes of Zhao mama and all the old shadow guards at the Duke of Qin’s estate, she estimated that most of them were her enemies now.
Baili Mingxiang wanted to say something, but Han Yunxi’s dismissal turned her eyes red. She quietly withdrew from the room. After she left, Han Yunxi sighed lightly. Long Feiye had kept Baili Mingxiang at his side under the pretense of needing her acupuncture treatment. This was all to trick Bai Yanqing into thinking Baili Mingxiang was a candidate for Long Feiye’s dual cultivation. After Long Feiye left Celestial Mountain, his lack of injuries and treatment had been exposed. Most likely, Bai Yanqing would suspect even further that Baili Mingxiang’s sole purpose was for the sake of dual cultivation. Han Yunxi didn’t consider why Long Feiye chose the girl since she didn’t know what dual cultivation entailed. She only figured that as a member of the mermaid clan, Long Feiye would trust Baili Mingxiang more readily than anyone else. While she was lost in her thoughts, the departing Baili Mingxiang suddenly raised the curtain and walked back in.
“What are you doing?” Han Yunxi had a big fright.
Baili Mingxiang simply advanced until she was kneeling right at the foot of the bed. “Esteemed wangfei, Mingxiang knows His Highness won’t cast you aside.”
Han Yunxi was stunned by her words. Baili Yuanlong hadn’t seen anything amiss between her and Long Feiye, so how could Baili Mingxiang tell? This wasn’t scientific! Is she probing me?
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Get out right now,” Han Yunxi’s voice grew cold.
“Esteemed wangfei, His Highness first left the barracks to rush for Medical City because he wanted to find you. When he heard on the road that your identity was exposed, he went after you like a madman on horseback. Mingxiang can tell that His Highness doesn’t hate you, but was worried for your sake. Moreover, he must have found out about your identity long ago,” Baili Mingxiang explained tautly.
Han Yunxi knit her brows in silence as Baili Mingxiang continued to speak. “Esteemed wangfei, you…” she raised her head to look towards Han Yunxi’s collarbone. Han Yunxi grew startled before she hastened to pull her robes shut. How did she forget? Baili Mingxiang might look frail, but her thoughts were sharp and scrupulous!
The countless marks that Long Feiye had left on her body from two days ago littered her body. That time on the carriage had already left hickies all over her neck. Although Baili Mingxiang was still an unmarried woman, she was already an adult and understood such details. These traces would only fade away after a couple of days, but she’d spent all that time with Long Feiye. Who else but him would have the gall to mark her? Anyone with brains could connect the dots! As a severe mysophobic who possessed strict self-control, how could Long Feiye ever treat Han Yunxi like that unless he loved her to his bones? Without Baili Mingxiang explaining herself, both women understood this part implicitly.
Han Yunxi remained mute, while Baili Mingxiang panicked and blurted out, “Esteemed wangfei, actually, Mingxiang long found out about your identity. When Su Xiaoyu scalded you, Mingxiang applied medicine to your back and saw the phoenix birthmark. In my childhood, I once read an ancient book in the study that detailed how the royal women of West Qin’s imperial clan would all possess phoenix birthmarks on their backs within the first five generations.”
Han Yunxi was alarmed. She never thought Baili Mingxiang had hidden herself so deep. Despite finding out the truth so long ago, she had kept it secret until today. Ning Cheng had told her about the birthmarks before. Lady Tianxin’s mother was the first generation of female descendants in the West Qin imperial line, having been born as the daughter of the first wife. That made Lady Tianxin the second generation and Han Yunxi the third. Thus, she would definitely bear a phoenix birthmark. If not for the destruction of the imperial family, a princess like her would only be a granddaughter with faint claims to the throne.
Seeing Han Yunxi’s expression, Baili Mingxiang was quick to explain herself. “Esteemed wangfei, Mingxiang always thought that His Highness didn’t know, so I never dared to tell him! Mingxiang…” Her eyes grew damp with tears, “Mingxiang only wished that esteemed wangfei could always be esteemed wangfei, and His Highness always be His Highness.”
She would never forget the first time she’d seen Long Feiye in her childhood, sitting by the lake. His face had been filled with silence. She didn’t like seeing the free and unrestrained esteemed wangfei being forced to shoulder so many burdens, but even less did she want to see His Highness Duke of Qin carrying such heavy responsibilities.
She only wanted them to be safe and well. She wouldn’t ask for anything else except to serve peacefully by their side.
Han Yunxi looked at Baili Mingxiang and didn’t know what to say. Xu Donglin’s words had already touched her, but she never expected this foolish girl to exist as well. Who said that nothing could destroy hatred?
Moved beyond words, she smiled. “I didn’t dote on you lot for nothing!”
At last, Baili Mingxiang exhaled. “For esteemed wangfei to believe Mingxiang is my fortune accumulated from previous reincarnations.”
“You’re clearly smart, so why do you keep saying silly things?” Han Yunxi looked helpless. She pulled Baili Mingxiang over. “That’s fine as well. I can’t sleep, so speak with me awhile.”
Baili Mingxiang didn’t dare get too close but kept her distance. Despite this, she could clearly see the marks on Han Yunxi’s neck and arms. All of them had been left by His Highness! They were so deep and numerous. How many times did they do it? How passionate were they?
What’s a cold, clear headed guy like His Highness like when he heats up?
She didn’t dare entertain the thought, but quickly rejected the dangerous question as the tips of her ears turned red. Noticing Baili Mingxiang’s embarrassment, Han Yunxi pulled her robes tighter around herself and rolled down her sleeves, then tugged down the hems of her dress. Baili Mingxiang was a woman who conformed with societal norms, so she was prudent and reserved. How could she easily accept her baring her skin so easily? Furthermore, she was covered in lovebites. Although Han Yunxi did as the Romans did in Rome and was kept in check by Long Feiye to dress properly, she really wasn’t used to ancient customs when bedtime rolled around. Being bound up all day, she preferred to let loose and be free at night.
All of her sleeping gowns and robes were custom made. At Leisurely Cloud Pavilion, she’d wear a nightdress at most or a light sleeping robe with a single belt. When she was tired and needed to make up lost sleep, she had to soak in a hot bath, then burrow into the covers naked and comfortable to sleep until hunger woke her up.
There was no helping it now. She’d brought none of her clothes to the barracks, so she had to make do. See now? She was still wearing her wine-red covering underneath her sleeping robes. Baili Mingxiang realized that Han Yunxi had noticed her embarrassment and grew even more awkward. She lowered her eyes, afraid to meet her gaze. Naturally, Han Yunxi wouldn’t talk about such intimate matters here. She easily dissipated the atmosphere by asking, “Where did you father and Long Feiye go?”
“I don’t know either. In the afternoon, His Highness was the first to leave the training grounds. My father went back to the barracks to pack some things first before chasing after him. It seems like they went to a nearby town. But I don’t know when they’ll come back?” Baili Mingxiang wondered, before adding, “Esteemed wangfei, I made a special trip to remind you that my father might still be on guard against you and His Highness.”
“What, does he suspect something?” Han Yunxi asked.
“When my father returned to the barracks, I asked a few things, but his meaning was…”
“Say it straight, there’s no harm.”
“His meaning...he says we have to guard against...against esteemed wangfei seducing His Highness and luring him in with a beauty trap. He said...His Highness has only had one woman all these years, and it was you. His Highness doesn’t treat you like the rest.”
Baili Mingxiang’s words almost made Han Yunxi laugh out loud. She couldn’t help but harbor a naughty thought: if Baili Yuanlong knew everything, he could enrage himself to death!
But admittedly, the general understood Long Feiye well.
“Mm, I’ll be careful,” Han Yunxi replied earnestly.
“Esteemed wangfei, there’s a lot of inconveniences in the army. How about I tell my father to let me serve you when he returns? I’ll just lie and say I’m acting as a lookout,” Baili Mingxiang asked excitedly.
“It’s not that easy to trick your father. You definitely can’t come,” Han Yunxi rejected instantly. Baili Mingxiang had followed her for so long despite Baili Yuanlong’s protests in the past. If she stuck to her now, then that’d only make trouble. “Later on, just have His Highness find a servant girl over instead!” Han Yunxi said, before changing the topic. “Mingxiang, what’s dual cultivation? What kind of method is it? Do you know?”
She really wanted to talk with her about this!
Now Baili Mingxiang was put in a tough spot. “I don’t know either. When I went to Celestial Mountain, the sword sect master only taught me to cultivate the Nirvana Heart Arts and a few rudimentary routines in swordplay. There wasn’t anything else.”
“You don’t understand a bit about it?” Han Yunxi asked doubtfully.
Baili Mingxiang thought it over before she said hastily, “That’s right, the sword sect master said the dual cultivator has to be someone like His Highness, with a high innate gift for martial arts. In any case, it’s got to be someone better than him, not worse.”
“Two martial arts experts who shut themselves up to cultivate together?” Han Yunxi murmured to herself.
“That should be it,” that’s what Baili Mingxiang thought, too.
Han Yunxi recalled Gu Beiyue, whose shadow arts were exemplary. With his skills, he must have massive inner energy reserves. Moreover, he was still young, but had managed to cultivate such high level martial arts despite his sickly body. His innate talent must be extremely high.
If Gu Beiyue can recover his martial arts, he’s not a bad candidate.
“Mingxiang, don’t come here often. It’ll be better if you don’t come at all,” Han Yunxi said seriously. “His Highness is using you to lure the snake out of its hole, so Bai Yanqing will probably send people to spy on you.”
Only then did Baili Mingxiang realize this fact and immediately understood. Besides, A’Dong, there were many high-level Celestial Mountain experts who had been sent to guard her and wait for Bai Yanqing to make his move.
“Esteemed wangfei, then Mingxiang shall take her leave,” Baili Mingxiang was now anxious to get out.
“Don’t keep calling me esteemed wangfei, in the future you have to use ‘princess,’” Han Yunxi reminded her.
Baili Mingxiang nodded before hurrying out.
That night, Long Feiye didn’t return. Early next morning, Han Yunxi finally fell asleep from exhaustion as the sun came up, but she was soon awoken by a familiar smell.
1. ...my fortune accumulated from previous reincarnations - Chinese people have a saying that people can accumulate or beget karma/fortune between lifetimes. Good deeds will lead to fortunate things/encounters in the soul’s next life, while bad deeds would lead to retribution. Meetings considered fortunate are not seen as coincidence, but fate guided by the amount of “good” a singular soul holds.
It's at chapters like these that I grow convinced there's a BL version of PGC floating out there in some alternate universe. *coughs lightly*
Synopsis: Between love and duty, what would you choose?
Genius doctor Gu Beiyue has always lived his life with a mission: find the lost heiress to an ancient dynasty and protect her with his life. Part imperial physician, part martial arts expert, he soon clashes with Tianning's Duke of Qin, the most powerful man in the country and the husband to the missing princess!
It'll take skills and tact to win an audience with Long Feiye, but it's saving his life that earns the duke's trust. Joining hands, the two men forge a loyal bond that's soon threatened by Long Feiye's secret past. To make things worse, the eccentric Gu Qishao, master of Pill Fiend Valley, suddenly gets involved and lays a personal claim on Gu Beiyue! Faced with the bitter choice between his clan's ideals and his personal happiness, who will Gu Beiyue pick?
What does he truly want?
Long Feiye: I'll accept no other partner but you in my lifetime.
Gu Qishao: Once a Gu, always a Gu! Pill lad, you and I are peas in a pod!
Ning Cheng: You were born to fulfill your duty, just like me. You can't just abandon everything!
Find out in the exciting alternate universe spinoff of 《天才小毒妃》（Poison Genius Consort),《天才小太医》Physician's Got Charm!
Gu Beiyue: ....
Gu Beiyue: It's high time someone wrote a prescription for this fantasy-addled translator.
Ruyi: Beiyue gege, you'd fit the aesthetic super well~! (╯✧ ∇ ✧)╯