Faced with a man of action, Han Yunxi had no time to think too much. His presence forced her to follow his tempo until things grew tense, as if something entrapped was waiting for an opening to break free. And once that release came, she slowly opened her mouth and released a long breath before completely relaxing.
With a light chuckle, she said, “Long Feiye, you’ve won again.”
Long Feiye fell prostrate against her chest, his forehead soaked with sweat as he sprawled next to her bite mark without a sound. Han Yunxi gently embraced him and murmured, “Long Feiye, no need to be suspicious. I’ll only love you in this lifetime.”
“And the next life?” Long Feiye asked.
Han Yunxi took his hand and moved it to the bite scar on her chest. She didn’t say anything about their next lives, but only said earnestly, “Once we’ve loved enough in this lifetime, I’ll tell you the answer.”
“Alright,” Long Feiye agreed instantly. He probably wouldn’t tell her in this lifetime, but the protection of the Shadow Clan meant two things. That night, he stubbornly had the carriages retrace their paths until they reached an ancient Western Zhou garrison post by evening the next day. Long Feiye made reservations at a teashop equipped with hot springs located west of the town as they waited for Gu Beiyue to catch up. Originally, that would take two days, but thanks to their backtracking, that time was halved. Thus, Gu Beiyue would catch up late night the very same day.
Han Yunxi was instantly attracted by the white mists of the hot springs when they arrived. It was already the beginning of winter by now, so Western Zhou’s weather had long grown chilly. However, it wasn’t too cold outdoors, which made it perfect hot spring soaking weather! Unfortunately, she couldn’t do that while her legs were still recovering. A big hot spring was completely different from a bathtub, which allowed her to drape her legs outside.
Long Feiye and her settled into the biggest residence at the teashop. They were surrounded by tatami mats and a perimeter of short tea trees, a peaceful and serene site. Even the most tempestuous heart would calm down in such surroundings.
Han Yunxi couldn’t stay still at all because Long Feiye was soaking in the hot springs while she could only watch from the tea table. Ever since breaking her legs, she’d yet to soak in any hot springs. As soon as she shut her eyes, she could feel the relaxation and carefree sensations of soaking in such waters. If she could go into the water now, she’d definitely soak herself until she fell asleep.
But now all she could do was watch!
Very soon, Long Feiye swam over from the pool to lean against its edge. He splashed Han Yunxi with some water, but she pretended not to notice and steeped her tea. Despite this, she didn’t drink any of it. Long Feiye grinned before splashing her again. He used just enough force to send the droplets at Han Yunxi’s feet without getting her clothes wet. Han Yunxi still pretended not to notice and prepared to wheel herself away.
“Where are you going?” Long Feiye asked immediately.
“To take a stroll!” Han Yunxi answered.
“You won’t accompany me?” Long Feiye asked.
Han Yunxi sighed. “Aye, once Gu Beiyue comes, I probably won’t be able to enjoy the experience of sitting in a wheelchair again until I’m too old to walk. I might as well take advantage of tonight to cherish it. You just have a good soak, I’ll wheel myself about.” As she spoke, she gave Long Feiye a parting glance, her grin looking especially fascinating beneath the moonlight.
Long Feiye smiled helplessly back. She can even think up excuses like that. Impressive.
Han Yunxi really did end up wandering off. Long Feiye had no idea she’d seized the chance to peek at his well-toned body when she looked back at him. She was feeling rather uncertain: why did she never have any chances to admire his sculptural form despite all the times he’d shown her favor?
Han Yunxi didn’t get far before Long Feiye was chasing after her. He was now dressed in wide, expansive white robes and a pair of wooden clogs. It made for a leisurely sight as he pushed along her wheelchair. She looked up at him and grinned mischievously. “Not soaking anymore?”
He purposely cast her a covetous look, but she had her ways to make sure he didn’t prevail. His eyes grew doting, then helpless. Between the two of them, there were no victors or losers when they were evenly matched. Both of them ended up strolling around the moonlit gardens and chatting casually.
“Tell me about...what happens 3,000 years later,” Long Feiye intoned.
Han Yunxi joyfully agreed. Of course, she only told him about the happy things and none of her pains. Many times, people had the mistaken impression that time healed all wounds and erased the scars. But in truth, it wasn’t time--but the people it brought--that cured them. After she finished her tale, Han Yunxi didn’t ask about Long Feiye’s past, but simply hoped she could be the person to bring Long Feiye out of his own hard times.
Long Feiye was immensely interested in how she’d refused to let a patient cut in line right before she transmigrated.
“Lingyun Hospital?” Long Feiye mused before smiling. “So under what circumstances can a patient cut in line? Does it depend on their illness?”
“It depends on my mood!” Han Yunxi laughed, and Long Feiye soon joined in. Like this, the two chatted until Han Yunxi inexplicably fell asleep. She only remembered Long Feiye carrying her back to their rooms. By the time she woke up, it was already morning the next day. The sun was high in the sky and the spot beside her on the bed cold and empty. It was obvious that Long Feiye had gotten up before her. She sat up doubtfully. Why was she so sleepy these days?
Yesterday, she had been sleeping the whole time in the carriage, so she figured she’d have enough sleep to last until Gu Beiyue arrived. Who knew that she’d dozed off again last night? Despite their days on the road, it wasn’t bumpy in the carriage at all. Besides practicing her needle skills, there was nothing else to do. If this was the past, she would cultivate her poison storage space, but for the sake of preserving her energy, she hadn’t cultivated for days. The groggy Han Yunxi suddenly remembered something and quickly checked her pulse. She remembered that pregnant women would all have a period of sleepiness, but times varied between each person. Unfortunately, the results made her reject the idea. She silently laughed at herself. There was no way she could get pregnant that soon! She was probably too tired from all the work before and relaxed during the journey, which was why her body was making self-adjustments now.
Without another thought, Han Yunxi helped herself out of bed and made herself presentable. Now that it was daylight, Gu Beiyue must have arrived! She called for the servants, but it was Baili Mingxiang who arrived. She had been holding back the entire trip, but today her face was wreathed in joy.
“Princess, you’re finally awake! Doctor Gu’s here, he’s drinking tea at the Fragrant Pine Garden with His Highness. This servant has come on orders to bring you to them!” Baili Mingxiang said with a smile. It’d been ages since she felt so happy.
Han Yunxi was pleased. “Hurry!”
But Baili Mingxiang only wheeled her to the table and called the servant girl on duty to bring over breakfast. “Princess, finish your breakfast first. Doctor Gu’s treatment will probably take some time, so you have to eat your fill,” she said.
Han Yunxi had no choice but to acknowledge these as Long Feiye’s orders. There was no way to refuse, but when the servant girl arrived with the food, she realized that it was Baili Mingxiang who had cooked the food. They were all dishes she’d eaten before at Leisurely Cloud Pavilion. Without a doubt, Baili Mingxiang had made her breakfast on purpose, not necessarily on Long Feiye’s orders.
As she picked up a bowl of millet porridge and chopsticks, Baili Mingxiang said, “Princess must eat your fill. If the treatment lasts until the afternoon, you’ll get hungry.”
Han Yunxi suddenly had the mistaken sensation that they had returned to Leisurely Cloud Pavilion again. Whenever she sat at the table, Zhao mama and Baili Mingxiang would come to wait on her. Su Xiaoyu would be out in the gardens, watering the poison plants. It was impossible to return to such days now. Baili Mingxiang’s future belonged in the army, while Little Yu’er’s whereabouts were stlil unknown. She still had worth as a hostage in Bai Yuqiao’s hands, so her life wouldn’t be in danger. She only hoped the girl was smart enough to not be so stubborn so she could save herself some torment.
Who knew if their trip to Hundred Poisons Sect this time would yield them answers about Bai Yuqiao?
Although she was anxious to see Gu Beiyue, Han Yunxi earnestly ate her meal until she was full, then had Baili Mingxiang wheel her to Fragrant Pine Garden. At the entrance, she saw Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue discussing matters over the tea table. Their voices rose and fell, making it hard for her to hear them. Both men were engrossed in the topic at hand and hadn’t noticed her arrival. As Baili Mingxiang prepared to call out, Han Yunxi stopped her. She observed Gu Beiyue from a distance. He was dressed in his usual spotless white robes, his expression amiable. Even strangers would find him as comfortable as an old friend. Although it’d been ages since they met, Han Yunxi didn’t feel any distance between them. There was still the same old intimate peace, as if they’d never experienced that life-and-death parting, as if they’d never separated at all.
Few people could sit at Long Feiye’s table and have the man pour tea for them, but Gu Beiyue counted amongst them. It was rare for Long Feiye to look so friendly as well, his light laughter floating on the wind. Han Yunxi forgot all about her legs, reluctant to disturb the beautiful painting of the scene.
Yet Long Feiye had long noticed her existence and quickly stopped his conversation with Gu Beiyue with creased brows. “Still not coming over?”
Gu Beiyue too, had noticed long ago. Yet despite his anxiety to see Miss Yunxi again, he would never speak up if Long Feiye didn’t speak first. Only now did he turn and widen his smile at the sight of her. Despite this, he remained silent. Quickly rising to his feet, he assumed a modest stance just like the first time he greeted her at Great General Mu’s estate. But instead of “esteemed wangfei,” he now called her “Your Royal Highness;” instead of a slight bow with hands clasped in front, he now fell to his knees in a kowtow.
“Your subordinate Gū Yue (孤月) greets Your Royal Highness!” He cupped his hands before his chest with both knees on the ground, then rested his forehead against his hands on the dirt.
He was akin to the white clouds in the sky! Yet today, he had devoutly lowered himself onto the mud. It wasn’t just Han Yunxi, but Long Feiye who didn’t see a hint of baseness in his actions. Some people were just destined to be honored and respected souls even when they kneeled!
Han Yunxi couldn’t bear to see Gu Beiyue kowtow for long, so she quickly said, “Gu Beiyue, if you don’t get up this instant, I’ll get mad!”
She’d told him for years not to act so formal around her, but now he’d fallen straight to his knees at the sight of her. It had been so long since they met that she thought things would return to the old days, and that he’d be just as excited and happy to see them. Who knew that he was still like water, gentle like jade? Everyone was helpless before his actions.
Han Yunxi couldn’t help but wonder what kind of things in the world was capable of disturbing Gu Beiyue’s unruffled calm...aaaPrevious Chapter Next Chapter
You know, I was thinking about this during the chapter but if GBY was the female lead...he'd be a classic white lotus, wouldn't he? Self-sacrificial type with healing powers who's always thinking of others and suffering and maybe a little M on the side...