Chapter 81: Poisonous Tulips
Prestige was a result of accomplishing major deeds, but it was divided into different types. The emperor had the prestige of an emperor, and a minister had the prestige of a minister.
There was one kind of prestige that was a combination of the two characteristics of having a high rank but also tempered by the fires of battle.
Prince Li, Long Heng, was precisely this kind of person. He himself came from a family of generals and had been a noble since birth. Later on, he commanded the armies, and it was even said that a general on the field wasn’t bound by the sovereign’s orders! When even the sovereign’s command could be ignored, it was easy to see how great his authority was.
Therefore, not just anyone could bear this kind of majestic presence.
Even Bai Xiangxiu, a modern person, also momentarily felt that he’d grown larger than life as goosebumps dimpled her entire body. She hadn’t even turned around, so she couldn’t to see what he looked like.
“Nonsense? What? Do you think that it’s wrong to save lives first, or is another scheme afoot?”
Few people dared to refute Prince Li’s words. The Song brothers opened their mouths, yet no words came out. In the end, Long Heng’s words forced them to close their mouths. If they dared say anything else, then they really would be scheming otherwise.
When Long Heng saw that no one had the intention to speak again, he spoke to Bai Xiangxiu, “What are you doing standing here? Saving people is important.”
Bai Xiangxiu’s body trembled at those words as she replied, “Tightness of chest and shortness of breath does not lend itself to movement. Remove all of these flowers first and open the windows for ventilation.”
The servants quickly followed suit after she finished speaking. Those tulips were all taken out in short order and the windows thrown open. With the windows opened, the people suffering from tightness of chest earlier all felt a bit better. Song Hui was among those who’d experienced a tighter chest, and now he possessed a bit more faith in this madame’s actions.
His eyebrows slowly relaxing, he said, “What else needs to be done, Madame Xiu?”
Bai Xiangxiu could breathe in deeply now as well. “Use a damp towel to wipe down the patients’ faces to help them wake up a bit. Don’t use cold water, warm water is fine.”
After the servants did as they were told, the complexion of the two people on the couch did indeed become a bit better.
Song Jiaoyue was immensely relieved. His heart filled with astonishment and gratitude as he watched Bai Xiangxiu scatter the people in the room.
There were many types of women in this world, but someone like her, obviously intelligent and low-profile, was actually rarely seen. Take Lin Qianzi for instance, she understood poems, was beautiful, and was often hailed as the most talented woman in the city. But what about this woman in front of him? She’d been unknown to the public before marriage and still remained low-profile afterwards.
Her appearance was more beautiful than Lin Qianzi’s. She knew how to make vegetarian dishes and understood all sorts of knowledge. She was truly a pearl covered in dust. If he had known of a woman such as her earlier, he would have personally gone to her door to propose. Unfortunately, she was now someone else’s concubine.
Just as his distress grew manifold, he heard that the old master had woken up on the couch. He was looking much better after coughing lightly a few times and spitting out a mouthful of phlegm. But he was still breathing heavily, “That really suffocated me.”
Song Hui hurriedly stepped forward and said, “Father, are you better now?”
The old master replied, “A bit better. Why hasn’t Grand Master Hui Shou awakened yet?”
GrandMaster Hui Shou woke up just as they were talking about him. Judging from the situation, the two were indeed poisoned by the toxic fragrance of the tulips.
Bai Xiangxiu heaved a sigh of relief, finally knowing that she hadn’t made any mistakes. If she couldn’t save them after delaying the medical treatment, then her guilt would’ve been enormous. After drinking tea, Old Master naturally asked about the situation. Knowing that Bai Xiangxiu had saved him, he couldn’t help but display a small smile towards her. When he heard his four sons quarreling amongst themselves after coming to see him, he couldn’t help furrow his eyebrows and say coldly, “What are you all still standing here for? Get out!”
The four Song brothers were helpless and could only withdraw to avoid his ire.
The old master said to Bai Xiangxiu, “I didn’t expect you to actually know those flowers. I accidently noticed these unknown flowers when I was outside and merely felt them elegant. That was why I placed them in the hall here. I didn’t think they would hide poison. Seems like they’ll need to be destroyed.”
“No need. … I’m saying that tulips are still good flowers. It’s fine as long as you don’t plant too many inside. If planted outside, they will create a nice landscape.” Bai Xiangxiu felt that the tulips were still beautiful flowers. There wouldn’t be a problem as long as there weren’t great patches of them.
Seeing her wanting to save the flowers, the Old Master couldn’t help but smile. “If you like them so much, just take them. I won’t dare grow them anymore.”
“Then many thanks to Old Master.” Breathing a sigh of relief, Bai Xiangxiu thanked the elderly man. But off on the side, Grand Master Hui Guang didn’t let her off.
“Lady patron, it was possible for you to not turn back just a moment ago. And yet, why did you return?” The old monk smiled as he asked.
Bai Xiangxiu really wanted to roll her eyes at him and say, “How do I know?”. But now, under the watchful eyes of so many people, and most importantly the murderous god standing behind her, she could only say, “Naturally, because I thought of a method.”
“Female patron, are you not afraid of things becoming difficult?” Hui Guang’s smile never wavered as he spoke.
“I can’t see Old Master and Grand Master Hui Shou suffer from danger, right?” Wasn’t this an obvious question? As a monk, how could he not understand, as a monk?
But Hui Guang said, “This is a shared destiny with Buddha.”
“In this world, there are but a few who aren’t predestined.” Bai Xiangxiu couldn’t hold back any longer and retorted.
Hui Guang’s expression didn’t change as he remained smiling, but he no longer spoke. Bai Xiangxiu was startled for a moment and then fell into deep thought. In this world, there were indeed very few who would not have their fates intersect with Buddha, but that didn’t mean that everyone would turn back. Yes, just a moment ago she felt that she had some courage. Her face couldn’t help turn slightly red. With everyone’s eyes looking at her, she became even more embarrassed.
Afraid that Great Master Hui Guang would speak of something or another again, Long Heng said, “The matter is already done. Why are you not leaving?”
Bai Xiangxiu responded softly and submissively followed behind Long Heng. However, Song Jiaoyue felt sorry that his friend was really too ice-cold. She was such a kind-hearted girl. She should’ve been treated with gentleness and care. His heart was slightly pained, but there was nothing he could do about it.
Watching Bai Xiangxiu leave, Hui Guang murmured one of the many names of Buddha. Grand Master Hui Shou said weakly, “It is rare to see you so proactive.”
Hui Guang replied, “It’s so rare to see someone so intelligent. It’s a pity that she still has ties to the mortal world.”
Hui Shou said laughingly, “Not everyone can truly leave behind worldly affairs.”
Nodding his head, Hui Guang said, “Both you and I are no exceptions, let alone her.”
The two great masters rested for a while and then took their leave afterwards. However, unexpectedly, only one of them returned to the monastery. The other went to the Li Manor to beg for alms. That remains a story for another day.
It was time for Bai Xiangxiu to return and so she went to take her leave of Madame Song. She also spent some time saying goodbye to Yu Se and Bai He. This kept her until dusk, when night had fallen. Long Heng and his men were still waiting anxiously at the front door. He could have gone back first, but he wasn’t at ease just leaving her here alone.
After waiting for a while, a servant’s report came back that the old master was feeling a bit uncomfortable again. As a result, they had asked Madame Xiu to go see him and was afraid that she would be unable to return tonight.
Long Heng almost kicked the servant straight into the ground. His woman wasn’t a doctor! What use was there in having her stay? But he was worried about leaving her behind and returning by herself. She really was too famous in this Song household. After thinking it over, he ordered his people to return to the Li Manor and back to Old Madame. He himself would also stay behind.