Chapter 26: Humiliation, an aggressive lesson Original and most updated translations are from volaretranslations.
The usually calm Gu Beiyue now had an ashen face. He was the Head Imperial Physician, the closest man to the emperor’s side. Both in and out of the court, the palace ministers had to pay him their respects. Unfortunately, he was helpless before such an unreasonable and obstinate princess. He had hoped that General Mu could say something on Han Yunxi’s behalf, but the general only stood silently watching from the doorway.
Han Yunxi didn’t feel like defending herself to the princess, but kept her questioning. “Then may I ask Princess Changping if you have an arrest warrant?”
If the members of the imperial family committed a crime, the courts of justice dealt with them as well. But to arrest anyone, they needed a warrant. As the wangfei, Han Yunxi fell under the jurisdiction of the empress dowager, who was also responsible for issuing the warrant for her arrest.
“Not right now!” Princess Changping spoke with the assurance of someone with justice on their side.
“So that means I’m not an offender right now, either,” Han Yunxi said, controlling her temper. Princess Changping hemmed and hawed, debating how to reply. Yet Han Yunxi abruptly spoke out. “If you don’t have it right now, then what are you doing here? Hurry up and beat it!”
Without an arrest warrant, what was this princess rampaging about here? Even if Changping was a princess, she was the Qin Wangfei and her senior. Her imperial aunt!
Startled, Princess Changping snatched Han Yunxi’s hand in disbelief. “Han Yunxi, you’re so audacious. You acted fierce and dared to talk to me this way!”
“Why shouldn’t I dare?” Han Yunxi replied, giving her a dark look. As a doctor, what pained her heart most was her treatment being interrupted and her patients being disturbed. As a female, what she hated were woman like this, who showed off their status and ordered others about without reason!
Princess Changping was frightened by Han Yunxi’s look and hastily threw her hand off, backing up a couple of steps. What was going on, she was actually scared of this woman? Princess Changping tried to ignore the mysterious dread in her heart. She wouldn’t admit it! She was here to put Han Yunxi in her place, not lose face in the process! In a fit of anger, she started to curse her out.
“Han Yunxi, what are you acting arrogantly for? You’re just a good-for-nothing woman who waltzed yourself into those gates. Do you really think you’ve flown up a branch and became a phoenix? Let me tell you, a good-for-nothing will forever be a good-for-nothing! A sparrow will forever be a sparrow! Even if you think you’re an onion, there’s no need for people to choose you for their dipping sauces! Slut!”
Princess Changping put special emphasis on that insult as she pointed a finger towards Han Yunxi’s nose. Han Yunxi’s face turned pale as her hands turned into fists, narrowly resisting the urge to hit someone. Still, she remained calm. This wasn’t the time to stir up trouble, but to save someone’s life. Right now, she was in the role of a doctor.
Within these three days, she’d have to save Mu Qingwu as soon as his poison showed signs of emerging. Nothing else could be allowed to happen. Taking a deep breath, she calmed herself down to speak simply. “Princess Changping, you say I’m a good-for-nothing because I don’t understand the medical arts. Then may I ask if you do?”
These words were enough to make the princess stutter. “I…I…”
Han Yunxi took another breath. How much patience did she need? For the sake of her patient, she’d risk it all.
“So then, Princess Changping, I’ll have to trouble you to be more respectful with your words. Moreover, this wangfei’s your imperial aunt. Are you supposed to rave and shout at your seniors if you want to show courtesy? I’ll say it one last time. Please leave and refrain from disturbing the patient.”
An imperial aunt truly was senior to a princess, each of whom respected the other. But things were even more different in Tianning Country. Princess Changping’s imperial uncle was the Duke of Qin, and her imperial aunt, the Qin Wangfei. The Duke of Qin couldn’t be compared to a typical royal relative. Even the emperor had to make allowances for him! A wife followed the status of her husband in terms of hierarchy and seniority, so Han Yunxi even had ample rights to punish Princess Changping.
And yet, the princess only gave a loud laugh after her shock. “Im, imperial aunt? Han Yunxi, you’re really bold! My imperial uncle didn’t want you at all, but a shameless woman like you walked into his house yourself! You dare talk about things like the imperial aunt to the princess? You’re even worse than a prostitute!”
These words made everyone present suck in a cold breath. Before any of them could recover, Han Yunxi suddenly raised her arm and viciously slapped Princess Changping across the cheek. The pah! of impact was loud and bright!
Insufferable and unbearable! Maybe a younger uncle could bear it, but not the imperial aunt! Against a person like Princess Changping, enduring things were useless, explaining things were worthless. If you could take action, forget about words. Han Yunxi had thoroughly exploded!
Princess Changping was slapped silly for a moment, her exquisite white skin sporting a large red mark. Han Yunxi had really hit her hard. Around them both, even the Mu Liuyue tucked away in hiding couldn’t help but gaggle at the sight. Heavens, this woman Han Yunxi…she really dared! Very quickly, Princess Changping recovered and started wailing, her wild hands grabbing for Han Yunxi.
“You slut! You dared to slap the princess!”
“I’ll get you for this! Even mother’s never hit me before, who do you think you are?!”
“Han Yunxi, you despicable criminal, you prostitute!”
Han Yunxi expertly caught Princess Changping’s hands and gave her a stern rebuke. “Enough! So young and already full of crude language, how did your mother raise you? What kind of mother was she?”
These words shocked Princess Changping. Heavens, this woman not only dared to hit her, but insult her mother too?
“Han Yunxi, you’re monstrously audacious!” Princess Changping howled, struggling fiercely. But no matter what she did, she couldn’t get free. “Guards! Guards, grab her! Hurry!”
With this shout, the two guards by her sides were about to come forward when Han Yunxi gave them a ferocious glare. “You dare to apprehend Qin Wangfei? When did you ask permission from His Highness Duke of Qin? Who made you all so bold?”
The Duke of Qin, her husband. This name made for a shining shield wherever it went. The two guards hesitated, and Princess Changping’s spirits sank. “Han Yunxi, let me go or else I’ll tell the emperor!”
With a cold snort, Han Yunxi flung Princess Changping to the side. “Go ahead. I’ll just be waiting here for the Duke of Qin to take me away himself.”
The princess bumped against a side table as tears flooded her face. Her anger made her face turn red. How could she dare look for her father, the emperor? He never agreed to let her marry Mu Qingwu and hated it when she ran off to the general’s estate. Moreover, if news of this really spread to the Duke of Qin, she wasn’t sure it’d work in her favor. Princess Changping covered her face and spoke hatefully, “Han Yunxi, you had the nerve to hit me. I definitely won’t let you off!”
When she was done, she suddenly stomped her feet before running out the door, the two guards and Mu Liuyue hastily following after her. Unexpectedly, they actually shut the door behind them, locking Han Yunxi inside. What kind of pace was this?
“Han Yunxi, just you wait! Just you wait for me!”
“Don’t think about leaving this room even half a step! I’ll definitely make you pay!”
Princess Changping’s clamor rose from the outside as Han Yunxi looked gloomily at the locked doors. What was wrong with this time period? Could she even save a person in this state?
Soon enough, the princess’ voice faded, though it wasn’t clear if she’d left. But at least the room was quieter now. Han Yunxi exhaled slowly as she lowered her darkened eyes. Something complicated flitted across Gu Beiyue’s gaze as he spoke.
“Esteemed wangfei, that slap just then…”
“She deserved it!” Han Yunxi snapped.
All right, so she was in a bad mood. Who’d be happy with a woman cursing at them? Yes, so she’d walked through the gates herself, but only because she had no choice. She’d never thought of herself as respectable beyond reproach, nor did she want to be the Duke of Qin’s wife. But she still had self-respect and thought herself rather decent–magnanimous with a clear conscience and nothing base about her.
Instead, Gu Beiyue replied, “Esteemed wangfei, that slap was marvelous. But Princess Changping said…that she didn’t have an arrest warrant ‘right now’?”
Slightly stunned, Han Yunxi realized that she overlooked this particular detail between everything else. She glanced nervously towards the door. It couldn’t be that…
For better or for worse, it was something unavoidable. Han Yunxi decided not to think too much and drank a mouthful of water before resuming her bedside vigil. “Imperial Physician Gu, as long as you believe me, it’s enough.”
She observed Mu Qingwu’s complexion, checked his pulse, measured his temperature, and tested his blood for poisons anew. She was very certain that the poison would appear within three days! All her conclusions she reported to Gu Beiyue–and yet as soon as she finished, someone opened the doors.
The North Court Official from the justice courts spoke up. “Qin Wangfei, this is an arrest warrant certified by the empress dowager herself. You’ve been reported for attempted assassination of the young general Mu Qingwu, so please come with me.”
The people from the justice courts had arrived!
Sure enough, Princess Changping didn’t come empty-handed, but prepared things ahead of time. She’d long planned to lock up Han Yunxi in jail! Only, to have the empress dowager issue her arrest warrant was really a bit too cruel. What was an arrest warrant? It signified that there was substantial evidence to take someone into custody without additional explanation. They’d slowly question her after she was locked up.
No matter how you put it, Han Yunxi was still the daughter of the empress dowager’s lifesaver. Was the empress dowager this eager to eradicate her and her family? In addition, the justice courts didn’t have proof that Han Yunxi was the assassin, only a wrong conclusion.
This was clearly abuse of power in the name of avenging personal wrongs!
Gu Beiyue had realized this long ago and couldn’t help but cry out, “Ridiculous!”
Han Yunxi sucked in a deep breath, cool and indifferent. She knew that this was the type of power that couldn’t be moved by a hundred explanations. She understood, too, that to survive peacefully in this world, she had to submit herself and listen to orders, but it just wasn’t something she could learn. Han Yunxi personally pushed aside the doors and walked outside, only to seen the North Court Official standing with Princess Changping, flanked by five or six officers. Ignoring the smug-looking princess, Han Yunxi gave the North Court Official a cold look.
“May I ask the North Court Official what crime this wangfei has committed?”
“You’ve been reported for assassination attempts on the young general Mu Qingwu, lying and cheating the general’s residence, and using treatment as an excuse to poison the young general,” the North Court Official stated in a loud voice, as if these things had really happened.
“A complete setup! North Court Official, I can verify that the esteemed wangfei is innocent. I was involved in the diagnosis as well,” Gu Beiyue was very much for upholding justice.
The North Court Official’s reply was frigid. “Nothing else needs to be said. This is the empress dowager’s arrest warrant. She’s very concerned about this matter, so you can save the words for the justice courts when you cooperate with us for the investigation. Those who want to give evidence can put them on record at the justice courts as well.”
“North Court Official…” Gu Beiyue wanted to keep explaining, but the North Court Official raised a hand to stop him.
“Imperial Physician Gu, it’s no use saying more. As a servant of the imperial house, you should clearly understand what an arrest warrant means.”
Gu Beiyue could only close his mouth and look at the taciturn Han Yunxi with her head bowed. His warm gaze was filled with distress. What kind of crime did this woman commit in trying to save a life?! Seeing the disappointment in Han Yunxi’s eyes, Princess Changping and Mu Liuyue felt exceptionally smug. They waited to see her lose hope, throw a fit, and cry out for injustice.