Chapter 463: An angry wangfei Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
It was already late night when Han Yunxi and Long Feiye arrived outside Gu Qi Sha’s gates. She noted that the number of people begging for medicine hadn’t decreased at all, but seemed even more numerous than before. Men and women, young and old alike were all kneeling in front of the gates as if acting so docile would give them better chances at getting the things they needed. But the fact of the matter was that everything depended on Gu Qi Sha’s own moods. Perhaps on a good day, he’d pick some people at random and gift them what they were requesting. Otherwise, nobody could move him unless they found a way to catch his interest. They might as well kneel indefinitely!
Han Yunxi had taken note of a few people in the crowd the last time she dropped by, but found that they were still here at least two months later. They had neither gotten what they wanted nor given up. It was even possible that there were people here who’d been waiting for half a year or more. Judging from Gu Qi Sha’s personality, six months of kneeling wouldn’t be enough to move him, either.
This Gu Qi Sha, he should simply refuse right then or chase them away if he’s not going to give them anything. Why does he let people kneel here to wait until his mood strikes for charity?
Han Yunxi watched the crowd for a while before she cursed him under her breath. “Abominable!”
At this moment, the old steward came to personally open the gates to recieve them. “Your Highness Duke of Qin, esteemed wangfei, you’ve waited too long. Please come in.”
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were about to enter when they suddenly heard the sound of hoofbeats behind them. After that came the piteous cries of a retainer as he reported in, “Old master! Old master, the madame has passed away…the night before yesterday. The madame has passed away…”
A middle-aged man in the crowd rose to his feet and looked at his retainer in shock, before spitting out a mouthful of blood and fainting away. The people around him strove to hold him up, someone pinching his philtrum to bring him back to consciousness as the retainer dismounted his horse to crawl over, his face covered in tears.
“Old master! Old master, please wake up! The estate’s still waiting for you to come back and take care of everything!”
“Hurry and get some hot water,” Han Yunxi tossed out the words before striding to the man. The old steward glanced over at Long Feiye, who was ignoring him in favor of watching his wangfei. He had no choice but to accept esteemed wangfei’s words as directed to him.
Han Yunxi called to the crowd surrounding the man to back away so he could have fresh air, then had him laid down to check his breathing and heartbeat before taking his pulse. By the time the old steward arrived with the water, she had already determined that the man’s situation wasn’t life-threatening. He had simply been too exhausted and depressed from waiting so long to take the sudden shock of bad news, thus spitting up blood.
From the retainer’s words, one could deduce that this old master had come to beg for medicine for his wife’s sake, but he hadn’t succeeded before the woman had passed away. Unable to bear the grief, he fainted instead. Heaven only knows how he would find the strength to face reality once he woke up again. Han Yunxi sighed softly. She gave the retainer an emergency, life-saving pill and the hot water from the steward before leaving them alone.
The old steward simply stood there with a furrowed brow. Han Yunxi couldn’t help but ask him, “Steward, won’t you even help the ones who’ve fainted?”
“Esteemed wangfei, everyday, the people kneeling here have fainted from exhaustion or illnesses or even shocks to their system like this man. Birth, old age, sickness and death are a part of our lives. If we were really to save them, wouldn’t Pill Fiend Valley become a clinic for the sick instead?” the old steward said helplessly.
“Then what’s the point of Pill Fiend planting all those medicinal plants? For fun?” Han Yunxi had suddenly raised her voice. Everyone’s heads whipped over at the sound. The old steward didn’t have the guts to talk back to the noble pair before him and wanted to coax her away, but as it turned out, the owner of the valley was more impatient and came out instead.
“Esteemed wangfei is correct, I planted all of these for my own amusement!” said the eerie voice with the weird and strange laugh. Standing atop the walls to the valley was a figure in a massive black cloak that fluttered in the wind. He seemed just like a ghost in the night.
“That’s His Excellency Pill Fiend! His Excellency Pill Fiend’s finally shown himself!” someone shouted from the crowd before they broke into a stir. All of the people who were standing immediately fell to their knees and kowtowed towards the man.
“Your Excellency Pill Fiend, please be charitable! I beg you to save my mother!”
“Your Excellency Pill Fiend, this old man’s already knelt here for three entire months. I’m willing to leave you my life if you would just save my son!”
The wails and cries of the crowd shattered the normal peaceful silence of the moonlit mountains. Han Yunxi had no words to say to the crowd—what else could they do except beg for help? Gu Qi Sha was oblivious to them all as his grinning eyes swept past Long Feiye to settle on Han Yunxi. “Esteemed wangfei, it really is a lot of fun to plant medicinal plants for pure enjoyment. If you’re interested, Pill Fiend Valley will welcome you anytime.”
Long Feiye simply looked at him coldly, secretly bewildered. It seems that Gu Qi Sha’s rather excited to see us this time. Is he that confident about how he pilfered the antidote? He’s not even bothering to ask why we’ve come in the first place. Naturally, his expression didn’t betray any hint of his misgivings.
“Doesn’t Your Excellency Pill Fiend fear incurring the wrath of Heaven by fooling around with these people’s lives?” Han Yunxi retorted sharply.
Gu Qi Sha’s eye’s flickered ruthlessly. Wrath of Heaven? He had cast aside all his fears ever since fleeing from Medical City. Could everything he suffered there compare to a mere wrath of Heaven? Of course, his eyes were filled with nothing but delight when he looked at Han Yunxi. “Qin Wangfei, it’s not very good of you to slander me in this manner, right? I’m simply a man who plants plants, not someone who murders for money or goods. Don’t misunderstand me!”
“You’re 100 times worse than any bandit that murders for money! Don’t think I don’t know that you’ve brought hundreds of rare plants here from other places yourself. All of them are extremely rare goods, and a single stem of one is enough to save multiple lives. You bought them but never used them, so how does that make you any different from people who steal human lives?!” Han Yunxi demanded.
If this fellow hadn’t bought those plants, they would have been purchased by people who actually needed them by now. At the very least, they’d be available on the markets even if the people had to beg for it. Now the desperate had no choice but to kneel here and hope Pill Fiend showed them mercy.
“This Excellency neither stole nor claimed any of those plants. I bought them to store away with real gold and silver, so where have I gone wrong?” Gu Qi Sha said in a helpless tone. Amusement flashed through his eyes as he sensed the change in Han Yunxi’s attitude. She was much more fiery than the last time they’d talked. As expected, she’s here to get even with me!
“Store away? Do you take this as some curio store? Or perhaps a depository for rare scrolls and books?” Han Yunxi couldn’t believe him. “Gu Qi Sha, you flaunt your wealth and identity in order to extort and fleece ingredients from everywhere to add them to your collections, but turn a blind eye to people dying outside your very doors. Don’t you have any sense of your wrongs? I’m not forcing you to save people, but can’t you at least not hurt them?” Han Yunxi’s voice was very loud, but her words alone were enough to stop the pleading from the crowd. All of them grew expectant at the fury simmering beneath that slight female form!
Finally, someone stepped out from the crowd. “Excellent! Well said! This old man doesn’t want my life anymore, nor will I stoop to beg him for anything. No more stroking his arrogant ego!” He had come to beg for medicine for himself, but soon turned tail and left the valley after his proclamation.
Soon enough, more people followed in his wake. Some of them cursed Gu Qi Sha or spat at him, while others simply left in silence. In the end, a great portion of the gathered crowd had disappeared. Gu Qi Sha couldn’t believe his eyes. He had already established Pill Fiend Valley for a good many years now and knew that people who came to beg him for ingredients simply had no other choice. Choosing to kneel here meant that they had reached the depths of their despair, so no one had ever left of their own accord.
Now they were showing their displeasure before his very doors?
Gu Qi Sha hated what was happening. He didn’t sell any of his plants because 1) it was only a hobby of his, and 2) he enjoyed watching people beg him for help. His favorite types weren’t even the people who plead on behalf of their loved ones, but the sick patients that begged for their own sake. He loved seeing those types, lingering on death’s door.
He’d always thought of death as a fortuitous event.
The old steward thought that his master would be furious, but Pill Fiend simply broke into laughter. “Qin Wangfei, you should be the one stealing goods and hurting lives, right? You’ve tricked them into leaving, but where am I supposed to find them if I change my mind and give them what they want?”
“Then they’d just return very soon!” Han Yunxi was certain. She didn’t want to waste any more words with Gu Qi Sha and his thick skin. He even laughed when she cursed him, something that reminded Han Yunxi starkly of Gu Qishao. Still, she brushed aside the thought of their similarities and asserted coldly, “I’m not here to ask for ingredients, but to demand a payment!”
Gu Qi Sha had been waiting for those words for a very long time. He purposely shot Long Feiye a look of confusion and said, “Your Highness Duke of Qin, this one’s long cleared debts with you, isn’t that right?”
Long Feiye didn’t reply. He clasped his hands behind his back and strode directly into the courtyard. Han Yunxi immediately followed after him, completely ignoring Gu Qi Sha’s presence. He was supposed to be the host, but Gu Qi Sha felt like he’d been forgotten and tossed to the side like a rag doll that was no longer wanted. The sight of Han Yunxi trailing after Long Feiye so obediently made him even more uncomfortable! He did a beautiful backwards somersault and landed in the courtyard behind them.
Long Feiye, I’d like to see whether Han Yunxi follows you back out of this courtyard later!
Han Yunxi had plans to talk things over with Gu Qi Sha. Usually, she wouldn’t take a seat in a guest hall on her own initiative, but both her and Long Feiye chose to sit down at the tea table without invitation this time. Gu Qi Sha simply glided in with his black cape trailing behind him. Only Heaven knows how his skinny legs were floating off the ground, but he settled at the seat of honor and looked down on them with a cold voice. “Long Feiye, this fellow’s already given you the two ingredients you requested. I even made you the antidote free of charge, so what else do I owe you? Speak clearly!”
Long Feiye calmly drank his tea, his serenity enough to drive Gu Qi Sha mad. Han Yunxi settled to drink tea as well, completely unperturbed. Gu Qi Sha can pretend all he wants, I’ll wet my throat and take a break before I bother with him. He was the only one who’d pilfered the antidote, so he should know exactly why they were here!
Gu Qi Sha was only too anxious to get the show started, so he quickly rose to his feet. “If the two of you are just here to drink tea, I shan’t keep you company!”
He prepared to leave the room when Han Yunxi laughed coldly. “Gu Qi Sha, you should recognize this, correct?” She took out the bottle of antidote from her sleeve, stored in the exact same bottle that Gu Qi Sha had prepared for Long Feiye during his last trip to the valley.
Gu Qi Sha silently rejoiced as he arched his brow. “So what if I do?”
Han Yunxi opened the bottle and pushed it across the table. “Take a close look!”
“This is the antidote to Broomcorn Millet Poison, one I made myself. Why wouldn’t I know what it is?” Gu Qi Sha objected.
“It was filled at least halfway with fake powders! You actually had the gall to steal some for yourself!” Han Yunxi raged at him.
Gu Qi Sha pretended to be thoroughly shocked. He gave a start before recovering his senses. “What a joke! Is it fake powder just because you said so? Where’s your proof?”
“If this isn’t proof, then what is?” Han Yunxi elegantly poured antidote back and forth between two bottles until she had precisely separated the fake powder from the actual medicine. In the end, one bottle contained stray powders while the other had the actual antidote. She casually tossed over the bottle of fake powders and said, “Gu Qi Sha, here’s the proof!”