Chapter 510: Raising a ruckus all the way home Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
There was no sign of Gu Qishao, but Han Yunxi saw a familiar face amongst the crowd. He was standing in the middle of all the people with his soft, gentle smile, the sunlight shining upon his handsome features as if it could light up the entire world. Han Yunxi broke into an inexplicable smile at the mere sight of him. Such serenity, ease, and warmth seemed to keep him a world apart from the bustling people and separated her from the noise as well. She felt the air brush past her face like an April spring breeze or warm sunshine on a cold winter day.
Gu Beiyue, long time no see!
After the rebel forces stormed into Tianning’s palace, Emperor Tianhui fled out of the city overnight. Han Yunxi had originally assumed that he’d taken Gu Beiyue with him, but here was the doctor now! When Gu Beiyue made his way out of the crowd, Seventh Madame and Baili Mingxiang finally noticed him as well. Of course, Long Feiye had long picked him out from the crowd. It had to be said that Gu Beiyue wasn’t a particularly sociable person but still got along with everyone exceedingly well. The Han family naturally liked him a lot, but so did Baili Mingxiang and Su Xiaoyu. Everyone came to greet him, but Gu Beiyue suddenly bowed at the door with his hands clasped. Then he asked Han Yunxi, “Esteemed wangfei, may I be so bold to ask this lofty pharmacy if it needs an in-house physician? This one ventures to offer his services.”
At this, everyone in the crowd zeroed in on him. In-house physician? In other words, someone who would stay at Pill Fiend Pharmacy and practice medicine?
The pleasant surprise delighted Han Yunxi even as she grew touched. A Divine Doctor like Gu Beiyue had no need for such humble work. After leaving the Imperial Physician Courtyard, he’d be successful no matter whether he opened up his own clinic or went back to the medical academy. Being an in-house physician here meant that he’d at most check the prescriptions of visiting patients and offer them suggestions. It really was using a great talent for minor affairs. Aside from Han Yunxi, everyone else behind her was overjoyed as well. However, a hiss quickly came from the crowd.
“Haha, aren’t you overestimating your skills? By his looks alone, I can tell he’s a chronic invalid! What kind of doctor is this?”
“Pill Fiend Pharmacy isn’t just any shop. Young man, don’t you know the difference between Heaven and Earth?”
Most in-house physicians weren’t particularly remarkable, but Pill Fiend Pharmacy wasn’t just any establishment. Naturally, its physicians couldn’t be ordinary, either.
But was Gu Beiyue just ‘anyone’ off the streets?
He remained mild and unruffled even as Han Yunxi grew anxious. She was about to explain when an ethereal-looking old uncle appeared from the crowd. He lightly pinched Gu Beiyue’s right shoulder before Gu Beiyue suddenly collapsed to his knees as if from some large shock. Even the weakest body shouldn’t be this frail! Just what was going on?
The crowd stared. Han Yunxi was about to walk over when Long Feiye pulled her back. “What’s the rush?” he asked.
Gu Beiyue knelt on the ground with a painful expression. It wasn’t clear whether he was keeping quiet on purpose, or if because he felt too uncomfortable to talk.
“Young man, it hurts a lot, yes?” the old uncle asked lightly.
Gu Beiyue nodded his head. The old man then patted Gu Beiyue’s left shoulder, causing it to cave inward as well. His shoulders drooped and made him look inexpressively weak. The old man circled behind Gu Beiyue and started making grand gestures with his arms like Tai chi before gently punching Gu Beiyue on the back. Gu Beiyue gave an exclamation before he followed up with a long exhale.
“Feeling better now?” the old man asked.
Gu Beiyue simply nodded again. The old man smoothed out his beard in all seriousness before muttering to himself. “Dampness is the cause of ten thousand ills. Dampness hurts the yang nature, while those with a wounded yang nature are weak, sickly, waning.”
As he spoke, he circled behind Gu Beiyue and took out an acupuncture needle with a set of strange flourishes before pressing it into Gu Beiyue’s neck. Typically speaking, one only needed to insert the tip of the needle into a patient’s skin, but the old man stabbed it deep into the flesh. Everyone quailed at the sight, but Gu Beiyue didn’t react much at all. Han Yunxi saw it clearer than anyone else and was a little worried, but Gu Beiyue’s medical skills were so fine that he shouldn’t stay quiet if he was really hurt. Thus, she decided to keep quiet for now.
A little while later, the old man began to pinch Gu Beiyue’s left and right arms. The crowd stared as he worked, but Gu Beiyue remained unchanged. Still, when the old uncle took out his needle once more, it had turned completely black and glossy!
That wasn’t even the most mysterious part!
The most supernatural detail was that even the needle was damp! Everyone was amazed by the sight. Just what had happened?
Before their eyes, Gu Beiyue slowly rose to his feet and rolled his shoulders. He was not only unharmed, but looked much energetic than before, his face glowing with health.
Did the man dispel the dampness within him? Is he cured now?
A tendency towards dampness came from an accumulation of factors over multiple years. It was very troublesome to treat and required care from different fronts over the course of two to three years before there were any effects. But this invalid was looking so chipper. Were a few needles all it took to do the trick?
Someone asked from the crowd, “Old Mister, did the dampness get dispelled?”
The old man only wore an enigmatic expression without answering the question. He surveyed Gu Beiyue and intoned, “To treat the ailment, get two liang1 each of large-leaved gentian, root of Chinese clematis, and mulberry branches, then boil them daily and ingest like tea.”
When he finished, he straightened his sleeves and headed calmly out of the crowd, the people parting for him as he went. All of them felt that he must be some sort of high-level expert. Gu Beiyue didn’t thank him, much less pay him much attention at all. He was rubbing his neck with his usual soft and gentle expression. The old man took step after step, looking like an immortal free from mortal cares. His pace was steady, but his heart was frantic until his steps finally slowed.
Qin Wangfei had long posted notices asking for able and virtuous help. His flawless performance in front of Pill Fiend Pharmacy had perfectly showcased his miraculous skills, so why wasn’t she asking him to stay? Shouldn’t she be seizing the chance to take him as Pill Fiend Pharmacy’s in-house physician? Finally, he stopped in his tracks before he could get any farther to ponder over the problem.
Following that, he turned towards Gu Beiyue and said, “Young man, this old man has only taken in one disciple in all my lifetime, Tianning’s Imperial Physician Courtyard’s Gu Beiyue. Although you’re a world apart from him, you had the fate to meet with this old man today. Come now, learn acupuncture from this old man.”
The crowd grew sensational! Nobody expected this old man to be none other than Gu Beiyue’s master! Gu Beiyue was a fifth-rank Divine Doctor, but his skills had far surpassed his rank in the past few years. Moreover, his reputation in Tianning was more renowned than the famous doctors of the medical academy.
Could it be that Gu Beiyue went to follow another master after his grandfather passed away? If that was the case, this old man’s medical skills must be exemplary!
The hubbub of the crowd was a testament to everyone’s surprise. Of course, no one was more surprised than Han Yunxi and her group.
There are really people that blind in this world? They’ll go this far to pull off these kinds of tricks? There’s no saving them now.
Han Yunxi had grown completely still, while Long Feiye’s mouth was twitching. Both of them had long discovered that the old man was a swindler, but they never expected him to be such a serious case. On the other hand, Gu Beiyue wasn’t angry at all, but simply smiled and said, “This one lacks the talent, so I won’t claim ties of kinship with someone more esteemed.”
“You’re being a fool!”
“Young man, are you ill in the brains as well? How could you give up such a good opportunity?”
“Young man, don’t you know who Gu Beiyue is? To be a fellow disciple with Imperial Physician Gu is your good fortune!”
Various people surrounded Gu Beiyue with their exhortations, but the mild-tempered doctor only sighed without offering any explanation. He next gave a bow with clasped hands towards Han Yunxi and Long Feiye before preparing to leave. Han Yunxi was planning to thoroughly expose that old cheat and humiliate him before the crowd, but Gu Beiyue’s temperate actions instantly evaporated all her rage.
Gu Beiyue wasn’t someone who feared stirring up a fuss, he was simply kind and generous at heart. In every instance, he would downplay the situation until it was only a minor issue. He was always low key and never competed with others, nor was he affected by honor or disgrace.
The old uncle was a little floored by his reaction. He knew a bit of medical arts from various heretical schools of thought. A few days ago, he’d accepted a bunch of silver from someone with the promise that he’d slip into Pill Fiend Pharmacy and act as a spy. Today he was only here to scope out the place on its opening day and only grabbed that invalid to showcase his skills. Instead, he met with an aberration.
Although he was left a little embarrassed, the old man remained calm. He gave an optimistic smile before preparing to leave as well. Although I didn’t succeed this time, I’ve at least attracted Qin Wangfei’s attention. Next time I’ll arrange for us to meet ‘accidentally;’ it’ll be easy enough to join Pill Fiend Pharmacy then
But before anyone could react, a pleasantly surprised voice rose from the crowd. “Imperial Physician Gu! Imperial Physician Gu, so you’ve come as well!”
Imperial Physician Gu?!
The crowd turned as one towards the voice, only to see a clever-looking girl walking towards Gu Beiyue.
“Imperial Physician Gu, why are you leaving when you’ve just come to Pill Fiend Pharmacy? What, His Highness Duke of Qin and Qin Wangfei didn’t welcome you?” the girl asked in a joking voice.
Gu Beiyue hadn’t replied when Han Yunxi broke into laughter. “How could that be? Imperial Physician Gu, didn’t you just say you were going to be our in-house physician? You have to stand by your words!”
The crowd exploded. So that invalid is actually Gu Beiyue? In other words…the old man was a liar!
Gu Beiyue gave a helpless smile as he turned back, leaving the crowd and the ‘immortal-like’ old man equally stunned in his wake. The old man seized hold of the chance to flee, but was blocked by the crowd and dragged off to a side where they started beating him with punches and kicks. Han Yunxi was too lazy to bother with such a buffoon. She was thrilled to see Gu Beiyue coming back, and even more delighted by the sight of the girl by his side. That was none other than someone she’d been hoping would appear, Mu Linger!
She showed up on opening day after all!
“Esteemed wangfei, if you’ll take me, Gu Beiyue is willing to dedicate my life to work in the service of Pill Fiend Pharmacy!” Gu Beiyue said earnestly.
His voice wasn’t neither loud nor domineering, but it shook the hearts of all who heard him. There was even something ambiguous about the tone, but no one had time to ponder upon it before Gu Beiyue added, “I hope that this one has the fortune of aiding Your Highness and wangfei in their efforts to help the people.”
Long Feiye’s eyes flickered with a complicated look as he remained silent, but Han Yunxi instantly agreed. “It’s the fortune of our Pill Fiend Pharmacy to have you!”
Meanwhile, Gu Qishao had been watching the entire scene from a nearby roof. His eyes had narrowed to a fine line as he fought the urge to go down and slap that old swindler himself!
That’s right, he was the one who paid off that old man to sneak into Pill Fiend Pharmacy. But who knew that this would happen instead?! While Gu Qishao was fuming, Mu Linger’s voice rose from the crowd.
“Qin Wangfei, I’ve come in response to His Excellency Pill Fiend’s challenge! May I trouble you to let His Excellency Pill Fiend know that Medicine City’s Mu Linger has come to fight!”
- two liang – approximately 50g ↩