Chapter 547: Would it hurt him? Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Although master had warned him repeatedly not to find trouble for Han Yunxi and Long Feiye, he had never been so firm as today. Jun Yixie only looked at Bai Yanqing in disbelief, waiting for an answer to his question.
Bai Yanqing played absently with the little plates of poison on his table. It seemed like he hadn’t heard Jun Yixie’s question at all. Jun Yixie waited for a long time. He considered asking again, but he didn’t dare try. Since childhood, he’d been familiar with his master’s personality so he knew that asking more would be useless. Hanging his head, he bowed with his hands clasped before him before turning to leave.
But Bai Yanqing opened his mouth to murmur, “Little Xie, ah…would master ever do something that hurt you?”
Jun Yixie’s head whipped back, only to see his master concentrating on his poisons as always. But an inexpressible feeling rose up into his heart. It’d been years since master had called him by his childhood nickname. He stood there for ages simply watching his master work, more like an obedient child than the arrogant and vicious Duke of Kang.
“This disciple will carefully follow master’s instructions!” After paying his reverent respects anew, Jun Yixie finally left the room. He had always listened to his master, and he’d gotten everything he had today because of that same man. Of course master won’t hurt me.
For now, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi could live. He was sure that once he had Northern Li under control, master would move forward. Not long after his departure, Bai Yuqiao crawled up from a pile of grass and returned to Bai Yanqing’s side. She discovered that her master had already gotten rid of all the poisons he was playing with. In their place remained a strange looking drop of blood.
Bai Yuqiao knew that this blood came from the sample her master took from her senior brother. Master had long told senior brother that there was nothing special about this blood at all—it was only poisoned fish blood. But this wasn’t the first time she’d caught master researching the toxins inside that blood. After coming to Northern Li, she’d discovered that master had been hiding this fact from senior brother the entire time.
While Bai Yuqiao was pondering, she accidentally caught a glimpse of Bai Yanqing’s sharp gaze and fell to her knees. “Master, Yu’er didn’t see a thing!”
Bai Yuqiao was still young in age but wise beyond her years. Her natural cleverness, combined with her years of service by Bai Yanqing’s side, made her perfectly capable of deciphering any glance the man sent her way. Bai Yanqing’s gaze only lingered on her a second before he looked away in silence. His lack of response left Bai Yuqiao puzzled. She quietly rose to her feet and pretended like nothing had happened, just like her master. After resuming her quiet post by his side, she couldn’t help but think a quiet prayer.
Master, ah, master. Senior brother treats you like his own father and listens to everything you say. Please don’t do anything that will hurt him!
The news that the Duke of Kang had been stripped of his position and expelled from the imperial clan made waves in the imperial court. In the scramble for power and profit, many, many stones were cast at the unlucky Jun Yixie. Every day, various supporters from his own camp deserted his cause in dramatic exits. Despite this, only the stupidest even deigned to participate in those struggles. Those with intelligence knew that the Northern Li emperor was only making a show for Medical and Medicine City’s sake. Jun Yixie still controlled the most important things in Northern Li—its coveted horse farms and snow mountains.
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s newfound control over Medicine City had led to chaos in Northern Li. Various powers in Cloud Realm Continent delighted in the fact. Even Tianan City and West Liang, the domains of Long Tianmo and Emperor Tianhui, were keeping a close eye on further developments.
In Tianan City, Long Tianmo had thought of going to the south repeatedly to invite the Duke of Qin in an alliance against West Liang and Western Zhou. But both Great General Mu and Mu Qingwu disagreed.
“Your Majesty, the Duke of Qin won’t come,” Mu Qingwu was certain.
“Even if he doesn’t, we still have to find ways to let him come!” Long Tianmo was clearly irritated. “Even Medicine City’s under his domain now. Now he controls all of the south in Cloud Realm Continent. If we don’t invite him now, then when?”
Great General Mu finally broke out into a cold laugh. “Your Majesty, if the Duke of Qin wanted to come, he would have come long ago. Why would he need you to invite him? As this old subject sees it, Your Majesty should keep an eye on West Liang instead of worrying about the Duke of Qin. Rumour has it that Empress Chu’s stomach is already three months’ pregnant.”
It was much better to scheme against Chu Qingge’s pregnancy and deal with the Chu Clan’s forces than trying to invite the Duke of Qin. Hearing Great General Mu’s words, Long Tianmo finally calmed down. Emperor Tianhui had long taken to his sickbed. As long as Chu Qingge still had the baby in her womb, the Chu Clan couldn’t do anything to seize power. Meanwhile, Long Tianmo gave no thought about the few grown imperial sons still staying in West Liang. He carefully scrutinized Great General Mu before declaring, “Zhen knows what to do now!”
As he plotted, Emperor Tianhui’s illness grew worse by the day in West Liang. Meanwhile, the baby in Chu Qingge’s stomach was really only three months old. The moment Chu Qingge discovered she was pregnant, her first thought was to kill the child and its father. But Chu Tianyin was able to stop her by force. No matter whether she gave birth to a boy or a girl, it would be a son all the same. Chu Tianyin had already made all of the necessary arrangements. Despite this, Emperor Tianhui still couldn’t die yet, because there were four other imperial sons in West Liang. All of them cast their covetous eyes at the throne and were even more eager than Chu Tianyin to take Emperor Tianhui’s life!
If Emperor Tianhui died before Chu Qingge gave birth to her baby, then the throne would skip her child entirely. So she not only had to care for Emperor Tianhui, but take precautions against four would-be usurpers. Chu Qingge persevered despite her suffering, but when she heard news of Han Yunxi’s exploits in Medicine City, and the fact that His Highness Duke of Qin had personally come to pick up Han Yunxi despite not being invited to their convention, her jealousy raged like a wild tempest in her heart, impossible to curb.
Why did she have to suffer in this Hell while Han Yunxi could stay by Long Feiye’s side? She wasn’t any inferior to Han Yunxi at the start and had tried her hardest as well, but why couldn’t she catch up to that woman?
She couldn’t accept it! She was certain that all she lacked was a bit of luck and a chance. Her overwhelming jealousy caused her to plot all sorts of ways for revenge. Today, Chu Tianyin wasn’t in, so she rejected the protests of her trusted aides to leave the palace and meet with her father in a villa in West Liang. As soon as she entered the study, she fell on her knees.
“Father, please agree to your daughter’s request. Otherwise, your daughter will never give birth to this child!”
Great General Chu was both astonished and indignant. “Who allowed you to come here?”
But Chu Qingge only took a dagger out of her sleeve and placed it over her stomach. “I beg father to agree to your daughter’s request!”
Great General Chu gave a start. In his heart, he knew that his daughter was a proud and haughty woman, but she was also kind. He never expected her to act so ruthlessly against her unborn child. Seeing the vicious determination in his daughter’s eyes, Great General Chu’s gaze flickered with worry. He was afraid that if he pushed the girl too far, all of their efforts in West Liang would come to naught naught.
“Fine, what do you want father to do?” Great General Chu asked.
“Ruin…Han… Yunxi!” Chu Qingge spat out word by word. She knew that her father and brother aspired to rule the world. Once her child was born, they would be the regents to ruled in its place. By then, she’d be reduced to nothing but a puppet, which was why she had to act now.
Great General Chu’s eyes flickered with a complicated expression. He had his share of disappointment for Han Yunxi. Originally, he had been expecting great things from that would-be heir!
“Father, please agree to my request!” Chu Qingge said, agitated.
“Han Yunxi is Long Feiye’s wings. Don’t you worry. If the Chu Clan really faces off against the Duke of Qin one day, we’ll break his wings first!” Great General Chu was certain of that.
“I want to be the one to decide everything related to Han Yunxi!” Chu Qingge said decisively.
“You!” Great General Chu was enraged. “Pure nonsense!”
Chu Qingge didn’t speak, but sliced her dagger through her clothing. Great General Chu immediately stepped forward, but that only drove Chu Qingge to cut even deeper.
“I agree!” Great General Chu all but roared, deathly afraid that he’d be too late.
“Forgive daughter for being unfilial. Daughter hopes that father will swear an oath to promise me,” Chu Qingge said seriously.
Great General Chu was about to go insane! Forced into a corner, he could only go along with her whims. He only rejoiced in the fact that this damned girl didn’t make him vow to kill Long Feiye as well. He was long aware of her affections for the Duke of Qin.
After getting her father’s solemn oath, Chu Qingge was perfectly satisfied. She left the courtyard and started at West Liang’s lofty blue skies, her hand lightly stroking her round belly. Just bear it a little longer. Only seven more months until this all ends.
Back in South Ning, Han Yunxi had no idea that someone had nearly gone mad with hatred for her. She was currently busy dealing with medicine and medicinal materials at Pill Fiend Pharmacy and in excellent spirits. After losing consciousness last time, she was in no rush to visit her new poison storage space. It was only after she rested well enough that she tried going in and out herself a few times. After a few successes, she decided to try with Lil Thing as well.
Today, Lil Thing was sleeping like a cat by Gu Beiyue’s side. Han Yunxi searched for half a day before she found the creature. She approached it with purposeful carelessness before cradling it in her arms. Lil Thing opened one eye to peer at its Mama Yunxi before both of its eyes widened. It scanned its surroundings until it was sure that Big Bad Long wasn’t around before it calmed down to nuzzle contentedly in her arms. Then it curled up and went back to sleep.
Han Yunxi softly petted Lil Thing as she asked offhandedly, “Doctor Gu, aren’t you going to take your mid-day break?”
“It’s not my habit to,” Gu Beiyue smiled, the expression warmer than a winter sun. He glanced at Lil Thing before saying, “I’m taking advantage of the sunlight now to dry these medicines.”
“You can simply leave that to the servants. A doctor like you is still doing things like this?” Han Yunxi grinned.
“These are precious and rare ingredients, so I’m only at ease if I do it myself,” Gu Beiyue said seriously.
Glad to get an excuse, Han Yunxi quickly added, “Then I won’t disturb you.”
As soon as she walked away, Lil Thing woke up from its slumber. It stared back at Gu Beiyue, reluctant to part with its beloved gentleman. But in the end, it didn’t refuse Mama Yunxi’s cradling. Ever since Papa Long had made up with Mama Yunxi, it’d lost its chance to sleep in her arms. Lil Thing waited until the gentleman’s thin frame vanished from sight before it went back to sleep. But neither it nor Han Yunxi realize that Gu Beiyue himself had vanished into thin air as soon as they were gone.
He reappeared back at Han Yunxi’s Leisurely Cloud Pavilion, where he stood at the window to peer inside. Han Yunxi had no idea he was there at all…