Chapter 91: Be Responsible for Me
Qin Yining frowned slightly when she saw the petty, self-satisfied smile on Xu Mao’s face. Not only was this man arrogant, but also blindly conclusive. Although she had some speculation about the identity of the assassins, she wasn’t willing to say a word further in front of him.
The commander had enough flattery from his subordinates by now and suddenly grew stern. He snorted coldly, “Idiots!”
Qin Yining jumped from this sudden shout, and his men around him were shocked silent.
“You’re such a bunch of idiots! I wasn’t being serious, but you all believed me?!” Xu Mao sniffed. “I was saying the opposite of what I meant! Why can’t any of you use your brains??”
“Yes yes, the lord speaks truly.” Everyone quickly agreed.
“We humbly request your guidance.”
“These people are wearing Great Zhou uniforms.” Xu Mao pointed at the ground. “They want to give us the impression that I just spoke of, making us think it’s impossible that Great Zhou people would wear their own uniforms in an assassination attempt. But I feel that these assassins are definitely from Great Zhou! They’re trying to trick us!”
“So that’s the case!”
“Milord is so very smart!” Over the top agreement and fawning praise arrived in a tidal wave. They were so eager to express their admiration that one almost couldn’t make out what was being said. The looks of adoration and worship on people’s faces were completely foolish to Qin Yining.
Su Mao was once again pleased by this reaction. He laughed heartily. “Since this is the case, we can close the books on this! These are Great Zhou scouts who dared assassinate the Duchess of Ding and Grand Preceptor Qin’s wife and daughter! Mmhmm, that mongrel Pang Xiao at Xihua City must’ve sent them!”
“Right! That must be it!”
“We are all amazed at the lord’s great speed in solving cases!”
“Our Warden’s Office is blessed by Sir Xu being in charge!”
“Absolutely! We wouldn’t know what else to do otherwise!”
Qin Yining really couldn’t keep watching the disgusting show any longer. Great Yan was on the decline because of these termites slowly nibbling away at it! “Since the lord has solved the case, I won’t disturb the lord any longer.”
Xu Mao finally remembered that there was someone else present as well and waved his hand, unconcerned. Qin Yining had Songlan send the duchess back to the side yard before returning to the priestess’ house.
The scent of blood wafted over her as soon as she let down the door curtains and closed the door. She lifted her eyes to see the gentleman’s pure-white undershirt half undressed, revealing a healthily tanned, fit, right arm and shoulder. The broken arrow had already been taken out and placed in a wooden basin with steaming water, dying the water red.
Bingtang had used ropes to tie up her sleeves. There was blood splattered over her arms and body as well. She was currently frowning in concentration as she sewed up the wound. Qin Yining’s sympathized greatly with the bloody wound, but the gentleman didn’t even crease his brow. It was as if the wound wasn’t his.
When she thought of how this wound would be on her body instead if it hadn’t been for his help, and most likely her life lost, she felt both gratitude and guilt towards Sir Yao.
“Bingtang, is Sir Yao’s injury alright?”
The maid put in the last two stitches before responding with a frown. “The arrow didn’t harm the tendons or bones. He’ll be fine if he rests well, but Sir Yao has lost too much blood, and there was poison on the arrow.”
“What?!” Qin Yining was shocked. “What poison? Will he be alright?!”
“What do we do??” Huzi was also frantic. “Is there an antidote for it?”
Qin Yining, you big trouble! And a pox on all you Qins! Her father doomed master’s father, and now she’s doomed master as well!
“I don’t feel anything, just a bit dizzy.” Pang Xiao wasn’t concerned at all. “Isn’t that because I’ve lost blood?”
“This is a poison that paralyzes the brain,” Bingtang explained. “If we don’t cure it, it’ll paralyze the victim over time. It looks like the assassins wanted to rob their targets of their ability to move if they failed their mission.”
Pang Xiao arched a brow. The Tatars use such vicious and complicated plots. Just use arsenic or a peacock’s gallbladder. It’s so much more straightforward. What, did they want to admire my paralyzed state after the poison took effect?
“Bingtang, is there any way to cure this poison?” Qin Yining frowned with worry. “Use whatever medicine you need and however much silver. I’ll have people get on it immediately!”
Huzi glared at Qin Yining. That’s more like it. Meanwhile, Pang Xiao was looking at her with a hint of a smile. His deep eyes seemed to speak: you don’t suspect that I’m with the assassins now?
Qin Yining understood that look and felt her face burn, averting her eyes when color streaked her cheeks.
Bingtang finished bandaging Pang Xiao. “This poison needs a complicated acupuncture method paired with medicine to be cured. The medicine part is easy, but the acupuncture method has long since been lost.”
This was Huzi’s worst nightmare. He began tearing up and pulled on Pang Xiao’s uninjured hand. “Master, what do we do? How could you be so silly? I-I wish it was me instead! You can’t die!The old madame and dowager madame are waiting for your return!”
Qin Yining also felt awful when Huzi started crying. Even though she suspected the gentleman, she didn’t want him to die! If he died because he saved her, she’d feel guilty for the rest of her life. Her eyes were rimmed with red, but she was calm enough. “No worries, no worries. I’ll find a way to cure you. No matter how much time or silver it takes, I’ll cure you. If you really are paralyzed in the end, I’ll, I’ll take care of you for the rest of your life.”
Huzi’s teary eyes widened with surprise. Priestess Liu looked at Pang Xiao with a faint smile and then back at Qin Yining. Light suddenly dawned in Pang Xiao’s phoenix eyes. “Do you mean that?”
“Naturally.” Qin Yining’s gaze was steady.
Pang Xiao immediately burst out laughing. His laugh was the blossoming of spring flowers, and his originally domineering aura retracted without leaving a hint behind. His handsome features softened, making Qin Yining’s heart pound as she quickly looked down.
“I haven’t finished speaking yet, why don’t any of you listen to me?” Bingtang continued with resignation.
“What?” Everyone looked at her.
She pointed at her pert, little nose and sniffed. “It just so happens that I know the acupuncture method.”
“Aiyo! Ugh! You little girl, you just wanted to tease me, didn’t you??” Huzi brusquely wiped off the tears on his face and glared ferociously at Bingtang.
“It’s not my fault you’re such a girl!” Bingtang snorted. “You’re a man, but you love to cry!”
“You stinky little girl! Beancurd! Stumpy potato!”
“Who’re you calling a potato?!” Bingtang’s apple cheeks were flushed red with anger as she planted her hands on her waist. She was short and diminutive. She hated people teasing her about that!
Pang Xiao ignored the two and rested his gaze on Qin Yining. He smiled meaningfully. “Since this is the case, miss, you’re responsible for me now.” 1
What be responsible for him? What kind of words are those?! Qin Yining blushed furiously red and her large eyes scraped a rough glare across him. “You got your wounds because you saved me, I’ll naturally take responsibility for that.”
“Why the rush to explain? I didn’t say I wanted you to be responsible for other things. I’m not the one who said she’ll take care of me for the rest of my life.” Pang Xiao was so entertained by her glare that he couldn’t help but tease her.
Qin Yining’s blush further deepened. He’s so annoying! The gentleman had shown too many sides of him since they’d met. Even though it was always the same face, he had the ability to project completely different airs. She didn’t know which was his real self. When she thought of his mysterious and expert martial arts, she felt that this was an unfathomable character.
But as unfathomable as he was, he really needed to keep his mouth in check! Qin Yining glared at him again.
Pang Xiao held in his laughter and clutched his shoulder, speaking with pain, “My good intentions went completely to waste! I saved someone’s life but am treated with mountains of disdain for my troubles. She just said that she would take care of me for the rest of her life. I haven’t even been paralyzed yet, but already she’s showing me such a mean face. This means you weren’t sincere earlier, you were just humoring me!”
Qin Yining really wanted to just walk off and leave him here! He’s in such good spirits and can run his mouth like this, he’s totally fine! Bingtang also snorted. Master and guard are both no good, they talk with the same attitude!
It was actually Huzi who was shocked by Pang Xiao’s attitude. Having served by the prince’s side for so many years, the guard had seen many sides of his master. Pang Xiao could be a coarse, arrogant brute, or remote and distant. He might be cocky and domineering, or genteel and scholarly. He’d even been cowardly and afraid of death, or the epitome of a money-grubber.
Regardless of what it was, Pang Xiao could put on a different mask and change his demeanor to perfectly pull off the act so as to reach his goals. But he’d never seen his master play the role of ‘teasing a proper, well-born lady’. I’ve seen new things since meeting this Miss Qin! Pang Xiao had stolen her hairpin and caressed her cheek last time, then infiltrated the home of the one who killed his father and laughed sillily after sneaking in. And now he was trying out a pitiful act? Is this still my decisive master who doesn’t hesitate to kill, and who’s an absolute god with military strategies and other schemes?
- This has more innuendo in Chinese, it basically means she needs to wed him and take up the responsibility of making an ‘honest man’ out of him.” ↩