Chapter 438 – The Trunks Have Disappeared
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
The opera troupe leader lamented the thought of having to compensate Old Master Zhang! Meanwhile, Mo Ruo had finished reading Zhan Mo’s pulse before and tucked her thin wrist back under the covers before he started to massage his temples.
The opera troupe leader scurried over, “How is it, young master?”
“How is it exactly?”
Mo Ruo stood up expressionlessly and took a sip of water. He finally spoke, albeit monotonously, “Don’t worry, this young lady won’t die.”
The opera troupe leader’s worries lifted, “That’s good, that’s good.”
“But… she’ll be bedridden for the next few days.”
“Bedridden? We can’t have that. It’s Old Master Zhang’s birthday banquet the day after tomorrow – we’ve rushed all this way to perform there. If we were to be delayed in any way, we’ll lose heaps of money. No, this cannot do.” The opera troupe leader stomped his foot anxiously. He turned to glare angrily at Mo Ruo, “Young master, weren’t you a physician? You must save Zhan Mo – she can’t remain ill!”
Mo Ruo scoffed. The sobbing young maidservant came forth to tug on his sleeve, “Young master, what’s wrong with my young miss?”
“It’s not looking good.” Mo Ruo shook his head.
“Not good? Will she be alright?”
Mo Ruo mumbled, “She was born with an incurable cardiac deficiency. The problem was exacerbated by the yin alignment of her gender combined with her prolonged consumption of Fu Ginseng, known for its cooling properties. She should have been treated with the exact opposite: herbs of a strong yang character. There are three main types of pulses governing the body: the first ‘warm’, the second ‘cold’, and the third being ‘base’. There are similarly three taboos corresponding to each type of pulse: the first type is sensitive to water, the second to heat, and the last, to the wind. This is the basis of medicine; if any of the pulses were interrupted, it would be as severe as breaking bones or losing blood. Your young miss has two disturbed pulses, the ‘cold’ and ‘base’ pulses. It will be extremely difficult to treat her, but if you don’t, she’ll die within half a year.”
What? She would die in half a year? The troupe was shocked, but no-one was more shocked than the opera troupe leader.His legs went soft; if not for someone holding him up, he would have already fallen bottom-first.
Mo Ruo was a straight-talker, and was never wishy-washy; he would examine patients at Yuhua Pavilion when he was in a good mood, but even that didn’t stop him from using curt words. For example, if someone had an incurable disease, he would tell them they were about to die. Those patients would already have a foot in the grave from shock.
The troupe leader stammered, “Y-Young master, you must cure her. Without her, my troupe is nothing.” He slapped his thighs as he aired his grievances.
Sanniang, who had been observing from a corner all this time, suddenly spoke, “Yes, you must cure her. If she dies in my inn and the yamen investigates, my inn will fall to ruins as well.” She was still fanning herself with that ivory fan!
Mo Ruo asked the troupe leader, “Who was it that prescribed Fu Ginseng for her?”
“It was the physician. He… he said that only by doing so can she get better.”
“Quack.” Mo Ruo scoffed, “She cannot have any more Fu Ginseng. I’ll write her a new prescription – send someone to gather those herbs. I think the inn should have most, if not all of them. Brew a bowl and have her drink it. Unless she takes this medicine once every two days for half a year, even the gods cannot save her life.”
The troupe leader almost cheered in delight, “Yes, yes, yes. Many thanks, young master, many thanks!”
Mo Ruo’s prescription was completed in no time. Sanniang looked it over once., “What a coincidence, I have all these herbs in my inn.” She handed the prescription to a waiter, commanding him to prepare the medicinal brew.
With the show over, Jing Rong had no need to stay. As he left, a man from the troupe rushed in, “Bad news, leader, bad news.”
The troupe leader headed towards him, asking, “What’s wrong?”
“Our trunks… have been stolen!”
“What? Our trunks were stolen? Those trunks contained our lifeline, the things we need to make a living!” His face turned green, sweat dripping down his forehead as he pressed, “What happened?”
That man panted as he spoke hesitantly, “I… I don’t know either. I had a stomach ache, so I went to the outhouse. Once I returned and noticed that three trunks were missing, I came up to inform you immediately.”
What should they do? The troupe leader’s instincts were to question Sanniang, “Lady boss, my things were lost on your property – you need to take responsibility for it, no?”
Sanniang was shocked; impossible! She had already warned her subordinates not to touch any of these customers’ belongings, so why, no, how did they go missing? She replied, “Old leader, you shouldn’t blame this on our inn.I had already reminded you that this inn was full when you entered. You should watch your own belongings.”
“Those trunks of yours are not light. This place is smack in the middle of nowhere – even if thieves took them, they couldn’t possibly travel far. I think, you’re better off chasing after them. Who knows? You might even catch them before they disappear for good.”
The old troupe leader did his utmost to repress his rage as he hurried downstairs to survey the situation at the backyard. Sanniang followed closely behind.
Ji Yunshu had heard all of the commotion as she exited her room. She had intentions to follow behind the troupe leader and Sanniang, but was held back by Jing Rong, “It’s you should rest since it’s already this late. Don’t meddle in things you’re not involved in; it’ll do you no good.” Ji Yunshu pondered, Jing Rong wasn’t wrong! She turned back to head in when a waiter bumped into her shoulder.
The waiter apologised, “Apologies, young master.”
That waiter ran off, but not before Ji Yunshu’s gaze fell onto his clothes and the towel over his shoulder. Her gaze darkened. Despite Jing Rong’s protests, she headed downstairs.
What could he do? The woman he loved was a busybody! Jing Rong could only tag along, lest she get herself into hot water again.
In the backyard of the inn!
The carriages of the opera troupe were parked there. Their trunks, large and small, were all unloaded and pushed to one side. The leader shouted, “Someone in the inn must have stolen it. My boxes all contain important, expensive items.” He turned to Sanniang, questioning, “The trunks were lost here – you must take responsibility for it!”
Take responsibility? It was the first time Sanniang had heard such a term. She chuckled, twisting her full figure towards him and his baggage. She drew a finger across one of his trunks, “When you entered my inn, didn’t I already tell you? Now that your trunks are missing, why should you blame us? It’s obviously your men who are at fault – maybe one of them did it?”
She angered the troupe with her comment, “Why would we steal our own things? Those trunks must have been stolen by your men!”
“You can put whatever you want into your mouth, but you can’t just say anything you want!” Sanniang was furious as well. She fanned herself, “Our inn has been operating here for over thirty years. We are a clean business, we would never steal.”
“We lost our trunks here, you must compensate us.”
“Nonsense! Go ask around about this Du Sanniang – there’s nobody in this world who can make me compensate them.” The troupe were as anxious as ants on fire.
“You don’t have to pay for them, just bring them here.”
They turned to see Ji Yunshu walk into the crowd, parting them as she approached calmly, “You did lose your possessions, but they didn’t go far. They’re actually still right here in this inn.”
ChouFleur Rants Corner
Ooh that poor girl… and what did Yunshu see? Isn’t this a bit too quick…solving a mystery barely a couple of chapters into the new arc?