Chapter 420: I’ll give you a piece of my loyal heart1 Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Gu Beiyue said that they needed to come back from Pill Fiend Valley with the Heart of Cinnabar within five days. Otherwise, Baili Mingxiang would definitely die. Han Yunxi said they’d ransack the place if they had to, to find it, and to leave immediately.
And thus, Long Feiye took Han Yunxi to the valley straight from the Imperial Physician Courtyard. Along the way, they exhausted two separate horses and his day’s worth of internal energy to make it to Pill Fiend Valley at night two days later. It took about two and a half days in total to get here using the fastest possible speed, so that would be their maximum speed on the way back, too. In other words, if they wanted to make the five-day deadline, they could only spend four hours at most in the valley.
Han Yunxi had only come to Pill Fiend Valley twice, both for the sake of asking for medicine. Most recently, she’d asked for ingredients to treat pestilence and the old steward had seen her in Gu Qi Sha’s place. The valley was the same as ever, with a courtyard filled with people begging for cures. Unfortunately, the gates were closed to them all. Han Yunxi looked over the assembled crowd—especially the elderly and the children—and couldn’t help but curse Gu Qi Sha as a bastard. He’s absolute scum by medical standards! The worst!
Even the unscrupulous merchants who drove up pill prices on purpose to earn a profit were kinder than Gu Qi Sha. At least one could buy the pills they needed from their hands. But Gu Qi Sha’s ingredients and pills all depended on the man’s own mood. If he wasn’t willing to give them up, even money wouldn’t move him!
His medical talents are wasted on a man like him!
When they reached the gates and announced their names, the old steward came to open the door personally.
“Your Highness Duke of Qin, a few days ago Chu…”
Before the old steward could finish, Long Feiye cut him off. “Cut the chitchat, we’ve come for an emergency. Your lordship wants something called a ‘Heart of Cinnabar,’ so name your price.”
“The Heart of Cinnabar, ah…” the old steward feigned a difficult expression.
“Stop pretending, Pill Fiend Valley definitely has one!” Han Yunxi said coldly. If Gu Beiyue said so, the information couldn’t be wrong.
The old steward smiled abashedly. “It’s true, the Heart of Cinnabar is here. But how did esteemed wangfei come to know of that?”
“Stop with the blathering. I want this pill for sure, so hurry and hand it over.” Han Yunxi knew she was being over aggressive, but for the sake of saving a life, she’d go all out! She had even made preparations to ransack the place before she arrived. Gu Qi Sha had left a bad impression on her to begin with; moreover, the man by her side now didn’t have any experience searching for things himself.
The old steward’s eyes turned shrewd before he said helplessly, “Perhaps esteemed wangfei doesn’t know, but His Excellency Pill Fiend personally guards pills like Heart of Cinnabar. Unfortunately, His Excellency isn’t here right now.”
“Either you find him fast or we’ll search for it ourselves! It’s your choice! “Han Yunxi said ruthlessly. The old steward looked helplessly in Long Feiye’s direction.
“Your Highness Duke of Qin, you should know. His Excellency made an appointment with you for the 15th of next month!” He was obviously saying these things on purpose, and at such a fast speed that Long Feiye had no chance to interrupt.
Han Yunxi was puzzled as she looked back. “You have an appointment with him?”
“Mhm.” Long Feiye said simply, but didn’t elaborate. Instead he retorted, “What you mean is that Gu Qi Sha won’t be back until then?” The meaning behind his words was that they’d search the place if the owner wasn’t home.
The old steward shot a glance beyond the door before he said, “Your Highness Duke of Qin, esteemed wangfei, it’s not that Pill Fiend Valley isn’t showing you any face, but that you’ve both come too suddenly. How’s this? You can stay here and wait while this subordinate tries his best to find His Excellency Pill Fiend?”
“Where are the storage warehouses?” Han Yunxi got straight to the point. The old steward’s mouth twitched. This wangfei is even more aggressive that His Highness Duke of Qin! He didn’t reply, but glanced outside the gates again. At the same instant, an eerie laugh rose into the air.
“Qin Wangfei, long time no see!”
Han Yunxi immediately recognized the laughter as Gu Qi Sha! She spun back and saw the man dressed in black as he floated their way. He didn’t touch the ground until he was inside the room, sticking out a leg to reveal a boot. His freaky getup was enough to scare away little girls. But Han Yunxi was no child, so she strode right up to him and demanded, “I want the Heart of Cinnabar!”
Gu Qi Sha was in no rush, but slowly settled into his chair. He looked at Han Yunxi with amusement, his sharp, bright eyes filled with joy as they radiated with laughter. Anyone who took a closer look would be able to tell that he was in a superb mood. Long Feiye only felt irked by the gaze. Just a few days ago, Chu Xifeng had reported that Pill Fiend wasn’t at Pill Fiend Valley, so why did he appear like a coincidence? He gave the man a cold glare as he remained silent.
“I’m in a rush to save someone’s life, are you handing it over or not?!” Han Yunxi asked seriously.
Gu Qi Sha feigned ignorance. “Lass, what did you just say? What was it you wanted?”
“Heart of Cinnabar—the danxin, I want it!” Han Yunxi shouted.
“Oh…so you want this excellency’s danxin…my loyal heart, ah…” Gu Qi Sha muttered to himself, his hand resting over his chest. Unfortunately, nobody could see his arm beneath the black robes.
“What did you say?” Gu Qi Sha had spoken too softly for Han Yunxi to hear.
Gu Qi Sha laughed. “Lass, you said last time that you’d tell me where the Wall-Hitting Ghost was when we met again.”
Han Yunxi naturally remembered that, because she’d been saving it as a bargaining chip on her last trip here. It too, could count as another back door to Pill Fiend Valley.
“Take out the Heart of Cinnabar and I’ll tell you right away,” Han Yunxi turned sincere.
“No no, you tell me first,” Gu Qi Sha said deliberately, refusing to get worked up. Searching the valley would take its share of time as well, but since this fellow was here, it’d be better to settle things with him directly.
Han Yunxi held back her temper and asked patiently, “Will you give me the Heart of Cinnabar if I tell you first?”
She assumed that Gu Qi Sha would only make things difficult for her again and come up with some other terms. For that, she’d prepared herself to stand strong. But Gu Qi Sha simply nodded his head and easily agreed. “Of course.”
“You said it, so don’t go back on your words!” Han Yunxi didn’t dare to fully trust him.
Gu Qi Sha’s laughter suddenly took on a meaningful tone. “Esteemed wangfei, how could this old man break his word with His Highness Duke of Qin here?” It made it sound like he feared Long Feiye! Han Yunxi had no idea how the two men had fought in the past, but in her opinion, Gu Qi Sha had ample grounds to fear Long Feiye’s strength.
“Would Your Excellency Pill Fiend be an untrustworthy sort?” Han Yunxi put it plainly, before giving up the answer. “The Wall-Hitting Ghost is growing right on your roof, I noticed it as soon as I came in.”
Gu Qi Sha stuck on his thin, bony fingers and clapped them together. “Lass, you’re formidable! This old man likes that!”
Han Yunxi was about to speak when Gu Qi Sha easily plucked a brocade box from his sleeves. “Lass, here’s the Heart of Cinnabar.”
Although they’d made a promise, Han Yunxi still felt that Gu Qi Sha was being too kind this time. She hardly dared to believe it. After opening the box, she was met with the sight of a blood-red tablet. Gu Qi Sha approached Han Yunxi with congratulations and a smile, “Lass, here’s…a piece of my loyal heart for you!”
Han Yunxi felt uncomfortable just hearing the words and hesitated to accept the box. The cool-headed Long Feiye lost his patience and snatched it over. “It’s for saving someone else, she doesn’t need it for herself.”
Gu Qi Sha’s eyes flickered with disdain before he replied, “Your Highness Duke of Qin, I’ll definitely give you those two ingredients by the fifteen of next month.”
Long Feiye only glanced at him before taking Han Yunxi and leaving. This was the first time Han Yunxi had heard of the promise between the two men, but she was too preoccupied with the current emergency. With the Heart of Cinnabar in their hands, they should rush back and save the patient first. She could always ask him about it later. The two of them had already reached the gates when Gu Qi Sha spoke up again.
“Your Highness Duke of Qin, you asked for two unusual ingredients. What are you planning to use them for?”
A calculating look flitted past Long Feiye’s eyes, but he only ignored Gu Qi Sha and went to lift Han Yunxi onto the horse. Gu Qi Sha doggedly followed them out and kept talking. “Your Highness Duke of Qin, Bear chuan and Panoptic Red Lotus aren’t ordinary ingredients at all. This excellency is really very curious!”
At this, Han Yunxi realized that Long Feiye had been seeking Gu Qi Sha to find ingredients for Mute Granny’s antidote. She had long handed over Serpent Fruit into his possession, so these two other ingredients were the only things left. The three of them combined together could cure Mute Granny’s throat.
“Your Highness, so you were…” Han Yunxi couldn’t help but start. Gu Qi Sha narrowed his eyes to watch, as if anticipating something.
“Mm,” Long Feiye admitted openly.
“Your Highness, I thought…I thought you’d given up,” Han Yunxi was a little moved. In the past, Long Feiye had said that it was unlikely that Mute Granny was still alive. She had given up, but she never expected him to be still working at it.
Long Feiye’s gaze turned evasive as he murmured, “In any case, we should at least find the ingredients first.”
Han Yunxi snuggled up against Long Feiye, her head raised up to look at him with an indescribable expression. Gu Qi Sha was dumbfounded by the sight. This isn’t what I imagined would happen. When he realized they’d set off, he furiously waved his hand at them.
“Esteemed wangfei, take good care of this excellency’s loyal heart! Your Highness Duke of Qin, may we meet again!”
At this, Long Feiye immediately grasped the handle of his sword, but Han Yunxi stopped him from pulling it out. “Time’s a wasting. Settle your scores with him next time!”
The ‘Heart of Cinnabar/loyal heart’ she’d mentioned before was a simple misunderstanding. It looked like Gu Qi Sha was taking liberties with her on purpose! That bastard!
Han Yunxi looked back at the courtyard full of kneeling people and silently vowed to make Gu Qi Sha pay one day. Someday, she’d make Pill Fiend Valley into a place that helped others when they needed it.
As the old steward watched Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s forms fade into the distance, he dropped his voice and asked, “Your Excellency, offending His Highness Duke of Qin like that…seems unwise.”
Gu Qi Sha turned back with a cold snort. “You think this excellency’s afraid of him? Just wait!”
Just wait! Wait until I find out the truth about everything. Then you’ll see, Long Feiye!
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi traveled day and night to get back, using up much of Long Feiye’s internal energy. If Baili Mingxiang knew how much His Highness Duke of Qin had sacrificed, she’d probably be touched and filled with distress. By the time the couple arrived at the Baili Estate, it was already night of fifth day.
Time was getting tight!
Fortunately, Han Yunxi was quick-witted enough to put the Heart of Cinnabar into her detox system to process, boil, dry, and make into a powder that could be used to create a decoction. After entering the bedroom and hearing the doctor’s report over the past five days, she told everyone to get out and had the detox system prepare the decoction right then and there. Then she personally fed Baili Mingxiang the medicine with individual spoonfuls.
She exhaled a breath of relief only when the medicine was all gone, before sitting by the girl’s side to analyze her bloodstream with her detox system. However, it wasn’t long before she suddenly lost consciousness and slumped over Baili Mingxiang’s body.
- Loyal heart (丹心) – danxin. Again, this is a pun playing on the name of the pill–Heart of Cinnabar—and ‘loyal heart,’ both of which share the same words. ↩