Chapter 470: Lie to me once, I’ll count it as 100 times Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye left Pill Fiend Valley while it was still daylight. Despite not sleeping for a night, Han Yunxi wasn’t groggy at all. She leaned against the carriage window and stared at Long Feiye instead. If this were any other day, Long Feiye would have been reading and letting her stare. She had a habit of doing that, anyways. But this time, Long Feiye seemed a bit self-conscious as he asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Your Highness, there’s something chenqie doesn’t understand about all of this.” Han Yunxi shifted her position as she spoke to sit more comfortably. Even if she wasn’t sleepy, she was still tired.
“What is it?” Long Feiye asked faintly.
“Your Highness, judging from Gu Qi Sha’s attitude…” Han Yunxi trailed off, lost in thought. Long Feiye stared at her and waited, a complicated look flashing through his eyes.
Finally, Han Yunxi continued, “He probably really has no idea who he sold off that last portion of antidote to. Do you think the buyer might have something to do with Mute Granny? Could it be that….Mute Granny isn’t dead?”
“Perhaps it was simply a coincidence,” Long Feiye didn’t hesitate with his answer. “After Mute Granny fell off the cliff, Chu Xifeng immediately sent men down after her. Although they didn’t find her body, it seems rather unlikely that she could’ve been rescued, either.”
Han Yunxi had hesitated for this very reason—she didn’t find a rescue likely, either. Perhaps it really was nothing more than coincidence, and someone else had the same poison as Mute Granny. In the end, she sighed and dropped the issue. Long Feiye wasn’t planning to speak, but in a curious turn of events, he ended up asking, “Han Yunxi, don’t you suspect your lordship?”
Han Yunxi grew amused. She took it as a joke and said, “Even if chenqie suspects Your Highness, would Your Highness ever admit it?”
Seeing her light smile and innocent, unaffected face, Long Feiye only felt his heart ache. He had seen this woman wearing a lovestruck face multiple times, but this was the first time she’d shown such a simple-minded expression.
Han Yunxi, you smart but foolish little woman!
Since I’ve deceived you once, then your lordship will make sure to keep the lie for a lifetime.
Long Feiye pulled Han Yunxi close so she could lie in his lap, holding her rather tightly. His tone was as determined as Gu Qi Sha’s declaration. “I won’t admit it even if I die!”
Han Yunxi burst into laughter at his words, but didn’t think much of them. She was a very decisive type, so once she chose to believe in something, she’d never doubt her choice. The same was true in reverse—she’d never trust anyone she doubted. After a while, she opened her mouth and declared, “Your Highness, if you ever dare to lie to me, I’ll count the first time as 100 times! And I’ll never trust you again!”
“Is Qin Wangfei threatening your lordship?” Long Feiye’s hot breath brushed against Han Yunxi’s shoulders, causing her to shrink back involuntarily.
But she still replied resolutely, “Yes!”
Long Feiye didn’t speak, but lowered his head to kiss her neck. After a long time had passed, he finally answered, “Hm, your lordship will remember!”
Han Yunxi wilted immediately, not daring to best Long Feiye anymore. She breezily changed the topic and said, “Your Highness, chenqie is planning to turn Pill Fiend Pharmacy into a chain store.”
“Chain store?” It was the first time Long Feiye had ever heard of such a term.
“That means I want to open up branch stores. After opening up the first one, I’ll expand into the larger prefectures and even in Northern Li and Western Zhou! At least this way, we’ll have a foothold in the medical community,” Han Yunxi spoke seriously.
She wanted to do this because 1) she couldn’t abide Gu Qi Sha’s way of doing things and 2) she had a long term plan. Cloud Realm Continent’s most unique centers of power rested in its medical community. Medical City oversaw the qualifications of all doctors and their rights to practice medicine, while Medicine City held a monopoly over all the best medicinal products. Even the imperial pharmacies of the three main kingdoms sourced their supplies from Medicine City. Under these circumstances, she wouldn’t be able to escape control of Medical or Medicine City unless she forged her own path.
Now with Pill Fiend Valley’s entire supply of medicinal plants at her disposal and support from the eccentric genius Pill Fiend himself, she and Long Feiye wouldn’t lack as much in the way of medicinal ingredients as previously. Medicine wasn’t a big deal when it wasn’t needed, but at critical times it’s availability determined life and death. Last time, Gu Beiyue had given her three prescriptions to ward off potential pestilence outbreaks; fortunately, any diseases that had happened didn’t spread far. If there had really been a pestilence outbreak, she would’ve need to gather the necessary ingredients to make her prescriptions, then transfer them to the disaster regions. Things like a plague were alright on a small scale, but large scale outbreaks posed a different problem than simply supplying people with grain. Or one could take a battlefield as another example—both the frontline and reserve would need their share of doctors to treat the injured, and the medicines to support them both.
Although she was on good terms with Third Elder from Medical City while Long Feiye was friends with Wang Gong, the head of the Wang Clan in Medicine City, neither of those men by themselves could represent the respective cities that they came from. That’s why they had to establish their own counter. Han Yunxi told all this to Long Feiye, who was very surprised. His heart thumped nervously at the sight of her serious face.
I never expected Han Yunxi to consider so many details, and so thoroughly! What more could a husband ask for in his wife?
The first thing Long Feiye did upon their return to Tianning’s capital city was to hand over the key to his unused courtyard and its buildings to Steward Luo. He ordered him to find people to rebuild it into a pharmacy within a month according to Han Yunxi’s instructions. Supposedly, Noble Consort Chu sent invitations to the estate twice more to ask for Han Yunxi, but Long Feiye rejected both in her stead.
Han Yunxi didn’t rest beyond a few days before she once again was running back and forth all day long. Without a doubt, the Pill Fiend Pharmacy would be the start of her revolution in the future! She wanted to find Gu Qishao and Mu Linger to discuss employing them as pharmacists in the establishment, but then realized she had no idea how to contact either of them. Without a choice, she could only wait until Gu Qishao came to find her again. Anyways, it would take time before Pill Fiend Pharmacy was ready, so she was willing to wait.
Su Xiaoyu’s scalp had made a full recovery, but her hair had yet to fully grow back. Currently, she was sporting a crew cut like a little boy. After moving back into Leisurely Cloud Pavilion, she grew even more clingy to Han Yunxi than she had been before and accompanied her on her runs all over the city.
The second thing Long Feiye did upon his return was to have Chu Xifeng investigate Gu Qi Sha and his grudge against Medical City. Chu Xifeng was busy beyond belief, but couldn’t help but wonder if His Highness Duke of Qin remembered the last time Gu Qishao had come calling at the estate. Wasn’t he going to ask esteemed wangfei for an explanation? Despite this, Chu Xifeng wasn’t daring enough to bring up the subject, and thus he simply assumed his master had forgotten all about it.
On this day, Han Yunxi had just come back from outside. Baili Mingxiang received her before dismissing Su Xiaoyu to say in a low voice, “Esteemed wangfei, this servant found something. It might belong to little Yu’er.” So speaking, she took out a little wrapped object from her sleeves. Han Yunxi examined it and saw a bunch of small pearl-like objects in all the colors of the rainbow rather resembling signal flares.
“Where was it?” Han Yunxi asked, intrigued.
“In the banyan tree at the very border behind Leisurely Cloud Pavilion, hidden in a hollow in the trunk,” Baili Mingxiang said.
Han Yunxi fiddled with the items but couldn’t figure out how to use them, so she quickly delivered them to Long Feiye. Baili Mingxiang followed her up until they reached the door to his living quarters. Han Yunxi didn’t notice, but went inside and made a beeline for his study. She actually caught Long Feiye lying on his study table, fast asleep. The surface of the table was covered with various secret missives, some opened, some still shut. No matter how urgent her matter was, Han Yunxi paused at the scene, feeling distressed for his sake. She quietly sat on one side to wait, afraid to wake him up. Long Feiye hadn’t stopped telling her to rest over the past few days, but he had still exhausted himself to such a state.
In the end, she ended up waiting until night fell. Long Feiye’s quarters were lined with stone, so it was chilly to start with, but the temperatures dropped even further when the sun went down. Han Yunxi was still mistress of the house, so she went to his bedroom and found his cape before preparing to drape it over his shoulders. Unexpectedly, Long Feiye woke up as soon as she drew near and instinctively grabbed her by the throat.
Han Yunxi was dumbfounded, but Long Feiye withdrew his hand as soon as he recognized her face. “Does it hurt?” he asked pensively.
Han Yunxi coughed for a long time before she recovered enough to speak. It does! This fellow had so much strength. If he had held her any longer, she might have died for real. He was so on guard even when he was unconscious—no wonder he’d been so exhausted.
Does he ever allow himself to relax?
“It doesn’t hurt,” Han Yunxi said as she placed the cloak over his shoulders. “Your Highness, chenqie thinks you should let me take care of some things for you instead.”
“Why did you suddenly come over? Is something the matter?” Long Feiye asked worriedly. He knew that she rarely came unless she had business with him. Han Yunxi finally recalled the items in her possession and handed them over to Long Feiye.
Long Feiye was startled by the sight. “Where did these come from!?”
“Baili Mingxiang had found them in the hollow of a banyan tree at the Leisurely Cloud Pavilion. It’s very possible that they belonged to Su Xiaoyu,” Han Yunxi replied.
Long Feiye took Han Yunxi’s hand and led her into the courtyard. Then he placed one of the beads in his mouth and lightly spat it out. Immediately, the bead flew into the air and exploded in the sky, revealing a blinding white light! Though it only lasted for a few seconds, anyone keeping an eye out for it would notice it for sure! Next, he placed another bead in his mouth and spat it out the same way, this time releasing a dazzling explosion of red light.
“Your Highness, these really are signal flares!” Han Yunxi was astonished. Without a doubt, these belonged to Su Xiaoyu!
“These are the secret signal beads exclusive to Western Zhou’s imperial clan. Different colors signify different meanings, but only the guards of the royal family would understand what each one meant.”
Long Feiye had known Western Zhou’s princess, Duanmu Yao, since they were young. As children, Duanmu Yao had once played with these flares, so he recognized them even now.
“Western Zhou! Duanmu Yao?” Han Yunxi immediately thought of that woman. Western Zhou’s Princess Yao, Long Feiye’s junior sister, the woman who wanted in vain to marry into the Duke of Qin’s estate.
“It’s unlikely that she’s the culprit here.”
Because Duanmu Yao’s alliance with Jun Yixie had been exposed to the world, Western Zhou’s emperor had already cast her aside. She was currently hiding away in the Celestial Mountain Sword Sect, so it’d be difficult for her to arrange Su Xiaoyu as a spy in the Duke of Qin’s estate. Moreover, such careful, thorough planning didn’t seem her style at all.
“Your Highness, would Chu Qingge understand the secret signals of the imperial flares?” Han Yunxi asked. Aside from Duanmu Yao, that was the only person she could think of. Hadn’t she rescued Su Xiaoyu from Chu Qingge in the first place?
“It doesn’t seem like her style, either! But it’s definitely related to Western Zhou,” Long Feiye said as he used bead after bead, sending multiple colorful explosions in the air.
“If there’s a clue, we’ll definitely uncover something!” Han Yunxi knew that Long Feiye had a handle on things. She too, took a bead and imitated Long Feiye in spitting it out, but without her using any internal energy, it didn’t explode at all.
Meanwhile, a certain white-robed man standing on the rooftops near the Duke of Qin’s estate as he watched the colorful lightshow sparkling over the compound grounds. After a while, silence returned to the Duke of Qin’s estate as he muttered to himself, “The Nether Clan is finally here…”