Chapter 475: Sarcastically prodding into action, wanting to cry but having no tears Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Mu Linger was originally feeling awkward that Han Yunxi had rescued her, but the woman’s words only shamed her into fury. “Who told you to save me? You meddler!”
Han Yunxi was too busy to stay with her and argue, but once again, Mu Linger ran in front of the carriage and blocked their way. Gu Qi Sha quietly toyed with the hidden weapon in his hands that he hadn’t gotten the chance to launch, his thin, bony fingers playing with the object. He didn’t seem in a rush to leave, either.
But Long Feiye’s patience had limits. He sternly asked the driver, “What’s the holdup!”
Mu Linger could clearly hear the angry undertones in his voice, but her desperation won out over her fear. “Hold it, Han Yunxi, I just have one question for you!”
“I’m telling you for the last time, we aren’t the ones who locked up Mute Granny!” Han Yunxi had finally lost her temper as well.
But Mu Linger only stared at her for a long time before asking faintly, “Do you know where my Qi gege went off to?”
She couldn’t even afford to pay for a room at the inn anymore, so she’d gone out collecting plants in the mountains so she could sell them off to the local pharmacies for silver. Instead, she’d run into bandits. Although there were plenty of medicinal plants in the wild, not all of them were worth money. A full basket’s worth still couldn’t pay for half her room rent since she was determined to stay at Tianning capital’s most expensive establishment. Moreover, the two letters she’d received from her father yesterday and the day before yesterday were full of exhortations for her to go home. If Qi gege wasn’t going to show up, she didn’t know what she’d do next. She was determined to leave her family and go wandering all over the world, yet the person who was to be her companion was nowhere to be found.
When Han Yunxi caught the glimpse of disappointment in Mu Linger’s eyes, she felt her heart ache and wondered if she was mental. Why would she feel sorry for the rotten brat who’d cursed her out and pushed her towards her death?
Well alright, she was actually looking for Gu Qishao too! Heaven only knows where that devious man had ran off to.
“You’re asking the wrong person. Your Qi gege isn’t on close terms with me,” she said irritably.
By their side, Gu Qi Sha’s fingers noticeably stiffened at her words before he quickly recovered and pretended that he’d heard nothing at all.
Mu Linger grew incensed at Han Yunxi’s words. “Qi gege treats you so well, but you still say you aren’t close to him! How could you act like this?”
Han Yunxi only felt a chill down her back at these words. She didn’t dare turn around and look at Long Feiye’s current expression. This stinkin’ lass, she’s simply seeking trouble for Gu Qishao! Yes, Gu Qishao treated her well, but he’d never told Mu Linger the specifics. And every time he met Han Yunxi, he behaved anything but decently. Even unmarried women shouldn’t be treated that way!
“I’m really not close with him, nor do I know where he is! Move out of our way!” Han Yunxi said bluntly.
Mu Linger suddenly wanted to tell Han Yunxi that it’d been Gu Qishao who’d first raised suspicions about Mute Granny, but she felt it wasn’t the proper time to bring it up. Under current circumstances, all she could do was retreat. By the time Han Yunxi was at the carriage doors, she paused and said provokingly, “Mu Linger, I heard you’re the most talented pharmacist in Medicine City history. Do you have the guts to challenge my Pill Fiend Pharmacy?”
Both Long Feiye in the carriage and Gu Qi Sha on his horse were bewildered. What kind of challenge is she talking about?
But Mu Linger grabbed the important part, which was whether or not she had guts. Her biggest weakness laid in the fact that she couldn’t stand ridicule. “Speak, what do you want to challenge me in?!” she replied haughtily.
Han Yunxi silently rejoiced. Her original plans were to have Gu Qishao persuade this girl to come work for Pill Fiend Pharmacy, but here was a chance to invite her personally. If she told Mu Linger her plans outright, the girl would definitely reject her offer. However, provoking her was a different result altogether.
Han Yunxi feigned disdain and said, “Your skills are mediocre at best, but you certainly put on airs!”
Mu Linger grew incensed. “Han Yunxi, if you’re simply challenging me and my medical skills, you should see how I make up my prescriptions. Why are you judging me without seeing me in action?” Mu Linger wasn’t a braggart, but she disliked being judged by others without proof.
“Fine, fine. Then when Pill Fiend Pharmacy opens for business next time, you can come challenge His Excellency Pill Fiend so I can see your skills for myself…” Han Yunxi trailed off in the face of everyone’s startled expressions, and grinned. “If you win, you can pose any terms you’d like. If you lose…heheh, you can still pose any terms you like. In any case, I just want to see your skills.”
“What? You want me to challenge His Excellency Pill Fiend?” Mu Linger came straight to the point.
Inside the carriage, Long Feiye’s lips drew up into a pleasant smile, while Gu Qi Sha had burst out into a guffaw. Han Yunxi, ah, Han Yunxi. You really are the worst!
Mu Linger was Medicine City’s genius pharmacist, one endowed with brilliant talent and endless prospects. However, she still couldn’t compare to Gu Qi Sha! If Pill Fiend hadn’t been expelled by Medical City, then earned a notorious reputation for being a miser of medicine, the medical and medicine community would have long considered him a great master of their craft.
“Mhm, that’s exactly what I said,” Han Yunxi replied seriously.
Mu Linger was about to speak when Gu Qi Sha’s laughter grew louder. “Heheh, what guts! This old fellow likes them! Lass, nobody’s dared to face this old fellow yet besides Han Yunxi! You can count as a challenger yourself now!”
Mu Linger wanted to cry, but she had no tears. How did things turn into this? No matter how daring she could be, she would never have the courage to challenge His Excellency Pill Fiend! If news of this spread, people would laugh at her for overestimating herself, rather than praising her bravery.
When Han Yunxi saw Mu Linger’s awkward embarrassment, her lips rose in scorn. Grinning, she said, “Your Excellency Pill Fiend, I think we should give up on the idea. This joke’s gone too far!”
“Joke? This old fellow thought she was being serious! Hmph, how boring!” Gu Qi Sha held even stronger contempt.
Mu Linger only felt their words jarring to her ear. She didn’t know where she mustered up the courage, but she finally replied, “Fine! I’ll definitely show up!” Compared to being a scaredy cat, losing is much less shameful.
“Alright, we’ll be waiting!” Han Yunxi was thrilled.
Mu Linger finally stepped out of the way, but after Han Yunxi went into the carriage, she added, “Han Yunxi, if you see Qi gege…please help me pass on a message. Just say that I’m looking for him!”
Han Yunxi wasn’t planning to answer, but finally relented and said, “Alright!” She silently sighed and wondered whether it was Mu Linger’s fortune or bad luck to like Gu Qishao. Was this simply fate, or a debt of some kind? Was the girl right, or wrong? When it came to feelings, both parties should be willing. Who’d ever heard of someone forcing their affections on another!
Once again, the carriage resumed its journey onward, traveling much faster than before. Long Feiye had returned to reading again, but it wasn’t long before he remarked, “I heard the guards say Gu Qishao went looking for you at the estate recently?”
Han Yunxi grew alarmed. As expected, nothing that happens at the estate escapes him. “Mhm, he came as a guest,” she admitted.
Long Feiye didn’t get angry, but simply asked, “Why was he looking for you?”
Han Yunxi grew puzzled. Long Feiye had once warned that he’d break Gu Qishao’s legs if he came skulking around Han Yunxi again. But judging from his current attitude, he seemed to have forgotten his vow. Still, ‘skulking around Han Yunxi’ and ‘coming as a guest’ were two completely different things that shouldn’t be lumped together. Han Yunxi’s wishful thinking was that Long Feiye would be able to differentiate between the two.
Thus, she replied, “To give me some things…”
Long Feiye didn’t lose his temper, but his questions grew more direct after her answer. “What kind of things?”
Han Yunxi laughed. “There were even giant lobsters. Looks like that fellow went to Fishery Island too.”
“Did you accept them?”
“No…” Actually, Han Yunxi dearly wanted to say that the mention of ‘lobsters’ now still made her twitch involuntarily.
“He also brought a tin of tea leaves—Red South Peak.”
“The genuine article?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Celestial Fragrance Tea Plantation should’ve been closed down for close to two years now. Where did he ever find Red South Peak leaves?”
“He said he had the saplings and planted them elsewhere.”
Long Feiye nodded his head with interest, before asking, “Why did he come out of the blue to give you lobsters and tea leaves?”
According to Gu Qishao’s words, the lobsters were for nourishing Han Yunxi’s health, while the tea leaves were simply him misunderstanding them to be her favorite type! But how was shei supposed to say that aloud?
“He likes to do as he pleases even when there’s no reason! There’s no such thing as a free meal in this world. I suspect he had a favor to ask Your Highness and tried to use me as a way to get things done! Chenqie neither accepted the lobsters nor the tea leaves!” Han Yunxi was simply flattering Long Feiye by patting the horse’s behind even if she knew Gu Qishao’s actual motives.
She was still a woman in the end, with a woman’s sensitivity to these kind of things. Thus, she’d never accepted Gu Qishao or his gifts. Long Feiye looked at Han Yunxi as his gaze darkened. It seemed like he could see right through her. Han Yunxi really didn’t like it when Long Feiye interrogated her like this. It only made conversation difficult and awkward. Fortunately, Long Feiye’s questioning stopped there. He reached over and pulled Han Yunxi into his arms before continuing to read his book. Han Yunxi decided to settle down for a nap. Heaven knows whether they’d get to sleep after reaching the black market.
Soon afterwards, the skies grew dark with clouds. Thunder rumbled as the winds picked up, before rain starting falling from the skies. The carriage and its four horses traveled steadily over the roads despite its quick speeds. Nestled in Long Feiye’s embrace, Han Yunxi felt so safe and snug as she thoroughly relaxed into a deep sleep. Even if the skies outside were storming or the skies were falling down, she would probably keep sleeping. Somewhere in the process, Long Feiye had stopped reading his book to stare at Han Yunxi’s face instead. He studied her features as he subconsciously set down his book, then carefully brushed her stray hairs aside and kissed her quietly on her forehead.
The scene inside the carriage was both warm and peaceful. By contrast, the winds outside were getting stronger. Gu Qi Sha chased after the carriage on horseback, his lanky form long soaked through by the storm. He was fully capable of surpassing Long Feiye’s carriage on his steed, or finding a place to take cover during the storm before catching up afterwards. He knew the road to the black markets himself. Yet he neither sped up or slowed down, but chose to follow behind the carriage all the way, drenched and wet. As the rain fell harder, it became harder and harder to see. His figure behind the carriage grew hazy from the sheets of precipitation but never fully disappeared.
By the time the rain stopped, it was already late at night. Han Yunxi groggily opened her eyes to glance at Long Feiye, only to see him leaning against the seat fast asleep. She was afraid to move for fear of waking him, but he’d already sensed her waking up. He cast her a glance before shifting her into a more comfortable position. Then he closed his eyes and went back to sleep.
Is this what it feels like to sleep together?
Han Yunxi suddenly wished that the night would never end. But daylight would come inevitably. And when it did…they had arrived at the black markets!