Chapter 49: The white lotus suffers a defeat Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“Mistress, what do we do?” Chen Xiang asked anxiously. And yet right at this moment, a guard came rushing over with a report.
“Esteemed wangfei, the grand imperial concubine wants you to hurry over.”
Han Yunxi pursed her lips. When it rains, it pours. If she was hoping for Grand Concubine Yi to help her out of this predicament, that really was thinking too much of her. As soon as she entered the doors, Grand Concubine Yi started cursing at her face.
“Han Yunxi, you’re not comfortable without bragging about your meager abilities, is that it?”
“Mufei misunderstands, Yunxi wouldn’t look for trouble for myself,” Han Yunxi replied mildly.
“Look for trouble? More like find trouble for me. You’re sure making a name for yourself. Everyone in and out of the palace knows about your skills. Don’t you know they’re about to drive me mad with their noise?” Grand Concubine Yi was very angry.
Amongst all the people who came to ask for treatment were a fair amount that were too petty and low to enter the Duke of Qin’s doors. As for those high-ranking officials of distinguished positions, Grand Concubine Yi had temporarily refused them. After all, the Duke of Qin’s house was no clinic, nor was the Qin Wangfei a doctor. If those aristocrats had friendly relations with Grand Concubine Yi, she might let Han Yunxi see them. But at this critical juncture, rumors had spread to all corners of the city. If she set a single precedent, then she’d have to make ways for the others. If all of this hadn’t happened on the Duke of Qin’s doorsteps, it might have been a different affair entirely. Grand Concubine Yi actually made plans long ago.
“Mufei is intelligent and should be able to tell that someone’s spreading rumors to cause Yunxi’s fall after excessive praise,” Han Yunxi spoke sincerely.
Grand Concubine Yi gave a snort of contempt as her eyes took on a calculating glint. “I don’t care about all of that. Tell me how to deal with this!”
As soon as she finished, the gatekeeper ran to entrance of their room to make another report. Seeing this, the irate grand imperial concubine slammed the table. “Han Yunxi, move out of the Duke of Qin’s residence.”
Han Yunxi immediately understood. The people asking for treatment didn’t vex Grand Concubine Yi as much as her so-called daughter-in-law. She wanted to take advantage of the situation and kick her out. Now that Han Yunxi had thought things through, she realized that all her efforts to save Grand Concubine Yi’s face were futile. Her wrongs didn’t lie with the troubles she provoked, but her identity. If it was Murong Wanru who’d stirred up today’s troubles, Grand Concubine Yi’s personality would have her going out personally to disseminate the rumors in a ruthless counterattack.
But Han Yunxi was just a daughter-in-law and an outsider, unsuited to the older woman’s likes. Between them existed irreconcilable differences. Who knows, these rumors might have been a trap set by Grand Concubine Yi and Murong Wanru themselves! If that was the case, there was no need to force herself endure it silently. She welcomed it with a smiling face.
“Mufei,” Han Yunxi wore a bitter grin, “Do you want to split the family apart? Such a big thing, chenqie dares not take responsibility. I think you should find and discuss things with his highness.”
Wherever Long Feiye lived, she’d stay too, as the man sang while the woman followed. She would even kick her own sedan chair to be wedded to the Duke of Qin’s residence, so how would she leave so easily? Once she did, how many people would gossip about her behind her back, and how long could she live peacefully? This wedding was decided on by the empress dowager and commanded by the emperor. Even Long Feiye couldn’t expel her without ample reason, much less Grand Concubine Yi.
Split the family?
Hearing this, Grand Concubine Yi was stunned. On one side, Murong Wanru stood speechless as well. Neither of them thought Han Yunxi would dare to say such words! Grand Concubine Yi’s precious son was like her own life. When the previous emperor passed away, she used the pretext that the palace was too gloomy to move into his household instead. An outsider like Han Yunxi dared to accuse her of breaking up the family?
Grand Concubine Yi lost all reason as she slammed the table and stood up. “Han Yunxi, what did you just say? Say it again clearly for me!”
“I said, if mufei wants to break up the family, please find his highness for this discussion. Chenqie cannot do such things! Chenqie still has matters to attend to, so I’ll be excusing myself.” Han Yunxi finished her cold words and turned to leave.
“It’s backwards, all backwards! Someone bar her way!” Grand Concubine Yi was furious. A few guards immediately moved to block the exit. “Han Yunxi, you actually mentioned breaking up the family to me! What kind of qualifications do you have to raise the topic? Feiye would never agree to you! Don’t think of yourself as anything special! Are you rebelling?” Grand Concubine Yi couldn’t hold back her rage.
“Mufei, you’re accusing wrongly!” Han Yunxi yelled. “It was your idea to begin with, not mine. You mustn’t wrong me like this!”
Grand Concubine Yi felt her heart blocked up as she struggled to put her thoughts on words. “You, you woman, how can you tell lies with your eyes open? When did I say such a thing?”
“Mufei wants me to move out. Is it possible for me to leave on my own without the Duke of Qin?” Han Yuni asked earnestly.
These words stirred Grand Concubine Yi’s emotions for a moment so that she couldn’t retort. Han Yunxi assumed the expression of someone coming to a large realization and said in surprise, “Mufei, you’re not really letting me move out on my own, right? Mufei, since the day I’ve married in, I haven’t been wanton or disrespectful. I haven’t spoken much, stolen from others, or been envious or sick. Right now I’m trying my best to give his highness a heir, so why are you chasing me away?”
The seven requirements for repudiating one’s wife included being: barren, wasteful, disrespectful, talkative, a thief, jealous, or foully diseased, Han Yunxi really hadn’t done any of these things. Grand Concubine Yi just wanted to chase her away and felt anger rush to her head. Just when she was about to speak, Murong Wanru interrupted.
“Sister-in-law, it’s a misunderstanding! A mistake! You’ve really wrongly accused mufei. It wasn’t such a big matter to begin it, why are you thinking so much?” she spoke and glanced at the fuming grand imperial concubine at the same time, assisting her to a seat.
“Sister-in-law, what mufei means is for you to stay a few days in the countryside. There are so many sick people looking for you nowadays, but they can’t just live at the Duke of Qin’s, nor can we reject them all.” Murong Wanru obediently carried over a cup of tea for Grand Concubine Yi as she consoled, “Mufei, don’t be angry. If you make yourself ill, how will sister-in-law feel at ease? She misunderstood your intentions, so let me talk to her instead. She’ll understand and then definitely agree.”
Grand Concubine Yi only nodded. She’d lived through wind and rain in the palace for so many years and knew how to calm herself. She and Murong Wanru had already discussed how to trick Han Yunxi into some faraway courtyard. Once she left, it’d be difficult to return. Only, Han Yunxi’s ‘breaking apart the family’ really left her at a loss. Feiye was her only pride and support, her sole hope in her remaining years. No matter who, they’d be hard-pressed to take her son away! Han Yunxi glanced at Murong Wanru with a cold smile in her heart. She couldn’t help but applaud this white lotus and her lines. She really knew how to talk.
After soothing Grand Concubine Yi, Murong Wanru pulled Han Yunxi to one side and sat down. Han Yunxi sat down as well. At most, she’d been looking to scare Grand Concubine Yi without falling out with her. Arguing with your elders was the most idiotic thing. Even if you had plenty of reasons laid out in painstaking detail, all your opponent had to say was that you were ‘unwilling to yield, unable to be filial,’ and then it’d be all your fault.
Murong Wanru had a lot of patience as she gave Han Yunxi some tea. “Sister-in-law, calm down. Mufei means for you to live elsewhere for a few days. This way you can treat all those patients and have time to plan a counter-response. It’s not like we’d let you stay there being a doctor forever. Why did you talk about breaking up the family? No wonder mufei got mad. If elder brother heard, he’d be short with you as well!”
With these words, everything became Han Yunxi’s fault instead. Murong Wanru’s words were indeed formidable. At this rate, she’d have to apologize to Grand Concubine Yi next and then accept the arrangements to move out, right? Murong Wanru, the white lotus, had good tricks up her sleeves, but Han Yunxi wasn’t so easily deceived. She avoided arguing and spoke up directly. “I saved the young general and the princess because they had poisons I could treat. I don’t dare call myself any divine physician or compassionate soul. I’ll go make the facts clear right now!”
She finished by standing up to leave. If there was anyone who cursed her as useless trash to her face, of course she’d talk back. But there was no need for everyone in the world to know that she was a genius. The Heavens envied people of superior talents, much less the common people. Excessive praise could cause a person to fall, and she’d never wanted to climb that high in the first place.
Grand Concubine Yi grew anxious again and exclaimed, “You stop right there! You…are you going to make a disgrace of yourself with that exhibition?’
“Mufei, don’t tell me you’ve misunderstood me as well? I’m no doctor, nor do I know how to treat diseases. I just happen to dip into treating poisons. If they force me to treat patients, what if I can’t and kill them instead? Wouldn’t that be even more shameful?” Han Yunxi asked sincerely.
These words left Grand Concubine Yi and Murong Wanru without the ability to retort. Bitter resentment flashed through the latter’s eyes. She was the one to start these rumors, first to use the opportunity to chase Han Yunxi out of the house, second to tamper around with Han Yunxi’s patients so she’d be accused of killing them with her treatments. It was an arrow that could kill two targets, but Han Yunxi’s words had broken through all of that!
Murong Wanru was too unsatisfied with the results. She gave a helpless sigh and said, “Sister-in-law, the art of medicine and poisons are one family. You’re too modest. With all those flourishing rumors, people might think you’re just acting noble and virtuous if you try to deny them. There’s quite a few noble families there too. If elder brother was here, we wouldn’t need to fear offending them, but…” Murong Wanru stopped speaking here.
“But what?” Grand Concubine Yi asked in a heavy tone.
Murong Wanru glanced at Han Yunxi, looking utterly at a loss. “But sister-in-law also represents elder brother. If she disappoints all the people, I’m afraid it’ll affect elder brother’s image in their hearts. That’s the most important thing.”
Long Feiye’s position was high and mighty so that even the emperor had to yield somewhat before him. It wasn’t just because of the power in his hands, but his prestige amongst the common people of Tianning Country. Murong Wanru’s words were exactly on point. They also cheered up Han Yunxi. If that woman hadn’t mentioned it, she would have brought up the matter herself. This kind of trouble was perfectly placed to be pushed onto Long Feiye.
“Wanru’s words are right. I can’t act as the authority for these things, so it’s better to find his highness for discussion before deciding.”
Since she couldn’t chase Han Yunxi away, Grand Concubine Yi was already disappointed. Now that they were talking about Long Feiye she immediately grew cautious. She’d lost the chicken, but didn’t want it nibbling on the rice and affecting her son’s image.
“Someone send a message to the Hibiscus Courtyard. Tell the Duke of Qin to hurry over, just say that I have urgent matters!” Grand Concubine Yi ordered immediately.
Seeing this, Murong Wanru secretly sucked in her breath. She knew that she’d completely lost!
 the man sang while the woman followed (复航妇随) – fuchang fusui, an idiom for marital harmony.
 lost the chicken but didn’t want it nibbling on the rice (偷鸡不成反蚀一把米) – idiom meaning losing an objective but unwilling to let that objective harm one’s own self-interests.