Chapter 513: Willing or unwilling? Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
When the figure in the hot springs woke up and stretched, revealing her jade-like arms, Long Feiye was inexplicably drawn to the sight. She was like a hibiscus fresh out of the water, rising sluggishly from the hot springs before quickly wrapping herself up. Although she was very fast to get clothed, Long Feiye’s eyes were even faster. Like a domineering hawk, they focused on his prey and openly scrutinized her figure, unwilling to lose a fraction of a second. Even in these most intimate of movements, he kept his rapt attention on her without flushing or quickening his heartbeats.
As it turned out, even His Highness Duke of Qin had moments when he was no gentleman at all!
Heaven only knows what would happen if he really let loose one day! How wicked would he be then?!
In any case, successive nights found Long Feiye diligently studying Han Yunxi’s form. His shrewd and astute wife never knew what he was doing, but was even entertaining the thought of building a hot springs back at the Duke of Qin’s estate in South Ning Prefecture. She’d gotten used to its comforts. Who knew what she would think if she ever found out the truth of these nights in the future? Of course, would Long Feiye ever bother to tell her?
Time passed quickly. Soon it was the sixth day, the eve of Mu Linger’s battle with Gu Qi Sha. Unfortunately, no one had heard any news about the Pill Fiend either here or over at Pill Fiend Pharmacy. Could it be that he wasn’t planning to show himself?
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had arrived at South Ning Prefecture the day before yesterday. Mu Linger was about to show up, yet still no one had seen any sign of Gu Qi Sha. If he really wanted to show up, he should’ve come to Pill Fiend Pharmacy long ago, right? After closing up shop, everyone gathered around the tea table to rest and discuss over events.
Su Xiaoyu was the first to pipe up. “Let’s make a bet. I’m betting that monster’s not coming!”
“Don’t be rude, His Excellency Pill Fiend wouldn’t not come!” Zhao mama scolded. “Our Pill Fiend Pharmacy relies wholly on his name. If he doesn’t show up, it’ll lose face for both himself and the pharmacy!”
Zhao mama used to be filled with disdain towards His Excellency Pill Fiend, but every since he cooperated with esteemed wangfei to open up the pharmacy and everyone got busy, her attitude changed completely. Now, she was a firm supporter of Gu Qi Sha and his talents.
“I’m guessing he might not come, not because he’s afraid of losing, but because he probably looks down on Mu Linger,” Madame Helian said, before adding, “I hope he comes. I’ve long heard of his illustrious name but I have yet to see him in person!”
“Mother, I hope that old Grandpa Pill Fiend comes too. I wish to learn about pharmacy from him and ask him lots of questions,” little Yi’er said, before adding, “Mother, if Grandpa Pill Fiend doesn’t show up, will people laugh at him?”
“Young Master Yi, since when has His Excellency Pill Fiend cared about what others thought of him? I have heard he always does what he likes no matter what others say. Not everyone can live so free and easy while looking down on the rest of the world,” little Chen Xiang had a reverent expression on her face.
“It’s really uncertain whether or not he’ll show up. It’s hard to figure out those with personalities like his,” Baili Mingxiang spoke up, before glancing at Gu Beiyue. “Doctor Gu, what do you think?”
After Gu Beiyue had settled down at Pill Fiend Pharmacy, he had officially discarded his imperial physician designation. When everyone tried to call him ‘Divine Doctor,’ he would always correct them to say ‘Doctor Gu’ instead. Over the past few days, everyone had gotten used to the new moniker.
Instead of answering Baili Mingxiang, Gu Beiyue looked towards Long Feiye. “Your Highness, what do you think?”
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had been the quietest members of the discussion. The fact that Gu Qi Sha was Gu Qishao hadn’t been spread to anyone beyond the two of them and a few trusted subordinates. Despite the heated discussion now, most of the people present didn’t have a grasp on the true situation at all.
Long Feiye’s face was expressionless as always. “What do you think?”
“In my humble opinion, His Excellency Pill Fiend will not come,” Gu Beiyue finally expressed his views.
“Why?” Long Feiye asked coldly.
“He probably looks down on Miss Mu,” Gu Beiyue gave a very neutral answer that didn’t count as a reason at all. Long Feiye was too lazy to press the issue, while Gu Beiyue just smiled faintly, his expression filled with meaning. The only reason Long Feiye was sitting here today was to keep Han Yunxi company; however, he didn’t like gossip to begin with. He was about to leave when Gu Beiyue asked Han Yunxi, almost as if on purpose, “Esteemed wangfei, what do you think?”
Han Yunxi lazily rose to her feet and stretch. “We’ll know by tomorrow. Let’s go our own ways, rest early tonight.”
Rest early tonight?
Heaven knows how many people would be tossing and turning in bed instead. Mu Linger was definitely losing sleep. Currently, she was sitting on a swing in the courtyard next to Pill Fiend Pharmacy, rocking back and forth beneath the moonlight as her thoughts wandered. Ever since she issued her challenge, she’d been living in this courtyard. The Mu Clan and Medicine City’s Council of Elders all knew she was here, but not one of them could lay a hand on her.
Without a doubt, Han Yunxi had sent guards to watch over the place. But because Han Yunxi didn’t say anything about them, Mu Linger pretended she had no idea, either. Still, she had silently accepted the protection. With Mu Linger’s personality, she’d never accept help so easily, but ever since Han Yunxi told her that secret, she stopped being so willful. As she swung on the swing, she suddenly halted to smile sweetly as a thought rose in her mind.
While the skies were still hazy and dim, Zhao mama left from a side door to go buy vegetables, only to see a thinly dressed girl standing by the door. This was none other than Mu Linger. Zhao mama had a fright from the sight. Isn’t she here a little too early?
In fact, Mu Linger had already been sitting by the door for two entire hours. She’d only just stood up because she was excited! When she saw Zhao mama come out, the girl who had never once treated Han Yunxi kindly actually smiled at the old woman, her expression friendly and genial.
Zhao mama was incapable of returning her smile. She stared at her for a bit before running back into through gates to look for Gu Beiyue in the back courtyard.
“Doctor Gu! Doctor Gu, that Miss from the Mu Clan couldn’t have lost her mind, could she?”
“What happened?” Gu Beiyue grew anxious after seeing Zhao mama so flustered.
“She’s already standing by the doors, and she even smiled at me,” Zhao mama said quite seriously.
Gu Beiyue gave a start before he broke into a smile as well. “That’s only normal. With something so important coming up, she’s feeling nervous.”
Only then did Zhao mama calm down and leave by the back door. By the time she came back, Pill Fiend Pharmacy was already open for business. A crowd of people had gathered at the gates like an ocean, loud and boisterous. There were even more people here than on their grand opening day. Mu Linger was still standing in the same spot as before, right in front of Pill Fiend Pharmacy’s front gates. She had picked the day but not the time, so she didn’t know when Gu Qi Sha would show up, if ever. The noisy discussions behind her were all talking about this very topic.
Soon enough, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi arrived as well. But they didn’t appear in public, choosing to sit and wait in the rear flower gardens instead. Yet Gu Qi Sha still hadn’t shown up by the time noon hit.
“Is Gu Qi Sha inside the pharmacy?”
“His Highness Duke of Qin and esteemed wangfei should be inside there instead. Give us an answer, won’t you? Don’t let everyone wait in vain!”
“Is Gu Qi Sha coming or not? Will he really not show up?”
Amidst the questions, there were also those ridiculing Pill Fiend.
“Gu Qi Sha, get out! You’re afraid of a little girl like this? What a coward!”
“Your Excellency Pill Fiend, that girl’s been standing around, waiting for you for half the day. Even if you look down on her, you should at least show your face.”
Some others seized the chance to make trouble.
“This is all a trick, isn’t it? If he doesn’t show up, I’ll never come to buy medicine from Pill Fiend Pharmacy again!”
“What’s the big deal? She’s really treating herself as all that, isn’t she?”
“Heheh, I think they’re just trying to hype things up! Look at all the pains they’ve taken!”
Naturally, neither Long Feiye nor Han Yunxi paid any attention to these things, but soon enough Baili Mingxiang arrived with an update. “Your Highness, esteemed wangfei, the head of Medicine City’s Medical Materials Association has arrived.”
She’d just finished speaking when Su Xiaoyu came to report, “Your Highness, esteemed wangfei, the Council of Elders from Medical City have sent a few disciples here to seek an audience.”
Soon enough, Chu Xifeng hurried over as well. “Your Highness, that Ouyang Ningnuo fellow’s shown up too! He’s sitting right inside the shop!”
Long Feiye drew his lips into a cold smile and didn’t speak, while Han Yunxi only impatiently waved a hand. “If they’re not here to fill out a prescription, they can do as they like.”
As one of the pharmacy owners, Han Yunxi should have invited important members of the medical community to preside over such an important challenge as judges and referees, then invite a few more to be distinguished guests to watch the challenge. Whatever happened in the end, she would’ve gotten a chance to meet multiple major players in the business. But Han Yunxi had been doing nothing beyond vacationing with Long Feiye for the past few days, so the thought had never occurred to her.
Now all of the important figures had come right to her door, yet she still refused to see them!
Fine, she wasn’t in the best of moods right now.
Gu Qishao, are you coming or not?!
They ended up waiting for an entire afternoon. Still, Pill Fiend Pharmacy didn’t make any official statements, nor did Gu Qishao show up. The restless crowd gradually quieted down; meanwhile, more people rushed to the scene to add to their ranks.
After all, it was still daylight.
After all, Mu Linger was still standing in front of the door, not making a peep.
As the sun sank below the horizon, Han Yunxi stared at the rosy clouds in the sky as her expression grew solemn. Gu Qishao, do you have the guts to come, or not? Even she wasn’t sure of the answer. Gu Qishao had a free, easy, and unruly personality, so why would he care what the world thought? Would he be goaded into action so easily? As long as he was happy, he’d do whatever he wanted even if the whole world despised and condemned him. And if he was unhappy, he’d look down on the whole world in turn.
Han Yunxi had laid a trap with the silly Mu Linger just so Gu Qishao would have an excuse to come back to Pill Fiend Pharmacy. In the past, I couldn’t even chase you away when I wanted. Do you dare to come back now? Are you willing to face your debts in person and take control of Pill Fiend Pharmacy?
Long Feiye saw Han Yunxi’s slightly disappointed expression and laughed coldly. “Even if your lordship has the heart to acknowledge his lifesaving debt, he still needs to have the courage to show up first!”
Han Yunxi remembered Long Feiye’s earliest attitude towards Gu Qishao, but she was certain that he wouldn’t want to owe Gu Qishao any debts. That’s why this was a chance for everyone to wipe their accounts clean.
But he still hadn’t come!
Long Feiye had already sent out his men in secret to search for Gu Qishao, but they hadn’t found any sign of him. He would repay the man for his rescue of Han Yunxi, but they still had grievances between themselves to clear out!
But it’s a pity he doesn’t have the guts to come!
As the sun set and the skies grew dim, time…was running out.
Gu Qishao, where…are you?