Chapter 113 Part 2: Farewell Gift and a Kiss
"Yo! The busy man has finally come back." Someone had not wanted to let him escape and stopped him halfway.
Chu wang stood to one side of the corridor with a pot of hot tea in his hand and stared at Chu Fei Yang with laughter in his eyes.
"Randomly entering other people's houses is really impolite." Chu Fei Yang maintained a frosty expression as he replied.
"What do you mean other people's house? You're my grandson! Do I still need to send a letter in order to visit my own grandson? Moreover, I am a wangye; you're just a prime minister. My position is naturally higher than yours. Do you expect me to send you a letter to pay a visit?" Chu wang stamped with rage after hearing Chu Fei Yang's words, but still held the zisha teapot steadily, not spilling a single drop of tea.
"Since wangye is aware of your own status, wangye should be more meticulous of your words and actions. Entering someone's fu in the dead of night would tarnish wangye's reputation. Others would laugh if they knew about it." Calmly, Chu Fei Yang crossed his arms over his chest and sneered at the still upset Chu wang. Since Chu wang was purposefully blocking the path, Chu Fei Yang would not be in a hurry to leave.
"Who? Who would dare spread rumors? Benwang will be the first one to punish him!" Chu wang immediately glanced at Jiao Da standing in the yard, as if to remind him to be aware of his words and actions.
Jiao Da stood in the garden, minding his own business and paying no heed to Chu wang's glare.
Chu Fei Yang glanced Chu wang enjoying himself and could not help but shake his head. He straightened his body and wanted to proceed, but was quickly blocked by Chu wang yet again. Chu wang closed the distance between them and asked jokingly, "Hey boy, where were you a while ago? From your glowing appearance, I suppose you went to say goodbye to yatou."
Chu wang moved closer and sniffed, trying to smell the scents on Chu Fei Yang's body. Then, he laughed with great exaggeration and eyed Chu Fei Yang mischievously, "I'm sure you went to see that yatou; how else could you have such light and sweet fragrance on your body?"
Chu Fei Yang did not have time to argue with Chu wang. Since he had already nailed it, Chu Fei Yang refused to reply, but rather stretched his arm to try to push away the annoying Chu wang. Unexpectedly, Chu wang moved faster, grabbing Chu Fei Yang's collar with his right hand and murmured, "Look at your expression, beaming with satisfaction. You must have gotten something from the yatou. Quickly, take it out for me to see or I'll go to that yatou later myself."
Chu Fei Yang separated himself from Chu wang with one hand to prevent him from searching, then turned around and immediately increased the distance between them. He put on a cold expression to frighten Chu wang and stop his actions. "If you continue to make trouble, I will immediately call someone to escort you out."
Chu wang did indeed stop after hearing the threat, but he only placed the zisha pot on the floor and immediately appeared in front of Chu Fei Yang a second later. This time, he attacked with both hands as he complained, "You dare? I'm your grandfather! You better be careful; otherwise, I'll go to court and sue you for not having filial piety! Take it out! You surely got something precious, why else would you be so afraid of me finding it?"
Chu Fei Yang absolutely would not let Chu wang find the piece of cloth hidden in his clothes; thus, he quickly flew out of the corridor and took out the pliable blade he used as a belt. The blade shone under the moonlight like a silver dragon. Chu wang would not give up without a fight either; he immediately followed and pounced after taking a sword from Jiao Da. His blade struck Chu Fei Yang's and the sound of clashing metal permeated the air, extremely ear-piercing in the silent night.
"Take it out! Or don't even think about being able to rest tonight!" Chu wang brandished his sword skillfully at Chu Fei Yang while he used his other hand to reach for Chu Fei Yang's collar.
"In your dreams!" The cold rejection cut Chu wang's imagination short. The flexible blade behaved like an extension of Chu Fei Yang's body, perfectly blocking Chu wang's attack and not leaving any weaknesses for Chu wang to exploit. .
Jiao Da stood aside and carefully listened to the report of one of his subordinates while silently assessing the two in the yard's situation from time to time. Since it did not seem like they had any plans to stop any time soon, he followed his subordinate to another compound.
"Weren't you very concerned for yeye? You even asked to go to Luo City with yeye! Why are you so stingy now? Not even letting yeye take a quick look!" As the fight intensified and Chu Fei Yang's sword skills proved superior, Chu Nan Shan positioned the sword behind his back and decided to broker peace between them instead.
However, that didn't cause Chu Fei Yang's guard to relax. He gripped his sword tightly in his hand. In the pale moonlight, the silver blade looked frigid and menacing. He coldly laughed and refuted, "Benxiang was merely afraid that wangye might cause even further trouble in the infected area. As such, Benxiang has decided to go along. Benxiang suggests that wangye not think too highly of yourself. If wangye has too much time, it's better to go back to Chu wangfu and rest rather than accumulate animosity here."
Afterwards, Chu Fei Yang turned around and took another path to his study.
Chu Nan Shan abruptly covered his mouth and laughed after hearing his grandson's stiff reply, but under the cover of that laughter, he swiftly positioned himself behind Chu Fei Yang.
There was a small change in the direction of the wind. Although it was subtle, Chu Fei Yang was still able to feel it. Chu Fei Yang swiftly turned around upon seeing the sudden appearance of another shadow near his foot.
Chu wang's sudden attack was blocked and the two individuals engaged in another bout of fighting.
Currently, at the gate of Rong Shan Tang, Xi Lin was helping Xiao Nie daifu put all of the necessary herbs and medicines in the carriage.
Additionally, Rong Yun He arrived in the middle of the night as soon as he received the information. Seeing ten full carriage of herbs and medicines along with Chu Fei Yang's bodyguard, he pulled Xiao Nie daifu over and asked, "You're planning to go to Luo City?"
Xiao Nie daifu nodded. His eyes showed the worry and concern of a kind doctor. "There are no doctors there. If I don't go, I'm afraid Luo City will be deserted soon. I know that I can only help a little, but as long as I am able to offer my help, I will have no regrets. Moreover, if I go to Luo City, I might be able to find a cure for the plague; that's the most exciting part for a doctor!"
Rong Yun He knew that he was determined to go. For someone so ardent about the study of medicine, Luo City, a place feared by everyone, was in contrary, the place Xiao Nie daifu wanted to be most.
"Since that's the case, I will not try to keep you here. I will manage everything here in the capital. If you deplete your supply of herbs, ask someone to bring this when they go purchase herbs from nearby towns. It will be much more convenient than purchasing the herbs from the capital." Rong Yun He took out a piece of wooden plaque the size of a thumb from his sleeve and handed it over to Xiao Nie daifu. This small hospitality was the only thing the Rong house could offer the citizens of Luo City.
Xiao Nie daifu knew of the current shortage of herbs and other medical supplies in Western Chu. Even if the imperial doctors were to come along, precious herbs and medicines would still need to be kept in the palace for the imperial family. It was a futile thought to hope that it could be used for the citizens of Luo City; therefore, he had planned to supplement the supply of herbs and medicines with his own.
Although Luo City was far from the capital, it was still a large city. The number of citizens there numbered at least in the hundred thousands. Xiao Nie daifu was afraid that the herbs he prepared would not be sufficient for the population. But with the support of Rong Yun He, Xiao Nie daifu felt much more relieved.
After receiving the wooden plaque with gratitude, Xiao Nie daifu heard the distant sounds of horses rushing towards them. In just a short moment, a number of eunuchs halted in front of Rong Shan Tang.
They were the personal eunuchs of the Emperor, so Xi Lin kept his sword in it's sheathe. The gonggong clearly noticed Xi Lin and immediately went over to greet him, "Chu xiang's actions are really swift! I didn't expect to see Xi huwei here."
Xi Lin glanced at the gonggong and saw an conspicuous imperial edict in the eunuch's hands. So he asked, "What important has matter brought gonggong here?"
"Where is Xiao Nie daifu? Nucai came to announce an imperial edict." The gonggong's clever eyes swept over Rong Shan Tang a couple of times before finally fixing on a young man standing beside Rong Yun He and said with a smile, "I suppose this is Xiao Nie daifu. Quickly kneel down and receive the imperial edict."
Everyone felt somewhat nervous. They don't know why the emperor would suddenly give an imperial edict at midnight. All of them knelt down and waited for the gonggong to read the imperial decree.
"In the name of the heavens and orders of destiny, the Emperor's decree reads as follows: Rong Shan Tang's Nie Huai Yuan is seen to be an altruistic physician; thus is specially granted the title of eighth-ranked imperial doctor."
With just a few words, Xiao Nie daifu was suddenly connected to the imperial palace.
Even though he had received the title through an imperial edict, his expression was filled with surprise. His eyes, when he turned to Rong Yun He, were full of astonishment.
"Nie taiyi, the Emperor said that you only need to do your best to help cure the citizens of Luo City. All of the herbs and medicines provided by Rong Shan Tang will be reimbursed by the state." At the shock on Xiao Nie daifu's face, the gonggong thought that he was pleasantly surprised and thus smilingly gave Emperor Yu Qian's orders. The eunuch nodded towards Rong Yun He and Xi Lin before he took his place on his horse and rushed back to the palace.
Although Rong Yun He did not know why Emperor Yu Qian would suddenly make Xiao Nie daifu an imperial doctor, the message made him realize that Chu Fei Yang had calculated everything. He knew that Xiao Nie daifu would not go to Luo City empty-handed, but he was worried that Yun Qian Meng would lose money since she invested in Rong Shan Tang.; thus, he convinced Emperor Yu Qian to provide funds for the herbs. He really was a frightening man.
"What is this for? If I wanted to be an imperial doctor, I wouldn't use this kind of method!" Xiao Nie daifu was rather irritated. He held the imperial decree as if he was holding a hot potato, giving him headaches.
"I think this is quite good. If you came back with merits, then Rong Shan Tang will become very famous and you will be able to treat more patients. As for becoming an imperial doctor, I think it is just an incentive from the Emperor for you to do your best. If you feel that it is a burden, you can resign after you come back. What is there to be angry about?" Rong Yun He whispered to Xiao Nie daifu after a quick glance at Xi Lin, who was overseeing the apprentices move the herbs.
Xiao Nie daifu acquiesced and kept the imperial decree with thoughts of fixing everything after he returned to the capital.
The next day, around three in the morning, the silent street was disturbed by the clear and rhythmic beats of horses galloping. Hundreds of people on horses proceeded from Chu xiangfu towards Luo City under the dark sky.
At the same time, Rong Yun He sent news of Xiao Nie daifu's conferred title of imperial doctor to Qi Luo Yuan.
"Why did xiaojie get up so early today?" Mu Chun came in with a yawn after seeing candlelight from Yun Qian Meng's room. Yun Qian Meng was already properly dressed and sitting behind the table while carefully examining a small piece of paper in her hand.
Mu Chun softened her footsteps when she saw Yun Qian Meng's knitted brows and quietly opened the wooden window. Dim rays of sunlight filtered in, the morning's temperature becoming colder and colder as winter approached. Seeing that Yun Qian Meng was only wearing a single piece of clothing, Mu Chun immediately went to the closet and took out a cloak. She carefully covered Yun Qian Meng's shoulders with the cloak and softly asked, "What happened xiaojie? You woke up so early and even wore such thin clothes. You might catch a cold. Now that Chu xiang is not in the capital, if xiaojie got sick, wouldn't he worry about you from afar?"
News of Chu Fei Yang accompanying Chu wang to Luo City spread rapidly enough that even a yatou like Mu Chun heard.
Yun Qian Meng faintly smiled, then raised her hand above the candle to burn the piece of paper. "Prepare a carriage for me. We'll be going to Fu Guo Gongfu as soon as the sun is up."
"Yes!" Mu Chun answered, then immediately left the room.
Even before Yun Qian Meng was able to finish her breakfast, the old madam and Yun Yi Yi abruptly arrived.
After placing down her bowl and chopsticks, Yun Qian Meng stood up and asked, "Why has grandmother paid a visit to granddaughter today? Have grandmother and fourth miemei eaten breakfast?"
"Eldest sister!" Yun Yi Yi ran towards Yun Qian Meng with a dejected look on her face. She was about to kneel down, but luckily, Yun Qian Meng was able to act quickly and intercepted Yun Yi Yi with the help of Yuan Dong on her other side, preventing the sudden and startling kneeling session.
"What happened to fourth meimei? Why is she so distressed?" Not understanding the situation, Yun Qian Meng turned to the old madam curiously, only to see the old madam pulling a long face. The old madam lead a group of yatou and pozi into Yun Qian Meng's room. After sitting down, she angrily said, "What else happened? She just misses her parents too much."
Yun Qian Meng did not immediately reply to that. She turn to Mu Chun and the others. Now knowing what had happened, they slightly shook their heads. Thus, she carefully asked, "What has happened? What has made grandmother and meimei so sad and furious?"
The old madam forcefully hit the carpet with her walking stick, producing a series of rather irritating thumps. It was not until she had shown enough authority that the old madam finally start speaking, "Are her parents, your uncle and aunt, outsiders? How dare that Liu Han Yu keep them out of xiangfu? Just because she holds power as a yiniang now, she has the audacity to hinder the masters returning. Her mind is muddled. Aside from giving birth to a yatou, she can't even compare to Su Qing. Now, she dares to challenge the authority of her master! She even had xiangfu's guards refuse your uncle and aunt's entrance into the fu! How could I eat breakfast after such an incident? I immediately brought your fourth meimei over. Meng'er, you're the eldest xiaojie of xiangfu. Your respectable status is incomparable to anyone. How could you tolerate a bitch that crass?"
Hearing the old madam's words, Yun Qian Meng immediately understood what had happened.
Yun Qian Meng was irritated with the old madam's tone and attitude, sounding more like a village woman with none of the decorum of a lady from an influential family.
Coming into her room in such a manner, Yun Qian Meng knew that they thought she would be easier to bully since Chu Fei Yang and Chu wang had left for Luo City, she would no longer have anyone to depend on.
Yun Qian Meng returned to her seat at the front of the dining table. She picked up her bowl and chopsticks and resumed her breakfast.
"Meng'er, how could you still eat in this situation?" The old madam flew into a rage and was tempted to flip over the dining table in retaliation to Yun Qian Meng's languid attitude and her zealous appetite.
Yun Qian Meng remained silent while eating and slowly finished her food under the covetous gaze of Yun Yi Yi. Afterwards, Mi mama cleared the table while she rinsed her mouth and wiped her hands. She then went into the back room and took the tea Mu Chun handed over, gracefully taking a sip. After thoroughly enjoying the tea,, she finally said, "Grandmother doesn't need to be angry at all. Currently, anyone outside is not allowed to enter xiangfu. Liu yiniang did not mean to make things difficult for you. It's just that it was an order issued personally by father. With news of the dangerous plague, not just xiangfu, but all of the large fu in the capital only allow people to leave but prohibit people from entering. Even the merchants who provide food to the various fu need to go through several examinations before they may enter and bring the food inside. Father did this ensure the safety of everyone inside xiangfu. If we let uncle and aunt in now, it would be inappropriate to reject others later. As the matriarch of the fu, how could grandmother not understand father's thoughts? Moreover, uncle and aunt are both in the capital now. As soon as the plague is under control, father will naturally allow them to enter. Why do you need to be in such a hurry? Since they have stayed outside for so long, the chances that they have caught the disease is higher.. If grandmother really does care for uncle and aunt, you should go and persuade them to stay in their courtyard and not make us worry for them."
Yun Qian Meng's words gave no room for argument, but the fury in the old madam's heart grew even fiercer.
"Eldest sister, I heard that Chu xiang and Chu wangye both traveled to Luo City. I wonder if that's dangerous or not." Suddenly, Yun Yi Yi spoke. Her eyes were sinister and ruthless, completely in contrast to her pitiable appearance from earlier.
With Yun Yi Yi's reminder, the anger in the old madam's eyes sharpened. She immediately said rudely, "That place is now a dead city! I'm afraid they'll be gone forever!"
Right after she finished her sentence, the two felt a drop in the temperature of the room.They saw Yun Qian Meng smiling coldly. Her arctic gaze bore into them, causing the two to tremble with terror.
Nevertheless, the old madam's words made sense. The plague was so widespread no one in their right mind would venture in that area. The situation did not bode well for Chu Fei Yang and Chu wang.
The old madam and Yun Yi Yi secretly laughed at Yun Qian Meng for still dreaming of marrying into the wangfu in this situation.
With those thoughts, the old madam immediately felt more reassured. Regardless of what happened, Yun Qian Meng would have no one to depend on in the future. They need not be frightened by her attitude now. Thus, she said in dissatisfaction, "Meng'er, don't blame grandmother for saying too much. Currently, everyone in Western Chu knows how dangerous Luo City is. But Chu xiang still insisted to go to that place. If something bad happens to him, Meng'er, you would bear the accusation of causing the misfortune of your fiance! This kind of charge is something that your future husband would not be able to tolerate. Your whole life could be ruined! Grandmother is really very worried, but your father still seems to be very satisfied with your marriage. Grandmother is also unable to do anything about it. Fortunately, your fourth meimei is still young. If she had been the one chosen by Chu xiang, then today, it would've been her who would be suffering."
Yun Qian Meng gently held the lid of the teacup with two fingers and lightly swept it over the surface of the clear green tea. After removing the layer of bubbles on top of the tea, she took a sip. The smile never left her face as she listened to the old madam's curses aimed at her, treating the curses as if she were listening to Buddhist scriptures. It made Yun Qian Meng wonder, what else about her could the old madam curse?
Seeing Yun Qian Meng not making any sounds, the old madam thought that she was frightened, and thus continued on and said, "Meng'er, you've lost your mom when you were small. Good thing no one tried to make something out of it; otherwise, you would've been accused of cursing your own mom to death, and now even cursing your fiancé. Moreover, your little brother had been difficult to birth. Your horrible destiny of cursing your six relations is rather rare. Grandmother feel so sorry for you!"
"Grandmother, what horrible destiny? What the six relations?" The pure and wholesome Yun Yi Yi intentionally repeated these words, striking Yun Qian Meng's heart.
"The six relations pertain to.."
"It means causing the death of your own parents, siblings, and spouse. But Meng'er does not understand. Since grandmother suspects Meng'er to have such a destiny, and grandmother cares so much for your own life, why do you still come near Meng'er? Aren't you afraid of being cursed?" Even before the old madam was able to explain the situation, Yun Qian Meng already calmly interjected.
Being asked such question, the old madam's face turned red. She also noticed that her own words are contradicting her action. Her face was filled with embarrassment.
Seeing that Yun Qian Meng wasn't afraid of these superstition, Yun Yi Yi also stopped speaking.
Watching the show by the grandparent and grandchild coldly, Yun Qian Meng called, "Mi mama!"
"Eldest xiaojie, nubi is here." Mi mama had long hated the two of them alreadly. They not only bothered eldest xiaojie so much so that she was unable to eat her breakfast properly, but even so viciously cursed eldest xiaojie and Chu xiang. They were even more hateful than Su Qing!
"Immediately go and tell Liu yiniang: If strangers appear within a ten-meter radius of the xiangfu's walls, tell the servants to let the dogs out. Everyone inside xiangfu is an individual with an esteemed identity. Naturally, we should not allow outsiders to trouble and infect us with the plague. If anyone wants to leave the fu, then tell him or her to leave and never return." Giving the old madam and Yun Yi Yi a cold glare, Yun Qian Meng announced her decision with a smile on her lips.
"Yes, nubi will go immediately." Receiving the order, Mi mama's energy was revitalized. Even her steps were a lot lighter than they would be on a normal day.
"If grandmother and fourth meimei have nothing else to do, then please return to Bai Shun Tang to have your breakfast. In the future, if there's nothing important, we don't need to visit each other. After all, although we're all in xiangfu, we can never be sure that we're all healthy. If someone was infected by the disease already, it would be dangerous for others." After Yun Qian Meng finished her words, Yuan Dong and the other yatou immediately apprehended and forcefully removed the furious old madam from Qi Luo Yuan.