Chapter 1304: [Beiyue] Medical decoction
Hearing Qin Min’s words, Gu Beiyue’s quiet face looked a little helpless. He seemed to want to speak, but finally just sighed and waved the whip to drive the carriage. Qin Min didn’t hear the sigh; she waited for an answer that never came and didn’t know whether Gu Beiyue had accepted her apology or promise, or if he hadn’t heard her at all.
She wanted to repeat herself, but thought better of it after realizing her voice was loud in their quiet surroundings. There was no reason he didn’t hear. Silently, she withdrew back into the carriage and stopped talking. At last she was alone, so she could sit or lie down as she liked. But all she did was lean lazily against the pillow and didn’t feel sleepy at all. Her thoughts wandered off before she finally murmured, “There really won’t be a next time.”
She peeked out the window, which was pure wilderness and late night. Then she secretly lifted a corner of the curtain and saw Gu Beiyue’s back. The horse was galloping very fast, so the breeze fluttered his robes and black hair. She was only going to take one look and go back to sleep, but seeing this scene made her dazed.
It’d be wonderful if they could keep driving on this road forever!
Gu Beiyue, what’s the longest road in the world?
How long are our lives?
I’m really afraid these few dozen years won’t be enough. But not enough to do what? I don’t know.
Qin Min looked up and saw the moon in the sky, suddenly feeling very happy. She was glad her legs had been crippled and not her eyes; otherwise, she’d miss out on years of moonlight! Despite seeing countless scenes, it was only after meeting Gu Beiyue that she realized the moon was the most beautiful thing in the world. It was never changing in the night sky, quiet and gentle. She lightly lowered the curtains and leaned against her seat before falling asleep.
The next morning, Qin Min woke up when it was already noon. The carriage had entered a county seat and it was lively around them. She lifted the curtains and saw they were on the main street. Gu Beiyue drove the carriage while asking, “Eldest Miss Qin, did you sleep well last night?”
“You still haven’t rested?” she asked back.
She had calculated their journey last night and knew Gu Beiyue would reach a small town today if he rested, but by now they had passed the town and into the county seat.
Another sleepless night. How can his body stand it?
First they went from Yunning to Northern Li, then lived a few days before rushing here. It had already been a month and a half since he’d soaked in any medicinal baths! She had no idea what baths he took, but any prescription would required at least one soak a month. Not only did it nourish the body, it was also an excellent chance to rest. Body and mind could relax and recuperate under excellent conditions. Treating with medicine wasn’t as good as treatment with food, which wasn’t as good as treatment of the heart! This didn’t refer to illnesses, but normal healing. If you were sick, healing your heart and using medicine was the best combination. For Gu Beiyue, medicinal baths were his best choice.
“Medical City’s affairs are urgent and can’t be delayed. Eat something at the inn up ahead, I’ll go prepare some rations. There won’t be much rest on this road,” Gu Beiyue remarked.
“No!” Qin Min blurted out. It would take at least half a month to reach Medical City from here!
Gu Beiyue was startled and subconsciously looked back. In his memory, she had never raised her voice. “Eldest Miss Qin, is there any inconvenience?” Gu Beiyue asked.
Qin Min was going to bring up the medicinal bath, but thought that Gu Beiyue would definitely think of an excuse to refuse if she brought it up directly. She said, “I…I’m inconvenienced. I need to drink medicine that needs at least six hours to brew, and also buy a few toiletries. Otherwise, it’ll be awkward on the road.”
Gu Beiyue creased his brows. “What’s wrong with you?”
Qin Min peeked at him before lowering her head. She felt guilty, but to Gu Beiyue she only looked shy. Gu Beiyue’s gaze grew complicated but he didn’t press the matter. Besides his grandfather, he had never admired anyone else’s medical skills. Qin Min was the first. Her complexion looked fine, so it shouldn’t be anything serious. She could probably deal with it herself. If he guessed correctly, it was probably a woman’s monthly visitor.
That was Qin Min’s intention as well. Many women drank medicine to supplement themselves during their period. She figured this excuse should be enough to trick Gu Beiyue. But unexpectedly, Gu Beiyue not only compromised but said, “Health is important. Stay overnight at the inn today and take it slow, there’s no rush.”
“Just one night. We can leave first thing in the morning,” Qin Min added quickly.
As soon as they reached the inn, Qin Min wrote up a prescription and went to get ingredients. Gu Beiyue saw the list and more or less understood. He said, “Eldest Miss Qin, eat your meal first. Leave this matter to me.”
“Then I’ll have to trouble the Grand Tutor,” Qin Min replied.
Gu Beiyue was a little uncomfortable. She usually called him Academy Head or Academy Head Beiyue, but this was his first time being “Grand Tutor.” Qin Min smiled and added, “Grand Tutor Gu, I hope that there will be no more medical academy after this trip and you can stop being its head.”
Gu Beiyue smiled back. “May fortune be as Eldest Miss Qin says.”
When he prepared to leave, she called him back. “Grand Tutor Gu, you haven’t soaked in a single medicinal bath since leaving Tianning. Since we can’t leave today, why not…”
But Gu Beiyue interrupted, “Eldest Miss Qin, two guards will come later tonight. They’re both dependable men and can escort you all the way to Medical City. Take good care of your body, it’s fine if you leave late. I’ll prepare some rations and set off later.”
Qin Min felt like a pot of cold water had been poured over her head. She felt a chill spread from the top of her head to her toes, entering her skin and seeping into her heart. She was so cold she felt at a loss, staring blankly at Gu Beiyue without a word.
“Tianzi room number one,” Gu Beiyue gave her the room keys. When she took them in a daze, he turned and left. She was still standing there blankly by the time he disappeared. A few people even bumped into her, but she didn’t react.
“Young miss, you…are you all right?” the waiter of the inn was frightened by the spectacle. The Tianzi rooms were the best of the inn and the white-robed gentleman had reserved them all—in other words, the entire third floor. This young madam must have an extraordinary identity to travel with him, so he was afraid of mistreating her.
Qin Min stared at him blankly for a while before finally saying, “Nothing, I’m just…hungry!”
Will you cry if you’re hungry? The waiter wondered, but quickly coaxed, “Young miss, don’t cry. I’ll have the kitchens prepare whatever you want as soon as possible.”
“Where am I crying?” Qin Min looked serious.
Right, her eyes were only red. How could that count as crying?
“No no, my eyes were bad!” the waiter quickly brought over a menu and changed the topic. “Young miss, what do you want to eat? Do you want to eat in the hall or…shall this one send it to your rooms?”
Qin Min looked at the menu and ended up ordered a table full of dishes. “Send them to the rooms, and make it hot!”
She then went straight upstairs, causing the waiter to exhale in relief before hurrying to the kitchens. Soon enough, a table full of delicacies was set before Qin Min, who wound up her sleeves and began to feast. She fed herself to the fullest and suddenly felt her strength was restored. She was afraid that Gu Beiyue wouldn’t be able to find anyone when he returned, so she left the waiter some instructions before leaving to get her own things and food.
She saw Gu Beiyue waiting for her by the entrance when she returned. He had changed into a set of clothes—also white—and must have finished dealing with everything, because all the dust and dirt of travel had been washed clean. Seeing Qin Min with a handful of things, he hurried over to help. She tossed him her purchases and prepared to speak when he spoke first.
“Eldest Miss Qin, don’t set out alone in unfamiliar lands. It’s dangerous.”
She didn’t know if he recalled what happened in the Yunzhou teahouse, but she did. When she recalled his anger back them and the words they spoke for survival’s sake, her heart warmed.
“Many thanks to Grand Tutor Gu, I shall remember,” she replied.
“The medicine is already cooking in the fire room and will be delivered to your quarters a little later,” Gu Beiyue added.
Qin Min nodded. “Grand Tutor Gu, are you going to depart?”
“I’ll go after the guards arrive,” Gu Beiyue said as he took Qin Min’s things and headed for the door.
“Grand Tutor Gu, are you hungry?” she asked.
“Not hungry,” he replied simply. “I will be right outside. If Eldest Miss Qin had need of me, just shout.”
Qin Min only opened up her packages and smiled. “If Grand Tutor Gu isn’t hungry, then let’s get going. I’ve already prepared all the rations, so we don’t need to fret for food or drink on this journey.”
Gu Beiyue was mildly stunned, but Qin Min went on, “Grand Tutor Gu is rushing towards Medical City despite carrying such a serious illness, so a mild affliction like mine is nothing. We shouldn’t delay on account of it; besides, the Grand Tutor can’t make a move if I’m not back at the Qin estate.”
“It’s fine if you delay a day or two,” Gu Beiyue coaxed.
“No! Qin Min is uneasy and guilt-stricken,” Qin Min said as she sat down clutching her stomach, pretending to feign pain.
Gu Beiyue wanted to go take her pulse, but she refused. “It’s a trifling matter, not some sickness.” She stood up and declared, “Grand Tutor Gu, let’s go.”
Gu Beiyue knitted his brows, but didn’t tarry. He said, “Eldest Miss Qin, hurry and sit down. Drink your medicine and we can set off tomorrow morning.”
Qin Min almost jumped for joy. She succeeded! But she kept her eyes lowered and declared, “No, we can’t be delayed on my account.”
“It’s fine, health is important,” Gu Beiyue comforted gently.
“That won’t do…” Qin Min shook her head.
Gu Beiyue’s eyes shone with helplessness, but he still managed a light smile. “Eldest Miss Qin, it’s about time for this one to soak in a medicinal bath. So tonight’s delay can’t be blamed on your account.”
Qin Min’s eyes sparkled with mirth, but she didn’t dare smile. She said, “Grand Tutor Gu, could I take a look at the prescription?”
Gu Beiyue had actually written it down and sent one of the stewards to grab the ingredients before boiling it in a big tub. He soaked in the steaming medicinal brew and heaved a heavy sigh before shutting his eyes. He hadn’t seen through Qin Min’s intentions at the start, but when she feigned pain and sat down, he understood everything. She was finding excuses on purpose to make him soak in the bath. He couldn’t help asking himself once again whether marrying Qin Min was one of the biggest mistakes of his life?