“Aiya…” Han Congan shook his head. “The young general’s illness is actually very complicated. We can only wait a few days and see the situation then.”
These words made Princess Changping angry. “Han Congan, what’s wrong with you? Why are you so useless?! You couldn’t cure big brother, you can’t fix Qingwu gege, so what kind of miracle doctor are you? You quack, I’m going to tell on you to imperial grandmother!”
This foolish princess was fixated on saving Mu Qingwu and hurting Han Yunxi, but had no idea she was the empress dowager’s pawn. Han Congan held back his rage to patiently speak reason. “Princess Changping, calm your anger. Even Imperial Physician Gu can’t ascertain the cause, eh…who knows how long he plans to wait for? If we delay for too long, then perhaps…perhaps…”
Han Congan’s words directly made Gu Beiyue a target. Before he finished speaking, Princess Changping and Mu Liuyue grew fearful. Mu Liuyue was much smarter than the princess and understood immediately. “Princess, Imperial Physician Gu and Han Yunxi tried to save him together that day. If Han Yunxi’s guilty, then so is Imperial Physician Gu! But father’s still letting him treat big brother!”
“That’s right! Imperial Physician Gu is an accomplice, too!” Princess Changping came to a realization, narrowly hurting her waist again. To be honest, her injury there hadn’t healed yet. She rubbed her waist and cried, “I’ll report him to the justice courts right now!”
Han Congan shook his head. “Esteemed princess, why don’t you find some directors from the medical academy next? They can come take a look tomorrow.”
The people from the academy weren’t ordinary folk. Cloud Realm Medical Academy was the goal of every doctor, gathering the cream of the crop from the continent. This was especially true for the directors at the academy who were over 100-years-old. They were Cloud Realm Continent’s medical experts!
Princess Changping and Mu Liuyue were exceptionally pleased. “Good good good! Then we’ll wait for your good news!”
“Big brother can definitely be saved! When that happens, I’ll have father chase away Imperial Physician Gu!”
“That’s great! Liuyue, let’s go. We have big things to do at the justice courts!” Princess Changping was in excellent spirits, convinced that her Qingwu gege would be fine. Mu Liuyue trailed after her like a tagalong. Neither of them stopped to think that the experts of the medical academy were formidable but far from being gods. They’d held consultations on the crown prince’s illness before, but he was still sick.
Seeing them leave, Han Congan put on a cold smile. There were plenty of incurable illnesses in this world. After he’d suffered the consequences related to the crown prince’s illness, he’d never risk his head again. As long as they changed Gu Beiyue with someone else, even any imperial physician would do. Wasn’t it easy to keep Mu Qingwu in a never-ending coma? Wasn’t it simple to make sure he died? This time, he didn’t even have to get involved in the mess himself.
Han Yunxi, ah, Han Yunxi. You killed your own mother and embarrassed the Han Family before the empress dowager and the Duke of Qin’s household. Now it’s your turn to do something for the Han Family’s sake.
How could Han Yunxi know the peril of her plight from prison?
Since Gu Beiyue was sending people over periodically, the North Court Official dared not torture her again after last night’s scare. Yet someone unexpected showed up that afternoon. At that time, Han Yunxi was snuggled up on the bed, pinching her fingers to pass the time. Either tonight or tomorrow, Mu Qingwu’s poison would show itself. As long as Gu Beiyue could get the blood to her promptly, she would still be able to write a prescription to save his life, even without the ingredients on hand.
She waited and waited, wondering when Gu Beiyue would come. It was at this moment that a jailer walked over. Who knew what he’d told the guards at the entrance, but all the other jailers had left. Han Yunxi looked at him with a raised eyebrow, but didn’t pay him any attention. In spite of that, the jailer suddenly opened the door to her cell and walked inside. Whatever you called it, Han Yunxi was still an important criminal. Could a mere jailer just come in?
She saw that he was about fifty years old with a kindly face. He nervously looked around to make sure no one was coming before walking quickly to Han Yunxi, who gave him a guarded look but didn’t speak.
Unexpectedly, the jailer fell to his knees with a thump as soon as he drew near. “Young benefactor! Young benefactor! This old man finally has the chance to meet you! I thought I’d never get the chance to see you in this life.”
Han Yunxi could completely recall this body’s previous memories. The original owner was a woman who neither left the main gates nor entered the inner courtyards of her house. She was a useless good-for-nothing who was bullied everyday and never did anything significant, harmful or helpful.
“Elder, please stand up if you have anything to say,” Han Yunxi got off the bed to help him up, but the old man was too moved to stir.
“Young benefactor, you probably don’t know who I am. But I know you. You’re Lady Tianxin’s daughter, aren’t you, who married the Duke of Qin as Qin Wangfei.”
Although Han Yunxi had only inherited the previous memories of this body, she still felt a very real warmth towards this name in her heart. Lady Tianxin was her mother, a skilled medical practitioner who was a true doctor and benevolent woman. To give birth to her, she had died in labor.
“Young benefactor, your mother was the lifesaver of my entire family. At the end of the twelfth month of one lunar year, in the western outskirts by the Luo River Village, a pestilence broke out. My entire family fell ill with the disease, but your mother cured us all. Otherwise…otherwise we’d all have been burned to death!” As the jailer spoke, he kneeled down again, voice choked with sobs. “Why do good people always have short lives? This old man didn’t even pay back her kindness before Lady Tianxin passed away…” The old jailer look genuinely saddened as he ended up in tears.
“Elder, doctors exist to help society. That was my mother’s duty while she lived. You don’t need to take it to heart, but just live well. That will be the best way to repay my mother,” Han Yunxi urged, wanting to help the jailer up again. But he refused.
“Young benefactor, this old man came today to repay that kindness. Young benefactor, I can’t just watch you die in this prison!”
These words surprised Han Yunxi. “Die here?”
The jailer nervously looked behind him to check that the coast was clear, before grasping Han Yunxi’s hand to speak in a low voice. “Young benefactor, I’ve long wanted to see you when you came in. But it was only last night that my shift rolled around. I secretly overheard the North Court Official said that the people upstairs wanted your life!”
“I know,” Han Yunxi said, throwing off his hand with a smile. Too many people up there wanted her dead.
But the old jailer only grew more anxious. “Young benefactor, it was the empress dowager who wanted your life. They’re going to kill young General Mu and give you the death sentence.” Seeing that Han Yunxi didn’t have much of a reaction, he quickly added, “Young benefactor, you don’t know, but the young General Mu is one of the second imperial prince’s people. The empress dowager wants to seize this chance to eliminate the young general for the crown prince’s sake!”
Hearing these words, Han Yunxi felt astonished–not at the empress dowager’s intention, but at the fact that a mere jailer could know this much.
The agitated jailer purposely ran to the cell doors to see that no one was around before hurrying back to speak some more. “Young benefactor, consider me your servant tonight. I’ve already bribed all the others here. There’s a secret passage I know of where you can follow me out. Don’t just stay here and wait foolishly. I’ve heard them say that when the young general dies tomorrow, they’ll kill you immediately and say you committed suicide to escape punishment.”
“You’re…letting me go?” Han Yunxi asked in disbelief.
“That’s right. Let’s slip away while it’s still night out. Young benefactor, I’ve already prepared the carriage for your escape, so try to run as far away as you can. Never come back here again,” the jailer said sincerely.
“If I run off, wouldn’t that count as a fugitive trying to dodge her crimes? How would I ever explain myself clearly in this lifetime?” Han Yunxi asked again. Apologies, but she’d been an orphan since childhood. She was used to social snobbery and fickle-minded people. For her to easily believe a stranger was impossible. Moreover, if she really ran away, then she’d be admitting that she was wrong. That was the greatest source of shame for a doctor. Looking at it from another perspective, she didn’t believe that the empress dowager would kill off Mu Qingwu so easily.
Did this jailer really think that she was the Han Yunxi of before, who knew nothing of the world or its experiences?
“Young benefactor, you can’t attend to things like guilt and crimes right now. It’s more important to save your own life!” the jailer was very anxious.
“If I go, what will happen to you? Things that…implicate others, I can’t do.” Han Yunxi placed particular emphasis on the ‘implicate,’ and the jailer’s gaze turned evasive in response. Yet his words were still earnest and sincere.
“Young benefactor, this old man’s life isn’t worth any money. Lady Tianxin saved my entire family. If I can repay her with this life of mine, then it’ll still be enough!” The jailer’s eyes were brimming with tears as he grew more agitated, but Han Yunxi’s words were unexpectedly cold.
“Why should I believe you?”
In an instant, the old jailer was at a loss for words. “Young, young benefactor, you….this….I, I…” As if afraid of being found out, the jailer equivocated for awhile without being able to explain anything. Han Yunxi’s lips curved into an icy smile as certainty reached her heart.
“Elder, you’re quite old and can’t pull this off. Just leave.” As she spoke, Han Yunxi bundled herself atop the heated-brick bed, her eyes lit brilliantly by the blazing fire. It made the jailer afraid to even look at her.
“Then…then, young benefactor, you…you take care.” The jailer kept his calm with difficulty before hastily backing out. Han Yunxi watched him quietly, thinking that if she really escaped tonight, someone would probably kill her straight out of the justice courts.
Exactly who had come up with such a treacherous plot?
As soon as the jailer left the cell, two guards took him to a secret room where Princess Changping, Mu Liuyue and the North Guard Official were having a chat. Seeing him return, the princess hurriedly rose to her feet. “How is it, did she agree?”
When Princess Changping came to report Gu Beiyue, she’d thought of a plot for the North Court Official as well to trick Han Yunxi into breaking out from prison. Last night she’d not only failed to punish Han Yunxi but hurt her own waist, as well as gaining a rash. Princess Changping wanted to see Han Yunxi convicted right this instant!
The jailer quickly kneeled down. “Princess Changping, Qin Wangfei’s too shrewd. This one…this one is useless!”
Princess Changping’s hopes came crashing down as she angrily kicked him. “Worthless thing, scram!”
The North Court Official gave his guards a look, and they promptly led the jailer away. Princess Changping narrowed her eyes in a ferocious expression, and made a ‘kill’ motion towards the North Court Official.
“Never!” the man instantly refused. “Esteemed princess, that absolutely can’t happen. If we were able, then last night we would’ve…no matter what, she can’t die here. The courts of justice can’t withstand the weight of such a burden, let alone…with no input from the empress dowager.”
“What are you afraid of with me here? Imperial Grandmother’s long wanted her dead!” Princess Changping pouted as she spoke.
“Even so, she can’t die here. There’s still the Duke of…” Before the North Court Official could finish speaking, Mu Liuyue suddenly had an inspiration.
“Princess, North Court Official, I still have a plan. Why don’t you two see how it is?”