Chapter 42: Incomparably anxious, a life for a life
The speeding carriages stopped not long after departing from the Duke of Qins house. Princess Changpings poison had already flared up on her face, becoming unbearably itchy. Things were fine as long as they left the premises. Even if they were the middle of the streets, she didnt care.
One hand held the lantern while the other grabbed her dress as she hurried to Han Yunxis carriage. Inside, Han Yunxi was still drowsy and instinctively put up a hand to block the light as the princess entered.
"Your highness, this is..."
Before she could finish, Princess Changping abruptly tore off her veil and revealed a face covered in rashes from the poison. Her pale complexion combined with the lantern light to create a horrifying sight.
"Monster!" Han Yunxi blurted out, only half-pretending. She understood this type of poison very well, but shed never actually seen a case in person.
"Han Yunxi, you actually dared to call the princess a monster?" Princess Changping was very angry. Did she really look like one? And yet all the doctors whod seen her had all been so frightened that she didnt even dare look in a mirror anymore.
"Thats not...thats not..." Han Yunxi seemed extremely weak, too tired to even shake her head as she lay there, paralyzed. Actually, after taking a pill and drinking some millet congee, in addition to the ginseng flake, she was far from being so frail. But before such a strong-willed princess, of course she had to appear weakly.
"Han Yunxi, get up! Imperial Physician Gu said youre very skilled in treating poisons, so hurry up and treat this for me! Hurry! Im going to itch to death!" Princess Changping rudely demanded. Leaving aside the fact that Princess Changping belonged to the younger generation, she shouldnt be yelling or so insufferably arrogant towards the person she wanted a favor from. Without teaching her a real lesson, shell never learn how to behave.
"Prin...cess, princess, I...I..." Han Yunxi tried for a long time without saying much of anything, making Princess Changping even more desperate. Her hands reached for her face multiple times, but she still couldnt bear to scratch.
"You ah what, you? Hurry up and see for me!" she said and suddenly drew closer, plastering her face up to Han Yunxis. If this was anyone else, they might have thrown up already, but Han Yunxi had seen poisons much worse than this and was immune.
"Princess...princess...I...I dont have...any strength!" Finally, she finished what she was saying.
"Just look! Take a look! What kind of strength do you need for that? Arent you super skilled? What, now you cant do anything?" Princess Changping was like an ant on a scorching pot, ordering her about as her hands clutched here and there, afraid of losing control.
"Then...then princess, bring..." Han Yunxi sounded like someone on her last breath.
Princess Changping couldnt bear to listen and yelled, "What do you want to say?!" She didnt know that the more excited she felt, the more her adrenaline would rise. These hormones would only encourage more flare-ups for her itching.
"Bring the lantern...a bit closer, so I can see clearly," Han Yunxi murmured slowly.
Despite how she felt, Princess Changping would do anything Han Yunxi asked her to now. She was very obedient and immediately brought the lantern closer. Unexpectedly, as soon as the light arrived, Han Yunxi didnt even spare Princess Changping a glance before closing her eyes and fainting away.
"To reply esteemed Empress, this is a severe case of the chills. Esteemed wangfeis body is extremely weak and needs careful nurturing. If shes forced awake to treat the princess, then this one fears..."
"What?" the empress asked hurriedly. Now that they were in the palace, she didnt care a whit about Han Yunxis health. As long as she could treat Changping, shed agree to do anything, even take Han Yunxis own blood.
"This humble official fears the esteemed wangfei will not only be unable to treat Princess Changping, but possibly lose her own life as well!" Gu Beiyue was obviously exaggerating. But how would the empress know that much? As soon as she heard the situation, she grew anxious. If this was really the case, she could neither save Changpings face or pay back Han Yunxis life. Had she but known earlier, she wouldve coaxed Changping to stay at the Duke of Qins residence instead. So what if she was laughed at? At least itd be easier than being responsible for Han Yunxis life.
The empress took a deep breath. "Then well save her first. How long should it be until she recovers?"
"One or two days. But, Im afraid Princess Changping will continue to have to suffer in the meantime," Gu Beiyue replied honestly.
The empress crinkled her eyebrows, filled with feelings she couldnt express in words. And yet there was no other way except to hand things over to Gu Beiyue. "Use the best medicines and have Qin Wangfei recover as soon as possible, understand?"
"This official understands," Gu Beiyue nodded. "This official will go write a prescription immediately." When he left, the empress gave Princess Changping one last look before leaving behind a court lady to watch over her.
Han Yunxi was so pleased that she almost laughed out loud. Heavens knows what kind of nice things Gu Beiyue would ask for her bodys sake? One or two days time wasnt enough to completely recover, but at least it made it safe for her to move around again.
Gu Beiyue was truly a smart and considerate man.
As Han Yunxi had expected, he prepared for her a very famous and precious type of nourishing medicinal soup. Han Yunxi wanted to eat it all up, but people whod been starved for long periods couldnt eat or drink too much at once or else theyd die from indigestion. Gu Beiyues prescription used the mildest method to nourish her body while also alleviating her intense hunger pains. With the medicine of this protective man and adequate sleep, Han Yunxi was doughty as a dragon and lively as a tiger after two days.
But...Princess Changping was miserable. Over these two days, her poison had flared up three times. The suffering was akin to tearing open her heart or ripping apart her lungs. She even entertained the thought of killing herself by ramming her head somewhere. By the time Han Yunxi got out of her bed, Princess Changping was lying on hers, hands and feet tied up to prevent her from trying self-mutilation. The empress sat by her bed and tried to coax her, but the princess heard none of it, murmuring instead, "Wheres that slut, Han Yunxi? She wont help me, isnt that right?
"Muhou, bring her here, she has to be faking it! She definitely wants to see me die from poison!
"Its all her fault! She ruined everything! If it wasnt for her I wouldnt have gone to the prisons...wahhh, muhou, she was the one who hurt me!
"Muhou, let me go...Im going to go find her!"
Han Yunxi followed Gu Beiyue in, listening without saying a word. Princess Changping hadnt even thought about what she did in the prisons that night, but instead had the audacity to blame Han Yunxi. When Gu Beiyue had been describing her situation these past two days, she felt enough sympathy to treat the princesss poison today. Now though, she changed her mind. A pitiful person still had a despicable side! Princess Changping wasnt someone she wanted to save, regardless of all those high morals about a doctors benevolence.
"Chenqie pays respects to the esteemed empress."
"This official pays respects to the esteemed empress and her highness, the princess."
Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue made salutations from beyond the bed curtains before the empress hastily had them rise. Kindly she said, "Yunxi, come quickly. Changpings been waiting for a very long time."
Princess Changping was no longer making an uproar, but her eyes stared nastily at Han Yunxi, who sat by the bed and said, "Its too dim, get a light here."
A court lady hastily shone a lantern over, the bright light forcing Princess Changping to blink; still, she stared fixedly at Han Yunxi. Once again, Han Yunxi spoke lightly. "Changping, why dont you close your eyes? Let me see if the poisons spread to the eyelids."
At these words, Princess Changping immediately closed her eyes in panic, giving Han Yunxi a sense of disdain. What was this girl so fixated on? She could keep staring if thats what she really wanted. Only now did Han Yunxi carefully examine her face, activating her detox system scanners in the dark to check how much the poison had spread, and whether itd mutated in the meantime. Afterwards, she inspected the situation around the princesss legs as well. Princess Changping could be considered extremely lucky that the poison hadnt spread or changed form.
Seeing Han Yunxi finish her examination, the empress couldnt help but ask, "How is it, is it poison? What kind of poison? Can we treat it?"
Only then did Princess Changping realize Han Yunxi was done. Her eyes flew open as she demanded, "Han Yunxi, what are you dawdling for? Hurry up and speak!"
 an ant on a scorching pot (??????) reguo shang de mayi, idiom meaning extremely anxious/agitated.
 doughty as a dragon and lively as a tiger (????) shenglong huohu, to be brimming/bursting with energy, full of vim and vigor.
 muhou (??) imperial mother, the variation on mufei; in this case, the mother is an official consort/empress rather than a concubine.
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