Chapter 43: Demanding medicine for treatment
Faced with Princess Changpings yelling, Han Yunxi put on her most serious doctors expression instead of arguing. It was a face that was both calm and somewhat stern, filled with an authority that gave people a sense of security. Instead of answering the questions, she lightly stroked Princess Changpings face to quiet her down. Even the empress grew nervous and afraid to ask.
Han Yunxi touched the right side, then the left. According to the latest results of her scanners, Princess Changping should have another reaction very soon. She stayed calm as she stroked her for a long time while Princess Changping and the empress grew increasingly anxious. Yet neither of them dared to open their mouths and ask questions, much less make impertinent remarks. Even Gu Beiyue, who was standing outside the bed curtain, was starting to feel a little uneasy. He knew that Han Yunxi could treat poisons, but he wasnt sure if she could cure the one on Princess Changpings face. At most, hed just recommended her.
In an instant, the atmosphere had turned tense!
And yet, Han Yunxi suddenly withdrew her hand as if frightened, before rising and backing away with a cry of alarm. "Heavens! The poisons changed, its going to turn contagious soon!"
Hearing this, the empress backed away in fear of her life. All the surrounding court ladies did the same in terror. This was truly horrifying!
Not just the princess, but anyone with an infectious disease (including the emperor) would be taken away from the palace and shut up in a separate hall. If they couldnt be cured, then they wouldnt be able to return for the rest of their lives. Princess Changping gave a jerk before wailing loudly in fright, "I dont want to! Dont want to! Wahh...muhou, save me! I dont want anyone to send me away! I dont!"
The empress was the one that had retreated furthest away, so tense that her face had turned white. "Yunxi, can you treat her or not?"
Han Yunxi avoided the question as her expression turned imposing. "It seems like the poisons going to act up again."
Sure enough, as soon as she spoke, Princess Changping began to struggle. "Itchy! Muhou, my face is starting to itch again! Let me go!"
"Free my hands!"
"Muhou, why dont you help me scratch it instead? Im begging you!"
Very soon, her legs started to itch too. But they were tied up as well, and no amount of kicking could help her get free. Upon seeing this, everyone was amazed. They hadnt expected Han Yunxi to really have the skills to pinpoint the poison flare-up time. The empress was scared to death and didnt dare come forward. She tugged on Han Yunxis hand as spoke, "You really guessed the right time! Yunxi, youre too formidable. You must have some way to save Changping, right?"
"Yunxi, a contagious disease is no small matter. You have a way, dont you?"
If news of this got out, it wouldnt be just Princess Changping, but the empress as well who had to be taken far away. Even if the empress didnt catch the illness, itd take her a year before she could see the emperor again! Within the palace, how many eyes watched and coveted her position? She couldnt afford to lose a year.
"Save me...muhou, hurry and let her save me!"
"Im going to itch to death, which one of you can help me?"
"Imperial father...sob...I want to see imperial father!"
Princess Changping tossed and turned, too tormented to speak. Only now did Han Yunxi push aside the empresss hand with a serious tone. "Ill try."
Before they reached the guest hall, the empress was already asking questions. "Yunxi, what exactly was that poison?"
"Poison rash, probably picked up from the prison. That place is too filthy and filled with toxins." Han Yunxi spoke, pretending to be thoughtful. "Esteemed empress, the princess is the golden branch and jade leaf. If theres nothing to do, dont let her run off to the prisons instead."
Of course the empress knew of the princesss torture methods that night in the prison cells. Faced with Han Yunxis taunt, she couldnt help it when her face turned red from irritation and embarrassment. Still, she had to grit her teeth and bear it. On one side, Gu Beiyue stealthily shot Han Yunxi a glance as he smiled. This woman really didnt take any losses. Those who owed her would eventually find themselves paying her back.
It was a long time before the empress spoke again. "How long until she recovers?"
"Shell be well as soon as the poisons treated. Ill write a prescription for the antidote, so have someone collect the ingredients immediately." Han Yunxi walked through the doors as she spoke, while the empress quickly followed, ordering someone to bring brush and ink to serve her.
A typical antidote only needed a few ingredients, but Han Yunxi wrote down a whole list of them, enough to fill two sheets of paper. There were quite a few rare and precious ingredients within them as well. The empress couldnt understand it, but Gu Beiyue couldnt resist a smile when he read through the list.
Was this woman really writing a prescription for an antidote?
She was clearly looting a burning house! Many of these items were mutually exclusive ingredients that couldnt be mixed together in the same medicine. In the end, when Gu Beiyue thought that Han Yunxi was finished, she took out a third sheet of paper and wrote down the final ingredient: ten-seasons cicada slough.
These cicada sloughs were skins left behind by molting cicadas and commonly found in traditional Chinese medicine. But a typical cicada only shed nine-season skins. A ten-season skin cicada was a rare thing. The empress didnt understand these things, but the gaze of the experienced storehouse user Gu Beiyue turned momentarily complicated, although he kept his composure.
"Esteemed empress, this is the prescription. Please gathered the ingredients listed as quickly as possible. I will boil the antidote myself," Han Yunxis face was full of sincerity.
The empress promptly passed on the prescription to Gu Beiyue. "Imperial Physician Gu, Ill leave this to you. Be sure to get everything on the list." The empress had really thought too simply about everything, but it wasnt her fault. Didnt the palace have all sorts of medicinal ingredients?
Gu Beiyue nodded his head and left. The afternoon of the same day, hed collected all the necessary ingredients on the list for Han Yunxi except the ten-seasons cicada sloughs.
"The palace doesnt have these?" the empress was incredulous. "Did you search carefully?"
"Esteemed empress, this official can verify that we have none in the storehouse." As Gu Beiyue spoke, he looked towards Han Yunxi before continuing. "The ten-seasons cicada slough is a priceless item equal to the worth of several cities. Only two have existed so far, with one in the hands of empress of Northern Li Country, and the other..."
"Where is it?" the empress grew testy.
"This official only knows that its in Grand Concubine Yis hands, but I dont know if its been used yet." Gu Beiyue replied honestly.
"Its with mufei?" Han Yunxi looked astonished.
All right, so she knew long before. Otherwise, she wouldnt have added it to the list. She saw it in Grand Concubine Yis rooms where it had been mounted as a work of art. Rumors had it that she was saving it for Murong Wanrus dowry so that the girl was happy every time she saw it.
This left the empress in a difficult position. It wasnt easy to get something off of Grand Concubine Yi. After a while, the empress asked sincerely, "Yunxi, why dont you speak with your mufei about it?"
Han Yunxi heaved a sigh. "Esteemed empress, my mufei is honest and kindhearted. Shed definitely help if it can save a life, its just..."
The empress anxiously waited for her to continue.
"Aye...if I go to demand it, wont I have to let her know about Changpings illness? But neither you or Changping will let me tell," Han Yunxi was really in an awkward position. These words made the empress realize the severity of the situation. A cold look flashed past her eyes as she wondered whether Han Yunxi was doing this on purpose. After Han Yunxi cured Changping and went home, Grand Concubine Yi would no doubt ask her questions. By then, shed be stuck between two difficult decisions: telling all and offending the empress, or keeping silent and making Grand Concubine Yi unhappy.
If she went to ask for the cicada slough now, then itd be the same as the empress giving her permission to tell Grand Concubine Yi the truth. Nobody could blame her then. The empress was filled with indignation at Han Yunxis cleverness. She really had underestimated her.
Seeing the empress hesitate, Han Yunxi waited patiently. Actually, she had an antidote from modern times currently in her medical pouch. She just took the chance to grab some precious ingredients as her consultation fee while resolving the troubles with Grand Concubine Yi, all the better to pave her way for the future.
 looting a burning house (????) chen huo dajie, to take advantage of someones misfortune to do him harm, a fish in troubled waters.
 cicada sloughs (??) chantui, the molted skin of cicadas, a common ingredient in Chinese traditional medicine used to dispel wind and heat from the body.
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