Chapter 1350: [10Year] A worthwhile trip
Lil Thing had long realized that something was wrong with the gentleman. As soon as it drew close to the courtyard, it caught the scent of medicine. It had even ran to the big stone tub just then to give it a sniff. Of course it knew the gentleman had poor health and that he soaked in medicinal baths. But this time it felt that something was off. Judging from the fragrance of that tub, the gentleman soaked for long periods of time inside.
Gentleman, what’s wrong with you?
It had been a long time since Gu Beiyue saw Lil Thing, so he couldn’t resist reaching out to scratch its chin. Lil Thing plastered itself against his long fingers and nuzzled lightly, its heart filled with endless sorrow that it couldn’t voice. It silently vowed to ignore anyone who pestered or clung to it from now on. It wanted to spend all time with the gentleman and guard him.
When Gu Beiyue left the building, Qin Min followed him.
“It’s time to soak in your medicinal bath, otherwise…”
Before Qin Min could finish, Gu Beiyue covered his voice and coughed in a muffled voice. Soon, fresh blood flowed out from his fingres.
“Hurry! I’ve already finished boiling the medicinal soup!” Qin Min panicked.
It was already the limit for Gu Beiyue to last so long in front of the children. He didn’t make a peep, not because he didn’t want to, but because he couldn’t open his mouth. He stifled two more coughs and the blood stained his palm.
Lil Thing was scared to death. It darted up and down and started to cheep. Qin Min plucked it up and warned it in low tones, “No cheeping, it’ll wake up little Shadow!”
Both the medical acolytes and Shaoyao had gone down the mountain to buy firewood and food and wouldn’t return until tomorrow. There was no one else who could help Qin Min now. She helped Gu Beiyue to the side of the bathtub and didn’t know what to do.
Gu Beiyue took a breath, got into the tub by himself, and started coughing again. Afraid of waking up Shadow, he muffled his mouth with one hand and pointed at the firewood house with the other. Qin MIn recovered her wits and quickly ran over. She was constantly cooking medicinal soup and only needed to bring it over. Seeing her run, Lil Thing darted to the edge of the tub, pacing back and forth. It was almost close to tears at the sight of the gentleman.
It couldn’t be of any help!
Very soon, Qin Min brought over a giant bucket of medicinal soup. She was such a weak girl with especially thin wrists, but still hauled over the huge bucket step by step. Seeing this, Lil Thing scampered over without hesitation and darted beneath the bucket, helping to lift it up and relieve some of Qin Min’s burden. With its help, Qin Min quickly brought the medicinal soup to the edge of the tub. Naturally, soaking in a bath meant taking off one’s clothes, but Gu Beiyue sprawled by the edge of the tub with nonstop, muffled coughs. He had no energy to unclothe himself. Qin Min’s gaze grew complicated. She didn’t think twice, but leaned over and muttered, “Gu Beiyue, I’ve offended!”
She didn’t know where to start and called him by name directly without honorifics.
Gu Beiyue, Gu Beiyue, Gu Beiyue!
Calling him by first and last name, her tone was filled with some anger, though she didn’t know what she was angry about. Nor was it clear whether Gu Beiyue heard her words. He was the one who often said “I’ve offended” in the past.
Qin Min appeared calm, but she still had to take a deep breath before taking action. She undid Gu Beiyue’s belt and helped him shed his outer robe. Seeing this, Lil Thing was stunned from the edge of the tub. But Qin Min quickly took off Gu Beiyue’s inner robes as well.
“Cheep…” Lil Thing called out softly, though it was unclear what the cry was meant to express.
Qin Min’s ears were red by the time she took off Gu Beiyue’s top, but she didn’t delay and leaned down to pull open the waistband of Gu Beiyue’s pants. At the sight, Lil Thing’s fur all stood on end. It was puffed up! But that was all it did without taking any action. If it was anyone else being so disrespectful to the gentleman, it would bite them to death, but Qin Min wanted to save him!
Currently, its heart was extremely…conflicted!
Qin Min took off Gu Beiyue’s pants and accidentally touched his leg in the process. She quickly avoided it while he stiffened obviously. But very soon, the two pretended that nothing had happened. Qin Min only left Gu Beiyue with a single layer of underpants while he was too weak to refuse her actions. Although he didn’t speak, he cooperated with her.
When she rose, she whispered again, “It really was rude, I’m sorry.”
Gu Beiyue stifled another cough, unable to answer. If he could, what would he say? No one knew…
Qin Min didn’t dare look at him any longer. On the contrary, Lil Thing was dumbfounded as its fur stuck on end again. However, it was soon carried down by Qin Min to help her with the medicinal soup. With its assistance, Qin Min quickly filled up the tub with liquid. Gu Beiyue was still coughing, so Lil Thing circled around him anxiously. Qin Min could only wait helplessly until Gu Beiyue gradually calmed down. Both of them sat on the side to watch over him and wait.
How many nights had she spent guarding by his side, looking at Gu Beiyue’s ashen face and blanking out? The days were hard. But the saddest thing was worrying everyday that even these hard days might come to an end someday.
Qin Min and Lil Thing watched over him for awhile before Gu Beiyue’s coughing finally calmed. Seeing this, she exhaled in relief. Lil Thing looked at Qin Min for a while before jumping into her lap and lightly nuzzling her, as if in comfort. Qin Min gently stroked Lil Thing as if consoling it back. She placed Lil Thing on the tub to watch and instructed, “Guard him!”
Lil Thing generally understood and nodded seriously.
By the time Qin Min returned with hot water, Gu Beiyue had more or less recovered. He just lacked any strength. If he wasn’t leaning against the tub, he wouldn’t even be able to sit up. Although his eyes were closed, he opened them when Qin Min came and remarked, “You had to work hard.”
“You’re welcome,” Qin Min’s voice was also very faint.
Gu Beiyue didn’t speak much as if unclothing him had never happened.
“Give your hand,” Qin Min said. Gu Beiyue was confused until she reminded him, “There’s blood all over your face and hands. Don’t stain the medicinal soup.”
Gu Beiyue obediently gave her his hand. She said, “I’ve offended” and began to openly help him wipe off the blood. In the past it was all work done by the medical acolytes, but Qin Min was doing it for the first time tonight. Seeing this, Gu Beiyue was extremely quiet. She only held onto the first part of his hand and cleaned off the blood before immediately releasing him. Then she changed to another clean hot towel and said, “Wipe the face too.”
This time she didn’t do it herself, but handed the warm towel directly to Gu Beiyue. He still didn’t speak and wiped his own face. Once everything had been dealt with, Qin Min went inside the rooms to check on Shadow. When she was sure he was still asleep, she left.
Just like before, she sat by the door to watch over Gu Beiyue. The lie of the Half-Year Agreement wasn’t something she brought up again, nor did Gu Beiyue elaborate. Perhaps this counted as tacit cooperation.
Lil Thing was so sad. It wished it could rush back to the capital city right now and tell Mama Yunxi and Papa Long about this. But it wasn’t so stupid that it couldn’t tell the gentleman was hiding the truth on purpose. It didn’t understand what the gentleman and children had agreed to with their fingers, but now realized he wanted the children to keep this secret. The more it thought, the damper its eyes grew. It jumped off the high bathtub to lean against it in misery.
By now it was nearly daybreak. Rui’er and Yan’er had returned to Medical City. Ever since Great Qin established its Department of Medicine, Medical City had changed from its past. It was just an ordinary city now and the academy was purely a medical school that didn’t overly interfere with the medical community or its rules. It only taught apprentices and cultivated doctors. Gu Beiyue’s residence was still preserved and the forbidden grounds of the Poison Sect were blocked off because of the poisonous plants in the mountains. Gu Beiyue’s compound began Rui’er’s temporary residence whenever he came to practice martial arts.
When they reached the estate, Yan’er had long fallen asleep on her brother’s back. Rui’er was about to enter when he discovered something wrong. As expected, someone opened the door from inside before he could do it himself. The man who emerged was their familiar godfather, Gu Qishao!
He had personally come to wait for Rui’er but didn’t expect to meet Yan’er as well. After giving a start, he quickly curved his phoenix-like eyes into a satisfied smile. “Mhm, it was a worthwhile trip!”
Rui’er was surprised as well. “Godfather, why did you come here?”
“Why did Yan’er come?” Gu Qishao asked at the same time. He picked the girl off Rui’er’s back. She was so sleepy that she would be clueless even if it was a villain carrying her right now. There was no helping it, she trusted her big brother too much.
Gu Qishao cradled Yan’er and liked her more and more. “My family’s daughter grows more like her mother by the day, prettier and prettier.”
Rui’er pursed his mouth. Is godfather praising imperial mother or imperial sister?
Gu Qishao walked into the rooms while asking, “What kind of mischief were you up to last night to not return until this morning?”
“We just arrived at Medical City.” Rui’er regretted his words as soon as he spoke them. He was tired after exhausting himself all night and accidentally made a slip.
Gu Qishao set Yan’er on the bed and tucked her in before turning back to examine Rui’er. He lectured, “Still young and of all things you learn, you learned to lie?”
Rui’er was guilty to begin with, so the words flustered him further. If it was anything else, he had no qualms, but this concerned his Half-Year Agreement with the Grand Tutor!
What to do?
His mind turned furiously but couldn’t think up a reasonable excuse. Gu Qishao drew closer and loomed down in front of Rui’er with a grin. “Tell godfather what you siblings were up to? Where’s little Shadow? He’s not following Yan’er anymore?”
What to do?
Rui’er took a step back as his lips moved soundlessly.
Why did I see godfather now of all times? Of all the people to run into, why did it have to be him?
Currently, Rui’er was dearly missing Yan’er’s babbling mouth. He wished she could wake up and help him answer their godfather’s question. But Yan’er remained lying on the bed with limbs akimbo, sleeping soundly…
Gu Qishao might not look old, but he had been shrewd since he was young. His smile grew more guileless as he said, “Tsk, tsk, tsk, something must be up!”
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