Chapter 19: Formula for the antidote

The empress dowager held the drop of red cloth in one hand and Han Yunxi’s hand with the other. Her reaction was frighteningly cold. Now it was Han Yunxi’s turn to take pleasure in their misfortune. The sight of the blood made her heart glad. When she stole a peek at Long Feiye, she caught his deep eyes looking back. Somehow, the sight filled her with panic as she quickly looked away as the tips of her ears turned hot. 

In the silent room, Long Feiye stood up to speak. “Imperial mother, erchen[1] still has some urgent matters so I’ll be taking my leave. I’ll come visit another day.” Now that he was finished paying his respects and showing the blood, he was naturally ready to go. If one woman was enough to vex him, imagine how much a crowd of them could do?

Seeing him leave, Han Yunxi made to rise as well, but the empress dowager suddenly tightened her grip on her hand so much that it felt like her bones were breaking. How painful! And yet at that moment, Long Feiye turned to elegantly knit his brows.

“Han Yunxi, you’re still not leaving?”

Boohoo…and here she thought he was going to abandon her, how terrifying. She immediately used all her strength to throw aside the empress dowager’s hand.

“Imperial Mother, we still have urgent matters so we’ll be taking our leave until next time.” As she spoke, her footsteps took her to Long Feiye’s side before the empress dowager could drag her back. Staying here by herself was akin to being eaten alive until her bones were gone. 

The empress dowager lightly dropped the handkerchief and put on an affable smile. “Then hurry and go, don’t delay.”

Long Feiye didn’t bother to turn his head. Seeing this, Han Yunxi’s courage grew. She treated the empress dowager’s words as wind blowing past her ears and compliantly followed behind him straight out the door. As the most revered man, the Duke of Qin really was different! Being the Qin Wangfei[2], she couldn’t lose face for him. Thinking this far, Han Yunxi straightened her back some more and mused that following this fellow really was refreshing! She might have been happy, but as soon as they were far away, the empress dowager was angry enough to sweep a teacup off the table.

“That Han Yunxi, what a shrew!” 

The two trips to pay respects both went smoothly, putting Han Yunxi in a good mood. She had lots of positive thoughts for Long Feiye. However, as soon as they were back in the carriage, his first question was, “You can give me the formula for the antidote now, right?”

Formula for the antidote?

The cheerful Han Yunxi finally realized that everything that happened today was the result of their deal. He helped her with her problems so she could help him with his poison. How could this guy really want to protect her? Seeing Long Feiye’s expressionless, ice-cold face, Han Yunxi could only sigh inwardly. Of course, she shouldn’t be deluded by his looks.

“There’s only three components: summer zi, autumn zi, and winter zi[3], the more the better. When you get them, give it to me for mixing. Remember, you only have 10 days. After that, it’s possible the poison will act up again.” Han Yunxi said frankly. Long Feiye only nodded his head in silence before getting out of the carriage. He wasn’t coming back with her?

“Hey!” Han Yunxi hurried out after him, but he was already gone. There was only the driver left. She shrugged her shoulders and looked at him. “Let’s go back, then.”

She leaned lazily inside the carriage, half lost in thought, half looking out the curtained windows to the flourishing capital outside. Since Long Feiye had acknowledged her, her life in the Duke of Qin’s household shouldn’t be too difficult now. As long as Grand Concubine Yi couldn’t get a handle on her, nothing should happen.

It would be best to live in peace with each other. If they didn’t trouble her, she’d be content being a figurehead wangfei that caused no difficulties. There were things she wanted to do, too. She’d researched many methods of detoxifying poisons through traditional Chinese medicine but ran into obstacles in the modern world. Many formulas and plants were long gone, but the past had plenty of things for her to study and store in her detox system containment space. 

Han Yunxi was the naturally optimistic type. At this moment, she felt that life was beautiful.


[1] erchen (儿臣) – equivalent to “your subject” or “your servant”, a self-deferential way of referring to oneself for males.

[2] Wangfei (王妃) – his official wife in name and in title, his duchess to his duke, his married partner, etc. Higher status than any concubine.

[3] summer/autumn/winter zi (紫夏, 紫秋, 紫冬) – zixia, ziqiu, zidong, possibly names of plants, however the only match I could find is autumn zi, which was okra. Zi means “purple”.

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