Chapter 22: Counterattack, using needles on the acupoints

Seeing Gu Beiyue’s grave expression, General Mu was startled. His son’s life was the most important thing to him. Gu Beiyue was the Head Imperial Physician who looked after the emperor’s own health, so of course his words were trustworthy. Mu Liuyue just wouldn’t believe Han Yunxi. She was ready to send her off to the justice courts immediately and began to make a scene.

“If I say no, then it’s no!” 

General Mu suddenly spoke up. “Liuyue, step aside!”

“Father!” Mu Liuyue was reluctant.

“Step aside!” General Mu was getting angry.

Mu Liuyue finally took a single step aside while keeping her vise grip on Gu Beiyue’s hand. Abruptly, the doctor shook her off, astonishing all the onlookers while he quickly slipped back into the room. His quick departure was followed by an even faster return, with an ashen face and solemn expression. In his hands were two needles, dyed pitch-black for all to see.

Poison! Hypertoxic poison!

General Mu was stunned enough to leap out of his chair. “He’s really poisoned?”

Mu Liuyue was in disbelief as well, shaking her head as if dumbstruck. But very quickly, she recovered with a face full of suspicion. “Han Yunxi, it’s your poison, right? Otherwise, how would you know how to treat it?”

Han Yunxi was seriously sick of looking at this stupid woman, she got up. “If you waste any more time, I won’t know either!” They’d delayed for so long and she didn’t even have the antidote on hand. Things were really troublesome now.

“Han Yunxi, I’ll trust you this once. Hurry up and follow me!” General Mu’s worry about his son was enough to make his heart burn. He led the way himself.

Han Yunxi expelled a restless breath and accidentally caught a glimpse of Imperial Physician Gu’s imposing brow. She couldn’t help but have a good impression of this fellow. While everyone else was distracted, she took the chance to take out some medicines and supplementary materials from her detox system. Though the crowd had no idea where she’d gotten these things from, everyone was too busy to ask.

“Imperial Physician Gu and General Mu can stay. Everyone else should leave and not disturb me,” Han Yunxi said as she undid Mu Qingwu’s white robes.

The crowd sensibly stepped back, but an irate Mu Liuyue not only stayed put, but moved to block Han Yunxi’s sight while covering her own eyes. Even she didn’t dare look at her brother’s bare form, yet this Han Yunxi was actually this shameless!

“Han Yunxi, you better wake him up. Or else I won’t forgive you,” Mu Liuyue warned her icily.

Han Yunxi could bear it no longer. As soon as she was about to lose her temper, General Mu beat her to it with a shout. “Damned girl, stop interfering and get out!”

Startled, Mu Liuyue felt tears streaming down her face. Father was yelling at her like this? He’d never gotten mad at her before, but now he was so ferocious. The furious girl shook aside her hands and dashed out the room. Han Yunxi felt her breath relax as she refocused on finding the acupoints again. She sterilized her dagger over a flame before carefully making an incision. Most of the things stored in her detox system were herbal plants, acupuncture needles, cotton swabs, and so on. She didn’t have any surgical tools. Her movements with the knife were simple and crude, but with a person’s life at stake she’d had to make the best of it. The longer they delayed, the more dangerous things would get. Injected poison like this was more troublesome than usual toxins. The deeper a poison was in the body, the harder to get it out. 

As soon as she cut into the skin of the stomach, fresh blood flowed out, shocking General Mu who trembled with fear. He couldn’t help but cry out. “Han Yunxi, you!”

Unfortunately, Han Yunxi was too absorbed in her work to pay him any attention. With his son’s life in her hands, General Mu didn’t dare to do anything no matter how irascible he felt. He could only ask Gu Beiyue in a low voice, “Is it fine that she’s sliced open his stomach?”

Actually, Gu Beiyue wasn’t sure either, but seeing Han Yunxi concentrating with such an intent expression reminded him of her mother, Lady Tianxin[1]. They had an excellent likeness when practicing their art.

He was older than Han Yunxi by four years. When he was four years old, his father took him to a consultation of doctors where he was lucky to see Lady Tianxin. In truth, he’d saw Han Yunxi then as well, though she was still in her mother’s womb. Remembering this, a warm smile crept onto Gu Beiyue’s lips. “Shh…don’t disturb her.”

Very quickly, Han Yunxi withdrew a blackened needle from the depths of the bloody cut. Seeing this, General Mu was in disbelief. Gu Beiyue’s pupils gazed on in approval. Following this, a second blackened needle was retrieved. The movement of her hand split open the whip injury on her arm, which started to bleed again. But Han Yunxi was completely oblivious as she focused on her patient. Gu Beiyue promptly decided to go over with some medicine and cotton. He bent over to apply the cotton to her cut, but Han Yunxi gave him a look.

“Don’t hinder…”

“I promise I won’t get in your way. Trust me,” Gu Beiyue interrupted her softly.

Han Yunxi wanted to refuse until she saw Gu Beiyue’s warm eyes. Her heart trembled in surprise. She didn’t expect that there were still people left on this world with such a clean and penetrating gaze, even purer than an infant’s. She couldn’t help but wonder exactly what kind of man he was.

Drat, Han Yunxi discovered that she’d gotten distracted again. Her eyes abruptly turned cold. “Stop this, you’ve already hindered my progress!”

But Gu Beiyue didn’t stop. Instead, his other hand moved Han Yunxi’s head until she was looking at Mu Qingwu. “Just keep going. I said I won’t get in your way, so I won’t.”

Han Yunxi wasn’t in a mood to argue, but privately decided to push him aside as soon as he became a nuisance. As it turned out, something unexpected happened. Though her arm was in constant motion, Gu Beiyue followed each movement as he gently cleaned her wound and applied medicine. His actions were not only nimble but extremely meticulous and gentle. The most crucial detail was that he really didn’t get in her way.

Though her expression was blank, Han Yunxi admired him from the bottom of her heart. Looks like he wasn’t just fishing for fame or compliments. These skills of his were far from ordinary. She entrusted her arm to Gu Beiyue and concentrated her attention back onto the task at hand, not even realizing when he finished binding up her cut. After retrieving the poison needles, Han Yunxi didn’t immediately sew up the knife wound. Instead, she stuck more needles into various acupoints to force the toxins out. Gu Beiyue sucked in a breath as soon as he saw her skills in acupuncture, mesmerized by the sight.

Leaving aside the beauty of her technique, he didn’t even fully see the acupoints she’d chosen for her needles or know their names. Soon enough, the area around the wound was filled with needles. A layman wouldn’t be able to tell anything beyond the dense mass of needles, but experts in the field understand that these needles carried a vast branch of knowledge. As needles were added to the skin, more and more black blood oozed out, enough to stain three cloths’ worth. It didn’t seem like the poisoned blood showed any signs of stopping, but Han Yunxi removed her needles and started filling in the injury with medicinal ingredients.

“Esteemed wangfei, isn’t there still poison left in the blood?” Gu Beiyue asked abruptly. In truth, he hadn’t seen enough of Han Yunxi’s acupuncture skills yet.

As before, Han Yunxi ignored any and all questions as she continued to work. Without the appropriate tools, she could only use the might of Chinese medicine to help. Fortunately, her incision wasn’t very deep, so she filled the wound with layer after layer of various drugs to diminish inflammation, suppress poison, stop blood flow, and bind the muscle, finally adding a layer of white gauze to fix everything in place. 

After stabilizing the wound, Han Yunxi finally let out a breath, wiping off a thin layer of sweat from her brow. Only then did she answer Gu Beiyue’s question. “If he keeps bleeding like this, he’ll die from blood loss instead of poison. This is the most basic general knowledge, don’t you understand?”

Gu Beiyue’s face turned red before he broke into a soft smile, but he didn’t make any move to defend himself. Since childhood, he’d been praised as a genius, but now a woman had washed her hands of him. Han Yunxi was even younger than he was. Which part of her was useless trash? She should be the real genius here. Yet General Mu was unhappy. Coldly he asked, “If you do this, what do we do about the poison in his body?”

“Fortunately, we made it in time. It didn’t reach his internal organs, so I used some drugs to hold it back. He can’t bleed anymore, nor can anyone move him for the next few days. It’ll be troublesome if his injury’s disturbed.” As she spoke, Han Yunxi wrote out a prescription and handed over to Gu Beiyue. “Can you get these ingredients for me?”

The list of ingredients wasn’t as rare as the one she’d given to the Duke of Qin. She remembered that the ancient books had mentioned these plants as common medicinal plants. Sure enough, Gu Beiyue gave a glance before replying, “Yes. I can buy them from the herbal medicine shop. The White Cassia Hall[2] should have some. Esteemed wangfei, please wait while I order someone to get them.”

Han Yunxi didn’t exactly write a prescription for expelling poisons, but dissolving them. Mu Qingwue couldn’t bleed anymore, so he could only take medicine to break down the poison in his body. Though this method was slower, it was the only one left for him. Han Yunxi wasn’t going to wait here for that, though. If she didn’t return home, it’d be hard to explain things to Grand Concubine Yi.

“I’m not going to wait. Take two to three servings of these ingredients and boil them together once, then have him take it twice a day on an empty stomach for ten times,” she instructed carefully. In a flash, the Head Imperial Physician Gu Beiyue had turned into a fledgling servant of a medicine house. His lips quirked into a smile without his realization.

Meanwhile, General Mu wasn’t satisfied with this at all. “Han Yunxi, what did you say? You’re not waiting?”

His loud voice nearly blasted her ears clean off. She turned to face him, keeping her temper in check. “General Mu, the poison’s basically been dispelled. What’s left in his body shouldn’t affect him too much. I can guarantee that after the young general’s fever ends, he’ll wake up. At the earliest, it’ll be tomorrow morning; at the latest, tomorrow evening.”

“I’m not concerned with so many details. In any case, you’re still under suspicion before Qingwu wakes up, so don’t even think about leaving!” General Mu’s tone was both potent and savage.

Han Yunxi sucked in a cold breath. “General Mu, Grand Concubine Yi has been waiting to ask after me when I return. If you want to have me stay, then I’ll need to trouble you to send someone to the Duke of Qin’s estate with a letter, along with a clear explanation of today’s events. I think she’ll be clear on whether I came to save someone or murder them today!”

Although Han Yunxi disliked Grand Concubine Yi, she didn’t mind taking advantage of her status at critical moments like these. She’d already saved Mu Qingwu and was certain he’d wake up soon. If General Mu went to the Duke of Qin’s estate, he’d have trouble explaining himself to Grand Concubine Yi when Mu Qingwu did wake. 

Though she was an unfavored wife, even Grand Concubine Yi had said she was now the representative for the Duke of Qin. She couldn’t lose face for them. Han Yunxi was certain that if news really did reach the grand imperial concubine, things wouldn’t go easy for General Mu. 

Though the general was a bit uncivilized, he still had a head on his shoulders. He was very clear that Grand Concubine Yi was an even more unreasonable woman than the empress dowager. Right now, he didn’t even have enough evidence to build a strong case. After some hesitation, General Mu finally relented.

“Forget it, I’ll believe you this time.”

Han Yunxi exhaled her troubled breath before opening the door herself and stepping outside. Who knew that the first thing she’d see was Mu Liuyue’s hateful glare?

“Big brother woke up?” she asked suspiciously.

Han Yunxi didn’t even want to look at such a tedious and unreasonable woman, much less use her energy to explain. She completely ignored Mu Liuyue and walked past her.

“Han Yunxi, you stop right there!” Mu Liuyue flew into a rage.


[1] Lady Tianxi (天心夫人) – tianxin furen. Tian means ‘sky, the Heavens,’ and xin means ‘heart.’[2] White Cassia Hall (白决明宫) – bai jueming gong, most likely the name of the shop.

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