Dianxia Qingcheng - Chapter 122
Chapter 122: Am I… Mean to Him?
January 9, 2023Merchie
When Shen Shijiu woke up in a daze, he was lying in his own room, and there was no sign of Pei Zheng.
He rubbed his eyes and sat up. His outer robe had been taken off, and his hair had been untied as well, just so he could sleep more comfortably.
Shen Shijiu knocked his fist against his little head. He couldn’t remember when exactly he had fallen asleep.
When he walked out of his room, the warm sunlight spilled over him, bathing his entire body in light.
First, Shen Shijiu went to find Shen Huan. In the end, he stood outside of her room and knocked for a long while. Only then did Shen Huan open the door with a yawn.
“My good disciple, let your master sleep for a little longer. Why don’t you deliver General Zhao’s medicine today, ah? Be good…”
When she finished speaking, the door closed with a “peng”.
Shen Shijiu went to Jiang Yubai’s room next. He hadn’t even begun to knock, when someone behind him spoke, “Imperial Physician Jiang has already returned to the palace.”
Shen Shijiu turned his head to see who it was; it was Yue Nu.
Shen Shijiu jumped off the steps, and ran up to him in just two or three strides.
Yue Nu said anxiously, “Be careful, don’t fall!”
“A-Yue, when did Imperial Physician Jiang go back?”
“This morning, people from the palace came and summoned him back. Imperial Physician Jiang didn’t want to go, but those people were all very fierce, and they just took Imperial Physician Jiang away. What could have happened?”
Shen Shijiu thought for a bit, “A-Yue, don’t worry, even though Imperial Physician Jiang isn’t here, me and shifu will definitely cure General Zhao.”
Yue Nu smiled at him, “Mm. I believe in you and Master Shen.”
“Then why don’t you come with me to deliver medicine to General Zhao?”
Yue Nu nodded.
Shen Shijiu happily pulled him into the kitchen to decoct the herbs. Then, the pair set off together to deliver the medicine to Zhao Litang’s room.
Zhao Litang had already been awake for a while. Wu Quan was in the room, briefing him on the events of last night.
Although they had caught Cheng Feng, Wu Quan still had a nagging feeling that Cheng Feng had purposefully popped out in order to be captured by them. In the end, they still let him go; after all, he was one of Pei Zheng’s aides.
Zhao Litang listened in silence, but he found it all to be quite strange.
Pei Zheng had sent someone to save his life, yet he was also secretly spying on his every move. Just what were his intentions?
Just as he was pondering this, the pair standing outside the door walked in, and Wu Quan left.
Shen Shijiu placed the bowl of medicine on the table next to the bed.
“General Zhao, shifu asked me to deliver your medicine.”
Zhao Litang looked at him; it seemed as though he was staring through him at someone else, his gaze complicated.
Shen Shijiu saw that Zhao Litang wasn’t drinking the medicine, and was instead staring at him. He felt a bit uncomfortable, and glanced at Yue Nu for help.
Yue Nu walked over, picked up the bowl of medicinal soup, and held it out to Zhao Litang.
“General, drink your medicine, it’ll get cold soon.”
Yue Nu’s body was now shielding Shen Shijiu’s. Only then did Shen Shijiu feel at ease.
Zhao Litang’s brows furrowed slightly,” I know. Leave it there.”
But Yue Nu mustered his courage and didn’t move; he wanted Zhao Litang to drink his medicine on time.
Zhao Litang couldn’t see Shen Shijiu’s face, and became a bit anxious. He waved his hand to make Yue Nu step aside, but he used too much strenght, and ended up pushing him to the floor.
The bowl shattered with a crash, and the hot medicinal soup splashed everywhere, scalding Yu Nu’s hands. The broken pieces also cut his palm, and blood flowed out.
Shen Shijiu hurriedly ran over and helped Yue Nu off the floor. When he saw Yue Nu’s hand that was dripping with blood, he hurriedly took a bottle out of his robe and sprinkled medicinal powder onto his palm to staunch the blood.
Yue Nu was in so much pain that his eyes were shining with tears, but he held them back. After quietly thanking Shen Shijiu, he hurriedly knelt beside the bed.
“General, it was all Yue Nu’s fault for spilling your medicine. General, please don’t be angry, Yue Nu will immediately prepare another bowl.”
After he finished speaking, Yue Nu hurriedly picked up the broken shards off the floor, before he ran out of the room with his head bowed.
Zhao Litang watched as he stumbled away. He wanted to say something, and he opened his mouth, but was unable to speak a single word.
He didn’t mean to push that child. But not only did he push him, he even caused him to get injured. And the child looked so aggrieved; it seemed as though he wanted to cry, but he was forcing himself not to.
“General Zhao, A-Yue meant well. While you were unconscious, he was the most worried about you.”
Shen Shijiu said, “A-Yue stayed by your bed every night to take care of you. If even the littlest thing happened, he would cry out of fear and nervousness. But he didn’t want anyone else to see that, only I know… So, next time, can you not be so mean to him?”
Zhao Litang asked, “Am I… mean to him?”
Shen Shijiu nodded, “You’re very soft and gentle to everyone else, but you’re not nice to A-Yue. You always look very mean and scary.”
Zhao Litang thought back. He had hardly spoken to Yue Nu, but it seemed like every time they did converse, Zhao Litang’s expression didn’t look too good.
“All right. I’ll be mindful of it next time.”
Upon hearing Zhao Litang give his word, Shen Shijiu cracked a smile.
Zhao Litang suddenly said, “You…”
“Me? What’s wrong with me?”
Zhao Litang shook his head, “Nothing. It’s just… you resemble an old friend of mine, but not that much.”
Shen Shijiu was a bit curious, “Then do I resemble them or not?”
Zhao Litang sighed, “You look like him, but you don’t. After all, you two aren’t the same person…”
Zhao Litang spoke a bit about the past, about his and the prince Qi Changyi’s childhood. At that time, he hadn’t been sent to war yet, and Pei Zheng was still out of the picture.
Shen Shijiu listened, and suddenly asked, “Where is that little prince now?”
Zhao Litang was stunned, “I… don’t know.”
He didn’t continue. He had never mentioned these events from the past to anyone before. It was just that this person in front of him, who seemed so familiar, made him momentarily lose himself in his memories, so he divulged a lot more than he intended to.
At this moment, someone knocked on the door, and the two looked toward it in unison.
Yue Nu was standing at the door, holding a fresh bowl of decocted medicine. He looked very cautious, afraid that he would make Zhao Litang angry.
“Come in.” Zhao Litang spoke in a calm voice.
Shen Shijiu also waved at Yue Nu, “Ah-Yue, hurry up and come in.”
Yue Nu held the medicine and walked in, before he placed the bowl on the table beside the bed. He didn’t try to pass it to Zhao Litang again.
Zhao Litang’s gaze shifted to the side, and he saw a palm that was clumsily wrapped with a cloth strip. That cloth strip had already been dyed red with blood; it was bright and very noticeable.
Guilt flooded Zhao Litang’s heart. He had always been the one getting injured; he had never harmed anyone to the point that they bled. This child was the first.
“Let me see your hand.”
Zhao Litang said to Yue Nu.
But Yue Nu withdrew his hand, “General, I’m fine, I’ll just have Young Master Shen bandage it for me…”
Zhao Litang spoke again, “Before you bandage it, let me see. Is the wound deep?”
Upon seeing that Yue Nu was trying to evade him again, Zhao Litang simply reached out and grabbed his hand.
That hand wasn’t large, but it was very rough. There were there all sorts of scars and callouses, but it had been quite chilly during the past few days, so he had many chilblains as well. But the cut wasn’t deep; it only looked terrifying due to all the blood flowing out of it.
Yue Nu hurriedly withdrew his arm, and hid it behind his back; he didn’t want anyone else to see his ugly hands.
Surprise flashed across Zhao Litang’s face, before his expression quickly returned to normal.
This child had been a slave since he was young, and had done all sorts of hard manual labor, so for him to have such rough hands was completely normal.
“Young Master Shen, could you help him bandage it? Use the best medicine. Also, do you have a way to treat those scars and chilblains?”
Shen Shijiu patted his chest, “No problem, leave it to me and shifu.”
Shen Huan, who was still sleeping, didn’t know that her little disciple had found her yet another job to complete.
They stayed in the General’s Manor for a few more days. The poison in Zhao Litang’s wound had already been completely detoxified, and the injury had healed, so it was about time for Shen Huan and Shen Shijiu to leave.
To express his thanks for the two of them, Zhao Litang promised to treat them both to a meal in the Imperial City’s best restaurant.
And of course, the best restaurant in the Imperial City was none other than Yi Pin Xiang.
It had been so long since Shen Huan and Shen Shijiu could eat to their hearts’ content. Of course, the food at the General’s Manor was very tasty, but it still wasn’t as good as the meals they had in the Prime Minister’s Manor.
When they came to the door of Yi Pin Xiang, they saw that it was filled with guests; business was booming.
Wu Quan walked in to ask if there were still private rooms available.
Unexpectedly, the waiter stared at him for a long while, before he ran up to the manager. The two held up a portrait and compared for a long time, before they nodded in tacit agreement.
“Apologies, dear guest. There are no more private rooms available, please look in another restaurant.”
Zhao Litang also walked into Yi Pin Xiang. The waiter and the manager swiftly held up another portrait to compare. They exchanged a look, and nodded seriously.
“Esteemed guests, there really is no more room. Please leave!”
Wu Quan found the pair’s furtive actions to be too weird. He happened to catch a glimpse of several people who had finished their meal and were now walking down the stairs.
“Someone’s leaving. Now, there has to be room. Just clean it up, and you can seat us in there.”
The manager continued to shake his head, “There isn’t! That room is reserved for our young master, we cannot seat you in there!”
Zhao Litang saw how animated and adamant he was, and wasn’t willing to argue. He said to Wu Quan, “Forget it, let’s go somewhere else.”
The two were just about to leave, when Shen Huan and Shen Shijiu walked in from behind them. Shen Shijiu was dragging Yue Nu along as well.
The moment Shen Huan walked in, she walked toward the staircase with a sense of familiarity. As she walked, she called out to the waiter, “You know what I like to eat, bring me a plate of each dish! And the dishes my disciple likes too! Hurry up and have them make it!”
When the waiter saw Shen Huan and Shen Shijiu, he put on a completely different expression, and said happily, “All right, this lowly one will send your instructions to the kitchen staff. This way, be careful of the steps.”
Shen Shijiu pulled Yue Nu along and followed Shen Huan up the stairs. When he looked back, Zhao Litang and Wu Quan were still standing in the main hall, staring at the people on the staircase in confusion.
“General,” Shen Shijiu mouthed, “Hurry and get up here.”
The manager looked at Shen Shiiu, then at Zhao Litang and Wu Quan; he was unsure on whether he should stop them or not.
According to Guard Cheng Feng’s orders, Young Master Shen and Master Shen’s orders were not to be questioned, but no one from the General’s Manor should be allowed to enter.
So what could he do in this situation?