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Chapter 43 The Wounding Flower and the Crying Crane
Nourishing the kidney? Nourishing the male organ?
Even though Chu Yu had thrown up her guard for this answer, it still made her a little crazy.
Did this guy look like the type who needed nourishment of the kidney?
Who the hell made this porridge for him?
With a cheery smile on his face, Rong Zhi seemed to see through her thoughts. “I’m guessing it was probably someone in the medicinal bureau in the palace who did it.” He blinked, his gaze innocent. “They probably thought I was punished this way for not being able to service my princess properly, and decided I needed some extra nourishment. I’ll go and talk to them in the future to sort things out.”
Chu Yu looked back at him with similarly innocent eyes before she realized what he was getting at: the people in the palace from whatever medicinal bureau thought that he wasn’t putting in enough effort when they were…engaging in some activity, so she ordered someone to beat him up this badly!
The circumstances then were rather easy to misunderstand. Chu Yu and Rong Zhi walked into the apricot forest while Yue Jiefei stood on guard outside. After a while, he too entered the forest. Then Rong Zhi limped out with heavy injuries, followed by Chu Yu, whose clothes were in disarray and whose clothes looked messy, as if she’d just been rolling around on the ground. She probably had a displeased look on her face as well.
With all that, plus the distortion of rumors, the whole thing turned into quite a horror story.
Rong Zhi treated everyone in the palace quite well, and ended up accumulating a lot of good will. The medicinal bureau was the organization in charge of medicine for the princess’s palace. The head of the bureau was close with Rong Zhi and wanted to give him a hand, so he ordered the kitchen to put together a well-mixed medicinal porridge and ordered a servant to send it to him–the same container that Chu Yu had brought over.
Chu Yu was beginning to feel that the tray in her hands seemed relentlessly hot and uncomfortable, but she couldn’t just throw it down. After a while, she remembered to ask: “If you knew that, why did you drink it?”
Rong Zhi gazed at her and spoke, his voice gentle. “Because you gave it to me, Princess. I can never turn you down.”
His voice was so gentle. Gazing back at him for a moment, Chu Yu finally confronted an issue she never dared to confront before: was it possible that, perhaps, maybe, Rong Zhi’s heart really belonged to Princess Shanyin? Perhaps in her view, it wasn’t possible for a man to willingly service a woman alongside many others just like him. But in this strange, crazy era, was there anything that wasn’t possible?
Chu Yu never wanted to believe this. It’s not that she couldn’t, just that she didn’t want to. Because if Rong Zhi really loved Princess Shanyin, then hadn’t her arrival robbed him of his lover?
If he learned that this body’s soul had been replaced, what expression would come over his face?
But what could she do? Even she didn’t know why she was here, or where Princess Shanyin’s soul might have gone. Where could she go to find the true princess for him?
If he knew the truth, would he grieve? Or even grow angry?
No matter how she thought about it, she came to the conclusion that she couldn’t tell him the truth. Chu Yu thought quietly. If in the future she proved this thought true, she could only do her best to pay him back in any way she could.
Emotionally, Chu Yu still wasn’t willing to believe even a little bit that it was true.
Her eyes lowered, she was silent for a long while before speaking up again. “What if I wanted to kill you?”
She had just finished speaking when Hua Cuo’s alert glare fixated on her, his hand gripping his long sword tightly. If she even tried to hurt a hair on Rong Zhi’s head, he would attack.
Rong Zhi extended a hand and waved it at Hua Cuo. His eyes remained fixed on her face. “As long as it is your wish, I will make it come true.”
Chu Yu couldn’t maintain her calm facade any longer. She turned to leave.
She only calmed down after she had walked a long way out. Taking a deep breath, she used it to erase everything about Rong Zhi that lingered in her mind. As she walked she asked Yue Jiefei next to her, “How much do you know about Hua Cuo? No matter how much or little, I want to hear it.”
Yue Jiefei followed her step for step. “Yes, Princess.”
Hua Cuo was originally a drifter in society. His merciless Flower-Snapping Sword was famous. Back then, he traveled with another youth of his age whose surname was He*. Both of them were highly skilled swordsman. People called them Wounding Flower Crying Crane. For a time, none could match their power.
But about four or five years ago, the two had a fight for some reason and separated. Soon enough, Hua Cuo disappeared from the land. Two or three years after that, he was surrounded and attacked by enemies. Although he killed all of them, he himself suffered lethal wounds. He came to the princess palace for Rong Zhi, who took him in as another companion to the princess. All the while, he sustained his life with precious medicines.
Yue Jiefei also touched on some of Hua Cuo’s battles when he was still roaming. His language was somewhat professional, and too much for Chu Yu to understand. While they spoke, the two of them had already come near the medicinal bureau. Chu Yu handed the tray off to a servant girl they encountered on the way.
A few days earlier when she was walking around in the palace she had passed this place, but hadn’t walked in for a look. Even so, she still remembered the way. The moment she walked into the yard, the strong scent of medicines rose to greet her. Several apprentices were measuring medicinal powder into portions of medicine, and were so focused on their work that they didn’t even realize someone was here.
Chu Yu walked straight into the interior room. Inside sat two people. One seemed about fifty, and the other in his thirties, and both were dressed in formal garbe. These must be the palace doctors.
They were immersed in books. Chu Yu coughed to alert them to her presence. While they were bowing and saluting her, she took the chance to ask, “Have you checked on Rong Zhi’s injuries yet?”
The elder one lowered his head. “Sir Rong’s injuries are not great. After ten days of rest, he should be healed.”
Chu Yu nodded. All of the sudden, she didn’t know what to say. She had already come here, so she couldn’t just ask one question. But she didn’t know how to bring up that nourishing porridge. Feigning an air of indifference, she kept walking through the room, her eyes passing along the bookcase. Finally she fixed her eyes on the table before the two doctors. On the table were several books and medical records, and the records of medicinal usage in the Princess’s palace.
It seemed like these two were organizing past records.
Chu Yu picked a few bound texts to flip through. As she skimmed them, her brows came together into a frown.
Although she was originally only skimming them, she began to see something off in the records. Three or four years ago, the records were completely blank, as if the time period had been cut out. But unlike the diagnosis records, the medicinal usage was still there. The text itself was on the table. She grabbed it and began to peruse it closely.
Medicinal usage was quite significant during that time period. Comparing it to a few other times, Chu Yu found that it was three or four times that of any other time. Most of the medicines used were common in healing external injuries.
Recalling what Yue Jiefei had told her, Chu Yu frowned, and was about to question the two doctors. Just as she was about to speak, however, she swallowed her words. If something that big had happened back then, the Princess must have known about it. Perhaps the disappeared records had been destroyed on purpose.
Changing tracks, she instead asked, “How long have you been here?”
*He here is also the word for crane in Chinese.