With the cooperation of Wei Chongrong, Jun Hua’s white porridge was finally cooked, fragrant and delicious, with the right consistency. The pickles for the meal were bought by them from the auntie who had a stall across the alley. They were sweet and spicy, with a rather odd taste.
Jun Hua seemed to have adapted well to that taste and ate with relish, eating three bowls of porridge in a row. Wei Chongrong didn’t like sweet food and couldn’t eat spicy food. He could only eat white porridge without anything, looking a little pitiful.
Having been reduced to cooking their own food, Wei Chongrong and Jun Hua no longer paid attention to the rule of “eating without saying anything”. They discussed the matter while eating, trying to figure out the complete causes and consequences.
Sipping the porridge slowly, Wei Chongrong leisurely asked: “Little Monkey, don’t you think it’s a bit too quiet in the city?”
It was only logical that someone who had set up such a trap and wanted to take his life should have pursued him relentlessly. However, that person didn’t do that and didn’t even know Wei Chongrong’s whereabouts very well. Being sure that he would come to rescue Wei Mao, that person sent heavy forces to the Valley of Ecstasy and used Wei Mao to stab him. But after they left the Valley of Ecstasy, that person didn’t follow up, probably underestimating Wei Chongrong’s skills and thinking that he would undoubtedly die and there was no need to waste energy anymore. Or the manpower at hand of that person was limited, and things could only be done to such an extent.
Jun Hua had eaten and drunk enough and put down the bowl he was holding; but he was still fond of the pickles and reached out his chopsticks from time to time to take a bite. After hearing what Wei Chongrong said, he nodded approvingly, “Yes oh, if I needed to deal with someone, I would definitely not let loose the falcon until I see the hare. There is no way I would stop halfway and let the opponent run around at will.” But they had escaped from the Valley of Ecstasy and there was no movement in Yisha City. It was indeed a bit unreasonable.
Wei Chongrong picked up Jun Hua’s words and continued: “In my opinion, there are two possibilities. One is that the opponent still has a back-up plan, waiting for an opportunity to make a move; the second is that he has scruples that we don’t know about and can’t make a move in the city.”
In Wei Chongrong’s view, the possibility of the second scenario was higher. Only in this way could it be explained why they were able to come and go freely in Yisha City and remained unnoticed.
The person who could make Princess Tuya serve him would not be a simple person, and would most likely have something to do with the royal family of Zhuxia. Wei Chongrong knew very well that he could not possibly have an enmity with anyone in Zhuxia, whether as a public figure or in private. No matter who was behind Tuya, the complexity of this matter far exceeded his expectations and he had to find out the truth, otherwise the consequences would be unimaginable.
Seeing Wei Chongrong’s grim expression, Jun Hua bit his chopsticks and asked him, “Brother Rong, have you thought of something? Or are you suspecting someone? When I think about it, I can’t think of any reason for Zhuxia to harm you. If they attacked me, it would make sense.”
Indeed, Wei Chongrong lived in Fuyu when he was a child, and after returning to the Great Yan, the scope of his activities was all around Yujing. He had never been to Yizhou before. He and Zhuxia really had nothing to do with each other.
On the other hand, Jun Hua was the eldest son of Ji Xin. Wang Changning had been guarding the southwestern frontier for several years, pressing down the people of Zhuxia until they couldn’t breathe. Let alone the six already recovered counties, if Zhuxia made a mistake, the remaining eight counties might also be taken back by him.
Zhuxia’s land was located in the south. It had a long summer and no winter. There was a lot of rain, which was very detrimental to the growth of crops, and grain production was extremely low.
This was not the case in Yizhou. It was farther north than Zhuxia, with four distinct seasons, moderate rainfall, and countless small mountain plains with fertile soil.
At the end of the Yuanzheng dynasty, Zhuxia took advantage of the chaos in the Central Plains and occupied fourteen southwestern counties of Yizhou. In the more than two hundred years since then, the grain produced by the fourteen counties of Yizhou accounted for half of Zhuxia’s national grain production, making Yizhou the great granary of Zhuxia.
Although the fourteen southwestern counties of Yizhou were part of the Central Plains territory during the reign of Emperor Shenwu, they were lost during the Yuanzheng dynasty. After Wei Lu established the Great Yan, Zhuxia was at peace with it for a long time, but the north of the Great Yan was frequently violated by the Tiele people. Therefore, the emperors of the Great Yan regarded the recovery of the lost territory in the north as their responsibility but didn’t care too much about the lost territory in the south.
The reason why Zhuxia lost the six counties including Honghe was purely self-inflicted. The fact that the Great Yan didn’t initiate war in the south didn’t mean that it would let others bully it. Someone broke into their home and there was no reason not to fight back. Shangguan Yi switched from defence to attack, and his momentum was unstoppable.
For the vast and diverse Great Yan, the return of the lost land in the south meant that the country’s prestige would not decrease; its main value was spiritual. But Zhuxia lost nearly half of the counties in Yizhou, and the losses were real, with grain production plummeting.
In the next decades, Zhuxia had never given up its desire for Yizhou, but Wei Su was too domineering. Even the Tiele people were beaten down by him, so how could Zhuxia dare to be presumptuous? However, as soon as Wei Su died, Zhuxia launched an attack on Yizhou.
As a result, needless to say, they kicked the iron plate. Ji Xin was the one who beat Tiele’s Khan Vaziri into sending a surrender letter to Wei Su. The little Zhuxia, he barely needed to bother with it. Instead, it was the people of Zhuxia who were on tenterhooks as to what Wang Changning would do as long as he was present in Yi’an County.
Jun Hua sincerely believed that Zhuxia had more reason to attack him than Wei Chongrong, who had nothing to do with it. Of course, whether or not they could catch him, or if they did, whether or not his father would be threatened by them with him as a hostage, was another matter.
Wei Chongrong nodded slightly and mused: “I have thought about it repeatedly, but Tuduo is still the most suspicious. We will go to his residence to investigate at night.” Since it was not a direct grudge, there was a greater chance of cooperation and use, and he planned to start from Tuduo.
Unexpectedly, when Jun Hua heard his words, he shook his head like a rattle: “No, Brother Rong, you can’t go.”
“Why?” Wei Chongrong was surprised, “Don’t you think there is something wrong with Tuduo?” Jun Hua has been in the southwest for a long time and should have known Zhuxia’s domestic situation better than Wei Chongrong. Before they met at the Hundred Flowers Garden, Jun Hua and Qingcheng intended to get close to Tuduo.
The king of Zhuxia had been seriously ill for a long time, and it was difficult to say whether he would survive this year. And since he hadn’t appointed a crown prince, each of the three princes had a chance. Although Zhuxia didn’t pay attention to the origin of the concubines, there were still many women of high birth in the king’s harem. The eldest prince’s mother was the daughter of the previous prime minister. Although the eldest prince’s grandfather had passed away, his proteges were all over the court, and the eldest prince’s voice mattered a lot. The mother of the Third Prince was born into a family of generals, and her uncle still held a strong army, so he was also very competitive.
Only Tuduo was an exception; his mother was a courtesan from the Hundred Flower Garden. She was certainly favoured when she was young and beautiful, but had no power of her own, and once her beauty waned and her sexual appeal was gone, she was immediately left behind, hardly ever to be remembered again.
Without a strong mother’s family as the backing, Tuduo was at a disadvantage from the beginning when competing with his brothers. However, now he and the Third Prince were neck and neck, with Tuduo even having a slight advantage, and it would be hard to believe that he wasn’t doing something behind the scenes.
Seeing that Wei Chongrong misunderstood what he meant, Jun Hua hurriedly explained: “It’s not that I don’t doubt Tuduo, otherwise I wouldn’t have followed Brother Qingcheng into the Hundred Flowers Garden in the first place. But, Brother Rong, you’re injured and can’t go anywhere tonight.”
Wei Chongrong sighed as his suggestion was mercilessly rejected. In the last attempt to argue, he negotiated with Jun Hua, “If not tonight, what about tomorrow? Little Monkey, shall we go tomorrow night?”
Jun Hua shook his head and said resolutely: “Not tomorrow either, unless I go by myself.”
This time it was Wei Chongrong’s turn to put a stop to this idea: “If I don’t go, you can’t go alone, absolutely not.” Are you kidding me? Jun Hua was nearly a child, how could he let him out alone? What if there was an accident? He couldn’t afford to take this risk.
After repeated discussions, Wei Chongrong and Jun Hua compromised and agreed to go to Tuduo’s residence to investigate in three days.
In terms of national strength, Zhuxia was far less powerful than the Great Yan. Tuduo’s residence, which was considered a royal residence, seemed to Wei Chongrong and Jun Hua to be a slightly larger house, a far cry from the imperial residences of their respective families.
Because the residence was not big, it was very easy for Wei Chongrong and Jun Hua to go through it. Besides, they didn’t have to check every room in every courtyard. The focus was on Tuduo’s study and bedroom, while the other places were just passed by without much thought.
Tuduo was a careful man. There were not many things in his study, and nothing confidential to speak of. Unwilling to be reconciled, Wei Chongrong knocked around, looking carefully at the backs of all the paintings and calligraphy and underneath the Buddha’s shrine, but found no mechanism for a secret room.
Jun Hua was looking through the account books of the residence, and as he looked through them, his brows furrowed. Seeing that his expression changed, Wei Chongrong asked in a low voice, “What’s wrong with it?”
Jun Hua raised his head and said quietly: “Tuduo must have another account book that records his other income, otherwise with just the silver mentioned in the books, he would not have enough money to eat after buying the Flower Empress every year, let alone pay his men for their work.”
Wei Chongrong smiled when he heard this: “You’re good at it, you will have a way to make money in the future.”
Jun Hua glanced at him, didn’t say anything and put down the account book. This thing was useless to them.
After searching the study, there was no gain. Wei Chongrong and Jun Hua planned to go to Tuduo’s bedroom after that. But Tuduo turned out to be in the bedroom, making love to Qingcheng. He didn’t play any extra tricks tonight; the two of them looked a little infatuated with each other.
When Jun Hua saw such a scene, his face suddenly flushed, and he didn’t know what to say. But although he was shy, he was a little curious. He didn’t move his gaze away in a daze. Instead, he was thinking that the pose of Brother Qingcheng seemed a bit difficult.
Wei Chongrong was also quite shocked to see such a lively spring scenery. Not only did he see it, he also brought a child to see it! He turned his head and noticed that Jun Hua’s face was red and he obviously looked dumbfounded, so Wei Chongrong didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry for a while.
Tuduo was in the bedroom and no matter how good their martial arts skills were, it was impossible for them to break in. Wei Chongrong was about to take Jun Hua away, thinking that he would look for a chance to come back in two days, but found that Jun Hua tugged at his sleeve and raised his hand, pointing forward. Wei Chongrong looked in the direction Jun Hua pointed.
Under the dim light, Tuduo’s dazed expression was even more charming, but Qingcheng, who was clearly in a state of arousal, still had a little clarity in his eyes. He took advantage of Tuduo’s momentary lapse of concentration; at the moment, he groped on the bed with one hand and found the key in Tuduo’s clothes.
Jun Hua was not really sure what Qingcheng had gotten that key for. But Qingcheng was his father’s man planted in Zhuxia, and what he was trying to do had to be helpful to them. Seeing that he succeeded, Jun Hua was naturally happy for him.
This was not the case with Wei Chongrong. He was not interested in the specific process of Qingcheng’s mission. What struck him as unbelievable was the white tiger tattoo on Qingcheng’s right arm, which he had seen on another person’s arm before, exactly the same.
If Qingcheng was indeed the person he thought of, then certain questions he had could now be answered. It was just that Qingcheng and that person didn’t look alike at all, and he would have to observe again before he could come to a conclusion, so as not to wrongly accuse a good man.
Thinking of this, Wei Chongrong reached out to pick up Jun Hua and flew out of the courtyard where Tuduo’s bedroom was located. On the way home, Wei Chongrong seemingly casually asked Jun Hua about the origin of Qingcheng.
Jun Hua was taken aback for a moment and replied: “Before my father arrived in Yi’an County, Brother Qingcheng was already lurking in Zhuxia. He sent back a lot of useful information, but I don’t know his origin.”
Counting from Shangguan Yi, that person’s ancestors had been operating in Yizhou for decades. Their power was deeply rooted, much deeper than that of the newcomer Wang Changning. It would be easy for that person to occupy a position in the Great Yan’s intelligence system against Zhuxia.
Wei Chongrong thought for a while and then asked, “Little Monkey, how did you and Qingcheng get to know each other?”
“Didn’t I tell you? I was ordered to look for the Third Prince, and I…” Speaking of this, Jun Hua suddenly stopped, swallowed the word “secretly” that he was about to blurt out, and said vaguely: “Anyway, when I arrived in Yisha City, it was Brother Qingcheng who met me.”
Wei Chongrong continued, “Have you discussed how Qingcheng will contact you once he enters Tuduo’s residence?”
Seeing that Wei Chongrong didn’t notice his near-slip, Jun Hua was overjoyed: “I am not the contact person of Brother Qingcheng, but I heard that for the safety of Brother Qingcheng, no one will take the initiative to contact him. If he has new information, he will try to send it out by himself.”
It turned out to be a single-line contact; Wei Chongrong nodded, calculating in his mind. He could only wait for Qingcheng to send out information next time, and then he would have a plan.
The two returned to their house in a hurry. Jun Hua was about to come in when Wei Chongrong grabbed him: “Be careful, someone is here.”
Jun Hua raised his eyes and looked at him. The two nodded at the same time, then cautiously climbed over the wall and went in, trying to see who the uninvited guest was.
There was a candle lit on the first floor of the small house. Standing in the courtyard, you could see someone sitting at the table. Jun Hua looked intently, and immediately rushed over excitedly, calling out: “Daddy, why did you come here?”
Jun Qing stood up, his face calm, and said coldly: “If I didn’t come, I’m afraid you would turn the world upside down.”
Jun Hua hugged Jun Qing’s arm and shook it, saying softly, “Daddy, I am not as excessive as you say.”
Jun Qing ignored him, looked at Wei Chongrong who came in later, and said, “What do you think, Rong’er?”
Wei Chongrong cupped his fist, saluting Jun Qing. Instead of answering his question, he asked Jun Hua: “Huaixi, didn’t you say that Hou Zhaoyang knew about you going on a mission? Isn’t it time for you to give me an explanation?”
Jun Hua lowered his head and said in a voice so small that it could hardly be heard: “Daddy should have known about it, ah…”
Jun Qing’s expression became even colder, and he asked rhetorically: “Hua’er, you said you were going to find the Third Prince, and I did agree. But I also told you that you must not set foot outside the boundaries of Yizhou. Did you not hear it or did you accidentally forget it?”
Seeing that Jun Qing was a hurdle he couldn’t pass, Jun Hua leaned closer to Wei Chongrong and murmured: “I didn’t plan to come to Yisha City, but… but I heard that Brother Rong was coming there, so I, I came quietly.”
Jun Qing couldn’t help snorting, and then said sternly: “According to you, it’s Rong’er’s fault, isn’t it? Hua’er, I taught you that you must not shirk responsibility, don’t you remember?”
Jun Hua had almost retreated behind Wei Chongrong’s back. He looked so pitiful that Wei Chongrong couldn’t bear it, so he persuaded: “Hou Zhaoyang, please don’t blame Huaixi anymore. He has helped me a lot since he arrived in Yisha City.”
Jun Hua cooperatively poked out his head from behind Wei Chongrong and said timidly: “Daddy, if you are really angry, take a break for a while. I will change the medicine for Brother Rong, and then you can continue to scold me.” As he spoke, his expression was extremely pitiful.
Hearing what Jun Hua said, how could Jun Qing still think about scolding him? He asked instead, “Rong’er, are you hurt? Is the injury serious? Let me see.” In the past few years, he had nothing else to do and studied the art of medicine seriously.
Wei Chongrong waved his hand and said carelessly: “It’s just a skin injury, it’s already healed. Not a problem.”
Jun Hua disagreed and jumped in, “Where is it a skin injury? The dagger of the Third Prince stabbed so deeply, and it was smeared with poison. Daddy, don’t listen to Brother Rong, just take a look if the poison has been removed cleanly.”
The attitudes of both father and son were very resolute, Wei Chongrong’s resistance was ineffective, and he submitted to Jun Qing checking his pulse.
Seeing that Jun Qing was silent for a long time, Jun Hua couldn’t help but say anxiously: “Daddy, how is it, tell us quickly!”
Jun Qing let go of Wei Chongrong’s hand, frowned and asked, “Rong’er, when you were poisoned, why didn’t you get rid of the poison in time?”
Wei Chongrong smiled bitterly, thinking that he really couldn’t hide it from Jun Qing, so he had to tell the truth: “At that time, we were still besieged in the Valley of Ecstasy, and there was really no chance.”
Jun Qing nodded slightly, accepting Wei Chongrong’s explanation, and asked: “Since you were forced to by the situation, it is not your fault, but why did you still use your qi?” The fact that Wei Chongrong couldn’t expel the poison in time was not a big problem, but the fact that he used his inner energy was a bit troublesome.
Wei Chongrong glanced at Jun Hua, noticed that his face was expressionless and knew that his anger was already brewing, but he still had to tell the truth: “Third Brother was under the influence of a gu, and Huaixi’s power is still shallow, so if I didn’t do anything, we might not be able to get out of the Valley of Ecstasy relying just on him and Dongfang.”
As soon as he said that, Jun Hua’s face changed, and he yelled at him, sobbing: “In the end, it was still me who hurt you…”
Wei Chongrong didn’t understand why Jun Hua came to such a conclusion, and hurriedly explained to him: “Huaixi, you didn’t hurt me. Without you, I might really be stuck in the Valley of Ecstasy and not be able to get out at all. Obviously you helped me.”
Jun Hua blinked and said with suspicion, “Is that so? Don’t lie to me!”
Jun Qing was about to talk about the poison Wei Chongrong had been poisoned with, but Jun Hua interrupted him, so he gave his son a cold glare.
Jun Hua came back to his senses and stopped dwelling on the question of hurting or not hurting Wei Chongrong, tugged at Jun Qing’s sleeve and asked, “Daddy, is there something wrong with Brother Rong’s injury? Or is it that the poison he has been poisoned with is not expelled?”
Jun Qing was silent for a moment and sighed softly, “The poison of the Blue Silkworm gu is not too strong. With Rong’er’s strength, if he had used his power to get rid of the poison right after poisoning, he would have been fine. Unfortunately, he didn’t do so, but used his martial skills, causing the poison to spread through his body.”
Hearing this, Jun Hua turned around and glared at Wei Chongrong fiercely: “Brother Rong, you lied to me!”
Jun Qing patted Jun Hua on the back of his hand, motioning to him to take it easy, and then asked Wei Chongrong: “Rong’er, when you used your qi to expel the poison later, did you find that the toxins could not be purged?”
Wei Chongrong nodded silently, and then asked, “Blue Silkworm gu, is this a gu poison?” He had this suspicion before.
Jun Qing nodded and replied, “Yes. If it was an ordinary poison, with your skills, there would be no reason why you couldn’t force it out.”
Wei Chongrong was silent when he heard this. His expression was still calm, but Jun Hua panicked a little and hurriedly asked, “Daddy, do you have a solution?”
Jun Qing thought for a while, then pondered: “I can only try. I am not familiar with gu techniques of the Zhuxia people, but there are people around your father who are good at this. Let’s go back to Yao’an first.” Yao’an was the administrative centre of Yi’an County.
Jun Hua hurriedly looked at Wei Chongrong: “Brother Rong, the Third Prince has been rescued, let’s go back too.”
Wei Chongrong didn’t need to think twice and said, “Yes, let’s go back.” Since it was a gu poison, he could not carry this hidden danger for too long. He needed to solve it quickly and have peace of mind. As for Qingcheng’s identity, his messages were sent to Yao’an anyway, so he just could ask Ji Xin.
Ten days later, Wei Chongrong and Jun Qing returned to Yao’an. Dongfang was already waiting a little impatiently. If he hadn’t received a pigeon letter from Jun Qing and learned that they were already on the way back, he would have probably killed his way back to Zhuxia to find them.
The gu that Princess Tuya had infected Wei Mao with was also removed by Ji Xin’s people. Ji Xin was going to send someone to deliver Wei Mao back to the capital, but Wei Mao refused, saying that he wanted to wait for Wei Chongrong’s return to apologise to him; whether intentionally or not, but it was the fact that he had stabbed Wei Chongrong with a dagger.
Hearing Wei Mao politely saying “thank you” and “sorry” to him, Wei Chongrong felt uncomfortable all over.
In the past, when he and Wei Mao first met, they looked at each other with great displeasure and fought who knows how many times. Later, when they entered the palace school as classmates, although they no longer fought, they didn’t like each other and their relationship was definitely not good.
It wasn’t until the spring hunt in Shanglin that year when Wei Mao’s horse went crazy and Wei Chongrong was the first to rush to save him that the relationship between the two really improved. Even so, Wei Mao still had to hold up his reputation as the elder brother in front of Wei Chongrong; who was to blame if Wei Chongrong was the youngest child in the imperial family?
Wei Chongrong helped up Wei Mao, who was bowing to him, and said with a chuckle: “Okay, Third Brother, don’t be polite to me. I’m really not used to seeing you like this, it’s so awkward.”
Wei Mao straightened up and said solemnly: “Fourth Brother, I am talking to you very seriously, don’t think I am joking.”
Wei Chongrong patted him on the shoulder: “Well, I am also asking you very seriously. After going around such a big circle and experiencing so many things, you should have figured out everything you couldn’t figure out before, right?”
Wei Mao nodded embarrassedly. What couldn’t he figure out? It was just that Huo Yingying didn’t want to marry him. However, love affairs couldn’t be forced, and besides, the empress was not happy with Huo Yingying anyway, so he could only forget about her.
Seeing Wei Mao’s calm expression, Wei Chongrong beckoned to him to get closer, showing that he had something to tell him.
Wei Mao immediately looked curiously, leaned over and heard Wei Chongrong whisper: “Before I left Yujing, Yingying asked me to tell you that if you had a good impression of her because of her life-saving grace back then, she didn’t want to hide it from you anymore.”
“What did Ying… what did Miss Huo hide from me?” Wei Mao looked puzzled.
Wei Chongrong sighed and said in a sympathetic tone: “Yingying said that she didn’t shoot the arrow that killed the horse. It was Xianhan who shot it with her arrow. Xianhan didn’t want anyone to know, so she never said anything.”
“Xianhan?! Tuoba Xianhan?! The Tuoba Xianhan that Yingying likes?!” Wei Mao’s voice suddenly rose, causing Wei Chongrong to take two steps back in shock and almost raise his hands to cover his ears.
After regaining his senses, Wei Chongrong nodded and said, “Yes, that’s him.”
Wei Mao opened his eyes wide and said in confusion, “Why? Why did he do this?” Saving him was not a shameful thing, but to do it under the name of another person, was it necessary?
Wei Chongrong spread his hands, showing a very innocent expression, “I don’t know, you can ask Xianhan yourself after you return to the capital.”
Wei Mao frowned in thought, and suddenly asked, “Is it possible that Miss Huo lied to me?”
Wei Chongrong thought for a while and replied: “I don’t think she needed to. Besides, Yingying was only eight years old at the time. With her arm strength, it was indeed incredible to be able to shoot a crazy horse with one arrow. So I think she is telling the truth.”
“Then why didn’t she say it earlier?” After so many years, it was really difficult for Wei Mao to say why he had a crush on Huo Yingying. But the initial life-saving grace had to be a very important reason, he couldn’t deny it.
“Because Xianhan didn’t want you to know, otherwise why would he use Yingying’s arrow when he clearly had his own arrows?” Wei Chongrong was sure that before Wei Mao said that he wanted to marry her, Huo Yingying didn’t even realise that Wei Mao had a crush on her. Otherwise, even if Tuoba Xianhan wanted to hide it, she would have made it clear to Wei Mao. She had never thought about marrying into the imperial family; it was only at Xianhan’s request that she remained silent about the events during the spring hunt and since it was Huo Yingying’s arrow, Wei Mao recognised her as his saviour.
After listening to what Wei Chongrong said, Wei Mao was in a daze. When he came round and wanted to ask Wei Chongrong some more questions, Jun Hua ran over with his younger brother, shouting as he ran: “Brother Rong, come with me, Doctor Baili is ready.”
Wei Mao abruptly remembered that the dagger he had stabbed Wei Chongrong with was smeared with poison. He suddenly didn’t want to ask anything and said hurriedly: “Fourth Brother, go quickly, Doctor Baili’s medical skills are great, he cured me.”
As he spoke, Jun Hua had already rushed up to them and anxiously grabbed Wei Chongrong’s hand, ready to pull him along. Behind him, Ji Hui, who was six years old, walked unhurriedly, looking much more stable than his jittery elder brother.
Doctor Baili’s full name was Baili Pei. His father was Han and his mother was from Zhuxia. He returned to his father’s homeland when Hou Zhennan Shangguan Yi regained Jianning County in the 3rd year of Yongjia. Since childhood, Baili Pei learned gu art from his mother, and Ji Xin took a lot of effort to invite him from the mountains.
Baili Pei checked Wei Chongrong’s pulse and immediately said: “Replying to Master Wang and Master Hou, the residual poison in the body of Master Shizi is not difficult to get rid of.” Although Jun Qing was Wang Changning’s Lord Consort, he himself still had the title of Hou Zhaoyang. Both inside and outside Wang Changning’s residence, he was addressed as Master Hou.
Hearing what Baili Pei said, Jun Qing breathed a sigh of relief: “That’s good. I know a bit about poisons, but I am not proficient at gu art. I was afraid that since he didn’t get rid of the poison in time, it would leave some irreversible sequelae.”
Baili Pei stroked his snow-white beard and then said: “Of course, the poison of the Blue Silkworm gu can be eliminated, but as the best time was missed, the Blue Silkworm itself will stay in the body of Master Shizi and there is no method to expel it.”
Jun Qing, who had always had a cold temperament, never showing his joy or anger, just frowned slightly at his words, but Ji Xin’s face changed dramatically as he said anxiously, “Doctor Baili, if the gu remains in his body, will it harm him?”
Baili Pei stroked his whiskers and smiled, “No harm, no harm, not only will the Blue Silkworm not harm the host, it can also dissolve the toxicity in the host’s body. Regarding this point, I think Master Shizi has already noticed it.” As he spoke, his gaze fell on Wei Chongrong.
Wei Chongrong nodded lightly. It was true that in the past few days he had not exorcised the poison but merely suppressed it with internal strength, and yet he could obviously feel that the toxicity was decreasing day by day. Even if Baili Pei didn’t detoxify him, it might disappear after a while.
Jun Qing’s eyebrows frowned tighter, and he said in confusion: “In this way, wouldn’t the person who planted the gu help Rong’er? It is illogical.”
Ji Xin had a flash of inspiration and blurted out: “Doctor Baili, does the Blue Silkworm gu have a bane gu or something…” If not, wouldn’t it be too senseless to poison people but also to give people something to detoxify the poison at the same time? These actions were just too pointless.
Baili Pei pondered: “Master Wang is right, the Blue Silkworm gu does have a bane gu, but this old man has lived to his age and has never seen anyone raise the Golden Silkworm gu. Moreover, not any Golden Silkworm can overcome any Blue Silkworm. For the Golden Silkworm to have an effect it must be the Golden Silkworm and the Blue Silkworm raised on the heart blood of the same person. The Blue Silkworm is difficult to raise, and the Golden Silkworm is even more difficult. How many times can a person take the blood from someone’s heart? So the Blue Silkworm gu in the body of Master Shizi should be safe.”
Wei Chongrong pondered for a long time, becoming more and more confused about the mind of the person behind the scenes. If that person really wanted his life, it wouldn’t be difficult to smear the dagger with the poison that killed on the spot. Why go to such lengths? If that person couldn’t raise the Golden Silkworm, didn’t he give Wei Chongrong a body-protecting treasure in vain?
Thinking of this, he asked: “Excuse me, Doctor Baili, what is the effect of the Golden Silkworm on the Blue Silkworm?”
Baili Pei thought about it for a while, and replied: “This old man has never seen a Golden Silkworm, or even heard of someone raising it. He just saw records in ancient books that a person with the Golden Silkworm can control the mind of a person with the Blue Silkworm. The exact circumstances are unknown.”
After that, none of the three wanted to ask any more questions. Ji Xin and Jun Qing retreated, and Baili Pei purged the remaining poison in Wei Chongrong’s body.
Wei Chongrong and Wei Mao were both fine, and their return to the capital was on the agenda. No one minded, except for Jun Hua, who spent his days moping about it, eager to follow Wei Chongrong to the capital.
Unfortunately, his wish was met with unanimous opposition from Jun Qing and Ji Xin. Jun Hua didn’t want to part with Wei Chongrong, but he also couldn’t bear to leave his parents and younger brother, so when he saw that they were not happy, he didn’t bring it up again and only complained about it in front of Wei Chongrong.
Wei Chongrong remembered what Jun Qing had said to him when they talked alone, and his mood was a little complicated. He stretched out his hand to tuck Jun Hua’s hair behind his ears and said softly: “Little Monkey, still upset with your father, ah? He just can’t bear to let you leave his side.”
“I know.” Jun Hua sighed helplessly and added: “But I just want to go to the capital with you to play, it’s not that I won’t come back. Yet Father says it as if I’m going to abandon him, so I don’t dare to say anything anymore.”
Wei Chongrong couldn’t help laughing: “That’s because you have a criminal record, okay? Looking for Third Brother, you came to Zhuxia. If you follow me to Yujing, maybe you will go to Tiele or the Western Regions. Of course, your parents are not at ease.”
More than not at ease; Jun Qing was already wary of him.
Translator’s note: Wei Mao: You mean I should’ve been in love with Xianhan all that time???!!!
Happy New Year, everyone!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂