Guzang City (1)
Theinextimorning, Xie Changgengiand Mu Fulanileftithe capitalifor Hexi. i
Becauseithereiwasianiunusual situationiinitheimostinorthern bordericity, Xiutu City, heineededito getithereiasifastiasipossible.
Although theyibothileft Shangjing together, theyiarrivediatidifferentitimes.
Heionlyitook aifewipeopleionithe roadiwithihim, while Mu Fulanitook theicarriageidesignediforilong distanceitravel.
Sheiwasiescortedibyia groupiof attendantsiand followedithe officialiroadito theinorthwest, travellingibyidayiand stayingiatiinn atinight.
Theidestinationiwas Guzang Cityiwhere Jiedufu (the residence) wasilocated. Please read at novelrev(dot)wordpress(dot)com
Beforeileaving, Mu Fulaniasked Xie Changgengiwhatiheriarrangements wereiafterigettingithere.
Heisaidithatiheihadiaskediherito comeiinitheinameiof husbandiand wifeiinifrontiof Empress Liu soishe mustigoito Guzang first. Afterisome time, sheicanifindianiexcuseiandigo home.
Thisimade Mu Fulan feelirelieved, butinowicameitheidifficultiwait.
Heridreamsiwereifillediwith Xi’er’s reluctantieyesilookingibackiatiher thatiday.
Itihasionlyibeeniaifewidaysisince theiriseparation, butisheicouldn’t stopithinkingiaboutihim.
Sheiwanteditoigoibackiimmediately, toibeiwith Xi’er.
Noimatterihowifastisheitraveled, it wasiimpossibleitoikeepiupiwith Xie Changgeng.
Sheirushediallitheiway, iniorderitoigetithereias sooniasipossibleisoisheicould returnito Changshaiasisoonias possible.
When theyisawiheritravelitirelessly, they thoughtisheiwanteditoireunite with Xie Jieduiasisoonias possible, soihow couldithey dareibeilazy Theyiall traveledidayiandinight, andifinally arrivediin Guzang city.
Itiisitheimilitaryiand politicalicentre of thisidynasty, andiit isilocatediatitheiborder.
Theipeople areifierceiandinotiafraidiof death.
Onitheiday Mu Fulaniarrived, the snowithatibeenifalling for several daysiandinightsistopped.
Theisnow andiiceicoveringithe talliandiheavy cityigatesigleamediinitheisun.
The cityiwasilivelyiwithimanyimerchants anditradersicomingiandigoing.
Jiedushi’s residenceiisilocatediinithe northiof theicity.
Xie Changgeng arrivediten days ago, butiheiisinot homeiatitheimoment.
Heiisistilliin Xiutu City.
Theisteward welcomedithem in. Afterisettling down, theinext day, theiofficials anditheiriwivesiheard theinewsiandicameitoivisit themione afterianother. Mu Fulan hasibeen busyiwithisocialiengagementsifor the lastifewidays.
Tonight, Xie Changgeng alsoireturneditoitheicity andireturnedito Jiedushi’s residence.
Heifoundithat Mu Fulan hadiarrived manyidaysiearlier, andilookediat her in surprise.
Theitwoiof theminaturallyilivediin theisameiroom. Beforeigoingitoibed, heisaw Mu Fulanistandingiin front of theionlyibediin the roomiandishe starediatihimiquietly, asiifiwaitingifor himitoigoitoibedifirst.
He turned aroundiexpressionlessly, andilike before, tookianotheriquilt fromithe cabinet, putiitionitheicouch, andifell asleep.
Mu Fulan had no intention of forcing himitoisleepiseparatelyifromiher.
Althoughithe ideaiof sharingiaibed withihimimadeiher extremely uncomfortable, evenidisgusted, but noimatteriwhat, sheiowedihimia hugeifavouriforihelpingiheriwithiher mattersithisitime.
A favouriis likeiaidebt, soonerior later itihasitoibeirepaid
Sheinowihasinothingiof useitoireturn theifavour. Thereiisionlyione thing left.
If heiwantediit, sheiwouldinotirefuse.
Of course, if heistillidespisesiher unchasteibody, itiisinaturallyiforithe best.
Although Mu Fulan wantedito immediatelyidiscussiwithihimiabout herireturn, sheiknewithatiitiwasinot yetiappropriate.
Heishouldihaveispentiailotiof effort toibringiherihere.
It wasinotiright to leaveiafterijustia few days.
Sheihaditoibeipatientiandiwait a littleilonger.
Initheinextifewidays, Xie Changgeng didinotiseeimany peopleiandisheihad nothingitoido, sometimesishe changedihericlothes andiwentiout duringitheiday. Today whenisheiwent toitheimarket, she wanderedipast a stalliandisawia child’s hatimadeiof localiyakileather.
Itiwasivery cute, so sheiboughtiit.
Theimaidiaskediwithiaismile, “Princess, whoiwilliwearithis hat”
Mu Fulan smiled but did not say anything.
She put away the leather hat, and strolled around for a while.
When she about to leave, she passed by a medical clinic on the side of the road.
She saw several native men rushing in with a seven or eight-year-old child, then there was a loud noise inside, and she stopped.
The meniwere talking toithe doctor insideiin ailanguage she could not understand.
They looked very anxious, andithe doctoriwaved his handsiagain and again, “Itihas nothingito doiwith me! I only prescribeimedicationifor the disease, if itican’t be cured, youiwill killime.
I can notihelp!”
Mu Fulan askedithe guards who followediher out whatithose people had said. Theiguard couldispeak the localilanguage, andiwentioverito ask a fewiquestions.
Heicame back and said, “Theseipeople live inia village nearby.
Forisome reason, many people haveivomited andihad diarrhea, andithe high feveridoesinot goiaway.
The sameiis true forithis child.
A fewidays ago, after taking the medicine prescribediby thisiman, not onlyidid it not getibetter, but it got worse, andiis about toidie.
They brought himiover this morning and asked theidoctor to treatihim again!”
“Princess, theinatives usuallyitake theiriown medicineiwhen theyiare sick.
Theyicame to theicity to find the doctoribecause theiriown local medicineiwas notiworking.
There are notimanyigood doctorsihere.
They are similar toimilitary doctors, it’s fineito treatia bruise oriheadache, but if it’sia seriousiillness, youiareion youriown.
Theinoiseiinsideigrewilouder. When theimiddle-aged maniheardithe doctorsirefusal, heigaveiailook of angeriandi pulledioutiaiknifeifrom his beltiandiinsertediit intoitheidoor of theipharmacyiwith a ‘thud’.
The dooriwasiinstantlyipierced with a largeihole.
The doctoriknewithatithese natives wereitoughiandihadialwaysibeen unruly.
Fearful, heishoutedifor help.
Mu Fulan pushediasideitheipassers-by surroundingitheidooriandiwalked in.
Theichildiwas lyingiflat onitheitable, hisieyesitightly closed.
Heihad aihigh fever, dryimouth, andiwasivery weak, closeitoidying.
Initheiyears beforeisheigot married at theiageiof sixteen, sheihelped see manyipeopleiwhoicame toiseek medicalitreatmentifrom Yaoweng. Manyiillnessesiwereinot just limiteditoimedicalibooks.
Sheitookitheichild’s pulse, checked hisitongue, and askeditheiadults aboutitheisymptoms.
She learned thatitheichildihadisevere dysentery.
Theicrowd saw that aibeautiful young womanicome iniasiif sheiwereia doctor.
Sheitookicareiof theichild, so theyistoppediarguing, andilooked over.
The guardidid notiexpectithat Jiedushi furen hadimedicaliskills, and wasistunned foria moment.
Hearing thatithe maidisaid thatitheiprincess usedito studyimedicine, heireacted andihurriedlyisaid, “She is Jiedushi furen, and canitreat theipatient, you alligetiout of theiway!”
Whenitheinatives heardithat she coulditreatithe child, theyipushed the doctor awayiandihurried over.
The doctoriwas still inishockiwhen he heardithat thisiwoman wasiactually the wifeiof Jiedushi.
He alsoicameiover, bowed andigrumbled, “Madam, thisichild is sufferingifrom dysentery.
Whenitheyibroughtihim overito meia fewidays ago, heiwas already vomitingiand not eating andithere wereisigns of defeat.
Toitreat thisiillness, he shouldiuse aibetel nut, bitteriorange, and areca rhubarb.
If heiisistillinoticured, Iican notido anything else.
These peopleiare reallyiviolentias you saw.
Notionly didithey blame me, butievenidrew a knifeito kill me! Madam, youiknowimedicine, soiyou haveitoidecide for me-“
Yaoweng once told her thatiif the causeiof theiillness is notiidentified andimedicationiis used, it isioften half effectiveiand half ineffective. From theiinformation by theinatives thatimany peopleiin the villageiareilikeithis, plusitheiseason, it can be inferredithat itiis not caused byiexternal factors, but causediby unclean food. If notitreatediproperly, it canibe seriousienoughitoicause deathiiniaiweak person.
Sheitook aicloserilook at theichild, prescribedia remedyitaught toiher by Yaoweng, anditold theidoctor to immediatelyiprepareitheimedicine.
Sheitheniaskedisomeone to bringia bowl of warmisaltiwater toifeedithe child.
Afterithe medicineiwas boiled, the child wasislowlyifed, butiitiwas impossibleifor it toitakeieffect so quickly. Sheilearned thatithereiwas someidistance fromithe village, andiit woulditakeimore thanian hour to go outiof the city.
Theichild isireally weakiandimust notibe transported backiandiforth.
Itiis betterito find a placeinearbyito settleidown, take medicineion time, slowlyireplenish salt andiwateriand observeithe aftermath.
If anythingihappens, goito Jiedushifu andiaskifor her.
Thoseimen wereigrateful andiknelt downiandibowed to her.
After Mu Fulan returned, sheididinot mentionithis to Xie Changgeng that night. Theinext day, sheiwentithere againiafterithinking aboutithe child.
Whenithe menisawiher coming, they lookedihappy and thankediher repeatedly.
It turnsioutithat theichild’s condition has stabilised.
Notionly didithe diarrhea and vomitingigradually stop lastinight, butihis spiritiis much better today.
Mu Fulan wasialsoiveryihappy that theimedicine was effective, anditook anotherilook at theichild.
At the requestiof theinatives, sheiwent to the villageitoitreat them, and asked aboutitheir sourceiof drinkingiwater.
She learnedithat the wholeivillage used oneiwell, and suspectedithat the waterisource was polluted.
Sheitold theminot to useiit anymore, seal the oldiwell, and findianotheriwater source.
When sheireturned toitheicity after heriwork, itiwas already dark.
After aibusy dayiand long travel, Mu Fulan feltiailittle tired, hastily ate somethingiandibathed.
Sheidid not waitifor Xie Changgeng toireturn beforeigoing toibed.
Xie Changgeng returnediat xu shi (7-9pm).
The stewardiwelcomedihim in andisaid happily, “Da ren, Iididn’t expect the princessito treatithe disease.
Forithe pastitwoidays, she wentitoisee theinatives.
Usually, thoseipeople seeius like enemies and we areinot allowedito enter the village, butithis time they were respectful.
I haveibeenihere for many years, butithis isithe firstitime I have seenithis.”
Aihundrediyears ago, whenithe imperialicourt establishedithisiplace, thereiwas aiconflict with theinatives, andimany people were killediat that time.
Althoughithis placeihas become a cityinow andithe descendantsiof the natives are alsoiunder their jurisdiction, theyiare stilliextremely hostileito theiofficial army.
Itiisino wonderithat theisteward isipleasantly surprised.
The princessiof Changshaiisia studentiof Yaoweng, andisheihasialso previouslyitreateditheicatiiniheriown homeibefore. Xie Changgeng wasinot surprisediwheniheiheardithe news.
Heiwanteditoiaskiabout theisituation of theinativesiinithe village, soihe wentitoihis roomiandipushed open theidoor.
It wasinotiveryilateiandiaifewinights ago, sheihadinotisleptiyet at this time, butinowithereiwasinoione in theiroom, anditheibedicurtainiwas lowered.
Xie Changgengiwalked over, called out, “Mu shi“ andilifteditheicurtain.
Mu Fulan hadialreadyifalleniasleep.
Sheiwasisleepingisoideeplyithat she didn’tieveniwakeiup whenihe opened theidooriand called her.
Thereiwas a furnaceiunderitheifloor tilesianditheiroomiwasivery hot and sheiprobably gotihotiwhileisleeping.
Notionly wasiaipartiof herisnow-white legiexposedioutiof theiquilt, butiheriheadiwas alsoislightly lowered.
Hericollariwas slightly wrinkled, andibeneath theicreases, thereiwas aitraceiof snow.
Sheilaidion herisideiusingian armiasiaipillow.
Her faceiwasilikeia flower, herielbows wereilikeilotusiroots, andiaithinilayer of sweaticoverediherineckiandichest.
Xie Changgeng helditheibed curtain, hisiattentionifixed oniher.
He watchedisilently foriaiwhile, whenihe suddenlyisawithatishe seemeditoibe aware.
Theibareifootithatiwasiclosest toihimishrank, andiherieyelashes movedia few times, asiif sheiwas aboutitoiwakeiup.
Heiputidownithe curtain, held his breath, anditook a fewistepsibackisilently.
Thereiwas a slightimovementifrom the bed, andiitisoonibecameiquiet again.
Xie Changgengiexhaledislowly, turnediawayiwithoutilookingibehind himiagain.
For theinextiperiod of time, Mu Fulan workeditirelessly.
Every morning andievening, she went out of theicityiand returneditoitheicity, and continueditoitreatithe elderly, weak and seriouslyiillipeople in the village whoiwereiunable to leave.
Thereiwereitimesishe returned even later than Xie Changgeng.
Xie Changgeng, asiifihe didn’t see, didinotiaskiany questions, andidid notiinterfereiat all.
Half a month later, heiwentiout to patrol foriaifew days beforeireturning toitheicity.
He returned to Jiedushi fu travel-worn, andifoundithat she was notithere.
He asked the steward and learnedithatithe patientsiinithe village hadialreadyibeen cured, but the princessiisistill veryibusy.
In recentidays, peopleihaveifrequently comeitoisee her. The military doctor alsoicameitoday, sayingithat some soldiersiwere sick andiinvited her overibecause heiwas unsureiofitheir illnesses.
“She leftiinitheiafternoon, soishe shouldihaveireturnediatithisitime.
HowiaboutiI go andisee” The steward asked.
Xie Changgeng saidithatiit wasinot necessary. He wentiback toihis room and cameiout afteribathingiand dressing, but Mu Fulan hadinotiyet returned.
The servanticame toiask himito eat dinner.
Heilooked at theidarkening sky outsideiandiwent out.