Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang Vol01 Ch09
For the next twenty or so days, Chu Beijie refused to leave her side, as if worried about losing her. He watched her like a hawk, like a hungry person in front of food.
Pingting’s heart melted like ice against the summer heat.
“Where’s Moran these days?”
“I got him to do something, he only came back yesterday.”
“What was so important that you actually had to send him away?”
Chu Beijie saw the raised eyebrow on her face and sighed. “The most important thing in this world is that you stay with me.”
Pingting rolled her eyes and wrinkled her nose, “Flattery.”
“You aren’t wrong, my mouth is flattering. Duchess, try it.” He took the opportunity and kissed her, only letting go when he heard a faint “nnnn” from her. He broke away, put on a serious look and said, “Let’s go back inside.”
“No!” Pingting clenched her fists and hammered them against his back. “You pervert, I am not going back.”
Another squeal and she’d already been picked up by Chu Beijie.
“Geez, not again…give me a break.”
Chu Beijie laughed, “You can take a break later.”
It was already the season of floating snowflakes, yet Pingting had still not found a good time to leave the Ducal Residence. She had almost torn her handkerchief, from worrying about it.
Today was supposed to be the best day, as Chu Beijie would be away all day, but he just had to tell Chu Moran, “Look after my future Duchess until I get back.”
Pingting was determined this time to not let such a great opportunity to slip away. She stood outside the door for a long time, watching him ride his horse away from her, as it would be the last time she’d ever see him.
Chu Moran approached her and stopped respectfully at a distance. “Miss Yangfeng, its cold, please come inside.”
As Chu Beijie’s figure disappeared from sight, Pingting gathered her thoughts. She turned around, lips playing into a smile. “I suppose it’ll snow tomorrow.” She stepped back inside the main gates and she could see Chu Moran standing rigidly behind her.
“Moran, you should do your other work.”
“Duke ordered to protect Miss Yangfeng today.”
Pingting’s face was as cold as stone. “You’re monitoring me?”
“Wouldn’t dare to.”
“I want to go outside. Are you going to tie me up and report to Duke?”
“Wouldn’t dare to.” As expected of Moran, his voice was level and his face ever expressionless.
Pingting lowered her head, pensive. She started to chuckle, “I guess that was wrong of me. I’m not in a very good mood right now because Duke isn’t here and started to vent my frustration on you.”
Moran’s face studied her. Her face was gentle.
Sleeping gas or sleeping pills? Pingting quietly calculated as she walked inside.
Unfortunately, she had neither at her disposal. The contents of sleeping gas were hard to get and there were too many ways of making sleeping pills. There was a relatively easy recipe, but she would require certain common herb for that one.
She, who used to hate the time when she had to learn these things with her Master had now found the information to be quite useful..
Sleeping pills it is then.
“Cough……cough………” She coughed two times.
Chu Moran took two careful steps towards her: “Is Miss Yangfeng feeling unwell? I’ll get Chen Guanzhi…”
“No need, the herbs he prescribes never work, even when I have a lot, I don’t recover fast enough.” Pingting pretended to frown, “I’m sure my own prescription will be much better than his.” She sat down at a table and wrote a list, then handed it to Moran, “Here. Buy these for me.”
Pingting calmly watched Chu Moran scanned the list.
He couldn’t find anything suspicious and consented. He turned to the nearest guard and had him fetch the ingredients for the medicine on the list Pingting had written.
Not seeing anything suspicious, Chu Moran nodded approvingly “Alrigt”. He handed the list to a guard, “Go, and getthe herbs on this list.”
Pingting smiled before retreating into her room, and closed the door behind her.
Chu Moran stood outside the door.
The room was gorgeous, Chu Beijie had personally designed and selected each piece inside himself. Bronze mirrors glowed and beautiful carvings adorned the room. On an exquisite dressing table that was placed in the corner there were three strands of jet black hair on it. These had fallen off while Chu Beijie washed her hair today.
Pingting felt a wave of nostalgia rushed through her and sighed. She ambled to the dressing table and opened the jewellery box.
Every woman’s lifetime desires could be found within that box: gold hairpins, jade rings and brooches and an exquisite pearl necklace.
She picked a three unremarkable ones out of the lot and proceeded to hide them up her sleeve.
Everything was now ready. As soon as the sleeping pills were made, she would use them on Moran and after that, everything would be much easier.
She took a deep breath, pushing all of her desires to the back of her mind.
The bodyguard had already been taking a long time and almost two hours had already passed by. Pingting didn’t want to ask Chu Moran since she did not want him to have any suspicious at this critical time. She decided to start coughing again. Outside, Chu Moran listened to her ‘sickness’ and only then, did he feel obliged to ask “Why haven’t the herbs here already?” to one of the other guards beside him. It was in that moment, when someone suddenly came in.
“What’s wrong, you feeling unwell again?” Chu Beijie strode towards her. “It’s cold today, so don’t just sit there,” he murmured.
“Why’re you back so soon?” Pingting was surprised, she hadn’t expected to see Chu Beijie beside her today, “Have you finished your work yet?”
“Not yet, but Moran said you were sick and coughing really hard, so he told someone to fetch me.”
Pingting instantly began to detest Chu Moran. She bit down on her lip, he had ruined her chance to escape. She brightened, “I’m fine. Moran was over-exaggerating; you don’t need to worry about me. You should go back to your work. You’re a Duke, so don’t spend your time with a woman all day.” She gently pushed him away.
“Haha, finally you’re acting like a duchess.” Chu Beijie let go of her and said, “It’s nothing important though. I just caught someone close to He Xia and I was in the middle of questioning him when I heard that you were sick, so I came here.”
Pingting’s body jolted at the mention of her companions but she hid it by pretending to cough.
Chu Beijie patted her on the back, “What’s wrong? You said that you were fine, but I reckon we have yet to cure the root of your disease. I’ve ordered them to find the best medicine already.”
Pingting stopped coughing, looked up and asked, “What about you? If you don’t question the prisoner, how are you supposed to report to the King?”
“I’ve already asked some people to bring him here. I can question him within my own residence.”
“Who is this very important person?”
“He isn’t that important, just a brat called Dongzhuo.”
Pingting registered the figures in her head, face expressionless. “I’ve heard of his name before, he’s one of the Marquess of Jing-An’s favourite attendants. He once accompanied the Marquess of Jing-An when he visited the Prince’s Residence.”
Chu Beijie stroked her hair, “Do you want to accompany me?”
The trial was to be held in a dungeon.
Fire blazed as bright as day and it illuminated the odd shapes of the various instruments of torture. The walls and ceilings were dyed black with blood.
Pingting never have been there before, so she closely followed Chu Beijie while at the same time studied her surroundings.
The sturdy prison walls were certainly not going to be easy to escape from, she secretly noted to herself.
Chu Beijie’s breath was warm in her ear as he whispered, “If you start to feel afraid or nervous, don’t forget to hold me tight.”
Pingting nodded her head feeling pathetic and Chu Beijie burst into laughter.
At the end of the long, stone corridor, the fire suddenly lit up the wall. A teenage boy was hanging in the air, his arms and legs shackled by heavy chains. His head was down.
Pingting looked at him and instantly knew that he really was Dongzhuo. His clothes were tattered but he hadn’t many scars. She quickly came to realise that he hadn’t been tortured yet.
“Brat, wake up! Our Duke is here,” said the person who was in charge of the prisoners, as he nudged him with a whip. He raised Dongzhuo’s chin to look at Chu Beijie.
There was an invisible, but frosty glow in Dongzhuo’s eyes as he stared at Chu Beijie. “Hmph, Chu Beijie.”
The House of Jing-An’s worst enemy was standing right in front of him.
“I don’t plan to harm you. I am simply an admirer of the Marquess of Jing-An and I would like to persuade him to ally Dong Lin.” Chu Beijie smiled again, very sincerely, “After all, the Marquess of Jing-An can no longer go back to Gui Le, so isn’t it a good idea for him to find new loyalties?”
“Whatever you say, I won’t tell you anything,” was Dongzhuo’s cold reply.
Chu Beijie shook his head and with a sympathetic-looking face, he said, “I admire tough boys, but unfortunately not many remain tough in my hands.” He took a step back and nodded at one of his subordinates.
Pingting, who had been hiding behind Chu Beijie, instantly knew that he was going to whip him. The sound of the whip pierced through the air.
The whip came in contact with flesh and Pingting shuddered at the sound.
Chaa! Chaa! Chaa!
More consecutive sounds of strong, powerful whipping could be heard. It was hard to breathe.
The sound of metal chains clinking in protest slowly decreased, minute by minute.
The whip severely hurt Dongzhuo, but he suffered in silence, not saying a word.
Chu Beijie blocked Pingting’s view, seemingly noticing that she was shaking. He gently patted her on the back. She looked up and saw his merciless expression.
“You’re still not going to tell me?” Chu Beijie was getting annoyed, “You know, the whip is the most common torture in prisons. And yet, this can only be counted as an appetiser because when I use the main dishes, you might even end up losing your life.”
With a hoarse voice, Dongzhuo calmly replied, “There isn’t a single person from the Jing-An Ducal Residence who is afraid to die!”
Chu Beijie chuckled at this and Pingting could almost hear his evil intentions from his chilling, dangerous smile. Things did not look good for Dongzhuo.
Then turning to Pingting, Chu Beijie softly assured her, “Why is your face so pale? Are you afraid? Do not fear, for I am here.”
“There’s a lot of blood,” she replied timidly, flinching.
The chains suddenly thumped, as if Dongzhuo had realised something.
“Afraid of blood?” Chu Beijie shook his head and jokingly added, “If my wife is afraid of blood, how is she supposed to accompany me onto the battlefield?”
Pingting’s delicate and pretty face weakly smiled at Chu Beijie. She could see Dongzhuo out of the corner of her eye, suspended in the air, covered in blood. Dongzhuo’s eyes were wide with disbelief, but somehow he managed to understand her situation and so he hung his head instead.
“I feel uncomfortable.” She touched Chu Beijie’s forehead and leaned on him.
Such feminism on her part was unusually rare for him to see. He was naturally overcome with sympathy and affection so he asked, “Where do you feel uncomfortable? I shouldn’t have asked you to come with me.”
Pingting ignored Dongzhuo. She looked into Chu Beijie’s eyes. “It’s stuffy in here, I want to cough, but I can’t. Get someone to take me out, you deal with your work first.”
“I’ll come with you.”
“You’re more important.”
Before she could protest, he had already lifted her up again.
“Ah!” Pingting yelped in surprise and she blushed harder when she remembered that Dongzhuo was watching them. She buried her head in Chu Beijie’s arms in shame.
The jailer stepped forward with a blood-stained whip in his hands. “Duke, that prisoner…”
“Guard him carefully, he’s someone from the Jing-An Ducal Residence. Hmm, I’ll do the questioning myself tomorrow.”
“Yes.” The jailer had another thought, “Would you like more people to guard him?”
Chu Beijie snapped, “Is it possible that He Xia would try to break into my residence?”
“Yes yes, understood.”
Chu Beijie took her away from the scene in his arms. Though Pingting was still hiding in his arms, her eyes were as wide as saucers. She studied and took mental notes on where each guard was standing, how many there were and memorised the route back.
The moment they entered her room, a warm feeling spread through them. It was much more welcoming than the dungeon air.
“Don’t get cold”, Chu Beijie tucked her into bed. He ordered someone to bring a cup of hot tea.
“I’m not thirsty,” said Pingting, frowning.
The tough yet gentle aroma of hot tea watered into her lips.
He ordered light refreshments.
“Not hungry either.”
She was still protesting, but then she had already eaten all of the refreshments.
After refreshments, it was Chu Beijie’s turn to eat ‘dessert’.
“Hey…you…can’t be serious….”
“I’m never serious around you.” He kissed her, his tongue coming in, like a wind sweeping through her teeth. She struggled, but he was too strong as she began to lose control of herself.
Finally, she managed to kick away, her bright eyes pleading. “I…ahh, um…cough cough.” She refused to meet Chu Beijie’s commands and the only way she could get away with it was by coughing.
Chu Beijie was surprised and he hurriedly took a step back, “You’re really sick? I know you’re afraid of blood, but soon, you’ll get used to it.” Then, he raised his voice, “Someone! Get Chen Guanzhi to come here!”
Pingting tugged at his sleeve, “No need. Having plenty of rest will do the trick. Besides, I don’t like Chen Guanzhi’s prescriptions. They’re simply too bitter.”
“Bitter medicine is good medicine.” Chu Beijie looked back at her, his face charming. “If you really don’t like him, I’ll find you another doctor.”
“Why find another? I already gave Moran the prescription I made today…”
They suddenly heard something outside the room.
“Duke, the King has summoned you.”
Chu Beijie touched Pingting’s hand, “Why in the middle of the night?”
Chu Moran’s reply was curt. “The group that we sent to Bei Mo seems to be in trouble…”
Chu Beijie groaned in dismay. Pingting, who had been waiting for him to leave, eagerly pushed his shoulders. “Your work is important, don’t make the King worry.”
“Then…you must stay here, I’ll get them to boil the herbs.”
“Don’t stall, I’ll ask them. Go.”
Chu Beijie’s face was one of guilt. “I’ll be back as soon as possible.”
She watched Chu Beijie disappear, feeling a rush of excitement as she jumped out of bed.
She patiently listened for movement, took a deep breath before going to the window. Her alert eyes scanned the situation outside, through a small gap.
Chu Moran seemed to have gone with Chu Beijie, as he was no longer standing outside her door.
Her lips broke into a sly smile, as she turned around to grind the selection of herbs on the table.
“Unique remedies and sleeping gas.” She said to herself, “There aren’t many guards in the dungeon, so this should be more than enough.”
She took out a box underneath her bed. There was a sleeping gas bomb inside it.
“If he knew, I don’t know what he’ll do to me.” Her heart ached slightly and Pingting’s face had a touch of resentment. She sighed, “oh well, it doesn’t matter if I’m afraid of him…”
She pushed away those thoughts. “Don’t think about it, I have to help Master and Dongzhuo.”
Although she’d already finished planning ages ago, it took around fifteen minutes for her to get ready.
Pingting looked outside. Chu Moran hadn’t come back yet. Armed with a sleeping gas bomb, she quietly left the room.