[Chapter 22 - Secret room] This martial art can cure a hundred diseases
[Chapter 22 - Secret room] This martial art can cure a hundred diseases
People are coming and going in the Wu dealership; looking at goods, asking for prices and joining in the fun; the business seems to be roaring .
Chu Yuan, at the street opposite, glance at the signboard; just as he wanted to go over, Duan Bai Yue stopped him, and so he asked, puzzled: "What's the matter?"
"Since we are disguised as small merchants, our bearing must of course follow them . " Duan Bai Yue reminded, "Walking in such an imposing way, it's incompatible with your looks right now . "
Chu Yuan paused, asking: "Then how should I walk?"
Duan Bai Yue said: "Just like the people on this street will do . "
Chu Yuan: " . . . . . . . "
Between himself and the people's way of walking, he doesn't think that there's any difference .
Duan Bai Yue laughed while shaking his head, pressing lightly on his straight back: "Like this, it's alright to slouch even more . "
Chu Yuan, doubtfully: "It's this simple?"
Duan Bai Yue nodded, and went into Wu dealership together with him .
The workers are all busy; seeing the two strangers, they didn't manage to come forward to greet either, only shouting from a distance away; the customers can take a look around first, they will come over once they are free .
"No matter . " Duan Bai Yue said, "Xiao Ge(1) only needs to care about your own stuff, we have nothing to do, so we simply came over to talk a look . "
The carriages are arranged in a row in an empty space in the backyard; with quite a number of styles; behind them are the newly created table and chair specimens; when they wanted to go further in, they were stopped by a servant instead, saying that the rear is the private house of Boss Wu, customers are not allowed inside .
Duan Bai Yue apologized, the two of them then walked a round in the shop in front, before leaving the dealership, slowly walking along the street .
"Did you find out anything?" Chu Yuan asked .
"Not a single thing . " Duan Bai Yue answered . This is then considered odd, the dealership's main business is the various types of carriages, and selling some tables and chairs at the same time, other than that there's nothing else; it really can't be figured out what those wooden boxes are used for .
"According to the villager in Qiu Feng village, someone from the dealership will be going to his place to collect the goods . " Chu Yuan said, "At least we can follow and take a look, at where those wooden boxes are sent to in the end . "
Duan Bai Yue nodded: "Good . "
"Let's go . " Chu Yuan said, "Return to the relay station . "
"There's many people and countless pairs of eyes, what to do if we are found out . " Duan Bai Yue shook his head, "Let's go back when it's night . "
"Then what should we do now?" Chu Yuan asked .
"We have gone out for so long, and didn't eat a meal at all . " Duan Bai Yue raised his hand and pointed, "By chance there's a restaurant here, let's fill our stomachs before going back . "
Chu Yuan frowned .
"Let's go . " Duan Bai Yue didn't let him ask further, pulling him into the restaurant . The waiter came forward enthusiastically to greet them; so Chu Yuan didn't say anything else, taking the menu and looking at it for half a day, ordering a chinese cabbage soup, and a bowl of stuffed bean curd .
Duan Bai Yue said without much thought: "Tender eight treasures duck, drunk beef, roast pork, sea cucumber fish balls, roast lamb leg and a Bu Dai fish(2) . "
The waiter answered while reminding: "There's only two of you, gentlemen? I'm afraid the dishes are slightly too many . "
Someone at the neighboring table, after hearing this, couldn't help but look over; Chu Yuan immediately felt like a glutton, chills down his spine .
Not only was his face uncomfortable this time, even his entire body felt prickly .
Duan Bai Yue handed him a cup of tea: "It's made from cooked grains, it's different from tea leaves but there's a distinctive flavor . "
Chu Yuan tried a mouthful; a strong smell of barley .
"Do you like it?" Duan Bai Yue asked .
Chu Yuan nodded: "It's a little sweet . "
"That's why I told you, don't always have your meals in the relay station . " Duan Bai Yue said, "The whole world knows that the emperor is frugal; when the regional officials wished to make you some fish and a few bowls of meat, they all worried if their heads will fall . "
Chu Yuan shook his head: "If you exaggerate any further, then we are not just simply honest and frugal, but rather we have something wrong with our head . "
Duan Bai Yue laughed, reminding him quietly: "You call yourself "we" even when outside?"
Chu Yuan paused, saying "I . "
Duan Bai Yue laughed more candidly, letting the waiter serve a flower tea, trying fresh tastes .
The dishes were served quickly, a piping hot, dazzling display exhibited on the table . Chu Yuan saw that his appetite seemed rather good, and thus he didn't urge further, just eating slowly with him -- of course, beside him, occasionally someone will still look over, but after a few more times he didn't mind it anymore, he's in disguise after all, it's not embarrassing to be seen as a glutton .
Duan Bai Yue asked: "Why is your appetite today not that good?"
Chu Yuan raised his head: "En?"
"That duck drumstick has been tossing and turning in your bowl, and have been picked up at least ten times . " Duan Bai Yue called to his attention .
Chu Yuan: " . . . . . . . "
He really can't eat anymore .
Duan Bai Yue reached out his chopsticks, putting the duck drumstick into his own bowl, and passed a bowl of fragrant bamboo soup to him .
Chu Yuan started and stopped, he had already bitten into the drumstick .
But Duan Bai Yue obviously won't mind this, finishing it in two, three bites, and picked up a big piece of beef .
Chu Yuan can't bear to think .
According to how much he's eating, he probably didn't feel full even once during the past few days at the relay station .
After the meal, the sky outside has already turned completely black; Duan Bai Yue put down his teacup, thinking that this is then called having a meal, the meager fare at the relay station previously, those can only be considered barely filling one's stomach .
Chu Yuan said: "We can go back now?"
Duan Bai Yue glanced outside the window; Yan Shui river, winding and meandering; the scenery on its two banks are rather nice .
But Chu Yuan has already went down the stairs .
Duan Bai Yue felt regret in his heart, and could only catch up from behind, thinking that if there's a chance next time, they must enjoy the view together .
But Chu Yuan didn't have any mood to think about other things, returning to the relay station with quick steps, getting Si Xi to boil hot water the moment he went in .
Eunuch Si Xi quickly sent down the order, and looked at Duan Bai Yue with a question in his eyes, what's the matter with the emperor, why does he want to bathe the moment he returned .
Duan Bai Yue finally realized that something is wrong: "What's the matter?"
"The mask is too stuffy . " Chu Yuan said .
"Let me help . " Duan Bai Yue reached out and felt around his ears, pulling down the entire mask .
Chu Yuan groaned quietly in pain; red dots has emerged on his face, it seems itchy just by looking .
"A yo!" Eunuch Si Xi was shocked, how did this happen .
"Why didn't you tell me earlier . " Duan Bai Yue also got a shock, letting him sit on a chair, turning the flame up .
Chu Yuan thought, looking at you just now, the ones unaware would have thought that you have starved for ten days, and finally managed to get a full meal . If it's possible for him to not disturb, then it's best not to disturb .
Duan Bai Yue is distressed yet angry; wetting a handkerchief with warm water, he gently helped him to wipe his face and applied medicine: "Is it still painful?"
"It wasn't painful . " Chu Yuan said, "Just a little itchy . "
"It's me who didn't think through this fully . " Duan Bai Yue combed his stray hairs . In the Xu manor, he sneezed due to a little too much dust; let alone covering his entire face with medicine; luckily it's only half a days' time, or else he's afraid it will be more serious .
His face feels cool, and long doesn't have the itchiness when he was at the restaurant, so he didn't feel bad . Chu Yuan looked at Duan Bai Yue's face, almost within his reach, and calmly said: "Looking at your expression, it seems like I'm disfigured . "
"Nonsense . " Duan Bai Yue doesn't know whether to laugh or cry, "Don't worry, at most it will recover by tomorrow morning . "
Chu Yuan said: "En . "
Duan Bai Yue continued to examine once more, finding that there really isn't any big issue, and after applying the medicine, those red dots have subsided quite a bit; then did he felt relieved .
Chu Yuan looked at him with laughter in his eyes .
"Still laughing . " Duan Bai Yue said by his side, "Next time I won't bring you to play like this . "
"But the people at the dealership is going to collect goods at Qiu Shui village tomorrow . " Chu Yuan said .
"It's fine if I go . " Duan Bai Yue said, "You wait for the news in the relay station . "
"Your Majesty . " Eunuch Si Xi asked outside, "Does the imperial physician need to be called?"
"No need . " Chu Yuan said .
Eunuch Si Xi is very worried, is it really no needed, why not let them take a look .
"Eunuch doesn't have to worry . " Duan Bai Yue opened the door, "This king will take care of Emperor Chu . "
Eunuch Si Xi could only nod, sighing in his heart with a troubled expression on his face .
Outsiders all say that the Xi Nan manor brings poison wherever they go, it seems to be certainly true, judging from today .
How can a disguise can even cause the emperor to have a reddened face .
In the room, Duan Bai Yue looked at Chu Yuan preparing to sleep, then sat by the bed, extinguishing the flame in the lamps .
Chu Yuan asked: "King Duan is not going to the room beside?"
"I will watch over you . " Duan Bai Yue arranged his blanket properly, "If you feel uncomfortable anywhere, simply tell me . "
"You seem to be treating us as if we are too weak to withstand the wind . " Chu Yuan felt ridiculous .
Duan Bai Yue thought, but you really are too weak to withstand the wind .
But it's just a thought, obviously he can't say it loud, so he said: "Sleep . "
Chu Yuan, unable to change his mind, turned sideways, wanting to lean against the wall, but was pressed down: "There's still medicine on your face, don't move around, just sleep like this . "
. . . . . . . . .
Eunuch Si Xi, outside, is perplexed; the lights have already been extinguished, why isn't Xi Nan King coming out yet .
Duan Bai Yue leaned by the bed, quietly keeping watch over the person beside him; he also closed his eyes, resting . After a while he checked once more; continuing to wait till those red dots thoroughly subsided, and even felt his pulse, making sure that there's no other issue; then did he got up and returned to his room .
Hearing his room door closing lightly, Chu Yuan opened his eyes and stared at the roof of the bed, the corners of his mouth having . . . . a hint of a smile for no reason . He turned sideways, holding on to his blanket, but was lost in thought for the whole night .
On the morning of the second day, Duan Bai Yue secretly went to Qiu Feng village . He waited till the afternoon, and as expected, saw the workers of the Wu dealership stopping their carriages at the end of the village . The man from yesterday greeted them warmly; a few people, with words and laughter, moved the separate pieces of wood onto the carriage, settling the cost after counting them, and went on their separate ways .
Duan Bai Yue raised an eyebrow, the money is certainly not little .
The workers rushed the horse carriage all the way back to Da Yan city, grouping the wooden pieces and sending them to different storehouses; in the end three big boxes remained, they looked to be the wooden boxes from yesterday .
Duan Bai Yue followed that worker all the way; first they passed by the private house behind the shop, and made a round, in the end going into an abandoned guesthouse, worn down over the years . The worker took out a key and opened the door, carrying those three big boxes inside . He looked around after coming out, making sure that no one saw him, before openly returning to the front .
This house looks like wind is getting in everywhere, and it's not known how long has it not been repaired, even the roof looks as if it can be stepped through with a step . Duan Bai Yue glimpsed inside by the window, but was slightly stunned instead -- inside the house, it's empty, other than a few pieces of broken wooden boards there's no other things, the three boxes just now are nowhere to be seen .
There's a secret passage . . . Duan Bai Yue smiled, returning to the relay station .
"Secret passage?" Chu Yuan is surprised .
"Things that can't be seen by people, naturally will be done in places where light cannot reach . " Duan Bai Yue said, "Although the trap door wasn't found today, but it's no matter, clues will be found after observing it for a few more times . "
"Will it be dangerous?" Chu Yuan asked .
"Danger is unlikely, I only ask that we don't beat the grass and scare the snake(3) . " Duan Bai Yue asked, "What about your side? Did you find out the connection between that Wu dealership and Xu Zhi Qiu?"
"Their dealings are extremely close . " Chu Yuan said . "But this dealership is originally already one of Da Yan city's most popular shops, it's not strange for them to cross paths with the authorities a few times . "
"There's many carriage dealerships in this city, when did the Wus become popular?" Duan Bai Yue asked .
Chu Yuan replied: "Two years ago . "
"So before Xu Zhi Qiu took this office, the Wu dealership was an unknown insignificant seller . To have the presence of today, they must have the secret support of the authorities . " Duan Bai Yue said, "And one more thing, that woman who pretended to send in firewood, after leaving the magistrate, the place she returned to was also the Wu dealership, seems like she's tasked to take on tough jobs . "
Chu Yuan asked: "How should the next move be taken?"
"Why don't we release a long line and reel in a big fish . " Duan Bai Yue said, "I will keep watch over the dealership, at least it should be made clear first, just what they are doing in secret,"
"Then we will send people to watch over Xu Zhi Qiu . " Chu Yuan said, "According to what you said that day, Lan Ji seems to have almost forced him into a desperate situation, he should make his decision within these few days . "
Duan Bai Yue nodded: "Good . "
"King Duan!" The two of them were still talking, when he suddenly saw him move closer instead; Chu Yuan instinctively moved back .
"What are you afraid of . " Duan Bai Yue laughed silently, "The actual issue has been discussed, I'm just taking a look at your face, what's the matter?"
"Nothing . " Chu Yuan said, "Si Xi insisted on getting the accompanying physicians over here to take a look in the morning .
"And?" Duan Bai Yue pulled over a chair, sitting by his side .
"And the physician examined and tested our pulse, and found that there really wasn't anything, but he didn't dare to say that he couldn't diagnose anything, so he kept trembling . " Chu Yuan said .
Duan Bai Yue laughed: "This doesn't seem like your personality, to scare people on purpose . "
"Your Majesty . " Eunuch Si Xi said from outside, "Dinner has been prepared . "
A bowl of vegetable bean curd instantly appeared in Duan Bai Yue's mind .
"Send it in . " Chu Yuan instructed .
Duan Bai Yue thought, luckily he had some oily stuff yesterday .
Eunuch Si Xi opened the door, carrying in each dish by dish; usually he would be finished around three, four dishes; this time the table has at least seven plates, eight bowls, and a big fish -- it's really big .
Duan Bai Yue: " . . . . . "
Chu Yuan picked up his bowl, saying: "Does King Duan intend to continue staring?"
Duan Bai Yue felt that he must explain, that he doesn't eat that much for every meal, it's because he ate bean curd and vegetables for a few consecutive days, so his stomach didn't have oil and salt only .
Chu Yuan had already picked up a piece of rib, slowly eating with his head lowered .
Thus Duan Bai Yue swallowed back the words by his lips -- if it can let him eat a few more pieces of meat every meal, then it's also worth it .
Candlelight danced in the room; there's only the soft sounds of two people eating .
Duan Bai Yue asked: "A night pearl?"
"En?" Chu Yuan raised his head, not having heard clearly, "What night pearl?"
"There's something shining in the drawer . " Duan Bai Yue reached out his hand and pointed .
Chu Yuan glanced at it, and said: "It's the Fen Xing . "
Duan Bai Yue smiled: "It's always by your side?"
Chu Yuan continued eating: "No . "
Duan Bai Yue poured him a bowl of soup, but felt that something seemed off; after thinking about it, he asked: "It's really the Fen Xing?"
Chu Yuan: " . . . . . . . "
This kind of matter, is there a need to lie .
"On the day I got it from Jiu Xuan Ji, don't talk about it shining, it's not even close to a night pearl . " Duan Bai Yue explained .
Chu Yuan is slightly surprised, then stood up and opened the drawer door, taking out a pearl from within .
A perpetual blue, round and smooth, it's penetrating like a cat's eye .
Duan Bai Yue: " . . . . . "
"It shouldn't be like this?" Chu Yuan passed the pearl to him .
Duan Bai Yue took it into his hands, seeing that its shape is certainly Fen Xing, but . . . . it can actually give out light?
Chu Yuan also didn't understand: "Just what's the matter?"
"Nothing much . " Duan Bai Yue returned it to him, "No wonder everyone wants it, it really has spiritual energy . "
Chu Yuan placed the Fen Xing back onto his palm: "I too do not know what it's used for, I only heard of people mentioning it occasionally . " He unintentionally brought it up; at that time the two of them weren't that old, and yet he didn't think that there would be a day that it would be found by him .
"Since you like then keep it, who cares what use it has, as long as you're happy when looking at it . " Duan Bai Yue said, "If you want anything next time, just tell me . "
Chu Yuan kept the pearl, sitting back by the table, continuing to finish his soup, and eat a cup of tea to wash his mouth .
Duan Bai Yue felt that he's going a bit mad, even when he's wiping his mouth, he also felt very delighted .
Chu Yuan said: "King Duan can go back now . "
Duan Bai Yue: " . . . . . . . "
Chu Yuan looked directly at him .
Duan Bai Yue asked: "Can't even sleep in the room beside this?"
"A hard wooden bed, how can it be comfortable . " Chu Yuan shook his head .
Duan Bai Yue thought, the bed here is soft, but --
"King Duan . " Chu Yuan interrupted his spiraling train of thought .
Duan Bai Yue sighed: "Alright . "
Today is the fifteen anyway, he should go back to take medicine and train .
Duan Nian was waiting at the inn for him, there's also letter written by Nan Mo Ye on the table .
Duan Bai Yue asked: "Can I not read it?"
Duan Nian, a face of suffering: "Have mercy, my lord, if you don't read it, I'm afraid Nan Mo Ye will feed this subordinate insects . "
Duan Bai Yue could only open it with a headache .
Inside is a page of secret martial art book -- it's really only a page . Eight moves, a nei gong(4) practice, it doesn't seem hard; it's warned that his luck on every fifteen revolves around the heavens .
Duan Bai Yue opened another page, and a saw a densely packed page of outrageous embellishments, bragging about the martial art in its entirety . It's both unrivalled in the martial arts circle and allows for one to rule the whole world; and is also guaranteed to cure a hundred diseases, from minor ills like the cold, headaches and heat, to major ills like impotence, and can even cure a lady's lower abdomen aches, and uncontrollable postnatal hemorrhage .
Duan Nian read till he's scared witless: "Lord is really going to learn this?"
Duan Bai Yue asked him back: "Why not?"
Duan Nian is speechless .
How he still say 'why not' .
Pick any normal martial arts practitioner, after getting this page of so called "secret moves", they too wouldn't want to learn it right?
Duan Bai Yue picked up the bowl of medicine on the table, drinking it in one go, then went into his bedroom .
Duan Nian could only keep watch uneasily outside, fearing that his lord will have a problem out of carelessness .
Nan Mo Ye doesn't seem very reliable after all .
In Xi Nan manor, Duan Yao is lying on Nan Mo Ye's back: "Teacher!"
"No . " Nan Mo Ye rejected at once .
"I don't want to learn it either, why can't I even look at it?" Duan Yao rubbed his cheek against him with all his might .
"No means no . " Nan Mo Ye locked the secret compartment, saying half-heartedly, "Yao-er saw wrongly, the Bodhi Heart Sutra is not here . "
It's really there! Duan Yao's eyes are full of complaint, he can't even get a glimpse?
Teacher is simply petty .
(1) Xiao Ge: 小哥 - little, older brother . Terms along these lines are used to call waiters, salespeople etc .
(2) Food names: 八宝嫩鸭，醉酒牛肉，干烧猪脚，海参丸子，红烧羊腿，布袋鱼 - Most are self explanatory, but FYI: drunk beef is beef cooked in (usually rice?) wine, Bu Dai Yu (lit . cloth bag fish) is a traditional dish of Anyang, Henan .
(3) beat the grass and scare the snake: 打草惊蛇 - chinese idiom that means to unintentionally alert the enemy .
(4) nei gong: 内功 - lit . internal work . Any of a set of Chinese breathing, meditation and spiritual practice disciplines associated with Daoism and especially the chinese martial arts (from Wikipedia) .