The Feast – 155 – Suspicion

The Feast – 155 – Suspicion

Chapter 155: Suspicion

 

Translated by Gumihou

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“Sister, aren’t you being too heavy-handed?” Xu Ran Yun was finally propelled by Concubine Jiang’s crying and screaming to speak. She had rushed to Su Nuan Nuan’s side, but then stopped a few steps away, eyeing the brown streaks on Su Nuan Nuan’s dress with disgust.

Unwilling to go any closer, she stood in place and began her dramatic speech, “Physician Liao is giving his all to save poor little Chuan’er. What is the meaning of your sudden interference? Even if you did have some good intentions, forgive me but, under these circumstances, if something happens to Chuan’er, how are you going to explain it? Why won’t you at least listen to Concubine Jiang? Look how wretched she is from the way you abuse her son. No matter what, her heart is in the right place…”

Though on the surface it looked like she was speaking well of Su Nuan Nuan, but Xu Ran Yun was in fact throwing every suspicion and stain she could upon her. As someone who had grown up in the inner court, this kind of balancing act between accusation and plea was something she had perfected from an early age.

Su Nuan Nuan could not even be bothered to even look at her. She merely helped Duan Maochuan clean his little bottom and placed him back on the now clean bed and tucked the blanket over him. She then spoke to one of the maids, “Bring in another portion of the medicine that the physician had prepared.”

She had just finished speaking when there was an audible [Pang!] from outside. Almost immediately, Concubine Jiang’s nearly hysterical voice was heard, “My lord… my lord… you must help Chuan’er. The first madam is torturing him… making him throw up all his medicine… ah, she even had people drag me out… my lord…”

“You sit here first.”

That familiar voice, dignified and austere, caused the maids to quickly pull the curtains open, revealing Duan Tingxuan and an old man.

“Duan Tingxuan.”

From the moment when news of Duan Maochuan’s near death, Su Nuan Nuan’s whole body had been strung tighter than a qin’s[1] strings. When she finally laid eyes on this little fellow’s delirious form, the strings tightened even more. It kept stretching and stretching until the very second she heard Duan Tingxuan’s voice. It was as though the strings had been cut, and all the bones in her body softened. As she mentioned his name, tears unexpectedly welled up in her eyes.

“Nuan Nuan, how is Chuan’er?”

Duan Tingxuan quickly stepped forward and gently touched his wife’s trembling body. Her voice nearly choked as she said, “Don’t know, the child is… he’s not in his right mind now, I just… made him vomit everything up. Someone should get him some medicine…”

“Sir Han…” Duan Tingxuan stepped aside and allowed an old man of about 50 years old to come forward. The man was perfectly calm as he said, “Be at ease, lord heir. This one shall examine the child first.” with that, he picked up Duan Maochuan’s little wrist and felt his pulse carefully.

The sound of crying gradually reduced, and Concubine Jiang came forward. The two servants did not bother to restrain her this time. With the master in the room, there was no way she would make a fuss. Moreover, she was Duan Maochuan’s blood mother, it would not be good to force the issue at this point.

“What has the child eaten?”

The imperial physician asked the same question as Physician Liao. Concubine Jiang cast a furious glare at Su Nuan Nuan. Then, as though afraid that she won’t be allowed to speak again, her words poured out like a torrent, “He ate cold food. He had Snow Cream at Spring Breeze Court and said his stomach was uncomfortable when he got back. He never liked having a proper lunch and only drank a bowl of soup. Not long after that, he started needing the toilet. Then, the physician was called and he said Chuan’er’s life is nine-tenths gone and… sir. Please, please, you must save my son, I beg you…”

“Imperial Physician Han will do all he can. Calm down, Wan Fang.”

Duan Tingxuan sighed as he came forward to comfort Concubine Jiang. Naturally he did not miss her hate filled eyes as she glared at Su Nuan Nuan. He lowered his voice, “We shall discuss everything later, right now our first priority is Chuan’er’s life.”

“My lord and Concubine Jiang should speak to Chuan’er. If you know anything he likes, but haven’t managed to get it yet. Just promise he’ll get it when he recovers.” Su Nuan Nuan was one who would try anything in a crisis. She felt that this was one of the things they could do to encourage Duan Maochuan to live on, after all, a patient would be more motivated if they have something to look forward to.

“I don’t need your fake compassion…” Concubine Jiang started, but then subsided at her husband’s warning stare. Burning with hatred, but still not daring to provoke Duan Tingxuan’s ire, she lowered her head and muttered through gritted teeth, “I’m still too upset to think. How could I remember something so specific now?”

“Chuan’er, do you remember that you want father to take you fishing in the countryside? Father was really busy at that time and couldn’t take you. Once you’re better, let’s go together, alright? The fishes there are really shiny and fat…” Duan Tingxuan’s heart felt like someone had twisted a knife in it as he held the little child’s hand gently. His eyes shone with unshed tears.

A maid came in with another bowl of medicine. When Physician Liao heard that Imperial Physician Han was here, he quickly came in. He was just in time to hear Imperial Physician Han asked after the prescription and gladly gave the details. Imperial Physician Han nodded thoughtfully, “Drink this down first. The patient’s condition is quite poor, so this prescription is the best.”

Physician Liao felt quite excited, he nodded and said, “Yes, yes, yes. I think so too. For the second prescription, I was thinking that it should depend on the patient’s recovery. I was actually quite anxious as I am not especially good at treating children. It’s a good thing that sir is here.”

Though Imperial Physician Han has a high status, he was actually quite a modest man. After hearing Physician Liao’s explanation, he warmly said, “Since you’re here early, you must have made all the necessary inquiries. Has the boy only had some cold food?”

“Oh… to be honest, since the patient is not very conscious. I could only make some assumptions based on his condition, his face was as white as rice paper, and his pulse was weak, which lead me to conclude that his life must be in danger. There was a trace of chill to the pulse, but aside from that… this lowly physician is not experienced enough to tell what it might be.” Physician Liao was basically complaining at this point. Just what could that unusual pulse be? Could it be possible that aside from the initial chill there are some other elements involved?

Imperial Physician Han’s name was quite well known, and he would not give a rash or unclear diagnosis no matter what. However, he was still slightly terrified because he too had felt the unclear pulse rate.

How many people had he examined in his many years of service? He knew that the unclear pulse rate had roused Physician Liao’s suspicions. He sighed but said nothing. He knew from his experience that though catching a chill during winter was bad, it would not cause a patient to suddenly regress at this pace. He checked the boy’s pulse again and found yet another inconsistency, however, it was so slight that he dared not say anything about it.

“Oh yes, when I arrived just now, I happened to smell some sweetness on the child’s mouth. It was quite strong, like a Sweet Ginger Soup…” Physician Liao continued to chatter on, not willing to simply let go of this opportunity to make a good impression with an imperial physician. Moreover, this great doctor seemed to have stabilized the boy’s condition. He was determined not to let out any detail of whatever he had remembered from this incident.

Xu Ran Yun quickly jumped in to say, “The Sweet Ginger Soup must be sent by Feng Xian earlier. When I heard from Concubine Jiang that Chuan’er is suffering from a bad stomach, I recalled that Ming’er had told me earlier that the boy sneakily ate half a bowl of Snow Cream at Spring Breeze Court. Thinking that he must have been suffering from the cold food, I had Feng Xian make a bowl of Sweet Ginger Soup for Chuan’er to warm his stomach. I never would have imagined that a short time later, the child would suddenly become so sick.”

When she had finished, Duan Tingxuan regarded her seriously, but did not say anything. On the other hand, Concubine Jiang started crying again, “I’m so lucky Madam Yun is here. Otherwise, this one really doesn’t know what to do, wu wu wu…”

 

 

[Gumihou: … … lady… are you dumb?]

 

 

[1] qin – a stringed musical instrument

 

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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Rose

    UGHHHH hate all this inner court fighting for power nonsense. Can we go back to the food? And the husband fighting the cat for food?

    1. Gumihou

      Every inner court must have power fighting nonsense. Lol. Otherwise it’s not an inner court.

  2. sinkingship

    Heh. Look at this lady jumping in to admit that she’s the only one who sent the kid food before he suddenly started dying of poison.

    Thanks for the chapter.

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