“Then, please, Imperial Physician.” Wei Xuan could only capitulate, and he gestured for Feng Tian Mu to follow as he guided the latter to the Flowing Winds Residence.
“This way, to my residence.”
“…is there something Lord Minister wishes to impart to this one?” Feng Tian Mu raised an eyebrow as he inquired, his handsome face displaying a pleasant smile.
“Ah? Oh, no, nothing of what Imperial Physician Feng is worrying of,” Wei Xuan quickly replied.
“Imperial Physician arrived far quicker than we had known, hence my daughter is currently resting at this one’s study.”
“Then it is for the best,” Feng Tian Mu nodded.
“It is encouraging to see Lord Minister to be so careful and affectionate towards his daughter. Benevolent parents shall birth a generous and filial heart.”
“Why, thanking Imperial Physician for his praise,” The minister gave a quick bow, clasping his fist before his chest in gratitude.
“This minister only wishes for his daughter to live happily.”
“Benevolence and affection is indeed wise and magnanimous, but Lord Minister must always remember,” Feng Tian Mu’s lips raised in a slight smile.
“Offending the emperor to care for one’s daughter is not benevolence. One must always remember and adhere to the relationships and virtues of subject and official.”
“This official remembers,” Wei Xuan quickly acquiesced, beads of sweat dotting across his brow.
“Has His Imperial Majesty…decreed anything?”
As he spoke, the minister quickly directed a glance at the ever-smiling Imperial Physician. However, what greeted him instead was still that blank sheet of paper, greatly infuriating Wei Xuan that his hands twitched hidden in his sleeves.
Maintaining a cordial expression on his countenance, Wei Xuan awaited Feng Tian Mu’s response, hoping to catch any hints. Unfortunately, the blank paper refused to reveal any hints whatsoever, much to his dismay.
“His Majesty…has declared you a caring father,” the Imperial Physician said.
“His Majesty wishes, however, for Lord Minister to quickly return to the palace whenever possible. This physician dares to assume that perhaps…there may be an imparting of a blessing?”
Blessing? Blessing his ass! Wei Xuan inwardly grumbled.
The emperor must be stewing in his anger as not only did he walk out before receiving permission, he also broke not just one but three critical regulations of Jiang’an on cultivation and martial arts. Rather than receiving a blessing, it would perhaps constitute the form of a severe punishment just short of execution.
Nonetheless, the minister adopted a hopeful expression as he replied to the Imperial Physician.
“This minister hopes to receive His Majesty’s blessing,” Wei Xuan said.
“A blessing by the emperor can indeed bring forth prosperity to a family’s future generations…an honor that many wish to receive and covet.”
“That is indeed true,” Feng Tian Mu nodded.
“His Majesty’s blessing can indeed bring forth tremendous prosperity to a family in Jiang’an, or perhaps in the entirety of Yong. However,” the physician took a sidelong glance at the minister.
“The ancients have always stated that a blessing is always double-sided, one of goodwill and the other of calamity. To digest and accept a blessing, one must first survive the transgressions of the incoming calamity.”
“Then this minister must hope that His Majesty’s blessing doesn’t exceed our capability,” the minister secretly wiped cold sweat trickling down his arm.
“After all, this one’s family does not have much capability to…accept an imperial blessing.”
Wei Xuan no longer wished to speak with Feng Tian Mu, his senses screaming of cautiousness and wariness. He feared that if the young but astute physician and he were to converse for an extended period of time, he might unconsciously condemn his family into hell or reveal a terrible secret.
As they strolled along the winding pathways, admiring the flowers at a relaxed but brisk pace, Wei Xuan no longer deemed to talk with the Imperial Physician, instead quietly musing in his heart.
Yun Zhi, have you completed your preparations? Your Senior Brother’s nearly about to lose his calm here, ah!
Periodically checking An Fei’s body temperature to ensure that the cold temperature was not fatal, Physician Gao wiped cold sweat off of his forehead, leaning back onto the study chair. With a light sigh, he intended to rest until Wei Xuan and the Imperial Physician had arrived, when two sets of footsteps could be faintly heard.
Bolting upright, the aged man rapidly gazed around in panic, pressing his ear against the door.
One was the familiar rhythm of Wei Xuan’s footsteps, and the other seemed to belong to a rather young man, both vigorous and yet elegant in its precise steps.
Looking back to glance at the Fourth Young Miss’ features, Physician Gao narrowed his eyes before picking up the girl and moving her to the farther edge of the bed closest to the wall. He then pulled both curtains to close and obscure her figure, then arranged An Fei’s left arm to protrude from the cover of the draped curtains.
Ensuring that only part of her wrist and hand was visible, the physician flurried back to his seat. No sooner than had he sat down on the study chair, the door slid open to reveal the Imperial Physician Feng Tian Mu and Wei Xuan.
“Physician Gao, the Imperial Physician is here,” Wei Xuan was the first to speak up, directing a hidden glance towards the old man. Physician Gao understood the implicit message, and after a short moment, rose to greet Feng Tian Mu.
“Forgive this old physician for his inability,” he said with a deep bow. “Since the Imperial Physician has arrived, this one can be relieved.”
“There’s no need for such courtesy,” the Imperial Physician quickly responded, rushing forward to lift the old man up. Once Physician Gao had stepped behind Wei Xuan, acting like a normal contracted physician of a minister’s manor, Feng Tian Mu got straight to the point.
“Esteemed Senior here…” he spoke, directing an inquisitive glance at Physician Gao.
“Have you ascertained the patient’s symptoms? Did you think of a feasible treatment?”
“This…this old physician had carefully examined the Fourth Young Miss…but could only find symptoms of a severe cold deficiency syndrome.”
Feng Tian Mu frowned. Pondering on a matter, he slowly walked to sit next to the unconscious girl, wrapping the presented handkerchief around her wrist before reaching to take a pulse.
His fingers resting on that slender wrist, the softness of the skin unable to be deceived by a thin handkerchief, Feng Tian Mu raised an eyebrow in appreciation. His eyes trailing up the arm clothed in a light green dress, he found to his disappointment that the girl’s appearance was completely hidden behind a dense protection of dark-blue curtains.
Thinking of how the old physician had remained in the room prior to their entry, Feng Tian Mu’s expression darkened for the briefest moment before returning to the customary indifference as he stood.
“Lord Minister,” he said whilst greeting Wei Xuan with a light bow.
“I’ve completed my initial diagnosis, which doesn’t differ that much from the judgement of the Esteemed Senior.”
“Oh?” Wei Xuan exclaimed. “Does Imperial Physician have a treatment method for my daughter?”
“This physician’s suggestion is to feed the Fourth Young Miss several slices of yang fruit and loquat until she awakens from her coma. As for treating the cold deficiency syndrome…the symptoms are far too advanced to suggest an effective method without proper investigation. Although, there have been some legends in the medicinal texts that a cultivation method for tempering Yin essence is often the best treatment for cold-deficiency disease.”
“Loquat…it’s currently in the middle of autumn…perhaps this minister can shove his weight around in the markets.”
As Wei Xuan’s murmur drifted into the ears of Physician Gao and Feng Tian Mu, both couldn’t help but twitch their lips upon the minister’s shamelessness. The aged man pretended not to hear, while the youthful Imperial Physician took one last secret, fleeting look at the girl hidden behind the curtains. Turning to the minister, Feng Tian Mu gave a deep bow.
“Lord Minister, this physician will return now,” he said, an amicable smile on his face. “Later, after studying the texts a bit further, this physician will return to investigate this matter deeply.”
“En, this minister will see you out…”
Seemingly in a haze, Wei Xuan personally escorted Feng Tian Mu out of the manor, returning back to the study after a joss stick’s time had passed.
When he had stepped in, Physician Gao had reached over to grasp him by the collar of his neck.