It was dusk outside, and there seemed to be a dark layer of veil covering up everywhere. Li Yuanmin originally could not see him clearly, and only probed out and said: “Imperial Physician He?”
When the familiar face came into view, his face couldn’t help but be pleasantly surprised: “Zhihe!”
Originally, he thought it would be hard to meet in person again, so Li Yuanmin was overjoyed and didn’t know what to do. He hurriedly stood up and greeted him. But, he got up in a hurry and tore his injuries in the end. He couldn’t help but groan with pain. His face was hot for a while, then he limped towards He Yunyi.
He was complacent and happy, but after seeing the look on the other party’s face, he couldn’t help but slow down, and the smile on his face gradually froze.
The other party had an expression that he couldn’t understand. He just looked at him dully.
Li Yuanmin didn’t know the reason: “Zhihe?”
He Yunyi gave a mocking smile: “Kudiding and bone breaking grass, cold in nature, clears heat and toxins, eliminates carbuncle swelling, promotes blood circulation and relieves pain, reinforcing muscles and strengthening bones. The two mixed are excellent external medicines. “
These words, that no outsider would understand when heard, made Li Yuanmin tremble from head to toe. His complexion turned pale: “Zhihe…”
However, He Yunyi didn’t seem to care about his reaction, he just said to himself: “But if the two are taken orally together, it will cause pain and restlessness to the muscles and bones, difficult to be calm… This is especially true for beasts.”
He Yunyi faintly looked at Li Yuanmin, his eyes looking like a dim deep black lake: “I remember that I have instructed Third Royal Highness a thousand of times, external things need to be used with caution. Immediately clean your hands after using it, so as not to take it by mistake. Unexpectedly, Third Royal Highness had long had hills and valleys inside your heart and knew everythings standing in your heart. It is needless for my insignificant self to be a hindrance.”
He was born in a family of imperial physicians. The He family members had a keen sense of smell and were incomparable to others. Others may not know, but he can smell the two-flavored herbal scent on the tiger that day.
What was written inside the “Medical Scripture” was induced by the other party intentionally or unintentionally, and he had considered it a topic of idle conversation and spoke of it without thinking the matter through. But he did not expect to fall into the other party’s scheme from the beginning.
“Zhihe…” A feeling of powerlessness entered his heart. Li Yuanmin opened his mouth to speak in futile: “Listen to me…”
His body shook and his heart felt as if it fell into the abyss, soaked in darkness. He wanted to explain, but didn’t know what to say——he indeed had used him.
But he really had no other option. Rebirthing, there were too few things in his hands, too little that he found it hard to move even a single step. He could only watch himself persistently struggle in vain in this filth, repeating the nightmare of his previous life. But he wanted to escape to the outside, he really wanted to.
Since that day when he sent the ointment over, after some special instructions, he thought of the idea of releasing the tiger. In order to ensure that the plan won’t go wrong, he… really did purposefully set him up to talk about the nature of a few medicines.
“Zhihe….”Li Yuanmin was bitter in his throat, and a bottomless bitterness flooded him, but he was unable to say anything at all.
Where he should start, and how he should say it.
Hearing the two words “Zhihe”, He Yunyi’s body shook and a hint of self-deprecation floated on his lips.
When he met him for the first time, the two did not know each other. But he was half-conscious and half awake, coldly shouting Zhihe at him. It was this Zhihe that made him feel pity for the first time in his life. Only then did the two of them have a friendship afterwards.
An outsider can see things more clearly than those involved. Now that he thought about it, at that time, he had just entered the Imperial Physician Courtyard not that long, and was only a young and unknown imperial physician. How could a prince who had lived in the Cold Palace for such a long time without any informants knew of him. He was afraid that since the first time they had met each other, he had already fallen into his trap.
A person with such a pair of clear and innocent eyes unexpectedly had such deep thoughts like this!
The joy of their meetings over these times, those wholehearted words of wanting to make friends, those worries that he had for his body…. Now it all seemed like a joke.
His father had always been proud of him and was rarely strict with him. But at the night of the Autumn Selection day, he hurriedly locked him in front of the ancestor shrine and angrily scolded him.
“A son of a despicable female entertainer in the Cold Palace, who had tasted the changing temperaments of human emotions since he was young, how could he be that weak as you had imagined? Do you think he needs an insignificant imperial physician like you from the left court to make a plan for him!”
“The matter regarding releasing the tiger, you can hide it from others, but you can’t hide it from me!”
“His Majesty is wise, but was also fooled by this child. Who do you think you are? You’re only a convenient tool to be used by others!”
“If you still remember that you are a descendant of the He family, you will cut off contact with him from today onwards, unless you want to see the destruction of the He family!”
“Zhihe! Get back on the right path please!”
Every sentence and every word was like thunder piercing through his ear, making his heart and soul split entirely.
He Yunyi laughed a few times, seemingly in a daze. He fell back a few steps, then he stood firmly, his face gradually stopped smiling.
He touched the box of ointment from his bosom and laughed at himself: “I must be crazy to find all kinds of excuses to see you this time.”
“However, I, surname He, have always had a clear conscience when making friends with someone, so today, let’s consider it as myself coming here to end it properly.”
He moved his hand, and showed the ointment in front of him.
“This is the wound medicine made by Kudiding and bone breaking grass. It couldn’t be better when dealing with your injuries from the punishment….”
His tone gradually calmed down, and all his emotions were put away. No matter if it was good or bad, he just quietly said: “I just hope that Your Highness will not use it wrongly this time.”
There was no going back now.
He knew that everything would never come back. He completely lost this best friend. Li Yuanmin didn’t have much in his two lifetimes. Only this, and he had also lost it now.
Everything was retribution.
In that split second, he suddenly thought of Li Yuanxu. That time when he recklessly humiliated Ni Lie, and thought of every possible way to avenge Cao Gang, he only considered it as a few trivial matters. Nevertheless, it became something that pressed him and even the whole dynasty to death someday in the future.
A sense of karma rose up spontaneously.
Although he was cowardly in his previous life, he treated He Yunyi sincerely and never deceived or used him. That kind of person was more worthy of making friends with He Yunyi. Not the one in this life who only desired to escape. He even used He Yunyi. No matter how passionate he was. In the end, he already tarnished this true feeling.
People living in this world all have to take responsibility for what they do.
He Yunyi had already gone far. From now on, there will be no more days to wholeheartedly make friends. His heart was broken and painful, even the physical pain seemed irrelevant and incomparable this time.
He lost He Yunyi. He lost a very important thing all because of a decision he made in this life.
Li Yuanmin picked up the small ointment box and slowly squatted down, big tears falling down from his eye sockets.
Standing in front of destiny, he was as insignificant as a worm.
The weather on the day they set off wasn’t good, gloomy and immersed in darkness.
There was no grand ceremony, only a line of fifty-six guards arranged by the Imperial Household Department according to regulations.
The only person who came to send them off was the old general, Li Mao, who spoke up for Ni Lie on the Autumn Selection day. He was accompanied by two eight-foot-tall people.
Li Mao’s beard and hair was all white, and his face had the vicissitudes of life. The general who fought at close-quarters on the battlefield finally looked like an ordinary old man. He patted Ni Lie on the shoulder: “Good boy, go and take care of yourself properly.”
Looking at the face that resembled his old friend, it seemed to evoke those military dispute memories. With tears in the corners of his eyes, he faced Li Yuanmin and gave him a deep bow: “Thank you, Third Royal Highness.”
Thanks for what, he didn’t point that out. Li Yuanmin hurried to support him up, and Li Mao called his two companies behind him.
“These are my two assistants, Zhang Long and Zhou Dawu, in my army. Although they are extremely rough, they are also loyal and devoted. They will now be handed over to follow Third Royal Highness’s order now.”
Li Yuanmin’s eyes were hot. He knew that although this old general in front of him was a rough military man, his thoughts were rather meticulous. He could see that he was in a narrow corner without anyone to use.
At the moment, he no longer declined, but solemnly paid respect to him: “Thank you, Old General Li.”
He hesitated for a moment: “General, Yuanmin still has one more thing to request.”
“Oh? Third Royal Highness, please speak freely.”
This matter was really difficult for General Li, but Li Yuanmin had no other choice. Thinking of Ni Lie’s tyranny in the future, he spared no effort to give it a try: “If it is possible, I would like to ask Old General Li to find any possible ways to rescue General Ni’s daughter, Ni Ying. She is now imprisoned in Jiaofang Division, and she’s only eight years old…”
He paused and was a little ashamed: “I…I am a lowly person, so what I think counts for little. There was no news about the message delivered a few days ago, presumably it had disappeared in front of Imperial Court. I really have no other alternatives, so I only hope that Old General Li, for the sake of General Ni would spare no effort to try.”
Ni Lie shook his body from head to toe, looking at the person who was earnestly requesting help. How could he not know his current circumstances? He, himself, was incapable of opening his mouth to request anything. Therefore, he could only suppress the matter deeply in his heart, and was tossing about in his bed in distress every night. But, unexpectedly, Li Yuanmin remembered it in his heart.
However, Li Mao did not show a look of difficulty. His face was full of admiration: “Third Royal Highness, please rest assured. Although only an old rotten man came today, but there are many righteous generals inside the State. This old rotten man certainly will think of every possible method to rescue her with those generals. Even if for a while, we can’t help her escape, we can at least take care of her in secret. So, both of you, please be at ease.”
Ni Lie’s eyes were dark, he didn’t say anything. He just got down on his knees, knocked his head profoundly on the ground three times towards Old General Li.
“Good boy, you don’t have to be like this.” He helped Ni Lie up, “Your father and I sympathized with each other. I believe that he is by no means a traitor, there must be another reason. This old man is still investigating it in the dark until today, so now you just have to be sure to take care of yourself. From now on, be like General Ni and be a good man who stands upright and a real man who deserves no shame!”
Ni Lie clenched his fists and nodded.
The soldiers had come to urge them that it was inconvenient to say anything more, so they only solemnly said goodbye to each other.
The heavy city gate opened, and the plain-colored carriage galloped out of the capital under the escort of a group of soldiers and horses.
Li Yuanmin lifted the sedan chair’s curtain and looked at the towering city gates that were constantly moving away, as well as old General Li in his original place, who watched them leave. There was no excitement in his heart that he had imagined, but a touch of loneliness.
The troops walked amidst the vast and obscure world.
After half a shichen (12h) of effort, he touched the small medicine box in his hand and said:
The leader of the troops waved his hand and motioned to stop. Ni Lie opened the curtain and helped him down.
Li Yuanmin coughed slightly, “You guys wait here for a while.”
He walked to a small hill not far away by himself, where there was a lonely small tree.
He stood still, then took out a piece of jade pendant from his bosom. His eyes drooped down and looked at it carefully, as if looking through this shining jade pendant, he could see that warm face. He was startled and the illusion dissipated.
With a sigh, he found a wooden stick and dug a deep hole in the ground, then put the jade pendant and the small medicine box in it. He looked at it for a while, then covered it with soil.
He stood up and looked at the capital, which was like a dot in the smoke, in a daze.
A gust of wind blew. He sighed slightly. When he looked back, Ni Lie was standing behind him, it was unclear how long he had watched him.
Seeing the youngster standing upright in the wind, his melancholy was relieved a lot for some reason. He only smiled slightly and faced him.
A strong wind rose up. The troop’s flag swayed and made a sound. A lone eagle flies within the vast world, hovering in the vast sky and amidst the vast storm. Li Yuanmin grasped Ni Lie’s hand.
“A Lie, let’s go.”