The first name that came to Fu Nian’s mind was his senior brother.
“Is there any other detail you can recall about what happened back then? Like the sorcerer’s attitude and demeanor when talking to His Majesty, as well as His Majesty’s reactions?”
After asking, Fu Nian studied the young woman’s pensive expression.
“Let this maid think… Yes, when His Majesty first saw him, he seemed particularly angry. Although they didn’t engage in a physical fight, the atmosphere was tense. But after three days, when they came out of seclusion, the sorcerer left with the money, and His Majesty appeared exhausted, with a pale complexion. He had to be supported by Li Gonggong and Ze Wang to rest in a side chamber for a while. About an hour after the sorcerer left, you woke up, and His Majesty immediately returned to the bedroom, and you guys had a heated argument. After that, you should have some recollection.”
Fu Nian kept his head lowered in silence.
Was Chu Zhaoyi really in a weakened state?
Suddenly, a bizarre thought crossed his mind.
But he quickly dismissed it.
Chu Zhaoyi cherished his life so much. In the previous life, he had never trusted Fu Nian, let alone shown any tenderness or affection. How could he have possibly risked his life for the sake of a dog?
After a moment of contemplation, Fu Nian asked again, “Are there any other details?”
Chun’e shook her head. “I can’t remember anything else for now. If Lord Fu truly wants more detailed information, only the people directly involved would know.”
The people directly involved…
Apart from him, an unknown sorcerer, the only other person was Chu Zhaoyi.
In the previous life, Fu Nian had asked Chu Zhaoyi countless times about the identity of the person who had implanted the Gu in him. The answers were always the same: “They will die after you, and they will never betray Zhen. Don’t worry about this matter.”
After asking so many times, Fu Nian understood that expecting Chu Zhaoyi to reveal the answer was simply wishful thinking.
So this time, he decided to investigate it himself without bothering Chu Zhaoyi.
“I understand now. Thank you, Miss,” Fu Nian said, still harboring doubts as he left the town.
On his way back, Fu Nian’s thoughts involuntarily turned to Chu Zhaoyi.
He vaguely remembered that when he first returned to the palace in this life, he had encountered Chu Zhaoyi’s “recurrent illness,” which had caused him to fall into a deep slumber. However, in all the years they had spent together, he had never seen Chu Zhaoyi exhibit any signs of a “recurrent illness.”
He also couldn’t ignore the inexplicable behavior Chu Zhaoyi had displayed when handling his body after his death.
It just didn’t align with the treatment one would expect for a disobedient dog.
As he reached the bustling streets of the capital, Fu Nian slowed down and finally stopped in front of a medical clinic.
The owner of this clinic was said to be highly skilled in medicine and had even turned down offers to become an imperial Doctor, choosing instead to practice medicine for the common people.
The snow-covered roads were not easy to traverse, and it was now midday, so there were few people around. Fu Nian quickly spotted the renowned Doctor.
“Young man, what brings you here?”
“En…..” Fu Nian hesitated for a moment, unsure of how to broach the topic.
“This old doctor understands, please come inside for a more convenient conversation,” the physician glanced at Fu Nian’s approximate age and the nervousness on his face, showing consideration by speaking first.
Fu Nian quickly stood up and followed the physician into the inner room.
Once inside, Fu Nian glanced at the walls covered with cases of erectile dysfunction, as well as the treatment results and meridian principles after intervention.
He felt that the doctor had misunderstood something.
“…Basically it’s something like this, I really can’t find the cause,” Fu Nian explained his doubts after a long narration.
The nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, and fatigue he had been experiencing these days, along with some other symptoms.
After finishing, Fu Nian felt a strong hand on his wrist, constantly probing.
“I can tell that you’ve been practicing martial arts since childhood, and you’re in good health. If you don’t mind me asking, do you have any congenital issues with your legs and hands?” The doctor asked while examining the pulse.
Fu Nian rolled up his sleeves, revealing prosthetics. “I was born without my right arm and right leg, and my legs are prosthetic. I did practice martial arts since childhood, and my health has never been an issue, so this time it felt strange.”
The doctor nodded thoughtfully while still examining the pulse.
However, his brows furrowed more and more.
Fu Nian felt a sinking feeling in his heart. He wondered if he was seriously ill. Whenever he saw this expression on a doctor’s face, it was never a good sign.
After a silence, Fu Nian finally heard the physician in front of him, who had been frowning, speak, “This pulse pattern is indeed rare but not unheard of. Although you are a man, faint traces of both male and female characteristics can be sensed in your meridians. What’s strange is that…. the pregnant pulse is particularly distinct, and the structure inside your body seems different from an ordinary man.”
Fu Nian: ?
Can’t they make up lies that make sense?
But looking at the doctor’s serious expression, Fu Nian was momentarily unsure if he had misheard or if the doctor was speaking nonsense.
“Your intestines have an extra cavity compared to ordinary people, and the source of the pregnant pulse should be from here,” the doctor said, furrowing his brows again. “Young man, it’s the pregnancy pulse, no doubt about it.”
“What?” Fu Nian completely doubted his ears. “Doctor, are you… are you awake?”
He wasn’t trying to insult the doctor. Faced with this set of statements, his first reaction was either there was something wrong with his ears or the doctor had a problem with his head.
“It’s the pregnancy pulse. You didn’t hear wrong. You are indeed… about one month pregnant. The pulse is faint but unmistakable; I can’t be wrong,” the doctor repeated once again. “In the past, I have also seen meridians with both male and female traits, as well as individuals with special internal structures like yours. Although it’s rare, it does exist. There have been records of men being pregnant in historical medical books.”
“Do you have any boundaries in your storytelling?” Fu Nian confirmed that he hadn’t misheard. Without waiting for the doctor to finish, he interrupted with impatience, “Listen to what you’re saying. Men being pregnant? Even medical books dare not write such things. If you can’t diagnose the problem, just say so honestly. Why make up such ridiculous stories to deceive people?”
The doctor lowered his head. “I speak the truth, I’m not deceiving you. It’s normal for you to have difficulty accepting it for a while. I can see that you didn’t take care of your body very well in the past, with frequent injuries, cuts, and so on. But during this period, please be extra careful and avoid reckless actions.”
Fu Nian: …
Daring to tell such an absurd lie, is that quack of a physician for real?
Today, Fu Nian had sneaked out of the palace secretly, and he didn’t want any trouble. He didn’t argue with the doctor any further, leaving the consultation fee on the table before quickly walking out of the clinic.
While walking back to the palace, Fu Nian couldn’t help but mutter to himself.
These days, the traveling physicians were becoming more and more outlandish.
After returning to the palace, Fu Nian collapsed on his bed, closing his eyes to alleviate the fatigue in his body.
In the past, he could travel for days and nights continuously without feeling this tired. Today, he had only left the capital for a short trip, and he was already this exhausted.
While lying down, Fu Nian couldn’t help but recall the words of the “quack doctor.”
Pregnant, and about one month along.
He had been captured and brought back to the palace by the Imperial Guards, which was indeed about a month ago, on that day…
But in his previous life, such occurrences were countless, and he was a man. How could this be possible?
In the end, Fu Nian stopped thinking about it and fell asleep.
In the middle of the night, Fu Nian was awakened by the cold.
He sat up and mechanically put on his lightweight armor.
He had always been able to tolerate the cold well. In winter, for the sake of convenience, he wouldn’t wear overly elaborate clothing, and he even took cold showers on snowy days.
After putting on the armor, Fu Nian let out a sigh.
Perhaps he really was getting old.
With that thought in mind, he put on his waist badge and prepared to go to the administrative office to get some charcoal.
When the snow hadn’t reached his boot-tops, Fu Nian took a deep breath.
However, before he had taken more than a couple of steps on the soft snow, he suddenly saw a eunuch stumbling towards him in the snow. The unstable road caused the eunuch to fall several times before reaching him.
“Imperial Guard Lian, Lian… Imperial Guard Lian…”
Fu Nian stopped in his tracks. “What’s wrong?”
“The main hall, go to the main hall.” The young eunuch panted, unable to complete his sentence properly.
“Is His Majesty looking for me?”
The young eunuch quickly shook his head. “It’s a young man, he called you senior brother. He’s gone crazy; no one can stop him…”
The only person who could call him senior brother was this person. Fu Nian remembered that he had already escaped from the palace. Could it be that he had been captured again?
“Thank you, I’ll go right away.” Fu Nian didn’t think too much, he thanked the young eunuch and rushed towards the main hall of the Chengyuan Palace.
Still on the jade steps, Fu Nian could faintly hear coughing coming from inside the hall.
The voice was deep and hoarse, sounding somewhat sickly, but it was still recognizable as Chu Zhaoyi’s voice.
Had Chu Zhaoyi fallen ill again due to his recent busy schedule with state affairs?
Fu Nian couldn’t help but recall what he had said to Chun’e earlier when he left the palace, but he quickly pushed the thought away. It was just a sudden snowfall combined with his busy schedule, and he might have caught a slight chill.
Upon entering the main hall, Fu Nian immediately spotted Fu Bie, who was being restrained by the Imperial Guards.
“Senior Brother! Senior Brother!” Fu Bie saw him and shouted loudly, his expression anxious and frantic.
Fu Nian noticed that Fu Bie’s hair was disheveled, his clothing in disarray, and his face and hands covered in mud stains. If it weren’t for his face, he wouldn’t have recognized him as Fu Bie.
“Cough, cough, cough…”
Hearing Chu Zhaoyi’s coughing, Fu Nian greeted him, “Greetings, Your Majesty. May I inquire about…”
Before Fu Nian could finish his sentence, Chu Zhaoyi remained silent, still trying to alleviate his cough, occasionally massaging his temples. Head Han, who was standing nearby, spoke, “A few days ago, this young man made a paper figure and placed it in the prison cell. Those guards are idiots; it took them three whole days to realize that he had escaped without touching his food. While they were searching the entire capital, he showed up at the palace gate and collapsed. After a bit of water, he woke up and started clamoring to see His Majesty. Since Your Majesty isn’t feeling well… As a result when the young man saw His Mahesty he went crazy, saying he had to see his Senior Brother, so His Majesty asked for you to come.”
Although Fu Nian didn’t want to acknowledge this troublesome junior brother, he couldn’t ignore Fu Bie’s deafening cries. He walked closer to Fu Bie and whispered, “What’s wrong with you? Weren’t you planning to leave the palace? Why did you come back?”
“Senior Brother!” Fu Bie broke free from the restraint of the Imperial Guards and rushed toward Fu Nian.
Fu Nian had no choice but to reach out and hold him.
Despite being a teenager, Fu Bie had an adult’s physique, and Fu Nian had to take a step back to maintain his balance.
“He… he woke up! He woke up!” Fu Bie shouted incoherently, his eyes flickering with excitement, but his words were unclear. “Nineteen, nineteen!”
Fu Nian found it hard to breathe as he held onto Fu Bie. He could only patiently ask, “Who woke up? Calm down and explain clearly. You’ve seen many things since childhood; don’t act so impulsively and loudly.”
As he finished speaking, Fu Nian didn’t hear Fu Bie’s response. Instead, he heard a faint voice coming from the direction of the dragon throne.
The voice was hoarse, obviously affected by the coughing fits, making it difficult for him to speak clearly. “No matter how deep your brotherly affection is, you should still observe some decorum in front of Us. Cough, cough, cough…”