by Qing Lu
Translated by Grenn
Chapter 23- The strange illness (2)
Yang Mu hesitated since he didn’t know if it would do any good. As for Zhuo Qing, she couldn’t help, but shook her head. Then, everyone had a shock expression as she lifted her legs and climbed on the bed, crawling further in. She was half kneeling besides Lou Xiyan with both her hands supporting his shoulders. She supported him up, but she didn’t expect that, although, he seemed meager, he was 100% buff. This annoyed her once again.
Since she didn’t have much force, she turned towards Mo Bai and said, “Blue eyed, help me to sit him.”
Mo Bai coldly gazed at her with a trace of uncertainty hidden deep in his eyes. Zhuo Qing impatiently roared in a low voice, “If you don’t want him to die, just help me quickly!”
Mo Bai slightly hesitated for a moment, but, in the end, he still supported Lou Xiyan to sit. Only when Lou Xiyan sat properly did Zhuo Qing tear open the front of his clothes. One of her hand rubbed his back and the other was directly stroking the front of his chest…
Lou Xiyan suddenly grabbed Zhuo Qing’s wrist and his slender eyes abruptly opened widely. Theirs eyes met. Zhuo Qing was dazzled for a split of second. Those eyes were sometimes joyful and warm like the spring wind, and, sometimes, they were craftily scheming. But, at this moment, they were like a deep pool of dark water. The depth of those eyes flustered Zhuo Qing. Just at that moment, A drop of sweat slid down his cheek and fell on Zhuo Qing arm. Her arm shook, but the hand grabbing her arm tightened more. His hand was different from the ice-cold and gentle touch during daytime. At this moment, the strength of his hold was enormous. Moreover, his palm was burning hot.
Looking at Zhuo Qing’s hand resting on Lou Xiyan chest, Lou Xiwu was unable to endure it this time since Zhuo Qing and her elder brother were acting in collusion. It almost made her shriek and roar. “You, ugly woman, what are you doing?! Let it go! Let it go!”
Zhuo Qing paid no attention to Lou Xiwu’s clamors since she continued to examine Lou Xiyan serene and distant eyes. She whispered to him, “Lou Xiyan, slowly relax and follow the rhythm of my breathing.”
“Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale…”
Lou Xiyan frowned. ‘What is she up to?!’ Ever since he was sitting, the sensation of suffocation in his chest was slightly better. He looked at her earnestly helping him; He exerted himself to breath. In his heart, he felt warm. Eventually, he slowly relaxed the strength of his hand following the rhythm of her breathing, but he never released her hand.
Everyone stupidly looked at Zhuo Qing guiding Lou Xiyan’s breathing. They never saw this kind of treatment before which quite was strange. After Lou Xiyan sat and deep breathed several times, he was still gasping for breath with difficulty, but his every breath wasn’t as laborious as before.
After several times breathing, Zhuo Qing raised her head and glared at Yang Mu. She cursed in a cold voice, “ What are you doing looking at me, continued with the treatment!”
Yang Mu recovered his spirit and repeatedly said, “Oh! Oh!” He took action and didn’t dare to be careless when he inserted the needles.
One burned stick of incense later…
Through the imperial physician’s and Zhuo Qing’s great effort, Lou Xiyan appeared to be better. It could be seen that his breathing was more and more smooth, only his complexion was as pale as it was before.
Yang Mu collected the needles and used the sleeve of his garment to wipe the beads of sweat on his forehead. Inwardly, he let out a long sigh of relief. It was really dangerous just a moment ago. Fortunately, Miss Qing employed that strange method, if she didn’t the consequences would be unthinkable.
“Master, the medicine is here.” One of the assistant was carrying a bowl of medicine containing a pure black liquid with his two hands as he walked in very carefully.
The medicine had not reach her yet, but she could already sniffed the heavy smell of Chinese medicine. Fortunately, she chose western medicine instead of traditional in those days. The terrible taste and smell of traditional medicine were enough to give her nausea. She wanted to use her hand to cover her nose, but she discovered that Lou Xiyan had slightly tighten his hold on her wrist. She raised her eyes to look at him. In his long and narrow eyes, there was a faint glint of cold light. She remembered before she came in, Lou Xiyan had first throw the medicine. ‘He also dislikes Chinese medicine?! Or…’
Yang Mu took the bowl of medicine and walked to the bed. Mo Bai took a step forward and coldly said, “Imperial Physician Yang, let me do it.”
“This…” Yang Mu feared there would be another mishap again, so he hesitated on whether or not he should assisted Lou Xiyan in taking his medication. Bearing a quiet and exquisite faint smile, Zhuo Qing unhurriedly said, “Imperial Physician, you’re also tired from the night. It would be better for you to go rest in the next room first until the other imperial physicians arrived as you will be more busy afterwards. We will take care of things here in the meantime.”
The words said show solicitude, but did make one unable to oppose those words. Yang Mu lifted his eyes and only saw a woman magnanimously sitting on the bed without a trace of pretense, only her hand was tightly held by Lou Xiyan. It was no wonder she was so imposing a moment ago; As it turned out Chancellor Lou gave her his support! He hurriedly controlled himself by lowering his eyes. Then, he gave the bowl of medicine to Mo Bai. He bowed down and replied, “That’s also good. Thank you for your trouble, Madam. This old official will go to the nearby room. If you need something, please call me.”
“Good.” Zhuo Qing absolutely didn’t pay attention to him addressing her as “Madam” nor did she take notice of the corner of Lou Xiyan’s mouth raising up lightly.
“Elder brother…” As she nibbled on her lustrous lips, Lou Xiwu half-kneeled in front of the bed. Unexpectedly, the tears flowed down uncontrollably.
Lou Xiyan lifted his hand to tenderly wipe the glistening teardrops from the corner of Lou Xiwu’s eyes. He softly told her, “I’m all right. Xiwu, brother had something to discuss with Miss Qing. You go out first.”
“Hn…” Lou Xiwu glanced at Zhuo Qing, but she didn’t say anything to her as she obediently went out.
Mo Bai also withdrawn behind the screen, only Zhuo Qing and Lou Xiyan remained in the spacious room. Both of them were sitting face to face. The sounds of Lou Xiyan panting were quite clear. The front of his clothes was slightly open, revealing a strong chest and the faint contour of a six-pack could be seen. Adding to that, his black hair was loosely attached… Zhuo Qing admitted the sight before her was a feast to the eyes, but wasn’t it excessive to stare at someone like this? But if she didn’t check him out, it could also wound his ego…
Zhuo Qing watched him without any restraint until she met eyes with that mischievous pair of eyes. At that instant, she lightly coughed in embarrassment and spoke, “It’s better for you to talk less and rest a lot right now. Any other matters can wait until you are a little better to discuss again.”
“I want to ask a favor of you.”
Zhuo Qing raised Lou Xiyan’s arm that was holding her and replied straightforwardly, “Explain what you want. But, first of all, can you let me go?”
‘She also knows how to be embarrassed?’ Lou Xiyan found it funny since he had never met the daughter of a good family staring at a man without restraint and, what more, with keen interest and pleasure! In the end, Lou Xiyan didn’t embarrassed her further and lightly released her wrist. Zhuo Qing hurriedly got up and jumped off the bed. She didn’t forget to grab a few pillows beside her and put them behind Lou Xiyan’s waist as to let him leaned on it while sitting.
Watching her busy figure, Lou Xiyan suddenly humbled his voice as he softly spoke, “I have been ill for some times. The imperial physician tried to treat it, but there is no improvement. I saw the method you used a moment ago was very effective. I hope you can remain by my side and take care of me.”
“What I did a moment ago is only emergency treatment. As for curing your problem, I don’t really know.” Okay! She studied Western medicine and had no problem with dissecting corpse, but treating illness was not her speciality, especially in this context where there was no medical equipment and installations.
“It doesn’t matter. It’s already enough if you can help me when it’s the most painful.”
Zhuo Qing let out a small sigh as she was uneasy for no reason. He still appeared to be in high-spirited. Anyway, Lou Xiyan was very strange. To say that he was pretending to be ill? Impossible, the symptoms of the onset he had before couldn’t be reproduce as an act. But, saying that he had a real illness, why won’t he properly take his medication? From that point, there was certainly additional unknown secrets. However, she had no interest learning about it. She just wanted to find Gu Yun!
Zhuo Qing had a plan in her mind. She was no longer at loss by Lou Xiyan’s goal. She calmly replied, “Well then, I can remain here on the condition that I want to see my sisters within one month.”
“Sure.” It was only a small matter to him.
“Very well. It appears that we have reach an agreement.” Zhuo Qing picked up the bowl of medicine Mo Bai left behind, but she didn’t go towards Lou Xiyan, rather she walked to the window. With a face full of pity, she spoke, “Ah! The medicine is cold. The effect might diminish because of that. It’s better if you wait for the imperial physician to make a new one to drink.” Nevertheless, she poured all the medicine on the bonsai by the window without any hesitation.
With her back at him, she fiddled the plant with satisfaction. Lou Xiyan attentively watched her and was more and more serene. She was much more intelligent than he had expect.
She put down the bonsai and was prepared to leave. From outside the room, Jing Sa’s icily arrogant voice suddenly echoed, “Master, the Emperor has arrived.”
‘The Emperor arrived?!’ Lou Xiyan called in a low voice, “Mo Bai.”
Mo Bai entered the bedroom. After Lou Xiyan whispered a few words into his ear, Mo Bai suddenly set forth. He pulled Zhuo Qing out of the room. Zhuo Qing was unable to make head or tail of it. ‘What is he doing?! The Emperor arrived, but why does she has to be send away? Why on earth they have such nervous face? Is she not fit to be seen?’
They walked passed the screen. Outside, there was a succession of voices paying respect to the Emperor…
“Long live, long live the Emperor, long live forever!”
The Emperor was clearly in the courtyard. Mo Bai could only grasp her and led her back inside the house. Zhuo Qing turned and rolled her eyes. Although the house was big, very big, but there was absolutely no place to hide!
“No need to greet and welcome us!” The door was pushed open suddenly, following that came an impetuous, overbearing and majestic manly voice…
 This is important to understand that she didn’t exaggerate with Lou Xiyan dying if Mo Bai didn’t help her. Why? As you may know, asthma is often triggered by an allergen or various irritants. This cause inflammation to the bronchi as a meant to defend against irritants which is an inappropriate reaction of the immune system. The sudden shrinking of the bronchi lumen cause the passage of air to the alveoli to become smaller. Thus, less oxygen to the blood flow, the asthmatic person is breathless and wheezing can be heard because of air passing through shrinking passages. By sitting up, it allows the lungs to expend at maximum capacity to compensate the sudden lower airflow. By breathing at a certain rhythm and calming oneself, it allows to lower the oxygen consumption of the body and allowed better gas exchange in alveoli. I won’t go in too much details since it might take a whole page to explain. You can read the rest of the interventions through here. The emergency treatment doesn’t solve the bronchospasm right away, that’s why he still have difficulty breathing even after she helped him.
The interesting thing about this book is the author did her researches and most of the medical contents can be verified.
 This is an expression that had it origin in the Song dynasty. It’s the story of the disciple of a neo-Confucian scholar being engrossed by the atmosphere of his teacher’s teaching and boasting when he came home saying about his teacher was like a spring breeze, cheerful and comfortable. I really shorten the whole explanation in Chinese which can be found here.
 If literally translating 皇上万岁万岁万万岁, it would be Emperor, 1000 years, 1000 years, 1000, 1000 years. Although, Iciba (chinese dictionnary) also found it weird, so here‘s it translation.
 The characters used are different from the usual greet and welcome. See here.