Hearing that, He Danggui was shocked, “Ganshi School? Bai Yangbai! I have to save him!” At the same time, she used the arts of lightness learned from Feng Yang’s manual and ran out.
Meng Xuan chuckled and grabbed her collar to pull her back. Then he said jokingly, “I’m only joking. Don’t get defensive. No dead people can walk in the world. I haven’t seen the Ganshi School in Jianghu for many years. The dead can’t move.”
But He Danggui tried to get rid of him again and said angrily, “Bah, you can only fight a battle, and you died early in your previous life, right? Hey, let go of me! Listening to you, I’m worrying about Bai Yangbai, so I must see him. Why is there so silent? Bai Yangbai has to talk with the people there, right?”
“Don’t worry!” Meng Xuan comforted her and said, “Bai Yangbai will be all right. It’s just the 30th year of Hongwu Period now, and he was still alive when I died in the first year of Jianwen Period. Maybe he was lying on the grass to watch Qian’s Family laying Qian Mudan’s body into a coffin. It’s a pity! I could have saved her, but it was too late to cut her hand. Then she died of poison. Look, she didn’t become a ‘zombie’ as you said, right? Don’t you know an old saying that books should be read with reservation said by Mencius? Do you also believe in those unscientific books?”
At this moment, after a painful struggle, Qian Mudan stopped twitching before her hand was cut off. Her father, Qian Xi walked to her and felt her breath. Then he cried bitterly on the ground. The academy prepared a coffin immediately. The servants of Qian’s Family wrapped the body of Qian Mudan and put it into the coffin. Mr. Bao and Ms. Zheng were talking in whispers. No one knew what they were discussing. Then they looked for someone around.
Hearing what Meng Xuan said, He Danggui still felt uneasy, so she shook her head and said, “But in the previous life, Bai Yangbai didn’t teach in Chengxu Academy, and this event didn’t happen. Please let go of my sleeve. I want to see what happened!” After she told to Meng Xuan that she didn’t like him but just used him, he didn’t touch her but pulled her dress. Her dress had wrinkles, which was invented by Qing’er. But now it almost became flat.
Meng Xuan asked doubtfully, “What did you say? I can’t hear it clearly. Pardon?”
He Danggui didn’t react and continued, “You didn’t know Bai Yangbai in the previous life. However, you know him now. And you have been squatting here with him to peep at others, which never happened…” At this moment, He Danggui realized that she didn’t say that she had a previous life, so she continued, “Um, I mean, Bai Yangbai didn’t know you in the previous life.” He Danggui said quickly, as if something was wrong. Then she waved and said, “Anyway, I’m worried about him. I want to go there and have a look.”
At this time, a sound of a nightingale came from not far away. After listening to it, Meng Xuan replied with the sound of cuckoo. After a while, not did only Yi Tong find a reason to come to the bamboo grove, but also Yi Tiao dressed in a full-body nocturnal clothing appeared here.
Yi Tong apologized, “Childe, I’m sorry. That woman is dead, because I’m late to call for help.”
Meng Xuan shook his head and said, “I also have responsibility for it. It seems weird. I don’t know who poisoned this delicate girl. Yi Tiao, how is my elder brother now?”
Yi Tiao replied with a bitter smile, “After Miss Xiao heard about this, she ran to the Prison of the County Government to save Third Childe. She threw a smoke bomb, and then she got out of the Prison carrying the sleeping Third Childe soon. After knowing this, the county magistrate Kong was very anxious. And he said that if the Third Childe was rescued by his friend, it would be all right. He was afraid that some kidnappers would take the Third Childe away. Then the County Government would also be accused of failing to protect people. They would be guilty to the Meng’s Family. If necessary, the county magistrate Kong will make amends to the Lord. Childe, how can I do now?”
Meng Xuan frowned and said, “Suxin is really so naughty. She dared to break into the prison. Well, let’s go to meet Kong Wei.”
Yi Tong and Yi Tiao agreed together. Meng Xuan took 3 steps first, but he stopped suddenly. He looked back to He Danggui and said softly, “I know this matter. Before I leave Yangzhou City, I will go to Luo’s Mansion to propose marriage with the whole rituals. Write me a letter while you stay away from trouble, and I will find another reason to break off this marital engagement. Is that OK?”
Although He Danggui was moved, she still thought something was wrong and paused for a while. Then she said, “Thank you so much! But let me think of another solution. If it doesn’t work, I will ask you for help.” She wanted to find Bai Yangbai first and asked for a better solution.
Meng Xuan looked He Danggui up and down, “Who is that man? How can you be so afraid of him even if you are powerful?”
“I’m not afraid of him, but just don’t want to deal with him direct. It’s rather complicated.” He Danggui frowned and said, “I’ll tell you later when I’m free. You can go, and I’ll see you later!”
Meng Xuan took a glance at her again and then went away. He Danggui looked at the crowd in the distance to find Qing’er, because she wanted Qing’er to go back to the capital to see Duan Xiaolou. However, she didn’t find Qing’er, which was so strange. She hadn’t seen Qing’er since just now. Qing’er should be the one who liked to join in the fun. Just now, she was absorbed in saving Qian Mudan, so she didn’t stay with Qing’er. Bai Yangbai wasn’t a congenial person to Qing’er. Every time they met, there must be an angry argument.
Unexpectedly, Duan Xiaolou broke off the marital engagement with Guan Yun. She always thought that Duan Xiaolou was affectionate to Guan Yun. Besides, Duan Xiaolou always put himself into all women’s shoes. Guan Yun divorced again when she was 21 years old. After this, she had been living under the shadow of marriage. He was so ruthless.
Now, Duan Xiaolou lost his father and son. He Danggui thought, “Was it only because of what she said when she advised him to return to the capital?”
“Duan Xiaolou, I’m sorry. I don’t like you at all, so your ‘special love’ is worthless to me. You have asked me to be your wife for a few times, so I was moved at that time and agreed with you reluctantly. You know, I don’t have many opportunities to be a wife with my identity. Now that this matter is over, we also are friends. Childe Duan, you can go back to the capital. Your official business in Yangzhou City has been over for a long time, right?”
Because he was stimulated, he went to get the “status of wife” for her, right? In fact, she just wanted him to stay away from her, hate her and forget her. His love was so intense that she couldn’t endure it.
How could she repay a debt owed from Duan Xiaolou? Gradually, with the high rates of interest, she owed a high debt. He didn’t lack of money, fame and wealth. What did he lack of? A state of chaos would happen in the next few years. There would be the violent fighting between Lord Yan, Zhu Di, and Emperor Hui, Zhu Yunwen. Duan Xiaolou didn’t know certainly how to stand in the right position at the right time. She could disguise herself as a scholarly consultant to help him.
Besides, she should ask Lu Jiangbei to pay attention to Geng Bingxiu. During the 2 years after the Emperor Hui ascended the throne, Geng Bingxiu was very rampant and tried to frame Lu Jiangbei, Duan Xiaolou and others because of an old case… She hoped this kind of compensation could make her feel less guilty.
She was full of tricks. If she had ignored Duan Xiaolou at the beginning, he would feel bored and leave her. He would have been very happy now. But she took his clothes and his medicine first, and then she arranged with him to meet in Yangzhou City. She also pretended to think about his proposal and give him hope all the time, so that he had to play tricks on her, even if he hated plotters.
What did he like about her? She told him that she had suffered from a disease and her face turned yellow and ugly, but he didn’t mind about it just because he felt sorry for her. She thought that he liked her appearance, and he totally changed without it. What he was infatuated with was only a reflection in the water. The real person didn’t have anything he wanted. She was just a woman who was vain, selfish, scheming and had a lot of shortcomings. She was the ugliest scenery in his life, and he should avoid it far away.
She was really ungrateful. Duan Xiaolou delivered her letters to her mother, and later saved her mother on the way back to Luo’s Family. However, she broke his heart from the beginning to the end. So, Liao Zhiyuan was so angry that he wanted to treat her with those implements of punishment. Was there anyone in the world who was more heartless than her?
“Ah, the corpse comes to life. Qian Mudan comes to life!” Hundreds of people on the field were in a mess, fleeing from place to place, and some of them even came to the bamboo grove.
He Danggui moved to hide in the low shrubbery and ran along the river. How could Bai Yangbai lose track after going to the opposite bank? She had never heard of ‘Ganshi School’ mentioned by Meng Xuan, which sounded like a kind of school in Jianghu. Why did they come to Chengxu Academy?
As she thought about it, she bent down and ran forward. Unexpectedly, she stepped on a soft thing. When she looked it carefully, she found that it was Bai Yangbai with a grass ring on his head and grass all over his body. His mouth and eyes were crooked. He was lying on the ground and bleeding from his from his eyes, ears, nostrils and mouth. And one arm was missing from his body.
He Danggui couldn’t help but burst into tears. She held him up and slapped his bloody face. She shouted, “Qianjun! Old liar! How are you? Hold on and I’ll cure you!”
Bai Yangbai’s eyes moved slowly to her face, and he said with difficulty, “I have traveled around the world and I have been worshipped all my life, which is worthy of my life. I owed 100 liang wine debts in Taibai Restaurant and 350 liang gambling debts in Taibao gambling house. Please help me! I prepared bath for you but I haven’t peeked at you. Help me return the money… You can burn paper money, paper man, paper horse, paper carriage, paper house more. That’s all. Tomorrow you can help me return the money first.” After that, Bai Yangbai returned to the state with crooked mouth and eyes.
He Danggui wiped her tears. She nodded and promised, “OK, I’ll help you pay back these debts… But what’s the prescription for retaining youthful looks? I’ll help you pass it on.”
Bai Yangbai said weakly, “I’m sorry that I can’t tell you because this is a secret… Girl, you are so beautiful that you don’t dare to go out unless you pretend to be ugly. What else do you want to be? Be careful! You’ll suffer permanent disfigurement if the Immortal is angry and the people are resentful.”
He Danggui said seriously, “Taoist Sage, I do it just for you. I don’t want your wonderful medicine to disappear in the world. As a developer, don’t you want your hard work to pass on? What’s more, flowers don’t still keep blossom for 100 days, just like people don’t keep good health for 1000 days. As a delicate lady, I can only rely on my appearance to make living, so isn’t it proper to avoid having a wrinkly face? You have kowtowed to me, your master. Shouldn’t you respect your master and tell the truth? Do you have no sympathy for my miserable life?”
Bai Yangbai vomited blood and squint at He Danggui. He said weakly, “Wicked girl, I’ve been like this, but you still want to use me. Who has no sympathy indeed?”
He Danggui sighed and asked, “What are your last wishes? I’ll do it for you. Just tell me where to find the ginseng rhizome.”
Bai Yangbai thought about it for a while. Then he asked in a sharp voice, “Well, just kiss me first. I wanted to live a long life, so I didn’t get close to female for decades. I didn’t expect to die here in vain today. I’m really not reconciled. If you kiss me, I’ll give you the ginseng rhizome in stock. On the lips!”
He Danggui hesitated for a moment. Then she approached him slowly and tried to kiss Bai Yangbai’s bloody lips. At this moment, Bai Yangbai was so shocked that he raised his hand to cover his mouth. Then he got rid of He Danggui. Finally, he untied his belt and liberated his arm.
Bai Yangbai said unhappily, “Can you really kiss me just for the ginseng rhizome? Please remember that I am also a man. When a beautiful woman throws herself into my arms, I can’t control myself sometimes, so I won’t hide if you do this next time.”
He Danggui sneered and said, “Oh, I’m sure you will hide anyway. If you don’t hide, you will not be Bai Yangbai. Why do you lie here and pretend to be dead? Just now, I burst into tears because I think you were really dead. How can you compensate me? It’s clear that you didn’t let me kiss you just now. Not my fault. So, you should give me all your ginseng rhizomes, or you can tell me where I can get them.”
Bai Yangbai shook his head firmly and said, “I can’t give them to you even if you really kiss me. I’ve found that you have insatiable desires. You planned to get every medicine of mine. And you study the formula of my bath lotion in private. It’s so disgusting! Tell me when did you get Yingying Powder from me? If you tell me this, I will tell you what you want to know most now–how you can meet Duan Xiaolou, OK?”
He Danggui frowned and asked, “How do you know I want to meet Childe Duan?” She opened her eyes widely suddenly and said, “You eavesdropped on me and Meng Xuan! You were contemptible.”
Bai Yangbai grinned and said, “Well, when I was there, you were all quite reserved and discussed the same topic. So, I pretended to leave and listened in the grass here. Later, I heard that you were worried about my safety. When I was moved, I disguised myself to make you feel guilty for Childe Duan! Hey! You just said you would pay for my wine and gambling debts. You must keep your word.”
He Danggui began to think back to the conversation with Meng Xuan. Suddenly, she seized Bai Yangbai’s collar and asked, “Have you heard anything that you shouldn’t listen to? Such as ‘the previous life’ or ‘died early’?”
Bai Yangbai gawked at her and asked, “The previous life? What are you talking about? Do you pay for me or not?”
He Danggui glared at him and said, “Didn’t you hear it? No, I don’t believe it. I’ll prick you first.” At this moment, she took a plum blossom needle to prick his glabella. After she pricked the human-skin mask, he was bleeding.
Bai Yangbai covered his forehead and asked, “How can you still have a needle? Weren’t them confiscated by Meng Xuan? Has this needle pricked Qian Mudan’s face? What a vicious woman Miss He!”
“Yes, of course. This needle is full of her poison. Look, you can see her situation.” He Danggui pointed to Qian Mudan, a beautiful girl with a crooked neck, dull eyes and stiff body, who was walking around to scare people. She threatened, “I am the only one in the world who can save your life. And you need to answer my questions after a while, or you’ll be fool if the poison invades into your brain. First, do you have any way to contact with Duan Xiaolou? Second, how much did you eavesdrop on our conversation just now? Third, what is your prescription for retaining youthful looks? And where can I find each herb?”
Bai Yangbai took a glance at He Danggui, and suddenly he raised his hand to pick his nose and said, “I don’t believe that you are so cruel. Just now you have shed tears for me. Don’t worry. I haven’t heard a few words clearly about your secret conversation because the river flowed rapidly. I only heard that you asked Duan Xiaolou’s question again. You also discussed something about giving birth to a child. I didn’t hear clearly about others. If you don’t believe it, you can use your kung fu to listen to the bamboo grove. Can you hear the people over there?” Bai Yangbai pointed to a group of people who were scared by Qian Mudan and running into the bamboo grove.
Although He Danggui was trying to listen, she heard only a few fragmentary words but no coherent information. Therefore, she believed in Bai Yangbai. Meng Xuan could distinguish the footsteps and gasps several hundred zhang away. Naturally, he could hear if people appeared in the near distance. What’s more, with the memory of the previous life, she woke up from her previous body. This thing would not be believed by anyone unless he experienced it in person.
Bai Yangbai poked He Danggui and said, “Queen, I’m not lying. I just lay down here and wanted to know your relationship. Meng Xuan has sent you a copy of ‘The Rules of Punishment of Meng’s Family’ as bride-price. In the end, I didn’t see any good news. Tut, Meng Xuan is really masculine. He wins credit for all men. As for your rude request, Duan Xiaolou thought about it at least. Then he discussed and bargained with you. However, Meng Xuan refused you firmly, so his meaning is very clear. It’s useless for him to like you anymore. Your request is unrealistic. Now, do you understand? Girl, even if you are a fairy, no noble childe will only marry you. The fairy in the sky goes down to the earth, looking for the filial son like Dong Yong, instead of the rich childe! Hey, is there any poison on your needle?”
He Danggui sneered and said, “Of course. If it’s not poisonous, why should I prick you?”
“Poisonous! Ah, come on! Give me two pills you gave Qian Mudan when you knocked her out!” Bai Yangbai shook her arms and pleaded, “Master, please help me! I don’t want to be the same as Qian Mudan. Isn’t she dead? Or she’s dead but the corpse came to life? I’m so scared that I can’t remember when Duan Xiaolou will come to Yangzhou City to attend the Wulin Assembly.”