Lu Xiuwen usually possesses a silver tongue, even able to turn black into white just with words, but at this moment, he remained silent, only giving a glance to Duan Ling before following the manor keeper and leaving.
Duan Ling had a good night’s sleep.
The next morning, he got up and practiced a set of fist moves, then had a bowl of congee and a few side dishes. Only after that did he realize that something seemed to be missing. He called the manor keeper to ask.
“What happened to the person I brought back yesterday?”
“I haven’t seen him today. He might still be sleeping in the woodshed.”
Duan Ling looked at the sky, seeing that the sun had already risen high, he thought to himself that he didn’t bring Lu Xiuwen back to be a young master, so he threw down his chopsticks and went to the woodshed himself to find him. As he walked, he pondered, he couldn’t torture the man with cruel methods, but he could make him do some servant’s chores to dampen his spirit.
Back when he was trapped in the cult, he was often treated like a servant by Lu Xiuwen.
The woodshed was located in a remote area, and because the manor keeper was afraid the person might escape, he stationed two guards there, giving it an appearance resembling a prison cell. Duan Ling pushed the door open, and immediately, a musty smell hit him. The room was covered in cobwebs, not only dirty and messy but also dark and narrow, with no place fit for sleeping. Lu Xiuwen was huddled in a corner, leaning against the wall, his head resting on the rough and hard firewood, apparently still deep in slumber.
Duan Ling walked over and kicked him in the leg. “Hey, wake up.”
With a soft “mm,” Lu Xiuwen’s body shifted slightly inward, but he didn’t open his eyes.
Duan Ling lowered his head for a closer look and noticed that Lu Xiuwen’s complexion was even paler than before. Even his lips had lost their color. He reached out and touched Lu Xiuwen’s forehead, only to feel a terrifying heat.
Duan Ling now realized that Lu Xiuwen was actually sick. He glanced at the crumpled clothes he was sleeping in and said in a deep voice, “Why wasn’t he given a blanket?”
Several servants exchanged looks, but none of them dared to speak up.
Who would think to prepare bedding for someone sleeping in the woodshed? If bedding was prepared, should a bed be set up as well? If a bed was provided, should there be other arrangements too? Was he meant to stay in the woodshed or a guest room?
Duan Ling didn’t have the time to pursue this further. After a brief pause, he lifted Lu Xiuwen into his arms and instructed, “Go fetch the doctor immediately.”
The manor keeper immediately responded and left.
Due to the sudden turn of events and the lack of time to tidy up a guest room, Duan Ling had no choice but to carry Lu Xiuwen to his own room. Even giving him his bed to sleep on.
Lu Xiuwen was in a deep sleep, he didn’t wake up despite the jostling along the way. While he slept, those slightly wicked eyes were hidden, making him resemble Lu Xiuyan even more.
The two of them were actually twin brothers, bearing a striking resemblance in appearance, but their personalities were worlds apart. One was gentle and refined, while the other was as cunning as a snake and scorpion.
Duan Ling remembered that Lu Xiuwen had a white-scale whip, crafted from snake skin. When it hits the body, it inflicts excruciating pain and tears the skin and flesh. Lu Xiuwen was ruthless and brutal, often using the whip to lash out at people. There was a time when Duan Ling had been whipped to the ground, rolling in agony. If it hadn’t been for Lu Xiuyan pleading on his behalf and later secretly providing him with medicine for his wounds, he might have died long ago.
At that time, Duan Ling had silently vowed that once he became skilled in martial arts, he would one day string up Lu Xiuwen and give him a taste of his own whip. Now that the opportunity had presented itself, forget whipping him, just having him sleep in the woodshed for a single night had left him seriously sick and barely clinging to life.
How come seeking revenge turned out to be so difficult when it was his turn?
Duan Ling smiled bitterly.
Fortunately, the manor keeper was efficient in his tasks. Before long, the doctor was brought over. This doctor’s surname was Yao, in his forties, with a goatee. He was a renowned doctor in Qingzhou City, known to have some genuine skills. Duan Ling was familiar with him and quickly invited him to the bedside to examine Lu Xiuwen’s pulse.
Doctor Yao reached out and placed his fingers on Lu Xiuwen’s wrist, stroking his goatee while shaking his head. After a moment, he exclaimed, “Hm?” and then mumbled to himself, “How strange… this pulse… how could it be…”
Doctor Yao’s reactions made Duan Ling’s eyelids twitch. He felt a sudden unease in his chest and asked, “What exactly is wrong with him?”
“It’s just an external cold. I’ll prescribe some medicine, and with proper care and rest for a few days, he should recover. It’s just…”
“What is it?”
“This gongzi’s pulse is very peculiar, his meridians are broken, and his lungs and internal organs are poisoned. If this was an ordinary person, they wouldn’t have lasted this long. It’s truly baffling that he survived until now. It seems that the strong poisons in his body have collided with each other, and instead preserved his life.”
Duan Ling already knew that Lu Xiuwen’s martial skills were completely crippled, but he hadn’t expected that he was also severely poisoned. He hurriedly asked, “Is there a way to treat him?”
“Treat him?” Doctor Yao widened his eyes and shook his head repeatedly. “With a pulse like this, how could he be treated? Even if he were to take ginseng every day to sustain his life, at most… he might have only half a year left to live.”
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