Chapter 41 – Laughing Point (1)
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Bruise-like marks were prominent on Su Xin’s body, particularly on her neck—a proof that what took place last night was real. When she drew her face closer, she smelled the faint scent of wine. Qu Feiqing also touched her bare skin only to find it sticky with perspiration.
Qu Feiqing did not have a hard time figuring things out, she quickly understood what was going on with Su Xin. She once again covered her with the quilt and waited for the imperial physician to arrive.
Shu Juan came later with the imperial physician in tow. In lieu with the tradition, he paid respect to the emperor and quickly headed to his patient. From his drawstring pouch which was fastened to in his waist, he pulled out a thread and tied it on one of Su Xin’s wrists to check her pulse. Afterwards, he withdrew the thread and looked at Qu Feiqing somberly.
“Your Majesty, the girl has caught a cold. Perhaps, her body has still not been accustomed to the weather in Qu Liu. It’s best to let her rest and this doctor will just prescribe few medicinal mixtures for her to drink at a certain time.”
The imperial doctor wrote down a prescription and informed them of the things they should avoid and things they should pay great attention to. His job was finished so he packed his things and left.
“Go decoct the medicine.” Qu Feiqing commanded with haste.
Shu Juan accordingly took the prescription and rushed to the Imperial apothecary.
Qu Feiqing lifted Su Xin’s quilt, picked her up and headed towards the small lavatory.
Su Xin was lethargic in her arms, she kept on murmuring incoherent words every now and then.
Undressing her wasn’t hard as she was almost bare in the first place. Qu Feiqing settled Su Xin at one elevated corner and wiped her body slowly with a cloth dipped in water. She decided to not bathe Su Xin, it might worsen her fever and she looked like she couldn’t withstand to be washed.
As she continued to wash her off of filth, Qu Feiqing mused over the unmistakable dark purple bruises and red scratches on the pale skin of Su Xin.
How could her mouth be so cruel?
She was so caught up in the moment last night, she must have been careless with her own strength. She didn’t expect to leave ugly marks on her body.
Yet it invoked something primal in her seeing marks on Su Xin that was created by her.
Finally, Su Xin was clean, yet she didn’t have a change of clothes—Qu Feiqing forgot to bring one. In desperation, she could only carry the bare Su Xin back to her bedroom.
Regardless of her heavy clothing and the weight of Su Xin, she managed to walk briskly, wary that it might aggravate Su Xin’s illness if she was exposed her stark naked to the cold for long.
She quickly tucked Su Xin under the quilt and proceeded to rummage her wardrobe. She found pieces of decent undergarments and dressed Su Xin in them—of which proved to be quite a challenge.
Firstly, the top.
Qu Feiqing pursed her lips as she tied the string behind Su Xin’s back in attempt to cover Su Xin’s trembling breasts.
Next, Qu Feiqing put on the loose trousers which required lifting and tossing Su Xin to her side, to make sure the trousers are worn properly.
Afterwards, she made sure to cover her with blanket to keep her warm.
Exhausted, the emperor sat on the edge of the bed and watched Su Xin’s small, red face poking out from the quilt. She was breathing laboriously, lips an unhealthy shade of blue and purple.
Seeing her in this state, Qu Feiqing’s anxiety grew by the minute.
She couldn’t refrain herself from remembering her mother’s face when illness struck her, her face was also reddened like this, with lips pale as a ghost.
What made Su Xin and her mother different was, on a lighter note, Su Xin’s illness was not chronic and she was provided with an imperial doctor. Her mother was never attended by one.
She was put out of her reverie by the rough scraping sound of the door being dragged against the polished wooden floor. Through it came Shu Juan who was holding a large bowl of hot medicinal concoction prepared according to the doctor’s prescription.
“This emperor is here. You can leave and rest, I’ll take care of her.”