When Chen Xing woke up, he found himself back at the Xie household. He was already unable to remember whatever happened last night; the last memory that he could vaguely recall was drinking with Feng Qianjun.
After washing up, Chen Xing passed through the patio and made his way to the main hall. The first person he saw was his host, Xie An. Xie An had just returned from court; the moment he saw Chen Xing, his expression became extremely strange. Xiang Shu sat alone in the hall eating lunch, and he glanced at Chen Xing but said nothing.
“Yesterday, His Majesty had given me sudden orders to go to the palace.” Xie An explained, “I’ve made you all wait a long time.”
Chen Xing saw through Xie An’s maneuvers again but didn’t expose him. He just asked, “Oh? What did His Majesty ask? Whether you’ve paid off your debt yet?”
Xie An replied, “Regarding the 70 million liang, His Majesty specially issued a decree and sent it to the Feng family today. The solution will definitely be able to satisfy everyone.”
Chen Xing thought in his heart ‘you’re decreeing the debt to be repudiated ba...’ then glanced at Xiang Shu. He asked, “Did I get drunk yesterday?”
Xie An and Xiang Shu exchanged a look; within this look, a vast amount of information was speedily exchanged.
“I didn’t do anything strange yesterday, right?” Chen Xing suddenly felt a little uneasy.
Xiang Shu: “You only made a huge ruckus in the Xie Mansion, then jumped in the vat used to grow lotuses to take a bath...”
Chen Xing: “!!!”
Xie An: “Brother Xiang wanted to pull you out but you actually embraced Brother Xiang, pulled and tugged at him, kissed and...”
Xiang Shu: *Cough!*
Xie An finally stopped talking. Chen Xing’s face immediately became thoroughly red, embarrassed to the extreme. He coughed several times before saying, “So I heard that there is a plague in Jiangnan?”
Chen Xing changed to a new topic, but Xie An didn’t know much about the situation. He thought back for a long time then said, “It seemed to have been said before that Kuaiji once had an epidemic... but it subsided a long time ago. Where did you hear of this?”
Xie An originally worked in the Ministry of Personnel before becoming a Minister of Internal Affairs. He was responsible for organizing the Northern Prefecture’s soldiers and equally coordinating the divisions between the scholars, imperial family, and the Nandu nobles. Regarding the lives of civilians on the other hand, he was in charge of very little. He only caught wind of a word or two from the Ministry of Revenue, but he knew that since Chen Xing asked, it mustn’t be a very small problem. He said, “I will immediately go send somebody to the Ministry of Revenue to ask.”
Chen Xing hurriedly responded, “It’s fine, I will just investigate myself.”
“Yesterday His Majesty mentioned that he wanted to meet you two,” Xie An said. “I immediately objected, but if there’s time, I think it wouldn’t hurt to meet.”
Hearing this, Chen Xing and Xiang Shu couldn’t help being a little surprised. Xie An also knew from the looks of them that Chen Xing didn’t want to enter the court and become an official.
“Then many thanks,” Chen Xing said with a smile. “Before leaving Jiankang, I will definitely find a chance to visit His Majesty, otherwise I would be being discourteous.”
The reason for Xiang Shu’s shock was that compared to Fu Jian’s absolute imperial power in the North, the Emperors of the Sima family in the South were negotiable about everything - resistance wasn’t a big problem.
After lunch, Chen Xing went outside the gates and needless to say, Xiang Shu changed into another set of clothes and followed him out. Normally if they found each other to be eyesores, then they were eyesores, but when it was actually time for work, Chen Xing had already become accustomed to Xiang Shu naturally following after him without a word.
However, after yesterday’s drunken experience, the atmosphere between the two was especially awkward. Chen Xing wanted to ask just what had happened last night, but was afraid it’d get worse the more he’d hear, so he didn’t say anything. Xiang Shu was still the same as always, unsmiling and walking by Chen Xing’s side. The two of them didn’t ride a horse and just left like that.
Walking out of Wuyi Lane and onto Zhuque Street, the two didn’t talk the entire way. The longer they dragged on, the more awkward the silence became.
Chen Xing cleared his throat, “Cough! You...”
“You...” Xiang Shu also happened to open his mouth at that time.
The two people grew silent again. Chen Xing was freaking out inside but stood still. Xiang Shu finally spoke, “If you want to find a sick person, you won’t be able to find them on the street.”
Chen Xing: “I know!”
Xiang Shu asked, “Buy two horses?”
“No need!” Chen Xing reflexively replied, “Is having money so amazing? I can walk myself!”
Xiang Shu: “You want to walk all the way to Kuaiji?”
Chen Xing harshly glared at Xiang Shu and made his way through Zhuque Street, saying, “I don’t want to go to Kuaiji at the moment. Let’s go to the local clinics to take a look, the doctors here may know something.”
Other than being an exorcist, Chen Xing’s other occupation was precisely medicine. A doctor would always be well-informed of the latest news, as patients would always bring all sorts of them. In addition to that, doctors were just like merchants, with their own unique guilds.
“Right, you’ve never told me yet, just what is Iuppiter?” Xiang Shu seemed to offhandedly ask.
Chen Xing’s heart thumped. He questioned, “Iuppiter? Why are you suddenly asking about Iuppiter?”
Xiang Shu: “When I was studying the Acala Blade’s files yesterday night, I suddenly thought of it, so I’m casually asking.”
Xiang Shu stood still and narrowed his eyes beneath the sunlight, scrutinizing Chen Xing. The two people made their way like this. If Xiang Shu raised such an abstract question, as long as Chen Xing knew, he would explain to him; if he didn’t know then he would honestly say so.
“Oh?” Chen Xing was a little surprised. “Have you finished learning the mantras in the scroll?”
Xiang Shu: “You haven’t answered me yet.”
Chen Xing: “......”
Chen Xing could only explain, “Every person’s life has seven palaces; it may be The Advisor, or maybe The Army, The Field Marshal, or The Greedy Wolf. A star would be distributed to every palace, and there is one star that is in charge of the entire wheel of life. This star is ‘The Star of Destiny’. Astrology is very complicated to explain, I myself haven’t learned it thoroughly yet...”
“So your Star of Destiny is Iuppiter?” Xiang Shu asked. “What determines this?”
Chen Xing: “It’s said that it is the time of birth, or maybe some stars are to their own preference? Who knows?”
Xiang Shu: “How many other people have Iuppiter as their Star of Destiny?”
Chen Xing had originally intended to change the topic, but Xiang Shu wouldn’t stop interrogating him, so he could only directly answer, “People with Iuppiter as their Star of Destiny are incredibly few. There would only be one every few thousand years.”
“So people with Iuppiter as their Star of Destiny would have good luck throughout their entire lives?” Xiang Shu questioned again.
“Um,” Chen Xing replied, “Why do you have so many questions? Theoretically that is how it is, but... Forget it, don’t you think that my luck really is pretty good?”
“But what?” Xiang Shu asked him with some perplexity.
Chen Xing: “It’s nothing. Just what do you have against me? If there’s something you’re unsatisfied with then just say it.”
Xiang Shu: “There’s nothing I’m unsatisfied with, I just feel like your luck isn’t all that. Why didn’t Iuppiter send you money yesterday?”
Chen Xing: “Along our entire journey, weren’t there always accidents but never any harm? That is Iuppiter’s protection, what else do you expect?”
Xiang Shu: “That was all because I was saving you!”
Chen Xing stared at Xiang Shu then suddenly smiled. “So to be able to find you and be with you, does that still not count as my luck being good?”
This time it was Xiang Shu who was left with nothing to say. Chen Xing originally didn’t intend to say such a sentence, but Xiang Shu mentioned Iuppiter so Chen Xing thought of a lot of things; there were only a few years left, so what would be the point of him constantly saying that he didn’t want to concede?
Wait... Chen Xing suddenly grew nervous. Could it be that when he got drunk yesterday night, he had let something slip and was heard by Xiang Shu?
But Xiang Shu didn’t continue to interrogate him, and Chen Xing couldn’t continue giving more answers. These days, he gradually became aware of some changes in Xiang Shu. After shirking the identity of The Great Chanyu, he finally became himself again in front of Chen Xing. The real Xiang Shu was also just a young man who carried a little wariness but also held a faint curiosity about the world.
The streets of Jiankang were arranged in the shape of the 井 character, with eight vertical and eight horizontal lines. After the Han people crossed to the South, Chengguo’s imitation of Chang An increased by a ton. The city’s center clinic was placed at the west street, Baihu Road, with people walking to and fro in front of the door. Overhead hung the plaque Wang Xizhi mentioned, ‘Miao Shou Hui Chun’. Chen Xing thought in his heart, ‘Why do I see this guy’s calligraphy wherever I go in Jiankang? It is good-looking, but they’re everywhere. Seeing it too much may get sickening.
It was rumoured that Hui Chun’s hall had the Divine Doctor of Jiankang, Zhu Jin, treating patients. However, Zhu Jin would only come for a brief period of time every morning, and sometimes he would even have to enter the Imperial Palace to examine patients. When Chen Xing and Xiang Shu arrived, they only saw a young woman in men’s clothes diagnosing patients in the hall. Behind the curtain at her side was another person making a prescription for her.
“Patients need to go line up outside,” The female doctor automatically said the moment she saw Chen Xing “There’s a lot of people, please follow the rules.“
“I... I’m going to die...” Chen Xing pretended to be dying, “Doctor, my illness is really urgent...”
Xiang Shu: "......"
“Whose illness isn’t urgent?” The female doctor could naturally tell that Chen Xing was faking it, she angrily yelled, “Line up! Otherwise don’t blame me for not being polite!”
Just as she was saying this, a sudden ‘ah’ sounded from behind the curtain. The person prescribing the medicine pushed aside the curtain, revealing Gu Qing who was donning female clothes. She said, smiling, “Brother Chen?”
Chen Xing greeted her with a smile. The female doctor was a little shocked, but her face warmed up a little. Chen Xing explained, “I’m not here for a diagnosis, I am also a doctor. I’m here to talk to you.” After introducing himself, he also introduced Xiang Shu. The female doctor glanced a couple of times at Xiang Shu but didn’t comment on anything else, just saying, “How about you drink some tea at the side? I’ll let you throw down the gauntlet after I finish diagnosing this batch of patients.”
Chen Xing didn’t think that this woman would be so close-minded but thought of how when he himself was treating patients, it was the same way; the heavens and earth were great, but the peoples’ lives were the most important. Gu Qing quickly put down her work and served the two of them tea.
“Hey!” The female doctor cried indignantly.
Gu Qing waved her hands and smiled, indicating that these two were distinguished guests. The female doctor still had a sour expression, but could only call somebody to replace her.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Caro.