Chapter 194 The odor
Shang Xin was a person that liked to pay back gratitude and revenge directly. Just like beating and kicking those prisoners in the dungeon and slapping Shu Yue a moment ago. Only when the other party felt real pain would it give her a sense of happiness. Therefore, she was still a little unhappy with how Shu Huan dealt with Shu Yue.
This girl didn’t have much deep schemings. Everything was written clearly on her face. When Shu Huan turned her (SH) face and saw that she (SX) had her eyes lowered and her lips pouted, she couldn’t help but pull her over and say, “Think, that she had been locked up in the dungeon, no matter if she had endured torture or not, but her reputation would be destroyed.”
Shang Xin nodded and then looked at those people who were whispering in a distance. She said, “This is inevitable. It wouldn’t take long before her vicious reputation would be spread throughout the city!”
Because, people as vicious as Shu Yue was very rare. So rare, that it would be spread around as an uncommon story!
In this era, the reputation was the most important. Not to mention that the mind of the kind of persons like Shu Yue was very easy to guess. Shu Huan said, “When her reputation is damaged, it will be difficult for her to marry, let alone marry into a rich family. Let her be tormented her whole life for being impoverished, suffer the torture of hunger and be beleaguered. She would never be able to be a cut above others or frown and look coldly at someone. To her, isn’t this more painful than death?”
After she said that, Shang Xin seemed to have understood. This was like her uncle who was addicted to drinking and gambling. If one didn’t let him drink or gamble, it was more painful than taking his life. Such a punishment was better than selling Shu Yue as a slave! Because a slave may be sold to a wealthy and kind family and enjoy good food and wear fine clothes. She could even use her good looks to become a concubine. But, an impoverished person could only work hard all day long and pass one’s days in torment.
Shu Huan saw that she had understood, so, she (SH) didn’t explain further. In fact, she as someone who had time-traveled with profound experiences, there were truly many ways that she could punish people. She could learn from Ah Zi, peeling off someone’s clothes and apply honey on his body. Then, throw him to the ants and let them bite him. Or she could be more bloody, by incapacitating Shu Yue and throw her out on the streets to beg. If she wanted to be more cruel, she could learn from Empress Lü’s ways when she dealt with concubine Qi…
- Ah Zi: a female character from the novel Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils by Jin Yong (Louis Cha).
- Empress Lü was the empress of the founding emperor of Han dynasty. Empress Lü resented concubine Qi because of the dispute between Qi’s son and Lü’s son over the succession of the throne. She had Qi stripped of her position, treated like a convict (head shaved, in stocks, dressed in prison garb) and forced to do hard labour in the form of milling rice. She then had Concubine Qi killed in an inhumane manner: she had Qi’s limbs chopped off, eyes gouged out, ears sliced off, forced her to drink a potion that made her mute, and thrown into a latrine. She called Qi a “human swine”.
- Consort/Lady Qi: a consort of Emperor Gaozu, the founding emperor of the Han dynasty.
But there was no need for such cruelty. If she did so, she was no different from people like Gu Xuan and Shu Yue. She (SH) still preferred the relatively gentle way to let those sinful people have a taste of their own medicine. Moreover, she didn’t get things into a state where there was no turn around. This kind of mental punishment would come to an end when the person who was punished turned over a new leaf. Just like Shang Xin’s uncle, if he had completely quit drinking and gambling, he might be able to start a new chapter in his life.
But could people like Shu Yue turn over a new leaf?
Shu Huan’s face showed a bitter smile. It felt like an unrealistic dream, and it was also like the sun was rising from the west. It was totally impossible to happen!
“Actually…,” Gu Xiran suddenly interrupted. “If you want to feel to your heart content, it isn’t impossible.”
Shang Xin understood but still felt unsatisfied. After hearing him, she hurriedly asked, “Second young master, quickly tell me!”
Gu Xiran mischievously smiled, “Well, wait ten days or so and then bring a basket of food and drink to the dungeon to see her.”
“What?!” Shang Xin didn’t understand yet and was furious instead. “I still have to bring food and drink to people like her? I won’t do such a stupid thing!”
Shu Huan couldn’t help but laughed out loud. “What are you thinking? Of course, by not giving her food, you can blow off the steam!”
“Oh!” Shang Xin just realized at this moment. She looked at Shu Huan and then at Gu Xiran. “You two are indeed a married couple. The ideas you both think are so evil! But….!”
She smiled mischievously, “I like it very much!”
These words made everyone laugh. Finally, Gu Xiran took Shu Huan’s hand and wanted to take her to bathe and change clothes first. But when he was about to turn around, he suddenly saw Ji Danqing standing not far away and looked at them with a slight smile.
Shu Huan hurriedly walked forward and respectfully saluted him, “Doctor Ji, thank you very much this time. Otherwise, I won’t be able to come back safely.”
Ji Danqing naturally knew what she was thanking him for. So he didn’t refuse and received her salute with a smile. He gently said, “It’s fine as long as you’re safe.”
Gu Xiran wondered, “How do you know he guessed you were in the dungeon? I haven’t had the time to tell you about it yet!”
Shu Huan was stunned to hear this too, and then said with a smile, “That’s not what I’m thanking him for!”
As she spoke, she took two porcelain bottles out of her sleeves and handed them to Gu Xiran.
Gu Xiran didn’t know what they were and shook them twice. He couldn’t feel if there was liquid in them or something else, so he wanted to pull out the bottle stopper to see but was hurriedly stopped by Shu Huan. She said, “Don’t, don’t pull out the bottle stopper. It’s filled with knockout drops in it!”
This was the knockout drops made by Ji Danqing for her and Shang Xin to defend themselves after her residence was burglarized.
At that time, Shu Huan had handed over the antidote to Shang Xin while Shu Yue was talking and was unaware of her (SH) actions. After they had taken the antidote and waited for Shu Yue to go out, they immediately smashed two porcelain bottles. Six or seven prisoners became unconscious, and then they tied them tightly together and gave them a good beating. Otherwise, relying only on the strength of the two of them, how could they seek life in the midst of death?
- Seek life in the midst of death: struggle in a desperate or hopeless situation for survival.
Ji Danqing shook his head and said with a smile, “This is also your luck. I was first perturbed and didn’t know if you have brought this drug with you after the earthquake. If you didn’t bring it, it would’ve been terrible!”
“How can I not bring the life-saving things with me?” Shu Huan smiled, turned her palm and a small and exquisite thing lay in the palm of her hand.
“What is this?” Gu Xiran was really surprised.
Shu Huan handed the thing to him. “Attack someone by innuendo.”
- To attack someone by innuendo: Legend has it that there is a mythical creature/worm in the water that holds sand in its mouth and shoot it at people’s shadow, making the person sick. It is a metaphor for secretly attacking or framing a person.
“What?” Gu Xiran was originally looking at the thing over and over again, trying to find out how it worked. But after what she said, his hand froze and he dared not to move again.
Shu Huan couldn’t help and bust out in laughter. “I’m lying! This is a hidden weapon made by master Du, although it isn’t as amazing as attacking someone by innuendo, it’s still very useful. Look…”
As she said so, she lightly pressed on the hidden weapon and one could see three small darts flew out of it. It flew out far, and finally fell on the ground, creating a puff of dust.
“This thing is too small and fine. It isn’t very powerful but it works well if you defend yourself at close range.” As Shu Huan said that, she took the small darts that was picked up by Shang Xin and put them back into the hidden weapon.
“Mm,” Gu Xiran was still laughing, but the smile on his face was obviously stiff. He then casted a sidelong glance at Ji Danqing and Du Qiu who was in a distance and didn’t say a word.
Shu Huan put away the knockout drops and hidden weapon. She wondered, “Doctor Ji, how do you know I was in the dungeon?”
Gu Xiran also wanted to know the answer to this question. If he (JD) guessed it, it was unlikely to be in one guess. He (JD) should have found some clues from Shu Yue. But he (GXR) didn’t pay attention to Shu Yue at that time, so he wondered what the loophole could be.
“It is nothing.” Ji Danqing said reservedly. “She had an odor on her body. This humble one often deals with various kinds of medicinal materials, so this nose is more or less trained. As soon as I smelled that odor, even if it was very subtle, I remember the few times that I was asked to go to the dungeon to see patients. Moreover, she isn’t a bailiff and is also a girl. There was no reason to go to such a place like a dungeon, so I cautiously guessed it.”
“Fortunately, you were right!” Gu Xiran reached out and patted Ji Danqing on the shoulder. He (GXR) felt deeply moved. If he (JD) hadn’t guessed right, he (GXR) would be still looking for her at the moment and he would’ve almost gone mad.
Shu Huan had a bitter face instead. You had to know, she had been in the dungeon for so long, and had also come into contact with those prisoners. The odor on her body was even stronger! Even if Ji Danqing didn’t explicitly said that it was a bad odor, she knew it. She hurriedly dragged Gu Xiran away. She was in a hurry to find a place to change her clothes, bathe and clean herself up!