Taohua lay motionless on the bed.
Her face was pale and her breath was like gossamer.

Her mother had already reached the mountain and was sitting next to her, wiping away tears.

Auntie Hua was also at a loss: “She looked fine this morning, but in the afternoon she seemed a little hot and lethargic.
I thought it was heatstroke, so I told her to go back to sleep first, thinking that when Doctor A-Ning was free, he could take time to have a look…..ai!”

“Poison.” Liu Xian’an placed her hand back under the blanket.
“What did she have to eat today?”

“A big pot of rice, everyone eats the same thing.
But there was also a bag of rice cakes.
Could there be a problem with the rice cakes?”

Liu Xian’an shook his head: “Many people ate them, including me.
It isn’t the rice cakes or the big pot of rice.
Think about it, was there anything else?”

“There really wasn’t anything else.” The other chattered, “This is just a mountain.
There are no snacks to coax the little ones, and no one has the ability to find extra food.
Could it be that Taohua was playing on her own and picked some poisonous fruits or mushrooms outside?”

Indeed, there was such a possibility.

Only Taohua’s mother said urgently: “My girl doesn’t have the habit of eating indiscriminately outside.
She has been spoiled by her father and I.
She didn’t even want to eat the fruit I brought her, and loves cleanliness, so why would she suddenly pick wild things and stuff them into her mouth?”

“But she was indeed poisoned,” Liu Xian’an said, “And very seriously.”

“Ah?” Taohua’s mother’s whole body went limp, and she almost slipped to the ground.
Auntie Hua hurriedly supported her and rubbed her back comfortingly.

Liu Xian’an continued: “To cure the poison, we must first identify the poison that caused this.
Otherwise, I can’t tell just based on the pulse.”

“Then what are we waiting for?” Qiu Daxing called, “I will take some strong men with torches and search the mountain overnight to see what looks beautiful and edible, and bring them all back for the doctor to check.
The rest will enter the mountain in batches tomorrow.”

That was all that could be done for now.

A group of concerned people stood in the room, unable to help.
They were only blocking the way and adding to the confusion, so they left one after another.
In the end, only Auntie Hua and A-Ning were left to care for Taohua.

Liu Xian’an went out to stop Qiu Daxing and pulled him to a secluded place to tell him separately: “Ten days at most.
If she doesn’t wake up within ten days, even if she can be saved, Taohua is very likely to be paralyzed in bed for the rest of her life.
Just based on the condition of her pulse, I really can’t guess what poison it is.
The appearance is too common – there are at least a thousand different poisons in the world that can cause the same pulse, so it is up to you.”

“Is it so serious?” Qiu Daxing was worried upon hearing this.
“Okay, everyone has watched Taohua grow up, and love her very much.
We will do our best and start now.”

Liu Xian’an nodded and turned to go back, but out of the corner of his eye, he suddenly caught a glimpse of a dark figure in the shadows.
He was startled, and upon looking closely, he found that it was Sang Yannian.

“Doctor Sang?” he asked, nonplussed.
“Why are you standing there without saying a word?”

“I saw that Miracle Doctor Liu was talking to someone, so I didn’t want to disturb him.” Doctor Sang walked into the light.
“How is Taohua?”

“Not good,” Liu Xian’an said truthfully.
“She was poisoned and is dying.
Everyone guessed that she might have eaten wild fruits or mushrooms outside.
Doctor Sang is a local, do you know what kinds of poison can be found in Dakan Mountain?”

“No,” Doctor Sang said, “I rarely come here.”

Liu Xian’an didn’t expect to get anything useful from him, so he casually changed the subject: “Doctor Sang said in the morning that he would learn to detoxify Gu, why didn’t he come in the afternoon?”

Sang Yannian lowered his eyes.
“Oh, I was a little tired in the morning, so I went back to my room and took a nap.”

When he said this, he unknowingly clenched the hand hanging by his side.
The accident happened after Taohua drank her bowl of medicine.
Her limbs twitched and she foamed at the mouth, which was obviously a symptom of poisoning.
Sang Yannian was frightened out of his wits.
After reading her pulse for a long time, he saw that Taohua had stopped struggling and put his hand tremblingly in front of her nose, but she had already stopped breathing.
He suddenly felt as if he had been struck by lightning and staggered, falling several steps toward the door and finally leaving the mess behind as he fled without hesitation.

Sang Yannian asked: “How long can Taohua last?”

“If we can’t find out what kind of poison it is, ten days at most,” Liu Xian’an said.
“If we can pinpoint the poison, maybe we can save her.
The longer the delay, the more damage to the organs and brain.”

Sang Yannian nodded and said nothing.

He had prepared the medicine, so he naturally knew what was in it, but it was nothing more than some common medicinal herbs to clear away heat and dispel fire.
How could that be like drinking poison? Sang Yannian was anxious, and after parting with Liu Xian’an, he took advantage of everyone’s inattention and snuck into the pharmacy again after dark.
According to his memory of the day, he used the weak candlelight to go through everything one by one – goldthread, bupleurum, gentian, green-red root, black beetle, liquor cane…..wait!

Sang Yannian felt that there seemed to be something wrong.
When procuring medicine during the day, the black beetle seemed to have been placed not here, but in the southeast corner, so high up that ordinary people couldn’t touch it.
At that time, he wondered why it was placed so far apart from the medicinal herbs that were clearly used together with gentian.

Relying on this memory, he found that cabinet from earlier in the day – ant wings, snake saliva, centipede hooks, black……black beetle?

Sang Yannian rubbed his eyes and took another, closer look.
It was indeed black beetle.

Highly toxic things such as snakes, centipedes, and scorpions, were used by Liu Xian’an to dip the needles in and extract Gu.
He had just heard the lecture this morning.
Each time, one could only use the thinnest needle and quickly dip it in.
A slightly larger amount would paralyze half of the patient’s body and cause unbearable pain.

But he treated it as a heat-clearing black beetle and let Taohua drink a full cup.

Sang Yannian was so distraught that he tidied up the things left in his hands and left the pharmacy in a hurry.
He was very upset now, upset at himself for not looking a little more carefully when taking the medicine.
Why did he not notice the out-of-place medicinal materials and investigate it carefully? He even regretted sitting on the side of the path in the afternoon and meeting Taohua, and prescribing her medicine.

He also considered that he could tell Liu Xian’an the truth.
In this way, Taohua might be saved.
He actually loved that little girl very much, not to mention that Taohua’s parents were some of the few people in Chixia City who had never quarreled with him.

But before he took two steps, another voice in his head said, it’s useless, it’s hopeless.

Even a strong adult man couldn’t handle the highly toxic black beetle, let alone a little girl.
If he told the truth and Taohua still died, wouldn’t he carry this sin for the rest of his life and be cursed behind his back forever?

Sang Yannian stopped and hesitated again.
After thinking for a long time, he gritted his teeth and slapped himself.
He stomped his feet fiercely and crouched on the ground with his head in his arms, whimpering, but didn’t have the courage to go to Liu Xian’an in the end.

On the other side, Liang Shu had already brought some people up the mountain, firstly to maintain order there, and secondly to help search nearby.

“A-Yue will reside on the mountain these few days,” Liang Shu said.
“You and A-Ning have to remove Gu for the common people, so you can’t busy yourself with this many things.
It just so happens that she has been a military doctor, so she understands general medical theory, and it is more convenient for her to take care of the girl personally.”

Liu Xian’an sat at the table, rubbing his throbbing temples: “En.”

Liang Shu poured him a cup of water: “I have one more thing to confirm with you.”

“I know what the prince is worried about,” Liu Xian’an said, “but don’t be worried.
Although Taohua has symptoms of fever, malaise, and vomiting, she is definitely not infected with the plague.
Her illness is caused by poisoning.
This is not the beginning of a new round of disaster, and has nothing to do with Chixia City.
It is her own misfortune.”

Liang Shu breathed a sigh of relief: “All right.”

He added: “It’s not that I don’t have faith in you, but it concerns the common people, so of course I wanted to inquire more clearly.”

Liu Xian’an set down the empty teacup and sighed again: “I hope Qiu Daxing and the others can find the source of the poison soon.”

Outside, the whole mountain was illuminated by fire. 

There were not many people in the first half of the night, but in the second half, more and more people from the city rushed over, and everyone spontaneously formed teams to divide Dakan Mountain into search areas.
In the beginning, they looked for brightly colored edible things, but then they thought, who knows what a curious little girl would put into her mouth? When they saw new kinds of grass, leaves, and wild fruits, they plucked them and took them all back to show Doctor Liu.
When the table was full, they were placed on the ground; when the ground was full, they were spread out to dry in the yard.
In the end, when Liu Xian’an got up the next day, he was almost blocked in and couldn’t move.

Although A-Ning could understand the kindness of the people, he still felt that there was no need to work hard to carry back the branch as tall as a person that was in front of him.

Liang Shu had also spent the night on the mountain.
He looked at the messy pile of things in front of him and scolded: “What a farce!”

“They also care about Taohua.” Liu Xian’an put on gloves and rummaged through everything. 

Liang Shu said: “If the consequence of caring is causing chaos, then it is better not to care, so that people can live a more peaceful life.”

Liu Xian’an also agreed with this point of view, but now that everything had been moved over, he only looked through it all and directed Qiu Daxing to throw it out like A-Ning was doing, and finally sifted out just one bright red fruit.

“Is this it?” Liang Shu asked.

“Snakehead beads are poisonous, but they taste sour and bitter.
People would normally never eat them.” Liu Xian’an picked up the red fruit.
“And the toxicity is not high.
Even if Taohua really ate some, it would take five or six catties to cause her current symptoms, so this cannot be it.”

Qiu Daxing watched him toss the red fruit out, and said anxiously: “There is nothing else on the mountain.”

Liu Xian’an said: “But it is really not any of these.”

The surrounding people looked at each other in blank dismay.
If these were all wrong, then what exactly did Taohua eat?

Qiu Daxing probed: “Then, then shall I expand the search?”

“No need,” Liang Shu said.
“A seven or eight-year-old girl couldn’t have run too far.
Since nothing outside fits, that means that the thing that poisoned her is not outside.”

If not outside, then it was inside.
Liu Xian’an suddenly remembered the pharmacy.

He hadn’t thought about it before because he was fully aware of what was in there.
It was true that there were poisonous substances, but they were sealed and stored properly, placed high where Taohua could never reach them.
And she was not stupid, how could she pick a poisonous insect for no reason and stuff it into her mouth?

But now all other possibilities had been ruled out, and only this one was left.
So no matter how unbelievable it was, this must be it.

Liu Xian’an and Liang Shu went to the pharmacy together.
The poisonous insects were taken out by A-Ning every day.
He climbed to the top shelf with the ladder and after careful inspection, he said in shock: “Young Master, this place has really been disturbed!”

“What is missing?” Liu Xian’an asked.

“This……I can’t tell.” A-Ning was puzzled.
“The medicine boxes are connected together.
When one is moved, the whole three rows and five layers will be moved.
And the remaining amount of medicinal materials is about the same as before.
If a little bit is missing, I really can’t tell.”

Liu Xian’an could only pick out all the poisons that might cause Taohua’s symptoms.
There were eight kinds in total.

Going down the list, it was impossible to filter them out or try all the antidotes for the poisons.
Firstly, Taohua’s body couldn’t handle so many medicines, secondly, antidote A was very likely to be poison B, and thirdly, no one knew if she ate one kind or several kinds.
No matter how clever Second Young Master Liu was, he really couldn’t guess this many answers.

A-Ning came down from the ladder: “But why was she suddenly given poison? Everyone here likes Taohua, and her parents are honest and hardworking people.
They’re very popular.”

“There is no telling what is in a person’s heart.” Liu Xian’an stood by the table, looking at the pile of poisons in front of him.

Liang Shu said: “I have a solution.”

“En?” Liu Xian’an turned to look at him.
“The prince has a solution?”

“Make Taohua wake up first.”


Liu Xian’an deflated.
He didn’t understand what the other party meant.
Wasn’t the problem now that Taohua couldn’t wake up?

Liang Shu leaned closer to his ear and whispered a few words.

Liui Xian’an’s eyelid twitched: “Is that so?”

Liang Shu nodded: “Just so.”

Liu Xian’an said: “All right, then I’ll try this method.”

He didn’t have time for lunch, so he asked A-Ning to take the medicine box and went to Taohua’s room.

The little girl lying on the bed looked worse than yesterday, and half of the blood was gone from her face.
Cheng Suyue stood up: “She convulsed twice in the middle of the night.
It happened that Sang Yannian was here, so he gave her two needles and now the fever has subsided a bit.”

“Cheng-guniang worked hard all night.
Go back and rest first, ba,” Liu Xian’an said.
“Leave this to me.
The prince just taught me a folk remedy.
We’ll try and see if it works.”

Hearing this, Auntie Hua on the side cheered up and became energetic at once: “Really? It turns out that the prince also has medical skills?”

Cheng Suyue’s face said, “I don’t understand, I’m shocked.” When did my family’s prince learn folk remedies for toxins? He can even take the wrong cold medicine by mistake, can he really heal others?

“En,” Liu Xian’an said, “Let’s give it a try.”

He pushed back the others, leaving only A-Ning and Taohua’s mother, and began to give acupuncture.

Auntie Hua was a fast-talking person, and also blindly worshiped His Royal Highness Xiao Wang.
She felt that since it was the prince’s recipe, it was guaranteed to work.
Maybe the Imperial doctor in the palace treated the empress like this.
Thus, she celebrated in advance and talked about it with everyone.


“Of course it’s true.”

The common people gathered at the door of Taohua’s room one after another, craned their necks to look in the door, and dared not even breathe loudly.

After waiting for an unknown amount of time, A-Ning’s voice suddenly came from the room: “Ah, she really seems to be waking up soon!”

Sang Yannian’s face in the crowd turned pale in an instant, and he almost fell to the ground.

…….Waking up?


T/N: I know I said I wouldn’t update this story as often, but I can’t stop.
Although it is by far the least popular of my translations, it is also my favorite.

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