SnCr 11

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Unfortunately for Zhu Li, the rest of his night was apparently destined to not go undisturbed.

Even though he had laid back down on the bed to force himself back into sleep, his eyes and mind refused to obey him. The former thing was staring at nothing, and the latter thing was thinking of nothing, yet both refused to let rest take them back over.

Cultivation gave one better control over their own body and its nonsense functions, so why couldn’t he will himself to sleep easily? Annoying.

His aggravation was broken off by the not-so-distant sound of a gate opening. He could tell it was a gate, not a door, from the heavy clunk of the hefty lock as it opened and shut, something that would never be found on the door of a typical room.

Confusion filled his head. He was neither a light nor heavy sleeper— heavy sleepers would never survive nights in the wilderness, and light ones would have never slept, after all — but such a noise would have woken him up in ordinary circumstances, meaning that this was a new event. If it had happened before, then it hadn’t been while he was around.

Zhu Li had little idea as to how the Xin Sect typically came and went from the Pavilion of Quiet, as they pretty much never passed through the apothecary to get to the rest of the home, nor did they frequent the front gate. Whether it was daytime or night, this was an oddity.

Belatedly, he registered that the sound had been too close to his still-open window to have been the front gate. The only other gate the front courtyard had was the one that went straight to the Chu Estate, which also happened to face his window…

All of a sudden, he was much more interested and disconcerted, leaping off the bed to grab Dusha, then peering furtively out of the window.

A circle of orange light floated in the black, just in front of the recently-shut gate. It originated from a lantern held by someone of slight stature, judging from how high it was held off the ground. The figure made its way over with overt slowness, the bob of the light betraying that they had a limp.

Once they were a little closer, Zhu Li confirmed his suspicion that the person was a woman, and once she had gotten even closer, he noticed that she was rather aged and hunched, looking to be in her late sixties. Maybe she was a maid, though her clothes were embroidered a bit too fancily for that.

He watched her warily as she teetered her way out of the window’s viewing range, then listened out for her footsteps, which eventually stopped somewhere in front of the apothecary.

Silently, he jumped out of the window to land softly on the outside grass, because he had heard of the ‘helpless old person’ act coming from top-tier martial artists before. After peeking around the corner, he saw that she had come to kneel before the apothecary, head bowed, the lantern set beside her on the ground. Zhu Li waited for a few seconds, but she made no other movements.

He creased his brow. What in the world was she doing?

Somewhat against his better judgement, he stepped out from behind the corner of the building to approach her, making his footsteps purposefully louder against the grass. She visibly startled from the sound, turning to look at him just as he came to a stop some chi away.

(At the same exact time, two odors hit his nose, one faint and of dark earth and iron, one sickly-sweet. Odd.)

The lantern sat to her right, backlighting her. This made it nearly impossible for him to see her features up close, while she could doubtlessly see his.

They stared at each other for a few seconds, only the faraway sounds of bugs in the ears. Zhu Li was tense, but he could sense that she wasn’t, not even a little.

Unnerved, he decided to speak first. “Who are you, and what are you doing here?”

The old woman stared at him a bit more, then slowly turned back forward. Even her side-silhouette betrayed her haggardness. “I’m waiting for medicine,” she answered, her voice not sounding as old as her appearance told.

He was taken aback some by that statement. Surely, he would have remembered a patient like her, right? On top of that, she had specially skipped over the part about her identity. “The apothecary is closed for today, Madam. I’m sorry.”

“I’m not waiting for medicine that any apothecary would sell.”

Not only was her voice not old-sounding, but it also seemed… flat, without intonation or emotion. It sent goosebumps up his arms for reasons he couldn’t immediately tell.

“I recognize you, young man,” she continued, as still as a statue aside from her mouth. “You were at that trial. Ran’r’s new friend.”

Zhu Li blinked. He thought back to the trial, but could not recall seeing any old women like her there. Perhaps, as a maid, she had been relegated to somewhere out-of-sight. That familiar term of address, though… maybe she was more like a nursemaid?

As for the ‘friend’ title, he had other things to worry about than bicker semantics with an elderly woman.

“Are you Ch— Yingliu’s nursemaid?” he hazarded a guess to her.

She appeared to startle some, and then she chuckled, her shoulders shaking slightly. “Nursemaid… no. This old woman is hardly anything at all, let alone that.”

What was that supposed to mean? He narrowed his eyes. These non-answers really reminded him of a certain someone.

Once he inhaled in preparation to speak, the door to the apothecary opened abruptly, and a familiar figure trounced out with his own, much more luminescent lantern.

Chu Ran looked much different than in the daytime, even particularly harried; his hair was down from its typical updo, he was only in his inner robes, and, most shockingly of all, his characteristic blindfold was missing from his head.

There was no time for him to take in the man’s newly-revealed appearance, because the other walked forward to greet the woman on the ground, temporarily ignoring Zhu Li’s presence. “My apologies for making you wait, Lady Du,” he said. Before helping her up from the ground, he passed her two wrapped bundles containing who-knew-what — her ‘medicine’, presumably.

When the implication of the title ‘Lady Du’ dawned on him, Zhu Li froze, eyes wide.

Lady Du… as in, Du Lin?

No, that couldn’t be right. Chu Haoyu was in his sixties, and he had been seventeen years older than her when they had married. Also, Chu Ran had said that his own mother had been taken as a concubine when Du Lin was sixteen, and he had been born not even a year afterwards. If Chu Ran was twenty-nine, then Du Lin was that plus sixteen years, making her forty-five, forty-seven at most. This woman, who Chu Ran had called Lady Du, looked twenty years older. There was no way this was her. It had to be her mother, or aunt, or nanny, or someone else.

Yet… Chu Ran had never mentioned anyone else in the family. What if…?

“Doctor Zhu,” the other man called out, bringing him away from his near-panic. “Come closer. Let me introduce you two.”

Zhu Li obliged, albeit not too enthusiastically, coming closer to the two of them. The bright light of the new lantern left not much to the imagination; Lady Du was wrinkled and saggy-skinned, her hair shot full gray, and he could see her trembling beneath her heavy cloak. The night wasn’t that cold, making him suspect that she might be shaking because of something else entirely.

Then, Chu Ran said what he had subconsciously been hoping not to hear: “Doctor Zhu, this is the Madam of the Chu Estate, Du Lin. Mother, this is Zhu Li, a Divine Doctor of jianghu. You must have seen him before, yes?”

Du Lin, at forty-five, looked more like sixty-eight.

With all his medical knowledge, Zhu Li only had a handful of explanations for premature aging, and none of them were nice. Sometimes, it simply ran in the family, but most times, it was extreme hardship, or heavy drug use.

Which one was she?

That odd, earthy, fishy smell mixed with a second sweet scent came back at him then, emanating off of Du Lin. Upon searching his mind, he finally identified what both had to have come from: opium.

In its raw state, poor opium could smell like rotting vegetation or cat urine, while higher-quality opium had the smell of mud with blood. Both, when smoked, smelled sweet as baked goods, and made the user gradually wither away from its addictive effects.

Chu Ran had given her bundles of ‘medicine’ — was it opium? Was he a drug lord, giving an addict her next fix?

Once she was gone, he would ask. Conclusions weren’t to be jumped to until he heard straight from the source.

Shortly after introducing them, Chu Ran helped Lady Du to her feet. Standing next to him, she was a tiny, diminished thing, the size difference made even worse by her rail-thin figure and hunched back. One hand placed on his proffered arm and one carrying her light, she tugged on him slightly, and he bent over so that she could say something into his ear. The contents of her words were indiscernible to Zhu Li, and solicited no verbal answer from Chu Ran, whose smile faded for a short moment before resuming. He silently nodded, then led her back to the gate she had walked through.

As they went, walking past Zhu Li, Du Lin’s shoes peeked out from beneath her gray, embroidered robes. Zhu Li saw that the toes of her shoes were awfully small and pointed, and that the foot beyond that was oddly bulbous… oh.

No wonder she was so slow when walking. It had to hurt.

The doctorly part of him wanted to call out to stop them so he could do a check-up on her. The wary part of him had hang-ups about being generous to someone that had an unknown part in his current predicament. The moment ultimately passed, and he allowed them to go unhindered.

Du Lin’s dim lantern disappeared behind the side-gate as it shut. Chu Ran came back towards Zhu Li, smiling temperately, and seemingly unbothered by his presence. In fact, he looked to be about to pass him right on by, until he stopped shoulder-to-shoulder with him.

“I forgot to warn you, Doctor. Lady Du comes by once a month to collect her medicine,” the other said casually, as if forgetting that the wife of a man that wanted Zhu Li dead coming to get so-called ‘medicine’ in the middle of the night was not the huge deal that it most certainly was.

“Medicine, as in opium?” Zhu Li asked, flattening out his voice so that he didn’t sound judgemental. His curiosity was real, as was his desire to not burn bridges.

Chu Ran’s eyebrows jumped up in slight surprise. “Hah?”

Without that blindfold on, his moods were much easier to read, as could be imagined. Going off of a mouth alone, or his very relaxed and controlled body language, or his enigmatic way of speaking was not the easiest thing in the world.

The other’s brows went from being arched in bafflement to scrunched in thought, then quickly straightened out in realization, his mouth curving up in amusement. “Ohhh, I get it. No, no, that medicine is something else entirely. Certainly not any sort of addictive drug, I can assure you.”

Zhu Li remained blank-faced and quiet. If he wasn’t giving her addictive drugs, but actual medicine, why couldn’t she go somewhere else to get it? Why here? And why in the middle of the night?

Then, he thought back to what he knew of Chu Haoyu’s personality, as well as his recent discovery of Du Lin’s bound feet. Perhaps the simple answer was that she couldn’t physically go to get it herself, and maybe couldn’t send servants to get it, so she had to creep over here when Chu Haoyu was asleep. Without context, it was hard to judge.

“No need to be so suspicious, Doctor. My properties are unsuitable for growing any sort of plants, poppies notwithstanding. She gets her all of her opium elsewhere,” Chu Ran answered casually, smiling like nothing was wrong, blank eyes curving upwards.

Now that he was getting a good look at him, Zhu Li noted that Chu Ran bore an undeniable resemblance to his little brother, Chu Fu, except he was blind and a lot less punchable, obviously. Neither of them looked much like Chu Haoyu, their only shared parent, but that man’s face had also been haggard, red-faced, and coated in gray, boarish bristles from being over sixty years old, so maybe they did share traits beneath his layers of facial hair, age, and decades of being a straight-up dick.

Speaking of age, Chu Ran looked less like a man that was about to turn thirty, and more like he hadn’t aged since his teenage years, all boyish features with no age lines. Cultivators aged slower, but this was to a bit of an above-average degree; despite being younger than him, Zhu Li was certain that exactly no one was going to mistake him for a teenager.

(He also saw a faint tan line on his cheeks, which had presumably originated from wearing that blindfold in the daylight too much. Zhu Li was not at all close enough to him to point that out without feeling bad about it.)

“Opium is illegal,” he chose to point out, instead. It was a bit stupid, but his actual questions, he found difficulty in wording tactfully.

“Ah, Doctor Zhu, are you not aware?” Chu Ran’s smile turned into a light, cold grin, his eyes narrowing dangerously, cat-like. “If you have enough money, you can throw enough of it at the law until it looks the other way. Permanently.”

Zhu Li surveyed his expression for a minute, then let this go. Again, he was unsure if Du Lin was worth arguing for as a patient. Above anything else, she almost certainly wasn’t worth vouching for against the man who had implied that she had killed his birth mother.

“What are you thinking about, Doctor?” Chu Ran asked with a curious lilt, tilting his head. His black hair slipped out of place to hang freely. “Those are some complicated emotions I sense. Hm… do you object to opium that much? I suppose you do, being a doctor and all. No need to worry. If anyone in the world needs opium, it’s probably her.”

That implied nothing good. Nothing this guy said ever really did, did it?

“I don’t actually care about the opium,” Zhu Li admitted, because he really didn’t. As long as immediate trouble wasn’t coming his way, he could not possibly care less about what the Chu family was doing over there. “How old is Du… Lady Du Lin?”

Chu Ran blinked a little at the jarring change in topic, regaining his smile thereafter, though it was relatively more amicable this time around. “Why, she’s forty-six this year. Why do you ask? Is it because she looks so young for her age?”

He had seen right through him. Not that he had even attempted subtlety.

The confirmation of her age also confirmed the bad feeling in his gut. What could have caused such severely advanced aging? A combination of stress and drugs? That was plausible, yet also seemed to not be enough of an explanation.

So, he asked Chu Ran for one.

“It stems from living with my father, of course. A fate worse than death.”

Yet another unsettling, unelaborated half-answer. Zhu Li was unsure of why he had hoped for anything different.

The other urged him back inside, sat him down at a table, ran off to fetch tea leaves, then came back and fired up Zhu Li’s own newly-gifted teapot on the apothecary stove, which was supposed to be used for decocting, not this. While it heated, Chu Ran said, “I must say, Doctor Zhu, your sleep schedule has been absolutely dreadful as of late. Why were you up in the middle of the night, anyways? The alerting array is set up to only bother me.”

That line of questioning reminded Zhu Li of his rude awakening via the Twelve-Petaled Lotus, and his mood lowered further, causing him to glare at Chu Ran admonishingly. He really had the nerve to ask him that? He was the one who had set up that stupid life-binding oath. There was no way he didn’t know of its side-effects.

In spite of his blindness, Chu Ran started looking uncomfortable beneath his stare. His irritation must be radiating at him, or whatever was going on with his ‘emotion-sensing’ abilities. “Ah… have I done something to anger you?” the other answered, seemingly a bit nervous.

“The heavy opening of that gate might wake me up ordinarily,” Zhu Li slowly started, not keeping the reproach out of his voice, “but I wouldn’t know, because what did wake me up was the Lotus mark stabbing me with pain.”

“Ah? Pain?” Chu Ran repeated. For some reason, he sounded genuinely confused. Either he was a good actor, or he actually had no idea the Lotus would do that. Zhu Li wasn’t sure which answer pissed him off more.

“Yes. Pain.” Narrowing his eyes, Zhu Li’s sight fell to the other’s left arm, where his own Lotus mark that he had carved into himself sat beneath fabric. “Did you not feel anything?”

“Mm, no…?” came the hesitant response. Was that guilt he heard? It better be.

“Did you know that it would do this?”

“No, not at all. Neither the technique or stories said anything about stabbing pains. I’m, ah, not too sure what might have caused it. I did use it without prior experiments, due to the nature of it.”

Zhu Li grew more annoyed, even if he didn’t have much of a refute. “You used an oath you didn’t fully research?”

Chu Ran smiled apologetically, maybe also a little beseechingly. “It turned out okay, did it not? Minus the stabbing pain?”

Narrowing his eyes in displeasure, Zhu Li asked, “Are there any other side-effects I should know about?”

“Aside from dying if I die? None relevant to you.”

“So, there’s some relevant to you?”

“Haha! Astute, Doctor. Yes. As the initiator, I have my own share of side-effects to deal with, but I was prepared for them. Hopefully, the pain that woke you up went unmentioned because it does nothing significant other than that.”

Zhu Li glared at him judgementally. The bad thing about negative side-effects was that at times, one wouldn’t even notice them until a long time after the fact. Wasn’t ‘don’t mess with forces you don’t fully comprehend’ a common teaching in all sects? Why did this jerk decide to ignore it?

Still, he wasn’t going to lecture him. Gratitude, unfamiliarity, and other such already-spoken-of things. He was just a tiny bit miffed.

“What side-effects do you have?” he questioned. Prepared as the other may be, it might be good to take notes of those side-effects for personal reference, if they were going to interfere with anything.

“Oh, they’re no big deal. You don’t need to worry about them,” Chu Ran dismissed, waving him off.

Why was he avoiding the question? Either they were really minor, or really bad. Yet another thing to note down for later if he didn’t want to tell, Zhu Li supposed.

Chu Ran got up to take the cooled teapot from its place next to the stove, returned with it, then poured them both cups. “This is purple-teeth oolong, which is just oolong with lavender. It’s meant to aid with sleep. May we both get back to it once the pot is over,” he explained, taking his seat anew.

Zhu Li nodded, taking a sip of the warm brew. Earthy and floral, as it should be. “It’s good,” he commented, mild-toned.

“Isn’t it? I always drink it when my mind races too much at night,” Chu Ran answered with a cheerful smile, which quickly faded as he idly traced the rim of his cup with his left forefinger. “As a bit of an aside, I do want to give you a piece of advice before I retire for the night, Doctor.”

Zhu Li quickly looked at Chu Ran’s face to observe his expression. He looked tired, mostly calm. It was quite obvious as to what he was going to say next.

Silence stretched out, as if the other was waiting for his confirmation that he was going to listen. Sighing, Zhu Li motioned for him to continue.

“There are several things about my family that are best seen through a veil, as I’m sure you have come to feel.” Chu Ran took his own sip of the tea, setting the cup back down with a clunk that resounded in the tensing air. “Anything pertinent to the trial is fair game, but as it is, you are better off not knowing of them, nor asking.”

There it was. The warning threat.

Zhu Li pursed his lips, clenching his fist hidden beneath the desk. He automatically went on-guard at the perceived threat.

“Please don’t misunderstand, Doctor Zhu. That was not a threat,” the man appropriately assuaged him, having surely sensed his alert. His hand reached out, but stopped halfway — Zhu Li had not a clue what he had been wanting to do.

“It wasn’t?” Zhu Li retorted unhappily.

“No. Just…” Chu Ran’s brows creased in difficulty, looking like it was hard for him to find the right words. “You don’t need to know all the details of the truth, and you will certainly be happier not knowing. I would love to not know, myself, yet here I am.”

His justification for not telling him things basically boiled down to ‘ignorance is bliss’? Please. Zhu Li was a grown man. He could make his own decisions about what he could and could not handle.

Still, this wasn’t worth fighting over right now. The man didn’t want to talk, so he wasn’t going to talk, no matter what Zhu Li himself said at this point in time. Maybe, if he got around to befriending him enough, the other would eventually spill whatever it was he was so insistent upon hiding.

Zhu Li’s curiosity was limited, after all. The field of medicine as a whole, possible threats to his person, and — as of very recently — things related to his out-of-nowhere framing were about the extent of things he would actively pursue knowledge of. His trust in Chu Ran was tentative, not blind, but since he said that he didn’t need to know, he likely didn’t. He was simply going to file this away with all the other unanswered questions he had, to bring up or receive an answer to at some later date.

It was all he could do, really.

“My ideal plan is to get your accusations cleared, then leave you alone to spend the rest of the Lotus’s timer in peace, after which you will be set free of all this,” Chu Ran continued, to fill the quiet. “Even if Masked Wasp holds a personal grudge, your involvement in the grand scheme of things is minor. Everyone will understand if you get involved in things directly related to your own trial, and no one will blame you for it. If you get involved in things beyond that, who knows what will happen.”

“If the trial and… whatever’s going on in your family are that closely linked, then I’ll be dragged into it anyways,” Zhu Li helpfully pointed out. Truth be told, even though he would very much like to extract himself from all of this and get back to his solitary, mostly-unbothered lifestyle where no one spoke riddles to him on a daily basis, he still had to be realistic. It could even be argued that his reputation was already ruined just from having this accusation on him, false as it was. That was a story for much later, however.

“Their linkage is not that close, actually.” Chu Ran smiled dryly, tapping his fingers against the table. “The Chu’s aided in framing you as a favor to Masked Wasp. Once all of their dirty laundry airs, you will be seen as another one of their innocent victims, albeit lucky enough to get away.”

Chu Ran leaned forward then, his dry smile turning into a devious one, complete with maliciously-narrowed eyes, the milky-white, dull shine of their cataracts in the lanternlight adding somewhat to his menace. “Your trial will be an opportunity and a catalyst, bringing things out into the light that most were content with ignoring, if they ever knew of them at all. Masked Wasp and the Chu’s made a big mistake with this.”

He thereafter leaned all the way back into the chair, now lounging lazily in it like a lizard. “I just wish I knew why they did it like this. Normally, they’re as sneaky as rats, so why go with a public trial? That is so beyond their normal modes of operating, it’s suspicious. If he wanted you dead so badly, he evidently had the resources to murder a Sect Head; a wandering doctor would have been even easier to murder… ah, no offense.”

None was taken, due to Zhu Li being too lost in thought, and Chu Ran also being completely right.

Zhu Li had traveled alone. While far from defenseless, he was also far from a warrior of legend that could take down armies by themselves. The notion that he could have killed a Sect Head was an honest insult to her memory. Were Masked Wasp as well-connected as he had been told he was, then he could have easily just killed him on the road. Hell, he could have killed him while he was in jail and defenseless.

Why a trial? For maximum pre-death humiliation? If he didn’t know Masked Wasp personally, how could that be?

“Anyways, I have to warn you about one more thing,” Chu Ran’s foreboding words floated out into the atmosphere.

Zhu Li unconsciously braced himself. What other bad news did the man have?

“My little sister is going to be moving into the Pavilion of Quiet soon. This will have no effect on you, other than the fact that she might idolize you a little.”

That was, uh… not even in the same category as what he thought the news was going to be. Chu Ran was a master of switching to topic whiplash, it seemed.

Before asking anything, he took another sip of tea. “What do you mean by ‘idolize’?”

“She wants to be a doctor. Father and the private tutor he found for her have never agreed to it. Mei’r tells me all the time that they’re sucking the fun out of embroidery, sewing, and reading for her by making it all she ever does every day.”

Ah. Of course. As expected from a mostly-civilian family. “She’s sick of reading?”

“Yes and no. She’s sick to death of reading five-hundred page tomes written five-hundred years ago telling her what rules apply to her that will never apply to men, but she has no issue with reading any of the ones written by more modern intellectuals that split those rules more fairly. Nor does she have a problem reading the for-fun novels I slip her from time to time.”

Zhu Li nodded. “Does she want to be a cultivator?”

“I believe she just wants to be a doctor, so if cultivation helps with that, she would be for it,” Chu Ran answered with an amused chuckle.

Nodding again, Zhu Li’s mind wandered, until it settled on another question. “Why is she moving over here?”

A cloud of darkness abruptly covered Chu Ran’s features, startling him slightly, but it rapidly cleared away into calm blankness. “She simply can’t live in the Estate anymore. That’s all,” he answered, in his trademark evasive manner.

“Your family won’t object?”

“Their objection is an inevitability, as it will make people talk, just like how Xu’r’s disappearance did. I don’t care, though. My sister’s happiness is my business. Their reputation is not.”

A sister’s happiness? That was a sentiment he could understand. “I could let her borrow my notes. The original texts would be much better references, though. I can give you a list of ones to buy.”

“Oh, would you? That would be a big help. Moving over here to live with Junyan and I— oh, and you now, I suppose, is going to be a huge change for her, even if it’s wanted.”

Zhu Li nodded yet again… then realized he had only listed a few people. “Doesn’t your entire sect live here?”

“My entire sect? No, no, of course not. Over twenty people, in this tiny little place? Absolutely not. If that was the case, you would have quite a few roommates. As would Guhui.”

Well, when he said it like that, Zhu Li felt stupid for assuming.

Although, that meant that Chu Ran and Xin Junyan lived together in the other half of the house, alone with each other all day long. Jianghu in general held no opinion towards such things, and neither did Zhu Li, really; an unrelated man and woman of similar ages lodging together was simply a note to make.

Maybe that was why she, a not-blind person, was part of a sect for blind people? They were an item? It would make sense. Zhu Li’s own father had become a part of the Miasma Caves when he married his mother, admitting that he had not changed his surname in any capacity. The Xin Sect’s customs could just be that different, for all he knew.

“Where are they, then?” He had thought that the Xin Sect’s numbers were half of ‘somewhere over twenty’, honestly.

“A separate property of mine that’s much more roomy, and located far away. They switch off their shifts guarding the Pavilion daily. I have too many arrays set in place for anyone with bad intentions to make it in here in one piece, or out alive, but having backup is always nice, hm?”

That must be why his days in the Pavilion had been mercifully lacking in assassination attempts. Had the Chu’s tried and failed before with disastrous consequences, they likely wouldn’t be stupid enough to try again. “Have you… had assassination attempts before?”

“Oh, yes. Contested as my rights may be, having an unfavored eldest son is always a bother to traditional succession lines,” Chu Ran answered, baring his teeth in a baleful grin. “Having me dead would be better than having me alive and a nuisance, especially now that I lost them face to all of jianghu. Too bad they’re learning the hard way that some things in jianghu will not go their way just because they throw money at it.”

…Every single time he heard about this man’s family troubles, Zhu Li’s own would seem outshiningly petty. “I see,” he lamely answered.

Smiling knowingly, Chu Ran poked Zhu Li’s tea cup, slightly nudging it more towards him. “Come, Doctor. Let’s not speak of these trifles, but drink down our tea. A good night’s sleep awaits us eventually.”

Key word: eventually.

Zhu Li mentally sighed. It would be great if his nights stopped getting interrupted by random and inexplicable events in general.

The author says: you want…… a good night’s rest?? lmao tall order, fam

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3 thoughts on “SnCr 11

  1. I do hope Du Lin’s medicine helps alleviate her problem. And yes if ever anyone needs hard drugs it is probably her…
    Chu Ran is delightfully scathing as ever, though his cageyness is hindering trust. Methinks the ideal plan shan’t be occurring somehow. Especially the part including keeping Doctor Zhu away from the really awful bits….
    Can’t wait to meet Miss Chu (I do Not want to even think of why now.)
    Oh in case it was unclear, I sincerely hope Du Lin is poisoning her husband.


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