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Lu Song wanted to go to Hundred Herb Hall to take a look. Although he knew that Feng Yu Heng did not like him, he did not want to die like this. There had been a feeling that he had kept to himself this entire time, and he did not want the Lu family to fall to ruin like this. At that time, he had wanted to follow the eighth prince; however, who knew that he would be such a heartless person. It could be considered a lapse in judgment by the Lu family. Now, he knew how he should face it. If he could meet Feng Yu Heng and get in a few good words, what if that newlywed imperial daughter’s heart had suddenly softened?
The Lu family had previously walked a path of casting nets over a broad area, planning to marry a daughter into the Yao family, one into the Sheng Palace and having one daughter left over to be married off at an opportune moment. With these nets cast, they would accept any fish that they had caught. No matter who won, the Lu family would not lose. But who knew that all of the nets would break. Not only did they fail to catch a single fish, but they had also fallen to their current situation. Lu Song had already accepted that casting nets over a broad area was wrong. Instead, they should have been faithful to one until the end. That would have been proper. Unfortunately, his family no longer had any daughters that were fitting. They still had a beautiful daughter, but she had a hidden illness. Fortunately, Lu Ping seemed to be familiar with Feng Yu Heng and had a bit of a relationship with her. If they could become friends, that would also be pretty good.
When the carriage drew closer to Hundred Herb Hall, it was called to stop. The driver was sent back to the manor. Lu Song decided that he would walk the rest of the way himself. He had long since heard that Hundred Herb Hall was even busier after the reopening compared to before. In addition to this, it was also the result of the people’s pleas. He wanted to see precisely what the situation with Hundred Herb Hall was.
With these sorts of thoughts in mind, Lu Song began to walk toward Hundred Herb Hall. He did not bring an attendant with him. He just looked like a man that had come to the capital because he was idle. He would occasionally run into people that recognized him, but he waved his hand to express that he had no intention of chatting.
In the end, he was still sick. Getting up early to attend court had already exhausted a great deal of his energy. Now that he had sent his driver and attendant back to the manor, the feeling of his chest tightening along with shortness of breath became more pronounced after he had walked for a while in the heat. Helplessly using a tree at the side of the road for support, he thought that he would just rest for a bit and would feel better. Reaching into his sleeve, he wanted to get some shattered silver to buy a cup of tea. Before he could get a hold of the silver, he began to cough quite severely. This coughing had come suddenly, and it felt as though he was about to cough up his lungs, but this did not pass. When he finally finished coughing, he found that the handkerchief that he had used to cover his mouth was covered with blood.
Lu Song felt his heart go “thunk.” It was true that his body was ailing, but this was the first time that he had coughed up blood. In the past, he had only felt a tightness in his chest, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Who knew that he would begin coughing up blood on the street today? In an instant, the feeling of dizziness came once more. His body swayed a few times, and just when it seemed like he was about to fall, he was supported by someone that had appeared at his side. It was a young man, who asked him: “Lord left prime minister, is your body unwell?”
Upon hearing that he had been called left prime minister, Lu Song felt a bit happy. He felt that there was at least someone that recognized him, and he would not faint in the street without anyone caring. He quickly summoned some strength to turn and look; however, when he clearly saw that person’s face, he let out a surprised “ah.” At the same time, he said: “Isn’t this the Ren family’s eldest son?”
The person that had come was General Ping Nan’s son of the first wife, Ren Xi Feng’s elder brother, Ren Xi Tao. Ren Xi Tao was quite young; however, he was the deputy general of 50 thousand troops in Da Shun’s Southeast Army. As for the Southeast Army, the position of general had been left vacant for many years. It could be said that Ren Xi Tao’s position as deputy general gave him the same powers as an actual general.
Lu Song felt that calling him “the Ren family’s eldest son” seemed a little wrong, quickly changing it: “It’s young General Ren. This prime minister’s body is indeed unwell. Many thanks young general for helping support me; otherwise, I fear that I would have collapsed to the ground, and that would have been quite disgraceful.” The deputy general of the Southeast Army was a fourth-rank general. Although there were no battles in the Southeast, as the left prime minister, he still valued this position. Lu Song had some thoughts about Ren Xi Tao since quite a while ago. He wanted to marry Lu Ping to him; however, he had always lamented the lack of a way in. General Ping Nan’s manor had never had much of a relationship with him. Even if he sent someone to discuss marriage, he would not be able to get the point right. However, who knew that he would run into him in the street like this.
Ren Xi Tao was an upright youth. Although his younger sister, Xi Feng, had previously told him not to trust people so easily and to keep some reservations, he did not have such thoughts in mind. He always felt that people were not that simple, and he would not assume people to be bad for no reason. General Ping Nan also understood this facet of his personality, thus he did his best to limit his exposure to other people, especially those officials in court. Ren Xi Tao was quite obedient, and very rarely spoke when attending morning court sessions. The feeling that he gave off to others was one of a slightly-dull, young general, but nobody could overlook his abilities. When fighting, he was not shabby in the slightest.
Seeing that Lu Song had coughed up blood, Ren Xi Tao had forgotten what his younger sister had told him about the situation between the Lu family and the Yao family. Upon seeing blood, he felt worried and asked: “You’re already sick to such a degree. Why are you walking around on your own? Where are you family’s servants?”
Lu Song shook his head: “I just wanted to come out and walk alone for a bit and did not let them come with me.”
“This is no good!” Ren Xi Tao was exceptionally worried. Looking around, his eyes suddenly lit up. Helping Lu Song a bit, he said: “Left prime minister, don’t worry. Hundred Herb Hall is just ahead. Xi Tao will help you over to get treatment. Coughing up blood is not a small ailment. You can’t just drag it on like this.” After saying this, he ignored Lu Song’s opposition and walked with Lu Song in the direction of Hundred Herb Hall. He had a military background, thus he was strong, and his body was sturdy. How could Lu Song overpower him? He had basically been carried over to Hundred Herb Hall’s entrance. He then met the Yao family’s fourth young master’s, Yao An’s, gaze with quite a troubled look.
But Yao An had been told by Feng Yu Heng earlier that Hundred Herb Hall was a business. Regardless of what sort of person came, as long as they had some sort of illness and came here, there was no reason to push the patient out. But the treatment of patients would require some evaluation of the people. If they looked suspicious, looked like bad people or were antagonistic, just boldly go ahead and rip them off! There were no people who did not get along with money, right?
Thus Yao An did not say much, only calling for a clerk to bring them inside; however, he began to wonder to himself, did the Lu family have any money? Had that measly bit of a family foundation not been collapsed when their businesses failed? Their Yao family had carried out extensive investigations, and they only stopped once the Lu manor was completely destitute.
Ren Xi Tao naturally did not know about the precise situation and just very urgently said: “Lord Lu began coughing up blood outside and happened to be near Hundred Herb Hall, thus I brought him over. Quickly take a look at him. How could a healthy person begin coughing up blood?”
Today, Feng Yu Heng also happened to be in Hundred Herb Hall. She had just finished treating someone with external injuries and was preparing to return home; however, she had heard that Lu Song had coughed up blood then come to Hundred Herb Hall, thus she became curious and had someone bring Lu Song to her personal examination room.
Once again, it was Ren Xi Tao that had helped Lu Song in. He had met Feng Yu Heng; however, they were not familiar with each other. They were only connected through Ren Xi Feng, thus they were not complete strangers. Seeing Feng Yu Heng, he saluted and said: “Princess Yu.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled and said: “General is Xi Feng’s eldest brother. Xi Feng is a sister to me, so there’s no need for such formalities between us. I’ll just call you older brother Ren!” After saying this, she did not give him any time to be formal and began to ask: “Prime Minister Lu coughed up blood, but why was it older brother Ren that brought him in?” While speaking, she did not forget about Lu Song. After having him sit down, she immediately began to check his blood pressure and chest sounds. Coughing up blood was mostly related to the lungs. At Lu Song’s age, if he was lucky, it would be normal pneumonia. If he was unlucky, it would be lung cancer.
Ren Xi Tao saw that she had begun examining him, and her technique was very mystical; however, he did not forget to respond to Feng Yu Heng’s question, saying: “I happened to run into him outside. Seeing Lu Song holding a tree and about to fall over, I went to support him. As a result, I saw that the handkerchief that he was holding was covered with blood, thus I quickly brought him to Hundred Herb Hall.”
“Un.” Feng Yu Heng nodded but did not ask anything further. She then turned her full attention to Lu Song. What she heard through the stethoscope made her believe that it was not a lung illness. Instead, his blood pressure was extremely high. The blood pressure was at 170*. She asked Lu Song: “Aside from coughing up blood, what other symptoms have there been?”
Lu Song replied: “For roughly one month, I have felt a tightness in my chest, been short of breath and occasionally been dizzy.” After thinking a bit, he added: “My stomach has been feeling uncomfortable this entire time.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded her head and did not hide anything, directly telling him: “I originally thought that it would be a lung illness when I heard that you coughed up blood, but it seems that there isn’t much wrong with your lungs.” As she spoke, she reached out to check his pulse and was able to quickly determine: “The problem is with the stomach. If my understanding is correct, Lord Lu’s stomach should have been the first thing to begin feeling unwell, right? You did not know what the problem was and began to feel uneasy. Without anything else to think about, you’ve been spending your days thinking about what illness it is, right?”
Lu Song nodded: “Princess is correct. Ever since my stomach began to feel unwell, I invited a few doctors, but they could not say what the problem was. They wrote a few prescriptions, but they were not effective. That caused me to feel uncertain. Later on, my head began to hurt, and I began to feel dizzy. Today, I finally began coughing blood… Princess, could it be… that I’m about to pass?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head and said: “That can’t be said for certain right now. The initial theory is that something is growing in your stomach, but whether this growth is malignant or benign is something that is hard to say right now. Some tests need to be performed, but your dizziness and shortness of breath are not big issues. It’s just that you’re feeling too much pressure that’s causing your blood pressure to shoot up and cause you to feel dizzy. I will prescribe you some medicine for your blood pressure. If those symptoms appear again in the future, just take medicine as your doctor prescribes, and you will get better very quickly. As for your stomach…” She pondered for a while then said: “It requires a gastroscope to remove the thing in your stomach. Then we will do some tests.”
Lu Song could not understand the jargon that she was saying, but he was able to guess what was being said, and he could not help but feel his mood improve. “Then let’s use the gastroscope!”
Feng Yu Heng laughed and told him: “Lord Lu, Hundred Herb Hall is a medical clinic; however, it’s not a free medical clinic. Treatment requires a treatment fee. As for a gastroscope, for the time being, it’s something that only this princess can do. Look, should I write a bill for you to go down and pay now, or should I have one sent to the Lu manor, where you’ll have a servant send the money later on?”
When she brought up money, Lu Song suddenly felt uncertain. Hundred Herb Hall had always set the bill based on the person. The poor and good people would pay less and less, and some might not even need to pay. As for the wealthy and bad people, the amount paid would depend on how Hundred Herb Hall felt. This was especially the case for people that Feng Yu Heng had enmity with. A single bout of illness cleaning out an entire family’s savings was a possibility.
Yet it just happened that she was the only one in Da Shun that was able to perform this sort of treatment. If you did not come here for treatment, it was the same as waiting to die. It had to be said that in the past, those that waited for death were quite calm. After all, everyone was the same. Anyone that had the illness would die. Either way, nobody could treat them. But later on, those fatal illnesses could suddenly be treated, thus people felt that spending a bit more money for the sake of living was worth it.
What was terrifying was clearly knowing that one could be treated here but not having any money. That was the most depressing. As for Lu Song, he was currently facing this sort of sorrow…
*Note: Normal should be around 100-120
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