Chapter 20 Tenderhearted
Jin Yan Hen grabs the half lower hem of his garment and does not know whether to cry or laugh, “Chen’er don’t be impulsive. Say it well with words!”
Lou Chen also gawks, surprised herself. She was so annoyed for a moment ago and just wants to teach this rascal a lesson. She did not expect him to suddenly retreat. As a result…
How could it be like this? This Luoshui Town’s official constabulary uniform is unexpectedly very flimsy. She just “softly” tugged and it unpredictably ripped.
Lou Chen was complaining within her heart but her face still displayed that icy appearance. She held the piece of cloth unintentionally tighter and the rainwater from the torn material soaked her hand. She realizes then that the cloth was too wet that it did not even need a twisting to draw out the water. She glanced at Jin Yan Hen, but it was too dark and she could not see clearly. Taking advantage of the light from the torch she saw him clearer and he was in a very distressing condition. His whole body was soaked and the lower hem of his garment is dripping with water and he was muddy all over.
Lou Chen was worried a little because he was injured just the night before and the wound is not healed yet. Today, he tossed and turned all day and the wound was soaked by rainwater, surely it has worsened.
Lou Chen has been intently looking at him. Jin Yan Hen felt a little uncomfortable.” Ahem…” he coughs lightly and with guilty conscience stepped back a little. “ If Chen-er wants something, just say it, I will do it myself, you don’t put your hand on it.”
“Is that right?” Lou Chen raised her eyebrow and whispered softly, “Then you take your clothes off yourself at once.”
Jin Yan Hen stared at her, wondering if he misunderstood something. Lou Chen was busy shaking the water off the piece of cloth while he looked at her, she appeared calm and unruffled in the midst of “chaos” and she missed that “teasing sexual innuendo coming from a rouge woman giving consent to an immoral behavior” look in his eyes.
After that peach blossom look vanishes from his eyes, Jin Yan Hen started untying his waistband, blushing as he timidly looking at Lou Chen saying, “Well, since Chen’er likes it, then I will do as told.”
After hearing him say this, Lou Chen suddenly felt goosebumps all over, “ What nonsense are you talking about? We have to re-wrap the wound on your shoulder.”
Jin Yan Hen cannot help to feel funny inside as she sees her always aloof and cold. Besides on normal days, he always feels that he is always being shunned. He thought to himself that it would be interesting to tease this beauty again if only… yeah, if only he doesn’t fear her.
Truthfully, the wound on his arm is aching tremendously. His clothes are pasted to his body and it is really impossible to unwrap the wound without removing his clothes. Previously, when she said “take off his clothes”, during that time he did not know what to feel, only like the fact that he must undress in front of her, Jin Yan Hen still somehow feel some uneasiness with the idea.
He glimpsed at Lou Chen and saw only her clear eyes that display the familiar indifference and usual cold facial expression. Jin Yan Hen clenches his teeth secretly, if other young lady they will find the situation embarrassing, but for this aloof individual, what kind of strength does she hold for her to remain composed. He turned around and took off his coat and he rolls the sleeves of his inner garment.
Only if he knew, Jin Yan Hen shouldn’t find this girl strange, because Lou Chen always helps her mother to do autopsies for the Ministry of Justice. The corpses they examine were naked; therefore she is already familiar with the man’s body. Also when the patients were injured, it is also necessary to take off their clothes to be treated. So, for Miss Lou this is a common thing and there’s nothing embarrassing.
Certainly, if Jin Yan Hen knew at this moment that in Lou Chen’s perspective, his body and those that are waiting on the morgue for testing are comparable and has no difference, probably for just the thought of it he might throw up blood.
He was lucky for not knowing her thoughts…
When Jin Yan Hen completely reveals his arms with the wound, Lou Chen came up to untie the bandage and just as she expected, the wound split and it started bleeding again. The wound was also soaked in water earlier and turns grayish. This is not good at all.
Lou Chen took two leaves of King’s grass, crumbles it in her hand and squeezed the juice out of the leaves letting if flow on Jin Han Yen’s wound. “ Ssss!.” Jin Yan Hen hisses as he held his breath. His face twisted right away, at the same time he felt that inside his wound there are numerous thorns pricking inside, it felt like innumerable bugs were gnawing his flesh and blood. He felt like being punished for a moment, it was so uncomfortable as the stoke leaves the night before, but it pales into insignificance in comparison.
After the juice covers the wound and seeps in, the pain subsides slightly. Jin Yan Hen now breaths, feeling relieved. He forces a smile before saying, “Are all the drugs that you use this stimulating?”
Jin Yan Hen, when he was in pain has a pale complexion. Lou Chen is in a good mood, smiles to say, “That does not happen often. Actually, you are lucky.”
Lucky? Jin Yan Hen rolled his eyes secretly which annoys Lou Chen. Jin Yan Hen thought that made her more attractive but this is not the appropriate time to praise her beauty.
“Take this.”Jin Yan Hen kept his opinion in his heart. Lou Chen put the torch on his uninjured hand and took his bloodstained clothes to the stream to wash.
The fair white hands rub the cotton wrap gently and water flows between her fingers and brought splashes of water on her hands. He has seen many women doing their laundry on the riverside but he had not witnessed this kind of beauty in his eyes. Sure enough in his eyes, everything this woman does is really beautiful however this time he decided to keep this to himself.
After Lou Chen finished washing the cotton fabric, she helps him bandage his wound. Jin Yan Hen notices that the wounded arm is not as painful anymore. Not only that the pain when she put the King’s grass disappeared, even the dull consistent pain disappeared. If not of the wound that clearly before his eyes, he would have thought that he did not suffer any injuries at all. He felt his arm is clear of pain and very at ease. The effect of the medicine is too mysterious and he couldn’t help but curiously asks, “ What kind of medicine is that? The name is quite scary?”
“This is the best medicine for treating flesh wounds. Regardless of the what kind of wound it is the wound will stop bleeding in just a few moments and the wound will be healed in three days without leaving any scar.”
In the world, there is such medicine so effective in treating wound injury! Jin Yan Hen smiled and said,” It sounds to be very precious.”
This is not nonsense. Actually, it is far more than precious. In today’s world, there is no medicine that can heal a wound this way. Otherwise, how the word “Yao Wang Cao” (The King’s Grass) came to be, a name which means even if the king wishes your death, you won’t die.
However, Lou Chen is not a person who likes to explain. Naturally, she did not argue that calling it precious is an understatement for this herbal medicine.
After dressing the wound, Lou Chen squatted down to dug around the grass cautiously loosening the soil around it. She knew that this King ’s grass is very delicate and if the roots are hurt, even just a little, it will wilt and die within three hours. This medicine is very effective but has to be used fresh, it so mysterious that very few people have seen it.
Jin Yan Hen was watching Lou Chen on squatting and earnestly digging the soil around the plant. She doesn’t care if her hands become muddy and her blue clothes dirtied by mud. He is really curious, who is it that brought up a daughter like this?
He heard Su Tong, that small girl, said that because Lou Chen saw her crying at the foot of Sheshan Mountain, she approached her and helped the family, cure her elder brother’s foot and also help care for Madam Su. Then just because Fang Ru Hui requested her to sit and examine in the medical center that she stayed for a while. Who could have guessed when that the small village will have a possibility of an epidemic, she dutifully helped without hesitation that she might catch the disease. Now that he has soaked his injured arm in the rain, she took this precious miraculous herb to treat his arm. To him, it is just a small wound but she took the effort to care for it. Jin Yan Hen never in his wildest imagination that there would be a girl like her; deadpan in appearance and very aloof when she talks but she is actually tenderhearted. If in the beginning, Jin Yan Hen is interested to find out her status, right at this moment she just wanted to know her as a person.
Lou Che spent a lot of energy digging the King’s grass and it finally paid off. Afraid not to injure its roots, she made a ball of wet soil around it. Looking at Jin Yan Hen’s wet cloth, she thought not to put it to waste and will take more strips of the garment to wrap around the ball of soft soil,
“Hey, how old are you this year? Do you have any brother or sister in your family?” This time he voluntarily handed her a piece of cloth from his torn uniform. Lou Chen took the piece of garment and wrapped the wet ball of soil surrounding the King’s grass.
While Lou Chen’s hand was wrapping the soil, she gave Jin Yan Hen a side look while Jin Yan Hen also sat squat beside her, while she continues her motion of wrapping the grass, she noticed that his eyes are a little strange. She whispered back, “If I have, so what?”
Jin Yan Hen completely disregards Lou Chen sarcastic reply, and just as before, replied with full of enthusiasm, “Nothing really. I’m just casually asking.” Lou Chen thought Jin Yan Hen is really odd this moment, she clears her throat and said, “ You did not tell me about your family, why would I tell you about mine.”
Jin Yan Hen moved closer to her side, grinning, “I am 24 years old this year, I’m not married yet. My parents died while I was young. My paternal aunt is the one who raised me. What else do you want to know?”
She has mistaken, she is regretting her words. How could she forget that Jin Yan Hen is not some kind of normal person, he is actually abnormal! Lou Chen put the securely wrapped King’s grass on the side, washes the mud in her hand and prepared to set out. Jin Yan Hen was relentless and continues saying, “I already said something about my family, then you should answer what I have asks you before.”
Why this person chooses to act this crazy today. Lou Chen answered with the tone of impatience, “ I am younger than you, and yes I have brother and sisters at home.”
“Really?” Obviously, Jin Yan Hen was not discouraged by her attitude and continues to ask shamelessly and with brazen-face, ”Did your family betrothed you for marriage yet?”
Not knowing how to stop this conversation and how he will answer when she says something more, Lou Chen was holding the King’s grass in one hand and seizes the torch from his hand, frustrated answered him in an ice-cold tone, “ It is none of your business.” She then turns around and walked away.
Jin Yan Hen looks the back of a person drifting away on the road with a smile, not normal smile but very wide smile and whispered, “ Of course, it is my business.”
The tunnel they choose to go comes to an end, although they had not found the assassin’s trail, finding a King’s grass is also not bad.
They return back to the big pit and this time with the torch. They found that besides the tunnel they walked through, there are three other tunnels. Out of the three, two of them don’t have a brook passing through. After assessing for some time, they decided to go through the cave tunnel that has a shallow brook.
The tunnel is wider and deeper than the previous one. After walking about “a half cup of tea” (probably about 7-10 minutes?) Jin Yan Hen suddenly stopped and Lou Chen following his vision also discovered a strip of bloodied belt lying on the ground. With tacit understanding after looking at each other, he blew the torch out, they were instantly engulfed by darkness and eerie silence.