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He Wouldn’t Live Past 20?

“Whether it’s embroidered well or not is secondary. What’s important is your sincerity.” Nanny Xu glanced at the “Sutra of the Medicine Buddha” calligraphy hanging on the wall and said, “The gifts that Young Master has given you were all written and made by him. It’s not good for you to give him such common, standard gifts in return every time. You should show more effort.”

Yu Youyao indeed felt a little ashamed. After seeing the calligraphy and paintings on the wall, her heart wavered. “But if the embroidery isn’t nice, Cousin wouldn’t want to carry it around!”

Nanny Xu smiled and said, “Even if he doesn’t carry it around outside, he can have it with him in the residence.”

Thinking of the fact that she had never embroidered anything seriously before, Yu Youyao was still a little hesitant. “Forget it. Chun Xiao’s workmanship is quite good. I’ll get her to embroider the sachet with bamboo patterns.”

Nanny Xu sighed softly. The gift-giving wasn’t the point—she wanted Yu Youyao to do the embroidering mainly because she was too careless with her needlework.

At this moment, Dong Mei walked into the house with a scroll in her hand. “Young Mistress, Young Master has sent over a painting.”

“Quick, show it to me.” Yu Youyao smiled. She quickly took the scroll from Dong Mei and carefully opened it.

On the pure white paper, there was a picturesque painting of mountains and a lake. An apricot tree stood with its reflection in the clear water. Its flowers bloomed elegantly, and the scene was beyond beautiful.

There were only a few strokes, but each stroke was well-spaced and expertly executed.

Yu Youyao’s face was filled with amazement as she looked at the short poem on it. “The apricot flower is white, but not completely. It’s red, but not entirely. Please look beyond it being red or white, and see it in a different light. Cousin really painted this magnificently.”

Only, why was her cousin suddenly giving her a painting for no reason?

And it even had apricot flowers!

Was he reminding her that he hadn’t received the sachet she had promised him?

It took at most five to six days to make a sachet, but it had been more than ten days since they had returned from the Precious Peace Temple. Yu Youyao felt embarrassed as she handed the painting to Dong Mei, asking her to have someone frame it and hang it in the house.

“Nanny, let’s go to the Embroidery Room!” Nanny Xu was right. Her cousin had given her works that he had personally made; it wasn’t right for her to have someone else make her gift.

‘How difficult can making a sachet be?’

Bond-molding hurt so badly and learning etiquette was so difficult. She had endured all of them. How could a mere sachet be too difficult for her?

In The Green Room, Zhou Linghuai sat under the porch. Uncle Sun’s eyes were squinted so much that it looked as if he was asleep. He stroked his long beard and took Zhou Linghuai’s pulse.

There were small lilac flowers in the spider plant, and they looked like small strings of wisteria, emitting a faint fragrance.

After a long while, Uncle Sun opened his eyes. “Young Master, your injury is on your spinal cord, causing your Qi and blood to stagnate, so your legs cannot feel or move. Furthermore, you have also hurt your vitality, causing your energy to be weak. Your core is too weak to receive nourishment, and if you lose any more vital energy, it will damage and shorten your lifespan. In the past three years, I’ve tried my best, but I can only help in managing your condition, so that you can live for a few more years.”

Three years ago, Uncle Sun had said that Zhou Linghuai wouldn’t live past 20. Zhou Linghuai had heard such words so many times that he was no longer affected by it.

Five years was indeed a short time, but it was enough for him to devise a careful plan and avenge his parents.

Zhou Linghuai lowered his eyes and looked at his book, but he couldn’t read a single word. For some reason, Yu Youyao’s bright smile appeared in his mind, and he couldn’t help but feel breathless.

Uncle Sun hesitated for a moment before saying, “Actually, Young Master’s legs aren’t completely damaged.”

As soon as he heard this, Zhou Linghuai, who had long accepted that his legs were completely paralyzed, couldn’t help but feel waves in his heart that overwhelmed him. But soon, a trace of sadness flashed across his eyes and his heart fell back into a dead calm.

Even if there was a way, it would probably be a long shot.

Otherwise, Uncle Sun wouldn’t have kept it from him until now.

Uncle Sun sighed softly. “The Sun family has been practicing medicine for generations. Among our ancestors, there was once a King of Medicine who’d created a set of acupuncture methods for the Inner Qi. The family’s ‘Records of Ten Thousand Diseases’ recorded thousands of difficult illnesses. Among them, there are diseases similar to yours. By using the Inner Qi Acupuncture method, your internal passageways will be cleared and your legs will heal.”

Zhou Linghuai’s breathing tightened, and his hands on his knees suddenly tensed. “Do you need any other conditions to execute this acupuncture technique?”

Uncle Sun nodded. “The Inner Qi Acupuncture is used to mobilize the vital energy in the body and circulate the Qi within you. Since your core is damaged, you will lose vital energy easily, so this acupuncture treatment is too dangerous for you, and I’d never told you about it before. Instead, I’ve only prescribed nourishing medicine for you to consume every day, as it can help to strengthen your core.”

Zhou Linghuai’s lips twitched, but as his clenched fists gradually relaxed, he regained his composure.

“However,” Uncle Sun changed his tone and said, “Recently, I discovered that Young Master’s core is actually showing signs of becoming stronger. It must be because of the medicinal cuisine sent by Eldest Miss Yu every day. It’s most likely the top-secret recipe of the Xie Residence in Quanzhou.”

Their manual had a long history and included many unknown treatments.

According to what he knew, the Xie Residence in Quanzhou was famous for their longevity. Members of the Xie family were more robust than the average person, and even their lifespan was longer too. It was rare for anyone to hit 70 years, but those from the Xie family had lifespans of more than 70 years. The current head of the Xie family, Old Master Xie, was already 73 years old, but he was still energetic.

Zhou Linghuai pursed his lips slightly but he remained expressionless. Recently, Uncle Sun had already mentioned the secret formula of the Xie family more than once.

“Young Master.” Uncle Sun squinted his eyes and glanced at his young master. Seeing his indifferent expression, he continued helplessly, “If we can use their secret recipe to nourish your vitality and strengthen your core, perhaps in a few years, your body will be able to withstand the Inner Qi Acupuncture technique and you will be able to walk again. Even if it doesn’t successfully treat your legs, it will at least improve your core health, and you will be able to live for at least ten more years, or even longer.”

For the past month, he had privately been studying to find out the secret recipe, but unfortunately, he still hadn’t a single clue.

Zhou Linghuai said nothing.

Uncle Sun wanted to persuade him further, but at this moment, Chang An walked in.

Zhou Linghuai looked up at him. “Did Cousin say anything after accepting the painting?”

“Nanny Xu was teaching Miss Cousin needlework, so I couldn’t disturb her. I passed the painting to Dong Mei.” Chang An’s head hung low.

Zhou Linghuai looked up and saw an apricot tree in the courtyard, its branches full of reddish-white flowers. The tree had been transplanted here a few days ago.

Suddenly, he could hear Yu Youyao’s sweet voice in his ear. “… the apricot flowers here were blooming beautifully. I want to break off a branch and return to the residence to make a sachet for you to carry around.”

In the blink of an eye, more than ten days had passed!

Not noticing that Zhou Linghuai was behaving differently, Uncle Sun sighed again. “Young Master, there’s hope for your legs to recover, and you have to be more conscientious in the future. In a while, I’ll make some medicinal oil to circulate your flow. I’ll also teach Chang An a set of techniques to massage you thrice a day. Before you sleep, soak your leg with the medicinal water to prevent the muscles in your leg from shrinking.”

The Young Master was unwilling to use any ploys to obtain the secret recipe from Eldest Miss Yu, so Uncle Sun couldn’t do anything about it. Fortunately, Eldest Miss Yu treated Young Master well and made a pot of medicinal cuisine every day.

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