Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 134: Large Scale In-Person Adoption
Warning: Potentially overly detailed medical descriptions
Min Si Xing was really sick to the bone.
His entire body, all the way to his face, was lined with red rashes and blisters.
Each one of them had a little bubble of blood inside, some of which had already been popped and was flowing out all over, mixed with some watery fluid.
Perhaps in fear of his clothes getting stuck to the wounds, he was bare naked, and from afar he looked like someone without their skin.
Xiao Feng Wu used a white handkerchief to cover his nose and mouth, almost about to faint from the heavy scent of blood.
He reached out with two fingers to lift up the thin blanket on Min Si Xing to take a look and found red welts spreading all the way to his waist.
He then spread out his handkerchief so he could cover himself better and knotted it around the back of his head to hold it up before taking Min Si Xing’s pulse.
An extremely faint pulse.
Breathing in just bare slivers.
Xiao Feng Wu pushed down Min Si Xing’s jaw and found his teeth tightly gritted together.
Which meant that there would be no way to force feed him any medicine, and even if they tried, he might just suffocate.
He thought about it and then grabbed a brush to write down two prescriptions.
He called out to the servants nearby,
“Go and grab all the medicinal herbs on the first sheet and mash them into powder.
You’ll need 10 kilograms.
For the second, add water to the herbs and simmer the mixture in boiling water until it turns into a paste.
When it’s ready, slather it over his body and then prepare the silver acupuncture needles along with the coal basin.
Keep them at high heat, burning hot.
I’ll call when I need them.”
Min Si Xing’s index finger had already started to swell up and turn purple.
Xiao Feng Wu lifted up a silver needle and poked down at the tip of the finger, all the way down until the majority of the needle was inserted.
A nearby maid’s face was cringing from the sight, as if her own hand was in pain as well.
The moment the silver needle was plucked out, the head of the needle could be seen to have blackened.1
Xiao Feng Wu switched to a small knife and nicked a small wound on Min Si Xing’s finger.
He pressed down and after a while, a little bit of blood finally flowed out; it was black and tacky, sticking onto the finger and unmoving.
Xiao Feng Wu used a handkerchief to wipe it off and then continued to press down, until he finally saw some blood of a more normal reddish hue come out.
Min Shang Shan utilized all the servants his family had in the entire estate and before long, the powder and the paste were done.
Xiao Feng Wu took out all of the 36 needles poked into Min Si Xing’s body and then signalled a servant to apply the medicine,
“Cover his entire body with the paste, even the places where the blisters popped.”
He himself was extremely grossed out, and he leaned back against a bedpost, not daring to take another look.
Anyone would be afraid of these kinds of illnesses that look to be contagious, so when the servant slathered the medicinal paste on, the servant was very much on the wire, not daring to even breathe loudly.
Soon, the black paste was spread all over the body and Min Si Xing was quickly covered in black, without a single area where it was not on him.
Xiao Feng Wu opened up the bag containing the powder and dumped it all into the basin with the burning coal,
“Take this and keep it underneath the bed.
Fan the flames, and also make sure the corners of the room also get a basin and fanned.
The temperature in this room needs to be brought all the way up.”
They had never seen such a rare method of curing illness, and although the servants thought it was strange, they followed his orders.
Each of them fanned and fanned until they were all sweating buckets.
Xiao Feng Wu himself left the room, only peering inside through a little opening in one of the windows.
Slowly, white smoke was emitting from the room, so heavy and thick that those nearby had tears forced out of their eyes, as if they were standing in a room that was on fire.
The old baldy covered his face with his sleeves and glowered at Xiao Feng Wu,
“What kind of trick are you pulling! Are you playing with human lives?!”
Xiao Feng Wu rolled his eyes and mockingly looked at him,
“Shut your mouth, you whose time has long come past.
The actual blood related father hasn’t even said a word, so why are you trying to pretend to be some grandson of his.
What, too impatient to bow down to your ancestor?”
The old bald man in Yan Cheng was still fairly well known and he had numerous disciples.
When would he ever have been pointed and yelled at before? Anger immediately blew up within him, so much so that it almost made him faint.
Min Shang Shan, who had some patience in him, didn’t say a word at all, only keeping his eyes on the house.
He didn’t even mind that it was dirty and laid himself across him, using his legs as a cushion.
Closing his eyes, he said,
“When the first light breaks, wake me up.”
Qin Ming Yue plucked out blades of grass and twirled them around his fingers as he perfunctorily hummed an acknowledgement.
Seeing this, the old bald man was even more disgusted,
Hearing him, Qin Ming Yue lifted up his eyes and slightly hooked up the corners of his mouth,
“Our clothes haven’t even been taken off yet, how could this be shameless? Old man, you wouldn’t still be a virgin boy would you? How old are you? Should get on that pretty soon, or there won’t be anyone to light up any incense for you.”2
For those who lived in the slums, who has not said or heard anything bad? In the years that Qin Ming Yue lived, what kind of terrible sayings or words had he not suffered through that he would be afraid of such an asshole of an old bald man.
Hearing the two of them quarrelling, Xiao Feng Wu turned his head to stifle his laughter before saying to Qin Ming Yue,
“Say, do you think these people are bad or not? Always pointing to this kind of thing.
We could all be warm and under the covers.”
Qin Ming Yue glared at him and darkly said,
“You aren’t any better than any of them.”
Without a care, Xiao Feng Wu nuzzled closer and closer to him,
“If I’m not bad, you won’t like it.”
The morning light was not far away and from afar, the morning tolls began to ring.
The room was hotter than a steaming basket and waves of servants changed over and over, but Min Si Xing showed no signs of waking.
Min Shang Shan was walking back and forth in the courtyard, evidently overcome with frustration and agitation.
He would occasionally look over at Xiao Feng Wu with a dark face.
Seeing the sky tinged with a slight light in the edges of the sky, Qin Ming Yue’s heart started to pound and he shook Xiao Feng Wu awake.
“Wake up, wake up.
The morning’s about to arrive.”
Xiao Feng Wu had not fallen into a deep sleep and upon his calls, he opened his eyes and lightly sighed before climbing up from the floor.
Qin Ming Yue patted off the dirt and dust from his clothes,
“Go inside and check up on them.
The room’s about to boil from all that smoke.
Don’t let anything ruin it now.”
Xiao Feng Wu only replied,
“Wait here for me.”
The old bald man, Li Si Mou, who had taken up the role of leader, was in the midst of the crowd of physicians, and they were all watching Xiao Feng Wu’s every move, and at this, they only shook their heads and chuckled,
“Young man, don’t say such outrageous words and incriminate yourself.
The morning’s arrived and the roosters are about to call.”
Xiao Feng Wu ignored them and pushed the door to go in.
Thick wafts of heat came over as they were greeted with the sight of four male servants fanning with their backs all sweating heavily, as if they had just come out of water.
Min Si Xing was lying on the bed, still without any reaction.
The black paste on his body had already dried and was cracking.
With the slightest touch, they would fall down.
Xiao Feng Wu grabbed a white handkerchief and wiped off the remnants of the medicine on Min Si Xing’s wrist and took his pulse with his eyes closed.
After a short while, he opened them and then poked a needle right on the middle space between Min Si Xing’s eyes and his throat,
“Continue to fan, until all the remnants of the medicine are burned up cleanly.”
And then didn’t leave, finding a spot nearby to sit down.
He leaned against the chair and closed his eyes to recover his energy, his fingers tapping in a rhythm on his knees.
Time was slowly ticking away as the sky began to open its doors.
The darkness of the night was beginning to fade away and light began to shine down from the midst of the clouds.
The big rooster being raised behind the Min family’s kitchen reached out his neck and its loud crow immediately shook everyone’s attention.
What was different was that the old bald man was very excited as Qin Ming Yue was anxious.
Min Shang Shan’s face was in an extremely bad mood and from the window crack, he could see that Min Si Xing was not moving at all with Xiao Feng Wu looking like he was sleeping against the chair.
Finally, his anger could not take it anymore and he pushed open the door with everyone behind him.
The air in the bright and early morning was cold, and with the door suddenly banged open, a gust of cold wind blew through, making all the sweat filled servants sneeze.
Xiao Feng Wu’s head was also dripping sweat from the heat, and he unhurriedly wiped his sweat off with a handkerchief, looking completely unfazed.
Min Shang Shan’s teeth almost shattered from the force of him gritting them.
He hatefully said,
“Xiao Feng Wu—-!”
Xiao Feng Wu was still unrushed,
The old bald man laughed darkly,
“Charlatans can harm others.
Min Lao-ye, what are you doing, talking to such a crazy fellow.
Just tie him up and send him to jail.”
The servants manning outside all shuffled over to the windows to watch the scene as Xiao Feng Wu opened his eyes and stood up from the chair.
He then said to that old bald man,
“I really want to cut off your tongue.
You’re even more annoying than any old bitchy woman.”
The old bald man laughed mockingly in return,
“Trying to struggle even with your upcoming death! I won’t take issue with anyone about to die.”
Xiao Feng Wu flipped up his robes to sit on the side of the bed and then took Min Si Xing’s pulse before plucking away the silver needle in between the middle of his eyebrows.
When he was about to take away the needle on his throat, for whatever reason he closed his eyes and thought about it before suddenly smiling and retracting his eyes,
“Hoh, my hands are shaking.
Li Si Mou, how about you come and pluck away this needle, huh?”
Li Si Mou was that old bald man and he was at first surprised and then couldn’t help but laugh,
“You yourself can’t cure him and you even want to entrap this senior physician? Think again in your dreams.”
A few old men behind him also laughed out in return but then seeing Min Shang Shan’s face, they quickly quieted down.
Xiao Feng Wu patted his knees,
“Li Si Mou, what are you afraid of? It’s just plucking away that needle, and it won’t be killing anyone.
How about this, if he’s dead, that’s on me.
Responsibility won’t fall on you one bit.”
Li Si Mou still felt that it was a trap and didn’t dare to take him up on it, but Min Shang Shan stopped all other responses by pushing him forward and saying,
Li Si Mou was the Min family’s Qian Jin Tang’s main physician and being held up by his collar, he called out in pain but didn’t dare to disobey.
Xiao Feng Wu this bastard of a man followed along and rose up, dusting off his sleeves and smiling as he gave a short bow before moving aside,
“Please, all yours.”
The throat was a special area, somewhere that could determine the death of someone.
If there was even the slightest misjudgment, it could have taken away a life.
Li Si Mou calmed himself down and without hesitation quickly plucked that silver needle out.
Not a moment after, the crowd could see Min Si Xing who had still been lying on the bed looking quite dead suddenly open his eyes and spit out a coagulated glob of thick black blood.
Completely unprepared, the glob splattered all over Li Si Mou’s face and he immediately froze up.
Min Si Xing leaned over the side of the bed, coughing nonstop.
With his abrupt movements, the paste on his body cracked and fell away, revealing his flesh once more– most of the blisters and rashes had calmed away, and delighted as he could be, Min Shang Shan pushed forward,
“Son! You are finally awake!”
That burst of blood Min Si Xing vomited out was poisonous and it stunk with no hesitation.
Seeing Li Si Mou’s widened eyes and his chest heaving irregularly as if he was a croaking toad, Xiao Feng Wu laughed loudly, banging on the doors before leaving the room.
Qin Ming Yue had been unable to shuffle any closer in the crowd but he had seen everything through the window.
Seeing this, his heart finally settled down and breathed a sigh of relief.
He said to Xiao Feng Wu,
“If you’re done, let’s go.
One more second here and my heart still feels as if it’s on a tightrope.”
Xiao Feng Wu’s eyes swirled at his words and he slowly leaned over, suddenly and loudly kissing him once on the cheeks.
Qin Ming Yue freaked out, but the only response from Xiao Feng Wu was him leaning against the door and slowly shaking his head,
“If we go now, we’ll lose a lot of things.
Qin Ming Yue’s face still felt numb and he covered the sides with his hands.
After a moment of shock, he shot a glare at Xiao Feng Wu and then smiled fakely at him before standing beside him and didn’t make another sound.
The first to walk out of the room was Physician Shen, who had been the only one that did not claim the illness to be witchcraft.
After witnessing enough of the drama, he ho-ho’ed as he walked out with his medicinal bag on his shoulders and give a respectful greeting to Xiao Feng Wu,
“Truly, new generations are stronger than the previous one.
Xiao Gong-zi you are brilliant in your youthful age, so much so that this old physician can only be in awe.
I must boldly ask, what kind of disease is this, that no one has heard of nor has seen?”
“This is red lotus rash, which I have only heard from my elders at home before.
Normal people would never have contracted such illnesses, really it is the Min family that has all that blessing.”
Not missing a chance, Xiao Feng Wu subtly insulted with his compliments and then gave a greeting back to Physician Shen,
“Please, take your leave slowly.”
Physician Shen stretched out,
“Of course, of course.”
Another old man wanted to follow along and pretend everything was fine, but then Xiao Feng Wu’s long leg reached up and blocked off the door.
He smiled at that old man and didn’t say another word until the other was confused.
Qin Ming Yue raised his eyebrows and reminded him,
“What are you standing there for? Call out your ancestor.”
Almost forgot about this bit.
In Xiao Feng Wu’s hands was a slab of brick and he was juggling it around,
Just let me hit you once and the whole thing can pass.”
The other inhaled sharply, Xiao Feng Wu, this vicious boy, with a slap of that brick on him, would he still be alive?
Between the choice of his face or his life, that old man hesitated slightly before quickly picking the latter.
Using his sleeves to cover his face, he raised his hands in a respectable bow and said,
“Disciple Kang Ji Ming, respectfully greeting his great old master.”
Xiao Feng Wu dropped his leg and slightly tilted up his chin,
“Hmm, you can leave.”
With someone at the head, the rest did not deny anything, especially with the brick in Xiao Feng Wu’s hands that was being thrown around so casually.
All the physicians tamely and obediently lined up, taking up their side of the bet.
“Disciple Gong Sun Qi, respectfully greeting his great old master.”
“Disciple Fan Yong, respectfully greeting his great old master.”
“Disciple Sun Shao Zu, respectfully greeting his great old master.”
All the servants of the Min family were clustered together as they witnessed this strange sight of something that would even be hard to see in a hundred years.
A group of old, elderly men, all respectfully bowing to a young man, of a bow that was a junior greeting to his senior, all proclaiming him to be their ancestor, their master.
The only one who did not move was Li Si Mou.
His face was darkened and the blood on his face was already washed off.
His moustache was twitching even in the absence of wind and he coldly said,
“This old physician would rather suffer a brick to his head.”
Xiao Feng Wu lowered his eyes and responded,
Li Si Mou: “Naturally.”
The moment he replied, Xiao Feng Wu swatted over with a brick without hesitation.
The brick fell onto the floor in two pieces and without a doubt, Li Si Mou’s body wavered and then fell onto the floor with a great thud.
Xiao Feng Wu dusted off his hands,
“You really think I won’t dare to hit you huh.”
*1 If you’re someone who’s into cdramas or historical genres (especially the imperial palace and the fight for the throne ones), you may have seen a common trope(?) or scene where someone tests for poison with a silver needle (acupuncture) and if the tip of it comes out black, it’s poisoned.
According to sources online, this is due to mostly things that have a lot of sulfide/polysulfide (which doesn’t actually test if it’s poisoned) but as there’s not quite a lot known scientifically back then, the reason why it may be considered for poison is because this can test for arsenic (since most things were not created with sulfide/polysulfide back then, with the little amount that it was there as a composition of arsenic, the silver needles react and thus cause the conclusion of “poison”).
There obviously were a lot more different things that can cause the reaction (such as egg yolks apparently) but most other ways to poison did not do the same thing, so it’s not a great test, but apparently was very popular in this usage.
*2 Lighting up incense was mentioned in this footnote in volume 2.
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