There was a loud clamor in the yard early in the morning.
After Lei Zhonglian finished cleaning up the front hall, he went out only to see Zhu Zan exaggeratedly brushing his teeth with willow bark, bits of chewed up willow bark swept into the air.
"Is the meal done yet?" he asked, gargling water, looking back at the busy figure in the kitchen.
Miss Jun came forward with the food and called for Chengyu.
Zhu Zan used clean water to wipe his mouth and face before walking over to the nearby table.
"Is the kid still asleep?" he asked with a straight face. "Much too improper."
"He was too tired last night," said Miss Jun while putting the food on the table. She looked up at Zhu Zan to see him staring at her strangely.
"What's wrong?" she asked, purposefully not looking at herself.
She had not been a pampered, pretty princess since she was ten. Standing, walking, lying down, she always had to take care of herself. Traveling at night, sleeping out in the open. If they said walk, she walked. She was proficient in sleeping the moment she lied down. No matter the situation, keeping herself tidy was very easy for her.
She was never disheveled, unless it was intentional.
Zhu Zan rubbed his chin.
He pointed to the room and asked, "Your little husband is too tired?" .
Miss Jun nodded.
"Yes, what's wrong?" she asked.
Zhu Zan touched his chin again.
"I'm just commenting," he said, looking at Miss Jun. "Say, how did you recognize me?"
"I'm the daughter of Funing County's Jun Yingwen. I grew up in Funing with my father. Funing often received the protection of Duke of Cheng, and when he came to inspect our city, I had the honor to meet him. I also had the fortune of seeing Lord Heir from afar. Lord Heir is extremely dashing and powerful, hard to forget."
Jun Zhenzhen was pretty and cute. When she was speaking softly and tenderly, she was especially lovely.
Zhu Zan regardered her seriously.
In the early morning light, the scene of a man and woman looking at each other was very beautiful to Lei Zhonglian. For a time, he forgot to be embarrassed.
"I understand," Zhu Zan said suddenly, like he finally solved a problem that had been bothering him for a long time. "You aren't bashful."
A woman should be bashful when telling a man of her admiration.
Of course, she didn't feel it. She also wasn't pretending.
Miss Jun smiled at him and lowered her head to put down the tableware.
"She wouldn't be, too," Zhu Zan suddenly said to himself.
Miss Jun's hand stopped.
"Who?" she asked, looking up.
Zhu Zan smiled at her with teeth showing.
"My wife," he said.
Was he married?
Maybe. She couldn't remember since she was always away from home. Later, when she went back, big changes had occurred with her father, mother, and her own identity, and she'd gotten married. She couldn't manage her own matters, much less pay attention to other people.
Zhu Zan's age was similar to that of Twelfth Royal Uncle who was three or four years older than her. Now that he was twenty-on, he should be married already. Perhaps children were alraedy running around as well.
Miss Jun smiled.
"Please, can't you be more serious when you say you admire me?" said Zhu Zan, reaching out and knocking on the table. "If you hear the person that you admire is married, shouldn't you be more heartbroken?"
Miss Jun looked up and said, "I don't admire you."
Zhu Zan pointed a finger at her.
"Oi, don't lie and deny your own heart," he said. "If you don't admire me, what are you doing not forgetting me?"
"Not forgetting you doesn't mean I have to admire you," said Miss Jun, puzzled. "I couldn't forget you because of my appreciation of Noble Son's talent."
Zhu Zan blinked at her serious expression.
"Well, that's fine too," he said.
"I also can't forget the Duke of Cheng," said Miss Jun. "Noble Son couldn't think that I…"
Zhu Zan raised his hand.
"Stop," he interrupted, looking a bit chill. "However you say it, it sounds wrong"
Miss Jun smiled again, and footsteps came from the entrance.
"Jiuling," Fang Chengyu shouted, slowly walking in, step by step.
Miss Jun moved forward to catch his arm.
Zhu Zan let out a breath.
"I'm relieved. You don't have any presumptuous intentions." He laughed. "So I'm much more comfortable with you."
Lei Zhonglian sighed. How long did he plan to stay entangled with them? These past few days were hard to endure.
After the meal was cleaned up, the Jiuling Hall opened shop as always.
Seeing the crowd waiting outside the door, Zhu Zan was shocked.
"How could there be so many people? Are they here to smash the place?" he said. "You're kind of young to be reliable."
The reaction of the people outside answered him.
Everyone extended their greetings to her and automatically fell into a line. The first one came to the table for a consultation, while the others sat down on the benches to wait in order.
"Miss Jiuling, can I get some medicine?" Occasionally, there were old ladies or old men asking this respectfully.
Lei Zhonglian led them away.
"This way," he said.
The medicine cabinet workers drew up the prescription, while Lei Zhonglian bagged it.
Fang Chengyu was sitting behind Miss Jun at a long table. It was piled with ledgers, scrolls, brushes, an inkstone, and scraps of paper. He either looked down to flip through the ledgers, or looked at Miss Jun giving consultations.
People were constantly coming and going in the hall. Unlike the dark clouds of worry that hung around other clinics,, everyone who came in here was excited and carefree.
Zhu Zan even saw several elderly women who evidently went shopping to come in and stop for a rest. The ducks and chickens in their baskets sometimes ran out, and they would laugh and joke while catching them.
"What is this. This is a clinic?" he asked, stunned.
"Little Brother, you must be an outsider," an old woman waiting in line to pick medicine said.
"Is it so obvious?" Zhu Zan said with an eyebrow raised.
"The Jiuling Hall has always been like this. When Miss Jun's grandfather was here, it was also like this. All the residents of the neighborhood liked to come and sit here," reminisced the old lady with a smile. "The old doctor is gone, so I thought that the Jiuling Hall would go too. Now it's all right, though. Miss Jun returned, and the Jiuling Hall has opened again."
Zhu Zan said, "Oh, oh," with raised eyebrows.
But in not even a moment, he groaned again. He found a big problem.
"Wait,"—He stepped forward and grabbed Lei Zhonglian, his face serious—"you forgot to collect money."
Lei Zhonglian looked at him.
"We're not collecting money this month," he said.
"What do you mean not collecting money?" Zhu Zan asked.
Lei Zhonglian looked to Miss Jun and Fang Chengyu.
"The young master and the young lady said that when the Jiuling Hall was reopened, in order to repay her elders and fellow villagers, the first month's medicine fee wouldn't cost anything," he said.
"What the hell," Zhu Zan said, turning around and looking at the two people.
Sensing his gaze, Fang Chengyu looked over and smiled at him.
"Smiling, still smiling." He gritted his teeth and walked over quickly. "Hey, do you know what you guys are doing?"
"I know," Fang Chengyu replied earnestly.
Miss Jun ignored him and raised her brush to write the patient's prescription.
"This must be treated slowly. You have to eat ginseng for a month," she said.
Zhu Zan stretched his hand across her shoulder and grabbed her brush.
"Eating it like rice?" he said.
The old man at the clinic was excited and scared.
"This is too expensive. This is too expensive. I can't afford it," he said with a quiver.
"I must ask you to eat it," said Miss Jun.
The old man wiped his tears.
"I know that it was Young Miss who asked me to eat it, but even if I eat it for a time, I cannot eat it for a lifetime. I wasn't a rich man, but I contracted a rich person's illness," he sobbed.
Miss Jun smiled.
"You don't have to eat for a lifetime. Just a month. I told you that I would vanish illnesses with medicine. I wasn't lying."
She yanked her pen hard, but Zhu Zan kept holding on.
"Don't delay my medical treatments, okay?" she said, helpless.
"You are giving treatment?" Zhu Zan whispered. "You are abusing the elderly."
Miss Jun elbowed him in the stomach.
Zhu Zan did not expect her to do anything, so he stumbled backwards and let go.
Miss Jun wrote the prescription carefully with the brush.
Zhu Zan frowned and wanted to say something, then someone behind him used the back of a brush to poke him.
"What are you doing?" He turned and looked at Fang Chengyu. "Don't touch me."