132 The Fourth Miss Tries to Get It Over With

    Hui'er returned soon with a steaming bowl of medicine, but of course, this was when Yujia had already fallen asleep. By the time that Yujia opened her eyes again, the medicine had cooled.

    As Hui'er brought the medicine to her, she described some things to Yujia. "I read the prescription that Young Master Yu brought for you, and it's really a good one. The herbs used are all top-notch and very expensive. They treat symptoms of fever, dizziness, and just the common cold- so Miss, as long as you keep drinking the medicine, you'll get better soon!" She beamed brightly.

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    Yujia, who leaned against the pole of her bed, took the bowl of medicine from Hui'er's hands and brought a wooden spoonful of it to her lips. Upon taking her first mouthful of medicine, she immediately gagged, wanting to spit it out so bad but being unable to since Hui'er's reminder about the cost of the medicine made the terrible tasting mouthful seem way too precious to spit out.

    The concoction of herbs tasted overwhelmingly bitter, so much that Yujia swore she never had a single drink that was as bitter as what she tasted just now. She took pills frequently from the Fourth Miss's necessary medicine, but since they were pills, they were nothing compared to the liquid mix of pure pungency that she just tasted. With pills, she could swallow them without tasting much, but since the medicine she took now was like the consistency of soup, there was no way of avoiding the bitter taste.

    Heavens, even the aftertaste was disgusting.

    Yujia made an obvious face of unpleasantness. When Hui'er saw this, she asked, "Miss...?"

    As a response, Yujia could only look down at the murky mixture inside the bowl, replying, "You should try how horrible this tastes."

    Hui'er immediately shook her head and raised her hands, pointing out, "Miss, this precious medicine is for you. How could you waste such a valuable thing on a healthy person like me?" She smiled a bit, as if she knew exactly how bitter the medicine would be. "Besides, they do say that the more bitter the medicine, the more nourishing it is. Quick, if you drink it fast, maybe you would taste it less. But if you keep slowly drinking it spoon by soon, you would suffer for longer."

    Yujia nodded slowly. There was some logic to what her maid was saying.

    She stared at the bowl for one more long, drawn out moment, then decided that it would be better to follow what Hui'er said.

    Grabbing the two sides of the bowl and setting the spoon aside, she raised it to her mouth and chugged all of it down, bracing herself for the terrible taste to come.

    Sure enough, the bitterness attacked her like a crashing wave. And it seemed like Hui'er was wrong- though the onset of the bitterness was quick and sudden, it didn't leave the same way. The aftertaste clung to her taste buds, making Yujia stretch her mouth out wide to try to minimize contact of her tongue with any other part of her mouth.

    Drinking medicine had never seemed so bad before.

    Hui'er noticed Yujia's lasting discomfort. She reached behind her with a grin that wouldn't vanish, then pulled out a tied paper package that didn't look so different from the one that carried the medicine. Yujia eyed the package, her gaze hesitant.

    "What's that?" she asked.

    She watched as Hui'er unlaced the strings and peeled apart the thin layers of oil paper, revealing a delightful surprise within it, contrary to the herbs that Yujia was expecting to see more of.

    Inside the package were many candied fruits, with there being a variety of kinds. Some were red dates,  some were pear, some were peach, and some were persimmon. The varying shades of dark red, vibrant light yellow, and rich orange were all very visually appealing to see together, especially with the layer of sugar dusted on all of them.

    Hui'er's smile almost went up to her eyes while she explained, "Eating some candied fruits after drinking bitter medicine is always a good idea!"

    Gratefully, Yujia took a few candied pieces of peach from Hui'er, using it to take away the bitterness of the medicine. The pure sugary sweetness washed down all the bitterness, making Yujia instantly feel a lot better. It had been a while since she had fruit or anything candy-like too. "Thank you," she told Hui'er.

    "Don't thank me!" Hui'er repackaged the fruits, saving them for later. "This was something that Young Master Yu told me to deliver to you. He said that eating candied fruits might make you feel better about how bitter the medicine was." She played around with the loose string around the package. "You know, Young Master Yu is very considerate. I can't believe he even paid attention to small details like this."

    "Right." Yujia nodded, agreeing. Yu Zixu always had a sharp eye for detail.

    And thinking about it, when her mind was clearer, she really needed to thank him. Though he said earlier that she didn't owe him anything, the thought of thanking him completely slipped her mind. The next time she saw him, she would be sure to express her gratitude.

    Yujia waited for the last bitter taste to disappear before bringing up one of unanswered thoughts from before. "Hui'er, like I said before, I want to deliver the taels to my father as soon as I can. I want to get it over with right now."

    Very plainly, Hui'er answered, "I'm afraid you can't. The Old Master is not in the villa right now."

    "Then, we'll deliver it to Madam Zhang."

    "Do you... really trust Madam Zhang?" Hui'er said, her gaze slanting. "I... wouldn't."

    Yujia thought back to the things that Hui'er experienced with Madam Zhang, seeing that there was some logic with Hui'er's words. The Madam of this household really couldn't be trusted right now.

    But still, for her father to be out on the day before her marriage and the end of their agreement...

    "Can you keep an eye out for me, then? Tell me when he comes back?" she requested to Hui'er.

    Hui'er agreed and assured, "I'll definitely do so. Miss, you should keep resting for now, though. Even before the marriage, health is the most important. Especially with your body so frail, you should get rest to make sure you don't get any sicker."

    "I will." Yujia smiled warmly. "Don't worry."
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