164 More Cautious Ideas of the Artis

Yujia remembered that Zixu told her he would be busy today. This meant that she had to wait until later to tell him about her plan. 

Once she finished talking with Yunhe, she went back to her courtyard, sitting down underneath the plum blossom tree. While she looked at the branches, she realized that though her master wanted her to work on a week of studies for this tree, she would never be able to paint it until the next time it blossomed, in the winter. 

One week of sketching branches wouldn't make her a master. One week of sketching plum blossoms wouldn't either. Skills took time to learn. Even if the next winter, she spent the entire season painting and sketching the tree, she wouldn't be considered a master. She would probably just be considered as a pretty decent plum tree painter. 

Ultimately, the act of becoming a master at painting plum branches required dedication that lasted year after year, and a focus that was incomparable to anything else. 

She couldn't rush any of these things. 

A few moments later, Yujia took her supplies out and sketched some more branches, using this as an opportunity to gather more of her thoughts. Though she had a headache, her mind was clearer than ever. Things that once confused her seemed perfectly plain now. 

The physician told her that he wouldn't be able to detect any poison if he didn't have objects that she had been in contact with to examine. This made sense. With technology not yet being as advanced in this time, it was already a miracle that they could detect poison in her blood. To figure out exactly what type of poison it was just from her blood, even if it was at a high concentration, would be an impossible task considering the current advancements in medicine. 

Yujia knew for sure that the poison wasn't intended to kill her quickly. If it was a poison that was with her since a long time ago, it would've killed her already. This poison seemed like it was the type to make her ill, rather than to end her life. 

It didn't seem likely that someone would use this kind of painstaking poisoning on someone like her. The Fourth Miss wasn't a special aristocrat or royalty. It would be much easier to just to give her Qi Bu Duan Chang San— Pills of Seven Steps Death— or He Ding Hong— a dose of arsenic— than to slowly poison her. 

With the fact that the poison was so easily discovered in her blood, the person who poisoned her didn't seem like they were too concerned with Yujia discovering the traces of their work. This meant that if they did hold the intent to kill her, they would also not hold any fear for using a poison that could be discovered in her blood. 

So, the entire idea that this individual, if they wished to cause her death, poisoned her slowly until her death to avoid sudden detection and suspicion was clearly not the case. They did not fear having the poison discovered, so wouldn't it be easier to just kill her off with an immediate poison that was probably cheaper and easier to find than a slow-acting poison?

Besides, even if the Fourth Miss died, no one would care enough for her to investigate her death. 

The one thing about the entire poisoning case that muddled Yujia was the exact point of it all. Like she thought about earlier, she couldn't understand the entire point of this. Why would someone be interested in poisoning her? What could they get from it? 

If their goal of poisoning was to make Yujia suffer from being chronically ill, then that was horrendous. Nevertheless, it did somewhat make sense. Perhaps this would also explain why they gave a slow-acting poison. Perhaps they did intend to kill her too, after she suffered enough. 

Still. Still. The risk of her discovering her state of being poisoned was clearly there. Yujia only saw a physician once, and he managed to diagnose her instantly. Why did this person not fear her discovery?

The risks and rewards just didn't balance out. 

Yujia, frankly put, didn't understand. 

She stopped sketching then. 

Yujia stood up, walked to her room, shuffled through her drawers, and pulled out the pills and other medicine she brought with her from the Yang Villa. 

There were a few bottles of pills. From her experience of listening to what Hui'er told her to take, some she took daily while others she only took when she was feeling particularly ill. There was also a pack of leftover medicine from the time she fainted. Yu Zixu had personally bought her medicine from the store. 

Yujia knew for sure that Yu Zixu could not have poisoned her. He only knew her from a few weeks back. The people that wanted to poison her in the Yang Villa also didn't have enough resources to convince him to poison her. Thus, Yujia didn't have any suspicion about the medicine he brought her. She trusted him. 

Though, as for the rest of her pills, the ones that anyone could really have contact with… 

She scooped up all of them in her arms, then headed out the doors. 

If someone were to poison Yujia directly without intending to poison anyone else, the best place to start would be in her pills. It would also be the easiest, most obvious place. 

Yujia decided to take these pills to a medicine shop to see if they could tell if there was poison laced within some of them. With the pills being part of the little things she brought over from the villa, they would also be one of her only hopes of seeing if the kind of poison— as well as a proper antidote— could be discovered. 

A stick of incense and a couple taels spent later, an herbalist, along with another apprentice of his who was checking his work, told her that there were absolutely no traces of poison in any of the medicine she owned.

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