Chong Xu Cabinet.
Chu Liuyue, Qiang Wanzhou, and Weichi Song arrived at the old medicinal garden.
Standing outside, Weichi Song cast a huge barrier over the garden. He looked worried as he told Chu Liuyue, “As long as I’m around, nobody will disturb you.”
“Thank you, Master.” She nodded and stepped into the medicinal garden thereafter.
When she sensed that Qiang Wanzhou was following closely behind, she turned around and looked at him in puzzlement.
“I told you that I’d help to protect you,” explained Qiang Wanzhou.
Chu Liuyue raised her chin. “You can do that outside the barrier. Isn’t Master right there too?”
“If anything goes wrong, I can help you right away since I’m closer to you,” said Qiang Wanzhou stubbornly. Then, as if he was afraid Chu Liuyue might voice her objection, he hurriedly added, “Nobody here knows more about Messed Yuan Gravel than I do.”
Chu Liuyue chuckled when she saw how determined he looked. “Alright.”
The two of them thus headed to the middle of the garden. When their gazes met, Qiang Wanzhou nodded his head slightly.
Taking a deep breath, Chu Liuyue took out her dagger and made a shallow cut on her left palm. A bloody slit appeared immediately, and fresh crimson blood began oozing out of the wound. She then sat cross-legged and placed her left palm on the ground.
A concentrated blood droplet silently seeped out from her hand and into the ochre ground.
A moment later, the withered herbs in their surroundings suddenly moved, and the Suchi plum flower—which was closest to them—started disintegrating from its roots. Flowing out from it were tiny Messed Yuan Gravel particles, and they were moving in Chu Liuyue’s direction.
Soon, the same thing happened to the other herbs…
One by one, the withered herbs in Chu Liuyue’s surroundings silently disintegrated as the Messed Yuan Gravel inside them began moving toward her at high speeds. They looked like countless strands of blood-red hair fluttering in the wind and also fine streams of sand flowing toward her.
Although the amount of Messed Yuan Gravel in each herb was minute, they quickly added up when gathered together. It didn’t take long—just 15 minutes—before countless red streams appeared on the ground around Chu Liuyue. They were all heading toward her as if there was an invisible hand controlling everything.
As time passed, Chu Liuyue could clearly feel that the blood in her body was speedily flowing out of the cut on her palm. She looked down and noticed that the ground beneath her left hand was gradually becoming red and that the blood color was slowly spreading out into her surroundings.
More than that, her force was being consumed at an even faster rate than that of her blood loss. A slight frown settled between her brows as she thought, It’s no wonder that Qiang Wanzhou was so opposed to this idea. Messed Yuan Gravel really does consume force to a terrifying extent.
I’ve just cleared the Messed Yuan Gravel within a 20-step radius, but I can already sense that I’m starting to lose my force at an extraordinary speed. The medicinal garden alone is huge enough, but it’s highly likely that the Messed Yuan Gravel has spread to the entire Qing Yuan Mountain. I can’t even imagine the amount of force that would be needed to clear everything. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing that there’s still no movement from the water droplet.
The thought of that made Chu Liuyue feel more assured and confident. She then started gathering her focus and circulating the force in her body.
The Messed Yuan Gravel located further away began heading in her direction as well.
As Qiang Wanzhou watched from the side, he dared not relax at all. After all, despite the smooth progress so far, this was only the beginning.
Tianling Imperial Palace.
After leaving Huayang Palace, Jiang Yucheng intended to leave the palace straight away. But halfway there, he turned around and headed for Qingfeng Palace instead.
Qingfeng Palace was still as heavily guarded as before. Ordinary people weren’t even allowed to step close to this place, but Jiang Yucheng was no ordinary person. Due to various reasons, he basically could come and go as he pleased.
The palace guards were rather surprised to see him here again. They couldn’t help but wonder about the purpose of his visit, for he had just dropped by a few days ago. Although he did come by often, the frequency of his visits had increased lately.
Nonetheless, despite their curiosity, the palace guards dared not let their emotions show, much less question the man. These guards—who had been specially selected to guard this place—wouldn’t make such foolish mistakes.
Jiang Yucheng was just about to enter the room when he noticed a familiar-looking pageboy standing outside, seemingly waiting for someone. Upon a closer look, he realized that it was imperial physician Zuo Mingxi’s subordinate. Among the three imperial physicians selected by Shangguan Wan to take care of His Majesty, it’s indeed Zuo Mingxi’s turn to see His Majesty today.
The pageboy paid Jiang Yucheng a deep bow the moment he saw him.
“Is Physician Zuo inside?” asked Jiang Yucheng.
The pageboy respectfully answered, “Yes.”
“How long has it been?”
He should be almost out soon. Jiang Yucheng nodded, giving up the idea of entering the room after giving it a thought. Instead, he stood in place and waited outside with the pageboy.
The pageboy dared not ask any questions and could only carefully accompany him.
Soon, a middle-aged man emerged from the room—it was Zuo Mingxi.
Jiang Yucheng moved forward a little. “Physician Zuo.”
Zuo Mingxi was surprised to see Jiang Yucheng around. “What is Eldest Young Master Jiang doing here?”
“The Third Princess hasn’t been sleeping well lately, so I came to visit her. I thought I should come over and take a look at His Majesty’s condition at the same time,” answered Jiang Yucheng with a smile.
Looking relieved, Zuo Mingxi nodded in understanding as he stroked his beard. “You really are concerned about His Majesty.”
“Did His Majesty show any signs of waking up, Physician Zuo?” asked Jiang Yucheng as he glanced at the tightly closed door.
A trace of disappointment flashed across Jiang Yucheng’s eyes when the physician shook his head despondently. “Why hasn’t his condition improved?” We’ve long stopped the use of drugs and have been providing him nourishment. Logically speaking, His Majesty should be awake by now, but there’s no sign of him rousing at all.
“We can understand your worries, Eldest Young Master Jiang, but… There’s no certainty when it comes to matters like this at times. Who knows? His Majesty might wake up tomorrow. Don’t worry too much about it.”
Jiang Yucheng could only nod in response. “Thanks for the trouble, Physician Zuo.”
“How is it any trouble when this is my duty? Regardless, we’ll do our best to make sure that His Majesty wakes up soon. If you don’t have any more questions for me, I’ll go write a prescription for His Majesty now.”
“Please go ahead,” said Jiang Yucheng as he took half a step back.
Zuo Mingxi cupped his hands in obeisance and then moved to leave together with the pageboy. He hadn’t walked far when he suddenly heard Jiang Yucheng calling him.
“Just a moment, Physician Zuo.”
Zuo Mingxi stopped and turned his head back. “Is anything the matter, Eldest Young Master Jiang?”
All imperial physicians are supposed to hang their jade token at their belts, but Zuo Mingxi’s jade token is missing. Slight suspicion arose in Jiang Yucheng’s heart as his gaze landed on the physician’s belt. “May I know where your jade token is, Physician Zuo?”