Published at 7th of November 2020 06:38:47 PM
At this moment, Consort Xian was choked up to the max with anxiety . As an imperial concubine who was respected and also gave birth to the eldest prince, she had practically never experienced anyone daring to disrespect her .
Only the crown prince would not give anyone other than the empress and empress dowager respect in the imperial harem . In his eyes, Consort Xian would naturally be placed in the same category as the masses .
Although she hated this crown prince and wanted to choke him to death, she had to work hard to maintain the most gentle smile in the presence of everyone . It couldn’t be helped . Who told her to be the birth mother of the eldest prince? There were countless people watching her every move in the capital .
After she had repeated the words, “I am Consort Xian . I’m tolerant and magnanimous . I will not get angry,” ten times in her heart, she was just about to express an intention to be friendly with Hua Liuli when the young lady’s servant girl suddenly cried out, “The noble personages must not drink the wine . This slave suspects it to be poisoned . ”
Once these words had left her lips, the expressions of some people changed . Others dropped their wine cups by accident .
“There’s poison?!” The Prince Ning who had been timid since youth immediately picked up the wine jar and threw it away, a sharp and crisp sound upon collision with some plates and bowls .
The smile on Consort Xian’s face gradually grew stiff . She gripped her wine cup . Enunciated each syllable as she said, “What are you trying to say? This palace personally fermented this wine . Are your words pointing to this palace attempting to poison County Princess Hua?”
“This slave doesn’t dare . ” Neither obsequious nor supercilious, Yuanwei kneeled to beg for forgiveness .
“Your Highness, this servant girl has followed me since young . Because this official’s daughter falls ill often, she learned some medicinal knowledge from the doctors . ” Hua Liuli stood up from her seat . But because she had tried to get up too quickly, her body swayed . Relying on the help of a palace maid’s arm, she maintained her balance with much difficulty . “This official’s daughter did not discipline my servant well . May Your Highness please forgive me . ”
“You two share a close bond as master and servant . And that servant is concerned about you to the point of paranoia . This palace believes she had no ill will . ” What else could Consort Xian do? She could only choose to forgive her . However, in order to prove that she had no intention to harm Hua Liuli, Consort Xian had palace servants summon three physicians from the Imperial Academy of Medicine . So that they could prove nothing was wrong with the wine .
She had lived in the imperial palace for many years and had gained first-hand knowledge of many conspiracies and schemes . Even if she had truly wanted to harm Hua Liuli, she wouldn’t be stupid enough to act in her own territory .
For the master and servant pair to be this nervous, they perhaps had a bad impression of her .
Once the three imperial physicians learned there might have been a poisoning scheme in the palace, they were frightened to the point of rushing to Lincui Palace with their supplies .
Seeing them arrive, Consort Xian waved to dismiss them from saluting . “Examine the wine in County Princess Hua’s cup for this palace . ”
“Yes . ”
Consort Xian watched the imperial physicians as they approached the cup, a faint sense of relief in her heart . Once they proved that her wine was fine, and that she had been falsely accused, this would definitely discredit those rumors that said Hao’er humiliated the brother and sister pair from the Hua clan .
“This is Three Breaths Death, a poison that kills immediately . ”
Consort Xian shook . Even her voice trembled along as she said, “Gentlemen, your words… . What do they mean?”
The gazes of the three imperial physicians as they looked at Consort Xian had already turned strange . Apparently, they had also heard those rumors . “County Princess Hua’s wine cup has a poison called Three Breaths Death in it . Once it has been drunk, the poison will kill before three breaths . This type of poison came from the imperial harem of the previous dynasty . In this dynasty, some imperial concubines that have committed severe crimes would be punished to drink this . ”
Why would Consort Xian’s palace have such a secret poison of the imperial palace?
“T-three Breaths Death?” The Prince Ning who had already drunk half a cup of wine clutched at his neck, face pale . “T-this prince has already drunk half a cup! Hurry and save this prince! Hurry!”
The expression of one of the imperial physicians changed by leaps and bounds . At once, he doubtfully said, “No, if Your Highness drank it before this humble official had rushed over, one would fear…”
One would fear he’d be dead no matter what .
They examined the wine cups of the other guests and discovered that other than County Princess Hua’s cup, the others were free of poison .
The imperial physicians’ expressions grew stranger . Although they knew that other than the crown prince, the eldest prince Prince Ying was the most noble, the emperor was still young and vigorous . The crown prince was great too . As such, Consort Xian was itching to eliminate those unpleasant to her eye . Wasn’t this a bit vicious?
This was the Hua clan’s daughter . Her father had just achieved one of the most outstanding military achievements in history, yet you dared bring her into the palace to poison her . Wasn’t this very courageous?
“The poison isn’t in the wine . Rather, it’s on the cup,” said another imperial physician wearing gloves made of cloth . Another imperial physician in front of him placed the poisoned cup into the wooden box they had brought .
As imperial physicians, it was their bound duty to keep the evidence of an attempted poisoning .
Consort Xian, who noticed their small actions, was speechless .
After she had heard that the poison was on the cup, countless thoughts sprang up in her mind . In the end, they grew chaotic . She was angry yet afraid . Just who wanted to harm her and her child?!
If Hua Liuli died here today, it wasn’t just the end for her . Nor was it just the end for Hao’er . The whole Tian clan would be finished . And how would the Hua clan, who was in control of a few hundreds of thousands of troops, leave the matter at that?
At that time, the entire Great State of Jin would be affected .
What a sinister and malicious scheme . She gripped the handrests of her seat . Took two deep breaths . Voice trembling, she said, “Men, seal off this area . Have the Dali Temple arrange for people to come here .
“On the other hand, send people to His Majesty and the Eastern Palace’s crown prince to report on this matter . ” Following this, Consort Xian seemed to have used up most of her energy . She swept her gaze through everyone present . As if she wanted to find something suspicious from them .
As a victim, Hua Liuli tottered as she leaned against a palace maid . After she heard that Consort Xian would have someone report to the Dali Temple, she said in disbelief, “W-why would someone want to kill me?”
She lowered her head and looked at Yuanwei, who was kneeling on the ground . She stroked her own forehead lightly, before collapsing .
“County Princess!” Yuanwei mournfully cried out, catching the fallen Hua Liuli steadily . “County Princess, are you alright?!”
“Hurry and carry County Princess to the resting palace . ” At this moment, Consort Xian’s heart was suspended . When she had seen Hua Liuli faint, her expression grew even paler and more unsightly . County Princess Hua was in poor health and was also timid . If she fainted here and was unable to wake up, how could she explain what happened to the emperor?
Everyone carefully carried Hua Liuli to the bed . One of the imperial physicians reached out for her wrist and examined her pulse . He furrowed his brows tightly . “County Princess’ pulse condition is chaotic . She seems lacking in health . Furthermore, she had suffered a fright . She needs to slowly recover . ”
Those present all thought that anyone who had nearly stepped through the gates of hell would be frightened .
What a pitiful County Princess Hua . Just as she had returned to the capital, idle and hedonistic young nobles riding horses scared her . And after recovering her health with much difficulty, she almost drank poisoned wine in Consort Xian’s plum blossom appreciation banquet .
She was already in poor health, and it was very challenging for her to live . Yet she still had to experience so many unlucky situations . Were the eight characters of Consort Xian and Prince Ying in conflict with hers?
“Your Highness Consort Xian,” said Fifth Prince after he approached the side of the absentminded Consort Xian . Then he said gently, “Don’t worry . County Princess Hua will be fine . ”
Consort Xian forced out an ugly smile . “Thank you for your auspicious words . ”
“Your Highness is a very kindhearted person . County Princess Hua would definitely believe that the person wanting to harm her isn’t your honored self . ” Standing outside the inner palace hall, Fifth Prince could make out the figures of servants moving in and out of the area through the translucent gauze curtains . “The head of the Dali Temple will definitely find out who the real culprit is . ”
Consort Xian smiled in a bitter manner . Once this matter spread, it wouldn’t matter who the real culprit was; it would still affect her and Prince Ying adversely to the extreme .
It was now that she understood the target of this plot was her and Hao’er .
The Eastern Palace .
Expressionless, the crown prince listened to the few officials of the Eastern Palace chatter about . With a writing brush, he drew an adorable puppy .
“Your Highness, this official thinks that we should try our best to change the provincial governor of Yongzhou . ”
“What, are there any issues with this provincial governor’s work?” The crown prince threw down the writing brush . Received the handkerchief presented by a palace maid and wiped his hands with it . Not once did he look at those officials speaking .
“Your Highness, it’s not that there are any issues . It’s that he’s too competent,” the official said . “This person is very capable with his duties . Yongzhou is fertile . It’s a great piece of land . However, the provincial governor there is part of Fourth Prince’s maternal clan’s people . ”
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“Imperial Father has five sons and two daughters . According to what you said, I have to be on guard against any official affiliated with any of the other imperial princes and princesses?” The crown prince was somewhat impatient . “In my eyes, officials who take good care of the land they’re assigned to are good officials . ”
“Your Highness, all the other princes are eyeing your position covetously . You must not grow softhearted momentarily…”
“I’ve never been softhearted . ” The crown prince looked at the official who had just spoken . “But you have to remember, I am the crown prince of Great Jin . ”
“If the governor of Yongzhou wholeheartedly supports Fourth Prince, it would be unfavorable for us . ”
“Between me and him, who’s stronger?”
“Crown Prince is wise and possesses benevolent integrity . Fourth Prince cannot compare to you . ”
“As a good official who takes care of the common people, how could he not have common sense?” said the crown prince dully . “If he truly doesn’t have it, I can only regret it deeply . ”
The few officials in the Eastern Palace fell silent . Last time, the corrupt officials that made the crown prince express “regret” met very miserable outcomes . So miserable that all the officials in the capital decreased the amount of “gifts” they received from lower-ranked officials .
The officials present dared not urge him any more on this topic, fearing that if they did, the crown prince would “regret it deeply . ”
“Your Highness,” said an eunuch of the Eastern Palace as he rushed into the room . Noticing that the officials of the Eastern Palace were present, he stopped in his tracks .
“Speak . ” The crown prince noticed this: the expressions of the eunuchs who had delivered the gifts to County Princess Hua seemed strange . He waved to dismiss the officials . “What happened?”
“Someone tried to use poison in Consort Xian’s Lincui Palace . County Princess Hua was almost harmed . ”
The crown prince’s eyelids twitched . “Is she alright?”
“Fortunately, the servant girl accompanying her has some medical knowledge, and sensed something wrong . As such, County Princess Hua was able to escape disaster . However, she suffered a fright and is currently resting in Lincui Palace . ”
“Go . Take a look at Lincui Palace . ” The crown prince clasped his hands behind his back and made his way out of his palace .
The moment he arrived at Lincui Palace, the people of the Dali Temple had already arrived . All the guests of the plum blossom banquet also remained .
Ignoring all those who paid respects to him, the crown prince made his way before the pale Consort Xian . “Your Highness Consort Xian, how is County Princess Hua?”
Now that something so severe had happened, Consort Xian was spent . However, in the presence of the crown prince, she still had to keep up appearances . “May Your Highness rest assured . After County Princess took medicine, she fell asleep . ”
The crown prince grunted in acknowledgement and nodded in a faint manner . “Are you confident that there is nothing wrong with the medicine she took?”
Consort Xian was speechless .
What was he trying to say with those words? Who was he trying to insult?
Consort Xian was furious, yet she still had to maintain her smile . “May Crown Prince rest assured . There’s nothing wrong with the medicine .
“Then that’s good . ” The crown prince clapped . A few palace maids and court eunuchs carried a soft portable bed into the room . Following that, they lifted the County Princess Hua who was wrapped tightly onto the portable bed .
“Where is Crown Prince taking County Princess Hua?” Consort Xian feared that Hua Liuli would die in a dubious manner, and at that time, she wouldn’t be able to absolve herself even if she had a hundred mouths . Therefore, she rushed to block his way . “The imperial physician said County Princess Hua’s health is poor and she must not be moved casually . ”
“Your Highness Consort Xian, are you certain that you want to keep her here in Lincui Palace?” The crown prince looked down slightly . It was clear he was expressionless, yet such a sight caused others to feel as if he were mocking her .
Once again, Consort Xian was speechless .
She dared not guarantee it . At present, she felt like anyone in this world might want to harm her .
The crown prince looked away from Consort Xian .
Stupidity might be inheritable . Next time, when his eldest brother did another stupid thing, he would try his best to complain less .
We’re still brothers after all . I ought to sympathize with him .
Imperial Academy of Medicine: 太医院 . The department/building the imperial physicians stay while on duty yet not treating anyone . poison that kills immediately: literal is “death once it (the poison) touches blood . ” So it’s basically immediate death . Dali Temple: 大理寺 . Highest judiciary branch in imperial China, in charge of sentencing people and prison time . 寝殿 . A palace a master slept in at night . In this case, this is Consort Xian’s resting palace . eight characters: 八字 . Birthdate characters used in fortune telling . If two people’s eight characters were in conflict, that meant they cannot be together . portable bed: I’m not entirely sure it’s a bed, but it’s definitely not a stretcher since the characters are different .