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Published at 7th of November 2020 06:38:47 PM

Chapter 9

As the crown prince left Lincui Palace, he caught sight of the motionless young lady lying on the soft portable bed, half her face exposed . A few strong female officials carried her toward a soft palanquin .   

“Just let this slave do it . How could this slave trouble the elder sisters?” Yuanwei did not allow these unfamiliar palace maids to be close to Hua Liuli . She stooped and picked up Hua Liuli in a princess hold, placing her into the palanquin in a steady manner .   

Such a sight rendered the palace maids speechless .       

Even the Hua clan’s servant girls were so strong . No wonder General Hua caused Jinpo Country to run like a sheep and surrender .

Once the palanquin’s curtain dropped, the unconscious Hua Liu softly, slowly adjusted her position . Even her eyelids did not shift at all .     

This palanquin was truly comfortable, both fragrant and soft . As if one were sitting on a cloud .   

“Your Highness, where are we talking County Princess?” The retinue composed of servants from the Eastern Palace left Lincui Palace quickly . However, now that Hua Liuli had been carried outside, they couldn’t actually bring her to the Eastern Palace, right?    

It was even less suitable to deliver her back to the Hua estate; it would give off the impression that the imperial clan caused some trouble yet did not want to shoulder the responsibility .  

“Imperial Grandmother is extremely fond of this girl . Now, something almost happened to her . Empress Dowager would definitely be heartbroken and want to have her stay at Shoukang Palace for a few days . ” The crown prince looked back at the palanquin . “Let’s go . I will accompany you all to send the little county princess over . ”    

The empress dowager was the most noble woman of the imperial palace . Arranging for the Hua clan’s daughter to stay with his imperial grandmother would show more greatly that the imperial clan valued them .   

Consort Xian wanted to keep this girl in Lincui Palace in order to show everyone she was straightforward and upright . In order to show that she wasn’t the person who wanted to assassinate the Hua clan’s daughter .   

But never had it crossed her mind that the culprit might be hiding in Lincui Palace . Therefore, it would be very dangerous for the girl to stay there .   

If an intelligence-based competition was ever held in the imperial harem, he must ask his Imperial Father to give Consort Xian a participation award .   

The empress dowager received the message that the crown prince had sent her in advance . When the crown prince arrived at Shoukang Palace, court eunuchs, palace maids, and imperial physicians approached and surrounded the palanquin, like countless stars surrounding the moon . They delivered Hua Liuli to a side palace hall within Shoukang Palace .     

Just as the crown prince was about to approach the empress dowager to speak, he saw her follow an imperial physician with a brokenhearted expression . Without looking back, she made for the side palace hall . As such, he retracted his advancing foot in silence .   

He waited in the front palace hall for twenty minutes, before catching sight of the empress dowager coming over from the side palace hall . To the crown prince who was taking his time sipping tea, she said, “Yuansu, it’s fortunate that you sent over Liuli . This grieving one would worry if she was left in Consort Xian’s residence . ”    

“Liuli?” said the crown prince in a flash . Was this the childhood name of the Hua clan’s daughter?  

The Hua clan was full of generals . Yet they named their daughter such a delicate name . It was clear that they doted on her and placed importance on her .

If she had been poisoned to death in the imperial harem…  

The crown prince lightly tapped his index finger on the table . He could tell that the main culprit behind the scenes deeply hated Consort Xian and her son, so much so that they harbored malicious intentions against Great Jin .     

The empress dowager didn’t care about what the crown prince was thinking . She did not ask nor did she talk too much, and merely had the servants bring over the light refreshments he liked . “Yuansu, eat something . ”    

“Many thanks, Imperial Grandmother . ” He washed his hands in a basin of water . Used a pair of silver chopsticks to pick up some food and place it in his mouth .   

“You’re good at everything except you are too skinny,” said the empress dowager, recalling that the crown prince had been sickly in his youth and had suffered a lot . Before she could admonish him to take care of his health more, her heart started to hurt . “Eat dinner at Grandmother’s place tonight . I’ll have them make a few delicious dishes . ”   

Helpless, the crown prince agreed . In any case, just being a bit thin was seen as very skinny in his imperial grandmother’s eyes . All he could do was eat in a wellbehaved manner and not retort .   

One hour later, the unconscious Hua Liuli finally roused . Supporting her forehead, she slowly sat up . “Where… am I?”    

“County Princess, you’ve awoken? This is Shoukang Palace . Your health is not good, so lie back down and rest for a bit . ” Seeing that Hua Lilu had woken up, the palace maids had joyful expressions .   

“How could I bother Empress Dowager with such a trivial matter?” Hua Liuli wanted to stand, but did not have the energy to . As such, she sat back in her original position .   

“County Princess, please hurry and rest . ”    

“The imperial physician has arrived . ”  

“Hurry and report this to the empress dowager . ”  

Since many palace maids pacified her, in the end, Hua Liuli leaned against the head of the bed calmly . Hearing footsteps outside the door, she turned her head toward it with a loveable smile .     

The first to enter was the empress dowager . Following her were the crown prince and Hua Changkong .   

After Hua Changkong had received the news, he had rushed into the palace as quickly as he could . And once he had heard that the empress dowager wanted to keep her in the palace for a few days to recover, he declined in a very earnest manner . What a pity that the empress dowager also declined, and very firmly at that . She had her mind set on keeping his younger sister in the palace .     

Sympathetically, he looked at his loveable-looking younger sister, lowering his head with a guilty conscience .   

Little Sis, Third Brother has already tried my best . So just properly recover in the palace .   

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Noticing the change in Hua Changkong’s expression, Hua Liuli leaned against the head of the bed weakly . “This official’s daughter has wronged, causing Your Majesty the empress dowager and Your Highness the crown prince worry . ”    

“Nothing can compare to you being alright . ” The empress dowager adjusted and fixed the corners of her blanket . In an amiable tone, she said, “You two children live alone in your estate . How could you know how to properly take care of yourselves? This grieving one wants to keep you in the palace for a few days, but Changkong, this child, was unwilling . Currently, you are this weakly . If you return to the Hua estate, how could this grieving one not worry?”   

Afraid that this brother-and-sister pair would think too much, the empress dowager added, “After three to five days, once your health has recovered, this grieving one will personally dispatch people to escort you home . ”

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The empress dowager feared that her words were not clear enough . That in other people’s eyes, it was the imperial clan feeling threatened by the Hua clan, and therefore, keeping the Hua clan’s daughter in the palace as a hostage . Those people would warp the original good will into an ulterior motive .   

“Wouldn’t this disturb your honored self too much?” said Hua Liuli, cheeks flushing . “Actually, this official’s daughter is merely having a chronic illness flare up . It truly is not worth Your Majesty the empress dowager going through so much trouble . ”    

“You’re so young . How could you know what’s worth it and what’s not? Properly recovering is the most important . ” Following that, the empress dowager turned her head toward the crown prince who was standing outside the gauze curtains . “Yuansu, do you agree?”  

Remaining on the other side of the gauze curtains, the crown prince replied, “Imperial Grandmother is right . ” 

The imperial clan feared that the Hua clan would think they were suspicious of the latter . And the Hua clan sincerely wanted the imperial clan to know they were loyal . The Hua clan was faithful and true to the imperial clan, and did not have the slightest doubt against them .     

Thus, the two parties wanted a beautiful situation, and Hua Liuli remained in Shoukang Palace, recovering and eating healthily .   

The empress dowager’s worry was very real . After news of Hua Liuli staying in the imperial palace broke out, many people had their own opinions of the situation .     

The imperial clan used the reason of being fond of a subject’s daughter to keep the young lady in the palace . Wasn’t this sequence of events somewhat familiar?  

Two dynasties ago, wasn’t this how the young emperor overthrew the high-ranking minister who acted as his regent?     

When the previous dynasty’s emperor dealt with a first-ranked prince who had assembled a personal army, hadn’t he done something similar? 

Indeed, their guesses were correct . The emperor felt threatened by the Hua clan .    

“Once the birds are gone, one puts away the bow . ” Didn’t many great heroes die according to these words?       

At this very moment, in a certain house, a man with an ashen face smashed a teacup on the table . “I don’t believe this Hua Liuli has nine lives . How could she still not be dead to poison?!”

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The subordinate kneeling before him thought in silence, there are so many ways to kill someone . Why must we use poison for her? Maybe the eight characters of this daughter of the Hua clan are in conflict with poison?  

Three days later, Hua Liuli stood in the courtyard of Shoukang Palace . She raised her head and looked at the twittering sparrows, the tips of fingers a hint ticklish .     

After she had abstained from certain foods for a long time, even sparrows seemed delicious .   

“Are the sparrows pretty?” The crown prince stood five steps behind her . “If you like sparrows, have the servants give you two crested mynas to relieve your boredom . ”

“Your Highness,” said Hua Liuli, turning around and curtsying . As if she had not foreseen that he would appear behind her, her expression proved somewhat at a loss .     

“If you don’t like crested mynas, parrots are fine too . ” The crown prince clasped his hands behind his back . Took two steps forward . “Imperial Grandmother is good-natured . When you’re living here, you can just treat it as your own home . ”  

Hua Liuli smiled but did not answer . Instead, she merely sighed in her heart .     

At home, she could lie down and read short stories and snack between meals . And occasionally have beautiful servants massage her shoulders . Such happiness could not be experienced in Shoukang Palace .

In any case, they were all just speaking politely, and wouldn’t actually be serious .   

“I heard that at the tavern in Yellow River County, County Princess saved Sir Lin Huizhi?”    

Hua Liuli said, “No, I didn’t actually want to save him . It was all a coincidence . This official’s daughter dares not admit to this meritorious deed . ”  

“County Princess need not undervalue yourself . On the road, Sir Lin Huizhi experienced many assassination attempts . Fortunately, County Princess had arranged for soldiers to escort him, and they protected him . Only then was he able to reach his destination safely . ” The crown prince paused, before saying, “But I didn’t mention this matter to praise you . ”    

Hua Liuli was speechless .     

Uh oh . She felt like something complicated was coming . She should probably faint .   

“I suspect the person who tried to poison you in Lincui Palace and the person who tried to assassinate Lin Huizhi hail from the same group . ” The crown prince looked at the young lady who stood before him . Who had her head lowered and wore a vague expression . “You ruined their plans so they wanted revenge . ”    

And in passing, put Consort Xian and Prince Ying in order .

“Oh?” said Hua Liuli .     

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She had merely wanted to torment that old man a bit . Everything else happened in passing .   

“Enough . I will only frighten you more by talking about this,” said the crown prince . “Stay in the palace for a few more days . Once the culprit is found, you can leave . ”    

Was he worried that it was even more dangerous outside, and so wanted her to stay?    

Willing to accept his views, she thanked him .   

The crown prince noticed that her young and tender face seemed lacking in energy because of her illness . “Due to that unexpected event, the plum blossom banquet a few days ago did not have a satisfactory ending . How about I bring you to appreciate the plum blossoms today?”

Hua Liuli pulled at her cloak . She didn’t get to eat her full, yet he was asking her to admire flowers in the great cold?    

“Thanking Your Highness…” Before she could finish speaking, Hua Liuli covered her mouth with her handkerchief . Coughed .   

She coughed heavily, to the point where her face paled . Then she staggered, on the brink of collapse .     

Admire the plum blossoms? Just why?!  

In a flash, the servant girl by her side caught her .

“Your Highness, this official’s daughter has lacked manners . ”  

The crown prince looked at Hua Liuli and her servant girl . His expression froze for a moment . Just how many times had she fainted that her servant girls could catch her so steadily?     

“This official’s daughter can only let down Your Highness’ goodwill today . ”  

If the other party still persisted, then she would faint on the spot for him to see .     

Anyway, she didn’t need to marry into the imperial clan . As such, she didn’t need to be the best at everything . Whenever she could pretend to be sick and slack off, she definitely would not take one step more than needed .     

She, Hua Liuli, the Hua clan’s only daughter, would definitely not admit defeat .   


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