Chapter 63 Part 1
Between Familial Love and Friendly Love
Yun Qian Yu begins drinking her porridge slowly, secretly pleased at how Yu Jian had grown faster than she thought he would.
After drinking porridge, the two then makes their way to the morning court as usual.
On the way there, Yun Qian Yu and Yu Jian discuss about the scholars in the cabinet. Jiang Hong Wen is a first-ranked scholar; he is as good as sacked now, so someone will have to replace him. This is a good opportunity for Yu Jian to practice on his ability to assess people.
The murmuring of the officials fills the entire hall. Jiang Hong Wen is speaking with Rui Qinwang with an unpleasant look on his face. Seeing Yun Qian Yu and Yu Jian coming over, he promptly walks away from Rui Qinwang.
Yun Qian Yu is wearing her black official dress, embroidered with patterns in golden threads. She looks imposing and dignified; the phoenix headgear on her head makes her look heroic and outstanding. She stands on her spot calmly, like a gentle wind. As her eyes sweeps over the hall, it plunges into deep silence.
They know that with Princess Hu Guo around, one or two officials are bound to lose their official hats every now and then. That mindset is now set on their heads. They are not willing to simply lose the honor that they had fought so hard to garner.
They are lucky it is Jiang Hong Wen today. They look at him in sympathy.
The morning court begins the moment Murong Cang steps in.
The ministers begins their reports as usual and Yun Qian Yu continues standing in her place, listening. She did not bring up the bet between her and Jiang Hong Wen. The rest of the ministers secretly wonders; is Princess Hu Guo planning to spare Jiang Hong Wen? But that doesn't seem to fit Princess Hu Guo's personality.
When the court is about to end, Yun Qian Yu finally speaks up. "Isn't Grand Scholar Jiang forgetting something?"
Jiang Hong Wen stiffens and brace himself before stepping forward, "Your Highness, this official did not forget the bet he has with you. Just, the wangye of Jiu Xiao Kingdom was brought back by the princess of Mo Dai Kingdom, not by you."
"Oh, there is nothing in our agreement that says I have to personally bring him back." Yun Qian Yu wrinkles her brows as she ponders.
"Even though it is so, the wangye's return has nothing to do with Your Highness. Because of that, our agreement is void," Jiang Hong Wen argues.
"Bengong remembers clearly what our agreement was. It was about whether or not the wangye will return within three days! Don't tell bengong that Grand Scholar Jiang is a coward who can only speaks but dares not take responsibility!"
Jiang Hong Wen's face turns red, then white.
"Besides, how do you know that Bei Tang Ming's return has nothing to do with bengong? Haven't you ever wonder why Princess Luo of Mo Dai Kingdom was willing to pour dirty water onto her own body? Aren't you curious as to why Crown Prince Jin has not left the posthouse at all?"
With every word she says, Jiang Hong Wen pales even more while the hearts of the rest of the ministers are shook. Everything seems so simple but turns out, Princess Hu Guo has been busy making it happen behind the scene.
"Coward!" Yu Jian speaks without holding back, his back straight.
Seeing Yu Jian, the rest of the ministers realizes that he is no longer the timid little child he was, back then. He now adopts the same body language as the emperor had, many years ago.
Jiang Hong Wen's forehead is full of sweat. He steals a look at Rui Qinwang only to find him completely ignoring him. His heart trembles.
At that moment, the imperial censor, Wen Ru Hai steps forward, "All of us bear witness, yesterday. Grand Scholar Jiang must own up to your own words."
The rest of the ministers look at Wen Ru Hai in awe, the courage he has to offend people is really praise-worthy.
Yun Qian Yu too, looks at Wen Ru Hai; he is indeed upright.
Jiang Hong Wen now knows that he will not be able to keep this hat of his.
Yun Qian Yu speaks, "It is not that bengong does not give you any face. And it is not that you are losing your job over a bet; do you know where you went wrong, Grand Scholar Jiang?"
There is a question mark on Jiang Hong Wen's face; isn't it because he came from Rui Qinwang's faction and was one of the people making things hard for her?"
"As an official who is serving the emperor, not only did you fail to do your job, you also think too highly of yourself. When something happens, instead of thinking of ways to solve it, you go around nitpicking over everything to cause a rift. You were full of ill-intent towards bengong. It makes bengong wonder if someone like you is able to handle things fairly; so bengong asked someone to investigate everything that Grand Scholar Jiang has handled. What bengong found out was truly surprising. After the morning court ends, all officials can go to his manor. A decree will be there to explain everything. Bengong would like to ask you, Grand Scholar Jiang; will you be able to do something to help if anything happens to the kingdom? It is clear that you are not able to and that will be the reason as to why you will be removed from your position." Yun Qian Yu ruthlessly criticizes him. She does not want other officials to think that she is playing around in the court; simply dismissing people over bets.
Yu Jian wave his hand and Li Jin Tian signals the little eunuch behind him to step forward. The little eunuch help Grand Scholar Jiang take off his official robe and hat. Even his boots aren't spared.
Jiang Hong Wen looks embarrassed as he is pulled out of Jin Luan Palace by guards. When Yun Qian Yu said what she said, he knew better than to argue. He himself knows just how many dirty deeds he has done over the past years as he follows Rui Qinwang. Since Yun Qian Yu dares to say it, it must means that she has proof. Whatever he says will be useless.
Yun Qian Yu looks at the rest of the officials who are standing straight, "There are a lot of people who have lost their conscience like Jiang Hong Wen, the only reason bengong did not expose everyone is so they can get back on the right path, to know their place and responsibilities as courtiers."
The people below starts to sweat bullets.
Now that the Jiang Hong Wen matter has end, Yu Jian speaks, "Imperial grandfather, there are five scholars in the cabinet at the moment. Grand Scholar Jiang was a first-ranked scholar and the rest are ranked lower than that. This grandson thinks you should promote one of them as a first-ranked scholar so he can help you manage the court better."
"You have a point! Who do you think that person should be?" Murong Cang knows that Yu Jian already calculates everything in his head since that he makes that proposal. He wants to see, whether or not Yu Jian has the ability to judge people.
The rest of the officials too listen to Yu Jian raptly; they want to know who that lucky person will be.
"This grandson thinks that Grand Scholar Lu is the perfect person for that position."
When Yu Jian says that, all eyes falls on Lu Zi Hao.
There is no change in Lu Zi Hao's expression. He continues standing there with his eyes slightly lowered.
"Grand Scholar Lu is wise and upright. He does not bow to authority. Ever since he enters the cabinet, he seems to be the one doing all the works yet he does not seem aggrieved. He is loyal and dedicated, there is no other person more suitable for that position than him."
Murong Cang nods in agreement, "What Yu Jian said is right. Receive this order, Grand Scholar Lu!"
The rest of the ministers are surprise when they heard that, the emperor accepts Yu Jian's suggestion so fast. What does that means? That means the emperor too has the intention to promote Lu Zi Hao.
Lu Zi Hao steps forward without appearing servile or arrogant. Yun Qian Yu secretly nods in satisfaction.
"Grand Scholar Lu is upright and dutiful. He is now appointed as a first-ranked scholar as reward for his magnificent conduct," Murong Cang personally decreed.
Lu Zi Hao kneels to receive the decree, "This official receives the decree. Long live the emperor!"
"Get up. The edict will be sent to your manor soon."
"Thank you, Your Majesty."
Lu Zi Hao bows before retreating back. He does not look proud at all, after being made the head of cabinet.
Yu Jian steps forward again, saying, "Imperial grandfather, this grandson has another request to be made."
"Grandfather's birthday is coming soon, Grandson would like to go to the imperial monastery to pray for grandfather's health and long life. Grandson would like to do that for three days, please give me your permission, imperial grandfather."
All officials are shocked by Yu Jian's request; they are inadvertently reminded about the incident five years ago. The late Crown Prince and the late Crown Princess were going to the imperial temple to pray for His Majesty too, when they were robbed and killed.
Murong Cang falls into deep silence.
"Grandfather, please fulfil grandson's request." Yu Jian kneels on the floor.
Yun Qian Yu backs him up, "Grandfather, Qian Yu will go with Yu Jian, please agree with our request!"
Seeing that, Murong Cang sighs, "Alright, since it is to pray, the children of other officials should join them. If you have elders in your own home, pray for their long lives. Filial piety is really important."
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
The officials does not understand the emperor. Aren't he worried that the imperial grandson will encounter danger on the way there? No matter what, they made up their mind, they will tell their children to stay away from the imperial grandson lest they get sucked up into danger.
"When do you plan to go, Yu Jian?" Murong Cang asks.
"Since it is to pray for grandfather, naturally the faster the better. How about tomorrow?" Yu Jian asks.
"Tomorrow? Alright, it is up to Yu Jian."
"Thank you, imperial grandfather."
After the court ends, the officials leave the hall with dizzy heads. Someone already lost their hat and now they have to push their own children into the equation. Seems like the direction of the wind in court is changing.
When Rui Qinwang returns to his manor, he throws everything that was on his table to the ground. One wrong move is followed by waves and waves of wrong moves. He just lost another man!
At that moment, the black-robed person appears once more inside his study.
"What? Wangye cannot bear this bout of setbacks?" that person asks.
"Murong Yu Jian that brat…. Who could have known that he would change so much in just three days," Rui Qinwang mutters in hatred.
"He is just a ten year old. Even his father is not your equal. Don't tell me you are afraid of that child."
"Afraid? What a joke! This king will make it as to he will leave but not return, this time!" A demonic smile appears on his face.
"I came here for that."
"What? Is there something off?"
"Of course. Princess Hu Guo will go with him. Have you forgotten who she is?"
"She is just the owner of Yun Valley!"
"The owner of Yun Valley is protected by Yun guards. I believe wangye knows how powerful those Yun guards are."
"What are you trying to say?"
"What I am trying to say is, you cannot deal with him the way you dealt with his father."
"Then what should I do?"
"This is a poison that blocks one's throat when it comes in contact with blood." Two small bottles appears on that man's hand.
Rui Qinwang eyes the bottle, "The owner of Yun Valley is an expert of medicine and poison. Her Head of Guards, Feng Ran too, is an expert in poison. What chances do we have if we poison him?"
"Wangye may not know; even poisons and medicines have their own category. This is the kind of poison that they will not have time to cure even if they do spot it. He does not need to consume this to be poisoned. On it's own, this is not a poison, you see. You just need to sprinkle these two on someone's clothes and let them come in contact with him. Even the gods would not detect anything off. This should be easier than attacking him with blades."
Rui Qinwang's eyes flashes, "It is indeed a good idea."
A cold light flashes on the man in black's eyes. I don't know why you allowed him to go to Temple Tian En, but no matter what, I will make sure he can never return. If he dies, everything you plan will go down the drains.
"Use the one in the white bottle first. Then, you use the one in the green bottle." After saying that, the man in black disappears.
In Xian Wang's manor, Gong Sang Mo is listening to Yi Ri's report.
"Master, a man in black entered Rui Qinwang's study. I did not dare to come too close to them, his martial arts prowess is a lot higher than me. I lost him after he left the manor."
"Oh, so someone is pointing the directions for Rui Qinwang behind everybody's backs. This king was almost fooled and thought that Rui Qinwang was tough to deal with."
San Qiu blinks; who on earth is capable enough to fool wangye-ah?
"San Qiu-ah, what did you say to Qian Yu?"
San Qiu freezes for a moment before speaking, "I was just feeling wronged on behalf of Master."
"Oh, so it is like that. That girl looked uncomfortable when she saw Yi Ri earlier." Gong Sang Mo's lips carry traces of smile.
"You did well. Continue doing that!"
The corner of San Qiu's lips twitch when he hears that. This move can only be done once; if you use it too many times, it will lose it's effectiveness. Yi Ri cannot help but look at his brother; since when has his brother becomes a matchmaker?
"Yi Ri, continue watching over Rui Qinwang. See what he has under his sleeves."
"Yes." Yi Ri accepts the order and walks away.
"Chang Qing and Chang Si should be returning soon, right?"
San Qiu replies him, "They should be returning before the emperor's birthday."
"Prepare everything, we will go to Temple Tian En tomorrow."
Thinking about Yun Qian Yu wearing the bracelet he gave her, Gong Sang Mo's heart is full of joy. Thinking about how he gets to live with her for three days, Gong Sang Mo is even happier. His mood immediately becomes light.
After the morning court, Yun Qian Yu goes to the imperial study to discuss tomorrow's trip with Murong Cang. After that, she brings Yun Nian out of the palace with her, to the posthouse.
Long Xiang Luo has been waiting for her in the entrance since early in the morning. Seeing her carriage coming over, her heart finally settles down.
After getting down from her carriage, Yun Qian Yu walks into the posthouse and heads for Jin Ding Posthouse.
Long Xiang Luo is still a little skeptical, "Are you sure you can cure Xiao Yan Poison?"
"Don't worry, Princess Luo. I can cure the poison in Crown Prince Jin's body."
Yun Nian suddenly gets the feeling that it is not Xiao Yan in Crown Prince Jin's body. His eyes flashes.
They reached Long Jin's courtyard fairly quick. It is guarded heavily, even a fly cannot get it.
Inside the room, Long Jin is lying on his bed with a pale face. Mo Dai Kingdom's physician that they brought along is anxiously taking care of him.
Seeing Yun Qian Yu coming over, he quickly gets up and gives way.
Yun Qian Yu stands on the sideline, not showing any signs of wanting to step forward.
"Yun Nian, you do it."
Long Xiang Luo furiously stops Yun Nian, "Do you think this is child's play?"
Yun Qian Yu shrugs, "Yun Nian can cure the poison inside the Crown Prince. How is this child's play?"
"He can cure it? Are you serious?" Long Xiang Luo asks in disbelief.
"You will know whether or not I am serious once he gives this a try." Yun Qian Yu signals Yun Nian to check the patient's pulse.
Long Xiang Luo no longer stops him. Yun Nian walks towards the bed. He does not sits down and simply stands there as he checks Long Jin's pulse.
"His pulse is weak and his breaths are long. His face is pale, his lips are purple, his fingers are stiff and his skin looks aged. He is poisoned with the venom of Hong Ye snake. The only antidote is Hong Ye flower. Am I right, princess?" Yun Nian asks with a light voice.
Before Yun Qian Yu even gets to reply, Long Xiang Luo already speaks up in exasperation, "What 'right'? My imperial brother was poisoned with Xiao Yan!"
Yun Qian Yu ignores Long Xiang Luo, "Did you bring the thing I told you to?"
"Yes," Yun Nian brings out a bunch of red-leaved grass.
"Cure the poison."
Long Xiang Luo cannot take it anymore. She blocks Yun Nian and refuse to let him get any closer to Long Jin.
Yun Qian Yu calmly speaks, "This Hong Ye Leaves can only be used around 12 hours after it was plucked. It was plucked yesterday and a night already passed. It will lose it's ability to cure the poison by this afternoon, are you sure you won't let him cure Crown Prince Jin?"
Long Xiang Luo suddenly remembers what Yun Qian Yu said yesterday, about needing to wait for the medicine to come. She seems to be talking about this Hong Ye thingy. She finally understands everything.
"You fooled me?"
"What are you talking about, Princess Luo? I have always said that the poison inside Crown Prince Jin can be cured by me."
By now, Long Xiang Luo understands everything. Yun Qian Yu never said that her imperial brother was poisoned with Xiao Yan Poison. It was she herself who automatically came to that conclusion. The rapid heaving of her chest implies the great fury she has inside.
However, no matter how angry she is, her priority lies in curing her imperial brother. She slowly gives way while taking a long breath, trying to calm herself.
Yun Nian steps forward, grinding the leaves before pouring the thick essence into Long Jin's mouth. He continues doing that until the leaves cannot produce even one drop of essence.
Not long later, a soft moan can be heard from Long Jin. Then, he slowly opens his eyes.
By then, Yun Qian Yu already gets up and walks out with Yun Nian.
Long Xiang Luo does not stop her. She knows Yun Qian Yu will not go around looking for trouble at times like this.
Yun Qian Yu asks Yun Nian as she walks, "How are you so sure he was poisoned with the venom of Hong Ye snake and not Xiao Yan poison? Their symptoms are so similar that it can fool most people, even the imperial physicians from Mo Dai Kingdom."
Even though it was Yun Qian Yu who fooled them into thinking that Long Jin was poisoned with Xiao Yan, it wouldn't have worked had the symptoms not be so similar.
"Because of what you said to Princess Luo. She kept talking about Xiao Yan Poison while you only referred to it as 'the poison inside Crown Prince Jin'. That told me that the poison inside him was not Xiao Yan."
"You pay great attention to details, this is a must in learning medicine!" Yun Qian Yu praises him without holding back.
"Your Highness praises me too much."
Yun Qian Yu brings Yun Nian to Tong Wen Posthouse. She lets him check the injured envoys before leaving the posthouse.
After Yun Qian Yu left, Jiu Xiao Kingdom's 7th wangye, Bei Tang Ming anxiously rushes over. "Where is Yun Qian Yu?"
One of the people answers him, "Princess Hu Guo already left."
"Ah…." Bei Tang Ming hits his own head in frustration.
At that moment, Long Xiang Luo seductively walks over.
"What are you hasty for, 7th wangye? Tomorrow, Princess Hu Guo will accompany the imperial grandson to Tian En Temple to pray for the emperor. She will be there for three days. There are still chances for you to meet the beauty."
"You are right! This king needs to get everything prepared!" Bei Tang Ming immediately gets excited after hearing that. The moment he finish saying that, he immediately runs back to his own courtyard.
After a few steps, he suddenly stops and turns around to face Long Xiang Luo, "You must not forget. This king cooperated with you. If you don't want this king to expose the truth - that you kidnapped this king- you must help this king get the beauty!"
"7th wangye, bengong is helping you!" Long Xiang Luo gives him a soul-shattering smile.
"Correct. You must help this king get the beauty."
"Of course! During this trip to Tian En Temple, bengong will definitely help 7th wangye get your wish!" A cold light flashes in Long Xiang Luo's calculating eyes.
After Yun Qian Yu leaves the posthouse, she suddenly remembers Wen Ling Shan. She turns to Yun Nian, "Come. Bengong will take you to freeload."
Yun Nian looks at her in surprise, the princess wants to freeload? Whose house is she intending to freeload from?
Yun Qian Yu gets on her carriage while Yun Nian jumps on a horse, riding side by side with the carriage.
"Go to Imperial Censor Wen's house," Yun Qian Yu softly instructs.
The coachman is a Yun Guard; to them, Yun Qian Yu's every order must be followed. He steers the horse to the imperial censor's house.
After arriving in the manor, Yun Qian Yu eyes the house with a small frown on her face. This obsolete place is Imperial Censor Wen's manor? He is indeed an uncorrupted officer.
Yun Nian steps forward and knocks on the door. A young boy opens it.
"Princess Hu Guo is here to visit Miss Wen," Yun Nian says.
Hearing the name Princess Hu Guo, the young boy is so surprised he almost kneels on the ground. He quickly runs inside to announce her arrival.
Not long later, the Wen Family's madame, old master and a three year old child comes out and kneels on the door to welcome her.
Imperial Censor Wen has just returned from court. He has just took off his clothes to eat and rest, but when he hears about her arrival, he puts his official robe back on and leads his family to welcome her.
Yun Qian Yu did not think that her, coming to freeload would cause such a big scene. She gets down from the carriage and allows the family to get up.
"Bengong is only here to freeload from Wen Ling Shan; there is no need for all these."