Chapter 241 - Kong Yu is leaving the Palace?
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Jing Yi said nothing for a very long time.
Seeing that, Concubine Xiao began to worry and lightly brushed against his arm with her sleeve. “Did you hear what Mother said?”
Jing Yi returned to his senses and nodded. ”Your son understands - I will be careful and conscientious with this year’s gift.”
“Not just careful, you must choose wisely.”
“Of course, Imperial Mother will also give you a hand and try to find out what your Imperial Father likes.”
“Thank you, Imperial Mother.”
Concubine Xiao let out a deep sigh, adding, almost like an afterthought, “Who knows what Jing Rong will present this year?”
Jing Rong had always been low-key - each year he would present a normal, average gift, one not too expensive nor too shabby. But that year, with Jing Rong starting to investigate the Lin Capital Case as well as the appearance of the clever Teacher Ji, he was an up-and-coming figure watched intently by many from the court, let alone Concubine Xiao. This year’s birthday banquet no doubt would become a competition between the princes, a competition where the victor had yet to be named.
Not long after Jing Yi left Zhangzhi Hall, Sang Lan ran in, huffing, “Your Ladyship, the Princess has fainted in her chambers.”
“The Princess was already lying on the floor when Xiao Mei entered.”
Concubine Xiao’s face turned white as she hurried towards Jing Xuan’s chambers. She ordered, “Quickly get the imperial doctor!”
The entire Zhangzhi Hall was a mess. At that time, Jing Xuan was lying unconscious in bed, a large obvious bruise right in the middle of her forehead. There was still some superficial bleeding.
The imperial doctor arrived just after Concubine Xiao. After a full consultation and examination, he knelt down and explained, “The Princess is currently unconscious from the head injury she sustained when she fainted, but there is nothing to worry about. Her Highness will be fine once the bruise begins to fade and disappear. This servant will write a few prescriptions for the Princess to take at regular intervals, which will help her improve very quickly.”
‘She was okay! What a relief!’ Concubine Xiao let out a deep breath and waved her hand for the imperial doctor to leave.
Concubine Xiao sat down at the edge of the bed. She looked at her poor daughter, and stretched out to stroke Jing Xuan’s face, lamenting, “What would Mother do if anything were to happen to you, dear child?” Her eyes were red.
Sang Lan was trying to console her. “Your Ladyship, the imperial doctor has already said that the Princess is fine, Your Ladyship…”
Before she could finish, Concubine Xiao had brought her palm to smack across her face, her fingers scratching Sang Lan’s untarnished face, leaving a bright red wound.
Sang Lan grabbed her face and knelt down with a bang, with the other servants following suit. “This servant acknowledges her mistakes, please spare me, Your Ladyship!”
Concubine Xiao pointed angrily at all the servants in the room. “All these useless imbeciles! Luckily the Princess is fine; if she were not, this Imperial One would have all your heads!” Sang Lan was just made an example of what Concubine Xiao was capable of.
“Please spare us, Your Highness.” All the servants knelt, their bodies trembling in fear, knowing that a small mistake would cost them their heads.
Staring at these servants made the already angry Concubine Xiao even more furious. Fortunately, Jing Xuan awoke! She coughed a couple of times and opened her eyes to see her mother sitting by her bed.
She mumbled, “Imperial Mother?”
“Xuan’er, you’re awake? Are you hurt anywhere?” Concubine Xiao was gentle beyond comparison.
“What a fright you gave Mother.”
She licked her dry lips fraily, eyes reddening and called out weakly, “Imperial Mother.”
Concubine Xiao’s manner softened as she grabbed Jing Xuan’s cold hands, “Is there something you want to eat? Tell Mother. I will let the kitchens prepare it.”
She shook her head. “I know Imperial Mother is doing what’s best for me and so you let Sister Kong Yu take my place. Thankfully this matter has been resolved, otherwise your daughter’s conscience would never be at ease.” Jing Xuan began to cry.
Concubine Xiao could not bring herself to be angry; she sighed. “Alright, it’s all over now - don’t talk about it anymore. I am at fault for cooping you up these few days in the palace.”
“Then, Imperial Mother, could you promise me one thing?”
“What is it?”
“Since Sister Yu isn’t going to be betrothed to Qujiang, then could you speak to Imperial Father about allowing Sister Yu to leave the palace? I know she doesn’t like this place at all!” Her voice was full of desperation.
Concubine Xiao’s chest tightened - Jing Xuan would surely cry if she knew that she plotting to marry Kong Yu to the Crown Prince and would hence spend the remaining of her life in this palace. Concubine Xiao had no choice but to lie, “Alright, Mother promises you to ask your Imperial Father to allow her to leave.”
“Really?” Jing Xuan’s eyes lit up.
Concubine Xiao nodded. She smiled and turned, only just noticing the servants still kneeling on the floor. “Rise, all of you.”
“Thank you, Your Ladyship.”
“Go and inform the kitchen to make a few appetisers and dishes the Princess loves.”
“Yes!” The two servant girls hurried off.
Jing Xuan sat up in bed, a sincere smile spreading across her ghastly pale face. The heavy weight lifted from her chest upon hearing that Kong Yu did not need to take her place in Qujiang, and could even possibly leave the palace for good.
Not long after, Kong Yu arrived alongside the appetisers the kitchen sent; she had immediately hurried over from Shaoxian Hall upon hearing of Jing Xuan’s injury. Concubine Xiao took Kong Yu’s hands in hers, a motherly expression plastered on her face. “Huiwen, you must have suffered the last few days. But it’s good that everything is over now. Look at Xuan’er - she never fails to worry me. Come and spend more time with her; the two of you are of similar age, so there must be many things to share and talk about.”
Kong Yu nodded calmly.
Concubine Xiao patted Kong Yu’s hands, nagged a little more about Jing Xuan, and left. The servants in the Hall finally heaved sighs of relief.
Jing Xuan hopped off the bed, pulling Kong Yu over to sit with her on the mattress. “Do you still blame me, Sister Yu?”
“Silly girl, I’ve already said this many times - it’s not your fault.”
Kong Yu cut her off, “It’s alright, speak no more of it.”
Jing Xuan looked down with a forlorn expression, then raised her head up again, “Oh! Sister Yu, Imperial Mother just promised me that she would ask for Imperial Father’s permission for you to leave the palace and go home.”
Kong Yu was not excited despite the good news; she merely nodded.
“What’s wrong? Did you not want to leave the palace, Sister Yu?” Jing Xuan was puzzled.
Of course she wanted to leave - she wanted to leave right now. But, she was well aware of the kind of person Concubine Xiao was. Allowing her to leave the palace so easily? There was no way! However, Kong Yu did not want to disappoint Jing Xuan, so she gave her a warm smile, “Of course it would be great to leave the palace.”
“Don’t worry Sister Yu! Since Imperial Mother has promised me, she will definitely deliver.” Jing Xuan was confident, her mood lifting; she began to snack on the appetisers. Her appetite had improved compared to the last few depressing days in the palace.
She did not notice Kong Yu’s expression darkening.
Grenn's Rants Corner
Jing Xuan, the simple-minded. It's a good thing your mother is so competent and you have the Emperor's favor. Now that I think of it, Jing Xuan and Jing Yi don't have much interaction.
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