CHAPTER 371: SHORT-LIVED 
“Tan Ge, you have to be happy. At 9 pm tonight, you can collect dumplings from the Imperial Kitchen. During the Winter Solstice...you have to eat dumplings so that there will be good fortune next year.” Chao Mu’s face had become extremely red, and she felt as if her whole body was burning.
Her breathing became rapid and unstable as she tried to grasp something with a raised hand, eventually falling into a deathly silence.
Tan Ge helplessly watched as the formerly lively and bright Chao Mu quietly lied in her arms. She couldn’t stop her tears from pouring down her face as she bent down to quietly whisper, “Chao Mu, don’t die. Please don’t.”
Her mournful wails echoed in her empty surroundings, and she didn’t even know how much time passed before she stopped crying. It was only then that she was able to feel the frigid wind pass through her body, freezing her heart along with it.
Suddenly, a man’s clear voice could be heard. “Tan Ge, why are you in Su Xi-er’s room?”
It was none other than Shu Xian. He had just returned from the Imperial Academy, and was holding onto a basket of dumplings that he had gotten from the cook there.
Tan Ge turned around, looking at him with her swollen eyes. “Shu Xian…” Her voice still sounded like it was sobbing.
Shu Xian looked towards Tan Ge, only to see the inert Chao Mu lying in her arms with flushed cheeks.
He immediately felt his heart sink. The basket he was holding fell to the ground, the big white dumplings rolling out onto the dusty floor and becoming covered in dirt.
Shu Xian crouched down with his eyes widened. He gingerly reached out his hand to check for Chao Mu’s breath as he questioned, “This… what happened? Why is Chao Mu…”
His voice trailed off in disbelief, and he sank to the ground with an empty look in his eyes. It was as if his soul had fled his body. I only went to the Imperial Academy for a few days, but now, Chao Mu is...
Tan Ge felt her heart tormented with pain. “Before Chao Mu died, she told me that there’s poison in the pot, and that someone wants to harm Su Xi-er.”
Shu Xian was overwhelmed with emotions. Finally, he snatched Chao Mu away from Tan Ge and embraced her. Her body was still warm, as if she was just silently sleeping.
“Chao Mu, wake up. You can scold me however you like and I won’t talk back. Don’t sleep so quietly. I’m not used to it.” Shu Xian kept mumbling as he caressed her hair. However, no matter how he called her, the only response he received was silence, and the feeling of her body growing ever colder.
Shu Xian suddenly laughed, carrying Chao Mu in his arms as he walked away. Tan Ge was still rooted to the spot as she watched Shu Xian with her red and puffy eyes, never looking away until he had disappeared into the night. I wonder where he’s going.
A moment later, Tan Ge’s heart leapt. There was something very off about Shu Xian’s expression. Don’t tell me he plans to follow Chao Mu after seeing that she’s died?
The thought of this possibility made Tan Ge immediately run outside. She had only made it a few steps when she saw the door of the book depository being pushed open from the inside.
With the help of the moonlight, she saw Su Xi-er and Pei Qianhao walking out. The latter was holding Su Xi-er in his arms, as if he was afraid that she would be cold.
Su Xi-er ignored her aching body and asked, “What on earth is wrong with you? In the book depository, you blatantly…” She didn’t finish her sentence, as she found what they did just now too embarrassing.
“This Prince was under the effects of philtre fragrance. I only smelled a little, and I immediately came to the Imperial Library after I realised.”
Su Xi-er’s brows furrowed, and she was about to ask what he meant when she noticed Tan Ge.
1. The title of this chapter also makes a pun on Chao Mu’s as the phrase originally used in the title is made up of the characters in Chao Mu’s name.
Nooooooo T^T Shu Xian didn't even get to see Chao Mu before she died ;_;