“The eyesore finally left!!” Zhu Junyang’s attitude relaxed a lot and the expression on his face softened considerably.
Princess Consort Jing looked at her own son and lightly shook her head. It seemed like inviting her niece to stay at home was the worst move that she had ever made. Fortunately, she had seen through the situation early on, and it shouldn’t be too late to repair the situation. Princess Consort Jing bowed her head in deep thought, trying to think of a reason to send Jiang Zixian back.
On the side, Yu Xiaocao widened her eyes and stared at the young royal prince, as if she was in disbelief. Zhu Junyang glared back at her with a displeased expression and grumpily said, “What are you looking at? Even if you continue to stare, flowers still can’t bloom on my face!!”
Yu Xiaocao’s gaze stayed on his handsome face for a moment, and then she joked, “Flowers can’t blossom on your face, but… your face is originally more pleasing to the eyes than the most beautiful flower in this garden…”
“Cao’er!!” Lady Fang secretly glanced at Princess Consort Jing. Was it really alright to say such frivolous words in front of his mother? Though… Royal Prince Yang’s face was indeed pretty good-looking… She pretended to scold her, “What nonsense are you saying? How can a young maiden say such words?”
Princess Consort Jing stared at her son’s face for a moment, and then chuckled, “Chuxue, don’t scare the child! Xiaocao is just speaking truthfully. Among my three sons, Yang’er resembles me the most. But, since he’s a combination of the good points of me and my lord husband, if he was a girl, he would definitely look more beautiful than when I was young.”
With a helpless expression, Lady Fang said, “Cao’er isn’t that young anymore. Those who grow up faster are already graceful young maidens. How can she call a man handsome right in front of him? It’s just that she’s normally close with Royal Prince Yang. Had it been someone else, they would probably think that she’s crazy about men!”
Yu Xiaocao pouted and said with an aggrieved expression, “Godmother, Daughter can tease the young royal prince because we’re familiar with each other. If it was someone else, I wouldn’t be so impetuous… Sir Su Ran is very good-looking, but I would just secretly look at him a few more times and wouldn’t go up to him and say, ‘Sir, you’re really handsome.’ It would be weird if I don’t get beaten up!”
“Haha… If someone says that I’m very good-looking, it just means that she has good taste! Why would I be unreasonable and hit others?” A gentle voice sounded among the flowers. On the small path paved with bluestones, a tall figure slowly approached.
A modest gentleman was like a refined jade. Only the tenacity, gentleness, delicacy, and implicitness of jade could describe the endless charm that Su Ran slowly emitted, right? The pure and outstanding man leisurely walked out of the flowers and trees, as if he was those banished immortals flying in the paintings…
Seeing that Yu Xiaocao’s eyes were fixed on another man, Zhu Junyang felt as if there was a big piece of cotton stuffed in his heart, and that feeling irritated him. He quietly tugged at Yu Xiaocao’s hair that was hanging loosely behind her, which caused her to glare at him in anger. Zhu Junyang raised his eyebrows, ‘As long as her eyes aren’t focused on other men, I don’t mind suffering a little and getting glared at a few more times.’
As the head steward court eunuch, Su Ran was in charge of the training and assessment of the emperor’s personal imperial bodyguards and the imperial guards. Thus, Princess Consort Jing naturally didn’t dare to put on airs in front of him. After they exchanged some polite greetings, Princess Consort Jing sat down with a proper smile on her face and asked, “Is Chief Steward Su visiting for official business or…”
Su Ran withdrew the smile on his face, and with a slightly stern expression, he said in a low voice, “The reason that Su Ran came to the Prince Jing’s Estate without notice is to ask for help!!”
Princess Consort Jing was shocked. She swiftly stood up and asked, “For help? What does Chief Steward Su mean? Perhaps, in the palace…” Princess Consort Jing thought of all the dirty things that could have happened in the Imperial Palace. The current emperor was a brilliant ruler who was loved by the people and supported by all officials. Why would there be a need to ask for help?
Su Ran glanced at the grim expressions on Lady Fang and Royal Prince Yang, yet saw the muddled expression on the face of the little girl of the Yu Family. He quickly calmed them, “Your Highness, Princess Consort Jing, please don’t worry too much! It’s a matter of the Eastern Palace. The young imperial prince got poisoned, and the imperial physicians in the Imperial Palace don’t know what to do. I want to borrow Imperial Physician Zheng of Prince Jing’s Estate to go there and have a look…”
When Lady Fang heard that it was a secret matter in the palace, she quickly stood up and said, “Your Highness, I just remembered that there’s some matters that I need to deal with at home, so we shall take our leave…”
“Lady Fang, please stay.” Su Ran looked at Yu Xiaocao, who had also stood up with a foolish expression. He said in a low voice, “I heard that your daughter has studied medicine for several years, and she has a unique understanding of medicine…”
Lady Fang could no longer worry about offending Chief Steward Su, and replied in a fearful manner, “My daughter has only studied medicine under the village doctor for less than a year, and she usually just treated the villagers’ minor illnesses and injuries. The one in the palace has a precious status. With my daughter’s feeble medical skills, we don’t dare to be conceited and show our slight skills in front of the imperial physicians!!”
It had been eight years since the emperor ascended the imperial throne at the age of twenty. Normally, he was diligent in government affairs and wasn’t immersed in the affairs of the inner palace. At present, including the empress and imperial concubines, there were only six or seven people in the imperial harem. The emperor currently only had two young offspring, one prince and one princess. Thus, it was apparent how precious they were. Moreover, even the imperial physicians weren’t certain about the imperial prince’s condition. If Xiaocao got involved, wouldn’t that be the same as the God of Longevity hanging himself——wanting to die earlier?
The smile on Su Ran’s face had faded, and those familiar with him would all know that he was angry. His voice still sounded gentle as he said, “Lady Fang is being too humble. Who was the one who nursed Princess Consort Jing’s health? How was Lady Fang able to give birth to the young son in your family? If Miss Yu has feeble medical skills, then there aren’t any highly skilled doctors in the world anymore!! Lady Fang, Su Ran know what you’re worried about. Rest assured, since it was I, Su Ran, who brought her into the palace, I will definitely bring her out. I, Su Ran, will guarantee with my life…”
Lady Fang wanted to make her last attempt at getting out of this situation, but Su Ran spoke again, “Lady Fang, if you continue to delay the young prince’s illness, neither of us can bear the responsibility!!”
Lady Fang could no longer voice her refusal. With tears in her eyes, she looked at Yu Xiaocao, who didn’t really understand the situation. She gently caressed her head and choked with sobs as she said, “Cao’er, you got implicated because of Godmother!! Godmother will accompany you into the palace. If… Godmother will accompany you!!”
Imperial Physician Zheng had already been invited over by a servant. Without further delay, Su Ran hastily went out of Prince Jing’s Estate with Imperial Physician Zheng and the mother-daughter pair. When they mounted the carriage, he turned his head and saw Royal Prince Yang following them. He had wanted to say something but ended up swallowing back his words.
The horses galloped at full speed and the horse carriage also moved at full speed. Fortunately, Prince Jing’s Estate wasn’t too far from the Imperial Palace. They soon arrived outside of Donghua Gates. In consideration of the aged Imperial Physician Zheng and young Yu Xiaocao, Su Ran had prepared sedans. They rushed all the way to the Eastern Palace.
Lady Fang had already patiently explained the situation to Yu Xiaocao when they were on the carriage. The young imperial prince was poisoned, but the imperial physicians didn’t dare to make a rash conclusion. Thus, they wanted to consult with Imperial Physician Zheng, who was born of a family of imperial physicians from the previous dynasty. She, on the other hand, was unlucky to have been at Prince Jing’s Estate at that time, and thus was taken as an extra helper.
Yu Xiaocao stared at the multicolored stone on her wrist and communicated with the little divine stone in her mind. After she received the guarantee ‘as long as there’s still one breath, this Divine Stone will be able to drag him back from the King of Hell’, her anxious heart finally relaxed. However, it was quite exciting today. It was her first time visiting the Prince Jing’s Estate and she got to tour around. Was she going to have a one-day tour for her first visit to the Imperial Palace? Yu Xiaocao felt strangely excited at the thought that she was about to see a real-life emperor, empress and imperial prince.
Zhu Junyang noticed the change in Yu Xiaocao’s emotions. He bent down and whispered into her ears, “Don’t be scared, this prince is here! No one will dare to do anything to you!! At that time, if you can treat him, then do your best. If you can’t, then just stand on the side! This prince will support you regardless!!”
The emperor was a wise monarch, so he definitely wouldn’t do the same thing as the emperor of the previous dynasty, killing multiple people for the sake of one person. The empress might act irrationally because of grief, but even if he had to give up his position as the royal prince, he would still protect Xiaocao. Besides, there would be a lot of imperial physicians there at that time. He reckoned that Yu Xiaocao wouldn’t be needed. She was just a random passerby…
Jingyang Palace was the palace hall that the empress resided in. The imperial prince was still young, so he lived with his imperial mother. In a couple of years, when he was bestowed the title of crown prince, he would have to move to Zhongcui Palace next door. When Imperial Physician Zheng entered the door, he was taken to the dragon and phoenix bed by the other imperial physicians to examine the unconscious imperial prince.
With reddened eyes, the empress appeared haggard, and her eyes were fixed on her son, for fear that something bad would happen to her son the moment she looked away. The emperor stood behind her and held onto her shoulders, as if he was conveying strength and courage to her.
Su Ran walked to the emperor and whispered into his ears. Zhu Junfan looked towards Yu Xiaocao, remained silent for a moment, and then nodded.
Since Yu Xiaocao entered the Imperial Palace, she held her hands in front of her abdomen and looked down with her head bowed. She had the appearance of ‘I’m a good kid and you guys can’t see me’. Su Ran came up to her and softly said, “His Majesty called you to go over!”
‘Emperor? Oh my god! I’m going to see a real-life emperor soon!!’ Yu Xiaocao was so excited that she could barely walk. Su Ran thought that she was scared, so he kindly comforted her, “Don’t be afraid. The emperor is very approachable. You’re just being called over to answer a few questions.”
Yu Xiaocao looked back at Lady Fang and saw a slight trace of fright in her eyes, yet she still tried to calm down and give her a comforting smile. She turned her eyes to Zhu Junyang. He had a calm and gentle gaze that seemed to have the power to appease one’s heart, as if it was saying, ‘This prince is here, so what are you afraid of!!’
Yu Xiaocao’s heart slightly relaxed and her steps also became lighter. According to the palace etiquettes that her godmother taught her on the way, she quickly performed a proper bow when she saw the hem of a bright yellow robe, “This commoner, Yu Xiaocao, greets the Emperor and the Empress. Long live the Emperor. May the Empress live for thousands of years!”
There seemed to be a ball of fire within the empress’s heart. She didn’t even look at Yu Xiaocao and said with a voice full of impatience, “Why is Su Ran bringing a little girl over at this time? Isn’t that just causing more trouble? Aren’t you going to hurry up and take her out!!”
Zhu Junfan hastily patted her shoulders and softly said, “Miss Yu has studied medicine since she was young, and knows some intricate prescriptions. The young son of the General Estate’s Lady Fang, who got whooping cough, was cured by her. Last time, when our son was coughing and refused to drink medicine, he had also gotten better after taking the medicine brought back from the General’s Estate. When Su Ran went to Prince Jing’s Estate, she just happened to have been invited over to nourish Princess Consort Jing’s health, so he also brought her along.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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