Chapter 341 - Dysentery?

Hearing this, the empress quickly replied, “Little miss, I had been rash with my words just now. You...do you have confidence in treating the young prince’s illness?” She was also recklessly finding doctors because she was anxious about the illness—how could a ten-year-old little girl be confident in her treatment when so many imperial physicians were solemnly consulting each other about it? 

Although Yu Xiaocao thought that the emperor’s voice sounded familiar, she did not dare to casually lift her head to confirm his identity. She frankly answered, “This commoner dare not simply come to conclusions. I must first see the patient to know…” 

The empress wiped the corners of her eyes and nodded, “Then go and have a look. There’s more hope with one more person...Chief Steward Su, are all the kitchen staff apprehended? Investigate carefully, I want to see which evil person dares harm my son!” 

Zhu Junfan comfortingly patted the empress’s back, softly saying, “The imperial physicians haven’t concluded that it’s poisoning, right? Be calm, the person who dares to harm my son will definitely be severely punished!” 

Some old officials in court had mentioned the selection of concubines, but he had always used various excuses to push the matter away. In his previous life, he had accompanied his mother in watching a few palace intrigue drama series, in which three women were enough for an entire drama. Once the number of concubines increased, so would the drama! There was already enough infighting to give him a migraine even though as of now, he only had several concubines. If he had more concubines, he would probably want to flee the palace and the court. It was too scary—women’s jealousy and their vigor to fight for favor! 

Originally, he thought that the concubines in his harem fighting over his favor was just a small matter. He had a son and a daughter, and his son was smart while his daughter was obedient. He had planned to wait until the prince born of the empress had grown up and appointed him as the crown prince before he had more children in order to prevent what happened during Emperor Kangxi's reign, in which nine of his sons fought for the throne and caused chaos within the palace and the court. 

Since he didn’t have many children, the concubines were still quite well-behaved and had not tried to scheme against the little prince and princess. He was also secretly gleeful over his smart decision, but who could have known that the little prince now displayed signs of poisoning. It was really a slap in his face ah! 

Zhu Junfan had a cold expression on his face. If this really was a plan that stemmed from his imperial harem, he would definitely not be lenient in the punishment!

Yu Xiaocao took two steps forward and stood beside Imperial Physician Zheng. Imperial Physician Zheng had already checked on the little prince and took his pulse, and he was currently discussing his opinions with the other imperial physicians. Seeing Yu Xiaocao approach, Imperial Physician Zheng did not scrunch up his face like the others. Instead, he warmly spoke, “Miss Yu, what are your thoughts on this matter?”

Yu Xiaocao had already heard most of the imperial physicians’ discussions. The young prince only started showing symptoms yesterday, when his condition escalated quickly with fever and convulsions. Now, the little prince was unconscious. His breathing was faint, and he would occasionally go into shock. The signs of poisoning were obvious throughout his entire body. 

The little divine stone used its power to scan the little fellow’s body when she approached the bed. It laughed amusedly, saying, [This brat has been brought up with too much care, causing his digestive system to be weak. Now his stomach aches after eating something dirty…] 

Yu Xiaocao turned to ask the imperial physicians and the little prince’s servants, “Since yesterday, has the little prince experienced diarrhea?” 

Disdain was written on the faces of the other imperial physicians. Of course, a young girl, who was around the age of ten, could only diagnose the illness as diarrhea. It was too bad that the little prince had not shown any signs of diarrhea ever since his illness began. The palace servants also answered as such. 

Yu Xiaocao furrowed her brows, remembering that in her previous life, the child of her neighbor also once suffered from these symptoms. When they visited the district hospital, the doctor said that it was a more serious case of pediatric dysentery. 

She noticed that the imperial physicians continued to discuss what kind of poisoning the little prince had gotten, and how they should cure it. Yu Xiaocao paused for a moment, then whispered to Imperial Physician Zheng, "Imperial Physician Zheng, perhaps…the little prince hasn't been poisoned!" 

Imperial Physician Wang, who was most knowledgeable on poisons among the rest of the imperial physicians, laughed, "Little miss, this is the Imperial Palace, not somewhere you can simply fool around—you are responsible for every word you say! Will you be able to hold responsibility if the young prince’s treatment was delayed because of you?” 

Imperial Physician Zheng knew that Yu Xiaocao had a certain grasp of understanding on some trickier diseases, so he patiently asked, “Miss Yu, what is your opinion?” 

Yu Xiaocao thought carefully before saying, “I think the little prince has pediatric dysentery…” 

The other imperial physicians looked over with an expression of disagreement. Imperial Physician Wang even disdainfully said, “Pediatric dysentery? Little girl, is your head in the clouds? We just told you that the young prince had no signs of diarrhea, and all symptoms point to poisoning!” 

Against all the pressure, Yu Xiaocao explained, “There are mild and there are serious cases of pediatric dysentery, and both have different symptoms. The symptoms of normal dysentery are fever, constipation, mucus and blood, and nausea. In mild cases of dysentery, there are no obvious constitutional symptoms as the patient defecates three to five times a day and their feces are accompanied by mucus or a little blood. In serious cases of dysentery, the constitutional symptoms are a little more obvious—where the patient defecates at least ten times a day and his feces contain mucus and blood. He also experiences abdominal pain, nausea, and dehydration.” 

Imperial Physician Wang impatiently interrupted her, “We all know of these simple pathologies, so don’t waste our time. The little prince isn’t experiencing stomachache, nor did he show any signs of diarrhea, not to mention mucus and blood accompanying his feces. How did you come to the conclusion that the young prince has pediatric dysentery?” 

Yu Xiaocao looked at him solemnly, “Besides those that I have listed, there is also a kind of pediatric dysentery called ‘bacillary dysentery’. It’s abrupt and accompanied by symptoms such as fever, convulsions, unconsciousness, shock and breathing difficulty. The symptoms regarding the patient’s digestive system usually only appear after 24 hours or sometimes, 36 hours. This illness is more serious and is usually seen occurring in children aged from 2 to 7 years old…” 

Hearing her speak confidently, Imperial Physician Wang asked hesitantly, “Is there actually such an illness, or did you make it all up after hearing our discussions? Little girl, even if you wanted to take credit for this, you still have to be alive to be able to claim it! This is the Imperial Palace, and the patient is the child of the emperor and empress—you mustn’t implicate us!” 

Seeing as no one besides Imperial Physician Zheng believed her words, Yu Xiaocao retreated, saying, “Since Imperial Physician Wang said it so, I’ll value my own life and stop commenting. All of you are very experienced imperial physicians, so you should have already come up with a way to treat the little prince from your discussions. If you fail to cure the little prince with your treatment, please try treating him from the perspective of treating pediatric dysentery!” 

The imperial physicians glanced at each other, still unwilling to believe the words of a ten-year-old girl. They then began treating the young prince with the method and medicine they had come up with earlier. Although they could not trace the poison, if it was poisoning, gentle detoxification should be effective. 

The medicine was quickly brewed and fed to the young imperial prince. The imperial physicians nervously watched the little prince, hoping that his condition would improve. 

"This is bad! The little prince is panting—it looks like he's short of breath!" A palace servant at the side softly exclaimed upon noticing the young prince's uncomfortable state. The imperial physicians quickly surrounded the little prince to give him emergency aid. Fortunately, the little prince's breathing returned to normal afterwards. 

Not long after they fed the little prince his second bowl of medicine, everyone started to smell a pungent, rotting scent. The palace servants discovered that the young prince had lost control of his bowels, and the product of his diarrhea contains mucus and blood… The imperial physicians immediately remembered Yu Xiaocao's words from before, ‘The symptoms regarding the patient's digestive system will only appear after 24 hours…’ Were they wrong after all? Was it not poison, but actually just a form of pediatric dysentery? 

The imperial physicians then decided to change the medicine to ‘three huang dysentery relief decoction’ [1]. Very soon, the medicine was brewed and fed to the little prince. Within the short period of half a day, the little prince had been fed a total of 3 bowls of dark, bitter medicine. 

Yu Xiaocao resisted but still could not help herself from whispering, "Wouldn't it be faster if we administered enema instead?" 

Imperial Physician Zheng secretly pulled on her sleeve while glancing in the empress's direction, whispering, "Are you mad to even consider enema? The little prince is going to be the crown prince in the future, and if there are no accidents, he will ascend the throne after the emperor abdicates. How could we use such a lowly method to treat his illness?" 

Yu Xiaocao pouted, inwardly thinking: ‘Is his pride more important than his life? But then again, if the little prince, who will be emperor in the future, knew that his anus had been violated, I really don’t know what he would do. For my own sake, I should just keep a low profile…’ 

Zhu Junfan obviously heard what she had said as he gestured for her to go over to his side, whispering, "Will the method that you mentioned help treat my son's illness?" 

Yu Xiaocao secretly glanced at the emperor. Then, her eyes widened in disbelief. Oh god! The emperor actually looks the same as the heir of Prince Jing—are they twins? That wasn’t right! Prince Jing is the emperor's imperial uncle…could it be that the emperor's father was infertile, so he took in Imperial Prince Jing's son as his own? But that also didn’t seem right! If it was like that, the news should've already spread wide and far. 

So there was only one possibility—the emperor was travelling outside under disguise, and used the heir of Prince Jing's name. Yu Xiaocao turned her head around to glare at Zhu Junyang: ‘This bastard even hid the truth from me! I won't cook good food for him in the future!!’ 

Zhu Junfan could tell from Xiaocao's expression that she had already recognized him, so he lightly nodded to her and said, "Since we already know each other, what can you not say openly?" 

After much hesitation, Yu Xiaocao finally whispered, "Enema can directly transport the effective composition of the medicine directly into the colon and rectum to take effect without risking damage from digestion in the stomach and small intestines…" 

"Imperial Physician Wang, go and brew the medicine for enema. I will personally administer it to my son!" Zhu Junfan only had this one son after all. Moreover, he had been personally involved in the growth of this smart son since he was born, so they were naturally closer to each other than ordinary fathers and sons of the imperial family. If his son were to blame someone for this, let that person be him! How could he consider so much when it was about his son's illness? 

Since the emperor already gave out the order, the imperial physicians would not dare to disobey him. Imperial Physician Wang glared fiercely at Yu Xiaocao, then left to personally brew the medicine. Yu Xiaocao felt wronged: ‘Why are you glaring at me? I wasn't the one who ordered you! If you don't want to do it, why don't you argue with the emperor? Don't you think it's too much to specifically choose this persimmon—me—to squeeze just because it's soft [2]?’


[1] three huang = huang qin (baikal skullcap roots), huang lian (rhizoma coptidis), and huang bai (golden cypress)

[2] soft persimmon also means pushover

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Myst's Thoughts

Translator: Vera