"Come to the Linhai Hospital with this Emperor, Xiao Yuan!” Yang Shaolun furrowed his ink-black brows. The autumn day was getting chillier. He’d been spending his days searching outside for Lin Haihai, combing through every part of the capital. At first, the citizens didn’t know what the soldiers were looking for on such a large scale. Then it was revealed that the sixth princess consort had been kidnapped.
Those privy to Lin Haihai’s identity were shocked. Didn’t that mean Physician Lin was missing? The entire city was in uproar. Many volunteered to help searching, but even the ground-up search yielded them nothing, which was worthy of suspicion.
“Does Your Majesty think there will be clues in Linhai Hospital?” asked Xiao Yuan.
“We’ve searched through many places except for Linhai Hospital. Perhaps there will be something pointing us to her!” Yang Shaolun wouldn’t allow himself to despair. He wouldn’t give up even if there was only a sliver of hope.
“This servant will get the carriage ready!” Xiao Yuan understood. He had thought the emperor would fall apart, but the man was more resilient than he expected. The emperor led the search party during the day and dealt with state affairs and approved reports in the evening. After three days, he had lost a lot of weight, and his eyes were heartbreakingly sorrowful.
The Linhai Hospital was still as busy as ever. The imperial physicians and apprentices stuck to their shifts with no hiccups. The hospital was filled with people. Some had come to seek treatment. Others sought information about Physician Lin. Everytime they left in disappointment, but then a different group would come after a while to ask if Physician Lin had returned. Qing Feng didn’t know how many times she had shaken her head. It always stung her eyes so much that she almost cried. Her master had been missing for three days!
Gozi had recovered substantially and was able to get off the bed and walk around. Sometimes he would leave the hospital to watch the people coming and going. Today, he widened his eyes at the crowd and asked Qing Feng, “Who are they looking for?”
“My master,” Qing Feng said dejectedly. “She’s missing!”
Gozi was stunned. Physician Lin’s missing? She’s a good person!
Guihua happened to visit the hospital at this moment. Qing Feng went up to her and asked, “What’s the matter, Sister Guihua?”
Guihua sniffed. “Nothing. I wanted to know if Consort Lin had returned. It’s been three days since she was kidnapped!”
Gozi recognized Guihua from the Prince Residence. Everyone there was terrible. His former young mistress was a secondary consort in the residence.
“Physician Lin is blessed by fate, Miss Guihua. She’ll be alright!” Imperial Physician Shangguan reassured her. He was confident that Lin Haihai would return.
Gozi was confused. Physician Lin is Consort Lin? He remembered what his young mistress had plotted with another woman. Were they talking about Physician Lin? He hurriedly called out to Qing Feng, “Miss Qing Feng, do you mean Physician Lin is a princess consort?”
Qing Feng nodded. “That’s right. She’s the sixth princess consort!”
Gozi’s blood froze in shock. He yelled, “She was taken by my young mistress! She must have been taken by my young mistress!”
“Gozi, Gozi, stop it! It’s not your young mistress, but a eunuch!”
A young beggar hurriedly covered Gozi’s mouth. The day Lin Haihai went missing, he saw a eunuch handing a person to a carriage rider and telling him to sell the woman to a brothel. That woman must have been the princess consort. Physician Lin had treated his abscess, for which he had been grateful. He’d been looking for his friend Gozi outside the city the past couple days and didn’t know until he entered the city today that Physician Lin and Sixth Princess Consort were one and the same, and that Physician Lin had been kidnapped.
Remembering what he had seen that night hiding behind the palace wall, he connected the dots. He believed he was up to something and rushed immediately to the Linhai Hospital. He didn’t expect to see Gozi here and hear him accuse his young mistress of kidnapping. He quickly covered Gozi’s mouth to prevent him from getting into trouble.
Yang Shaolun heard the young beggar when he arrived at the hospital. He flew through the door and grabbed the beggar, asking with great urgency, “Did you say a eunuch had taken Physician Lin? Did you witness it yourself? What does the eunuch look like?”
All eyes were on the young beggar. He blinked his bright eyes and said fearlessly, “I was sleeping outside the palace the night of the Mid-Autumn Day. Not long after, I saw a horse carriage come and stop at the side door. Then a few eunuchs carried a bag out. The leading one said, ‘Consort Chen ordered to have her sold to a brothel in Yangzhou. Don’t get her killed!’ I didn’t know it was Physician Lin inside the bag that night. I realized what happened when I returned today!”
“Consort Chen is Young Mistress Chen Birou!” Gozi exclaimed. “I heard her plotting with some madam to get rid of Consort Lin on Mid-Autumn Day. I was discovered, and they came after me to silence me. It was Physician Lin who saved me. I didn’t know Physician Lin was a princess consort!” Gozi burst into tears. He’d personally experienced his young mistress’s cruelty. Consort Lin was likely doomed!
Yang Shaolun felt his innards break into pieces. A brothel in Yangzhou? She must have been taken there already. He told Guihua, “Notify Chen Luoqing and the others to head to Yangzhou immediately!”
He couldn’t stop his voice from trembling, but he knew he must not panic. He had to be calm. He turned and leapt onto his horseback. Xiao Yuan followed suit in a hurry. The two horses set out without hesitation, leaving only dust in their wake. Panicked, Guihua rushed to find Zheng Feng.
“Did you say Consort Chen is your young mistress?” a burly man asked Gozi. “The gentle Chen Birou? The one who got married to the sixth prince as secondary consort?”
“That’s her,” Gozi bit out. “She wants Physician Lin dead. She was the one who broke my arms as well. She’s a vicious woman!”
The burly man fell silent, seemingly digesting the information revealed to him. Suddenly, he raised a fist and declared, “Come, brothers and sisters! We’ll make Chen Birou pay!”
The crowd erupted into roars in collective fury, angered by the unjust done to Lin Haihai.
Qing Feng hurried to the mountains. Flute and his brothers had just returned. They didn’t believe it when they were first told that Lin Haihai had been kidnapped. They had seen how great a martial artist their master was. It was impossible for anyone to capture her. However, what Qing Feng told them made them furious. Flute ordered everyone to leave the mountains and go to the sixth prince to demand justice.
Meanwhile, Chen Birou was dressing herself up in the Prince Residence. She had changed into an all red robe that signified her status as the first consort. Finally, she had reached her goal.
“Do I look good, Yanping?” She beamed at her reflection in the mirror.
Yanping shuddered and smiled with difficulty. “You look good. The clothes suit Consort Chen!”
Chen Birou laughed. “You sure know how to talk sweetly, Yanping. Remember, never utter a word you shouldn’t!”
Yanping shuddered and said with a lowered head, “This servant is loyal to Consort Chen and will always take your side. This servant will never do anything to harm Consort Chen!”
“Good. You’ll be sharing this Consort’s riches and glory!” Chen Birou scoffed inwardly. She had to get rid of Yanping, or the maid would expose her sooner or later.
Yanping dropped to her knees. “This servant dares not ask for more than being released from this duty. This servant would like to leave the capital and go back home to serve my parents, fulfilling my responsibilities as a daughter!”
Yanping knew Chen Birou well. If she stayed with the young mistress, sooner or later she would be killed. It was better to ask for departure. Then she would get out of this alive, leaving behind all the scheming and plotting.
A large group of people rushed to the Sixth Prince Residence. The guards at the door tried to stop them, but they ended up chased around by the angry common people. The steward hurried outside when he saw the situation spiraling out of control and said, “Calm down, please calm down! What is happening?”
“Tell Chen Birou to come out!” yelled a man. “We have a score to settle with her!”
The angry mob echoed, “Give us Chen Birou! Tell her to come out! Return Physician Lin to us! Return Physician Lin to us!”
Their rolling voices crushed into the residence like relentless waves. Their yells grew louder and louder.
Someone had informed Chen Birou of the situation. Facing the panicked servant, Chen Birou snarled, “Are you blind? Didn’t you see that this Consort is trying on clothes?! Get lost, now!”
The servant dropped to his knees and hurried out, “In response to Consort Chen, there are many commoners outside. They said they had a score to settle with you!”
Chen Birou flew into a rage. “A score to settle? What score? Tell the guards to beat them up and throw them out!” Did she have to instruct them to do everything?! What useless servants they were!
The servant didn’t dare talk back when the usually gentle Chen Birou became suddenly vicious. He scrambled outside immediately. The guards in the residence left with their order with Chen Birou following behind. She would like to see what these petty people wanted from her.
The crowd shouted when they saw her, “Here she is! It’s her! That’s the vicious woman Chen Birou! Return Physician Lin to us, Chen Birou! You damn vicious woman! You hateful witch!”
Chen Birou sucked in a breath. She was exposed! Furious, she shouted an order to the guards, “Beat them up! Beat them up hard! Drive them away!”
She must not allow him to see this. He must not know!
“They’re unarmed,” a guard said seriously. “We must not use violence on them!”
“How dare you?!” snarled Chen Birou. “How dare you not listen to my orders? His Highness has entered the palace to take care of the empress dowager and won’t return for a few days. He told you to listen to my orders, didn’t he? How dare you do this to me then, you traitors?”
That’s right. Kill everyone who knows about the truth. Then it’ll be alright. Kill them. Kill them all! Chen Birou had completely lost it. She must not lose him. She must not lose what she had. She was finally going to become the princess consort like she wished to. She wouldn’t allow herself to lose everything!Previous Chapter Next Chapter