Although Li Yuanmin sped up his pace, he could still hear a clear voice coming through from the corner. His breathing became sluggish, and he saw Zhong Cui Palace’s inner servant leading an iron chain from the distance. Behind him was a “person”, following closely behind.
To be exact, he was chained to his neck. Kneeling on all fours, he was being led away like an animal. His elbow and knees were worn out by the ground and gradually revealed a layer of blood. But he didn’t seem to care. He only moved forward with emptiness in his eyes.
Li Yuanmin held his breath. He clenched his fists and let them pass by without squinting his eyes.
The inner servant saw Li Yuanmin, an ominous person, so he didn’t greet him. He only ignored him and walked past him as usual.
In a short while, the gate of the Palace in the distant was roaring. Two large iron cages were pushed out and two sturdy leopards were roaring at each other across the iron fence.
The kneeling youngster lowered his head, his eyes drooped, and he used his mouth to pick up the dirty pastry that the inner servant just threw on the ground. He devoured it like a true beast.
Bewildered, he returned to the Western Palace. Li Yuanmin had a nightmare again that night, then in the middle of the night, he developed a high fever. Li Yuanmin felt as if he had fallen into an eternal nightmare, incapable of waking himself up. There was always a scarlet iron cage in his dream.
When Qiu Chan awoke at night, she found that Li Yuanmin began to mummer nonsense.
Qiu Chan snorted coldly. She halted her footsteps, planning to pretend like she didn’t see it and withdraw. Suddenly, a blessing came to the soul (when blessing comes, people’s mind also open up>>they become smart suddenly). Thinking to herself, she immediately went back to her room. She put on her most favored goose yellow palace outfit, and hurried to the Imperial Physician Courtyard.
“Imperial Physician!” Qiu Chan burst through the door and began to cry in a soft voice, “Imperial Physician! Please save my master!”
The person on duty was an unfamiliar, middle-aged Imperial Physician. He was a little tired, but he still stood up and asked gently:
“Which palace master is it?”
Qiu Chan originally thought that since Imperial Physician He was young, he would be on night duty frequently. However, she was greatly disappointed. Her heart darkened, but she could only bow her body in salute, “This slave came from the Western Palace. Our Third Royal Highness was originally in good health, but he suddenly had a fever. I also don’t know what happened.”
The middle-aged Imperial Physician hesitated and Qiu Chan knew why. In this Palace, who wasn’t afraid of associating with the ominous person in the Western Palace. If there wasn’t nobles in the Palace sending word, which Imperial Physician would be willing to go? She secretly hated her life as a servant in the Western Palace. She could only tactfully wait and take a step back. The inner room curtain was lifted, and a person came out. His face was beautiful, his posture was tall and straight. Qiu Chan immediately rejoiced, isn’t this Imperial Physician He?
His expression was steady, it was just that his movements were somewhat hasty. He put on a gown, grabbed the medical box, and bowed to the middle-aged medical officer.
“Father, let me go.”
The middle-aged Imperial Physician frowned, but didn’t say anything to stop him.
“Alright, you be good and quickly come back.”
Qiu Chan’s heart jumped with joy, but her face still wore a melancholy expression, her eyes were red, and she became more and more pitiful.
(Ciacia.N: Bro, your parents died?)
“Imperial Physician He, we will have to trouble you once again.”
He Yunyi waved his hand: “It’s fine.”
Finishing speaking, he hurriedly stepped out with Qiu Chan quickly following behind.
They stepped into the Western Palace and it felt very cold. The wood fire in the hall only had dust remaining, making it very cold.
“Why didn’t you light the fire?”
Qiu Chan was taken aback. She bit her lip and pitifully said, “Our Third Royal Highness has never been favored. All the new fire wood we obtain are leftovers from other palaces and they are all motley like this. After it arrived at our Palace, only ten or twenty percent of it remains. This slave has to be strict and can only endure to using firewood every other day…. Every time winter comes, this slave servants’ hand would have skin ulcers, which is very painful when contact is made with water…”
Qiu Chan carefully examined He Yunyi’s face, and saw the obvious pity on his face. She was overjoyed, and was about to say something when He Yunyi just went straight inside.
He didn’t expect that inside the bedroom was even colder, chilling to the bone. The Western Palace had little sunshine all year round, not to mention it was already late at night.
The person on the bed was covered with a quilt, his face flushed, his brows were frowning, and his mouth was unconsciously muttering something.
He Yunyi was ready to put down his medical box, when his wrist was suddenly caught. He only heard the other party gritting his teeth and mutter in pain.
“Save him…. Quickly save him….”
He Yunyi wanted to pull his hand away, but found that the other party was using a death grip. He hesitated for a while before no longer struggling and only treated him with one hand.
After applying the needle, the person in front of him finally calmed down. His frowning brows relaxed. He Yunyi stared at him for a while, then finally took the hand on his wrist and put it under the quilt. Stepping out of the bedroom, he called Qiu Chan.
“Trouble Auntie to take this prescription to the Imperial Physician Courtyard tomorrow to get medicine.” He Yunyi seem to recall the Western Palace’s situation and added softly, “Don’t worry, I will explain things myself, so no one will make trouble.”
(Ciacia/N: HAHAHA, I really wanna ask how Qiu Chan felt after being “Auntzone”.)
Qiu Chan saw that he treated herself meticulously and her complexion reddened. Her heart was full of joy: “Thank you so much, Imperial Physician.”
He Yunyi thought for a bit, then took out a small jade box from his chest, “This is Guben Peiyuan ointment, please let His Highness take it every day.”
He was about to explain something more, when a hoarse “Imperial Physician He” from inside the curtain called him.
He Yunyi paused. He immediately put down the pills in his hand, opened the curtain and went in.
A slender, cold white hand pushed aside the bed’s curtain. The face appeared to be even paler than last time, but those eyes were still like autumn water (beautiful). It overflowed revealing some clouds and mist covering the water in the distance. It made people unable to see clearly.
He Yunyi didn’t know the feeling inside his heart, but he was a little uncomfortable, so he coughed slightly.
“Your Highness, why did you call me?”
“You…can you give me some medicines to treat injuries?”
He Yunyi paused: “Your Highness, are you injured somewhere?”
Li Yuanmin shook his head, his eyes moved slightly: “I’m not, but…”
He paused: “Please be at ease, not knowing may be more inconvenient.”
Although it is not something major, everyone in the Western Palace is to be avoided. If his father knew of it, then he really couldn’t avoid his father’s nagging. However, He Yunyi only contemplated it for a second and nodded.
“I will be on duty tomorrow afternoon. When the time comes I will have everything delivered to Your Highness.”
(Ciacia/N: Is it me or why does this feel like they’re dealing with drugs, lol)
Li Yuanmin looked at this close friend of his previous life. At this moment, they don’t know each other, just a brief encounter, but the other party still would help without holding back. Thinking of his miserable end in his previous life, Li Yuanmin felt sour and secretly clenched his fist.
“Thank you, Imperial Physician He.”
Zhihe, in this life I will do my best to not let you die miserably, I just hope you can live this life peacefully.
Autumn Selection was coming close. The few princes have started becoming busy giving out invitations, having an audience with the Emperor and top officials, and scratching each other’s back inside and outside. Everyone was trying hard to pave the way for their future.
Especially Wang Guifei. Her Fourth Prince, unlike the Eldest Prince who had an uncle that had been Left Prime Minister for three dynasties, became even more meticulous. She was favored for more than 10 years, and had spread her eyes and ears among the Imperial Court.
There were only two months left before the Autumn Selection, the positions of the nobles’ children who were of age were already clear, only Marquis Zhenbei’s heir, Sima Yu’s attitude was still ambiguous. During this time, Marquis Zhenbei used sickness to decline any visitors, and no one had seen him.
Wang Guifei was anxious. Half of this Bei An State military power was in the hand of Marquis Zhenbei. If her son could join, that could be said to be a great accomplishment. But the Fourth Prince had already sent 7 or 8 invitation letters already, yet they were all rejected one by one for all kinds of reasons. Wang Guifei couldn’t help feeling anxious. She also heard that the Eldest Prince had also met with the same unfortunate encounters with him, so her confused heart was somewhat calm. She even sent people to watch Marquis Zhenbei mansion’s movement to seize the opportunity to capture the person.
There was still a taste of being in trouble.
In the Western Palace, Li Yuanmin looked at Dongyue who was kneeling on the ground with a sneer at the corner of his mouth. No one would have thought that this dull and somewhat stupid palace maid was actually Sima Family’s person sent to spy on him. There was a letter in her hand. Even without opening it, Li Yuanmin already knew its content.
In his previous life, he relied on the tall branch that was delivered from this letter, leading to his ill-fated relationship between him and Sima Yu.
However, presently, he is not lost in his fondness of Sima Yu as he had in his previous life. Instead, he was left with nothing but coldness.
Dongyue saw his eyes darken and thought that he was worried and softly comforted:
“Your Highness, you don’t need to worry about anything. Now you have the heir, so you just have to wait quietly for the Autumn Selection.
After handing the letter to Li Yuanmin, Dongyue’s facial expression faded. She became the previous dull and lifeless palace maid. She bowed and retreated outside.
“Life is full of disturbance, but relying on kindness, there are some things that need not be explained in detail.”
In the future of his previous life, Li Yuanmin had asked for the reason for all of this, but the other party only replied lightly, with tenderness in his eyes.
(Ciacia had genuinely puked).
He was regarded as an ominous person ever since he was a child. Not just outsiders, but every one of the servants inside the palace avoided him, for fear of establishing a link with him. He had grown up alone until he was 13 years old. His life in poverty was dark and cold. Thus, suddenly allowing him to encounter that bright light, even if he knew he was a moth entering the fire, he would still be unlikely to turn back.
Li Yuanmin smiled emptily, then slowly closed his eyes.
Li Yuanmin didn’t even read the letter, he just threw it to the candlelight and burned it. A thread of smoke drifted inside the cold palace.
At the end of the year, the first snow fell in the capital. The Imperial Palace’s walls were stained with layers of white. The north wind blew by as if trying to freeze one to the bones. The palace servants all hurriedly went inside, not wanting to stay another moment outside.
Different from the cold weather outside, inside Zhong Cui Palace was a luxurious scenery. The palace was warm all day long, the golden beast furnace emitted a few wisps of white smoke, sending out a warm and fragrant smell.
Inside the Palace, a few servants raised their brows and held their breath, not daring to make a sound.
Wang Guifei leaned back softly. She passed the age of 30 not that long. Her well-maintained face was incomparably gorgeous and with an exquisite Palace Outfit, her whole body was indescribable. She was holding a gold brocade hand stove warmer in her hand, and stared coldly at Li Yuanlang, who was kneeling on the ground.
The hand stove warmer was thrown out, with a muffled sound and fell on Li Yuanlang’s head.
The strength was not light and Li Yuanlang was splashed with hot water suddenly, but he didn’t dare to dodge. He bowed his head:
“Royal Mother, calm down!”
“Calm down? How can Ben Gong* not be angry? Now this harem doesn’t even have Ben Gong’s position! Ben Gong raised you with great care for many years, in the end, you’re not even as useful as a dog!”
(Ciacia/N: Ben Gong: royalty referring to themselves.)
A trace of forbearance flashed in Li Yuanlang’s eyes, but his expression became increasingly humble.
“This son is incompetent, making Royal Mother disappointed. I should be beaten and punished. Based on Royal Mother’s words, I only hope that Royal Mother can have pity on this son. Don’t get mad, since it’s bad for your body. This son is willing to die.”
Flattering softly in this way unexpectedly smoothened down a lot of angry in Wang Guifei’s heart. She took a deep breath and said:
“The Autumn Selection is less than two months. If that Li Yuanqian gets the opportunity to have Marquis Zhenbei, then you don’t need to call Ben Gong Royal Mother anymore.”
“This son will bear that in mind!”
Li Yuanlang swallowed his saliva. He wiped the water stains on his forehead with his sleeves, said with a smile: “A few days ago, Jiangnan Governor’s mansion bought some Taiping blood birds nest. This son thought that Royal Mother was usually tired, so to make up for it, yesterday I especially went to the Imperial Household Department to advise them to be sure to leave the best portion for Royal Mother. Call Yuexiang later to get it, it would be great for Royal Mother to try it.”
Wang Guifei sneered: “Since you have some conscience left, you can get up now.”
Li Yuanlang sighed. He stood up respectfully, walked behind Wang Guifei with his hands down, then massaged her temples. He acted like nothing had happened just now.
He had pleased Wang Chaoluan since he was small, so he knew that she always had a headache. Thus, he learned this method of kneading acupuncture points carefully. Over the years, he had mastered the skill. Sure enough, after massaging for a short period of time, Wang Guifei’s slightly closed pair of eyes drooped down and the corner of her mouth relaxed a lot.
“If it’s not because of you being a tactful child, handling work quite nimbly, how can this day come? Look at the Western Palace. Just be aware that Ben Gong is not treating you lightly.”
Li Yuanlang laughed with her, his voice becoming meek: “Royal Mother has already treated this child as if treating your own, I’m afraid that even my biological mother can’t compare. So, this great kindness has been engraved in this child’s heart.”
The corner of Wang Guifei’s mouth twitched. She glanced at him: “You can’t blame Ben Gong for getting angry today, it’s just that your Fourth Brother is careless and Ben Gong has to take responsibility for it. You, as an Elder Brother, have to take more responsibility. If you can’t even help him out a bit, wouldn’t it mean that I have raised a useless person in Ben Gong’s palace?”
“Son will remember this now.”
The kneading strength became increasingly pleasant. Wang Chaoluan couldn’t help but let out a satisfied noise: “Your skill has truly made a lot of progress.”
Her eyes fell on the bronze mirror with flowers and birds painted on the side. Although the person in the mirror is over thirty, she did not have that many traces of aging on her face due to many years of being pampered. She can still bear the “Jiangnan number 1 beauty” title. Back then, Wang Chaoluan in the past, was merely a daughter of Huzhou local magistrate and there were countless noble daughters in the capital. If it were not for this face and her shrewdness, how could she have come this far?
She had confidence in her appearance and she had never met any opponent when it comes to looks…. Thinking of this, an old and hazy face appeared in her mind. Wang Chaoluan’s eyes turned cold. Her fingertips couldn’t help but pinch into her palm.
After a while, she slowly relaxed with a sneer at the corner of her mouth.
What if there was an opponent? That lowly female entertainer’s life was cheap. Even if she had been favored by the Emperor in the past, in the end, she died of blood loss and left a monster who wasn’t a man or a woman to dirty the Imperial Family. She’s afraid that now His Majesty would only be full of disgust when he thought of her.
Sima Yi, that bi*ch even tried to use her to fight for favor. What a joke! So what if she was born from the reputable Marquis Zhenbei’s house? She can’t even birth her own child. Nowadays, even with Sima Family’s high position, they will still have to choose a tree to lean on, either between the Eldest Prince and her Fourth Prince. Were it not for her maternal family thriving, how could she not chase out that Sima Family? How could she even tolerate Sima Yi holding the Empress position? Thinking of the fake smiles she usually put up with at Rong Hua Palace, flatteringly curry favor, Wang Chaoluan took a deep breath.
It’s not urgent for the time being.
She leaned on the pillow slowly, when eunuch Tong Chuan quietly came in,
“Niang Niang*, Third Prince came to pay respect.”
(Ciacia/N: Niang Niang is what subordinates call a woman of status in the harem, like her)
“Who?” Wang Chaoluan was dumbfounded for a moment.
The eunuch said: “It’s the one in the Western Palace…”
Wang Chaoluan frowned. Since she took charge of the Imperial Seal of the harem as early as five years ago, she had already prohibited this wretched person from coming to pay respect, why had he come today?
For a moment, her face flashed confusion on that elegant face, then Wang Chaoluan suddenly became a bit interested. She pondered for a bit, then raised her hand.
“Let him in.”