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“Junxiu won’t be thanking Alliance Head. If Alliance Head hadn’t taken Yin Xiong away, this wouldn’t have happened to the little prince,” said Huangfu Junxiu coldly even as relief flooded his heart.
“Nansheng hadn’t helped in order to obtain your thanks either. As for Yin Xiong… That’ll depend on this alliance head’s mood.” Yan Nansheng humphed lightly, then turned to leave.
The Jade Hare gradually rose in the east. The bow-like moon hung above the branches and in the autumn wind, the swaying branches casted mottled shadows on the ground. Occasionally, a few leaves fell to the ground, reflecting the faint sorrow of autumn.
In the bedroom of Guan Osprey Palace, Yao Mowan seemed to hear the wail of an infant. The helpless cries caused her heart to clench repeatedly in pain.
“Zhong er… Give Zhong er back to me…” Tears rolled down her trembling eyelashes as she shook her head hard. She pushed the blanket away and lifted both hands with all her strength as if trying to catch something.
“No!” Yao Mowan abruptly opened her eyes, her hands still outstretched. Tears flooded her eyes and glided down into her hair. She had failed to catch him again. Yao Mowan dropped her arms weakly. Her lips trembled uncontrollably and whimpers involuntarily came from her throat.
That scene in the cold palace had appeared in her dreams countless times. She prayed every time for the result to be different, but every time as Ye Hongyi fiercely threw down Zhong er, she was never able to make it in time to catch him. She hated herself. Why couldn’t she be a little faster? If she was just a little faster, she’d be able to catch her Zhong er! But no matter how she tried, she was always a step late and could only watch as Zhong er died right in front of her.
“Your Highness!” Ting Yue heard the disturbance from outside the door and ran in. Yao Mowan took a deep breath and hid the sorrow in her eyes, then wiped away her tears while Ting Yue was lighting the candles.
“Your Highness, you’re finally awake! You scared this servant so badly!” Once the bedroom was lit up, Ting Yue went over to help Yao Mowan off the bed.
“Have some tea.” When Ting Yue saw that Yao Mowan’s lips were dry, she immediately poured a cup of tea for her. As Yao Mowan accepted the tea, she suddenly looked towards Ting Yue seriously.
“How is Chu Moxin? Did he…”
“Don’t worry, Your Highness, the little prince is fine. This servant heard that Esteemed Prince had used his inner strength to force the poison out of the little prince, but due to this, he had been so tired that he fainted.” Ting Yue wasn’t clear on the details either.
“I got it. You should go rest first.” Yao Mowan nodded slightly.
“Your Highness, you just woke up so should this servant prepare some food for you?”
“There’s no need.” Yao Mowan shook her head.
Once Ting Yue withdrew, Yao Mowan hastily called Yin Xue out.
“Yin Xue kowtows in salute to Master.” The clear voice contained unconcealable exhaustion. Even though the bedroom was dim, Yao Mowan was still able to see that Yin Xue’s face was unnaturally pale.
“Sit down to talk. Is Chu Moxin really fine?” Yao Mowan looked towards Yin Xue nervously. Ting Yue couldn’t enter the west wing with her status, but it was different for Yin Xue.
“Replying Master, Chu Moxin is indeed fine, but… Ye Junqing had risked his life to save Chu Moxin. If it weren’t for the fact that Yan Nansheng appeared just in time… You probably wouldn’t be able to see Ye Junqing anymore,” reported Yin Xue honestly.
“He risked his life? As long as he gave it his all, it’s enough. Why did he risk his life?” Yao Mowan looked towards Yin Xue in shock. Even though the tea from the cup had spilled onto her hand, she didn’t notice.
“Master, did you forget? After Chu Moxin was poisoned, Master had knelt in front of Ye Junqing and said that he must save Chu Moxin’s life. Perhaps it was because of what Master said that Ye Junqing went so far as to risk his life,” replied Yin Xue bluntly.
“This consort knelt down to beg him? How’s that possible… How could this consort possibly kneel down and beg him…” Yao Mowan pressed on her temples. She couldn’t believe that she would do something like that.
“Yin Xue had personally witnessed it. Master was crying heart-wrenchingly as you begged Ye Junqing to save Chu Moxin. Forgive Yin Xue’s direct words, but back then the feeling this subordinate got was that Chu Moxin was your own son.” Yin Xue still couldn’t understand why her master had such intense feelings for Chu Moxin. They had only known each other for a few days.
“Son…” repeated Yao Mowan dazedly. Yes, she remembered now. When she saw Chu Moxin coughing blood, she recalled her own Zhong er, the sight of him lying on the cold ground, covered in blood.
“Master?” called Yin Xue worriedly when she saw the distracted expression on Yao Mowan’s face.
“This consort is fine. Then what about Ye Junqing? How is he now?” Yao Mowan was suddenly hit with lingering fear. If Ye Junqing had died trying to save Chu Moxin, how was she ever supposed to repent?
“Due to overuse of inner strength, Ye Junqing is currently unconscious. However, there’s no need for Your Highness to worry, he’ll wake up by tomorrow night at the latest. It’s just that recovering his inner strength isn’t something that can been done in a short period of time,” answered Yin Xue.
“That’s fortunate… What about Chu Moxin?” A son that didn’t have a mother, and a mother that didn’t have a son. Yao Mowan’s concern for Chu Moxin were completely sincere.
“The poison had been forced out, but it’d take at least three days for him to wake up.” Yin Xue was also slightly upset by the fact that this had happened to a child who was only fifteen.
“Those imperial physicians hadn’t been able to figure out what kind of poison it was?” Yao Mowan restrained the hurt in her eyes and when she looked up again, her gaze was dark and cold.
“It was a poison that had Crane’s Red-Crown and La Yan Sand mixed in. With such fatal poisons as components, it kills nearly instantly. The person who was behind the poison definitely wanted to take Chu Moxin’s life.”
“Who exactly wants to hurt Chu Moxin? Or perhaps… hurt this consort…” Yao Mowan lowered her eyes as she mulled over things. If she ever got her hands on the person behind this, she’d definitely make him pay a hundred-fold.
The first rays of the morning sun at dawn cut the endless black curtain like a sharp sword. A strand of golden light spilled down, lighting up Guan Osprey Palace which had gone through such a silent night.
At this time, right as Liu Xing was walking out from the east wing, he saw Yao Mowan walk over.
“This servant kowtows in salute to Your Highness.” Liu Xing set down the water basin and greeted her respectfully.
“Rise. How is the esteemed prince?” Yao Mowan hadn’t gone back to bed after waking up last night and she left her bedroom at daybreak.
“Replying Your Highness, the imperial physician just came and said that Esteemed Prince was unconscious because he had exerted himself too much. He’ll be unconscious until at least noon, but there’s nothing to worry about,” reported Liu Xing.
“Yes, then you can withdraw. Have Ting Yue prepare some ginseng soup and bring it over,” instructed Yao Mowan as she walked into the east wing.
Even though it was reconstructed, the decoration inside was still simple to the point that it was unpresentable. However, Yao Mowan couldn’t be bothered to worry about this now as she walked towards the bedroom.
On the bed, part of Ye Junqing’s azure gown was hanging off the side of the bed. His satin-like black hair spilled over his chest, framing his handsome face that was like an exquisitely carved jade. As Yao Mowan slowly walked towards him, her eyes turned misty.
Junqing ah, don’t you know how important your life is? If anything happened to you, what meaning would there be in everything I’ve done?
If it was for revenge, there was no need for me to take such a painful path. It’d only take a little bit of effort to make Ye Hongyi and Yao Suluan’s life worse than death. However, I’m painstakingly advancing step by step. The sole reason was to return to you a magnificent great Chu. So tell me, if you died, how am I supposed to continue?
Yao Mowan slowly sat down by the bed, tears blurring her vision. She forced her eyes focus on the face in front of her. Almost reflexively, she reached out to touch Ye Junqing’s face. In that instant as their skin made contact, a teardrop fell silently from Yao Mowan’s eye and dropped onto Ye Junqing’s tightly closed lips.
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