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Inside the room, Yao Mowan looked after Chu Moxin carefully, changing the towel on his forehead again and again. Every single time she placed it on, it would only take a few minutes for it to become scalding hot.
“Imperial Father… Sorry… Moxin shouldn’t have come to this world… Moxin shouldn’t have harmed Imperial Mother…” Just as Yao Mowan was placing a new towel on Chu Moxin’s forehead, Chu Moxin’s chapped lips gradually parted.
“You’re awake?” Yao Mowan looked towards Chu Moxin in delight only to find that he was only sleep talking.
“Imperial Mother… Xin er misses you so much… So much… Big Brother told Xin er that Imperial Mother is the most beautiful woman in this world… Xin er‘s really envious of Big Brother. Xin er really wants to see Imperial Mother…” Chu Moxin’s voice trembled and a tear spilled out the corner of his eye. The tear fell quickly and soon disappeared into his hair, but Yao Mowan saw it clearly.
“Imperial Mother, this is the outfit Big Sister Moxin made. It’s so beautiful… Can you see it? Don’t worry… Imperial Mother, even if you’re not by Xin er‘s side, there’s still someone to take care of Xin er…” Tears silently fell. Yao Mowan reflexively reached up to touch her cheek and found that it was wet.
“Moxin, sorry, this consort had actually failed to guess what you were thinking. Sorry…” Yao Mowan’s voice contained a sobbing tone as her tears overflowed.
“Imperial Mother… Xin er misses you so much. What do I do… You can’t tell Big Brother! Moxin doesn’t want anything to happen to Big Sister Mowan, she’s so much like Big Sister Moxin, so much… like Imperial Mother…” On the bed, Chu Moxin continued to talk restlessly in his sleep, his expression occasionally sad and occasionally angry. The sight caused people’s hearts to ache.
“This consort isn’t a good mother… This consort didn’t protect Zhong er properly and also didn’t protect you properly… Sorry… Sorry…” Yao Mowan’s tears streamed down like rain as she continued to wipe Chu Moxin’s feverish cheeks without rest.
At dinner time, Huangfu Junxiu came in for the fourth time in hopes of convincing Yao Mowan to take a break, but Yao Mowan refused.
“Noble Consort Yao, it’s fine to leave these things to the servants. You had better head back to rest. Ting Yue has already finished preparing the evening meal.” When Huangfu Junxiu saw the sweat on Yao Mowan’s forehead, a trace of warmth surfaced in his heart. It seemed that the little prince hadn’t protected the wrong person.
“How could the servants do it well? Help this consort tell Ting Yue that this consort will be staying here to look after the austere prince today and that she should go rest, there’s no need to wait on this consort.” Yao Mowan’s gaze didn’t leave Chu Moxin for a moment and her voice contained unquestionable firmness.
“But…” Huangfu Junxiu looked towards Yao Mowan awkwardly.
“This had happened to the little prince in in Guan Osprey Palace, so it’s only right for this consort to do this unless Sire doesn’t trust this consort?” As Yao Mowan spoke, she once again lifted the towel off Chu Moxin’s forehead, wet it, and wrung it out before placing it on his forehead.
“Junxiu doesn’t dare. Junxiu will go tell Ting Yue right now.” As of now, Huangfu Junxiu no longer harbored any suspicion towards Yao Mowan.
When he returned, he personally carried in a basin of cool water.
“It’s already quite late. Sire, you should go rest.” Yao Mowan sounded a little worn out.
“The one that should be resting is Your Highness. The little prince’s fever has already gone down quite a lot, so there’s no need to be worried, Your Highness. Junxiu will stay here with the prince.” Huangfu Junxiu looked towards Yao Mowan gratefully as he said this sincerely.
“This consort is fine. This consort won’t be at ease until he fully recovers. In truth… The little prince is troubled by the fact that Queen Shu had died of difficult birth, isn’t he?” asked Yao Mowan as she took the towel that Huangfu Junxiu offered her.
“Who could possibly set him free from the guilt of having caused the death of his mother?” replied Huangfu Junxiu sadly.
“But it wasn’t his fault!” In Chu Moxin’s sleeptalk, not only did Yao Mowan hear longing, she heard remorse.
“However, the reality is that His Majesty had lost the woman he loved most in this lifetime. Someone had to take the burden for this reality…” Huangfu Junxiu’s expression was helpless.
“So ever since the little prince was born, he’s had to bear this burden? That’s why King Shu doesn’t like this child at all?” Yao Mowan looked towards Huangfu Junxiu indignantly.
“It’s fortunate that the little prince still has the crown prince to protect him. That was why his status in great Shu hadn’t been affected even though His Majesty didn’t like him.” In Huangfu Junxiu’s opinion, having a good older brother like this counted at the Heaven’s compensation towards Chu Moxin.
“But what he cares about is paternal affection!” said Yao Mowan angrily. She couldn’t help but recall her Zhong er. Even now, she still couldn’t understand. Even animals wouldn’t hurt their own offspring, so how had Ye Hongyi brought himself to!? What exactly had he been thinking in that instant?
“Junxiu had once tried to persuade His Majesty before as well, but every time the little prince was brought up, His Majesty would refuse to listen. In regards to this matter, unless His Majesty undoes that knot in his heart himself…” Huangfu Junxiu reflexively glanced towards the bed at Chu Moxin sadly. He was born in the family of the monarch and acted so proudly in front of everyone, so few knew the sadness behind this facade.
“This consort will definitely find a chance to visit the king of Shu.” Yao Mowan seemed like she was talking to herself, but at the same time, it seemed like a vow. Huangfu Junxiu looked towards her in surprise, but he didn’t say anything.
Yao Mowan finally found an excuse to get Huangfu Junxiu to leave, then she continued looking after Chu Moxin for the entire night.
The next day as Huangfu Junxiu and Ye Junqing were walking into the bedroom, Yao Mowan was switching out the towel on Chu Moxin’s forehead again.
“Your Highness, you didn’t rest at all?” When Huangfu Junxiu saw that Yao Mowan looked haggard and her eyes were bloodshot, for some reason he felt very touched.
“This consort is fine. Fortunately the little prince’s fever has gone down.” Yao Mowan took a deep breath and slowly got up. Just as Yao Mowan was about to walk towards the table, she felt her body sway as she was hit by a bout of dizziness.
“Are you alright?” Just as Yao Mowan was about to fall to the ground, she was caught by a pair of strong arms. When she glanced up, she saw that those clear eyes were filled with worry.
“I’m fine…” Yao Mowan smoothly extracted herself from Ye Junqing’s embrace as she replied calmly. However, countless ripples were arising in her heart. She had already become aware of the fact that her feelings towards Ye Junqing were now more than just gratefulness, but she decided not to deliberately suppress these feelings. This was also something she owed Ye Junqing, so she should just repay it in full.
“Esteemed Prince, please help Noble Consort Yao back. Junxiu will definitely look after the little prince attentively,” said Huangfu Junxiu.
Ye Junqing continued to support Yao Mowan even after they left the west wing because he was worried that she would fall.
“Actually, last night…” Yao Mowan really wanted to apologize to Ye Junqing. She had been the one that asked Ye Junqing for help and it was only natural of Ye Junqing to save Chu Moxin as a person. Regardless of whether it was based on emotions or logic, she shouldn’t have gotten angry at Ye Junqing so unreasonably. However, just as Yao Mowan was about to speak, she saw Ye Hongyi walk into Guan Osprey Palace with a worried expression.
“Wan er, why are you coming out from here? Did someone make things hard for you?” The instant Ye Junqing saw Ye Hongyi, he quietly let go of Yao Mowan and watched as Ye Hongyi pulled Yao Mowan into his arms. He felt like his heart was being pricked by silver needles. The pinpricks of pain gradually spread until it filled his entire body.
“No, Wan er just wanted to see if the little prince had gotten better. Your Majesty, they said that the little prince ate something poisonous. Why would that happen?” Yao Mowan looked towards Ye Hongyi’s innocently. Out of the corner of her eye, she glanced over at Ye Junqing and a trace of bitter helplessness flashed through her heart.
“Wan er, don’t worry, no matter what happens, it has nothing to do with our Wan er. While we’re here, no one will ever be able to hurt Wan er!” Ye Hongyi kissed Yao Mowan’s forehead, his eyes filled with doting affection.
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