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“And we’ve looked into things. That gardener, since entering the palace at the age of ten, has always stayed in the greenhouse. He doesn’t even know who Jue Chen is! An Bingshan, what other excuses can you come up with now?” Ye Hongyi slapped the table angrily. If it weren’t for the fact that he had been feeling severely dizzy and weak during this period of time, he wouldn’t have started worrying about the pills due to Jue Chen’s words either.
“Your Majesty, in all these past years, this old servant has taken the upmost care with refining the pills for Your Majesty and personally overlooks every step of the process. This old servant also personally tries every batch of pills, there is definitely nothing wrong with them.” An Bingshan hadn’t expected for Ye Hongyi to actually look into so much on his own and didn’t dare to mention Jue Chen again.
“Then how do you explain the fact that ever since we started taking your latest batch of pills, we’ve been feeling dizzy like we’re dreaming all the time? And even with matters of the bedchamber… Go bring those pills over! Qing Long, go with him!” Ye Hongyi couldn’t voice his greatest concern so he just angrily commanded An Bingshan to bring the pills from Central Dragon Palace and sent Qing Long to go with him to prevent him from swapping out the pills.
“This old servant will go right away,” said An Bingshan fearfully, then he withdrew from the imperial study. Once An Bingshan left, Ye Hongyi sent someone to Remote Realm Courtyard to invite Jue Chen.
Inside Remote Realm Courtyard, Yao Suluan was in a silk wide-necked garment that emphasized her slender neck and the beautiful snowy mounds in front of her chest. The sight of them caused Jue Chen to swallow hard.
“Suluan heard that Daoists have a dual cultivation method. If Daoist Priest is willing, please teach Suluan a little. Is it like this? Or like this?” Yao Suluan rubbed Jue Chen’s chest with her fingertips, then slowly traced her way down while gently pushing his robe off his shoulders and down to his waist. Her coquettish voice was so sweet it made Jue Chen’s bones feel numb. Jue Chen had a clear motive in entering this palace and originally hadn’t wanted to get involved with this flower, but since Yao Mowan had given him instructions, there was naturally no need for him to be apprehensive of anything.
“If Noble Consort Li wishes for it… Jue Chen will definitely do his best to teach Noble Consort.” Jue Chen’s voice had become low and hoarse. As of now, he had already pulled off Yao Suluan’s waist belt and was impatiently pulling apart the complicated outfit. When Yao Suluan saw that Jue Chen couldn’t hold on anymore, she leaned into his chest.
Just as the two were about to enact a passionate play, urgent footsteps came from outside. The two panicked upon hearing the sound. Without even thinking about it, Yao Suluan grabbed her shoes and ducked under the bed.
“His Majesty asks for State Preceptor to come to the imperial study!” reported the eunuch respectfully from outside the door. Jue Chen hastily fixed his robe before opening the door.
“State Preceptor, this way please.” The little eunuch started walking towards the imperial study, his posture slightly bowed. Jue Chen reflexively glanced back beneath the bed, then closed the door and left.
In a hidden area, Yao Mowan continued to wait until Yao Suluan snuck out of the room before turning to leave.
“Your Imperial Highness, this servant doesn’t understand. Why exactly is Yao Suluan going as far as to use her body to curry favor with Jue Chen? Is she trying to have Jue Chen read her fate and change His Majesty’s opinion of her?” Ting Yue looked towards her master in confusion.
“The conflict between her and His Majesty is already beyond saving. She knows this very clearly, so there’s no possibility of what you suggested happening. If this consort’s guess isn’t wrong, perhaps… If that’s really the case, then this consort’s sister is truly becoming more and more bold!” Yao Mowan’s lips curved upwards in a brilliant smile.
Inside the imperial study, Ye Hongyi handed the pill An Bingshan was holding to Jue Chen.
“Daoist priest, please take a look at the effects of this pill?” Ye Hongyi’s voice was respectfully soft and there was much less of that baleful expression in his eyes. Jue Chen suppressed the excitement in his heart as he accepted the pill with both hands. However, after sniffing the pill, he was inwardly alarmed.
Based on Yao Mowan’s description, the pills that An Bingshan had recently refined were definitely poisonous, but although the pill he was currently holding wasn’t something that would extend a person’s lifespan, it wasn’t poisonous and couldn’t possibly cause a person’s death. There was no doubt, An Bingshan had definitely swapped out the earlier pills.
“May the emperor live for ten thousands of glorious year!” Thoughts rapidly flashed through Jue Chen’s mind, then he abruptly knelt down in front of Ye Hongyi while lifting the pill respectfully above his head.
“Daoist Priest, what do you mean by this?” Ye Hongyi looked towards Jue Chen in confusion.
“It is truly a great fortune that Your Majesty was able to obtain such good medicine!” Jue Chen’s words completely stunned An Bingshan to the point that his fearful trembling stopped. Based on his understanding of Jue Chen, there was no way Jue Chen could’ve missed the fact that this was a completely ordinary appetite increasing pill. In addition, it was made of the cheapest hawthorn. It had no value so to speak of.
“Oh? What does State Preceptor mean by this?” Ye Hongyi glanced at An Bingshan before settling his gaze on Jue Chen again.
“If this humble Daoist’s guess isn’t wrong, this medicine is a longevity prescription made using the rarest ingredients in the world. Even if this humble Daoist was well-versed in this field, this humble Daoist wouldn’t necessarily be able to come up with such an exquisite recipe!” Jue Chen gave the pill a round of high praise.
“Is this pill really as magical as Daoist Priest has said?” asked Ye Hongyi with lifted brows.
“How could this humble Daoist dare to trick Your Majesty?” replied Jue Chen earnestly.
“Yes, Daoist Priest truly has good eyes! Daoist Priest, you should settle down in the palace. We will soon have the imperial order to give Daoist Priest the post of state preceptor announced to the world!” Ye Hongyi’s mood greatly improved. After having Jue Chen withdraw, he said a few consoling words to An Bingshan before commanding him to withdraw as well.
After An Bingshan left the imperial study, the first thing he did was to go look for Jue Chen.
“Why did you help me?” An Bingshan originally thought that Jue Chen would say that the medicine was useless. In that situation, he already had no hopes of escaping punishment, but the outcome was completely different from what he had been expecting.
“What would I have done otherwise? Senior Brother thought that Jue Chen would take this chance to steal Senior Brother’s job? Jue Chen has no desire to work such a foul job,” said Jue Chen as he placed his horsetail whisk on the table.
“What I’m asking is why didn’t you take advantage of this chance to frame me? Don’t you want me dead?” An Bingshan was confused by Jue Chen’s attitude change.
“Based on Senior Brother’s position in His Majesty’s heart, a little appetite increasing pill isn’t enough to call for Senior Brother’s life. In addition, Jue Chen had already told you, if you die, His Majesty will definitely insist on pushing the job of refining pills onto Jue Chen. Jue Chen has no interest in such risky and laborious work.” Jue Chen glanced at An Bingshan in disinterest, but his heart was actually also pulsing with pain due to losing this chance.
“It seems like you’re still as stupid as before and still insist on opposing me. Since that’s the case, there’s no need for me to repay this favor! Humph!” An Bingshan glowered at Jue Chen, then left angrily.
That night when Jue Chen appeared in Guan Osprey Palace and saw that Ye Junqing was sitting there, he immediately retreated backwards several steps before looking towards Yao Mowan timidly.
“What kind of attitude is that? Is this prince a tiger? Can this prince eat people alive?” Ye Junqing glanced at Jue Chen. For once, his hands weren’t clenched into fists.
“Prince isn’t a tiger but you still can eat people alive…” As Jue Chen mumbled this, he shifted another couple steps in Yao Mowan’s direction.
“This consort wishes to know why you didn’t try to frame An Bingshan in front of His Majesty today?” There was no emotion in that clear voice. Yao Mowan looked calmly towards Jue Chen as she asked this question mildly.
“Your Imperial Highness, the reason this humble Daoist did this was simply because this humble Daoist didn’t want to inadvertently alert the enemy. If this humble Daoist had exposed An Bingshan today, His Majesty may punish him, but he wouldn’t bear to kill him. If An Bingshan then swapped out the ingredients used in the refining room, we wouldn’t have any evidence to prove that the pills he made were poisonous anymore. This humble Daoist had no choice but to change Your Imperial Highness’s plan on the spot.” Jue Chen knelt on the ground as he replied honestly.
“Prince has lost. Ting Yue, help this consort put away Prince’s flame soul blade carefully!” Yao Mowan looked towards Ye Junqing with a slight smile. Ting Yue had already lifted the flame soul blade with both hands and was carrying it into Yao Mowan’s bedroom.
“Crafty-tongued swindler!” said Ye Junqing between gritted teeth as he clenched his fists so hard his knuckles popped. Jue Chen didn’t understand what was going on but he still started trembling uncontrollably.
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