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“You did very well, this consort had been negligent. This consort never thought that An Bingshan would swap out the pills so quickly. It’s fortunate that you’re intelligent and understood how to adapt to the situation.” Yao Mowan nodded approvingly as a sharp light flashed through her eyes.
“This humble Daoist is flattered by Your Imperial Highness’s praise. However, after this incident, even if An Bingshan doesn’t change the ingredients, he’d still destroy those pills. At that time, won’t it be extremely difficult for us to get evidence on him?” asked Jue Chen worriedly.
“That’s not an issue. Yin Xue, hand the items to him.” Yao Mowan’s red lips curved into a faint smile as Yin Xue handed the paper packet she was holding to Jue Chen.
“This is… These are the ingredients for that pill?” exclaimed Jue Chen in surprise after sniffing at the package.
“This consort knows of your abilities. Those item evidences that An Bingshan has thrown away, we can have as much of them as we want, no?” Yao Mowan looked towards Jue Chen meaningfully.
“This humble Daoist understands! Don’t worry, Your Imperial Highness, this humble Daoist knows what to do!” Yao Mowan didn’t see a single trace of hesitation on Jue Chen’s face.
“This consort knows that those who refine this sort of pill will end up poisoned, aren’t you scared?” Yao Mowan looked towards Jue Chen in confusion.
“Since Jue Chen has chosen to enter the palace, Jue Chen naturally didn’t expect to make it back out alive!” Jue Chen’s usual deferential expression was now replaced by an abnormally determined expression.
“Why?” Yao Mowan was more clear than anyone on Jue Chen’s intentions, but she still asked. If she wanted to make Jue Chen one of her subordinates, the first thing she had to do was get rid of the bad blood between him and Ye Junqing.
“For the sake of getting revenge for the second prince! Jue Chen isn’t afraid to say these greatly disrespectful words because they are the truth! Although His Majesty had given a decree for the second prince to be killed, the empress was benevelent and left a road of retreat for the second prince. However, that loathsome An Bingshan wanted to gain merit and privately sent people to lie in ambush which led to the second prince dying from being hit by arrows.”
“A loyal subject does not serve a second master. Jue Chen had hid helplessly in Honest Monastery to wait for the day that there comes a chance to get revenge for the second prince! Jue Chen knows that he doesn’t have the ability to kill His Majesty, but Jue Chen will never let off An Bingshan, that lowly bastard! Jue Chen swears that as soon as An Bingshan dies, Jue Chen will willingly take whatever punishment Esteemed Prince wishes to charge and would feel no resentment even if it’s death!” Jue Chen’s words stunned Ye Junqing.
“What did you say? Back then… Back then, Moxin intended to let Imperial Second Older Brother off?” Ye Junqing abruptly got up and grabbed Jue Chen’s collar with both hands, his eyes shining with bright light. He had always believed that for Ye Hongyi, Moxin was willing to do anything, so there were some things that he had kept hidden inside his heart without voicing, but they still troubled him.
“How could Jue Chen dare to lie to Esteemed Prince and Your Imperial Highness? Back then, Empress Yao had secretly sent someone to pass Jue Chen a message, but sadly, human plans could not hold up to Heaven’s plans. Second Prince did not have enough fortune. However, Jue Chen has never forgotten Empress Yao’s grace.” Tears were brimming in Jue Chen’s eyes and his voice became choked and hoarse.
“So it was like that… Things had been hard for Moxin…” Ye Junqing released Jue Chen, then staggered back to his chair. He felt like his heart was thrown into a thousand mile stretch of thorny bramble that tore and ripped at his flesh. He should’ve known that a woman like Moxin would never so something so ruthless and cruel!
“There’s no need to refine this medicine. This consort will think of some other way to create evidence.” She couldn’t help but recall the past. Even though she had wanted to save him, but in the end, she had still failed to preserve Ye Mohan’s life.
“There’s no need for Your Imperial Highness to do that. Jue Chen is capable of refining the antidote,” said Jue Chen confidently even as he looked towards Yao Mowan gratefully.
“Really? If that’s truly the case, you’d be able to save several more lives. Take the items. Yin Xue, send him back.” Yao Mowan nodded approvingly.
Just as Yin Xue was about to leave with Jue Chen, Yao Mowan added another exhort.
“Remember what this consort has said. Flowers that wish to be plucked should be directly plucked. This is one of this consort’s compensation for you.” Jue Chen’s cheeks immediately flushed red when he heard what Yao Mowan said.
Once Jue Chen left, Yao Mowan turned to look towards Ye Junqing. A trace of faint sorrow flashed through her eyes. Originally she hadn’t wanted to make Jue Chen mention past events, but the only way to make Ye Junqing hate Jue Chen less was to make him understand Jue Chen’s motive in living. And who knows? Perhaps one day Jue Chen will become Ye Junqing’s trusted aid.
“Prince, are you that touched? Never thought that the woman you loved actually had a glass heart?” Yao Mowan looked towards Ye Junqing with a teasing smile.
“Moxin has always had a glass heart, not like a certain someone.” Ye Junqing restrained the sorrow in his eyes and gave a cold humph.
“Oh really? Then what must Mowan do to make Prince feel that Mowan is also a kindhearted person?” Yao Mowan propped up her cheek as she looked towards Ye Junqing with interest.
“If you’re willing to give the flame soul blade back to this prince…”
“Ahem… Mowan suddenly feels that becoming a kindhearted person isn’t Mowan’s goal. It’s rather late, Mowan’s going to rest so Prince, make yourself at home!” Yao Mowan gave a soft cough, then got up and headed towards her bedroom.
“You’re leaving just like this? Then what about this prince’s flame soul blade?” Ye Junqing hastily got up and asked this loudly.
“That’s not Prince’s flame soul blade, it’s Mowan’s. Prince, please pay attention to your choice of words.” As Yao Mowan glanced back, her lips curved. That one smile was so captivating, it made the rest of the world lose color. Ye Junqing couldn’t help but be stunned in place. It was only when the room doors closed that he finally snapped out of it.
“Isn’t her heart way too black…” muttered Ye Junqing indignantly, but he could do nothing except turn and leave.
When Yao Mowan saw Ming Yu again, she abruptly stood up as tears filled her eyes. Ming Yu’s facial color was now completely ashen and her hands were so withered they were like sticks as her eyes bulged out. It was clear that the poison had attacked her vitals.
“This servant Ming Yu… kowtows in salute to Your Imperial Highness…” When Yao Mowan saw that Ming Yu wanted to kneel, she immediately walked forward to personally help Ming Yu to the table.
“Yin Xue, bring the medicine over!” As Yao Mowan spoke to urge Yin Xue, Yin Xue had already placed the antidote that Jue Chen refined last night in Yao Mowan’s hand.
“Your Imperial Highness…” Ming Yu wanted to speak, but Yao Mowan stopped her.
“Eat this first.” As Yao Mowan spoke, she placed the pill in Ming Yu’s mouth, then poured a cup of water and brought that to Ming Yu’s lips.
“Many thanks, Your Imperial Highness… It’s just that Ming Yu understands the condition of this body well. There’s probably not many more days left. Ming Yu has heard about what happened that day. This servant had been useless for not discovering that An Bingshan had secretly swapped out the pills, that’s what ended up causing Your Imperial Highness’s plan to fail. This servant deserves to die…” Tears spilled out of Ming Yu’s eyes and her voice was choked with sobs.
“Sometimes misfortune is a blessing in disguise. This consort has promised you that this consort would definitely allow you to personally witness An Bingshan’s downfall!” said Yao Mowan firmly.
“Master, look!” Yin Xue was shocked by Ming Yu’s transformation, then delight filled her eyes.
“Go get a copper mirror!” Yao Mowan’s lips hooked in a smile even as tears glimmered faintly in her eyes.
When Ming Yu saw that her complexion was now as radiant as it was in the past, she was so happy that she couldn’t stop her tears from overflowing.
“This servant kowtows in thanks to Your Imperial Highness’s great grace!” The current Ming Yu had healthy flushed cheeks and her eyes were filled with spirited light. Her previously withered hands once again had a healthy glow, illustrating how truly magical the effect of the antidote Jue Chen had refined was.
“Rise to speak. Yin Xue, give the antidotes to Ming Yu,” instructed Yao Mowan.
“Your Imperial Highness, these antidotes?” Ming Yu looked toward Yao Mowan in confusion.
“The time for your revenge has arrived. Once you get back, give these antidotes to the poisoned palace maids, then tell An Bingshan that his prescription and ingredient amounts of those pills are completely fine. Understand what this consort means?” Yao Mowan spoke solemnly even as her eyes shone with expectant light.
“Your Imperial Highness means… to have us continue refining medicine through this method? We’ll be fine since we’ve eaten the antidote and An Bingshan would start to visit the pill refining room regularly again, so… Your Imperial Highness is truly farsighted and wise!” exclaimed Ming Yu excitedly.
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