Chapter 26: He's Fallen for the Trap
“We'll give him a dose of his own medicine. The Heavens clearly don't want to allow An Bingshan to die so easily, so this consort is simply following the Heavens' will.” Yao Mowan smiled faintly.
Just as Yao Mowan had predicted, just as An Bingshan was about to secretly get rid of the palace maids in the pill refining room, he discovered that over the course of one night, the complexions of the palace maids had regained their glow and they even seemed much younger.
“Ming Yu, what exactly is going on?” An Bingshan called Ming Yu over while looking in confusion at the palace maids who were rus.h.i.+ng about working.
“Replying Eunuch An, this servant doesn't know either. Things have been like this since the moment we woke up. This servant's guess is that the pills you've made this time are finally taking effect. Although we servants had shown signs of withering previously, perhaps that was simply part of the process! When this servant checked the mirror today, this servant felt at least seven years younger!” replied Ming Yu excitedly, her eyes s.h.i.+ning.
“Part of the process? Could it be that prescription was the real thing…” An Bingshan sank into his own thoughts and completely missed the hidden coldness in Ming Yu's eyes.
“If Eunuch doesn't have anything else, this servant still needs to head back to refining the medicine. Oh right, is there a need to change the ingredients of this batch?” asked Ming Yu, seemingly offhandedly.
“For the time being… For the time being, don't change it.” Although An Bingshan had his doubts, but he couldn't deny the reality in front of him. When Ming Yu heard this, she bowed and turned to withdraw. As she left, her lips curved in an almost imperceptible smile.
In the following two days, An Bingshan changed his usual practice and would often come to personally refine the medicine. He'd even occasionally taste the medicine and one day, once An Bingshan confirmed that the new batch of pills were no different from the previous batch, placed one of the pills in his mouth. In that moment, Ming Yu was so overjoyed that tears overflowed in her eyes.
In Guan Osprey Palace, Yao Mowan's feelings were very complicated as she looked at the luxurious phoenix outfit placed on the table.
“His Majesty said that the imperial order for naming the empress has already been issued several days ago, and the Ministry of Rites has finally decided yesterday to set the ceremony for the seventh of next month. These are the phoenix garments the Embroidery Department has sent. Your Imperial Highness can try them out. If there's any part that you're not satisfied with, send them back to the Embroidery Department for them to change according to your preferences… Cough cough… Cough cough cough…” reported An Bingshan respectfully. However, after just a sentence, he was already starting to have to gasp for breath.
“These clothes are so pretty!” Yao Mowan walked to the table happily to lift the garment with both hands. The instant she touched the fabric, she felt like thousands of needles were stabbing her palm. Such familiar double-sided embroidery. Of the entire imperial palace, only the empress had the right to use clothes that were embroidered this way.
Such proof of n.o.ble status! Such painful memories! The empress of great Chu. This t.i.tle which she now loathed from the very bottom of her heart had now fallen on her again. Was this Heaven's will? Ha, back then when she and Ye Junqing missed each other, it was Heaven's will. When she married Ye Hongyi, it was Heaven's will. But what had Heaven's will ever given her? This time, she insisted on going against the Heavens! Her path, every step, every tile of it, she was going to pave it herself. No one was allowed to create any side roads on her path anymore!
“His Majesty had personally picked out the design on this phoenix garment for Your Imperial Highness… Cough cough…” An Bingshan couldn't stop himself from coughing.
“Are you alright? Ting Yue, hurry and help hammer Eunuch An's back. In the past when Wan er had a cough, that's what Mother would do. It's really effective.” Yao Mowan looked towards An Bingshan worriedly as she gave this instruction.
“This servant is fine, many thanks for Your Imperial Highness's concern. Please have Ting Yue a.s.sist you with trying on the garment, this old servant shall withdraw.” An Bingshan respectfully turned around and left Guan Osprey Palace, his steps a little chaotic.
Right after An Bingshan left, Ye Junqing walked in from outside.
“This prince thought that the empress-naming ceremony had been spared.” When Ye Junqing saw the phoenix garments on the table, he felt like a lump of cotton was blocking up his chest. The indescribable stuffy feeling caused him to feel very vexed.
“Mowan had been hoping for it to be spared, but what can Mowan do? His Majesty can't bear to make Mowan suffer grievances,” said Yao Mowan in a self-mocking tone as she tossed the phoenix garment towards Ting Yue for her to carry into the bedroom.
“Since His Majesty dotes on you so much, there's no need for you to make any backup plans!” said Ye Junqing acridly as he pulled Fluffy off the chaise lounge to plop his own b.u.t.t down.
“His Majesty doting on Mowan is His Majesty's business, what does that have to do with Mowan? And Prince should know that Mowan doesn't cherish imperial favor at all!” Yao Mowan leaned over to pick up Fluffy who had ended up implicated by the crossfire and patted its head comfortingly.
“Then what do you cherish?” Ye Junqing looked towards Yao Mowan seriously.
“I cherish you!” replied Yao Mowan equally seriously, but Ye Junqing just gave her a big eyeroll.
“Ahem… Earlier An Bingshan looked almost intoxicated. It seems like your plan is working?” Ye Junqing suppressed his heart's pounding and tried to change the topic.
“Mowan has just said that she cherished Prince, so why isn't Prince reacting to it at all? It must be known that there's not many things in the world that Mowan cherishes!” Yao Mowan knew that Ye Junqing was purposefully changing the topic, so she also purposefully pulled that topic back.
“This prince is talking about important business!” When Ye Junqing saw Yao Mowan walk over, he reflexively backed away.
“Mowan is also talking about important business!” Yao Mowan blinked her clear lively eyes as she slowly walked to Ye Junqing's side.
“Yao Mowan!” When Ye Junqing felt Yao Mowan sit down so close to him, he felt the vexed heat in his heart ignite, so he shouted loudly to conceal the restlessness in his heart.
“I'm here! You need something?” The more fl.u.s.tered Ye Junqing was, the more delighted Yao Mowan felt. She suddenly felt that teasing Fluffy was nowhere as much fun as teasing Ye Junqing.
“Nothing! This prince is leaving!” When Ye Junqing smelled that unique faint fragrance coming from Yao Mowan's body, he jumped off the chaise lounge like it had p.r.i.c.ked him.
“The day Jue Chen succeeds in refining the medicine is the day that An Bingshan will die,” said Yao Mowan unhurriedly as she stroked Fluffy. Ye Junqing stood silently at the palace doors for a long while before finally turning around and coming back inside.
“This time, thanks.” In Ye Junqing's opinion, Yao Mowan was dealing with An Bingshan to help him out.
“What? Mowan didn't really hear that. Prince, please say that again?” Yao Mowan purposefully looked towards Ye Junqing with a confused frown.
“Give me back my flame soul blade!” shouted Ye Junqing to conceal his embarra.s.sment.
“Oh, no need for thanks.” Yao Mowan nodded graciously. Ye Junqing reflexively slapped his hand against his forehead as his lips twitched in disbelief.
That night, the autumn breeze was slightly cold and the trees were rustling from the faint wind. Moonlight spilled down, casting mottled shadows on the ground.
Inside a certain room in Remote Realm Courtyard, two figures were pressed closely together, neither of them willing to be the first to admit defeat in this pleasure-filled battle. Garments had been left haphazardly over the ground in this spring-filled room.
“Nn… Daoist Priest's cultivation is so high!” Yao Suluan scratched Jue Chen's back with both hands, leaving long red lines.
“This humble Daoist is shamed. Your Highness's cultivation is definitely above this humble Daoist's… Ugh!” Jue Chen allowed himself to freely enjoy the compensation Yao Mowan had bestowed him until there was no strength left in his body. He finally climbed off Yao Suluan's body, satisfied, to lie down on his back as he panted to catch his breath.
Since she was Ye Hongyi's woman, it had felt extremely exciting. Since he didn't have the ability to kill Ye Hongyi, the least he could do was make it so Ye Hongyi's green hat would grow ever higher!
“Suluan is truly honored to obtain such praise from Daoist Priest.” Yao Suluan flipped over to lean on Jue Chen's chest. As she gently stroked back the hair that had fallen over Jue Chen's forehead, she pressed her soft supple body against his. In this moment, Jue Chen really wished he was back in Honest Monastery. If he was back there, he'd definitely have those junior brothers of his who were vegetarian year-round have a taste of something fres.h.!.+