Housekeeper of the Hundred Blossom Palace - Chapter 13
It was the day after Yu Xiu woke up in the clinic. Liu Ming Xian, the crown prince of the Sai Empire, had been walking along the palace hallways with his most trusted confidante since morning. He headed towards the study of Zhi Wei, his father.
“Good morning, Father.”
He called out from outside the door. Zhi Wei, who was surrounded by several officials, looked up from the memorials that were spread on his table, and glanced at him.
“Ming Xian. What brings you here so early in the morning.”
His side profile revealed his apathetic and unmotivated expression. His demeanor exuded lethargy, as if humans were not worth his interest.
‘His condition is still the same as usual.’
It was said that he was a valiant and wise emperor twenty years ago, but now, his appearance was as if he were a ghost.
Zhi Wei disregarded Ming Xian’s inner thoughts.
“Isn’t Honored Consort Jiang bedridden?”
The ruckus yesterday also reached Zhi Wei ears.
‘You shouldn’t be here right now.’
It was as if Zhi Wei was tacitly implying that with his words. However, Ming Xian shook his head.
“There is no need to worry. Yu Xiu has recovered. I went to visit her yesterday evening. She was lively, albeit still weak. Doctor Chen, the clinic’s physician, said that she could return to the palace in two to three days’ time.”
“…Is that so. That is good.”
Zhui Wei narrowed his eyes and stroked his chin as he listened. Aside from Zhi Wei, the rest of the officials in the same room also heard about it, naturally. With this, the person behind the scheme would learn that their plan to eliminate Yu Xiu through the disease had failed.
They targeted Yu Xiu in order to prevent her from becoming Ming Xian’s empress. The true wielder of power in the Inner Palace was not Zhi Wei, the emperor, but his mother — the empress dowager.
Ming Xian was not the son of the empress, who was the niece of the empress dowager. Ming Xian’s mother came from a household that belonged to a faction that opposed that of the empress dowager’s family.
During the changing of dynasty, only the empress dowager, being the mother of the emperor, remained in the Inner Palace. If this continued on, the empress she raised would have to leave the palace. Her power would then weaken.
The empress dowager was a power-greedy person, and she made several schemes in her desire to continue wielding her power even onto the next emperor. This plan was one of them, as she intended to make one of her blood relatives to become Ming Xian’s empress.
And so, she sent a barely ten-year old child to Ming Xian. With this excessive action, Ming Xian’s anger was immense. He was fed up. The girl herself was just an ordinary child, so she was bewildered from being separated from her mother’s side.
Ming Xian decided to take her under his wing, so he let her enter the crown prince’s palace. He intended to betroth her to the person she would like in the future. She was just a pawn; she was blameless. Yu Xiu also agreed. However, should anything happen to Yu Xiu, then that girl would automatically become the prime candidate to become the empress.
‘Their plan would have been successful if the usual attendants were not there when she fell into the stream.’
For Ming Xian, it was their good fortune.
The replacement of court ladies and maids attending to Yu Xiu did not push through, and they were able to forestall the circumstances of the incident. Ming Xian frankly thought that destruction had brushed past him.
From the information he gathered through the rubbernecking court ladies at the scene, that girl’s actions were queer and ghastly— as if she was possessed by a curse.
‘She was kissing the corpse, and assaulting it by beating the chest fiercely.’
Those were the words of the frightened court ladies.
However, according to Doctor Chen, the girl’s actions were a form of life-saving method that came from a foreign country, and was not well known among the physicians. Without her, it would have been difficult to attempt that rescue method.
‘Well, it would have been difficult had Doctor Chen be the one to place his lips on my consort.’
Even if it was in the name of medicine, he would be accused of adultery in a crowd of bystanders.
It was a blessing in disguise. Thanks to that girl, Yu Xiu was saved. Moreover, he now had a reason to push the blame onto the useless people to drive all of them at once. He would be able to secure her safety by surrounding her with people that he trusted.
Yu Xiu was safe now in the physician’s clinic, and later on, he would send the court lady he had picked beforehand to go there as an attendant. He also made arrangements to station secret guards around the clinic for their safety. Instead of the crown palace’s kitchen, he sent his subordinates to the court ladies’ kitchen to prepare food that was safe.
‘I will never let that empress dowager interfere.’
It was a good resolve; however, it was not the purpose of his visit to the emperor.
“I obtained something interesting, so I would like to present it to Father.”
Ming Xian smiled as he drew closer to his father’s desk.
“Did you acquire something rare?”
“Indeed. Please see it for yourself.”
Ming Xian gestured to Li Yong, his subordinate standing behind him. Li Yong handed a tray covered in cloth. Ming Xian removed the cloth himself. It held a sprayer.
“,,,Is there something wrong with that sprayer?”
After he gave those insinuating words, Zhi Wei brows puckered at the seemingly ordinary sprayer.
“Father, the contents are important.”
Ming Xian took the bottle, and sprayed it onto Zhi Wei.
“What!? It stinks of sake!”
“Indeed, it contains watered down sake, after all.”
Ming Xian deepened his smile at Zhi Wei’s wry face.
“A person at the clinic told me that this is very effective against the current disease. Apparently, it must be sprayed on the hands frequently. Ah, drinking tea is also good, according to her.”
“…I didn’t hear anything like that from the physicians. Those quacks.”
The face of the court physician floated to Zhi Wei’s mind, and he scowled.
That physician used money and became the empress dowager’s underling, so his ability can easily be surmised.
It was troubling that a mere physician from the clinic was more competent than the court physician who was in charge of the emperor’s health.
“I offer this to you. I am praying for your health, Father.”
“Is that so, then I will receive it with gratitude.”
Zhi Wei closely inspected the sprayer upon receiving it.
T/L Thoughts: What might have happened to the emperor during those twenty years? The crown prince and the emperor seemed to get along, too. Interestingly, it was the empress dowager who was power-hungry. The emperor was not what I imagined he would be, based on Yui Mei’s perspective in the first few chapters. Any thoughts on this? Would love to hear your theories/ insights 🙂
Hi everyone, Hanazakura here, thanks for reading, I’m grateful to you guys! Hope you enjoyed this chapter. We reached our 10th chapter milestone, hurray! Housekeeper of the Hundred Blossom Palace will now have a set schedule! 🙂 We will be releasing a chapter three times a week from now on. It will be every Mon, Wed and Fri, at 8:00 GMT. 🙂
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