Chapter 64: Making a Move: Strike First to Gain the Upper Hand
After Ye Jiuge returned to the Zhilin Residence, Qing Mama said to her worriedly, “Eldest Miss, the Empress is clearly going to deal with you. What should we do?”
“Counter soldiers with arms and water with a dam. There is nothing to be worried about,” Ye Jiuge replied absentmindedly.
Her grandfather, Yun Tianwei, was the Lei Kingdom’s top elixir alchemist. People from other countries who had never even heard of the Lei Kingdom knew of him. As her grandfather’s only blood descendant, even the Emperor wouldn’t dare touch her—let alone the Empress.
If they challenged her limits, she would appear and say that the Dongfang Clan had persecuted the faithful and honest. The elixir alchemists who worshipped her grandfather would curse the Dongfang Clan to its doom.
“No matter what, this is a feast at Hongmen, Eldest Miss, so you should be prepared.” Qing Mama’s face was still full of worry.
If the late Madame were still alive, many upper-class women would be competing to accompany the Eldest Miss to the palace to keep her safe. However, since the late Madame had passed away, the Eldest Miss’s case had become hopeless, and the aristocratic families who had relations with the Yun Clan had broken off communications. It would be difficult to pick up these relationships again.
“Yes, you are right.”
Certainly, Ye Jiuge felt the need to make preparations. She needed a way to survive in case the Empress flew into a rage out of humiliation and contrived an “accident” so that she would perish inside the palace.
“I will write a letter to the Jin Clan, the Zhao Clan, and the Li Clan to see if they are willing to escort you into the palace,” Qing Mama said with a strong fighting spirit.
No matter what, she had to try. Perhaps someone kind-hearted would still remember the gentility of the Yun Clan.
“There’s no use seeking them; it will be a waste of energy.” Ye Jiuge did not believe in any of these kind-hearted people. She only trusted herself.
Using her energy, she could produce more elixirs to protect herself: Mind Calming, Antidotes, Illusion Breaking, and Vitality Strengthening, as well as elixirs for plotting against others such as Bone Dissolving and Spiritual Dissipating elixirs…
She needed to prepare multiple vials of each. Using the silver taels she had brought with her, Ye Jiuge purchased the ingredients she needed before calling a meeting with Ye Yu.
It had been a few days since they’d seen each other, and Ye Yu’s complexion had improved. His pretty face had more color in it, and the red mole on his forehead reflected a luminous and beautiful aura.
“It seems that you have increased your cultivation.” Ye Jiuge nodded in satisfaction. Ye Yu’s half-dead appearance had been unpleasant.
“It’s all thanks to you, Eldest Miss,” Ye Yu said sincerely.
During this time, he had been in a spiritual retreat. The more he cultivated, the more powerful he found the cultivation technique to be. The corrupting Yin Qi had severely weakened his spiritual channels. However, when he had cultivated using the technique, not only did his channels recover quickly, but they also grew stronger.
Most surprising of all, the black magic practitioner had left Yin Qi behind in his body. After refining it, his Invisibility improved. Before, his Invisibility had been at the first stage; he was only able to become invisible and could not attack while cloaked in Invisibility. Its duration was also minimal. Now, this skill had been upgraded to the second stage. Finally, Ye Yu could be considered a shadow assassin. The time limit for his Invisibility had increased, and he had gained an additional practical skill.
“The cultivation technique was a reward for selling your service to me. There is nothing to thank me for.” Ye Jiuge gestured with her hands then said, “I called you here because I have something for you to do.”
“What instructions do you have for me?” Ye Yu asked solemnly.
“The Empress has requested that I visit the palace in seven days. I am afraid that she will act against me, so I need you to help me do something.” Ye Jiuge lowered her voice and explained the rest to Ye Yu.
“Eldest Miss, please rest assured; I will definitely complete your task.” Ye Yu nodded resoundingly.
This was the first time Ye Jiuge had asked him to do something, and he wanted to do it well.
“That’s good. I am going into a spiritual retreat to produce some elixirs. Are there any elixirs that you want?” Ye Jiuge asked Ye Yu as though she were asking him about dishes he wanted to eat.
“I don’t need any.” Ye Yu hurriedly shook his head. Ye Jiuge had already treated him well, and he did not want to be insufferable.
“You don’t have to stand on ceremony with me. The stronger you are, the less I have to worry about utilizing you.” Ye Jiuge meant that Ye Yu was overthinking; she was helping herself—not him.
Ye Yu hesitated momentarily before he said, “I need some elixirs that can improve my spiritual channels.”
Although the cultivation technique that Ye Jiuge had given him could repair his spiritual channels, it was still too slow. He wanted to recover quickly so that he could go and seek his sister.
“Sure. Come and find me five days from now at the Zhilin Residence for the elixir.” Ye Jiuge nodded. She wanted to see how much Ye Yu would recover. After all, he had been cultivating for a while now and should be much stronger than before.
In the days that followed, Ye Jiuge remained immersed in the Elixir Production Room. She was able to produce some second-grade elixirs. Although she had multiple recipes, her cultivation was insufficient, and it was impossible for her to produce higher grade elixirs, which required the control of soul power in addition to the support of spiritual power. Even though her soul power was incredibly strong due to the fusion of her two lives, her low spiritual power limited her ability to produce higher grade elixirs.
After producing another furnace of Vitality Strengthening Elixir, she finally left the Elixir Production Room.
“Eldest Miss, didn’t you say that it wasn’t good for Fourth Miss to lose herself in producing elixirs? Why are you doing the same?” Qing Mama carried a cup of hot tea over to Ye Jiuge. She was distressed by the bags under Ye Jiuge’s eyes.
When Ye Jiuge had gone into a spiritual retreat in the Elixir Production Room, Qing Mama dared not interrupt. She only delivered her food regularly through a small window in the room. However, Ye Jiuge did not eat more than two meals a day, and this worried her immensely.
“Yes, yes, yes. I won’t do this in the future.” Ye Jiuge took the cup of hot tea and drank it before she asked Qing Mama, “What is Father busy with lately? Has anything happen outside?”
“I don’t know what he has been up to recently, but he has been leaving early in the morning and returning late at night. Zhen Zhu, on the other hand, heard some rumors outside.” Qing Mama lowered her voice and said, “I heard that the Empress is inviting you to the palace to seek revenge for the Crown Prince!”
“Really?” Ye Jiuge raised her eyebrows.
When she initially sought out Ye Yu, she had wanted him to spread rumors to control the Empress and Crown Prince using public opinion. She had not expected him to act so quickly that the rumors would already be spreading around the Inner Courtyard of the Ye Residence.
“It’s true. I personally have made some inquiries. I heard that, besides the rumors in the streets, the Inner Courtyards of many officials have also been gossiping about this matter.” Qing Mama still had some connections from accompanying Yun Qiaoqiao to social affairs. It was not a big deal for her to make some small inquiries.
It wasn’t likely that these were Ye Yu’s rumors spreading in the Inner Courtyards of these officials. Ye Jiuge thought about it and could only think of Wan Ziyang and Bai Songling. They were genuinely loyal; her energy had not been wasted in rescuing them from the adversity that they’d experienced together.
“Eldest Miss, I finally feel reassured. Even if the Empress is bold enough to harm you, such actions would only confirm these rumors about the Crown Prince seeking revenge, and he will have broken faith and abandoned what’s right. He still has enough pride to seek revenge after breaking off the marriage, bah!” Qing Mama wanted badly to spit on the floor to show her disdain for the Crown Prince.
When the late Madame was still alive, the Crown Prince had shown a deep love for the Eldest Miss and gifted her with presents daily. Even though the Eldest Miss’s spiritual channels were utterly destroyed, and she looked hideous, he had acted as though he did not mind at all.
However, when the late Madame had passed away, he immediately cooled his affection for the Eldest Miss and became intimate with Ye Shanshan. How revolting!