Chapter 69: An Enthusiastic Mob Intending to Catch an Illicit Affair (1)
Ye Jiuge deftly stabbed her Lightning Fire Needle imbued with purple spiritual energy into a Feng Chi Acupoint at the back of Dongfang Que’s ear. This acupoint was considered to be a primary one in the human body. Applying pressure to it could help someone regain lucidity. Of course, this could also be a harrowing experience.
Dongfang Que was in so much agony that his face was deathly pale. In an instant, he regained a hint of clarity. Ye Jiuge seized the opportunity to push him away. After that, she took several Mind-clearing Pills from her pocket and stuffed them into his mouth. Although they could not alleviate the Aphrodisiac’s effects, they should have no problem helping him maintain his presence of mind.
When Dongfang Que recovered his self-control, he was shocked to see Ye Jiuge.
“Why are you here?” he asked. Then, he looked down and saw his palms still placed on the front of her disarrayed clothes and quickly retracted them.
“I don’t have enough time to explain everything to you. We should leave this place at once. If we delay further, it will be too late.” Ye Jiuge carelessly fixed her clothes and stood up. She hurried towards a window.
Dongfang Que followed her automatically. When he saw her pounding on the window with full force, he said with furrowed brows, “These windows are all shut from the outside.”
As soon as he had spoken, they heard a flurry of erratic footsteps. It went without saying that the mob had arrived to catch their illicit affair in the act.
Ye Jiuge glanced at her disorganized clothes before examining Dongfang Que’s stiff yet flushed handsome face. She considered the possibility of presenting themselves as two people having a conversation while drinking tea at the inner palace. Meanwhile, Dongfang Que also came to the realization that something fishy might be going on.
“You should hide in here first,” he said, a hint of viciousness flitting past his glowering, gorgeous face.
He opened an old cupboard situated in a corner. Ye Jiuge did not have time to think; she squeezed into the cupboard. As soon as she closed the doors, a deafening clang came from the palace’s outer area. Shortly after, a shrill voice distinctive to eunuchs rang out: “Ye Clan’s Eldest Miss, why did you close the main doors? Ah! Your Highness, why are you in here?”
Then came the sound of knees hitting the floor. “Scram!” The frost in Dongfang Que’s voice, laced with murderous intent, instantly brought the entire palace to a standstill.
Ye Jiuge could envision his incomparably handsome face encased in a terrifying layer of ice. At a glance, the bastard appeared thin. In reality, he was powerful. He had squeezed her thighs to the point of bruising them.
This can’t be right. Doesn’t Dongfang Que have a disability? How did he knock her over with such immense strength?
D*mn! Dongfang Que’s performance, this feebleness to trick others into lowering their guards around him, had already reached the level of an accomplished actor. When he was pretending to be handicapped, he seemed so genuine.
Meanwhile, another group of people was making their way to Jinxiu Palace’s outer area.
“Your Majesty, I saw the Ye Clan’s Eldest Miss walk into Jinxiu Palace with my own eyes,” Elderly Lady Xu said reverently. Servility was apparent in her voice.
“Is that so? Then, where is she now?” rang out a dignified, elegant voice without any emotion.
“This, this…” the elderly palace maid stumbled over her words evasively, then fell silent.
As the Empress conversed with her servant, it was evident that they meant for their conversation to reach Dongfang Que’s ears. Unfortunately, Dongfang Que did not respond. Still, the Empress did not feel awkward.
“I invited the Ye Clan’s Eldest Miss to the palace as my honored guest. Nothing untoward should happen to her. I want you to conduct a proper search and find out where she ran off to,” she said.
“Right,” Elderly Lady Xu answered in a loud voice and made a racket as she dispersed her subordinates. She gave the impression that they were going to turn Jinxiu Palace upside down.
Dongfang Que started attacking them. A few eunuchs and palace maids let out anguished screams.
“Seventh Brother, what is your intention behind this?” boomed the Crown Prince’s angry voice. “Earlier, you left Fengyi Palace in a hurry. I thought that you had to attend to something important. Never did I expect to see you here, having a tryst with Ye Jiuge. Even though Ye Jiuge and I annulled our betrothal, regardless of how you put it, she is still your former sister-in-law. Can you face me with a clear conscience?”
Pfft! Hidden inside the cupboard, Ye Jiuge almost laughed in derision, irked by the Crown Prince’s shameless words. He was truly brazen to mention that she was Dongfang Que’s former sister-in-law!
“Crown Prince, you do not need to react so emotionally. Even if the Dongling Prince and Ye Jiuge are truly engaged in a romantic dalliance, we can’t say for sure who is seducing who!” The Empress spoke with a detached tone.
At this point, Ye Jiuge understood the situation. She sensed that this set-up was meant for her! Although Dongfang Que had faked his disability, he was still the Emperor’s dearest son and the sole descendant of the Bai Clan’s maternal line. As a woman who had impudently enticed him into performing sexual acts with her, she would become the laughing stock of the entire capital. If the Empress incriminated Ye Jiuge for administering an Aphrodisiac to the Dongling Prince, she would tarnish her reputation. This move was really ruthless, inciting public scorn. When the Empress targeted Ye Jiuge again in the future, no one would stand up for her.
Other than dispersing the gawkers at the beginning and incapacitating several eunuchs with his own hands, Dongfang Que had stopped making noise. Ye Jiuge presumed that the Aphrodisiac was kicking in again. The medicinal pills that she had forced him to ingest could only mitigate the effects; they could treat the symptoms, not the root cause. If the Dongling Prince did not consume the antidote in time, the desire to relieve his sexual urgency would likely continue to devour his mind.
Ye Jiuge thought about the regal, handsome, and dignified Dongling Prince jumping a palace maid’s bones under the Aphrodisiac’s influence. Her heart ached for him. However, when she thought about the Empress catching her instead, she became the sorrowful one.
Just as the elderly maid was about to scour the inner palace, Ye Jiuge suddenly felt a chill on her back. She turned around. To her surprise, the wall behind her swiveled open without a sound, and an unfamiliar, middle-aged palace maid appeared. With her eyes, she conveyed: “Follow me.”
Ye Jiuge’s intuition told her that this maid must be Lady Hongxiu herself. Ye Jiuge did not hesitate. She followed the woman into the tunnel, then the wall rotated anticlockwise, back to its original position. By the time the elderly palace maid opened the cupboard, it was empty.
Ye Jiuge and the middle-aged stranger traversed through the tunnel until they arrived at a remote corner of a bamboo forest.
“Ye Clan’s Eldest Miss, my name is Lady Hongxiu. I am a senior palace maid at Jinxiu Palace.”
Lady Hongxiu curtseyed to Ye Jiuge. She appeared to be in her early thirties. Although her looks were average, she was fair-skinned with clear, bright eyes and black hair. Not a hair was out of place. She appeared extremely refined.
“So, you are Lady Hongxiu. Why have you come to save me?”
Ye Jiuge was very curious. Did Bai Songling warn Lady Hongxiu about all this in advance?
“Quite the contrary. I did not turn up on purpose to rescue you.”
Lady Hongxiu smiled resignedly; she had only wanted to save her master, the Dongling Prince. As it turned out, the day before, someone had sent her a letter in the Dongling Prince’s name asking her to meet at the peach blossom forest. The letter-writer wished to divulge a secret about the Imperial Noble Consort. Lady Hongxiu had been well aware that it might be a ruse.
However, she still showed up at the peach blossom forest. After ascertaining that no one was there, she’d rushed back to Jinxiu Palace. From afar, she’d noticed the Empress’s servants surrounding the palace. Not only that, they were prohibiting anyone from entering or leaving the area. She’d worried that something unpleasant might be happening inside, so she’d snuck into the palace using the secret tunnel to consult the Dongling Prince. Instead, she’d arrived in time to save Ye Jiuge from trouble.
“I have no idea how His Highness is faring right now.” Lady Hongxiu looked at Ye Jiuge anxiously. Since the Empress had deliberately devised such an elaborate set-up, she must be planning to harm the Dongling Prince.
“Your master, the Dongling Prince, is not in a dire condition. He was just given an Aphrodisiac,” Ye Jiuge told Lady Hongxiu nonchalantly.
Since sexual intercourse could neutralize this poison, this news did not alarm Lady Hongxiu at all. Anyway, there was no shortage of beautiful palace maids. The Dongling Prince would just need to call for them at the top of his voice, and they would undoubtedly all lie down together at once for him.