Chapter 71: Fall into a Trap: The Empress’ Scheme
As she checked Dongfang Que’s pulse, Ye Jiuge opened her Spiritual Eye and examined his body. His five viscera and six bowels had turned black. Only a ball of bright, golden light near his heart meridian was protecting his heart. His pulse was extremely erratic: it sped up suddenly then slowed down. Ye Jiuge could barely obtain a reading for his liver and spleen—a symptom of poisoning.
Furthermore, from the look of his body’s condition, she knew that he had been afflicted with a strange demonic poison. This poison was even trickier than the Soul Departure that had previously afflicted Ye Yu.
At first, she thought that Dongfang Que was only pretending to be handicapped. But actually, he really was disabled! The Lingering Affection Herb had temporarily suppressed the demonic poison in his body, which was why he had been able to stand and attack her.
Now that she had forced the Lingering Affection Herb out of his body, the uncontrolled demonic poison had bounced back and abruptly invaded Dongfang Que’s five viscera and six bowels. If she could not think of a solution soon, the poison would kill him.
Just thinking about it made Ye Jiuge break out in a cold sweat. She lifted her head to look at the Empress. The Empress’ lips, painted with a vermilion lipstick, curled into a delighted smirk. Her eyes, slender like the Crown Prince’s, glimmered with a malicious light. Obviously, she had planned everything.
Ye Jiuge gritted her teeth. The Empress was most devious and manipulative to have dreamed up such a vicious scheme. One layer of a trap on top of another. If Dongfang Que had utilized Ye Jiuge as an antidote and made love to her, the Lingering Affection Herb would have caused him to die suddenly on top of her. If that had happened, not only would she have been unable to demand redress for the grievance, she would also have been declared guilty of killing Dongfang Que. Even the extent of her grandfather’s fame would have been unable to save her, a murderer.
Ye Jiuge was not someone who believed in fate. Even in this situation, she would fight for a chance to survive. She had the Millennium Snow Lotus Elixir with her that she had taken from Ye Yuxuan. If it did not work, she still had the Godly Heartwood. Zi Shang had warned her not to allow people to discover the secret of the Godly Heartwood, but the present situation called for her to give her all.
Although Ye Jiuge seemed to be considering many things, everything unfolded in the blink of an eye. After deciding on her strategy, she threw herself at Dongfang Que shouting frantically, “Your Highness, what’s wrong with you? Please, wake up!”
Her hand, hidden by her body, slipped the Millennium Snow Lotus Elixir into Dongfang Que’s mouth. Then, she covertly used the Lightning Fire Needle to prick her own finger and silently chanted, “Unseal the Godly Heartwood,” before she poked his body with it.
A breath of life was injected into Dongfang Que’s body, which shook violently. He vomited up a stream of black-colored blood.
At first, the Empress’ attitude towards Ye Jiuge had been a game of cat-and-mouse. In her mind, she had already pronounced Dongfang Que dead. Once Ye Jiuge, the murderer, had been seized, Dongfang Que’s corpse could be buried. This twist of events startled her: she had not expected Dongfang Que to come back to life.
The Crown Prince widened his eyes and shouted at the guards, “Come, seize the murderer, Ye Jiuge!”
He had waited so long for Dongfang Que to die, and he would not allow Ye Jiuge to destroy his plan.
The Empress had recovered from her daze and ordered Elderly Lady Xu, “Seize Ye Jiuge.”
Elderly Lady Xu immediately turned and rushed at Ye Jiuge. Her right hand formed a claw, and a dark red glow appeared on her fingertips. She viciously clawed Ye Jiuge’s back like a fierce tiger.
If Ye Jiuge did not avoid her attack, Elderly Lady Xu would gouge out her heart. Ye Jiuge had no choice but to withdraw her Godly Heartwood and turn to counterattack with her palm.
Purple and red light splattered everywhere. Ye Jiuge retreated three steps. She could feel numbness and pain in her right hand. A cold stream of Black Magic traveled along her palm and entered her body. It was similar to the feeling she had experienced when facing the Black Magic Practitioner in the underground room.
Astonished, Ye Jiuge raised her head and looked at Elderly Lady Xu; she did not expect the old woman to be a Black Magic Practitioner—and far more powerful than the last one she’d encountered.
“Jiuge, I advise you to surrender obediently. Although you killed Seventh Brother, you were only trying to save him. If my father, the Emperor, wishes to punish you, I will put in a good word on your behalf. For Great Master Yun’s sake, perhaps he will spare your life,” the Crown Prince hypocritically advised, confident that victory was in his grasp.
Ye Jiuge said nothing and silently gave him the middle finger. Although the Crown Prince did not understand the meaning of the gesture, he could feel Ye Jiuge’s disdain. His face reddened with anger.
Ye Jiuge, this b*tch, she dares to flaunt her arrogance even when death is near.
After capturing her, he would lock her up in the dungeon and torture her regardless of the time of day so that she would know what it was like to prefer death to life.
The Empress’s face also darkened. She said coldly to Elderly Lady Xu, “Don’t waste time.” She wanted the fight to finish as quickly as possible, as undue delay might bring trouble.
Elderly Lady Xu nodded knowingly. She turned and soared towards Dongfang Que. There was an indistinct layer of dark-red glow beneath her feet. With a sharp, murderous intent, she clearly wanted to finish off Dongfang Que on the spot.
Ye Jiuge’s pupils constricted. She repositioned a Bone Melting Elixir from her sleeve into her palms and counterattacked Elderly Lady Xu using her palm again.
This time, Ye Jiuge took four steps back.
Elderly Lady Xu took two steps back.
Ye Jiuge’s blood surged. She was barely able to swallow the blood rising in her throat, but a stream of red liquid nevertheless trickled from the corners of her mouth. She lifted the back of her hand and wiped away the blood. She bowed slightly to adopt an attacking stance in front of Dongfang Que. Her expression was similar to that of a lone wolf. Her aura was terrifying, as though she would bite anyone who dared approach her.
Elderly Lady Xu’s face was unpleasant. Her hand, which had collided with Ye Jiuge’s palm, was trembling slightly. Her palm had already turned red as a result of an injury from Ye Jiuge’s Bone Melting Elixir. This was the first time that Elderly Lady Xu had been wounded since she began serving the Empress many years ago. What’s more, the person who had injured her was the most infamous, useless, and ugly girl in the capital. The humiliation was too much for her to bear.
With surprise and anger in her heart, she was determined to shred the wretched girl into pieces. As such, she did not contain her real power and used all her might to swat Ye Jiuge.
A faint, pale red glow appeared on Elderly Lady Xu’s body like a layer of protection that shrouded the top half of her body. It was the Spiritual Light of Protection, which only Advanced Spiritual Practitioners who were approaching the stage of Spiritual Master could create.
Ye Jiuge’s pupils constricted. She had not expected that this Elderly Lady Xu was an Advanced Spiritual Practitioner. Ye Jiuge lamented inwardly to herself: she was just a Beginner Spiritual Practitioner, and although she could handle Intermediate Spiritual Practitioners using her immense Soul Power, she still fell short of being able to deal with Advanced Spiritual Practitioners. Even if Ye Jiuge used her poison, it would not work on Elderly Lady Xu; the Spiritual Light of Protection would obstruct the poison before it could reach her body.
In the midst of this emergency, Ye Jiuge involuntarily called out in her heart, “Zi Shang, you b*stard, if you don’t wake up soon, you will have to seduce my corpse!”
However, Zi Shang did not respond.
As she watched Elderly Lady Xu’s dark red palm approach, Ye Jiuge wanted to avoid it, but she dared not.
If Elderly Lady Xu’s palm were to land on Dongfang Que, who was behind her, even if Ye Jiuge survived, she would not be able to wash off the accusation that she had murdered a prince.