Chapter 73: Taking the Blame: Accusation Of Shamelessness
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
At this moment, Spiritual Doctor Zhang finally arrived from the palace.
He looked to be over fifty years old and was short and fat with grizzled hair on his temples. Just one glance at him was enough to reveal that he was the kind of person who would never seek to offend anybody.
“Spiritual Doctor Zhang, quickly examine the Dongling Prince,” Emperor Xuanwu ordered.
“Yes,” replied Spiritual Doctor Zhang.
He wiped away the sweat from his forehead and hurriedly squatted to check Dongfang Que’s pulse. He was always the one who checked Dongfang Que’s pulse, so he was very familiar with it. But as he carefully examined the prince’s pulse now, he could tell that something was wrong. The rapid pulse seemed to indicate that he had been affected by a Lingering Affection Herb.
Spiritual Doctor Zhang sniffed the patient. Indeed, he could smell a hint of something sweet and unctuous. Immediately, his heart thumped, and he glanced at the Empress out of the corner of his eye.
The Empress’s face was slightly lowered, and her cold gaze caused Spiritual Doctor Zhang to tremble in fear. Having served at court for a long time, Spiritual Doctor Zhang understood clearly that he could not participate in this kind of palace intrigue or he would soon lose his head.
He collected himself and continued to check Dongfang Que’s pulse, ignoring the sweet and unctuous smell. Then, he said respectfully to the Emperor, “Your Majesty, there is no issue with the demonic poison in the Dongling Prince’s body. His condition is just as it was before.”
“Just now, Ye Jiuge said that the Antidote Elixir could only cure spiritual poison and not demonic poison. Since it was effective for the Dongling Prince, it means that the poison in his body has a component of spiritual poison. Is this true?” Emperor Xuanwu asked.
“This…” Spiritual Doctor Zhang broke into a cold sweat.
He did not dare to answer such a question. If he agreed with Ye Jiuge’s theory, it meant that Dongfang Que had not been injured by the Demon Clan, but by someone of the human race. If this news were to spread, it would definitely cause an uproar in the Lei Country. By then, the Spiritual Doctor would have lost his head.
“What is this? Do you need me to teach you how to speak?” Emperor Xuanwu’s expression darkened.
“Your Majesty, please calm down.” Spiritual Doctor Zhang hurriedly knelt in apology. He braced himself and said, “I once saw something related to this in a medical book written by Great Master Yun. However, I have never validated it; hence, I would not dare to jump to a rash conclusion about the Dongling Prince’s condition.”
Emperor Xuanwu was momentarily quiet, then he said coolly, “You may stand up now. If it was written by Great Master Yun, it should be correct. Go back and research this with the other Spiritual Doctors to see what spiritual poison has also afflicted the Dongling Prince. It might be from a previous injury.”
His words validated that Dongfang Que had been harmed by the Demon Clan. Even if there were a spiritual poison in his body, it would have been from the past.
“Yes.” Spiritual Doctor Zhang wiped his sweat again and stood up shakily. If his colleagues shared the responsibility, at least he would not lose his head.
Emperor Xuanwu said coolly to Ye Jiuge, “Jiuge, even if you are unhappy with the Dongling Prince, you need not use such despicable methods to reach your objective. I will forgive you for this, but if it happens again, don’t blame me for punishing you.”
His confident tone and threatening gaze implied that he was sure that Ye Jiuge would admit to the accusation.
Ye Jiuge lowered her gaze. Dongfang Que had been poisoned by an aphrodisiac unfathomably in the Jinxiu Palace after leaving the main hall. Needless to say, the Empress and Crown Prince must have been behind it.
Not only was Emperor Xuanwu not looking into the matter, but he was also fearful that what he might find would damage the royal family’s reputation—he wanted to throw the blame to her. It was nothing short of wishful thinking. The old Ye Jiuge would have taken the blame. However, the current Ye Jiuge did not plan on accepting this accusation of shamelessness.
Hearing no reply from Ye Jiuge, Emperor Xuanwu frowned. Annoyed, he said, “Jiuge, do you disagree with me?”
Bullshit, you b*stard! Why must I smile and take the blame just because you want me to?
Ye Jiuge wanted badly to gift Emperor Xuanwu with the declaration, “Your mother is a prostitute,” but she managed to control herself.
“I have no complaints, but the Dongling Prince may have something to say.”
Ye Jiuge squatted and jabbed the acupuncture point at Dongfang Que’s philtrum. When she was checking Dongfang Que’s pulse earlier, she had found that he was already awake and only pretending to be unconscious. Now that Emperor Xuanwu wanted her to take the blame for putting the Prince under the effects of an aphrodisiac, she did not mind giving Dongfang Que a few jabs of the needle if he would not wake up on his own to clear her name.
After Ye Jiuge jabbed him, Dongfang Que’s fan-like black eyelashes twitched slightly before he finally opened his eyes.
“Father, what are you doing here?” Dongfang Que appeared bewildered as he looked at Emperor Xuanwu. His tone was puzzled.
“I heard that you had fallen unconscious in the Jinxiu Palace, so I came to take a look. How are you feeling now?” Emperor Xuanwu asked with concern.
“My head hurts.” Dongfang Que applied significant force to massage his temples and appeared to be recalling something. Then, he said, “I seem to remember that the Empress sent me a message saying that someone was waiting for me in the Jinxiu Palace with information regarding my mother. Is that person still here?”
“The Empress?” Emperor Xuanwu frowned and immediately looked towards the Empress.
He was aware that the Empress’ hand was likely behind everything that was happening here. However, since his son was safe and it had been the insignificant and useless Ye Jiuge that the Empress had wanted to deal with, he was hoping to turn a blind eye.
However, since Dongfang Que had brought up the late Imperial Noble Consort, he could not play deaf and dumb, pretending to know nothing, especially since the Bai Clan was still garrisoned in Dongling Town.
“Dongling Prince, I did not ask anyone to pass the message to you. Perhaps you are misremembering?” the Empress responded coolly, without any fear that Emperor Xuanwu would blame her.
She understood her husband well. As long as she was still valuable to him, he would not touch her.
“Perhaps!” Dongling Prince lowered his face and said distantly.
The Empress has always been vicious. She never leaves anyone who can furnish information alive.
Even if he does mention the Lingering Affection Herb, the person who poisoned him will never be found. This would cause Father to be suspicious, so he might as well not speak about it.
“Oh, Your Highness, the Crown Prince said that I gave you an aphrodisiac so that I could force myself upon you. How do you feel now? Do you still have your chastity?” Ye Jiuge asked sincerely.
“Ridiculous! That is ridiculous!” Dongfang Que sneered. His black eyes bored into the Crown prince like a sharp blade. “I fell asleep as soon as I entered the Jinxiu Palace. Nobody gave me an aphrodisiac. Second Brother, even if you are unhappy with Eldest Miss Ye about the marriage, you should not accuse her wrongly!”
The Crown Prince’s face changed. He wanted badly to ask Spiritual Doctor Zhang to verify that Dongfang Que had indeed been under the effects of an aphrodisiac. However, he understood that arguing further would be disadvantageous to him and the Empress.
As such, he forced a smile and said, “I must have misunderstood the matter.”
“Second Brother, although Great Master Yun is no longer in the Lei Country, you cannot bully Eldest Miss Ye like this. After all, Eldest Miss Ye is the only remaining descendant of Great Master Yun’s bloodline. Forget about how you broke off the engagement of your own accord—how could you slander her as you wish? If word of this spreads, people will think that you are a heartless rat with the heart of a wolf and the lungs of a dog, who forgets favors and violates justice. They will say you are no better than a dog or pig.”
Dongfang Que disciplined the Crown Prince solemnly, as though the Crown Prince were his grandson.
The Crown Prince’s expression changed regularly with his anger. However, seeing that Emperor Xuanwu, who was beside him, said nothing, he controlled his temper.
Ye Jiuge did not expect the quiet Dongfang Que to have such a wicked tongue. Mentally, she gave him a nod of approval.
Unexpectedly, Dongfang Que was still not satisfied to see the Crown Prince at a loss for words. He continued to probe further, “Second Brother, am I right?”