Chapter 89: Detoxification: Pain Of The Lingering Death
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Imperial Consort Xi has been afflicted with Fantasy Beauty,” Ye Jiuge explained.
Fantasy Beauty was a very strange poison that could repress injuries. On the outside, while the injury may have seemed to recover, inside, the wound was festering continuously. The even stranger thing about Fantasy Beauty was that a patient could not consume medicine capable of clearing internal heat or detoxifying. The more powerful the Spiritual Medicine, the greater the pushback from Fantasy Beauty.
The Thousand Mountain’s Snow Lotus, which Emperor Xuanwu had obtained, was practically a lethal poison for Imperial Consort Xi. As Fantasy Beauty was a very elusive poison, when they checked her pulse, the Spiritual Doctors had not been able to tell that Imperial Consort Xi had suffered a miscarriage or that she’d been poisoned. As such, they’d blamed her condition on a strange illness.
“How did the Empress obtain all these poisons?” Dongfang Que’s heart sank.
None of the Spiritual Doctors have heard of either the King Poison in his body or the Spiritual Poison afflicting Imperial Consort Xi. How can they fight the Empress like this?
“I am not sure about that. However, the world is vast and full of extraordinary things. You may find these poisons bizarre, but they are commonly used in other places. Take this Fantasy Beauty, for example. When used on Imperial Consort Xi, who’d had a miscarriage, it acted as a poison. However, if used on an ordinary woman, it can have the effect of retaining her youthful looks. As such, nobles from some of the smaller kingdoms consume it regularly for detoxification,” Ye Jiuge said.
Imperial Consort Xi was from Dongfang Que’s mother’s generation. She was also older than Bai Linglong. No amount of care could prevent the effects of the passage of time. The poison was why she still looked as tender and lovely as a young lady. However, this method of maintaining beauty was extreme and very dangerous. One could face eternal damnation if care was not taken.
Elderly Lady Zhou wiped away her tears and asked, “Then, how can this poison be cured?” It was too late to save Imperial Consort Xi’s child. The more important thing now was to cure the poison.
“The blood clotted inside Imperial Consort Xi needs to be drained using some medicine before the Fantasy Beauty can be forced out. Although the solution seems simple, the process is agonizingly painful. When the clotted blood is drained, there will be a recoil from the repressed Fantasy Beauty. Her flesh will rot, and as the Fantasy Beauty is forced out, the rotten flesh will peel off. The feeling will probably be akin to that of Lingering Death,” Ye Jiuge said with a sigh.
Although she could use her needle techniques to seal Imperial Consort Xi’s sensation of pain, it would only be temporary and would affect the treatment. As such, pain could not be avoided. Elderly Lady Zhou immediately felt cold sweat rising from the soles of her feet as she heard Ye Jiuge’s description. She was stunned into silence.
“From my observations, Imperial Consort Xi has a firm and persistent personality, and she should be able to bear the pain. The only problem is whether we should tell her that she suffered a miscarriage.” Ye Jiuge looked toward Dongfang Que and Elderly Lady Zhou.
Earlier on, Imperial Consort Xi had been so furious that she had spewed up a mouthful of blood after hearing that she had been lied to by the Spiritual Doctor for so long. Ye Jiuge did not know how Imperial Consort Xi would take it if she were to hear that the child that she had dreamed of was right in front of her but was lost due to her negligence and her enemy’s persecution. Even worse, she’d been unaware of the pregnancy from the beginning to the end.
Dongfang Que was silent. Elderly Lady Zhou could not help but cry. She’d been Imperial Consort Xi’s wet nurse and had watched her grow up. She loved Imperial Consort Xi dearly, as if she were her favorite child. No one knew more than she how much Imperial Consort Xi had wanted a child. To bear that child, the Imperial Consort had given up the vegetarian diet, which she had insisted on for many years, to consume traditional Chinese medicines that increased her appetite. She’d even been wild with joy when she’d started putting on weight. It would have been better if she’d never successfully conceived. The feeling of obtaining and then losing was the most painful.
Ye Jiuge realized that she could not depend on the two of them. As such, she said, “Let’s discuss this matter in the future. Elderly Lady Zhou, you have been outside for quite some time, and you should return to take care of the Imperial Consort. Please tell me if she wakes up.”
“Yes.” Elderly Lady Zhou was worried about the Imperial Consort as well, and she hurriedly returned to the house.
She heaved a sigh of relief when she saw that the Imperial Consort was still sound asleep. Then, she drew some water to wash her face so that the Imperial Consort would not notice that she’d been crying. However, just when she was halfway done washing her face, Imperial Consort Xi woke up and called for her from the interior room. Elderly Lady Zhou hurriedly wiped her face clean and entered the internal chamber.
“Why have you been crying?” Imperial Consort Xi had been living with Elderly Lady Zhou for a few decades and knew her well. She could tell that Elderly Lady Zhou had been crying just from a look.
“Nothing. I just blinded my eyes accidentally. With my age, it is easy for my eyes to tear up,” Elderly Lady Zhou smiled and said.
“You don’t have to lie to me. Did Eldest Miss Ye tell you something? Is my poison difficult to treat?” Imperial Consort Xi watched Elderly Lady Zhou’s face closely.
She had felt uneasy even when she was fast asleep. She was worried that everything that had happened earlier had only been a dream. Perhaps Ye Jiuge had only said that her poison was curable to comfort her, and it would all be for nothing once she woke up.
“No, Eldest Miss Ye said that she can treat your illness. She has even prescribed medicine. If you do not believe me, you can ask her later,” Elderly Lady Zhou immediately comforted Imperial Consort Xi.
“Then why are you in such a state?” Imperial Consort Xi was still unwilling to believe her.
In recent years, the people around her had often told her white lies to comfort her. She knew that they were doing it for her sake. However, she did not need these lies. She wanted the truth. It was better to be told the cruel fact than to be kept in the dark.
Elderly Lady Zhou could not bear to speak of Imperial Consort Xi’s child. As such, she repeated the treatment method that Ye Jiuge had spoken of. Then, she wept and said, “Imperial Consort, I felt so upset when I heard that you have to bear such pain. I want nothing more than to bear the pain on your behalf.”
“The pain of Lingering Death!” Imperial Consort Xi pondered over these blood-filled words.
It would be a lie if she were to say that she was not afraid. She had seen the sentencing of a court eunuch, who had committed all sorts of evil, to a Lingering Death. His flesh had been cut from his body by one hundred and twenty slices of the knife. In the end, he was a bloodied skeleton, even though he was still alive. She’d been so terrified that she didn’t sleep for a few days after witnessing it.
Emperor Xuanwu, who back then, had only been the Third Prince, had made a solemn vow to comfort her: “One day, if I ascend the throne, I will get rid of all these cruel and barbaric punishments.” Because of this promise, Imperial Consort Xi had believed that Xuanwu Emperor would be a benevolent ruler. To help him ascend the throne, she’d been willing to give up the seat of the Empress to the vicious Xue Mingzhu.
To draw the Bai Clan to their side, she’d roped in Bai Linglong and treated her like a sister. She had doted on Bai Linglong’s son as though he were her own child. However, in the end, Xue Mingzhu’s seat as the Empress was as steady as the Mountain Tai, and she became the motherly model of the kingdom. The idiotic son, Dongfang Jianming, whom Xue Mingzhu had given birth to, had also become the Crown Prince. She, on the other hand, had become disfigured and was forced to live a life worse than death. Even Linglong’s child had become crippled.
Meanwhile, Emperor Xuanwu and Xue Mingzhu had continued to rule over a vast swathe of territory and lead a peaceful, smooth life. On what basis do they deserve this? Imperial Consort Xi’s eyes suddenly widened. Her face revealed a hatred carved in her bones and engraved in her heart. Speaking slowly, she said, “Tell Eldest Miss Ye that as long as my looks can be restored, I shall be willing to taste the pain of Lingering Death.”