Chapter 131: Miscalculation: The Angry Empress
“The first few rounds aren’t difficult. There shouldn’t be any problems,” Bai Songling said.
Then, he shared some information about the Alchemy Convention. Ye Jiuge memorized it carefully. After Bai Songling finished explaining about the convention, he thought of something else.
“Oh, Imperial Consort Xi wishes to invite you to the palace for a chat three days from now,” he said.
“How is the Imperial Consort free to see me?” Ye Jiuge raised her eyebrow.
Ever since rolling out a five-kilometer long red carpet to welcome Imperial Consort Xi home, Emperor Xuanwu had showered her with adoration. He even wanted to build a new palace for her. However, Imperial Consort Xi insisted on staying in Jinxiu Palace. As such, Emperor Xuanwu could only instruct the Ministry of Works to slave round the clock to renovate Jinxiu Palace. During this period, he arranged for Imperial Consort Xi to stay in a chamber in his own palace. His affection for her was unprecedented and had elicited many spirited discussions in the streets.
“The Imperial Consort misses you dearly. If there weren’t so much going on, she would have already invited you to the palace,” Bai Songling said.
When Imperial Consort Xi had first returned to the palace, things were indeed a mess. However, since the renovation was finished and she’d moved back into the palace, there was now more time for the Imperial Consort to invite Ye Jiuge over for a chat.
“Please convey my many thanks to the Imperial Consort for her great kindness toward me. Is she doing well?” Ye Jiuge asked with concern.
Although everyone said that Emperor Xuanwu’s adulation of Imperial Consort Xi was unprecedented, her well-being in the palace depended on whether the Empress was playing dirty tricks.
“She has been well. Ever since the Imperial Consort returned to the palace, the Emperor has not set foot in the Empress’s Fengyi Palace.” Bai Songling knew that Imperial Consort Xi would be able to hold Emperor Xuanwu close to her.
“With the Imperial Consort in the limelight, did the Empress do nothing?” Ye Jiuge asked. Such behavior doesn’t sound like the vicious woman’s usual conduct.
“How could she? The Empress tried to poison the Imperial Consort on the second day after her return to the palace. Luckily, the Imperial Consort detected it in time. Not only did the Empress’s scheme fail, but it backfired,” Bai Songling said, looking at Ye Jiuge with gratitude. If the Imperial Consort hadn’t realized the Poison Earthworm’s function, she would not have escaped the Empress’s evil scheme.
“Oh! How did the Imperial Consort cause the Empress’s scheme to backfire?” Ye Jiuge asked with some interest.
“Ask the Imperial Consort when you enter the palace!” Bai Songling said, smiling mysteriously. He believed that the Imperial Consort would want to tell Ye Jiuge the good news herself.
“Fine,” Ye Jiuge replied. She knew that Bai Songling was prudent in his speech; he would not converse excessively.
Wan Ziyang quietly listened to their chat. Suddenly, his eyes shifted. He fired a red Spiritual Light at the left corner and shouted, “Who’s there?”
Ye Yu revealed himself and replied grumpily, “I should be the one asking you that.” It’s unreasonable—not only do they occupy his residence, but they also attack him!
“Where have you been?” Ye Jiuge saw that Ye Yu was still wearing his nightclothes. She frowned and asked, “You didn’t find Su Junqing, did you?”
“I didn’t go to the Su Clan. I went to have a look around the Crown Prince Residence to see if he has been meeting Su Junqing in secret,” Ye Yu said.
The Crown Prince usually resided in the Crown Prince Residence; he seldom stayed in the East Palace.
“What did you find?” Ye Jiuge asked.
“The Crown Prince is in charge of the arrangements for the Alchemy Convention. He has been very close to Ye Shanshan lately, so you should be careful if you participate in the Alchemy Convention.”
“Even if I don’t, I’ll be wary of them.”
If the Crown Prince tried to act, Ye Jiuge would smash his teeth. Ye Yu knew about Ye Jiuge’s ability and did not say anything further. Instead, he turned to Wan Ziyang and Bai Songling and asked, “Why are you two looking for me?”
“We wanted to ask you about the treasure map, but there is no need now.”
Ye Jiuge had already told Wan Ziyang all he wanted to know. Wan Ziyang was concerned about things back at the Justice Department, so he pulled Bai Songling along and bid them farewell. Before leaving, Bai Songling reminded Ye Jiuge again to visit Imperial Consort Xi, and Ye Jiuge expressed that she would go to the palace soon.
After Wan Ziyang and Bai Songling left, Ye Yu said to Ye Jiuge, “According to my investigation, previous Alchemy Conventions took place in the capital. This time, it will take place at the Medicine Refinery Valley. The Crown Prince personally volunteered to organize it. I find that very strange.”
“Yes, it’s strange,” Ye Jiuge said and frowned slightly.
The Crown Prince thought highly of himself, and he had always felt that making arrangements was beneath his dignity.
“Watch the Crown Prince closely for now. Report any anomalies to me.”
No matter what, watching the Crown Prince was much less dangerous than surveilling Su Junqing.
“Okay.” Ye Yu nodded.
After sending Ye Jiuge away, Ye Yu again infiltrated the Crown Prince Residence. At that moment, the Crown Prince was in Fengyi Palace reporting to the Empress about his preparations for the Alchemy Convention.
“Mother, everything is ready in the Medicine Refinery Valley. We just need the convention to start,” said the Crown Prince, respectfully.
He had been busy with the preparations and only rushed back after hearing about Dongfang Que’s recovery. The court councilors who had initially supported Dongfang Que were becoming restless. If his mother hadn’t told him that the Ice Snow Spider King’s poison was incurable, he wouldn’t have been able to sit still.
Perching on the phoenix chair, the Empress wore a long silk robe woven with the pattern of a phoenix’s plumage. Her usually dignified and virtuous expression was dark and gloomy, and she seemed not to have heard the Crown Prince.
The Crown Prince snuck a peek at the Empress. After a moment’s consideration, he asked cautiously, “Mother, are you angry because of Imperial Consort Xi?”
“Hmph, is that b*tch worth my anger?” The Empress arched her thin eyebrows and gave a murderous look.
“Mother, you are right. So what if Father adores her now? She is just a lowly b*tch who will die from any of your methods without a burial site,” the Crown Prince said to gain favor with the Empress.
In recent years, countless women in the palace had died mysteriously. Even Dongfang Que was unable to escape his mother’s poison, so he was very confident of her ability. No matter how many times he asked, his mother refused to tell him where the strange poisons came from. For the Crown Prince, this was a pity. If he could control the poisons’ source, he would be able to deal with people whom he disliked.
The Empress suddenly slammed the table. The anger on her face was even more evident. Her son’s words had touched a raw nerve. The poisons which succeeded in every endeavor had failed completely with Imperial Consort Xi—they’d even backfired on her. The Empress could only pin her hopes on Xu Hansen bringing her new poisons. She had not expected that the idiot would be killed by someone from the Justice Department before he could even enter the capital. Furthermore, his Sorcerer identity had been revealed, and the Emperor knew about the treasure map.
“Mother, I apologize for my mistake. Please don’t be angry.”
Although the Crown Prince did not know what had infuriated the Empress, he knew that apologizing immediately was the right move.
The Empress’s chest heaved slightly, but she quickly curbed her anger. With lowered eyes, she said to the Crown Prince, “Bring Su Junqing to the palace tomorrow. I have something to ask him.”
She could only contact the Bloodthirsty Sect with Su Junqing’s help.