Chapter 213: Emperor Xuanwu’s Decision
In his letter, Dongfang Yao recounted the entire situation in detail. He strongly recommended that Emperor Xuanwu punish that little b*stard, Dongfang Jianming, severely.
Lastly, he highlighted that Yun Tianwei had assigned a highly-skilled bodyguard named Ye Zi to protect Ye Jiuge. He implored Emperor Xuanwu to recruit this adept master at any cost.
Meanwhile, at Zhengqing Palace in the Lei Kingdom’s capital, Emperor Xuanwu had finished reading Dongfang Yao’s letter. He sat motionlessly on his imperial throne with an exceptionally dark expression.
The Head Eunuch, Li Fude, stood by his side and waited on him. Although Li Fude’s heart raced, he did not breathe too heavily.
Ever since Gong Honglei had escorted the Crown Prince back to the Capital and appealed to Emperor Xuanwu to reward the Gong Clan, a smile had not appeared on the Emperor’s face.
Suddenly, a clamor came from outside. It sounded like people were arguing loudly.
Li Fude panicked. He wished that he could walk outside and beat the sentries and eunuchs guarding the palace entrance to death.
They should not allow this kind of problematic incident to occur now; it was terrible timing.
“Go and see what is happening outside,” Emperor Xuanwu instructed with his eyes closed.
“Yes.” Li Fude wiped the cold sweat off his forehead before leaving the room. When he returned, his face was even more ashen. He said in a low voice, “The Empress is outside. She’s asked to see you.”
“Did I not order the servants to prevent her from leaving Fengyi Palace? How did she get here?” Emperor Xuanwu eyed Li Fude. This gesture inspired fear in the eunuch, despite his composed expression.
“I am at fault for handling things poorly. Your Imperial Majesty, please punish me.” Immediately, Li Fude kneeled. He was terrified.
In truth, he should not be blamed for the commotion.
Although the Crown Prince had been placed under house arrest, Emperor Xuanwu wouldn’t dare convict him of conspiring with the Sorcerers. Being guilty of such a crime was too disgraceful. All this while, he had been trying to find an appropriate criminal charge for him.
Nor had he stripped the Empress of her title. He’d merely confined her in Fengyi Palace and commanded some palace maids and eunuchs to keep an eye on her.
Ordinarily, palace maids and eunuchs should be sufficient for the task.
However, the Empress was a Spiritual Practitioner, after all. For years, she had been nurturing her body with various Spiritual Pills. Therefore, she still possessed a certain level of Spiritual Cultivation.
After the Crown Prince had gotten into trouble, she’d repeatedly asked for an audience with the Emperor.
When she realized that no one was paying any attention to her, she rushed out of Fengyi Palace like a madwoman while the palace maids and eunuchs chased after her. This was the cause of the racket now taking place outside the palace. “Take her back to Fengyi Palace and feed her some Spiritual Dissipating Pills. As for those good-for-nothings from Fengyi Palace, punish them as you see fit!” Emperor Xuanwu shut his eyes again as if he were unaware that Spiritual Dissipating Pills were lethal for Spiritual Practitioners.
“Yes.” When Li Fude heard the Emperor’s words, he knew that the Emperor no longer had any feelings for the Empress.
He walked outside briskly to pass the Emperor’s order to the servants. Soon after, the clamor subsided.
The Empress, who had led a tremendously successful life in the past, was dragged back to Fengyi Palace. The imperial servants forced the Spiritual Dissipating Pills down her throat. In the future, it would be challenging for her to walk, much less cause any trouble.
Li Fude returned quickly. He kept his body bowed beside Emperor Xuanwu. He did not breathe loudly. Zhengqing Palace was as quiet as a graveyard.
With his eyes still closed, Emperor Xuanwu spoke as if merely making small talk. “How is the situation with the Su Clan?”
Li Fude sweated even more profusely. He mustered his courage to reply, “The Su Clan’s Old Master is still in a coma, and Su Junqing hasn’t returned to the residence.”
Emperor Xuanwu’s expression didn’t show any noticeable change.
He opened his eyes. He could not help but land his sharp gaze on Dongfang Yao’s letter.
He was silent for a moment, then said suddenly, “What’s all this buzz about Ye Jiuge?”
“I do not know much about her. However, I’ve heard that the Imperial Consort and the Dongling Prince are friends with the Ye Clan’s Eldest Miss,” Li Fude answered tactfully.
Although he was not able to view the contents of Dongfang Yao’s secret letter, everyone knew what had transpired lately in Medical Refinery City.
Ye Jiuge had managed to transform her reputation from the heinous, irredeemable leader of the Sorcerers into a hero who had taken them down and saved Medicine Refinery City. This turnaround awed the entire Lei Kingdom.
People were particularly amazed when Ye Yuxuan had made a statement supporting his daughter, whom he’d previously disowned, and pleaded for her to change her mind about cutting ties with the Ye Clan. This had convinced people even more that this whole mess had merely been a misunderstanding.
All of a sudden, Ye Jiuge had reached the peak of her fame.
Imperial Consort Xi and Dongfang Que were on good terms with her, which would be immensely beneficial for the Imperial Family’s image. Lately, their Dongfang Clan had suffered dramatically in prestige.
“It seems that Que’er has foresight after all,” Emperor Xuanwu said ruefully. In his heart, he had already made a firm decision.
Li Fude glanced at the Emperor’s expression. He realized that the political situation in the Capital was about to change due to the potential nomination of a new Crown Prince.
Meanwhile, Ye Jiuge had just settled her affairs in Medicine Refinery City and was making ready to return to the Capital.
She’d never expected Dongfang Yao to suddenly announce that she’d come in first in the Pill Production Tournament. Not only that, as a prize, he’d given her a Pill Production Furnace worth ten thousand gold taels.
“As the tournament has not ended yet, I do not deserve this reward.” Ye Jiuge shook her head. Ambitious though she was, she refused to accept it.
“This decision was made collectively by all the Alchemists who participated in the Pill Production Tournament. If the tournament had not been interrupted midway, you would have been its champion.” Dongfang Yao was being truthful. Among the participants in this year’s tournament, no one else could compare with Ye Jiuge when it came to Pill Production Techniques.
Ye Jiuge declined the prize in every possible way. However, Dongfang Yao insisted on giving it to her. He even told Ye Jiuge that this Pill Production Furnace belonged to her now. If she did not want it, then she could throw it away.
Ye Jiuge had no choice but to accept it.
She opted for an equivalent amount of money in exchange for the furnace. After that, she divided the funds equally among the family members of the Alchemists who had been killed by the Sorcerers.
Seeing this, Dongfang Yao lauded her deeds. He also converted the other tournament prizes, which had been prepared beforehand, into their cash equivalent, and distributed the money to people who had been wrongly targeted by the Sorcerers.
Initially, Ye Jiuge had not put much thought into her actions. She had not expected to earn the public’s praises for her righteousness, which had even helped Medicine Refinery City recoup a decent amount of their damaged reputation.
Just when Ye Jiuge was about to begin her return journey, Bai Songling sent her a letter from the Capital.
“Why would the Su Clan’s Old Master disappear so suddenly?” After Ye Jiuge finished reading the letter, she looked at Zi Shang with a baffled face. Was it possible that there was a problem with his Demonic Seal?
However, Zi Shang shook his head. He explained that if he did not personally remove the Demonic Seal, the old man would not regain consciousness.
“Did Su Junqing move his grandfather to a safe place?” asked Luo Tian, who was standing beside her.
“That’s impossible. Right now, that geezer is a burden to him. Su Junqing has nothing to gain from whisking him away from the Su Residence. Unless Su Junqing has another purpose.” Ye Jiuge thought of a possible reason. Her expression changed slightly.
The same thing had occurred to Luo Tian. He asked in astonishment, “Are you telling me that Su Junqing wanted to use his grandfather to further his cultivation level?”
Although the members of Bloodthirsty Sect used human blood to practice their Black Magic, not many individuals were monstrous enough to use their blood relations for cultivation.
“It’s highly likely.” Ye Jiuge’s expression turned grim.
Lately, Su Junqing had searched high and low for Spiritual Doctors who could treat the Su Clan’s Old Master. However, none of them had a way to cure his strange illness. Therefore, it seemed perfectly reasonable for him to capitalize on the old man’s remaining worth. He no longer had any other use for Su Junqing.
“All this while, Su Junqing has been heartless and ruthless. I am not surprised that he would do such a thing,” Ye Yu said through gritted teeth.
In the past, when his sister, Ye Yunzhi, had been pregnant with Su Junqing’s child, he’d personally sent her into the Bloodthirsty Patriarch’s hands.
“Please respond to this letter and tell Bai Songling that he must hunt down Su Junqing. By hook or by crook, we should never let him bring the Su Clan’s Old Master back to the Bloodthirsty Sect,” said Ye Jiuge solemnly. If the Bloodthirsty Patriarch devoured the Su Clan’s Old Master, he might successfully advance his cultivation level. Then, they would be in serious trouble.