Chapter 172 “A Trip to the Palace.
The incident of Ling Yue being crowned a title princess had been over for several days by now, never once was summoned by the dowager during this period. This came as no surprise to anyone. After all, there’s at least a hundred or so with the same status symbol in the kingdom. No way an old woman would remember each and every one of these girls.
As for why the dowager would call upon her out of the blue, this had something to do with a certain incident a few days ago. Due to carelessness, the old woman had a slight slip and ended up bruising her old bones. Despite the royal physicians tending to her care, the dowager’s condition never let up. That’s when an old maid remembered the miraculous massaging skills performed at the banquet.
Due to the message stating only for Ling Yue to enter, her trip into the palace this time was a solo act. Brought directly to the old queen’s quarter at the Hundred Phoenix Wing, her luck seems to be on the dry side today for the dowager was taking a nap upon her arrival. This meant Ling Yue will need to wait until she gets an audience.
No matter though, she could simply wander around the wing to sight see and converse with the maids. And as it so happens, she accidentally came across a maid currently tending to several pots of peony flower in the garden. The palace could lack anything, but not peony because it’s the old queen’s favorite.
“This sister, you cut that part wrong, you should cut those dead stems instead.” Ever since Ling Yue created a garden for herself inside the Red Mist Sky, her understanding of plant caring improved greatly.
Going up, she assisted the maid in cutting the extra unnecessary parts off.
“Now that’s unexpected, to think Princess Yue is also knowledgeable about gardening.” Under the support of several maids, the old queen gingerly walks over to her. Compared to their last encounter, her highness appears to be a little haggard based on that complexion.
According to what Ling Yue heard, this incident with the slip wasn’t a light one. But as to how the woman fell that day, that part remains a mystery to her.
“Greetings to your highness. Please don’t flatter me, I can hardly be called fluent. It’s just that while I’m at home I like to fiddle with various flowers and plants on my free time.” She scoffs a laugh, pretending to be humble.
As much as Ling Yue attempted to downplay her skills, the old dowager didn’t buy it. As someone who truly values the beauty of the peony flower, how can she not tell the removed stems are all sick at its core. Not only will it not harm the flowers by removing them, the act will encourage growth to the healthy ones.
“As it so happens, I have here a very special variety that I’ve been trying to tend to. Unfortunately, the pot’s not doing well lately. I wonder if you can have a look and see if it’s salvageable.” Pulling her along, the dowager brought Ling Yue to a corner of the flower garden where the most expensive peony was stored.
Due to some unknown reason, this certain flower has been sick for a while now. But due to the old queen’s reluctance to give up on it, it was never discarded like the rest.
Stepping forward, Ling Yue did her usual act by injecting the spirit smoke into the object through her touch. As the image of the insides appear before her mind, Ling Yue found that hidden underneath the outer surface were many miniature sized eggs.
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It appears the culprit behind the withering condition had to do with these bug eggs. If she uses her spirit smoke to consume them and then transport the flower into her pocket dimension for monitoring, Ling Yue’s confident it won’t be long before it’s revitalized.
Getting no reply for so long, the old queen became anxious and asked, “is there any hope of saving it?”
“Yes. If your highness trusts me enough to let me take the plant back with me, I can guarantee its survival in a month’s time.” Ling Yue answers with confidence in her voice.
“Your highness, that peony is a gift from the sixth prince. It might not be a good idea to hand it to an outsider,” one of the old maids beside the queen whispered.
According to her memories, the title of crown prince currently belongs to the fourth prince. As for the sixth prince, that one was born of the queen and king rather than Consort Luo.
As mentioned before during the banquet, the sixth prince was the one Madam Lan wanted her to heal.
Though the king of Da Xia had a lot of offspring from various consorts, the most talented one had to be the sixth prince who was born of the queen herself. As such, the kid received the most favor from the old dowager and his majesty the king.
It’s said that even back when the boy was very young, he’s been measured to be a wielder of the spirit force. A rare gift no matter where one went. To add icing to the cake, his highness was also gifted with great intellect. Able to recite poems at the mere age of three, it was thought this sixth prince would eventually inherit the throne one day.
Unfortunately good times never last. At age five, the boy had an abrupt change to his temperament and became withdrawn. Shutting himself inside his room, the boy refused to see anyone, including his own birth mother.
At the beginning there were many rumors flying about. Some believed the prince had been cursed by some evil spell, while some believed his highness had ingested some wrong medicine causing his mind to warp. But no matter the theory or claim, one thing was certain: his highness’s condition never saw improvement over the years.
It was also because of this reason that the queen and the king became estranged.
Flash by a few years later, any topic relating to this sixth prince had become a taboo in the palace ground. Aside from the queen herself and the old dowager, none would be able to see this formerly glorious prince.
At the mention of her most favored grandchild, the old haggard woman could only exhale a deep sigh of regret. Her face a total frown as she eyed the withering peony flower.
“If it doesn’t go out then there’s no hope at all, but if does, then it might still have a chance to be saved. Otherwise I will have to truly abandon it.”
Though the old woman’s word were directed at the flower, the underlying meaning didn’t escape Ling Yue’s sharp mind. That’s no simple flower. It also represented the old queen’s care and love for the sixth prince and the pain in her heart.
“I will certainly not disappoint your highness’s expectation. Now that I am here, why don’t I first help your grace sooth your back pain with a massage session.” Storing away the withering peony flower, Ling Yue began seeing to the old queen’s condition.
First she examined the woman with her spirit smoke. Through her search, Ling Yue confirmed the pain was indeed related to the fall. Mainly a blood clot in the waist area. Due to the tricky location of the blood slab, it’s likely many of the royal physicians had intentionally overlooked this case, and even if they didn’t, they still wouldn’t attempt treatment if they found it. If a mistake occurs during the acupuncturing procedure, it might cause serious complications in the future.
Be that as it may, the usual problematic illnesses are no issue for Ling Yue. Controlling her spirit smoke, she easily consumed the entire blood slab and cleared the clogged section.
“My girl, you really do have a way with your hands. Compared to those old physicians in the palace that only knows how to work with the needles and cupping, your massages are way more useful. I feel absolutely refreshed right now.” Stretching her arms and legs, the old woman found herself to be nimbler than before.
Earlier the matter with the titling of this girl did have something to do with Lan Ying Wu, but after today, the old queen found that she has taken quite the fancy with the youngling. Unknowingly, their idle chitchat had lasted all the way to sundown where the old queen insisted she stay for dinner. Only by finishing the meal did Ling Yue get to leave.
“It’s been many years since I enjoyed such a long chat with someone, it’s been delightful. Here is a token for you. With it, you are free to enter the palace as you like. Do come visit me more often.” After chatting for a whole evening, the old dowager herself also felt tired. Ordering a young maid to see Ling Yue out, the event came to a favorable end.
“Further ahead is the palace gate. Apologies, but I won’t be seeing your grace out in person for her highness is waiting for my presence back in her quarter.” Since there’s only a short distance between the exit of the Hundred Phoenix Wing and the palace gate, the young maid figured Ling Yue wouldn’t get lost when it’s right in front. Giving her the direction by directly point ahead, the maid left the girl to her own device.
Well, that’s what the maid portrayed to Ling Yue anyways. Through her sharp senses, Ling Yue didn’t miss the oddity in the corner of the maid’s eye when she turned away.
Wrinkling her forehead, Ling Yue started to rack her brains for anything related to this maid. If her memories serve her right, the girl was always standing behind Consort Luo during the banquet that night.
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