Chapter 175 “Artificial Disease”
Taking advantage of this opportunity, Ling Yue took a closer look at the queen to get a better picture of the woman.
At more than thirty years of age, Liu Yun Xiu can’t be considered exemplary with her appearance. Though that may be true, her graceful elegance was her main redeeming feature. Compared to the enchanting and charming look portrayed by Consort Luo, this woman was more befitting of her image as the ruler of the inner palace.
As expected of a scholarly woman of her background. According to what Ling Yue learned through her god mother’s mouth, Liu Yun Xiu’s father was the royal tutor of the current king, making her well respected among the old dowager and her husband. If not for the illness plaguing the sixth prince, things never would’ve fallen this far.
Flat cheeks with an unhealthy shade of yellow to her skin, it’s no wonder the king had become estranged to this woman when she looks so horrible. An extra ten years must’ve been added to her age due to this.
After a while, Liu Yun Xiu finally comes out of her unconscious state. Her eyes full of vigilance upon meeting Ling Yue’s face.
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Although it was Ling Yue who saved her, but if word gets out of the palace regarding her son’s worsening condition, the king will no doubt order an execution as a result of the tainted reputation to the royal family.
This maiden in front cannot be stayed.
Through her keen senses, Ling Yue didn’t miss the short glimmer of murderous intent, “Your highness, I am Madam Lan’s second daughter, Lan Ling Yue.”
“You are Ye Xuan’s second daughter?” Upon hearing the girl was related to Madam Lan, Liu Yun Xiu immediately calmed down somewhat. “Is your mother doing well? I haven’t seen her in years already.”
“Mother is doing very good. Ever since father got transferred back to the capital, she’s been wanting to visit you in person. Just that she never got the opportunity. Though mother wanted to come see you during the last banquet at the Ghost Festival, but her request was firmly rejected by Consort Luo when brought up.” If Madam Lan were to meet her friend again in this state, it’s a certainty the woman would be saddened by the queen’s appearance.
“Consort Luo?” The queen was a little surprised by the story.
“Your highness must be unware of the affairs in the inner palace and the pompous regard for power by Consort Luo. Over the years, that woman had used your name to dispose of the many concubines favored by the king himself, and whether it be in the public or in private, her influence now rivals your own.” Ling Yue’s wording causes the queen to have a major change in her complexion.
To confirm the story, she turns to consult Chiyan and the rest of the maids in the room. Sure enough, none replied to her gaze, their heads deeply lowered.
“Chiyan, are her words true?” A thin layer of anger comes out of her face.
Prior to the sixth prince becoming sick, Liu Yun Xiu had governed the inner palace with great care and equality. Never once were their heavy rifts between the differing concubines.
“My queen, I’ve long wanted to inform you of this. Thanks to his majesty’s high favor and your previous message to leave her in charge, Consort Luo had amassed a formidable force under her using the crown prince as the banner. Now there’s only the dowager left capable of suppressing the woman’s behavior, but even then, her highness would turn a blind eye whenever the crown prince is brought up.” In his younger years, Chiyan had received a lot of help from the queen’s father so he’s absolutely loyal to her.
Towards Ling Yue who managed to spill everything he never had the courage to do, Chiyan was very grateful inside.
“The blame can only be on me then for being so muddle all these years. Now that my son is in this state, I fear my title as queen is but a name now.” Making a bitter smile, Liu Yun Xiu can tell the only reason nothing drastic has happened yet was solely due to the king’s sentiment towards her father, the royal tutor. If one day her father passes away, only banishment into the cold palace awaits her and her son.
“Don’t be discouraged your highness, Consort Luo only managed to ascend to her current position thanks to the crown prince. Without that bargaining chip, the woman has nothing. Let’s not forget, you also have your son the sixth prince. From what I heard, his highness is both gifted and more intelligent than the fourth prince. If we can somehow help him recover, I’m certain the dowager and the king too will turn their favor back to your side. What’s there to worry about?” Ling Yue repeatedly reminds her like a demon’s whisper.
Originally there had never been any enmity between Ling Yue and Consort Luo, but after tonight’s scheming, the grudge has been set. Besides, that woman’s colluding with the Hong Clan, it’s just a matter of time anyways.
A friend’s enemy is her enemy, all she needs to do is to wipe them all out, that’s the creed followed by Ling Yue.
At the mention of her son, a spark of parental love comes out of her eyes, but more than that, there’s an undeniable helplessness.
“Ling Yue, your mother and I have been friends for many years so I’ll tell you the truth. If it’s any other person trespassing into my Morning Flower Wing tonight, they be dead by now. I cannot allow anyone to learn of my son’s worsening condition because many have died by his hands already. These aren’t unknown to the dowager from what I can tell, but his majesty the king is still oblivious to it. As an upright person, the king will definitely order my son’s execution if words leak. Such a son, how can he compete with the current crown prince?” Her eyes turn murky with tears, ready to slide out the corner at any moment.
Xia Hou Qi was once her greatest pride, but now it’s the queen’s greatest pain.
Royal Tutor Liu had advised her many times before to conceive another child while she’s still young, but in the end the instinct of a mother doesn’t permit her to abandon the sixth prince.
“What sort of illness is the sixth prince suffering from?” Ling Yue only knows the prince was suffering from an illness, but specifics are unknown to her. This was also why she didn’t rashly promise her god mother’s request back then.
Originally she didn’t want to meddle into the dirty waters of the palace, but now that others are shoving their hands in her face, there’s no point in holding back. Besides, the attacks used by the sixth prince intrigued her quite a bit.
“I don’t know either what sort of illness my son is suffering from. All sorts of healers and alchemists have come to see him, but no matter the medicine or pills we use, none could prove useful. Over the years it only got worse. Some time ago Hou Qi could still recognize me as her mother, but these two months, things have become so terrible that he’s attacking the servants.” Weeping, tears began to flow again.
“Don’t be anxious your highness. I myself have some medical know how, why don’t I have a look and see if there’s anything to be done?”
“No, my son’s temper is so bad recently that he will attack anyone who gets near. I was only bringing him food tonight and you saw what happened,” the queen shakes her head.
“No matter, I will have my ways to get close to his highness. However, before the diagnostic, I would like to survey his living quarters. Also, I will need a list of his usual diet and habits for careful assessment.”
Relying on her intuition, Ling Yue can be sure the sixth prince didn’t become like this due to illness. There’s something else going on.
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