Xuan Tianhua’s Request
With Imperial Concubine Yun mentioning the Heart Gu, it was a result Feng Yuheng had also thought about before. This was the reason she did not dare to do anything to Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu or the Eighth Prince after such a long time. If the Emperor was only poisoned, or it was a normal Gu, or it was like that insect Gu Lu Ping was inflicted by, as long as he could be saved if the person who raised the Gu died, she would kill the other party without any hesitation, and would not care even if she killed the wrong person. But what she was afraid of was this kind of Heart Gu.
Imperial Concubine Yun was still talking, she said: “The old Village Chief cleared up everyone’s confusion and let us know that there are two ways to plant a Heart Gu. One type is one-sided, implanting a Gu curse. For example, the girl has one-sided feelings for a man, and planted a Gu in the man. Once the man does not end up with her or changes his mind halfway, this means the Gu has been dispelled, she will end up getting the backlash and the one who implanted the curse will die. Another type is that both sides have agreed, dead set on this love. However, if one side dies, then both of them will die. When the old Village Chief saw these two bodies, he declared that the second method had obviously been used, with both their consent, a double death Heart Gu was implanted.”
After saying this, she looked at Feng Yuheng and presented her theory, “I do not believe that Xuan Zhan will allow anyone to implant that kind of double death Heart Gu, if the other person really wants to implant this type of Gu, then they might think of many different ways, such as……”
“Such as, first using some method to make Father Emperor see hallucinations, making Father Emperor think that Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu is Imperial Concubine Mother, with that, this kind of Heart Gu can be implanted easily.” This was Feng Yuheng’s analysis, and her words were reasonable, “It is not that difficult to produce that kind of hallucination, I don’t know if there are such things in Gu techniques, but at least I can use medical methods to make people see similar hallucinations, the process is not complicated.”
Imperial Concubine Yun nodded, “I thought so as well, so…….”
“So Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu and the Eighth Prince cannot die, because we cannot confirm who implanted this Gu, and who raised it.” As she spoke, the only emotion left was frustration. In the end, there was no change, all of this was just their one-sided guesswork. This guess might be infinitely close to the truth, but with each day that the truth was not in their hands, it would be one day where they could not relax. As of now, she had to make sure Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu and Old Eighth did not die, causing her teeth to itch due to the hatred. In fact, her younger brother was still in the Imperial Palace!
Feng Yuheng accompanied Imperial Concubine Yun to chat, talking about Xiangrong to talking about the Heart Gu, then mentioning how she hoped that Feng Yuheng could find a way to steal the white tiger in Winter Moon Palace out. She was really too bored in Chun Palace and wanted something to relieve her boredom. Feng Yuheng consented to it.
As for Xiangrong, a few intricately made desserts were produced. Her skills were learned from An Shi. At that time, An Shi’s skills in making desserts were the best. Yao Shi loved eating the desserts An Shi made the most when she was in the capital, and later on, a malicious person tampered with the desserts, harming Yao Shi.
Today Xiangrong displayed the unique techniques of making these desserts at Chun Palace. By just opening the pot, that fragrant and sweet smell caused all the servants in Chun Palace to salivate when they smelled it, to the point that one old granny said: “This is more fragrant than what is made by the most famous dessert shop in the capital, I just don’t know how it compares to the imperial kitchen in the Imperial Palace.”
Xiangrong was a little embarrassed hearing this and replied: “What is Granny saying, these are just small skills which cannot be used in a formal setting, just something I tinker on my own to eat on a usual basis, how can it match up to the imperial kitchen in the Imperial Palace.”
“That might not be so!” At the side, a kitchen maid spoke, “This Servant remembers that the Imperial Palace has sent desserts to our manor before, we have not eaten them, but we have seen them. They are made a little more exquisitely, but the fragrance is not as good as the ones made by Third Miss. Third Miss, with such delicious desserts, our Prince would definitely like it.”
Xiangrong blushed furiously from the comments, quickly picked up the desserts, packed them into a container and left quickly, leaving only kind laughter in the kitchen. Everyone knew, this was a good match Her Highness Imperial Concubine Yun gave to the Seventh Prince. She was a sheltered girl in the Feng Manor in the past, and with Feng Manor fallen to its current state, her status was a little poor. But the amazing thing about the Third Miss was that she had another identity: the younger sister of Princess Yu. The value of that identity was too huge, with Princess Yu sheltering her at the top, who would dare to not treat this Feng family Third Miss as an important guest? Didn’t they hear that the Fourth Prince also held this person in high regard! They just did not know if the Feng family Third Miss had the fortune to be together with the Seventh Prince.
Immediately after Xiangrong walked out from the kitchen, she was dumbfounded. She did not know where Xuan Tianhua was! Imperial Concubine Yun only suggested having her make desserts to give to Xuan Tianhua, but Chun Palace was so big. She might have come here before, but she only came into contact with the tip of the iceberg, where was she supposed to go now to find a person?
The good thing was that there were many people in the palace, and they were all friendly. She went around asking for information and eventually a pageboy told her: “His Highness the Seventh Prince is at the pavilion in the back garden. Third Miss can just follow this small path and will be able to see a man-made lake after going around a small bamboo forest. On the edge of that lake, there is a bridge which leads to the center of the lake, you’ll be able to see His Highness the Seventh Prince in the pavilion connected to it.”
Xiangrong gave her thanks and hurried headed towards that direction while carrying the container. After walking for about 15 minutes, she finally saw that man-made lake. A long stone bridge led to the center of the lake and a pavilion was connected to it. There was indeed a man sitting there with his side profile facing her. Wearing white and matching with the light snow which just started to fall, it was like seeing a deity in a painting.
Xiangrong was a little hesitant and suddenly felt that she should not destroy this kind of beautiful scene at this time. Xuan Tianhua, together with that pavilion in the center of the lake, with the addition of this lightly falling snow, it was so beautiful that it was like a picture. The deity in the picture quietly came down to the human realm and was sitting alone, how can normal humans approach and disturb him?
She should not be harboring such delusions…… her hand holding the container clenched tightly, the handle of the square container causing her some pain, yet she was unable to loosen her grip. She was thinking, there were so many people who liked the Seventh Prince in this world, was everyone just like her? Feeling deeply concerned when they could not meet, yet hesitant and not daring to come forward when they meet? A girl’s secret crush, would stepping forward be Hell, or the blooming of flowers?
In the end, she did not have to courage to move forward one step! Xiangrong sighed bitterly and turned around quietly, planning to leave, but the instant she turned around, she saw the person in the pavilion move slightly, his sights moving in her direction, meeting her panicked gaze and that thumping heart.
Xiangrong stopped, not knowing if she should advance or retreat, but she saw the person in the pavilion beckon lightly to her. Little by little, just like summoning a spirit, to the point that she did not even notice, her feet were already moving forward. When she finally came to her senses, she already walked across that stone bridge and came to the middle of the pavilion, standing opposite Xuan Tianhua.
Xiangrong gave a start and quickly bowed in greeting, but she heard Xuan Tianhua say: “I’m not a man-eating demon, why do you look so afraid of me?” As he spoke, he stood up and took the container from Xiangrong’s hands, opening it. Those slightly cooled down desserts were still giving off a fragrant smell, and even Xuan Tianhua could not help but praise: “These are made very well.”
She was dazed, then asked on reflex: “How did Your Highness the Seventh Prince know I made them?”
Xuan Tianhua laughed in spite of himself, “If you did not make them, then why did you carry the container and deliver them? Wouldn’t you have asked a servant?” He sized up Xiangrong in a rather absent-minded manner, and only spoke after a while: “Even you have grown this much, I remember when I just saw you, you were only this tall.” He held out a hand and indicated a height, it was Xiangrong who was only 10 years old, but it might also be Feng Yuheng who was already 12 years old. These two sisters interlaced with each other, and even the picturesque deity-like Xuan Tianhua was dazed for a moment.
Once Xiangrong was in front of Xuan Tianhua, she felt insignificant, so insignificant that she wanted to find a hole to hide in. She felt that she was not worthy of standing in front of this person, doing so would only damage this picturesque scene. But Xuan Tianhua told her: “Sit, why are you standing, I have to lift my head when talking to you.” After saying this, he even took off the cape on his back and covered the chair opposite, explaining: “Some light snow has covered it, sitting like this will prevent you from getting cold.”
Xiangrong wanted to give her thanks but felt that saying thank you would spoil the scenery, so she sat down in a stupefied manner. Xuan Tianhua’s cape still contained some body warmth and instantaneously caused her to blush again.
But Xuan Tianhua was not bothered by this. He reached out and picked up a treat, passing it to Xiangrong. After she received it, he picked up one treat as well and took a bite, then started talking about the situation in the capital in a self-absorbed manner.
This was the first time Xiangrong heard such a complete version of the situation in the capital. Feng Yuheng explained it to her before, but it was not detailed, glossing over most of it. With regards to the change in the Emperor in the Imperial Palace and his favour of Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu and the Eighth Prince, this was the first time she heard it in such a direct manner.
But the more direct it was, the more alarming it was, Xiangrong could not think of why the Emperor would suddenly become like this? Why would Concubine Yuan Shu suddenly be favoured? Favoured to the point that the Seventh Prince and the Ninth Prince had to bring Imperial Concubine Yun out of the palace to feel reassured?
All her confusion was written on her face, but Xuan Tianhua was unable to give her any answers, even telling her: “We do not know the reason either, even if there are too many guesses, there are only guesses. After investigating for so long, there are still no results.” He looked at Xiangrong and said in a heartfelt manner: “You should not have returned, the capital is dangerous.”
Xiangrong shook her head quietly. Her initial nervousness had been cast away, sinking into the situation of the capital’s environment. She told Xuan Tianhua: “Second Sister also said that I should not come back, but I feel that I made the correct choice in coming back. These are problems which all of you can face, I should not be escaping. I am a child of the Feng family, the younger sister of Princess Ji An, always shrinking back and always living under the protection of my older sister is not what I truly want. Even though I will not be of much help after coming back, at least there will be someone by Second Sister’s side and she will not be alone.”
Xuan Tianhua smiled, saying: “There is your brother-in-law now.”
“That is different.” Xiangrong told him: “Older brother-in-law and a younger sister is different. Exactly what is different, I cannot point it out, it is just a feeling. After all, a younger sister represents being a blood relative.”
Xuan Tianhua watched this child express her thoughts with a serious expression, and the occasional tightening of her brows resembled Feng Yuheng when she was thinking, causing him to feel waves of emotion. He asked Xiangrong: “You are living at Yu Palace now?”
Xiangrong nodded, “I wanted to stay at the embroidery shop, but Second Sister said that there was no space there and insisted that I stay with her.”
Xuan Tianhua thought for a while and said something which caused Xiangrong to jump in surprise: “Why don’t you…… stay in Chun Palace!”
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