PRINCESS YANG LIU currently known as KUAN HUI
IMPERIAL PRINCE CHAMBERS
"His Highness seems to be doing well today." The Imperial Physician retracted his hand and removed the gauzy cloth that he had placed on Yang Liu's hand to avoid skin to skin contact as he took the pulse.
"That's good. You may leave." Dowager Empress Wang dismissed the man who quickly picked his belongings alongside his assistants, then left.
"This is good news. Your Highness' fever has subsided." Dowager Empress Wang squeezed the watered cloth and reached to pat the princess' forehead.
"Dowager Empress does not have to keep up with this charade anymore, please leave?" Yang Liu looked away, not willing to have eye contact from where she lay.
"Your elder brother stayed up few nights ago to nurse your fever. How―"
"I said get out." Yang Liu pronounced a fist in frustration and hit the bed.
"Insolent!" Dowager Empress threw the damp cloth to the princess' head, "You entreat me this way after I spent the past few days in distress for you?"
"Get out," Yang Liu responded coldly. She was doing her best to keep a cool head but it was unbearable for her to be in the same space with this woman.
"Your Highness, I'm your mother!"
"Anyone out there?" the princess shouted, to which her maids ran in, "please help this woman back to her palace quarters, she is not needed here."
"Kuan Hui!" The Dowager Empress rebuked, fuming with deadly anger.
"Yang Liu! My name is Yang Liu, you witch," she snarled back, her eyes raging furiously.
"Shénme(what)?!" Word pierced air enveloped by heavy emotion. Though reprimanding with an orotound voice, the elderly woman seemed taken back by her daughter's bitterness.
The princess' palace maids rushed to the princess and held her, "Your Highness, please calm down. Speaking this way to the mother of our nation may have you killed. Please calm down."
They switched positions by tossing themselves by the Dowager Empress' feet. "Your Highness, it is us who deserve to die, please forgive our prince. It is all our fault for not being filial maids, so have us punished instead." They kowtowed consistently beseeching on behalf of their said master. To this the Dowager Empress leaned on her court lady and stood up, still shaking with towering rage that possessed her. She tsked at the princess then left with her head held up high.
Everyone except the princess let out a breath of relief at the Dowager Empress' leave.
"Is your Highness alright?" Princess Yang Liu's court lady straightened the blankets.
"Get me some water," Yang Liu coughed, seating herself straight.
The court lady took a jug and poured some water. "All the concubines have been waiting for his Highness to grant them audience."
"Tell them I am unwell to see anyone," she dismissed. Princess Yang Liu would not tolerate being used by concubines as an object to try gain favour from the emperor. No one was really aware of her existence and now they were professing their love for her to be seen as upstanding in her elder brother's eyes.
"But your Highness, they also brought some gifts for you."
The princess took the jar of water from the court lady. "Return them."
"Yes, your Highness." The court lady bowed and left.
Yang Liu tried to remember what had really happened the day she was poisoned, however her mind was too groggy.
She sighed out her nerves. Her life was one of just trying to survive and loving her beloved, then who would want her dead?
"Your Highness! Someone is here to see you," her courtlady dashed back in.
"I said no visitors," she said irritably.
"But your highness―"
"You consider me a visitor?" General Feng scowled as he walked in behind the court lady.
Her heart beat stopped for a second then rapidly, it started drumming against her chest. She found herself running out of breath like someone was choking her.
General Feng was there to see her. Her body swamped with overwhelming feelings and all she could do was stare at him.
"Is his Highness alright?" he asked with concern.
"Me? No… it hurts all over," the princess coughed and lightly held her head. If she was in this condition, she might as well take advantage and milk out all the benefits. "I feel hot all over," she ferned.
Her eyebrows slightly raised towards her court lady as given signal for the lady to leave them alone.
He frowned, "Then I should call the Imperial Physician."
"No, no, no…" she waved in panic. "Rather when someone damps my forehead with this cloth, I will feel better." She held up the piece of cloth that her mother threw to her earlier, looking at him expectantly.
"Alright, does his Highness mind if I sit―"
"I don't!" she interjected excitedly.
General Feng sat himself next to her lowered bed and setting a respectful distance, he started tending to her.
"Where you worried that I would die?" She observed his beautiful chiseled face and he simply nodded.
"Really?" She beamed and smiled widely, a pleasant feeling settling in the pit of her stomach.
"Your Highness must not worry about this happening again, his Majesty has been paying much attention to the incident and soon Gurio will have to pay for being so bold." Coffee brown eyes concentrated on her forehead while he dabbed her.
"Gurio? Gurio was responsible for my poisoning?" she frowned, feeling puzzled.
"Remember when I came to see you before you passed out?"
She wagged her head, although the memory of it was hazy.
"I had seen suspicious activity around your quarters. His Highness must know that your food was not poisoned but somewhat he was stung by a poisoned needle."
She gaped. "What about the kitchen staff that got killed… and some of my kitchen attendants also got tortured a few days ago." Her elder brother was quite ruthless.
"That had more to do with his Majesty feeling disrespected by the dragon court gathering that was organised in his absence."
"Oh…" But to her that was not enough justification. Her elder brother had to stop with his erratic behavior.
She eyed General Feng as he discarded the cloth he had used on her and wiped his hands dry, using another. He was about to leave her.
"Ah my feet," she squinted her eyes closed. "My feet are sore and swollen, may you gently massage them for me?"
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