After sending a medical assistant off to deliver the medicine to Consort Nian, Physician Lady Cui slowly set out from the Imperial Academy of Medicine.
As she walked, she brooded over a secret she kept to herself.
Recently, the palace has been in an uproar with one major happening after another, all seemingly revolving around Consort Nian.
Her secret too had something to do with Consort Nian.
A few nights ago, the then Concubine Nian had been on the verge of death yet today she had regained her footing. The Emperor had reinstated her position as an Imperial Consort again and tomorrow she was going to accompany him on his trip to the Autumn Mountains.
During the summer of the 15th year of Qingjia, the Emperor was heading to the Autumn Mountains once again. Last time, the purpose of his trip had been to worship his ancestors. This time, it was to pray for blessings in anticipation of his upcoming birthday.
There was nothing wrong with the Emperor going to the Autumn Mountains but what was strange was that he took Consort Nian with him. According to the rules, when worshiping, praying for blessings, fasting, and bathing, he should keep his distance from women. But even if he were to bring a woman, he should’ve at least taken the Empress.
Ultimately, the palace was in an uproar. News had quickly spread that Consort Nian had gained the Emperor’s favor.
But they remained unaware that Consort Nian had been pregnant with the Emperor’s child. On the night of her injury, her miscarriage had not been recorded in the books. Physician Lady Cui understood and knew that the two imperial physicians present at that time had been warned. When faced with a life or death situation, everyone knew what they must do.
But besides herself and Consort Nian, no one knew the truth behind Consort Nian’s high fever which resulted in her muddleness that crazy night.
Before retiring that night, the Emperor had summoned her to Chuxia Hall to treat Consort Nian.
She could still vividly recall Consort Nian lying on the bed and the trail of tears on her face that had yet to dry. Consort Nian had asked the Emperor to step outside and leave them alone for a moment. He responded with a furrow of his brows following the swing of his sleeves as he left there after.
At that time, she could not help the panic that rose within her. Though it was said that the Emperor was gentle of temperament, he was ultimately still the Emperor, the man with the power to take a person’s life at any moment he so desires. Nothing good would result from provoking his temper.
But witnessing their interactions, she felt as though she was not looking at an Emperor and his Consort but rather just an ordinary couple.
After the Emperor left, inside the crystal curtains, Consort Nian asked her for a pill that once taken, would induce a fever.
Even till this day, she didn’t know why she had given Consort Nian such a pill that night. Perhaps it had been because Consort Nian had sunk to the ground heavily and kneeled before her. Perhaps it had been because of her eyes that were bloodshot red, staring at her pleadingly.
Consort Nian had taken the pill and instructed her with a few words. Afterwards, she softly said, “Cui gugu, take care of yourself.”
That night, Consort Nian had fallen seriously ill.
Only now did she realize that the pill she had provided had been the key to Consort Nian’s trip to the Autumn Mountains.
But she didn’t know why Consort Nian wanted to go to the Autumn Mountains. Did she want to announce to all the women in the harem that the Emperor favored her through this trip?
Her intuition told her that Consort Nian wasn’t like that. But who could be certain of the affairs of the harem? Beauties scheme and people’s hearts are ever changing.
She had a feeling that if the Emperor learned of this matter one day, it would surely incite a bloody storm and she was going to be at the center bearing the brunt of the rainfall.
Take care of yourself. Why did Consort Nian say this to her?
Pushing aside a branch of flower that was in her way, she looked ahead and spotted two figures behind the trees not far from where she stood. It was Prince Lingrui and Ruyi gugu.
In the palace who didn’t know these two were a couple?
She often heard the little maidservants chatting amongst themselves. They said that one day Ruyi gugu would soar from the branches and become a phoenix. Prince Lingrui had yet to marry and it was not difficult to fathom why. It’s said that if Ruyi hadn’t wanted to serve the Empress Dowager a bit longer and if the Empress Dowager hadn’t been reluctant to part with her, Prince Lingrui would’ve already asked the Emperor to bestow a marriage.
Stumbling upon such a scene, she did not dare to stay a moment longer. Fearing that she might soon witness something that will make her face flush, she quickly took her leave.
“I’ll be leaving the palace with ninth elder brother tomorrow.” Long Zi Jin looked at Ruyi and softly said, “It will be a while before we return.”
Staring off into the distance of the lake, Ruyi merely sounded a response indifferently.
Long Zi Jin sharply remarked, “I suppose it was me who was a busybody. What was the point of rushing to come find you?”
Ruyi’s gaze turned towards him. In a low voice she replied, “Then don’t come find me in the future.”
Long Zi Jin’s lips lifted in a frosty smile as he angrily asked, “You don’t wish to meet me like this?”
With a bitter smile, Ruyi replied, “Your Highness, this servant has already said that you can go find the Empress Dowager, His Majesty ……”
“Can I? It’s only because ninth brother trusts me that I can meet you in private like this. He knows that I care for you but I will never betray him.” Long Zi Jin bitterly chuckled. “What’s more, with me here, no one will doubt your relationship with ninth brother. The Empress Dowager knows that Ji Xiang loves ninth brother. You are her niece. Wouldn’t she let you handle her private matters rather than Ji Xiang, is that not for the best?”
Ruyi lowered her eyes. She remained silent for a long time before she said in a low voice, “You and I have been friends for many years but in this life, I’m not able to return your love. In my heart…… there’s only him.”
“I don’t need you to return it!” Long Zi Jin said through gritted teeth. His hands then reached out to grab her shoulders as he fiercely said, “You have already repaid Nian Xuan Ji’s kindness. You treat her so well, aren’t you afraid that she will steal ninth brother away from you?”
Closing her eyes tightly, Ruyi said,”Eunuch Xu said that once the struggles of the court come to an end, he would make me his Empress. But I never had such thoughts to begin with. I’ve told him(LFL) that as long as he takes me as his consort and let me accompany him at his side, I’ll be content.”
“He’s the Emperor. At that time, would his harem be lacking in women? There will be other women even if there’s no Consort Nian. But it’s fine as long as I’m the one in his heart. I’ll have his child and we’ll….”
Long Zi Jin coldly interrupted, “Aren’t you afraid ninth brother will have a change of heart?”
Ruyi clenched her jaw and retorted, “That’s impossible! Why do you think he brought Concubine Jin back? Firstly, it’s to balance the powers of the women in his harem At that time he had just gotten married. Among the one Hall and three Palaces, it was not ideal for him to shower favor on any one of those women. The addition of Concubine Jin gave those women and those backing them something to worry about, that he could take in new concubines at any time, that he could support the family backing the concubine as he wished.”
“But secondly, and most importantly, Ji Xiang and I had gone to the Autumn Mountains with him. At that time, I had gotten into an argument with him over a matter. An Jin was a concubine’s daughter and she was similar to me in many ways. In a fit of anger, he had brought her back to deliberately annoy me. If he didn’t love me, he wouldn’t be angry let alone do such a thing!”
Long Zi Jin shook his head. “Wen Ruyi, you’re wrong.”
“The matters regarding An Jin is a separate issue altogether which I won’t talk about. But have you ever thought about how a calm and collected person such as ninth brother has never fallen for a woman before meeting Nian Xuan Ji? If he has, it’s only been merely an act. I’m a man, the way he looks at Consort Nian….Ruyi, he has never looked at you like that before.”
With this chapter, I start to question Long Fei Li’s love for Ruyi. The fact that he allows his brother to meet with Ruyi privately and feels at ease with it makes me wonder if he truly loves her romantically or just care for her. Because with Xuan Ji, we’ve seen how jealous and possessive he can get.
Anyways I have actually just finished reading this novel this week! And I can say that we are in for a roller coaster of twists and turns. There were a lot of plot twists that I was not expecting at all!!! And its going to be real angsty all the way up until the end. But its a happy ending so it was all worth it!
Also I wanted to mention that Peach Blossom Grove just added another novel called “The Memory Lost in Space”. The first 5 chapters have been translated by a featured translator that goes by the name Tofu! This novel is by the amazing Tong Hua who wrote Bu Bu Jing Xin (Scarlet Heart) so you should definitely check it out! After finishing Love in Another Life: My Gentle Tyrant, this is the novel that I’m currently reading and I’m currently half way through the novel and its SOOO good!! If I had the ability and the time I would love to help with the translation of this novel too but I already have too much on my plate????????