Reborn Lady: Unparalleled Daughter of Concubine

Chapter 10 - Who Did That?

Chapter 10 Who Did That?

It was an open secret that Rhizoma Curculiginis was an aphrodisiac. But anyway, framing a maiden in such a sordid way was quite shameful.

“Well, that’s easy,” Imperial Concubine Yun ogled and said, “Can’t we just find out the one who carries Rhizoma Curculiginis?”

“Not necessarily,” Empress Chen said solemnly. “The medicine may not be taken along with after it took effect.”

“Well then, it’s still easy,” Imperial Concubine Yun raised her eyebrows and smiled, “Make a body search of everyone’s belongings. We’ll surely find it.”

That sounded easy. But Empress Chen was not sure about it. The guests present all came from noble families that were politically powerful in the capital. Such an abrupt search might give rise to political unrest. As she was still speculating, a slow voice arose from the girls. “Actually, it doesn’t have to be so complicated,” said Qin Yunuan.

Seeing that it was Qin Yunuan who was talking, Empress Chen was a little surprised, and she also got interested in her. A moment ago, she was a target for all, and she tried to defend herself. But now, she was calm enough to make suggestions.

“Tell us about it,” Empress Chen said peacefully.

Qin Yunuan collected her thoughts and then spoke up, “My nanny once told me that we should reduce the usage of some medicines like Rhizoma Curculiginis in the early spring. Because spring is the heat period for animals. A faint smell of Rhizoma Curculiginis would make those sensitive animals wild and hurt people.”

After she finished, Qin Yunuan bowed her head and ignored the glaring eyes of Qin Yunzhuang, looking quiet and innocent. It seemed that she was just trying to help the Empress out.

“You mean that I need to get an animal to search for Rhizoma Curculiginis?” Empress Chen seemed to think the idea was strange. But leaning against the chair, she was still thinking about its feasibility. Shishi was frightened. Besides, it was her precious little pet, and she was reluctant to use it.

At this moment, Imperial Concubine Yun cut in, “Ruo has a Chow Chow dog that seems to have a good nose. It has been in idleness for a while since Ruo went to the southern regions of the River for an inspection tour on behalf of His Majesty. We can use it.” She held her head high proudly because it was a great honor for her that her son was inspecting the south for the Emperor. The maid standing beside her knew she had to second her highness. “That’s right. His Majesty once praised that dog for being brave and intelligent,” she said.

Empress Chen turned away from the complacent face of Imperial Concubine Yun, and she instructed Nanny Xing to get everything done. At this time, someone sent by the imperial doctors came to inform that Miss Fang had woken up.

Well, what bad timing! Qin Yunzhuang raised a wry smile. It seemed that all she could do now was to await her doom. Mercifully, she still had a chance. Clenching a light-yellow flower sachet in the sleeve secretly, she glanced at Shangguan Yee who was unrest. And she felt relieved when she saw the crescent-white flower sachet hanging on Shangguan Yee’s belt.

Sorry, sister Shangguan. It was every man for himself. If we were that unlucky, it would be a good move to sacrifice you in order to safeguard major interests.

Knowing that Fang Ziying had revived, people all squeezed into the small wing-room with caring looks, until the doctors came out.

“Excuse me, Miss Li and Miss Qiao. Miss Fang has just woken up, and she needs some rest. Please don’t put me on the spot.”

As people were blocked outside, a weak voice arose from the veil. “Sister Yunuan? Is that you?” asked Fang Ziying.

Holding her hemline, Qin Yunuan made a curtsey to the imperial doctors by the door, and then she walked into the room filled with an herbal smell. Fang Ziying was leaning against a feather-padded mattress on the couch with a hurt look in her eyes. Empress Chen was sitting by her side, holding her hands and trying to comfort her.

There were two imperial doctors guarding outside the folding screen, who made way for Qin Yunuan at the sight of her. One of them was in his twenties and looked familiar, if not mistaken, to Qin Yunuan.

“Sister Yunuan,” Fang Ziying called again.

Qin Yunuan came close to her at once. Having greeted the Empress, she held Fang Ziying’s hands and asked carefully. “Do you feel any better, sister Fang? Are you still dizzy? Did you get hurt when you fell? Is there any injury?”

“Sister Yunuan,” Fang Ziying whimpered with her lips clenched together, “Please find out who tried to murder me, please!”

Qin Yunuan took a glance at Empress Chen, who looked dignified, and she nodded, “Take it easy, sister Fang. Her Majesty is there. She will find out the truth and deal with it impartially.”

After she finished those words, Empress Chen joined in the conversation, “Don’t worry, Miss Fang. I am an impartial person. I will not forgive those who dared to play tricks under my eyes.”

The two of them comforted Fang Ziying for a while. It could tell from the eyes that Fang Ziying trusted in Qin Yunuan very much. When she heard that Shangguan Yee denounced Qin Yunuan at the Plum Garden, she was so angry that she coughed several times, and then she looked at Empress Chen with tearful eyes, “Your Royal Highness, though I had just known sister Yunuan, I know exactly what kind of person she is. She will not do harm to me.”

Qin Yunuan appeased Fang Ziying who looked a little excited for a while. At this time, with the curtain lifted, Nanny Xing returned from searching at this time.

“Found it?” Empress Chen asked.

Nanny Xing leaned over to whisper in the Empress’ ear, but Empress Chen refused directly, “Say it directly.”

Nanny Xing was stunned by these words, and then she replied honestly, “Rhizoma Curculiginis was only found at one place in the Plum Garden.”

Empress Chen nodded and let her continue.

“It’s in the flower sachet of Miss Shangguan.”

Empress Chen was a little surprised, and then she narrowed her eyes. She always thought that this matter had something to do with Qin Yunzhuang, but now the evidence showed that it was Shangguan Yee. Qin Yunzhuang’s father was one of the Grand Commandants, which was high-ranking but not politically powerful. However, Shangguan Yee’s father was the prime minister of the imperial court with huge powers. Now that Shangguan Yee was the wrongdoer, things were getting trickier.

Qin Yunuan and Fang Ziying were not surprised by this result. The latter one clenched the corner of the mattress at the proper time and said bitterly, “We just had some quarrels. I didn’t expect she would hurt me in this way.”

Empress Chen had already heard the quarrel between Shangguan Yee and Fang Ziying on their way to the feast. And what Fang Ziying just said had confirmed Shangguan Yee’s crime.

Empress Chen still wanted to think more, but Nanny Xing confused her thoughts, “Your Majesty, Miss Shangguan is crying and screaming in the outer hall, begging to see you. Is that okay?”

“I won’t see her. Let her cry if she wants to,” Empress Chen said with a cold face. “Now she is crying and can’t say anything clearly. Inform me when she calms down.” After saying this, she frowned and pressed her forehead slightly, “I have a bad headache today. Come with me, Nanny Xing. I need some rest.”

Every one of them was so upsetting and troublesome. Empress Chen put on her elegant face grudgingly and told Fang Ziying to have a good rest. When she walked out of the room, she revealed her true colors and turned into a cold and stiff face.

After Empress Chen went away, Fang Ziying stopped crying and grinned, “What do you think? Am I a good actress?” She put her arms around Qin Yunuan and asked her joyfully.

“Yes, yes, you really are.” Qin Yunuan also smiled, but then she calmed down suddenly, “But I didn’t expect that Empress Chen would send the best two imperial doctors to examine you. Thanks to your cousin’s help, we got Rhizoma Curculiginis into it. Or, we could not make it plausible.”

“Don’t worry,” Fang Ziying said calmly, “If there is really no way out, I will find Shishi and give it a hug. In that way, I will be allergic.”

“Don’t say that, sister Fang,” said Qin Yunuan, who covered Fang Ziying’s mouth hurriedly, “I’m very sorry to get you into this trouble and let you lie with me.”

“It’s not your fault,” Fang Ziying said firmly, “At the banquet, we mentioned that I was allergic to Sweet Olive once, and there was someone who put the flower into my wine. Humph, I am fine just because I’m not allergic to it. But I may not be so lucky next time. It was quite fair for us to answer blows with blows.”

Qin Yunuan was finally relieved, and she smiled after listening to what Fang Ziying said. She was a little bit guilty because she never really wanted to make use of Fang Ziying. But to save her own skin, she had to hold back and deceive her sometimes. Fang Ziying had to be on the same side with her under such conditions.

Qin Yunuan served a cup of tea for Fang Ziying and took a chair beside the couch where Fang Ziying was lying on. Before they could say a few words, they heard a burst of heart-wrenching cries and shouting that was about to tear people’s hearts and livers.

“What happened?” Qin Yunuan asked the servant standing by the door.

“Her Majesty ordered to carry out the punishment,” the servants replied honestly, “It was said that Miss Shangguan was punished by 20 times of plank beatings because she plotted to murder Miss Fang out of jealousy.”

Humph, only 20 times of plank beatings, Qin Yunuan thought to herself. In her previous life, she was punished by 80 times of plank beatings because she pulled two wisps of Shishi’s feather when she struggled to escape from its scratching. Plank beatings in the Imperial Palace did not hurt so much as rod beatings at barracks. However, for a girl like Qin Yunuan, 80 times of plank beatings made her skin flayed-open and her flesh torn.

It all depended on social status, thought Qin Yunuan. But what she said was totally different, “Oh, dear me! For a fragile girl like sister Shangguan, such punishment will require a long time to recover.”

“Exactly! At first, Her Majesty was going to punish her by 30 times of plank beatings. Thanks to the tearful pleading and kneeling of the elder girl of the Qin Family, the number was reduced to 20. Or, it would be more serious,” the servant gossiped.

Kneeling and pleading? Qin Yunuan knew quite well about Qin Yunzhuang. She had to do some posturing to make up for her scapegoating. Besides, she must have gained a better reputation by kneeling and pleading for her friend.

But it did not matter. After this, Shangguan Yee would not be of one heart with Qin Yunzhuang like before. Without the help of Shangguan Yee, it would be much easier for her to deal with Qin Yunzhuang and her legal mother Dou Qing’e.

Qin Yunuan did not come to herself until a servant informed her that the hot water prepared for Fang Ziying had arrived. Before she came in with the water, an unfamiliar eunuch came to her.

“Are you the third daughter of the Qin Family?” The eunuch was all smiles, “Dr. Zhang is waiting for you there,” he said and pointed to a winding corridor in the west.

“Dr. Zhang?” Qin Yunuan could not remember who he was.

“Dr. Zhang Ruting is the cousin of Miss Fang,” the eunuch lowered his voice and said to her hurriedly.

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