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Chapter 29-Part 2

During the coldest days of the winter, Jiang Xiurun poured three large buckets of cold water to counteract the potency of the medicine. At the time, due to the heat of the medicine, she felt nothing, but with shock and fear, even a robust person couldn’t bear it, let alone her, a girl barely seventeen years old.

That night, Jiang Xiurun caught a chill and developed a high fever. In the middle of the night, when Qian’er went to cover her with a blanket, she discovered that Jiang Xiurun’s whole body was burning hot. Anxiously, Qian’er hurried to call the palace physician.

(T/N: Bai Qian)

Jiang Xiurun stopped Qian’er in time, saying she had just had an incident during the day. Although the Crown Prince appeared normal on the surface, in reality, he regarded her as a thorn in his side.

Now, if she claimed to be ill and needed to see the physician, it would seem like an absurd situation. It was better to use a cloth soaked in cold water to cool her forehead and then sleep it off.

Qian’er didn’t say anything. It was already late at night, and it wasn’t convenient to go out and buy medicine. She wandered around the outer courtyard and, using the excuse of catching a chill, obtained some herbal medicine from the rough workers’ wives in the Crown Prince’s residence.

Then, in the courtyard, she built a fire and boiled a thick bowl of herbal medicine, which she gave to Jiang Xiurun to drink.

Although the herbs were not expensive, they seemed to have the desired effect on the illness. After Jiang Xiurun drank them, her fever temporarily subsided. However, after the fever passed, her whole body felt as if her bones had been broken, causing intense pain.

The next day, Qian’er wanted to go out and buy medicine while it was still daylight, but she found that their courtyard was being guarded. They said it was a message from the Crown Prince that the situation had been unstable recently, so Master Jiang and the servants should refrain from going out casually.

Qian’er went back to report to Jiang Xiurun, who shook her head weakly, knowing that her long-planned scheme to fake her death and escape might now be dead in the water.

It was obvious that Feng Liwu intended to confine her.

Faking her death? She might actually end up dead this time. Her bones might not even leave this courtyard. Under the flower beds and beneath the roots of the locust tree would be good places to bury her.

Jiang Xiurun was always strong-willed, but fate had played with her in this life and the last. In her illness, her willpower was inevitably weakened, so much so that she felt like giving up. If she was going to die, she might as well go out with a full stomach.

So she ordered more palatable wine and meat, not wasting her efforts after several months of hard work.

Fortunately, the Crown Prince did not mistreat the prisoners in this courtyard. Jiang Xiurun’s requests were all granted, from smoked duck and pickled chicken to even a stew that was usually only served on New Year’s Day.

Unfortunately, Jiang Xiurun was still seriously ill. Although she tried to eat, her stomach, weakened by the illness, couldn’t tolerate the greasy food. With a retching sound, she vomited it all out, narrowly missing splattering it onto the shoes of the guards who came to deliver the food.

Shortly afterward, the palace physician hurriedly arrived and took Jiang Xiurun’s pulse and examined her tongue.

Jiang Xiurun felt that dying of a sudden illness was a dignified way to go.

If that were the case, at least she would leave a complete body. If the Crown Prince took pity and allowed her brother to come and collect her body, perhaps she could take some of the gold she had saved for a long time with her brother to prevent him from living in poverty.

With these thoughts in mind, as the physician took her pulse, administered acupuncture, and then wrote a prescription to go and fetch medicine, Jiang Xiurun struggled to sit up and walk to her desk, opening the box where she kept her writing implements.

She poured out several pieces of fine silk banknotes from Luo’an City, carefully folded them, and stuffed them into her hair bun on top of her head.

It was difficult to stuff them in, but her hair became disheveled, with a few strands falling around her ears, accentuating her fever-flushed face.

Feng Liwu walked into the room, and what greeted his eyes was such a scene—a disheveled young man sat alone at the lacquered wooden desk, with two slender arms protruding from his wide robe, clumsily tying up his own hair. His face was flushed, somewhat resembling the scene when he had been drugged and struggled on the ground, biting his lip…

Jiang Xiurun hadn’t expected the Crown Prince, who had shown no concern for her, to suddenly appear before her. At first, she was stunned, but then she gained some insight. Perhaps, as a farewell gesture, the Crown Prince had come to offer some parting words.

As long as he had a bit of compassion, she would strive to secure some benefits for her brother, sparing him from a life of loneliness and destitution.

As Jiang Xiurun was lost in thought, the Crown Prince had already approached her desk, lifted his robe, and sat opposite her at the table, saying, “You’re so seriously ill; why didn’t you call for the palace physician?”

Jiang Xiurun took a deep breath, trying to calm herself, and calmly replied, “It’s just a minor illness caused by the cold wind. I didn’t want to make a fuss…”

She only said half of her words when she couldn’t continue because Feng Liwu suddenly reached out his long arm and gently touched her forehead. Then he frowned and said, “With such a high temperature, is it still a minor illness? Isn’t your servant, Qian’er, always attentive to you? Why was she so careless this time?”

Jiang Xiurun was startled by the Crown Prince’s sudden move. Constantly reminding herself that she was a man, she desperately suppressed the urge to avoid him, only bowing and saying, “It’s because I didn’t ask Qian’er to fetch the physician. It’s my fault…”

The Crown Prince absentmindedly nodded, looking at the lips of his tutor, which had just loosened. Those lips were so delicate, yet the owner of the lips had been so ruthless to himself just now, biting so hard!

Feng Liwu pondered while looking at the youth’s lips. The blood slowly filled them, like cherry blossoms falling on snow-white skin…

The young man, who usually looked so spirited, how could he inadvertently be so captivating?

Feng Liwu was momentarily entranced, suddenly feeling a hint of regret. Perhaps, at the Taoist temple, it would have been right to have this young man executed along with the others.

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