The Third Prince Has Arrived
The corner of Xiao Wan’s mouth lifted slightly. These pastries were something she had someone prepare earlier that morning. A tiny amount of a certain spice was added to them, which regular bystanders were unable to smell. Only those who were pregnant would be extremely sensitive to it, as it would stimulate their taste buds.
Xiao Ruo firmly bit her lip and almost couldn’t resist the urge to run away. She took a few steps back.
“Fifth sister? I personally prepared these seven star pastries earlier this morning. Don’t tell me that sister won’t give them a try?”
Xiao Wan moved the pastries she was carrying slightly closer to Xiao Ruo. Xiao Ruo’s face changed color and she covered her mouth, unable to stop herself from retching. Xiao Wan was frightened and dropped the tray in her hands. The tea water just so happened to splash onto Xiao Ruo’s arm.
“Fifth sister? Are you all right? I didn’t mean to do that.” Xiao Wan’s face was one of self-blame and guilt. Coincidentally, her handkerchief had been stained with a dot of red, but she had not noticed. The old madam’s brows furrowed and her line of sight fell onto Xiao Ruo’s wrist.
Xiao Ruo waved her hand and created some distance between her and Xiao Wan. She put on a weak smile. “Ninth sister, I’m fine.”
Wet Nurse Yuan was surprised. Fifth sister was acting as if she was… She glanced at the old madam, wanting to say something but was hesitant.
Fan rushed forward to support Xiao Ruo’s back. “This child wanted to eat cold food and managed to upset her stomach. She didn’t rest well but still insisted on coming. Someone come quickly, carry Fifth sister back to her room.”
(TN: The idea of cold food upsetting a person’s stomach relates to Chinese medicine. Cold food is believed to make it easier for hanqi (cold air literally) to enter one’s body and this can result in upset stomach and other ailments.)
Xiao Ruo heard this and nodded her head. Recently, her reactions were particularly serious. If there was even something slightly wrong, she wouldn’t stop vomiting. She was in great discomfort. “Grandmother, granddaughter will precede the others in withdrawing.”
Xiao Ruo turned to leave, but the old madam put down her teacup with a bang.
“Wait, since you are unwell, we should not delay anything. Wet Nurse Yuan, go bring the manor’s doctor.”
When Xiao Ruo heard this, she lifted her eyes towards Fan, her face rigid. Fan was shocked for a moment but reacted quickly. She pretended to calmly play down the situation, “Mother. The child is always like this. She’ll be fine after the imperial physician prescribes her some medicine. She just can’t control her mouth. There’s nothing serious–no need to worry.”
“Oh, yes.” Xiao Ruo wanted to throw up but forced herself to grind her teeth and endure. “Grandmother, granddaughter is fine. Do not worry.”
“How could that be all right?” Xiao Wan was the first to stand up and protect Xiao Ruo. “Fifth sister, this was a chronic problem? How come I didn’t know? Grandmother, we must certainly invite the imperial physician to come and look at her. Fifth sister’s health is important. It cannot be neglected.”
Fan frowned but Xiao Wan quickly continued, “Let’s invite the imperial physician. He has friendly relations with father and his medical expertise is superior. He most certainly can get rid of this illness. Mother, wouldn’t you say so?”
Xiao Wan’s face was innocent and filled with concern as she looked at Fan. Both of her eyes were wide open and filled with sincerity as she looked at Fan, which made it hard to refuse her.
“Little Ninth, your Fifth sister truly has nothing serious. It is not necessary to get a large number of people involved and invite the imperial physician. Little Ninth, mother knows you mean well, but your Fifth sister only ate something that upset her stomach so she’ll be fine after two days.”
Fan was anxious to explain the situation because she had no way of bribing the imperial physician.
The old madam glanced at Fan. “Little Ninth is right to be worried. The body of a girl is fragile. If anything is wrong, we need to immediately nurse her back to health. Let us not delay. Imperial physician Sun and the Minister are well acquainted so it’s not a big deal.”
“Wet Nurse Yuan, take my waist badge and go invite Imperial Physician Sun.”
(TN: Waist badge was used as a form of official identification that signified the person had certain authorities and privileges.)
“Yes!” Wet Nurse Yuan nodded before immediately turning and leaving.
Fan nervously bit her lip and looked at Wet Nurse Yuan’s figure get further and further away.
Xiao Ruo’s body couldn’t help but shake. The entire time, Xiao Wan had placed her hand on Xiao Ruo’s arm. Xiao Ruo lifted her eyes and unexpectedly looked into Xiao Wan’s eyes. She had a faint smile and her eyes carried a touch of ridicule in them, but when she looked again, the look had vanished, which made Xiao Ruo think perhaps she had seen wrong.
“Fifth sister, imperial physician Sun will definitely be able to cure you.”
Xiao Wan spoke with an innocent face. Xiao Ruo shook her head; she must’ve been over thinking things because there was no way that this idiot could know.
Xiao Ying frowned and suddenly looked at Xiao Ruo whose expression flickered and a mocking expression streaked across her eyes but quickly vanished.
Fan uneasily sat to one side. The old madam had a decided expression. Fan’s lips twitched and she unexpectedly was unable to find a sentence of retort.
Waiting was truly tortuous and tormenting. After a good while had passed, Imperial Physician Sun arrived, carrying his medicine bag.
The old madam glanced at the many young ladies in the room and waved her hand. “Everyone leave. Little ninth stay behind.”
The old madam also couldn’t figure out what exactly was happening. She was not scared of ten thousand; she was scared of “what if”. Family scandals should not be made public. The old madam was worried that Xiao Ruo had been foolish and did something she wasn’t supposed to, which would bring shame to the Xiao family.
The second house and third house young ladies shared a look. Even though they didn’t want to leave so they could see the drama, the old madam was starting to shoo people out so they felt bad about not leaving. They hesitated for a while before finally withdrawing.
The tip of Fan’s eyebrow jumped. The old madam’s sharp eye managed to catch it. Fan’s scalp tightened; she lifted her teacup and took a small sip. As she feigned indifference, her mind was racing and her palm of her hand had quite a few beads of sweat. She sat uneasily.
At this moment, the maidservant standing outside of the door shouted, “Old madam, his highness the third prince has arrived.”
When Xiao Ruo heard this, she abruptly raised her head and her eyes revealed the joy she felt. She secretly let out a sigh of relief.
Xiao Wan’s lip twitched upwards; he had come at just the right moment!
The old madam said to the Imperial Physician Sun, “Imperial Physician Sun, sorry to trouble you but please wait for a little bit.”
Imperial Physician Sun smiled. “No trouble at all.”
While they were talking, the Third Prince Lian Jiye, with both hands resting on his back, strode in with his imperial bodyguards following behind him.
Wearing a full body of magnificent embroidered clothes, his collar was embroidered with a decorative design of swirling clouds. On his chest was a four clawed, silver dragon embroidered with silver thread. The dragon’s body was coiled and it was crouching as if at any second it would rush forward towards the skies. At his waist, there were two jade pendants tied together. In an instant, he had walked in front of them.
Xiao Wan raised her eyes and a beautifully handsome face greeted her eyes. Her eyebrows slightly jumped and her forehead area hid an expression of worry as he quickly walked over.
Xiao Wan couldn’t help but tightly clench her fist. In her previous life, it was because she was concerned with Lian Jiye that she had lost herself. A mistake she had made again and again was to be a handhold asked to stay by other people.
She was forced to marry someone else and suffered all kinds of humiliation. She even stupidly believed that Lian Jiye was innocent and had feelings about her.
If it weren’t for the fact that, in her past life, she had personally heard Lian Jiye insult her in every possible way, Xiao Wan would still be unwilling to give him up. In this life, she would definitely make these two people pay the price.
The old madam stood up. “Your highness, why have you suddenly decided to pay a visit? Excuse me for not going out to meet you.”
Lian Jiye looked over to Xiao Ruo and only when he saw that she was fine did he direct his line of sight to the old madam. “Old madam is being polite. It was this prince that has unsolicitedly disturbed you.”
The old madam thought Lian Jiye had come to see Xiao Wan and for a brief moment looked upon Lian Jiye with high praise.
“Little Ninth, come quickly to see his highness.” The old madam looked over to Xiao Wan and beckoned her over.
Xiao Wan made an effort to hide her hatred as she walked forward and half-bowed. “Xiao ninth pays her respect to his highness.”
Lian Jiye looked at Xiao Wan indifferently. His eyes displayed a flash of disgust, but it quickly vanished. As the old madam hindered him, he lifted a hand slightly. “Ninth sister, rise now. I heard that Ninth sister had returned safe and sound so this prince came especially to see.”
Xiao Wan stood up, lifted her chin and coldly said, “Contrary to what you might think Xiao Ninth is fine. Fifth sister is actually the one with a chronic illness that hasn’t gone away yet. I had some concerns so Grandmother specially invited Imperial Physician Sun to come and treat Fifth Sister. Unfortunately, your highness has arrived right at that time.”