When Zi Wan saw him wake up, she was so happy her eyes curved. She used a handkerchief to wipe the sweat on her forehead that came out due to worry and nervousness, then ran out to bring in a cup of hot water, “Duke, please have some hot water.”
Xiao Zuo nodded his head, Zi Wan then carefully cushioned him with a pillow, and he leaned on the pillow against the back of the bed, drank some water, and finally had come to from that strange nightmare. Xiao Zuo slightly breathed a sigh of relief, and saw the doctor grab the prescription, and lamented with surprise, “This White Ears certainly has some miraculous effect.”
“Doctor.” Xiao Zuo coughed, “You’ve worked hard, Doctor.”
The old doctor continuously shook his hand like he was surprised by the honour, “It is all thanks to Duke’s miraculous medicine, this old one cannot be considered to have done anything.” After saying this, he wrote down another prescription, and gave it to Zi Wan, “Now that the fever has subsided, there isn’t much of a big problem, it will be fine after quietly recuperating for a few days.”
Xiao Zuo laid down for a few consecutive days, so his waist and back was quite sore- he rejected the idea from Zi Wan to have him continue sleeping for a while, and slightly leaned on the back of the bed, and randomly took up a book on military tactics, then used the swaying candlelight to read it.
When He Xuan came in through the door, it was this sort of calm scene.
Xiao Zuo was wearing white underclothes, draped with an inky-green silk robe on the outside, and his long hair was slightly tied up, loosely placed to the back of the head. His fingers’ joints were distinctive, slender to the point they were pleasant to the eyes, and at this time, they were holding a corner of a book. That pitiful paper was kneaded by him so much it turned all wrinkly, but Xiao Zuo did not realize it at all. The dim yellow candlelight passed by his dense and fine eyelashes, and fell onto the paper, creating a considerably tender shadow.
He Xuan’s footsteps paused, he could not help but slow down his breathing, afraid to disturb this seldom beautiful scene. But the shadow he had was far too honest, it straightly defected to the enemy camp, and sold him out completely cleanly. Xiao Zuo lifted his head up and glanced at him, then narrowed his eyes and smiled, “Your Highness has come.”
“Mm.” He Xuan pursed his lips, took off the big cloak, hung it on the rack to the side, then walked over and sat on the side of the bed, “Has the fever subsided?”
“En.” Xiao Zuo nodded his head. He closed the book and placed it to the side, then hung his head down and glanced at his own fingers without a sound, the hung eyelashes gathered into a shadow, making it hard to see the expression in his eyes.
“Next time……” He Xuan paused, the excuse he thought of originally made a circle in his mouth, like the courage to go in alone instantly took a strike from an army tens of thousands strong, and dissipated without a trace. He sighed, and in the end, said some insignificant words, “Rest well, I will come see you in two days again.”
“Is that White Ears truly this incredible?” He Yang excitedly asked again, that old doctor nodded his head, and respectfully said, “It is the utmost truth, I saw they were unwell, but who knew once they ate the medicine, the fever would subside immediately, and with a blink of an eye, they could already jump and run.” Perhaps for his own money, he even exaggeratedly embellished the epic of how Xiao Zuo was so sick, then how he had escaped from death, and stretched it, making He Yang practically rub his hands in eagerness, anxious to jump out.
“Rewarded!” He Yang waved his hand, and let the servant give that old doctor a bag of silvers. He saw [the doctor] smile so much he couldn’t close his mouth while receiving it to put it in his bag, and even glanced at him disdainfully, “What a pauper, to think he could be sent away with a few silvers.”
A few days ago when he went into the palace, Empress Liu pulled him aside saying He Heng’s wind chill could not be uprooted at all, it would be better for a few days then return, making He Heng have a headache. Empress Liu then had him go to the commoners’ realm to find some rare prescription, if it could heal He Heng’s illness, then that would be a great achievement, bound to make He Heng give him another glance.
It just so happened that Xiao Zuo also got a wind chill, He Yang then bought out the doctor who treated him, and heard his sickness was quite severe as well- originally, he probed about it in passing, but did not think that he really hit the jackpot.
“This time, it’ll be a victory against He Xuan.” He Yang took a small sip of some wine, and grabbed some cold dishes and placed it in the mouth, then pridefully sought merit from Empress Liu. Empress Liu was also happy, but as someone within the deep of the palace, she was accustomed with concealing her emotions, so she only slightly curved her lips, and drank a bit more wine than usual, then put down her chopsticks, “Oh you, don’t be so happy, be a bit more reserved.”
“Don’t worry, Mother.” He Yang narrowed his eyes, and stuck his head out to say in a small voice, “I saw He Xuan whole-heartedly thinking of that fellow from the south, these few days, there were even a few places he missed in his court duties, tsk.”
Empress Liu indifferently glanced at him, “He is just playing, a wolf cub like He Xuan……” As she said this, she lightly laughed, like she had thought of something, “However, this is also our chance.”
“Chance? What chance?”
Empress Liu paused. She did not follow up He Yang’s words, and only slowly put the sharp and thin gold finger protector on her finger, and played with the gems cast on the surface like she was in deep thought, “Do you remember that dancer who entered the palace a few while ago?”
“Now that little bitch has already been granted a title of Noble, as expected of a dancer background, to be full of tricks of seduction, she has coaxed the emperor to rest in her palace for a long time already.”
“Oh?” He Yang disdained the public and private fighting between the women of the back palace, but due to Empress Liu’s face, he only went through the motions, “She is merely a dancer, Mother’s status is of noble standing, how important is it to beat and kill a single dancer?”
Empress Liu was accustomed with being contaminated by back palace, how would she not know of these shady tactics that could not be brought to the table yet was the most common? She was accustomed with using these things when she was young, but she turned older in these years- when she was young, she did not believe in the heavens nor destiny, and dared to use whatever shady tactics she could- but once she got old, she could not help but start getting scared.
Empress Liu hung her eyes down, two fingers pinched a bamboo stem, and lightly played with the blackbird in the birdcage.