Fields of Gold - Chapter 706
Zhu Junyang turned around to look at the patriarch of the Chen Family, who was standing at the threshold, smiling. He sneered and said, “Even the most well thought out plans will have their holes. We only didn’t find what’s wrong here!”
Zhu Junyang was willing to bet everything he owned that there was something off about the Chen Family’s patriarch. With his ability to read people’s minds, he only saw a blank white space in the other man’s head. This man either had a natural gift or had been carefully trained by someone else. Ordinary people would always have something appear in their heads when they were talking to others. Thus, it was likely that the latter was true for this man!
Hou Xiaoliang felt his spirits lift at the sign of a breakthrough. He asked excitedly, “Master, does the Chen Family really have something fishy?”
“The patriarch of the Chen Family is not a simple man!” Zhu Junyang mounted his horse in an easy movement and followed the officers as they headed down the road. He coldly commanded, “Ming Xin, Ming Ding, keep an eye on them!’
“Yes!” Two voices could be heard from the street in the area where there were the most people. immediately, a pair of beyond ordinary men disappeared into the crowd.
The Chen Family absolutely had something going on in order to have his master say that they were ‘not simple’. Hou Xiaoliang wanted to cry with joy. They finally had a clue of where his mistress and his Wutong had gone. Wutong, just wait, this older brother will save you soon!
However, for the next few days, the news from Ming Ding and the others only told them that nothing of note had occurred at the Chen Family’s residence. If it weren’t for the fact that this involved his own wife, Zhu Junyang would have praised them for having nerves of steel!
Five days had passed and they still had no leads. Hou Xiaoliang was so frantic that he was running around in circles, “Master, since there’s something wrong with the Chen Family, isn’t it better to make a show of force and take the patriarch out? With Chief Steward Su’s abilities, I’m sure he’d be able to crack that nut!!”
“No! Currently, no news is good news. This means that they need something from my princess consort. Otherwise, I’m sure they would have leaked something regarding her in order to make a nice trap for us to fall in!” Zhu Junyang frowned heavily. The only thing that his lass had that other people might covet was her medicine concocting skills. Was it possible that these people had heard the rumors that he was looking for materials to a life prolonging pill? That was also good as it meant that the lass was at least safe for now.
The thick smell of medicinal ingredients wafted around the secret underground room in the Chen Family’s warehouse. Eunuch Yuan watched as the rare and valuable medicinal ingredients were placed into the medicinal stove one after another. They slowly dissolved into a thick medicinal extract that looked incredibly astounding. A strange, eerie smile appeared slowly on his pale face. The reason why it looked odd was because it looked like someone had drawn the caricature of a smile on a stiff mask as it didn’t have any true emotion to it.
Time had passed and they were getting closer and closer to the forty-nine day mark. Xiaocao and her servants had worked until their eyes turned red and all of them had become markedly thinner. They looked incredibly sallow and wane. In order to reach his goal of obtaining twenty more years, Eunuch Yuan naturally wouldn’t treat them poorly.
However, concocting pills, especially the ones from the recipes that the little divine stone had given her, was not that easy. In the past, when she made pills, she had the little divine stone next to her, helping her to control the flame. Thus, Xiaocao had a much easier time. Only once it left her side did Xiaocao realize just how much she relied on it.
This time, Xiaocao needed to do everything personally by herself, especially the most important part of controlling the heat. Even Wutong’s and Chunhua’s help wasn’t enough to make her confident. Forty days had gone by as she worked tirelessly day and night. They could only sleep a few hours every day, so it’d be more surprising if they hadn’t become run down!
When the sweet medicinal fragrance came out of the stove, Xiaocao extinguished the fire under the stove and tottered over, swaying with each step. She opened up the medicinal stove and retrieved three sparkling white pills that resembled luminescent balls of jade. The pills glittered under the wan light like jewels and their unique smell filled the entire underground room. The fatigue from working overtime for many days seemed to have dissipated as soon as the three of them smelled the pills.
“Are…are these the Prolonging Life Pills? You truly succeeded in concocting them?!” Eunuch Yuan became gleeful and rushed over. He snatched the three pills into his hands and stared at them as if they were the most precious treasures in the world. He gazed at them carefully…
Suddenly, he held his own throat and his eyes bugged out so much that they almost fell out of his head. He glared malevolently at Xiaocao and managed to snarl out, “You bitch!! You actually dare to poison me!”
Yu Xiaocao lightly brushed some dust off of herself as she faintly smiled, “Nothing much. I just made an interesting medicine from the remnant ingredients that were lying around in my spare time.”
Fortunately, in order to keep this secret, Eunuch Yuan had sent all of his subordinates out of the secret room. Other than Xiaocao and her two servants, there was no one else in the medicine concocting room. Earlier, when he had snatched the pills from her, he brushed past Xiaocao’s hand and that was when she set the poison on him.
Yu Xiaocao slowly walked over and retrieved the three Prolonging Life Pills from his hand while she looked at his furious face. She sneered and said, “Eunuch Yuan, you’re such an ambitious person with a disregard for other people’s lives. Someone like you isn’t fit to spend more time in this world. These Prolonging Life Pills should be given to more worthy people instead ah!”
“Pfffttt——” Before she could finish her thought, her body flew through the air and crashed into the rock-hard wall behind her. A sickly sweet taste flooded her mouth and she expelled out blood that had come up from her chest.
Wutong and Chunhua both ran towards their mistress, who was lying on the ground like a limp rag doll. Tears streamed down their faces as they supported her up and slowly walked her over to where Eunuch Yuan was standing.
“You…” Yu Xiaocao felt another clot of blood reach her mouth and she did her best to endure the crushing pain in her innards, “Didn’t you get poisoned by my ‘Bone and Flesh Dissolving Powder’? Why…”
“I need to thank you ah!” Eunuch Yuan tossed a jade bottle in his hands and a sinister smile appeared on his lips, “This high-level detoxification pill is truly out of the ordinary. It was able to immediately get rid of the effects of such a scary poison. However…Your Highness, I don’t think you’re as lucky as me. You have such a severe internal injury and don’t have a ‘Nine Turns Golden Elixir’. What are you to do?”
“Young Miss, how are you feeling? Are you okay ah?” Wutong wept profusely. If her young miss’s condition was truly as serious as that damned eunuch said, she didn’t know how long she could last without any medicine or doctor nearby. What to do? Why hadn’t His Highness found them by now? Just what was that idiot Hou Xiaoliang doing?
“Achoo——” Hou Xiaoliang rubbed his nose right after he threw a man dressed in servant’s attire in front of his master. He asked, “Master, are you sure this fellow has something up with him? Almost fifty days have passed and I don’t know whether the mistress and Little Wutong have been tormented enough. Are they able to eat enough, sleep well, or…”
“Shut up!!” Zhu Junyang suddenly felt as if a sword had pierced through his chest. He held his chest as the expression on his face changed. Everyone said that a married couple had their hearts linked together. Did something suddenly happen to Xiaocao?
He went forward a couple of steps and lifted up the man who looked like an ordinary servant in his hands. His blood-shot eyes stared fixedly into the servant’s eyes. The servant’s eyes transformed from clarity to muddleness and, in the end, he couldn’t take the strain and fell over in a faint.
“Wow! Master, you actually know how to hypnotize people?” Hou Xiaoliang exclaimed in surprise. A thoughtful expression also appeared on Su Ran’s face after seeing this bizarre scene.
“Let’s go! We need to head to the Chen Family’s warehouse in the western part of the city!!” Not everyone was like the patriarch of the Chen Family and had been trained in protecting their minds. After snatching away the important information from the servant’s mind, Zhu Junyang strode out quickly and mounted his horse before speeding off.
A few days later, when this servant woke up in the yamen’s jail cell, he had already become a simpleton…
Inside the secret underground room in the Chen Family’s warehouse, Eunuch Yuan grinned evilly as he stepped closer and closer to the three women. Chunhua bravely went forward to fight but her moves were very easily countered by Eunuch Yuan. In a jiffy, Chunhua lost the encounter and had been blown away, flying through the air and falling to the ground with a heavy thud. No one knew whether she was alive or dead.
“Originally, I wanted to keep you alive as your medicinal concocting skills have some use for me. At my side, you could watch as I climbed onto the highest throne. At that time, I was going to give you the position of the personal physician of the emperor and allow you to enjoy glory, honor, and riches.” Every step of Eunuch Yuan’s was deliberately slow as he was trying to prolong their suffering as much as possible.
Eunuch Yuan had a little habit. He really enjoyed watching people struggle and squirm in front of him. As they became more and more frantic and scared, like a caged animal, he became more excited!
Suddenly, the expression on his face changed. His pair of eyes resembled that of a venomous snake’s and he stared furiously at Yu Xiaocao, “Who would have thought that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between good and bad and would actually try to poison me? This reminded me that you’re not only an official for the Great Ming Dynasty but you’re also that stupid imperial prince’s woman. The person who can’t get along with the Zhu Family the most is me. As his woman, you have deep feelings for him. If I keep such a disloyal person like you by my side, then that’d be like trying to drink poison to quench my thirst! Perhaps one day you would actually succeed in poisoning me!!”
Eunuch Yuan glared furiously at Xiaocao’s face as he snapped, “It looks like I can’t keep you alive! These three Life Prolonging Pills will be more than enough to let me accomplish my goals! You all should die now——”
“Stop right there!” Yu Xiaocao cradled her chest and lightly coughed. After swallowing a bit of blood that had just risen to her mouth, she stared at him firmly, “If you go forward another step, I will swallow these three Life Prolonging pills right now, so you also can’t get what you want!”
Eunuch Yuan snarled malevolently, “You dare!!”
“Why wouldn’t I? In any case, like you said, you wouldn’t be keeping me alive. If I can’t live, why should I let you get your way?” As she spoke, she placed the pills in her hands towards the corner of her mouth.
“Wait, wait!” Eunuch Yuan sputtered and reached out a hand in an attempt to stop Xiaocao from going further. His eyes flickered and he squeezed out a smile, “Official Yu, let’s make a deal. I’ll let the two of you go and you give me the Prolonging Life Pills. How’s that?”
“Do you think I’m an idiot ah? Can anyone possibly trust such a cruel, merciless, ambitious person who is willing to do anything to get to his goals? As soon as the Prolonging Life Pills fall into your hands, do either of us have any place to turn ah?” Yu Xiaocao’s chest seemed to become more and more painful with every passing second and her grip on reality was slowly slipping away. She couldn’t faint right now. If she passed out now, she would never have the opportunity to open her eyes again.
“Then what do you want?!” Eunuch Yuan was slowly losing his patience.
“Let my maidservant go! After I know she is safe, I will give these Prolonging Life Pills to you!” Yu Xiaocao thought that there was a very low chance that she’d be able to live longer, so she wanted at least one of them to live.
“No! Young Miss!! I don’t want to leave you! If death is coming, then we should die together!” Wutong forcefully shook her head as tears streamed down her face and onto Xiaocao’s face.