Medical Princess - Chapter 1139
Chapter 1139 Shocked to Learn the Truth About Her Mother’s Death
“You used to be in poor health. But you just caught a cold. How could you suddenly… become so feeble?” Shao Wanru asked, looking Third Madam up and down. She was indeed startled. Third Madam had always been weak, but she was just not strong enough. How could she sink into such a dreadful condition? She seemed to have become a wreck and rotten to the core.
Even if Shao Wanru didn’t feel her pulse, she could tell Third Madam was dying. She couldn’t help raising her willowy eyebrows slightly. Somehow, she struck upon an idea.
“I’ve completely broken down in health and become too frail to stand a minor ailment!” Third Madam looked at Shao Wanru and said seriously.
“Was your previous medicine used for refreshing people’s spirits?” Shao Wanru asked tentatively.
“It should be. Although I don’t know why it happened, my desperate situation should be related to the medicine Doctor Qiu gave me,” said Third Madam.
Shao Wanru blinked and asked, “Have you kept some dregs of the decoction?”
“No!” Third Madam shook her head and said with a wry smile, “Doctor Qiu’s medicine worked fairly well. Though I had been in poor health, I felt much better after taking his medicine. I even obtained the energy to deal with the mansion’s affairs then. I was in such a good state that I thought I would soon recover. However, I have had a bad feeling recently. My illness struck like a landslide, but my recovery is as slow as reeling silk. Gradually, a small problem becomes a severe illness!”
Shao Wanru was silent for a moment, knowing very well what Third Madam meant to say. Since the medicine was good, she didn’t deliberately leave any medicine residues behind. At this time, Third Madam could only rely on her feelings to judge this matter. But she must have preserved the prescription!
“What about the prescription?”
“There is no prescription. Doctor Qiu filled the prescription and sent the herbal medicine here!” Third Madam’s answer was the same as what Shao Wanru had guessed.
“Third Aunt, don’t worry. You may be fine after the imperial physician’s treatment. After all, you just feel slightly uncomfortable and caught cold by chance.” At this moment, Shao Wanru could only try to comfort Third Madam.
“I know my condition. Even if… I’m afraid no one has the power to save me from my desperate situation… It was my fault to believe in Doctor Qiu, introduced by the second branch. I even praised him as a capable doctor. Little did I know that his medicine would exhaust all my energy. As a result, I’ve become too seriously ill to be cured merely because I caught a cold!”
Third Madam gave a little cough and smiled wanly. Seeing that Shao Wanru still wanted to console her, she shook her head and said, “Your Highness, I didn’t invite you here to talk about my illness today. My illness, serious or not, is not a big deal for me. Death might free me from all encumbrances. I only feel sorry for my poor daughters, Caihuan and Cailing. How could they live well if they lost their mother at such a young age? I’m really worried about them!”
“Third Aunt, the imperial physician can always find a way to cure you!” Shao Wanru could only give her some mollifying remarks!
“Her Highness, I beg you to do me a favor. Could you please take care of my two daughters for me? They don’t have to marry into rich and powerful families. But, at least, they should marry husbands who are sincere to them,” Third Madam pleaded bitterly.
“Third Aunt, I can’t intervene in Third Sister’s and Fourth Sister’s marriages. Old Madam has her arrangements, and as a junior, I’m not allowed to meddle in these affairs!” Shao Wanru reminded Third Madam. She really didn’t want to get involved in this matter. First, she had no justifiable reasons to do so. Second, others would criticize the Prince Chen’s Mansion, blaming her for being insolent. They would think she was trying to suppress her sisters by taking advantage of the Prince Chen’s Mansion’s power. No one would believe that she genuinely tried to help them.
“Your Highness…” Third Madam’s eyes dilated with anxiety, and she straightened up. It seemed she wanted to get up and salute Shao Wanru. However, she went limp and almost fell.
Shao Wanru got up, walked to the bed, and slowly helped her lie down.
Although Third Madam lay down feebly, she still held Shao Wanru’s hand tightly and implored, “Your Highness, please help me!”
“Third Aunt, it’s not within my power to help you. You have much more influence on your daughters’ marriages than I do. Besides, you are not as desperately weak as you imagined. You should take good care of yourself and build up your health. You might not fully recover, but it’s not impossible!” Shao Wanru said softly, but she resolutely refused her request.
In particular, the Marquis Xing’s Mansion was in a mess. How could she intervene at such a bad time?
“How could you… how could you be so cruel? They are your cousins!” Third Madam gazed at Shao Wanru with a hint of accusation in her tearful eyes. “Please save them. Aren’t you willing to lend them a hand?” asked she, tears trickling down her cheeks.
“Third Aunt, it’s not that I don’t want to save them. They don’t even need me to save them. As Misses of the Marquis Xing’s Mansion, elders should decide their marriages. Even if Old Madam put this matter aside, Second Uncle and Third Uncle are supposed to take over it. No matter what, elders wouldn’t let me, your daughters’ younger sister, handle their marriages. Do you think Old Madam would grant me the right to handle their marriages? Or do you think I can compete with Old Madam for the right?”
Third Madam was about to argue. Seeing this, Shao Wanru bluntly interrupted her. “Third Aunt, you may think that as Princess Chen, I can do things at will and forcibly intervene in the affairs of Marquis Xing’s Mansion. Even if Old Madam has complaints about me, she won’t do anything to me.”
“But, Third Aunt, think about it. My two sisters would have to mourn for three years if you passed away. After that, they would grow much older. Even if Old Madam and Second Uncle don’t intend to do anything harmful to them, it will be difficult for them to get a good marriage. Besides, concerning Old Madam’s character, do you think she will let others decide their marriages?”
Old Madam had always been good at scheming. It was not a big deal for her to sacrifice one or two granddaughters to benefit the mansion. Old Madam was capable of doing such a thing.
It was not easy for them to get married, and Old Madam was plotting against them behind the scenes. Third Madam could imagine that Shao Caihuan and Shao Cailing were very likely to enter into bad marriages.
These words were unpleasant to the ear, but they reached the bottom of Third Madam’s heart, hitting her most sensitive point heavily.
Shao Wanru knew who Old Madam was, and so did Third Madam. If what Shao Wanru said happened, she knew her two daughters would be stuck with miserable existences for the rest of their lives.
With surprising strength, Third Madam gripped hard at Shao Wanru’s hand. Looking at Shao Wanru with burning eyes, she asked word by word in a low voice, “What if I separate the third branch from the Marquis Xing’s Mansion?”
“Are you going to break away from the Marquis Xing’s Mansion?” Shao Wanru was quite surprised.
The third branch of Marquis Xing’s Mansion had always been dependent on the second branch. Now or before, it was the second branch that supported the Marquis Xing’s Mansion. Besides, Third Madam couldn’t live apart from the second branch as she wanted. At least, she had to get the consent of her husband.
Shao Wanru’s Third Uncle had always been obedient to Old Madam. He didn’t even spend much time in the mansion. It seemed that he was not close to Third Madam. Since he was so indifferent to Third Madam’s illness, Shao Wanru knew her Third Uncle didn’t care about Third Madam. Would he listen to her and separate his family from the Marquis Xing’s Mansion?
Once the third branch split away from the Marquis Xing’s Mansion, its financial situation would become precarious.
“I don’t care what he thinks. We’ll live independently!” Third Madam determinedly gritted her teeth and said with a sharp look in her eyes. Though she slightly loosened her grip, she held Shao Wanru’s hand and said, “Your Highness, I don’t know what happened to your parents at that time, but your mother had been in an unusual condition. Her sudden death was very suspicious!
“My… My mother… Was she murdered?” Shao Wanru’s voice trembled unconsciously. She held Third Madam’s hand instead and tightly pursed her cherry lips in shock.
“Honestly, I don’t know. I only felt it very strange. Infanta Qinghua had been in a confused state of mind. After giving birth to Yuanhao, she had always been in a daze and often repeated your childhood name. Occasionally, she would say your father’s name. Anyway, she was in a poor mental state. But she couldn’t go out, fall into the lotus pond, and drown!”
Third Madam said.
“Didn’t they say my mother… she died of depression after giving birth to my brother… because she missed my father?” Shao Wanru’s voice trembled, and her fingers twitched unconsciously. As if something had bumped violently against her heart, she was too painful to breathe, feeling a burning pain across her heart.
“That was the story they told to outsiders. They feared that others might pursue the matter and that your grandma might blame them and make a scene in the mansion. With this excuse, your grandma wouldn’t have learned the truth. When your grandma heard that your mother died, she only came over to have a last look at her. However, she fainted before seeing your mother’s face. After that, she fell ill and couldn’t get up. The funeral was held hastily in the mansion!” said Third Madam.
Shao Wanru’s face turned deathly pale and colorless. She pursed her delicate lips tightly and fixed her eyes on Third Madam, knowing she must have something else to say.
As expected, Third Madam added after a pause. “I just felt suspicious then but didn’t dare to say anything. You know that the second branch has been in charge of our mansion. I’m in poor health and not favored by Old Madam and my husband. Worse still, I gave birth to two daughters. I’m the Third Madam in the mansion, but few people take me seriously. Besides, there is no evidence for this accident. There was nothing I could do about it. My question would be useless and might bring disasters!”
Third Madam tilted her head and coughed twice. Then she turned back and continued, “I’ve been keeping this matter a secret in my heart. I didn’t say anything for so many years. At that time, your Third Sister had an accident in the Palace, and her face was almost ruined. I quarreled with your Third Uncle, asking him to see your Second Uncle. I wanted him to find a good marriage for your Third Sister. In the quarrel, I talked about my suspicion. After that, your Third Uncle went to meet your Second Uncle. As a result, Shao Jie’er gave up the marriage originally arranged for her to your Third Sister!”
Shao Wanru’s hands shivered, and her long eyelashes drooped. She knew about it. Back then, she wondered if her Third Uncle had learned about any secrets, such as when Shao Jing murdered her father. Unexpectedly, it was not about her father but about her mother. The third branch threatened the second branch with her mother’s death and asked Shao Jie’er to give up the marriage.
The corners of her lips curled up silently, but she couldn’t squeeze out a smile. Her eyes behind her drooping upper lids turned cold and malicious.
These so-called relatives had made the best use of her parents. They could even benefit from her mother’s death. People in the Marquis Xing’s Mansion were truly cruel and merciless!
“We should apologize to you for this! Because I concealed the truth, I’ve been punished and ended up like this. Since I beg you to help my daughters, I must show my sincerity. In a few days, I will separate the third branch from the Marquis Xing’s Mansion and expose your mother’s suspicious death!”
Third Madam gave a wry smile and looked up at Shao Wanru with her earnest eyes. “I know I’m dying, but it doesn’t matter. It’s best if I can survive. But if I can’t survive, I won’t care as long as my daughters live a good life!”