Chapter 1024 Shao Hua’an’s Leg Was Broken
“The past is gone, and the situation is no longer what it used to be. Times change. We should change our view according to circumstances!” The Empress stood up, walked into the inner room, and took out a box. Looking at the palm-sized box, she sighed and pushed it to Chu Liuzhou.
“Mother, what is this?”
Chu Liuzhou didn’t know why the Empress sighed and asked, looking at the deeply unappealing box with astonishment.
He watched her take it out with his own eyes; otherwise, he wouldn’t have believed the box belonged to the Empress. Never had Prince Zhou seen any similar box that was so poor and shoddy. It didn’t look like something from the Palace.
“This… Prince Cheng gave it to me a long time ago!” The Empress leaned back with a gloomy look in her thoughtful eyes.
“Why would Uncle Cheng send it to you?” Feeling even more surprised, Prince Zhou reached out to take the box. There was a key hanging on it. After pressing it for a while, the box was opened, revealing a time-worn bottle inside.
It was an ordinary bottle, simple to the extreme.
“This… What?” Prince Zhou reached over.
“Don’t touch it!” The Empress scolded him in a low voice.
Prince Zhou looked up, and his hand stopped before the bottle. “Mother…”
“The medicine in this bottle is poisonous!” The Empress said, her face suddenly clouding over.
Prince Zhou, greatly stunned, dropped his hand and stared at the bottle in astonishment. After some careful observation, he concluded, “It looks pretty old!”
The worn-out bottle couldn’t have been made in the recent few years. Prince Zhou’s eyes fell on the box before him again. It looked ordinary and old, which must have been made ten or more years ago.
“A bottle made more than a decade ago…” The Empress was grim-faced, her eyes growing even colder.
“Mother…” Prince Zhou looked at the Empress in wonder.
After taking a deep breath, she reached out to close the box. Then, she wiped her hands carefully with a handkerchief as if she had been stained with something dirty in such a short time.
“It’s poison. That very year, the poison was given to… This is part of the reason why Chu Liuchen suffered from an inherent shortage,” said the Empress.
Prince Zhou suddenly sprang to his feet, looking at the bottle before him in shock. His face fell.
“But the official story has always been that he’s congenitally deficient. Right? Because he was born prematurely, he got a feeble constitution and has been weak and ill.”
“Indeed, he has poor health. It’s also true that he’s congenitally deficient. Anyway, the poison did some damage to him. When he was still a baby, it entered his body through his mother. In this way, though the poison was less powerful than being applied directly to the baby, the baby’s poisoning symptoms would be more like an inadequate natural endowment,” the Empress explained in detail, her deep eyes settling on the box.
“It was from Prince Cheng…”
“Uncle Cheng? What did he mean?” Prince Zhou considered it for a while and exploded with rage, slamming his hand heavily on the table edge.
“It was a warning and a hint from him!” The Empress sighed, her eyes still glued to the obsolete box. “In fact, this bottle is no big deal. The poison is not strong, absolutely not strong!”
The Empress seemed to be muttering to herself, and her eyes fixed on the box as if some conflicting thoughts had been torturing her. Her face turned from gloomy to angry. “If it weren’t for her… If it weren’t for her… I wouldn’t have gotten into such a mess! She asked for it, and she allowed herself to degrade!”
“Mother, what did you say?” With a puzzled look on his face, Prince Zhou looked at the Empress, who appeared slightly insane.
“She brought it on herself. I did it for your father, but he failed me. This is a mixed poison. There is only one kind, which is not very powerful. Moreover, this poison can invade the baby’s body when a common food ingredient is added. The toxic reaction looks very similar to the manifestation of a weak natural physical endowment!”
The Empress didn’t seem to hear Prince Zhou’s words, and her vicious and fierce eyes were full of hatred.
“Mother!” Prince Zhou raised his voice.
The Empress raised her head to look at him, seemingly to have woken up from her maniac moods just now. She observed Prince Zhou’s face carefully after a long time and said slowly, “Take this box away and put it in your mansion. This is the evidence that you can hold against Prince Cheng and me!”
If Prince Cheng had revealed this matter back then, it would have been the evidence against her alone. But since he had hidden it for many years, he became part of the dark secret.
“Mother, even if others know this matter about the deceased emperor and empress, so what? They were dead. Do you think my father will help them?” Prince Zhou was completely at a loss and became more and more surprised.
However, the secret could no longer be a handle her enemies could use against her long ago.
It had nothing to do with them how the ailing Chu Liuchen became ill in the first place. How could his father punish his mother for the sick Chu Liuchen?
“Your father will!” The Empress said coldly and pointed in a direction. “The deceased empress’s younger sister lives there. She makes your father think of that woman and her child and keeps his good impression on both.”
“Who is it?” Prince Zhou looked in that direction with a frown. He didn’t know that the deceased emperor’s sister was in the Palace. How could he have never heard of her?
“Consort Lan!” said the Empress.
“How could it be her?” Prince Zhou was surprised at first, and then he understood. How could he not know about Consort Lan’s situation in the Palace? She was said to have been grounded. Yet, it seemed that she had lost no power. Even his mother could not see her, so it was impossible for her to put any pressure on her, even though as the Empress.
Therefore, the punishment of isolating her from the others looked more like a protection for her.
His father didn’t go to her place often but would visit her occasionally. Consort Lan had been there for so many years, but she had never shown up before them.
As for the fact that Consort Lan was the deceased empress’s younger sister, he had heard of it before when he was at a young age. In the past years, Consort Lan had not appeared in front of others. No one would talk about a consort who had been out of favor for years and had no child.
“Being isolated? Not really. I’m the one who has been kept away from her. It’s very convenient for that bitch, Consort Lan, to come out. She had even sent her servants to visit Princess Chen several times,” sneered the Empress.
“You don’t have to say anything. I know what I’m doing. Take this box away. It’s safer to be kept in your mansion. I’m afraid that your father will search my place one day.” The Empress shook her hand decisively, interrupted Prince Zhou, and laughed sarcastically. “As for Prince Cheng, you can contact him secretly. He may also harbor an ambition, but he can never win the throne.”
If Prince Cheng had the smarts to achieve his ambition, he would not have withheld the truth for decades until the princes had grown up.
Of course, the Empress would not look down on him. Prince Cheng had been preparing for a long time, so he must have some means!
If she could draw Prince Cheng over to their side, it would be a dead certainty that her son would win the throne. It was another important reason why the Empress took out this old box.
But it was challenging to win over Prince Cheng, no matter how badly she wanted to do that for her son. For so many years, both sides had kept it a secret, and neither spat it out…
“Did another incident happen because of the horse?” Shao Wanru put down the handkerchief in her hand and asked in surprise.
“Yes. First Young Master and Infanta Yuan’an’s carriage suddenly collided with each other!” Yujie reported. “I heard First Young Master’s horse ran straight into the carriage. Then he fell off his horse and broke his leg. Infanta Yuan’an was much better, but I heard her face was covered in blood after the impact. I’m afraid…”
“Did her face get injured?” Shao Wanru understood what she meant as soon as she heard that.
“Yes, I heard she was wounded in the face. Her face must have smashed against something. Ruiping Great Elder Princess has invited several imperial physicians to treat her!” Yujie said.
“What a coincidence!” Shao Wanru couldn’t help sighing with emotion. Neither Shao Hua’an nor Infanta Yuan’an got along well with her. Shao Hua’an had broken his leg, so the Marquis Xing’s Mansion would be significantly weakened and would not have enough energy to protest against anything.
Shao Hua’an would be busy recuperating for a period, which would help secure her younger brother’s position as the heir of a duke.
“Prepare a carriage. I’ll go to the Marquis Xing’s Mansion!” After meditating silently for a while, Shao Wanru stood up and ordered.
“My Lady, didn’t you say that you wouldn’t go there?” Yujie was afraid that something terrible would happen to Shao Wanru, so she hurriedly asked.
Shao Wanru said, “It was before. But now, the situation has changed. No matter what, Shao Hua’an is my eldest cousin. When such a horrific accident happened to him, how could I not visit him!”
At this time, she had to go and see him as soon as she got the news. After such a big event, even if she did not know it, the Marquis Xing’s Mansion would send someone to inform her. After all, it was more than a collision by accident. They were very likely to be engaged in a lawsuit.
Shao Hua’an seemed to be seriously injured. After all, his leg was broken. But if Infanta Yuan’an’s face was hurt, it would not be a trivial problem, for it would affect her for the rest of her life. Especially when Infanta Yuan’an was about to become Princess Zhou, her face was even more important. Ruiping Great Elder Princess would not easily let off the Duke Xing’s Mansion.
Not only Ruiping Great Elder Princess but also the Empress would put pressure on them.
In such a crisis, Old Madam would think of her. Of course, she would not let go of such an opportunity to attract everyone’s attention to this matter. The Marquis Xing’s Mansion was strong in will but weak in power to deal with Hao’er. At present, they had to cope with Ruiping Great Elder Princess first.
As for Princess Chen, they wouldn’t dare to offend her at this time since they had to hold on to her.
“My Lady, the Marquis Xing’s Mansion sent someone to invite you over. It’s said that First Young Master has broken his leg. It’s a terrible accident!” Nanny Yu hurried in and reported.
“Tell the people of the Marquis Xing’s Mansion that I will go immediately!” Shao Wanru looked at Nanny Yu from the dressing table’s mirror and ordered lazily!
Her maids were quite speedy. They helped her wash and dress again in a short while and changed her into light purple clothes. Then Shao Wanru walked outside with Yujie and Qu Le.
The carriage was ready. They got on it and went all the way to the Marquis Xing’s Mansion. Just as they entered the mansion, they saw Nanny Yu pacing back and forth anxiously at the gate. When seeing Shao Wanru coming over, she finally breathed a sigh of relief. Now, Princess Chen was the most powerful person in Marquis Xing’s Mansion. If she refused to come, their mansion might not bear the hard blows from Ruiping Great Elder Princess this time!
“Greetings, Princess Chen!”
“How is my Eldest Brother?” Shao Wanru waved her hand and walked in.
“I’m afraid… the First Young Master is in critical condition!” Nanny Yu said, the rims of her eyes red, and she took a few rapid steps to catch up with Shao Wanru.