Chapter 183 – Jing Xian
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
As soon as Mo Ruo woke up, having sobered up from the alcohol, he went into a room and searched for something.
Clink! Clang! Clac!
The room was overturned and became a mess.
An apprentice from outside came in and swept a glance at the room in inquiry. “What are you looking for, Master?”
“Where is the box I brought back?”
“The wooden box with a lock on top.” Mo Ruo continued to rummage through the books and objects, throwing to the floor those that were irrelevant to his search.
The little apprentice scratched his head while furiously trying to recall where the box was. Then, he rushed outside and lifted the corner of a table. “Master! It’s here!” He took out the box from under it as it was used as a table leg to level it.
Thump! All the medicinal ingredients on the table were scattered on the floor.
Mo Ruo came out, and his eyes lit up at the sight of the box. He took the box from the little apprentice while reprimanding him. “You little bastard! Who let you used that box as a table leg?”
“Master, you wrongly accused me! Yesterday, after your return from the Rong estate, you were drinking on that table and saw that it was unstable. You were noisily arguing about repairing it, and then, you used that box as a table leg. Since the table was stable after that, I placed the medicinal ingredients on it, so you can’t accuse me of wrongdoing!”
‘I am innocent!’
Mo Ruo became embarrassed as he recalled drinking a lot and indeed, did such a scandalous thing. At least, his behaviour was quite tame compared to two years ago, during which, in a drunken frenzy, he decided to strip naked and advocate strengthening his friendship with Jing Rong by sleeping on the same bed with the latter.
“Alright! I’ve wronged you.” Mo Ruo took the box and left with it.
“Where are you going?”
“I am going to the palace!”
Inside the Imperial Palace.
The bustling interior of the Imperial Palace was composed of red walls, green roof tiles and signboards lacquered with gold, that shone with metallic luster, giving it an imposing aura that showed the splendor of Lin dynasty’s majestic palace. The sole exception would be the cold palace, a place forever shrouded in desolation and bleakness. Yet, in another palace, as equally dilapidated as the cold palace, lived the fourth prince, Jing Xian. His entire quarters, be it the building itself or the walls surrounding it, was in a state of disrepair. The wall paint was chipped, the roof tiles were full of holes pecked by crows, the courtyard was a paradise for weeds and the paper covering the windows barely shielded from any wind. It was clear to the eyes that the Tongren Hall was ruined and gloomy, which represented Jing Xian’s position in the imperial family.
Although Jing Xiang was conferred the title Sage King, had his own private forces and had an estate with a command token, Qi Zhen Emperor had stripped him of all his privileges due to his chronic illness and arranged a place for him in the imperial palace for proper convalescence.
It could be said that the emperor still cared about Jing Xian’s illness, and thus made him stay in the palace where he was arranged as an attending physician. This could be considered to be treating his son well. However, apart from this point, he didn’t inquire much, nor did he show much interest toward Jing Xian.
Despite the absence of opulence, at least compared to the rest of the imperial palace, the inside of the palace hall was clean and well-furnished. Through the opened window panels, a maple tree could be seen. As spring was here, the tree was covered in buds and lush green foliage. Under the caress of the wind, it swayed gently, casting a shadow upon the window frame. In front of the window, was a rocking chair. Jing Xian was resting on it with his eyes lowered. Despite his sickly pale complexion, he was still handsome, with similar traits and the same bearing as Jing Rong and Jing Yi. The imperial family’s genes were too amazing!
Court Eunuch Bi Lu came in from outside, carrying a decoction which he placed it on the table next to Jing Xian. “Sage King, please take your medicine!”
“Leave it there.”
“The weather is getting cold. Please be careful as not to catch a cold.”
Jing Xian took the bowl of medicine and drank it.
Bi Lu bowed and spoke again, “The imperial physician has made changes to your prescription. He said that the medicinal ingredients were foraged on the Heavenly Mountain, which should make the medicine more effective, it should help you get well quickly.”
Jing Xian stared out of the window. He had heard Bi Lu say those words countless times over the years. He laughed bitterly. “Good or not, it’s pointless to me.”
Bi Lu sighed inwardly. The eunuch witnessed his highness grow up. He felt distressed for Jing Xian who was born under an ill star.
“Your Highness’s health will certainly improve. This old servant believes that her Ladyship is watching over you from Heaven and is blessing you.”
“It’s been 14 years already. Why do you still mention mother?” Sadness could be felt in his tone.
“It is my mistake.”
“You may withdraw. I wish to have a rest.”
“Yes, your Highness!”
Bi Lu saw that Jing Xian had closed his eyes, so he took the empty bowl and silently retreated. Right after he had closed the door, he met Mo Ruo, who was rushing toward Jing Xian’s room, holding a long box in his arm. The latter expression was placid.
“Doctor Mo, what are you…” His words were interrupted by Mo Ruo’s hand wave.
Mo Ruo stretched his neck to peer into the room. He then put his index against his lips. “Shhh!”
Bi Lu shrank back and lowered his voice. “Doctor Mo, what is this?”
“Lower your voice and return to your task. No need to pay attention to me.”
Mo Ruo quietly went into the room and went to a table. Behind him, Jing Xian was leaning in the rocking chair beside the windows. He glanced behind him, then, he carefully placed the long box on a table.
“Why did you come here?” Suddenly, Jing Xian spoke.
“I was being careful, so how did you know I came in?”
“This Tongren Hall has been unfrequented for many years, even the sound of dead leaves being swept by Bi Lu is audible.”
What a miserable place.
Mo Ruo laughed. He picked up the box again, approached Jing Xian and sat next to him. “How is your health these days?”
“Same old, same old!”
“Let me examine you.”
Jing Xian lifted his sleeve and stretched out his hand. Mo Ruo took his pulse, but his smooth eyebrows knitted together after a moment. His fingers parted from Jing Xian’s wrist. “Did the imperial physician from the Great Hospital change your prescription?”
Jing Xian grunted in affirmation.
“When I left, didn’t I tell you that only I can touch your prescription?”
“Ah? You did? I don’t really remember.” He spoke with an indifferent tone.
Mo Ruo got annoyed. “You and Jing Rong are really two extremes! He is obstinate, pig-headed and competitive. Whereas, you are desolate, indifferent to everything and incapable of cherishing things. You don’t even care about your life!”
Jing Xian’s pale lips hooked up at Mo Ruo’s outburst. He showed a melancholic smile before replying. “My illness is incurable. Hence, I stopped fighting. I am but an empty shell. Don’t tell me that there is still hope that one day I can be back to normal?”
“There is me, so you will be alright.”
“It has already been 14 years. Your father was also helpless against this illness.”
Mo Ruo interjected and gave him the box. “The Old Man’s skills are beneath mine. What he can’t treat, I can. This thing is something I’ve obtained and it can help treat your illness. Keep it with you. You must smell it every day. In addition, stop drinking that new decoction. You have to take what I prescribed you before and you can’t skip a dose.”
Jing Xian opened the box. Inside of it, there was a vine-like azure medicinal ingredient that had luxuriant bamboo-like leaves.
“What is it?”
“This is the Heartless herb. You are prone to congestion of blood circulation. The smell of this herb will help with the circulation. This thing is something that money can’t buy.”
“I am a dead man. Why waste such a thing on me?”
Grenn’s Rants Corner
We have many new characters introduce. It’s like a prelude.