Chapter 80: Poisoned, Specialized Skills
This Third Brother Song was a complete sleazeball. His eyes had yet to leave Bai Xiangxiu since he’d walked in. For him, meeting such a beauty like her was, afterall, a rarity. How could one not possibly take a good long look?
Xiangxiu sensed an unwavering pair of burning eyes staring at her, making her whole body feel uncomfortable. She raised her head to find a middle aged man she did not recognize staring directly back at her. Seeing this made her feel incredibly uncomfortable, so she couldn’t help but stare back menacingly in warning. However, her look was… to put it politely, resembled more a soft glance that rippled with emotion than any sort of threat. To put it bluntly, it was a look of seduction that wasn’t the least bit threatening, a look that could cause half of a man’s body to weaken at the sight.
Third Brother Song watched her, fascinated and mystified, as his soul gradually slipped away from his body. But then all of a sudden, he felt a chill run down his back. As he turned his head, his eyes met with the bone-chilling glare of Prince Li.
With a shiver, he averted his attention, and subconsciously blurted out, “Well how could they not be poisoned? What if there’s someone who wants to lay their hands on their inheritance early and is taking advantage of this opportunity to make their move.”
Those words were so overly rude, even Bai Xiangxiu furrowed her eyebrows. This man surely has no brains to speak of. Who would talk to their own younger brother like that? Of course, Song Hui angrily replied, “Third Brother, what do you mean by that?”
Third Brother Song snorted, even he felt that his own words were a little brash there. He’d unexpectedly spoken what was foremost on his mind.
Eldest Brother Song added on, “Then you explain, how could a perfectly fine man suddenly fall ill like this?”
Song Hui’s face was flushed with anger. He took deep breaths, but his anger could not be quelled. Song Jiaoyue stepped in, “It’s just that this doctor couldn’t figure it out. Servants! Send for another doctor.”
Actually, Bai Xiangxiu wasn’t sure that the conditions of both victims came from the poison of the tulips, so she didn’t dare say a word. A single slip of the tongue would place her front and center of the openly brandished hostility and tension, so she couldn’t help but hesitate. The Song family servants moved swiftly, with two doctors coming over in short order.
However, they still couldn’t find the source of the illness. Everyone was in a flurry of panic now, and the four Song brothers interrogated Song Hui without pause, demanding explanations no matter what.
Song Jiaoyue was a junior, so naturally, he couldn’t speak out of place. He couldn’t stop sweating in the moment. Bai Xiangxiu also felt unwell, as she sensed her own chest starting to hurt. She subtly wiped her away her sweat. Even though Long Heng’s back was towards her, he could also feel how uncomfortable she was. As a matter of fact, seeing brothers argue like this would make anyone feel uncomfortable, let alone a young lady like herself. So he stood up to say, “Alright, if there is no way to find the cause of the illness here, I will send for the royal physician to investigate. He’s bound to find the cause.”
Song Hui exhaled in relief, “So, let’s leave it all to His Royal Highness to decide.”
For some unknown reason, his chest felt extremely uncomfortable after he exhaled. He stretched out his arm and clutched his chest.
“Father, what’s wrong?” Sensing that something was wrong with his father, Song Jiaoyue hurriedly supported him. Song Hui waved for his men. He assumed that this was simply a reaction from the anger that coursed through his body because of his bickering brothers. He didn’t pay much heed to it.
However, Bai Xiangxiu was paying close attention. She knew that if she’d left with Long Heng, the two lying on the floor would be left there too. Would they actually die from the poison then? Her gaze drifted as her steps came to a stop.
Long Heng also heard her footsteps halt and turned his head with a frown. “Why are you not leaving?”
Suddenly, he saw her raise her head and glance at him. This single glance conveyed to him nothing less than a deep sense of determination. Her pearl white teeth bit into her bottom lip. She took a deep breath and raised her voice slightly, “Your Highness, please wait.”
Long Heng was already waiting. He couldn’t help but ask, “Why?”
Bai Xiangxiu turned around to face a pair of warm eyes that had a hint of a smile in them. He murmured Buddha’s name when she turned around, as if knowing that she would take this particular action. Bai Xiangxiu’s heart trembled, but she gritted her teeth and said, “Actually, this concubine has once heard of such symptoms before.”
Third Brother Song went weak all over when he heard the beauty speak. “Is it a result of poison?”
Fine. This was just how Third Brother Song was. He had no idea how to even talk when he saw a pretty face.
Bai Xiangxiu followed up with, “It is certainly poison.” Her words brought everyone’s attention to her, leaving her feeling a little awkward in the moment.
Though Song Jiaoyue found this a bit strange, he at least didn’t believe that she would accuse his father like his other three uncles, so he said, “Madame Xiu, please continue.”
Having received Song Jiaoyue’s support and with Long Heng standing behind her, Bai Xiangxu’s confidence was greatly boosted. “It wasn’t a person who poisoned them…”
Third Brother Song couldn’t wait to interrupt her again. “That’s odd. If it’s not a person, what could it possibly be?”
Bai Xiangxiu took a deep breath. This man really had no manners. “It’s the flowers.” Since they weren’t being polite, why should she? And so, she lifted her chest and loudly spoke her mind. Everyone was taken aback by her words, and even the doctors themselves chuckled gently.
They hadn’t detected poison in the patients’ pulses at all, but this woman had the nerve to claim that it was poison, and what’s more, from flowers. What a joke.
Bai Xiangxiu knew that she would be questioned if she were to speak out, and she’d even mentally prepared herself for it. However, she still felt uncomfortable from those accusatory and contemptuous stares. She almost wanted to run as far away as she could.
A voice travelled from behind at this time. “Oh? Do tell us, why do you think a flower would poison people?” It was Prince Li. His voice pierced through the air like a javelin. Even a soft word could command the attention of everyone in the room.
Bai Xiangxiu didn’t care if he was trying to help himself or her with his words, she just felt a sense of support.
“It’s the tulips.” Her long, slender fingers pointed at the unknown flowers dotted around the hall.
“How laughable, how could a flower be poisonous?” Senior Brother Song chortled.
“Tulips have a type of poisonous substance that affects those with weaker bodies. If they inhale it long enough, their breathing will hasten, they would experience shortness of breath. In more serious scenarios, they may even faint,” responded Bai Xiangxiu.
“How could that be?” Second Brother Song didn’t believe it at all. Not only did he not believe it, nor could anyone else.
However, Bai Xiangxiu’s next words silenced the crowd, “It’s not about whether you believe me or not, but how to handle the problem, right? The priority here is to save lives.”
The statement was clearly on point, and Song Jiaoyue was quick to respond, “Precisely. So you… Madame Xiu, how do you propose we proceed?”
“Prince Li, this is your concubine, correct? Could you teach her to not speak nonsense in such a critical moment?” Senior Brother Song laughed coldly, dismissing Bai Xiangxiu’s claims as nothing more than a joke.
Everyone’s attention was once again brought to Prince Li. He stood there with his hands clasped behind his back, an overweening sense of authority present in the slight upturn of his lip. No one could resist such charisma in that moment. As if waiting for an unknown signal, everyone fell silent.