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   Chapter 103 Painstaking Investigation (Part Two)

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 9319

Updated: 2018-09-05 10:03

Yun Shang turned a page in her book and asked, "Has the poison left her body completely?"

"It's said that she has regained her health, although her face looks pale and she coughs sometimes. There is no other serious side-effect. How dare she tried to frame you? Why wasn't she killed by the poison? That day when I got to the Imperial Treasure House, I should have applied a layer of deadly poison on the Pipa. If I had done that, she wouldn't be so arrogant and aggressive." Qian Yin regretted having missed that opportunity.

Yun Shang smiled slightly and said, "It's fine. Thank God that Yingying is still alive. I heard that she is loved ardently by the Grand Councilor. If she were to die, Grand Councilor Li wouldn't let me live."

Qin Yi pulled aside the curtain and entered. She said with a smile, "Your Highness, the sun is shining. Shall we take a walk in the Imperial Garden?" Recently, it had snowed so much that the sun had rarely been seen. Basking in the sun was a wonderful suggestion.

Yun Shang smiled and nodded, "It's a good idea. I feel weak from leaning against the cushion all day. Let's go." Yun Shang stood and put on her shoes. Since the sun was shining, she ordered her maids to carry a thick cloak.

"Your Highness, look there. There's a wintersweet flourishing, but it is blocked by the artificial hill. I have never seen it before. The fragrance of the wintersweet is better than that of plum blossoms. I will pick some flowers for you and put them in a vase." With a smile, Qian Yin pointed at some flowers behind the artificial hill before walking toward them briskly.

Halfway through, however, she stopped. Yun Shang saw an unusual look on her maid's face and hurried to walk toward her.

"Pick more flowers. Our Lady likes wintersweet flowers and we can put them in all the Halls. Wherever she goes, she will smell the fragrance, which will certainly please her." The voice of a maid could be heard.

Then, a eunuch replied, "The Empress has regained her health and so, the ladies from other Palaces haven't come to Changchun Palace to pay their respects, which makes our Palace less cheerful and more lonely. However, the Empress hasn't taken her seal back. It seems that the Emperor hasn't asked Lady Ming to return the seal to the Empress."

The maid said, "You are right. That day when the Empress's seal was lost, I thought the Emperor would get angry. However, nothing happened. It's strange that although Changchun Palace was thoroughly searched inside and outside, the Empress's seal wasn't found. Why was it hidden underneath Bi Yan's pillow?"

The eunuch smiled, "Maybe the search wasn't thorough. Come on, pick that flower. Its bud is big. Put it in the vase and it will bloom for many days."

Yun Shang was confused. She turned and left with Qian Yin and Qin Yi.

Yun Shang quickened her steps. When Qin Yi noticed that Yun Shang was not walking toward Qingxin Palace, she asked, "Your Highness, where are we going?"

Yun Shang stopped and smiled coldly, "Qin Yi, I might know who caused my mother's accident." With those words, she continued to walk. It suddenly occurred to Qin Yi that they were headed to Qinzheng Hall.

Lord Zheng saw Yun Shang approaching. He smiled and greeted, "Your Highness, what can I do for you? The Emperor is talking with Prince Jing in the Hall. Please wait for a moment and I will inform him of your arrival."

Prince Jing? Yun Shang looked distracted for a moment. She was about to say that she would come back later when Lord Zheng opened the door to Qinzheng Hall and walked inside.

Yun Shang wasn't ready to meet Prince Jing. Since the Emperor issued the decree, word of their marriage had spread throughout the Imperial City. Although she was determined to find a way to ruin their marriage, no good idea had occurred to her. At the moment, she was preoccupied with solving the mystery behind her mother's accident. "Your Highness, the Emperor has asked to see you." Lord Zheng smiled as he walked out.

Yun Shang nodded and entered the inner Hall. Emperor Ning was sitting behind the royal table while Prince Jing was sitting beside him. They were talking about something. Hearing Yun Shang's footsteps, both of them stopped their conversation and turned to look at her.

Yun Shang paid her respects to Emperor Ning as per the official protocols, then sat beside the men. She said, "Father, I have something to tell you. But, obviously you were conversing with Uncle. I can wait."

Prince Jing glanced at Yun Shang. His coldness softened. At this sight, Emperor Ning was puzzled and decided to learn more.

"I'm discussing with Pri

nce Jing about that since it is the New Year, after I've settled national affairs, I will go and pray at Ning'guo Temple. You were protected by Master Wu Na all those years. Besides, he has also helped me a lot. I should personally thank him." Emperor Ning said with a smile.

Hearing this, Yun Shang replied after a moment's hesitation, "I leave this matter to your discretion. But, I'm afraid that it's not safe on the road with the heavy snow."

"Yun Shang, Don't worry. I will have the servants clean the snow on the road in advance, " said Prince Jing tenderly. A faint smile formed on the corners of his mouth, and his glances were soft.

Yun Shang pretended that she hadn't noticed the tenderness and kindness in Prince Jing's voice, and replied briskly, "That's good." Then she said no more.

Emperor Ning smiled and continued his discussion regarding the visit to Ning'guo Temple with Prince Jing. Later, Prince Jing said goodbye and left.

As soon as Prince Jing's figure was out of sight, Yun Shang raised her head and said urgently and seriously, "Father, I know who caused mother's accident."

Emperor was dumbstruck for a moment. Then he said "What? Lord Zheng told me that you personally examined the dead body and had found traces of moss under her fingernails. Do you mean to tell me the dead maid is the culprit? Since the dead maid worked at Changchun Palace, could it be said that..."

Although Emperor Ning's sentences weren't finished, Yun Shang had already figured out what he was thinking. Yun Shang shook her head and said, "Although Lady Ming was involved, she is an accomplice rather than the culprit. However, it wasn't her that threw the moss on the ground. That day, when the Empress's seal was lost at Changchun Palace, Lady Ming had put all people in custody. The maid who was found dead inside the well this morning, never had the chance to leave the Palace.

"Then, who is the culprit?" Emperor Ning whispered.

Yun Shang meditated for a moment and said, "At New Year's Eve, all people present at Jinluan Hall could not be suspects. I also investigated people from other Palaces. They had been thoroughly searched and so had their Palaces. Besides, since the royal guards take direct orders from you, it's impossible that any of them is the culprit."

"According to what you have said, nobody caused your mother's accident. How will we find the culprit?" Emperor Ning frowned slightly.

Yun Shang shook her head, "Father, think about it. Who was absent from Jinluan Hall for a long time that day?"

Emperor Ning thought for a long time. Then, he raised his head with some hesitation and asked Yun Shang, "Are you suspecting Yingying?"

Yun Shang nodded and said with confidence, "It was her who caused the accident."

"But, she was poisoned that day. Even if she hadn't been poisoned, it is unlikely that she could set such a trap with so many people at the Palace." The Emperor found it difficult to believe.

Yun Shang smiled faintly, "A while ago, at the Imperial Garden, I accidentally heard servants from Changchun Place chatting about the Empress's lost seal. A servant said that day, after Lady Ming announced the loss of the Empress's seal, the Palace was searched at first, but the seal wasn't found. Then, Your Majesty was informed and you ordered that all Palaces and Halls be guarded before you sent out the royal guards to search. At last, the seal was discovered at Changchun Palace. Later I figured out that the Empress's seal hadn't been lost at all. Lady Ming played a trick. She made an excuse and tried to keep us at Jinluan Hall. That way nobody could watch the moss being placed on the path.

Yun Shang saw Emperor Ning looking serious. Then, she continued, "I also heard that Yingying visited my sister at Dali Temple. Yingying looked pale and coughed sometimes, but these symptoms indicate a cold rather than being side-effects of poisoning." During the New Year's Eve celebration, when Yingying entered Jinluan Hall, she handed her cloak to a servant. Since there were many braziers in the Hall to keep us warm, she should not have caught cold. Thus, her symptoms indicate her absence from the Hall.

"Father, do you still remember that when I was about to go look for Yingying, my sister suddenly provoked me and I didn't go? In retrospect, I feel that my sister might be involved. She was afraid that if I went to the side Hall, I might find that Yingying wasn't there. Later, even after I left, nobody saw Yingying. I sent my maid to ask about her condition, and she was told that Yingying had left the Imperial Place after I came to the scene of the accident.

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