Zhong Zheng Lin’s inner turmoil grew by each day as the time for selection was approaching.
It was as if the urgent need that had to be settled found its solution right under his nose.
He still had no idea how to deal with that woman.
He only knew that that woman had the surname of Mu and she was currently residing at her maternal grandparent’s house in the capital.
The secret agents did not possess her portrait.
Moreover, there were two young ladies with Mu surnames living in one courtyard.
They were unable to determine which one of them was the one their master was looking for.
Could it be that the sixth prince had to give them, the outsiders, details about that maiden’s graceful build in order for them to properly identify her If not, how were they to find her Or perhaps his Highness could personally break into the maiden’s private quarters, but it would be too disgraceful.
Zhong Zheng Lin’s expression was darker by the minute.
His cold aura has become more and more obvious these days.
Di Wu Yi Zhao had amused himself at Zhong Zheng Lin’s expense for almost a month.
Yet, he still remembered to not overdo it.
Feigning the nonchalance, he asked him, “Is there any problem that troubles your Highness”
Zhong Zheng Lin was silent for a moment before speaking, “There’s a matter that makes Bendian confused.
Can mister clear up this confusion”
“Please speak, your Highness.” The naughty Di Wu Yi Zhao was inwardly laughing his head off.
“If a woman, that Bendian has never met before, keeps on throwing Bendian’s thoughts into disarray, yet Bendian could do nothing about it, what could be the reason behind”
“Does your Highness not like this woman or maybe even detest her” The certain advisor started to fool around.
Zhong Zheng Lin’s brows furrowed: “No.”
“Is this woman connected to your Highness’s grand scheme and plays there an important figure” The certain advisor continued with his shamelessness.
Zhong Zheng Lin shook his head: “There’s no connection between the two.”
You’re wrong, your highness.
This woman contributes to your grand scheme greatly.
“Then, how does your highness see that woman” Di Wu Yi Zhao finally began to carry out his responsibility of an advisor.
Zhong Zheng Lin did not immediately respond.
Rather, he seemed to be uncomfortable.
His voice carried a trace of embarrassment when he replied, “She……..often appears in Bendian’s mind and even dreams.
Bendian cannot suppress the desire that would emerge afterward.
Bendian attempted to call for other women, but only toward her…….”
Di Wu Yi Zhao did not expect Zhong Zheng Lin falling in love.
His expression instantly sobered.
The sixth prince had paid no attention to fair sex.
Moreover, he kept a tight leash on his emotions.
There was nothing wrong about a prince wanting to be intimate with a woman and dote on her.
Every emperor had at least one concubine they doted on more than others after all.
But this was clearly……..
“Does your Highness feel possessive about that maiden and cannot tolerate others looking at her” Di Wu Yi Zhao’s expression had never been so serious.
Zhong Zheng Lin had his suspicions deep down.
It was very inappropriate to have such thoughts, but he could not deny the truth: “Yes!”
“Could your Highness disclose the identity of this maiden”
“The miss of Mu House from Qingzhou prefect’s estate.
But which miss it is Bendian did not find out.”
Di Wu Yi Zhao was caught by surprise.
Qingzhou prefect Mu’s estate It was certainly a fate.
If it was not the fate why would Mu Xi Yao spend such a tremendous effort to shove you to sixth prince’s estate
The miss of Mu House Di Wu Yi Zhao had already made an assumption in his heart.
If it was that person, then the fact that Zhong Zheng Lin’s feeling for her surpassed that of the ordinary interest would not be a bad thing.
After all, that miss had a beautiful appearance, an excellent character and his wife and daughter often praised her when mentioning her.
When Yu Ying learnt that she came to Shengjin she immediately rushed to see her.
Just, how come his Highness has developed feelings for her when he hadn’t even met her It was indeed strange.
“Your Highness, does this miss like to read” House of Mu had only two unmarried maidens of which solely di daughter Mu Xi Yao was fond of books.
Yu Ying had a great admiration for Mu Xi Yao due to this, often praising her broad knowledge and heart that had concerns for the state’s prosperity.
“That’s it then.
This maiden is the younger di daughter of prefect of Qingzhou Mu Jin Zhen, Mu Xi Yao.
She is the daughter of my old friend.” Di Wu Yi Zhao started to slowly reveal to Zhong Zheng Lin how his wife and daughter had received Mu Xi Yao’s help.
Zhong Zheng Lin did not expect such coincidence.
He had actually sought an advice from the right person.
So that episode with the startled horse was already her second time acting righteously.
Does this woman have no fears at all
“Can mister tell Bendian, why is Bendian reacting in such way toward this woman Also, what measurements should be taken” Zhong Zheng Lin still wore the expression that was saying ‘to not let private affairs interfere with public duty’ exactly like when they were usually discussing the state affairs.
He believed that one ought to have an all-round strategic plan.
Di Wu Yi Zhao finally couldn’t help but sigh: “Your Highness, you have a symptom of a person who is falling in love.”
Zhong Zheng Lin thought that he was going to completely solve the problem that had been plaguing him soon, therefore he was caught off guard when he heard such a reply.
“Falling in love” Zhong Zheng Lin was so shocked he froze on the spot.
You think of her, wish to get close to her, yet you can’t tolerate others looking at her.
This is clearly the case of a man developing feelings for a woman.”
Zhong Zheng Lin straightened his back.
He sat upright on the head seat, not speaking a word for a long while.
Suddenly, he broke into a hearty laugh.
All of the frustration he felt in the recent days dissipated together with this laugh.
Since he had unknowingly fallen in love then he needn’t have further thoughts.
If he, Zhong Zheng Lin, wanted something he will get it.
Woman was no exception!
The Zhanghe’s eleven years, twenty third of the sixth lunar month.
The selection has lifted its curtain.
Mu Yi Yao and the party were already prepared.
Outside the estate, they bid everyone farewell, entered the sedan chair and marched toward the direction of the imperial palace.
From now on, a lot of things were about to change.
The Palace of Wanxiu.
As soon as supervising momos finished with their instructions they started to assign each xiunu their courtyard in accordance with the order of their name syllables.
The primary selection will be held tomorrow.
All the girls that pass the first round will stay here for a month.
The elders in the palace will subsequently teach them palace rules and etiquette.
The Mu sisters and two Jinzhou xiunus were assigned to the Hall of Xihe.
On the other side, Mu Xi Yao’s elder cousin together with three xiunus from Shengjin were designed to Hall of Jingfu, which was located far away from Mu Xi Yao’s dwelling place.
Exactly like in the previous life.
The one living next door to her in the Hall of Yongfang was Pin Ting of Jiang clan!
On the following day, Mu sisters and the elder cousin all successfully passed the primary selection.
What came afterward was the string of complicated palace rules and etiquettes.
Mu Xi Yao didn’t know how it was with other xiunus, but she had effortlessly handled those decorums and received a lot of praises from others.
The previous incarnation had lived so many years in the palace if she couldn’t even cope with mere decorums, how was she to survive in coming battles
In the palace, Mu Xi Yao was like a fish thrown back in the water.
So most of the time she was only muddling through.
Zhong Zheng Lin also did not idle around.
Each day there would be someone to report him about Mu Xi Yao’s situation in the palace.
It seemed that she attracted troubles anywhere she went.
In just mere ten days even consort Shu had heard bits of gossips about her.
While other xiunus diligently studied and engaged in a rivalry with each other, Mu Xi Yao, on the other hand, acted like it did not concern her at all.
During the day she studied earnestly but as soon as she went back to her quarters she directly threw herself to bed and slept.
This, of course, made her other xiunus’ target.
They soon started to ostracize and ridicule her.
Yet, Mu Xi Yao had only turned a blind eye to them.
Their actions were understandable since while they were struggling to learn the conducts Mu Xi Yao had already nailed everything.
It was normal that people would feel uncomfortable with such comparison. This content belongs to thehlifestyle.com, if you see this translation elsewhere, it’s been stolen!
Besides, Mu Xi Yao herself was worried that she was not standing out enough.
With her family background, if she did nothing she would very likely end up with only a concubine position.
Hence, she needed to excel in some way to be able to achieve what she wanted, right
Today when she approached the couch-bed in her private quarters, the long-inactive jade pendant started to issue a slight burning sensation.
Was this……..a warning
Mu Xi Yao cautiously brought herself close to the couch-bed and detected something fishy beneath the pillow.
There was only her inside the room.
She immediately had an idea.
She shifted the pillow into her jade pendant, revealing seven-eight crawling black dots underneath.
She quickly stuffed even them into her pendant and then took out the new set of pillow to restore everything into the original state.
Everything was done neatly within the blink of an eye.
After she had reassured that the pendant returned back to the normal she made another round of inspection in the room to confirm that the danger had passed.
Only then did she relax and began to examine the black dots.
They were indeed vicious, putting such malicious things here.
The dormant spiders were the mutated spiders from Yuzhou.
Their kind was extremely rare.
Despite their bite was not fatal, it had a unique characteristic.
People stung by this bug had to wipe the wound with a mugwort.
If the person didn’t treat this wound within two-quarters of an hour, after two days the person’s body will start to produce a foul odor so repulsive even the medicine won’t be able to remove the smell.
In the following month, the foul odor will gradually dissipate without endangering the victim’s life.
However, the whole process would be very disgusting.
Due to the small size of the bug, its sting resembled the mosquito bite.
The numbness and itchiness came later on.
Thus, it was hard for the average person to detect.
Even if they do, it would be already too late for them.
Mu Xi Yao smiled.
She did not fear the spider venom since she had the jade pendant.
But, if it was not for her being well acquainted with the habits of these dormant spiders, it would be practically impossible for her to find out the culprit.
What a pity for the one behind the scene.
Though the dormant spiders were the mutated spiders, they were a herbivore.
They fed only on java tea flower!
The java tea flower produced a scent similar to that of the clove, making it hard to distinguish.
Fortunately, its aroma lingered for a long period of time – around three days.
Thus, if she used a white handkerchief stained with an extract of the medick flower when in contact with the aroma of the java tea flower, the white handkerchief will immediately dye into a beautiful light purple color.
The one who came up with such a malicious scheme was indeed clever.
There will be a traditional festival held in two days – Festival of Xizhao, which commemorated the Great Wei’s great poet of peerless literary talent, Meng Xi Zhao.
On the Festival of Xizhao, which started on the beginning of each seventh lunar month, the schools all over the countries held the poetry meetings.
Inside the imperial palace, a poetry banquet will be hosted in the imperial garden.
Furthermore, there will be arranged a lantern riddle program to add an additional amusement.
At that time, not only the Empress Dowager and Yuencheng Emperor will attend, even the major court ministers and the members of the imperial family will appear.
As for xiunus, it will be a rare opportunity to showcase their literary talent.
Hence, they ought to properly grasp such a chance.
The poetry banquets had always been held in high esteem by the literati.
It was even more so with Great Wei as it put a great importance on the education.
The works and anecdotes presented on the banquet will be undoubtedly spread out and discussed enthusiastically by the people.
If at such an occasion one embarrassed oneself, not only that person will be disgraced greatly but its family will also suffer a humiliation.
Mu Xi Yao was particularly angry about the latter part.
Yuzhou…..if her memory served her well, there were only thirteen xiunus who had passed the primary selection, from which eight resided in the West Palace.
Thus it was not possible to be them as the training between West Palace and East Palace was separated.
The rest of xiunus that resided, like Mu Xi Yao, in East Palace, there were only five of them.
She had to investigate each one of them.
To use such a vicious method on a total stranger, this person was clearly of a malicious character.
When Mu Xi Yao dealt with this kind of people, she knew not how to go easy on them.
On the other side, Zhong Zheng Lin’s secret agent sent him a report that said two xiunus had secretly sneaked into Mu sisters private quarters and came out after some period of time.
He found out that the two xiunus came from Yuzhou and after he went to check the chamber he did not spot there anything out of ordinary.
The secret agent did not know whether he should go to check Mu Xi Yao’s room one more time thus he came to ask for further instructions.
Zhong Zheng Lin’s face darkened.
Let a man enter Mu Xi Yao’s private quarters If he accidentally were to see something……..therefore, he ordered Wei Zhen to send a female guard from Yue Lai Ge, who specialized in intelligence to investigate the matter.
Yue Lai Ge mainly runs businesses like brothels, restaurants, and armed escorts.
This establishment was the major source of Zhong Zheng Lin’s intelligence.
The only people aware of its existence beside Zhong Zheng Lin were Wei Zhen and Di Wu Yi Zhao.
Even consort Shu knew nothing.
This was the first time Zhong Zheng Lin had sent a female guard from Yue Lai Ge to palace, making it obvious that he didn’t take lightly things related to Mu Xi Yao.
Oddly enough, Mu Xi Yao came unscathed and no incident happened afterward.
At the same time, the female guard found no clues around this case.
As a result, Zhong Zheng Lin appointed his people to monitor those two women.
Since nothing happened since then, this matter could only be temporary set aside.
It was only natural that Zhong Zheng Lin didn’t find anything as he lacked crucial facts.
Without these important information his secret agents were basically handicapped.
Mu Xi Yao, on the other hand, progressed smoothly.
She found an excuse and dragging Mu Xi Ting with herself, they went to visit other xiunus.
Soon she found out the hall with the smell of java tea flower.
The only issue was that there were two xiunus from Yuzhou living there.
The question was whether the culprit was only one or both of them.
But, Mu Xi Yo was too lazy to worry.
In her eyes, since both of them came from Yuzhou, they must be familiar with the scent of java tea flower and naturally, they could associate this flower with the dormant spider.
Mu Xi Yao was certain both had something to do with this incident.
Even if there were no two culprits there must have been two accomplices.
Mu Xi Yao would not hesitate at all to dispose both of them.
 Bendian is the first-person pronoun employed by princes when speaking to a person or an audience of lower rank or status
 Momo is an elderly servant girl