Chapter 153: Ninth World (18)
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Edited by Sulo
After coming to the capital, the witch doctor couldn’t wait to go around the capital and look for the ingredients needed to remove the insect.
Cao YuYing wore a meaningful look and arranged two bodyguards to follow her, then let her wander in the capital. He and Bai Duan also followed behind in order to deal with accidents that the guards could not solve.
The witch doctor wanted to go out and walk around, so as to confirm the identity of the Enchantress, she wanted to know if everything was as Cao YuYing said. Fortunately, while Cao YuYing had fooled the witch doctor on a lot of things, they were all based on the truth. No matter how the witch doctor inquired, she would not hear something different.
Sure enough, after a day in the capital, the witch doctor was exhausted physically and mentally. She had to admit that her daughter had become a completely unknown person.
She quietly followed two officials and listened to their worried discussion about what happened to their sisters in the palace. She wandered around the gates of the prince’s residence, and saw the residence in ruins, the servants working there had numb faces. She sat in the bustling tavern, and heard the scholars talking loudly and grieving about the Enchantress causing misfortune to the country and politics. She was also in the tea house, and heard the storyteller talk about the dark stories of the Imperial Palace, as for whether they were truths, she didn’t know.
When the sun sank, the witch doctor dragged her tired body back to the Imperial Palace. Her eyes were bleak and she was tired.
Bai Duan and Cao YuYing had been following the witch doctor all day. At this time, they just returned home. They were busy coping with the Imperial Counsellor Bai, who was excited to see the two return. He was full of disappointment because Cao YuYing was not pregnant. When they finally got back to the house, they heard the news that the witch doctor wanted to see them.
“Everything you need is ready?” Cao YuYing was sitting in front of the dressing mirror, taking off his makeup while asking casually.
“…It’s all done,” The witch doctor replied in a low voice.
“This morning, I handed in the request permit, and I have received permission from my father to go to the palace. Tomorrow morning, I will bring you to the palace,” Looking at his heroic face restored in the mirror, Cao YuYing raised up his eyebrows with satisfaction and said, “You aren’t having second thoughts, are you?”
“Of course not,” The witch doctor shook her head slowly, “We Miao people are not as treacherous as you Han people. I have promised you, so I won’t go back on my word.”
“The Han people are gentlemen who won’t go back on their words as well,” Cao YuYing snorted and glanced at the witch doctor with a smile. “To be honest, now the whole Imperial Palace is under my control. Even if you want to do any small actions tomorrow and team up with your daughter in the palace to cause me trouble, I’m not afraid of it at all.” The witch doctor was horrified. She didn’t have such an idea at first, but now she dared not think about it at all. She gave a prompt reply, and left the room in a hurry.
Bai Duan glanced at his wife with a smirk and said, “Control over the whole palace? Aren’t you afraid that you’d get your tongue blown off from blowing such a huge lie?”
“What if I’m not bragging?” Cao YuYing stood up with a smile, hugged his lover, and kissed him on the cheek. “Your ‘wife’ is very powerful!”
Bai Duan couldn’t help laughing. He didn’t put his wife’s words in his heart. He and his wife went straight to the bed, the bed veil slowly falling to cover their actions in bed.
The next day, Bai Duan and Cao YuYing got up early. When they were ready, they waited at the gate of the palace, waiting for the Emperor to finish his morning routines and then invite them into the palace. The witch doctor was still dressed in a strange black robe, which made her look quite suspicious at first sight. However, the guards of the palace gate seemed to completely ignore her as if they had no doubt about it at all, and let her into the palace easily.
The witch doctor didn’t think it was strange, but Bai Duan, who lived in the capital since childhood, and whose father was an important official of the court, was surprised and asked in a low voice, “You told the Emperor that you would bring a Miao witch doctor into the palace?”
“How could it be,” Cao YuYing raised his eyebrows. “My father is still controlled by the insect. Once he knows of it, wouldn’t it mean the Enchantress would know it as well?”
“Then… How can you bring her into the palace so smoothly?” Bai Duan couldn’t believe it.
“So now you believe I didn’t lie last night?” Cao YuYing chuckled.
Bai Duan’s mouth twitched, but could not say anything to refute. The witch doctor followed the two men and heard the contents of their discussion. She lowered her head silently, and dared not act against Cao YuYing.
In this way, Cao YuYing, with the help of the hypnotic cover of mental force, and Bai Duan, together with the witch doctor, came to the doors of the Royal Study without any obstruction. Cao YuYing also successfully managed to show himself off in front of his little husband and his ‘cooperation partner’. The eunuch trusted by the Emperor was also controlled by Cao YuYing’s mental power, so he naturally had a respectful attitude, which further confirmed his ‘boasting’ last night.
Under the guidance of the Head Eunuch, the three entered the Royal Study. The only Emperor who had a strong will and was not influenced by Cao YuYing’s mental power was obviously shocked when he saw the witch doctor. His body stiffened and his face sank. He was angry but pretended to be calm, “What is the meaning of this, my daughter and son-in-law?”
Cao YuYing and Bai Duan knelt on the ground to show their loyalty with humility, which made the Emperor look a little calmer. But at the next moment, Cao YuYing suddenly jumped upwards. As Cao YuYing walked up to the imperial desk with a few steps, the Emperor’s face changed greatly and he tried to evade. Cao YuYing quickly placed the bottle with the gas the witch doctor had prepared to anesthetize the insect, under the emperor’s nose. The Emperor did not expect that even if he managed to hold his breath in time, he still inhaled the gas. He was so angry that he wanted to call the guards, but his mouth was covered by Cao YuYing, and he could only make a short murmur.
“Father please do not be angry, your child will not harm you. There is a reason for this. Please listen to me first, it is not too late to punish me after that!” Cao YuYing’s eyes looked sincere and eager. She was also full of tears. She really played the role of the faithful child to the fullest.
Even the Emperor, who was accustomed to sinister people, could not see any falsehood in his daughter’s eyes. The anger had subsided a little, but his face was still not happy.
The Emperor calmed down, motioned to Cao YuYing to release his hand, and then slowly asked, “Well, what do you want to say?”
Cao YuYing didn’t answer, just turned around and looked at the witch doctor. The witch doctor nodded quickly, obviously scared to death by the scene when the Emperor was angry just now. She didn’t dare to delay or hide it. She replied in a half cooked Han dialect that she had learned while wandering in the Han towns, “It’s enough, enough! This is the first time the Gu insect has been exposed to the gas. Though he only inhaled a little, it is enough to ensure that it will lose its efficacy — only temporarily though, and it will soon wake up.”
Cao YuYing and Bai Duan both breathed a sigh of relief, while the Emperor was surprised, “Gu insect?”
Cao YuYing put the small bottle in his hand respectfully on the Royal desk, then stepped back and knelt back on the ground again. Cao YuYing told the Emperor everything from how he dressed himself up as a woman and grew up with hardship in the palace; to how he doubted the Emperor’s temperament change towards the Enchantress. Then, he talked about how he protected himself and got married in the palace, and how he accidentally found out that the Miao people’s Stringing Gu seemed to show similar attributes with His Majesty’s behaviour while travelling with his husband.
The more the Emperor listened, the more ugly his face became. Naturally, he knew that his son didn’t tell the truth completely, but at this time, he would not pay attention to these ‘unimportant’ problems. All of his mind was on the matter that he had been controlled by the Enchantress for more than ten years.
After the insect had fallen asleep, the Emperor finally stopped thinking of the Enchantress and his mind was furious and emotions out of control. Now he had woken up and thought about how the Enchantress hurt his sons, how she made him remove the queen, sending her to the cold harem palace, where she died of illness from sadness. How she influenced him to dispose of all the officials who badmouthed the Enchantress. How… she transformed him from a wise and powerful Emperor to a tyrant hated by the citizens.
Recalling all of the past, the Emperor trembled with anger. He wished to immediately pull the Enchantress to his face and personally chop her up and eat her meat.
However, the strong willpower still made him maintain a little sense. The Emperor took a deep breath and managed to suppress the fierce anger, but he still gnashed his teeth, “How can we remove this insect?”
Hearing the Emperor’s question, Cao YuYing, who had lowered his head, secretly smirked, but when he raised his head again, he turned back into a good son who was worrying about his father. He carefully chose his words, explained the advantages and disadvantages of the two methods in detail, and then bowed his head deeply, “Because these two methods are not all perfect, so your son dare not make decisions without authorization, and could only come up with such a method to temporarily suppress the insect, so father could decide.”
The emperors of all dynasties care about three things: land, offsprings and health. The Enchantress, Ju MahE really stepped on all three thunder spots. The Emperor wished that he could return to the beginning of his acquaintance with Ju MahE and immediately kill the witch with his sword. He only brought her into the palace to thank her for her help in the forest, he even gave her lots of love and attention, how could she!
The Emperor was always domineering. He had been educated that an emperor should have a huge harem since he was a child. He didn’t think what he had done was wrong, rather he thought that she was extremely ungrateful and vicious. At the same time, after experiencing the power of the Miao Gu insect, the Emperor was afraid of the Miao people, and wanted to send an iron army to the Miao area to eliminate this huge hidden danger.
However, seeing the witch doctor kneeling and shivering in the palace, the Emperor could not help it. After all, he still needed the woman to remove the insects from his body. But when it’s done… He decided to calm his anger and wash this shame with the blood of Ju MahE and the whole tribe of Miao people!
Turning away from the witch doctor, he once again turned to his only surviving son. He completely ignored the other two remaining princes with Miao blood in them. The Emperor smiled coldly and said, “Cao YuYing… You’re really good, very good.”
Cao YuYing lowered his head to the ground in a humble manner. Although the Emperor said he was “good”, he knew it was not a simple compliment.
“You have a strong mind, skills, a sense of forbearance, as well as the thoroughness of a man…” His line of sight swam at Cao YuYing and Bai Duan, remembering the love story of them spreading all over the capital. The Emperor almost laughed angrily. “I’m lucky to have a son like you, it would seem that my heir is decided!”
Cao YuYing did not move at all under the Emperor’s pressure, “This child dare not.”
“You dare not? I think you dare very much!” The Emperor sneered, “Even while pretending to be a woman, you manage to hear all these secrets. You even brought people into the palace without my permission. I’m afraid that the Enchantress was in power, and you are the second-in-command, right? No, if the insect is gone, even the Enchantress is no match for you!”
“Yes, I am guilty,” Cao YuYing replied with a deep voice.
“That’s enough. I didn’t say that to hear your apology!” The Emperor pressed his hands on the armrest, he clenched his fists, and then breathed a long breath, “Well, with a son like you, I can also be ‘relieved’ to receive the treatment.” His eyes were deep, and he did not hesitate for a long time, he made a swift decision.
The dignity and pride of being an Emperor made him unable to allow a small insect to live in his own brain forever, even though the procedure had a deep hidden danger for himself. Moreover, he was unable to accept that he would gradually become silly in the future because of the gas to anesthetizing insects. The Emperor’s character was always firm and resolute. He would rather gamble than survive as a slave.
——What’s more, he has such an ambitious “good son”. If anything happened to him in the process of expelling the insect, he didn’t have to worry that the throne would not be inherited by a capable emperor. If everything went well, he would still have the energy to fight with his long dormant son and regain the throne, but to that he would need time and a healthy mind.
Picking up the small bottle containing anesthetic gas on the imperial desk, the Emperor’s tone was deep and his expression was unpredictable, “From today onward, this Miao witch doctor shall stay in the palace and prepare for removing the Gu insect with my court physicians — I will have this damn insect out of my head!”