As soon as he saw Han Yunxi approach, Emperor Tianhui's attitude changed completely from before. "Yunxi, come, come. Quickly take Tianmo's pulse. The imperial physicians all say it's normal, but you should come take a look."
Heaven knows how much the crown prince's awakening had made Emperor Tianhui happy!
From 'Han Yunxi' to 'Qin Wangfei' to 'Yunxi,' Han Yunxi felt very comfortable hearing it. She now knew her hard work hadn't been wasted. No matter how Emperor Tianhui saw her in his heart, he'd at least given her the respect she deserved and recognized her position. She walked over and the empress dowager and empress hastily got out of the way. Both of them wore kind, genial expressions. Even Long Tianmo, who had despised her before, had a face filled with gratitude.
"Imperial Qin Aunt, you've worked hard!"
Han Yunxi put on a false smile as she sat and carefully took his pulse. With this, the entire room fell silent enough to hear a needle drop. Though there were generally no problems, Han Yunxi had taken action personally, making everyone nervous. Only Gu Beiyue saw Han Yunxi pretending to be serious and unconsciously revealed a warm smile.
This woman was still beautiful even when she was only pretending to be serious.
Han Yunxi finally spoke after acting affectedly serious. "There's no problem. Let him recover for a few days while redressing his cut regularly. After it heals, he can get off the bed. Since he took the Life Blood Pill, there's no need to take any tonics. It's fine."
Emperor Tianhui nodded his head. "Imperial Physician Gu, it'll all be up to you."
"Yes!" Gu Beiyue replied in a low voice.
Han Yunxi rose and released a breath. She was finally finished dealing with this thorny issue, and the tightness stretched taut in her head completely relaxed itself. Although she said she'd set off her faults with good deeds to save Han Clan's three generations, Emperor Tianhui still bestowed rewards on her. He gave the eunuch a large pile of things, too much for Han Yunxi to remember. She could only express her thanks.
Emperor Tianhui wanted to spend more time with the crown prince, but since there were pressing matters at hand, he had to leave first. Before he departed, he told Han Yunxi to visit the palace often and keep the empress dowager company. Han Yunxi gave a brilliant smile and agreed. Except, her heart was still uneasy. The empress dowager and Grand Concubine Yi were irreconcilable enemies, so how could Emperor Tianhui not know? Moreover, his relationship with Long Feiye was even more delicate, so it'd be better if she meddled less in court affairs.
She long understood one thing from her mother saving the empress dowager. The imperial family would never be truly grateful. Perhaps it could be said that they wouldn't soften their hearts and forgo their own interests just because they were thankful.
Even if she saved their most precious life.
Han Yunxi only considered this event as getting rid of a trouble.
"Imperial Qin Aunt, when I've fully recovered, I'll pay a call to thank you in person!" Long Tianmo was still immersed in happiness, and seemed sincere.
Han Yunxi smiled. "It's a small matter. You don't need to keep it in your heart, may the crown prince rest well. If anything's uncomfortable, you have to tell Imperial Physician Gu."
After managing everything, Han Yunxi left with the empress dowager and empress out the doors. She was about to say goodbye when the empress dowager grabbed her hand, as intimate as the last time they met in court.
"Yunxi, don't go just yet. Come have dinner at my place. You've tired yourself out all these days, so I have to reward you handsomely with food and drink."
"Heheh, Yunxi, this elder has never kept anyone behind for dinner. You're so lucky!" the empress said with a smile.
Heaven knew if these words were true, but the speech forced Han Yunxi on the road to ruin. If she refused, then it'd be giving the empress dowager too little face.
"Then chenqie will accept respectfully, rather than decline courteously," Han Yunxi looked delighted, but she was complaining in her heart. She just wanted to go back and soak in a bath before going to bed! She knew that when the empress dowager spoke out on her behalf, no good would come of it. Heavens know what the empress dowager wanted to do this time!
The empress dowager walked in the middle, flanked on both sides by Han Yunxi and the empress. The whole way to the empress dowager's halls, Han Yunxi kept quiet until her thoughts wandered to Long Feiye.
Where is that guy now? Did he leave the palace, or is he still with Emperor Tianhui? Could he bring her home?
The reality proved that Han Yunxi had thought too much. At the empress dowager's halls, a dinner party had been prepared. A sumptuous spread of fine wine and delicacies made Han Yunxi swallow her saliva at the sight. She hadn't eaten hot food for days and was feeling gluttonous. After sitting down and exchanging some polite expressions, Han Yunxi saw the empress dowager and empress move their chopsticks before happily starting to chew.
"Yunxi, there's no need to be polite. Just treat this as eating in your own home. I'm different from your mufei, we don't have many etiquette rules here," the empress dowager was planning to get food for Han Yunxi, but Han Yunxi had gotten herself quite a lot. She didn't seem to have heard the empress dowager's words, but buried her head to gorge on food.
Han Yunxi wasn't embarrassed, but the empress dowager and empress exchanged glances, feeling awkward.
"Look at that, you must be starving. Eat more, eat more," the empress hastened to say, building a stage for the empress dowager.
Han Yunxi was listening. The first words had been a comparison with Grand Concubine Yi, so what did the empress dowager want? She didn't speak. Heaven was big and so was Earth, but right now her stomach was the biggest. Whatever Heaven-shaking events were happening had nothing before filling up her stomach first.
The empress dowager sipped a few mouthfuls of soup and continued. "Yunxi, back then your mother..."
"Esteemed empress dowager, which cook made this soup? It's delicious," Han Yunxi interrupted with a smile.
"The head chef of the imperial kitchens made it himself and presented it here. If you like, come often and I'll make sure you drink your fill," the empress dowager replied with a laugh.
"Chenqie doesn't dare," Han Yunxi said.
"Why don't you dare? You don't know, but before your betrothal, this one almost claimed you as..."
"Esteemed empress dowager, this dish is good too. Was it made by the head chef as well?" Han Yunxi interrupted again.
Finally, the empress dowager could only smile hypocritically as she nodded in silence. Thus, Han Yunxi finished her meal smoothly and unhindered, feeling very satisfied. They could always discuss matters after she ate and drank to her heart's content.
After rinsing and changing to a tea table, the empress dowager finally had a chance to open her mouth, but she actually continued with the topic she'd dropped before. "Yunxi, before your betrothal, this one always claimed you as an adopted daughter. Your mother personally agreed as well."
Hearing this, Han Yunxi's hand holding the teacup turned stiff. What were the empress dowager's motives in saying these things? She didn't speak, she continued to wait.
The empress dowager paused before smiling, "Yunxi, ah, do you still want to be this one's adopted daughter?"
Han Yunxi's mouth twitched. "Esteemed empress dowager, it was your blessings that wedded Yunxi to the Duke of Qin. Yunxi makes bold to say that she's considered esteemed empress dowager family long ago."
Speaking from another perspective, Han Yunxi still counted as the empress dowager's daughter-in-law. She actually wanted to take her as an adopted daughter. The intelligent Han Yunxi instantly sniffed out the scent of someone trying to win her over.
"Heheh, well, a daughter-in-law still isn't as intimate as a daughter," the empress dowager joked, taking Han Yunxi's hand with a smile.
Han Yunxi shot a glance out of the corner of her eye at the empress. Indeed, the empress's face instantly looked unsightly. Of course, the empress dowager's words weren't meant for the empress, but Grand Concubine Yi. Han Yunxi was Grand Concubine Yi's daughter-in-law, but now the empress dowager wanted to take her as a daughter. What she meant was that she wanted to bribe her over to counter Grand Concubine Yi!
Han Yunxi finally understood why the empress dowager wanted to betroth the daughter of her lifesaver to the son of her enemy. It was so she could act as a spy and planted agent! Except, she never expected the child to grow into a useless, good-for-nothing ugly woman.
Leaving aside the fact that she didn't want to be a spy, Han Yunxi would definitely refuse to spy by Long Feiye's side. The rivalry between the empress dowager and Grand Concubine Yi was basically the rivalry between the emperor and Long Feiye. For her to be a planted agent at Long Feiye's side was looking for death! Though the empress dowager's words were veiled, a smart person could understand very clearly when they listened.
Seeing Han Yunxi hesitate, the empress dowager signaled the empress with a glance, who spoke. "Yunxi, the empress dowager has no daughters. She's always wanted one, so an adopted daughter would be the same as a real one. If anyone bullies you in the future, not just the empress dowager and myself, but even the emperor won't let them off easily."
Tsk, tsk, Han Yunxi sighed with emotion in her heart. What an enticing temptation. Was this telling her that a single nod to agree would make the emperor someone to depend on? Seeing the warm smile of the empress and the expectant look of the empress dowager, Han Yunxi really wanted to tell them, Spies throughout the ages are always killed after they've been used. Relying on anyone was just empty promises.
She quietly finished her tea and smiled. "A daughter is naturally more intimate than a daughter-in-law."
"Of course, of course," the empress finished with a nod.
"In the end, a daughter-in-law is still an outsider," Han Yunxi said again.
The empress thought she'd agreed and immediately nodded her head.
"A daughter-in-law isn't intimate!" Han Yunxi said once more.
At this point, the empress realized that something was off. She was a daughter-in-law herself, and her mother-in-law was right next to her! Unhappiness flitted past her eyes, but she kept it in. She only stopped nodding. The empress dowager, though, was very pleased at such words. She said before, if Han Yunxi could cure the crown prince, then she'd give up old grudges and go according to previous plans from years ago to plant Han Yunxi as her agent in the Duke of Qin's household. Originally, she expected Han Yunxi to consider it for much longer, but the woman actually approved of her words.
"Yunxi, it's better than you understand. Why don't we take care of this matter like..."
Before the empress dowager could finish, Han Yunxi stood up and made a respectful bow. "To gain esteemed empress dowager's doting is Yunxi's fortune. Yunxi thanks esteemed Empress Dowager."
The empress dowager was very pleased and raised a hand to help her up. "Silly girl, if your mother hadn't passed away early, and we didn't have these misunderstandings, you wouldn't have needed to suffer. With this one's support, Grand Concubine Yi won't dare to cause you difficulties."
Han Yunxi smiled mildly, seemingly helpless. In actuality, she was mocking them. "Esteemed empress dowager, though my mother has already passed away, Yunxi has already become a married woman with a husband. Yunxi cannot be the judge on being your adopted daughter, but perhaps esteemed empress dowager can ask the Duke of Qin?"
The words stunned the empress dowager and empress, whose faces instantly changed. A sinister and ruthless glint rose in the empress dowager's eyes before she almost lost it. Han Yunxi, ah, Han Yunxi. We talked for so long but you were just playing around!
She knew that this issue was to target Grand Concubine Yi and the Duke of Qin, but she dared to say it should be discussed with the Duke of Qin!
A so-called 'married woman with a husband' completed rejected her. A completely ingenious rejection! It made it impossible for her and the empress to lose their temper or cast blame. If they knew it would turn out like this, she wouldn't have spoken in favor of sparing the Han Clan's three generations!
The hands hidden in her wide sleeves clenched into fists as she suppressed her temper. The empress dowager couldn't even find a chance to extricate herself from this awkward position. If news reached the ears of the Duke of Qin and Grand Concubine Yi, not only would she be a joke, they'd also take precautions against her.
The empress was furious as well. "Aiya, without mentioning the Duke of Qin, I would've forgotten about the matter. Imperial Mother, you like Yunxi, but in the end she's one of the Duke of Qin's people. You should know of Grand Concubine Yi and the Duke of Qin's tempers. Arguing for the sake of arguing, such things won't do if they hear of it!"