Chapter 204 – Brown Tears
She could absolutely sense the change in his temperament. The prim and proper official, who had found her at the glasshouse that noon, seemed to be nowhere in sight. In his place stood a desperate retainer.
She took a deep breath trying to compose herself and without further ado followed him silently all the way to his master.
Her garb was shrouded by the dense darkness. Even the moon had hidden behind the clouds, unwilling to reveal her clandestine affairs. If anyone were to see her now, they would assume she was just a palace maid about her errands.
The Palace of Heavenly Purity was the emperor’s place of repose. It was here that he conducted meetings with his ministers and officials and took rest.
This was also the place her soul often wandered. She had spent two years here… how could she be a stranger to this place?
Her nimble feet came to a halt upon reaching the all familiar hall, where the emperor held his meetings. However, to her utter astonishment, she was brought to the emperor’s bed-chamber.
Ye Zhen could not contain her shock. “Eunuch Ford?!”
“Miss Lu, please come in.” His tone was somewhat anxious, not giving her a chance to speak.
Ye Zhen’s heart beat frantically. She could not believe her worst fears were materializing. She wanted to leave right now… but was that even possible? No matter what, she would hold her ground, she wouldn’t succumb to his tyranny… it would not happen a second time. Clenching her fists tight, she resolved–if Mo Rongzhan dared do something to her, she would not hesitate to cast a spell to kill him!
For the first time, Ye Zhen discovered she had a tendency to overthink.
As she gingerly stepped into the emperor’s chambers, she was a little shaken. Her fists trembled, and lips quivered.
She was then greeted by the sight of a Mo Rongzhan dressed in bright yellow traditional robes, one hand covering his eyes with a plain white cloth, the other resting on his knee. His whole person was different from his usual self.
“Lu Yaoyao, come here!” Mo Rongzhan’s voice was as cold as ice.
Ye Zhen held her breath. She felt that he looked a little strange. She curtsied, not immediately following the emperor’s orders.
“This official’s daughter greets the emperor. Ten thousand blessings to His Imperial Majesty, the emperor.”
“What exactly did you put in the medicated diet?” Mo Rongzhan asked coldly.
Since Eunuch Ford had brought her, it was clear that there was nothing wrong with Yi. That is, there was no poison in the medicated diet. But why was his condition so?
Ye Zhen was flabbergasted. Never had she imagined she would be summoned at an ungodly hour over food! She took a moment to speak.
“This official’s daughter does not understand what His Majesty means. Naturally, medicine is incorporated into a medicated diet.”
It was that obvious!
Mo Rongzhan loosened the white cloth. “Is your medicated diet harmful to people’s eyes?”
“Of course not…” As she said that, she looked at the emperor’s eyes in astonishment.
What is the matter?
“Miss Lu, the emperor’s eyes have been unwell. Eating the medicated cuisine you made could be the reason for His Majesty’s uneasiness.”
Ye Zhen’s lips pursed.
“This is not easy for me to say. But I did say that the medicated cuisine is for the Little Prince.” Ye Zhen did not care if she sounded curt.
Ha, ha! This happened because he ate the food I made for the Little Prince, not him.
“You are saying…” Mo Rongzhan’s voice sounded gloomy. “…that I was the one who insisted on eating the medicated cuisine, and therefore will not condemn you?”
Once his words fell, she realized she had gloated a little too soon. She had forgotten how sharp this man was.
“Your Majesty, the medicated cuisines cannot hurt people’s eyes. I suppose…” She paused, measuring her words carefully. “… perhaps the problem lies with you.”
It was a good thing that Mo Rongzhan could not open his eyes, they were still watering. Otherwise, his eyes would have frozen Ye Zhen in place.
“If His Majesty does not believe me, he can ask the imperial physician.” Ye Zhen added in a trice.
Well, if he could take this matter up with the imperial physician, he would not have let Eunuch Ford bring her to him secretly. Now that the world was not really stable, he must not let slip that his eyes were in trouble again. Time was critical, the hounds and hyenas were prowling.
He used to be blind. He had almost resigned to his fate then. But now that he had tasted the pleasure of light, he refused to drift into that dismal abyss. In his lifetime, he did not want to live in darkness again.
“Heal my eyes,” he said, softly. The tone was plain, without any threat.
Even so, Ye Zhen felt chills running down her spine.
Since the time she was abruptly awoken to up until this moment, everything felt surreal. Even before she could grasp and respond, she was thrown another… veiled threat. Although Mo Rongzhan’s words seemed proper, she knew better. But what choice did she have other than to succumb to it?
Ye Zhen hesitated for a moment before walking towards him slowly. All along she was puzzling over what he had said: Is your medicated diet harmful to people’s eyes?
She had never thought that taking those medicated meals would have an adverse effect on the emperor’s eyes. She wondered if it was the miracle liquid. However, the few people she had used it on, had no such complaints. She was tipping towards terming it a coincidence, but her prudent mind was nudging her to explore.
When she came to him, she dared not face him too closely like the time she was caught by him in the hot spring. Looking at the handsome face of the man she once loved, her eyes were somewhat complicated.
“Your Majesty, can you open your eyes and let this official’s daughter take a look?” Ye Zhen asked in a low voice.
Mo Rongzhan smelled a faint fruity smell on her body as her soft voice reached his ears. She sensed she was close but not too close. He slowly willed his eyes open and a dam of tears suddenly burst forth.
Huh? As she saw the stream gushing down his eyes, and to his cheeks, she swiftly took the white cloth in his hand and wiped it.