Please update your browser: Your browser is obsolete, you need to update or switch! Missing var() support! Missing grid support! Missing (flex-) gap support! Missing aspect-ratio support! Missing container query support! Missing clamp() support! Missing -webkit-line-clamp support!
    Header Background Image


    The world's first crowdsourcing-driven asian bl novel translation community

    Now, in retrospect, her "illness" back then was undoubtedly caused by this medicine.

    But why did Mother Zhang want her to fall ill at that particular time?

    After feeding Rong Shu the tea, Mother Zhang gently wiped the corners of her lips with a handkerchief and said, "Don't be afraid, this medicine will only make the young miss drowsy."

    Rong Shu's eyes reddened, and her fingertips twitched slightly.

    "How long does Mother want me to sleep?"

    Mother Zhang didn't answer her question directly but looked down at her affectionately and said, "When you were born, you were as weak as a kitten but very well-behaved, never crying or making a fuss. You recognized only me wherever we went. But as you grew older, you became more disobedient. It would have been better if the young miss knew nothing. Your uncle's matter is a death knell, and the more you know, the more danger you're in. Sleep now, my dear, I'll sing you a lullaby to help you rest peacefully."

    As Mother Zhang spoke, she began humming a little tune.

    This lullaby, which had once brought Rong Shu comfort since childhood, now sent chills down her spine.

    The effects of the medicine started to take hold, numbing Rong Shu's mind. This feeling was all too familiar—she had experienced such grogginess for half a month in the Sishi Garden.

    Yet, she still had so many questions to ask and couldn't afford to fall asleep.

    With this thought in mind, she bit down hard on her tongue until blood gushed out, the sharp pain jolting her back to reality.

    She held onto Mama Zhang's hand gently and asked, "Are you going to hurt Mother? She was so kind to you and Uncle, will you really harm her?"

    Fear and worry shone brightly in the young girl's eyes.

    Mama Zhang's heart softened as she held her hand back, whispering softly, "Your uncle loves your mother and won't let anything happen to her. At most, she'll suffer a little, but she won't die. In fact, there might even be great fortune awaiting her in the future."

    "What about the marquis household? Is Father and Grandmother on your side?" Rong Shu inquired further.

    Mama Zhang scoffed softly.

    Someone as foolish as Rong Xun and Old Lady Rong would not hesitate to use the princess as a pawn; how could they possibly entrust Shen Zhi with such important matters?

    "She's from the third branch, how could they be qualified?" she replied coolly, setting aside the handkerchief and stroking Rong Shu's forehead with her large hand. "Miss, don't try to pry any more. Tomorrow, I'll take you to live in the mountains, so you won't say anything reckless in front of your uncle and end up harming yourself. The longer you pretend to know nothing, the safer you'll be."

    Rong Shu's pupils began to dilate.

    Mother will suffer a little... does that mean she'll be exiled to Su Prefecture?

    Moreover, if the third branch isn't worthy, then who is? The first or the second?

    Rong Shu's mind faintly grasped at something. Trembling, she bit into the wound on her tongue with her fine teeth, desperate to ask more questions.

    But the effects of the medicine were too potent, even stronger than when she was in the Sishi Garden.

    Her eyelids seemed to be overwhelmed by the burden, fluttering a few times before reluctantly closing.

    Seeing her finally fall asleep, Mama Zhang slowly exhaled and rubbed her temples forcefully.

    That bowl of Autumn Pear Soup had indeed affected her somewhat.

    She had indeed experienced a brief hallucination.

    It was April of Jiaoyou Year Two, when the pine forest on Mount Daci'en was lush and vibrant from the spring rain.

    The late spring rain drizzled endlessly, and on the sixth of April, lightning flashed and thunder rumbled, making the glazed tiles of the Daci'en Temple tremble lightly.

    Mama Zhang picked up the yellow paper on the ground that read "Jiaoyou Year Two, Fourth Month Sixth Day." Her slightly lowered eyebrows were illuminated by the dim candlelight, turning a reddish hue.

    Considering what to place in the wooden box, she instinctively put in that yellow paper.

    In retrospect, she realized her impulsiveness.

    She shouldn't have brought up that day again.

    With a sharp tear, the yellow paper was ripped apart by Mother Zhang, who then discarded it into the incense burner beside her. Flames licked at the scraps, turning them into ashes in an instant.

    The sound of the night drum echoed from distant alleys, accompanied by the watchman's melodic warning, "It's dry tonight, be cautious with fire."

    On the small table beside the bed, a teardrop of candle wax slowly dripped from the lotus-shaped candlestick.

    Luo Yan opened her eyes, straining her ears to listen for any movement outside.

    All the candles and incense pills in this room had been replaced by Rong Shu. Hidden within the food basket she brought today were identical candles and incense pills with a similar scent.

    "On the first night Sister Luo Yan moved into Yi Lanzhu, did she fall asleep earlier than usual, and perhaps woke up the next day with a slight headache?"

    Yan Luo was usually careless and straightforward. Indeed, she had slept deeply that night and woke up with a slight headache the next day. She thought it was due to being at sea for too long, causing her to be disoriented from the change in environment.

    Rong Shu put away the used candles and incense balls back into the food box before continuing, "Of course, it might also be my overthinking. But it's always better to be cautious."

    She had to admit that after replacing the candles and incense, she found it more difficult to fall asleep.

    Perhaps it was because of her nervous state of mind that day.

    Regardless, even though she felt uneasy, she followed Rong Shu's advice and lay quietly until dawn, then pretended to be weak as she got up.

    An elderly servant came in to help her freshen up. Seeing her exhausted and lacking appetite, she sincerely urged Yan Luo to rest more. Then, noticing the half-burnt candle, she left the room with the untouched breakfast tray.

    Mama Zhang had just returned from the kitchen and, upon hearing the servant's report, nodded and said, "Keep a close eye on her."

    With that, she pushed open the door and entered the bedroom.

    By then, Rong Shu was already groggily stirring awake, feeling some of her strength returning.

    Mama Zhang wiped her face and fed her a bowl of soft and glutinous green rice porridge. Following the same routine, she then administered a bowl of medicine to her.

    Having completed her task, she was about to leave when Rong Shu gently held onto the edge of her sleeve.

    Mother Zhang turned to look at her.

    The young lady's pale face was filled with illness, and her usually clear and bright peach blossom eyes seemed to have been immersed in misty rain, now reflecting a hint of sorrow and vulnerability.

    After all, this was the girl she had raised from infancy. On cold days, she would seek refuge in Mother Zhang's embrace, eagerly share any delicious food she had prepared, and during her first encounter with menstruation, she would coyly complain about the pain, asking for comfort and soothing.


    Enter your details or log in with:
    Heads up! Your comment will be invisible to other guests and subscribers (except for replies), including you after a grace period. But if you submit an email address and toggle the bell icon, you will be sent replies until you cancel.