Jun Qian Che rushes towards the animal trap where Mo Qi Qi accidentally fell through, but by the time he gets there, the pit is already empty. Someone must have pulled Mo Qi Qi up, though he doesn’t know if it’s his own people or the assassins. He is worried for her safety, he hopes that she is fine. He wants to make sure she is fine, so he uses qinggong to fly back towards the camp.
When he does not see her back in the camp, his heart grows even more worried. Just as he is about to turn around to continue searching for her, he feels a burst of dizziness and collapses on the ground.
Han Yi Xiao who has just gotten there, immediately helps him get up, “Are you alright, Your Majesty?”
“Zhen is fine. Have you found the Empress?” Jun Qian Che looks at Han Yi Xiao.
Han Yi Xiao nods, “Yes. Since the sky is dark and the road is slippery, the rest of the soldiers are escorting Her Ladyship back. This General is worried about your safety, so this General used qinggong to return first.”
When he hears that Mo Qi Qi is safe, Jun Qian Che puts his worry to rest.
Later, inside Jun Qian Che’s tent, Han Yi Xiao grows worried when he sees the black needle, “Your Majesty, this needle is poisonous.”
Jun Qian Che calmly replies him, “It corrodes the bones.”
Han Yi Xiao nods, “Yes, this is a very powerful poison. The moment the needle pierces one’s skin, the poison will start to spread. There are very little poisons out there that can take someone’s life. As for this one, although it does not kill immediately, it will give it’s victim a lot of torment. The victim will start suffering from dizziness, chest pain and will later falls into a coma. Once the poison spread into the victim’s internal organs, the victim will die. Where did you find this needle, Your Majesty?”
Han Yi Xiao looks at him in shock, “You are poisoned, Your Majesty?”
“Ssh, lower your voice. Do not let anyone else know that zhen went to look for the Empress tonight. Do not let anyone know that zhen has been poisoned as well. It is very important to keep this incident under tight wrap,” instructs Jun Qian Che.
Han Yi Xiao nods, “But the poison inside your body……”
“Zhen will find someone to cure it. Start the journey to return to the palace tomorrow.”
“You are back, Your Ladyship. You scared this servant to death!” Ban Xiang’s voice can be heard from outside.
Jun Qian Che turns to Han Yi Xiao, “Tell the Empress to come in.”
“Yes,” Han Yi Xiao immediately walks out.
Soon, a pathetic looking Mo Qi Qi walks in, followed by Jun Yue Hen.
Displeasure rises inside Jun Qian Che’s heart when he sees them walking in together, though he does not show it on his face.
When Mo Qi Qi sees him sitting there all clean and idle, anger rises inside her heart. Even the injured Jun Yue Hen ran around looking for her out there. Jun Qian Che is such a good husband ah! What a heartless and cold-blooded bas*tard!
“Where were you?” Jun Qian Che icily asks her.
Mo Qi Qi bad-temperedly replies him, “Answering Your Majesty, chenqie went to pick herbs. Lucky the 7th Imperial Uncle found chenqie, otherwise, chenqie would have died tonight.”
Jun Qian Che looks at Jun Yue Hen before sneering coldly, “The 7th Imperial Uncle sure cares deeply about the Empress. You braved the rain despite your injury just to look for her.”
When Mo Qi Qi realizes that Jun Qian Che is going to mock Jun Yue Hen again, she quickly talks back, “Your Majesty, didn’t you say that the 7th Imperial Uncle is an official and that it is his duty to protect us? Are you blaming him for saving chenqie tonight?”
Jun Qian Che unhappily glares at Mo Qi Qi.
Jun Yue Hen tries to save the situation, “Your Ladyship, His Majesty was actually very worried about you.”
“Hmph, he does a really good job at hiding it!” Mo Qi Qi looks at him in disdain.
Jun Qian Che suddenly gets up and walks towards Mo Qi Qi, his entire body radiating with an intimidating aura.
Mo Qi Qi takes a step back, “Why are you looking at chenqie like that?”
“Zhen wants to know where you were planning to go to, tonight,” he narrows his eyes icily at her.
Mo Qi Qi’s heart crumbles cowardly, though she managed to keep a calm front, “Chenqie already told you that the imperial physicians’ supplies are dwindling really fast. Chenqie only wanted to help, but who would have thought that it would rain and that chenqie would fall into an animal trap?”
“Continue lying,” Jun Qian Che’s voice is cold and piercing.
Mo Qi Qi swallows heavily, “Chenqie is not lying.”
Jun Qian Che suddenly pulls out a roll of paper made of cow’s skin that she has been placing on her belt, “What is this?”
Mo Qi Qi’s heartbeat rises as she inwardly panicks, “Just a piece of paper.”
“Really? Why does it look like a map to zhen?” Jun Qian Che opens the paper. Although it is wet, the clear outline of the map can still be seen.
Mo Qi Qi refuses to admit everything even as facts are being presented in front of her, “What could the map even represent? Chenqie only brought the map because chenqie did not want to get lost.”
“Then why does zhen feels like the Empress was trying to run away?” Jun Qian Che is not in the mood to waste words with her, so he quickly goes straight to the point.
Jun Yue Hen looks at Mo Qi Qi in surprise.
When Jun Qian Che sees that, he coldly says, “Your wound is bleeding again, 7th Imperial Uncle. You should return to your tent and have your wound looked at. The rest of you can go, zhen would like to speak to the Empress privately.”
“Yes!” Everyone else quickly retreats, leaving only Jun Qian Che and Mo Qi Qi inside the tent.
Jun Qian Che returns to his seat and sits down, “Speak. Why were you trying to run away?”
Mo Qi Qi refuses to admit anything, “Chenqie was not trying to run away. Chenqie already told you, chenqie was just trying to pick herbs.”
“Really? Picking herbs requires you to wear men’s disguise?” he looks at her from head to toe.
“It is because men’s clothings are simpler and more comfortable to wear if one wants to look for herbs in the middle of a forest.”
“You sure are wasting a lot of effort for another man. Do not forget your identity, you are zhen’sEmpress. Zhen can punish you just for doing this,” Jun Qian Che threatens her.
Mo Qi Qi looks at him fearlessly, “Everyone saw how the 7th Imperial Uncle saved chenqie. Chenqie was just trying to repay his grace by picking herbs for him. If Your Majesty punish chenqie for doing that, the entire world will call you heartless. Are you willing to risk your reputation just for this?”
The corner of Jun Qian Che’s lips rises as he faintly smiles, “The Empress sure knows how to speak.” Ungrateful yatou.
(TN: Yatou means girl.)
Mo Qi Qi arrogantly replies him, “Thank you for that praise, Your Majesty.”
Jun Qian Che narrows his eyes before he calmly speaks, “Do not try to test zhen’s patience, Mo Qi Qi. If zhen really wants someone’s life, there are a lot ways for zhen to get it. Do not think that zhen will always have the patience to listen to your lies.”
Mo Qi Qi’s heart shrivels from fright, “Chenqie is not lying, Your Majesty. You should try to trust other people more.”
“Should zhen invite the imperial physicians over and ask them if they are really running out of medicines?” Jun Qian Che looks at her tensely.
Mo Qi Qi scolds Jun Qian Che inside her heart: Rude bas*ard, don’t you know that it is rude to call out another person’s lie out loud?
She cannot run from this anymore. She must think of another exsuse to save herself. If she honestly reply him and tell him that she is running away to save herself because of what the previous owner did in the viewing tower, he might as well take this chance to kill her at this very spot. No, she must find another excuse.
Mo Qi Qi is very quick-witted and quickly puts on a pitiful look, “Your Majesty, chenqie did not really want to run away, but chenqie was afraid.”
“Afraid? What is there to be afraid of?” asks Jun Qian Che.
Mo Qi Qi sniffles a couple of times, “Because of what happened in Qing Shui County. Chenqiewent to a brothel and actually bumped into you there. Although this matter has passed, chenqieis still afraid of the repercussions. Chenqie is the Mother of the Kingdom yet chenqie actually dared to go to such a promiscuous place and make you lose face. Although chenqie was on disguise and Your Majesty did not really pursue the matter back then, that does not means that you did not take it to heart. What if you decide to punish chenqie for it once we return to the palace? That’s why chenqie ran away.”
Jun Qian Che looks at her expression and cannot find anything off. For the time being, he choose to believe her.
To tell the truth, that is indeed one of the reasons why Mo Qi Qi decided to run tonight. That’s why she appears very truthful when she says it.
“Even you are capable of feeling fear,” Jun Qian Che mocks her.
Mo Qi Qi purses her lips, “Of course. Your Majesty actually went to a brothel and was caught by chenqie. You naturally wouldn’t want that to be spread out.”
Jun Qian Che glares at her.
Mo Qi Qi quickly changes her tune, “It is also bad for chenqie’s reputation since chenqie was also there.”
“Mo Qi Qi, it does not matter if you are telling the truth or not, zhen will not pursue the matter for the time being. Just, remember this: if zhen really wants to kill you, feel free to run away as far as you can, zhen will still be able to get to you. You better forget your plan to run away. No matter what, zhen have zhen’s own methods to get you back.” Without zhen’s permission, do not even dream to go somewhere else.
“What methods?” Mo Qi Qi curiously asks him. One must know oneself as well as the enemy before engaging in a fight.
Jun Qian Che glares at her again.
Mo Qi Qi quickly lowers her head in fear.
Seeing her all wet and dirty, Jun Qian Che impatiently snaps at her, “Go and clean yourself! You do not look like the Mother of the Kingdom at all!”
Mo Qi Qi originally wants to talk back, but, in order to avoid looking at his hateful face any longer, she swallows her retort, “Chenqie will leave then.” She quickly walks away.
After she left, Jun Qian Che quickly hold his chest. It hurts.
Han Yi Xiao who has been worried about the Emperor’s health quickly walks back in after the Empress left. When he notices how pale Jun Qian Che seems, he immediately steps forward, “Your Majesty, the poison is spreading.”
Jun Qian Che endures the pain, “It’s alright. Zhen used qinggong to get here earlier on, so the poison is spreading faster.”
Han Yi Xiao looks at him in concern, “Using internal and external energy should be avoided as it will make the Shi Gu Poison spread even faster. You should ask your imperial physicians to neutralize the poison, Your Majesty!”
Jun Qian Che shakes his head, “No, zhen does not want this matter to spread. One more person in the knowing increases the chance of the news spreading. No one else must know this, understand?”
“Yes, this General understand. Let this General use yungong to help you subdue the poison for now!”
(TN: Yungong is a method in which a person channels his inner qi into another person’s body.)
Jun Qian Che nods.