Chapter 627: Love Over Friendship

Piao Duandiao and Jiao Sigun grew distressed. “Lord Eleven was wounded when he saved the crown prince and crown princess! How can that not be enough to grant him access to this medicine?”

The commissioner assistant shook his head, his this-is-official-business expression brooking no argument. “I’m sorry, but rules are rules. This medicine is reserved for the royal family and cannot be used by anyone else.”

There was nothing else that the two guards could say. They were lowly eastern palace guards, and could not force the assistant commissioner to do anything. Having served in the palace for a long time, both of them knew that there were ironclad rules within the palace.

Zu An remained silent for a moment, then took out his golden token. “I am investigating a case for His Majesty. If I’m wounded, I cannot carry out this task. Will you accept responsibility if my wounds affect my ability to carry out His Majesty’s orders?”

The assistant commissioner grew visibly unhappy. “Lord Eleven, please do not try to use the emperor’s orders to threaten me. I am not trying to cheat you of anything. If you come with His Majesty’s decree, or if he offers his vocal approval, I will immediately give you the medicine, without another word.”

You have trolled Ma An for 413 Rage points!

Zu An was rather upset. I don’t think I’ve offended you before. Why are you so hostile towards me?

However, he knew that Yun Jianyue’s wounds might worsen if he couldn’t find some medicine here.

Should I sneak in and steal it?

No, that won’t work. Not only did the attack cause a tightening of security, but even if I did manage to steal the Five Aggregate Root, I’d end up drawing way too much suspicion.

I was just rejected, after all. If it was stolen so quickly afterwards, it would be a miracle if I wasn’t the first one on the list of suspects.

As the standoff continued, a pleasant fragrance wafted into the room, together with the sound of a lovely yet imposing voice. “Do I have the authority to request for this medicine?”

Everyone turned around. A group of eunuchs and maids had appeared, escorting a beautiful woman. Her fair skin perfectly contrasted with the red beauty mark on her forehead, and the golden ornaments she wore in her hair reflected the lights of the fires around them. Her dressing was extremely extravagant, and although such an outfit might have looked tacky on anyone else, it was not a problem for her. It was as if this outfit had been made for her.

“We greet the crown princess!” Piao Duandiao and Jiao Sigun immediately knelt down in greeting, and the assistant commissioner’s arrogance immediately vanished.

“You all are wounded. There’s no need for such excessive formality.” The crown princess reached out her hand, revealing a faint smile. The two guards immediately felt blessed to be in her presence.

“The crown princess cares about us after all!” The two guards were both incredibly touched. In reality, the men of the eastern palace had developed more respect for the crown princess than the crown prince. After all, it was difficult for them to feel sincere respect for the crown prince, given his usual behavior.

What a pity that a goddess like the crown princess has to be married to such a crown prince…

The two guards immediately dispelled this though. The matters of the royal family were not something that two mere guards like them should comment on.

Zu An looked at her in surprise. She was the last person he’d expected to see here.

He quickly noted the gifts that her eunuchs and maids were bearing, though, and realized that she had probably come to offer her sympathies for the wounded guards.

This woman is really good at getting other people to like her! Just look at how touched Piao Duandiao and the others seem to be.

The crown princess nodded at him, acknowledging his gaze, then looked back at the assistant commissioner. “Lord Ma, I wish to acquire this Five Aggregate Root. Would that be appropriate?”

The assistant commissioner hesitated slightly. He could deduce why she wanted this medicine. Despite this, he quickly offered an apologetic smile. “Of course, crown princess. If you wish for it, then it is yours. Men, remove a Five Aggregate Root from storage.”

A medicine assistant quickly left, returning with a jade case. The commissioner assistant offered it respectfully to the crown princess. “The Five Aggregate Root is extremely precious, so it is preserved in a jade case to prevent the medicinal effects from scattering. There is a special protective formation in place around the case as well. The crown princess should use it quickly after its removal.”

The crown princess smiled. “Thank you, Lord Ma.”

Zu An felt a flash of annoyance. This old fart was incredibly arrogant towards me, but he acts like a disgusting simp in front of the crown princess.

It was actually more trouble if the Five Aggregate Root ended up in the crown princess’ hands. Stealing it from her might be slightly easier, but he had her status to consider. It was easy for any interaction with her to get out of hand.

The crown princess visited the other wounded soldiers, her maids and eunuchs in tow. Cheers rang out around the hospital. Their spirits were lifted by the crown princess’ soothing smile.

Zu An sneered. This woman is so fierce when inside the eastern palace, yet she treats outsiders with such kindness. The crown prince really has some tough luck.

Isn’t she afraid that the emperor would step in, though, considering how much support she’s accumulating?

The weak-minded crown prince immediately floated into his mind. Perhaps the emperor was actually hoping that this daughter-in-law of his actually had some ability, since that would allow her to better support the crown prince in the future. In that case, he wouldn’t be worried about what was going on now.

With a shake of his head, he turned to leave. He’d come up with a solution later.

Not long after he walked out, a clear and melodious voice called out to him. “Lord Eleven, please wait a moment.”

Zu An turned around to look at the beautiful woman behind him. “Does the crown princess need me for something?”

He noticed that the crown prince’s maids and eunuchs were busy handing out gifts to the injured guards. It was enough for her, as the crown princess, to make an appearance, and there was no need for her to personally offer the gifts. She had taken the opportunity to step outside.

For some reason, he sensed a slight change in the crown princess’ tone. It was usually strict and dignified, and it sometimes even lent her an aura of ferocity. This time, though, she sounded sweet, without a hint of anger.

The crown princess stopped several feet away from him, and did not get any closer. She understood the palace rules, and maintained an adequate distance from other subjects. “I am indebted to Lord Eleven for saving my life… and that of the crown prince. I haven’t had a chance to express my thanks yet.”

“The crown princess is too kind. That was my duty,” replied Zu An calmly. The emperor had almost forced him to chop off his own arm just because he’d touched her, despite the fact that he had saved so many people, and there was some lingering fear within him. Maintaining an adequate distance from her was best.

“Lord Eleven saved my… our lives. How can I not feel grateful?” The crown princess did not seem as serious as before. On the contrary, she was a smiling, cheerful young lady. “By the way, I overheard your conversation just now. Did the assassin injure you?”

“I’m all right. It won’t be too much of a hindrance.” Zu An was slightly stunned by her blossoming smile. Was this really the same vicious crown princess he’d seen earlier?

The crown princess gestured to the side, and a maid appeared, bearing a jade case. “I heard that your soul was wounded, and so I bestow upon you this Five Aggregate Root. How can we ignore such an injury after you saved both me and the crown prince?”

She was the crown princess, and her every move was constantly watched. She obviously couldn’t personally hand this over to another man.

Zu An did not expect her to have asked for the Five Aggregate Root for his sake! Overcome with joy at the sudden turn of events, he took the jade case. “I am extremely grateful, crown princess.”

The two spoke for a little while more before Zu An respectfully withdrew. It wasn’t proper for the two of them to speak for too long, given their respective statuses.

The crown princess watched his retreating figure in a slight daze. No one knew what she was thinking.

The maid beside her spoke up quietly. “We came to look for medicine for sister Rong Mo. Respectfully, what are we to do for sister Rong Mo, now that you’ve given the Five Aggregate Root to him?’

The crown princess’ smile froze. “Ah! I forgot… Go, go, go, have them prescribe us some other medicine.”

...

Left Guard General Cheng Xiong arrived with his men not long after the crown princess and her entourage had left. He quickly sought out the assistant commissioner. “What medicines did the imperial hospital lose today?”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter