The Poison Genius Consort - Chapter 433
Chapter 433: Something big happens at the estate
What Han Yunxi didn't know, Baili Mingxiang would know even less. Faced with the question, Baili Mingxiang gave a long pause before she said sincerely, ’’Esteemed wangfei, it's the heart that counts when giving a present. And your heart belongs to you, esteemed wangfei.’’
Han Yunxi's reply was far less serious. ’’What's all that? With an answer like that, you might as well have answered nothing at all...’’
’’Esteemed wangfei, it doesn't matter what the present is if it's from someone you like, right?’’ Baili Mingxiang said next.
’’Empty words,’’ Han Yunxi said carelessly, but she was secretly smiling as she looked at all the jewelry before them. After a while, she asked, ’’Baili Mingxiang, you've liked someone before, haven't you? How do you know such things?’’
Baili Mingxiang's heart lurched before she instantly denied the claims, ’’I haven't.’’
’’Liar, you're afraid of being found out!’’ Han Yunxi's keen eyes made Baili Mingxiang's heart tremble with fear. She had already stuffed her secret into the deepest part of her being, and with it all the consequences that would come from exposing such adoration.
’’Esteemed wangfei, Mingxiang really has no one. Mingxiang simply knows that esteemed wangfei really likes this box of jewelry. Even if His Highness gave you a box of scrap metal, you'd still be happy, won't you?’’ Baili Mingxiang was quite clever and changed the topic back to Han Yunxi herself.
Han Yunxi wasn't much interested in discussing likes and dislikes anyways, finding the subject pointless. She wasn't sure how she'd gotten into the topic with Baili Mingxiang around. Her latest question only made Han Yunxi lose interest in it entirely. ’’Fine then! This wangfei will give him a box of scrap metal!’’
Baili Mingxiang laughed, but didn't continue the subject.
A long while later, Han Yunxi asked, ’’Has His Highness been with your father for the last two days?’’ Ever since she received her present, Han Yunxi hadn't seen Long Feiye again. He didn't even return to the estate after dark. He's not letting me go anywhere, but he hasn't run off somewhere by himself, has he?
’’Mingxiang has never been qualified to know of His Highness and father's matters,’’ Baili Mingxiang replied honestly.
Han Yunxi nodded. If he's really gone off somewhere, I don't care what Zhao mama says. I'm going out to get some air myself as soon as I'm done with these jewelry!
’’When we're done with these, I'll take you out to eat something nice. We'll sneak out so Zhao mama and the rest can't follow us!’’ Han Yunxi said in a low voice.
’’Thank you, esteemed wangfei,’’ Baili Mingxiang replied respectfully. She didn't know anything about His Highness Duke of Qin's travel restrictions for Han Yunxi.
The two of them busied themselves for two days before all the jewelry were covered in poison and placed in the various compartments. The only thing left was tidy up work that wouldn't take more than half a day. After making sure that Long Feiye hadn't returned in the past few days, she and Baili Mingxiang made an appointment to go out tomorrow afternoon.
Early morning that day, Baili Mingxiang got up as usual and was about to go out when she saw Su Xiaoyu entering the house.
’’Little Yu'er, why are you up so early today?’’ Baili Mingxiang asked. She had always been the first to rise these past few days, just to prepare the tea leaves and snacks for esteemed wangfei. Su Xiaoyu would only show up after she'd finished everything.
’’I went to poop!’’ Su Xiaoyu rubbed her sleepy eyes and replied in a languid tone. She was sick of the sight of Baili Mingxiang after failing to get up early enough in the past few days. She had originally planned to finish her plans at night, but her mistress was a night owl who frequently stay up late nights to stare blankly outside her bedroom window, so Su Xiaoyu hadn't risked it.
Under these circumstances, she had no choice but to lie awake all night until the coast was clear to complete her plan. Unexpectedly, she ran into Baili Mingxiang as soon as she stepped in the door.
It's not like anyone really sees her as a servant. Why does she have to work so diligently in the first place?
Baili Mingxiang didn't think much as Su Xiaoyu returned to her rooms, but went to prepare tea and snacks as usual. The sun was already up by the time Han Yunxi came downstairs. There was a cool breeze on the late spring morning, making the air very pleasant and comfortable.
’’Good morning, esteemed wangfei,’’ Baili Mingxiang bowed slightly, her tranquil tone matching the morning perfectly.
’’I smelled your Keemun tea when I was still upstairs,’’ Han Yunxi said as she sat down with a smile. On the stone table lay an ebony tray, upon which rested the white porcelain tea cups filled with Keemun tea. Next to them were emerald green pastries arranged in picturesque disorder, making for a pretty sight.
The fragrance of the tea rose in delicate tendrils. Baili Mingxiang's soft white hands skimmed across the table, her fingers like an orchid as she picked up the first cup. ’’Esteemed wangfei, please.’’
Han Yunxi didn't say anything, but accepted as she sampled the various treats with a calm and peaceful heart.
The essence of the Gongfu tea ceremony lay in the words 'gongfu,' or 'skill.' It was a slow, exacting ritual that found serenity in its sober speed. The calm pace encourage one to ponder and meditate. Both the courtyard and its residents were sunken into a silent stillness. There was no sound but for the little charcoal fire stove on top of the tea table, which was currently bubbling away with water.
Baili Mingxiang used an exquisite gourd-shaped ladle to scoop out some water, which kept bubbling even as it rested within the spoon. This was the perfect scalding temperature to brew her tea and maximize flavor. Su Xiaoyu stood inside the house, perched by a window as she watched the entire scene. Although she was only a child, her gaze was freezing cold, filled with a callous determination to see her plan succeed. Right now she was like a hunter in wait to catch her prey.
Neither woman in the courtyard noticed her presence.
A few cups of tea later, Han Yunxi grew serious. ’’After cleaning up the things in the study, you'll be in charge of the various poison plants in the courtyard. They'll need to be watered and harvested regularly, and you'll have to remind me every ten days to test them for any differences in their toxicity. The ones on your right over there are poison orchids, a type of highly corrosive toxic plant. Never touch them with your bare hands, especially the roots. Also, there's...’’
Han Yunxi was very slow and methodical with her descriptions as Baili Mingxiang listened carefully and took it all to heart. Time after time, she'd help refill their cups. Both mistress and servant were serious about their tasks.
The water in the stove began to bubble violently before gushing out. Han Yunxi and Baili Mingxiang glanced over, but before they could figure out what was wrong, the kettle of hot water suddenly exploded, scattering hot water everywhere!
Both Baili Mingxiang and Han Yunxi instinctively backed away. Han Yunxi retreated very quickly, but Baili Mingxiang was closer to the stove and couldn't avoid the brunt of it. She fell to the ground with a water-soaked arm. The burns from the liquid were so bad that they stuck her skin and clothing together! She could only look at her arm in stunned shock.
Han Yunxi had no time to wonder why the kettle had exploded. She stepped forward and pulled Baili Mingxiang to her feet so they could leave. They had to find some cold water as soon as possible. It'd be troublesome for the burns if flesh and cloth really fused as one!
’’Hurry and get up!’’
Baili Mingxiang slowly came to her senses and rose to her feet, but the fire behind Han Yunxi suddenly rose into a tongue of flame at the same time. Baili Mingxiang had no idea what was going on, but she knew that wasn't normal.
’’Esteemed wangfei, watch out!’’ Without hesitation, she grabbed Han Yunxi and turned around, using her back as a shield against the flames!
The entire stove exploded, scattering fragments and bits of charcoal into the air. All of the pieces rained against Baili Mingxiang's back. The incident only lasted a few seconds, leaving nothing behind but a ground filled with debris. Despite this, Han Yunxi could clearly feel Baili Mingxiang's body shaking around her.
’’Baili Mingxiang!’’ Han Yunxi struggled free to look at Baili Mingxiang's back, only to suck in a cold breath. The mix of scorching hot water and stray fragments had riddled her back with cuts. Her clothes were torn, leaving her skin a mangled mess. Han Yunxi looked back at the tabletop stove, which now sported a crack in its side. After making sure they were out of danger, she made Baili Mingxiang sit on the ground while shouting for Zhao mama and Su Xiaoyu to bring her cold water to treat the wounds.
Zhao mama had been right outside the courtyard when the explosion happened, and shouted at Su Xiaoyu to find a doctor while she fetched the water herself.
’’Esteemed wangfei are you alright? Were you burnt anywhere? Why did this happen? The stove was perfectly fine!’’
Zhao mama was most worried about her own mistress. Anyone else could get hurt, but everyone would suffer disaster if grief came to Han Yunxi. Han Yunxi was desperately trying to cool down Baili Mingxiang's injures and completely ignored Zhao mama. In the shadows, Su Xiaoyu looked hatefully at Baili Mingxiang and wished she could tear the woman to a thousand pieces!
She had long sabotaged the stove and calculated the perfect moment to strike. When Han Yunxi had her back to the stove, she sent out a hidden projectile to make the thing explode. Unfortunately, Baili Mingxiang got in the way!
After Han Yunxi cooled off Baili Mingxiang, she immediately brought her into the rooms to treat her wounds. Meanwhile, the hidden guards had shown up to inspect the site of the accident. Su Xiaoyu's eyes flickered with worry before she smoothed out her expression and emerged.
Baili Mingxiang lay on the bed face down as Han Yunxi examined her cutes. Fortunately, she'd cooled the woman down in time before the skin fused with her clothing. Otherwise, things would've gotten complicated. Zhao mama stood on one side, her heart stopping as she looked at the mangled mess of red, swollen wounds on Baili Mingxiang's back. Still, Baili Mingxiang didn't cry out in pain at all despite her hands gripping the sheets. She was extremely quiet for a burn victim.
In the silent room, Han Yunxi carefully separate the folds of fabric from the individual burns and applied disinfectant, medicine, and gauze. Once she was finished with the back, Han Yunxi went immediately to treating Baili Mingxiang's arm. Zhao mama thought the burns there were only superficial at most, but the red and ruddy skin had now broken into a giant blister as big as a fist!
Han Yunxi's hand shook at the sight. Standing in a corner, Su Xiaoyu felt goosebumps as she stared. Even though she was the culprit, she still found the giant blister frightening. Small ones didn't get in the way, but a giant one like this needed to be popped immediately. When Han Yunxi didn't make a move, Baili Mingxiang spoke up. ’’Esteemed wangfei, what's wrong?’’
Her arms and back with tingling with the needle-like pain of her burns. She too, felt pain just like anyone else, but she didn't have the habit of expressing her pain out loud.
’’Don't worry, you'll be fine,’’ Han Yunxi said in a low voice. Her entire mood sank with the knowledge that she would have been the original victim. She quickly took out a disinfected needle and carefully popped the blister before cleaning up the fluid beneath.
Baili Mingxiang hadn't felt much pain when the blister was intact, but once it was popped and cleaned up, sharp, stabbing pains immediately appeared. How much more it must have hurt with a blister that size!