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Chapter 255 – Fulfilling Her Wish (1)

The empress dowager’s face was still as serene as ever, she didn’t flinch at the fact that she was doing her son’s bidding. However, it remained unknown if she knew of the complicated relationship brewing between her son and the girl she was so fond of, and that this little miss may not have readily answered the summons had the emperor issued one directly.

Upon the empress dowager’s blatant admission, Ye Zhen’s countenance changed, albeit slightly. Unbidden the scenes from her last visit to the imperial study inundated her mind. Her complexion paled a little at the thought that she might have to go see the man today. Needless to say, she wanted to leave the palace at once.

When the empress dowager saw her like this, she couldn’t help but chuckle. “Does mentioning the emperor scare you?”

Ye Zhen’s beautiful, petite face revealed timidity. “Your Highness, this official’s daughter is afraid that Wang Fei would misunderstand again.”

“Why would she misunderstand? You have cured the little prince. The emperor has not rewarded you yet. Don’t you want to go to the library pagoda? I shall give you enough time to read books in the library pagoda for two days,” said the empress dowager with a frown. She was clearly miffed at the mention of Lu Wushuang.

“Really?” Ye Zhen’s eyes instantly brightened up as she looked at the empress dowager in disbelief. How she had dreamt of going to the library pagoda!

Mo Rongzhan … he actually agreed!

“Can Aijia deceive you?” The empress dowager smiled and said, “Aijia will have Aunt Cheng take you there. You can spend time there as long as you want.”

“Yes! Your Highness, I wish to go to the library pagoda.” Ye Zhen was thrilled and hurriedly agreed.

The library pagoda was a place where people of the Apricot Forest yearned to visit for it housed all kinds of medical books collected by Qi Yanling herself. It was a plethora of knowledge to anyone who sought it, but seldom was anyone allowed the privilege.

[T/N: In Chinese, “Apricot Forest” is another term for the medical community. Medical professionals often call themselves “persons of the Apricot Forest”.]

The empress dowager broke into a peal of hearty laughter seeing the excited girl. “You need not attend your classes in the academy for two days. Spend that time visiting and reading books in the library pagoda.”

Ye Zhen instantly bowed in curtsy. “Many thanks to Your Highness Empress Dowager.”

Looking at Ye Zhen’s frank, sincere, and lovely appearance, the empress dowager was amused again. “Go on quickly now, don’t just stay here.”

“Your Highness, I shall take my leave,” Ye Zhen said, beaming with happiness. Then, holding Aunt Cheng’s hand she said, “Aunt Cheng, please lead the way.”

Aunt Cheng said with a smile, “It seems that Third Miss Lu highly regards this library pagoda.”

“Aunt Cheng!” Ye Zhen shook her arm and pouted. “Don’t make fun of me.”

“Bring her to the library. She must be as eager to return home as soon as possible,” said the empress dowager with an indulgent smile. She was not wrong about this girl, her interests were unlike her peers and certainly nothing like her cousin. A sweet warmth spread in her as she saw the girl’s departing figure.

Despite being on her way to the library pagoda, Ye Zhen found it hard to believe. It was all so surreal. It had been several days since she had expressed her wish to the emperor. She knew he would not grant her wish, even so, she had dared ask. Unexpectedly, Mo Rongzhan did.

Ye Zhen was someone who knew to hold grudges and gratitude. She would be sure to show her gratitude to any who did her the tiniest act of kindness. However, she did not feel grateful to the emperor. Why should she? She had earned this!

Soon, they came to a halt before a lofty bronze gate. Aunt Cheng handed the letter of order to the eunuch keeping the gates and finally passed through. The doors of the library pagoda were locked, the lock similar to that in the glasshouse.

“Old Master Jiang.” Aunt Cheng called out in a low voice to a room beside the library pagoda.

Ye Zhen curiously looked in the direction. An old, white-haired man slowly stepped out. When she raised her head to take a better look at the man, his bright, hale, and hearty eyes stupefied her.

This elderly man … apparently still seems to be in good health. Moreover, he has a beard on his face. He is not a eunuch in the palace.

“Who are you?” He frowned at Aunt Cheng in an utterly indifferent tone.

Aunt Cheng replied politely. “This handmaiden is Her Highness Empress Dowager’s maid-in-waiting. This is the emperor’s order to allow the girl to enter the library pagoda for two days.”


The old man took the letter of order and glanced at Ye Zhen. “What book does this young miss want to read in the library pagoda?”

“All the books!” Pat came Ye Zhen’s reply.

Old Master Jiang sneered. “You might as well reach the next life.”

Ye Zhen solemnly said, “I shall read the books to the best I can.”

“Come with me.” Old Master Jiang glanced at her lightly, placed the letter of order in his arms, and walked slowly to the door with a key.