Chapter 115 Part 2 The Emperor is Seriously Ill, Spring Exam is Held Ahead of Time

    "Reporting Empress Dowager, the emperor's illness seemed to have a constant high fever, but without feeling the chill, based on humble servant's opinion, the emperor seemed to be poisoned. Only poisoning contained such condition." That imperial physician took back his hands, gently and cautiously tucked Emperor Yu Qian's hands inside the imperial quilt, afterwhich he knelt down before the Empress Dowager and responded in a lowered voice.

    When the Empress Dowager, Empress and Rong Guifei heard of this, all their faces looked distracted, afterwhich their faces turned deathly pale, the Empress Dowager took a glimpse at those busy palace servants, anger spread across her face, as she sternly said "Move out, all of you!"

    Seeing such kind of expression on the Empress Dowager's face, those palace servants immediately trembled, allowing no explanation they all retreated out of the room.

    "Rong Guifei, you go ahead and take your rest." But the Empress Dowager still wasn't at ease, as she even sent Rong GuiFei out.

    Rong Guifei looked at Emperor Yu Qian lying on the bed, also seeing the Empress Dowager having the murderous spirit in her eyes, she softly saluted, then quietly retreated out of the imperial hall.

    "Do tell, what's really going on? Why would someone want poison the emperor? His daily food, pastries and teas, weren't they all being tasted by the palace eunuch?" Seeing the room was only left with the three of them --- herself, the Empress and the imperial physician, the Empress Dowager immediately asked, but the wrinkles in her brows indicated her being deeply worried right now, wishing she could immediately capture the suspect and legally punish him.

    The Empress' eyes were already filled with tears, her both hands were kneading on the handkerchief, before the imperial physician could answer the Empress Dowager, then she also anxiously asked "Is this poison fatal? Is the emperor's life in danger? What kind of poison is that? Why weren't the palace servants be able to detect it?"

    That imperial physician slightly pondered for a short period of time, then he said in a low voice "Reporting Empress Dowager and Empress, humble servant currently can only confirm that the emperor was poisoned. But there are many kinds of poisons, perhaps there were also many similar kinds of poison, making people hard to differentiate them, I can only return back and carefully research about it, we need to be certain about it. And based on the emperor's current symptoms and pulses, for the time being the emperor's life is out of danger, yet he will still remain unconscious, only seemed to be in a deep sleep. Humble servant was worried, the emperor had been lying on his own bed for a long time, this will also bring damage to his body."

    "Since that's the case, why don't you tell me the methods to resolve it? I naturally know that lying on bed all day would bring harm to the body, but you are the imperial physician, you take responsibilities for the emperor's illness, how can you watch without lifting a finger? Besides, there are too many things to attend to during the past few days, how can the emperor just be lying on the bed? If it gives rise to any upheaval, how can you take responsibility for that?" Finally, the Empress Dowager was angered, as she pointed at the imperial physician and cursed.

    The imperial physician was so frightened that he immediately creeped down on the floor, his forehead tightly pressed onto to the carpet before him, daring not to speak further.

    "Mother, even if you would blame the imperial physician it will still be useless. We have no other choice but to let him find the antidote as much as possible, to be able to cure the emperor." Although the Empress was extremely anxious, but seeing the Empress Dowager getting angry, she could only console the Empress Dowager.

    The Empress Dowager was about to speak, when the personal eunuch of Emperor Yu Qian walked inside, afterwhich he stooped beside the Empress Dowager then he said lowering his voice "Empress Dowager, Yun Xiang, Chen wang and his men requested to see the emperor."

    Having heard what was said, the Empress Dowager's worried look in her eyes were replaced by her strict gaze, then she coldly instructed the imperial physician "Within these few days, you will stay here to properly attend to the emperor, I will give you two days time, if you can't find the antidote, I will take your entire family's lives!"

    "I will do my very best to cure the emperor!" That imperial physician was already a head full of cold sweat, if he will not state clearly his true motives, perhaps under the raging temper of Empress Dowager, the old and the young in his entire family will lose their lives this time.

    The Empress Dowager left the Empress behind to look after Emperor Yu Qian, Yu gonggong followed behind her as they stepped outside of the palace hall, sure enough they saw Yun Xuan Zhi, Chen wang, Su Yuan, Guan daren and the others waiting outside the main hall.

    When all the people saw the Empress Dowager came out, they immediately saluted "Empress Dowager!"

    "Why are you all here? the emperor is not feeling well, in that case I have came to take a look!" Hearing what the Empress Dowager had said, all the people was a bit uncertain whether Emperor Yu Qian refused to see them or not.

    But seeing Emperor Yu Qian's personal eunuch standing beside the Empress Dowager, the doubts in their hearts was somehow loosened up a bit, Su Yuan smiled as he handed over the accounts book in his hands to the Empress Dowager, then he spoke "Reporting to you, Empress Dowager, this the list of names of the exam candidates who had passed this year's autumn exam for both literary and martial skills categories, the Ministry of Rites had already published the roll-call of successful candidates, we had came specifically for the emperor to look over it.

    The Empress Dowager looked at the two account books in Su Yuan's hands, after which she took a glimpse at Yu gonggong, Yu gonggong immediately went ahead understanding the gesture intuitively, he carefully took the report, clasping them in his hands.

    "Only for this matter? If there were no other concerns, you may all return now!" Evidently the Empress Dowager didn't want to stay here much longer, as she spoke directly.

    "Empress Dowager, if there wasn't any problem with the emperor's health, humble servants would like to personally see the emperor, then report the matters concerning the spring exam for next year to the emperor." At this time, Chen wang suddenly spoke, intensively standing face to face with the Empress Dowager, yet this brilliant younger generation like Chen wang wasn't in the slightest degree of being inferior.

    The Empress Dowager coldly looked at Chen wang, then indifferently replied "the emperor had already drank his medicine and taken the rest, for any other matters let's just talk about them after a few more days. Besides, the spring exam is next year's matter, there's no need to be anxious."

    After speaking, the Empress Dowager led Yu gonggong along as they walked back to the palace hall.

    "Wangye, it isn't right! If the emperor is not feeling well, why would the Empress Dowager not allow any of us to meet him? Could it be that the emperor is basically not having a minor illness?" Su Yuan looked at the closed gate that was painted with vermillion, exposing his doubtful eyes as he spoke.

    Yet his words, had attracted Yun Xuan Zhi and Guan daren's attention, seeing the two of them looked at the main hall with the puzzled looks on their faces, thinking that the Empress Dowager's actions were quite hard to understand.

    "Let's just observe it for a few more days, to see if the Empress Dowager will use any other excuses. What do you think, Yun Xiang and Guan daren?" Chen wang's cold gaze swept through the palace hall before his eyes, following which he asked Yun Xuan Zhi and the others standing in front of him.

    Everyone knew that this matter seemed quite strange, then one by one nodded their heads, afterwhich they returned to their own official residences.

    But, the matter concerning Emperor Yu Qian not attending the royal court for three days in a row suddenly led to the court ministers' heated debate, this was the first time that Emperor Yu Qian didn't attend to the royal court consecutively ever since he ascended to the throne, particularly during the time when the country was suffering from its internal trouble and outside aggression, moreover having everyone to worry about the health of Emperor Yu Qian.

    Yun Xuan Zhi and the others who knew a bit of the inside story were frowning without speaking, the few of them waited for the morning assembly to be over, then they all took the same action walking towards the direction of the emperor's chamber, to request to meet him once again.

    And for today the Empress Dowager still obstructed them, the reason was still the same as what she had said few days ago.

    "Why would Empress Dowager impede us from meeting the emperor? Could it be that there's something wrong with the emperor's health?" During the moment when the Empress Dowager was about to turn around and leave, Su Yuan immediately asked full of doubtful thoughts in his mind.

    "What do you intend to say, Su daren? I have regarded the emperor like my own son, don't tell me that you are still doubting or suspicious about something? Don't you know that your words and actions right now, was already considered an offense to one's superior, would you like me to ask the imperial guards to drag you out and behead you immediately?" Empress Dowager had been living in the palace for so many years, she had already gone through a lot of life and death situations, how could she be simply threatened by a few words from Su Yuan?

    But on the contrary, when the Empress Dowager mentioned these words 'offense to one's superior', made Su Yuan immediately shut his mouth, then positioned himself once again behind Chen wang and calmed down.

    "Then we would like the Empress Dowager to state explicitly, why wasn't the emperor attending the morning assembly these few days? It will also enable us to explain it to the hundred officials! Or else all of us will absolutely refuse to take a single step out of this palace hall!" Seeing the Empress Dowager full of vim, Chen wang wasn't someone who would shrink back because of some frightening words, his manner of speaking contained the perseverance, with the vainly high meaningful glance, causing the Empress Dowager to slightly wrinkle her brows without a trace.

    "The mother and child affection between the Empress Dowager and the emperor, it was known to the people of all levels of society! But, the emperor's absence from the morning assembly for the past three days, too many of the account books requiring the emperor's evaluation had already piled up, if it continues to be like that, humble servant wouldn't be able to keep all the hundred officials' suspicions under control! Yet right at this moment the crown prince of Northern Qi and his men was still residing in our relay station, they will get to know about the things inside our imperial court, remaining that way for a longer time, I'm afraid Northern Qi would seize the opportunity to mount a sneak attack, Empress Dowager, please give importance to the present conditions, and allow humble servant to see the emperor at once!" Thinking about the state of mind of the hundred officials within the past few days, Yun Xuan Zhi wrinkled his brows then spoke these words with great difficulties, hoping that the Empress Dowager would empathize them, and not to blindly block the outside area of the chamber hall.

    Yun Xuan Zhi spoke these words up to this extent, the Empress Dowager thought about the conversation between the imperial physician and herself last night, then she slightly sighed, then slowly spoke "I also knew about your difficulties. But, the emperor's illness will not recover fast for the time being, the imperial physician had urged the emperor to undergo recuperation, naturally I wouldn't dare to treat the emperor's life as some child's play. As for the matters concerning the royal court, with the few of you here, the emperor will feel reassured."

    After everyone have heard the words, they looked at each other in dismay, Emperor Yu Qian's health was always being healthy, why would he suddenly fall ill, and unable to recover for a period of time. If it continued to go on, wouldn't it mean that Emperor Yu Qian will not attend the morning assembly for a longer period of time?

    For Chen wang and his men, this was definitely a good news!

    But inside Yun Xuan Zhi and Guan daren's minds, it seemed to be a bad news, particularly during this time when Chu wang and Chu xiang both went out of the capital, Chen wang inside the royal court remained independent, now that Emperor Yu Qian was stricken with an illness, which is absolutely not a good timing.

    "Since you are all here, then I will tell you what the emperor had urged me to tell you this morning!" The Empress Dowager seeing all of them with different expressions, knew that Emperor Yu Qian's condition had already gave rise to different opinions in all the people's mind, but, since it cannot be concealed anymore, it would be better to tell the truth, to calm all different emotions was the best thing to do in this situation.

    "Please explain them explicitly, Empress Dowager!" Since it was Emperor Yu Qian's verbal order, the few of them naturally wouldn't dare to neglect.

    "The severe plague situation this time, had already costed our Western Chu the lives of the more than one hundred thousand common people, the emperor had pondered about it repeatedly, and decided to shift the spring exam to an earlier date. In this way, the imperial court would spend more time understanding the plague, all of you, what do you think?" The Empress Dowager knitted her brows and told these words.

    Hearing this decision, the few of them have the upsurge of huge waves in their hearts.

    Yun Xuan Zhi lifted his eyes to look at the Empress Dowager, in his heart he couldn't understand why Emperor Yu Qian will make such kind of decision.

    Although it was considered as the emperor's brilliance to consider his own common people, but to end the imperial examination in an earlier time, Qu Zhang Qing was still following behind Chen wang openly and without fear, when the time came when Chu Fei Yang haven't returned back to the capital, it will be very likely that the situation inside the capital will become dangerous!

    Particularly as to the extent of Emperor Yu Qian's current condition, aside from the Empress Dowager and the few servants who had served Emperor Yu Qian, perhaps no one else knew about this, just in case someday when Chen wang will force the emperor to abdicate, perhaps the casualties inside the palace will be huge.

    Will Emperor Yu Qian be willing to sacrifice the influential officials lives for the sake of the common people's lives? Is this really a fair transaction?

    The Empress Dowager's words similarly gave rise to Chen wang's alertness, if they were to say that Emperor Yu Qian was badly ill, Chen wang will be to believe in a thing or two, after all, men only ate grain crops other than rice and wheat, how can he not fell ill?

    But the Empress Dowager definitely understood that, the imperial examination was something that Emperor Yu Qian had used to control his own weapons during the time when Chu Fei Yang was not around, why would they decide to shorten the time of the exam? This logic didn't really make any sense? Or either one or the other, Emperor Yu Qian had already thought of the ways to handle him? Which was why he had deliberately fell ill, allowing the Empress Dowager to become a distraction? After all, both of them had already established their mother and son relationship for very long time, not to exclude the element of the common acts in their play.

    The Empress Dowager carefully observed the slight changes in Yun Xuan Zhi and Chen wang's eyes, then she spoke again "Since that is the case, then the metropolitan exam shall be commenced on the first day of next month. All the superiors, you must return back to make necessary preparations, not to allow anybody to see the loopholes for engaging in corrupt practices."

    "Empress Dowager, humble servant still have one more thing to report!" But Su Yuan was unwilling to give up, even if he was to carry the criminal charge for offending superiors, he would still speak out.

    "Su daren's words seemed more unusual today! You must know, the harem cannot be allowed to interfere with politics, I was just relaying the emperor's order." The Empress Dowager shot a cold glance at Su Yuan, almost seemed to reproach him for being rude.

    "Please pass on this account book to the emperor." Su Yuan fished out an account book from under his sleeves which he had already prepared, afterwhich he handed over to Yu gonggong who was beside her, then he retreated out of the room together with the others.

    "Wangye, you see, what kind of conspiracy the Empress Dowager and the emperor was playing with?" Inside the horse carriage, Su Yuan nervously looked at Chen wang.

    A while ago when he heard about the news concerning Emperor Yu Qian's serious illness, in a short moment, Su Yuan's heart was extremely delighted.

    But, afterwards he stole a glance at Chen wang, seeing his unchanging expression, still same as before, he knew very well that perhaps there was some deeper meaning in this, Su Yuan immediately went silent while he was being reproached by the Empress Dowager.

    "Su daren, it would be better for you to mind your own business!" Jiang Mu Chen just plainly glanced at Su Yuan, knowing clearly in his mind that Su Yuan didn't eliminate the Yun brothers during the autumn exam, perhaps he wouldn't feel satisfied merely by destroying Yun Yi Heng and Yun Yi Jie.

    As long as Su Yuan wouldn't touch his bottom line, as for Su Yuan's actions, Chen wang will just consider them as tacit approval.

    Su Yuan seeing Chen wang reproached him for making his own decision without consulting anybody, his tensed up heart had slightly loosened up.

    During the evening of the twenty eighth day of the tenth lunar month, Yun Xuan Zhi received an imperial edict at his home, appointing Yun Xuan Zhi as the major examiner of the current metropolitan exam.

    After the old madam heard of such strange imperial edict, she was so excited that she couldn't speak any words, then anger that she had obtained a few days ago due to Yun Yi Heng not being the top-scorer had already dissipated more than half.

    Even if she was facing Liu yiniang and Yun Yan, her face was full of smiles, then people were immediately assigned to announce the good news to the other courtyards.

    But, after Yun Xuan Zhi had collected the imperial edict he turned around and returned to his own study room, causing people unable to grasp his way of thinking.

    That night, Xi Lin arrived at Qi Luo Yuan, giving the letter which he just received to Yun Qian Meng.

    Dismissing all the other persons, Yun Qian Meng sat on the desk and opened the letter that was sealed by wax, unfolding the fine writing paper, the atmosphere inside the page was majestic, upright and strong, the vigorous brush strokes in the letter were being read through her eyes.

    Yet at this time Yun Qian Meng was not in the mood to appreciate Chu Fei Yang's writing brush skills, she is now concentrating her attention completely as she was reading the details in the letter, in her heart she already felt puzzled as to why this letter arrived three days later than the expected date, after reading the letter, she was able to know that Chu Fei Yang had spent two days time to observe the symptoms of the disease, then he had recorded down all its possible symptoms.

    Yun Qian Meng once again looked at the symptoms of the disease, seeing Chu Fei Yang had particularly indicated that: shivering, high fever, lacking strength, headache, aching of the four limbs, waist and back area, when the body temperature rapidly increases it would cause convulsions, losing of consciousness, the batches of skin will appear with rash spots, pimples, blisters, pimples containing pus, and when the common people got infected they will certainly die within fifteen to twenty days!

    After reading this section, Yun Qian Meng was able to confirm that, the current plague was actually the smallpox!

    And smallpox's effect was ferocious, with the rapid growth rate, when a crowd came into contact with this, the death rate was quite rapid, and during the ancient times the medical science seemed to fall behind, without the advanced equipment and technology, people had considered the nature of this disease to be an epidemic, because once it had spread out, it can hardly be controlled, during ancient times, people who died because of smallpox were thousands upon thousands, but all of these incidents were due to lack of good procedures to keep the smallpox under control.

    Yun Qian Meng closed her both eyes, her mind was carefully recalling the medical treatments that she had seen before regarding the smallpox, after a long while, she then slowly opened her eyes, immediately opening the lid of the ink stone, quickly grinding the ink stick, then taking out a piece of blank fine writing paper, listing down all the treatment methods that she could remember, afterwhich she carried out the elimination, the finally she planned to inform Chu Fei Yang the smallpox vaccination method.

    Replacing another piece of writing paper, she indicated all the procedures of the smallpox vaccination method as well as the transition time for each of the procedure, the conditions that will appear, soon after she reviewed them all over again, then made a few copies of it again, then she blow-dried the ink then put them into a few envelopes and handed them over to Xi Lin who was waiting outside.

    "Quickly send them to Luo City, you must deliver them personally into his hands!" Separated by the cotton tree window, Yun Qian Meng instructed in a lowered voice.

    But, Xi Lin looked at those five or six letters in his hands, his eyes couldn't help but seemed puzzled, couldn't understand why Yun xiaojie didn't just put them in just one letter.

    "Dispatch a few others to send them out separately, be careful to avoid being robbed! Within these letters were the prescriptions to save people, you must not commit any mistake!" Yun Qian Meng seemed to understand Xi Lin's puzzled look, then she slowly explained.

    "Not to worry, xiaojie!" Xi Lin nodded his head facing the person inside, then facing the secret protector hidden in the secret place he nodded again, afterwhich he turned around and went out of Qi Luo Yuan.

    Yun Qian Meng had returned back beside her study desk, picking up the letter on the table, although she was a bit reluctant, yet she have no other choice but to burn it, she puts the letter near the candle flame, yet she discovered the lower left corner of the letter contained a small four-leaf clover which was drawn using the dark green ink, allowing Yun Qian Meng to knowingly smiled, in her mind she couldn't refrain from thinking that, what would be Chu Fei Yang's thoughts when he sees her own writing?

    And at this time, the guest house where the numerous lower-income class exam candidates were residing was caught on fire due to unknown reason, and due to its occurrence in the dead of the night no one was able to detect it, numerous exam candidates who were already resting at the third and fourth floor weren't able to escape from the guest house, and they were trapped inside and burned alive!

    Only those exam candidates who were living at the first and second floor were able to escape, but, this time the guest houses within the capital were already fully booked, in addition to those exam candidates who were mostly from foreign land, under their fear of getting infected by the plague, all the guest houses refused to offer shelter to these exam candidates.

    The constant changes in the human emotions, suddenly these lower-income class exam candidates who have their hearts filled with ambition, eventually have the feeling of being discouraged for the very first time.

    At this time, having heard of the news, Chen wang came rushing by commanding the city defense troops to extinguish the fire, looking at these exam candidates who were full of ambitions yet didn't have the chance to put them into use, Chen wang issued an order to let them temporarily stay at Chen wangfu, until the end of the imperial examinations.

    For a moment, Chen wang's actions had gained favorable impression from the low-income class exam candidates, only Han Che who was standing in the corner of the street, was watching everything before his eyes with his clear and bright eyes.
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