Author: Chai Jidan
Translator: chiangyushien , Renkun27
Proofreader: Zeraphiel25 , KainGuru
“Thank you, Royal Child!” Lady Mu heavily knocked her forehead on the ground. It took some time before she can straighten up again.
“Mother, making my own elder kowtow before me is treason and heresy. How could mother have the heart to allow this Royal Child to bring forth such a criminal charge!” said the Third Prince as he supported Lady Mu with his hand.
Lady Mu just finished standing up and she saw the maidservant who was not far from her. That face was definitely the face that made her faint from fear a moment ago. As a result, Lady Mu panicked as she clumsily fled toward the corner, while on the other hand, the Third Prince’s feet were neither fast nor slow as he followed Lady Mu’s rhythm, to keep close to her side.
“You must be deceiving me…” Lady Mu was delirious, and, while retreating, she said to herself: “I knew you couldn’t let me die so easily… What a pity… The emperor’s most doted on prince is not of royal blood…”
After she finished talking, Lady Mu turned around and started laughing by herself looking as if she was a deranged person.
The Third Prince was neither interested in her monologue nor did he have the patience to watch it.
He looked like he was performing tricks as he took a parcel out of his pocket. He laughed grimly as he handed it over to the Consort, Lady Mu.
Lady Mu’s expression changed, then she asked: “What’s in the parcel?”
“Poison…” The Third Prince raised his lips, then slowly said: “This is lean meat, it’s very rare, and its preparation method is very meticulous, so you have to savor its taste very well. This meat when it comes in contact with saliva will emit a distinctive taste, not only will you eat up with gusto, but you will also have unexpected results.”
“What results?” Lady Mu asked while her shoulders trembled.
“Isn’t it that mother is most afraid of snake worms? In a moment, they’ll smell its scent and crawl into you. Little snake worms from breeding will break out from inside your body for these snake worms to feed, and when that moment comes, you won’t be lonely anymore.”
That instant, Lady Mu’s round eyes opened wide, her pupils dilated in fear, and her lips became cyanotic, just like a living zombie.
“Don’t think about killing yourself. I already blocked all your body acupuncture points. Even your eyes won’t close. From now until morning, there’s still a few hours and that would be enough for you to think and slowly realize, mother, that your humble child is filial enough, right?”
The Third Prince’s ghastly voice gave way for Lady Mu to collapse in an instant. She shook her head as she refused to take the Third Prince’s parcel that contained the lean meat, and then she reached out and dug her own eyes out. In a short while, tears of blood swept over Lady Mu’s face, she growled, and rolled on the ground.
“If you don’t eat it, your daughter will eat it for you,” the Third Prince said with a deadpan face.
Lady Mu’s screaming ceased abruptly. She was like a fool as she searched and reached for the parcel on the ground, and soon afterwards, she tried to find the piece of hard meat inside. Lady Mu looked like a hungry deranged beggar as she grabbed a few pieces and stuffed them into her mouth.
Early in the morning, the moment that the first ray of sunshine entered Mu Yan Zhai, the parcel on the ground was as empty as anything. Lady Mu’s body has been like a zongzi . All of her limbs’ flesh were eaten off by worms leaving only the white bones. Her face was riddled with bugs, and there were worms crawling slowly. The maidservant just entered the room to help Lady Mu put on her clothes. When she saw what was on the ground, she suddenly vomited at the door, then her eyelids turned over and passed out.
(「粽子」a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. This is usually eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival.)
“Will you let me see my daughter again?” Lady Mu’s throat has been bitten by the insects, she could only send out raucous breathing sounds.
The Third Prince had a leisurely face while he sat alongside on the black bamboo chair. He laughed and said: “Aren’t you afraid your daughter will be scared to death? Besides, can you still see?”
“Just, just let her stand outside the door and say a word, I beg you, I know I’m greedy…”
Lady Mu have not finished talking when the Third Prince coldly interrupted her, “She can’t come…”
Lady Mu’s expression on her face could not be seen clearly, but her whole body was twitching up and down, and her tattered lips stirred up and down.
The Third Prince wasn’t moved in the slightest. His face was still calm, then he said: “You’ve just eaten her. Wouldn’t it be better to throw up what you just ate? You’ll be mother and daughter in the afterlife, but in this lifetime, I’m the only knot in your heart…”
But Lady Mu was already dead on the ground and thus concluded the seemingly endless night.
In a few more moments the sky suddenly cleared up. Bright morning light entered Mu Yan Zhai, and the birds sang and flowers gave forth fragrance as it would on a fine spring day . The Third Prince remembered his childhood when he was chasing butterflies here. During that time, Lady Mu always had a smile on her face and would call him Jue’er — that was his pet name. He had no idea how many years it has been since someone called him by that name.
( An idiom which pertains to the scene of an intoxicatingly beautiful spring day)