57 Chapter 57 Jasmine Tea
After Han Yimei left the party resumed, although the atmosphere is a bit awkward. As a good host, Lu Yaoyao managed to lighten the mood and return the topic towards the tea. "Your majesty, you should try this jasmine tea. This is Yaoyao's favorite tea. It is very light and calming. And also because I love the jasmine scent. It is also very rare and I am just glad that my second uncle's family would often send me enough every month. My second uncle's wife's family is a tea merchant and this is their best product. You should try some, your majesty." Lu Yaoyao said while personally pouring the tea for Lin Xulian and herself.
Lin Xulian smelled the tea's aroma and she admits that the scent is really calming and is to her liking. But when she took a sip, her sensitive sense of taste that resulted from her years of studies about herbs picked up a subtle taste. And to her knowledge it wasn't a good herb. It is a very mild type of pregnancy suppressing herb. And since it was very mild, it must be fed every day. And according to Lu Yaoyao, this is her favorite tea and she drinks it every day. The good thing is it won't cause permanent incapacity to give birth but if she continues consuming the poisoned tea, her chance for pregnancy will become more and more difficult. And it seems that she is already been poisoned for years.
Just before Lin Xulian was able to tell her about the tea, a woman came up to them with two jade boxes. "Your majesty, I'd like you to meet my cousin Lu Yina. She is my second uncle's only daughter." Lu Yaoyao said with obvious fondness towards her cousin.
"Greetings your majesty, please accept this Long Jing tea. We don't know your preferred tea but as a doctor you might want a mild tea. Our Lu family hopes that you will accept this humble gift from us." Lu Yina said while handing the jade box to Lin Xulian's servant. She looked timid and fidgety that she can't even look at Lin Xulian in her eyes.
Knowing that the woman came from the second branch of the Lu family and also the people who gave the tea to Lu Yaoyao, Lin Xulian had a suspicion. Seeing her weak appearance and timid act, she can't prove that Lu Yina is behind the poisoning. But she knows that the second branch of the Lu family had a hand on this and she thinks she knows why. The court officials are pressuring the third prince to take in a concubine because his wangfie was never been pregnant despite being married for three years. That second branch is obviously trying to get this only daughter Lu Yina to enter the third prince harem.
"I liked the taste of Yaoyao's jasmine tea and I also want some of it but I think this Long Jing tea is also good since you recommend it. So thank you and please thank your family for me" Lin Xulian said while observing Lu Yina's reaction from saying that she drank the Jasmine tea. And as expected Lu Yina stiffened then shivered. After all, if someone poisoned the empress, their family would be annihilated. Lin Xulian narrowed her eyes and thought 'So she knew about it. Although it seems like she was just coerced to follow her family's plan. Still, I won't show mercy.'
"How old are you Lady Lu Yina?" Lin Xulian asked with a warm smile.
"Yina is seventeen your majesty." Lu Yina said as calm as possible but deep inside she was worried.
"You are even a year older than me but you aren't married yet. Are you waiting for someone? The emperor, a dispatched warrior, or.....perhaps a married prince?" Lin Xulian finally dropped the bomb and Lu Yina's calm expression faltered. She dropped the jade box containing the Jasmine tea and everything spilled on the floor. Lin Xulian secretly smiled seeing that she got her desired outcome.
"Y-y-your majesty, Yina--…Yina doesn't have that kind of thought." Lu Yina said with a red face and teary eyes. Everyone thought she was just shy but they didn't realize that it was because she is afraid. Lin Xulian really hit the nail in her suspicion and Lu Yina is afraid that her family's plan to marry her into the third prince manor will fail.
"My, my, Lady Lu shouldn't be embarrassed. I will not tease you anymore. Look, the tea is wasted now. Such a pity." Lin Xulian said with mirth. The other noble ladies also laughed. Lu Yina looked at the wasted Jasmine tea and decided to go home and ask for another one. They can't miss a day for Lu Yaoyao's consumption or she might get pregnant. Although the chance is slim, they can't risk the plan they've been working on since Lu Yaoyao got married. Lu Yina is in love with the gentle and caring third prince and since her family is willing to help her marry him, she would do anything even though she felt guilty.
After the party ended, Lin Xulian was the first to leave the pavilion. And since the empress already left, the rest of the guests also left. Lu Yaoyao has a satisfied look on her face seeing that her party went well. She entered her own bedchamber to rest. She rarely uses this room since she would often stay with her husband on their bridal chamber. This room is only used as a storage for her tea and tea set collections.
When Lu Yaoyao asked her servants to prepare her bath, Lin Xulian took the chance and emerged in front of Lu Yaoyao out of nowhere. Lu Yaoyao wanted to scream in shock but Lin Xulian covered her mouth. Seeing that it was Lin Xulian, Lu Yaoyao is puzzled but she immediately calmed down. Realizing that Lu Yaoyao is finally calm and would not suddenly scream, Lin Xulian let go of her mouth.
"Your majesty, I thought you already returned to the palace. Do you need Yaoyao for anything?"
Lin Xulian didn't answer her and just grab her hand to feel her pulse. "Sit on the bed. I would only need to perform simple acupuncture to detoxify the poison since it was only a weak one." Xulian said after feeling Lu Yaoyao's pulse. She laid out her silver and golden needles and is about to prick Lu Yaoyao but she stopped her.
"Your majesty, what do you mean poison? I am poisoned? Can you please explain first?" Lu Yaoyao said agitatedly.
Lin Xulian sighed "You should stop drinking your second family's Jasmine tea. They put a pregnancy suppressing herb on it that is why you haven't had a child yet."
Lu Yaoyao widened her eyes and they started to tear up. "But they are my family. There must be some kind of misunderstanding."
Lin Xulian just shook her head. "Some officials are pressuring the third prince to marry a concubine because of your incapacity to get pregnant and your second family's only daughter hasn't married yet despite being old enough. You should already get what I mean." But Lu Yaoyao only answered her with a disbelieving look. Lin Xulian held her both hands and looked into her eyes. "Just trust me and give me one month. After that, you can decide for your next course of action."
"Why are you helping me your majesty? Is it for your husband the emperor?" Lu Yaoyao asked her with suspicion.
"I am helping you because I am a woman and because I am a Lin." Lin Xulian gave matter of fact look. "But if this could help Feng Jun Yi it won't be that bad. I have a job as a wife after all." Xulian said in a carefree tone making Lu Yaoyao relaxed and finally agreed for the treatment.