An exorcist was summoned to the Palace to take a look at the presumably possessed maidservant.
Unfortunately, the exorcist arrived a moment too late, the maid somehow managed to loosen the bindings at her wrist and untied herself. Then, she killed herself by knocking her head against the stone wall. Though the exorcist didn’t manage to see the maid before she killed herself, Minister Shang requested the exorcist to check the mark he saw on the maid’s elbow yesterday. Up close, the mark looked like a tiny sear mark.
“It is.” The exorcist said.
Minister Shang looked at the man who just opened his mouth to say the two words out of the blue.
Staring back at Minister Shang, the exorcist repeated his words.
“It is a sear mark. This one does not know exactly how the curse works but this one heard that there are a few tribes in the surrounding countries which use this method.”
“So, it is a curse?”
“Yes, this one heard that the victim must drink a concoction for the curse to set in, then a tiny sear to finish the process.”
“I see, so what does this curse do? Assassination?”
“No, this is a simple instruction curse. Upon drinking the concoction, the evil-doer will whisper their instruction to the victim. The victim will do whatever she is requested to do. This is an evil curse because the victim does not know of the curse placed on them and upon finishing their task, an illusion will kick in, prompting the victim to kill herself.”
“Destroying the evidence ah 1,” the exorcist added before making a slicing gesture across his neck.
Minister Shang gave a beady stare at the exorcist.
“Minister Shang, this one didn’t lie. This one don’t really know about this curse, it is what this one heard before among the exorcists.”
“Please believe this one’s word, Minister Shang. Every word is true, this one won’t do anything to offend the God and reason 2!”
“All right, but I have a question. This maidservant killed another maid before my men apprehended her. Does the curse includes instruction to harm the surrounding people?”
“This one not very sure, maybe it’s a variance of the curse.”
“Hmm… I give you two days to gather more details regarding this curse and its origin. You must report back within two days, or else…”
Ending his words with a not so subtle threat, Minister Shang looked meaningfully at the exorcist. The exorcist bowed repeatedly a few times and retreated.
Minister Shang waited until the exorcist left the premise before sighing. The case was so stressful for him, he could feel a headache coming. Or maybe he was coming down with a fever. Coughing slightly, Minister Shang summoned Eunuch Ting into the room.
“Eunuch Ting, pass a message to Minister Shu from the Department of Rites. I need to discuss some matter with him.”
Eunuch Ting bowed and cupped his fist, “This servant will follow the instruction.”
Before Eunuch Ting retreated from the room, Minister Shang called him back.
“One more thing, the weather is changing frequently even though it’s now the season of spring. Even you went down with fever when the season changed two weeks ago. Give my order out to the palace servants to take note of their meals and not to consume any suspicious food or drinks.”
With a puzzled expression, Eunuch Ting smiled faintly and cupped his fists again, “Many thanks for the Minister’s kind concern, this servant has recovered. This one will inform the palace servants of your reminder.”
“All right, you may retreat.”
-The Emperor at this moment-
Emperor Yang Yi stood in front of a mirror, groping her own chest. Initially she was sitting in her study room, brainstorming for the explanations for her transformation at the first place, and also reasons why she didn’t changed back like what she did the first time. Some servants arrived to her room carrying some clothing, the royal tailors have sent over some garments meant for the Empress for her temporary usage. She understood the intention, she can’t wander around dragging her Emperor robe behind. So, the maids were summoned to help the Emperor change her clothing.
One of them was standing at a side, helplessly holding a chest undergarment, not sure how to broach the subject of wearing one to The Emperor. Fortunately, the Emperor saw the gold undergarment with mandarin ducks embroidered on it, saving her the effort of introducing the item. But unfortunately for the maid, as she was the one holding an offensive item, the Emperor shot her an icy glare.
“Zhen.Don’t.Need.A.Dudou 3! Zhen as the leader of the country, how can Zhen wear a dudou?! Ridiculous!”
The maidservant trembled and immediately knelt on the floor.
“This servant don’t dare, this servant don’t dare. Your Majesty, please forgive this servant!”
As the maidservant cried out her apologies, she started to kowtow, knocking her forehead on the floor.
“Stop! Rise and get Zhen a meter of gold silk.”
Bowing her head deeply, the maidservant stammered her greeting before retreating from the room. Fuming to herself, Yang Yi paced in front of her study table.
Dudou?! I rather die than to be caught dead in it. She turned to the mirror, and squeezed her breast together.
Hmph, I don’t need a dudou!
If Imperial Court has a chatbox 3 :
Stew-Shang : Minister Shu, I need to discuss with you regarding the Emperor’s case. Did you get my message?
Rites-Shu : Yeah, I did. How about dinner at my place?
Rev-Lou : Minister Shang, you have any results yet? I would like to take part in the discussion if it’s okay.
Stew-Shang : I’m okay with it, how about Minister Shu?
Rites-Shu : Fine with me too. How about Minister Xi?
Rev-Lou : Yeah, Xi you should come too.
Works-Xi : Uh, why?
Rev-Lou : You should know the latest updates about our Emperor, lest you make him angry again.
Works-Xi : Wait, is this about the repairs again?! Old Lou, stop blaming me on the Emperor’s rage. I swear…
Stew-Shang : … btw, I have sent the Royal tailors to deliver the Empress’s clothing to the Emperor. My subordinate reported back to me that …uh …uh he uh…
Rites-Shu : What is it? Did he flipped the table saying that he is a man (not really) and he refused the Empress’s clothing?
Stew-Shang : Close, but not really…
Rev-Lou : He doesn’t like the phoenix? Phoenix means female after all.
Stew-Shang : Uh …
Works-Xi : Oh, I know, I know. He must be angry about wearing a dudou!
Stew-Shang : !! How did you know?
Rites-Shu : !
Rev-Lou : !
Works-Xi : … uh, gotta go. Nose bleed, nose bleed.
- 毁尸灭跡 : Saying, literal translation is destroying corpse, eliminating stain ↩
- 伤天害理 : Idiom, meaning outrageous acts ↩
- 肚兜 : Undergarment for the chest ↩