Title: The Crazy Adventures of Wu Gate
Chapter: 31.2 of 87
About ten minutes later, a jailer came inside with a black-lacquered box.
"Time to eat." He looked at the young girl that was completely curled up and sighed. The prince had recently commanded to bring this prisoner into the palace. She probably wouldn’t be able to return after going there!
Qing Qiao expressionlessly looked at the scrumptious food.
"This was especially prepared for you." The jailer thought that she wasn't appreciating the favor, so he explained, "The prince said you love to eat pork, so he had the imperial kitchen prepare three dishes: boiled pork with garlic, braised pork, and stewed pig trotters. The taste is all first class! We don't even have fortune to enjoy this! You seem like a clever girl. Do you really want to be a hungry ghost after you die?"
"Oh? He's really treating me... with consideration." Qing Qiao faintly smiled. Her gaze seemed to have floated away to a distant place.
When the jailer heard these words, he felt that there was another meaning. He inevitably loquaciously said several more words, "Miss, you look like a harmless, young lady from a noble family. How did you offend the prince? Aiya, I urge you to peacefully eat this meal so you can happily wait for tomorrow's trial... Ah, life. Some things are fated. You can't escape from it."
He couldn't help feeling sympathy. This girl's best years would soon be like a fallen jade and a withered flower.
Qing Qiao didn't say another word. She only obediently accepted the food box and started to silently enjoy this last meal.
After finish the last mouthful of rice, Qing Qiao picked up the handkerchief on the food box and slowly wiped her lips.
The cell was silent for a time.
She suddenly covered her mouth with the handkerchief and furrowed her eyebrows. There was a gleaming light in her eyes."... So, he had an ulterior motive for specially feeding me a meal."
The jailer looked at her and thought that her face had become strangely pale.
“Why?” When Qing Qiao removed the handkerchief, blood slowly dripped from the corners of her mouth.
“Why?” She was smiling, but it was an extremely desolate smile.
Shocked, the jailer hurriedly turned around, ran out, and shouted, "Bad news! The prisoner has been poisoned!"
There was immediately the sound of footsteps outside the door. Many people had been alarmed.
Feeling dizzy, Qing Qiao lied down on the bed and slowly closed her eyes.
She drifted in and out consciousness for a while before something as cold as a snake suddenly grabbed her wrist.
"... Her pulse is so chaotic. What happened?!" She heard the faint sound of an angry male voice.
"T-to respond to Your Highness, Miss Du became like this after she finished eating. This small one really doesn't know why!" The person answering the question sounded like he was crying.
Qing Qiao slowly opened her eyes and saw the jailer's terrified face. With great effort, she was able to turn her head and saw Duan Yu's ashen face. He was sitting next to the stone bed.
"You're awake." A faint, imperceptible light flashed through his eyes. He stretched out a hand to check her forehead.
"... That bowl of braised pork." She looked at him and curved the corners of her lips. She looked like a sweet, obedient child, "... There wasn’t enough sugar."
Duan Yu's expression stiffened.
Watery blood once again spilled out from her lips. It was a ghastly red. "... Remember to tell my daddy to add more sugar when he's offering food to me... I don't like to suffer hardships (literal translation is eating bitter food) ..."
Duan Yu's hand froze on the top of her pillow.
"Also... " She suddenly thought of someone else and murmured, "Ah Da, I really miss Ah Da... The food made by the imperial chefs doesn’t taste good. My stomach hurts from eating their food..." She faintly pursed her lips. In the end, she couldn't stop her tears from falling out of the corners of her eyes. "It hurts. It hurts so much..."
Those tears gently fell onto the back of Duan Yu's hand. It felt as if flames were burning him. He quickly pulled his hand back.
Feeling as if a stick was stirring around her organs, Qing Qiao lowered her eyelids and started to breath in and out as if her life depended on it.
'I-if you wanted me to die... why didn't you tell me first?" She did her best to grab Duan Yu's hand. As she gasped for breath, she said, "I want to see Dong Xi. I want to see Qiao Feng... Has he succeeded as a chef?”
"... He's doing well. You don't have to worry." Duan Yu's face had sunk into a deep shadow. His expression couldn't be determined.
Receiving the answer to her question, Qing Qiao's body gradually relaxed, "... Your Highness, you have your position. I don't blame you... I just feel really regretful. I blame myself..." She slowly closed her eyes. Her tone was dishearten as she said, "... If only I didn't like to eat braised pork."
"It would have been nice if I had never met you." Her voice was so quiet that it seemed like a dream that would shatter as soon as you touched it.
The candles crackled. Underneath the flickering light, everything felt weightless and insubstantial.
Something flashed through Duan Yu's eyes, but it was the shadow of darkness. It was a cold sorrowful mist that couldn't be dissipated.
“Prepare a carriage.” His voice was dry. His downcast eyelashes cast long shadows that resembled a thousand weeping willows. The cold drizzling light was like a turbulence that threw people's hearts into disorder.
The jailer blankly looked at him. He didn't understand the intention behind his master’s action.
"... I said, prepare a carriage." Duan Yu's voice was still very quiet. It was slow and deliberate as he said with a slight hoarseness, "... I want to go to the palace to see an imperial doctor."
Startled, goose bumps rose up on the jailer's entire body. The prince's agitated and gloomy eyes were too strange. They were so deep that they could even engulf the night.
The jailer rushed out of the cell. Even if he felt very puzzled, he didn't dare to ask a single question.
This ink-colored night had a coldness that even a thousand stars couldn't face.