“Hmph!” Yongming Emperor sat down angrily, Eunuch Guo immediately served him a cup of chrysanthemum tea. Emperor Yongming drank it in two mouthfuls, put down the tea bowl, and said, “Wei Hongzheng deserves to die! Wei Chunlin deserves to die!”
Eunuch Guo bowed and lowered his eyes, saying, “If these people deserve to die, Your Majesty can execute them. However, your well-being is of the utmost importance. If His Majesty the Empress were to know, he would surely worry.”
Thinking of Empress Dai Qiyu, Emperor Yongming suppressed his anger. At this moment, a young eunuch came in with his head bowed, “Your Majesty, the imperial tutor requests an audience.”
Emperor Yongming said, “Who blabbed about this matter to the imperial tutor?” Eunuch Guo smiled apologetically. “Recently, Your Majesty has been worried about the Empress’s health and I might have spoken too much. I asked the imperial tutor to come and share your concerns.” Emperor Yongming chuckled at Eunuch Guo’s antics and ordered, “Quickly, bring the imperial tutor in.”
Eunuch Guo, Eunuch An, and Eunuch Zhuo had been by Emperor Yongming and Empress Dai’s side for a long time. Originally, Eunuch Guo served Emperor Yongming and Eunuch Zhuo served Empress Dai. Later, Eunuch An was entrusted with an important task by the Empress to conduct business, so Emperor Yongming had Eunuch Zhuo take over, as he didn’t trust anyone else.
Imperial Tutor Weng entered, accompanied by the young eunuch who had delivered the message earlier, carrying a bamboo box. As soon as imperial tutor Weng entered, he paid his respects before saying, “I was on my way to the palace and unexpectedly met the eunuch delivering the message. It’s truly a coincidence.”
Seeing the imperial tutor, Emperor Yongming’s mood eased slightly. He offered elder Weng a seat, but his face still held a trace of displeasure. Eunuch Guo had the other young eunuchs who were waiting leave and Emperor Yongming suppressed his anger as he said, “Wei Hongzheng went to Yongxiu County and secretly captured Shao Yunan to force him to hand over the recipes for making tea and alcohol.”
Elder Weng said, “I am already aware of this matter.” Emperor Yongming was surprised. “How did you know about it, Imperial Tutor?” Even if Dai Jiang had hurried back to the capital upon arriving, the news couldn’t have reached the imperial tutor’s ears so quickly.
Elder Weng replied, “One of Eunuch An’s attendants rushed back to the capital from Yongxiu County. Shao Yunan made some honey pomelo tea and sent him back to the capital with some specifically meant for Your Majesty and the Empress. The items were directly delivered to Cen Yuebai. Coincidentally, Cen Yuebai is temporarily residing in my residence. I wasn’t at ease entrusting it to others, so I personally came this time. I have also already tasted this pomelo tea. It tastes quite good and is said to be beneficial for the intestines and lungs, as well as clearing heat and phlegm, which is good for the stomach as well.”
Emperor Yongming sighed. “He really has a heart. I heard from Dai Jiang that he was injured.” Elder Weng said, “I inquired as well. He said he was slapped and kicked in the stomach, but fortunately, there’s no serious harm. Deputy commander Dai, Kangning, and Wang Shijing arrived in time. However, Shao Yunan showed bravery and wit, managing to injure Wei Hongzheng and detain him until Deputy commander Dai and the others arrived. If not for that, Wei Hongzheng might have escaped back to the capital and the situation would have been much more difficult to handle.”
“Humph!” Emperor Yongming was so angry that he slammed his fist on the book case. “What a Marquis Hengyuan! What a Wei Chunlin! He is just a commoner’s son who dares to be so unbridled! The Marquis of Hengyuan’s family simply doesn’t have me, the Emperor, in their sights!”
Elder Weng… “Your Majesty, drink a cup of honey pomelo tea to moisturize your throat.” It was also to dissipate his anger.
Emperor Yongming sighed and glanced at Eunuch Guo. Eunuch Guo immediately stepped forward and opened the bamboo box, revealing sixteen white porcelain bottles, each about the size of a palm. Elder Weng pointed to the first row of eight bottles and said, “These are specially meant for the Empress. Shao Yunan mentioned that he used milder honey to avoid any coldness.”
Emperor Yongming promptly said, “Send them to the Empress.”
Eunuch Guo first took out an ordinary bottle, opened it, and then looked surprised, saying, “Your Majesty, this honey pomelo tea smells very sweet.” He turned to elder Weng and asked, “Please, Imperial Tutor, tell this servant the dosage.”
Elder Weng said, “It can be brewed with water or spread on dry food. I use two spoonfuls mixed with one bowl of water, it’s best to use warm water, otherwise, the honey’s effectiveness will be reduced.”
“This servant thanks the Imperial Tutor.” Eunuch Guo fetched the tea bowls and hot water, prepared two cups, and served them to Emperor Yongming and Elder Weng. Afterwards, he took out all the ‘ordinary’ pomelo tea from the bamboo box and then carried the box, personally heading to Jingyou Palace.
Emperor Yongming took a sip from his tea cup and immediately praised, “Shao Yunan is truly skilled. He turned the bitter and sour pomelo into such a delicious drink.”
” Slave is here.” A young eunuch who had been waiting outside entered, bowing respectfully. “Send two bottles of this pomelo tea to the Prince and two bottles to General Dai.”
“Yes.” The young eunuch carried four bottles of pomelo tea on a tray and left. Shao Yunan had sent a total of 32 bottles; 16 bottles were for the palace, with 8 for the Empress and 8 for Emperor Yongming. The remaining 16 bottles were divided among Cen Yuebai, Imperial Tutor Weng, Kang Rui, and Eunuch An. Each of them received only a few bottles.
Perhaps because he had consumed something sweet, Emperor Yongming’s mood improved. He said, “The Empress even mentioned that he wanted me to reward him with some pomelos. He said that he doesn’t care about money and that it’s better to give him something rare. I haven’t rewarded him with the pomelos yet, but he unexpectedly already sent me this pomelo tea.”
Elder Weng smiled and said, “The younger brother of the Governor of Guangnan Prefecture is in Yongxiu County, so Shao Yunan could get these pomelos. But Your Majesty’s rewards are still necessary.”
Eunuch Guo bowed and walked in. “Reporting to Your Majesty, General Dai has brought the person.” He then continued, “This servant has delivered the honey pomelo tea to Jingyou Palace. The Empress is resting, so this servant didn’t disturb him and only left the things.”
Emperor Yongming immediately asked, “How is the Empress now?” Eunuch Guo looked worried as he replied, “Zhuo Jin said that the Empress just experienced some abdominal pain, took medicine, and went to sleep. However, he couldn’t sleep deeply.”
Emperor Yongming clenched his fist, and Imperial Tutor Weng hurriedly advised, “Your Majesty, the Empress’ condition is not well. You must prioritize your well-being.” Emperor Yongming nodded with a dark expression and said, “Order Dai Jiang to bring the person up here.”