2853 Loss

Caixiu’s facial injuries were indeed severe. However, with the young crown prince consort’s assurance that they could be healed, there was unwavering trust in her abilities. Huifeng held profound faith in his young crown prince consort.

Caiqi, who had been tending to Caixiu, breathed a sigh of relief and promptly rose to kneel before the young crown prince consort. “Thank you, Crown Prince Consort. Thank you.”

“Rise,” Qiao Mu responded impassively as she remained seated.

Caiqi stood and nervously twisted a handkerchief in her hands. “Crown Prince Consort, when Caixiu received this letter, she left the Eastern Palace and came to Butterfly Pavilion. She said she had something important to convey to Shopkeeper Hu.”

Qiao Mu accepted the letter, repeatedly running her fingers over the paper’s surface. Suddenly, she grabbed Caiqi’s hand and gently lowered it, her brow furrowing.

She retrieved a porcelain bottle from her inner realm and handed it to Caiqi. “Aside from you, who else has come into contact with this letter?”

Caiqi’s heart sank. “S-Shopkeeper Hu and one of the assistants have also seen it.”

Qiao Mu rubbed her forehead in frustration. “Summon them here.”

She paused for a moment and extracted several more bottles of elixirs from her inner realm. “Actually, forget it. Distribute one to each of the assistants at Butterfly Pavilion. Instruct them to consume it.”

Caiqi’s heart raced as she asked in a trembling voice, “Is there… a problem with this letter?”

Qiao Mu nodded solemnly. “Once the poison enters their bodies, those below the spiritual realm will perish silently within three days.”

Butterfly Pavilion primarily consisted of ordinary mystic realm cultivators, with most being ordinary individuals. They were naturally incapable of withstanding such a deadly poison.

Caiqi was overcome with fear, and cold sweat broke out on her forehead. “W-who could possibly wish harm upon the entire Butterfly Pavilion?”

Qiao Mu remained silent for an extended period, her demeanor cool and composed as she finally spoke, “You seem intent on making my life more challenging.”

However, Huifeng’s mind raced with another concern. “Crown Prince Consort, could this poison be transmitted through contact with people? Considering that, from yesterday until now, the staff at the Butterfly Pavilion must have interacted with numerous outsiders.”

Qiao Mu gently shook her head, her tone matter-of-fact. “It’s not quite that remarkable. This poison is bound to the paper, only transferring to the human body through direct skin contact.”

She elaborated, “Once it enters the human body, it swiftly navigates through the meridians, culminating in the heart. If it’s swift, death arrives within a day; if it’s slower, it may take up to three days. Death is inevitable.”

She sighed with detachment, “I’ve lost this round.”

Unknown to her, the orchestrator behind the Butterfly Pavilion fire had yet to be revealed. The deliberate ploy to lure the Zhang family into the fray resulted in significant harm to her own subordinate, Embroider, who had sustained severe burns. Although she could be saved, the ordeal had taken a toll.

The letter bore Qiao Mu’s own handwriting, falsely claiming that she had learned of a brewing disturbance at the Butterfly Pavilion. Upon receiving the letter, she swiftly informed Caixiu and proceeded to the Butterfly Pavilion to discuss countermeasures with the shopkeeper. She instructed them to bring the Eastern Palace token to the capital hall in case of an emergency. The letter was masterfully crafted, vividly describing the situation, which easily duped Embroider.

If this malicious scheme had been concocted by the mastermind…

Firstly, it would tarnish the reputation of the poorly managed Butterfly Pavilion and cast a shadow on the young Crown Prince Consort’s name.

Secondly, the Butterfly Pavilion’s shopkeeper and staff, who had come into contact with the letter, would meet their demise within three days.

Thirdly, rumors of a more sinister nature might be lurking, such as allegations of unhygienic practices at the Butterfly Pavilion, with the deaths of its key personnel serving as a disturbing backdrop.

These falsehoods could even fuel speculation that the young Crown Prince Consort was cursed or a harbinger of misfortune.