“What do you intend to do to him?” Su Ru coldly questioned. She could not move her body, she could only struggle to lift her head but her neck muscles trembled as a result from the strain.
“Fourteen years ago, that night, before he was to ascend the throne, he was lucky enough to come out alive……” The Empress Dowager said faintly as she lowered her gaze. Her body was enveloped in a dark, murderous air but all of a sudden a chuckle escaped her lips as she said, “He won’t be so lucky this time around. He’s sat on the throne for 14 years, that’s long enough!”
Su Ru laughed coldly.
The Empress Dowager suddenly stood, pointing a finger at her, she questioned, “What are you laughing at?”
“This slave is laughing at your futility,” Su Ru calmly replied.
At the mention of her son, her emotions were momentarily stirred. But she was originally a smart person and quickly got a hold of herself. “What you couldn’t obtain 14 years ago, Wen Bi Yi, you won’t be able to obtain now either. My son has been on the throne for 14 years and he will surely continue to do so for another 14 years.”
“Your Highness, what doesn’t belong to you will never belong to you.”
“Shut your mouth!” the Empress Dowager shouted fiercely. In a rage, she ran up to the wall and grabbed a small knife. Raising her hand, she sliced the knife at Su Ru’s face, drawing blood on a face which was already riddled with markings and scars.
“You lowly servant! That year you seduced the late emperor. You’re nothing but a servant of lowly birth yet he made you his Imperial Consort(fei) and even made your son the Crown Prince. I was his Empress! Yu’er is his third son! According to the orders of hierarchy, how could the son of a lowly servant like you be next in line for the throne?!”
“Because he loved me,” Su Ru said simply.
These words had pricked at the Empress Dowager’s sore spot and she let out a throated scream as she brandished the knife in her hand, slicing it across Su Ru’s face again and again. Having hailed from a military family, the Empress Dowager had some martial training so each attack was impelled with strength. Very quickly, new wounds emerged, drawing blood which trickled down Su Ru’s face.
Clenching her teeth, Su Ru could only smile desolately. With her eyes gone, there were no more tears left to shed.
In her daze, a distant voice seemed to sound by her ear.
“Ru’er, if you give birth to a son, I’ll(Zhen) confer him the title of Crown Prince.”
At that time, the maiden’s face was still youthful and delicate as a flower, with a pair of bright, phoenix eyes filled with laughter. She turned her head to face the young emperor embracing her tightly from behind. He had always been so gentle, so loving.
“You know why…”
You know why.
She smiled to herself. These words were the reason she had been trapped in this prison for over ten years, but they were also the reason why she had been able to hold on all this time and not give in to despair.
Third night watch(11pm-1am). Cang Shui Pavilion.
In the inner quarters belonging to the Emperor’s newly appointed concubine, Yao Guang sat on the bed, a note crumpled tightly in her hand, her beautiful face dark with a shade of viciousness.
Her father had recently sent word, asking if she had won the Emperor’s favor. He also asked for any news in regards to the military power that was to be granted. He had even instructed her to speak of the disagreement between her father and brother before the Emperor, to assure the Emperor that Nian Song Ting was only loyal to him.
Minister Nian had hastily come up with this plan once he realized the Emperor harbored suspicions that he was colluding with the Xiong Nu. He had purposely bad mouthed Nian Song Ting in court, saying that he had raised him in vain to show everyone that the father and son were at odds with one another. He hoped this would reassure the Emperor into trusting Nian Song Ting and giving him military power.
Her father also asked about the Emperor’s attitude towards Xuan Ji and whether she was confident she could topple her.
Recalling the events that took place in Chu Xiu Hall that evening, Yao Guang bit her lip indignantly. No, she couldn’t tell her father….. The Emperor seems to really care for Xuan Ji. If her father knew, he would surely berate her for being useless.
In regards to looks and intellect, Xuan Ji didn’t even hold an ounce to her. So how could she lose to her? Following this train of thought, she was determined to make a comeback.
That handsome, powerful man could only be hers!
Third night watch. Chu Xiu Hall.
Outside the curtains of the dragon bed, the night pearl gave off a soft glow.
Lifting the woman who was lying on his arm, he rested her head on the pillow. Glancing at her for a moment, he pressed and sealed her sleep acupoint.
Letting out a soft sound, the woman subsequently fell into a deeper slumber.
Seeing her bare shoulders exposed, the man pulled on the blanket which had slid down, back up to cover her before proceeding to put on his clothes and step outside.
Outside the crystal curtains, three individuals had gathered, Xu Xi, Xia Sang, and Qing Feng.
“Xia Sang, any news on Feng Zhan Bai?”
A look of hesitation flashed across Xia Sang’s eyes and he responded in a low voice, “That man seemingly disappeared into thin air. Our spies have yet to locate him.”
Long Fei Li’s voice was coated with frost. “Remember, I want news on him no matter what!”
Recalling the events that took place in Yan Yu Tower, Xia Sang responded, “This servant understands.”
At this time, Xu Xi stepped forward and said, “Your Majesty, the spies we sent out have returned. None were able to locate the descendants of the Bai Family.”
Long Fei Li furrowed his brows ever so slightly. “How many groups are left?”
“Only one,” Xu Xi responded quietly.
“Hmm.” Long Fei Li turned towards Qing Feng and said, “Within five days, if there’s still no news on the Bai family, go to Xia Hou Chu and secretly bring Ning Jun Wang to see me.”
“Understood,” Qing Feng replied with a nod.
At this moment, Xu Xi stepped forward again.
“Your Majesty, there has been word from the lady.”
Xia Sang and Qing Feng exchanged glances, their faces lit expectantly.
Long Fei Li’s gaze moved slightly, “When?”
“At the fourth night watch. She will be waiting for you at Bi Xia Palace.”