The empress dowager who has been quiet suddenly speaks up, “Aijia believes that this has nothing to do with Yang Guifei. Aijia agrees with her; since the last person Dong Fei met before she went missing was the empress, there is no way for the empress to wash your hands off this matter. From how aijia sees it, the empress should—-“
“From now on, the empress is not allowed to leave Feng Yang Palace while we investigate this matter. Dong Fei’s corpse will be placed in her own palace for now. The rest of you can go back to your palaces,” Jun Qian Che coldly speaks up, interrupting what the empress dowager was about to say.
The rest of the concubines curtsies in front of him, “Yes, Your Majesty.” Then, they leave.
Mo Qi Qi furiously glares at Jun Qian Che: He actually believed Yang Shihan! He actually believed that she killed Dong Fei!
“Hmph!” Mo Qi Qi angrily walks away.
The empress dowager unhappily turns to Jun Qian Che, “Che Er, why is it only that? You should have ordered the Ministry of Justice to conduct a trial on her. Do you honestly believe she has nothing to do with this? Don’t you think you are being too partial towards her?”
Jun Qian Che calmly replies her, “Imperial mother, this son is not siding with the empress. Just, even though a life is lost in the harem, if we involve the Ministry of Justice in this, it will only bring adverse effect to the name of the imperial clan. Moreover, the power of Mo Clan is not to be underestimated. This son only comes to that decision after a heavy consideration”
“Don’t tell aijia Your Majesty plans to simply let this be?” the empress dowager disagrees.
Jun Qian Che’s eyes are icy and his tone has cooled down a lot, “Zhen will dispatch people to investigate this matter. Zhen would never spare anyone who dares to harm someone else in the palace.”
Hearing that, Yang Shi Han asks, “If we finds out that it is indeed done by the empress, will you punish her, Your Majesty?”
A cold light flashes in the empress dowager’s eyes, “If it is indeed done by Mo Qi Qi, Your Majesty should use this chance to kill the fowl to warn the monkey and warn the Mo Clan. Even if you don’t kill her, you must at least depose her from her empress position and sends her to the cold palace. What do you think of my suggestion, Che Er?”
(TN: Kill the fowl to warn the monkey (杀鸡儆猴) = Punish someone to warn the others.)
Jun Qian Che nods lightly, “What imperial mother said is right. If it is indeed done by Mo Qi Qi, zhen will definitely punish her heavily. It is about time for us to lighten the Mo Clan’s power, anyway.”
The empress dowager and Yang Shi Han exchange a look before laughing.
Mo Qi Qi angrily walks back to her own Feng Yang Palace, getting even more furious as time passes.
Seeing her expression, Ban Xiang immediately comforts her, “Do not worry, Your Ladyship. With Duke Zhen around, the emperor will not dare to do anything to you.”
“Do not speak of Jun Qian Che in front of me! Thinking about him upsets me! The discovery of Dong Fei’s corpse was accidental. Yang Shi Han actually suspects me of killing her and that damn Jun Qian Che actually believes her! How hateful! What kind of husband doesn’t trust his own wife! Being married to Jun Qian Che is me having shitty luck!”
“Your Ladyship, actually this cannot be blamed on His Majesty.” Ban Xiang whispers after forcing herself to be brave.
When she hears that, Mo Qi Qi glares at Ban Xiang, “What do you mean by that, Ban Xiang? If I don’t blame Jun Qian Che, who do I blame? Myself? Don’t tell me that you too think that I killed Dong Fei!”
Ban Xiang immediately waves her hands, “No! No! This servant believes in Your Ladyship.”
“Then why are you speaking for him? What benefit will he give you?” Mo Qi Qi asks in anger.
Ban Xiang’s face is full of grievance, “How can you say that to this servant, Your Ladyship? This servant is your maid, one that has accompanied you since we were both little. I am the closest person to you. No matter what other people promise me, I will never betray you. Besides, the emperor would never bother to try and bribe me anyway. The reason I said that was because you indeed had met Dong Fei before she disappeared. I suppose, that was why His Majesty grounded you. What you said to me was a real injustice!”
“Alright. I was just too upset at Jun Qian Che. I was saying it out of anger, you need not take it to heart. Let me ask you this, did I really summoned Dong Fei over before she disappeared?” Don’t tell her Dong Fei was really murdered by the original owner of this body? If so, does that means she will have to bear the brunt for her? Huhu, how can she be so unlucky?
Ban Xiang nods, “Your Ladyship indeed summoned her over prior to her disappearance. In fact, you reprimanded her really hard, that day.”
“Reprimanded her? What do you mean? How hard was really hard?” Mo Qi Qi gulps heavily as she anxiously waits for Ban Xiang’s answer.
Ban Xiang reminisces that day, “Dong Fei was haughty and arrogant because she was personally chosen by the empress dowager to serve His Majesty. She considered the empress dowager as her backing, so she was rarely courteous to the people she met including Your Ladyship. Your Ladyship could not tolerate her and summoned her to Feng Yang Palace, 3 months ago. Dong Fei dared to talk back to you back then, so you got angry and called for people to hit her.”
“Hit her? Hit her where? Was her injuries serious?” Mo Qi Qi finds it hard to even breathe, at this moment.
Ban Xiang nods again, “It was pretty serious, back then. You ordered Dong Fei to be hit 20 times. She ended up bleeding and instead of asking people to stop, you got even angrier. You gave her a few slaps and told her you would give her a life worse than death. And then, you kicked her out.”
“We originally thought Dong Fei would go and complain to His Majesty and the empress dowager, but she instead suppressed the matter. Two days later, news broke out from Dong Xue Palace, saying that Dong Fei had disappeared. His Majesty ordered for her to be searched but after more than ten days, they found nothing. Your Ladyship told His Majesty that she had committed adultery and had ran off with her lover. When you disclosed that, His Majesty was furious and reprimanded you. After that, Dong Fei could not be found, so the matter gradually became forgotten.”
Mo Qi Qi’s forehead is full of sweats when she hears that: Damn, the previous owner was basically seeking death with every move she took. Had it not been for Mo Clan’s power, the previous owner would have died long ago. Not only did she hit the innocent Dong Fei, she even claimed that she ran off with her secret lover. She was basically telling everyone that the emperor had been cuckolded. She was as good as slapping him in the face. Huhu, no wonder Jun Qian Che had angrily grounded her.
“If you put it like that, does that means that Dong Fei’s death really has something to do with bengong? Did I ordered people to kill her and bury her in the rose garden? Dong Fei did not die in peace, so she took advantage of me going to the garden today and make me accidentally dig her out…” Mo Qi Qi guesses.
Ban Xiang looks at the door in shock. When she makes sure that no one is around, she whispers to her, “Your Ladyship, how on earth did you came to that conclusion? Even though you had punished her before her death, 20 hits and a couple of slaps would not kill her! The one who harmed her was someone else. Someone is playing intrigue; killing Dong Fei to slander Your Ladyship.”
“If someone wanted to harm me, they wouldn’t bother to bury her corpse. That doesn’t make sense, “ Mo Qi Qi says in confusion.