Duke Rong who has been keeping vigil by Hua Man Xi’s bedside quickly rushes over to him, “You are awake, Xi Er!”
Hua Man Xi’s eyes are blurry in the beginning, before gradually turning clearer. When he sees that look of excitement on his father’s eyes, he turns pale. In the end, he still has to face everything.
“Fuwang,” his voice is hoarse as he greets his father.
“How are you? Are you hurt anywhere?” Duke Rong anxiously asks.
“No. Just a little thirsty,” Hua Man Xi softly answers.
“Hurry! Bring a cup of water over!” Duke Rong orders his servant.
The servant quickly fetches him a cup of warm water.
Duke Rong helps Hua Man Xi sits up and carefully feeds him the water.
Hua Man Xi slowly drinks the water, his throat slowly feeling less and less coarse.
At that moment, the old Duke Rong rushes in, his eyes twinkling as his white hair flows with the wind.
A black-clothed middle aged man follows him from behind. That man is his personal guard.
Without sitting down and without asking for Hua Man Xi’s condition, he looks at them and says, “Now that you are awake, go and save the people.”
Duke Rong becomes frozen before he looks at his ill son, “Father, Xi Er has only woken up. He hasn’t eaten for 10 days!”
“I am not going to starve him to death. I have ordered people to prepare porridge. Drink it and quickly go! The imperial palace has been surrounded by Rui Qinwang. There are 20,000 troops around the imperial city and their reinforcement will come tomorrow. Go and take over the palace and beat Rui Qinwang before they get here. Only then will you win!”
The old Duke looks at Man Xi for a while before continuing his speech, “I have no idea how you found out, but you must know that we have never wronged you. We are only doing this for your own good. Only through this will you be able to obtain the highest position. Murong Ming Zhu treated you well for all your life, but you must know that she is not your real mother. You need to know whose blood is flowing inside you.”
Duke Rong turns rigid. He looks at Hua Man Xi nervously, but Hua Man Xi is not looking at him. In fact, Hua Man Xi pushes him away and gets up, starting to walk outside.
The old Duke turns to his bodyguard, “Take the shizi to the secret passage.”
“Yes!” the middle aged man follows Hua Man Xi.
Hua Man Xi does not even look at the porridge that has been prepared for him outside. As he steps out of the door, the middle aged man says, “Young master, the secret passage is inside the bamboo forest. It leads towards two ways, one is outside the city, and the other is towards the imperial palace. Please follow this subordinate.”
Hua Man Xi does not acknowledge him. He simply follows the man’s lead towards the bamboo forest.
The residence is particularly quiet today. There is not a single person around the courtyards. Hua Man Xi knows that this is his grandfather’s doing.
When they reach the bamboo forest, Hua Man Xi narrows his eyes. The forest usually looks glorious, but today, it looks eerily cold. Perhaps it is due to his feeling.
The middle aged man speaks as he leads Hua Man Xi in front, “Please remember this subordinate’s steps, shizi.”
Hua Man Xi does not reply him but does what he is told to do anyway.
There are two stone chambers in the middle of the bamboo forest. The middle-aged man points at the right chamber, “Shizi, that one leads to the outer part of the city. You can use that passage to go to the Hu Wei Camp and gather your troops. Then, you can lead them back here and use the left chamber to go to the palace. It leads to two places inside the palace; Murong Yu Jian’s chamber and the room in which imperial eunuchs use to rest.”
After saying that, the man bows in front of him before turning around to leave.
Hua Man Xi suddenly asks him a question, “What about my imperial mother?”
The man freezes for a moment before saying, “The wangfei is in her courtyard.”
“Is she alright?”
The man thinks for a while before saying, “Wangye did not do anything to make things hard for the wangfei.”
Hua Man Xi gives him a deep probing look before entering the right stone chamber.
The man turns rigid for a moment before turning around to leave the bamboo forest to report everything to his master.
Meanwhile, inside Hua Man Xi’s chamber, the old Duke is sitting on a chair while Duke Rong stands before him.
“We should send Yun Xi off,” the old Duke says, his eyes flashing with cruelty.
A certain unfathomable look can be seen in Duke Rong’s eyes, “But Father, Yun Xi probably will not be able to live for long anyway. He…..”
“Benevolence only belongs to the womenfolk!” the old Duke cuts him off.
It is at that time that the old Duke’s bodyguard returns to report Hua Man Xi’s departure to them. After his report, the old Duke tells him to take care of Yun Xi.
The bodyguard looks at Duke Rong. When Duke Rong does not say anything to stop him, he turns around and walks away. Not long later, he returns to them.
“Is it done?”
“Yes, by the 3rd madam herself.” The middle-aged man’s voice is low. He has never seen such a cruel woman before. She took the sword and personally plunged it into Master Yun Xi’s chest. Master Yun Xi looked at her in disbelief, in grief, and she went and laughed at him like a crazy woman. Such a different pair compared to the loving wangfei and the shizi.
The old Duke frowns, “Such a poisonous woman, she cannot stay. We will let her live for a couple more days before getting rid of her. Man Xi does not need a mother like that.”
Duke Rong stares at him with bulged eyes, “Father!”
“Be quiet! I already gave you too much when I allowed you to bring her here years ago!”
The old Duke then turns to his bodyguard once again. “Let’s return to my courtyard. I want to change into my new robe. I have waited for this day for 47 years!”
Duke Rong watches his father with complex eyes. He does not know what to say.
At the same time, inside the palace, Rui Qinwang is getting impatient with Murong Cang.
His second son, Murong Xiu calls him outside and says, “This is pointless, fuwang. We must end this as fast as we can. If Duke Rong’s manor decides to act….. They have the Hu Wei Camp that is very loyal to the kingdom, if they decide to fight, the consequences will be unimaginable.”
“Don’t worry about Duke Rong’s manor. That man said that they will not do anything. That man has always been right, in the past. Our only problem is Murong Cang that old head, he just won’t write the decree!” Rui Qinwang bad-temperedly says.
Murong Xiu replies him, “Xian Wang’s martial arts, we all know. None of us here are his equal. As for Yun Qian Yu, she is the owner of Yun Valley, have you heard of any Yun Valley owners with low martial arts proficiency? Besides, there is no movement from the Yun Valley, that means that we have not pushed them to the limits yet. They only care for their owner, so why don’t we let Yun Qian Yu go? If Yun Qian Yu leaves, Xian Wang will leave with her. Once Murong Cang is left alone, we can get rid of him. And then, we will spread news that Yun Qian Yu poisoned the Retired Emperor and the emperor to death and has run away, aided by Xian Wang. That will give us a valid excuse to get rid of them, and the throne will fall into your lap.”
Rui Qinwang ponders over his son’s words, “If Yun Qian Yu wants to leave, she would have left long ago. Do you think we can force her?”
“How could we know if we don’t try?” Murong Xiu offers.
The two of them return to Yu Jian’s chamber.
“Yun Valley’s Owner,” the way Rui Qinwang greets Yun Qian Yu has changed.
Yun Qian Yu raises her eyebrows as she looks at Rui Qinwang.
“This king has no enmity towards you. You are only dragged into this mess by imperial uncle. This king does not have the plan to harm you. Let’s make an agreement,” Rui Qinwang tries his best to sound sincere.
Yun Qian Yu laughs at him, “What kind of agreement?”
“Why don’t you return to Yun Valley? This king will not pursue you,” Rui Qinwang says.
“What a wise tactic,” Yun Qian Yu looks at him in disdain.
“This is only this king’s kind intention towards Yun Valley. This king is not afraid of Yun Valley,” Rui Qinwang grits his teeth, slightly angry now.
“So what? Do you think the Yun Valley will be afraid of you instead?” Yun Qian Yu refuses to back down.
Gong Sang Mo raises his eyes to look at Rui Qinwang, before slowly lowering his eyes again.
Yun Qian Yu looks at the time. Noon has already passed, and the real culprit still hasn’t make his presence known.
She gets up and makes her way towards Murong Cang. He must be really tired right now. She originally planned to cure the poison inside his body after his birthday celebration. She wanted to see if it can prolong his life. If he can live a few years longer, he will get to see Yu Jian growing up, he can then leave with a light heart. Too many things had happened and she never got the chance to try and see if she could heal him. After everything is settled after this, she must heal him as soon as she can.
Rui Qinwang takes a few steps backwards. His eldest son, Murong Xun leads his three other sons and stand in front of him protectively.
Yun Qian Yu sneers. What kind of show are they trying to act, pretending to be so protective of each other? She will bet everything she has that these brothers will start fighting each other the moment Rui Qinwang managed to secure the throne.
She stops next to Murong Cang and says, “Can you still stand this, grandfather?”
“It’s alright,” Murong Cang nods.
Yun Qian Yu helps him get up from the long couch and lets him lean against one side of Yu Jian’s dragon bed, “Rest for a moment, grandfather. He should be here soon.”
Murong Cang nods. He holds Yu Jian’s hand with one hand while closing his eyes to rest.
When Rui Qinwang hears her last sentence, he perks up in vigilance.
“Who is going to be here soon? Don’t tell this king that you lot have back-up troops!” Rui Qinwang looks at Gong Sang Mo. The Long Wei Camp’s sole purpose of existence is to fight foreign enemies. They are not to get involved with the throne matter. So who exactly are they talking about?
Yun Qian Yu returns to sit next to Gong Sang Mo and says, “We are naturally waiting for the person who is hiding behind you.”
“What do you mean? I have no one behind me,” Rui Qinwang’s body suddenly turns cold. How does she know about that person?
“Rui Qinwang is so pitiful. You have been doing someone else’s dirty deeds for so many years without knowing,” Yun Qian Yu taunts him.
“What do you mean?” This time, it is Rui Qinwang’s 2nd son, Murong Xiu who asks her that.
“What I mean is that your fuwang has been completely used by that person!”
“Impossible.” Murong Xiu is Rui Qinwang’s most beloved son, so he naturally knows about the man-in-black’s existence.
“He fed all of you with infertility tonic. Even Murong Bing has not been spared. All of you are a bunch of useless grown men who are incapable of producing more sons, you are nothing more than that man’s pawns.”
The manner in which she mocks them is the best method to humiliate a bunch of proud grown men.
Rui Qinwang and his four sons are shocked by her words. All of them look at Murong Xun. He is the only one who has gotten married out of Rui Qinwang’s sons. There are other women in his back courtyard other than his legal wife, yet none of them are pregnant yet. That is also the same with their eldest sister. She has been married for a year and everytime she comes back home, she would cry and laments over her fate to them. She told them that she suspects herself to be infertile. The Liu Family’s Eldest Young Master has taken in concubines because of that.
They do not doubt the honesty in Yun Qian Yu’s words. They know that she will never lower herself to lie to them.
When the brothers see the change in Murong Xun’s expression, all of them turn to Rui Qinwang.
Rui Qinwang’s face turns white. He turns to Yun Qian Yu, “Do you know who he is?”
“We are not very sure yet. But what we are sure of, is that he should be taking care of all your people right now,” Yun Qian Yu calmly says.
Waiting is a very boring thing to do. At least she can now entertain herself with the colourful changes in Rui Qinwang’s expressions.
Rui Qinwang is very shocked. He quickly turns around to look at the sky outside. It is starting to get dark, it is the best time to do a wicked deed. Inside the capital, the only capable one other than Xian Wang, is the one who holds the power to Hu Wei Camp.
“It is too late,” Yun Qian Yu says.
“Why didn’t you tell me this earlier?”
“Are you stupid? You are attempting to take our lives, do you think I would share that information with you if you can still change the outcome?” this is the first time she is scolding someone as such.
“You don’t want the kingdom to fall into my hand, but you are willing to watch it fall into someone else’s hand?” Rui Qinwang looks at Murong Cang.
Murong Cang slowly opens his eyes, “The kingdom is Yu Jian’s.”
“But he is already dead!”
Murong Cang looks at him coldly but does not say anything. Never once has he let go of Yu Jian’s hand.
At that moment, the chilling sound of battle can be heard from outside. Rui Qinwang tells Murong Xun and Murong Xiu to check the situation outside.
Before Murong Xun and Murong Xiu even gets to step out of the chamber, Hua Man Xi already rushes in, followed by a bunch of Hu Wei Camp’s soldiers. They surround Rui Qinwang and his sons.
When Situ Han Yi sees this situation, he silently makes his way towards Murong Cang. Yun Qian Yu understands what he is trying to do. He is trying to find the opportunity to take Murong Cang hostage. Her eyes turn cold. He just won’t give up, won’t he?
With a wave of her hand, purple light comes out from her hand and throttle Situ Han Yi, causing him to be thrown outside. The Hu Wei Camp’s soldiers waiting outside then tramples on him, causing him to spit blood. He is left lying on the ground in a pathetic manner.
Yun Qian Yu slowly walks towards him and looks at him in a condescending manner, “In my eyes, you are lesser than a bug.”
When Situ Han Yi hears that, he secretly gives himself a mocking sneer. He considered her his enemy, while she on the other hand, looks down on him so much that he didn’t mean anything to her.
When Hua Man Xi waves his arm at him, a bunch of soldiers step forward and drag Situ Han Yi away.
Hua Man Xi, then, makes his way towards Murong Cang. The look in his eyes is complex as he speaks, “Are you alright, grandfather?”
Murong Cang raises his head to look at him, “It has been hard on you and your mother.”
Hua Man Xi’s eyes feel hot; his grandfather now knows everything.
“I’ve watched you grow up, I know what kind of a person you are,” Murong Cang sighs.
Hua Man Xi forces his tears down. This will be the darkest day of his life. Since he cannot avoid it, he has to face it head on.
He turns to Rui Qinwang and his sons, “The imperial city has been cleaned. Those 10,000 troops must have come from Long Jin. They have been taken care of. I just want to know something; what did you promise Long Jin in return for those 10,000 soldiers? He has always been a safe player, yet he actually took a risk this time and lent you those soldiers.”
Rui Qinwang unconsciously looks at Gong Sang Mo. Everyone now understands that Long Jin wants Gong Sang Mo dead, in return for those soldiers.
An icy look suddenly appears on Yun Qian Yu’s normally unruffled eyes. Long Jin really has a death wish.
Gong Sang Mo holds her hands, as though saying that he is safe and that she has no reason to be angry.
Yun Qian Yu calms down after looking at Gong Sang Mo. She holds his hand tighter.
Gong Sang Mo smiles. Holding hands with Yu Er feels so blissful.
Hua Man Xi does not pursue the matter and beckons his people over.
Rui Qinwang suddenly smiles, he still has another card up his sleeve, “Tomorrow, 100,000 soldiers of mine will reach the capital. What can you people do to me?”
Yun Qian Yu looks at him icily, “Are you sure that those 100,000 soldiers are your’s, and not the emperor’s? Why did they listen to Yu Jian then, when he told them to get here one day late?”
Rui Qinwang understands what she is trying to tell him. His secret weapon has been snatched by someone else!
Rui Qinwang finally puts his sword down. When his sons see what he did, they look at each other hesitantly before following suit.
The five of them are tied down by the Hu Wei soldiers.
At this moment, in Duke Rong’s manor, Duke Rong and his father enter the secret passage.
The imperial city has been swept clean of Rui Qinwang’s people. That means that Man Xi has succeeded. Man Xi is now in control of the palace.
In Princess Ming Zhu’s courtyard, the fancily dressed 3rd madam walks in. “Our princess is here! So what if you are an esteemed princess? Wangye does not even like you!”
Princess Ming Zhu calmly sits in front of a stone table, sipping on jasmine tea.
“No wonder Qian Yu likes this tea so much. It is indeed of high quality.”
“Stop pretending to be so calm. Did you know what I just did?” the 3rd madam proudly asks.
“You have killed Yun Xi?” Princess Ming Zhu asks darkly.
“You knew?” the 3rd madam’s face becomes a little rigid.
“You have always thought that Yun Xi was my son. I knew you would have killed him the first chance you get, in order to quench your anger.”
“What are you talking about? Yun Xi is indeed your son! I am the shizi’s real mother! Wangye swapped them both after they were born!” the 3rd madam cruelly says.
Princess Ming Zhu slowly gets up. The servant girl behind her help her put on a cloak. “You are so pitiful,” Princess Ming Zhu looks at the 3rd madam in pity.
The 3rd madam becomes frozen. Pitiful? Only now does she realize that Princess Ming Zhu is wearing all white, from her dress to her beautiful cloak. It is as though she is in a mourning period. Princess Ming Zhu is not wearing a single hair accessory on her head.
When the 3rd madam remembers what is currently going on inside the palace, she becomes happy again. “What? You are already prepared to send out the coffins, it seems!”
“It is a pity you are not, 3rd madam.”
“I will not have to send out any coffins, unlike you!”
The 3rd madam thought that this day will be the turning point of her life. This courtyard will be her’s soon. The future emperor is her son, ah!
“Stop looking, this place will never be your’s. You will forever be the 3rd madam.” Princess Ming Zhu looks at the colour of the sky before turning towards the 3rd madam once again. “Let’s go. You have been the thorn in my eyes for so many years. I will take you to the palace so that you can see everything with your own eyes. It is time for you to see what ‘do wicked things and a wicked end shall await you’ means,” Princess Ming Zhu says.
Princess Ming Zhu already knows what kind of end awaits the 3rd madam. Once the old Duke achieves his purpose, he will not let the 3rd madam lives. He would never let the emperor to have a mother like the 3rd madam. Unfortunately, the person herself does not know that and is still busy daydreaming.
Princess Ming Zhu walks away. The 3rd madam looks at her retreating back, hesitating for a moment. But then again, what should she be afraid of? The next emperor is her son, and Duke Rong will be her husband, she does not need to fear anything. She follows Princess Ming Zhu’s lead.
Princess Ming Zhu walks out of the courtyard.
The 3rd madam follows her curiously, “Aren’t we going to the palace?”
“I know a way that will take shorter time.” Princess Ming Zhu knows that the entire residence must be under heavy guard at the moment. They will not be able to openly leave this residence. They will not be able to freely enter the palace as well.
The 3rd madam does not know all that. She follows Princess Ming Zhu doubtfully. Should she continue following her? Will Princess Ming Zhu lead her to danger? Despite her doubts, her heart is adamant to follow her. She wants to see her son’s most glorious moment with her own eyes. She grits her teeth as she walks.
Princess Ming Zhu leads her towards the bamboo forest, saying, “Follow me carefully. They have used the matrix method on this place. One wrong move and you will get lost.”
Princess Ming Zhu does not bring anyone with her, while the 3rd madam has brought two maids.
After hearing that, the 3rd madam follows Princess Ming Zhu’s steps carefully.
The imperial princess walks with her usual grace and elegance, as though she is not walkng through a series of complex matrix formation.
They soon reach the two stone chambers. She enters the left chamber and begins lighting a candle. Then, she makes her way towards the secret passage.
The 3rd madam hastily follows her from behind while the frightened maids refuse to even take a step towards the bamboo forest.
The 3rd madam looks at them angrily before telling them to wait there for her. Then, she runs after Princess Ming Zhu.
Even inside the dark passageway, Princess Ming Zhu remains poised and esteemed.
After approximately one hour, the two of them reach the end of the passageway.
Princess Ming Zhu presses on a bulging stone slate on the wall and it quickly opens, forming an exit.
Princess Ming Zhu climbs out of the hole and arrives right at Yu Jian’s imperial chamber.