Chu Junyi waved his fan as he walked out of the courtyard, buzzing with excitement. What a thrilling turn of events. Who knew if there were more to come? As he tried to guess what could happen next, a sudden scream could be heard followed by a loud “splash”.
Shen Linghan was walking along the side of the pond when she suddenly slipped and fell into it.
Zhao Shi turned around at the sound, her face darkening when she realised it was her precious daughter in the pond. “Quick, save her!” She ordered and her gaze turned to Shen Ninghua instinctively, the hatred from her gaze palpable.
Shen Dong was also stunned at the sight before him. His attention turned towards Shen Ninghua, whose expression was rather strange. Frowning, he observed the crowd. Shen Linghan had fallen into the pool, but the guards he had with him were all male, they couldn’t possibly save her else Linghan’s reputation would be in ruins. “All of you, turn around! Qing Que, don’t you practice martial arts? Go save her!”
Zhao Yunxiang’s eyes widened, her gaze turning cold, “no need. Nanny Qin, you go.”
Upon the order, Nanny Qin jumped into the pool immediately.
The pond was not deep, but lotus flowers were planted in it. Since it was the middle of summer, the lotus leaves covered the pond surface. Shen Linghan disappeared from sight almost immediately after falling into the pool and Nanny Qin had to spend some time to find her.
Shen Ninghua stood near the pond as she gazed at the lotus leaves covering the pond. Her thoughts started to drift back to her past life…
The pond was covered with lotus flowers because Shen Linghan loved such flowers. She would pretend to harvest lotus flowers, and take the time to enjoy herself as she rowed across the lotus covered pond. Even the First Prince, Baili Jinyi, was entranced by the sight of her surrounded by the blooming lotus flowers as she gracefully picked them. He even proposed to her, wanting to make her his wife.
However, two months before the marriage, Baili Jinze decided to reveal the First Prince’s plans to rebel prematurely. The First Prince still had a lot of power and followers then. Shen Ninghua’s underlings had suffered losses trying to escape with the evidence they had collected. On her way to the palace, she suffered an attack from the First Prince and lost her ability to carry children.
After the First Prince had been defeated, she spent three months resting in bed. Baili Jinze held her hands and said words with such sincerity that she could still recall as if it was just yesterday.
“Even if we cannot have children, I will not marry another woman. I can always choose an heir among my nephews, but I will only have one of you.”
She felt blessed then, thinking that her efforts were not in vain. But now, thinking back at those words, she was disgusted by the whole ordeal. He was eager to bring down the First Prince, and it was all for the sake of Shen Linghan!
Shen Ninghua turned and she gazed coldly at Baili Jinze, who had a worried look on his face. If one considered Shen Linghan the best at reading people’s heart, then Baili Jinze would undoubtedly be considered the best liar anyone has ever seen.
His lies had created countless sweet dreams for her. In those dreams, he was still that warm, dedicated, and passionate lover. Yet in real life, he had broken her wings with his own two hands before throwing her from the clouds and onto the dirt as he sat on the throne with the woman he “truly loved” all his life. All the while as she laid alone in the Cold Palace, there wasn’t even a proper burial for her when she died.
The guards all turned around, same for Baili Jinze and Chu Junyi. But both of them seemed hesitant on their decision to leave.
Seeing that Shen Dong was too worried for Shen Linghan to care about them, Chu Junyi decided to remain. There was no harm since he was just here to accompany the Fifth Prince.
Finally, there was movement in the water. After spending much time in the water, Nanny Qin hauled Shen Linghan by her shirt, and got her up.
Zhao Shi’s face was pale. She turned to the nanny beside her and ordered, “what are you waiting for, go and help her.”
A few nannies went forward, pulling Shen Linghan and Nanny Qin up from the pond. Yet, when Shen Linghan was about to be hauled from the water, she woke up suddenly and started flailing about, “monster! There is a monster in the waters! Let go of me!”
“Linghan, my daughter, what happened to you?”
Shen Linghan did not seem to have heard Zhao Shi’s words, and continued flailing.
One of the nannies lost her footing and was almost kicked into the pond as they were pulling Shen Linghan up.
“Uh, what is that……”
Everyone followed her gaze, and saw a wrinkled hand grabbing tightly to Shen Linghan’s ankles. In shock, the nannies almost lost their grip on Shen Linghan. “Quick, get the Young Miss up!” bellowed Shen Dong.
Nanny Qin was also shocked at the sight, her face pale green. She hit the wrist of the wrinkled hand and pulled Shen Linghan up with all her might.
Shen Linghan looked terrible. She was dripping wet, the hairpin on her head was gone, with a few water grass and seaweed on her face.
Shen Ninghua’s face was filled with worry, “Qing Que, go and fetch some clothes for younger sister.” Jingxin courtyard was nearest from here, and as the elder sister, she should show some care for Shen Linghan.
“Yes, young miss.”
Zhao Shi rushed to Shen Linghan’s side, immediately giving the order to look for a doctor. Luckily, Qi Zhengjun had not left. When Qing Que was back with clothes for Shen Linghan, Qi Zhengjun also arrived.
He was shocked by Shen Linghan’s appearance. As he approached her to check her pulse, Shen Linghan pushed him aside and screamed, “there is a monster in the pond! Mother, something down there was pulling at my leg!”
Zhao Shi held Shen Linghan in her arms as she wiped the water off using her sleeves and said sternly, “there is no monster, someone must be behind this!”
Without waiting for an order from Zhao Shi, Nanny Qin had already fished out the person grabbing Shen Linghan. A few gasps was heard from the crowd. It was the missing Nanny Zhou!