Chapter 1: The Colour of Night

In first autumn after the Tian Dynasty’s Emperor ascended the throne, the Crown Prince got married.

Years long of war had razed the Central Plains and covered it in thick layers of ashes, and the Crown Prince’s wedding gave the palace a chance to be covered in lively red for once.

The red lanterns hanging under the eaves, the ribbons strung around the tree-tops, the red lacquer on the coiling dragon pillars were brilliant and extravagant.  They gave the palace a new sense of joy, mirroring the joy filling everyone’s face.

But Eunuch Yu, the eunuch standing under the biggest red lantern outside the big hall, appeared desolate.  He occasionally peeked into the hall and it’s celebration, before looking back out.  Before long, a younger eunuch ran hastily to him. 

“Did you find him?”

“Not yet.”

“Not yet?  Then, what are you doing here?  Continue looking!”

“Yes,” the eunuch immediately ran away to continue his search.

Eunuch Yu looked at his retreating back as he grew slightly more worried.  He wiped the sweat on his forehead as he turned to look at the time.  The celebration inside the hall had reached its climax with officials making boisterous congratulatory toasts.

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The Crown Prince had married the most beautiful woman; Empress Yin’s niece, Nangong Lizhu.  On this celebratory day, several princes had returned to the capital to celebrate the imperial wedding, including the 5th Prince, Pei Yuan Feng who had been busy in the army.  However, as it happened, the 3rd Prince, Pei Yuan Hao were actually missing during celebratory banquet. 

Eunuch Yu struggled not to tremble when he remembered the look on Empress Yin’s face when he reported it earlier.

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The colour of night deepened and the auspicious time had drawn closer.  Eunuch Yu became even more agitated.  He checked the hall and could see that the people there had begun to murmur to each other, having noticed that something was off. 

He hastily ran to his subordinates, “You, go and check Zi Chen Palace.  You, go and check Zhao He Hall.  And you, go and bring some people with you to check Nan Gong Gate.  Look properly.  If you cannot find him, you will all lose your heads!”


Everyone dispersed to begin their hasty search.

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