When Liu Zhongtian heard the Emperor’s words, he was furious and widened his eyes in anger. He couldn’t believe what the Emperor said. He had granted the Emperor’s wish, yet the Emperor was mistreating Qiqi. How could he let this go?
“Your Majesty, didn’t you promise Zhongtian to treat Qiqi properly?”
“I am devoted to her, yet she ignored my feelings. She can only blame herself. Also…” The Emperor looked at Liu Zhongtian, “I will go and write an edict and gift you a Royal Concubine. She is your Ning Yun-er. Don’t say that you are unwilling, that’s a royal decree!”
“Zhongtian will reject this royal decree!” Liu Zhongtian said in a firm tone. His feelings for Qiqi in his heart caused him to be unable to accept other women.
“That’s not up to you.” The Emperor said lightly. He then walked up to Qiqi’s front, extended his finger and pinched Qiqi’s chin. Wei Qiqi retreated in disgust and furiously sweep the finger away.
“Scram Emperor. The Great Han empire will fall in your hands sooner or later. You fatuous ruler who can’t discern between right and wrong. Liu Zhongtian did his part for the Great Han, fighting off the Xiongnu and kept giving you leeway. You repaid his kindness with revenge, snatching his women away from him time after time. The people are not talking about it not because they don’t know, but because they are scared of you. However, I Wei Qiqi, am different. You aren’t my Emperor. To me, you are just dust!”
There was never someone who spoke about the Emperor in such a manner. The stimulus from these words was too great, causing the Emperor to stare blankly. He felt a multitude of emotions, “What did you say?”
“I’m talking about you. You might as well just kill me. Don’t think about me serving you. Even if I die I won’t serve you!”
“You rather die than submit to me?!” The Emperor felt an intense anger and hatred in his heart. How could this woman be so smug?
“Yes, Wei Qiqi rather die!” Wei Qiqi spoke, her gaze was firm. She was a person from the future. If she couldn’t live together with her love, there was no point staying in Great Han.
“Alright, since I can’t obtain you, there’s no reason to let you do whatever you want. I shall sentence you to death!” The Great Han Emperor was forced till he was insane. How could there be such a stubborn woman? He gave her a path to live, yet she asked for death.
Liu Zhongtian had already written the divorce papers, yet he was unable to prevent the Emperor from sentencing Qiqi to death. He was extremely furious, “Your Majesty, Zhongtian had already written the papers to protect Qiqi’s life. The death immunity jade plate is a gift from you to Qiqi, it also represents your thoughts for her. You can’t kill her.”
“Who said that I’m going to kill her, haha!” The Emperor laughed crazily.
“Wei Qiqi, Protector-General, listen to my command.” The Emperor sat back on the chair, “There are cracks between Gaojuli and Great Han. Lead troops to enter Beiping Province and Yuyang Province etc. The enemies are strong. I order you to brandish the banner and go on an expedition to attack Gaojuli with 5000 crack troops. Sign a life and death treaty with me. If you are defeated, then it’ll be a death sentence. If you win and come back, I’ll give you a reward!”
When Liu Zhongtian heard that, he involuntarily frowned, “Your Majesty, Gaojuli’s troops are elites. Qiqi is only a woman, and you are only giving her 5000 troops. Aren’t you hoping that she’ll die in battle?”
“Wei Qiqi need not go, as long as she serves me and make me happy!” The Emperor laughed lightly. Scared? The Emperor was giving her a chance. She was after all only a woman, how long could she last? Would she choose to not enjoy good clothing and good food, and instead choose to fight in the battlefield?
“Your Majesty.” Liu Zhongtian’s eyes were red. He clenched his fists and was about to make his move when Wei Qiqi grabbed him. “Wei Qiqi receives her order.”
“Qiqi, you are crazy.” Liu Zhongtian held her hands tightly. He wouldn’t let go no matter what, as if when he loosened his hand Qiqi would fly away.
The Emperor looked coldly at Liu Zhongtian’s hand which was holding onto Qiqi. His heart felt something unpleasant. His love for Wei Qiqi wasn’t less than Liu Zhongtian. The more he loved, the more lost he felt. Since he couldn’t obtain it, he should let this woman disappear from this world, so he would no longer pine for her.
“Xiaoyuzi, send General Qi back to the mansion. I’m also going back to the palace!” The Emperor sighed lightly. His pining for Wei Qiqi was written over his face, however he was helpless.
After a huge commotion, the Duke’s manor finally settled down. Many people had left. The Emperor left, so did Qiqi. Liu Zhongtian was left alone in the big room. His heart was feeling empty. He had fought on battlefields for so many years, yet he couldn’t protect his woman. He was feeling remorseful, however his opponent was the Emperor. He couldn’t be killed nor offended. Neither could Liu Zhongtian revolt.
Liu Zhongtian knew that the Emperor’s jealousy had gotten into his head. If Wei Qiqi really died on the battlefield fighting with Gaojuli, who knew if he would really be happy. A woman replaced a man to stand on the forefront of Great Han. How would the annals record this, and how would the people mock Great Han.
Liu Zhongtian sat blankly in front of the desk. He looked at the death immunity jade plate in his hands. Wei Qiqi’s brilliance was everywhere. She thought of all possibilities, to even plead for such a token for him. Qiqi’s position in Liu Zhongtian’s heart was no longer just a woman. She was a reliance, a belief. If this woman disappeared, Liu Zhongtian wouldn’t know how to live out his latter days.
That jade plate represented the sincere love Wei Qiqi had for Liu Zhongtian, making him feel extremely comforted. At the same time he was in extreme grief. Protecting this woman meant going against the Emperor. Liu Zhongtian had to make a choice.
Ning Yun-er was resting outside the door in grief, looking at Liu Zhongtian with guilt. Her heart felt endless remorse and hatred. Ever since she came back and knew of the Emperor bringing troops into the Duke’s manor, she knew she had gotten into big trouble. She was hiding behind the window and looking at the heavily surrounded room. If she didn’t do what she wanted and swapped Wei Qiqi, how would the Emperor be so furious?
If the Emperor had intimacy with Wei Qiqi last night, there wouldn’t be such a scenario today.
If the Emperor didn’t bump into Qiqi with the Duke, he wouldn’t want to kill the Duke.
Now, because of her tantrum, she had lost her virginity and lost her honour. She also harmed the Duke. Ning Yun-er went into the room crying and knelt in front of Liu Zhongtian. She cried, “It was Yun-er who disappointed the Duke.”
Liu Zhongtian recovered from his painful thoughts and looked strangely at Ning Yun-er, “Yun-er, what are you doing…?”
“What happened last night was due to Yun-er’s jealousy. I thought that Duke was going to the General’s Mansion to look for Wei Qiqi. Hence I rushed to the mansion and swapped Wei Qiqi out. I wanted to share the night with Duke.. it was me who harmed you!”
Ning Yun-er was unable to speak further. That night’s memory caused her to feel shame. She gave her body to man she didn’t know. Even though he was the supreme ruler, he was just a stranger to Ning Yun-er, not the Liu Zhongtian she loved. That night already caused her to have no fate with Third Duke.
“You are saying that you are the one that brought Qiqi into the Duke’s manor…”
“Wei Qiqi was drunk at that time. Yun-er had hatred in mind, hence I sent her out of the mansion and straight into her own room. I know my wrong, but I can’t salvage anything now!”
It was only now that Liu Zhongtian understood. He didn’t blame Ning Yun-er because she was doing it out of love. Liu Zhongtian didn’t know what to do now. If the Emperor had intimacy with Qiqi last night, Liu Zhongtian would be suffering in hell now. However, those changes last night caused the Emperor to want to kill Qiqi. Everything was predestined, only fate could be blamed for playing with people.
“Get up.” Liu Zhongtian said helplessly. Things had already developed to this stage, what was the point of pinpointing blame.
“Duke, Yun-er feels worse than death. Yesterday night the Emperor took me for Wei Qiqi. I’m no longer a pure person. I have no face to see you!” Ning Yun-er felt much humiliation saying that. She really was an unlucky woman.
“Yun-er…” Liu Zhongtian didn’t know how to comfort her. No wonder the Emperor was so angry. Liu Zhongtian pitied her and lifted her up, “I’m not willing to marry you not because of your virginity. It is that I can’t let Qiqi go. She’s already in my heart.”
“Yun-er understands. I also saw it just now. Blame it on me being stupid, that’s how I harmed Duke and Royal Concubine!”
“It’s good that you understand. I’ll find you a good place of refuge.”
A refuge? What hopes could Ning Yun-er have at this moment? Maybe she could play the zither and dream of the Third Duke. However she could no longer stay at this familiar Duke’s manor. If she continued staying here, the Emperor would decree for her to marry Third Duke. If the Duke was unwilling he would face death penalty. She had already harmed the Duke once, there couldn’t be a second time.
She was only a chess piece to be used if she stayed behind, to be manipulated at will. There was no happiness to speak of. Maybe if she left, there would be peace for her.
Ning Yun-er looked at the Duke with reluctance, then left with determination. She packed her stuff and left the manor, disappearing amidst the night sky. A woman who had her heart broken and body ravaged, yet who couldn’t forget about love.
Ning Yun-er disappeared in one night. Liu Zhongtian ordered people to look for her but to no avail. He sighed in the empty room. He thought about the young Ning Yun-er who stayed in the manor. Now that she had left, it really was saddening. Liu Zhongtian felt remorseful towards her father, however Yun-er had intentions to leave, so it was hard to find her. He hoped that she would find a good place of refuge and no longer be alone.
Without Ning Yun-er, the Emperor seemed to have lost a chess piece. He would be unable to bring up the matter of forcing a marriage on the Duke. However the matter of Wei Qiqi going on an expedition was at his doorsteps. The Emperor was waiting for Wei Qiqi to submit, it would be fine even if it was just a hint. He got Xiaoyuzi to find out Wei Qiqi’s movements. However Xiaoyuzi’s words caused the Emperor to be extremely furious. Wei Qiqi was just as lively in the General’s Mansion, as if she was not bothered about the matter of expediting in Gaojuli. Much less needed to be said about submitting.