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“Pfff!” Huo Feng was caught completely off guard and her body fell heavily to the ground like that of a butterfly whose wings had been torn off as she coughed a mouthful of blood.
“Lowly slave!” Ye Hongyi was still furious, but just as he was about to advance again, Wang Qinruo blocked his way.
“Your Majesty! What do you mean by this?” Wang Qinruo looked towards Ye Hongyi angrily as she demanded answers.
In all these past years, regardless of whether she was going through good times or hard times, Huo Feng had always stood by her, so she had come to think of Huo Feng as family. She still remembered when her father first purchased Huo Feng. Huo Feng had immediately started to study martial arts despite how hard it was because she wanted to protect her. In the blink of an eye, it had been twenty years, and during these years, Huo Feng had made so many sacrifices for her, so how could she watch Huo Feng be beaten like this?
“You sure trained a good servant!” Ye Hongyi abruptly threw the three needles he was holding onto the table.
“Qinruo was the one that had Huo Feng do this. Qinruo really regrets not commanding Huo Feng to shoot these three needles straight into Yao Mowan’s throat!” Wang Qinruo’s gaze was cold as ice as she met Ye Hongyi’s dark glare.
“How dare you!?” Ye Hongyi abruptly lifted his palm.
“Since Your Majesty has invited Qinruo back, Your Majesty should’ve already considered the outcomes! Qinruo loves Your Majesty more than life, so how could Qinruo possibly tolerate the fact that Your Majesty’s heart contains someone else!?” Wang Qinruo’s words were like blocks of ice. As Ye Hongyi met her cold gaze, for a moment he actually felt fear and he reflexively lowered his hand.
“Qinruo, we’ve said so already, Yao Mowan is nothing but a fool, so what need is there for you to be jealous of her and pick on her? Do you think we’re foolish enough to make a fool empress? The only one that will be able to share the same resting chamber with us after death is you!” Ye Hongyi restrained the anger in his eyes and gradually softened his tone, but he had already come to a decision. An insane woman like this shouldn’t be left alive.
“The same resting chamber after death? So Your Majesty already had plans for where Qinruo would go.” Wang Qinruo lowered her gaze as she smiled bitterly.
“Where are your thoughts wandering off to? Also, we heard that you visited Pure Flowers Palace. How was it? Did Yao Suluan say anything?” Ye Hongyi subconsciously rubbed his nose as he changed the topic.
“Qinruo already has plans for dealing with Yao Suluan, so Your Majesty doesn’t have to worry about it. As for Yao Mowan, it’s best if Your Majesty stops being blind. Yao Moxin’s younger sister is a fool? Who would ever believe that!?” Wang Qinruo gave a cold humph, then turned around to help Huo Feng up.
“We have no desire to discuss Mowan with you. You’re allowed to do whatever you want to anyone in the inner palace aside from her.” Ye Hongyi didn’t take Wang Qinruo’s warning seriously since he firmly believed that all the women who try to slander Yao Mowan were simply doing it out of jealousy, and Wang Qinruo had a tendency to be extremely obsessive.
“Ha, since Your Majesty has already made things so clear, Qinruo will just have to do as you bid.” Wang Qinruo helped Huo Feng over to a chair without bothering to look towards Ye Hongyi.
“We’ll have an imperial physician come over.” After saying this, Ye Hongyi left as if he was fleeing. Even with the fragrance of the flowers as a masking scent, that stench was still so strong that it was hard for him to breathe.
Wang Qinruo smiled bitterly as she watched Ye Hongyi rush out of her palace.
“Huo Feng, did this consort fall in love with the wrong person?” This was the first time Wang Qinruo had ever asked herself this. Huo Feng looked towards her master silently with heartache. Even if it was the wrong choice, her master had already loved this man for over twenty years and she had already gotten used to it. She also didn’t want to dissuade her master anymore either, because she had once said those words countless times, but it had been to no avail. After all, once one loved someone to the bone, how could one differentiate whether it was right or wrong anymore?
In the next few days, rumors spread in the palace that Yao Moxin hadn’t died due to difficult childbirth and had actually died in the Cold Palace.
“We will ask you one last time, who told you that the empress died in the cold palace? Answer!” Inside the imperial study, Ye Hongyi glared at the young eunuch who had been beaten to the point that his entire body was covered with wounds.
“Your Majesty, please have mercy… This servant heard Eunuch Li say it in the imperial kitchen… But Nurse Dou of the embroidery department said the same thing… And all the palace maids in the lateral courts were talking about this too… Your Majesty… Please spare me…” The young eunuch dragged his bloodstained body towards the dragon desk as he begged for his life.
“Drag him out and execute him! Execute him!” bellowed Ye Hongyi as he slammed his hand on the desk.
“No… Your Majesty! Please have mercy! This servant will never talk about it again! Your Majesty, please have mercy!” However, no matter how that eunuch begged, he wasn’t able to escape the fate of being beheaded.
“Your Majesty, please quell your anger. This old servant will immediately have those gossiping servants dealt with!” When An Bingshan saw that Ye Hongyi was furious, he immediately walked over to calm him down.
“Yes! Have them all executed! Cut off their tongues!” snarled Ye Hongyi. An Bingshan left to carry out these orders. He had an inkling that there was some secret behind Yao Moxin’s death, otherwise His Majesty wouldn’t be so panic-stricken.
“Wait, no… Arrange for a carriage to Splendid Veneer Palace!” Ye Hongyi forced himself to calm down. If he killed the people spreading these rumors now, it would be confirming the rumors.
In Guan Osprey Palace, Yao Mowan was currently sitting on the chaise longue and teasing Fluffy when she heard a ruckus outside.
“Scram! This consort wants to see Yao Mowan! Yao Mowan! Get out here!” The clamor immediately ruined Yao Mowan’s mood.
“Ting Yue, let her in.” Yao Mowan had just spoken when the door was kicked open. Fluffy was startled and scuttled behind the chaise lounge.
“Second Older Sister, you’ve startled Fluffy! Fluffy, good girl. It’s not like she’s a tiger, what are you scared about?” Yao Mowan ignored the fact that Yao Suluan’s face was ashen and focused on gently coaxing Fluffy.
“Yao Mowan, how could you do this!? Do you think His Majesty would continue to treat you the same after the truth behind Yao Moxin’s death is revealed!? You’re destroying yourself by spreading these rumors, you fool!” Yao Suluan glowered at Yao Mowan while emitting intense bloodthirst.
“The rumors only say that Eldest Sister died in the cold palace. It doesn’t mention how Eldest Sister dies, isn’t that so?” replied Yao Mowan unhurriedly.
“So what? His Majesty is already going crazy and even dragged an eunuch that was spreading the rumors into his imperial study!” snarled Yao Suluan in a low voice after stepping forward.
“Yes. That eunuch got decapitated a few minutes ago. What a pity,” said Yao Mowan with a sigh.
“What a pity? Do you know how many people will probably die because of this!?” Yao Suluan seriously couldn’t stand the unconcerned expression on Yao Mowan’s face. She couldn’t stand how Yao Mowan was acting like this incident had nothing to do with her.
“It’s interesting that Second Older Sister says this. Those who didn’t know the situation would think that Second Older Sister is the Bodhisattva of Compassion who’s pleading on behalf of the innocents!” Yao Mowan glanced towards Yao Suluan with a disdainful sneer.
“Yao Mowan! How can you still be in the mood to joke right now? Even if you hate this consort, those people are innocent! If your rumors cause them to be killed, then how are you any different from this consort!?” Yao Suluan glowered indignantly, but the suppressed fear in her eyes was still visible.
Yao Mowan slowly got up and silently met Yao Suluan’s eyes with her cold and dark gaze.
“Mowan’s greatest difference from Second Older Sister is… Mowan’s even more vicious and merciless towards her enemies! Just as Second Older Sister has said, the only person Mowan wishes to get revenge on is Second Older Sister, so Mowan naturally wouldn’t implicate innocents. Mowan wasn’t the one that spread these rumors.” Yao Mowan spoke lightly, but every single word was distinct and rang clear.
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