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“Suluan doesn’t understand what Your Majesty is saying?” Yao Suluan glanced down at Xiao Shunzi who was trembling in fear, then looked towards Ye Hongyi coldly.
“Don’t try to say that you don’t know him!” Ye Hongyi pointed at Xiao Shunzi as his lips curved in a ferociously delighted smile.
“It’s just a servant. Is there a need for Suluan to know him?” Yao Suluan gave a light humph, then kicked aside Xiao Shunzi’s lapel in contempt.
“You’re sure good at acting! But we have evidence that he’s the one secretly colluding with you! Based on what you said, if something happens to you, he’ll release the secret information, isn’t it so?” Ye Hongyi’s expression was twisted sinisterly. He had tolerated Yao Suluan for too long. Now that he could finally vent his anger without worrying about repercussions, he was naturally besides himself with joy.
“No… That’s not possible! He’s not!” Yao Suluan was stunned and fear flashed through her eyes.
“Look at your expression! Scared? Yao Suluan, you should’ve known how things would end after you threatened us!” Ye Hongyi strode towards Yao Suluan, his eyes glowing with baleful rage.
“Your Majesty… He’s not! He really isn’t! Xiao Shunzi, say something! Could it be that you want to die?” Yao Suluan sensed Ye Hongyi’s murderous intent so she hastily kicked Xiao Shunzi to get him to talk.
“Your Majesty… Your Majesty, please spare me! This servant only came last night to look for Ming Yu. This servant has always liked Ming Yu, that’s why this servant snuck into Pure Flowers Palace at night… Your Majesty, Xiao Shunzi really doesn’t know anything!” After getting kicked by Yao Suluan, Xiao Shunzi finally snapped out of his daze and knelt down in front of Ye Hongyi to beg for mercy.
In reality, he had entered Pure Flowers Palace after getting a letter from An Bingshan. However, on the way here, An Bingshan had denied writing any letters and threatened to kill him and his family if he mentioned anything about him. Ming Yu was just an excuse he quickly came up with, and it was true that he had been interested in her.
“Your Majesty, you heard him, right? Suluan doesn’t know why Your Majesty would think it’s him, but Suluan will remind Your Majesty that if Your Majesty kills the wrong person, the outcome would be too terrible to imagine!” Yao Suluan forced herself to stay calm, but her voice was still trembling a little.
“Ming Yu!” Ye Hongyi shouted for Ming Yu to come in.
“This servant… This servant kowtows in salute to Your Majesty…” Ming Yu trembled as she curtsied. She didn’t even dare to breathe.
“Answer us, do you know this person? And where were you last night?” Ye Hongyi’s line of sight didn’t leave Yao Suluan for a moment. The murderous intent in those eyes felt like blades to Yao Suluan.
“Replying Your Majesty, Ming Yu… recognizes this person. He’s an eunuch that serves Eunuch An. His name’s Xiao Shunzi… Last night… Last night, Her Highness said that she had a headache and that she wanted to head in to rest early, so this servant had returned to her own wing around five in the evening…” This was what Yao Mowan had instructed her to say ahead of time and Ming Yu repeated everything without missing a word.
“Headache? When did this consort say that she had a headache!? Ming Yu, you’re making things up!” Yao Suluan looked towards Ming Yu in shock as her heart plunged. Why would Ming Yu say this? Someone had definitely put her up to this! It was Yao Mowan! It was definitely her!
“Get out!” bellowed Ye Hongyi. When Ming Yu saw that she could go, she hastily took this opportunity to leave.
“Yao Suluan, what else do you have to say?” Ye Hongyi’s lips hooked in a bloodthirsty smile.
“No… Suluan dares to swear upon the Heavens that he’s really not that person! Your Majesty, you’re being tricked!” Yao Suluan retreated in panicked fear.
“Your Majesty… This servant really doesn’t know anything. Your Majesty, please spare me!” Xiao Shunzi knelt in front of Ye Hongyi and knocked his head against the ground desperately because his life truly depended on it. Cold sweat dripped down his face as he trembled uncontrollably.
“Shut up!” Ye Hongyi reached out to lift Xiao Shunzi by the neck. The darkness in his black eyes made them seem like the pupils of a wild wolf.
“Your Majesty… Ugh…” Xiao Shunzi tried to say something, but Ye Hongyi tightened his grip on his neck so he couldn’t get any words out.
“Yao Suluan, we’d like to see what else you can use to threaten us!” Ye Hongyi’s narrow pupils narrowed and he abruptly closed his grip. There was the sound of a loud crack. Xiao Shunzi’s neck had been crushed. Blood flowed out the corner of his mouth, then in the next instant, that lifeless body was sent flying a distance away before it crashed into the ground, motionless.
“No! Your Majesty… It’s not him! It really isn’t him!” Yao Suluan was so alarmed that all color had drained from her face and she staggered backwards until her back hit the wall. Back then, no matter how angry Ye Hongyi was, she had been confident in being able to make it out unharmed, but the situation was different now. If she didn’t make facts clear, she would truly die.
“It’s not him? If it’s not him, why are you scared? Yao Suluan! Haven’t you always been very arrogant in front of us? Even though we knew that you were colluding with Luminescent Prince Ye Zixiao to try and stage a revolt, we couldn’t do anything to you! So come on! Where’s your arrogance now?” Ye Hongyi’s eyes were red as he walked towards Yao Suluan to slowly reach out with his bloodstained hand.
“Your Majesty… It really isn’t him… If you kill Suluan, you’ll regret it! At that time, the entire world will know that you’re a narrow-minded tyrant who killed his own wife and child… Ugh…” As Yao Suluan was shouting this desperately, Ye Hongyi had reached out and clutched her neck.
“Shut up! We weren’t wrong! Yao Moxin deserved to die! She had committed unforgivable crimes!” Yao Suluan’s words stabbed Ye Hongyi’s heart like a long spear and stirred up the fear hidden in the depths of his heart.
“Ugh… Your Majesty… Believe Suluan one last time… You can imprison Suluan for three days… If there’s no movement… Killing Suluan then wouldn’t be too late…” Yao Suluan’s entire body was dangling in the air and she kicked her legs desperately as she struggled for air. Her face gradually turned red, then purple, and her eyes started bulging out from her need for air.
“You’re still trying to lie to us?” snarled Ye Hongyi as he slowly tightened his grip on her neck.
“It’s only three days… Your Majesty has already tolerated Suluan for so long… So does these three days matter? If it really is Xiao Shunzi… It wouldn’t be too late for Your Majesty to have Suluan executed with the death of a thousand cuts then…” Yao Suluan pried at Ye Hongyi’s fingers with her hands, her bulging eyes filled with intense beseeching. This was her last chance. If Ye Hongyi wasn’t swayed by her words, this sinister face in front of her would be the last thing she saw in this lifetime.
As she looked at Ye Hongyi’s deep eyes that was like an abyss, her limbs gradually lost strength. Her hands fell weakly to her sides and her eyes bulged more. She no longer had the strength to struggle, but her eyes only widened. She wanted to live. She needed to live! She couldn’t bear to close her eyes yet!
At this instant, Ye Hongyi suddenly relaxed his grip and Yao Suluan collapsed to the ground.
“Cough cough… Cough cough cough…” The moment her throat was released, Yao Suluan placed one hand against the ground to support herself and used her other hand to rub her chest hard to help herself breathe. She had never felt so much desire for air before. Every single breath seemed to bring her body great satisfaction.
“Yao Suluan, listen carefully. If there is no disturbance after three days, you had best kill yourself before we come to a decision on how to torment you!” In the end, Ye Hongyi wasn’t willing to take the risk. He wasn’t willing to risk the throne he had suffered through so much to obtain.
“Your Majesty… Won’t regret not killing Suluan… Cough cough…” said Yao Suluan as she continued to gasp for breath.
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