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“That fool… Huo Feng, you fool!” Wang Qinruo collapsed to the ground and pounded on the floor as tears spilled down her cheeks.
“She’s not a fool. It was her loyalty. Ask yourself honestly, if you hadn’t seen this with your own eyes, would you really come to believe that Ye Hongyi’s this heartless? What this consort gave you just now was the other half of the inspissated fragrance pill. After taking it, your body won’t emit a faint fragrance anymore. This consort did this so that it wouldn’t be as easy for Ye Hongyi to find you. You won’t blame this consort, right?” Yao Mowan slowly walked to Wang Qinruo and helped her to a seat. Her eyes were also glimmering slightly with tears.
“This consort had been blind, this consort has truly been blind…” cried Wang Qinruo in despair as she threw herself into Yao Mowan’s arms. What exactly had she been doing these last twenty years?
“You’re not the only one who’s been blind…” Yao Mowan patted Wang Qinruo’s back gently as a tear silently slid down her face.
Wang Qinruo cried until she had no more energy, then Yao Mowan finally let her go.
“What do you plan to do now?” Yao Mowan personally poured a cup of warm tea for Wang Qinruo and had her hold it. Since her very heart had been frozen, at least this would warm her hands.
“This consort doesn’t want to leave just like this! Huo Feng had died in this consort’s place, and the criminal was Ye Hongyi! This consort must make him pay for it!” Wang Qinruo’s hand trembled uncontrollably as she held the cup. Her eyes were filled with sorrow and rage.
“It’s clear that Ye Hongyi intends to kill you to silence you. It couldn’t be that you think you can still show yourself, right?” Yao Mowan slowly sat back down in her seat as she gave this reminder calmly.
“This consort will reveal Ye Hongyi’s malicious doings to the entire world! I’ll expose how he had heartlessly killed his own son and drove the empress to commit suicide!” cried Wang Qinruo indignantly. Then she abruptly looked towards Yao Mowan.
“You… You already knew about all of this?” Wang Qinruo took in Yao Mowan’s face which contained no trace of surprise.
“That’s right. This consort had happened to hear the exchange between Yao Suluan and Ye Hongyi. Eldest Sister died truly tragically and this consort’s nephew hadn’t even been a day old…” Yao Mowan’s voice was a little hoarse and her eyes became misty.
“So the reason why you’ve acted like a fool this entire time was for the sake of revenge?” Wang Qinruo wiped her tears and looked towards Yao Mowan.
“If this consort doesn’t get revenge for this, this consort doesn’t deserve to be called human.” Yao Mowan smiled, but that sight emitted an intense chill.
“This consort understands…” Wang Qinruo reflexively nodded. It was no wonder that so many unbelievable things had happened since Yao Mowan entered the palace. Consort Xian Yu Funing disappeared, Consort De Xie Siyin hung herself, and Consort Chen Huan Caier rejected the offer to become empress. What exactly did it take to make such events occur? And how could she, one of the four noble consorts, ever escape Yao Mowan’s eyes? Perhaps, from the very start, the person setting up the chessboard hadn’t been her.
“Consort Shu, you can go expose this consort and may even gain an achievement great enough to excuse your crime,” said Yao Mowan softly, her gaze as still as the water of an ancient well.
“This consort swears that if this consort ever harbors any fantasies about Ye Hongyi gain, this consort is willing to be cursed with never having any descendants!” Wang Qinruo made this vow without hesitation, her eyes filled with loathing. if it weren’t for the extreme pain, there was no way she could’ve woken up. Only those who’ve gone through the same experience would be able to understand.
“Ye Hongyi is utterly devoid of conscience so he’ll naturally face retribution. This consort would advise Consort Shu to leave this dangerous area.” Yao Mowan restrained the sorrow in her eyes as she said this solemnly.
“Noble Consort Yao doesn’t wish for this consort to spread this information?” Wang Qinruo’s brows furrowed as she asked this.
“This isn’t the right time yet.” Yao Mowan nodded slowly. Ye Junqing’s influence hasn’t grown to the point that it could contend against Ye Hongyi’s. If he was allowed to find out the truth too early, then all her past efforts in keeping this secret from Ye Junqing would’ve been meaningless.
“Alright! This consort will listen to your arrangements, but help me get Huo Feng’s corpse out. This consort wants to leave with Huo Feng.” When Wang Qinruo recalled the anticipation in Huo Feng’s eyes right before she died, her tears overflowed again. How could she bear to leave Huo Feng in a cold place like this?
“Even if Consort Shu hadn’t mentioned it, this consort had no plans to leave Huo Feng to Ye Hongyi. Yin Xue, I’ll leave this to you.” Yao Mowan looked towards Yin Xue and nodded slightly. Yin Xue understood and immediately disappeared from Guan Osprey Palace.
“Many thanks for your great grace, Noble Consort Yao. Qinruo will never forget this. If there’s a chance in the future, Qinruo will definitely repay you!” Wang Qinruo looked towards Yao Mowan as she said this resolutely.
“Actually, there’s something this consort wants to ask of you.” Yao Mowan turned towards Wang Qinruo solemnly with faint hope in her eyes.
“I really don’t know what a fallen consort could possibly help you out with,” said Wang Qinruo with a sigh.
“This consort hopes that Consort Shu will meet with Ye Junqing. There are some things that he won’t believe if it comes from this consort’s mouth.” Yao Mowan sighed softly. Ever since the rumors started spreading, Ye Junqing had been rushing around without rest to find out what exactly had happened to her. He was showing such disregard for his own health and his own life.
“Ye Junqing… Qinruo has already reminded Ye Hongyi that he needed to eliminate the roots of the problem. It seems that Qinruo’s predictions were not baseless. With Noble Consort Yao’s help, the day that great Chu changes hands is imminent.” Wang Qinruo didn’t know how to describe her current feelings. Over the course of a few days, the world had gone through such a huge change.
“May Consort Shu’s auspicious words come true.” Yao Mowan smiled lightly, but her endless resolve showed through.
The imperial study.
“What did you say? The one that died was Huo Feng? Then what about Consort Shu?” demanded Ye Hongyi furiously.
“Replying Your Majesty, when this subordinate arrived, Huo Feng was the only one present. She had died from the poison and was lying on the ground. This subordinate has sent people to search the surroundings, but…” Qing Long lowered his head as he gave this report.
“We don’t want to hear any of that! We don’t care what method you use, make sure to find Wang Qinruo! Her body gives off a fragrance, so search according to the fragrance! Pass down our decree that Consort Shu has attempted to assassinate us and is now on the run. Anyone who sees her should kill her on sight!” bellowed Ye Hongyi angrily.
“This subordinate understands!” Qing Long cupped his fists to acknowledge this order, then withdrew. The moment the doors closed, Ye Hongyi collapsed onto his dragon chair, his eyes filled with shock and fear! He had clearly seen Wang Qinruo drink the fruit wine, so why was Huo Feng the one that died? Could it be… Huo Feng had definitely done something to the wine as she was bringing it over! How dare she!? What should he do now? What was he supposed to do if Wang Qinruo spread what she knew?
Ye Hongyi’s lips trembled uncontrollably as his heart pounded uneasily.
“Why did things end up like this? Yao Moxin, was it you? Are you trying to take revenge on us? Then come! Do what you will! We dared to kill you while you were human, so we don’t fear you when you’re a ghost either! Come, we dare you!” Ye Hongyi abruptly got up and swept everything off the table.
Evening the next day, once Ye Junqing came to the abandoned residence east of the city as directed in the letter, he was taken aback by the sight of Wang Qinruo.
“Consort Shu?” Ye Junqing looked towards the woman sitting by the bed in surprise. She was dressed completely in white and her hair was adorned by a simple white silk flower. Her eyes were swollen and red, and she looked haggard like she hadn’t slept at all.
“Esteemed Prince, please sit.” Wang Qinruo gently tucked in the blanket a little before shifting her gaze away from Huo Feng.
“Everyone in the palace is saying that Consort Shu has attempted to assassinate the emperor and His Majesty has also given the command to have you killed on sight. May I ask how much of these rumors are true?” Ye Junqing had realized with one glance that the person on the bed was dead, so he already had a pretty good guess about things.
“Prince is probably even more clear on this than Qinruo. In that imperial palace, how many people can truly separate lies from the truth? The empress’s death is a good example. Everyone in the world believes it to be due to difficult birth, but was it really due to that?” Wang Qinruo chuckled bitterly as she indicated for Ye Junqing to sit once again, then she poured a cup of water and pushed it towards him.
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