On a particular day after a heavy snowstorm, the entire palace is covered with snow.
As the evening draws closer, a burst of cold wind suddenly blows. A murderous air accumulates around the Bing Ran Palace.
“Li Qiu, you are an experienced servant who has served a couple of consorts by now. I don’t know what I should say to you over what happened today.”
A slightly hoarse voice of a woman echoes inside the empty courtyard. Yes, empty.
Bing Ran Palace has always been cold, but today, it is empty.
The number of servants assigned to serve a first-ranked Fei; other than Li Qiu, are 10 maids, 8 eunuchs and 5 miscellaneous servants. All of them are standing inside the courtyard now.
There isn’t a single sound because all of their mouths are covered and their hands are tied.
They stand like that over there, behind each and everyone of them are eunuchs wearing dark green robes. They are in charge of supervising and punishing maids and eunuchs.
So, the color dark green is the color servants fear the most.
At that moment, the division supervisor appears. For the people of Bing Ran Palace that has only been allocated there yesterday, this is an ominous sign.
Li Qiu naturally understand what this means. Because the one speaking to her is the administrator of the emperor’s chamber, Tian Zhao Palace’s Mo Zhu.
“I understand. It is I who failed to protect Her Ladyship today.”
“Understand? I hope you really understand. Since you used to serve Empress Qing Yi, the emperor gives you an extra order.” Mo Zhu’s voice isn’t big, she actually sounds colder than the snow outside. She glance at Li Qiu and said, “If anything goes wrong with Zui Fei’s belongings again, you will face the same fate as them.”
“Yes.” Li Qiu curtseys, her body trembling.
Those maids and servants are pushed until they are on the ground. A eunuch wearing dark green robes motions the rest to bring the planks in, and those seven inches wide board fall on all twenty three servants like raindrops.
Separated by cotton, the sound the planks made isn’t big, but the pain those people ought to feel must be like blunt knives forced against their skin. They will not die if it is only for a short time, but once it goes one for more than ten, someone’s life is bound to fly.
There are a lot of ways for servants to die in the palace, this method is just one of them.
At first, some of them struggled, there are occasionally sounds of whimpers. But after the number pass ten, all of them stopped twitching. The smell of blood slowly fills the air. Crows that sniffed the air fly pass them, making sounds that make their blood chills.
Li Qiu’s body remains at curtsy, after so many years, she always thought she has grown indifferent to these kind of things, but after witnessing another massacre, she realize that her heart still race and she still has difficulty breathing.
A couple of years ago, a similar massacre happened, she was exactly the way she is right now, her hands and feet ice cold. But the then her was far less experienced than she is now
What about now? Her heart still cannot bear to be downright ruthless.
Once those dark-robed eunuchs made sure all are dead, one of them steps forward and reports, “Twenty three servants of Bing Ran Palace, all dead.”
“Alright,” Mo Zhu’s voice is calm as ever. As the administrator maid of Tian Zhao Palace, her rank is even higher than fourth-ranked shanggong. But of course, she knows how much she has to pay to be an administrator female maid at third rank. Because of that, she never gets soft-hearted when servants have to be executed.
At that moment, a hasty sounds of footsteps comes from outside the courtyard. A eunuch wearing dark green robes enters and report, “Two people from the Department of Clothes has been hanged.”
“Take them all out,” Mo Zhu flings her sleeves and covers her nose. Seeing those corpses leaving traces of bloodstains on snow that has not been swept yet, she turns to Li Qiu, “Her Ladyship received a shock and has been infected with fever. You don’t have to inform her this thing.”
“Yes,” Li Qiu bends her body even more.
The silence enveloping the courtyard fills her with dread.