Xia Hou Shang Yue sits quietly in the corner of the prison of the Department of Personnel. Who is the one who poisoned Bai Chu Xun? If Shui Tian is right, the perpetrator is someone sent by her imperial father. But they said it themselves, someone was faster than them.
Just who is the perpetrator?
According to Consort Yu, she too was imprisoned because someone framed her for poisoning the Grand Empress Dowager and the princess. When her maiden clan got involved in a coup, Bai Yu Chen’s love turned to hatred and he turned her into a human swine so that she would live a life worse than death.
However, from how she looks at it, what Bai Yu Chen did to her does not stem from love-turns-hatred at all, it is purely hatred. That was why he did not as much as hesitate before killing Consort Yu. What Bai Yu Chen said convinces her of that even more: he said that Consort Yu was just a pawn for him. No need to talk about Consort Yu, even Xia Hou Shang Yue’s heart soured when she heard that back then.
Consort Yu waited for so long, in a dream where Bai Yu Chen was in love with her. But he actually said those despicable words to her right before she died, leaving her with nothing, not even the right to fantasize about them.
From that moment onwards, Xia Hou Shang Yue can see just how ruthless and evil Bai Yu Chen really is. That makes her even more resolute to live a peaceful life in this harem; the things she ought not to ask she will not ask.
Unfortunately, she keeps getting dragged into this poisoning scandal. Youxiang can only be found in Mu Kingdom’s palace; just who on earth is capable enough to bring it here?
At first, a part of Xia Hou Shang Yue did suspect Bai Chu Xun; after all, both her and the Grand Empress Dowager were the ones getting poisoned in the first two incidents. However, it is impossible for her to get her hands on Youxiang and it is extremely unlikely for her to poison herself again.
Youxiang is not your regular poison. If not treated within the first fifteen minutes, it can be pretty life-threatening. The doubt towards Bai Chu Xun gradually dissolves in her heart.
No one will risk their lives like that and Shui Tian’s report is more than enough to make her waver.
Thinking about his report makes her heart hurts. Turns out, the one planning the poisoning from the start has been her imperial father. He actually wants to wreak havoc and plants the blame on her. Why?
Is power really more powerful than his loved ones? Is sending her over for a marriage alliance simply a chess move for him?
For the first time in her life, Xia Hou Shang Yue begins to doubt her imperial father’s affection for her. Did he really love her or is all those affections for all those years simply so that he can use her in the future? Turns out, what she thought was familial love is only a chess move for her imperial father.
Her heart becomes sour as she leans onto the wall. Looking at the darkness around her, she can feel something pooling in her eyes. She bites her lips as she raises her head; she must not let those tears fall. But the more she thinks, the more she wants to cry.
In the end, she cannot help herself and ends up sobbing in tears. Shui Tian and Xue Wu are startled; they had never seen her cry before! They do not know what to do.
“Mistress, you….. Don’t cry!” Xue Wu outstretches her hand and wipes the tears on Xia Hou Shang Yue’s face. Seeing her Mistress crying makes Xue Wu even sadder than when she is the one crying. Her heart soured and before she knows it, she ends up crying too.
“Xue Wu, it is enough for Mistress to be the one crying. Why are you crying along? You are not helping!” Shui Tian does not know how to comfort his Mistress and while he is stressing about that, Xue Wu cries too.
Xue Wu wipes her tears and glares fiercely at Shui Tian. “I am just sad seeing Mistress being locked up here!”
Hearing the two’s conversation, Xia Hou Shang Yue wipes her tears and gives them a forced smile. Right, she almost forgot. She still has Xue Wu and Shui Tian with her. She must not let them worry over a moment of her failing to control her emotions.
“I am fine. Do not worry about me!” Xia Hou Shang Yue’s voice still sounds tearful. She is the type that rarely cries, but this time, upon finding out how her revered imperial father had used her, she fails to control herself.
Perhaps, she has forced herself to stay strong for too long.
“Mistress, how on earth did someone managed to get Youxiang? I wonder how the emperor is going to torture us this time,” Xue Wu mutters softy. Xia Hou Shang Yue pats her hand, trying to put her to ease.
All this long, she thought that as long as she didn’t do anything, she has nothing to be afraid of. But, after arriving in Yue Kingdom, she realizes that not doing anything may not necessarily means not doing anything. There are times when one’s words and the ruler’s trust becomes more important than the evidence.
“Thinking about that will get us nowhere. Just go with the flow,” right after she says that, Xia Hou Shang Yue sees Bai Yu Chen walking into the prison with Hai Cheng in tow. When the guards see him, they immediately kneel.
“Chenqie greets Your Majesty,” Xia Hou Shang Yue leads Xue Wu and Shui Tian to kneel on the ground as she speaks with a low voice.
Hearing her teary voice, Bai Yu Chen frowns. What is she crying for? What can make this indifferent and icy woman cry? Bai Yu Chen is very curious. He signals the guards to open the gate before he steps into the prison.
“Get up, zhen wants to know why the empress wants to harm Xun Er. What did she do that make the empress wants her life?” Bai Yu Chen’s voice carries no emotion.
Xia Hou Shang Yue gets up. Her eyes are red, but are still calm. She looks at him.
“Chenqie and Xun Er are like sisters, why would chenqie harm her? Please investigate this matter, Your Majesty!” Xia Hou Shang Yue resolutely says. She seems to have been a little too close to Bai Yu Chen, so she takes a couple of steps backwards. Something falls from her waist.
Before she even gets to take a good look at it, that object is now in Bai Yu Chen’s hand. Xia Hou Shang Yue knows things will now take a bad turn. If Bai Yu Chen sees that letter, he will be even more convinced that the perpetrator is her.
As expected, before Xia Hou Shang Yue even finish thinking about that, Bai Yu Chen’s face is already filled with fury. He shows the letter to Xia Hou Shang Yue.
“How do you want zhen to trust you, empress? Your imperial father actually asked you to poison zhen! Speak! How do you want zhen to believe that the two incidents are not perpetrated by you?!” He throws the letter to Xia Hou Shang Yue’s face.
He gives her a slap until she holds the wall for support, not saying anything in return.
“Zhen actually suppressed the ministers in court to let you keep your seat, but those ministers are actually right! You are a poisonous, crafty woman that they say you are. Are you disappointed for failing to kill zhen?”