After the third day of hitting the gong, Tian Qi and Wang Meng have gotten close; they share books, they eat and chat together etc….
Wang Meng is a servant in the Jiu Cu Bureau. Don’t look down on that department because of it’s name, it is actually a pretty profitable place. Even though his rank isn’t as high as Tian Qi, she is jealous of him.
Because that brat offended someone, he was punished to beat the gong. This is a common punishment for servants. He compared it to Tian Qi’s wrongdoings and was appalled.
What? Accidentally offending the emperor?
Not only Wang Meng, even the supervisor eunuch in charge of them looked at Tian Qi with bulged eyes before shaking his head at her misfortune. She was lucky though, she didn’t even get hit for what she did.
He is not saying that the emperor is cruel. Just, the emperor hates eunuchs.
The late emperor left a dark shadow on the emperor’s heart; that hate stems from there. The late emperor was irresponsible when it came to court affairs. He actually allowed his eunuch to cultivate power; in the end, the eunuch grew powerful. Even the officials had to give him face.
Eunuchs only sees money, they wouldn’t care about managing the country. Once they got power, they will naturally pull some heinous acts. The officials all viewed those eunuch in envy and disdain. At times, they even had to lower themselves to flatter them. They were so miserable.
The scariest thing was there was a powerful Grand Eunuch back then who colluded with the Noble Consort. He tried to convince the emperor into deposing the crown prince and to appoint the Noble Consort’s prince as the new crown prince.
The crown prince that almost got deposed back then is the current emperor.
Naturally, things went south real fast.
Because of that, the emperor hates these kind of people now. The first thing the emperor did upon succeeding over the throne was to take care of the eunuchs. The Grand Eunuch of Ceremony and the rest all received their end. On the day of their execution, the Chief Minister of the Court of Judicial Review personally oversaw everything. The streets and alleys of the capital were empty, everyone went to see the execution of those eunuchs. There were sounds of applause everywhere. That was the beginning of the emperor’s majestic reign.
Although people didn’t say it out loud, they all had the tacit understanding of one thing: You are stronger than your late imperial father.
After ascending the throne at 18 years of age and arranging that beautiful drama, the emperor placed the authority back to his own hand. Knowing his ability, the ministers didn’t dare to create trouble, each of them are obedient as hell. Because of that, even though the emperor was young when he first inherited the throne, he didn’t face the trouble that countless of other emperors face when they first ascended the throne: trying to keep the harmony with ministers.
By now, the emperor has already ruled for five years. A lot of things have changed for the past five years, but one thing has not: the emperor still hates eunuch.
If you put things into perspective, Tian Qi being punished to beat the gong is the emperor being truly merciful.
Tian Qi is a little wary; she recalls her own behavior. She used the emperor’s robe to wipe her nose and slept in front of him; no matter what, her behaviors deserves the death penalty. Why is the emperor so forgiving towards her?
Once something goes wrong, some people likes to blame it on themselves while some likes to blame it on others. Tian Qi is neither. She is the kind that will look at it using a magnifying glass to see what is hiding behind everything.
……. Is the emperor collecting her offences one by one before getting rid of her in one go?
She scares herself before comforting herself; the emperor is esteemed and honored, he is not that idle to go around finding the fault of a little eunuch.
Wang Meng sees Tian Qi’s ever-changing expressions; who knows how fast her brain is turning at the moment. He pushes Tian Qi, “It’s time to hit the gong.”
Tian Qi arrives early again today. She has slept enough earlier today and she bets she can’t sleep in the later part of the night anyway. “You can beat the gong in the first part of the night. I don’t think I will sleep tonight.”
Wang Meng naturally didn’t even pretend to consider.
After their punishment, Tian Qi walk off with her head hung low. Wang Meng follows her.
Seeing that she takes no notice of him, Wang Meng speaks out in a low voice, “You know, you are going to lose your life soon.”
Tian Qi’s steps are immediately halted, she rub her eyes multiple times before asking, “Am I asleep or are you the one asleep?” After saying that, she continues walking.
Wang Meng continues following her, “I think you are not a bad person, that’s why I decides to help you.”
Tian Qi is sleepy as hell, she does not have the mood to deal with his nonsense. Just like that, Wang Meng follows her into Shi San Suo; he even shamelessly follows her into her room.
The moment he steps into the room, he speaks out, “Take off your belt.”
Without even thinking, Tian Qi gives him a good slap.
Wang Meng clutches his face, looking a little aggrieved, “Don’t tell me you think I wanted to get all indecent at you? How indecent can a eunuch be towards another eunuch?”
Tian Qi rub her nose. Seeing the red marks on his face, she feels a little guilty, “What are you trying to do exactly?”
“Take off your belt first. I want to confirm something first.”
Hearing him, Tian Qi hands him her belt.
She gives him a pair of scissor.
Wang Meng sits next to a table and opens the seams of the belt. He shakes it on top of the table and little powders fall from inside the belt.
Tian Qi finds it really strange, “What is this?”
Wang Meng picks up some of the powder and sniffs it before tasting it, “There is peach and safflower; they dissipates blood stasis. There is also musk; a cold-natured cathartics. There are also cantharides and pokeberry root which are poisonous. Other than these, there are a lot of other things in here. They are grinded into fine powder and stashed inside your belt.”
Even though Tian Qi isn’t good at medicine, she understands what he is implying by just listening to him. Her face turns pale.
Wang Meng glance at her, “To put it simple, all these things are something that must be kept away from pregnant women. Song Zhaoyi’s miscarriage was probably caused by these.”
Her two legs turn soft. She haphazardly sits on a chair, “How did you know all these? You seem to know them so well.”
Wang Meng nods, “To tell the truth, my family are originally medical practitioners. They committed something wrong and I was forced to enter the palace as a eunuch. I have known these herbs from when I was young. Even though I haven’t touched them in years, I can still recognize them.”
Tian Qi looks at the dissected belt on top of the table; her heart turns cold. It was she; she was the one who harmed Song Zhaoyi. Song Zhaoyi treated her so well, but she ended up inviting the wolf to the chamber. She was her star of calamity.
Humanity is thin inside the palace. There are more schemes than affection. Even though Tian Qi approached Song Zhaoyi with a motive, she had sincerely wanted to serve that mistress of hers.
But now, she finds out that the one who harmed Song Zhaoyi was herself. Everything becomes a big joke. Her face suddenly feels itchy; when she touches her face, she realizes that she is actually weeping.
Wang Meng sigh, “Don’t cry so fast; think about what you should do first.” He picks up the belt, “You were used by someone. Even if you have a hundred mouths, you cannot talk your way out of this. If this arrives in front of the emperor, even if you have ten heads, it is still not enough.”
Tian Qi wipes her face before picking up the belt. She shakes it and more powders falls out. The belt is full of those powders, the more she shakes them, the more comes out. Tian Qi clutches the belt, “Thank you.”
Wang Meng waves his hand dismissively, “Don’t be courteous. Don’t worry, I will not tell anybody else.”
Tian Qi nods. “I know.” If he really wants to harm her, he wouldn’t have tell her all these.
Wang Meng does not want to meddle with what ought to follow; he excuse himself.
Tian Qi cannot sleep afterwards, staring at the belt in a daze; her entire head turning.
Her shifu, Ding Zhi personally gave her this belt. She got a promotion and Ding Zhi personally prepared her new uniform.
Ding Zhi is Consort De’s people. Consort De is not favored; Song Zhaoyi was. Consort De has no children; Song Zhaoyi on the other hand, was pregnant.
Tian Qi does not dare to think of the rest. Although Ding Zhi’s reputation is not good; he has been her shifu for seven years. He would never push her into the fire-pit like that.
But still, in the imperial palace, can you count on anything that is not money and power? Even fathers and sons can mutually harm each other, much less teacher and disciple.
But accusing Ding Zhi of using her based on this belt alone is not logical. She also cannot go over to him with this belt and question him; isn’t that equivalent to placing herself on the platter?
Never mind, that matter regarding her shifu can be kept at the back for now. The most important thing for her at the moment is to take care of this belt. No matter how she cleans the belt, the residue of the powder is still there. No matter how clean she wash it, experts can still tell.
The best way will be to dispose this. But the uniforms of the inner officials are all custom-made. The belt of a jiancheng-ranked eunuch is different than the rest. Should she get rid of this and search for another one? Should she go to the Needlework Department? Isn’t that equivalent to handing herself in?
Tian Qi suddenly thinks of a very important problem: She was used by someone; what if that person decides to report her? Will she be used as the sacrificial lamb after the other party used her as the blade?
Her innocence does not matter in this; once the matter is raised, she is done for. No matter how generous the emperor is, he will not let her go.
Looking at the emperor’s personality, the perpetrator will indeed need a sacrificial lamb!
………. What should she do?
Tian Qi feels like she is standing at the tip of a blade.
serene: It’s been a while since I last updated this! ==’