Tian Qi’s stomach immediately turns when she hears the ‘harming imperial bloodline’ part.
The most recent death was Song Zhaoyi’s unborn child. Since the emperor knows that Shu Fei is the perpetrator, that means that he also knows how Shu Fei conducted everything.
The emperor knows….. He knows everything….
Tian Qi has a hard time controlling her shock. She turns pale.
Ji Heng analyzes her reaction before asking, “Is there something you want to say?”
Ji Heng waves his hand away, letting her to go do the bidding.
As he looks at Tian Qi’s retreating back, a disappointed look can be seen on his face. His face darkens.
As Tian Qi steps out of the hall, her legs feel light while her head are full of fear. ‘I am so going to die this time’ keeps repeating in her head. She takes a deep breath and just then, a thought flashes in her mind; the emperor does not kill her and instead ordered her to kill Shu Fei. Does that mean that he knows she is innocent and is planning to give her a chance?
When she thinks of that, she immediately turns around and runs back to the hall.
On the other side, Ji Heng has just lifted his brush when Tian Qi rushes in, kneeling on the floor while crying, “Your Majesty, this servant was wrong!”
Ji Heng composes his expression a little, before putting down his brush and looking at her, “Oh? What did you do wrong?”
Tian Qi knows that the emperor has known everything and is just waiting to hear everything from her own mouth, “This servant should have told you everything from the start. This servant shouldn’t have disposed the evidence on my own whim.”
Ji Heng asks her, “Then, why didn’t you report everything to zhen?”
By then, Tian Qi realizes how incredible the emperor is. He somehow managed to investigate everything and still wants to put her on the spot. She does not dare to lie at times like this and can only reply him in honesty, “Back then, this servant wanted to live and was too afraid to die. This servant was afraid that Your Majesty would mistakenly accuse me of being an accomplice. Please forgive this servant, Your Majesty!” After she says that, she looks up to check on Ji Heng’s expression. When she notice that he doesn’t look very angry, she immediately plays the victim card, “Ever since this servant found out that Song Zhaoyi died because of me, I could not eat or sleep. Dying is better than living. Why don’t you execute me, Your Majesty? So that I can continue serving Song Zhaoyi…. Huhuhu….”
Ji Heng feels a little upset by her tears, “Do you honestly believe that you have a say in zhen’s decision?”
Tian Qi shrinks backwards before saying, “Your Majesty is a wise ruler, this servant was wrong, Your Majesty.”
Ji Heng looks at the person kneeling on the floor. Her body is thin and she is currently curling up in a ball. She looks like an orphaned and homeless little thing. Her pink nose and her watery eyes makes one’s heart soften even more.
He sighs. Although Tian Qi does not wish to harm people, she is still the direct cause of death of an imperial child. Killing her will not be considered too much. However, Ji Heng does not have the heart to finish her. This servant is not bad, she is very loyal. One is at their truest self when they are all by themselves. The way Tian Qi cried during Song Zhaoyi’s wake was not fake.
Besides, if one look at it, Tian Qi is also the victim.
Never mind, just spare the little eunuch this time. It has been so many days and he hasn’t done anything to take care of her, he already knows he does not have the intention to punish her; Ji Heng acknowledge that. The reason he was angry just now was because of her dishonest way. Now that she has obediently admitted fault, let the past be in the past.
Ji Heng speaks, “Go and do your work. Zhen will put this incident into account; if this happens again, you will not be spared.”
Tian Qi is overjoyed, “Thank you for your grace, Your Majesty!”
Ji Heng impatiently waves her off, “Leave. Zhen does not want to see you.”
And so, Tian Qi smoothly slips away.
Tian Qi leads two eunuch to serve Shu Fei with a white silk and a cup of poison wine. Shu Fei is a lot calmer than what Tian Qi thought she would be.
—— Shu Fei could see this coming long ago. The eunuch didn’t die even after being hit in the head and thrown into a lake, he sure is lucky. It is not surprising the emperor is able to trace everything back to her.
Honestly, Shu Fei puts herself in this predicament. Tian Qi has been placed beside the emperor for so many days and he didn’t make a single move for the longest time. That means that his investigation was not bearing fruition. Staying quiet is sometimes better than making a move. Had Shu Fei stayed still and had not rushed to silence off Tian Qi, the emperor wouldn’t have gotten a lead.
Naturally, Shu Fei does not share Tian Qi’s opinion. In Shu Fei’s opinion, she lost because this wretched eunuch refused to die.
Shu Fei reminisce her life in the harem before declaring her love for the emperor. Then, she chooses the poisoned cup and drinks it away.
Tian Qi keeps an expressionless face, not pitying Shu Fei at all. For those living in the muddled Forbidden City, sympathy is a luxury they cannot afford. Tian Qi has seen a lot, and her empathy and emotion has thinned down. Everyone will die anyway. You do bad things and you die, and then you get reincarnated. That’s how life goes.
After completing the order, Tian Qi remembers that Ji Heng does not want to see her, so she does not go back to Yang Xin Hall. If she goes back to Gan Qing Palace, there is nothing for her to do there, so she simply goes to the imperial kitchen and takes some food for Dai San Shan.
The turtle is very happy to see Tian Qi; he eats the food on the riverbank.
The riverbanks are layered with green tiles. The surface of the water is less than a foot below the tiles. The turtle’s shell are two feet above the water surface, making it even taller than the tiles. He looks like a boat resting by the riverbanks.
Tian Qi looks around like a thief, her heart itching in want. In the end, she gathers up her courage and hugs the food basket before lying on the turtle’s back.
It is as though their hearts are in tandem with each other. Just as Tian Qi rests on it’s back, Dai San Shan swims away into the lake. Although it is very slow on land, it swims pretty fast when in water. Tian Qi sits on it’s back, enjoying this very much. All the maids and eunuchs who see them, excitedly watch them from the riverbank.
Little Ruyi coincidentally sees them. He calls after Tian Qi, “Tian Qi, I want to play too!”
Tian Qi does not hear him, so his nanny has to call Tian Qi loudly on his behalf.
Tian Qi controls where Dai San Shan goes by throwing food in front of it. She makes Dai San Shan stops near the riverbank. No matter how courageous she is, she will still not have enough guts to let Ruyi sit on the turtle’s back while it swims in the water.
Ruyi is adamant to ride the turtle. When Tian Qi says no, he does not kick a fuss. He simply stares at her with aggrieved eyes, not speaking.
Tian Qi’s heart turns soft, “It’s okay, it’s okay. Even though Your Highness cannot ride it while it is swimming, you can still ride it when it is on the ground.” After saying that, she steers the turtle to a slope part of the riverbank.
The nanny place Ruyi on top of the turtle and Tian Qi immediately holds onto him.
Ruyi is finally happy. He kicks his little feet while saying, “Depart!” The turtle is slow. Even if you set it on fire, it still cannot go faster.
By now, the food that Tian Qi brought has run out, so they can no longer control the direction of the turtle. The turtle moves according to it’s own whim. Tian Qi instructs everyone to eye the turtle carefully. If they see any possibility of it wanting to go into the water, they are to take the little prince away.
The turtle does not go near the water. Instead, it circles around the bank. When it sees a gate, it crawls towards it.
That gate is Xi Hua Gate. After passing through the gate, it continues crawling on the road until they reach Nan Tian Gate. It goes on and on and on until they reaches Chang Xin Gate and then, Ci Ning Gate.
Serene: This chapter is brought to you by Govinden.