Rebirth of the Malicious Empress of Military Lineage – Chapter 87

Disclaimer: this is an abridged version of Chubby Cheeks‘ translated chapter. Please follow the link for the complete chapter, translator notes, characters lists, etc.

Chapter List

Chapter 87: Unable to Bear

It was a rare snowstorm, the likes of which had been unseen in the last decade in the Ding capital but on the second day, it abruptly stopped. The thick snow piled up to one’s knees and in such cold weather, even the most diligent traders would prefer to bury themselves in their warm beds rather than risking the cold to set up the stall.

The person who sounded the night watch had missed the timing and hastily got up with the gong. The sun had yet to rise and the skies were not lit but he tightened the worn out jacket on his back and stepped into the snow. In a steady pace, he passed the main doors of Prince Yu residence.

The old man that sounded the night watch did not see a single guard and his heart whispered. The people of Prince Yu residence were extremely fierce and evil, and he had been scolded by them many times and it was strange not to see them today.

Thinking of the future of that Young Lady who was married into Prince Yu residence, the old man shook his head and was about to walk past. Coincidentally a cold wind made the heavy door squeak and slightly shake, and he stood at the door for a long time until a hawker who was out and about saw him and greeted, “Old Fourth Lee, what are you doing at the door?”

The person who sounded the night watch felt his heart jump and he suddenly understood. In broad daylight, how would there be no sounds from the residence at all? Even if everyone were drunk and fast asleep, there would be still dogs or pet birds but instead the air was dead, as if a grave.

His hand was somewhat trembling. When he just reached the crack at the door, a thick strong smelling scent washed over, making him stagger. The old person who sounded the night watch pushed but the main door of the Prince Yu residence did not open. Between the dark slits of the door, most probably due to the cold wind and snow during the night, there was something frozen solid.

With the first ray of dawn, one could see that it was a thick block of concentrated blood. It was as if a river of blood had flowed through the residence and was halted at the door.

*****

Ding capital’s Prince Yu of the First Rank residence’s entire household was exterminated the day it welcomed the Wangfei. From the top to the bottom, servants to concubines, cat, dog, chicken or duck, no one was spared. It was done as if by someone with a huge debt of deep seated hatred. Such clean and neat execution, and without even a single loss of gold or jewelry, it was obvious that one was not slaughtering for money.

It was assumed that Prince Yu was a vicious person that had made lots of enemies, so no one knew who would have done it. But the person that took action was very courageous, since everyone assumed that going against the Prince Yu residence was as good as going against Ming Qi’s heavenly family.

But this time it was beyond everyone’s expectations. Emperor Wen Hui did not place an order to apprehend the culprit, and no bounty was even offered. He only passed the matter to the Administer of the Capital. The Administer of the Capital handled many things but for investigations, they were mediocre. Emperor Wen Hui’s actions meant that he did not want to waste too much energy on the case. Smart people caught the gist. Presumably, Prince Yu had done something that made Emperor Wen Hui angry. Perhaps Emperor Wen Hui in his heart already knew who was the culprit.

As it spread from word of mouth, many rumors deviated further from the facts. But some were definitely close to the truth.

In the case of the Prince Yu’s entire household being exterminated, only one person survived.

The person who sounded the night watch had been accompanied into Prince Yu residence by a few of those braver passers by.

According to someone who saw the residence, it was all filled with frozen trails of blood that made the entire floor appear to be red ice. The frozen corpses were all as hard as sculptures.

The air of death was heavy.

Prince Yu’s body was in his bed chambers. There were knife wounds on his chest. Two maids were likewise beside him and Shen Qing had fallen at the door of the bed chambers, surrounded by gold and silver. At first people thought she was also killed but she awoke when moved. Thus Shen Qing became the only survivor in the entire Prince Yu residence.

The entire household of Prince Yu was exterminated, so why leave Shen Qing alive? If it was because Shen Qing was innocent and had no relationship with the Prince residence, then why did they not let even the servants and concubines go. Moreover, when Shen Qing fainted, gold and silver was scattered like one escaping.

More importantly, other than the main stab wound on Prince Yu’s body, there were also traces of a woman’s hairpin. Thus the most suspicious person was Shen Qing, who had just married into Prince Yu residence.

With so many suspicions, even if she had nine mouths, she would be unable to clear up the public criticism.

Naturally the Administer of the Capital’s people wanted to bring Shen Qing back for interrogation. Regardless of whether Shen Qing was involved in the matter or not, she became the only witness. To find clues or even just for show, Shen Qing would not be able to get out easily.

When the Shen family received the news, the officials already went to Prince Yu residence to arrest people. Upon learning about the incident, Ren Wan Yun fainted on the spot and it was Shen Gui and Shen Yuan who rushed to pack up and head out.

“Yuan-er, where do we go now?” When Shen Gui faced his own son, he was still somewhat undecided. Real or not, Shen Qing was involved in the matter and although the Emperor was not in a rage, accompanying a monarch was like accompanying a tiger. Who knew what Emperor Wen Hui’s real thoughts were? If this matter was used to provoke him in the future, this would impact Shen Gui’s career.

Shen Yuan said icily, “Go and find the Administer of the Capital. It is too late to go to the residence of the Prince of First Rank now. Younger Sister was taken away so the Administer of the Capital will know more of the inside news.” Pausing, he swept a look at Shen Gui, “Father need not worry. This matter will not be on Father’s head.”

Shen Gui heard the sarcasm in Shen Yuan’s words and he was slightly angry but he could only pretend not to understand Shen Yuan’s meaning and said, “That being the case, let us hurry.”

At the other end, Luo Xue Yan and Shen Xin also got ready to leave.

“Qiu-er, go and take a trip to the residence of the Prince of the First Rank. Now that Number Two went to the Administer of the Capital and Number Three entered the Palace to listen for news, someone should still pay attention to the Prince residence. Your Father and I will first go to the Palace, since the matter is huge, it would be bad if spies entered the city now.” Luo Xue Yan instructed Shen Qiu, “Go and negotiate with the Prince residence side and investigate which of our Shen family’s people died so that compensation payments can be given out.”

“Rest assured Mother, leave this to me.” Shen Qiu readily complied.

After the Shen Xin couple left, Shen Qiu tidied up his clothes and intended to leave but suddenly heard Shen Miao’s voice from behind, “Eldest Brother.”

“Younger Sister?” Shen Qiu was surprised for a moment and turned to ask, “Why is Younger Sister coming out?”

“Is Eldest Brother going to the residence of the Prince of First Rank?”

“Correct.” Shen Qiu answered, “There are still some things that have to be dealt with. Once these matters are completed, I will quickly return.”

Shen Miao looked at him and said, “Eldest Brother, bring me along.”

Shen Qiu was startled but then shook his head and said seriously, “Younger Sister, I know that you have deep resentment with Prince Yu residence and now that Prince Yu residence had fallen to such a state, to be honest, I too find that they invited it upon themselves. If you want to personally see their fate, then Eldest Brother will do it for you. It is not worthwhile for you to personally take a trip down.”

Shen Miao smiled, “I only want to take a look.”

“There is nothing worth seeing.” Shen Qiu deliberately tried to scare her, “One heard that last night those people died miserably, they were all cut open and the blood was amassed for a few chi. One fears that when a person dies so miserably, the soul still remains in the residence. For a little young lady like you to go, it is possible to see ghosts.” Even though everyone in the Prince Yu residence died miserably, it was not as horrifying as what Shen Qiu had described. Shen Qiu only wanted to scare Shen Miao as he really did not wish to let Shen Miao see such bloody scenes.

However when he finished saying those words, Shen Miao did not have any response. It was as if what he said was a common picture and Shen Miao even laughed, “As children of a military family, if one were to be scared of ghosts and gods, one would be scorned by others. Could it be that in the battlefield Eldest Brother would also fear of seeing scenes of death?”

“Of course not!” Once he opened his mouth, he knew he had said the wrong thing. Shen Miao looked at him quietly then said, “That being the case, these are not considered scary so Eldest Brother will bring me along.”

“No. Younger Sister, why do you want to go to Prince Yu residence?” Shen Qiu asked, “There is really nothing there.”

“I will go there just to see. Eldest Brother need not mind about me. Just like Eldest Brother mentioned, now there are guards defending outside and there will not be any danger. There would not be any trouble in bringing me along.”

Shen Qiu found that once she had decided on something, ten cows would not be able to pull her back. Even if he did not let her go today, there would be a day where she will go secretly on her own behind his back, so it would be better to bring her as a companion.

“Alright.” Shen Qiu stared at her, “Once in the Prince residence, you cannot wonder about. I will let Mo Qing follow you. If there is anything wrong, immediately shout for me.”

Shen Miao smiled, “Alright.”

With just the difference of a night, Prince Yu residence inside and outside were entirely different. Last night it was filled with friends and laughter, and one could still almost see the endless stream of horses and carriages at the front gate as guests entered with smiles. Now the vermilion colored main doors were covered with a white seal and the guards at the door had a grave expression, as if they were afraid something brutal would suddenly spring up.

Half of the ‘Joyous’ word had fluttered till it finally could not withstand the wind and unattached itself from the door. An oncoming guard stepped it into the snow.

There were a number of commoners that were standing in front of Prince Yu residence to watch the commotion and also to point blame. Although the event made one sad but there was also a faint pleasure. It was the most desirable thing to watch the wicked suffer consequences.

One of Shen Qiu’s soldiers went up to the officials and indicated the reason of their arrival. Once the guards let them in, the entourage was shocked by the sight and they did not utter a word.

The corpses of the servants were dragged away but the blood trails of last night cast the entire mansion in scarlet and even an entire night of snow was unable to cover up the thick smell of blood.

The soldiers were whispering and Shen Qiu also frowned. He suddenly remembered that Shen Miao was beside him and was afraid that she would be frightened. But when he turned to comfort her, Shen Miao’s eyes were calm and she seemed even even more undaunted than his soldiers.

Shen Miao took in the scene. What was this considered? The blood that was spilled during the extermination of the entire Shen family in the previous life was much more tragic than this. She was not moved, had no sympathy and no sorrow. She hated that she could not throw her head back and laugh loudly and make some stabs to Prince Yu’s body.

“Younger Sister…” Shen Qiu hesitated, “I want to investigate a little. Do you want to rest in the house?”

Shen Miao looked towards the Southwest corner of the Prince Yu residence and smiled gently, “Yesterday when I was here, one heard from a Prince residence’s maid that there is a tea room to rest. I will head there to take a seat. How about Eldest Brother coming over to find me when everything is done?”

“Over there?” The trees of the Southwest corner were lush and pruning was done delicately, it seemed that the Prince deliberately renovated the place to enjoy the flowers and entertainment. He nodded his head, “Let Mo Qing follow you in. Do not run around.”

Shen Miao complied and went with Mo Qing towards the Southwestern area. Today, fearing that the few personal maids would be scared after seeing the blood in Prince Yu residence, Shen Miao did not bring a single personal maid along. Mo Qing was a guard and naturally was not afraid.

Just as Mo Qing was thinking that Shen Miao seemed to be too familiar with the corridors and stairs, Shen Miao had already reached the tea room.

“Wait for me outside.” Shen Miao said to Mo Qing, “I will go in alone.”

Mo Qing was somewhat hesitant so Shen Miao said as she looked at him, “It is just a tea room. If you do not feel reassured, then go with me to take a look.”

Mo Qing immediately cupped his hands, “Yes”, he took the lead and went in with his hand on the sword.

Shen Miao looked at Mo Qing back and was distracted for a moment. In this life and the previous, no matter what identity she had, Mo Qing seemed to always been cautious and loyal. 

The large tea room was divided into three areas with screens and each area was very extravagant. Mo Qing carefully scrutinized the place to ensure that there were no assassins hiding before cupping his hands to say to Shen Miao, “Young Lady just call Mo Qing for anything. Mo Qing will be outside guarding.” Finishing, he walked out.

After Mo Qing left, Shen Miao walked past the first folding screen and the second folding screen.

At the third area of the tea room, the walls were filled with calligraphy and paintings that were inscribed with famous names. This entire room of calligraphy and paintings was most likely valued at thousands of gold. Shen Miao looked at each individual piece, as if appreciating them, but she stopped in front of a particular painting.

It was a painting that came from the previous dynasty’s famous great artist, Liu Yan. What was drawn was a record of a grand banquet of the previous dynasty’s officials. The maids were beautiful, food was exquisite, fine wine was present and the guests were enjoying themselves. In the entire wall of paintings, this one was not particularly outstanding but Shen Miao stared as if she was sucked into the scene.

She stared at the painting of the night banquet for a long time, and finally reached out and ran her hands along the calligraphy. She slowly explored the paper until she reached the lapel of the potbellied official, who was the protagonist of the painting. 

The lapel was so delicately painted that one could almost feel the buttons on the jacket.

In fact, Shen Miao could feel it.

There was a slightly raised feeling on her fingertips which was different from the rough texture of the paper. Shen Miao pressed and heard a soft noise.

Accompanying the slight sound, the wall of calligraphy and paintings split in half and a secret room appeared. From the outside, one could only see a long corridor lit by a bright torch.

Shen Miao gently gave a sigh of relief. Without any hesitation, she lifted her skirt and stepped in.

*****

In the deepest part of the secret chamber, two people stood around an open coffin. They were exactly Xie Jing Xing and Gao Yang. 

Xie Jing Xing was holding a bright yellow cloth bag that looked heavy. Gao Yang laughed, “Prince Yu that old dog actually put the thing in here. If it was not because of the massacre by the Chen family, we would have to take a lot of trouble to find this thing.”

“So one only needed to wait for the leaks to appear.” Xie Jing Xing said, “Check the surrounding area.”

Gao Yang complied and went around searching, “Speaking of which, the Old Yu Dog did not even place a guard here. Seeing that this place is so secretive, it seemed that other than him, no one knew of this place.”

“The Fu family are paranoid.” Xie Jing Xing said, “If it was you, would you not hide it?”

“Naturally I would hide it.” Gao Yang lightly shook his fan and his smile was very gentle and elegant but the words he spit out were scary, “If I was that Old Yu Dog, if anyone were to know about this place, no matter who is it, even if they did not know the secret, as long as that person is able to enter this secret chamber, I would eliminate them. Only the dead can kept secrets. The one thing that that Old Yu Dog did well was this.”

Xie Jing Xing could not be bothered to reply and kept searching.

At the same time, Shen Miao was holding a torch, quietly walking down the dark corridor. Compared to her usual slow pace, this time she walked more urgently. There was no other reason than because she did not know when Shen Qiu would come looking for her.

This secret chamber was originally found by Fu Xiu Yi. She had inadvertently overheard the conversation between him and Pei Lang about where to find the switch. That time Pei Lang had also said, “That thing is in the secret chamber. Your Majesty can investigate.”

As for what the ‘thing’ actually was, Shen Miao did not know as she only heard from Pei Lang and Fu Xiu Yi’s tone that the ‘thing’ was very important to Fu Xiu Yi.

If the entire household had not been exterminated, perhaps there would be one among the people left in Prince Yu residence that knew about the secret chamber, and this would in turn invoke trouble. Now that the everyone in Prince Yu residence were all dead, presumably this secret would not be found out for the time being, after all the Fu Xiu Yi in the past life only knew about the matter when he ascended to the throne.

As long as that ‘thing’ was very important to Fu Xiu Yi or was beneficial to him, one must never let Fu Xiu Yi attain it. Either obliterate it or send it to Fu Xiu Yi’s enemies’ hands so at least that ‘thing’ would be an advantage when dealing with Fu Xiu Yi in the future.

This was the motive of following Shen Qiu to the Prince residence today.

The corridors snaked around and were much longer than she had imagined. In another bend, suddenly her eyes saw light and the narrow corridor led to a hall where the rows of torches were lit, brightening the entire place up.

And in that chamber lay a coffin and in front of the coffin, there stood two people.

Shen Miao had yet to move when she heard one of them snap, “Who is it!”

That voice was very familiar and she did not have time to distinguish when the two figures violently rushed over.

Xie Jing Xing. Gao Yang.

What did Xie Jing Xing come here for? Was not Gao Yang from the Imperial Medical Institution, so why was he mixed up with Xie Jing Xing?

Even the usually calm Shen Miao was also secretly stunned and her brain was momentarily thrown into confusion. Doubts that had already taken root in her heart burst out.

“Shen Miao!” Gao Yang’s reaction was one of surprise too but it was towards Xie Jing Xing. He said, “Do it!”

Shen Miao’s eyes kept on staring as her body was shoved heavily and she hit the stone wall, making her suck in a mouthful of cold air due to the pain. Immediately after, a hand grabbed onto her throat and Xie Jing Xing’s handsome face inched closer.

Xie Jing Xing almost pressed Shen Miao’s entire body against the stone wall.

“Shen Miao cannot be left alive.” Gao Yang rapidly said, “The matter is of grave importance and it is her bad luck to die here. Leave the body here and let us get out. No one will find out. Third Xie, you must not be soft-hearted, do it!”

Shen Miao looked towards Xie Jing Xing.

The purple clad youth’s eyes got darker under the light and his eyes revealed only indifference and the intention to kill.

He really wanted to kill her.

Shen Miao looked at him motionlessly and her pair of clear eyes were brighter than the melting of the first snow in spring. They seemed like they lacked joy and sorrow, but were able to reflect another’s life in their clarity.

Xie Jing Xing’s eyes slightly moved and suddenly his lips pulled into a smile. His other hand gently covered Shen Miao’s eyes as he moved his mouth closer to Shen Miao’s ears, as whispering to a lover.

“Do not look at me, I will not be able to bear it.”

<- Chapter 86

Chapter 88 ->

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Rebirth of the Malicious Empress of Military Lineage – Chapter 87

Disclaimer: this is an abridged version of Chubby Cheeks‘ translated chapter. Please follow the link for the complete chapter, translator notes, characters lists, etc.

Chapter List

Chapter 87: Unable to Bear

It was a rare snowstorm, the likes of which had been unseen in the last decade in the Ding capital but on the second day, it abruptly stopped. The thick snow piled up to one’s knees and in such cold weather, even the most diligent traders would prefer to bury themselves in their warm beds rather than risking the cold to set up the stall.

The person who sounded the night watch had missed the timing and hastily got up with the gong. The sun had yet to rise and the skies were not lit but he tightened the worn out jacket on his back and stepped into the snow. In a steady pace, he passed the main doors of Prince Yu residence.

The old man that sounded the night watch did not see a single guard and his heart whispered. The people of Prince Yu residence were extremely fierce and evil, and he had been scolded by them many times and it was strange not to see them today.

Thinking of the future of that Young Lady who was married into Prince Yu residence, the old man shook his head and was about to walk past. Coincidentally a cold wind made the heavy door squeak and slightly shake, and he stood at the door for a long time until a hawker who was out and about saw him and greeted, “Old Fourth Lee, what are you doing at the door?”

The person who sounded the night watch felt his heart jump and he suddenly understood. In broad daylight, how would there be no sounds from the residence at all? Even if everyone were drunk and fast asleep, there would be still dogs or pet birds but instead the air was dead, as if a grave.

His hand was somewhat trembling. When he just reached the crack at the door, a thick strong smelling scent washed over, making him stagger. The old person who sounded the night watch pushed but the main door of the Prince Yu residence did not open. Between the dark slits of the door, most probably due to the cold wind and snow during the night, there was something frozen solid.

With the first ray of dawn, one could see that it was a thick block of concentrated blood. It was as if a river of blood had flowed through the residence and was halted at the door.

*****

Ding capital’s Prince Yu of the First Rank residence’s entire household was exterminated the day it welcomed the Wangfei. From the top to the bottom, servants to concubines, cat, dog, chicken or duck, no one was spared. It was done as if by someone with a huge debt of deep seated hatred. Such clean and neat execution, and without even a single loss of gold or jewelry, it was obvious that one was not slaughtering for money.

It was assumed that Prince Yu was a vicious person that had made lots of enemies, so no one knew who would have done it. But the person that took action was very courageous, since everyone assumed that going against the Prince Yu residence was as good as going against Ming Qi’s heavenly family.

But this time it was beyond everyone’s expectations. Emperor Wen Hui did not place an order to apprehend the culprit, and no bounty was even offered. He only passed the matter to the Administer of the Capital. The Administer of the Capital handled many things but for investigations, they were mediocre. Emperor Wen Hui’s actions meant that he did not want to waste too much energy on the case. Smart people caught the gist. Presumably, Prince Yu had done something that made Emperor Wen Hui angry. Perhaps Emperor Wen Hui in his heart already knew who was the culprit.

As it spread from word of mouth, many rumors deviated further from the facts. But some were definitely close to the truth.

In the case of the Prince Yu’s entire household being exterminated, only one person survived.

The person who sounded the night watch had been accompanied into Prince Yu residence by a few of those braver passers by.

According to someone who saw the residence, it was all filled with frozen trails of blood that made the entire floor appear to be red ice. The frozen corpses were all as hard as sculptures.

The air of death was heavy.

Prince Yu’s body was in his bed chambers. There were knife wounds on his chest. Two maids were likewise beside him and Shen Qing had fallen at the door of the bed chambers, surrounded by gold and silver. At first people thought she was also killed but she awoke when moved. Thus Shen Qing became the only survivor in the entire Prince Yu residence.

The entire household of Prince Yu was exterminated, so why leave Shen Qing alive? If it was because Shen Qing was innocent and had no relationship with the Prince residence, then why did they not let even the servants and concubines go. Moreover, when Shen Qing fainted, gold and silver was scattered like one escaping.

More importantly, other than the main stab wound on Prince Yu’s body, there were also traces of a woman’s hairpin. Thus the most suspicious person was Shen Qing, who had just married into Prince Yu residence.

With so many suspicions, even if she had nine mouths, she would be unable to clear up the public criticism.

Naturally the Administer of the Capital’s people wanted to bring Shen Qing back for interrogation. Regardless of whether Shen Qing was involved in the matter or not, she became the only witness. To find clues or even just for show, Shen Qing would not be able to get out easily.

When the Shen family received the news, the officials already went to Prince Yu residence to arrest people. Upon learning about the incident, Ren Wan Yun fainted on the spot and it was Shen Gui and Shen Yuan who rushed to pack up and head out.

“Yuan-er, where do we go now?” When Shen Gui faced his own son, he was still somewhat undecided. Real or not, Shen Qing was involved in the matter and although the Emperor was not in a rage, accompanying a monarch was like accompanying a tiger. Who knew what Emperor Wen Hui’s real thoughts were? If this matter was used to provoke him in the future, this would impact Shen Gui’s career.

Shen Yuan said icily, “Go and find the Administer of the Capital. It is too late to go to the residence of the Prince of First Rank now. Younger Sister was taken away so the Administer of the Capital will know more of the inside news.” Pausing, he swept a look at Shen Gui, “Father need not worry. This matter will not be on Father’s head.”

Shen Gui heard the sarcasm in Shen Yuan’s words and he was slightly angry but he could only pretend not to understand Shen Yuan’s meaning and said, “That being the case, let us hurry.”

At the other end, Luo Xue Yan and Shen Xin also got ready to leave.

“Qiu-er, go and take a trip to the residence of the Prince of the First Rank. Now that Number Two went to the Administer of the Capital and Number Three entered the Palace to listen for news, someone should still pay attention to the Prince residence. Your Father and I will first go to the Palace, since the matter is huge, it would be bad if spies entered the city now.” Luo Xue Yan instructed Shen Qiu, “Go and negotiate with the Prince residence side and investigate which of our Shen family’s people died so that compensation payments can be given out.”

“Rest assured Mother, leave this to me.” Shen Qiu readily complied.

After the Shen Xin couple left, Shen Qiu tidied up his clothes and intended to leave but suddenly heard Shen Miao’s voice from behind, “Eldest Brother.”

“Younger Sister?” Shen Qiu was surprised for a moment and turned to ask, “Why is Younger Sister coming out?”

“Is Eldest Brother going to the residence of the Prince of First Rank?”

“Correct.” Shen Qiu answered, “There are still some things that have to be dealt with. Once these matters are completed, I will quickly return.”

Shen Miao looked at him and said, “Eldest Brother, bring me along.”

Shen Qiu was startled but then shook his head and said seriously, “Younger Sister, I know that you have deep resentment with Prince Yu residence and now that Prince Yu residence had fallen to such a state, to be honest, I too find that they invited it upon themselves. If you want to personally see their fate, then Eldest Brother will do it for you. It is not worthwhile for you to personally take a trip down.”

Shen Miao smiled, “I only want to take a look.”

“There is nothing worth seeing.” Shen Qiu deliberately tried to scare her, “One heard that last night those people died miserably, they were all cut open and the blood was amassed for a few chi. One fears that when a person dies so miserably, the soul still remains in the residence. For a little young lady like you to go, it is possible to see ghosts.” Even though everyone in the Prince Yu residence died miserably, it was not as horrifying as what Shen Qiu had described. Shen Qiu only wanted to scare Shen Miao as he really did not wish to let Shen Miao see such bloody scenes.

However when he finished saying those words, Shen Miao did not have any response. It was as if what he said was a common picture and Shen Miao even laughed, “As children of a military family, if one were to be scared of ghosts and gods, one would be scorned by others. Could it be that in the battlefield Eldest Brother would also fear of seeing scenes of death?”

“Of course not!” Once he opened his mouth, he knew he had said the wrong thing. Shen Miao looked at him quietly then said, “That being the case, these are not considered scary so Eldest Brother will bring me along.”

“No. Younger Sister, why do you want to go to Prince Yu residence?” Shen Qiu asked, “There is really nothing there.”

“I will go there just to see. Eldest Brother need not mind about me. Just like Eldest Brother mentioned, now there are guards defending outside and there will not be any danger. There would not be any trouble in bringing me along.”

Shen Qiu found that once she had decided on something, ten cows would not be able to pull her back. Even if he did not let her go today, there would be a day where she will go secretly on her own behind his back, so it would be better to bring her as a companion.

“Alright.” Shen Qiu stared at her, “Once in the Prince residence, you cannot wonder about. I will let Mo Qing follow you. If there is anything wrong, immediately shout for me.”

Shen Miao smiled, “Alright.”

With just the difference of a night, Prince Yu residence inside and outside were entirely different. Last night it was filled with friends and laughter, and one could still almost see the endless stream of horses and carriages at the front gate as guests entered with smiles. Now the vermilion colored main doors were covered with a white seal and the guards at the door had a grave expression, as if they were afraid something brutal would suddenly spring up.

Half of the ‘Joyous’ word had fluttered till it finally could not withstand the wind and unattached itself from the door. An oncoming guard stepped it into the snow.

There were a number of commoners that were standing in front of Prince Yu residence to watch the commotion and also to point blame. Although the event made one sad but there was also a faint pleasure. It was the most desirable thing to watch the wicked suffer consequences.

One of Shen Qiu’s soldiers went up to the officials and indicated the reason of their arrival. Once the guards let them in, the entourage was shocked by the sight and they did not utter a word.

The corpses of the servants were dragged away but the blood trails of last night cast the entire mansion in scarlet and even an entire night of snow was unable to cover up the thick smell of blood.

The soldiers were whispering and Shen Qiu also frowned. He suddenly remembered that Shen Miao was beside him and was afraid that she would be frightened. But when he turned to comfort her, Shen Miao’s eyes were calm and she seemed even even more undaunted than his soldiers.

Shen Miao took in the scene. What was this considered? The blood that was spilled during the extermination of the entire Shen family in the previous life was much more tragic than this. She was not moved, had no sympathy and no sorrow. She hated that she could not throw her head back and laugh loudly and make some stabs to Prince Yu’s body.

“Younger Sister…” Shen Qiu hesitated, “I want to investigate a little. Do you want to rest in the house?”

Shen Miao looked towards the Southwest corner of the Prince Yu residence and smiled gently, “Yesterday when I was here, one heard from a Prince residence’s maid that there is a tea room to rest. I will head there to take a seat. How about Eldest Brother coming over to find me when everything is done?”

“Over there?” The trees of the Southwest corner were lush and pruning was done delicately, it seemed that the Prince deliberately renovated the place to enjoy the flowers and entertainment. He nodded his head, “Let Mo Qing follow you in. Do not run around.”

Shen Miao complied and went with Mo Qing towards the Southwestern area. Today, fearing that the few personal maids would be scared after seeing the blood in Prince Yu residence, Shen Miao did not bring a single personal maid along. Mo Qing was a guard and naturally was not afraid.

Just as Mo Qing was thinking that Shen Miao seemed to be too familiar with the corridors and stairs, Shen Miao had already reached the tea room.

“Wait for me outside.” Shen Miao said to Mo Qing, “I will go in alone.”

Mo Qing was somewhat hesitant so Shen Miao said as she looked at him, “It is just a tea room. If you do not feel reassured, then go with me to take a look.”

Mo Qing immediately cupped his hands, “Yes”, he took the lead and went in with his hand on the sword.

Shen Miao looked at Mo Qing back and was distracted for a moment. In this life and the previous, no matter what identity she had, Mo Qing seemed to always been cautious and loyal. 

The large tea room was divided into three areas with screens and each area was very extravagant. Mo Qing carefully scrutinized the place to ensure that there were no assassins hiding before cupping his hands to say to Shen Miao, “Young Lady just call Mo Qing for anything. Mo Qing will be outside guarding.” Finishing, he walked out.

After Mo Qing left, Shen Miao walked past the first folding screen and the second folding screen.

At the third area of the tea room, the walls were filled with calligraphy and paintings that were inscribed with famous names. This entire room of calligraphy and paintings was most likely valued at thousands of gold. Shen Miao looked at each individual piece, as if appreciating them, but she stopped in front of a particular painting.

It was a painting that came from the previous dynasty’s famous great artist, Liu Yan. What was drawn was a record of a grand banquet of the previous dynasty’s officials. The maids were beautiful, food was exquisite, fine wine was present and the guests were enjoying themselves. In the entire wall of paintings, this one was not particularly outstanding but Shen Miao stared as if she was sucked into the scene.

She stared at the painting of the night banquet for a long time, and finally reached out and ran her hands along the calligraphy. She slowly explored the paper until she reached the lapel of the potbellied official, who was the protagonist of the painting. 

The lapel was so delicately painted that one could almost feel the buttons on the jacket.

In fact, Shen Miao could feel it.

There was a slightly raised feeling on her fingertips which was different from the rough texture of the paper. Shen Miao pressed and heard a soft noise.

Accompanying the slight sound, the wall of calligraphy and paintings split in half and a secret room appeared. From the outside, one could only see a long corridor lit by a bright torch.

Shen Miao gently gave a sigh of relief. Without any hesitation, she lifted her skirt and stepped in.

*****

In the deepest part of the secret chamber, two people stood around an open coffin. They were exactly Xie Jing Xing and Gao Yang. 

Xie Jing Xing was holding a bright yellow cloth bag that looked heavy. Gao Yang laughed, “Prince Yu that old dog actually put the thing in here. If it was not because of the massacre by the Chen family, we would have to take a lot of trouble to find this thing.”

“So one only needed to wait for the leaks to appear.” Xie Jing Xing said, “Check the surrounding area.”

Gao Yang complied and went around searching, “Speaking of which, the Old Yu Dog did not even place a guard here. Seeing that this place is so secretive, it seemed that other than him, no one knew of this place.”

“The Fu family are paranoid.” Xie Jing Xing said, “If it was you, would you not hide it?”

“Naturally I would hide it.” Gao Yang lightly shook his fan and his smile was very gentle and elegant but the words he spit out were scary, “If I was that Old Yu Dog, if anyone were to know about this place, no matter who is it, even if they did not know the secret, as long as that person is able to enter this secret chamber, I would eliminate them. Only the dead can kept secrets. The one thing that that Old Yu Dog did well was this.”

Xie Jing Xing could not be bothered to reply and kept searching.

At the same time, Shen Miao was holding a torch, quietly walking down the dark corridor. Compared to her usual slow pace, this time she walked more urgently. There was no other reason than because she did not know when Shen Qiu would come looking for her.

This secret chamber was originally found by Fu Xiu Yi. She had inadvertently overheard the conversation between him and Pei Lang about where to find the switch. That time Pei Lang had also said, “That thing is in the secret chamber. Your Majesty can investigate.”

As for what the ‘thing’ actually was, Shen Miao did not know as she only heard from Pei Lang and Fu Xiu Yi’s tone that the ‘thing’ was very important to Fu Xiu Yi.

If the entire household had not been exterminated, perhaps there would be one among the people left in Prince Yu residence that knew about the secret chamber, and this would in turn invoke trouble. Now that the everyone in Prince Yu residence were all dead, presumably this secret would not be found out for the time being, after all the Fu Xiu Yi in the past life only knew about the matter when he ascended to the throne.

As long as that ‘thing’ was very important to Fu Xiu Yi or was beneficial to him, one must never let Fu Xiu Yi attain it. Either obliterate it or send it to Fu Xiu Yi’s enemies’ hands so at least that ‘thing’ would be an advantage when dealing with Fu Xiu Yi in the future.

This was the motive of following Shen Qiu to the Prince residence today.

The corridors snaked around and were much longer than she had imagined. In another bend, suddenly her eyes saw light and the narrow corridor led to a hall where the rows of torches were lit, brightening the entire place up.

And in that chamber lay a coffin and in front of the coffin, there stood two people.

Shen Miao had yet to move when she heard one of them snap, “Who is it!”

That voice was very familiar and she did not have time to distinguish when the two figures violently rushed over.

Xie Jing Xing. Gao Yang.

What did Xie Jing Xing come here for? Was not Gao Yang from the Imperial Medical Institution, so why was he mixed up with Xie Jing Xing?

Even the usually calm Shen Miao was also secretly stunned and her brain was momentarily thrown into confusion. Doubts that had already taken root in her heart burst out.

“Shen Miao!” Gao Yang’s reaction was one of surprise too but it was towards Xie Jing Xing. He said, “Do it!”

Shen Miao’s eyes kept on staring as her body was shoved heavily and she hit the stone wall, making her suck in a mouthful of cold air due to the pain. Immediately after, a hand grabbed onto her throat and Xie Jing Xing’s handsome face inched closer.

Xie Jing Xing almost pressed Shen Miao’s entire body against the stone wall.

“Shen Miao cannot be left alive.” Gao Yang rapidly said, “The matter is of grave importance and it is her bad luck to die here. Leave the body here and let us get out. No one will find out. Third Xie, you must not be soft-hearted, do it!”

Shen Miao looked towards Xie Jing Xing.

The purple clad youth’s eyes got darker under the light and his eyes revealed only indifference and the intention to kill.

He really wanted to kill her.

Shen Miao looked at him motionlessly and her pair of clear eyes were brighter than the melting of the first snow in spring. They seemed like they lacked joy and sorrow, but were able to reflect another’s life in their clarity.

Xie Jing Xing’s eyes slightly moved and suddenly his lips pulled into a smile. His other hand gently covered Shen Miao’s eyes as he moved his mouth closer to Shen Miao’s ears, as whispering to a lover.

“Do not look at me, I will not be able to bear it.”

<- Chapter 86

Chapter 88 ->

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