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Chapter Thirty-Nine (Part 1)

The emperor’s first grandchild wasn’t Pei Wen Cai.

Seventh prince’s official wife miscarried a child before Pei Wen Cai, the emperor’s first grandchild was a boy and he still grieved for his unborn grandson.

The emperor had thirteen children but only four sons were alive. The seventh prince shared a similar fate with the emperor, he had many wives but they had many miscarriages and only Pei Wen Cai was alive.

The citizens of the Dian kingdom were worried about the lack of future imperial heirs. That was why even though the emperor disapproved of Yan Shi Ting, he tolerated her for the sake of his unborn grandchild. So no one in the imperial family was surprised to see the emperor’s concern after seeing Yan Shi Ting bleed.

‘Emperor, you don’t need to summon an imperial physician,’ the empress said. ‘It’ll be bad luck if the imperial physician appears before the end of the wedding ceremony-’

‘Bad luck?’ Consort Mu asked. ‘Big sister, the bride is bleeding. Her life is more important than superstitions.’

Consort Mu’s words stabbed the empress’ heart. The empress saw the feigned concern on Consort Mu’s face and she realised it was the demoness Consort Mu who interfered with her scheme. The empress didn’t doubt that Consort Mu knew about Yan Shi Ting’s fake pregnancy long ago, Consort Mu waited until the wedding day to expose Yan Shi Ting and to appear innocent while opposing the empress.

The emperor ignored the empress and Consort Mu’s battle of words.

‘Hurry and bring an imperial physician here!’ the emperor ordered.

An imperial physician rushed into the ceremonial hall and Yan Shi Ting panicked.

‘I don’t need an imperial physician,’ Yan Shi Ting said.

Yan Shi Ting recognised the imperial physician wasn’t one of the empress’ allies and wouldn’t know about her fake pregnancy. If she was exposed on her wedding day, it would also be the day of her funeral.

Yan Shi Ting knew no one could save her and she couldn’t stop the imperial physician from examining her. She cried helplessly and she couldn’t endure her stomach ache any longer… she farted and soiled her undergarments.

Everyone around Yan Shi Ting pinched their noses and stepped back from Yan Shi Ting’s unpleasant stench.

Yan Shi Ting was angry and embarrassed. She knelt on the floor, covered her face and cried loudly. Her wedding dress was ruined, her makeup disappeared and she looked like a pitiful bride jilted by the groom.

Pei Jin held Yan Shi Ning’s hand. He knew she wasn’t cruel enough to feel happy seeing Yan Shi Ting shed fresh blood from their plan.

‘Imperial physician, what happened to Yan Shi Ting?’ the emperor asked.

‘It was a beautiful wedding ceremony… why did it become like this?’ Consort Mu asked. ‘Imperial physician, stop stalling. Hurry and examine the crown prince’s wife!’

The imperial physician reluctantly stepped closer to Yan Shi Ting. He heard ‘the crown prince’s wife’ and knew the wedding ceremony wouldn’t end happily. ‘Lady Yan, let me examine you.’

The imperial physician knelt beside Yan Shi Ting but she refused to let him hold her wrist.

‘I don’t need to be examined!’ Yan Shi Ting said.

‘Hurry and let the imperial physician examine you,’ Consort Mu said. ‘You’re bleeding. Can’t you see the emperor is worried about you?’

Yan Shi Ting looked at the emperor’s concerned face. Then she looked pleadingly at the empress and the crown prince. ‘Aunt! Big brother crown prince! The imperial physician doesn’t need to examine me.’

The empress saw everyone was looking at her and her heart hardened. ‘Shi Ting, let the imperial physician examine you.’

Yan Shi Ting’s body turned cold, the empress and the crown prince turned their backs on her.

The imperial physician examined Yan Shi Ting while she absently looked at the empress and the crown prince.

‘Strange…’ the imperial physician said.

Most of the wedding guests were worried something was wrong with Yan Shi Ting and the rest anticipated the imperial physician’s explanation.

‘Imperial physician, hurry and report to the emperor,’ Consort Mu said and feigned concern.

Consort Mu heard news about Yan Shi Ting’s fake pregnancy. But the empress’ calmness made Consort Mu uneasy that the news wasn’t true. Whether Consort Mu could defeat the empress and the crown prince depended on the outcome of the imperial physician’s explanation.

‘Strange?’ the emperor asked.

The imperial physician stood and kowtowed in front of the emperor. ‘Your majesty, Lady Yan is healthy.  Your majesty, forgive me but I don’t know why she’s bleeding.’

‘Healthy?’ the emperor asked.

The emperor should have been relieved to hear Yan Shi Ting was healthy but he felt like the heavens struck him.

‘Your majesty is right,’ the imperial physician said. ‘Lady Yan is healthy.’

The emperor stepped off the platform, grabbed the imperial physician’s collar and spoke softly. ‘Is she pregnant?’

End of Chapter Thirty-Nine (Part 1)

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