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Chapter Forty (Part 1)

Pei Lam looked coldly at Yan Shi Ting.

‘Yan Shi Ting, look at the evidence and see if you’re not the liar,’ Pei Lam said. He turned his head and looked at his father. ‘Imperial father, she has been sending me threatening letters. If imperial father doesn’t believe me, imperial father can summon the palace maids and eunuchs here. Imperial father, look at her, she’s a shameless woman and deserves to die.’

‘No!’ Yan Shi Ting said. ‘Don’t believe him. He’s lying! I’m not shameless! It was my mother who told me to do this, I didn’t know anything! Big brother crown prince, since you were a little boy you said you loved me! Why are you lying?’

The emperor heard Yan Shi Ting’s pitiful cries. He didn’t understand why an auspicious day turned into a nightmare. He was too angry, his blood flowed chaotically. He stood and spoke heartlessly. ‘Hurry and take her away!’

Yan Shi Ting’s loud cries slowly faded from the ceremonial hall.

The wedding guests were about the leave too but the crown prince suddenly broke the silence.

‘Imperial father, I’m unfilial,’ Pei Lam said. ‘I let imperial father be deceived and shamed the imperial family. Imperial father, I request you take away my crown prince position. I’m willing to be banished from the palace and do good deeds in remote places to ask the ancestors to forgive me.’

The wedding guests were stunned and the empress was scared to death. But Consort Mu lowered her head and hid her joy.

‘What did you say?’ the emperor asked.

‘Imperial father, I have shamed you,’ Pei Lam said. ‘Imperial father, take away my crown prince position.’

The emperor vomited blood.

‘Your majesty!’ the wedding guests cried out.

The crown prince and Yan Shi Ting’s wedding wasn’t an auspicious day, it was a tragedy and all the wedding guests quickly retreated from the ceremonial hall.

In the horse carriage Yan Shi Ning hugged Pei Jin. Her heart and hands were cold and trembling. She couldn’t stop thinking about the image of Yan Shi Ting being dragged outside the ceremonial hall and Yan Shi Ting’s pitiful cries. She was too scared to think about what was going to happen to Yan Shi Ting.

Pei Jin hugged Yan Shi Ning’s cold body tighter and held her hands.

‘Pei Jin, what do you think will happen to Yan Shi Ting?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.

‘She would have been executed,’ Pei Jin said. ‘But now she’s trapped in an insane state for life.’

Yan Shi Ning’s heart felt remorse.

‘Pei Jin, was I too cruel?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.

‘Shi Ning, if it’s done then you don’t need to think about if it’s right or wrong,’ Pei Jin said. ‘It’s not your fault alone that she’s insane.’

Yan Shi Ning felt colder after she remembered the empress and the crown prince’s heartlessness. ‘Pei Jin, the palace is a dangerous place.’

‘Shi Ning, the palace has always been a dangerous place,’ Pei Jin said.

Pei Jin hugged Yan Shi Ning and stared out the window. His heart was relieved his Shi Ning wasn’t heartless.

End of Chapter Forty (Part 1)

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