Yan Shi Ning entered Princess Kang Hua’s chamber.
The chamber was quiet and dusty. Princess Kang Hua glanced at Yan Shi Ning and Princess Kang Hua laughed coldly. She couldn’t believe Princess Kang Hua wanted to enter a grave arrogantly.
‘Why did you come here?’ Princess Kang Hua asked coldly.
‘I came to see how you’ll die,’ Yan Shi Ning said.
Princess Kang Hua pursed her lips.
Yan Shi Ning noticed the white fabrics on the table. ‘The past few days I thought about how you’re feeling. Do you feel like you’ve lost everything?’
Princess Kang Hua heard Yan Shi Ning’s condescending tone. She turned to look at Yan Shi Ning who no longer acted gentle instead looked down on her. The way Yan Shi Ning smiled coldly was the same way Yan Shi Ning smiled at her on Yan Shi Ting’s wedding day.
Princess Kang Hua stood straight. ‘It was you!’
‘What do you think?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.
‘Why?’ Princess Kang Hua asked.
‘Why?’ Yan Shi Ning asked. ‘Shouldn’t I be the one asking you why?’
Princess Kang Hua took a step back.
‘Why did you poison my mother to death?’ Yan Shi Ning asked. ‘My mother never fought with you. Why did you kill my mother?’
Yan Shi Ning couldn’t control the pain in her heart. She couldn’t kill Princess Kang Hua and couldn’t stop her tears from falling.
‘She deserved to die!’ Princess Kang Hua said. ‘Who is she to dare to compete with me? She’s only scum.’
‘You’re scum!’ Yan Shi Ning said. ‘You stole someone else’s husband. You committed adultery, you’re deceitful and shameless!’
‘She deserves to die!’ Princess Kang Hua said. ‘She’s scum. Who is she to deserve him? I’m a princess, why do I need to lower myself under a scum and be a second wife? It’s an insult to me! Scum like her deserves to die! I should have killed her earlier! Each day she lives is another day of insults to me! You should die too! You and your mother are scums and deserve to die!’
Yan Shi Ning slapped Princess Kang Hua’s cheek.
‘You’re the one who deserves to die!’ Yan Shi Ning said. ‘You’re a woman who has a cruel snake heart!’
Princess Kang Hua was startled by Yan Shi Ning’s slap.
‘This is your retribution,’ Yan Shi Ning said. ‘Your big sister betrayed you and your only daughter is insane. The husband you stole is the man who gave you these white fabrics. You’ve lost everything and left with two empty hands. Kang Hua, do you know how I wanted you to die after I found out you killed my mother? Didn’t you want your daughter to be the crown prince’s wife? I stopped your daughter from marrying the crown prince. Didn’t you want to steal my mother’s husband? I made certain he turned his back on you. Didn’t you always want to maintain your arrogance? I kicked you onto dirt. I won’t let you die peacefully. I want you to lose everything you cared about. I want you to die suffering. I want you and everyone you care about to pay for killing my mother.’
‘You’re dreaming-’ Princess Kang Hua said.
‘Second mistress fell into the well!’ an old maid cried out from outside the chamber. ‘Madam, second mistress died!’
Princess Kang Hua pushed Yan Shi Ning away and ran outside.
‘What did you say?’ Princess Kang Hua asked.
‘Madam, second mistress died,’ the old maid said.
‘Where is she?’ Princess Kang Hua asked in a shaky voice.
‘Second mistress… she’s in the gardens…’ the old maid stuttered.
Princess Kang Hua ran to the gardens and a shocked Yan Shi Ning followed Princess Kang Hua.
At the well, the old maids and servants were finding a way to pull Yan Shi Ting out of the well.
Yan Jing stood away from the well, he didn’t know if he was happy or sad.
Princess Kang Hua pushed the old maids and servants out of the way. She looked down at her daughter who died with her eyes opened and she screamed loudly.
‘Shi Ting!’ Princess Kang Hua cried out. ‘My daughter! Who did this? Who?’
Princess Kang Hua looked at everyone around the well.
‘Madam, I don’t know who,’ Yan Shi Ting’s personal maid said. ‘Earlier ninth prince’s wife came to the gardens to see second mistress. Then I went to brew medicine for second mistress in the kitchen. When I came back here, I didn’t see second mistress anywhere. So I walked around the gardens and found second mistress dead in the well. I don’t know who killed second mistress.’
Princess Kang Hua turned around and she wanted to kill Yan Shi Ning.
Yan Shi Ning stepped back away from Princess Kang Hua.
‘I didn’t kill her,’ Yan Shi Ning said.
‘She’s like this and you still didn’t spare her!’ Princess Kang Hua said. ‘I want to kill you!’
Princess Kang Hua pulled out a dagger and stabbed Yan Shi Ning’s chest.
Xiao Zai jumped out of the shadows and pushed Princess Kang Hua away from Yan Shi Ning.
‘Shi Ning!’ Yan Jing cried out.
Princess Kang Hua stood up from the ground. ‘I should have killed you sooner! That year I killed your mother, I should have killed you too! You’re a cruel demoness! I want to kill you!’
Yan Jing thought he misheard Kang Hua’s words. What that year killed your mother? What did that mean?
Yan Shi Ning’s chest hurt and her face whitened. ‘Didn’t you try to kill me? You used Fu Gui to poison me.’
‘Fu Gui?’ Princess Kang Hua asked and looked confusedly at Yan Shi Ning.
Yan Shi Ning was confused why Princess Kang Hua didn’t know what Fu Gui was.
‘Shi Ning, how did your mother die?’ Yan Jing asked.
‘How my mother died?’ Yan Shi Ning asked. ‘She ordered widow Li to poison my mother to death!’
‘Widow Li?’ Yan Jing asked. ‘How is that possible?’
Yan Shi Ning laughed coldly. ‘Father, didn’t you know you’ve been living with a cruel woman for many years? Even now, do you truly don’t know you married a black hearted woman?’
Yan Jing was saddened by his daughter’s look of hatred toward him.
Yan Shi Ning cried. ‘I have a good father. My father let my innocent mother be killed. My mother was killed by you and that woman!’
‘That’s why she wants to take revenge on her father and me,’ Princess Kang Hua said and she laughed bitterly. ‘Yan Jing, did you hear your daughter say she hates you? Yan Jing, you’re in your position today because of your good daughter. Everything was her plan. She sent the letters, she’s the one that ruined our marriage and she’s the one that killed Shi Ting! Yan Jing open your eyes and look at your good daughter. She destroyed everything you have.’
Yan Jing heard everything and his heart froze. He didn’t want to believe his daughter did everything Kang Hua said. In that moment he felt like he lived his whole life in vain and everything bad that happened was his retribution.
‘Shi Ning, go home,’ Yan Jing said and looked at his daughter for the last time.
A lot of blood flowed out of Yan Shi Ning’s stab wound. She felt her body weakened, the sky darkened and she fainted.
‘Mistress!’ Xiao Zai cried out.
Xiao Zai ran to Yan Shi Ning and carried her to the horse carriage. He knew after they returned to the manor, ninth prince was going to skin him alive.
After Yan Shi Ning left the Yan Manor, Yan Jing ordered the servants to bound and lock Kang Hua in her chamber.
Later that night Yan Jing gathered all the old maids and servants. He poured wine for everyone until they were all drunk and collapsed on the table. Then he used the three white fabrics to make a noose and suspend it from the ceiling of Kang Hua’s chamber.
Yan Jing wrapped the noose around the bound Kang Hua’s neck. She screamed but he stabbed her heart with a dagger and she died.
Yan Jing picked up the small bottle on Kang Hua’s table, lit the Yan Manor on fire and ingested everything in the small bottle.
Before Yan Jing died, he remembered the ten years he studied and Dung Thi was by his side. She loved him, cooked for him and supported him. He wanted to give her everything in the world, money, status and for everyone to envy her. He studied day and night and thirsted for success. Finally he passed the imperial examination, earned money and status. But afterward his fate changed for the worst, he lost her… he watched the fire burn everything and everyone inside the Yan Manor and he laughed. Everything that happened in the past became a dream. If that was so then he accepted all his wasted energy to pursue everything was pointless.
End of Chapter Forty-Four