Chapter Fifty-Four (Part 2 of 2)
An imperial guard reported the crown prince’s death to the empress.
The imperial guard gave the empress the crown prince’s clothes they found on his dead body and left the empress’ chamber.
The empress hugged her son’s clothes and cried pitifully. She cursed Consort Mu and Pei Zhang until she lost consciousness.
The emperor visited the empress after she woke up and he ordered an imperial physician to sedate her.
The imperial physician followed the emperor’s order and left the chamber.
The emperor returned to his chamber and sobbed.
Even after the empress was sedated she couldn’t sleep peacefully. She was startled awake by familiar voices.
‘Imperial mother, status, power and money will turn to smoke… your heart doesn’t need to waste energy about smoke… everything will turn to smoke… it’s better to let go of swords to free the heart… pay with your life… retribution…’ Bei Dou taunted the empress.
‘Who’s there?’ the empress asked.
The empress looked in four directions until she saw a tall masked figure.
‘Are you human or a demon?’ the empress asked. ‘Imperial guard!’
‘You don’t need to scream,’ Bei Dou said. ‘Everyone around you is dead.’
‘Who are you?’ the empress asked. ‘What do you want?’
‘I’m a demon… I’m here to take your life… you killed many people… you need to die,’ Bei Dou said and pulled out a sword. ‘You’re familiar with his sword. That year you gave it to my father… I love it and brought it here to escort you to hell.’
‘You’re from the Thinh Household,’ the empress said.
‘I’m not human… I’m a demon,’ Bei Dou said and pointed the sword in the empress’ direction. ‘Come here, you killed too many people. They’re all waiting for you in hell, everyone from the Thinh Household, Consort Chen and her child.’
‘Consort Chen and her child?’ the empress asked confusedly.
‘That’s right,’ Bei Dou said. ‘You killed all of them. They’re all waiting for you.’
‘I didn’t kill Consort Chen and her child!’ the empress cried out.
‘If it wasn’t you then who else would kill them?’ Bei Dou asked.
‘It was…’ the empress said. After her panic waned she looked closely at the tall masked figure. ‘You’re not a demon, you’re a human! What do you want?’
Bei Dou jabbed his sword at the empress’ throat. ‘I’m here to take your life!’
‘Did you kill the crown prince?’ the empress asked.
‘The truth is he’s still alive,’ Bei Dou said.
The empress’ grieving heart felt hope.
‘Whether your son lives or dies depends on you,’ Bei Dou said.
‘What are you implying?’ the empress asked.
‘If you love your son then exchange your life for your son’s life,’ Bei Dou said. ‘I’ll spare your son’s life if you kill yourself.’
‘How can I believe your words alone?’ the empress asked. ‘Let me see my son first.’
Bei Dou pulled out a small chest and threw it at the empress.
The empress opened the small chest and saw two fingers and on one finger was the ring that she gave her son.
‘Do you need me to cut him into pieces for you to see before you kill yourself?’ Bei Dou asked.
‘No!’ the empress said. ‘This is good enough. I believe you.’
The empress looked at her son’s fingers and cried.
‘You have three days,’ Bei Dou said. ‘If I don’t hear news of your death then you’ll see your son’s arm. Think about your decision carefully. If you die, your son can’t be the crown prince but he can live.’
‘Are you Pei Zhang’s servant?’ the empress asked.
‘Compared to your useless son seventh prince is more suitable to sit on the throne,’ Bei said and left the empress’ chamber.
End of Chapter Fifty-Four (Part 2 of 2)