Chapter Nine (Part 2 of 2)
Pei Jin’s throat constricted.
‘Do you need to investigate this?’ Bei Dou asked.
‘Yes, someone killed Consort Chen because they didn’t want her child to be born,’ Pei Jin said. ‘Behind her is Huang Guo and her other relatives. They feared for her life after she adopted me, especially when she was pregnant. The person used the Fu Gui poison to kill Consort Chen, her unborn child and to leave me unprotected. Destroying the roots by using one arrow to kill three birds is indeed a brilliant scheme.’
‘The empress has always been a cruel schemer,’ Bei Dou said.
‘But I don’t know why they would poison Shi Ning,’ Pei Jin said.
Initially Pei Jin thought Princess Kang Hua hated Yan Shi Ning and wanted to kill Yan Shi Ning. But Yan Shi Ning said that she received the incense sticks less than a month ago. If Princess Kang Hua truly wanted to kill Yan Shi Ning then Princess Kang Hua would have begun to poison Yan Shi Ning the moment she arrived at the Yan Manor instead of waiting for two years.
‘This scheme also uses one arrow to kill two birds,’ Bei Dou said. ‘The empress doesn’t want you to have children and Princess Kang Hua wants to kill your wife. If your wife dies in the Yan Manor, people would be suspicious. But if she dies in your manor, no one would suspect them.’
Pei Jin’s father had three adult sons including himself. Apart from seventh prince’s daughter who was two years old, his other adult brothers didn’t have children. The court officials were concerned about future successions. If one of his father’s sons gave his father the first grandson then it would affect which prince the court officials would support.
‘I have never been involved in their battles for the throne yet they won’t let me be,’ Pei Jin said.
‘Then why don’t you battle?’ Bei Dou asked. ‘You suit the throne more than them.’
‘Bei Dou, you don’t need to keep persuading me to change my plan,’ Pei Jin said. ‘I know you want to avenge your family. When there is the right opportunity I’ll help you avenge your family. But now isn’t the right opportunity, you need to be patient and not do anything reckless. Also, I want to remind you that I only want to be a carefree prince.’
Pei Jin strode out of Bei Dou’s chamber. Bei Dou glanced at Pei Jin’s back and he felt a little disappointed.
Bei Dou remembered his promise to Pei Jin five years ago.
‘I can save you but you need to promise me not to recklessly avenge your family,’ Pei Jin said.
Bei Dou promised Pei Jin to stay alive. He followed Pei Jin for five years and for five years he tried to persuade Pei Jin to fight for the throne. But Pei Jin’s reply was always the same, ‘I have no desire to be emperor.’
While Bei Dou was wondering if Pei Jin truly had no desire to be emperor, Pei Jin was looking for Yan Shi Ning.
Half way to his and Yan Shi Ning’s chamber, he saw her hiding behind a fake rock mountain and waving a fan. He didn’t know who she was spying on.
Earlier Yan Shi Ning had changed into a comfortable dress then she took a stroll around the gardens. But she didn’t expect to accidently see Su Yue pulled a young maid between twelve and thirteen years old to a fake rock mountain.
‘Little vixen, I’ll let you grow a new face,’ Su Yue threatened.
Yan Shi Ning loved to watch lively performances. In the two years she lived at the Yan Manor she almost died of the Yan Manor’s dullness. Of course she wouldn’t let go of a lively performance and secretly followed Su Yue and the young maid.
Yan Shi Ning eavesdropped on Su Yue and the young maid and understood what happened between them. In the morning the young maid followed Pei Jin’s order and cooked chicken soup. Then in the afternoon Su Yue sneaked into the kitchen and ate a portion of the chicken soup. The young maid returned to the kitchen and caught Su Yue eating the chicken soup and scolded Su Yue that Pei Jin said the chicken soup was for Yan Shi Ning. Su Yue waited for no witnesses to bully the young maid for daring to scold Su Yue.
Su Yue cursed and hit the young maid. ‘The moment you saw ninth prince’s wife enter the manor, you want to gain his wife’s favour. You’re wasting your energy. She’s only a poor unloved little girl inside the prime minister’s manor. Ninth prince only married her because he was forced. What does it matter if I eat chicken soup? Do you think ninth prince would hit or curse me? Open your eyes wide or I’ll force you to see properly!’
Su Yue slapped the young maid’s cheek. Su Yue’s fingernails were long and sharp. Yan Shi Ning couldn’t see clearly if Su Yue accidently or purposely scratched the young maid’s cheek, but a little blood dripped down the young maid’s cheek. The young maid cried out in pain and tears flowed down her cheeks.
Su Yue wasn’t satisfied enough and kicked the young maid’s body until the young maid fell on the ground.
Su Yue left the young maid crying on the ground. After a while the young maid struggled to get off the ground and left the fake rock mountain.
Yan Shi Ning slipped and was surprised she fell back into Pei Jin’s chest instead of the ground.
‘Big brother, what are you doing here?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.
‘I came to see the lively performance too,’ Pei Jin said. ‘I thought you would ask for justice on behalf of the young maid.’
Pei Jin thought Yan Shi Ning would jump into the fight and slap both of Su Yue’s cheeks to avenge the young maid.
‘I remember someone said Su Yue has a special background,’ Yan Shi Ning said. ‘If I reprimand her then it would cause trouble for someone.’
Pei Jin was initially surprised Yan Shi Ning held back in consideration of him. But he realised the Yan Shi Ning he knew would think of a way to discreetly deal with Su Yue.
End of Chapter Nine (Part 2 of 2)