This courtyard was very empty, and it had a corpse hanging in the middle.
Judging from the torn and tattered clothes, it was a young man, but his body had already rotted. One couldn’t even see his original appearance.
The most injured part of his entire body was his face. It was as if someone used an axe and hacked his face. His face was badly mangled, and even his five organs were hard to differentiate, let alone recognize who the person was.
There was a copper vat underneath the body.; the rims of the copper vat had dried bloodstains. The strong and sharp bloody scent exuded from within, and it made one gag.
But this wasn’t the scariest thing. This was because there were a few sets of skeletons near the corpse.
One just had to glance at them to tell that they were also human skeletons. The difference between the skeletons and the corpse was that only the white bones were left on the ground. They looked like they had been dead for a very long time.
This scene stunned the people who just came in.
The entire venue fell into dead silence, and the air seemed to freeze.
After some time, Emperor Jiawen recovered his senses and shouted, “Bring the Empress over!”
With the Son of Heaven angry, even Rong Jin—who was initially protecting the Empress—couldn’t hold him back. Rong Jin could only stiffly bring the Empress over.
The Empress’s eyes were tightly shut as if she had completely fainted.
Emperor Jiawen shot a deadly stare at those skeletons, and his veins popped. “Beat her! If the Empress still doesn’t wake up, continue hitting her!”
The crowd was shocked. Is Emperor Jiawen commanding people to beat the Empress up? He must’ve been driven to his grave.
How could Rong Jin dare to do this? He also couldn’t watch on as people hit his mother, so he hurriedly blocked her and knelt down. “Father, we haven’t gotten to the bottom of this yet! If you treat Mother like this, she’ll definitely be heartbroken!”
Emperor Jiawen stepped up and harshly kicked Rong Jin’s shoulders. “Get lost!”
Rong Jin didn’t dare to block, and he was kicked to the side.
Emperor Jiawen raised his hand and was about to slap the Empress.
Situ Xingchen was standing at the side. Even though she didn’t want to step into this, she couldn’t extract herself from the situation any longer. Upon seeing Emperor Jiawen lifting the Empress up with one hand, Situ Xingchen finally said, “Your Majesty, do think carefully! His Highness is right. Everything is still unclear now; why don’t we wait until everything is unveiled? By then, if Her Majesty is truly guilty, it won’t be too late for you to punish her.”
Emperor Jiawen stopped in his actions.
At this point, the unconscious Empress suddenly recovered her senses. Si Huijing slowly opened her eyes, and she looked dazed when she saw Emperor Jiawen’s face close to hers. “Your Majesty…”
A look of horror then filled her face as if she had just discovered that Emperor Jiawen was lifting her up by her collar. “Your Majesty, what are you doing?”
Emperor Jiawen sneered as he directly threw her to the floor. “Don’t you clearly know what good things you’ve done? You better give me a good explanation for this!”
The Empress knelt on the floor and kept weeping, saying that she didn’t know anything. “I don’t know… I really don’t know…”
Emperor Jiawen looked at Rong Zhen. “Rong Zhen, you say it!”
Rong Zhen moved backward fearfully, and her lips trembled.
“Your Majesty, this copper vat is a little weird.” When Chu Ning walked near the copper vat and thoroughly checked it, he looked solemn. “This thing seems capable of… sucking one’s force.”
Hearing this, Chu Liuyue couldn’t help but walk over.
Once she got close to it, she felt a bone-chilling aura exude from the copper vat. The next moment, the aura enveloped her.
“Yue’er, it’s dangerous!” Upon seeing this, Chu Ning immediately wanted to pull Chu Liuyue away.
But Chu Liuyue shook her head and indicated for him to wait. Then, she felt the force within her body start to stir under this aura.
She looked toward the copper vat.
Black and red mixed together, and the aura suddenly became stronger.
Chu Liuyue knitted her brows. This aura seems to forcefully steal my force from my body!
She moved back without hesitation.
When she was far away from the copper vat, the aura quickly disappeared as if it had never appeared. However, Chu Liuyue felt a chill in her heart. I was only standing there just now, yet I felt such a humongous impact, let alone the person who is hanging right above the copper vat!
Besides… That person is filled with injuries, and he has bloodstains everywhere. It’s obvious that he had been cut multiple times when he was alive. When the fresh blood dripped into the vat, the force collected would naturally be cleaner.
Chu Liuyue could almost confirm that this person’s force had been continuously sucked away, and he eventually dehydrated and died. No, not only that person! The surrounding white bones should be the same too!
Chu Ning pulled Chu Liuyue over and heaved a sigh of relief when he confirmed that she was okay. “This copper vat is a very menacing item. Don’t ever go near it again.”
Emperor Jiawen knitted his brows and asked, “Chu Ning, what’s with that copper vat?”
Chu Ning explained again. “…Therefore, someone should’ve purposely left this copper vat here to suck the force from other cultivators.”
“I see…” After listening, Emperor Jiawen didn’t look shocked at all. Instead, he looked like he had confirmed something. “I’ve once read about this in the royal family’s biography. As long as one collects enough force, the copper vat can be elevated to become a better Yuan instrument. Whoever becomes its owner can absorb all the force within and increase their cultivation level.
Emperor Jiawen’s words made everyone’s hair stand on end. This kind of method was very sinister and cunning.
“And other than me, only the Empress knows about this!”
Emperor Jiawen’s sentence struck everybody like lightning, and everyone looked at the Empress!
Chu Liuyue understood something. It’s no wonder Emperor Jiawen became even more hostile toward the Empress once he came in and saw the copper vat. It turns out that he had already determined that the Empress had done all of this at that time.
“Si Huijing, I didn’t expect you to do such a thing secretly! You really have a devil’s heart!” Emperor Jiawen was so disgusted that he wanted to vomit, and all his hair stood on end when he thought about how he had slept beside such a woman for so many years.
The Empress looked defeated, and she didn’t even say anything in defense.
Rong Jin also panicked as he could not help but argue. “Father, even if Mother knows about it, you can’t prove that she did it! Mother is already the Empress. Doing this won’t benefit her at all.”
“That’s right. Her Majesty is already the country’s mother; why isn’t she satisfied?”
Rong Jiu suddenly spoke, and he looked down on the mother and son from above with contempt in his eyes. “Of course, she didn’t do this for herself. It was for the distinguished Crown Prince—you, my brother!”
Rong Jin was taken aback!