Prince Zhou lowered his voice, "We cannot just watch as the military power of the Shen family land in the hands of the Crown Prince. If the Crown Prince gain the military power and the Imperial Grandson is born now, Imperial Father would have the intention to support and our chances would become even smaller. I have fought with Prince Li for so many years and do not want the Crown Prince to gain such cheap advantage."
"Fourth Older Brother's meaning is?"
"This marriage cannot be tied together." Prince Zhou smiled cruelly, "The best to become enemies instead."
"There are thousands of methods to create enmity, which one does Fourth Older Brother pick?" Prince Jing asked.
"Naturally it is blood feud." Prince Zhou placed his wine cup down, "That little girl of the Shen family previously thought about Number Nine whole heartedly and definitely not willing to marry the Crown Prince. In this case our Imperial family would not force someone to do anything, so why not free her instead."
"It is not easy to take action on Shen Miao." Prince Jing said, "After the last time Shen Miao was kidnapped by others, Shen Xin had double the number of guards she had and now she is heavily-guarded so how can action be taken?"
Prince Zhou smiled, "It is not possible outside but it is possible in the Palace." He was immensely proud of himself, "After entering the Palace, no matter what kind of guard they are, they all have to wait outside. Upon entering the Palace, it will be our world. I had inquired and know that the little girl of the Shen family would be coming into the Palace alone tomorrow. After she had entered and seen the Empress, it would be our opportunity and it would be the easiest thing to do at that time."
Prince Jing said, "It is easy to take action in the Palace but it is easily to be suspected upon investigation.
"So this is a matter where one can strike two eagles down with on arrow." Prince Zhou smiled, "You say, why not make it look like it is from Number Six's hands?"
Prince Jing eyes lit up.
Both brothers and Prince Li's clique had been fighting for so many years and none of them came up on top. If this time Shen Miao met an accident in the Palace, with Shen Xin's love for Shen Miao, he would place the blame onto the Crown Prince. If it was not the Crown Prince's intention of marrying Shen Miao, Shen Miao would not encounter the accident thus it could be considered as the Shen family and the Crown Prince became enemies. At the end when Prince Li was dis covered as the mastermind, Prince Li would not benefit from it.
Without utilising one soldier or striking a single blow, to clear up two rivals, what was there against it?
Prince Jing siled, "Fourth Older Brother's idea is not bad but one have to carefully arrange it and remove all the flaws. Someone come and invite my aides in."
Coincidentally when the residence of Prince Zhou was discussing about the assassination of Shen Miao tomorrow, the residence of Prince Li were also wracking their minds over the matter.
Prince Li smiled at the two brothers in front of him, "What do you all think?"
Prince Xiang had a cautious and timid character and as he was looking at Prince Li's appearance, he could not help but shudder. Prince Li had always been a smiling face tiger, on the surface he would have an amiable appearance but there were a lot of vicious things that he had done over the years. He said, "Would it be too risky?"
Prince Chen heard it and said, "What risk is there? One could not really let the Crown Prince marry the Young Lady of the Shen family and for no rhyme or reason gain the military power of the Shen family. Sixth Older Brother and Prince Zhou had been fighting for so many years and there was still no result to it and that Crown Prince is sickly, he is not afraid that he had the life to obtain it but none to enjoy."
Prince Chen had always talked straightforwardly and did not care about consequences. These words were very impudent but it was obviously in line with Prince Li's heart, "Eighth Younger Brother did not say incorrectly. It was not my wish to see Crown Prince gaining the military power of the Shen family. If this marriage is successful, not only me but both brothers would also be implicated. This cannot happen. I proposed to assassinate the Young Lady of the Shen family so that one can spare all later troubles. Even though the Young Lady of the Shen family is innocent, it can be said that she was also implicated by the Crown Prince."
Prince Li talked about the assassination in all smiles. Even though his words were very sympathetic towards innocent Shen Miao, there were no traces of mercy in the tone used.
"But how does one push this matter to Prince Zhou?" Prince Xiang asked softly.
"Prince Zhou's usual actions are arrogant and it is reasonable that he would do things on impulse and Imperial Father had been very vocal about him. Moreover when supporting the Crown Prince, Imperial Father would only blame him if one lost the Shen family military power because of Prince Zhou." Prince Li muttered on.
"One arrow, two eagles. It is a good idea." Prince Chen said with wide grins, "I support Sixth Older Brother."
Prince Xiang did not speak but it did not matter if he did not speak. Both he and Prince Chen were following Prince Li so Prince Li's decision also represented both of them. If it was successful, naturally one would be raised to Heavens but if it failed then all of them will fall into misfortune. This was the 'shared delights and common hardships' that was agreed upon in the beginning.
His heart sighed slightly and he could only hop that during the assignation of Shen Miao tomorrow, everything would be carried out smoothly.
The night was as dark as ink and when the winter wind blew onto one's face, it was so chilling and sharp, as if someone was shaving one's face. The water that were drawn during the day had become ice at night and just like the buckets that were placed outside the room, on the second day, it would be stuck on the ground and unmovable.
Up in the inn, in front of the windows, the purple clad youth was standing with his hands at the back. His brows were tightly locked and one did not know what he was thinking about. A snow white dove flew in from outside and landed on the window sill in front. There was a layer of thin ice on its body and perhaps was surprised to be flying in such a cold weather.
Xie Jing Xing took the little silver tube from the pigeon's leg before throwing the pigeon behind him. The charcoal was burning in the room, making it warm. The pigeon flew onto the study table in the room and stuff it's head into the little bowl of corn kernels.
Xie Jing Xing took out the small piece of paper from the silver ture and started reading. Afterwards he then threw it into the stove to be destroyed. Tie Yi walked in from outside and greeted Xie Jing Xin's back, "Master, the carriage is parent to return to the capital.
Xie Jing Xing replied with an 'mmm' sound.
Tie Yi however did not retreat and looked at Xie Jing Xing's back view, as if hesitating to speak about something.
"Speak if there is something to be said." Xie Jing Xing said without turning around.
Tie Yi quaked and quickly said, "Master, there is news from the Ding capital. These days Shen Xin is searching for a suitable young talent for Fifth Shen Young Lady, seemingly having intention for marriage."
Xie Jing Xing did not turn back. Tie Yi looked at the straight back view of the other party and he did not know why but he felt that his head was becoming numb. He did not know if he should say these things and he complained in his heart. Ji Yu Shu and Gao Yang of the Ding capital side did not mention about this matter in the letter that was sent over. Tie Yi mentioned it now, in the future Xie Jing Xing would blame both of them and it would look like Tie Yi was the one who provoked it.
However if one do not speak of it, this issue mattered a lot so if Xie Jing Xing knew of it by himself, the matter would have become big and he did not need to work a personal bodyguard and it was likely that he would have lost his life too.
Between loyalty and life, Tie Yi would choose the latter decisively.
He said, "Su Ming Feng of the Su family, Luo Ling of the Luo family and Feng Zi Xian, the eldest son of the Feng family, had all paid a visit to the Shen mansion."
"Feng Zi Xian?" The youth turned around and stared into Tie Yi's eyes before asking, "Why did Feng Zi Xian pay a visit?"
Tie Yi's entire back was cold but he thicken his skin and said, "Because Shen Xin is anxious to marry Fifth Shen Young Lady off due to the news that was spread from the Palace that the Crown Prince has the intention to marry Fifth Shen Young Lady as a Secondary Consort. Then Shen family did not wish for Fifth Young Lady to marry into the Eastern Palace and wanted to marry Fifth Shen Young Lady before the Imperial edict arrives. The Young Lady of the Feng family and Fifth Young Lady are good friends thus she had specially look for her Older Brother to solve the issue…"
"When did the news spread from the Palace?" Xie Jing Xing asked slowly but the voice seemed to be coated with a layer of ice.
Tie Yi did not even dared to look at Xie Jing Xing's eyes as he lowered his head all the way to the ground, "Five days ago."
"The news five days ago only reaches now?" Xie Jing Xing did get furious but instead laughed. The beautiful pair of peach blossoms eyes seemed to have anger, "This Prince do not know when did one start raising a bunch of useless things."
The air in the room got cold and seemed to be even colder than outside. Even with the warm charcoal burning, the pigeon on the table lightly cooed and hid its head under its feathers.
Tie Yi felt like weeping but had no tears and still had to finish the words that he had not spoken, "Today the Palace send a message to the Shen family for Fifth Shen Young Lady to enter the Palace alone tomorrow as the Empress has something to discuss."
Before the voice landed, one saw a flash of the handsome purple clad youth's figure and he was already at the doorway as draped the fox fur cloak over before saying coldly, "Prepare the horse."
Xie Yi was startled, "Master, isn't the setoff tomorrow morning…"
Xie Jing Xing glance at him indifferently and Tie Yi shuddered, not daring to say anything more.
On this night, the wind and snow accompany each other, making the cold air enter one's bones. Some people were on the bed turning over, unable to sleep, some people were in a luxuriously residence planning a assignation conspiracy. There was also some people who were taking for granted as they living in the Imperial Palace and there was people riding on prestigious breed of horse galloping in the oncoming wind and snow thousands of Lis (1 li = 500m) away.
Some people were happy, some people were in sorrow, some people were restless, some people were as please as a punch. In the vast country of Ming Qi that looked like a painting, the dance and music in the Ding capital rose and laughter was heard everywhere as the year was closing but no one could see the turbulent times under the clam lake.
In the residence of Prince Ding, in a certain room, there was someone who was playing against oneself.
The male's green robes were natural and gacefull and there was a disorder chess game on the table. The white and black pieces were intertwined on the place and looked extremely complicated. For every step that was taken, he had to think for a long time that it seemed that it was down to the bottle neck but he could not place the black pieces in his hands down.
The light slightly moved and seemed to be almost extinguished when he got up and poured in more oil and the room brightened. The male's brows were as light as breeze and as clear as moon, and were of an air of modest gentleman. There was also arrogance in his heart but between his eyes, there seem to be some sorrow.
This person was Pei Lang.
Pei Lang looked at the wind and snow night scene and sighed deeply.
Fu Xiu Yi's chess piece move was indeed a good one. Redirecting the waters of calamity to the East. No matter if it was successful or fail, there would not be any trace of relationship with Fu XIu Yi. No matter what the result was, the Crown Prince would be in misfortune, Prince Zhou and Prince Li in bad luck, or the Shen family, to Fu Xiu Yi, it was a good thing.
With such a move, Shen Miao almost did not have any others routes to go. Even there was, it would only be an inferior move. To sum it up for this round, Fu XIu Yi would not lose.
Pei Lang was somewhat worried for Shen Miao.
He also did not know why was he worried for Shen Miao. If Shen Miao died, then he could follow Fu Xiu Yi rightfully and properly. Fu Xiu Yi replied on him heavily and if he did not read it incorrectly, this person had the abilities of a monarch and in the future fowls and dogs like him would turn into immortals. There would be endless riches and glory and it would also be better to protect Liu Ying.
However, he was still reluctant to see Shen Miao lose.
These days Fu Xiu Yi suspected that there is a traitor in the residence and had doubled the guards in the residence of Prince Ding that even a housefly could not fly in, much less sending information out. He did not have any way to communicate with Shen Miao and could only be secretly anxious.
Hearing that Shen Miao would be going to the Palace alone, coincidentally, he was also going to the Palace tomorrow. Even though it was as the aide of Fu Xiu Yi, he was still an low ranked official.
Shen Miao did not have any route left but at the end of the road, will there be any other alternatives of survival?
After a moment, Pei Lang looked at the chess game in front of it and it was in a predicament and there was not necessary to continue playing. One of his hands grabbed one of the legs of the board and suddenly turned his hand over.
Just a light lift made all board filled with chess pieces fall onto the floor with crisp souds.
The ground was in a mess.
Nothing of the original game could be seen.