Yun Qian Yu naturally understands what Gong Sang Mo is trying to tell her, but she must not lose focus on their current problem. One wrong move and everything will come crashing down.
"Let's not think about that anymore. You haven't even eaten the grapes I sent you this morning!" Gong Sang Mo reminds her.
"I definitely remember those grapes!" Yun Qian Yu's eyes light up when he mention those grapes.
Gong Sang Mo laughs when he sees that expression on Yun Qian Yu's face. She definitely wouldn't have had that expression in the past. Even she has not noticed how much she has changed.
San Qiu is waiting for him outside a carriage in front of the palace's entrance. Gong Sang Mo gets off the carriage and watch Yun Qian Yu's carriage enter the palace. After making sure she has gone in safely, he boards his own carriage and heads back to his manor.
The moment he reaches the manor, he goes to his grandfather's courtyard.
The old grandpa simply glances at him before saying, "Don't ask me, I don't know anything!"
"We have reached this point, grandfather, are you going to continue hiding things?" Gong Sang Mo sits down.
"I am your grandpa and am also your father and your mother! I have to do three people's jobs all on my own, do you think it is easy for me? Hiding things? Do you think I have the time to hide anything from you?" the old grandpa angrily slams his palm on the table while glaring at him.
Gong Sang Mo ignores his grandpa's loud voice and calmly say, "Do you really not know that the person behind everything is him?"
"What is the point of lying to you? All of us were like sworn brothers back then, how could I have known that it is him?" the old grandpa becomes desolate and taciturn when he says that.
"Grandfather, the imperial family is at it's worst state right now. If he is successful in his endeavour, the thorn in his eyes next will be our Gong Clan. Our lives will not be eay after this. Besides, your granddaughter-in-law is in the palace, what if something happens to her? Don't you want to cradle your great grandchildren?"
The old grandfather rolls his eyes at Gong Sang Mo, "Don't even bother saying that. You are worse than a fox, will you let anything happen to the Yun yatou?"
"You really don't know the reason behind his action, grandfather?" His grandfather doesn't look like he is hiding anything.
"I really don't know. All I know is that old Hua became different after His Majesty took the throne. I asked him and he said that we could no longer be how we used to be. I didn't think much of it, back then. There must be a distance between the ruler and his officials, after all."
"What happened between you three when the Retired Emperor took the throne back then?" Gong Sang Mo curiously asks.
"Nothing really. The Retired Emperor got married in a grand manner. That old Hua also got married. Me, on the other hand, got married the year after. Nothing out of the ordinary happened."
Does Duke Rong really did all these just for the throne? Gong Sang Mo thought there would be another reason behind his actions.
After returning to the palace, Yun Qian Yu goes to the imperial study.
Yu Jian is currently being taught by Lu Zi Hao on how to handle memorials.
When they see Yun Qian Yu coming, both of them stop what they are doing.
"How is Brother Man Xi, imperial sister?" Yu Jian asks in worry.
"He is fine. He sealed his own heart meridian and has gone to sleep. He is not in danger. He will wake up 10 days from now."
"Why did Brother Man Xi sealed his own heart meridian?" Yu Jian asks in confusion.
"Perhaps he is too tired and is using this method to take a rest," Yun Qian Yu says, not being completely honest.
Yu Jian sighs, "I am jealous of Brother Man Xi. If I seal my own heart meridian, perhaps I will never wake up!"
Yun Qian Yu knows that what he means by that is that even if he is tired, he will not be able to rest the way Man Xi is resting.
She accompanies Yu Jian for a while and leaving him some homework to do. After that, she secretly instructs Feng Ran to pay special attention to Yu Jian's meals. She knows that the person who has tried to poison him is simply waiting for his chance at the moment.
Then, she goes to visit Murong Cang.
"You are here, yatou. How is Man Xi?" Murong Cang frowns as he lies on his bed. It is clear that he is in a bad mood.
Yun Qian Yu helps him sit up. "He sealed his own heart meridian."
Murong Cang's hand turns rigid, "What happened, yatou?"
"Don't be anxious, grandfather. I will tell you everything slowly. I have only found out everything today myself."
Yun Qian Yu puts a cushion behind Murong Cang so that he can lean against the headboard comfortably. After doing that, she sits on the bedside and tell him everything she knows and suspects.
Murong Cang is dumbfounded. Never would he even assume that the person who had harmed him is his own sworn brother!
Yun Qian Yu remains quiet for a while, waiting for him to digest everything. Then, she says, "Grandfather, I don't think Duke Rong did all these only for the throne."
Murong Cang is silent.
Yun Qian Yu does not pursue the matter. "10 days, grandfather. Man Xi has managed to buy us 10 days." Everything will be determined in 10 days.
"Alright, you are in charge, yatou. All of my forces, hidden and open, are in Yu Jian's hands. Anything you need, you only have to bring them up to him." In the blink of an eye, Murong Cang looks like he has lost all his energy. "Just, at the end of everything, let us meet. Some things are better said out in the open." After that, he waves her off, signalling her to leave. As Yun Qian Yu walks out, Murong Cang lies back on the bed.
Once she leaves Murong Cang's chamber, she looks at the gloomy sky outside. Her heart feels just as dark and heavy as the sky.
The next day, a maid is discovered spiking Yu Jian's tea with the temporary cure for his poison. She is very clever. She smeared the poison on the rim of the cup instead of inside the tea itself.
Feng Ran secretly informs Yu Jian to not drink the tea.
After the maid serves him the tea, Yu Jian waves her off to retreat away.
Li Jin Tian then steps forward and pours the tea onto another jar. After a while, he calls in the maid again and orders her to make more tea. When she sees that Yu Jian has drank the tea, she respectfully retreats to the kitchen.
After the morning court ends, Yun Qian Yu sends people to invite Murong Cang over to pick Yu Jian's study companions.
Seeing the waves of young men trickling in, Yun Qian Yu smiles. Since she did not specifiy birth status, both primary children and concubines-born children are present.
She sweeps her eyes over the young men.
Some are respectful and keep to themselves, some are curiously and are busy looking around, some are scared, some are calm, but no matter how collected they are, they all becomes nervous when directly looked at by Yun Qian Yu and Murong Cang.
Yun Qian Yu's eyes fall on a familiar face; Wen Lan Xi, Wen Ling Shan's brother. Turns out that he and Wen Ling Shan are twins, just he was born first.
The first person she points at is Wen Lan Xi.
The Wen Family is very nice; this Wen Lan Xi's personality is very upright, like his father, the imperial censor. People like him are very good to make friends with. Since Yu Jian wants a friend, she as his sister will pick him one. Ai, this is not what being a sister entails! She might as well be his mother!
Very quickly, both she and Murong Cang pick 10 boys to be Yu Jian's companions. These 10 people will keep Yu Jian company for the time being. After a while, Yu Jian will pick only 4, and the rest will sent home.
Those 10 people are very shocked. They gauge each other out; from today onwards, they will become each other's competitors.
After Yu Jian finished reading memorials, he rushes over to take a look at everything. After that, he brings those 10 people to the study dedicated to them. Yun Qian Yu gives Lu Zi Hao a look and he nods in reply.
For the next few days, Yu Jian is even busier than Yun Qian Yu. In the morning, he has to attend the morning court. After breakfast, he has to train with Gong Sang Mo, and then, he has to go to the imperial study to review memorials. After that, he will go to another study for his lessons with his companions. Although he is very busy, he is also very happy.
Yun Qian Yu never asked how Gong Sang Mo handled Rui Qinwang's secret army.
She has only left the palace once lately, to visit Wen Ling Shan. Other than that, she remains cooped inside the palace.
As for Gong Sang Mo, after teaching Yu Jian swordsplay, he will accompany Yun Qian Yu to watch Yu Jian read memorials. He will point out any issues.
Under Lu Zi Hao's teaching, Yu Jian is doing pretty good.
The days passed peacefully, but they know that a storm is brewing on the horizon.
On the tenth day, news of Yu Jian falling into a coma after being poisoned is spread.
Both the emperor and Princess Hu Guo did not attend the morning court, they only send Li Jin Tian to announce that the court will not commence today.
The entire court is in a furor. People are constructing stories about how Princess Hu Guo is aiming to usurp the throne and that she is the one who put the emperor to that state. People even says that she is the one who caused the Retired Emperor to abdicate.
Rui Qinwang surrounds the palace while carrying the Qing Jun Ce flag.
(TN: The Qing Jun Ce flag is used when one wants to rid the emperor of a treacherous minister/aide, in this case, it's Yun Qian Yu.)
The entire capital is sealed. Ding Hai Wang who didn't get to leave the capital looks at Rui Qinwang's action in disdain. That darn girl! Is she waiting for him to act, or is she not planning to target him just yet?
The Marquis of Ji and Bei Tang Ming who have been in Ya Xuan for the past few days has left before the gates of the capital are entirely sealed. Even Bei Tang Yun has left the capital with the rest of the envoys after making sure that Bei Tang Ming is safe.
As for the common people, all of them refuse to even leave the safety of their houses. The streets are full of armored soldiers.
The soldiers in charge of guarding the capital have been taken over by Rui Qinwang. As for Hu Wei Camp, since Hua Man Xi is in coma, they do not have the guts to act on their own.
Rui Qinwang really went all out this time, he is using all of his available forces, even the ones that he has kept hidden. That made it easy for him to break into the palace. He arrogantly strides into Yu Jian's palace along with his four sons.
When he sees the lifeless Yu Jian on the dragon bed, he says, "Please release an edict, imperial uncle. Only I am left of Murong clan now."
Murong Cang icily looks at the paper and brush prepared by Rui Qinwang.
Rui Qinwang cackles happily, "My father lost to you back then, imperial uncle, but now the throne is mine! Do not even bother resisting me, I have prepared everything. My 100,000 troops will arrive in the capital tomorrow. The entire city is within my palm!"
Yun Qian Yu is sitting next to Murong Cang calmly. She doesn't show any surprise at being surrounded by Rui Qinwang's troops.
There is one person who is; if possible, even happier than Rui Qinwang: Situ Han Yi.
He steps in, wearing a purple robe matched with purple headgear. He looks arrogant and esteemed once more.
He smiles as he stops next to Yun Qian Yu, "How do you feel right now, Yun Qian Yu? In the end, you still got trampled on by me. So what if you have the Yun Valley, even Yun Valley is going to be nothing but a speck of dust, after this."
He has presented Rui Qinwang with Situ Han Zu's designs, one that was happily accepted by Rui Qinwang. He even promised his second daughter to him. Once Rui Qinwang becomes the emperor, he will become a prosperous prince consort!
Yun Qian Yu looks at him as though she is looking at an idiot. Situ clan's hard work over the past 100 years is ruined in the hands of Situ Han Yi.
Situ Han Yi feels upset at being looked down at by her. He glares at her fiercely, though he doesn't dare to do anything more than that.
Once everything ends, he will definitely ask Rui Qinwang- no, the emperor to leave her for him to handle! Let's see if she will be so arrogant again.
Situ Han Yi's right eye suddenly turns dark. He screams a little, clutching it tightly with his palm. His right eyeball falls into his palm and he screams in pain.
Rui Qinwang looks around before his eyes settle on Gong Sang Mo who is just walking in, a box in his hand.
"You dared to glare at Yu Er with your dastardly eyes! Are you tired of living?" Completely disregarding the tense atmosphere inside the chamber, Gong Sang Mo leisurely walks towards Yun Qian Yu before sitting next to her.
"Xian Wang, your clan has a rule; you are not allowed to interfere with matters regarding the battle for the throne."
"With what eyes did Rui Qinwang see me interfering with the fight for the throne? Did I bring any troops with me? Did I do anything to you? I am only here for my fiancée!" Gong Sang Mo does not even spare Rui Qinwang a glance and instead trains his eyes on Yun Qian Yu. He opens the box in his hand. It contains grapes that has been cleaned and peeled. He puts it in front of Yun Qian Yu. Then, he takes out a damp handkerchief and uses it to clean Yun Qian Yu's hand. "Eat. The palace is busy right now, so no one has the time to clean and peel grapes. I've done it for you; you can eat it while watching everything unfold."
The corner of Rui Qinwang's lips twitches.
Situ Han Yi screams in pain, "Wangye, Xian Wang has blinded Han Yi!"
Rui Qinwang glances at him impatiently, "You are so useless, what are you screaming there for?"
Situ Han Yi chokes a little; is Rui Qinwang abandoning him? He is blind now, Rui Qinwang will not keep to his promise to marry him off to Murong Yu. His dreams for the riches are now in shambles.
Deep down inside, Yun Qian Yu is not as calm as she appears to be. Gong Sang Mo has taken care of Rui Qinwang's hidden army, purposely delaying his order by one day. But now, there are around 20,000 soldiers surrounding the imperial city. As far as they know, Rui Qinwang's secret soldiers in the capital are less then 10,000. Where did the rest come from? Things are not as easy as she thought it would be. She also knows that Gong Sang Mo realized that the situation has changed. He is worried about her, and that is why he has entered the palace.
"As long as you know your place, Xian Wang." Rui Qinwang will not be hasty to deal with Gong Sang Mo. He will only deal with him later, after he has gotten the throne. After all, in exchange for borrowing Long Jin's army, he promised Long Jin that he will take Gong Sang Mo's life. Long Jin has lent him 10,000 soldiers today. He has ordered them to surround the imperial city. As for the imperial palace itself, it is surrounding by only his people. He is not stupid enough as to let Long Jin's people enter the palace.
The rest of his army will come tomorrow. By then, he will no longer be wary of Long Jin's borrowed army.
Rui Qinwang looks at Murong Cang.
"Have you made your decision, imperial uncle?"
Murong Cang looks at Yu Jian. Although his expression does not change; like Yun Qian Yu, he too is getting antsy on the inside. He realizes that the situation has gotten a little out of their control. Don't tell him the gods really plan to rob of him off his only descendant?
"It doesn't matter if you won't release an edict, imperial uncle. You will not live long, courtesy of the poison inside your body," Rui Qinwang arrogantly says.
Even though he knows from the start that the poison was placed by Rui Qinwang, to hear it from his very mouth makes his blood runs cold. Familial affection really does not exist in the imperial clan.
Gong Sang Mo looks at Yun Qian Yu who is quietly eating grapes. 20,000 troops may not be enough, but what is important is where they are placed. They only need to be placed inside the capital, ah.
Rui Qinwang's troop will come one day late, one day late for him will bring huge impact. It will bring the real culprit out. However, he didn't expect that Rui Qinwang will have an extra 10,000 troops.
Gong Sang Mo has ordered his people to rush here before he entered the palace earlier, the faster the better.
If anything goes wrong, he will have to ask Gong clan's hidden guards to act. If he has to go against his ancestral teaching, then so be it. Worst comes to the worst, he will just admit fault when he sees them once he passes, and that will be decades from now. Right now, the most important think is the wife!
Why isn't the culprit appearing yet?
At this moment, in Duke Rong's manor, Hua Man Xi wakes up.