The 3rd madam looks around in awe. They are in the imperial palace! Such grandeur!
Princess Ming Zhu ignores the 3rd madam's countrified expression and walks out of Yu Jian's former palace.
The 3rd madam hastily follows her from behind.
All the Hu Wei soldiers standing guard outside comes from that passage, so they are not surprised to see the princess there. "Your Highness the Princess!" they greet Princess Ming Zhu. Hua Man Xi has ordered them to stop addressing Princess Ming Zhu as the Duchess.
"En," Princess Ming Zhu walks on calmly.
"Your Highness, they are all inside the emperor's palace."
"I understand." Princess Ming Zhu immediately starts making her way towards the palace.
The 3rd madam is very indignant when she sees the respectful way the soldiers are treating Princess Ming Zhu. But, she holds back her anger when she realizes that they doesn't know that she is the shizi's real mother. In the future, she will be even more powerful than Princess Ming Zhu! She will be the emperor's mother!
At this moment, the atmosphere inside the emperor's palace is very solemn.
Murong Cang and the old Duke Rong looks at each other without saying a single word. That silent feels so long and stretched.
Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo exchange a look. He is finally here. But can he finally make a move so that they can just get over it? They have been sitting the whole day, it is very tiring!
In the end, Murong Cang speaks first, "We are both old now, Tian Fan. Sit first and then talk."
The old Duke looks at him, slightly stunned. He sits down before saying, "I have waited for this day for 47 years! Just hand over the authority to Xi Er!"
Everyone looks at Hua Man Xi, who remains expressionless.
"I have doted on Man Xi ever since he was born. I know him better than you does," Murong Cang is unperturbed by the old Duke's declaration as well.
"I hope, you will still be this confident later. I have nothing to hide now. I have killed your sons and have fed your womenfolk with infertility tonic. Even your nephew and his offsprings are not spared. Will you believe me if I tell you that I have fed your only living daughter with infertility tonic after she gave birth to Man Xi?"
Hua Tian Fan knows that everyone inside this very room will die at the end of the day, excluding his own people, so he knows that there is no point in holding back his words.
"Why?" Although Murong Cang's voice is calm, his heart is not.
A look of pure hatred appears on Hua Tian Fan's face. "Why? You don't even know the reason why?" He sneers at Murong Cang.
"I don't think I have ever done anything to wrong you," Murong Cang frowns in thoughts.
"You didn't do anything to wrong me? You stole my beloved Shui Er away and then mistreated her! You caused her to die so young! Do you know how much I hate you for that?"
"Ever since I found out that the culprit is you, I have been wondering why. Turns out it is because of her," a look of grief flits through Murong Cang's aged face.
"You took advantage of me being away to ask your imperial father to bestow you a marriage decree with Shui Er. Did you care about our friendship then? You got everything you wanted just because you were the Crown Prince! From that day onwards, I made up my mind! I will take away your beloved land and make it the Hua's! From today onwards, no one will dare to trample on us again! Today, I have finally gotten my wish!" Hua Tian Fan looks too excited for it to be healthy. Yun Qian Yu almost thought his nose is going to start bleeding from the excitement.
"Your Murong Clan will not be able to bear any more heirs! Ha ha ha!"
Murong Cang closes his eyes before opening them once again, "Xi Er is also a part of the Murong clan."
"Do you honestly believe that I will spare anyone from the Murong clan? Wu Er exchanged the children the moment Murong Ming Zhu gave birth! Xi Er is my grandson, but not yours! Xi Er's mother is another woman! Do you think Wu Er likes your daughter? He already has a woman that he likes and Xi Er is his son with that woman!"
Murong Cang clenches his fist.
Duke Rong looks at Hua Man Xi who is staring at the ground. He is not showing any particular reaction towards his words.
At that moment, a white-dressed woman walks into the palace, followed by an ostentatiously dressed one.
The look in Duke Rong's eyes change when he sees Princess Ming Zhu, followed by the 3rd madam.
The 3rd madam is originally intimidated by what she sees, but when she sees Duke Rong, pleasure colors her face as she runs towards him. "Hua Lang!"
Duke Rong catches her and holds her tight. When he speaks to her, his voice is unusually gentle, "Didn't I told you to wait in the residence? Why did you come here?"
"I came to look at our son," the 3rd madam directs her eyes on Hua Man Xi.
Duke Rong gently says, "It has been hard for you, all these years."
"Come here, Xi Er. Meet your mother," Duke Rong beckons Hua Man Xi over.
The 3rd madam looks at Hua Man Xi in anticipation.
Hua Man Xi finally looks up and says, "How can such a disgusting woman be my mother?"
The 3rd madam's face turns white. She staggers as she leans towards Duke Rong. Her own son hates her! He calls her disgusting!
"You unfilial thing! How can you say that to your own mother?" Duke Rong bellows in fury.
"I will never abandon my own mother! My mother is esteemed, she was once the most beautiful girl in the kingdom! What is there to despise about her?" Hua Man Xi walks towards Princess Ming Zhu and smiles at her. "Mother, in the future, you still have me," Hua Man Xi gently says.
Princess Ming Zhu smiles as she caresses his face, "It has always been only you, from the very beginning."
Yun Qian Yu's eyes suddenly feel hot. Gong Sang Mo brings her to his chest and says, "I will always be by your side."
Yun Qian Yu leans against him, "I know."
Hua Man Xi turns to the 3rd madam in contempt, "A woman of her class will never be able to give birth to someone like me! What a joke!"
The 3rd madam cries out loud, "Xi Er, I am your real mother! Yun Xi is Princess Ming Zhu's real son!"
Princess Ming Zhu looks at Duke Rong and the 3rd madam icily. "I am not like a certain someone who could not even recognize her own child."
Duke Rong suddenly has a bad feeling about this. "What are you talking about?"
"Back then, on the night you brought the 3rd madam home, I head to her courtyard, intending to comfort her for her husband's demise. Who would have thought that someone was faster than me in comforting her? Just that person was not comforting her over her husband's death, but over the fact that she couldn't be the legal wangfei. I even heard that person promising her to swap the children once they are born, so that her child could be the legal heir. Did you think that I would simply let you do that? On the night you swapped the children, I sent people to swap them back."
Duke Rong turns rigid while the 3rd madam fearfully remembers what she did earlier.
"No way! Impossible!" the 3rd madam says.
Duke Rong looks at Princess Ming Zhu in surprise, "You knew from the start and yet you pretended to be a happy couple with me for so many years?"
"You were also pretending, were you not? I pretended for too long, it now comes naturally for me."
Hua Tian Fan suddenly laughs loudly from the sideline, "I bet you didn't think that I would swap them once again!"
Duke Rong's face becomes easy once again while the 3rd madam is equally happy. This is great! This means that Xi Er is indeed her son!
This time, Hua Man Xi's face changes.
"Xi Er!" the 3rd madam says.
"Don't call me that! If you are really my mother, I will kill myself!"
The 3rd madam is devastated by the hatred that he is showing.
"No matter how much you dislike it, you cannot change that fact!" Duke Rong angrily says to his son.
Hua Man Xi's eyes flashes in pain.
Princess Ming Zhu looks at Hua Tian Fan, "I bet you didn't expect that the person I sent had failed to exchange the children. And then, you, father-in-law…. You came and change it back yourself."
Hua Tian Fan looks at the calm Princess Ming Zhu. He knows that it is the trutth if she is confident enough to say it in front of so many people. Does that mean that Hua Man Xi is indeed Princess Ming Zhu's son?
Princess Ming Zhu looks at the crowd inside the palace. They are supposed to be her loved ones and yet here they are, forcing her imperial father to a dead end. She slowly walks towards Murong Cang and kneels in front of him, "Imperial father."
Murong Cang gently caresses her head, tears falling from his eyes. His most beloved daughter has actually been living like this for almost two decades.
The 3rd madam pushes Duke Rong away and mutters to herself, "I killed my own son! I killed my own son!"
She looks at Hua Man Xi in disbelief. She has neglected her own son for more than 18 years. Under her own abuse, her healthy son became very sick over the years. She cannot accept this!
She pulls her own hair like a madwoman, and laughs loudly.
Duke Rong looks at Princess Ming Zhu in hatred, "You poisonous woman!"
"Poisonous? I don't think I deserve that name. Ever since I was born, I have never kill a single thing, not even an ant! But one of us here deserves that title. Everyone inside the manor knows how she treated Yun Xi back then. In the end, she killed him with her own hands. That is her own doings and no one else's," Princess Ming Zhu icily says as she slowly gets up.
Duke Rong is rendered speechless by that. He suddenly sneers, "Since you caused her to feel the grief of losing her own son, why don't I make you feel the same?" Duke Rong's entire demeanor changes. He claws his hand and aims it towards Hua Man Xi.
"Xi Er!" Princess Ming Zhu says in shock.
Hua Man Xi looks at his own father who is intending to attack him. That sense of alienation in his voice….. Does he really feel no sense of fatherly affection towards him? He does not avoid the attack and simply watches his own father aiming for his neck.
A purple light suddenly hits Duke Rong's hand. He lowers it and glares at Yun Qian Yu.
Yun Qian Yu rubs her nose, "Man Xi is my cousin, I will not let him get killed by a beast. Even a tiger will not eat it's own cubs, you are worse than an animal." After saying that, she looks at the 3rd madam who has turned mad from killing her own child, as though asking, are you sure you want to do what she did?
Duke Rong sneers, "Then I will kill you instead!"
Yun Qian Yu flies up, "I will cooperate with you!"
Both of them fly out of the palace, followed by Gong Sang Mo and Hua Man Xi.
Yun Qian Yu's dress is fluttering as she flies through the air, her hair swaying beautifully with the wind. She smashes her palm againt Duke Rong's, causing a loud sound to be heard.
Both of them retreat backwards.
Duke Rong narrows his eyes, "Not bad."
Yun Qian Yu looks at him calmly. He is indeed strong, no wonder San Qiu and the rest could never catch up with him.
"That was just a little test."
Duke Rong looks at her in surprise before laughing, "Then this king must see what your true capability is!"
Yun Qian Yu does not dare to take him lightly. She takes a deep breath and calms down. The two of them, then proceed to exchange blows.
She looks at Duke Rong who is looking at her fiercely. She channels her purple lotus in her palm and directs it towards him.
If one looks carefully, one can see that the purple light now has a sliver of golden light.
The sound that the purple light made when it collides into Duke Rong's palm is even louder this time. Duke Rong falls down from the sky like a stringless kite.
He kneels on the ground, one palm on the ground as blood trickles down his mouth.
The hatred in his eyes intensifies when he sees Yun Qian Yu landing gracefully, like an esteemed phoenix.
His all-out attack has been blocked so easily by her!
Yun Qian Yu raises one of her hands, and Feng Ran, along with a couple of Yun Guards immediately appear. Feng Ran ties Duke Rong up and then presses a couple of points on Duke Rong's body, effectively sealing Duke Rong's inner power.
"Only now am I feeling relieved. You are sly and slippery, who knows what you are going to do to run away…." Feng Ran softly says.
Yun Qian Yu walks to Hua Man Xi and says, "He is your father, so I will not personally kill him."
Hua Man Xi's eyes soften. He does not say anything, but he will definitely remember Yun Qian Yu's consideration towards him today.
Honestly, even if she kills his father today, he will not blame her. The moment Duke Rong ignored their blood ties and tried to kill him, the bond between them has disappeared. But still, he is still his father. If Yun Qian Yu kills him in front of his own eyes, he will feel uncomfortable when he see her in the future.
Yun Qian Yu pulls Gong Sang Mo over, "Worried?"
"Worried that you would kill him!" Gong Sang Mo cracks a rare joke.
At that moment, the mad 3rd madam runs out of the palace, followed by Princess Ming Zhu.
With a wave of Hua Man Xi's arm, a couple of Hu Wei soldiers restrain the 3rd madam.
Hua Man Xi looks at Princess Ming Zhu, as though asking how to handle the 3rd madam.