Chapter 138: Virtuous Consort Tragically Dies


The practice of gifting companions has long existed in the Palace.
Masters often justifiably gift palace maids to eunuchs, but most of them are “one in mind and heart, genuinely admiring each other.” This is nothing special, but Bai He ended up in such a situation makes one shed tears on end.
The noble young misses covered their faces, revealing sympathetic expressions.

The Empress revealed an expression of regret and pity and said: “Maybe the Virtuous Consort wasn’t aware that you led such a difficult life.
She has always been kind-hearted, and she certainly is not one to turn a blind eye to a dying—”

Bai He vigorously shook her head: “Nubi went to beg Virtuous Consort niang niang, but she didn’t hear Nubi out at all and even said that Nubi was ungrateful, to be able to follow Zhou Xiang is Nubi’s blessing!”

The Empress seemed taken aback: “Virtuous Consort knows too? She wouldn’t help you?”

Bai He appeared quite indignant: “Yes.
Head Eunuch Zhou that His Majesty values, he is a first-rate confidant.
Virtuous Consort niang niang gave me to him in order to draw him over, to obtain his loyalty! But Nubi cannot live like this anymore, might as well risk my life to get justice than dying in his hands!”

Seeing that the plan went well, the Crown Prince was secretly rejoicing, but he outwardly frowned: “If you have been wronged, why didn’t you come forward and report it to my Imperial Mother, she is the master of the Six Palaces.”

Bai He mournfully cried: “Zhou Xiang is very crafty, threatening to kill Nubi if Nubi revealed half a word.
Nubi did not dare to speak! But yesterday, Nubi unfortunately overheard the scheme between niang niang and him and guessed that today would be the day Nubi dies, so might as well reveal everything at once, ask for His Majesty’s mercy and grant Nubi an intact corpse!”

People became more horrified as they continued to listen.
They couldn’t believe their ears.
How could such a thing exist in the Palace? This Head Eunuch was too arrogant!

The Emperor was also furious and pressed in asking: “What on earth did you hear!”

Bai He burst into tears, her voice choked with sobs: “Nubi…
Nubi heard—”

Tuoba Yu suddenly got up and shouted: “Imperial Father, how could you trust the words of a palace maid? She must have been bribed by someone! Please don’t believe her nonsense!”

The Crown Prince immediately frowned: “Seventh Brother, I know you are concerned about your Concubine Mother, but everything will naturally be decided by Imperial Father, so listen first then you can speak!”

Tuoba Yu was not speaking for his mother’s sake, he believed that the Virtuous Consort would not do such a foolish thing.
She had known of the Emperor’s love for Consort Lian and that Consort Lian was someone he sent into the Palace, to assist for his cause, so there was no point in turning against her.
Although Virtuous Consort had quite a few disputes before, it had not reached the point of a life and death situation, much less the need for poisoning on this occasion.
Virtuous Consort loved her son with all her heart and acted on her emotions, but she wasn’t this stupid!

The Empress sneered and said: “Bai He, why don’t you continue speaking?”

Bai He’s tears continued to trail down as she said: “Yes, Zhou Xiang was drunk last night and came back rambling, saying that Virtuous Consort instructed him to find an opportunity to poison Consort Lian niang niang—”

Appalled, Virtuous Consort sharply said: “What nonsense are you spewing, why would I do this? How could you bring up some drunken words to testify?”

Bai He gritted her teeth and proceeded to take out a small porcelain bottle on her and said: “Nubi is not spewing nonsense, Nubi has material evidence! This is acquired from Zhou Xiang, a mixture of the two poisons like the Imperial Physician said just now.
If Your Majesty does not believe it, then test it out.
Nubi is only a lowly servant in the Palace.
If this was not given by a master, this kind of thing that cannot be bought with money, it will not be sold to Nubi even if Nubi sold herself, begging Your Majesty to be the judge of this!”

Indeed, arsenic and Patridge Dew are rare items that are forbidden in the Palace.
They are not things that an ordinary maid can obtain.
The palace maid’s words shot through the Emperor’s mind, his brows were vaguely twitching: “Good! Very good! Virtuous Consort, you truly are daring!”

The Empress also deliberately expressed her regret: “Virtuous Consort meimei, you’ve committed wrongs, how could you do such a thing, even if you are jealous of Consort Lian’s favor, you should not forget that there is a dragon descendant in her womb.
In doing this, you refuse to even spare His Majesty’s child?”

Consort Lian was so indignant that her face had turned pale.
She knelt down beneath the Emperor’s knees, tears falling like rain: “Your Majesty, you must take a stand for this consort.
Otherwise, this consort would no longer dare to remain in the Palace!”

The muscles on the Emperor’s face involuntarily twitched along with the blue veins protruding from his temple, reflecting the anger from the bottom of his heart.
The Crown Prince conveniently added some words: “The heart of women in the harem is rather vicious.
Imperial Father, if you do not severely punish them, there may never be a day of peace from now on!”

Li Wei Yang’s expression was of slight indifference, but when she looked at Consort Lian, she revealed a small, blank smile.

The Seventh Prince, Tuoba Yu knelt down and made his way over to the bottom of the steps, saying: “Imperial Father, this son dares to use his life to guarantee that Concubine Mother would never do this kind of thing, the way she is towards you, the things she has done for you over these twenty years, Imperial Father knows best, didn’t you always say that Concubine Mother is a gentle and honest person? Why would you listen to the words of a palace maid and simply believe that Concubine Mother is guilty?”

Virtuous Consort was also in tears, looking sad and pitiful as she said: “Your Majesty, this consort is actually innocent.
It was originally out of good intentions that I let Zhou Xiang take care of Bai He.
Who would have known that someone would bribe Bai He to frame this consort? This consort has truly been wronged, I have no idea what I did wrong to be framed like this by someone—”

Virtuous Consort did have intentions of using Bai He to bribe Zhou Xiang, but there was also Bai He’s character to consider.
Even if she had been beaten and scolded, how could she betray her master? And even dared to say that she poisoned Consort Lian, would she be so stupid to act in the presence of such a large crowd? There was no need to think about who would frame her for this kind of thing.
If she was defeated, the Seventh Prince would naturally suffer losses, the ones with the most to gain is not Consort Lian but the Empress and the Crown Prince! Such poisonous hearts and minds!

“Hahaha…” The Emperor burst into a chilling peal of laughter: “Beloved officials, you have heard it clearly, revealing the tail in order to hide the head! Virtuous Consort, you said you are innocent, so I’ll ask you.
Zhou Xiang is the Head Eunuch by my side.
You randomly gave him a palace maid close to you out of goodwill.
Is it because they are of the same mind and heart? Or do you already have ulterior motives, poisoning Consort Lian and my flesh and blood in her womb today, and are you going to kill me tomorrow and make your own son the Emperor?”

“Your Majesty…
Your Majesty…” Virtuous Consort knelt on the ground, at a loss for words.

“Come!” The Emperor called out, and several guards came in from outside the hall.
“Detain Virtuous Consort first, she will be punished after she is found guilty!”

Several guards swarmed up and dragged Virtuous Consort out of the main hall.
The Seventh Prince, Tuoba Yu, was planning to plead with him, but the Emperor sneered: “Could it be that you colluded with your mother too?”

Tuoba Yu was shocked.
He could only see the fierce intensity and coldness from the Imperial Father that had always loved him.
He suddenly realized that his Imperial Father, who had always been gentle and amiable towards his Concubine Mother and praised him on end, was a man that ruthlessly turned the other way.
He did not care about the slightest affections between husband and wife, nor father and son.
In his heart, there is only the throne.
Virtuous Consort gave her personal maid to the Head Eunuch by his side as a gift.
Now that something major had happened, he had grown suspicious.
In this manner, things will get out of hand.
The Emperor suspected Virtuous Consort’s motives as well as Tuoba Yu’s involvement…
Such a scheme must have been arranged by the Crown Prince and the Empress because they have the most to gain.

Tuoba Yu lifted his eyes and glanced at the Empress with hidden satisfaction in her eyes.
He lowered his head and said: “Imperial Father, this son does not dare.”

The Emperor scoffed coldly and said: “Very well, take Zhou Xiang and Bai He down and lock them up separately, they’re not allowed to form a joint confession! Once the banquet ends, the Chief Officer of the Ministry of Justice will personally investigate!”

Tuoba Yu returned to his seat and noticed Li Wei Yang, seated across from him, had a strange calmness in her eyes.
There was no sympathy in her eyes, only ridicule.
He immediately understood what she had meant: This is the result of your actions.
If you had persecuted and eliminated Tuoba Zhen’s people this morning, if he did not possess a woman’s soft-heartedness, then the Empress and her people would not have been able to frame Virtuous Consort.
It was his mistake, he was the one that harmed his Concubine Mother, his indecisiveness and moment of kindness that allowed things to end up in this state today.

At that moment, Tuoba Yu began to recognize Li Wei Yang’s cleverness and foresight.
She refused to give the enemy a single chance, even if most of them had already been eliminated, even if her hands were full of blood, she needed to win because she knew that if she gave them a chance to breathe, they would lunge and seize her throat like a wild wolf.
Tuoba Yu felt difficulty breathing, his hand was shaking as he held the cup.
He did not dare to raise his head and look into the Emperor’s stern eyes because if he expressed the slightest hint of dissatisfaction, Virtuous Consort’s fate would be sealed.

There’s a chance, there’s still a chance! Imperial Father only confined Concubine Mother for now, Wei Yang will certainly have a way to save his Concubine Mother! He just needed to consult her, there must be a way! There was still hope in Tuoba Yu’s eyes.
He simultaneously looked in Li Wei Yang’s direction, his eyes brimming with anticipation.

Sun Yan Jun was sympathetic and whispered: “You see, Virtuous Consort niang niang is really pitiful.
She was just at the pinnacle, but now she has become a prisoner.
Who knows how she will be treated, how awful it must be!”

Li Wei Yang smiled coldly, her eyes gleaming as she indifferently said: “Many things come as a result of our choices.
If she didn’t have ulterior motives in the beginning in ordering Bai He to be Zhou Xiang’s companion, Bai He would not have been abused and bear resentment, nor would she have betrayed her master in front of so many people.
Do you think it will end well for someone who has betrayed her master? She would not have done such a thing unless she had been forced down a dead end.
Of course, there must have been someone else who prompted and bribed her, but the real reason that led her to bet on her life still lies with Virtuous Consort.
She was the one that sent her weaknesses into the enemy’s hands.
She was the one who created an opportunity for others.”

The enemy will not be soft-hearted.
They will seize every possible opportunity to attack you until you are beaten down, even then they will not let you go, choking you by the neck until you have stopped breathing altogether.

Li Wei Yang looked quite calm when she said these words.
It seemed as if she was saying the weather was nice today and if it would be sunny tomorrow or not.
However, Sun Yan Jun was quite surprised, lowering her voice to whisper: “You mean, Virtuous Consort niang niang was framed?”

Li Wei Yang had to laugh: “What else do you think it is? Virtuous Consort has lived in the Palace for so many years, would she be easily defeated by such a trivial matter? The matter of capsizing a boat in shallow waters is simply because the opponent has blocked your next move and cut off your retreat.”

Sun Yan Jun was even more surprised: “If you knew the truth, why didn’t you say anything?”

Li Wei Yang smiled: “I’m not only the person at this banquet who knows the truth, but what is important is not the truth but the will of the Son of Heaven.
Those who are favored by His Majesty are innocent, those who are trusted by His Majesty are the victims, those who His Majesty dislike are out of luck, that is simply the reason.
I think that the Seventh Prince finally understands this.”

Sun Yan Jun was dumbstruck: “Tuoba Yu?”

Li Wei Yang blinked, a hint of a smile appearing in her eyes: “The winner becomes king, the loser a criminal.
He is someone in a high position yet lacking in perceptiveness and practicality.
Only when he sees the terrible consequences of his momentary soft-heartedness, will he understand where he went wrong.”

Sun Yan Jun didn’t know what to say.
She wanted to say that Li Wei Yang was being a bit too harsh, but there was a voice in her heart telling her that Wei Yang was right.
If she was kind to the enemy, she was being cruel to herself.

After what had just happened, the ministers were very afraid, the entire hall was crowded yet silent as a sheet of paper.

Seeing that the hall had calmed down, the Emperor coldly said: “Perhaps my beloved officials feel that what happened today was sudden, but this is not the case.
I have a feeling that Virtuous Consort has been secretly making waves for a long time and even intended to harm Consort Lian for some time.
It just boiled over today, that is also fine.
Whether it is a nail in the harem or lying officials in the Imperial Court, I will not let a single person go.” Once he finished speaking, he paused for a bit to observe the ministers’ reactions.
The ministers had their heads lowered, only the Crown Prince looked up at the Emperor with a slight expression of panic and unease on his face.
The Emperor coldly scoffed: “Does the Crown Prince feel that there is something wrong with what I said just now?”

“Imperial Father, what you said just now is true.
Many ministers in the Imperial Court have clearly witnessed it.
Virtuous Consort was too vicious today.
This son proposes that her sins be announced throughout the world to make everyone steady their hearts and minds, so that there is peace in the harem.”

The Emperor coldly smiled and said: “Do as the Crown Prince says then.” Once he had spoken, he flung out his sleeves and left his seat.
He didn’t even bother to look or say a word to the Mo Bei Prince, who had been watching the Da Li palace intrigues with great interest.

Li Yuan Heng appeared to be quite excited by this.
Back in their Mo Bei, women also fight over their lovers, but most of them are resolved by physical fights.
Such intrigues are rare.
He could see that Virtuous Consort was the one who had lost the most today, but the winner is not necessarily the proud and smug Empress! On the contrary, Consort Lian, who has always been gentle and weak has won sympathy and obtained an even greater level of favor.

The Emperor had left, and the other concubines followed after him.
The Empress glanced at Consort Lian and smiled: “You must have been frightened today.”

Consort Lian gently said: “Thanking niang niang for taking a stand for this consort.”

The Empress slightly smiled and took the hand of the female attendant by her side and left.

At the palace gates, Sun Yan Jun had just gone up onto the carriage, and Bai Zhi was about to help Li Wei Yang up when she suddenly heard footsteps behind her, hurrying over.
Li Wei Yang didn’t need to look back to know who it was.
Her movements stopped, and she turned around.
It was Tuoba Yu indeed.

Li Min De looked on from afar, but there was a sneer on his lips.

Tuoba Yu had a face full of anxiety.
He knew that there were many onlooking eyes at the palace gates, but he disregarded everything.
Fortunately, there was light drizzle at the moment, so everyone hurried to get onto their carriages, countless bamboo umbrellas opened, so no one paid attention to this corner of the gates for the time being.
Tuoba Yu gave Li Wei Yang a nod, and Li Wei Yang understood.
She did not waste words and went with him to a more secluded corridor before coming to a stop: “There is no one here.
Your Highness, if you have something to say, then say it.
I still need to hurry home.”

Looking at Li Wei Yang’s expression, Tuoba Yu had some understanding that she had already known about everything that happened today! Suppressing the anger in his heart, he quietly looked at her: “Are you…still angry?”

“Why would I be angry?” Li Wei Yang appeared surprised, lifting her head up to face him.

“My Concubine Mother was rude to you before, you did not pursue it either.
I’m begging you to help her out of trouble this time for my sake.”

“You want me to help your Concubine Mother out of trouble?” Li Wei Yang arched her eyebrows.


“Based on what?” Li Wei Yang sneered: “Virtuous Consort niang niang is so noble, I’m afraid she won’t be able to accept it and be saved by a little girl like me! Seventh Prince, you think I will lend a hand if you put in a few words, has Your Highness ever thought about why I should help you? Since you didn’t take my advice last time, I thought our cooperation was over!”

She turned to leave after she had finished speaking, but Tuoba Yu suddenly stood in front of her: “Don’t go—listen to me!”

Li Wei Yang coldly stopped, Tuoba Yu gritted his teeth and said: “…Concubine Mother’s mistakes, I am willing to bear it all.
It is all my fault that things have fallen to this point.
If I had made up my mind earlier, Concubine Mother would not have been schemed against by others, so you’re right, I’m not qualified to ask you to do things for me.”

Li Wei Yang just looked at him coldly, her brows without the slightest movement.

“I know that I have no way for you to trust me now, so I am willing to exchange all of my possessions in exchange for my Concubine Mother’s life.” Tuoba Yu’s dark figure in the midst of the night harbored countless, complicated emotions.
He liked Li Wei Yang and deeply understood this young woman.
She never spoke with him in terms of feelings, she only spoke in terms of business.
If he negotiated with his possessions and was able to save his Concubine Mother’s life, then it is worth it.

Li Wei Yang chuckled and said: “Do you think I’m after money?” Money and possessions, you cannot bring them with you throughout your life nor in death, Tuoba Yu’s gold, silver and pearls couldn’t save Virtuous Consort Zhang from disaster.
They were not useful enough for Li Wei Yang to risk coming up with a plan to rescue someone.
She was about to move and leave when Tuoba Yu said: “Saying that is no different than slapping me in the face, I have never heard such words before…
There’s no use in me being angry or resentful, I only have myself to blame! Wei Yang, consider that I’m begging you this time—”

“Move.” Li Wei Yang’s eyes became even colder.
“Seventh Prince, these feelings are better off used on someone else, I can’t afford it—”

In these critical moments, Tuoba Yu hastily said: “Wei Yang!” It was a sad cry with bottomless guilt, remorse and sorrow.

Li Wei Yang suddenly stopped mid-step.
She turned around and looked at Tuoba Yu in all seriousness, who didn’t know what she was looking at.
Her heart was cold and merciless as ice.
She could turn a blind eye to Virtuous Consort’s misfortune, no, rather Virtuous Consort ended up like this was because she and Consort Lian joined hands because she was tired of Virtuous Consort’s condescending actions and wanted to let her taste the feeling of being empty-handed.
Of course, the moment she watched Virtuous Consort fall into the abyss, it meant that she had completely abandoned her alliance with Tuoba Yu.
However, when she saw the state he was in, Li Wei Yang suddenly remembered she was once desperate in the Cold Palace too.

Watching loved ones lose their lives because you were too foolish and cowardly, that kind of pain is not something ordinary people can withstand.
Tuoba Yu has never experienced it, so when it comes, it will be vivid and all too clear.
Likewise, his heart will be aflame with his resentment towards the Crown Prince and Tuoba Zhen, and this resentment will eventually push him onto a completely different path than before.
Thinking of this, Li Wei Yang suddenly smiled and said: “Are you really asking me to save your Concubine Mother?”

Tuoba Yu's eyes lit up with hope, and he subconsciously took two steps forward: “As long as you agree, I’m willing to give anything in exchange!”

The smile on Li Wei Yang’s face broadened: “I only have one way, but to be honest, if it is not done well, not only will this plan fail, it will also seal Virtuous Consort niang niang’s fate.
Are you willing to take the risk?”

Tuoba Yu had never been so grateful.
He nodded quickly and said, “I believe in you!”

The Emperor had confined Virtuous Consort Zhang, and Tuoba Yu used all means necessary to take care of what Li Wei Yang had asked him to do.
Then, he anxiously stood outside Xuan De Gate and awaited the result of the matter.


Translator: Chau

Editor: Chau


Chapter 138: Virtuous Consort Tragically Dies


The Emperor was in Consort Lian’s palace when an eunuch came to the Emperor and reported: “Your Majesty, Virtuous Consort niang niang sent an attendant with a box over, saying it was to be presented to Your Majesty.”

“Virtuous Consort?” It was the only thing the Emperor asked about.

“Yes, Your Majesty.” The eunuch obediently replied.

The Emperor coldly said: “Throw it out.” At that moment, Consort Lian softly spoke up: “Your Majesty, this consort was overly emotional for a bit.
Thinking back now, this consort wasn’t actually harmed.
Virtuous Consort niang niang must have regretted her actions.
What do you say, how about easing the punishment? Or at least take a look at what is in this box.”

The Emperor sighed and took Consort Lian’s hand: “You are sensible after all, Virtuous Consort has deeply disappointed me, if I didn’t consider the fact that she had given birth to the Seventh Prince, I wouldn’t have even given her a chance.”

The eunuch sensed that now was the time and held out the box to the Emperor with both hands.
The wooden box was delicately crafted from rosewood with gold traces.
The Emperor felt it was vaguely familiar.
Thinking about it, it seemed that this was the jewelry box he had given Virtuous Consort when she first entered the Palace.
To think she had kept it up until now, his heart suddenly softened.
He said to himself: “I made some speculations about today’s affairs too, have I wronged Virtuous Consort?”

Consort Lian slightly smiled and calmly said: “Your Majesty is right.”

The wooden box opened with a snap.
Everyone around them suddenly held their breaths.
Consort Lian noticed that the Emperor was stiffly sitting there, his face pale and eyes fixated ahead like a wooden puppet.
Consort Lian was curious.
Thinking that Virtuous Consort had sent something unexpected, she tilted her head and inspected it.
It turned out to be a knot made from red cord, shaped like a peach, two intertwining cords woven together to form a double layered knot, tightly secured.
It was obviously a concentric knot, but it had been cut into two at the middle.

“Oh, it’s a concentric knot! But why did someone cut this concentric knot—” Consort Lian seemed confused.

Concentric knots are used to express the mutual love between a man and woman.
Although Virtuous Consort is a part of the harem, she and the Emperor had naturally had some old stories between them.
When Virtuous Consort first entered the Palace that year, the Emperor favored her for several years.
He even personally tied a concentric knot with her as a token of promise, but he didn’t expect to see that Virtuous Consort had actually cut the concentric knot.
The Emperor’s eyebrows twitched with a flicker of anger, she was threatening me, my actions made her heart turn cold, so she wanted to end it between us! The audacity! Thinking of this, he flung out his arm, sending the box onto the ground.

“Send a decree, immediately send for Virtuous Consort to see me!” The Emperor coldly ordered, but there was no affection on his face.

Virtuous Consort was as good as dead! Consort Lian revealed a look of regret, or rather she had long anticipated this.
Was a person’s fate this delicate? Virtuous Consort’s fate was tied to a little concentric knot!

That night, the Emperor strongly condemned Virtuous Consort, rushed her with a heavy scolding, refused to hear her explain and even had her kneel in the rain all night.
Virtuous Consort always had a bit of a self-righteous personality.
After being treated like this, she felt extremely wronged.
She couldn’t figure out how the concentric knot she had sent according to her son’s wishes had been cut…
Once she returned, she brought wine out and swallowed a piece of gold.
After Tuoba Yu learned about this, he knelt at the palace gates for an entire day before the Emperor allowed him to invite an Imperial Physician, but by then, Virtuous Consort was at death’s door.
The Imperial Physician kept on saying: “Late…
It’s too late…”

Tuoba Yu almost fainted on the spot upon hearing this.
Suppressing his grief, he looked at the dying Virtuous Consort, unable to say a word.
Virtuous Consort died from swallowing white wine and gold, ultimately dying from the pain in her stomach.
She didn’t close her eyes even after her last breath, dying a tragic death.

Tuoba Yu came out of the Imperial Palace.
When he was getting on his horse, he missed a step and fell down, rendered unconscious.

When the news came, Li Wei Yang was practicing calligraphy.
She frowned when she heard about it, and then her brush paused.

“How could this be?” A trace of doubt appeared on her pale face.

Today, Li Wei Yang wore a light blue silk pleated overcoat, layers of her skirt spreading out like flowing water, sparkling in the light.
At that moment, Li Min De’s worried eyes rested on the folds of her cuffs.
He happened to reach out and smooth them out, then indifferently said: “What’s wrong, was it not within your expectations?”

“I told Tuoba Yu to have his Concubine Mother send a sentimental item to the Emperor, let him remember old sentiments and remember the gentle, dignified and virtuous Virtuous Consort of those days.
Although it won’t immediately allow Virtuous Consort to escape her predicament, at least it would not make things worse.
Why did it anger the Emperor all of the sudden? This is——really unusual.”

Li Min De smiled and said: “Your approach itself wasn’t bad, it could have made the Emperor reminisce old sentiments.
It’s a pity—”

Li Wei Yang looked up at him: “From the sound of your tone, it seems like you have some inside information about it.”

Li Min De’s smile broadened: “It doesn’t really count as inside information, I just happen to know a little more about it than you do.
Although the news was blocked after the accident, it’s impossible to keep something from being leaked out.
It’s said that that night, when Virtuous Consort sent the concentric knot over like you suggested, someone unexpectedly tampered with it.
The concentric knot was perfectly fine until it was cut up, how do you think the Emperor would feel after seeing it? As a man, he would feel that Virtuous Consort isn’t sensible and feel resentful, won’t he?”

Li Wei Yang was surprised: “Someone tampered with it? The Empress?”

Li Min De only smiled and leisurely said: “Of course, the Empress and Crown Prince are just puppets under someone else’s control, and the person behind them is hiding the shadows, secretly watching.”

For some reason, Li Wei Yang sighed and said: “It’s Tuoba Zhen.”

Li Min De’s voice was mesmerizing: “What’s the matter? Unhappy that Virtuous Consort couldn’t be saved?”

Li Wei Yang was taken aback, then she immediately laughed and said: “She is only human and would have to die anyways.
I only gave Tuoba Yu a chance, so he would come to understand this.
From the moment I came up with this idea, I have warned that it is dangerous to act rashly, but if you don’t act, you will certainly die.”

“I even thought that you—” Li Min De’s lips curved, mocking himself: “You did it for Tuoba Yu’s sake.”

Li Wei Yang’s smile was no different from usual, one could see that she didn’t care at all: “Whether or not Virtuous Consort dies, it won’t affect the endgame, so I don’t really care.
I only care about what Tuoba Zhen does next.” Speaking of which, she suddenly paused and looked at Li Min De with a passive smile, “But what surprised me is that you even dared to burn down Ji Xiang Palace and still managed to walk out of the Imperial Palace unscathed.
It must not have been easy.”

Li Min De revealed a charming smile: “Don't underestimate my connections in the Palace…”

“So, what do you know then?” Li Wei Yang had known of Li Min De’s extraordinary capabilities for a while, but she didn’t expect him to have eyes and ears in the Imperial Palace.
In other words, there are Yue Xi spies in the Da Li Imperial Palace.
It’s not surprising though.
Many countries have set up elaborate spy networks in other countries for several decades.
The thing is, the Emperor of Yue Xi even handed over the spy network to Li Min De, it goes to show how much he loved and valued this son.

“I know that Jiang Hua secretly colluded with the Empress and Crown Prince, wanting to put you to death.
But they are too naive, there’s no way that their amateur tricks will be airtight.
I realized something was wrong the moment Jiang Hua invited the Mo Bei Prince, but I deliberately did not act and let them proceed, in order to act at the most critical moment, only to fail when they are about to succeed, so I can see their faces and see them vomit blood…” Li Min De’s smile was very kind and compassionate, making Bai Zhi and Mo Zhu by their side with no choice but to exchange a look with one another.

Acting at the most critical moment, strike to scatter the opponent’s troops, this kind of mentality seemed a little twisted.

It turns out he already had his suspicions since the Fourth Mo Bei Prince appeared…
It was Li Wei Yang’s turn to ridicule herself: “I thought my sources were well-informed, but it seems you have already guarded against the things that even Consort Lian had no idea of.”

Li Min De stared at her and his voice softened: “You’re wary of Tuoba Zhen, so you would not dare to plant too many eyes and ears in the Palace.
Consort Lian is your main source of information.
However, there are times when the Emperor may not completely trust her.
In that case, you will need to use other people.”

Li Wei Yang smiled, her eyes like clear crystals with flowers quietly blooming underneath.
She thought to herself, compared to Li Min De, she was too cautious.
If he hadn’t set Ji Xiang Palace on fire, she was afraid she would have to work much harder to get rid of the Fourth Mo Bei Prince.

Li Min De lowered his head and pointed at her writing: “As with anything, as long as you persist, it will get better.
Look, your writing was really ugly at first.
Isn’t this significant progress now?”

Li Wei Yang: “…” Can’t you be a little more subtle?

Li Min De only laughed.
His eyes were bright as stars.
He smiled and warmly said: “I’m only telling the truth.”

Li Wei Yang had nothing to say to that.
Although Li Min De was a man, when he smiled, his eyes would curve up, enough to seduce anyone’s heart, making her unable to refute even when she wanted to.
She carefully looked down at her writing and couldn’t help but sigh: “Drawing a tiger, only to end up drawing a puppy, my calligraphy is simply inadequate.”

Not everything can be changed with hard work in this world.
For instance, Li Wei Yang’s calligraphy is a lost cause.
Not much progress has been made even after practicing for so many years.
Forget reputed families, she couldn’t even compare to young ladies of ordinary households.
What a pity.
She couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
She lowered her brush and said to Bai Zhi: “Alright, put it away.”

Seeing her disappointment, Li Min De smiled and said: “Today is the Day of Release, do you want to go out?”

Li Wei Yang raised her eyebrows and said: “Day of Release?” Yes, today is the annual day of Release.
How could she forget about this? There is a custom among the Da Li common folk on February 16th every year known as the Day of Release.
On this day, every family must set some animals free, specifically at a designated release site, either in the suburbs or rivers as a way of accumulating good karma.

“Lao Furen said that she needs good karma this year, so she has already prepared birds to be released.
She asked Xiaojie to release them for her.” Bai Zhi relayed what Luo Mama had just instructed her to Li Wei Yang.

Li Wei Yang nodded, then reprimanded her: “Why didn’t you say so earlier?”

Bai Zhi felt a little wronged.
She saw that Xiaojie was wholeheartedly focused on practicing calligraphy just now, so she didn’t dare to speak for the time being.

“Go and prepare the carriage, let’s not go too far and return once we’ve set them free.” Li Wei Yang said.

Bai Zhi and Mo Zhu knew they could go out after hearing this and immediately rejoiced.
They hurriedly went to prepare the carriage.
Everything was ready in less than half an hour.
Li Wei Yang sat on the carriage and looked at a row of bird cages behind her and laughed: “How come Lao Furen is like this, bringing well-cared for pet birds out to be released?”

This time, Li Lao Furen released a total of 18 birds.
Apart from the six bird cages on the carriage, there were twelve more in the wagon behind them.
Lao Furen originally had these bird cages hanging in the corridor.
Some of them had been raised for several years.
Each of these birds usually cost a few dozens of silver, all of them were rare species that were hard to come by.
It’s such a pity to release all of them this time.

“Fourth Brother suddenly caught a cold and is coughing a little.
Lao Furen is distressed for him, so she said to release more animals to accumulate good karma.
The Heavens will see her sincerity and allow Fourth Brother to recover soon.” Li Min De smiled.
When he spoke, his pupils retracted and emphasized his pale amber irises, making one’s heart race.

Li Wei Yang felt a bit of warmth inside: “With an elder’s care, Min Zhi can be happy too.”

“Indeed, even if there was no Lao Furen, Li Xiao Ran will protect Fourth Brother to preserve the bloodline and will not allow anyone to hurt him.”

He still has another son.” Li Wei Yang suddenly said.

Li Min De smiled and said: “From the moment you forced Jiang Hua to reveal Li Min Feng’s whereabouts, he was as good as dead.”

“Dead?” Li Wei Yang was dumbfounded, then she said: “But the person I had sent failed to find him, which goes to show that Jiang Hua had lied about this.”

“No, half of it is true, and half of it is false.
It took me a while searching in the direction that he pointed.
It took me a month to find him.
The thing is, I didn’t kill him, he killed himself.” Li Min De’s gaze fell on her like a cool breeze brushing the surface of a lake as he spoke.

“What does that mean?” Li Wei Yang couldn’t help but frown.

“Meaning that while he was on the run, day and night, worried and uneasy, he ended up coming down with an infectious disease.
By the time my people arrived, he had stopped breathing.” Li Min De said everything without a trace of emotion, simply stating the facts in a calm manner.

Li Wei Yang was a little surprised, then shocked before her smile finally returned: “This is very good.” Li Xiao Ran only had Min Zhi and will only have Min Zhi forever and now.
In order to preserve his bloodline, he will cultivate Min Zhi’s talents even at the cost of his life.

“This way, you won’t need to do anything for Fourth Brother anymore.” Li Min De added with a strange smile on his face.

Li Wei Yang looked at him, inexplicably a bit confused.
This kind of confusion brought out a little unease rarely seen at her age onto her usually cold face.
Li Min De’s smile widened, but he didn’t offer the slightest explanations for his words.

The carriage stopped by the side of the Wang Xiang building, the tallest in the Capital.
Li Min De purposely chose a quiet and peaceful room, and the servants went to release the birds.
Even Bai Zhi and Mo Zhi also followed them, joining in on the fun in setting the little birds free.
Li Wei Yang leaned against the corridor rail and watched as the girls’ faces filled with excitement, smiling softly.
There were many people releasing animals downstairs, and Li Wei Yang’s eyes stopped on a young woman among them.
In front of so many people, this young woman broke open a large, longevity peach.
A little bird unexpectedly flew out, spread its wings and soared to the limits of the sky.
Everyone looked up at the sky and happily clapped their hands.

Li Wei Yang looked at the young woman who was around the age of 17 or 18.
She wore a wide robe with a thin scarf draped across her shoulders and bright red boots on her feet.
She looked completely different from people in the Capital.
Just as she looked at the other party, the other party also noticed her.
She looked up and smiled at Li Wei Yang, revealing her gleaming teeth.

Li Wei Yang suddenly stopped smiling because she clearly saw that there was a man standing beside the young woman.
It was none other than Li Yuan Heng, the Fourth Mo Bei Prince.
At this moment, his gaze also shifted upstairs—


Translator: Chau

Editor: Chau

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