He took a handful of ashes in his hand and scattered them over the lake. "You loved it the most when I smiled at you gently. Now, I shall smile as I bury you in the depths of the Prince Yun Residence's lake."
Yun Ruofeng’s tone was placid, and the smile on his face gentle. The ashes in his hand fell onto the surface of the lake like sand from an hourglass. He did so again and again, scattering the ashes until his fingers could only find the cold wood of the empty black box.
Yun Ruofeng let out a chuckle and tossed the wooden box into the lake, watching as it briefly floated before becoming soaked in water and sunk.
Yun Ruofeng was still standing by the lake even after the box had sunk, not speaking a word. The smile on his face slowly faded, and his eyes once more became as black as ink.
Just then, footsteps came from behind him followed by a respectful voice. It was Qin Ling. "Prince Yun."
After greeting Yun Ruofeng, Qin Ling immediately knelt down. "Please retract your order, and allow that woman to live. This is a letter that this subordinate came across in Commander Wei's Residence."
Qin Ling then offered the letter in his hands. He had originally planned on following through with Yun Ruofeng’s order, and having that woman killed. Upon reading Wei Mohai’s letter, however, he couldn’t help but change his mind and come to beg Yun Ruofeng for mercy.
Yun Ruofeng took the letter and carefully scanned through it under the moonlight.
The ink was dark and dull, indicating that the letter had been written for a long time. When that woman had gotten married, Wei Mohai had penned a letter, saying that her happiness was the most important thing. The letter, however, along with Wei Mohai’s feelings and blessings, remained locked away in his residence, never to be known.
Yun Ruofeng sneered and passed the letter back to Qin Ling. "This Prince will not take back my orders. Wei Mohai doesn't have any descendants, and needs someone to guard his tomb for life. Hurry up and get on with it."
Qin Ling's heart thumped against his chest. He wanted to speak further, but saw the coldness in Yun Ruofeng's eyes. He had never seen Yun Ruofeng in such a state. No matter how reluctant he was to do it, he could only endure it, turn around, and head off to execute Yun Ruofeng's orders.
Qin Ling clenched his fists tightly. I have killed many people as a soldier, but my conscience is clear because I had been fighting to defend my country. But now, Prince Yun wants me to lay hands on an innocent woman and her family. If she refuses to heed his orders, then he would have her husband and child, as well as maiden family killed.
They are all innocent, so how could I bear to do such a thing! But even if I don’t want to, what other choice do I have?
For the first time ever, Qin Ling felt unsure of himself. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he didn't heed Yun Ruofeng's order, he would definitely be punished for it. On the other hand, he would never be able to avoid his conscience nagging at him for the rest of his life if he followed through.
When Qin Ling reached the doors of the Prince Yun Residence, he happened to see a very anxious Piao Xu standing outside.
Upon seeing Qin Ling, Piao Xu immediately shouted, "I need to see Prince Yun about something. Imperial Guard Qin, ask them to let me in!"
The door guards were holding up their halberds, blocking Piao Xu from entering.
Qin Ling looked at Piao Xu. "What is it? It is not convenient for Prince Yun to see you now because of his condition."
"Something happened to Eldest Imperial Princess! His Majesty has just issued an imperial decree to seize the Eldest Imperial Princess and send her to the Imperial Mausoleum overnight."
Hearing Piao Xu's words, Qin Ling felt that it was no small matter. Hence, he looked at the two door guards before issuing an order. "Swiftly report this to Prince Yun. He is standing in front of the lake in the residence's garden."
With his position as Wei Mohai’s trusted follower, nobody had qualms about Qin Ling taking temporary command, and his words carried a considerable amount of weight.
Hence, the door guards immediately headed off to fulfil his order.
Piao Xu waited anxiously, her hands clutching tightly at her sleeves. She didn't understand why the Emperor had so much power. Not only did he seize three of the six ministries and reduce the taxes, he even ordered for the Eldest Imperial Princess to be captured!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Rakumon: Not sure if bothering Yun Ruofeng about Ning Anlian is the best thing to do but oh well :/