“Since there’s no great affliction, it would be good to go home and rest.” Li Qitian nodded worriedly.
Pang Xiao stood up with his wife in a princess carry, addressing the imperial physician when something suddenly struck him. “Since you took my wife’s pulse, this prince will have to trouble you to take care of my wife’s health in the future.”
A simple request was enough to enable the physician’s lungs to work again. Because the prince wished for him to take care of the princess consort, as furious as the empress dowager might be, she wouldn’t dare hurt him.
The prince purposefully said this because he’s worried that I might be wrapped up in this after telling the truth. He wants to save me.
The physician quickly bent in a bow. “Understood, this old man will do everything in my power.”
Pang Xiao nodded, then turned back to look at the empress dowager and teary Li Helan.
“This prince would really like to know what precisely took place here. She was perfectly fine when entering the imperial palace, but somehow fainted of shock after a conversation in the Palace of Serene Piety? And just what did the Princess of Anyang spew in her drunken rage?”
In his fury, his threatening tone loomed over the group like thunderclouds over city walls. Even the emperor felt a sense of menacing oppression. The terrified women didn’t dare meet Pang Xiao’s vicious eyes at all.
In an effort to alleviate the atmosphere, Li Qitian bade the servants to prepare a carriage and gave the physician clear orders to take care of Qin Yining.
With his reply of acknowledgement, the imperial physician left the palace with the newlyweds.
It wasn’t until their figures vanished into the distance, and the hall devoid of all palace servants, that Li Qitian furiously flipped over a table.
Crockery smashed onto the floor in an ear-piercing mess, further adding to one’s frustrations.
“What happened here?! Didn’t We say that Pang Zhixi is Our right hand man that We will be making heavy use of? You turn straight around and bully his wife at the drop of a hat! Just what are both of you thinking?! Are you here to hold Us back or embarrass Us??”
“Royal brother, you’ve misunderstood. I really did have too much to drink earlier and lost control of my emotions. That née Qin showed absolutely no respect to me. If she really did faint from anger, that’s on her.”
“How dare you quibble with Us??” Li Qitian snorted dismissively. “Do you think everyone’s blind and dumb? You’ve insulted Our two right hand men, just what kind of straits do you wish to throw Us into?! We value Ji Lan highly and wanted to be one family, which is why he was chosen to be your prince consort. What’s so bad about Ji Lan, hmm? With his accomplishments in keeping the Tartars in line, stunning competency and appearance, you tell Us in what way he’s inferior to you!”
Li Qitian had always doted on Li Helan and rarely lost his temper with her, especially when outsiders were present in the form of Ji Zeyu.
Stunned by the interrogation, the princess replied with trembling lips, “Not at all. Royal brother, you’ve misunderstood. The prince consort’s misunderstood as well, I don't mean that at all.”
“That’s right, Anyang isn’t that kind of girl. You’re Anyang’s blood brother and watched her grow up. You know what kind of person she is.” The empress dowager hastily stepped forward to pacify the raging emperor.
Li Qitian was about to explode from rage. He ignored the fact that it was his own mother talking in front of him.
“If it wasn’t for you spoiling her and not exercising any discipline, would she be like this now?? Turning resentful of the world just because she can’t have what she wants, thinking everyone in the world owes her this and that—not only do you not share Our worries, but you add to them at every turn. What use have We for a sister like you!?”
“Your Majesty!” Color drained from the empress dowager’s face. Did Li Qitian want to kill Li Helan?
She tugged on Li Qitian’s hand. “Your Majesty, don't be impulsive. Lan’er is your blood sister.”
“Yes, she is Our blood sister, but what has she done for Us? Nothing, and she wrecks plans whenever possible!” Li Qitian marched over and jabbed at Li Helan’s nose. “You don’t bother living a good life after obtaining your prince consort and try to stir up trouble everywhere. You even have the courage to clash with an officially ordained madame—for none other than her husband! Won’t you want to die of shame if word of this gets out? You may not be, but even We are embarrassed on your behalf!”
“Royal brother!” Li Helan stared incredulously and choked up. “Royal brother, how can you talk to Lan’er like this?”
“And are We wrong? You know the answer to that. You get the hell back to your manor and are grounded from this moment onwards. You will copy ‘Lessons for Women’ everyday until Our satisfaction is reached. If you display good behavior and revert to your mature, biddable self, then We will let you out. Otherwise, you will copy ‘Lessons for Women’ for the rest of your life, do you hear Us!?”
Li Helan swayed, as if she’d been struck by lightning. Ji Zeyu looked down, seemingly having not seen at all. Then again, he wouldn’t lift a hand to help her even if she was by his side.
“Royal brother, Lan’er doesn’t want to, Lan’er doesn’t want to!”
“What, you want to defy an imperial decree?” Li Qitian’s expression darkened.
The princess shuddered from fright. She could really tell now that her brother was a ruthless sort. He didn’t care about past history at all. If it benefited his interests, she’d probably already be six feet under.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I come bearing gifts for the Chinese New Year season! As an apology and also to spread the holiday cheer, I stocked up on red envelopes and tokens from Taiwan to send to everyone. :D
Sponsors, please send me your username and address to [email protected] so I can mail something to you!