Li Helan stared dumbly, rooted in place, feeling like all strength had been drained from her in a split second. Her body wavered and she finally dropped to a sitting position on the ground.
Looking up with tears in her eyes, she choked out in a dry voice, “This subject obeys.”
Li Qitian snorted coldly. “If you’d come to your senses earlier about what it means to be a subject and what it means to obey, things wouldn’t have gotten to this point! Go back and think hard on it all! Servants!”
Li Guanwen walked up with his head down. “This servant is here.”
“Escort the Princess of Anyang back to her manor and arrange for two of Our mamas to serve by her side. Arrange another twenty bodyguards for her in shifts of ten.”
This was putting Li Helan under arrest like a prisoner!
The eunuch murmured his understanding and cast a meaningful glance at the palace servants behind him. They immediately came up to help the princess out.
Anguish wracked the empress dowager’s heart and she frowned anxiously. “Don’t you go too far with your actions?”
Eyes narrowed dangerously at the rebuke. “Royal mother, though I am your son, I am also the emperor of Great Zhou. I burn candles at both ends everyday for our great nation. Pang Zhixi is my right hand man and blissfully newly wed. This has happened right underneath Our eyes! We must give him an explanation, no?”
“An explanation’s one thing, but you shouldn’t be like this to your own sister!”
“Therefore, royal mother means to say that We should fault those who taught her wrongly, is that it?”
Li Qitian was generally quite filial and sweet-tempered, so much so that the empress dowager had almost forgotten what kind of person her son was actually like.
When his menacing look swept her way, her heart quailed. The drawn out “is that it” stabbed into her like a knife, bringing with it fearful shudders that gripped her body with cold.
Seeing his mother thus slightly abated Li Qitian’s outrage. “In your advanced age, it’s inappropriate for royal mother to be unduly concerned with too many things. Your son will have servants renovate the worship hall in the Palace of Serene Piety. You can spend your days in prayers to Buddha, recite scripture, cultivate the self, and possibly increase your lifespan this way. Now that your son is the master of all beneath the heavens, I will use all that is to be found to provide and care for you. The caveat is, you must live long. What say you?”
The empress dowager widened her eyes with disbelief. The emperor meant that she should mind her own business from now on and occupy herself with reciting scripture in the worship hall!
After confining Li Helan, was he grounding her?
Howls of outrage shook the empress dowager’s heart. She. was. his. mother!
If she’d known that her son would one day become such an unfilial bastard, she’d rather Li Qitian not be the emperor!
But a sliver of rationale still threaded her thoughts, and Li Helan really was at fault today. Coveting another pot while furiously shoveling in food from her own plate was indeed the mark of a woman with loose morals. And the most awkward thing of all, was that the prince consort had caught her in the act!
The flaws in a child’s rearing stem from the parents. Now that problems had developed in the eldest princess’ character, it naturally was a result of the empress dowager not teaching her well.
Worried about her own future and the relationship between Li Helan and Ji Zeyu, the empress dowager found herself at a loss for what to do in the face of the emperor’s anger. She couldn’t very well try to smooth things over with Ji Zeyu right then and there!
“The emperor speaks truly.”
“I’m glad we agree. Rest well and enjoy your days in your palace, royal mother.” Li Qitian took a look around at the remaining servants kneeling on the ground. “Take all these servants back with Us and question them closely about what happened today.”
He whirled and left without another word, not allowing a single chance for his mother to plead for leniency.
Watching her son walk off, the empress dowager’s tears trickled down her face like a broken string of pearls.
Just what kind of evil had she committed!
When Pang Xiao left the Palace of Serene Piety with Qin Yining in his arms, a young eunuch had already prepared a carriage. Climbing aboard with his precious cargo, he ordered, “Prepare a sedan chair for the imperial physician.”
The eunuch quickly came up with the required vehicle, and the group set a rapid pace out of the palace.
Lying in the lurching compartment, Qin Yining could feel her husband’s constant grip on her left hand. His fingers dug tightly into her palm, betraying his extreme worry.
They couldn’t talk, since they were still in the palace, but she could still give him a hint.
She tightened her hand around Pang Xiao’s and tickled his palm.
Pang Xiao’s eyes widened, his mind finally freeing itself from the morass of fear over her faint. His darling must have a reason for this act. Thank goodness she wasn’t really injured or sick! Though it didn’t feel good to have his heart almost leap out of his throat, all was well as long as she was fine.
A while later, he rubbed her eyes gently, indicating that she could open them.
Uncertain if there were others present that would discover her pretense, Qin Yining only opened her eyes after receiving this signal. She looked around, settling on her husband’s handsome face, and broke out in a large grin.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Okay, Li Qitian is definitely a final boss.