Zhou Meng’s face grew red with shame. At first, he’d wanted to curry favour with the beauty and swoop in like a god when she was faced with trouble. She would overflow with gratitude and respect when he delivered justice to her, but who would’ve thought that all of these useless bitches would pull the rug from under his feet, one after another! Words couldn’t express the depths of his humiliation!
The prince’s face turned beet red as fury brewed in his eyes.
“All of you dare lie to this prince’s face now, hmm?!” his voice thundered in his rage. “Do you think this prince has no one to ask about what all of you have done and said today?! Asking you is to give face, but it seems you don’t know what’s good for you! Very well then, this prince will grant your wishes! Guards!”
The imperial guard outside the door answered, setting down his pike as he knelt on one knee. “Your Grace.”
“Tell this prince what happened here earlier!”
The imperial guards looked at each other. They’d all been outside the hall, so how could they have known what had happened?
The guard captain could only brace himself and reply, “In response to Your Grace, we were outside and only vaguely heard the sounds of a dispute. We were too far away to hear what specifically happened, so we aren’t sure.”
Zhou Meng almost fainted from anger.
Qin Yining lowered her head, the derision in her heart growing even stronger. It seemed that not only was this Xiyue prince led by his lust, he was also short-sighted and arrogant without any real ability.
If such a thing had happened in her prince’s manor, a single glance from Pang Zhixi would’ve scared everyone witless and spilling the truth. There would be nothing like this, where people had to be prodded into answering just the question at hand and nothing else.
The more of what she saw, the more Qin Yining missed Pang Xiao. Her mood, originally unaffected by today’s incidents, took a downward turn as an impatient frown formed on her face.
Noticing the beauty’s displeasure, Zhou Meng thought it a mark of dissatisfaction with his performance today. Face scalding, he’d felt like he’d lost all face. The lofty and imposing image he’d created for himself might just have all been destroyed this one evening.
In the throes of rage and humiliation, all he could think about was how he should punish these useless fools!
Off to the side, the second princess took stock of the situation. She noticed how twisted Zhou Meng’s expression had become, as well as how his face, neck, and ears were all flushed red. If she didn’t take the initiative now, she might very well be dragged down with the other princess consorts.
Giving her thigh a vicious pinch, the second princess consort squeezed out a few tears as she stepped forward with a sob.
“Your Grace, Your Grace, please don’t be angry. This concubine will speak. I-I was just afraid of my lord growing angry at my sisters, so I didn’t dare speak earlier.”
The senior and third princess consorts turned to angrily glare at their brethren.
“Speak,” Zhou Meng demanded angrily.
The second princess consort truthfully recounted everything and ended it with a grand gesture of greeting on the floor.
“This concubine is useless and cowardly. I was afraid of incurring the senior and third princess consort’s enmity, so I didn’t dare to say anything. However, this concubine cannot stand seeing my lord being deceived. Miss Pang is kind natured and isn’t the type to start a quarrel with others. She suffered from being continuously bullied tonight and said she wanted to leave the palace only when she just couldn’t stand being wronged any longer. She had no place she could go to ask for justice.”
In the end, she even threw in some flattery for Qin Yining because she knew that the prince was infatuated with the goddess. Since a new addition to the imperial harem was inevitable, would she be so stupid as to badmouth the goddess now and incur the prince’s fury?
Thanks to the other fools’ idiotic bullying of the goddess, if she did the opposite and spoke good of her, not only would the goddess would remember the favor, but the prince would also understand whose side she was on.
When Zhou Meng heard the true nature of things, he flew into such a rage that he kicked the senior princess consort to the floor. “You bitch! Who gave you the nerve!”
Sharp pain flared in the senior princess consort’s leg and she burst into painful sobs, begging for forgiveness. “Please don’t be angry, Your Grace! This concubine didn’t do it on purpose, it just happened in the heat of the moment! Although I bickered with Miss Pang, I didn’t want to actually hurt her! The one who tried to hurt her was that lowly maid, she did it out of her own volition!”
Qin Yining grew increasingly impatient with the situation and rubbed her forehead. “Your Grace, I don’t mind these things. It doesn’t matter if the senior princess consort did it intentionally or not. I believe that all the princess consorts took impulsive action today out of a misunderstanding. To avoid the appearance of impropriety, it would be better for me to return to my people. My condition is improving by the day, so it wouldn’t be right if I continued to stay here.”
She was truly tired by now. Her face appeared as white as snow beneath the lights and the slight quiver of her brows highlighted her delicate appearance.
The prince couldn’t possibly bear to let her leave in these straits and hastily interjected, “This will not do, you are to treat this place as your home. Didn’t we agree on this before?”
“Your Grace, this place truly isn’t conducive to my recovery.”
Qin Yining wanted to go, but Zhou Meng was firm in his stance. As the two discussed the matter, the senior and third princess consorts on the floor ground their teeth in anger. Her acting like this would only enrage the prince further, but they would be the ones to bear his wrath, not her!
The second princess consort snickered inwardly when she saw how the other princess consorts trembled like leaves.
The beauty quite obviously hates the palace and what happened tonight really is a result of those in the palace. Such a fragile and delicate beauty must’ve been terrified by these stupid, brutish hags!
If Zhou Meng forced her to stay, she’d likely bear a grudge against him. In any case, Xiyue was only so big. There was only desert to be found in all four directions, so she had nowhere to run off to even if she stayed with her people. Besides, wouldn’t she have to come back when he married her?
Zhou Meng could only agree with a frown when his thoughts traveled here. “Alright then, this prince will escort you there.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter