Chapter 300: The abandoned first wife
Second Prince’s body spasmed and blood started to spurt out of his nose. Next, he opened his mouth wide as his breathing grew more laboured. His wheezing sounded like the wind. Huge amount of blood sprayed out from his mouth and instantly coated the ground beneath him with blood.
Ning Xiaoluo was so shocked that he could only plaster himself against the wall. His own big brother just poisoned a prince like that. Is he insane?
Just then, Shadowgale rushed into the prison cell, his body covered in dust.
“Big brother, you’re back?” Shadowbolt shouted.
Shadowgale nodded at Shadowbolt, muttering, “Are the First and Third Young Masters Ning inside?”
Shadowbolt nodded frantically. Shadowgale pushed opened the door and strode into the room. The moment he saw all the blood on the ground, he hastily shut the door behind him.
Ning Xiaoluo rushed to inform Shadowgale in a whisper. “My big brother and I have no idea what happened! He suddenly became like this! We didn’t do anything!”
Shadowgale walked over to Second Prince’s side. By now, Second Prince could no longer speak. However, when he saw Shadowgale, it was as if his strength had returned. Second Prince was letting out croaking sounds, like he had something to say to Shadowgale.
Shadowgale crouched down. Second Prince’s gaze was beginning to weaken. Shadowgale pressed a finger under Second Prince’s nose to check. He’s not breathing at all. He’s dead.
Ning Xiaoluo still had his back against the wall. “Should we call the physician?” he timidly asked.
First Young Master Ning gently pressed Second Prince’s eyelids shut. Second Prince had died with his eyes frozen open in a fierce glare. Then, he addressed Shadowgale. “Your clothes are covered in dust, and you rushed here without seeing His Majesty. Did Supreme Commander order you to do something?”
Shadowgale removed his hand from Second Prince’s nose. “First Young Master, you’re really fearless.”
“Likewise.” First Young Master Ning shot back.
Shadowgale didn’t respond.
“Are Supreme Commander Lou’s men with Xie Wenyuan?” First Young Master Ning queried.
“Second Prince had colluded with Xie Wenyuan.”
“So Supreme Commander Lou wanted you to eliminate Second Prince?”
Shadowgale briskly nodded. There was no need for him to hide it from First Young Master Ning, considering he had already made his move to kill Second Prince before his arrival. Surely First Young Master Ning must have discovered Second Prince’s private alliance with Grand Preceptor Xie.
“What were Supreme Commander Lou’s orders?” First Young Master Ning asked.
Shadowgale hesitated, but remained quiet.
“I also want His Majesty to be safe and sound. I’ve ordered Third Commander to go kill people.”
Shadowgale’s eyes jerked.
“Does Supreme Commander Lou also have the same plans as me?”
“Yes.” Shadowgale stood up.
Ning Xiaoluo ran over. He swept his eyes at Second Prince’s bluish pallor. “What are you guys going to tell His Majesty?”
“That he was killed by Xie Wenyuan.” Shadowgale shrugged.
Third Young Master Ning rubbed his nose. Alright then. They’ll just put the blame on Grand Preceptor Xie.
“Let’s go.” First Young Master Ning told Third Young Master Ning.
“We’re just going to leave him here?” Ning Xiaoluo was surprised. It’s summer! If they leave his corpse lying around, it will stink up the place in no time!
The other two consecutively walked out of the prison cell without a word.
Ning Xiaoluo gave one final look at Second Prince. They don’t care. Well, he can’t do anything about it either. Third Young Master Ning ran out of the prison cell.
Just as First Younger Master Ning and the rest had walked out, Third Prince threw himself before the cell doors and bellowed, “Second imperial brother, Second imperial brother, what’s wrong?!”
Fourth Prince and the other three princes held their breaths and stretched their ears to listen.
Second Prince’s corpse was slumped on the ground. A little mouse wriggled out of a crack and sniffed Second Prince’s face. Then it used its claws to poke at the distorted face. The mouse ran away to report to Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiaoyao was sitting in the palace room. On the table in front of her was an empty rice bowl. She licked her lips and questioned the military officer standing before her. “What did you say is happening at Grand Preceptor’s estate?”
The military officer reported in a respectful tone, “The men in Grand Preceptor’s estate are putting up a desperate struggle. His Excellency Pei is currently on his way to attack them with troops from Nine Gate Infantry’s estate. His Excellency Pei requests that His Majesty wait for him to capture all the offenders from Grand Preceptor’s estate.”
“There are still people in Grand Preceptor’s estate?” Grand Preceptor slunk off without bringing his family with him? How could the old bastard be so heartless?
“Yes.” the military officer nodded.
“Tell Second Young Master Pei to be careful. The people in Grand Preceptor’s estate aren’t important. If he can’t fight anymore, tell him to forget it and save his energy. We’ll fight it out with the Grand Preceptor himself.”
“This subject obeys the decree.”
“Go quickly,” Ning Xiaoyao instructed, “For the love of God, please don’t get injured.”
The military officer retreated after he knelt to express his gratitude.
Ji Yuerong found it suspicious.“How many people can there still be in Grand Preceptor’s estate? Does Second Young Master Pei really need to bring troops to attack?”
“Who knows? They may still have cannons.” Ning Xiaoyao widened her arms to give Ji Yuerong an idea. “Earlier, I saw two giant cannons this big! They nearly blew Supreme Commander, Lord Protector and the others into tiny bits!” she exclaimed.
Ji Yuerong was skeptical that the Grand Preceptor’s estate could hide such large cannons, but seeing Ning Xiaoyao’s dramatic expression, she was hesitant. Could there really be such humongous cannons hidden in Grand Preceptor’s estate?
Fear fluttered in Ning Xiaoyao’s heart upon talking about big cannons. “No, I’d better head over to take a look. What if those assholes want to use the cannons to blow up Second Young Master Pei?”
Ning Xiaoyao’s mind was running wild, and she couldn’t help but worry for Pei Yan. Hence, before Ji Yuerong could get a word out, Emperor Ning had sprinted away. Ji Yueyong could only chase after Ning Xiaoyao.
At this moment, Elder Li was kneeling before the Supreme Splendor Hall. No matter how much the Dragon Guards tried to coax, he refused to get up. It was then that Ning Xiaoyao appeared like a wisp of smoke.
“Your Majesty!” Elder Li yelled, not giving Ning Xiaoyao the chance to escape.
Ning Xiaoyao wanted to cry. Didn’t someone tell that this old man was waiting for her in whatever palace hall? How did he end up here?!
Meanwhile, in Grand Preceptor’s estate, Pei Yan’s hands were behind his back. He was tapping the ground with the horsewhip in his hand.
The huge rear court was filled with people from Grand Preceptor’s estate. Currently, they were all forced to kneel.
After checking the names of all of the people in Grand Preceptor’s estate, a deputy general folded the name list and ran to Pei Yan. He murmured, “Second Young Master Pei, the main branch under Grand Preceptor have all escaped. The ones left behind are the collateral branches and servants.”
Behind him, the horsewhip paused in mid-air. Pei Yan questioned, “Not a single person left from the main branch at all?”
Suddenly, a woman’s scream pierced the air. It appeared to be coming from the east veranda.
Pei Yan and his soldiers turned towards the veranda.
Two soldiers dragged a woman with dishevelled hair over to Pei Yan. She was screaming and writhing, but was no match against the soldiers.
A soldier reported, “Second Young Master Pei, we found this woman hidden in the walls.”
The woman was tossed to Pei Yan’s feet. Pei Yan didn’t crouch down, instead used his foot to nudge aside the hair covering her face. He scrutinised her face, but couldn’t recognise her.
The deputy general hauled over an older maidservant, and shoved her towards the woman. “Who is she?”
The older maidservant took a look and shuddered. She didn’t dare to say anything.
“Speak!” the deputy general barked.
Still, the older maidservant kept her lips tightly shut. Pei Yan’s lips curled up in a sinister smile and he icily laughed. With a swish of his blade, the deputy general killed the older maidservant on the spot.
Watching this unfold, all the people from Grand Preceptor’s estate either screamed in horror, or remained silent out of terror.
Pei Yan randomly pointed at the servant kneeling closest to him. “You. Speak!”
“She’s the wife… the wife of G-Grand Preceptor.” the servant stuttered.
Pei Yan eyed the woman at his feet. Xie Wenyuan had actually abandoned his first wife?
Lady Wang pushed herself up. She’d been shut away in a far away compound, and was completely in the dark about everything that had happened. Lady Wang looked at Pei Yan, then at the yard filled with the estate’s people. “What happened? What in the world happened?!” she shrieked.
Pei Yan calmly replied, “Xie Wenyuan has brought his troops to attack the capital. The bastard has revolted.”
“Impossible!” Lady Wang screeched hysterically.
Pei Yan grinned frostily. “Xie Wenyuan sent away those directly under him, but left his first wife to die in the capital. If I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it either.”
Lady Wang was silent. Her eyes darted across the courtyard. Née Mo wasn’t here. Née Zhou wasn’t here. Neither was née Ai. All of Grand Preceptor’s concubines were gone too. She was the only one left behind...
The soldiers who had been searching the estate gathered at the courtyard. After a short discussion between the high-ranking officers, the deputy general quietly whispered to Pei Yan. “Second Young Master Pei, the estate has been thoroughly searched. Everyone is here.”
Pei Yan made a sound of acknowledgement. He looked at Lady Wang sitting motionless on the ground.
“She’s His Majesty’s maternal grandmother after all,” the deputy general ventured. “How should we deal with this? We can’t possibly just kill her like that.”
Despite his eccentric nature, Pei Yan knew that he couldn’t just kill His Majesty’s maternal grandmother like that. Even if His Majesty wanted her dead, they still had to put on a show of helplessness and despair for everyone to see. They couldn’t just chop née Wang’s head off.
Lady Wang looked at Pei Yan. “Where’s Grand Preceptor?”
“Outside the capital.”
She murmured, “How could he just leave me behind like this?”
Second Young Master Pei thought for a moment before giving out his command. “Drive née Wang out of Grand Preceptor’s estate.”
All the military officers stared at Pei Yan. Is he just going to let her go?
“If I were you, Lady, I would plead and apologize to His Majesty.” Pei Yan waved his hand carelessly. “Drag her out.”
The previous two soldiers yanked her towards the estate’s gates.
“Let go of me, you wretched servants! Let go!” Lady Wang began screeching and struggling again. Thankfully, her belt was fastened tightly so her body wasn’t revealed.
The two soldiers ignored her screams, and barely batted an eye at her pitiful thrashing. In a flash, they were out of the courtyard.
“Kill the rest,” Pei Yan ordered.
The soldiers’ swords glinted as they killed all those kneeling before them.
The garden was arranged beautifully, and the flowers were all in bloom. Yet, in an instant, it had turned into a slaughterhouse.
A soldier dragged a married woman before Pei Yan. “This one has the surname Mo. She’s Fifth Lady Xie’s mother. His Excellency Lord Protector has given the instruction not to kill her, and to protect her well.”
Pei Yan eyed the soldier.
The soldier hastened to add, “His Excellency Lord Protector said that Fifth Lady Xie might be the Dragon Guards’ head commander’s woman in the future.”
As the head commander of the Dragon Guards, how could he take a liking to a woman from the Xie Clan? Second Young Master’s brows furrowed. “Is Shadowgale crazy?”
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