The Feng Zhao villa was a tranquil place.
Yan Shi Ning’s stomach was big and she was expected to give birth within two months.
While everyone from Pei Jin’s manor were excited to meet their young master, in Pei Zhang’s manor was only chaos.
Pei Zhang’s second wife, Dian Thi was the one who was secretly anxious.
Dian Thi sat anxiously in her chamber and rubbed her round stomach, she was seven months pregnant.
Dian Thi’s personal maid Xiao Hai entered her chamber.
‘How is it?’ Dian Thi asked.
Xiao Hai looked in four directions for spies and spoke softly. ‘It’s done.’
‘Did anyone see you?’ Dian Thi asked.
‘Mistress, don’t worry,’ Xiao Hai said. ‘I saw him swallow it myself.’
Dian Thi stared out the window. ‘Feng Lang, you can’t blame me. For our child… you should rest.’
Feng Lang was Pei Zhang’s guard. Dian Thi met Feng Lang after she married Pei Zhang, she thought Feng Lang was young and handsome. She would flirt with Feng Lang and over time Feng Lang fell deeply in love with her. But they didn’t commit adultery until seven months ago.
Dian Thi was young and beautiful so Pei Zhang doted on Dian Thi. Pei Zhang’s official wife Chu Thi was jealous of Dian Thi. After a few years, Dian Thi noticed Pei Zhang spent less nights in her chamber. Two autumns ago Dian Thi found out Chu Thi made Pei Zhang suspicious of Dian Thi.
‘Husband, little sister had been married into the imperial family for many years but she’s still not pregnant,’ Chu Thi said.
Dian Thi was furious Chu Thi brought concubines younger and more beautiful than Dian Thi into Pei Zhang’s chamber. Gradually Pei Zhang was colder toward Dian Thi and her temper grew hotter. Pei Zhang wanted an heir but Dian Thi wasn’t pregnant.
Dian Thi used wine to forget her troubles. One night when she was drunk she remembered Feng Lang and from that night they secretly slept together.
Dian Thi was pregnant after sleeping with Feng Lang a few nights. She wasn’t happy she was finally pregnant because she worried she would die a gruesome death. Before she could abort the child, Chu Thi found out she was pregnant. Dian Thi saw the joy on Pei Zhang’s face so she swallowed her anxiety and acted like she was happy to be pregnant.
Pei Zhang doted on Dian Thi again because she was pregnant. Dian Thi was happy to see Chu Thi’s grind teeth. But Dian Thi’s feelings toward the child inside her was complex. She was scared the identity of the child’s father would be exposed.
Dian Thi secretly met Feng Lang and coaxed him to keep their secret. Feng Lang loved her enough to promise her that he would take their secret to his coffin. Dian Thi was grateful toward him on their last night together and they promised each other they would be husband and wife in their next lifetime. After their last night together they acted like strangers.
Dian Thi’s life as a pregnant woman apart from her anxiety was good. Pei Zhang doted on her and the emperor rewarded her with many valuable gifts.
Unfortunately after Dian Thi was seven months pregnant an incident happened. Pei Zhang’s guards were drunk and they challenged each other who could climb into Feng Lang’s chamber without being caught. A young guard found a woman’s undergarments inside Feng Lang’s chamber… it was Dian Thi’s undergarments that Feng Lang kept as a love token.
While the guards were speculating who the owner of the undergarments was, Chu Thi walked past them and recognised the embroidery on the undergarments belonged to Dian Thi.
Chu Thi interrogated Feng Lang why he dared to keep Pei Zhang’s second wife’s undergarments in Feng Lang’s chamber.
Feng Lang protected Dian Thi and lied that he stole Dian Thi’s undergarments because he admired her.
Although Feng Lang didn’t betray Dian Thi, she was even more anxious and discussed with Xiao Hai how to deal with the dilemma. So Dian Thi pretended to hang herself to prove her innocence.
Chu Thi thought perhaps her suspicions were wrong. Since Feng Lang admitted his crime and Dian Thi proved her innocence, Feng Lang was beaten as punishment.
Pei Zhang wanted to kill Feng Lang but the emperor criticized Pei Zhang that he didn’t know how to punish others according to their crime. Even though Pei Zhang couldn’t punish Feng Lang harshly, Pei Zhang had Chu Thi to punish Feng Lang for Pei Zhang.
Chu Thi purposely sent news to Dian Thi that Feng Lang was severely injured and Chu Thi was suspicious why Dian Thi acted strange to receive the news since Dian Thi said she had no relations with Feng Lang.
After Dian Thi heard the news she resented Feng Lang for not killing himself. So she sent Xiao Hai to remind him he promised to take their secret to his coffin.
While Xiao Hai reported to Dian Thi that Xiao Hai saw Feng Lang swallowed the poison, Pei Zhang and Chu Thi appeared in Feng Lang’s chamber.
Chu Thi was happy to see Pei Zhang’s rage after he found out Dian Thi committed adultery with another man.
‘Seventh prince, earlier did you see and hear everything?’ Chu Thi asked. ‘Xiao Hai is Dian Thi’s personal maid. Xiao Hai said to Feng Lang that her mistress remembered he promised to take their secret to his coffin…’
‘Close your mouth!’ Pei Zhang ordered.
Pei Zhang was deceived. He thought he finally had an heir but it was a bastard child!
‘Someone go and tie up that woman scum!’ Pei Zhang ordered.
Pei Zhang left the chamber and Chu Thi smiled at the imposter Feng Lang.
‘Go and receive your reward,’ Chu Thi said.
The imposter Feng Lang thanked Chu Thi and left the chamber.
Xiao Hai met the imposter Feng Lang. The real Feng Lang had bitten off his tongue to prove Dian Thi’s innocence.
It was a pity Dian Thi wasn’t sincerely grateful the real Feng Lang killed himself to protect Dian Thi and their child.
Chu Thi purposely imprisoned Feng Lang to see how Dian Thi would react. If Dian Thi was guilty then Dian Thi would react recklessly. Chu Thi thought it was laughable Dian Thi was fooled by a simple tactic.
In Dian Thi’s chamber she was more anxious because she thought Feng Lang died too smoothly… her anxiety was right, she heard footsteps approached her chamber. She saw guards kicked her door open and her beautiful face whitened.
In the palace Consort Mu knocked over a teapot.
‘Is that true?’ Consort Mu asked.
‘Dian Thi confessed,’ one of Pei Zhang’s personal guards said.
‘Escort me to seventh prince’s manor!’ Consort Mu said.
Consort Mu lied to the emperor that Dian Thi was ill and the emperor consented.
Pei Zhang destroyed everything in the courtyard but no one conscious knew why except for Chu Thi.
After Consort Mu visited the manor, everyone else knew Pei Zhang wasn’t angry over something minor.
Consort Mu frowned to see fear in everyone’s eyes but she calmly walked toward Pei Zhang’s chamber.
Inside Pei Zhang’s chamber he held a leather whip and Dian Thi was bound and unconscious on the floor. It was the fresh blood on Dian Thi’s body that startled Consort Mu.
‘Xiao Zhang, do you want to beat her to death?’ Consort Mu asked.
‘Beating her to death is too soft,’ Pei Zhang said.
‘Xiao Zhang!’ Consort Mu said. ‘Wake up! If you beat her to death, how are you going to explain her death to your imperial father?’
‘I only want to cut this scum into pieces!’ Pei Zhang said.
‘It’s useless to be angry,’ Consort Mu said. ‘How many outsiders know about this?’
‘Two,’ Pei Zhang said.
‘Is there a chance this secret will be exposed?’ Consort Mu asked.
‘No, they’re dead,’ Pei Zhang said.
‘Good, if that fox Huang Guo finds out… I don’t know what your imperial father would do,’ Consort Mu said.
‘How should I deal with this scum?’ Pei Zhang asked.
‘Of course the child can’t be spared,’ Consort Mu said. ‘But if this child dies, it’ll be a disadvantage for us while your ninth brother’s wife is pregnant.’
Consort Mu and Pei Zhang were in deep thought.
‘If the child looks like her then the child can live until you have an heir… but if the child looks like him…’ Consort Mu said.
‘What do we do?’ Pei Zhang asked.
‘If this child must die then your ninth brother’s child must die too!’ Consort Mu said.
End of Chapter Sixty-Five