The silence in the hall broke when the female servants screamed after seeing the bloody and lifeless body of their fellow servant. When they were given to the Empress Dowager as her servants, even though her mood is unpredictable, they were happy and smug. Being the servant of the most favored concubine is a great opportunity and fortune. They often suppress and bully other servants because they felt they are more privileged. But seeing one of them die in front of their faces, for the first time they felt fear.
"Y-y-you! You dare kill my servant?!" Despite being afraid, Empress Dowager Li still tried to show her superiority.
Lin Xulian gave a sweet smile and said "A servant is trying to slap the empress. Even though it was only ordered by her master, her whole family will be put to death. You lived in the palace longer than I am so Empress Dowager Li should know the rules more. But everyone said that Empress Dowager Li is magnanimous and caring towards her servants. I could forget about the servant's treacherous act and let her bloodline go if you would grant one condition."
"What condition?" Hearing Lin Xulian point out that she is magnanimous, she had to act like it since there are a lot of servants and guards around them. She can't afford to lose their loyalty. Her plan to suppress Lin Xulian already went haywire from the get go. She doesn't want to ruin everything as it already is.
"If you will let me slap you just one time I will forget everything and maybe we can start this first meeting anew." Lin Xulian looked and sound so reasonable in her statement. If only not for the brutal content of her words.
"Impudent! You dare to slap this Empress Dowager? That's treason!" Li Shanyao's face turned red in anger.
"Treason? I could recite the whole Palace Laws and Imperial Laws right here if you wanted to. And according to the Palace Laws once an empress is conferred, the power and authority of the Empress Dowager will be handed over with or without her consent. I could actually throw you down to prison for treason right now for ordering to beat me up. I think you should reread the laws Empress Dowager Li or you might die without knowing why. This Palace isn't your fort anymore." Lin Xulian said while slowly walking towards the main seat that the Empress Dowager is currently sitting. She stood while looking down on the seated Li Shanyao. "So, what is our decision Empress Dowager Li?"
Empress Dowager Li cannot answer Lin Xulian. She doesn't want to ruin her magnanimous and perfect image. But she also doesn't want to be slapped. Just remembering how the servant ended up her skin started to crawl. She didn't realize that she was silent for a very long time and her servants are starting to feel fear for their lives. They are starting to doubt if they should stay loyal to the paper tiger Empress Dowager Li or change sides.
"It seems like Empress Dowager Li already made up her mind. I don't like to do this but rules are rules. They could only blame their impudent daughter for their demise." Lin Xulian showed a distressed expression. She sighed and looked at the servants around the hall that gave them a bad feeling and thought 'We surely can't cross this devil's bottom line.'
Lin Xulian chose to leave without asking permission. She is so pissed just by seeing the hateful face of Empress Dowager Li. It reminds her about the dangerous condition of the sixth prince. If they couldn't find the herbs needed for his treatment, he might not be able to reach marriageable age before he dies.
Seeing her leave, the fifth prince excused himself saying that he would go back to his own manor. But instead of going directly to the palace gates to exit, he followed the road towards the Phoenix palace hoping to find Lin Xulian before she entered the back palace since he wasn't allowed to enter the emperor's harem.
When he found Lin Xulian, he immediately called out to her. "Your majesty. Please wait for this prince."
Lin Xulian stopped to face him. She was hopping to amuse herself before she goes back. "Greetings your highness the fifth prince. What do you need from this sister in law?"
"It's not like I wanted anything ('except your love' he thought). I would like to apologize in behalf of my mother. She only viewed you as an enemy because you are emperor brother's wife. If you two met in different circumstances, I am sure you would get along with each other." He was amazed when he saw her overpower the servants and even his mother. She is definitely his kind of woman. Strong and fierce. She wouldn't let anyone trample on her.
"I don't think so. Even if we met on good terms, I would still hate her. I hate jealous women that involves innocent children on her petty insecurity. And I hate women who depends too much on their men and thinks that their attention is the key to their lives."
Although she is openly insulting his mother, Feng Jun Yun still fell more and more in love with her courageous, independent and strong side. This kind of woman could support him in his quest for power and not some random woman who only depends on their family name. "I totally understand. But our future happiness should not be influenced by the past. What's done is done."
"Past?! But my Ying'er is currently on a precarious situation because of her!" Lin Xulian approached him and said in a low voice. "Don't tell me what to do. I still haven't forgotten about what happened on my wedding. I'm sure you do understand what I mean." Then she turned around to leave.
Feng Jun Yun went pale. He couldn't believe that Lin Xulian knew it was him. He became afraid knowing that his chance is already on rock bottom before he even started to court her. He wanted to deny it but he knows that it would be useless. What he needs to do right now is to find ways to prove to her that he is on her side and wouldn't cause her harm. He would do everything to win her over, specially her heart.