Left Prime Minister Li who remained calm all throughout the initial part of the trial finally had a change in his facial reaction. He trusted his daughter that she can somehow leave every mess unscathed as usual. They have a lot of people behind them and their strength is supposed to be stable in court. But the scene in front of him said otherwise. He looked at his daughter with scrunched eyebrows but he found her as stunned as him.
Seeing five of her trusted people turning their backs on her, Empress Dowager Li is stupefied. She can't understand why they betrayed her. Out of shock, she stood up and turned hysterical. "What is the meaning of this!? Have I treated you wrong in all those decades? Why would you betray me?!" She said while trying to stop herself from fully lashing out and whip these ministers. She felt so betrayed and she also felt panic. This is the first time that she felt like things are getting out of her control and she doesn't like it.
One of the five ministers stepped up and kneeled in front of Feng Jun Yi and Lin Xulian. "Your majesty, us five ministers have a request." The other four followed him and also kneeled. "Please grant divorce for our daughters and the second prince." Then he kotowed. The other four also followed and echoed his plea. "Please your majesty!"
Hearing their request, Feng Jun Yu is stunned. He can't understand why his father in laws said those. He knows that he never treated his concubines in the right way but no one knows at other that his and his concubine's servants. Empress Dowager Li is also baffled. She glared at her favorite son. She knew that her son treated women like a plaything but she thought he only do it with the women in the brothels or the women he abducts and brought to his secret cottage in the woods. If she knew that her son is treating his concubines the same way, she will surely stop him. Not because she is kind hearted, but because she spent a lot of effort to rope these ministers on her side. She cannot let anything and anyone ruin her plans. Even her own son.
Seeing her mother glaring at his elder brother, the fifth prince Feng Jun Yun took advantage of the chance and held his mother's hand. "Mother, please calm down. You have to control your temper. You are not guilty yet, we have to fight until the end." He said in a whisper. Empress Dowager Li calmed down and for the first time as the fifth prince can remember, his mother looked at him in the eye. For him this eye to eye contact is different. It felt like his mother could finally see him as he is and not just someone to support the second prince. This fueled his determination to win over his mother and also his elder brother's power and supporter. He looked at his elder brother who remained silent and stood there foolishly.
Left Prime Minister Li is at loss on what to do to. He is responsible for making sure that Feng Jun Yu will turn into a man that could lead an empire. He supervised his studies since young and how to deal with his subjects. But he missed to warn him with his lecherous and sadistic behavior. And it seems like things really did blew out of proportion.
The second prince Feng Jun Yu certainly felt stupid. He finally realized that one of their servants probably spilled the beans. And he can't defend himself even from his mother. He thought about the first time he hurt his concubine. It was during his wedding night with his wangfei when he found out that she wasn't pure. He wanted to kill her that time but his mother's words kept him from doing so. Xia Rozu is the Minister of defense. It is one of the most important position in the court. This marriage matter to his mother and his future battle to be the emperor. That's when he went to his concubine's courtyard and forced himself into her while tying her up and whipping her bare skin. Since he can't hurt his wife Xia Ruzhi, he took it out with other women. Their relationship turned cold. One word could describe it, civil. They never spent a night together after the wedding night. But he can't say it in front of all of his brothers and these officials. He won't let anyone know that he was cheated by his own wife.
On the other hand, Feng Jun Yi looked visibly surprised. He doesn't know if this development is still part of Lin Xulian's expectation. He glanced at his empress and he found her hiding her laughter by sipping her tea. The corner of his mouth twitched. They are currently in trial but she still has the audacity to laugh. But he admits that she was able to amaze him with how things are going. He thought of multiple ways to deal with the Empress Dowager but only ended up being poisoned or attempted to be assassinated. Lin Xulian on the other hand only spent a few months. He doesn't if he should be happy or ashamed. But he is definitely proud and thankful.
"Ministers, Zhen will listen to your request after the trial. Right now we should focus on the third prince's case." Feng Jun Yi wanted to finally end the empress dowager so he should rush the trial. They understood and respected the emperor's decision and decided to approach him later on. The imperial guards brought in several servants under the Empress Dowager to testify the first servant's claim. They even brought in the merchant who sold the poison.
Seeing how the imperial guards are actively participating in bringing her down, Empress Dowager sent a ferocious glare towards Minister Xia. But Minister Xia pretended that he could not see her and stood there while respectfully lowering his head. His thought is wandering in his and his daughter's earlier conversation. She said that no matter what happen, he should stop supporting the Empress Dowager. She didn't tell him why but he heard that the second prince is mistreating his wives. Maybe she also fell victim and decided to stand for herself. His daughter is smart and he trusted her decisions.
Xia Ruzhi suggested the marriage between her and the second prince and also decided to support him in conquering the throne. Maybe she already anticipated the fall of the mother and son so she decided to bail out. For him it was a pity that the plan failed but he is aware that his daughter is connected to an unknown power. That power is their only way out and if they said that they should just bail out, they would do it. He should just do his part and let his daughter decide like he always do.