I UPDATED CHAPTER 63 SO YOU SHOULD CHECK THAT OUT FIRST :-3
After all the servants presented their statements, the crowd echoed one consensus "Your majesty, please uphold justice!". These words are like a huge hammer slamming down on Empress Dowager Li. Her plan never failed before. No one dared to go against her before. Just what went wrong? That's right, it wasn't the arrival of Lin Xulian. These things are meant to happen the moment her husband, the former emperor died. She regretted that she slowly poisoned the emperor to death.
Empress Dowager Li loved her husband very much. But just like any other woman, she wanted her man for herself. She accepted the existence of Empress Lan because he had no choice. But almost every month he would add another woman to his harem. She had to act as a virtuous wife every time but deep down she wanted to lash out on him like a mad woman. Sometimes she would throw a tantrum and he would give her some attention but eventually he would go back to his younger concubines. But what made her snap is the Empress's pregnancy with the sixth prince.
She was successful in killing the Empress and acquire the throne for herself. She managed to stop him from receiving new women but he hurt her in a different way this time. Even though she became the empress, she doesn't have any real power in the empire and in the court. Empress Lan was a princess and she had proper lessons in leading a country. Li Shanyao on the other hand only learned arts and virtues of a woman. The emperor never let her participate in any decision making for the empire. This hurt her pride as the empress.
Slowly her love turned into hate and gave him a slow acting poison. She calculated it well. He would die when her son Feng Jun Yu is old enough to inherit the throne. Her son is the emperor's favorite son after all. But before he died, he called out all the officials and princes to be a witness. On his deathbed his most trusted eunuch read his decree conferring his eldest son Feng Jun Yi as the emperor. She was so shocked and angry that she immediately went to a temple to meditate. She can't control her temper that she can't keep her act as a broken hearted widow. During her stay in the temple she kept her contact with the Jianghu and continued her attempt to kill Feng Jun Yi so that the throne will eventually fall to her son's hand. But it kept failing.
Now without her husband sheltering her, everything seems to fall apart. "Feng Jun Yi, remember the decree that your father left behind. You cannot hurt me in any way. This is a set up! Did you do all these to deal with me?! I'm telling you can't use your position as the emperor to forcibly suppress me!" Empress Dowager Li is already cornered but she refuses to admit it and submit to him.
Feng Jun Yi's gaze turned cold for a moment but he regained his expressionless face. "Are you questioning Zhen's view of justice, Empress Dowager Li?" Feng Jun Yi sighed as if showing that he is unwilling and troubled to give out the judgement. "Empress Dowager Li, you became Zhen's mother after mother empress died. Adding the decree given by emperor father, I also can't bear to harm you. But this is decided by the majority. As the emperor I also have to listen to my subjects to acknowledge the weight of their importance in the empire." This statement successfully won the hearts of the officials present in the hall.
Empress Dowager Li can feel the sarcasm in his words. Majority? He is the emperor! He could neglect the officials and clear her name with just a word, just like how her husband helped her when she killed the empress.
"Your majesty, can we really trust the words of these servants? What if they are only paid to ruin Empress Dowager Li." Left Prime Minister Li said. He is trying to win back the support of their people and possibly some of the third prince's supporters by planting doubt on their mind that this whole thing is a planned set up.
The servants immediately kotowed in front of the emperor and insisted that what they said was true. Everyone knew that lying to the emperor is a crime worthy of death without trial. Feng Jun Yi faced Left Prime Minister Li then said. "Left Prime Minister Li, they are indeed servants but also they are Zhen's subjects. They swore to tell the truth and as a fair ruler Zhen will not look at their status." Feng Jun Yi shut him up.
Just as Empress Dowager Li is about to mull over her impending doom, Lin Xulian interjected. "Your majesty, don't you think execution is a bit too much for Empress Dowager Li's punishment? Maybe she is proven guilty for poisoning the third prince's wangfei, but it can't be proven as treason. After all the case has no direct threat to the throne and the empire." Lin Xulian said as if defending the Empress Dowager that shocked the crowd. They knew how badly the emperor wants to kill the Empress Dowager. The question now is if the emperor will compromise and be influenced by his empress's words. They thought that Lin Xulian is too soft hearted. But Feng Jun Yi could clearly see the mischievous and evil glint in her eyes.
He knows that Lin Xulian hated the Empress Dowager as much as he does because of the sixth prince so he decided to indulge her. "You are right Lian'er. If you say it like that, even Zhen can say that death is too much of a punishment. The poison isn't life threatening anyway. What do you suggest as a punishment then?"
"Your majesty's father decreed that you should not harm the Empress Dowager's life. How about stripping her out of her throne as the Empress Dowager then keep her imprisoned in the cold palace? With this she can't interfere with anything in the palace." Lin Xulian said with a warm smile. Her words felt like it came from an angel bestowing salvation. But for the Empress Dowager it was worse than death. The power she held for decades will be lost just like that. She will lose her purpose and will have to live her life like rotting corpse in the cold palace.Empress Dowager is devastated.
Feng Jun Yi on the other hand looked deeply in Lin Xulian's eyes. Something tells him that this punishment isn't that simple just by seeing the mysterious glint in them. And he is right. She doesn't show it but Lin Xulian feels so excited with all the ideas she has in her mind. She will show the Empress Dowager how worse than death truly feels like.
Feng Jun Yi faced the crowd then said. "The empress's proposition is reasonable. Li Shanyao will descend from her throne as the Empress Dowager and will spend the rest of her time in the cold palace. The remaining concubine Yun will replace her and be the new Empress Dowager." The officials who voted for her guilt wasn't satisfied but the emperor's word is like gold and irrevocable. Feng Jun Yun on the other hand looked at Lin Xulian with full of admiration. For him, she is like a kind hearted angel.