71 Chapter 71 Too Much?
At the innermost part of the back palace, behind the thick flock of trees, there stood an isolated courtyard. Compared to the other courtyards in the palace, although as huge as the others, this one looked desolated. Perfectly portraying the cold palace. It only consists of a manor in the center and high walls all around it and nothing more. No ponds, no pavilion and not even a single flowering plant can be seen. But at least the grasses are trimmed.
Lin Xulian walked passed the thick woods and entered the courtyard with Rui following closely behind her. There are two imperial guards posted in the gates. These two became a loyal follower of Lin Xulian after they were trained by Xiao Tianshi and Rui. They never thought their skills and strengths can still grow until they met these Lin people. They believed they are already the greatest warriors in Gonglu country but they were slapped hard after they were easily handled by the thirteen-year-old Xiao Tianshi at that time.
Seeing her and Rui, the two imperial guards let them pass easily. But on their mind, they thought about the previous Empress Dowager Li Shanyao who is currently residing or more like imprisoned in the cold palace. They just shook their heads knowing very well what would happen tonight. They don't feel pity though. They totally changed sides to their empress or should they say boss just like how the Xiao sisters call her. Their boss's enemy is their enemy.
The moment Lin Xulian and Rui enter the courtyard, they could hear a faint sound of whip slashing. But you can notice that the sound seems so weak like the person using the whip doesn't have any strength. Also there is no cries that could be heard from the person receiving the whipping. If they didn't know what's happening inside the courtyard, they would think it was haunted.
When they finally arrived at the main hall, they saw the "good friend" that Lin Xulian is referring to. It is no other than Li Shanyao. A few weeks inside the cold palace changed her very much. The youthful look she was most proud of, aged exponentially. Fine lines, wrinkles and even a few bumps can be seen. She is not even forty yet but she looks like an old grandma now. Totally different from her appearance on the day of the trial. If the fifth prince can see the current state of his mother, he would never call Lin Xulian an angel.
Her movement is also weak and slow, as if the whip weighs tons. She also lost a lot of weight and almost look like she's only made of bones and flesh. Even Lu Yina who is receiving the whipping looked so much better than her. She also cannot stand properly but still muster all her remaining strength to deliver a blow. If someone else could see this, they might ask why and stop the violence. But Lin Xulian only smiled coldly and leaned on the door waiting for them to notice her.
When Li Shanyao finally notice her, she was like a mad animal that's been triggered. She immediately changed her target and shot like an arrow towards Lin Xulian's direction. Lin Xulian on the other hand remained nonchalant. And as she expected, Li shanyao didn't even manage to take three steps before she fell face first in the dirty floor. Lin Xulian waited for her to continue her outburst but she raised her eyebrows in surprise when Li Shanyao started crying miserably.
"What did you do to me? Why are you doing this, Lin Xulian?! We've never met before and I've never harmed you? What did I do to deserve this? Just kill me! I can't take this anymore. My face is ruined. My body is aching everywhere but I can't tell exactly where. I don't even have the strength to move. But somehow I cannot feel that I am dying. I want to die! Please let me die!" Li Shanyao is wailing in agony.
Lin Xulian didn't show a bit of pity. She smiled at her mockingly with cold eyes. "You can't take it anymore? Is it that painful?" Lin Xulian said in a fake pity tone. But it changed in her next words. "It is just a poison I made. It completely replicates the sixth prince's sickness. You only experienced it in few weeks and you say it's too much. Feng Jun Ying experienced the same pain all his life and he remained strong. Say? What the sixth prince experienced, isn't it too much?"
Hearing about the sixth prince, Li Shanyao's pitiful appearance turned deranged in an instant. "Who told him to live?! He should've died along with his witch of a mother! Because of that woman I lost everything. I should've been the empress from the start. If I was the empress, I'll have the right to stop Jun from taking in some concubines! He can only have me! I am enough!"
Seeing her mad state, Lin Xulian looked in disdain. She never experienced love between man and a woman but she is confident enough to say that she will never be like Li Shanyao. "I didn't come here to listen to your whining. I'm here to inform you that your stupid eldest son will be dealt soon so you should prepare to mourn ahead of time."
Li Shanyao immediately stopped her outburst. Her eyes widened while looking at Lin Xulian who resembled a demon in her eyes. "W-what do you mean? Lin Xulian don't be unreasonable! Yu'er can't do anything without me. He should be staying silent in his manor. Don't deliberately make trouble for him! Aren't you afraid of retribution?! If the people outside knew that their empress, who they viewed as an angel and soft hearted is actually a demon, they will hate you."
"And who will tell them? Lu Yina? Didn't you realize? She already lost her voice. Since she like keeping secret and be used, I took her ability to talk. She doesn't need it anyway." Lin Xulian said while looking at Lu Yina who is still crying without a sound. "Don't worry. I am not that petty. I have no plan to deal with him if he only kept to himself. But Gong Weixie came and they are cooking a plan to mess with me and Feng Jun Yi. I have no choice but retaliate, right? Just blame your son for his stupidity."
Li Shanyao lost all her remaining will to fight. Her tears streamed down her face like a waterfall and she started begging Lin Xulian. "Please, let my son go. I raised him wrong. Let me take all the punishment."
"It's not up to you to decide, Li Shanyao. How about you behave in here, maybe I can let your younger son live peacefully? That's if he can remain neutral."
Remembering her younger son, the fifth prince, Li Shanyao turned silent. Even she is shocked realizing that she isn't sure what he is thinking. She doesn't know that son at all.