The news of Lin Xulian's assassination spread throughout the whole empire and all the citizens mourn for her. In her almost five years as the empress, the empire changed a lot. The palace became peaceful after the second prince and previous Empress Dowager Li was dethroned and imprisoned. Because of this, the emperor was able to focus on the needs of the people. Lin Xulian's hospital also helped a lot since she would treat both the nobles and normal citizens.
The officials on the other hand is worried about the vacant throne of the empress. The emperor didn't announce and confer anyone yet to replace the deceased empress. But if they would only consider the current wives of the emperor, the princess from the Zhixiang country is the most suitable one. And this is the least favorable outcome for them.
If only the emperor is willing to marry another noble lady and confer her as the empress, that would solve the problem since Emperor Xing originally agreed not to fight for the throne. But they cannot open this topic to Feng Jun Yi despite the urgency because they understand that he is still mourning. They could only relay the message through Adviser Xu Yichen.
****** The empress's body is wrapped with white cloth and placed in front of the hall of the Dragon Palace. This privilege should only be given to the emperor but Feng Jun Yi wanted to stay by her side until the very last moment. Some officials find this behavior of the emperor improper but they knew that the emperor won't listen.
While Feng Jun Yi is lifelessly sitting beside the empress, an imperial guard approached him and kneeled. "Reporting to your majesty, the Lin Manor is completely empty but there is no sign of a fight. It looks like they vanished from thin air. The servants from the palace are also found unconscious."
Feng Jun Yi knitted his brows after listening to the report. According to the imperial guards assigned on the Phoenix Palace that night, a powerful martial artist left the empress's burning chambers. This clearly indicates that someone assassinated the empress. Feng Jun Yi wanted to inform the Lin clan about it and seek revenge for his wife. But unexpectedly, the Lin clan suddenly vanished.
Xu Yichen heard the imperial guard's report and gave his own suspicion. "Your majesty, don't you think these people's target is the Lin clan and not the Palace? Not just the empress, even her majesty's family is involved. Do you think they were annihilated?"
Feng Jun Yi felt like there is something odd about the situation but he can't point out exactly what it is. "Lin Huang alone is hard to deal with. Not to mention the whole Lin clan. Check the Martial Arts School in the Beast mountain and the Jianghu's territory in the An Valley."
The imperial guard bowed and left to follow Feng Jun Yi's command. Xu Yichen on the other hand became even more confused. "Your majesty, are you saying that the Lin clan are hiding? From what or whom? And to think that they would not even care about the empress's death, it's unfathomable."
"We cannot say for sure until they are found. But one thing is certain. Zhen will find that person and seek revenge for Lian'er with or without the Lin clan's help. There is also a great possibility that they are behind Lian'er's false pregnancy. Zhen just don't know how they were able to do it." Feng Jun Yi said with seething anger and determination.
Xu Yichen still cannot understand how and why but Feng Jun Yi suddenly changed back to his previous self before Lin Xulian's pregnancy news. He is even saying that Lin Xulian is actually not pregnant just because she said so. Xu Yichen thought that maybe he had a change of mind after he lost her and believes her words to reduce his guilt for being cold to her. But he cannot voice it out. Especially now that he can clearly see his sadness and regret.
****** After seven days of the empress's death, they held a grand funeral. Her body is buried in the imperial cemetery along her remaining valuables and treasures including her books and medicines. Feng Jun Yi didn't even keep the medicines and antidotes that Lin Xulian made specifically for him. He cannot bear to take her medicine because of guilt.
Luckily for the Phoenix Place's servants and guards, Feng Jun Yi didn't punish them by burying them along with their master. But because of their negligence, they are punished to kneel and guard the grave for a month. Their relatives can feed them but nothing else. If they are lucky and can survive the month, they can return to the palace.
The servants and guards didn't complain and accepted their punishment. They also felt responsible for what had happened to the empress. They were lax in their job because their master is not strict. And the imperial guards let their guard down because they were too confident in Lin Xulian's skills. They never thought that someone is capable of killing her. But there is no medicine for regret. They were just hoping that if they die and see their master in the spirit world, she could forgive them.
After the ceremonies and rituals, the emperor did an unexpected thing. Feng Jun Yi put the golden seal in the empress's grave. This symbolizes his promise that he would never love another woman except her.
The women admired the emperor even more because of this move. The officials, especially those who wanted their daughters to marry the emperor felt disappointed on the other hand. This act only means that if they choose power and let their daughters marry the emperor, she would never be happy.