168 Chapter 168 Time is Tigh
"I knew what you want to achieve back there, Baihe." Liu Yeyin started once they finally settled inside the courtyard causing Xing Baihe to choke on nothing. How could she forget that her sister-in-law is scarily perceptive? Although she didn't mean any harm, at least to her own view, she can't afford to offend her sister-in-law.
"I'm sure you knew my temper isn't good so you wanted to take advantage of that and use me as a sword. But we still need Lady Xia as of now, at least for your big brother's sake. And her death would cause us trouble rather than benefit." Liu Yeyin continued seriously but still with an understanding elder look."Sister-in-law, I…I…" Xing Baihe cannot find a word to justify what she did. She can't tell that she doesn't like Xia Ruzhi that is why she want her dead, can she? Thinking about it now, that really sounds petty. "I'm sorry." So she decided to directly apologize and refused to explain.
"As long as you understand, Baihe. But don't worry, you can do whatever you want with her after everything is done. Be patient." Liu Yeyin smilingly added like a doting elder sister yielding to her younger sibling's wish. "Do you mind, your majesty?" She added directed to Xing Wenhe.
"We'll do what Yeyin wants." Xing Wenhe responded without a second thought. He even has a doting and dreamy smile directed towards his wife as if the woman they were talking about is just a random passerby and not his lover.
Not long later Xia Ruzhi returned to the courtyard followed by rows of tensed servants carrying a tableful of food, tea and wine. Who can blame them though. The corpses of the dead guards are still in the courtyard's entrance when they arrived. The kitchen servants had no idea about the commotion earlier so when they saw the horrifying scene, they could feel as though their soul momentarily left their mortal body."Have everyone leave the room." Xing Wenhe ordered after the table is fully set.
Xia Ruzhi got confused with his order. "But who will serve during the meal?" She unconsciously voiced out her disagreement.
Xing Wenhe slightly tilted his head showing his confusion and gave her an 'are you stupid' look. "You are here. That's enough." He replied seriously.Xia Ruzhi's mouth went agape with his words and thought. 'What?! Me? Is he telling me to act like a servant and pour their drinks and serve their plate? This is my manor, specifically my courtyard! If it was just him, I could do it. But with his empress and sister here, there is no way a noble like me would lower myself!'"Well, if you want them all to die they can stay. There are things we have to discuss that are not for just anyone to hear. But that's fine with me anyway." Xing Baihe interjected in annoyance seeing Xia Ruzi's unwillingness.
The servants collectively gasped in horror hearing Xing Baihe's words. They kept their head down, even lower than usual in fact, while silently praying for their young miss to let them leave and keep their little life. But their hopes shattered with just one statement.
"That's fine. I can always find some replacement. There are a lot of servants and slaves anywhere. Just a few deaths won't cause a rift." Xia Ruzhi stated not backing down even a bit. The servants' knees quaked in fear and hopelessness and some wasn't able to hold out and fell on their knees with a thump. But despite this, Xia Ruzhi wasn't shaken.
"Killing without any remorse and looking down on these servants as if they are ant that can be stomped anytime you wish. What a cold blooded and dark souled evil witch." Xing Baihe openly cursed Xia Ruzhi.
"Just think of this as a practice, Lady Xia. Once everything is done and you have received a formal title of his majesty's concubine, this kind of thing will happen daily." Liu Yeyin added with a sincere look and smile.
'As if you are one to talk! You are the mother of all evil! You and your thieving witch sister-in-law! Everyone knows that only the lowest ranked concubine needs to serve the emperor and empress during their meal. I am a noble lady!' Xia Ruzhi thought with a gritting teeth. But instead of voicing out her displeasure, she turned towards Xing Wenhe to complain, hoping to receive his favor.
But her body petrified seeing the look of disappointment in his eyes. "Once everything is done, you will lose your noble title. Remember that." He stated as if he could read her thoughts. This opened Xia Ruzhi's eyes. She never thought about it before but it is true that if Gonglu country disappears, so is her and other citizen's noble title.
'No. If my plan works, I won't become a low rank concubine. I must endure for now.' Xia Ruzhi thought suppressing her rage. "You may all leave." She announced in surrender. The servants bowed and thanked her enthusiastically after receiving their new lease in life and swiftly left the four masters in the room.
Xing Baihe scoffed while looking at Xia Ruzhi as she clumsily started serving the three royalties in their meals. Liu Yeyin on the other hand didn't mind her and started getting down to business. "I will visit Emperor Feng soon."
The Xing siblings and even Xia Ruzhi immediately stopped what they were doing and directed their attention towards Liu Yeyin. "Why? Do you need me to arrange for a meeting?" Xing Wenhe asked.
"No need. I will make the necessary arrangements. You said before that the Qiangdu country's King gave him a gift. I want to see it for myself." She answered while elegantly continuing her meal.
"Oh, that bracelet? Is that something really valuable?" Xing Baihe interjected.
"I will know when I see it. But since it came from the Qiangdu country, it is bound to be extraordinary." Liu Yeyin answered cautiously. She can't tell them about the black stone. She needed it to have a leverage after all.
Xia Ruzhi secretly rolled her eyes. 'She is already an empress but she is still materialistic. Even a male accessory can't escape her thieving soul. As expected from a poor and unknown clan. Her greed knows no bounds.'"Are you going to kill him then take that bracelet?" Xing Wenhe asked excitedly. If she will, then he would want to witness it himself and hopefully land a blow.
"Not yet. I think Baihe's emperor isn't ready yet." Liu Yeyin answered then looked at Xing Baihe with inquiring eyes.
"I will hasten it sister-in-law. But I might need your medical assistance. I'm constantly tired nowadays. Maybe it was due to my carelessness." Xing Baihe said in a decreasing voice not hiding her guilt.
"Now you know how to worry about your body. But you always brush off my warnings and concerns." Xing Wenhe complained. But Xing Baihe only rolled her eyes at her brother.
"I can't see why you are taking too much time to control him. Does he have a special body constitution? This piques my curiosity." Liu Yeyin asked in a genuinely interested expression.
"Don't think about opening him up sister-in-law. It's not that. He is resisting. He was in love with somebody else. And that woman's memory is keeping him from fully succumbing in my control." Xing Baihe answered irritably then stabbed a dumpling using her chopsticks. Even after death, Lin Xulian is still getting in her way to happiness.
"Then I'll assist you Baihe. Our time is tight because the Qiangdu country's King will confer an heir soon. But it won't happen until the heir is strong enough. We have to achieve our goal before that." Liu Yeyin stated solemnly.
"An heir? I though you said the King has no descendants?" Xing Wenhe asked in confusion.
"Not directly. But his blood brothers have. It was my mistake this time. I overlooked the possibility and didn't deal with him earlier. Now it has become a problem." Liu Yeyin said remorsefully.
"You know who it is sister-in-law?" Xing Baihe asked in shock. Even Xing Wenhe and Xia Ruzhi got curious."You all know him too. The Lin Mercenary Clan's current leader, Lin Huang." Liu Yeyin revealed gaining three pairs of wide eyes due to shock.