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3 Terror in Shui Xian Palace

    That very night, after the Emperor passed down the order, guards were dispatched to Shui Xian Palace. Fear reigned the night, as those who had taken part during consort Ning's labor was arrested and thrown into prison. The entire palace was doused with the flames of fear, that was sure to be kept burning even after the night was over.

    The guards stormed into Shui Xian Palace in a most uniform fashion, sealing off all possible escape routes. The imperial physicians and nurses were captured and dragged out, while the entire Shui Xian Palace was under airtight lockdown, not even an insect could get through.

    Within a night, the prisons were filled with many more prisoners. Everyone within the palace began sensing that a bloodbath was soon to come upon this center of power. They could only pray that they would not fall victim to the coming storm.

    The last bloodbath had been so clear in their minds, it happened seven years ago, when the then, infant sixth princess and her mother consort had been poisoned and laid at the threshold between life and death. Luckily, the princess had been saved, but she had been left with a weak constitution, unfortunately, her consort mother had died.

    After that event, there was a period of terror, when there would be daily executions of the high ranking class. No one could remember how long that reign of terror lasted before slowly dying down, only that there were countless of his majesty's enemies that had their names buried that year. Who knows how many would lose their lives this time.

    Of course, those seasoned high ranking ministers, would not lose their calm at a time like this. Having served more than one generation of emperors within the Eastern Jin Dynasty, they knew that even if it was something as natural as the cycle of life and death. This cycle of nature can easily be made up as a large conspiracy, leading to the deaths of countless others.

    Ah, the imperial palace, where it is said those within the grand and majestic walls know nothing of human compassion. Being born into a family that would be willing to kill each other, all for the sake of authority.

    ~

    Within the quiet imperial study, there were only two people, the Emperor, along with his most trusted advisor, servant, and confidante, eunuch Hong. He had just dismissed all the servants, following the passing down of his orders. He could not have many people around him, after all, it was hard to discern between friend and foe.

    "Your majesty, those that helped with the labor have been arrested, Shui Xian Palace has been placed under lockdown. We are awaiting your majesty's orders." Eunuch Hong reported to the Emperor.

    "En." The Emperor nodded, acknowledging what was just said, as he read the reports of the events going on in the Jin Dynasty.

    "Your majesty, do you want to see consort Ning one last time?" Eunuch Hong asked. Consort Ning had just died and soon her beautiful face would have to entombed, the transference rights would be performed as a ceremony to ease her into her next life, as per the traditions of the Great Jin Dynasty.

    "No need. Give her a grand burial and give her child the title of Prince Shu Ping." The Emperor replied apathetically. Although he doted on this consort very much and was anticipating the birth of this child. He was still the ruler of a kingdom and could not be affected by emotions. After all, he had many consorts within the palace all of them considered top beauties, as for sons, he had many, he was not short on children. He knew that when he got older, there would no longer be this calm atmosphere within the palace.

    He had seen countless schemes within the walls of this imperial palace, even his grandfather had slaughtered his own blood relations to ascend the throne. He had gotten lucky because his brothers at the time of his ascension to the throne were young and it was after the late emperor died and a new emperor established, that the consorts who had borne sons of the late emperor would fear for their own lives.

    "May this servant ask what your majesty wants to do next?" Eunuch Hong enquired.

    "Don't make a movement for the next couple of days. Secretly send the guards to investigate this matter. Make sure no one knows." The Emperor emphasized that everything must be kept a secret.

    How could eunuch Hong not know what the Emperor was planning, having served the Emperor for most of his life, he had long gotten used to the winds and schemes that revolved around the imperial throne. It seems the Emperor would be lying, waiting for the prey that did not have the patience and showed its tail, to get caught by the predator. That way, they would not be hitting the grass and startling a rattlesnake back into its den.

    "Yes, your majesty. This servant obeys." Eunuch Hong respectfully bowed and passed the order for the investigation down.

    Now came the game of patience.
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