Western Liang, the tenth year of Emperor Changxis reign.

In the dimly lit prison deep in the palace, a tall lean man in a white bloody night robe lay on his side in the middle of a grimy prison in a small pool of blood.

His blood slowly dripped off the stab wound on his side to the ground in tiny little drops. That was strangely audible to him.

The dark red blood followed the patterns of the stone floor as they left through his stab wound.

The ruby-embedded end of the dagger piercing his side peaked out, the ruby sparkled when a sliver of light reflected on it.

The dagger was the only thing keeping him from completely bleeding out and dying. No matter the pain he felt, Xiang Ziwei tried to breathe as slowly as possible to regulate the loss of Blood and the throbbing pain at his side.

Tears ran down his swollen right eye, he could barely see through that eye. He shivered as the cold winter breeze blew through the room. The ground under him was nearly ice cold not that his captors cared.

The make-shift fireplace opposite his cell that was made from a cast iron pot that the guards had set up was the only thing keeping the chill away. The two soldiers guarding his cell stood hands stretched close to the fire.

The prison was always cold no matter the weather because of its strategic location. The entire room would be as cold as a cold room if not for the make-shift fireplace.

The fireplace would never have been set if he was the only one in the room. Since his captors had no intention of keeping him alive.

He coiled his body, careful not to put pressure on his injuries, which was impossible.

That slight movement put pressure on his smaller injuries, he hissed and gnashed his teeth at the sharp pain he felt.

Two chatty guards stood outside his prison cell, both wishing to be anywhere else but in here. the older guard, a bulky average height man with a receding hairline slapped his partners shoulder as a low-ranking eunuch walked in with their lunch.

”AYan our lunch is here ”, the older guard said to his partner moving to the small table by the wall opposite the prison cell.

The eunuch placed the old food box on the table and glanced over his shoulder at Xiang Ziwei.

”Tsk tsk, who knew that a once powerful Emperor like him would one day become like this ”.

The older guard glanced at Xiang Ziwei and chuckled, ”don feel sorry for him Xiaobei, he brought it on himself. ” He picked up a piece of meat and took a big bite, chewing loudly.

The younger guard who was munching on a bun just looked at the dying man in the prison cell and sighed.

”We are so unlucky, why do we have to be the guards left here to watch him. I don know why they kept him here, why not get rid of him. Why keep him here only to torture him to the brink of death and then leave him. Her majesty is a ruthless woman ”.

”Does she even qualify to be called human ”, the eunuch replied.

The younger guard turned to Xiang Ziwei and sighed, ”this poor man, he was so enamoured with her. He does not deserve to be betrayed, honestly compared to Prince Fang. He is more deserving of the throne ”.

”Hush now ”, The older guard and eunuch both said in unison.

They glanced at the entrance at the door in fear, ”someone might hear you! ” the eunuch whispered holding his index finger to his lips.

They looked at the door fearfully, the Empress was yet to come over today. They were worried that she would overhear their conversation.

They relaxed when no one came in, the guards ate quickly while the Eunuch waited patiently. When they were done, he kept the empty

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