”Oh, her? ” she chuckled as she leaned forward and whispered, ”Don worry, she is yours, Ha ha ha ha! ”

His heart stilled and he suddenly felt bile in his throat, the urge to throw up intensified the more she laughed.

He cover his mouth with his hand to hold it in, he did not want to give her the satisfaction of seeing him break.

She stopped a minute later, smiling wide as her gaze fell on his queasy expression, ”Tell me where you hid the seal or I will kill her. That way she can keep you company in the underworld ”.

His eyes jerked up and he met her gleeful eyes, ”she is your daughter too ”.

”You say that like I have ever wanted her, If I wasn drunk that night, do you think I would ever let you touch me? ”

Everything immediately made sense the moment he heard that, he had always wondered why she always ignored Mingyue.

She never even held Mingyue when she was born back then he had assumed that she was trying to observe prosperity but that was never the case.

He suddenly felt foolish for not getting suspicious, he had failed not just western Liang but also his daughter.

Zhao Ronglei was enjoying seeing him disturbed, it was a pleasant feeling. it made all she had endured during their short-lived marriage worth all the pain.

She wanted to push him further into that pit, hoping that he would lose hope and stop being so stubborn.

They cannot keep the rest of the officials occupied for longer than a few days, soon they will start pushing for a new Emperor to be selected. How could they explain a missing Imperial seal, once the news of that spread?

Everyone would question the legitimacy of their claims and she couldn let that happen. She had worked too hard just to lose everything,

”You know Ziwei, I always regretted not getting rid of the pregnancy when I found out I was pregnant. You can peg that one being young and ignorant but this time it will be different. I will not hesitate to_ ”

She was cut short when a palace maid ran into the room and fell on her knees, ”Your Majesty, there_ The Emperors study is on fire ”.

”What! ” She charged up from her seat and ran out the door, without any care. A million thoughts ran through her mind as she ran towards the study.

Many assumed that her sudden diversion from proper palace behaviour was out of her unwavering love for the late Emperor.

She was always the supportive wife in everyones eyes, no one knew that her entire thoughts were filled with worry for her lovers safety.

Xiang Ziwei felt a sudden tight knot in his chest as he watched her leave with her servants. He rubbed his chest gently with his hands in an attempt to settle it all but the knot tightened until he doubled over to his side and spat out a spray of black blood on the wall and ground.

The pain subsided after that, he looked up as he heard the sound of fighting at the entrance of the prison followed by hurried footsteps.

”Xiaoriu ”, he whispered as he met the worried gaze of his friend and general.

Xiaoriu fished out the key from his sleeve and unlocked the door, ”Your majesty, I am here to get you out of here. I apologise for not coming earlier, your majesty ”.

He bowed, pulled the door open and rushed in, he knelt and tried to gently help Xiang Ziwei stand. However, he met resistance from Xiang Ziwei who weakly slapped his hands away,

”No need, I have lost too much blood. I will not survive the journey. Just let me be and leave, don get involved in my mess ”.

He ignored Xiang Ziwei and tighter his grip, ”You saved my life, how can I let you die in such a shameful way. Let me help you escape ”.

”No ”, he drew his hand back, blood rolled down the side of his mouth and ears. ”It is my time, Xiaoriu. I can escape it this time, save yourself. They are searching for the seal, Xiaoriu ”.

”Don worry, I will never let them get_ ” Je was quickly interrupted before he could say anything more.

”No! Don do anything foolish. Let them have the seal, use it to save yourself. ”

Like before he once again felt a heavy knot in his chest but unlike last time, the pain increased and he quickly spat out a bigger quality of blood.

Shen Xiaoriu immediately held him up, ”your majesty! ” He held Xiang Ziwei up but almost immediately, he pulled back and bent over and once again vomited blood.

This time blood rolled out of his nose, Xiang Ziwei coughed, only to wince when he felt a sharp jab at his injuries most especially the stab wound at his side.

He smiled up at Xiaoriu as he helped him up, blood stained his teeth. He grabbed Shen Xiaorius hands, ”I was poisoned, Xiaoriu. My heart cannot take it anymore, please take care of my daughter ”.

Tears rolled down his eyes as Shen Xiaoriu replied, ”you don have to say that, I will take care of you children_ ”

”No! just her ”, he whispered, blood pulled in his mouth and rolled down both edges of his lips, ”the boy … is ….. not mine, only Mingyue ”.

” What, How is that possible? ”, He searched his masters face. He was taken aback by the regret and pain in Xiang Ziweis eyes.

Xiang Ziwei looked sadder than he had ever seen and he had accompanied Xiang Ziwei to many battles, including three that they had lost. Even then, he had never seen him so sad.

He balled up his fist, ”they all deserve to die ”.

”Yes they do … but not yet. The … time …. has … to right. Give them the seal to get them off your trails, then get out of here. Just lie low …. and when the time is right ….. a-attack them ”, his eyes grew heavier as he spoke until he could no longer hold on. He spat out more blood before everything went black for him.

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