Ying Lili wrapped the bandages around Sheng Li's hands and asked him if he had any other injuries. He shook his head. Ying Lili cleaned her hands and called a soldier to take the things away that were on the table.
"How can someone do this? If he loved her, shouldn't he…" Sheng Li's voice quivered, and he paused. "Did his hands not tremble once while doing such a thing?" Sheng Li then said.
"He never had any affection for her. Let's confirm the facts first. Maybe he is lying to you? Let's first reach Luoyang," Ying Lili suggested to him.
"My heart is completely broken," Sheng Li sighed and lowered his head. Ying Lili moved her chair closer to Sheng Li and told him to lean onto her. He rested his head on her shoulder and closed his eyes..
Ying Lili grasped both of his hands again and continued to caress them. "At this moment, my mind is fired with only one thing that I shall not keep him alive. His words are roaming in my mind," Sheng Li stated. "You told me that you would turn cruel to others for me. You promised me, Lili." He lifted his head and peered into her eyes.
"I never broke my promise. However, this time the situation is different. We cannot kill Tan Gengxin unless his majesty meets him. Once Tan Gengxin and his majesty meet, you can do whatever you want to do," Ying Lili affirmed.
"Brother Sheng, can I come in?" Lei Wanxi shouted from outside.
"No," Sheng Li simply refused him while Ying Lili gazed at him in bewilderment. However, Lei Wanxi did the opposite. He walked in and greeted them. "Wanxi, leave," Sheng Li urged him.
"I will not until you stop being aggressive. I do not want Brother Sheng to take such a wrong step in his anger that might impact him and his wife in the future," Lei Wanxi kept the stress on his words. Sheng Li recalled Hu Jingguo at that time. Just like Lei Wanxi, he used to defy him, annoy him more in times when he did not want to.
Lei Wanxi came to Sheng Li's left and stood there. Placing his hand on Sheng Li's shoulder, Lei Wanxi said, "Sometimes, things happen the way that we never want them to. You acted bravely and tough, Brother Sheng– all these years."
Nianzu was on his knees for the past 5 hours. Eunuch Chung told him to not be adamant and hard on himself as the Emperor had refused to see him. However, Nianzu did not pay heed to him.
"Your highness, his majesty is here," a maidservant came inside to inform them. Eunuch Chung smiled as he heard it. He turned and found the Emperor had come in. They bowed deeply. "Leave," Han Wenji told Eunuch Chung and the maidservant, who stepped back, lowered their heads, and left the chamber.
Nianzu was still on his knees, and his eyes were lowered. "I apologize to you, Father. Please forgive me," Nianzu stated and bowed.
"Stand up." Han Wenji did not reply to his son's apologies. Nianzu tried standing up but because he was in such a position for a long time, his legs gave up. He tried harder and despite feeling numbness in his legs, he stood up. He wavered when Han Wenji grabbed his arm, thus holding him intact at his place.
Nianzu finally peered into his father's eyes. "When a child falls, his parents immediately hold him. When he falls into danger, they protect him. However, that is valid for a certain time only," Han Wenji affirmed and took him to the bed.
Sitting on the mattress, Han Wenji continued, "I did not like it when you compared me with Weng Wei. I have never controlled your life. However, when I contemplated, I realized that I did a few things that offended you this time," Han Wenji admitted his mistake as well.
"Forgive me, Father. I said those words in anger. I am sincerely apologetic towards you." Nianzu was guilty. He never acted in such a way and it made him fall in front of the eyes of his father the most.
"In my eyes, Zhu Lin was the perfect wife for you. But after today's incident, I realized Zhu Lin deserves someone better. Indirectly, you disrespected her." Nianzu clutched his overcoat because he knew his misbehavior affected and insulted her as well.
"About Chuntao, I still do not think she is suitable for you. But since she understands you, I permit your marriage with her." Nianzu was stunned to hear about that. He widened his eyes as it was unbelievable for him. "However, it will come with a price. Leave the Palace and even Luoyang," Han Wenji pronounced.
The tiny smile which had started to appear on his lips faded away. His father was hurt badly. But this was what he wanted. "I took this decision as an Emperor and a father too. As an Emperor, I should have beheaded that girl for defying me, but if I think as a father, that will make you hate me more. At least, I do not want this. So, sending you away is the best. Do not ever enter Luoyang, and if you do, I will not hesitate in passing an order to hang the girl, for whom you did all this," Han Wenji warned Nianzu.
Nianzu blinked a few times because it was like a dream to him, not a good one. He never wanted it this way.
"I wanted to tell you this after the return of the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess. However, I could not make you wait longer. They might be in the Palace by tomorrow, so leave after that. You would not take even a single penny or a thing from this Palace. Since you always wanted to live as a commoner, so be it. The Emperor has given you that life," Han Wenji pronounced.
"I cannot even meet my brothers and my mother?" Nianzu asked his father.
"No. Your identity as the Prince will disappear from tomorrow. You will no longer be their brother and her son," Han Wenji replied.
"Father, you have not forgiven me, right?" Nianzu questioned.
"Whatever you are thinking is right," Han Wenji gave him an indirect answer.
"I will leave the Palace, Father," Nianzu answered. 'Even at this moment, you did not understand why your son always felt alone?' Nianzu thought while Han Wenji was disappointed in his son. He was ready to leave everything behind for a mere commoner. Both of their eyes filled with tears, but they did not let them fall.
Han Wenji was ready to leave when Nianzu said, "Thank you for everything, Father. I will miss you." Han Wenji gulped but did not say anything and left the chamber.