The venue became chaotic. Guards and soldiers suddenly flowed in out of nowhere and captured the members of the Li family. The Prime Minister and the other members of the Li family, including Li Ming, were immediately brought away.
But the same was not true with Li Zhen Zhen.
"Go away! Get away from me!" Li Zhen Zhen shouted as imperial guards started to seize her. "I am still the Empress, how dare you lay your filthy hands on me?!"
"Everything's not yet over, Li Zhen Zhen!" Ji Zhen Tian cut off her shouting. Li Zhen Zhen then stopped struggling and stayed still. Guards also paused in attempting to hold her.
"What do you mean?" She narrowed her eyes at Ji Zhen Tian.
"A jealous wench like you... You poisoned all of Zhen's consorts and concubines who went to your palace, didn't you?! Now everyone is incapable of bearing Zhen's child!"
I saw the other women in the royal harem's eyes widen. They... must have been very surprised. Even more so those who planned to bear a child for Ji Zhen Tian to increase in rank and perhaps be the Empress.
"There's no evidence of that! A mere accusation, even if you're the Emperor, how dare you accuse your poor subject of such! Such an unjust and unreasonable Emperor, you should be brought down instead!" Said Li Zhen Zhen, trying to incite the crowd.
"No evidence? Who do you think Zhen is? Zhen doesn't accuse the innocent. Zhen knows you have definitely done something. Xi Jiu." Ji Zhen Tian rebutted as he made Xi Jiu speak again.
Li Zhen Zhen then glared at Xi Jiu, eyes saying 'how dare you betray me'.
Xi Jiu didn't even as much take a glance at Li Zhen Zhen, and brought out another piece of paper, along with a small bundle.
"Yes, Your Majesty. The Empress has been gathering personnel from all over, collecting herbs that are harmless separately but deadly when combined. The knowledge of the effects of those came from a famous poison master, and also known from special books on poison in the imperial library. With those that the Empress gathered and combined, she poisoned the consorts with soup and incense. Inside this small bundle are some of the powdered herbs Her Majesty had made and used."
Then Li Zhen Zhen suddenly laughed, confirming the accusation. Why she didn’t deny it? That, I don’t know. I’m not sure how a crazy person’s mind actually works.
"Hahahahaha! Now how does that feel? Even your beloved Imperial Consort Ye is unable to give you children now. What a sad story." Li Zhen Zhen then feigned sobbing. Then she suddenly turned gloating. "That's right. Since you're saying this far, yes! I poisoned them, so what! That's what they get for outwardly paying respect but inwardly mocking me! Me!"
"They're not the only ones you did wrong, right?" Ji Zhen Tian suddenly clenched his fists and asked through clenched teeth, as if suppressing his anger.
"Hmm? What are you talking about, I wonder." Li Zhen Zhen said lightly.
"My brothers! My mother! You... you killed them all! No, it's impossible for you to be the only one responsible, the Prime Minister must also have been in cahoots with you! You thought if everyone else died, I'll definitely be Emperor. The Prime Minister must have helped you thinking a prince born of a low-ranked consort would be easy to manipulate! And you! You must have thought I'd come to love you if you get rid of Ming Yi Ren and make me Emperor, but you have been absolutely mistaken! What you did? Just made me hate you!" Ji Zhen Tian said emotionally.
Ming Yi Fei beside me suddenly stiffened and sucked in a breath at the mention of Ming Yi Ren.
Ming Yi Ren... Ming Yi Fei's older sister? Based from Ming Yi Fei's reaction, she definitely is.
"Ha! You don't even have evidence of that." Li Zhen Zhen retorted.
"You're right. Zhen has no physical evidence of that."
"Hahahaha! See?" Li Zhen Zhen cut off Ji Zhen Tian.
"But a testimony of an old servant of the Li's admitted to helping in those crimes! How dare the Li family plot against the Royal Family! From that single testimony sprouted the testimony of another servant you made to live in a far-flung area. You made them live far away to save yourselves!" Ji Zhen Tian regained his composed self.
"I really should have killed those blabbermouths instead... Keeping them alive as a last mercy was a mistake. Tsk." Li Zhen Zhen murmured to herself.
"Are you admitting to those crimes?" Ji Zhen Tian directed the question at her.
Li Zhen Zhen then stayed silent for awhile.
"You have no way out. Your crimes have been exposed! It's useless to think of reasons, evidences have piled up against you! It's no use, you can't escape!" Then Ji Zhen Tian said, as if looking down on Li Zhen Zhen, "You have lost, Li Zhen Zhen. You cannot escape death."
"Hahahahaha!" Li Zhen Zhen's hysteric laughs echoed in the once again silent crowd.
Then Li Zhen Zhen suddenly announced after her laughter died down,
"If I'm still going to die in the end, then I'll at least try to take you with me." She said, looking at me.
She then immediately took out a knife and charged at me, pushing away the guards surrounding her.
Everyone was too surprised to have acted immediately, including the me who was still seated beside Ming Yi Fei.
"Ling-er!" Ji Zhen Tian shouted as he hurriedly got off the horse he was riding.