Author: Chai Jidan
Translator: chiangyushien , Renkun27
Proofreader: Zeraphiel25, KainGuru
Nothing of this Lin Yue person was ever spoken of by the Third Prince. She just kept on watching from outside of the imperial palace’s wall, waiting for the Third Prince to come. The young Third Prince was quite thoughtful. Every day, he would bring something to eat and drink and gave them to Lin Yue. He even clumsily helped Lin Yue cover a little thatched hut which was only half the height of a person. It was named as the Palace of Winter’s Verge, and he promised Lin Yue that in the future, he would build her a palace within an exclusive palace courtyard.
At that time, Lin Yue had injuries all over her body so that every time after the rain, her body would emit bursts of stench. She would always hide herself from the Third Prince and from her position she would throw him a grasshopper that she weaved from grass . The Third Prince would pick it up afterwards, pounce on Lin Yu’s side, and then lean on her legs while singing nursery rhymes.
( Grasshoper grass weaving)
At times like these, Lin Yue’s dark eyes would shed one or two strings of tears. She never told him who she was, and never told the Third Prince about what happened to her, but she always told him to listen to the words of his mother, the imperial concubine. Lin Yue would also secretly call the Third Prince by his pet name. She called him Xi’er.
Mu Xueshi, Mu Linxi — the snow is gone and the dawn is coming. That was the agreement between Imperial Tutor Mu and Lin Yue before the Third Prince and Mu Xueshi were born.
During that time, the Third Prince looked for herbs everywhere to help Lin Yue treat her wounds. Later on, he would be fearful that he would be discovered planting surprisingly odd flowers and plants in the Calm Mist Room. He said he wanted to develop a kind of flowering plant that could be smelled from a hundred miles away by a person to fully recover from their sickness, so that when he did not have to step out of the small courtyard. He could help his mother heal the pain.
All the while, Concubine Mu was always busy with trivial matters in the imperial palace. She seldom took the Third Prince into consideration. By the time she discovered the Third Prince’s secretive whereabouts, that was only when she came to realize that the situation was far from good—Lin Yue did not die. The mystery of the Third Prince’s unfortunate life experience would certainly become a lurking danger henceforth.
The Third Prince clearly remembered how he saw that group of officers and men kill his own mother with knives, and also how they have sent her to Concubine Mu’s punishment chamber to be inspected.
The young and arrogant Concubine Mu was cruel and ruthless. Not only did she kill Lin Yue, but she even had her bones cut and boiled in hot water and distributed it to the uninformed servants to drink. Owing to what was widely known to people at that time: if a person’s bones were cut during their lifetime, their soul would fly away and scatter, never to reincarnate ever again.
The Third Prince laughed heartily to his heart’s content for the very first time in front of Concubine Mu when he saw with his own eyes how those servants tasted it with relish, as they knelt offering their earnest thanks for Concubine Mu’s reward. Concubine Mu remembered the Third Prince’s expression at that time. The eyes of that few-years-old were so harsh that she was aghast.
Since then, Concubine Mu had been treating the Third Prince as her own child, when her initial attitude toward him was quite different. She thought that the child would not remember those memories in his mind, not to mention the Third Prince was less than four years old at that time. As long as she loved and cared for the Third Prince in every possible way from now on, it would make him forget those unpleasant memories.
However, when he was at the age of five, the Third Prince found, one by one, those subordinates who had crippled Lin Yue in the wilderness. He brought them in that wilderness and allowed mad dogs and wild beasts to bite them for three days and three nights, then let them die.
At the age of seven, the Imperial Palace of Winter’s Verge was constructed. Those servants who originally spied and informed against them during his secret meeting with his mother were taken into the palace. The spying man’s eyes were stuffed with countless dirty objects. Within a few days, because of eye infection, it had caused systemic ulcerations. He was laid up at the back of the mountain to be eaten by insects, before he could even breathe his last. On the other hand, those who tipped off, had their teeth pulled out one by one, and were forced to keep swallowing animal excrement, until they vomited to their death.
At the age of eleven, he moved into the Courtyard of Exuding Harmony, where the Third Prince brought those servants who had eaten the bone soup. First, he ordered those servants to take elixirs , tied them together in a row of iron racks, and made fire underneath, baking them incessantly. Starting from the fingers, then to the toes, small holes were dug out using a sharp knife, and pulled out the bones inside while they were still alive. Because of the elixirs’ effect, those servants remained alive until the very last bone was pulled out, and they still had their breath.
( Used in Ancient Chinese Alchemy. Cinnabar is a mineral with a reddish-brown color and is the most common source of mercury in nature. It was used in the search for immortality because of the special significance of its color, and the difficulty with which it was refined.)
While on the other hand, the masterminds of Lin Yue’s persecution — Mu Wan’Er, Concubine Mu, Imperial Tutor Mu, and even Mu Xueshi, were all included in the Third Prince’s list of those who would be slowly tormented. Imperial Tutor Mu’s death was a heaven-bestowed favor but letting Imperial Tutor Mu die in the middle of the night could not make the living smile. Since Concubine Mu was already subjected to so much torture, the Third Prince decided to let her die. After all he had called her “mother” for so many times; and for Mu Wan’Er and Mu Xueshi, they were still waiting for the disaster that had not yet come, the one that they did not even have any idea about.