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De Zhao had submitted.
He had no ambition towards the throne.
A meek person.
Why couldn't you spare him?
Did you actually think it was my order
to put De Zhao to death?
Has the suspicion between you and I
become this bad?
Because you can't bear to have anyone else threaten your throne.
You dare talk back at me?
Guards, put Duke Xiang under house arrest.
Be frank with me, Father.
Who in this world do you actually trust?
Relax, Your Majesty. Take care of your health.
I put in so much effort into nurturing him,
hoping to confer him as the Crown Prince.
I've cleared the path for him in the imperial court
and yet he dared accuse me of being a murderer.
Your Majesty, don't get worked up over Duke Xiang.
If he doesn't appreciate your favour,
there are other princes worth your time.
Tell me then.
Aside from Yuan Kan,
who else is suited to inherit the throne?
Duke Chu, Yuan Zuo, has always been filial and obedient.
Are you implying
that I'm a decrepit king with no knowledge of truth and falsehood?
Official court matters
do not require the input of you harem concubines!
I beg your pardon, Your Majesty. I did not mean it that way.
I've told you this many times.
As the empress, you must know your place.
Trying to interfere in court matters is a grave offence.
If you commit it again, I will not go easy on you.
I was wrong.
Last night, De Zhao was killed at Duke Xiang's residence.
His death was uncanny.
Yuan Kan cannot be cleared of suspicion.
I've given the order to arrest Yuan Kan
while the Court of Judicial Review conducts an investigation.
Your Majesty, Duke Xiang and Duke De Zhao grew up together.
They were as close as brothers.
As a young boy,
I had often served the two brothers.
Duke Xiang could never have done anything bad.
I had wanted De Zhao to stay in the palace
but Yuan Kan insisted he stayed with him.
Clearly, he had other plans.
Your Majesty, the case has a lot of unanswered questions.
We must not rush for a conclusion.
I implore Your Majesty to investigate it thoroughly.
Uphold justice for De Zhao.
Please investigate thoroughly, Your Majesty.
Please investigate thoroughly, Your Majesty.
I'd like to nominate someone.
Deputy Chief of the Court of Judicial Review, Kou Zhun.
He is a wise man and experienced in closing cases.
Let Kou Zhun head the investigation.
I'm certain he will come up with a satisfactory answer.
You have my permission. Let him handle it.
Go ahead. [Kou Zhun, Deputy Chief of the Judicial Court of Review]
My lady, I am retrieving Duke Zhao's body
and collecting all the crockery used last night.
The courtyard is where the crime took place.
I've ordered for the area to be sealed off
in order to preserve any evidence.
Please make sure the servants
do not cross the line.
Lord Kou, could you tell me
what exactly happened?
Why did Duke Zhao suddenly die?
As for Duke Xiang,
why was he incarcerated?
Duke Zhao was killed.
Apparently, his wine had been poisoned. [Yue'er, servant]
Duke Xiang was the only person that drank with him.
So His Majesty ordered for Duke Xiang to be incarcerated.
Once I finish conducting the investigation,
a conclusion will be reached.
How could the wine be poisoned?
That can't be.
Could you tell me
who had prepared the wine last night?
-My lady. -Was it you?
-It wasn't me. -My sister didn't do it. It wasn't me.
I'll kill you, you evil woman!
My lady! Calm yourself, my lady!
Greetings, Lord Guo.
You're working hard, Lord Kou.
This case cannot be trifled with.
I trust your judgement.
Kneel. On your knees!
If I hadn't showed up in time,
you would've caused an uproar.
The residence is filled with eyes and mouths.
Kou Zhun was right there, too.
How could you have pulled a sword on someone?
Don't you care about your reputation?
If you had taken Pan Yu Shu's life,
the Pan family would make you pay.
She prepared the wine.
Duke Zhao died at the residence after consuming it.
Who else could the perpetrator be?
Pan Yu Shu only cared about gaining royal favour.
Why would she harm Duke Xiang?
Now that his lordship is dead,
what does she and the Pan family get out of it?
Someone else must have poisoned the wine.
Who could it be?
Why would they want to harm Duke Xiang out of the blue?
His Highness never made any enemies.
Greed, in the end, fails even the greedy.
Any person vying for the throne
is considered an enemy to him.
why is His Majesty not being impartial?
Even before the truth is unveiled,
he had Duke Xiang locked up in prison.
The one who died last night is Duke Zhao De Zhao.
Nobody would know
if the next to die would be Duke Xiang.
His Majesty took the possibility into account
and so ordered for Duke Xiang to be locked up.
In this world,
where else could be safer than
the Judicial Court Prison?
So His Majesty did that in order to protect Duke Xiang?
Qing Yi, oh, Qing Yi.
With that simple logic of yours,
how do you expect to become the nation's mother and manage the imperial harem in future?
-Sister-in-law. -Yi Jian.
Looking for me?
I heard Duke Xiang
has been imprisoned for murder.
An ungrateful man down on his luck
is capable of the most vile act.
No, Yi Jian. He wouldn't kill an innocent.
Sister-in-law, how well do you really know Duke Xiang?
Why do you trust him so fervently?
In the battle to obtain the crown,
Duke Zhao is dead
and Duke Xiang is in prison.
Think about it.
Who else remains that would benefit from the current situation?
You mean Duke Qin?
The residence is heavily guarded.
Duke Qin has no access.
How could he have gotten his men to place the poison?
I don't know how he did it.
I was at Duke Qin's residence that day.
I saw the palace maid who killed Lin'er.
She was hiding in the residence.
Are you sure?
I'm sure of it.
Yi Jian, I know you respect Guo Han Lin as your master.
Get this piece of information to him.
Not just for Duke Xiang,
but for me, too.
I don't want to hide forever,
be called the murderer of a royal grandchild.
I stayed at Qin's residence and endured ridicule
for this reason as well.
You should've told me sooner, sister.
I know it's dangerous.
So I didn't want to endanger you.
But things have come to this.
My only option is to ask for your help.
Don't worry. I know what to do.
Who are you? What makes you think
you could kidnap a court official?
Lord Kou, please remain calm.
I'm just carrying out an order.
Officer Kou greets Your Highness.
I have yet to say a word.
How did you recognise me?
The man who brought me here
has a sharp voice and walks with light steps.
He must be an inner staff member of the palace.
For a court lady to be able to give orders to an inner staff
while having the ability to leave the palace,
I'm positively certain that Your Highness is the only one.
Lord Kou is as meticulous as I've heard.
You live up to your name.
I have one question to ask you.
The case of Duke Xiang poisoning Duke Zhao.
Have you found a conclusion?
The investigation is still under way. There is no conclusion yet.
I dare not make assumptions.
But you mentioned that Duke Xiang had put the poison.
I don't think that's right.
But I heard that Duke Zhao died at Xiang's residence.
And Duke Xiang was the only person who drank with him.
Seems to me that Duke Xiang is the most likely suspect.
If that's the case,
why are you going through so much trouble to investigate?
Why complicate matters?
I understand Your Highness' concern.
I will carry out my duty well.
Lord Kou is a smart man.
If you wrap this case up well,
a bright future awaits you.
Thank you, Your Highness.
Your Majesty, according to evidence collected by the Ministry of Justice,
the murderer of Duke Zhao
was ascertained to be Duke Xiang.
Kou Zhun, tell us your reasoning
why Yuan Kai is the killer.
Duke Zhao was the son of the late emperor.
He returned to the capital
most likely to fight for the position of Crown Prince.
I have deduced that
this is exactly why Duke Xiang committed the heinous crime.
I have found proof
at Duke Xiang's residence.
These two wine bowls
were used by the two lords that night.
one bowl is found with poison
whereas the other is without poison.
The lethal poison
had not been added to the wine.
Although it was Duchess Pan who prepared the wine that day,
she was not involved in the crime.
The two wine bowls were personally kept by Duke Xiang.
They were never used by others.
Thus, aside from Duke Xiang,
no one else could've set the trap.
Your Majesty, I had interrogated Duke Xiang yesterday.
He has confessed.
He admitted to killing Duke Zhao.
Yuan Kan has crossed the line.
Your Majesty is perceptive. Duke Xiang has been framed!
Please calm down, Your Majesty.
Your Majesty, Yuan Kan must have had a lapse of judgement.
Please have mercy on him.
For his own personal gain,
Yuan Kan resorted to harming his own kin.
That is an unpardonable crime.
As stated in the law of Song,
a royal prince who committed a crime will be punished as a commoner.
I was once Duke Xiang's teacher.
The fact that he committed such a crime,
shows that I had failed to educate him properly.
If Your Majesty is punishing Duke Xiang,
I am willing to die on his behalf.
Officer Guo, this matter has nothing to do with you.
Please reconsider, Your Majesty.
Yuan Kan will be relegated to the status of commoner and exiled to Fangzhou.
He shall never step foot in the capital again.
Father, have they found the killer?
Kou Zhun has found out the truth.
The evidence is solid.
The killer is Duke Xiang.
You've tutored Duke Xiang since he was young.
You know him better than anyone.
He's always been kind and thoughtful.
There's no way he could've killed.
His Majesty has meted out the punishment.
Duke Xiang will be exiled to Fangzhou.
He is forbidden to return to the capital.
I heard news from the residence
that Duke Xiang was pronounced guilty
and will be exiled to Fangzhou.
Do you know about it?
Duke Xiang will depart for Fangzhou tomorrow.
Is there no one else who can save him?
All the evidence points to him.
Duke Zhao and Duke Xiang were drinking together.
The Ministry of Justice found poison
in the bowl used by Duke Zhao.
But Duke Xiang was unharmed. Explain that.
It was originally a death sentence
but Lord Guo Han Lin pleaded with his life
to get him spared.
That's why he's being exiled to Fangzhou.
But that is not the truth.
Sister-in-law, His Majesty has given his order.
Even if it's not the truth,
a powerful, high-ranking official like Lord Guo
could only beg for mercy.
What else can you do?
Take this money.
Keep some for yourself.
Give the rest to Wan'er.
It is not much,
but it should cover your daily expenses.
I'm willing to see this through with you and his lordship.
I'm not going anywhere.
Lord Lu, please turn around.
Insolence! I am a high-ranking official.
Why can't I meet with Duke Xiang?
Lord Lu, we are just doing our job.
[Lord Lu sent a message]
[saying that Yuan Kan has left for Fangzhou]
[together with his family.]
Once again, Lu Duo Xun is urging me to take action.
What are you planning to do?
So long as you're alive,
you're a stumbling block for the Crown Prince to reach the throne.
This power struggle among the royalty
is not something you can avoid.
Has it ever crossed your mind?
How this will end if we fail?
The Imperial Guards have already been dispatched.
We can't hide much longer.
The people revolt under oppression. That's the way of the world.
Then, revolt it is.
You already have a plan.
were arranged by Lord Lu beforehand.
He had long been preparing
for the day the emperor would strike.
You're going to ruin Duke Qin's plan.
Today is the empress' birthday.
His Majesty has organised a feast.
This is our chance to enter the palace.
It's an opportune time to carry out the plan.
Lord Lu has ensured that every detail was looked after.
All preparations are in place.
You only need to give the order
and it will be done.
Madam, the lead dancer has a leg injury.
She may expose us all if she performs.
I've already given the number of dancers to His Majesty.
What should we do?
What can I do for you, Madam?
Do you know how to dance?
I learned dancing back in Shu.
But I'm not very good.
She will do.
Take her to Moon Pavilion
to practise with the other dancers.
I'll lead the group to the palace.
In order to celebrate Her Majesty's birthday,
I've specially prepared a dance performance
for Her Majesty's entertainment.
For today's visit to the palace,
I made sure to dress up in a new outfit.
Do you like it, Your Majesty?
It is exquisite.
This is Shu silk.
A weaver from Shu at my residence made it.
I'd love to have one, too.
It's an honour, Your Majesty.
It's a trap!
Are you waiting for Lu Duo Xun?
I'm afraid he isn't coming.
The Gong Chen Gate is already shut.
Apprehend him and put him in jail
to wait for further instruction.
Even if I was sent to hell,
I'd never let you people go!
None of you!
Guard His Majesty.
Quick, protect His Majesty.
-Ying'er. -Your Highness.
Come, let me introduce you to someone.
Can you recognise him?
I hope I lived up to your trust.
Liu E is not dead.
Wan'er, you lied to me.
I was the one who asked you to save Liu E.
But you couldn't even trust me.
I do trust you, Madam.
Do you know
what was written on the token
I gave to Mr Su?
The token was sealed. I didn't open it.
How would I know?
At first, Father wasn't going to save Liu E.
There was only one word written on the token.
What is it?
On one hand, he made me plead for mercy before His Majesty.
On the other, he asked Su Yi Jian to get rid of her.
The fact is, no matter what came
of my pleading with His Majesty,
Liu E was going to die, one way or another.
His lordship was only trying
to help you gain His Majesty's favour.
What did I spend all those years reciting scriptures for?
I ended up harming another person anyway.
It's a grave sin.
I know Duke Xiang
isn't blinded by beautiful women.
After Liu E is accepted into the family,
what name do you think
he would give to her?
She made it through the royal door so easily
and is now a lady of the house.
I have no say in what her new name is.
In the household, we follow behind the men.
Once married, we have to listen to our husbands.
Don't you resent Liu E at all?
Lin'er's death was Duke Qin's doing.
Liu E was almost wrongfully executed.
It's too bad my Lin'er
was not blessed with long life and luck.
Who knew all the trickery and deceit
would come apart
in the hands of an obscure person like you.
The death of De Zhao
created a rift between His Majesty and Yuan Kan.
Lord Lu had planted a servant
in Duke Xiang's residence
who put the poison in De Zhao's wine.
The blame was then placed on Yuan Kan.
Lu Duo Xun is clearly instigating me to revolt.
Even if you're willing to give up your title
and become a commoner,
ultimately, His Majesty is not going to let you go.
Scheming against the Divine Son is a capital crime.
You should've persuaded Duke Qin to stop
before it came to this.
I know you're kind at heart.
That's why I asked to see you.
There's something I wish to entrust to you.
Bao'er was destined for a tough life.
his father and I will no longer be by his side.
This means the curse he was born with is now lifted.
So I'd like to entrust Bao'er
Duke Xiang had pleaded with His Majesty.
His Majesty agreed to pardon Bao'er.
He will be sent to the Royal Nursery
and taken care of by palace staff.
When Bao'er grows up,
he is entitled to the palace wage so livelihood is secure.
Today, Bao'er begins his new life.
Like a normal person.
Bao'er will not die in vain.
Any grudge between us
has been cleared.
Your Majesty, why are you here?
Did you send someone to kill Yuan Kan's son?
I did not. It was Lu Duo Xun's doing.
As for De Zhao's death?
It was also Lu Duo Xun.
Lu Du Xun is dead.
The dead cannot speak.
Have you ever trusted anyone, Your Majesty?
Do you trust Yuan Kan?
Do you trust Her Majesty?
Or do you trust that Zhao Pu?
You never trusted anyone.
One, a royal grandchild. The other, a royal son.
Even if Lu Duo Xun did the dirty work,
I'm sure it was you who told him to do so.
You are so deluded you even tried to assassinate me!
If Yuan Kan and I hadn't been cautious from the start,
Dongjing would've been painted red with blood.
How many more people will you kill before you're satisfied?
I've been very patient.
I've backed into a wall.
I, Zhao Ting Mei, only ever wished to be a loyal subordinate.
To live in peace.
God knows I have nothing to hide.
But you insist on eliminating me.
Where else can I go?
Whichever way I take, it's a dead end.
I might as well go all in.
Are you still proclaiming your innocence even now?
We were buried under the rubble of Da Qing Hall
but managed to escape.
God was looking out for us then.
He gave me a chance to live out my life.
I know you won't spare me.
Because I know every little secret that you have.
The candlelight flickered and the axe dropped. Nobody knew what happened.
Are you going to keep it secret from the world?
You killed your older brother to secure the throne.
And now you're persecuting your younger brother.
Your hands are smeared with the blood
of your kin.
The day will come when you meet the wrath of the heavens.
Relay this to the historian.
Duke Qin failed to revolt.
He died smashing his head against the pillar.
My lady, Duke Qin died
approximately an hour ago.
Duchess Qin is gone, too.
People often said that
Duke Xiang is kind and considerate.
But now you see his true colours.
How deeply he kept his schemes hidden.
You're right, my lady.
Duke Qin's attempt to revolt was stopped
and Duke Xiang received merit for it.
Now, His Majesty favours him even more.
Looks like the title of Crown Prince is as good as his.
It's still early to say that.
You may go.
Miss, please go back.
Ms Liu, the madam is sick.
She needs rest.
You should go.
Nanny, since the madam is sick,
I can take care of her.
There's no need.
How do I make it clear to you?
This is Lady Pan.
Good day, Lady Pan.
You're Liu E?
Qing Yi doesn't want to see you.
I came because I wanted to apologise to her.
It doesn't matter if you're sorry or not.
Do you think Qing Yi cares about you?
Nothing lasts forever. The good times are short-lived.
You now have the fancy of His Highness.
I hope you have the skills
to keep his interest for the rest of your life.
Otherwise, it would be hard for you to survive out there.
Ms Liu, please go back.
Madam assigned me to you.
I'll be serving you from now on.
In order to save Sister Liu E,
I had to keep it from you.
I don't blame you.
Since you wholeheartedly devoted to Liu E,
I'll bestow you to her.
Is it because of me?
That you got on her bad side?
Don't say that.
You've never treated me as a servant.
You regarded me as your real sister.
When you were in danger,
I had to do what I could to help.
Madam has bestowed me to you.
Unless you don't want me.
Why would I not want you?
I'm more than delighted.
But being with me
will mean a life of hardship.
The things I have
are incomparable to Madam's.
I don't need those things.
I'm content as long as
I'm with you.
I'm glad to have you.
Sister, come look.
Your Highness, I came without invitation.
A visit from the Prime Minister is always welcome.
The pleasure is mine. Please.
After the dust of the failed revolt has settled,
I've been busy studying the list of court officials
to give out meritorious rewards.
Your name had popped up
and then you showed up in person.
in the counter insurgency are nothing to speak about.
On the contrary, Your Highness remained level-headed
and calm throughout the incident.
You have my utmost respect.
You flatter me, Lord Zhao.
Since you are giving out meritorious rewards,
have you considered Lord Guo?
I hope you didn't forget
the Pan family that assisted you
with physical contribution.
Rest assured, Lord Zhao.
I did not forget.
But did it not occur to you
that your neglect of Lady Guo
and Lady Pan
while paying attention to only Ms Liu
would cause Lord Guo and the Pan
to feel left out.
When you shower love all onto Ms Liu,
you are also letting her become
the focus of all animosity.
You grew up in the palace.
you understand this matter well.
You've been copying the scriptures for the whole day.
Please take a break.
I can write scriptures non-stop
but it will never atone for my sins.
His lordship sent over some Golden Bird's Nest soup.
It's supposedly only available within the palace.
He specially delivered some here.
Madam, please listen to my advice.
Make sure you personally
serve the Golden Bird's Nest
to His Highness.
Do not let him forget about you.
As long as
you give birth to another royal child,
there's nothing Liu E can do even if
she's young and capable.
Bao'er is doing well at the Royal Nursery.
He is no longer locked up,
nor are people pointing swords at him.
His bad temper has also improved.
You can rest in peace now.
The palace maid who killed the royal grandchild
has been thrown into the Judicial Prison.
The truth has come to light.
What do you plan to do now?
I haven't thought about it.
After taking part in suppressing Duke Qin,
His Majesty is willing to bestow me with an official rank.
Lord Guo has also put in a good word for me to Duke Xiang,
hoping that I'd be able to assist him.
What is your opinion on that?
I think getting involved with royalty is too risky.
After going through the failed revolt,
I no longer wish to stay at the duke's residence
and face the never-ending power struggle.
But Duke Xiang
is a sensible, kind-hearted man.
He's unlike the other princes.
Otherwise, I wouldn't have married into his household.
Duke Xiang tends to trust more than he doubts.
He's oblivious to the dangers around him.
What he needs
is to have a talented and reliable person to help him.
Are you willing to do it?
Your Majesty, Duke Xiang is here.
It was due to my incompetence
that the disaster happened.
I've caused you to worry.
I should be punished for it.
You're not the one at fault. It's Liu E.
She was barely married a year when her husband died.
She got into the duke's residence and harmed the royal grandchild.
The tragic deaths of Duke Qin and family
were in part caused by her as well.
That woman spells bad luck.
You must get rid of her.
Why did you say that, Father?
Liu E is neither bad luck nor a jinx.
She is the saviour who saved my life and yours.
If she hadn't showed up at the birthday feast,
you would've been stabbed.
Uncle Ting Mei tried to revolt
and was already punished for treason.
Why would you pin the blame on Liu E?
I gave her poison wine to kill herself
but she did not die.
I took it as God's will and let her live.
Duke Qin tried to revolt during the empress' birthday.
She saved my life.
I'd take it as an atonement for her crimes.
Tomorrow, she will be sent away from the capital.
-Father. -She is forbidden to return.
Liu E is not a good person.
She is born a jinx.
You must stay away from her.
I came with Sister
to pay our respects to the madam.
There's no need.
You don't have to pay your respects in the future.
Madam will not make things hard for you.
Stop coming to see her.
Please pass a message to Madam.
Tell her to take care.
Wan'er, let's go.
I was married before
when I was living in Shu.
My former husband was a scholar.
He taught me how to read and write.
He later got sick and passed away.
At the time,
I was pregnant with a child.
Shu went to war.
My brother-in-law and I moved to the north.
We became separated on the way.
I followed the other refugees
all the way to the north.
I lost the baby.
You had such a tough life.
When I was in Yunzhou,
I met Duke Xiang.
That's how I came to Dongjing.
Who would've thought what awaited here
was more suffering?
I am very fond of children.
But the children around me
kept dying one after the other.
Maybe I'm just like what they said.
I'm an unlucky person.
That's not true.
you will have your own children in the future.
Your child with Duke Xiang
will certainly grow up to be brave like His Highness
while kind-hearted like you.
Hurry! It's going to collapse!
Be quick! Go!
-Quickly! -Move it!
Throw it in! Quickly!
Why are the sandbags afloat on the water?
Whatever! Just throw them in!
-Throw it over. -Throw it!
The report said
the Yellow River is raging.
It breached the retaining wall
and caused massive floods.
I've been kept up at night over this matter.
And I came here in a rush because of this.
It is imperative that we fix the retaining walls.
The court must send more men to take care of it.
Otherwise the floods might endanger the capital.
Do you have someone in mind?
What about Duke Xiang? [End of Episode 3]
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