ARC 1 – The Way to become an Empress Part 25

I just went straight to the point.

“I-I…” Ming Yi Fei grasped her skirt tightly. “Sister Ye, I-I’m afraid of her.”

I already heard from the system that she is, but until seeing it in person, I didn’t think it’s to this extent. Merely mentioning Li Zhen Zhen makes her shiver. Why?

“Why? Why are you so afraid of her?”

“She-she” tears started to pool on Ming Yi Fei’s eyes. “…killed…”

Ming Yi Fei started to sob.

“Who?” Ming Yi Fei started crying. “…Do you not want to answer?” I asked. I don’t want to push a cute little girl to answer my question if she does not want to.

She shook her head. “…No, I have moved on… I’ll say it…..” After a long pause, she finally continued. “Li Zhen Zhen killed my…my older sister.”

?! Why? How? When?

My eyes widened at her statement. Li Zhen Zhen had already killed before. I should not be surprised by this, since I know what type of crazy person she is. But, why kill Ming Yi Fei’s older sister?

“Can you tell me the whole story? And, how can you say that it’s Li Zhen Zhen who killed your sister? …Oh, you don’t have to if it’s hard.”

Ming Yi Fei shook her head again. “It’s fine. It all happened so long ago already.”

“O-okay. But, please don’t push yourself, Sister Ming.”

She then nodded, and continued her story.

“My older sister, she-she’s actually the Emperor’s first love.”

Hmmm… First love, huh. I wonder who mine is.

…Don’t think about that at a time like this. Concentrate. Concentrate! You’re kind of unlocking part of the plot right now!

And so, with that thought, I continued listening to Ming Yi Fei.

“The Emperor is childhood sweethearts with my sister, but I wasn’t. My sister is 5 years older than me. I wasn’t able to play with her much since I’m sickly, and I was sent to a temple far away to recuperate. The same reason why I haven’t met the Emperor much, only occasionally, when I was still at home. Still, my sister even comes to that far away temple to visit me at least once a month.” Ming Yi Fei then smiled at the thought of her sister.

“You must really love your sister, huh.”

“Un!” Ming Yi Fei smiled brightly amidst a sob. Then, she turned solemn once again.

“But… one day, I realized my sister hadn’t visited me for a long time. I sent a letter to my house asking for my sister. They only replied that my sister was sick at that time, and therefore unable to travel long distances. My sister was really only sick at that time, but for my healthy sister to suddenly catch something unknown, it was thought that she suddenly caught some kind of new epidemic so she was confined at home and not allowed to go out. I was also recovering pretty well at that time and was scheduled to go home in a month, so I ought to wait patiently instead, thinking I could see her soon, and everyday from then at that. But…”

Ming Yi Fei started crying again.

“…I was never able to see her again. She-My sister died a week before I managed to reach home.” Ming Yi Fei cried harder. I took her in my arms and let her cry there for awhile. I patted her back, soothing her. It’s the least I could do.

When she calmed down a little, she burrowed further into my chest and said,

“Sister Ye reminds me of my older sister. She also loved my paintings and watched me as I painted. She’s also the one who initiates conversations with me. And… for some reason, the scent you give off is the same.”

Hmmm… I remind her of her older sister, huh. Is that also why that person‘s favorability seems to have risen so fast? Because I remind him of the same person? Hahahaha! I see! I see…

I didn’t realize I was smiling bitterly. My patting also stopped. At that time, Ming Yi Fei straightened herself, so she too wasn’t able to notice.

“About the Empress… Actually, there was another person in my sister and the Emperor’s childhood… that is, Li Zhen Zhen. I think… she was jealous of my sister. That’s why she…” she didn’t continue, but I get what she’s trying to say.

But, can a child really be that cruel? Even if it’s Li Zhen Zhen… no, she may be the type to do that.

“Why do you suspect a child like her?”

“My whole family suspects her. Because my sister died through some mysterious disease, the only one who can manage to do something like that is someone with medical knowledge. Of those in that field, it is known that Li Zhen Zhen’s maternal family is one of the best. Connecting the dots, we suspect it’s definitely Li Zhen Zhen, the one who can inspicuously get close to my sister. But, we have no evidence. And, I was convinced it was her because…” Ming Yi Fei gulped. “When I entered the palace to join the royal harem, the way she looked at me…” Ming Yi Fei then shivered. “It was dangerous. I actually resemble my sister quite a bit. I thought I too would be killed. That’s why I… avoid contact with her as much as possible.”

So that’s it… But,

“Isn’t your family a relative of the Emperor? How can Li Zhen Zhen just push you around, getting away with what she did?”

“Even though the Emperor and I were said to be cousins, my family’s merely a relative from the Emperor’s maternal side. And, the Li family’s power is not one to be underestimated.”

A daughter from their family can even get away scot-free with such a crime. They’re definitely not to be made lightly of. No wonder the Emperor’s so wary.

“Also, the Emperor…” Ming Yi Fei sucked in a breath, and did not continue that anymore. Is there perhaps something more to the story?

“Is there something you could not say?”

“Y-yes. If Sister Ye is curious… I think it’s better to ask the Emperor…”

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