Inside the Mansion of Prince An, the suona horn resonated magnificently, the lanterns were lit up in joyful colors, celebrating the jubilant occasion.
An Lingge, dressed in her wedding gown as radiant as flames, was seated in front of a bronze mirror, applying some lip rouge. Behind her, two maid servants were helping her dress and apply makeup.
Today, she was the most beautiful bride in the capital city.
Within half an hour, the people from the Mansion of Prince Mu would arrive, and she would marry and leave the An Family. From that point on, she would be the wife of Prince Mu, no longer the Missy An.
At that moment, footsteps echoed from outside the tent. Just as An Lingge wondered if it was her mother who had come over and was about to stand to greet her, the coming person spoke.
"You two, stay outside."
It was her younger sister, An Lingyi!
An Lingge turned around, ready to ask why her little sister was here, only to see An Lingyi, dressed in phoenix coronet and red wedding dress, her lips as red as cherries and teeth as white as snow, looking every bit the bride. Her attire was even more extravagant than An Lingge's.
An Lingge was taken aback. Why was sister Lingyi wearing a bridal gown? She had not heard that her little sister was getting married today?
"Sister, you haven't eaten anything since this morning. Father sent me to bring you some porridge. Have it while it's hot!"
An Lingyi was holding a bowl of bird's nest porridge. Seeing that An Lingge had paused upon turning around, she walked up to her and placed the porridge in front of An Lingge.
"Thank you, sister..." An Lingge felt warmth in her heart and didn't think much of it. She was indeed hungry. She picked up the porridge and started drinking, and then raised her head to ask the question, "Lingyi, what's...?”
“Sister, are you asking about my phoenix coronet and red dress?” An Lingyi started laughing. She spun in front of An Lingge and then asked, “What do you think? Not bad, right?”
“Yes... It's beautiful! Just... Why didn't I hear about you getting married today, too? Why didn't the father or governess tell me about it?” For some reason, after drinking a few sips of the bird's nest porridge, An Lingge felt her head going heavy.
"Since you also find it beautiful, sister, wouldn't Jun Han be amazed if I were to wear this when marrying him?" An Ling Ge maintained her smile, but An Ling Ge was suddenly taken aback.
Jun Han? Mu Jun Han? Is there a second Mu Jun Han in the capital?
"Sister, there's no need to think about it. Jun Han is indeed the young Prince Mu. He should be here within a quarter of an hour. However, I'm afraid you won't get to see him!"
An Ling Yi's face grew cold, and An Ling Ge's head felt heavier. It was not just that, there was a sudden wave of pain in her stomach, and it felt as if her throat was blocked. She was struggling to breathe.
"Did...did you poison me?" An Ling Ge took a glance at the bird's nest porridge in the bowl and suddenly realized. She looked at An Ling Yi in disbelief. She really didn't understand why the other party would do such a thing to her.
She coughed vigorously, trying to vomit out the consumed bird's nest porridge, but it was completely useless. In the end, the only thing she could vomit was a mouthful of shocking blood.
"Sister, there's no need to exhaust yourself. This is a deadly poison from the Southern frontier that seals the throat upon contact with blood. Half a moment is all it takes to claim a life. There's no antidote in this mansion."
An Ling Ge's body was already out of control. Excruciating pain emanated from her abdomen as she fell off her chair, spurting out another mouthful of fresh blood.
She didn't understand why her usually affectionate sister would poison her at this time.
"Why? Hehe," An Ling Yi chuckled, continuing, "You are the legitimate daughter of Prince An's mansion. How can I marry Jun Han if you're alive?"
An Ling Ge's eyes widened in shock as she never expected this reason.
She knew well that An Ling Yi had feelings for Jun Han. When the Emperor permitted a marriage between the Prince An's and Prince Mu's mansions, she thought about stepping aside to let her sister marry him. But the Mu mansion was a place of high power and as long as the first daughter of Prince An's mansion was not married, it was impossible for An Ling Yi, a secondary daughter from a lower rank, to take her place.
So, her sister wanted to poison her just for this reason?
"Aren't...aren't you scared that father... will find out?" An Ling Ge's vision was getting darker, but she still couldn't understand why her usually amiable sister would harm her this way!
"Now that you're dead, the people from Prince Mu's manor are on their way. Do you think father has any other choice?" An Lingyi sneers, "Now, if I do not get married in your stead, how do you think the Prince Mu's manor would perceive Father? Will the An family still have a footing in the imperial capital?"
"My dear sister, you can rest in peace and reunite with your mother. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, your beloved mother was also sent on her way by my mother and me. You missed her so much, I did you the favor of sending you off to meet her. Isn't that a kindness on my part?"
"You…" Again, An Lingge coughs up a mouthful of fresh blood, this shocking revelation hitting her like a bolt from the blue!
When her mother died, she had no idea of the strange circumstances. Assisted by Lady Li and An Lingyi through the most difficult period, she had always been filled with gratitude. Little did she expect that she had been harboring a viper and conspiring with wolves. Lady Li and An Lingyi were the real murderers of her mother!
"An Lingyi! You shall meet a bad end!" Somehow finding her will again, An Lingge let out a roar, aiming a lunge at An Lingyi, but ended up falling to the ground, utterly spent.
At that moment, a familiar voice came from outside the door.
It was Bichu! Barely managing to lift her eyelids, An Lingge saw Bichu entering with a tray of food. Upon seeing her laying on the floor, Bichu's face altered considerably. Before she knew it, she was ambushed by two maids standing behind An Lingyi with a gash appearing on her neck and she collapsed onto the floor.
"You two," An Lingyi orders the maids, "dispose of these two bodies in the lake in the back garden. Then go to the account's office and collect your rewards. Tell them I sent you."
An Lingyi furrowed her brows and addressed the two maids who'd just been putting makeup on An Lingge, and then she walked out of the room.
An Lingge was completely unable to speak, bubbles of blood frothing from her mouth as she attempted to curse An Lingyi but ultimately, she couldn't utter a single word. Her eyes closed and she lost consciousness.
The aromatic wind was warm and gentle. Half-drawn embroidered curtains hung from the veranda windows, wafting a fragrant scent from the censer on the side.
A servant girl was kneeling before the bed, unable to stop her tears, "Young miss...waaa...You mustn't be in danger..."
The quiet sobs were giving An Lingge a headache. She could not bear it any longer and irritably said, "Bichu, why are you crying? You're keeping me awake…"
But the moment the words left An Lingge’s mouth, she was surprised into silence.
What's going on? The lattice window, the desk with written materials, the Guqin to one side...
Wasn't she poisoned to death by An Lingyi? Why is she in her own boudoir again?
She looked down at herself in disbelief. The silk robe she wore was embroidered with a pair of magpies. An Lingyi Ge was taken aback. This robe, wasn't this the robe she made to celebrate her seventeenth birthday?
In an instant, An Lingyi Ge seemed to think of something. She sprinted to the head of the bed and picked up the bronze mirror on the square table.
The woman in the mirror had rosy lips and pearly teeth, her eyes and brows radiated an innocent and romantic feel. A standard oval face with soft contours, it looked beautiful and gentle.
However, at this moment, her almond-shaped eyes sparkled, as if thousands of emotions were surging in her heart.
"Bizhu, why were you crying just now?"
An Lingyi Ge spoke coldly. If her guess was correct, she would have "accidentally fallen into the water" yesterday, right?