Yu Zhen knew Li Xueyue's conscience was spiraling, much like her thoughts. It would be best to take a break before she truly injured her hand just to harm someone else.
He would personally deal with Xu Jiaqi later. Right now, he was focused on bringing her back to sanity.
"She will be personally dealt with later," Yu Zhen assured and worriedly glanced at her.
Yu Zhen had never seen this side of her and didn't know how to react, especially when she was so tranquil in the face of anger.
"For now, let's get you some rest." Yu Zhen slipped a warm hand around Li Xueyue's shoulders, bringing her closer to him.
He was worried that something might happen if he were to look away, especially when her emotions were unstable.
His wife was doing so well to compose herself but he could see it in her eyes.
Yu Zhen had studied her long enough to see through the masks she wore, and the emotions that were kept at bay. Including the ones hidden from the world, for she was too scared of showing it, believing it to be a sign of weakness when it really wasn't.
"I'm fine," she stated.
"Then, join me," Yu Zhen said. "I am not."
Li Xueyue's head snapped to him. She had been too focused on herself and getting revenge. It was for a split second that she had forgotten he was also in the picture, and he too was hurt.
Yu Zhen was partially lying. He didn't need the external comfort of others to heal. He had learned from an early age to pick himself up, even when it was hard to do so. Seeking comfort and reassurance from another person was not his forte, much like how comforting was never his specialty. Things like this could be picked up, right?
"I will have her brought to a jail cell, where my men will keep a strict watch over her," Yu Zhen informed her.
Li Xueyue nodded. She had gotten enough smacks in to feel satiated for one day, but only one.
There was a lot more pain in her mind. But she would need to do an internal investigation on who exactly gave Xu Jiaqi the bathing oils.
The ingredients in those oils could trigger unwanted side effects in pregnant women. And with so many deadly things combined, the miscarriage was inevitable…
"Or perhaps I was too careless…" she quietly whispered to herself, suddenly feeling guilt for the passion they shared at night. Had Li Xueyue known, she would've been more careful.
'But there weren't any symptoms… like morning sickness and other things," she added on, suddenly lost and confused.
There had been many rare cases where women did not experience the symptoms of early signs of pregnancy until it was at least a few months in, and the belly was bulging a bit.
Li Xueyue touched her belly. She didn't even notice a bump, but then again, it was not like her to look at her body as it was being dressed in the mirror.
"I want all eyes on her."
Li Xueyue snapped back to reality, just in time to see the shadow guards enter the room.
They came in with the same things they had brought Xu Jiaqi in with, ribbons for her eyes, a gag for her mouth, and ropes to bind her limbs. All of this, just to prevent her from escaping.
"No one is to give her food or talk to her," Yu Zhen strictly instructed.
His men bowed their heads.
"Your Highness, please! I am wrongly accused," Xu Jiaqi pleaded and begged as she grovelled at his feet. "I would never ever, not even in my wildest dreams, have thoughts of hurting the Crown Princess, much less, the child in her womb!"
Yu Zhen sharply glowered at her. "So you knew?"
"That the Crown Princess was pregnant."
"No, of course not, Your Highness!" This time, Xu Jiaqi was truthful. Too bad, none of it mattered. It took one lie to question a thousand truths.
Yu Zhen couldn't even be bothered to look at her anymore. The sight of her disgusted him. She said he had saved her life. He wished he didn't. Having her gone would be getting rid of one nuisance in his life.
Her newfound status was the result of his kindness but look at where it had landed him. He knew there was a reason he shouldn't have been so benevolent to random people. When was the last time it brought him something good?
"Please, spare me a second of your time, my side of the story will prove my innocence!"
Yu Zhen's lips curled into a snarl. All of this squabbling was beginning to irritate him to no end.
It would be best to dispose of her as soon as possible, but in the most horrific and painful manner as possible. If there was someone to be hanged as the big fish, it would be Xu Jiaqi.
"Get this vermin out of my sight."
His men did not waste time. They stepped forward, and that was when her protest and shrieks began.
"Your Highness, please!" she begged. "The Empress, she will be furious to hear of this!"
Yu Zhen threw her a pointed look. Truly, she was not foolish enough to believe his mother would scare him? If he was not even scared of her as a child, what would change his mind now?
"I was framed!" she readily added on, but her attempts were futile.
Yu Zhen turned his back to her.
Xu Jiaqi could feel her heart splitting into pieces right in front of her. Pain prickled at her chest, spreading throughout her body. Her fingers and toes were numb. She could not stop the quivering of her lips as tears continued to flow.
She hadn't predicted this far into the future. In the heat of the moment, all she wanted to do was sabotage the Crown Princess. It was just one pregnancy. Only one miscarriage. What was so difficult to get over? They had years to make more babies…
Unable to understand her mistakes, Xu Jiaqi gaped helplessly up at the Crown Princess. "It was unintentional, Princess… W-why would I go through all of that training just to hurt you?"
"Resentment from being sent to be retrained," Li Xueyue effortlessly pointed out. There were simply too many motives for Xu Jiaqi to be innocent.
"Seize her," Yu Zhen commanded.
The men didn't need to be told twice. They approached the thrashing woman.
Yu Zhen attempted to block Li Xueyue's view. He didn't want her to see such a violent thing, but she peered over his arms and watched.
In no time, Xu Jiaqi's mouth was gagged, blindfolded, wrists bound behind her, as well as her knees and ankles. Yet, it was not enough. The stubborn woman struggled and fought against her captors, but nothing would work.
"Let us get some rest," Yu Zhen said. It was mainly for her to sleep it off. She would be more clear-headed after a nap. That way, she would have the energy to prevail through the troubles bent on arising.
It would be inevitable that word would get out about the miscarriage. And when the storm happens, he would prefer for her to be mentally prepared.
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