After several days of interrogation and torture, Tang Jiu has lost a lot of weight. His eyes which are as bright as stars have become very cloudy at this time. His neck and hands are tied in chains, so he cannot move at all. He remains silent all the time, but Tang Peng, kneeling behind him, shouts at the top of his voice, "We have been wronged. All the mistakes are mine. You can kill me and don't touch my family! Brother Jiu, Brother Jiu, I am wrong! You told me not to mix with Yan Langqing, but I didn't listen. I caused all these! That token was borrowed by Yan Langqing, and she also released the king of the Huns. I didn't think she borrowed the token for this, I really didn't know! "
The executioner hears him rambling on about the concubine in the palace and hurriedly asks the guards to stop him.
Lin Dan stands in the crowd for a moment and seems to understand what has happened. It is no wonder that curfews were imposed in the capital city last month. The purpose was to search for the king of the Huns, and the king of the Huns escaped from the city with the token of the Yongding Mansion. What if Yan Langqing was involved? Or was it an excuse for the emperor who wants to suppress the Yongding Mansion rather than wanting the truth. He transferred Tang Jiu, known as the god of war, back to the capital city, placed the Duke of Yunnan and Guizhou under house arrest, wanted to marry the young daughter of the Duke, and recalled the Weiyuan Marquis in the name of recovering from illness. All these measures were aimed at consolidating imperial power and eliminating dissidents.
Perhaps he had the idea of destroying these people long ago, but he just suffered from not having a chance. However, Yan Langqing handed him a knife, and he naturally took the knife to hurt them.
Lin Dan understands the case after thinking, but she doesn’t have the ability to rescue Tang Jiu and others. Seeing that the executioner is ready to issue the order to execute them, she rushes up to the scaffold and shouts, "Please give them some time, and I’ve come to see them off." As she speaks, she holds up the box in her hand.
Before beheading, prisoners must have a full meal to prevent them from starving to death when on the road to hell. This is a rule. The executioner has done a lot of dirty work of killing and beheading and is especially superstitious about these things. He immediately motions with his hand, "Okay, but it’s almost time, you need to hurry up."
Lin Dan nods, quickly takes out the food in the box, spreads out in a line. Since the prisoners are all wearing shackles and chains, they are not able to eat, she lets Xiao Zhu, Peony and Cuckoo feed them one by one while she holds a bowl and kneels beside Tang Jiu.
People's abuse and Tang Peng's appeal fail to stir up any ripples in Tang Jiu's heart. His eyes remain half closed and he kneels in his position without sorrow or joy. Until the moment Lin Dan appears, he suddenly raises his head, can’t believe she is here. He looks at her with dribbling eyes, in a flash there is luster in his dark pupils.
"Everyone else is busy getting rid of me. Only you choose to get close." He says hoarsely, "You shouldn't have come."
"If I don't come, I’ll feel bad." Lin Dan tears a chicken leg into strips, mixes the strips with the rice and pickled vegetables, and feed them to Tang Jiu one by one, she slowly says, "Is it delicious? This is a chicken I raises myself, and I kill it when it has been raised only two months. My mother cries out for it in pain."
Being faced with imminent death, Tang Jiu chuckles, "You still remember what I said?"
"Yes, you said that you liked chick best and you wouldn’t be bored with eating it every day." Lin Dan wipes his mouth with a handkerchief and whispers, "I have killed all the chicks in my family. Today you can eat as much as you like."
Tang Jiu looks firmly at her. It is a long time before he lowers his head to eat. His eyes gradually become moist. The sun unconsciously climbs to the top, noon is coming soon. Tang Jiu swallows his last mouthful of rice and whispers, "If you can't get out of the city later, you can go to your hometown restaurant and wait. I have already bought the shop. You can stay there for a while and someone will pick you up later. Lin Dan, please take care of you in the future."
Lin Dan is stunned in her heart, but she doesn’t show any sign on her face. She puts away the food box and bows to several other people of the Mansion. Only then does she disappear into the crowd. Tang Peng's cry comes intermittently from behind, "Shopkeeper Lin, I'm sorry to you, I hope you can forgive me!" It's a pity that he understands too late. He has ruined himself and the whole family because of his fanciful thoughts.
After leaving the execution ground, Lin Dan reflects on everything and feels that there is something in Tang Jiu’s words. What did he mean by saying that Lin Dan can't get out of the city? Why can't she get out of the city? Unless the city is under curfew and the court is searching for high-profile criminals, like the king of the Huns last time...will someone come to raid the execution ground?
Yes, all the ladies of the Yongding Mansion committed suicide, including Concubine Tang in the palace. Without them as hostages, the Yongding Marquis will have no restrictions and will surely send someone to rescue his only legitimate son. But the Marquis will do this only when he is pushed by the emperor.
Will the Yongding Marquis turn against the emperor? Lin Dan has already got the answer to this question from Tang Jiu's words, so she immediately turns around and goes to the alley where her restaurant was at. It must be too late to go to the city gate now. Someone will have to rescue Tang Jiu before beheading, so it must have been a mess at the execution ground by now.
Lin Dan is right. As soon as she left, Tang Jiu broke his shackles, rescued his families, and rushed to the gate after meeting with the men in black who came to rescue him. They raced all the way and quickly escaped from the capital city. Half a day later, they discovered that the Duke of Yunnan and Guizhou and his daughter were also missing, and the capital was suddenly in a mess.
The eight gates have been all closed, and the streets are full of guards searching back and forth. The atmosphere is a little scary. Lin Dan and Tang Jiu are old acquaintances. If she stays in the capital city any longer, there will always be someone to question her if she knows the whereabouts of Tang Jiu. She is preparing to dismiss the servants and bear the consequences alone. Suddenly the shop door is rung. A tall and strong man takes out a letter and lets Lin Dan go out of the city with him.
The letter is written by Tang Jiu himself, and it writes a lot of interesting childhood stories that existed in their memory. Lin Dan confirms the authenticity of the letter before following the man away. They board a luxury carriage and swagger out of the capital city without inspection. Lin Dan only knows when she leaves that the man is a marquis of Mongolia and has been entrusted by Tang Jiu to escort her.
"He told me just before going to prison that he was in danger this time. If you come to see him off, I’ll protect you to leave. If you don't, you will receive this box." The man takes out a heavy box, cups his hands again, and rides away.
Lin Dan lifts the lid of the box and finds it full of gold and jewelry. Her heart feels warm. Ten years ago, at the Farewell Pavilion outside the city, a servant sent by Tang Jiu gave her a small box full of silvers, which she flatly refused. Ten years later, facing the same scene, she wants to accept it. In this world, she doesn’t come and go alone after all. One or two people will remember her.
After this day, Lin Dan leaves the capital and drifts around. The prosperous and stable State of Chu begins to fall into war. First, the Duke of Yunnan and Guizhou raises the banner of cleaning treacherous officials for the Emperor, and the king of the Huns leads a large-scale invasion. The government cuts off the pay and provision of the Yongding Marquis. So there is no way to fight the Huns, and they have been forced to revolt.
The war lasts for several months. Then one day, the Duke of Yunnan and Guizhou dies in his tent without any reason. His son ascends the position immediately and joins forces with the son of the Yongding Marquis to fight against the Huns. This gives the precarious State of Chu a breathing space. However, it is not expected that at this critical moment, the emperor actually issues an imperial edict ordering the Weiyuan Marquis to lead the army to attack the two from the rear and eradicate the rebels.
This order is undoubtedly absurd. Once the two armies are defeated, the army led by the king of the Huns will be able to march straight in and threaten the hinterland of the Central Plains. However, the great State of Chu has successively lost its armies in the northwest and the southwest. The remaining army can’t resist the Huns' cavalry. Once the situation goes out of control, the State of Chu will no longer exist.
However, the emperor seems to have a plan well in his mind. He sends three imperial decrees to order the Weiyuan Marquis to send troops. The war is imminent and the consequences are unimaginable.
At this moment, Lin Dan, who lives in seclusion in the mountains, has dreamed. She dreams that the little Lin Dan had lost the competition and was ashamed and angry. She threw the golden knife, the recipe book and the memorial tablet of the master into fire to burn. Tang Jiu and Yan Langqing, who rushed here, saw this scene and were very disgusted with her. Although they kept her because she had the old Marquis as her guarantor, they would neglect her or take a detour when they saw her. The more Tang Jiu disliked her, the more she stuck to him and came up with all sorts of vicious tricks to frame Yan Langqing. It was originally the Yans slandered her father, but because of her recklessness, Lin Putin was convicted of deceiving his masters and destroying his ancestors and ended up with a bitter quarrel and a broken reputation.
Gradually, she became more and more extreme, pushing Tang Jiu further and further away, killing off the old Marquis' last safeguard for her. On the contrary, Yan Langqing gradually gained the affirmation of the old Marquis, and had a deep feeling with Tang Jiu during the ups and downs, and finally got married. The happier they live, the more miserable Lin Dan felt.
With the passage of time, Yan Langqing gradually became a qualified wife of a marquis, who was praised by others everywhere. Even the emperor had a special feeling for her and often called her into the palace to meet her under the excuse of accompanying Concubine Tang. Many times, she was targeted by some people and became a pawn for them to frame Concubine Tang, poisoning her cooking, causing Concubine Tang to miscarry.
The emperor ordered to check and finally found out Yan Langqing. But the emperor was unwilling to touch her, so Lin Dan, who was always fighting with her, was blamed and beaten dead in public. Lin Dan's short life ended in this way, but Yan Langqing's story continued.
The more he couldn’t get it, the more the emperor cared about it. He managed to transfer Tang Jiu to the battlefield and secretly killed him. Then he took advantage of the other concubines to dispose of Concubine Tang and called Yan Langqing into the palace to enjoy his favor. A few years later, the king of the Huns, who had been rescued unintentionally by Yan Langqing, began to storm the State of Chu and repeatedly threatened to take Yan Langqing away as the queen. The two countries have been at war for many years, both losing and hurting. However, Tang Jiu "resurrected from the dead" and joined the war. The Duke of Yunnan and Guizhou took advantage of the rebellion and claimed to become the emperor himself. A peaceful and prosperous world finally became hell on earth. As for the son and the daughter of the Duke of Yunnan and Guizhou, they fled without permission in their early years. After being captured by Tang Jiu, they committed suicide by taking poison.
The fate of all people was so absurd and tragic, and all this was just to compete for a woman.
After waking up, Lin Dan feels quite ironic. She believes that if she doesn’t come, this will be the fate of the original Lin Dan and the established developing track of the world. Because of a woman, the peace of the home country exists no more, the people are destitute, is this fate? It is too ridiculous!