Last episode, it was revealed that the portraits causing all the drama among the royal court were … to put not too fine a point on it, terrible. There’s no danger of that happening here at Exiern. Scott has only been hiring the best artists that he can find for the work. Of course, this all costs money and that has an impact on how frequently such pages can be produced and oh, by the way, has it ever been mentioned that Exiern has a Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/exiern)?
Right then, on with the show. No more unrelated subject matter distractions this week, just a reminder that we’re doing this to provide you with something not unrelated to add to the one page a week at present (note those last two words, they may be significant – in a good way that is).
Well, looks like Zhang Peng has everything sorted out to his satisfaction as he theatrically boxes the air as part of what is undoubtedly his morning constitutional. He just has to present a convincing miscarriage for a pregnancy that never was and make sure Zhao’s Wife is protected and she can give Qi Sheng the son he wants as a successor and even more importantly, Zhang Peng does not. Being a man and all, that’s kind of understandable.
You might remember when the thought occurred to another hero, the one whose exciting tale unfolding here for over eleven years now, the thought of pregnancy didn’t appeal to him either.
We learn at this point that the original doctor (Dr Song) that Zhang Peng met and who we also noticed as he does that we haven’t seen for awhile, is not coming back. Apparently, Zhang Peng’s repeated beatings traumatized him so much that he went and became a monk. Yes, surprise all round at that news.
So, Zhang Peng has to settle for the Zhang family doctor who they paid to say Zhang Peng was pregnant as a counter to Zhao’s Wife. Understandably, Zhang Peng is not so keen on him for those very reasons. So Lu Li is sent to get to get him instead. Looks like Obamacare (“You can keep your doctor.”) came just a bit too late for our hero.
While Zhang Peng demolishes some kind of poultry with all the elegance of someone in a rush at a truck stop, Lu Li comes racing back with the news that the former Empress has ordered the termination of Zhao’s Wife’s pregnancy and has sent the equivalent of a goon squad with a powerful agent to induce termination.
Zhang Peng races off to stop them but he gets there too late and stumbles onto a terrifying sight. Zhao’s Wife, looking grimmer than we’ve ever seen her. You know Sadako from The Ring and Kayako from The Grudge? They have nothing on Zhao’s Wife here, she literally looks terrifying in broad daylight. I think I’d have a coronary if I saw this in the dark.
Zhang Peng is actually horrified – at what’s been done as well. He seems to genuinely try to console her, saying that he knows from personal experience of women in his past (but the future, don’t forget – try and wrap your head around that one) that have had abortions forced on them and that they need support (that statement just raised a whole lot of other questions). ↓ Read the rest of this entry…