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Backstory

        The mansion was burning, and loud screaming came from the gate. Zhen Fu sprinted inside the mansion looking for her parents. She had no time to watch out for her surroundings. She pushed the door open and entered her parents’ room, where Cao Cao stood in the middle holding a sword. Next to him was her parents lying in a pool of their own blood! Zhen Fu charged at Cao Cao, but he seized her arms before she could attack. Cao Cao scanned her face and said coldly, ‘I heard the Zhens’ daughter was beautiful like an angel. Indeed, it’d be a waste to kill you.’ Zhen Fu tried to bite off her tongue, but Cao Cao stopped her immediately. She was brought back to Cao Cao’s country as a “souvenir” that he could brag about when foreign messengers came by.

One day, Cao Bi met Zhen Fu, who was imprisoned in the palace and fell in love with her. He asked if Cao Cao could betroth Zhen Fu to him, and Cao Cao accepted.

        On their wedding night, Zhen Fu shed tears alone in her room while laughter and cheer came from the outside. Moments later, the door was pushed open, and she clutched her fists nervously. The man who was about to take her virginity was not the man she loved, but she would swallow the shame for revenge on Cao Cao; she would feign happiness and obedience to earn their trust. Cao Bi stepped up to her and unveiled her face, and then he placed a chair before her and sat down. As Zhen Fu stared at him in confusion, Cao Bi said with a smile, ‘Why don’t we have a chat? Let me introduce myself…’ Cao Bi began with his childhood, but Zhen Fu only reacted with perfunctory nods. To her, he was merely her enemy’s son. She had no reason to build a relationship with him.

        Cao Bi chatted to Zhen Fu each night. When she felt tired, he would return to his room to sleep. He never forced Zhen Fu to do anything that she did not feel like. Days later, she loosened up and shared her childhood; what her parents had taught her and the decorations in her old mansion. All of the things she missed were already gone. ‘I remember Father bought me a puppy for me. It was a snowy cute puppy with really soft fur. However, my servant let it run away carelessly, and it was lost forever…’ said Zhen Fu as her eyes turned red. Cao Bi comforted her by saying, ‘You’ve got to believe that it’s living a happy life somewhere.’ Cao Bi’s kind words made Zhen Fu smile for the first time since they had met. A few days later, Zhen Fu heard a puppy barking from behind the door. She opened the door and found Cao Bi holding a puppy. He had ordered his servants to search for Zhen Fu’s puppy according to her description. In the end, the one they had found was a different puppy, but she still loved it. She held Cao Bi’s hand and lay her head on his shoulder. Her feelings towards Cao Bi began to change.

        Spring passed. Summer was here. Zhen Yu suffered from an unknown, prolonged illness. Her servants left her fearing risk of infection. Cao Bi became the only one staying with her. He never showed fear while taking care of her. ‘Aren’t you afraid of my disease? You may die if you get infected,’ said Zhen Fu; ‘There’s nothing to be afraid of, except losing you,’ he replied with a smile. Zhen Yu was touched, and she could not help crying. Her tears released all of her emotions along with the grief that she had been holding since her parents' deaths. Cao Bi wrapped her in his arms and stroked her head gently. The thought of revenge had tortured her with countless sleepless nights. Now in Cao Bi’s arms, she somehow found peace and a sense of safety. She felt released from a long-existing burden.

        Zhen Fu loved Cao Bi more each day, but she had not given up her revenge on Cao Cao. Finally, her chance had come. That night, Cao Cao invited all of his ministers and Cao Bi to join the banquet. Zhen Fu had paid the servants who served beverages to put poison into Cao Cao’s beer. She hid her murderous intent to make Cao Cao lower his guard.

        ’What a beautiful day! Cheers!’ Cao Cao stood up to propose a toast. Zhen Yu filled Cao Cao, Cao Bi and the ministers’ glasses with wine. She knew Cao Cao was a suspicious man, and he would exchange his glass with Cao Bi’s to avoid poisoning, so she handed the poisoned glass to Cao Bi. As she expected, Cao Cao asked his son to exchange glasses, but Cao Bi refused. He looked at Zhen Yu and said with a smile, ‘I love her, and I trust her. Don’t you trust your own son’s wife?’ Cao Cao was convinced and gave up switching glasses. Zhen Fu watched Cao Bi drink the poisoned wine. She wanted to stop him, but she could not.

        After the banquet ended, Cao Bi returned to his home. As he set foot in his room, blood gushed out of his lips, and his face went pale. Zhen Yu hugged him and cried. ‘I’m sorry...I’ ‘I knew what you were up to since the very beginning.... I loved you too much…I couldn’t let you kill my father, but I couldn’t bear to see you tortured to death...Forgive me,I only cared about my feelings…’ As more tears fell from Zhen Fu’s eyes, she felt warmth on her cheek — Cao Bi wiped her tears and said gently, ‘Don’t cry...I love your smile...Promise me that you’ll stay happy the rest of your life. Always smile like the day you found your puppy…’ Zhen Yu forced a smile and satisfied Cao Bi’s final wish. He closed his eyes, and his arms drooped.
        Zhen Fu bent down and kissed Cao Bi. She took out a potion of poison from her sleeves and stared at Cao Bi. ‘My dear husband, I’m coming with you.’ She swallowed all of the poison, lay down next to Cao Bi and grabbed his hand waiting for death to descend. At that moment, the hatred rooted in her heart vanished. She found the place where she belonged, a world where they could continue their love.

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