Who else cried, because I certainly cried a lot this episode!
The incident was incredibly tragic, and the one that has to grieve for each loss was Lady Ah-Duo. First she loses her child– to simply because Fengming at the time did not know that the honey she was feeding the prince is considered poisonous for infants, and accidentally killed the baby as result of that. Then one of her servants commits suicide by throwing herself into the moat to prevent suspicions of their actions towards Lady Lishu from falling onto her. And finally Fengming turns herself in for attempting to murder Lady Lishu and is executed for it. How devastating.
And it’s sad, because Lady Ah-Duo was never interested in becoming a concubine, and yet she did and to her surprise she hung onto the role longer than she thought she would. In the beginning she was simply the Emperor’s friend, and now, being given a place in the south, she has gone back to that role. She’s an incredibly woman, and it’s not hard to imagine just how amazing of an Empress she could’ve been, but at the same time, perhaps she would be happier like this, more free to do as she pleases.
That was why Maomao suggested to her to simply turn herself solely on the claim that she had attempted to kill Lady Lishu with the intent to protect Lady Ah-Duo’s position. By doing so, while it doesn’t change the outcome of her fate– which was capital execution, but it at least allowed her to take her secret of accidentally killing the baby to the grave.
Though given Ah-Duo’s personality, I do feel like that she probably would have forgiven Fengming because while it was a grave error, it wasn’t intentional. It’s in part of why she didn’t blame any of her servants, and simply grieved on her own. It also pained Ah-Duo how her ladies in waiting were so willing to sacrifice themselves for her sake, to ensure that their errors would not cause her any dangers of suspicion to fall onto her– especially when it as entirely their own doing.
There is also the fact that Jinishi has a close relationship with Lady Ah-Duo, enough to grieve her departure. However, if he were to be her son, whether he were to know about his birth secret is an entirely different matter altogether. His tears could certainly indicate so, but it could also simply be grieving for the loss of a friend. After-all, he and Lady Ah-Duo were close enough to share drinks, one which she had hilariously left and came back only to kick him out, which is how he ended up finding Maomao.
The sheer complication and mess of the matter is exactly why Maomao would much rather brush it off as a “delusional idea” as she put it, and deny any knowledge of it. After-all, the one thing Maomao is keen of doing is feigning ignorance as a means to not give a straight answer to something she may know the answer to, but wants no part in, especially if it’s something as outrageously complicated as this one.