Chapter 127

No one expected this matter to have so many twists and turns.

They had thought the second prince and the fourth consort had privately met for a tryst and something inappropriate had happened. Unexpectedly, the second prince was just gracing a palace maid and the fourth consort was drunk in a different room accompanied by her husband.

Did that palace maid see wrongly? Those two rooms were quite close together after all.

Looking at the confused fourth prince, the crowd’s thoughts raced.

The Zhenguo Duke hurriedly cupped his hands and left after hearing that Yan Yan was fine. This was now his majesty’s family matter. It was already overstepping to have followed him over earlier. He naturally had to be tactful at this time.

“Royal father, mother empress, did something happen?” Luo Huai Yuan asked again.

He was good at putting on an act. He had actually long since been crouching behind the door watching the show. Only after feeling the time was about right did he come out.

The surroundings were very quiet at this moment. There was only some slight movement behind those doors.

Luo Huai Yuan seemed to have heard the second prince’s sounds and couldn’t help but point in astonishment at the door: “This, why is second brother….”

Emperor Xi frowned and said: “It’s nothing. Your second brother got drunk and actually pulled a palace maid inside to mess around.” After speaking, he spoke to Senior Concubine Xu: “Why aren’t you having that brute clean himself up and scram out here!?”

Senior Concubine Xu reacted very quickly. She hurriedly gave the palace maid by her side a look.

Emperor Xi spoke again: “Since your wife is drunk, you should take her back.”

Luo Huai Yuan nodded. He turned back into the room and busied himself. Before long, he carried someone wearing a cloak out. Seemingly aware that Emperor Xi didn’t want him here, he didn’t linger and hurriedly left.

After Emperor Xi spoke, the matter was settled and no one dared to say anything else.

It seemed as though it was truly how Emperor Xi had described it. The second prince got drunk and lost control, pulling a palace maid into the room to mess around with. As for what the second prince’s alcohol tolerance was like and whether he was someone who would lose control like that, no one looked into it.

This was what it seemed on the surface but in reality, a small group of people knew this matter wasn’t so simple.

Because this matter occurred at a place like the Jiying Hall, the second prince and that palace maid’s affair spread rapidly throughout the palace. Emperor Xi had ordered people to investigate after the fact but didn’t find any suspicious things at the scene. Because the second prince’s condition wasn’t right, an imperial physician was called over to examine him.

The imperial physician took his pulse and said the second prince had traces of being drugged. That low-ranked palace maid was the same way.

What was even more surprising was that during the investigation, the second consort was found tightly bound under the bed.

When she was found, the second consort was already unconscious. Furthermore, she also had signs of being affected but it was very light. Someone noticed that the second consort was only wearing her innerwear. Her ceremonial robe’s outer garments were scattered on the floor outside.

Some people theorized about these details but no one dared to say anything.

Emperor Xi personally ordered this matter to be kept secret so it naturally passed without a trace. After all, there were too many things involved that weren’t appropriate to be made public. They could only drop it.

It wasn’t clear if anyone guessed that the fourth prince was involved in this matter. As Luo Huai Yuan expected, this matter wouldn’t be thoroughly investigated due to its nature so it would be swept under the rug.

Why is this the case?

Unless Emperor Xi no longer cared about the royal family’s dignity and no longer wanted this second son of his, it would be dropped.

Therefore, the truth only existed in a few people’s minds.

***

When Yan Yan snapped out of it, she realized she was riding the fatty.

His expression was very weird and her own condition was also very weird. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the energy to figure things out and could only continue her body’s movements.

Once everything was done, she lay limply in Luo Huai Yuan’s arms, her entire body weak and sore. She was too lazy to even move a finger.

Only now did some of her previous memories come flooding back. Yan Yan simply wished to find a crack to burrow into.

Although this sort of thing happened quite often between husband and wife, she had never been so unbridled before. When she recalled how she had wrapped around him like a water snake and rubbed against him, as well as having said some embarrassing things and made those sorts of moves, she couldn’t help but feel embarrassed to death.

However, Yan Yan also quickly realized her condition wasn’t right and she straightened up.

“What happened to me? Was I drugged?”

Luo Huai Yuan smiled bitterly and stroked her jade face which was soaked by sweat. “Wife, you were drugged. If it weren’t for your husband making it in time, this would have been a huge matter.”

He then gave her a summary of what had happened, including what he had done. Yan Yan’s face turned darker the more she heard. When she heard that Empress Xiao had ordered someone to go catch the adulterers in the act but ended up catching the second prince gracing a palace maid, her fury was at its peak.

Luo Huai Yuan comforted her and said: “Don’t be angry, don’t be angry. Your husband has already helped you get revenge. Although this matter wasn’t thoroughly investigated, everyone more or less knows it has something to do with her. Senior Concubine Xu suffered such a big loss and definitely won’t let her off easily. She’s probably figuring out how to get back at her at this moment. Let those two women struggle by themselves. We’ll just watch the show.”

From his appearance, he seemed afraid that Yan Yan was really going to go settle score with the empress. No matter how impulsive she was, she wouldn’t do something so foolish unless she was tired of living.

After a while, Yan Yan recovered her stamina and pulled herself off his body.

“Want to take a bath? Let’s go play in the water as a happily married couple. Yan Yan, I have to say, you were really passionate today….”

Luo Huai Yuan smiled vulgarly. Yan Yan couldn’t help but roll her eyes at him and give him a pinch.

“Wu…why are you pinching me again? I worked really hard today….ooo…my waist is really sore….”

Yan Yan finally couldn’t take it anymore. Something snapped in her mind.

“Damn fatty, are you done yet….”

Don’t you know a girl gets extremely embarrassed about these things? You’re still going to mouth off?

***

Empress Xiao was very sure she was screwed over by someone, and for the moment it wasn’t clear who it was.

She had clearly arranged everything but the target had been switched out at the last moment, making her lose a lot of face in front of Emperor Xi. Luckily she had reacted quickly and didn’t leave behind any evidence. Otherwise, it would really be difficult to settle this matter.

She had been suspicious whether it was that fourth prince, but unfortunately it didn’t seem like it based on his appearance.

Empress Xiao was paranoid and ordered her trusted aide to find that low-ranked palace maid called Ying Ge. She wanted to question her and figure out exactly what had happened. Unfortunately that Yang Ge was kept by the second prince’s side and she couldn’t get in touch at all.

As for Emperor Xi, although he didn’t show anything on the surface, he ended up going to the Chunluan Palace that night. He spent three nights at Senior Concubine Xu’s palace, and bestowed all sorts of things to her.

In an instant, Senior Concubine Xu was in the limelight.

After that event, the second prince remained very quiet. Whether it was Senior Concubine Xu or the third prince asking, he remained silent.

Several people were aware of the truth but no one could figure out the course of events.

Of course, there was an exception. That was Lu Xiu Ling.

This matter was declared taboo by Emperor Xi. Not only would the servants not say anything, the also stuffed up their mouths when sleeping, deeply afraid they would talk in their sleep. The other people in the palace were naturally unaware.

The second prince getting drunk and gracing a palace maid in the Jiying Hall wasn’t really a big deal within the palace. What astonished people was that the second prince actually took that palace maid in as his concubine.

Could it be that the second prince really liked this girl?

The second prince and the second consort had only been married for less than three months. Rumor had it that the second prince didn’t really favor the second consort. Only after this matter spread did everyone realize just how little he favored her. There were many palace maids that served the princes in bed. However, none of them had any status. This was something that could only be considered after the prince’s first marriage.

For the sake of the consort’s dignity, this matter would normally only be brought up half a year to a year after the marriage. Unexpectedly, the second prince would degrade the second consort in front of everyone like this.

Those who understood the details naturally knew the meaning behind his actions. However, these people were in the minority.

Therefore, most of the palace would inevitably reveal a weird expression whenever they saw the second consort. Even the servants at the Jinan Hall would more or less reveal some signs. They had to mind their actions on the surface but there were many servants who ran to flatter Ying Ge the concubine secretly.

Ying Ge used to be a low-ranked palace maid at the Jiying Hall. She only helped the empress carry out her plan after being bribed. Unexpectedly, the matter wasn’t successful but she ended up getting into a relationship with the second prince due to the unexpected turn of events. When the second prince accepted her by his side, she also understood the implications. She immediately forgot about the empress and followed the second prince with all her heart.

Palace maids were the lowest people within the palace. To transform overnight and be able to serve at the prince’s side was a blessing that caused her ancestor’s graves to emit green smoke.

Ying Ge naturally wasn’t a simple person. Even though she knew how this matter occurred, she didn’t reveal anything on the surface. Due to the rumors floating around outside, the second prince didn’t lack for acting like he favored her. She thus pushed the boat along with the current.

All this fell into Lu Xiu Ling’s eyes as though digging into her heart.

All her accumulated resentment finally exploded on the day before the Lantern Festival when the second prince said he was taking Ying Ge to participate in the palace’s carnival.

“What are you acting for? Do you think others don’t know that bit of filth within your heart? It’s useless no matter how you pretend nothing happened. Those who should know your thoughts are all aware of it! No matter how you try to hide it, you cannot conceal the fact that you lust after your own sister-in-law!”

Lu Xiu Ling’s outburst left the palace maids by her side in disbelief. Their legs couldn’t help but tremble.

The second prince’s expression turned dark. He signaled with his eyes and made a gesture to his personal eunuchs to take the servants in the room outside.

Those servants hurriedly took their leave, feeling very fortunate. They scarcely realized that the moment they heard these words, their fate was sealed.

This included two of Lu Xiu Ling’s maids who were part of her dowry. They didn’t realize that their mistress’s words meant she had personally pushed them into the abyss.

That day, none of the masters and servants at the scene dared say anything about the second prince lusting after his sister-in-law. It wasn’t clear where Lu Xiu Ling got the guts.

The doors were tightly shut. Only then did the second prince stand up and walk towards Lu Xiu Ling.

His usually gentle and courteous self finally revealed a face that didn’t match his appearance.

Lu Xiu Ling couldn’t help but be startled. She retreated a couple of steps: “You, what do you want to do?”

The second prince stretched out his hand and wrapped it around her slender neck.

“You, let go, what do you want to do? I am the consort conferred by his majesty!”

The second prince leaned close to her, his handsome face indescribably dark, his eyes narrowed dangerously: “You also know you are the consort? Don’t you know what you can say, and what you cannot? You wish to use this matter to pressure me? Do you know the outcome of those people who just left?” He paused, “None of them will be left alive. You have personally killed them all.”

Lu Xiu Ling’s face was tragically pale, her pupils dilated in fear.

“No, impossible, you….”

The second prince ignored her and continued speaking: “You should get rid those foolish thoughts as soon as possible. Would you believe that I wouldn’t have to make a move if you announced that I was lusting after old fourth’s wife? My royal father would wipe you out first!”

Lu Xiu Ling’s tears flowed down her face, wetting the second prince’s hand. He suddenly felt a sense of disgust. He swung his hand and the person fell to the floor.

“I really don’t know how mother concubine chose such a fool as my consort. Shut your mouth obediently in the future and behave. Otherwise, I don’t mind switching you out!”

***

The Lantern Festival was a major gathering that happened once a year. Even Luo Huai Yuan and Yan Yan who were holed up in the Xianyun Hall had to step outside.

Ever since the start of the New Year, construction began on the lantern towers by the palace gates. They were completed on the tenth day. Once they were completed, they remained lit continuously. They were dazzling and eye-catching. The lantern markets next to these towers were also set up. There were all sorts of decorative lanterns hung up in a row, forming a lively scene.

Every year the wealthy would invite skilled craftsmen to construct lanterns to be hung up in front of the various stands. If they managed to catch his majesty’s or one of the palace mistress’s eye, there would naturally be plenty of rewards. Therefore, prior to the royal family’s outing, each booth hung up their most eye-catching lanterns, hoping to stand out

Looking at all the colorful lights, Yan Yan couldn’t help but recall last year’s lantern festival and the rare and incomparable rain of fireworks. Luo Huai Yuan seemed to be thinking about the same scene and waggled his eyebrows at Yan Yan. She couldn’t help but laugh.

Whenever they saw the people involved in the matter that day, Luo Huai Yuan was taciturn as usual while Yan Yan’s face was filled with frost. It was clear her mood was extremely bad.

However, those who muddled along in the palace for a while didn’t know the meaning of awkwardness.

Empress Xiao wore an extremely dazzling phoenix robe and wore a nine-tailed phoenix crown on her head. She looked graceful and splendid. Seeing Yan Yan, she especially inquired about her health, saying how she had heard she was ill and that she needed to take care of herself in the future. She’s waiting for her to give birth to old fourth’s sons.

Yan Yan wanted to spit in her face but luckily held it in. As someone unable to put on an act, she merely listened rigidly as the empress finished expressing her concern before returning to her seat.

During this time she saw the second prince and Lu Xiu Ling. Yan Yan didn’t look at the person who had errant thoughts towards her, but did look at Lu Xiu Ling a couple of times. This was because she looked truly depressed. She glanced at the familiar person sitting behind her and felt a flash of understanding.

Yan Yan recalled that Lu Xiu Ling had been stuffed under the bed and heard her husband messing around with another woman. In the end, she had no choice but to accept her husband getting a new concubine. Thinking of this, Yan Yan couldn’t help but give Luo Huai Yuan a smile.

Sometimes, people that disgusted you had to be dealt with using such methods. If it weren’t for the fact that she knew these people weren’t doing too well these days, Yan Yan wondered if she could resist going over to harass them.

Thinking of this, she glanced at the empress sitting above.

Due to the reflection of the lights along with her seemingly heavy makeup, Empress Xiao’s face looked unusually haggard. However, this was because Yan Yan’s vision was sharp. She was able to tell from those bags under her eyes.

In comparison, Senior Concubine Xu’s complexion was startlingly good. It seemed that her panic that day was like an illusion. Her hair was done in a bun and pinned in place by a dragon phoenix hairpin. Her eyes contained the waters of spring and she smiled sweetly. She wore a rose-red palace outfit embroidered with peony and begonias. On the outside she wore a snow white fox-fur coat.

Yan Yan knew that it was made using high-quality snow foxes’ fur, and the fur was even gathered from the softest part under their armpits. The cloak made out of this fur was soft and sleek, thin and light, making it not clumsy to wear. This was because she had one herself.

Yan Yan didn’t really understand the undercurrents that were hidden within the palace. If Luo Huai Yuan hadn’t deduced and provided evidence to her that the empress wasn’t well, and was extremely unwell, she definitely wouldn’t have believed it.

Empress Xiao was truly unwell these days.

Senior Concubine Xu was in the limelight and Emperor Xi had frequently expressed his favoritism of the second and third princes in front of others these days. The crown prince had first embarrassed himself in front of the crowd and was now being spurned by his royal father. This truly made him feel panicked and he frequently came to the empress asking for ideas.

Empress Xiao had been anxious to begin with. With her worrisome child being so unstable, her dad the Jingguo Duke had told her that the hearts of the people in court were starting to sway. The crown prince’s prestige was no longer as it was in the past. Empress Xiao had to worry about these things while also defending herself against Senior Concubine Xu’s revenge. She still had to comfort the crown prince. Problems were popping up all over and she was under a lot of pressure.

Empress Xiao had lived in the palace for several decades. She had always understood that the court and the palace always followed where the wind blew.

Over the many years, the east wind and west wind took turns to suppress each other. The equilibrium they had finally reached was broken due to a moment of inattentiveness. From Emperor Xi’s attitude, this would probably last for a while. Their side had to lower their heads and behave. However, it was fine as long as they got through it. Emperor Xi couldn’t raise the senior concubine’s side too high. After all, equilibrium was most important for a monarch.

Of course, these struggles weren’t clear on the surface but things had always been boiling underneath.

*

On the sixteenth of the New Year, the Zhenguo Duke made a rare request for an audience with Emperor Xi.

Actually, Emperor Xi could tell why he was here based on his solemn attitude.

“Majesty.”

“Uncle Mao Shan, We are ashamed. For something like that to have happened, it was lucky it didn’t end in tragedy.” He didn’t wait for the Zhenguo Duke to speak and guiltily brought it up himself.

The Zhenguo Duke smiled bitterly and cupped his hands: “Majesty, you mustn’t say that.”

He paused and spoke again: “Majesty, you also know this old subject only has one granddaughter. Although she’s my daughter’s daughter, she isn’t any different from my own flesh and blood. When you bestowed her to the fourth prince that day, this old subject didn’t say anything. This old official knows the fourth prince isn’t an ambitious person and wanted to have the two of them spend their days peacefully. However, look at the current situation….”

The Zhenguo Duke’s words were still very ambiguous. His existence guaranteed that the empress and the senior concubine would struggle and Yan Yan would be used in their schemes. After all, the Zhenguo Duke’s influence was something everyone understood. Since they couldn’t win him over on the surface, they could only make him spurn the other side. The reason the empress chose to use Yan Yan was because once this matter occurred, Yan Yan would have to die. With the second prince being the cause of her death, the entire Shen household would thoroughly hate him.

People were emotional creatures. No matter how steady the Zhenguo Duke was, he couldn’t avoid being influenced by emotions. If he hated the second prince’s side, he would inevitably be biased towards the crown prince.

The empress had truly played a good hand, but unfortunately man proposes and god disposes.

“What thoughts does Uncle Mao Shan have?”

The Zhenguo Duke raised his qilin robes and knelt to the floor.

“This old subject requests majesty to let the two of them leave the palace. Since they don’t wish to get involved in these matters, then let them have their freedom. The fourth prince highness has long since built an estate. Just let them remain there, and leave for his vassal state when the times comes.”

Emperor Xi hurriedly stood up and personally helped the Zhenguo Duke rise.

“Uncle Mao Shan, since you’ve requested it, We will definitely agree. There’s no need for this.”

The Zhenguo Duke cupped his hands and lowered his head: “This old subject is ashamed. I’ve never dared to comment on your majesty’s family matters before. However, now my selfish interests have made things difficult for majesty.”

Actually, Emperor Xi had his own reasons for indulging Empress Xiao in having the two remain in the palace. However, only he himself and the heavens knew these reasons. As his aide for many years, the Zhenguo Duke had also gotten some hints.

“Stop, stop, stop. We permit it.”

“Thank you majesty for your grace.”

*

Senior Concubine Xu’s momentum in the palace grew until she gradually seemed to have grown above the empress.

The senior concubine had grown older these few years. Although Emperor Xi still cherished her, he inevitably wanted to taste something fresh. Therefore, the amount of young and beautiful concubines in the palace increased.

Of course, Senior Concubine Xu was still visited the most, but that didn’t mean the other concubines didn’t get anything. The visits were just scattered, making it obvious the senior concubine was still more favored. However, Emperor Xi remaining constantly in the Chunluan Palace these few days was something that hasn’t happened in recent years. He seemed to no longer be inclined to move.

Many concubines in the rear palace cursed Senior Concubine Xu for being a vixen. The empress naturally did the same.

Senior Concubine Xu’s momentum was incomparable and she was extremely smug. During one occasion where she had coaxed Emperor Xi into smiling happily, she brought up the matter of letting the second prince bring in a senior concubine.

Actually this was a conventional matter. A year after the prince’s marriage, the emperor would choose a daughter from a good household as the senior concubine to increase the amount of descendants. The reason Senior Concubine Xu chose to bring it up was naturally because the girl in question had an extraordinary identity. She was the daughter of the assistant minister in the Ministry of Revenue.

Emperor Xi was in a good mood and agreed straightforwardly.

When she received the news, Empress Xiao gritted her teeth and cursed Senior Concubine Xu countless times.

Since the second prince got one, the crown prince and the fourth prince also wouldn’t be left out. The crown prince thus got an additional beauty. A senior concubine also needed to be given to the fourth prince, but the person hadn’t been decided yet.

Unexpectedly, when the fourth prince heard this, he hurried over to the Zichen Palace and asked to see Emperor Xi.

After meeting him, he continuously said he didn’t want a senior concubine, saying the fourth consort was very good so why take a senior concubine?

Of course, these words were what the fourth prince said but everyone’s thoughts couldn’t help but wander. Could it be that the fourth consort was jealous, making the fourth prince terrified of bringing in another beauty?

Of course, this was just what they assumed.

Regardless, the fourth prince was very determined not to take a senior concubine. Even when Emperor Xi grew enraged, he merely hugged his head and trembled, continuously muttering about not taking one.

Emperor Xi thus smashed his inkwell, and said “Scram, We never want to see this coward again”, and left it at that.

The entire matter developed outside of the fourth prince and his wife’s expectations.

When they heard about it, Luo Huai Yuan had first expressed to Yan Yan that he swore never to take any concubines. He also decided that no matter how shameless he had to act, he would have his cheap dad put these thoughts to rest. Unexpectedly, although the matter was hard to bring up and the process was thrilling, the outcome astonished everyone.

It turned out that not taking a concubine came with benefits?

The two were stunned for a while before swiftly packing up and leisurely leaving the palace. Packing everything should have taken two days, but was forcibly reduced into half a day by these two.

By the time the empress received the news, the matter was already spreading throughout the palace.

No one dared to doubt Emperor Xi’s words. Empress Xiao didn’t suspect anything was fishy either. After all, the fourth prince’s actions were extremely infuriating to everyone. A bestowal from up high should never be refused. The fourth prince actually refused his majesty’s goodwill due to his fear of his wife. No wonder Emperor Xi was so furious.

Because of this matter, Yan Yan became famous in the capital once again.

This woman was so fierce that a majestic prince refused his own dad’s conferred concubine, and was expelled from the palace due to his majesty’s anger.

Many officials went back and told their own wives that this sort of woman was good to look at, but was unsuitable to bring back home. They had to be careful in choosing one for their son in the future.

All this had nothing to do with Luo Huai Yuan and Yan Yan. The two were currently flying high in the sky.

Author’s notes:

Readers who wanted to see the empress get bullied might be a little disappointed. It’s naturally impossible for her to be bullied a lot due to her status. Unless Yan Yan and the little fatty are tired of living and go provoke her. Even if she was easily bullied, don’t forget that Emperor Xi wouldn’t permit it.

However, the empress had also been punished. Emperor Xi’s actions were a sign.

As the emperor, he seeks to maintain balance. He wants to suppress the empress and the crown prince but also cannot let Senior Concubine Xu’s side fly too high. Otherwise, if the balance tips over, there would be chaos in the court. Of course his heart is definitely still a little more biased towards the senior concubine and the second prince. Emperor Xi is also deliberating over his successor, but since he isn’t close to dying yet, it naturally won’t be obvious.

As for why this matter wasn’t investigated, he merely chose to drop it. Believe this author that this sort of matter cannot be exposed or made into a huge issue. Unless Emperor Xi no longer cares about his dignity or his son. It would also be a scandal for the royal family.

Of course, all this has nothing to do with the little fatty and Yan Yan. Their happy days are beginning. Of course, it’s also about time to deal with the scummy dad, that little goblin.

Author: scummy dad, having lived so long and lasted until your daughter got married, as well as the New Year, are you satisfied?

Scummy dad: expressionless

Author: CEO Xu, is the scummy dad’s service suited to your tastes? Do you intend to continue raising him?

CEO Xu smiles without speaking.

One thought on “Chapter 127

  1. Smart Emperor finds a way to let Fatty & Yanyan escape the palace and being cannon fodder to its power struggles

    Thanks for the chapter 🎊

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