The Jing Emperor gave Eunuch Fu and Auntie Qi three days off.
Actually they could have taken more time off, but Eunuch Fu and Auntie Qi were both hard workers, and felt that the palace couldn’t function without them. Therefore, they only took three days.
During these three days, countless people wanted to come take a look at the situation in their remote pavilion. Unfortunately, the place was guarded by Eunuch Fu’s disciple An Chen as well as one of Auntie Qi’s palace maids. Naturally, no one could get inside.
Xiao Hua had a secret discussion with the Jing Emperor regarding how Eunuch Fu and Auntie Qi were spending their time during these three days. The Jing Emperor had a stiff expression and his gaze was strange as he thought about what Barbarian Yan had smugly told him. He had been dumbstruck, and decided not to tell Xiao Hua’er the details.
Xiao Hua’er was too innocent and Barbarian Yan was too vulgar.
Alright, not just too vulgar. He so vulgar it angered mortals and gods alike!
This was truly pretty good.
In the past he hadn’t understood the intricacies and had also been ignorant. Wasn’t he taking a lot of pleasure in it now?
Thinking of this, the Jing Emperor kissed Xiao Hua’s forehead.
Xiao Hua was still mired in endless curiosity when she realized his lips had moved from her forehead to her neck. His intentions were too obvious, but she liked it.
Xiao Hua wrapped her arms around the Jing Emperor’s neck and responded.
Therefore, the questions about those three days were put to rest.
After Xiao Hua became the empress, she naturally had to learn to handle palace matters. Luckily, when Xiao-Shi had been ill, Xiao Hua had already managed things in her place as the senior concubine for a long time. Now it was just a matter of having the appropriate status.
Three days later, Esteemed Official Qi returned to work, and naturally had to check-in with Xiao Hua.
After Xiao Hua bid her to rise, she swept her gaze curiously over Auntie Qi’s face.
She had thought she was subtle about it, but who was Auntie Qi? She had long since seen through the meaning behind Xiao Hua’s glance. Her steady and solemn face immediately turned completely red, and her flush even extended towards her neck.
Xiao Hua was a married woman after all, and wasn’t that dirty. She also felt this wasn’t too good, so she cleared her throat, straightened her expression and had Auntie Qi go back to work.
After Auntie Qi left the Fengqi Palace, her face was still red and she hurried back to the esteemed office of the palace. The first thing she did was gather her subordinates and announce the end of her vacation. Then she went to her own office, walked over to her desk and pulled out a mirror from under it.
She looked at her rosy cheeks in the reflection. En, very normal. Just a little red.
Then she looked further down. Hey—–
What are those mauve colored marks?
Auntie Qi’s old face immediately turned purple and smoke almost started coming out of her head.
That damned old thing! Before going to work this morning, he insisted on hugging and kissing her. To think he didn’t tell her about the aftermath!
At this point, she no longer had the face to meet with anyone. No wonder the empress had stared at her with curiosity!
Auntie Qi didn’t go out the entire day. The people in the esteemed office were all curious why they didn’t see her all day. However, they operated based on procedure, so things naturally continued as normal.
Eunuch Fu came to the Fengqi Palace bright and early to accompany the Jing Emperor to court. In the past, his back was always hunched. However, after being gone for three days, he seemed clearly full of energy. His face was rosy and even his smile wasn’t quite the same as before. How to put it? It seemed to contain some additional sweetness and secret satisfaction. His gaze seemed much more vivid.
The Jing Emperor got off his royal carriage, glanced at the secretly pleased old fellow next to him, and involuntarily curled his lips in a smile.
Nothing happened at all in court today. The Jing Emperor was in a very good mood.
After court, he returned to the imperial study and summoned some trusted aides and officials to discuss official business.
As noon approached, he returned to the Fengqi Palace as usual.
Lunch was being set up on the table. Xiao Hua came over and personally helped him wash up and change.
Then, they ate their meal.
After sitting, Xiao Hua looked at Eunuch Fu who was standing on the side. She withdrew her gaze and hid a smile before saying to the Jing Emperor: “Majesty, can this empress request a favor for Eunuch Fu?”
The Jing Emperor indicated for her to speak with his gaze.
“Once you’re here at the Fengqi Palace, you naturally don’t need someone waiting upon you. Eunuch Fu isn’t young anymore, and is someone who is always following beside majesty. Why not let him go take a rest during this time. If he’s always working around the clock, he’ll get exhausted eventually. It’s not too late for Eunuch Fu to join you when you leave for official business in the afternoon.”
Eunuch Fu froze, and immediately bowed: “Thank you empress for your grace. Thank you majesty for your grace.”
“Alright, alright. Hurry and go. It’s lunch time, go eat some food and rest for a bit. Recuperate your energy.”
“Aye!” Eunuch Fu said happily and hurriedly took his leave.
After Eunuch Fu left, Xiao Hua couldn’t hold it in anymore and burst out laughing, “Sir Jing, you wouldn’t blame me for deciding things on my own, right?”
“Everyone says the first three months after marriage is the honeymoon phase. You can’t just occupy all his time, how is he supposed to enjoy himself?”
The Jing Emperor had an embarrassed expression: “I’m not. Eunuch Fu is old, and I’ve told him several times he doesn’t have to do everything personally. But he’s not willing.”
“Even if he’s not willing, you can help create some free time for him.”
The Jing Emperor nodded, “This is a good idea.”
The emperor and empress didn’t like having other people serve them for their meals. Therefore, only Ding Lan stood on the side. In the past, Eunuch Fu would be there as well. But since Eunuch Fu went to busy himself, Ding Lan finished up what she had to do and stood to the side with her hands clasped. The rest was left to the Jing Emperor and Xiao Hua.
The Jing Emperor lifted his bowl, “Where are the children today?”
Xiao Hua used her chopsticks to poke at the rice in her bowl and was a little aggrieved, “They went to the eastern palace. Ever since Zhuo’er moved to the eastern palace, Yi Yi that lass likes to run over there. Yu’er is the same.”
The Jing Emperor smiled and stroked the strand of hair by her temples. “Don’t you have Us here to accompany you? Qi’er as well. Moreover, it’s not like the children won’t come back.”
Qi’er, Luo Qi, was the third prince Xiao Hua had given birth to. He was now four months old, and only knew to go “ah ah ah”, laugh foolishly and drool. He couldn’t even speak yet.
Hearing the Jing Emperor say this, Xiao Hua was slightly comforted.
It couldn’t be helped. The children were all grown up. Yi Yi was a princess so she still lived in the Fengqi Palace. Yu’er wasn’t five years old yet and also lived here. Luo Zhuo was the crown prince, and was already eight. He had moved to the eastern palace when he was seven.
This wasn’t a huge deal, but along with Zhuo’er moving over, the amount of time Yi Yi spent over there had increased dramatically. In the past, the second prince Luo Yu had been rather clingy with his mom, but now he was more sensible and found his own little playmates. There were more little playmates in the eastern palace, so he had defected as well.
As a mother, this was something she was bound to experience and Xiao Hua knew this. But to know it and to get used to it were two different concepts. Especially since she was also quite lonely. Luckily she had her man to accompany her.
“Then Sir Jing must make more time for me.”
“Of course. Look how I come back for lunch and dinner. I come every time I’m done with work.” The Jing Emperor’s expression was stiff, but his words were earnest.”
Xiao Hua laughed a little, and her laughter contained some craftiness.
The Jing Emperor was a hardworking person. If there were memorandums submitted, he wouldn’t feel at ease until they were all dealt with. If there was official business left unfinished, he felt the same way. Furthermore, he had a lot of bad habits. He wasn’t willing to get up and stretch after sitting for long periods of time. Under Xiao Hua’s fussing, he was better than before, but it only treated the symptoms and not the root cause.
Therefore, Xiao Hua communicated with Eunuch Fu. If she wasn’t there, Eunuch Fu would be the one to remind him. If she was present, she would naturally do it herself. His coming back for lunch was also something Xiao Hua came up with. It was to set a fixed time for him to take a break. Otherwise, he would forget if things got busy. By the time he realized he was hungry, it would have already negatively affected his health and body.
So far, the effects were rather good.
Of course, Xiao Hua also didn’t mind encouraging the Jing Emperor to be more independent.
In the meantime, Eunuch Fu swiftly made his way over to the esteemed office of the palace.
When he reached the gates, there was already a low-ranked eunuch carrying a lunchbox waiting for him.
This low-ranked eunuch wiped off his sweat while handing the lunchbox over.
It was good having a high status. Eunuch Fu had given the orders the moment he left the Fengqi Palace, and by the time he arrived at the esteemed office the subordinates had already brought the things over.
Eunuch Fu received the lunch box and tossed a gold ingot to the eunuch.
That low-ranked eunuch was startled and said: “Grandpa Fu, this one doesn’t dare accept your reward.”
“Since grandpa here is giving it, you should accept it. Grandpa is happy today.”
Only then did the low-ranked eunuch accept it and thank grandpa for his bestowal.
Eunuch Fu entered the gates, and the palace maids who saw him all greeted him in salute.
“The esteemed official is in the study next to the main office.” Without needing him to ask, a palace maid let him know. Everyone in the palace knew about Eunuch Fu and Esteemed Official Qi.
Eunuch Fu walked over with familiarity. He stood in front of the door and knocked a couple of times. He only entered after the voice inside called to do so.
Seeing Eunuch Fu, Auntie Qi was a little surprised. She soon remembered how he had caused her to remain inside the entire day. Her face immediately burned and her heart was full of reproach.
Eunuch Fu walked up and cleared his throat, “Er, Aunt Xiu, you haven’t eaten lunch yet, right? I’ve brought your favorite food over.”
“Shouldn’t you be with his majesty? Why did you run over here?” Auntie Qi’s expression was both happy and angry.
Eunuch Fu chuckled and put the lunchbox down. “The empress helped me obtain a favor. In the future, I can take a break whenever his majesty’s at the Fengqi Palace. I thought that you wouldn’t have eaten at this time yet, and so came to eat lunch with you.”
Auntie Qi lowered her head. It wasn’t clear if she was shy or angry.
Eunuch Fu set up the food on the table and went to pull the unmoving person over. Seeing her rosy cheeks, he knew that she was shy.
Auntie Qi struggled a couple times unsuccessfully before going over half-heartedly.
“Shameless!” Feeling his eyes on her, Auntie Qi couldn’t help but scold.
Eunuch Fu laughed foolishly, “Hehe, I don’t have to act reserved in front of you.”
The two of them sat and lifted their bowls.
This wasn’t the first time they ate together, but this was the first time it had a different meaning.
The two didn’t quite understand exactly what was different, but it didn’t stop Auntie Qi’s eyes from turning red and Eunuch Fu’s nose from turning sour.
He grabbed some of Auntie Qi’s favorite dish with his chopsticks and put it in her bowl, saying emotionally: “In the past I never understood why his majesty would always return to eat lunch with the empress. Now, I understand. Truly wonderful—–”
Auntie Qi wanted to smile and also wanted to cry. In the end she scolded: “Hurry and eat, why so fussy.”
“Aye.” Eunuch Fu responded crisply, and grabbed her some more food. “You like eating this. Have some more.”
“In the future, I’ll come eat with you whenever I’m free.”