1.16


ARC 1 – The Way to become an Empress Part 16


“Thanking Sir Xi Jiu for taking care of my mistress the other day.” A maid approached Xi Jiu when he was alone.

“Mistress?” ‘Is it–‘

“Imperial Consort Ye.”

Xi Jiu sucked in a breath. ‘As expected, it’s really her…’

“I-” Xi Jiu started softly.

“Her Highness said you guided her through the city and protected her. Thank you very much for ensuring the safety of my mistress.”

“That– I guided her and protected her? Is that all?”

“Is there anything else?” The maid sounded a little confused.

“No, nothing…” Xi Jiu clenched his fists.

“My mistress has invited Sir Xi Jiu for a talk in the imperial gardens. Is Sir Xi Jiu free right now?” Of course, the maid intentionally approached Xi Jiu knowing he was free, but asked for courtesy.

“W-what does Her Highness want to talk about?” He asked warily.

“Imperial Consort Ye wanted to thank Sir Xi Jiu for what he did. And, it was a secret my mistress sneaked out of the castle, so…” the maid whispered.

“I-I understand.” Xi Jiu followed the maid and headed for the imperial garden.

⊙ ⊙

Hmm… I hope my maid won’t blush all the while talking to Xi Jiu… I sipped tea while thinking so.

After a few moments, I can spot my maid and Xi Jiu from afar.

Good. He came.

“System, is anyone listening in?”

《Ji Zhen Tian hasn’t sent a spy on host for now.》

“Good. Thanks. Do inform me when he does.”

As soon as that conversation was over,

“Greetings to Imperial Consort Ye.” Xi Jiu said stiffly.

“You don’t have to be so polite.”

“I don’t dare.”

“…Please take a seat and enjoy some tea with me.”

“I dare not, Your Highness.”  I think he said that through clenched teeth. He must hate me now, huh.

“I have something important to talk to you about.” Then I turned to my maids, “Please leave us alone for awhile.”

“But Your Highness-“

“You don’t need to go that far. Just out of earshot. You can stand over there and look, but please don’t listen. Please.”

“…Yes, Imperial Consort.” My maids reluctantly went away, but not too far away. We can still see each other, but they’re in a distance where they could not hear what our conversation is about.

“Do take a seat, Sir Xi Jiu.”

“I-“

“Please take a seat.” I commanded, and he finally gave in and did so.

“Please excuse me for being rude, but what are we going to talk about, Imperial Consort?”

“Xi Jiu, you don’t need to be so formal.”

“This servant could not do that, Your Highness.”

“Haa. Then, I think you have a general idea why I called for you?”

“It’s about what happened the other day, isn’t it? Imperial Consort’s maid told me so, but it seems Your Highness didn’t tell her, or others for that matter, what really happened.”

“….I can’t possibly do that. I-we may be beheaded. Though, I don’t plan on dragging you with me. Please don’t tell anyone else what happened.”

“I understand, Imperial Consort. I’ll take this secret to the grave.” He then gestured to stand up, but before he could, I said

“I have something else I need to talk to you about. Please don’t go yet.”

He paused, but then returned to his prior position sitting down.

“First of all, I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean for us to end up like that.” That’s a lie, of course. But I’m not telling him that. “I really-” found you handsome and well-hung. Oops. I almost slipped. “… thank you for spending time with me. I really had fun. It had been a while since I was able to see the outside world beyond the imperial palace. Thank you. Really.” That much is true, though. I really did have fun. And I am thankful for his cooperation… in more ways than one.

“I- haa.” Xi Jiu sighed. “Please let me be rude for a moment…” he paused, as if bracing himself, and then continued, “Why did you do that? Knowing you’re an Imperial Consort, moreover, the most obviously favored one among all the women in the harem… for you to do something as outrageous as that… I truly can’t understand.”

…Me neither. I still don’t understand why I have to do all these things.

…Let’s just continue acting…

“I-I just can’t help myself. I only wanted to go out for a while. I never meant for things to end up like that. I only wanted to have fun being free and all, but not in that way. I-I just found you great. A gentleman. And as lame as it sounds, I think I got drunk with those cookies.” I lowered my head and grasp my clothes to look as if wronged. Of course, I’m not though.

“I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry. And, I promise I won’t get pregnant..” cause I can’t “…Sir Xi Jiu can rest assured. And, as I said earlier, I won’t bring you down with me. If ever the Emperor knows I sneaked out, I won’t tell him anything about meeting you. My servants’ lips are also sealed tight, so please don’t worry.” I raised my head at the last statement and showed him my about-to-cry face.

It seemed to have cracked his heart a little.

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