ARC 1 – The Way to become an Empress Part 29
After that fiasco, I wasn’t able to sleep well anymore that night.
Everyone else didn’t seem to have had a memory on why they suddenly passed out. Everyone thought they only dozed off in the job, and went to apologize to me the next morning, as soon as I was ready to entertain guests.
Of course, me knowing what happened, only told them to take care of themselves better so as not to get tired too much. Though, I’m also saying that to myself.
So that day, I excused myself from greeting the Empress and stayed cooped up in my quarters. I think it’s best for me to stay in for the time being. Though I’m not very safe even here, but it’s still daytime, so Li Ming probably won’t do something so absurd in broad daylight. …Right?
Haa. I still need to collect his essence. Then, once again, I repeat the question I’ve been asking several times now…
Would it be easier now that he’s offering himself?
…Maybe, I should just let him. Just this once. Then it’ll be all over. I won’t need to meet him anymore.
…But, there’s no guarantee he won’t come to me again.
I shuddered because of Li Ming once more. But this time, I know it’s purely because of being creeped out. Who wouldn’t be? I actually regret pressing myself up against his chest. He may have known my intentions at that time, with how well he reads and discerns the meanings behind my expressions. Maybe, that triggered him to treat me so.
Haa. I need to rest. And, I need to steel myself for what’s going to happen. The unavoidable.
With that thought, I called for my maids to bring in the food, and let them massage me. Pampering myself, I listened to my maid’s report, gossip actually, again.
It seems Ming Yi Fei was once again absent in this morning’s greeting session. I wonder how long is she going to do that. Well, that does not bother me anymore. Instead,
“Rather than Imperial Consort Ming, it seems something unusual was there in the Empress’ greeting session.” Gossiped my maid.
“Unusual?” I asked.
“Yes, Your Highness. I heard that the Great General was also there!”
…He probably didn’t go there for me, no? He probably just went to visit his sister. Yes. That’s it.
“And I heard the Great General asked about Your Highness!”
“I heard that he asked around for mistress because he owes mistress something. He never truly went in detail, though, so this servant can’t really tell.”
T-that lunatic… What does he want again? We only saw each other a few hours ago, and now he’s looking for me once again?
“The Great General asked several guards and maids about Imperial Consort Ye, if mistress is around. When he found out mistress was absent in the Empress’ palace, the Great General immediately left, without even greeting his sister. That made people suspicious. I heard that there’s gossip going around now that there’s something between Your Highness and the Great General!”
“What kind of nonsense…”
“Yes, Your Highness! I don’t really know why those brainless people think that mistress would possibly have an affair! My mistress is being pampered by the Emperor, why would my mistress even cheat on him! They’re just jealous their masters are not as pampered! Hmph!” My maid harrumphed.
Oh no. If such a rumor is spreading… No. Ji Zhen Tian most definitely won’t believe it. If such a rumor already spread, then it would have already reached his ears. Since my favorability rating is still the same, he probably didn’t think much of it. He was with me the whole day yesterday, after all.”
Then, about Ji Zhen Tian, my maid reported,
“Aside from that, I heard from the rumors of this morning’s court that the Emperor was being reprimanded by his officials. Because he spent the whole day with Your Highness! Now there’s an even bigger rumor that Your Highness is a seductress tempting many men including the Emperor and the Great General, having them wrapped around Your Highness’ little finger!”
Seductress, huh. Not entirely wrong.
“How did the Emperor handle his officials?” I asked.
“I heard that the Emperor didn’t mind them spouting nonsense and went on to discuss even more important matters. The Emperor said if there’s no evidence of mistress’ affairs, then he would not bring action to the issue. Rumors will always be rumors, and they will die down by themselves, he said.”
No action without evidence, huh. Yeah, that’s definitely for the best. Therefore, I really need to be careful with my handling of Li Ming. He already announced that he’ll come back again tonight, so I hope none of the Emperor’s spies will be suspicious because of the rumors and guard my palace even more tightly.
I know it’s immoral to cheat, but with this twisted system, I don’t have much choice if I want to have my wish granted, and to survive.
“The Emperor is indeed wise.” Was my only response to my maid.