ARC 1 – The Way to become an Empress Part 32

The next morning, my servants once again apologized to me. They knelt outside my room, wanting to make up for their mistake. Of course, I let them go this time too. They have no faults in this matter. But before letting them completely leave, I asked them to bring in the bath and let me bathe in peace for awhile.

I need to bathe. By myself. I can’t have them discovering traces of ‘lovemaking’ when the Emperor clearly didn’t visit me last night. I cleanly washed all traces of body fluids in and on me. Though I can’t do anything about the love bites Li Ming left, they can be disguised and said as Ji Zhen Tian’s. I just hope the sheets on my bed wouldn’t reflect what happened last night.

Deciding I have cleaned up well enough, I got out of the bath and dressed myself. As soon as I was ready, the maids brought in food.

My morning went on peacefully. About the things I thought of last night, they didn’t come to mind and so I was not bothered.

⊙ ⊙

In the afternoon,

“Your Highness, Imperial Consort Ming wants to make audience with you.” One of my maids knocked and said, as I was lying down, reading a book.

“Let her in.”

As soon as Ming Yi Fei was allowed to go in,

“Sister Ye!”

Ming Yi Fei rushed to me, clinging to my neck.

“Is Sister Ye okay? I heard Sister Ye was also absent from yesterday’s session with the Empress. And, I heard that the Great General was looking for you. Are you okay? Any problem at all?” Ming Yi Fei muttered a mile a minute, hugging me.

“Sister Ming,” I said, removing her arms around my neck, “I’m fine.” I looked into her eyes, reassuring her.

“Why were you absent yesterday, then?” Ming Yi Fei asked calmly as she distanced herself a little.

“I was just feeling a little sore and tired. I’m sorry to have made Sister Ming worry.”

“Sore?” Ming Yi Fei said softly, then her face turned red as her big eyes stared at me, understanding what I meant to say with those words. Though, I’m not really sore, but I was tired from not having slept well because of wariness due to Li Ming.

I just smiled at Ming Yi Fei.

“O-of course. I heard the Emperor…” Ming Yi Fei muttered to herself, head tilted to the side, slightly downwards. Then, as if remembering something, she turned her attention back to me. “Sister Ye, because of that… and the General… you are… being called a… seductress.” She said softly and a little hesitant.

I stared at her and blinked once. “Ah. I heard about that.”

“…S-Sister Ye, are you fine about that?”

“I’m fine. As long as the Emperor believes in me, then I’m okay. As he said, rumors are rumors. They will die down eventually by themselves.”

Now it’s Ming Yi Fei’s turn to blink. “Your love is really strong. I’m envious of your relationship.” Ming Yi Fei made a sad smile.

…Love? It’s not like that, though. …For me, at least. …I think.

“How’s it going between you two?”

Ming Yi Fei blushed. “I-W-we met again yesterday. The Emperor was kind enough to bring him to meet me for some tea in the afternoon. …The Emperor guised the meeting as something to talk about matters of my family and his family. T-the Emperor excused himself for awhile, leaving us alone, and so we had a little time to ourselves.” Ming Yi Fei turned even redder and fidgeted. “T-that time… I… did… as Sister Ye… suggested.”

“Hmm…” Now I’m interested. I placed my chin on my right hand, elbow on my knee, and smiled knowingly at Ming Yi Fei.

“I-I didn’t do anything lewd at all! None at all!”

“Why are you so defensive? I didn’t even say anything.” I chuckled, amused.

“Ngg! I-I just want to clarify myself. For now, I am still a married woman, so I know I shouldn’t take things that far with him yet. W-we just talked. But I think he enjoyed it. I did, too. As Sister Ye suggested, I talked to him about things he like, and the sparkle in his eyes were something I’ve seen for the first time. I-I love that about him now, too. I hope, he likes me now too… even just a little.” Ming Yi Fei declared boldly, despite her shy attitude.

“Good for you. I wish Sister Ming even more luck with her pursuit of love.” I smiled as I drank tea.

A married woman, huh. I have no time to think about values. I… I should only be focused on my tasks.

Speaking of tasks, “System, what is the status for my side quest? Why didn’t you say anything last night?”

《Host, I did report that host’s side quest 1 had been completed. But, it seems host didn’t hear this system because host was very preoccupied.》

…..I see. Well, sorry for that. Being preoccupied and all. I was just doing my task. …And enjoying it while I’m at it.

“T-thank you, Sister Ye. I hope your love will even be stronger, too.” Ming Yi Fei replied, bringing me back to reality.

“…Thank you.” I don’t know how to respond to that.

“You shouldn’t let those rumors bother you! …” Ming Yi Fei stayed silent for awhile, before finally asking, “…But, Sister Ye, what’s the deal with that Great General? I remember the other day, too, he…”

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