Pampered Into Being the Empress – Chapter 22
Translated by: Cozy Translations
Chapter 22 – Running Away With the Bun
The fine snow outside melted as soon as it touched the window. The night was so quiet that one could hear the sound of falling snow.
Mu Huai rested his head upon the beauty’s knees, his eyes closed as his breaths gently fell.
Rong Xi’s silky hair softly wrapped around the man. At this moment, Mu Huai was feeling especially lazy. Even though he was resting, under the dim candlelight, his prideful countenance could still be distinguished.
She suddenly felt that she was holding a lion.
She used a hand to caress the man’s face, following his cheekbones down to his jaw. The features of Mu Huai’s face was cold and hard, exquisite and handsome everywhere.
Normally when she rolled around in the sheets with him, she didn’t dare to refuse him, but it was not as if she did not welcome it either. However, she applied all the bewitching techniques she learned on this man tonight. Mu Huai was very accepting of them, and now he had a satisfied expression on his face.
Rong Xi’s hand stopped at his jaw. Mu Huai felt her soft hands were unusually cold. After getting up, he gathered the woman into his embrace, trying to use his own body heat to warm her up. Although the temperature outside was cold, inside the inner hall, there was a brazier full of charcoal as well as an earth dragon1 that wards off the cold, yet this woman was still so cold.
Rong Xi softly leaned into Mu Huai’s arms. Seeing this, Mu Huai let out a low chuckle, “You’re quite different tonight.”
She was like a coquettish little vixen that preyed upon the souls of men tonight. Many times he wanted to turn from being a guest to being the host2. It was an easy thing to take back control, but he went against his personality and was patient, wanting to see how many tricks this woman would pull tonight.
A woman’s sweet and soft voice drifted out from his chest. In his arms, Rong Xi spoke softly, “Your Highness should sleep earlier. The day after tomorrow, you have to go to Qinzhou3. You’ve been very tired lately, don’t work too hard.”
After Jin kingdom fell, it was split into thirds and was named province Qin, Yong, and Xun. Of these three provinces, Qinzhou was the largest.
Mu Huai reminisced about what happened just now and he pursed his thin lips, “Just serve me one more time. This time I’ll do the work, and then we’ll sleep.”
The man’s voice was extremely serious and Rong Xi couldn’t help but laugh, “But this slave is tired tonight and doesn’t want to do it anymore.”
Mu Huai secretly felt that Rong Xi’s body was much weaker than normal. Although he didn’t say anything, he wrapped his arm around the woman’s waist, implying he agreed to her request.
He felt her stomach was slightly bulging and couldn’t help but ask, “Did you get fatter from eating these past few days?”
Rong Xi hummed and replied, “Got a little fatter from eating.”
But she didn’t look like she gained weight in other places, only this stomach seemed to have gotten a little fatter. Mu Huai thought it was weird.
He closed his eyes, “Sleep.”
Maybe it was because she had prepared herself for leaving, but Rong Xi felt that although the current Mu Huai could not be considered gentle, he was much calmer than usual. It was a rare moment that she didn’t feel any fear.
In his arms, Rong Xi spoke in a small voice, “In the future when Your Highness marries, you must be gentler towards your wife, you cannot always be so overbearing in everything.”
Mu Huai must’ve been extremely sleepy as he just grunted in response and didn’t admonish her for talking too much.
Rong Xi didn’t like to preach to others, but who knows where she got the courage today, she actually began to lecture Mu Huai.
Seeing Mu Huai not answer her, she spoke to herself, “Same for the concubines. Women tend to overthink but are also thin-skinned4. The women that Your Highness will marry in the future will all be noble misses. They have been pampered and spoiled ever since they were children, but they will also be the person who shares Your Highness’ pillow. If Your Highness does not pay attention, they will start to become uneasy, causing the household to not be peaceful. The scariest is when the inner courtyard is set on fire5, many clans were destroyed for this very reason…”
When Mu Huai heard this, he opened his eyes. This woman was very stingy with her words usually and would only speak when he asked her a question. How come she had so much to say today?
Her voice was sweet and tender as she chattered on and on in a low voice like a little sparrow.
Mu Huai tightened his arms around her. Smelling the soothing fragrance her body gave off, he replied, “I don’t have any thoughts about taking concubines and marrying wife. Never have in these years.”
“But Your Highness will eventually marry and have children in the future…this slave…hopes that Your Highness will have a happy and fulfilling marriage.”
Rong Xi suddenly thought of Di Shiyin. Recently, there was gossip in the palace saying that she was most likely going to be Mu Huai’s future consort.
She met her the day before. Di Shiyin was outstanding in all aspects and was worthy of Mu Huai. But she was unable to picture Di Shiyin accompanying Mu Huai for a lifetime.
Rong Xi wanted to talk some more, but Mu Huai already sealed her mouths with a kiss.
Every time ‘Your Highness’ came out of her mouth, he really wanted to press this little vixen underneath him.
Mu Huai pressed her head against his shoulder, ordering, “Sleep.”
Rong Xi shut her mouth and closed her eyes.
Although Mu Huai had a short temper, if she had to speak truthfully, he was not bad as a master. To get to the situation they were in now, it was partly her fault. It was her fault that she developed feelings towards him. It was her fault that she let down her guard and forgot to take contraceptive medicine, winding up pregnant with his child.
If she had faithfully adhered to her duties as a servant, only harboring feelings of loyalty towards her master, there would not have been so many accidents that occurred.
Thankfully, she would leave in the end.
After Mu Huai left Bianjing for Qinzhou, Rong Xi was walking along the palace corridors when she bumped into Second Princess Mu Qian.
After calculating the time, she clenched her fist.
When Mu Qian saw her, she immediately thought of Mu Huai. Although her consort mother, Noble Consort Li, did not die, her days were worse than death. Everything that happened, even if she were an idiot, she still knew who was behind it all.
Rong Xi purposely lowered her head and pretended to have not seen her, when in an instant, she heard the palace attendant next to Mu Qian let out a scream.
The palace maid was carrying a food box, and the medicine inside spilled on the ground. A thousand-year-old ginseng scattered on the ground, being eaten by countless ants. When Mu Qian saw that Noble Consort Li’s ginseng soup had spilled, a sharp light flashed through her apricot eyes.
Her hands, still wrapped in gauze, grabbed Rong Xi’s hair. Rong Xi protected her stomach while admitting her faults in a low voice, letting her pull her every which way.
Mu Qian stopped her movements but still held onto Rong Xi’s hair. The empress was riding in her phoenix sedan when her elegant and majestic voice stopped everything. When the sedan was lowered onto the ground, Di Shiyin stood beside the empress and her eyes met Rong Xi’s.
Empress: “Second Princess should let go of that palace maid’s hair first.”
Mu Qian gnashed her teeth and replied, “Please forgive this subject-daughter for not being able to. This cheap slave overturned my consort mother’s medicinal soup. She should be punished with dozens of beatings.”
The empress’s voice became a few degrees colder, “Even so, you are a dignified princess. In front of so many palace servants, you are pulling a palace maid’s hair, what kind of conduct is this?”
Mu Qian finally relented, letting go of Rong Xi’s hair.
The empress was still seated on the phoenix sedan, and she glanced disinterestedly at Rong Xi, “Just a palace maid, since she made a mistake and is lacking in detail when fulfilling her duties, just expel her.”
Di Shiyin’s lips curled up into a small smile when she heard this.
The empress asked Mu Qian again, “Is Second Princes satisfied with this?”
Mu Qian glanced at Rong Xi and gritted her teeth, “Hurry and kick this cheap slave out. This subject-daughter doesn’t want to see her in this palace ever again.”
When the empress’s senior palace maid heard this, her expression changed and she whispered into the empress’s ear, “Your Majesty, beware. This woman…is Jin wang’s woman. When Jin wang comes back, if he discovers that this woman has been expelled from the palace…he will definitely…definitely…”
The empress had a displeased look on her face and in front of everyone she said, “Bengong is the master of the inner palace. Do I have to seek Jin wang‘s approval to expel a palace maid? Someone come, get the guards to escort this palace maid to Changning Gate and send her out!”
Finished, Rong Xi felt as if a rock had dropped in her heart.
Before she left Quyun Palace, she had secretly gathered all the money she had saved up all these years and hid them in her clothes. Therefore, there wasn’t anything that she needed to organize or pack up.
Shortly afterwards, two guards arrived and wanted to carry her away.
Rong Xi spoke in a soft voice, “I can walk by myself, no need to trouble you two.”
The two guards let go of Rong Xi’s arms. Better to do less than do more6. This palace maid was walking so resolutely, without crying or making a fuss, and helped the two save a lot of trouble.
Very quickly, Rong Xi arrived in the vicinity of Changning Gate.
Before she stepped out, Di Shiyin stopped her. After walking to Rong Xi’s side, she ordered the servant next to her to hand a heavy brocade bag to Rong Xi.
Di Shiyin: “Rong gugu, take care.”
A few days ago, she came to see Rong Xi.
Her gut feeling told her that this woman had an unusual relationship with Jin wang. Spending every day and night with Mu Huai, serving him personally, it was normal for feelings to develop between the two. Moreover, since this woman was able to stand stably by Jin wang, then she had some tricks up her sleeves as well.
Before she married Mu Huai, she didn’t wish to see a woman like this next to him.
Rong Xi accepted the brocade bag. This was the agreement she had made with Di Shiyin beforehand. Di Shiyin would give her money, and she would leave.
In the future, she had to raise up her child alone. She wished her child would leave a good life, and the money was beneificial.
After thanking Di Shiyin, Rong Xi crossed the threshold of Changning Gate without looking back.
Di Shiyin watched Rong Xi’s slender figure, her beautiful eyes slightly raised.
This palace maid named Rong was just an average-looking slave. After leaving Yongxi Palace, when Mu Huai can’t find her, he’ll quickly give up and will forget about her soon enough.
On the other hand, she, Di Shiyin, was born with a beautiful appearance and a noble background. No matter how arrogant Mu Huai is, as long as she used some tricks, he would fall for her sooner or later. She didn’t believe that she wouldn’t be able to tame Mu Huai, this man.
As the sun slowly set, the twilight colors fused together.
Rong Xi walked farther and farther past Changning Gate. Everyone said that alleyways near Changning Gate were the liveliest. As it was slowly getting closer to evening, the sound of horses trotting along the grounds pulling their carriages and people talking filled the streets.
Rong Xi took a deep breath as her eyes became teary.
She thought that it was a long time since she saw the liveliness of the crowds.
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- Think of it like an ancient-style heated floor. A stove is set up outside the building (usually right outside the wall of the room), and there is a passage that extends from the stove to underneath the room and up between an interior and exterior wall that allows the smoke to escape. See this image for more details
- Meaning he wanted to take control of the situation instead of being on the receiving end of sex
- Zhou 州 means province or state
- Meaning easily embarrassed
- A metaphor for when the inner courtyard (aka where the main wife and all concubines live) is in chaos
- Proverb meaning why should one do more work when you can do less