Pampered Into Being the Empress – Chapter 25.1
Translated by: Cozy Translations
Chapter 25.1 – Rebirth + Saving the Wife
After receiving news of Rong Xi’s death, Mu Huai was silent for a while.
Although he restrained his emotions, the guard could sense that air surrounding Mu Huai became terrifying, making his heart tremble in fear.
The situation unfolding in front of him made the guard extremely hesitant. Remembering the way the coroner examined Rong Xi’s corpse, his expression one of regret, he did not dare to tell Mu Huai right now that Rong Xi was actually pregnant.
Other than the guards by Mu Huai, all the servants in Quyun Palace had actually long guessed that Rong gugu must’ve been graced1 by His Highness. The reason being that whenever night fell, Rong Xi would always have her hair down as she walked from her room towards the inner hall Mu Huai stayed in. She would often stay there the entire night, only leaving the next morning.
Yan Juxu had also detected that the atmosphere was not quite right. He raised his hands in salute to bid Mu Huai farewell, “Since Your Highness has urgent matters to attend to, then this subject will leave first.”
Mu Huai nodded, not losing his composure in front of his subjects. In his heart, he kept repeating the words the guard had just said.
That woman died?
Mu Huai didn’t dare to believe it, and even more, he did not want to accept it.
The word ‘death’ kept floating through his mind. A sour feeling suddenly welled up in the back of his throat, choking him.
When he finally spoke, Mu Huai suppressed the trembling in his voice as he asked the guard, “Where is the body?”
The guard respectfully replied, “This servant has temporarily placed gugu‘s body in a roadside inn by Baokang Gate. “
Mu Huai was not in the mood to investigate the reason behind Rong Xi’s death right now. Even now, he still did not believe that Rong Xi was already dead, even thinking that there was still a chance to change things.
In a cold voice, he ordered people to prepare a horse. As he rushed out of the palace, he bumped into Yin Cheng who had just finished matters and left from the Privy Council.
Mu Huai glanced at Yin Cheng and without saying anything, he stepped on the stirrups and sat on the horse. In a loud voice, he ordered the guard, “Lead the way.”
Yin Cheng thought it was strange and also got on his horse to follow them.
Mu Huai normally did not talk nor smile much, but his face had never looked as dark and heavy as it did today. His entire body was emitting a cold air.
Yin Cheng faint recalled during the time period when Consort Xian passed away, Mu Huai’s countenance wasn’t as bad as this.
The sounds of the horses galloping rang out as dust flew behind them.
The officers in Bianjing had long dispersed the pedestrians and blocked them from the main road. Mu Huai’s entourage quickly passed by.
After a short while, everyone finally arrived at the roadside in by Baokang Gate. The guard led the way for a gloomy Mu Huai and entered the room where Rong Xi’s body lay.
Outside of the room stood three guards. When they saw Mu Huai and Yin Cheng, they respectfully saluted them.
The guard who was leading the way was extremely cautious. He knew that Mu Huai and Rong Xi had a special relationship and thus had already prepared a wide redwood coffin and placed Rong Xi’s body within it already.
When Yin Cheng saw the coffin, he still did not understand. He didn’t know who the person laying in there was, and was unable to guess exactly whose death would cause Mu Huai to be so panicked.
Mu Huai’s face was taught as his raised hands shook unceasingly. Pushing aside the coffin lid, he finally saw the woman he had been looking for.
Yin Cheng walked until he was beside Mu Huai. When he finally saw clearly the woman’s features, his expression changed.
The woman laying inside the coffin had a peerlessly beautiful face, but Yin Cheng was able to recognize that this woman was maidservant Rong who served Mu Huai. He had previously seen Rong Xi many times and knew that this was a palace maid that served Mu Huai closely. Looking at it now, it seems that this woman had concealed her appearance while working in Yong Xi palace to avoid any accidents.
The guards observed Mu Huai’s expression and was hesitating on when to tell him the news that Rong Xi was pregnant.
When he had carried the body to the coroner yesterday, the coroner had realized that Rong Xi had concealed her appearance. After cleaning her face, the coroner had let out a string of curses. Because in his entire life, he had never seen such a beautiful woman. Although he didn’t know her, it was difficult to accept that such a beautiful lady would die so tragically.
Mu Huai’s eyes were red as he stared at the woman inside the coffin.
The guard opened and closed his mouth a few times and finally in front of Yin Cheng, spoke to Mu Huai, “…Your Highness, when the coroner was examining Rong gugu‘s body, he discovered…discovered…she was already two months pregnant…”
When his sentence landed, Yin Cheng’s face changed.
Mu Huai sharply raised his head and looked at the guard. His voice was bone-chillingly cold as he asked in disbelief, “What did you say? Pregnant?”
The guard shuddered and broke out into a cold sweat. Suppressing the panic and fear he felt in his heart, he continued, “…It’s just, since Rong gugu had already passed away, the fetus inside also…”
When Mu Huai heard this, his face lost all color and he looked extremely gloomy.
The guard then told Mu Huai Rong Xi’s cause of death—
They had found Rong Xi’s body on a road in Hongdu. According to the people nearby, she had been killed by ruffians. Rong Xi and a married woman had gotten on a boat and left Bianjing, then called for a horse carriage to take them into Hongdu. There were usually criminals along this road that would steal things, but as long as one gave them enough money, they would usually not resort to killing.
But the thieves from that day clearly were not aiming for their money but for their lives.
The married woman that accompanied Rong Xi had also died, but she wasn’t stabbed to death. That married woman had protected Rong Xi even in death. It seems that during the scuffle, she had stood in front of Rong Xi and blocked a knife for her. However, she was pushed aside by the ruffians, and her head hid a boulder, resulting in her death.
Mu Huai stayed silent. He hung his head as he weakly slumped against the coffin. All he felt was a dull pain throbbing in his heart as it spread throughout his body.
When he raised his head again, his eyes had become so red it was a little scary. He was no longer as composed and calm as before, and his countenance was frightening.
Yin Cheng had never seen Mu Huai in such a state before. After not saying anything for a while, he finally opened his mouth to persuade, “The beautiful lady has already passed away…may Your Highness quell your grief.”
Mu Huai voiced out these two words with much difficulty.
Yin Cheng wanted to continue persuading him but Mu Huai had clearly become hostile as his tone grew heavier, “Everyone get out! Without my2 permission, no one is allowed to step inside!”
The guards all obeyed.
Although Yin Cheng was sympathetic towards Mu Huai’s plight, he could only follow the guards and leave the room.
The crescent moon was hidden in Bianjing’s skies, making the night completely black.
The coffin was quite spacious. Mu Huai lowered his head to see the sleeping beauty, and carefully found a space to step inside.
Laying down, he wrapped the cold woman in his arms.
Rong Xi’s body was cold, extremely cold.
Her face was exquisite, and a strange type of beauty was present in her paleness.
Perhaps that coroner thought that she was born extremely beautiful and so had carefully put some makeup on her, staining her lips with rouge and drawing her brows.
Even on normal days when she didn’t wear makeup, she was already beautiful, not to mention now when she had makeup on.
It made people’s hearts hurt.
Because a dead person’s body was very stiff, when Mu Huai loosened his grip, Rong Xi’s body slid out from his embrace.
He bore down the sour feeling welling up in his nose and tightened his hold on the woman’s body.
Mu Huai recalled that time when he had a high fever, and in order to bring down his temperature, Rong Xi had doused herself in cold water in the autumn. The next morning, she was just like how she is now, her body extremely cold as she laid in his arms.
At that time, he had a rare feeling of fear, afraid that she would not wake up. But that day, Rong Xi did wake up and even warmly smiled at him.
That woman would never wake up again.
Mu Huai frowned and carefully placed his hand on the woman’s stomach. There was a slight dent in that area, which must have been caused by a knife. Now, that place must’ve been stitched up by the coroner.
He remembered how Rong Xi had thrown up a few times before. At the time, he had also detected that this woman’s stomach had become a little larger, but he never thought that she was pregnant.
That one month she had hidden from him, it must’ve been very difficult.
He was truly too obtuse.
Mu Huai choked up and he placed his lips on Rong Xi’s ear, whispering helplessly, “Stupid woman…what’s the pointing of running away, I still found you in the end.”
No one answered him, and no one would ever call him ‘Your Highness’ in a sweet voice ever again.
He did not treat this woman well, and it could even be said that he was a little cruel.
He had a bad temper and a violent personality. He had never been gentle towards this woman, and would frequently be mean to her.
When he graced her, he never cared about her feelings, always bullying her greatly.
Yet Rong Xi never held a grudge against him, and always treated him warmly, sincerely serving him.
What he regretted the most right now were those harsh words he said to her that day.
He was too prideful, and he said those words out of spite, wanting her to beg him to give her a position. But those words had hurt this woman’s heart in the end.
After his legs recovered, the way he did things became crueler and more ruthless. Mu Huai was clear that when Rong Xi was pregnant, she must’ve been scared that he would not treat their child kindly, and thus chose to escape from the palace.
He had not had the chance to feel the joy of being a father yet when this child had followed his mother and departed this world together.
The night was eerily silent, Mu Huai’s lashes slowly became damp. He questioned Rong Xi in a low voice, “ Cold? You always get cold so easily .”
Dead people naturally can’t speak. Seemingly talking to himself, he spoke again,”It’s so dark in this coffin, you’re such a scaredy cat, you’ll definitely be frightened.”
His hands cupped the woman’s face as he traced her brows in the darkness.
＂Don’t be afraid, I’ll hold you. No one would dare to bully you.”
After talking to her for a long time, Mu Huai buried his head in the crook of her neck. He knew that he would never be able to warm up her body anymore.
The ruffians who had killed her had run off to who knows where. He did not know where this band of thieves came from, but since they were all scourges, then he will eliminate all of them from Hongdu.
He will definitely meet out the cruelest punishment for those thieves.
On this night, Mu Huai did not sleep. He held Rong Xi’s cold body, laying with her in the coffin. He could only hear the sounds of his breathing.
When the first rays of dawn broke out, the door was opened with a “zhiya—“ sound. Mu Huai had a heavy expression on as he stepped out.
When the guards greeted him, they suddenly found that Mu Huai’s originally ink black hair had peppered with grey strands overnight. Although one could only see it up close, Mu Huai was only twenty-one years old. Growing grey hairs overnight, how much grief must he be in?
Yin Cheng also did not return to his own residence last night. Worried about Mu Huai, he had stayed in the inn overnight. When he walked up, he naturally saw the strands of grey hair on Mu Huai.
Yin Cheng saw that Mu Huai had recovered his usual calmness yet was still frowning. He gingerly asked with concern, “…Your Highness, are you alright?”
Mu Huai closed his eyes and let out a sneer as he spoke to Yin Cheng, “Just a servant that died, don’t use that expression to look at me.”
Yin Cheng shut up.
He knew that although Mu Huai was trying his best to hide how affected he was by Rong Xi’s death.
But those bloodshot eyes, as well as the strands of hair that turned grey overnight all exposed how much he cared about this woman.
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