Pampered Into Being the Empress – Chapter 26.1
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Translated by: Cozy Translations
Chapter 26.1 – Wolf Cub
As the night breeze blew, Rong Xi heard Mu Huai change the way he addressed himself from ‘I’ to ‘gu‘. Although a little surprised, she understood that he was no longer King Jin but Great Qi’s Eastern Palace’s Crown Prince.
Before she left Bianjing, she had heard the news that Zhuang Emperor made Mu Huai the master of the Eastern Palace.
Mu Huai’s chilly breaths wrapped around her body. It was only a few days since they had seen each other, but Rong Xi felt that the man in front of her had become a little unfamiliar. It seemed like something had changed, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.
Rong Xi had ran away out of an instinctual fear for her life. Now that she had regained her rationality, Rong Xi’s mind cleared up. She could not just leave Nanny Huan’s body.
Mu Huai stared at the delicate lady in his arms that resembled a frightened rabbit. His eyes never left her for a moment as he prepared to make the horse go.
At this moment, Rong Xi pleaded with him, “Begging Your Highness to put this slave down…this slave will not run away, and cannot do so either.”
Mu Huai contemplated for a bit before agreeing. He ordered Rong Xi to sit on top of the horse as he got down. Then, he carefully carried the woman down from the horse’s back.
When Rong Xi’s feet landed on the ground, she had a leg cramp due to her shock just now. However, she bore the pain and limped to where Nanny Huan’s body lay.
Mu Huai followed her back with a deep gaze.
When she reached Nanny Huan’s body, Rong Xi finally collapsed onto the ground. She painstakingly gathered Nanny Huan’s body into her arms. Her shaking hands wiped away the fresh blood coming from Aunt Huan’s forehead.
Other than her younger brother whose whereabouts were unknown, Nanny Huan was her only other family.
Originally, there was a branch of the Rong family in Hongdu, but that family was a white-eyed wolf. When Rong Bing was an official in Bianjing, that family often would travel to the Rong estate in Bianjing to eat well and drink well. But after something happened to Rong Bing, this family refused to take in her and Nanny Huan.
She shouldn’t have gotten the notion to run away in the first place.
If she didn’t run away, Nanny Huan would’ve been safely in Bianjing selling sugar water. How would she suddenly lose her life halfway?
Rong Xi grew sadder the more she thought about it. Now, she could tell that Mu Huai placed great importance on his child.
She was so stupid.
Even tigers don’t eat their own children. Although Mu Huai treated her a little harshly, it did not mean that he would not treat his children well.
She was but a weak woman with no one to rely on. Unable to protect even herself, how could she protect the fetus inside. Her original way of thinking was far too naive.
With this current situation, she could only follow Mu Huai back to Bianjing. Moreover, she wanted to bury Nanny Huan’s body, as well as give Nanny Huan’s family closure.
Mu Huai’s identity was too noble and her identity was too low. Since he found her, she would not be able to run away. Unless, someone whose power was equivalent to Mu Huai’s helps her escape. But this kind of idea was just a silly daydream.
Rong Xi silently sobbed, almost to the point of fainting.
When Mu Huai saw this, he frowned. It wasn’t as if he had never seen her cry, but he had never seen her cry to such a tragic extent. Even after being rebirthed, his own woman was crying so pitifully in front of him. Mu Huai clenched his fists; he was still late by a step.
If he got here in time and saved that madam, then this woman would not be crying so sorrowfully.
Just as Mu Huai was about to speak up and help Rong Xi off the ground, Rong Xi loosened her hold on Nanny Huan’s body. She basically crawled to him.
Mu Huai was stunned silly when Rong Xi’s forehead already landed on the ground with a heavy thud. Her soft voice was slightly hoarse as she bitterly pleaded, “The body on the ground is this slave’s family. This slave begs Your Highness to bring her body back to Bianjing to be buried. No matter how you was to punish this slave, this slave has no complaints, only begging for you to give her a proper burial.”
Mu Huai saw that she was sobbing so hard she was shaking, and ordered in a cold voice, “First, get up.”
Rong Xi whimpered, “Your Highness, please first agree to this slave’s request.”
Seeing how Rong Xi was being so stubborn, Mu Huai frowned and carried her. Looking down, he said, “I agree, no more crying.”
Finished, Mu Huai ordered the guards in a cold voice to arrange Nanny Huan’s body. Tomorrow, they will go back to Bianjing.
Rong Xi was pregnant and thus had a frail body. After encountering such a shock and extreme sadness, she fainted not long after Mu Huai picked her up. When she woke up again, she found that she was underneath Mu Huai.
Mu Huai was currently frowning as he awkwardly untied the belt from her coarse clothes. Rong Xi only just realized that she was in a guest room of a roadside in. She panicked slightly, scared that Mu Huai would want to get intimate with her right now.
Mu Huai sensed that the woman had already woken up. Seeing her expression look as if she saw King Yama, he spoke in a slightly unhappy tone, “Your body is covered in blood and dirt, it’s so dirty. I don’t have the intention of touching you, what are you so nervous for?”
Rong Xi was a little surprised when Mu Huai continued, “This bed has already been dirtied by you. I have already ordered people to prepare hot water. I’ll throw you in there later and clean up your filthy body.”
Rong Xi was in a daze as she gently pushed away Mu Huai’s hand, replying in a soft voice, “Then let this slave do it…no need to trouble Your Highness.”
Mu Huai didn’t loosen his grip. When he saw the woman’s pale face slowly turn pink, he knew that this woman was feeling shy.
He didn’t know how to untie the coarse clothes Rong Xi was currently wearing. Originally in the palace, the palace maids only wore one style of clothing, so he got used to it. Moreover, whenever night fell, he would always have Rong Xi wear her inner wear and wait for him in the inner hall. Whenever they had sex, he would directly rip them, when would he ever have the patience to unty it.
Thinking of this, Mu Huai agreed.
Rong Xi saw Mu Huai’s pair of dark eyes stare at her. His gaze made her face feel hot as she begged again in a small voice, “Your Highness…can you leave for a moment?”
Mu Huai let out a snort. He had already seen everything on her body, and he even knocked her up yet she still wanted to have him leave when changing clothes.
Even though he thought this way, he still turned around and ordered, “Hurry and change, don’t dawdle.”
Rong Xi let out a sigh of relief and quickly found a pair of clean inner robes from her luggage to put on. Before she could fasten the buttons, the man already picked her up and carried her to the bathroom.
The roadside inn’s bathtub already had some medicinal herbs, such as wild ginger, nardostachys chinesis1, fanbaicao2, and catnip3. The steamy air inside was heavy with the fresh smell of herbs.
Because she was pregnant and it was inconvenient to move around, Mu Huai wanted to help her bathe. Rong Xi didn’t really trust in Mu Huai’s mental endurance; in the past when she served to bathe him, the two would always end up going at it at least once in the bathtub.
Yet she also couldn’t bring herself to reject him. She could only carefully soak herself in the water, not daring to carelessly move around. The water in the tub was a little deep, and since Rong Xi was petite and light, Mu Huai had to occasionally lift her up from time to time. Rong Xi was also scared of sinking, so she could only wrap her slim arms around his neck.
What surprised her was how carefully Mu Huai was treating her tonight. Although his movements were a little clumsy and awkward, he knew to avoid her stomach. When Rong Xi saw his movements, she felt at ease.
After all, his child was inside her stomach. Even if he didn’t give the monk face, he still had to give face to Buddha4.
After he had washed off the dirt from her body, Mu Huai fished her out from the tub and personally wiped her body dry with a towel. His hands supported her head and his movements were a little rough as he dried her hair. When he saw that her concealed appearance didn’t seem to change, he realized that the makeup she used couldn’t be removed with just water.
Although her face was not as beautiful as her original appearance, the current Rong Xi looked a little girly and charming. After getting the chance to relive his life, he had just realized that when this woman had followed him, she was still young, only sixteen.
A young girl in her spring years5 was forced to conceal her beautiful appearance, donning the most basic maidservant clothes.
He, Mu Huai, would never allow his woman to be humiliated.
Mu Huai looked at Rong Xi’s eyebrows, and his fingertips caressed the freckles on her face. Actually, he quite liked these freckles, he thought they were cute. Yet on the other hand, he ordered Rong Xi, “After returning with me, you don’t need to hide your appearance anymore.”
Rong Xi didn’t understand what Mu Huai meant but still nodded her head.
In the deep night, Mu Huai hugged Rong Xi. Because she had bathed in hot water, she was warm to the touch when he hugged her, not ice-cold like before.
The woman was in his embrace, and also had a body temperature.
Yet even so, Mu Huai didn’t dare to believe this was real. From time to time, he would recall the scene of him hugging her cold body. Rong Xi peacefully laid in Mu Huai’s arms, but felt that Mu Huai was a little odd today.
Usually, after they had sex, he would also hug her to sleep. But that hug only carried possessiveness and she would often choke from not being able to breathe. Tonight, his tall and robust body still firmly held her, but this hug carried a strong feeling of protection.
It actually made her feel safe.
After a few days of not seeing each other, the way this man talked had also become much gentler than before.
Rong Xi thought it was very odd. Perhaps it was because he had become the Crown Prince, his personality had undergone some changes.
Although a living person was different from a dead one, as a living one could breathe and had a heartbeat, Mu Huai still felt this wasn’t real.
He suddenly opened his eyes and said in a low voice, “Talk to me.”
Rong Xi was a little stunned but still obeyed, “…This slave was wrong, this slave sholdn’t have run away.”
The woman in his arms quickly answered him, and Mu Huai’s heart relaxed. Tightening his hold on her, he had finally confirmed that he had the chance to have a living her.
Mu Huai’s voice was heavy and cold as he said, “I’ll forgive you this time, but there is to be no next time. In the days ahead, you must be more relaxed. Be good and stay by my side.”
Rong Xi nodded her head. With the current situation, she could only follow him back to Bianjing.
She was still missing Nanny Huan and asked him, “Your Highness…will we reach Bianjing tomorrow? This slave wants to give Nanny Huan a proper burial as soon as possible.”
Mu Huai never knew Rong Xi’s background, so taking this opportunity he asked, “What’s your relationship with Nanny Huan?”
Rong Xi listened to the man’s strong heartbeat as she replied, “When Shun Fu gonggong arranged for this slave to come to Your Highness, did you never investigate this slave’s background?”
Mu Huai was silent for a moment before whispering back, “Investigated. I know you were a servant in the Deputy Minister of Finance’s household before you entered the palace.”
Rong Xi replied with an ‘en’. The Mu Huai tonight felt very dependable. She felt that there was no need to hide her identity from him, and thus explained her background to Mu Huai.
Mu Huai patiently listened to her. Originally, he was stroking her soft hair, and when he heard how she had fallen from an official’s daughter to become a servant, his movements stopped.
Then he remembered what he said to her before.
A slave was just a slave.
Translator’s comments: Oh man, I was really rooting for Nanny Huan to be saved (ㅠ_ㅠ) On the other hand, I’m happy that Mu Huai didn’t undergo a complete personality change, and he still has some of that harshness and coldness when he talks to her. I think it’s more realistic, and it’ll make for interesting character development as he changes from being a prideful monarch to a whipped husband.
Also, Happy Lunar New Year! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
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- Has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, etc. medicinal properties
- Also a medicinal herb, though Google couldn’t tell me what uses it has
- Used as a sleep aid and as a relaxant
- Idiom to mean to help/forgive someone for the sake of someone else
- Usually refers to the years of a woman’s life when she’s the most beautiful
author why did you kill the nanny? so sad.
Yeah, I felt that the author just discarded this character quite heartlessly. No fighting chance, no screen time.