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Pampered Into Being the Empress – Chapter 32

Translated by: Cozy Translations

Chapter 32 – Yaya

Listening to Mu Huai’s words, Rong Xi opened her eyes, her heart rate slowly increasing.

Many years ago when she was still the young miss of an official’s family, she had dreamed about what her future husband would be like. But she had never predicted that her own husband would be such an overbearing and proud man like Mu Huai.

What’s done is done. She was pregnant with his child and had become his woman. Mu Huai wanted her to call him husband, and Rong Xi naturally felt some expectation and joy.

Mu Huai was her husband.

But between a couple, it wasn’t an absolute necessity to call one wife and the other husband. Mu Huai had never called her by a title either, usually calling her by just ‘you’, or when he’s angry, he’d directly call out her name.

Rong Xi remembered Mu Huai’s courtesy name was Zhi Yan. It was a very pleasant-sounding name, a gentleman like the jade tree.

Rong Xi secretly chanted Mu Huai’s courtesy name Zhi Yan a few times inside her heart, but what left her lips was. “…Husband.”

Her voice was sweet and sticky. Mu Huai suddenly felt as if someone knocked on his heart. Just a call of husband would make one lose his senses, he wanted more.

Mu Huai’s thin lips hooked up as he bugged her again in a low voice, “Call me again.”

Rong Xi bravely placed her lips by Mu Huai’s ears, and she gently kissed the man’s earlobe. When she saw the man’s body turn stiff, she repeated again, “Husband, you’re the best. Hurry and hug this concubine to sleep.”

Whispered right into his ears, he felt his heart become itchy. The moment he thought about how this woman’s soft lips was on his earlobe, Mu Huai’s heart suddenly became numb and this feeling spread throughout his limbs.

His eyes suddenly turned dark as he pinned the woman underneath him. Rong Xi’s thick black hair spread out on the bed like the ocean. The man’s tall stature cast a shadow over her small body. At this moment, her sleepiness and fatigue had disappeared, and her mind immediately became tense.

Mu Huai held himself up with one hand and the other one was lfiting the woman’s chin. It looked like he was being forceful, but actually he was extremely cautious and restrained as he deeply kissed her.

Who knows how much time had passed, Rong Xi was kissed until her mind turned hazy. Only then did she remember that she was actually pregnant and she hurriedly reminded Mu Huai, “…Husband, this concubine…this concubine is not in the stable period1 yet…”

Mu Huai hadn’t completely lost his rationality. Meeting her timid eyes, he took in her actions and let go of her. When he thought of how he only had a taste of that sweetness, the veins on the back of his hand popped out. If things continued like this, before the baby in her popped out, he’d be finished first. But Rong Xi was like a porcelain doll right now, fragile and easily breakable. He couldn’t bear to treat her like that.

Mu Huai helped the woman up and let her lean against him. He played with her soft hair, gently stroking it.

This woman was still too timid. Just a kiss and she would get frightened to this extent.

Mu Huai pursed his lips, then hovered his mouth against her slightly blushing ears as he gave a hoarse laugh, “So scared?”

Rong Xi shrank in his arms, not daring to say anything. After this man had captured her back, he became much more restrained than before in regards to bedroom matters. But whenever she would recall everything that happened with him in the past, she would still feel some fear.

When Mu Huai saw she didn’t speak, he didn’t become angry. He lowered his head and kissed the top of her head as he gently called out, “Good Xi’er2.”

When Rong Xi heard this, her heart lurched. Mu Huai called her Xi’er? Did she hear wrongly?

His voice was low and rich and very electrifying. When he called her Xi’er, she felt as if her heart was short-circuiting. Rong Xi closed her eyes and decided to play dumb, but her thick and long lashes fluttered up and down.

At this time, the man had already gently pushed away the woman in his arms. Looking at her watery peach blossom eyes, his had a light smile on.

Afterward, his voice was bewitching as he said, “Good Xi’er, help me eat it.”

******

The next morning had a light mist. Rong Xi had woken up before Mu Huai. When she remembered what happened last night, her ears turned red again.

Ever since Rong Xi had gotten pregnant, she would be easily tired, but she bore with it and gotten up earlier than Mu Huai.

The robes for the rank of liangdi had already arrived at the Eastern palace last night. It consisted of a luxurious and complicated wide-sleeved outer robe. Dark in color, it contained the aura of the imperial family.

Today, her hair was going to put into a gao ji bun and she had to wear an extravagant and heavy wig as well. Since she now had a position, then she would not let anything go wrong. Rong Xi placed a lot of importance on greeting Empress Ye at Weiyang Palace today.

Although she was nervous, she had accompanied Concubine Yu to Weiyang Palace before and had seen her a few times at different events, so she wasn’t so nervous that she had fumbled.

After Dan Xiang and the other palace maids had finished dressing her, Mu Huai still had not gotten up. Rong Xi knelt on the expensive rug next to the four-poster bed and quietly appreciated Mu Huai’s sleeping appearance.

She felt the wig weigh down on her, and so she placed her elbows on the side of the bed. Slightly tilting her head, she continued watching the man deep asleep. Mu Huai looked very nice when he slept. In his sleep, he had no angry or dark expression on his face, and his brows were in a rare state of relaxation.

When Rong Xi saw his brows slightly crinkle, she gently kissed the space between his brows seeing that he was still aslep.

Mu Huai slightly raised his eyebrows. He smelled the familiar and calming scent coming from the woman. Just as his big hands were going to cup the woman’s head for him to return the kiss, Rong Xi escaped just in time.

She was afraid that Mu Huai wouldn’t be able to control his strength and mess up her hair.

The man finally woke up. Knowing the woman had avoided him, he was a little unhappy. Being such a seductress this early in the morning, she really was a disaster.

Mu Huai sat up on the bed and the aura around him was a little intimidating. He closed his eyes and massaged the space between his brows. Rong Xi felt that the Mu Huai when he just woke up looked like a lazy lion.

After Mu Huai opened his eyes, he saw Rong Xi had already finished dressing, and quietly savored her appearance. When he saw her delicate and skinny figure barely holding up the liangdi robes, as well as the jade comb nestled in her bun, her palm-sized face looked a little sharper.

Mu Huai’s expression warmed up a little.

If he put this delicate woman up on that seat, it would be a pretty interesting process as well.

The palace maids were scared of Mu Huai and didn’t dare to personally serve him. Even if they did come, they would often make mistakes due to their fear.

Actually, Rong Xi was always curious about what mistakes the three palace maids that Mu Huai had sentenced to execution had made. But Shun Fu didn’t tell her and even now, she was a little afraid to ask Mu Huai.

Rong Xi helped Mu Huai dress with familiar ease. After helping him into his official robes, she clasped his jade-buckle belt, then stood on tip-toe to place the beaded mian guan on his head. Mu Huai had his eyes closed as he was thinking deeply. His height was much taller than Rong Xi. When he saw that she was going to help him wear the headgear, he slightly lowered his head.

The beads on the mian guan clacked as they swung around.

The Eastern Palace was a little far from Weiyang Palace. Mu Huai had sent someone to Nianzi Courtyard in advance. After court ended, the two people departed for Weiyang Palace in a luxurious sedan. Rong Xi sat next to Mu Huai. Although they were traveling along the familiar palace roads, it was the first time she was being lifted by others. She felt that this feeling was quite fresh and also felt nervous at the same time.

At this time, Mu Huai held her hand. He didn’t look at her, a calm expression on his face.

When they arrived at the main hall of Weiyang Palace, there was already a crowd of concubines sitting inside. The Empress and Zhuang Emperor were also sitting side by side in the head seats. The concubines in the inner palace were curious about the looks of this Rong liangdi who had a commoner background. When they saw her face, they finally understood why this cold and arrogant crown prince would favor this Rong liangdi so much.

She was truly born beautiful beyond compare, like someone that wasn’t of this world.

Most of Zhuang Emperor’s concubines were already middle-aged. When they saw the young and pretty Rong Xi, it would be a lie to say they didn’t feel some jealousy.

Rong Xi entered the hall and sat down, not showing any nervousness at all. In the past, she had followed Concubine Yu and come to Weiyang Palace many times. Therefore, she was also used to the scene in front of her.

Mu Huai sat next to Rong Xi. Looking at the dense throng of women, a sense of irritation rose from inside. His countenance sank, feeling that the smell of foundation and power was suffocating. He was very uncomfortable sitting in the middle of a crowd of women. In his past life, he did not marry any woman, and thus he naturally never came to Weiyang Palace to give his greetings.

This was different from being surrounded by men at court. In his past life when he attended court, the officials would be dressed according to their ranks and would look largely the same. On the other hand, the palace concubines in front of him were wearing robes in all sorts of colors, making him feel dizzy.

The officials were very far from the dragon throne he sat on, but although Weiyang Palace’s main hall could be considered to be quite spacious, with all these people sitting inside, the space felt a little cramped. Moreover, those women would cast glances at him and Rong Xi from time to time.

How annoying.

Mu Huai’s sharp brows sank again.

Looking at the woman next to him, he saw that she still looked somewhat calm. Seeing him look at her, she even showed him a warm smile. When he saw Rong Xi smile at him, Mu Huai’s irritated mood slowly settled down. When he saw no one was looking at him, he sneakily held the woman’s soft hand in his own.

The two Di family sisters were standing behind the screen. They secretly observed everything that was happening in this hall. Di Shihua finally saw Rong Xi’s appearance, and she whispered in a slightly surprised tone to Di Shiyin, “That Rong liangdi truly has a beautiful appearance. In my whole entire life, this is the first time I have seen such a beautiful person. Elder Sister, you have encountered a difficult opponent this time.”

Di Shiyin was quiet for a moment. Her eyes were full of jealousy, then she spoke in a placid tone, “What’s the point of looking beautiful, in the end she’s just a commoner without any background. She’s just living off of the favor that Crown Prince is giving her.”

Just as Di Shihua wanted to say something, she saw Di Shiyin put a finger on her lips, implying for her to be quiet. She spoke, “Don’t talk, niangniang is saying something.”

The Empress’s spoke to Zhuang Emperor in a calm voice, “Since Crown Prince has taken in a liangdi, then the matter of selecting the Crown Princess Consort can also be moved up.”

When she heard this, Di Shiyin’s lips slightly hooked up.

Rong Xi felt as if someone had stabbed her heart. She was Mu Huai’s concubine and it would be inevitable that she would want to have her husband only love her. When she imagined him holding another woman to sleep, she really couldn’t bear having to share Mu Huai with anyone else.

But he was the Crown Prince, the future monarch of Great Qi, how could he be solely hers.

Zhuang Emperor didn’t say anything. He knew that the Empress had the intention of making the daughter from the Di family Mu Huai’s principal consort. The Empress was his legal wife; when the two were young, they also had their sweet and honey-filled days. But later, his feelings towards the Empress had cooled. These past few years, the empress had been suppressed by Noble Consort Li, and though she couldn’t give birth, she had never caused any trouble either.

In Zhuang Emperor’s heart, he still felt a little sorry towards the Empress.

Therefore, he said, “Does Empress have any thoughts? Let us hear it.”

The Empress replied, “This subject-wife thinks that we can let the Ministry of Rites select some noble young misses for the Crown Prince to pick. Bengong can also help the Crown Prince take a look as well. Other than choosing the Crown Princess Consort, we can also pick a few more fengyi and liangyuan for the Crown Prince as well.”

Mu Huai let out a scoff when he heard this. When he sensed that woman’s hand was pulling away from his grasp, he tightened his grip. ROng Xi was helpless as she forced herself to stay indifferent.

The Eastern Palace was so big, she could not be the only woman living there with a status. She was pregnant, and she would no t be able to serve Mu Huai for the next few months.

Zhuang Emperor asked Mu Huai, “Crown Prince, how do you view Empress’s arrangements.”

Mu Huai let go of Rong Xi’s hand.

He stood up and gave a salute before respectfully replying to Zhuang Emperor, “Last year, my country had fallen into a deficit due to using most of the country’s treasury on military expenses. If I were to take in the Crown Princess Consort, then the wedding ceremony alone will naturally incur large expenses, not to mention the selection in Bianjing. Furthermore, Father Emperor’s illness still has not been cured, so this subject-son naturally does not have the mood to take in so many women.”

When the Empress hear this, her expression froze.

Zhuang Emperor replied in approval, “En, Crown Prince is filial and thinks of the citizens. Then it’s fine to just not do the selection.”

When Mu Huai sat back down, the Empress blinked. No matter what Mu Huai said, Zhuang Emperor would always praise him. She was long used to this.

However, his words really choked her today. Talking about being filial, then talking about the citizens, she really could not bring up the matter of him marrying Di Shiyin again. It seems like she had to think of a way to make this cold Crown Prince marry Di Shiyin.

Even if she had to use some underhanded tricks.

******

When the concubines left Weiyang Palace, Mu Huai also left with Rong Xi. When she heard what Mu Huai said to the Empress, Rong Xi’s tense heart had also calmed down a lot. It seems like in the near future, Mu Huai won’t be taking in any other women. There won’t by any Di Shiyin, nor any liangyuan or fengyi.

Zhuang Emperor exited the palace with the Empress’s support. When he saw Mu Huai was still nearby, he spoke in a low voice, “Man Ya, come with zhen to the Bureau of Astrology.”

Mu Huai nodded his head, then had Rong Xi to return to the Eastern Palace first. Rong Xi obediently nodded her head. When she saw Mu Huai and Zhuang Emperor’s figures disappear into the horizon, a surprised look appeared in her eyes.

Man Ya?

Is this Mu Huai’s pet name?

She never expected that such a domineering man like Mu Huai would have such an interesting pet name. Just as she was thinking it was funny, she saw Di Shihua walking towards her. Behind her was her personal maidservant carrying luggage with her. It looked like they were going to leave th epalace and return to their residence.

Just as Rong Xi thought, Di Shihua was indeed returning back to the Minister’s estate. She felt that the palace was not as interesting as before. The Empress was clearly in favor of Di Shiyin, and thus she felt like she was just being used as a foil the longer she stayed in Yongxi Palace.

When Di Shihua saw Rong Xi walking towards her, the maidservant behind her was a quick-witted one as she reminded her in a low voice, “Young Miss, she is a liangdi, you have to greet her.”

Helpless, she could only bend her knees and greet Rong Xi. After she finished, she was preparing to continue walking towards Xuanhua Gate.

Rong Xi stopped her at this time, “Young Miss Di, please stay.”

Di Shihua was a little confused. This woman should hold a grudge against her older sister, and it wasn’t like she (DSH) was the one preparing to marry Mu Hai, so what did she stop her for?

Di Shihua replied, “Rong liangdi….is there something you need?”

Rong Xi gave a faint smile. Her peach blossom eyes observed the silver four butterfly hair ornament dangling in her hair. After lightly coughing a few times, she replied, “Young Miss’s hair ornament is really pretty, don’t know which stall in Bianjing made it, I also want one.”

Di Shihua couldn’t help but laugh. She felt this Rong liangdi was truly a coarse person, the epitome of a commoner who never saw a good thing. After entering the palace, as people grew in power, naturally they could obtain whatever good thing they wanted.

Really such a vulgar person.

Di Shihua had a round face and had exquisite looks. She caressed the hair ornament in her hair and smugly replied to Rong Xi, “Rong liangdi, this hair ornament can’t be bought off the streets. This is what Her Majesty the Empress gifted me.”

Rong Xi purposely put on an expression of realization, then ordered Dan Xiang, “Remember this style. After we return, I’ll have the Crown Prince make me a similar one.”

Dan Xiang looked at the gloating Di Shihua, then remembering Rong Xi’s instructions just now, she replied, “Yes, this slave has remembered it…but this slave feels that Young Miss Di’s hair ornament is very familiar…I think the elder Young Miss Di had also worn it before. Liangdi, take a look, the pearl on the corner of the butterfly wing wasn’t there before. It looks like it was re-attached after being broken off…”

Before she finished, Rong Xi purposely scolded her, “What are you talking so much nonsense for in front of Young Miss Di?”

Dan Xiang repeatedly admitted her wrongs in front of Rong Xi and Di Shihua. When she finished talking, Di Shihua’s face was extremely ugly.

She was not that stupid. Naturally she figured out what that palace maid was saying. This ornament was one that Di Shiyin had used before and had even broken. Then, the Empress had given Di Shiyin’s unwanted and broken hair ornament to her as a gift, and she even treated it as a treasure, wearing it.

Di Shihua was so angry, she instantly pulled out the expensive hair ornament, throwing it on the stone ground.

The maidservant behind her was shocked and hurriedly picked up t he ornament as she continuously persuaded her, “Miss…you cannot just throw this anywhere. The Empress gave you this hair ornament, and is considered as an imperial reward. It’s a crime if it becomes damaged.”

Di Shihua harrumphed and turned away. She was so angry, her whole body was shaking. Her eyes had also turned red.

Rong Xi purposely put on an apologetic expression and softly persuaded, “Young Miss Di, my servant was speaking nonsense just now and had offended you. However, though I was born a commoner, I have also seen the internal fights in aristocratic families…I felt a sort of affinity with you, and thus wanted to chat with you a little more today. Young Miss Di should learn to be a little more discerning, lest you let someone with ill intentions step on you and raise you up, making you a target.”

Finished, Rong Xi slowly turned around and her figure disappeared as she left Weiyang Palace’s main door with Dan Xiang.

Di Shihua was still standing there, thinking of what Rong liangdi just said to her. She naturally knew that Rong Xi didn’t harbor good intentions. However, Rong liangdi‘s words also were not without reason.

When Di Shihua recalled that day Mu Huai punished her to kneel, not only did Di Shiyin not help her beg for mercy, she even left first. Di Shihua felt even more hatred. Both were di daughters, her parents favored her older sister, and her paternal aunt, the Empress, also favored her older sister.

On what basis? On what basis should she bear this humiliation? On what basis did she have to use something Di Shiyin abandoned? Did the Empress treat her as a fool? Repairing a broken hair ornament and passing it off as new to give to her, did she think she would cry tears of gratitude?

Di Shihua had always respected her older sister. But at this moment, Di Shihua3 finally realized that her virtuous and mannerly elder sister did not treat her as her blood-related younger sister at all.

******

At midday, the cloudy skies in Bianjing finally cleared up, making people feel happy.

Rong Xi returned to the Eastern Palace along with Dan Xiang and a crowd of attendants and bumped into Mu Huai who was also returning.

Seeing Mu Huai walk towards her, Rong Xi was puzzled and asked, “Didn’t Husband go with His Majesty to the Bureau of Astronomy? How come you’re back so quickly?”

Recalling the condition fo Zhuang Emperor’s condition, Mu Huai’s countenance grew heavy as he replied, “Before we were even halfway there, Fahter Emperor fell ill and was carried back to Ganyuan Hall.”

Rong Xi asked , “Then is Husband going to the hall for political affairs…or leaving the palace to go to the Court of Judicial Review?”

Looking at the beauty wearing a luxurious wide-sleeved robe, Mu Huai’s face had a rarely seen peaceful expression on it as he answered in a relaxed manner, “I returned back to the Eastern Palace to accompany liangdi for lunch.”

The corners of Rong Xi’s lips slightly raised up as she replied in a soft voice, “En, Husband should eat more today.”

Mu Huai had already taken hold of her hand when Rong Xi recalled how Zhuang Emperor had called Mu Huai Man Ya earlier.

She started imagining how Mu Huai looked like when he was a child and secretly chanted Man Ya, Man Ya a few times. She also wanted to call Mu Huai Man Ya, or calling him Yaya would be more catchy.

But she could only banish this idea. If she really called him that, Mu Huai might very well break her wrists. Rong Xi fell into a daze while she was thinking, and unconsciouslly spoke those two words out loud.

“Yaya.”

When Mu Huai heard these two words, his steps faltered and he came to a standstill. He instantly reacted. This woman had heard his pet name earlier this morning at Weiyang Palace.

Mu Huai felt as if his heroic image had instantly collapsed due to this pet name. How could he have the face to lift his head around this woman in the future?

Rong Xi came back to her senses and realized she had actually said those two words aloud, what bad luck.

She immediately placed her hand over her mouth, a shocked expression on her face as she muffled her sounds.

Mu Huai’s face had already turned dark as he fiercely asked her in a low voice, “What did you call me just now?”


This author wants to say:

Mu Huai: Don’t touch me (sulky)


Translator’s comments: I don’t know if I ever specified this, but when Mu Huai is referring to himself, he uses the pronoun specific to the Crown prince which is gu, meaning ‘lonely one’. I just use ‘I’ just for translation’s ease. The only pronouns I keep in their native pronounciation is the Emperor’s (zhen) and the Empress’s (bengong/niangniang), because I personally think it’s more imposing to keep the pinyin as it sets them apart from the rest of the harem.

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Footnotes

  1. Stable period in terms of pregnancy usually refers to after the first three months (less chance of miscarriages)
  2. People usually add -er to the end of people’s names to show familiarity, fondness, etc.
  3. Raws say Di Shiyin, but I think the author misspelled
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Tangerine

When the title of a novel chapter = my middle name…
Out of curiosity, what does the name “Man Ya” mean?

Y.E.

Quick quick say how cute he must have been as a child and wonder what pet name yours/his should have 😳😬
Thanks for the chapter 😉

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