Pampered Into Being the Empress – Chapter 45
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Translated by: Cozy Translations
Chapter 45 – Witchcraft
Rong Xi felt ecstatic and curious when she heard this. She couldn’t stop herself from asking, “Where will Husband take this concubine?”
Mu Huai saw her limpid eyes light up, and his worries from earlier faded away.
He slightly lowered his eyes, staring down at the petite woman who barely reached his shoulders. Deliberating teasing her, he said, “Take a guess, I won’t tell you.”
Rong Xi’s lips were slightly pursed. She looked as if she was pouting a little as she sighed, “…This concubine can’t guess.”
Just as her words fell, the man suddenly carefully picked her up, walking towards the hall.
Mu Huai looked down at the woman in his arms, “I already had the servants prepare a carriage, we’ll change into ordinary clothes before leaving the palace.”
Rong Xi nodded.
Because they were in the palace, even if there weren’t any banquets, Rong Xi’s and Mu Huai’s usual clothes were already very extravagant. If they were to go to the commoner’s realm to vacation, it would be inconvenient.
Rong Xi walked up to Mu Huai. The man was dressed the same as in her dreams, standing upright, wearing a set of moon-white robes. Moreover, half of his hair was held up by a jade coronet.
Seeing his appearance, Rong Xi’s heart couldn’t help but speed up.
However, the current Mu Huai in front of her did not possess the warm temperament that the Mu Huai in her dreams had. He was still as cold and proud as always, a sense of aloofness coming from between his brows, making him slightly intimidating.
Mu Huai saw Rong Xi walk towards him with small steps and looked down at her slightly bulging belly. He felt that though she was dressed like a common woman, because of her bewitching face, she still had a seductive aura about her.
Especially right now, this little troublemaker was pregnant, and her timid look was even more tempting.
It wasn’t that he had a corrupted mind.
On the contrary, he was extremely clear on what kind of despicable thoughts men would have when they saw such a sweet-sounding pregnant beauty like her.
When he thought of this, Mu Huai’s face fell.
Forget about the promise he made to her before, he definitely had to tightly conceal this woman’s appearance, not letting any outsiders catch even a glimpse. In a low voice, Mu Huai called for Dan Xiang to find a veil to cover Rong Xi’s appearance.
This veil not only completely covered her face, it also draped all the way down to her knees, covering her raised stomach as well.
Only then did Mu Huai feel at ease.
When it was shen shi (3 PM – 5 PM), twilight had already fallen over Bianjing.
After the two people situated themselves in the carriage, Rong Xi asked Mu Huai if she could lift the carriage curtains to look at the scenery outside. Mu Huai hesitated for a moment before ordering, “You can, but you’re not allowed to take off your veil.”
Rong Xi obediently nodded her head.
Thankfully, this veil was made out of thin material, so she was able to clearly see the scenery outside the window.
As the spring breeze blew, Rong Xi recognized the direction the carriage was heading towards. When they reached Fengqiu Street, Rong Xi felt a little excited inside. She set down the curtain and turned towards Mu Huai, “Husband, this concubine and her family used to live on this Fengqiu Street.”
Mu Huai raised an eyebrow when he heard this, “What a coincidence, Yin Cheng’s family also lives here.”
Rong Xi was surprised. It turned out that Mu Huai wanted to take her to Yin Cheng’s residence.
Speaking of which, this Fengqiu Street was close to the various departments of the Forbidden Guards. It seems that Mu Huai made preparations for this trip a long time ago. He must’ve known that she had been missing Nanny Huan’s children and brought her here.
Rong Xi felt her heart warm up. Taking advantage of when the carriage ran over a bump in the road, her slender arms wrapped around the man’s waist and she planted a kiss on his cheek through the veil, “Many thanks to Husband for bring this concubine to General Yin’s…”
Mu Huai felt his heart burn from his little liangdi‘s kiss.
His nose was filled with the woman’s unique scent, but his voice had turned heavier as he frowned and ordered, “You better behave for me outside the palace. Don’t show such flirtatious behavior in front of outsiders.”
Rong Xi had a rare moment where she wasn’t frightened by the man’s tone and instead asked, “But we’re on the carriage…no one else saw.”
Mu Huai was speechless as he reached out to flick her forehead.
He repeated, “Even so, not allowed.”
Rong Xi felt a little aggrieved as she rubbed her forehead, not daring to provoke Mu Huai anymore.
Mu Huai held her delicate hand, though his eyes were cold.
This woman naturally didn’t realize that her continuous chattering really made him want to give her a fierce feeding inside this carriage.
Mu Huai had to calm down the fire inside of him. Not too long after, the carriage had arrived at the residence where Yin Cheng and his wife lived.
After Mu Huai alighted from the carriage, he carefully supported the woman down as well. Yin Cheng and his wife were already respectfully waiting by the residence’s entry.
Nanny Huan’s son and daughter were also present.
After Rong Xi greeted Yin Cheng and his beautiful wife, she wanted to greet the two little fellows as well. But she hesitated for a moment since she no longer covered up her real appearance, and adding on that she was wearing a veil, there was a possibility the two children wouldn’t be able to recognize her.
However, unexpectedly Nanny Huan’s younger daughter timidly asked in a childish voice, “Are you…Big Sister Rong?”
Rong Xi was stunned.
She didn’t expect for such a young child to recognize her. Nodding her head, she warmly answered, “En, I am Big Sister Rong that knew Nanny Huan.”
At this moment, Yin Cheng’s wife lightly nodded her head. Looking at Nanny Huan’s daughter, her voice was both gentle yet also a little scolding as she said, “Don’t forget etiquette, you must call her liangdi.”
Nanny Huan’s daughter immediately changed her way of greeting and respectfully called out to Rong Xi, “…Liangdi.”
Yin Cheng’s wife gently rubbed Nanny Huan’s daughter’s head, then ordered the servants to bring the two children back to their rooms. She spoke warmly towards Rong Xi, “Liangdi, rest assured, these two children are very obedient and well-behaved. They are living well at the residence.”
Rong Xi gratefully nodded her head, “Many thanks to Madam for taking care of them.”
She saw Nanny Huan’s children had grown taller, and their gaze no longer held the sorrow from losing their mother. Seeing them recover their youthful gleam, she knew that Yin Cheng’s wife treated the two very well.
On the other side, Mu Huai and Yin Cheng started talking business matters as soon as they met. The two tall men walked in front with large steps, leaving behind quite a distance between them and her and Yin Cheng’s wife.
As Rong Xi watched, she saw that Mu Huai was very familiar with the layout of Yin Cheng’s estate, as if he had come here many times.
Yin Cheng’s wife ordered a servant to store Rong Xi’s veil. After seeing clearly her true appearance, her gaze revealed her surprise.
As expected, this Rong liangdi was truly beautiful.
Yin Cheng’s wife secretly thought since the Crown Prince brought this Rong liangdi to the Yin Estate, that meant that he did not just solely favor this Rong liangdi, he treated her as family.
After all, Yin Cheng is part of Mu Huai’s concubine mother, Virtuous Consort Yin’s, family.
Yin Cheng’s wife initiated a conversation with Rong Xi, “When His Highness the Crown Prince was still just the Fourth Prince, he always came to the residence to practice martial arts with this wife’s Husband. Even now, there’s still a martial arts field in the estate.”
Rong Xi answered, “I see, I was thinking about how His Highness was quite familiar with this place just now.”
Yin Cheng’s wife was born from an aristocratic background. She knew which topics to approach and which to avoid. She was not overly enthusiastic to where Rong Xi felt uncomfortable, but completely displayed the concern befitting of a host towards her guest.
Soon, night fell.
The Yin Estate’s food and drinks tonight were all brought from outside. Each was exquisitely made and mouthwatering. After Rong Xi ate some food, she followed Yin Cheng’s wife to her room to visit Nanny Huan’s children.
Rong Xi played with the two children as she asked about Nanny Huan’s husband, whether he was doing okay running errands for Yin Cheng or if he was any bother to them.
When Yin Cheng’s wife heard this, her countenance became a little heavy.
She answered, “Liangdi, please rest assured, he is doing very well. However, according to my husband, after Nanny Huan passed away, he became very quiet. Every day he would transport grains without uttering a single sound, never speaking with the other soldiers.”
When Rong Xi heard this, she felt her heart grow heavy. Yin Cheng’s wife sensed Rong Xi’s worries and quickly moved onto different topic, deliberating asking Nanny Huan’s daughter, “What are you playing with Little Brother? Bring it over for Mother to see.”
Nanny Huan’s daughter docilely passed over the doll in her hand to Yin Cheng’s wife. When she took it, Rong Xi looked at the doll.
Yet, she felt that the doll looked a little sinister and couldn’t help but ask, “Do the children of Bianjing like to play with such dolls these days? Why do I feel that it looks a little evil?”
Yin Cheng’s wife frowned as she observed the doll. Nodding her head, she agreed, “En, when liangdi said this, this wife also feels that this doll is a little strange. It looks like the kind that those shamans use to curse people with.”
Finished, she ordered a maidservant to take the doll away. On the other hand, Rong Xi kept staring at the doll, all the way until the maidservant left the room with the doll.
She repeated the words that Yin Cheng’s wife had just said inside.
Suddenly, she recalled a word that was taboo in all dynasties–
Yongxi Palace, Ninghui Hall.
Di Shihua had recently been very eye-catching. Her elder sister’s reputation had been ruined, and she [DSH] had finally caught the Empress’s eye, often calling her into the palace these days to accompany her.
Mu Tao, who had just been elevated into a ranked prince, had yet to marry. A few days ago, the Empress had arranged for Di Shihua to meet Mu Tao’s birth mother, Consort De.
With such actions, anyone with eyes knew what was going on.
The Empress had the intention of letting Di Shihua become Mu Tao’s Princess Consort1wangfei 王妃 literally means King Consort, meaning the legitimate/principle wife of a ranked prince2. Di Shihua felt as if her heart was full of bubbles. Mu Tao had a gentle temperament, not at all like the cruel and aggressive Mu Huai.
Mu Tao’s birth mother, Consort De, also came from a good background. Di Shihua didn’t have the ambition to become the Crown Princess Consort, but if she could be the principle consort of a ranked prince, then it would be the sort of luck and happiness that so many noble misses in the capital could only look upon in envy.
At the very least, it was a hundred times better than her elder sister’s marriage.
After all, none of the noble young masters in Bianjing wanted to marry her.
Not only did Di Shihua not feel any sympathy towards her elder sister, she even felt that because of Di Shiyin’s shameful actions, her [DSH] own reputation as a daughter of the Di clan had been ruined, delaying her future.
Thankfully, Consort De’s attitude towards her could still be considered quite cordial.
If she could really successfully marry Mu Tao, then she would be able to win back some honor and dignity for her parents.
Di Shihua felt as if she was floating on clouds every day, enjoying the service and flattery that was more meticulous than before. Thus, she put even more effort into serving the Empress.
Today, she had brought her maidservant to Ninghui Hall’s personal kitchen to pick up food for the Empress.
When she saw the palace maid that served Rong liangdi, Dan Xiang, Di Shihua stopped and quickly found a boulder to hide behind. She ordered her maidservant to keep quiet, and carefully eavesdropped on Dan Xiang’s conversation with the kitchen hand.
She could only hear Dan Xiang’s tone was quite serious as she said, “Liangdi hasn’t had much appetite recently. The Crown Prince ordered me to retrieve some nourishing foods for her to supplement her body.”
The kitchen hand immediately answered respectfully, “Lass, don’t worry, this little one will definitely bring over the best ingredients.”
Soon after, the kitchen hand brought out an ebony food box and handed it to Dan Xiang.
After Dan Xiang received the box, she spoke a few more words with the kitchen hand before returning back to the Eastern Palace.
Di Shihua wasn’t able to obtain any useful information, only discovering that the pregnant Rong liangdi‘s body was uncomfortable.
She shook her head helplessly. Just as she was about to walk out from behind the boulder, she heard one of the kitchen hands saying, “I heard that Rong liangdi‘s body suddenly took a turn for the worse and the Crown Prince threw a fit because of it. But the imperial physician couldn’t find anything wrong, it’s so strange.”
Another kitchen hand spat and shook their head, “What’s so strange about it, since they can’t find anything, then there’s only one possibility.”
Di Shihua continued to hide behind the boulder, also asking this question inside.
That’s right, since the imperial physicians couldn’t find anything wrong with that Rong liangdi, then what’s the reason behind her poor condition?
—“What other reason could there be. That Rong liangdi has an arrogant personality and offended many people, someone definitely has a grudge against her and must’ve cursed her. Now, not only is she pregnant, she’s also been cursed. Don’t look down on witchcraft, the history books have it all recorded. In the previous dynasty, the witchcraft even harmed a whole nation…”
Translator’s comments: Witchcraft was very unexpected for me, tbh. Next chapter will be split in two due to the massive wordcount.
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