Pampered Into Being the Empress – Chapter 6
Translated by: Cozy Translations
Chapter 6 – Opportunity
Suddenly, there was a burst of thunder and lightning.
The deafening thunder sound seemed to split the dark and heavy skies open, causing people to become anxious. The misty rain immediately became a downpour instead.
Rong Xi’s heart almost jumped in her throat.
She was originally kneeling on the ground, focusing all her attention on massaging Mu Huai’s legs. However, all of a sudden, he turned furious and she wasn’t able to react in time, so her body was in danger of tipping over his legs.
Mu Huai’s strength was so great that she thought her arms were going to be ground to dust by him.
Mu Huai coldly glanced at Rong Xi before releasing her.
Weak-kneed, Rong Xi sank down to the ground, feeling her heart beat furiously like drums. Her mind was still clear, however.
Mu Huai forcefully suppressed the pain from his legs and repeated himself.
Mu Huai was the most ill-tempered and violent master Rong Xi has served. When she first entered Quyun Palace, she had already prepared herself for this.
For someone like him, bursts of anger often came and went without rhyme or reason.
Since he wanted her to scram, then she would not stay and be a thorn in his eyes.
If she spoke more than necessary, then the ill-tempered master in front of her might just want her life.
As such, Rong Xi bowed towards the dark-faced Mu Huai, not daring to ask the reason why he suddenly became angry. After she had risen, she immediately left the room with quick steps.
Shun Fu had been standing outside of the room all this time. Hearing the movements inside and seeing Rong Xi hurriedly rush out, he broke out into a sweat.
Rong Xi still had some lingering fears so Shun Fu comforted her, “Girl, go back and rest. When His Highness’s legs flare up, his temper is always worse than usual.”
Rong Xi closed her eyes and accepted. Rubbing her hand against her heart, she tried to calm down her heart. Being frightened by Mu Huai today, she gathered that she must’ve lost a month off her life.
Shun Fu saw that although Rong Xi’s expression still carried some shock and fear, she did not look to feel wronged or unjust.
Girls at her age who meet such an ill-tempered master like Mu Huai, and get rebuked for no reason, their eyes would definitely turn red and cry a few tears.
When Rong Xi returned to her room, she sensed danger.
She was clear about her own surroundings. With her status, the moment she entered this forbidden city, her life was for these precious children of heaven1 to toy around with.
If Mu Huai wanted to kill her, it was as simple as stepping on an ant for him.
Since she chose to follow Mu Huai, if she wanted to survive in this palace, there was only one path.
That was to serve Mu Huai and become his most skilled servant.
If she could not obtain Mu Huai’s trust, then the worst outcome would be to get killed, then have her corpse get carried out of Quyun Palace, and then be thrown out into an unmarked grave outside of the Forbidden City. A not-so-bad outcome would be to get kicked out of Quyun Palace. But the moment she would get kicked out, she would no longer have Mu Huai’s protection, and Mu Qian would definitely come up with ways to trouble her. At that time, she might as well be dead.
Rong Xi’s gaze grew heavy.
In order to survive in this palace, no matter what methods she had to use, she must obtain Mu Huai’s trust.
The next morning.
Rong Xi woke up early as usual and got ready to accompany Mu Huai to Hanlin Academy.
It rained all night yesterday and had yet to stop even now.
Rong Xi quietly sat in her room, waiting for Shun Fu to call for her. But even when Zirui Hall’s bell rang twice, Shun Fu did not come to find her.
She slightly panicked, afraid that because of what happened yesterday, she would become a useless pawn and would be kicked out of Quyun Palace.
Just as she was about to go find Shun Fu, a thoroughly drenched young eunuch knocked on her door, “Rong gugu2, His Highness is ill. Shun Fu gonggong wanted me to tell you that you don’t need to accompany him to Hanlin Academy today.”
Rong Xi replied, “I understand. Thank you for making the trip.”
Mu Huai was sick?
Rong Xi was suspicious but she also breathed a sigh of relief.
Mu Huai’s illness came too coincidentally. When she massaged his legs yesterday, she felt that it was a little strange.
People who are usually crippled indeed would have flare-ups of discomfort on rainy days, but that discomfort would at most be feelings of soreness or swelling. But when she looked at Mu Huai’s expression yesterday, he looked like he was being pricked by needles.
Rong Xi resolved to go to Shun Fu to ask about Mu Huai’s situation and grabbed an umbrella before leaving the room. When she arrived outside of his hall, she chanced upon the physician talking with Shun Fu. Shun Fu’s face was as sickly as always, but today it seemed to be more anxious and heavier.
Rong Xi recognized the doctor, it was Physician Xu who was Yongxi Palace’s most knowledgeable and skilled physician.
Shun Fu worriedly asked, “His Highness started to have a fever since yesterday and it hasn’t gone down even this morning. Right now, he’s unconscious. Yesterday night, I already sent someone to the physician’s courtyard to get a prescription for reducing fever, but nothing’s changed. If he still has a high fever tonight, what else can we do?”
Physician Xu replied, “…If you use this prescription and his fever still doesn’t go away…then you can only use that method.”
Shun Fu anxiously asked, “What method?”
Physician Xu stroked his beard, “Find a servant who will soak in ice water and then sleep3 with His Highness, bringing his temperature down for the entire night. The next day, you can check to see if his fever is gone or not.”
Shun Fu hesitated, “Alright, if His Highness’ fever still isn’t gone by tonight, then I will proceed according to Physician Xu’s method.”
Shun Fu personally sent Physician Xu out of Quyun Palace and then went back into the bedroom to check on Mu Huai’s condition. Mu Huai’s brows were locked in a frown, his forehead as hot as always, and was still unconscious.
Rong Xi stood outside of the hall, waiting for Shun Fu to come out. When he did, she hurriedly asked Shun Fu,”Gonggong, is His Highness better?”
Shun Fu shook his head, “I’m afraid that I will have to find someone to take an ice bath tonight.”
He would’ve personally helped Mu Huai lower his temperature but with his body’s current condition, even being soaked by rain might take away his life.
But if he were to seek a eunuch in the palace…
Mu Huai always abhorred the touch of other people, when he wakes up, he would definitely put that eunuch to death.
This eunuch’s ending would be really tragic. Not only would he have to soak in ice water in this cold fall weather for his master, but he would also personally be sent to see King Yama4 by Mu Huai.
Shun Fu saw Rong Xi’s weak and skinny figure and made an X in his mind, abandoning the idea of having her bathe in ice water. As a girl, even if she was a palace servant, her body was naturally weaker, so taking an ice bath would certainly result in illness.
Shun Fu steeled his heart. It looks like he could only sacrifice someone.
He spoke again, “If His Highness’ fever is still present tonight, then we’ll just casually find a low-ranked eunuch to take an ice bath to help reduce His Highness’ fever.”
Hearing this, Rong Xi silently clenched her fists.
Yesterday night she kept thinking about how she could find an opportunity to gain Mu Huai’s trust.
Now, Mu Huai has a persistent fever. This was an opportunity sent by the heavens.
Rong Xi was not sure if taking an ice bath to lower Mu Huai’s temperature would result in obtaining his trust, but she cannot let go of such a good opportunity. She can only take this gamble.
“Shun Fu gonggong.”
Rong Xi called out to Shun Fu. Seeing him confused, she humbled her tone, “Gonggong, if by tonight His Highness’ fever still hasn’t reduced…then allow this slave to soak in ice water for His Highness.”
When Shun Fu heard this, he hurriedly waved his hands, “Girl, this is not a joke…if you soaked halfway and are unable to handle it, forget about it being a wasted effort, the kinds of sicknesses that women might get from it, even if I don’t say anything, you should be clear.”
Rong Xi bit her lip.
That’s right, of course she knew.
But there was nothing more important than surviving. If Mu Huai didn’t trust her, then not only will it be difficult for her to rise in Yong Xi palace, even surviving will be tough.
She can only take this gamble.
Rong Xi spoke even more solemnly and sincerely, “This slave is clear. But compared to His Highness’ life, this slave’s body is worth nothing. If gonggong thinks that this slave will give up halfway, then let this slave try it first. If this slave cannot do it, then it won’t be too late to switch to another person.”
Shun Fu glanced at Rong Xi. Seeing her persist, he couldn’t bear to dampen her enthusiasm.
He felt that Rong Xi would definitely not be able to hold on for very long. When this little girl would not be able to persist and have to give up, it won’t be too late to find someone else to soak.
When it was xi shi5, Bianjing’s skies began to slowly darken.
Mu Huai was still running a high fever, and Shun Fu had long ago ordered someone to prepare a giant tub of cold water. There were even ice cubes floating on top.
The autumn rain had already stopped. The excess water on the stone ground reflected the moonlight.
Shun Fu asked Rong Xi again, “Girl, are you sure? If you can’t handle it, just let me know.”
There was another reason Shun Fu agreed to allow Rong Xi soak in this cold water. He wanted Rong Xi to realize that there were some things that could not be forced.
Once this little girl has a taste of the cold water, she’ll learn her lesson.
Rong Xi’s expression was peaceful as she replied, “This slave has decided.”
Finished, there wasn’t even the slightest moment of hesitation when she took the wooden tub from the young eunuch. From the large tub, she scooped out some ice water, and under Shun Fu’s eyes, she poured the water on herself without flinching.
This water was as cold as ice. Rong Xi immediately began to shiver from the chill.
Shun Fu waited for Rong Xi to open her mouth to say she wanted to give up.
But instead, he saw her straighten her shoulders and once again scooped out another tub of water, pouring it on herself.
The water flowed along the contours of Rong Xi’s clothes and dripped onto the stone floor.
Shun Fu couldn’t bear to watch any longer. The moment he was about to yell ‘stop’, he saw Rong Xi step on a low stool and cross over into the giant tub of ice water.
Only her head could be seen, the rest of her body was completely covered by the ice water.
Shun Fu’s eyes opened wide in shock.
This girl was very harsh on herself.
He finally understood why even the foul-tempered Concubine Yu would be satisfied with this little girl’s serving.
Rong Xi’s lips were trembling the entire time. As water washed over her, she felt a chill that pierced straight into her bones.
After an hour, Rong Xi spoke in a soft and trembling voice to Shun Fu, “…Gonggong, this slave can’t get out by herself, please ask a eunuch to help this slave.”
Shun Fu didn’t think that Rong Xi would be able to hold on for so long and hurriedly called for a eunuch to hold onto Rong Xi’s elbow, helping her onto the ground.
Rong Xi’s entire body was shivering and she almost tripped, but she forced herself to drag her bitterly cold body and walked step by step into Mu Huai’s bedroom.
The charcoal burner was lit in the room, making it unusually warm.
Rong Xi walked step by step until she reached Mu Huai’s bedside.
Under the light from the embers, she could see a handsome man laying on the bed with pressed lips and a tormented expression on his face.
Rong Xi called out ‘Your Highness’ a few times, and seeing how Mu Huai didn’t respond, she gathered her courage and carefully burrowed into the man’s boiling hot embrace.
She spoke softly to Mu Huai, “Your Highness, this slave has offended you.”
Mu Huai’s consciousness was in disarray. He only felt that he was being roasted alive, on the verge of dying at any moment.
But even under such circumstances, he was still unwilling to relent even a little bit to this pain.
So hot, so uncomfortable. But none of these would be able to beat him.
Slowly, he felt that the heat suffocating him had receded a little and his body was not as uncomfortable as before.
It was as if he was hugging a life-saving iceberg in the middle of a fire.
Mu Huai held onto that iceberg like he found a life-saving medicine, holding tightly onto it.
The fierce fire finally retreated, and he heard the morning chirps of sparrows in Yongxi Palace.
Mu Huai slowly awakened. His body had returned to being its normal relaxed state, but he was still holding something cold in his embrace.
Lowering his head, he saw Rong Xi’s small figure curled up. Her breath was weak like an injured animal as she lay pitifully in his arms.
Mu Huai’s heart lurched, immediately understanding what happened last night.
He suddenly felt panic seize his heart, afraid that Rong Xi would just die in his arms like this and was about to open his mouth to call out to her.
At this moment, Rong Xi felt Mu Huai waking up and with much difficulty, she opened her eyes to meet the man’s stunned and panicked gaze.
Rong Xi reached her hand out to feel the man’s forehead.
Mu Huai froze, only feeling a soft sensation covering his forehead.
Rong Xi smiled at him and her soft voice was a little hoarse, “Your Highness’ fever is finally gone…”
Her lips were slightly purple, but her smile was caring and bright.
Her looks were clearly very ordinary, but her smile was exceedingly beautiful.
Mu Huai only felt that his ice-cold heart was currently being melted by her smile. There was a slight movement in his heart that he never felt before.
He wrapped an arm around Rong Xi’s head, pressing her face against his shoulder..
Rong Xi was flustered from Mu Huai’s sudden movement.
Yet she heard him sigh and say in a low voice with a helpless tone, “What a silly girl.”