Chapter 196: Get It For Me (2)
The Chengping Emperor tossed his sleeves again with a dark expression. “Leyao, I’ve been far too lenient with you in the past. I allowed you to do whatever you wanted without any limits. Even though Jinyi’s rank is low, she is still an honoured lady whose name I personally bestowed. How could I have her become a cook for you in your palace? Concubine, if you don’t rein Leyao in and teach her some proper manners, I’ll send her to the Empress to be raised under her name.”
Empress Shen and Imperial Concubine Wei hadn’t expected such a proposal to come from the Emperor. Give her to the Empress to raise? How could that be possible! Imperial Princess Leyao was already ten this year; she wasn’t a young, unknowing child. How could the Empress possibly raise her to love her as a mother at this age?
Empress Shen and Imperial Concubine Wei were both extremely resistant to this action. Imperial Concubine Wei had been injured during childbirth, so Imperial Princess Leyao was the only child she would ever have. How could Imperial Concubine Wei possibly be willing to give up her only child to someone else?
In her fright, Imperial Concubine Wei’s hold over Leyao’s mouth loosened.
Imperial Princess Leyao immediately cried out and made a fuss after getting free. “Father, Yao’er doesn’t want to go with the Empress! Yao’er doesn’t want to leave Mother!”
“Nonsense! Who gave you the right to address the Empress with such disrespect? Remember, the Empress is your legitimate mother!” The Chengping Emperor rubbed his temples in fatigue. “Forget it; I was the one who pampered you to this state. When the Mid-Autumn Banquet ends, Concubine Wei and Leyao will be grounded for a month. I’ll send Senior Servant Xi to teach Leyao some etiquette and manners by then.”
After tossing out these orders, the Chengping Emperor left with his entourage, leaving only the sight of his broad back for the rest of the crowd to watch.
Imperial Princess Leyao couldn’t believe that she had failed to teach a lesson to Chu Lian, and had even gotten both herself and her mother grounded. She turned her grudge-filled glare onto Chu Lian. Fortunately, after having suffered such a scolding from the Emperor, she had grown some brains and didn’t go up to fight with Chu Lian directly.
Chu Lian simply cast a sideways glance towards the Empress and Concubine before Eunuch Sun came over to her side and quietly said, “Honoured Lady, please follow this servant. The Emperor has given orders for you to be escorted to the Empress Dowager’s palace.”
Chu Lian nodded and said her thanks before bobbing in goodbye to the Empress. She then followed after Eunuch Sun and exited Tingyu Pavilion.
Now, there was only Empress Shen, Imperial Concubine Wei, and the shell-shocked Imperial Princess Leyao left in the parlour of Tingyu Pavilion.
Empress Shen smoothened out some invisible creases on her imperial yellow dress before walking with perfect steps to stand in front of the half-sprawled Imperial Concubine Wei. She looked at her from the corner of her eyes and said, “Little Sister Wei, you should consider that lesson you just learned carefully. As much as the Emperor loves you now, that favour is just as easily lost as it was gained.”
With these ambiguous words as her parting message, Empress Shen led her group of servants out of the hall.
Imperial Concubine Wei hugged Imperial Princess Leyao to her, biting her bright red lips until she could taste a hint of blood in her mouth. It was only then that she carefully rearranged her expression and turned to look at her daughter.
“Yao’er, remember everything that happened today. The day will come when we’ll get our revenge for all that we’ve suffered!”
It wasn’t until she had left Tingyu Pavilion far behind that Chu Lian could finally ease out of her state of tension.
When she recalled Imperial Princess Leyao’s expression before she had left, Chu Lian just knew that the princess wasn’t going to let her off that easily. She sighed. Was it just her fate to be a trouble magnet?