Yuancheng Emperor looked at woman with exquisite makeup at his feet and smashed the pile of reports from integration to her face.
Trembling, consort De picked up the record that contained a handprint.
After reading only two lines, she immediately lost all of her power and slumped on the ground.
Supported with one hand at the side of her leg, the woman’s gaze was empty.
She did not weep nor refute those words.
She has already prepared for this, didn’t she At least the terror she was consumed by these days has finally come to an end.
She no longer had to endure the torment of living in constant fea.
She’s spent thirty years in the deep quarters of the palace.
What awaited her, in the end, was, merely, a white silk.
She watched the gemstones inlaid flower ring on her hand.
Her mind was hollow, like a dead water.
“Do you have anything to say” Yuancheng Emperor took a nearby seat.
As he watched the woman’s decadent appearance, he sighed with sorrow.
This woman has been with him since his prince’s days.
And now, she occupied one of four consorts’ position.
What was there for her to be discontented about to engage in such a lawless act
Yuancheng Emperor’s question made consort De slowly come back to herself.
She raised her head to look at the man she has served for her whole life.
Tears slowly slid down from the corners of her eyes.
“Your Majesty, chengqie has accompanied you for nearly thirty years.
Chengqie has long lost the heart to strive for favor.
During youth, chengqie was not favored by your Majesty, let alone now that chengqie’s prime of youth is gone.”
The woman sobbed softly, as if in trance,”Since a few years ago, your Majesty rarely visited chengqie’s palace.
Even if there were occasional moments, it was all once in several months.
Does your Majesty know that kind of loneliness that would seep into one’s bones in the evenings as one’s guarding an empty palace quarters”
Consort De’s makeup smudged.
She smiled bitterly with tears in her eyes, “How can your Majesty know There are countless beauties in the palace.
Each year, new members join the harem.
Those who have to suffer from loneliness and solitude are seniors in the palace; especially those who have no children to rely on!”
Seeing her eyes redden and abruptly mention the word children, Yuancheng Emperor’s hands clenched into a tight fist.
“Does your Majesty remember chengqie’s Qing’er The child who would pull at your hand and call you imperial father The third prince whom you have praised for being bright and witty” Consort De’s voice became hoarse, her breathing also quickened.
“If it was not for consort Shu, that wench, calling for those two administrative assistants to treat that good-for-nothing, how would have chengqie’s Qing’er missed his best time for treatment and failed to be saved” The woman wailed out and sobbed, “Your Majesty, why do you favor her son and ignore chengqie’s Qing’er”
“You…you are twisting words and forcing logic!” Yuancheng Emperor’s chest moved up and down.
When he recalled the son who has died young, he was overcome with heartache and grief, “In Qing’er’s case, his illness broke out suddenly.
Who could have foreseen that it would come in such a violent way, that his treatment couldn’t be delayed for even a moment Moreover, at the time Yun’er suffered high fever and was in extreme danger, his life hung on a thread.
Imperial physicians could not leave him by no means!”
Consort De turned deaf ear to his words.
She continued to shout, “Your Majesty! Consort Shu, that wench, has not only killed Qing’er.
While chengqie was grieving deeply for the lost and ill, she had slipped a drug in chengqie’s medicine, making chengqie unable to conceive children!”
“It was imperial concubine Fu who committed the crime.
You’ve seen the trial process yourself.
How can you blame someone else” Seeing her already crazed, not listening to what people said to her, he lifted his foot and intended to leave.
“Your Majesty! Imperial concubine Fu is the person from her palace.
She’d been goaded by her! Since Qing’er passed away, there was not a day chengqie could sleep peacefully.
In these twenty years, chengqie couldn’t win her.
Chengqie won’t be able to die in peace!”
“You’re simply beyond redemption!”
“Gu Chang De, drag her down.”
“Your Majesty! Chengqie hates her, hates all of her sons.
Chengqie wants to see that wench die like a dog!”
Yuancheng Emperor’s ears rang with her crazy screaming.
His face turned livid.
It turned out that this woman was already rotten inside.
He actually didn’t notice it on the usual days.
When he called to mind there was still a woman he had to take care of, Yuancheng Emperor’s brows furrowed tightly.
The inner palace has never been a clean place.
He knew it since a child.
Yet, when it came to disposing these women that had accompanied him for decades, it was not that he didn’t feel a heartache.
Inside Yuye palace, Yuancheng Emperor was in a towering rage.
“Things have reached this stage, yet you still dare to make excuses!”
“Your Majesty, chengqie is wronged! Consort De hasn’t accused chengqie.
How can you easily trust the words of a palace maid Someone must be certainly scheming against chengqie, plotting for the position of noble consort!”
Watching the noble consort’s face filled with determination, kneeling on the ground while crying out a grievance, Yuancheng Emperor could not contain his anger.
Till now, this woman knew not of repent.
She believed that the old fool Duke of An could still protect her.
“Do you think that since Mobei needs soldiers, zhen would have hands tied and won’t be able to move your duke house! Do you take zhen’s Department of Inspection for a bunch of good-for-nothings!”
“Your Majesty!” Gu Chang De rushed in to report anxiously, “Consort De’s maid hung herself in the prison.”
Yuancheng Emperor’s expression turned fierce.
His gaze was extraordinary cold.
Committing a crime against the wind1, Duke of An, this treacherous official.
seems to be in opinion he’s lived for too long!
Glimpsing the woman on the ground breathing out in relief, Yuancheng Emperor’s anger soared even higher.
“Consort De did not confess”
“Your Majesty, her Ladyship consort De has already turned mad.
She cannot recognize people anymore.” Recalling consort De’s disheveled appearance and her biting people as soon as she saw them, Gu Chang De shook his head helplessly.
They’ve turned mad well, died well! Noble consort, you’re indeed quite capable!” Yuancheng Emperor slapped the table and stood up, staying no more, “In that case, watch properly over this Yuyue Palace.
Zhen will fulfill your wish!”
Gu Chang De trotted after Yuancheng Emperor to catch up with him.
He was so scared he hung low his head.
This was the first time Yuancheng Emperor has broken into such a rage in these past few years.
The slap just now in the noble consort’s palace almost made the entire table jump up.
“Gu Chang De, prepare an imperial decree.”
On the next day, once Yuancheng Emperor’s two imperial decrees came out, the whole Shengjing was in uproar.
The dust around the case of consort Liu falling into unconsciousness has been settled2.
Cefei of the sixth Highness redressed herself and was cleared of charges.
However, the punishment for this case was not condoning.
Consort De was demoted to commoner and sent to Cold Palace.
The third prince, Zhong Zheng Qing who was born from her and died prematurely was written under the imperial noble consort’s name in the genealogical record.
Duke of An’s title changed from being a hereditary title to a title that was demoted after three generations.
As for noble consort, news came from the palace that after this blow, she fell gravely ill and is recuperating in Yuye Palace.
The noble and influential clans could act unperturbed about elevating and demoting imperial concubines, However, their hearts trembled in fear upon hearing the duchy of An being lowered in ranks.
An duchy was granted by the late Emperor and was hereditary.
As soon as Yuancheng Emperor’s imperial edict came out, his act undeniably signified a disrespect to the late Emperor.
Furthermore, he has cut off the future prospects of House of Duke An in the harshest possible manner.
Imperial censors successively submitted dissuasive memorials, yet they were all sent back by Yuancheng Emperor.
It was truly rare for him to show such an unyielding attitude.
In the elderly age of seventy, Duke of An kowtowed and thanked for the sovereign’s grace.
Following after, he abruptly fainted and remained unconscious.
The house of duke, apart from the firstborn son who could be still regarded as somewhat promising, lacked a competent successor.
Even though they possessed the An duchy, they were already a story of past.
Right now, Yuancheng Emperor removed their hereditary title.
On the outside, it looked like “a title that was demoted after three generations”.
In fact, their road ahead was cut off.
When Zhong Zheng Lin received the news, he gave an indifferent nod.
Mu Xi Yao’s previous commotion seemed to be of avail.
That woman must be certainly proud of herself at the moment.
However, it was not a bad thing.
At least, Zhong Zheng Chun won’t dare to act rashly in the short term.
After this incident, Mu Xi Yao’s childbirth will become more smooth and he could also dismiss the departure concerns that would trouble him.
Just as Zhong Zheng Lin expected, Mu Xi Yao was laughing cheerfully in Danruo Courtyard.
She’s waited for a few days.
The outcome she wished to see finally happened.
Although she couldn’t pull up Duke of An and his cohorts by the roots, inflicting them serious injuries was already not an easy task.
Yuancheng Emperor’s decision this time carried attributes of a wise monarch.
Without the support of Duke of An, the noble consort posed no threat.
Moreover, she was confined by Yuancheng Emperor in Yuye Palace.
She wasn’t allowed out without an imperial order.
Mu Xi Yao was elated.
Once she was in a cheerful mood, she took Cheng Qing to take a stroll in the garden.
Zhao momo and Mo Lan followed behind them.
When they saw their mistress’s flamboyant appearance, they’ve finally realized that going to a lot of trouble to worry about her at the time was not necessary.
They were simply asking for needless anxiety.
No wonder that when everyone in the courtyard was drowned in the pessimistic atmosphere, mistress, on the other hand, bellowed that once she caught them she will skin them and gouge their flesh.
As it turns out, she held the pearl of wisdom3.
He Lian Min Min dazedly looked at a thick folding notebook containing a list of operas that has been delivered to her.
She only felt this was too absurd.
Mu Xi Yao that woman has not only cleared herself from charges, she went as far as to crush consort De and bring Duke of An’s House down This was something she didn’t even dare to think about.
The late Emperor’s grace.
How come it was crushed so easily
The one who shared the same thoughts as her was also Wan Jing Wen, Wan shufei.
Wan Jing Wen simply couldn’t believe her ears.
At the time, when she heard the news that Yuancheng Emperor would investigate thoroughly into this case, she thought that to be able to ferret out someone in the consort position was already a pretty good feat.
Yet, what waited for her right now was a shocking turn of events.
The whole Shengjing shook because of it.
In the previous life, the house of Duke of An was completely abolished during the middle reign of Jianan Emperor.
However, before Zhong Zheng Lin ascended the throne, Yuancheng Emperor had already fixed them up ruthlessly.
This made Wan Jing Wen wonder whether she was too optimistic.
Perhaps, rebirth wasn’t as in the bag as she expected
If Mu Xi Yao knew that someone mocked past experience like herself, she would certainly agree with all her might.
Right now, the memories in her mind could only provide her with sporadic advice.
The more outlooks required her own plotting.
Fortunately, she had found a shortcut which has saved her a lot of work….shamelessly going to curry favor with the boss.
It was absolutely the one and only way to gain the advantage and shirk work.
“Wei Rui, what’s your opinion on this matter”
“Father, his Majesty is already having thoughts of disposing noble clans.
After the war in Mobei, I’m afraid, huge changes will take place.” Even though He Lian Wei Rui attired warmly in the midsummer, she still could not bear the chill.
“As for that lady Mu.
She’s, indeed, awesome.” The young woman’s face was like a bright moon.
She uttered a soft praise, “Only on this matter alone, Wei Rui falls short to her.”
“Oh If it was Wei Rui, would be Wei Rui able to defend herself”
However, Wei Rui won’t be able to destabilize the noble consort’s and house of duke’s foundation.”
He Lian Zhang’s interest was piqued.
The way lady Mu’s shook herself off the charges was absolutely brilliant.
How would Wei Rui accomplish such a feat
“Father, There’s not enough time for a dead person to dispute.” He Lian Wei Rui chuckled.
She would kill that Gan Fu Wei and directly frame his death on herself.
Once she had everyone’s attention diverted on the murder case, she would throw a bat and catch “the real culprit”.
Afterward, she would collude with the Director of the Directorate of Astrology and Calendar so that he would reverse verdict for her.
This way, she would become the one who has been caught in another person’s trap, being innocent in the whole case.
Since she wouldn’t be able to directly erase questions about the birth chart, she would use the murder case to reverse the verdict for herself first and then induce everyone into believing that the story around the birth chart was also a scheme devised by someone else to damage her reputation.
In this world, there were always people who fancied themselves to be smart.
Especially when it concerned such an unusual case.
There would be certainly many people who would be eager to solve this mystery, wishing to use this opportunity to become famous.
At the time, would she lack helpers
He Lian Zhang shook his head in dismissal when he heard of her scheme, “Too sinister, lacking righteousness.”
“Thus, Wei Rui said, Wei Rui falls short to lady Mu in this matter.
Wei Rui can merely defend myself.”
“Bear in mind to act just and honorable from now on.
Don’t walk on the wrong path.”
He Lian Wei Rui complied.
Once He Lian Zhang left, her expression sunk.
Just and honorable Father, if one sought only integrity, she would have long lost her life!
Mu Xi Ting silently watched the rain falling outside.
The sound of rain drips could not wash away the gloom inside her heart.
His Highness has been resting here already for several days.
How could she not know of the reason It was all due to that “Mu’shi”.
Before, his Highness would always call her by her maiden name.
Nowadays, he won’t call her by it anymore.
How did she enter his heart that he’s unable to let go of her to this extent
Mu Xi Ting has never seen the scene of Mu Xi Yao confronting the Emperor’s prestige.
Hence, she was naturally incapable to envisage how deep an impact it left on Zhong Zheng Ming and his admiration for Mu Xi Yao.
That kind of courage, spirit, erudition and graceful bearing that women rarely possessed made Zhong Zheng Ming fall in love with her and have her engraved deeply in his memory.
Mu Xi Ting clasped her hands tightly, wavering.
That woman has said that as long as she acted according to her instructions, she will be able to make his Highness give up.
Did she mean it
Inside Danruo Courtyard, Zhong Zheng Lin finished reading 《Children’s literacy》“ to the child inside Mu Xi Yao’s womb.
He was hugging her and being intimate with her.
“In two days, great master will return to Shengjing.
Do you wish to visit An Guo Temple”
“Qie can go” Mu Xi Yao was overjoyed.
Last time, Zhong Zheng Lin has warned that she wasn’t allowed to leave the palace.
How come he suddenly changed his mind
There seems to be a saying called — “guilty conscience”
“Your Highness, have you bed a woman again” Last time, it was Tang Hui Ru.
Who was it this time
 Committing the crime against the wind is a Chinese idiom that means to commit a crime during the height of a crackdown on crime
 The dust has settled is a Chinese idiom that means to get sorted out; to be finalised
 Hold the pearl of wisdom is a Chinese idiom that means to be endowed with extraordinary intelligence/ to cope with all matters with schemes and strategies