The following few days of the first lunar year, Mu Xi Yao traveled back and forth between various palaces and residences.
She was busy meeting those arriving and sending those departing1.
Tang Hui Ru was also busy with a hunger strike at home, fighting against sir Tang.
She threatened that if they wished to drive her to death, they might as well turn Tang House’s family scandal into the whole Shengjin’s joke.
Sir Tang was hopping mad at this crazy shu daughter of his.
Yet, at the same time, he was afraid of Tang Hui Ru’s unscrupulousness.
When he thought of his Highness’s interdict, he felt that if this matter caused a big disturbance, not only would Tang House lose face, his sixth Highness would also be implicated.
Rather than have his Highness take his anger out on them, he might as well listen to his Highness and do as he said.
Zhong Zheng Lin was receiving his subordinate officials in the estate when he heard a letter from Tang House was delivered.
His brows creased slightly.
He took out the letter and had a look.
That Tang Hui Ru’s intention to hitch a ride to the sky on the dragon and phoenix2 was as plain as day.
Her mouth firmly refused to let go of innocence, yet she would rather become a concubine in the inner yard than be the principal wife of a common household.
Zhong Zheng Lin was greatly disgusted with this kind of woman.
On the spot, he wrote a letter where he ordered to have people send her off Shengjin.
Sitting in the carriage and watching the city gate within reach, Tang Hui Ru knew that if she continued waiting,she would completely lose all hope.
Her previous painstaking efforts would be put into the torch3.
Even more terrible thing was that she has fallen out of grace with her family.
If she left Shengjin, even her last backing would probably be lost.
Tang Hui Ru made up her mind.
She cut off her means of retreat.
Lifting the carriage screen, she leaped and jumped out from the slow-moving carriage.
Hearing the noise, the driver in the front turned his head, only to discover that their miss, like being mad, supported her leg and run back limply.
As he was going to turn around and chase after her, he heard miss shout loudly “A hideous bandit.” She even turned to point at him, fleeing along the street.
That driver instantly panicked as he was being watched by the surrounding people.
He only managed to quickly rush back to Tang House to notify sir Tang.
How would he dare to follow Tang Hui Ru and take her away
Zhong Zheng Lin was in the middle of sorting out the news sent from each estate in the study when he heard Tian Fu Shan announce that miss Tang was kneeling outside the palace, seeking an audience from cefei.
Zhong Zheng Lin made a snort.
A disdain appeared on his face.
He mused for a moment and then ordered Tian Fu Shan to go and ask cefei to step in and take care of this matter.
According to the little woman’s personality, people who dared to play tricks and throw a fit in front of her absolutely won’t get the fruitful outcome they desired.
When Mu Xi Yao received the news, looking at the pleading woman before her, she lazily lifted her hand to support her chin.
Her other hand pinched a sour date and send it to her mouth.
“You claim his Highness is the only option”
“Replying to cefei.
This common woman has already lost chastity.
How can this common woman secretly hide this fact and marry someone else If the prince’s estate refuses to take this common woman then this common woman would rather accompany an oil lamp before the statue of Buddha4.” Tang Hui Ru mourned and covered her face to weep bitterly.
Mu Xi Yao looked at the woman on the ground and shook her head repeatedly.
She has exerted so much effort and in the end, she can still declare she would accompany an oil lamp before the statue of Buddha Aren’t you afraid that Buddha would dislike you, seeing your dishonest heart
This woman desperately wished to enter the estate only because she was envious of that/illusory favor and honor.
She even went as far as to make a disturbance before the palace gate.
She indeed deserved praise for her courage.
“In that case, enter the estate and become a concubine.” Mu Xi Yao let Hui Lan help her wash her hands while she made this nonchalant promise.
She cared not about Tang Hui Ru’s glee nor Zhao momo and other’s incredulous expressions.
Mu Xi Yao only had people reply to Zhong Zheng Lin that everything was straightened out.
Afterward, she went to study.
Last time, it was exactly because of the matter regarding this woman entering the estate that has made Zhong Zheng Lin blame her for crossing the line.
This time, she specially chose a not misbehaved decision.
Since Boss didn’t say no, she would let her in as a way of disposing this matter.
As long as they were women and she had to handle them, then, she would take all of them in.
She, Mu cefei, won’t take the slightest bit of action to prevent any number of women from entering the estate.
The imperial prince’s estate didn’t lack money.
Keeping thirty or fifty women was not a big deal.
As for whether they were good or bad, it was for the principal consort to take care of.
As for Tang Hui Ru, it was quite interesting.
She wondered how Tang shufei would react when she learnt of this.
Mu Xi Yao was actually happy to see Tang Yi Ru unhappy.
She spread the writing paper, lifted the brush and stained it with ink, quietly copying the handwritten copy of Liu Gong Quan.
For a moment, her mind was completely concentrated on her activity.
When Zhong Zheng Lin received the reply, his hand that was holding hu brush5 abruptly halted.
He put aside the brush and paper.
His gaze lingered on the paperweight, staying silent for a long time.
Was she so certain he was disgusted with Tang Hui Ru and wouldn’t take fancy on to her or she simply didn’t feel like taking the trouble and disposed the matter by taking her in Zhong Zheng Lin was very unhappy that Mu Xi Yao has personally taken in a concubine for him.
Yet, he was unable to reprimand her for her independent decision.
This time, it was him who had let her make a decision.
However, he didn’t expect that woman wouldn’t have even the tiniest bit of the oppressive air she had when questioning him, that she would be unexpectedly this generous and damned amiable.
Zhong Zheng Lin leaned back against the rear of the chair and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
His eyes were so deep it was frightening.
Tian Fu Shan silently bowed his head.
Knowing that his Highness has agreed tacitly with cefei’s decision, he quietly withdrew from the room.
He wiped the sweat that had oozed out.
The chief steward more and more couldn’t understand cefei.
Just a moment ago, his Highness was unhappy.
Did the two again have a discord
However, following after, what Tian Fu Shan worried about didn’t happen.
Those two played chess, painted a drawing, went for a stroll in each other’s company just as before.
On the surface, nothing has changed.
Mu Xi Yao’s delicate laughter and Zhong Zheng Lin’s teasing could be still frequently heard from Danruo courtyard.
Like this, they’ve got through the New Year’s festival.
With a little sedan chair, little lady Tang was sent to the estate by Tang House.
Mu Xi Yao delicately pushed at Zhong Zheng Lin’s big mischievous hand.
Quite virtuously, she reminded him that a newcomer has entered the estate and he ought to shift the place.
Her beautiful pair of wandering eyes appeared lovable and charming.
Zhong Zheng Lin’s gentle expression immediately sank.
He stared at Mu Xi Yao and examined her for a long while.
Afterward, he casually coiled a strand of her hair and wrapped it around his index finger, playing with it.
His expression was lazy and focused, saying nothing about this matter.
Mu Xi Yao suffered internal injuries.
It was more and more difficult to serve this man.
He changed his face as fast as flipping a book.
Furthermore, from time to time he would play with her a “you guess” game.
Facing such an unstable Zhong Zheng Lin, Mu Xi Yao felt deeply worried.
For instance, at the moment, shouldn’t be he, the sixth Highness, casually poking fun at her and she, Mu cefei, would then seize the opportunity to softly pester him to stay.
Wasn’t the mode of their previous interaction just like that
Although Zhong Zheng Lin’s expression was gentle, the deep meaning in Zhong Zheng Lin’s eyes forced Mu Xi Yao to give him a plausible explanation.
“Isn’t qie just reluctant to part with your Highness If qie isn’t with your Highness, qie won’t sleep well.” Her little lip pouted as if resentful for her thought to have exposed.
However, inwardly she tried to figure out Zhong Zheng Lin’s intention. Was this his new hobby Taking pleasure in watching her attachment to him in order to satisfy the man’s desire to conquer
Just as Mu Xi Yao was making a quick calculation inside the heart, Zhong Zheng Lin took her hand in a good-natured manner and entered the inner room, instructing to settle down.
Mu Xi Yao was inexplicably coaxed to sleep early.
What she didn’t know was Zhong Zheng Lin watched her sleeping face till the third geng until he went to rest.
On the following day, little lady Tang served tea.
The sixth Highness didn’t even lift his lid.
He acted like he didn’t see the teacup held above her head.
Mu Xi Yao’s face twitched.
She could only defuse the situation by taking the offered tea.
Afterward, she said some pleasantry words and rewarded her hairpin.
The ceremony could be then considered as completed.
Little lady Tang’s face lit up with delight.
She felt no disappointment that his Highness has left her to face the lonely chamber.
She was well aware that in this inner yard she wasn’t the only one who was a virgin.
Thus, it wasn’t a shameful thing to her.
Currently, the priority was to think of how to gain his Highness’s favor.
As expected, following the New Year, Yuancheng Emperor carried out a vigorous purge in the troops stationed in the Mobei and military of three provinces in Jibei.
He repeatedly relieved the garrison, transferred the troops and even dispatched the reserve battalion of military inspection unit straight from Shengjin to rush to the northern borders, intending to replace the decadent official in the army with young military officials.
Mu Xi Yao’s elder brother Mu Jin Zhi followed directives of the transferring.
He was being transferred from Muzhou garrison barracks to the capital’s reserve battalion of military inspection unit.
His official post of the seventh rank deputy commander was promoted to the fifth rank company commander.
When Mu Xi Yao received the letter, she only replied to him that he must stay at reserve camp with peace of mind.
In addition, he ought to seize the opportunity to gain Yuan Qi Zhao’s recognition.
Mu Jin Zhi was an upright and hot-blooded man.
Mu Xi Yao had no other choice than pick for him Yuan Qi Zhao who suited his temperament more and give up upon Ye Huai Wen whom she appreciated more.
After all, if he stayed by Ye Huai Wen’ side, he would need to use more of resourcefulness to prevail opponent.
He would have to hold back his temper and wait for the right opportunity.
Unfortunately, Mu Jin Zhi apparently lacked that kind of insight and patience.
After sending the letter, Mu Xi Yao contently nurtured her fetus till the sixth month.
Her belly showed an evident bulge.
Her steps weren’t as nimble as before.
Yet, she still insisted on going to the courtyard every day to fiddle with flowers and bonsai, feeding koi fish and raise rabbits.
This day, Chun Lan hesitantly approached Mu Xi Yao who was appreciating flowers, “Master, this servant has just heard the news of his Highness going to Shuhui courtyard to listen to a zither play.”
Mu Xi Yao’s gaze slightly paused.
She only gave a slight nod, indicating that she was aware of it.
Afterward, she continued to arrange the branches and leaves.
Zhong Zheng Lin still rests in Danruo courtyard every day.
Apart from staying overnight at the study due to busy official matters, there was not even once he went to other places.
Yet, he went now to Shuhui courtyard to listen to zither as soon as he returned to the inner yard
Was it a momentary impulse or has her secret hint, the “for the time being” from his previous promise “as you wish, for the time being” already lost effectiveness
Mu Xi Yao stroked her seven-month pregnant belly.
During the last trimester, she couldn’t engage in bedroom intimacies anymore.
It was reasonable that Zhong Zheng Lin would have other thoughts.
It seems that the period of her solitary pampering came to an end and she was about to join the ranks of the women striving for the favor.
Moreover, recently Zhong Zheng Lin’s gaze became increasingly weird.
Mu Xi Yao was a little unable to withstand the gaze.
She constantly felt that it had deep meaning behind them.
Every time she inquired, the man would avoid talking about it.
Could it be that that unfathomable gaze was the so-called “being fed up with” from the legend
Mu cefei pondered a little in Danruo courtyard.
She thought that it was an unavoidable process.
Only keeping one’s distance could ensure longevity.
Facing each other day by day, even she would feel bored.
In a very natural way, she fixed her recent goal to “keeping a small effort to maintain before birth, coming back to strive for a favor after the birth”.
In addition, she ordered that people in Danruo courtyard were prohibited from provoking a quarrel and engage in gossips.
They were to steadily run their errands.
On the other side, though Zhong Zheng Lin’s person was in Shuhui courtyard, his mind was, however, recalling what people were laughing over at Ju Xian House.
Translator: Zhong Zheng Lin, wake up your waifu! Fast, or she’s gonna fill your house with looooots of women!
 Meeting arriving and sending departing is a Chinese phrase meaning entertaining the guests
 To hitch a ride to the sky on the dragon and phoenix is a Chinese idiom meaning to curry favor with the rich and powerful in the hope of advancement
 Put into a torch is a Chinese idiom meaning all for naught
 Accompany an oil lamp before the statue of Buddha means entering the temple and accompany Budha, become a nun
 Hu brush is a Huzhou ink brush