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The Empress Dowager was looking for her?
Yan Shu found it somewhat surprising.
Slightly anxious, Ren Dong whispered in a small voice, “Could it be that Imperial Concubine Li and Talented Lady Zhang…”
— — After all, she had been the one to impersonate a servant of Linhua Palace and spread the story of Imperial Concubine Li’s paternal aunt around.
Unperturbed, Yan Shu said, “I don’t think so.”
Based on their relationship, the system would’ve already reported the news to her if something bad had happened.
Though of course, since the Empress Dowager had already passed down the command, regardless whether it was good or bad, she still had to go. Thus, Yan Shu hurriedly got up to change her attire and left.
pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
At this time, a brocade uniform guard was reporting back to the Emperor in Qianming Palace.
“This small official travelled to Qingzhou Prefecture’s An De County to investigate and discovered that Beautiful Lady Li is indeed originally from Qingzhou. Her father, Li Huai Zhi, is an An De County governmental scribe. Her mother, Zhu shi, presides over the household matters and serves her mother in law at home. Beautiful Lady Li also has a younger brother who is seventeen and planning to take the provincial exams.
微臣 (wēichén): ‘this small one’ used when an official refers to themselves in front of someone of higher power, usually the emperor
氏 (shì): clan/maiden name. married women will still be addressed by their clan name unless of higher status
“Father Li is reputed in the area for conducting himself in an upright and honourable manner, his family clean and honest. When the imperial draft was held, the county magistrate of An De had initially wanted to send his own daughter to the palace, but who knew that her behaviour and appearance were only barely satisfactory and wasn’t able to be accepted. Thus, he could only recommend Beautiful Lady Li who was later selected as a candidate by the court official.”
Yu Wen Lan raised his eyebrow. That palace hall that had been completely filled to the brim with women, yet he could only remember her.
Though of course, that wasn’t the point. “Are the Li household originally from An De?”, he asked.
The brocade uniform guard responded, “The Li household has lived in An De for generations. Furthermore, they have had no previous dealings with the imperial court or any other vassal states either.”
In other words, the Li family was just a simple and small local official family, without any backing, nor any actual force to instigate anything.
Yu Wen Lan asked again, “Back then, did anything happen on their way back to the capital?”
The brocade uniform guard said, “After investigation, nothing unexpected happened with the exception of it having rained heavily for a few days, thus delaying them for a few days.”
Delayed for a few days…
Yu Wen Lan pondered over it gloomily, could it be that the one that ended up being taken into the palace wasn’t actually the Li family’s daughter? Could they have been switched along the way?
He looked toward another person in the palace hall, the eunuch, Fu Bao, “What about you?”
Fu Bao quickly replied, “Your Majesty, since entering the palace, Beautiful Lady Li has always been cautious and kept to herself, living in seclusion and never stepping out of Yongning Palace to get acquainted with anyone else. In the harem, the only one who visits her occasionally is Talented Lady Zhang.”
Speaking until her, he looked over quietly, and seeing that the emperor hadn’t spoken, he continued, “However, Beautiful Lady Li fell ill a few days ago. She didn’t go out, nor did anyone go to see her either.”
Yu Wen Lan asked, “What sort of illness?”
Fu Bao replied, “An allergic reaction to peach blossoms.”
Allergic reaction to peach blossoms?
Yu Wen Lan frowned, “Where could the peach blossoms have come from in this season?”
Fu Bao said, “Your Majesty is noble and has forgotten such trivial things. There are peach blossoms in the Department of Horticulture’s greenhouse and just two days ago, a few had also been sent to the Empress Dowager as well.”
Yu Wen Lan couldn’t help but think again, since she often stayed in Yongning Palace, how could she have gotten an allergic reaction from the peach blossoms that were from the Department of Horticulture?
“However, Beautiful Lady Li still has a good appetite despite being sick, and has called for no less than four dishes and one soup in the past few days,” Fu Bao said again.
Yu Wen Lan, “…”
He couldn’t help but think of the last time he heard that voice at the New Year’s banquet — — “It’s still a blessing to eat good food without being sexually satisfied in life.”
What kind of woman is this?
What was her purpose in entering the palace?
And why was it that even after investigating, there was still no abnormality that could be found?
While he was thinking about it, Fu Bao said again, “Right, Your Majesty, the Empress Dowager also just summoned Beautiful Lady Li as well.”
Yu Wen Lan raised an eyebrow, what did the Empress Dowager want her for?
At this moment, there was no one else in Ci’an Palace other than Yan Shu.
After arriving just now, the Empress Dowager asked her one question after another about how old she was this year, where her maiden family was from, and what her parents did — Yan Shu just answered them all honestly.
Just as she was about to speak again, she heard a voice outside announcing, “Announcing His Majesty…”
The Emperor was here?
One must understand that it was currently noon, and at this time, the Emperor was usually busy reviewing memorandums in the imperial study, so there was a collective shock in the palace hall.
In the blink of an eye, the man had already stepped into the palace hall, wearing a vermillion red dragon robe and a golden crown in his hair, making his countenance appear even more outstanding.
Everyone hurriedly paid their respects to him, “Respectfully greeting Your Majesty.”
Yan Shu was a little dumbfounded, just what sort of great fortune had she come across today? It was first time coming to Ci’an Palace, yet she could still happen to casually bump into the Emperor here?
Glancing over at Yan Shu calmly, the Empress Dowager then asked Yu Wen Lan, “How come Your Majesty is idle enough to come over today?”
Yu Wen Lan: “Just grew tired of reading the account books and then remembered that it has been several days since I last visited Imperial Mother, so I came over.”
As he ordered for everyone to rise, he glanced over at Yan Shu out of the corner of his eyes.
Sure enough, she’s here.
Taking advantage of the timing, the Empress Dowager said, “Not too long ago, aijia received two Qingzhou snuff boxes, and upon recalling that Beautiful Lady Li’s family was from Qingzhou, I called her over to chat.”
Within Yan Shu’s heart, she exclaimed: Empress Dowager, this is precisely what it means to ‘immediately wield new knowledge’! You clearly just asked about my maternal family, yet now you’re using it immediately, truly worthy of being titled the previous champion of palace fights!
Yu Wen Lan, “???”
What do you mean by, ‘the previous champion of palace fights’?
Was this meant to be a compliment in praising the Empress Dowager for being powerful?
Of course, this wasn’t the main point.
Looking at her, he asked quietly, “Where in Qingzhou are you from?”
Yan Shu was taken aback. This was the Emperor speaking to her?
Yu Wen Lan: “…”
Very good. It was rare to hear an imperial concubine in the harem address him like this in her heart.
Ren Dong, who had accompanied Yan Shu over, cheered on in her heart, [H-Heavens! His Majesty has finally spoken to mistress!!! The mistress is about to ascend to the top of the harem!!! Elders and fellow country men of An De County, our mistress has brought honour to us all!!!]
Yu Wen Lan, “…”
What was going on with both of them.
But looking at it like this, I suppose there’s nothing wrong with her background then?
Yan Shu replied, “Chenqie is from Qingzhou’s An De County.”
As she spoke, she glanced at him quietly and couldn’t help but let out a curse, [WTF, he looks even better from up close than far away! Isn’t this the so-called legendary modelling face?! Simply having no visual hole even when looking from 360 degrees!!!]
Yu Wen Lan, “???”
‘Visual hole’? ‘Modelling face’?
What’s the meaning of all this?
Why can’t he understand the voice in this woman’s heart?
Immediately afterwards, he heard her sigh in her heart, [Isn’t this simply just too much of a waste of natural resources?! God, for you to make such a handsome man unable to do it, doesn’t it hurt your conscience?!!!]
Yu Wen Lan, “…”
Fine, getting triggered once more, he finally remembered his business and asked her, “What does your family head do, and who is in your family?”
Yan Shu, who was as honest as a little white rabbit, lowered her head and said, “My father is the chief scribe in An De County, and chenqie’s family also includes a grandmother, mother, and younger brother.”
However, she scolded him in her mind, [You still have the face to ask? What sort of good draft are you still thinking of doing? Separating us flesh and blood! How would you feel if you couldn’t see your father and mother for three years?]
Yu Wen Lan, “???”
What does she mean by ‘he still has the face’???
This was the most disrespectful thing he had ever heard!
He should have had her dragged out immediately!
But once she’s arrested, it’ll inadvertently alert the enemy.
打草惊蛇 (dǎcǎojīngshé): lit. beat the grass and scare the snake / fig. inadvertently warn the enemy
And he hasn’t heard the answer he wanted to hear yet.
So he continued to endure, trying to maintain a normal expression on his face and said, “An De is quite some distance from the capital, the journey here must have been extremely hard.”
After those words fell, the entire hall was shocked.
This was the first time His Majesty had said so many words to an imperial concubine!!!
So much so that he even cared about the arduous journey to the capital???
One must understand that in the past, even Noble Consort Zhou could barely attract a glance from him!
Everyone couldn’t help but turn their attention to look at Yan Shu.
Yet they only saw her drooping eyebrows and pleasing countenance, “Even if there were thousands of mountains and ten thousand rivers, merely being able to accompany my lord would make me unable to contain my joy.”
[Fuck his grandma’s legs! We were on that road for a full month! That fucking idiot of a county magistrate didn’t hesitate to sacrifice other people’s happiness for the sake of wealth and glory, causing this old lady to sit in prison as a grass widow! One day, you’ll see if I’ll ever have a chance to kill you!]
守活寡 (shǒuhuóguǎ): ‘grass widow’ refers to women who are wives in name but are unable to enjoy a married life (unable to have sex) e.g. a woman whose husband is often away, etc
Yu Wen Lan, “…”
Fine, he wasn’t even a little surprised. This woman seemed obedient, but was in fact, rebellious to the marrow of her bones.
Naturally, he couldn’t hear the system talking to Yan Shu at this time either, [First of all, as an imperial concubine, you must gain the Emperor’s favour first if you want to surpass the others.]
Yan Shu, […]
This task was indeed somewhat difficult.
She suddenly had an idea, recalling that besides ‘The Plain Woman’s Sutra’ and ‘Legendary Manual for the Bedroom’, there also seemed to be a ‘spring rejuvenation’ acupuncture that was quite effective as well. It was said that a certain emperor in the previous dynasty had used it to maintain his health and that he had still been just as vigorous as a young man despite being fifty or sixty years old…
t/n: spring is often used as a euphemism for sex
Yu Wen Lan’s eyebrows twitched once he heard her. S-Spring rejuvenation acupuncture???
How does she even know about that?
He tried his best to smooth down his eyebrows which were on the verge of twitching and said again, “How long has your father been in office? Has he always been in An De?”
Yan Shu replied, “Replying to Your Majesty, chenqie’s father has been An De’s chief scribe for as long as I can remember, and it has been so for more than ten years already.”
Alas, her father had been upright and honest all his life and didn’t have the habit of ingratiating himself to any faction to the point where even a county magistrate was ignored by him. If it hadn’t been for that dog county magistrate making things difficult for them, why else would she have been forced to enter the palace?
Emperor, oh Emperor, don’t just pay attention to the capital, since there are also many local dog officials too.
Yu Wen Lan, “…”
How did it become normal again?
What she said did have some truth to it.
At this moment, the Empress Dowager suddenly asked him, “Right, these past two days the rumours about the Lin Wu Marquis manor have spread like wildfire and have caused quite a commotion, just don’t know whether they’re true or not?”
Yu Wen Lan returned to his senses and said, “It should be true. Marquis Lin Wu is waiting to enter the palace today and wants to sue Marquis Xia Yi for seducing his wife. He also wants to request for her to be removed from her position as legitimate wife and divorce her.”
Just thinking about the headache that would come with it, he couldn’t help but pinch his brows.
However, he soon heard the girl click her tongue in her heart, [Marquis Xia Yi and Marquis Lin Wu Madam had an affair before marriage, so how could it have been an adulterous one? Marquis Lin Wu can sue all he wants, but he won’t succeed!]
What, before marriage?
Just how did she know about the matter between these two people?
Who would have thought that shortly after that, he heard her sighing in her heart again, [Since Marquis Lin Wu has this sort of fate, he might as well put in all his effort into having another son. Otherwise if one day he finds out that his heir isn’t actually his own, he might actually collapse!]
Yu Wen Lan paused abruptly.
What? Marquis Lin Wu’s heir wasn’t his?
Again, how did she know about this???
The author has something to say:
A certain emperor: ??? What exactly is going on?!!
A certain author: You will come to get used to this.
yan shu curses so much HGSDLFKJDF her internal monologues are always so fun to translate