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   Chapter 79 The Empress' Secret

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 18205

Updated: 2018-08-26 14:56

Qiwu Palace became more tranquil after the Empress' pregnancy as the morning ritual of a courtesy call to the Empress was suspended and the affairs of the imperial household were taken over by Lady Shu. As it was getting colder, the Empress seldom left Qiwu Palace.

"Has it been half a month since the Empress left Qiwu Palace?" asked Yun Shang casually. She had been lying on the couch reading a book.

"It has been 17 days, " answered Qian Yin. "I am thinking that we will not see the Empress for another five days. Then it will be time for the celebration of the winter solstice."

Yun Shang smiled slightly and turned a page. Then she said, "She has more patience than I thought. Lady Shu took power from her. Many people in the imperial household expected to see her fight back. It is very unexpected for her to simply hand over the Empress seal to Lady Shu and hide herself in Qiwu Palace. The Empress is not known to hide in her Palace."

Qin Yi was folding clothes. Hearing this, she replied with a smile, "I'm afraid the Empress knows what's going on in the imperial household even though she stays indoors. She has too many spies."

Yun Shang frowned as she felt something very important was being missed. She thought for a while but couldn't figure it out. She sighed, "Let's just wait. I am no less patient than her."

When footsteps could be heard nearing, the two women stopped talking. "Your Highness, an eunuch from Huanyi Bureau has brought washed clothes."

Qin Yi turned around to draw aside the curtain. Then she walked out the door. "Come in with the clothes!" came the voice of Qin Yi from outside.

Come in? Yun Shang raised her eyebrows in surprise. Qi Yi never allowed any staff from Huanyi Bureau to come into the inner hall before.

Lifting her eyes to the door, Yun Shang saw a skinny eunuch come in through the bead curtain which had been drawn aside. "Your Highness, these clothes have been washed and dried. Where should I put them?" asked the eunuch.

Qin Yin closed the bead curtain after entering the room.

"Lin?" Yun Shang straightened up and inquired gently, "Why do you come here today?"

Lin glanced at the two maids-in-waiting and understood that Yun Shang was not going to ask them to leave. Seeing this, he understood that the two maids-in-waiting were her confidants. So he curtsied and said, "Your Highness, I have something to tell you."

Yun Shang straightened up and said, "Say it. There is no outsider."

Lin nodded his head and said, "The other day, I heard about the Empress' pregnancy. However, I found an underwear stained with menstrual blood. It had been mixed with the dirty clothes of the maids-in-waiting from Qiwu Palace."

"It must belong to a certain maid-in-waiting who is in her menstrual period." said Qian Yin gently, looking at Lin.

Lin shook his head and said, "But the underwear was made of high-quality silk. It is not like other clothes that belong to the maids-in-waiting. Few ladies in the Imperial household have such kind of silk fabric, let alone the maids-in-waiting."

With a fluid glance, Yun Shang said, "I know what Lin means. In the Imperial household, it's not hard to get rid of a living man. But it's hard to get rid of an underwear stained with blood. So the underwear was hidden in the clothes of the maids-in-waiting."

"But how can you identify that the underwear is made of high-quality silk?" Yun Shang continued.

Lin said with complete confidence, "I'm totally sure about that. And I dare say I am an expert in identifying silk fabrics. I had been in the business of selling silk fabrics before I was framed by others and reduced to a eunuch in the Palace. I have a good relationship with a maid-in-waiting in Huanyi Bureau who is in charge of doing the laundry. The other day when I was chatting with her, she told me the maids-in-waiting serving the Empress have the best food to eat and the best clothing to wear and even the underwear they wear feels softer. She knows this as she does their laundry. I pretended to disagree and asked her to show me the underwear. On touching it, I knew it was made of high-quality silk."

Hearing this, Yun Shang whispered to herself for a while. A sudden thought seized her. Then the world around her became silent. After a long pause, Yun Shang suddenly rose to her feet and exclaimed, "I finally know what's wrong."

All the others in the room cast their eyes upon Yun Shang. Yun Shang smiled and said with firm eyes, "All these days I felt that something important was being missed. When Lin just revealed the laundry incident, it occurred to me that more than half a month ago Lady Shu went all out to make the Empress eat the abortifacient at the banquet. I saw the Empress had eaten the abortifacient. Logically, the Empress should have miscarried within half a month. But nothing happened until now. Qiwu Palace has remained unusually quiet. Several Imperial Physicians have been there several times to check my dear mother's health (Lady Jin) by pulse diagnosis. But there is only one Physician serving the Empress all the time. Other Physicians have never treated the Empress."

"Your Highness, you mean that…" Qin Yi's eyes shone. She stared at Yun Shang with focused eyes.

"Putting these things together, I think that the Empress is in all likelihood, not pregnant, " said Yun Shang with an ironic smile. "The Empress played a wonderful trick on us. That day when we lear

On hearing this, the smile disappeared from Lady Shu's face. She asked instantly, "Does the Empress fall ill? How is she now? The servants in Qiwu Palace should be to blame. They didn't report this news to me. I have to go see the Empress now."

Yun Shang added hastily, "There is no big deal. The Physician said that the Empress is just physically weak and that the Empress just need to take some tonic medicine and eat some nutritious dishes to regain her health."

These words allowed Lady Shu to feel some relief. She said, "Well, well. I will go to Qiwu Palace now. It is cold. You should wear more clothes. Today, I have ordered the man in charge of Shangyi Bureau to prepare a few winter clothes for you. In a few days, you will have your new clothes."

"Lady Shu, thank you for your consideration." said Yun Shang. Then she curtsied to Lady Shu who turned for Qiwu Palace.

After a few steps, she stopped to look back at Yun Shang and said gently, "Next time you go to Qiwu Palace, don't forget to see Lady Jin. Anyway, Lady Jin is your biological mother. You shouldn't ignore her even if your adoptive mother, the Empress, treats you very well. You care about the Empress, which indicates you are a filial girl. But you shouldn't have a prejudice against Lady Jin. Now, she is also pregnant and the fetus is getting bigger and bigger. She is having a harder time than the Empress."

In a daze for a second, Yun Shang smiled coldly and said, "You are right. Next time I will do as you have told."

Lady Shu found Yun Shang didn't really pay attention to what she said but she had nothing more to say. So she sighed and continued on her way.

Once Lady Shu was out of sight, Yun Shang, followed by Qin Yi and Qian Yin, set off again.

Upon returning to Qingxin Palace, Qin Yi helped Yun Shang take off her cloak, put it aside and drew the stove nearer to Yun Shang.

"Princess, Lady Shu is heading to Qiwu Palace. What does she want to do?" said Qian Yin out of curiosity.

Yun Shang said, "No mountain can accommodate two tigers, let alone two tigers who both want to rule the mountain. Although Lady Shu has the Empress's seal now, she is just temporarily in charge of the Imperial household. She is not the real Empress. Meanwhile, the Empress claims to be carrying the Emperor's baby. If the Empress gave birth to a baby boy, everything Lady Shu has done would be in vain. So Lady Shu managed to make the Empress take the abortifacient during the banquet. She did it but nothing happened. She is anxious. Hearing me say that the Empress feels ill, she can't wait to see whether the Empress really lost her baby just as she expected."

Qian Yin chuckled, "Lady Shu's plan will fail. The Empress is not pregnant. There is no way for her to lose her baby."

Yun Shang was leaning against the couch. "You'd better keep that to yourself. Remember not to talk of this in the days to come."

"Do we just let the Empress play this trick?"

Asked Qian Yin. At this time, Qin Yi was carrying the quilt from the bed to the couch. She said, "The Princess has her own plan. The trick the Empress is playing won't go too far."

Yun Shang said with a smile, "Right. It won't go too far." All of a sudden, it occurred to Yun Shang that if she hadn't taken precautions, her dear mother, Lady Jin would have taken the abortifacient at that banquet. Lady Shu had planned to get rid of Lady Jin and the Empress once and for all. Her plan was good but Yun Shang wouldn't let anyone hurt her dear mother, Lady Jin. Although Lady Shu worked for Prince Jing, Yun Shang thought she should work out a way to warn Lady Shu.

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