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   Chapter 81 Chaos At The Sacrificial Ceremony

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 18584

Updated: 2018-08-27 17:32


"Ah..." Surprised guests and military officials standing below the altar began murmuring. Gradually the whispers turned into a deafening roar that spread like the tide. Everyone's eyes were fixed on the Empress.

Emperor Ning was in the middle of the Ceremony. The astonished murmuring of the crowd caught his attention. He frowned at the disturbance. The Emperor turned and saw the crowd looking up to where he and the Empress stood. Some even began to raise their hands, as if pointing. Emperor Ning looked around and noticed that they were indeed pointing at someone. The Empress! Well, the Empress?

The Empress looked pale. Though it was winter, there were bean-size beads of sweat rolling down from her forehead. Aside from the sweat, she looked just fine. The Emperor frowned again. From such a distance, the officials would not be able to see the Empress sweating. So, what were they looking at?

Emperor Ning was about to proceed with the Ceremony when a civil official kneeled. Emperor Ning recognized him to be a bachelor of the Imperial Hanlin Academy. The Emperor heard him shouting anxiously, "It's a visitation from the Divine, Your Majesty! They are angry!"

Emperor Ning was so shocked that he rushed to the Empress. The back of her ceremonial robe was wet and covered in sweat stains. The stains seemed to form a Chinese character, Xiong, meaning inauspicious.

Seeing this, Emperor Ning stepped back. His face paled.

The Empress didn't realized what was happening. She only felt that the garment was too heavy. As per tradition, the garment was required to have eight layers of fabric sewn together. The weight of the fabric was making it hard for her to breathe. The Ceremony was really tiring as she was required to follow complicated routines. She also had to kneel frequently. In the past, she always asked the Shangyi Bureau to use the lightest fabric for the inner seven layers of the ceremonial garment. She also remembered instructing them to use floral brocade for the outermost layer. This year, Lady Shu must have forgotten to do that. The garment that the Empress was wearing seemed to be sewn with the heaviest fabric for each layer. She felt exhausted with every step. The Phoenix coronet weighed ten pounds and had been firmly attached to her head. The weight of the coronet didn't help either. Finishing the Ceremony seemed more demanding than usual.

"Your Majesty, what's the matter?" The Empress was puzzled upon seeing Emperor Ning's pale face. Then she found that everyone was pointing at her for no apparent reason.

In her confusion, the Empress turned to Xiu Xin, who was standing by the steps under the altar. The maid also looked anxious. When Xiu Xin saw the Empress looking at her, she pointed to her back. Only then did the Empress realize that something must have happened on her back, and it must be serious. Emperor Ning and the other officials wouldn't look so panicked and worried otherwise. The Empress couldn't wait for an answer. She hurriedly took off the outermost robe and saw the conspicuously large character, Xiong.

Struck with fear, the Empress threw the robe away. She took a few steps back, and accidentally touched the memorial tablets behind her. They fell like dominoes.

"Your Majesty..." The Empress was fearful. She tried her best to calm down and hurriedly grabbed the sleeve of Emperor Ning's robe. "Your Majesty, someone must have planned all this to set me up. Your Majesty, please uphold justice for me..."

Emperor Ning frowned and nodded at Master Zheng. Zheng understood and quickly waved at a few eunuchs who helped the Empress step down.

The Emperor's anxiety increased when he saw that the crowd was still talking about the incident. The commoners would most certainly panic if they heard of the incident. He could not allow that to happen. Emperor Ning turned to Master Zheng and whispered. Then Master Zheng hurried to one side of the altar and announced, "No one shall talk about today's matter. It is strictly prohibited. If anyone is found doing so, the death penalty will apply to the person and his or her family and friends as well."

The officials and concubines promptly shut their mouths and stood quietly. Then Master Zheng walked away from the altar. He whispered quickly to Ladu Shu who then nodded and instructed her maid. The maid rushed out and in a few moments, returned with a tray. Lady Shu took the black robe from the tray. It was a spare ceremonial robe. Lady Shu quickly put it on and followed Master Zheng to the altar.

"Go on with the Ceremony, " said Master Zheng. Then Emperor Ning and Lady Shu completed the remaining procedures as though nothing had happened.

After the Ceremony, Yun Shang followed the concubines toward their Palaces. Just when they entered the Imperial Garden, they were greeted with the sight of an enraged Empress. Her glare could have withered every concubine. The Empress fixed her eyes on Lady Shu. Before anyone realized what had happened, the Empress rushed forward and pushed Lady Shu to the ground.

"Shen Shuyun, I have never done anything wrong to you. Even though you were so deeply loved and spoiled by His Majesty, I still left you alone. Now, I've handed the Empress's seal to you. Why are you still scheming against me? How dare you be so cruel and mean and set me up like this?" Although the Empress was extremely angry, she spoke with the grace required of a person in her position.

The others stepped back to avoid getting dragged into this quarrel. Seeing this, Yun Shang shouted, "Wh

ged."

Lady Jin nodded and said nothing.

Then Yun Shang stood up and stepped closer to Lady Jin. Yun Shang crouched in front of her mother. Then she raised her hand to touch Lady Jin's belly. "Mother, tell me, is it gonna be a sister or a brother?"

Lady Jin heard the question and laughed. "I don't know yet. But I wish it is a boy, so that he can protect you. You've been working too hard."

Yun Shang shook her head, "No, mother. Shang'er does not feel tired at all."

Yun Shang lowered her head and placed her cheek on Lady Jin's belly. She pressed her ear closer and tried to listen for a while. She felt like weeping. In her previous life, she had never felt anything like this. Now, she understood what it felt like to be cared for and it was the most wonderful feeling in the world.

A long time passed before Yun Shang stood up. She smiled. "The Empress will give her schemes a rest for now. Father is well aware of the power of the Li family, so he won't deprive her of her position. At least not now. But even so, the Empress is still no threat to you in the near future. I've also sent my people to protect you secretly. So don't worry too much. As for Hua Jing, I've heard that she has gone to the border. This is a good chance. I am not gonna let go of it. In some days, I'll find a way to leave for the border. I'll come back before your delivery. Don't worry about me."

Lady Jin was stunned. She lowered her head and remained silent for a long time before she nodded. "You have always been strong and independent. Now that I can see you acting responsibly, I'm relieved. But no matter what, you're still my daughter. I just don't want you to be blinded by hatred. I wish there was a man who could make you happy."

Yun Shang heard her and was stunned as well. Then she answered, "I understand, mother. And I will try not to let my hatred consume me."

The two women talked for a while longer before Yun Shang returned to Qingxin Palace. Earlier, Qin Yi and Qian Yin didn't follow Yun Shang to Qiwu Palace, so they didn't know what happened. Even so, everyone had heard about the scene at the Imperial Garden. The maids were curious and dying to hear every detail. Seeing that Yun Shang had returned, they hurriedly walked to her and asked, "Your Highness, what happened in the end? Did His Majesty find out about Her Majesty's fake pregnancy?"

Yun Shang told them what happened, and the maids were relieved.

But Qian Yin still couldn't understand something. "Your Highness, the people we sent earlier went through a lot of trouble to make the Empress's ceremonial robe. Why didn't you just put poison on it and kill her at the scene? Why did you come up with such a complicated plan?"

Yun Shang smiled and thought about Qian's question. She could have killed the woman, but she didn't. Because she wanted to watch that woman fall from the top and lose what she cherished, little by little. Killing her would be too easy a punishment for her. Another reason was that if the Empress died in an unexplainable way, the Li family would certainly cause trouble for them. At that time, the whole country would be in chaos. What's more, her family will be of great use six months from now.

However, Yun Shang knew all this from her previous life experience. There was no way for her to explain all this to Qin Yi and Qian Yin. Noticing that Yun Shang looked lost in thought, Qin Yi quickly replied, "Wouldn't it be too easy if the Empress died like that?"

Qian Yin thought for while and agreed. "Yes, it would be too easy for her. But what happened today was cathartic. I wonder what Lady Shu feels now. After their fight today, the imperial household will be in chaos."

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