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   Chapter 104 Birthday Party At Prince Shun Qing's Mansion (Part One)

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 10335

Updated: 2018-09-05 22:04


Emperor Ning stared at Yun Shang for a moment. Then he stood up and pushed the window open. He looked out of the window at the white lands covered with heavy snow and sighed, "It's a pity that you are a girl."

Yun Shang was dumbstruck and had no idea why her father said this to her. At the sight of her father lost in thought, she lowered her head and repressed her impulse to ask the question.

"I'm well informed of this situation. And your investigation is over. As for the dead maid, is she named Bi Luo? Later, I will issue a decree and expound on this case. Bi Luo hated Lady Jin and deliberately threw the moss from the well on the ground. Consequently, Lady Jin fell. Afterward, Bi Luo was afraid that her plot might come to light, so she jumped into the well and committed suicide. The sense of helplessness was evident in Emperor Ning's voice.

Yun Shang kept silent for a moment. Then, she bowed her head and replied obediently, "I understand."

Emperor Ning turned and looked at Yun Shang as she gently shook her head in resignation. "Why didn't you ask me why I did this?"

Yun Shang thought for a moment and replied, "Your Majesty is the Emperor of a great country, while I'm just a woman without much knowledge. Therefore, my thinking is certainly not as comprehensive as yours. Although I have no idea why you made such a decision, I know that you care about my mother. However, so many people and families are involved in this case, including Lady Ming, Lady Yingying, my sister, and others yet unknown to us. Pull one hair and the whole body is affected. If a thorough investigation is done, it's likely that my pregnant mother might be hurt in the process."

Hearing her explanation, Emperor Ning's appraisal of Yun Shang moved up another notch. Previously he thought of his daughter as weak, frail, and quiet. However, it turns out that she was smart.

"It's good that you understand that. Today is not the time..." Emperor Ning sighed. Coldness and cruelty flashed in his eyes.

Yun Shang bowed her head. She was aware that this wasn't a good time to take revenge on the Grand Councilor's family. For this reason, she had decided to tell the truth to nobody but her father. There were too many people and powers involved in the Grand Councilor's family. However, she would take them out one by one in the future. As said by her father, today wasn't the right time. If inadequate actions were taken against Lady Ming and Lady Yingying, Grand Councilor Li would undoubtedly retaliate.

"Father, although it's well known that my mother miscarried, if some people working in the Palaces ask around, they will learn the truth. That would put my mother in greater danger. Because you have a temporary Imperial Palace in Phoenix City, I think it's better that my mother stay there and await her delivery. Besides, Phoenix City is near Ning'guo Temple, and my grandfather lives there in seclusion. I'm sure my mother would be well taken care of. Although the Imperial Palace is heavily guarded, women's trickeries and plots can't be prohibited."

Emperor Ning stared at Yun Shang seriously for a moment before asking, "Have you met Grand Tutor Xiao?"

Yun Shang nodded and replied, "Grandfather is a friend of Master Wu Na. When I was recuperating at Ning'guo Temple, grandfather came to visit me several times. He taught me lyre-playing, chess, calligraphy, and painting."

Emperor Ning meditated for a moment and said, "That explains why your paintings at the party looked familiar. It turns out that Grand Tutor..." He stopped, waited for a moment and continued, "With the Grand Tutor taking care of your mother, I will feel relieved. As you said, I will order Shu Jin to regain her health at the temporary Imperial Palace in Phoenix City. However, even at that Palace, proper precautions should be taken."

"I understand. I will explore the way, personally go to the temporary Imperial Palace, clean the Palace, and escort my mother there. Father, what do you think of my arrangements?" Yun Shang asked in a low voice.

Emperor Ning shook his head, "If you go to the Palace, you might draw attention and raise doubts. Listen to me. I will send Prince Jing there in secret. In days to come, you will go and pray at Ning'guo Temple. That way you can take your mother. With Prince Jing accompanying you, I will have nothing to worry about."

Prince Jing? Yun Shang frowned but then she thought that her mother's security would be guaranteed with Prince Jing's protection. Then, she replied, "As you wish."

As soon as Yun Shang returned to Qingxin Palace, Emperor Ning's decree arrived. It said that Bi Luo tried to hurt Lady Jin and was afraid that her plot might come to light. Thus, she committed suicide. Her dead body would be exposed under the sun for three days and disposed of in the wasteland. After the Emperor's decree came another one. This time from the Empress. According to the Empress's decree, Lady Jin was promoted to a higher rank. It also said that since Lady Jin was injured, she should rest. It said that the ideal recuperation setting would be at the temporary Imperial Palace in Phoenix City.

"Your Highness, we all know that the dead maid isn't the culprit. So why did the Emperor lie in his decree?" Qian Yin frowned. A while ago, she asked around and was told that Bi Luo never left Changchun Palace the day of the accident. She certainly had no opportunity to do evil.

Yun Shang smiled and replied, "Don't mention it again. Right now, we can do nothing against the real conspirators. However, Father will get to know more of their crimes. When Father can't endure them anymore, then even God won't be able to save them."

Qian Yin had no idea who the real culprits were, but she sincerely felt the injustice done against Yun Shang.

"Qian Yin, tell our spies at other Palaces that they should carefully notice suspicious movements and report them to me. No member living at the Imperial Palace is stupid." Yun Shang closed her eyes and steadied the coldness that was rising in her heart. She should place her spies in every Palace to establish reliable information sources and prevent any unexpected incidents. At the same time, she would seek opportunities to eliminate Grand Councilor Li's influences gradually.

On the second day, Yun Shang paid her respects to the Empress at Qiwu Palace. The Empress requested Yun Shang to stay after the other ladies left. Then, the Empress took a card from Xiu Xin and said, "This is an invitation from the Mansion of Prince Shun Qing. A party will be held for Lady Shun Qing tomorrow. Prince Shun Qing is the brother of the deceased Emperor, and Lady Shun Qing is old. However, their sons are talented and outstanding, and their wives are kind. You have been back for a long time but rarely got the opportunity to know them. After your marriage to Prince Jing, you will have more opportunities to meet them. So, I think you better get to know them now."

Yun Shang heard this and felt surprised. In her previous life, the Empress hated it when she maintained frequent contact with officers' families. Why did she remember this and suddenly ask her to meet them and flatter them? It seemed odd.

With great care, she replied obediently, "As you wish."

"Good." The Empress pulled out her brocade handkerchief and coughed softly, "Besides, since you haven't met Lady Shun Qing before, you should prepare gifts. Lady Shun Qing is a royal family member and has seen all sorts of treasures. I know you are not rich and that you are incapable of picking unique gifts. Thus, I have asked Xiu Xin to prepare some for you." With these words, the Empress turned and said to Xiu Xin, "Bring the gifts for the Princess."

Yun Shang was nervous and wondered why the Empress had became so kind and considerate.

Xiu Xin brought forward a delicately-carved box made of sandalwood. Begonia flowers had been carved on the box carefully and skillfully. Yun Shang moved forward and opened the box. Inside was a peach-shaped carving made of a rare quality of green jadeite. Obviously, this was a unique treasure. Yun Shang reached out and stroked the carving tenderly and admiringly. She commented, "I have never seen such good jadeite until now. It's so big and certainly expensive. Lady Shun Qing will love it. Thank you, Your Majesty."

The Empress laughed elegantly and replied, "That is correct. Lady Shun Qing is a decent and renowned lady in the Royal City. Yun Shang, remember this. You must find ways to win her favor. If she regards you with special attention, other ladies will follow suit, respect and love you more."

Yun Shang nodded and said, "I will behave well. However, I have never met Lady Shun Qing before. I have no idea what she likes and dislikes."

The Empress laughed, "Lady Shun Qing is old, and seeks peace. She likes simple colors, especially green and blue. Clovershrub is her favorite tea, and the Phoenix-shaped Shark Fin is her favorite food. Don't forget what I said."

Yun Shang listened carefully and nodded, "I will remember."

After talking some more about the other likes and dislikes of Lady Shun Qing, the Empress allowed Yun Shang to leave. Yun Shang took the peach-shaped carving to Qingxin Palace and studied it carefully against the bright lights. "It's really a unique piece of treasure. Both its color and craftsmanship are wonderful. I love it."

However, Qin Yi was a bit worried, "Your Highness, It didn't seem right that the Empress kindly asked you to attend Lady Shun Qing's birthday party."

Yun Shang smiled, "Of course, it's weird. How could she suddenly become so kind and considerate as to tell me Lady Shun Qing's likes and dislikes?"

Yun Shang waved to Qian Yin and said, "Send a message for me. Let our people ask around about Lady's Shun Qing's likes and dislikes. It can't be too detailed."

As ordered, Qian Yin turned and walked out.

Yun Shang's glance once again fell over the jadeite. The corners of her mouth twisted.

Lady Shun Qing's 50th birthday party was to be held on the fifth day of the first lunar month. Yun Shang got up earlier than usual and found that Qian Yin had already fetched a basin of water for her. "Your Highness, I have some news. The Empress didn't lie about Lady Shun Qing's likes and dislikes."

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