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   Chapter 140 Birthday Party (Part One)

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 11271

Updated: 2018-09-22 09:02

The Empress? She fainted? Hearing these words, Yun Shang glanced at Qian Yin and saw anger surge in her maid's eyes. She flashed a smile before fixing her eyes on the teacup in her hand. Then she praised, "Smart move."

By pretending to have fainted, the Empress affected a helpless wife. She always acted with nobility and dignity in front of others and even selflessness if necessary. And in the previous decades, she had played the role of an impartial Empress well. Even when she was informed that she was infertile, she had been sad for a while, but she had recovered to the Empress she had always been. Someone who felt no joy or sorrow for herself, apart from what was the best for her husband.

That was why the Empress's sudden faint was so unexpected.

Right now, the Grand Councilor's power was at stake, as Lady Ming just irritated Emperor Ning, and Hua Jing was still in her recovery. And at this crucial point, the Empress suddenly fell ill.

With a smile on her lips, Yun Shang ordered, "Let's pay a visit to Qiwu Palace."

When they arrived, many others had also called on the Empress. They saw Emperor Ning, Lady Ming, Lady Fu, Lady Ya, and Qin Meng among the callers. Yun Shang also noticed several other ladies whom she didn't know.

Standing aside a desk, an imperial physician was writing the Empress's prescription. With a disturbed look on her face, Lady Ming asked. "How's the Empress now?"

The imperial physician bowed before answering, "Her Majesty is fine. But she always burdens herself with sorrow, which has finally induced her illness. She will wake up in two hours. But Her Majesty has always been weak, and I'm afraid the faint has harmed her health. When she wakes up, she needs more rest. If she burdened herself again, she would..." Shaking his head, the imperial physician said no more. But Lady Ming knew exactly what he meant to say. She frowned, and remained quiet.

Emperor Ning gazed at the pale Empress. His eyes were as dark as night sky; complex feelings mounting in their depths. After a long while, he turned to the ladies and said, "The physician has said that the Empress needs rest. Leave us, all of you."

The ladies exchanged several meaningful glances. They curtsied to the Emperor before leaving the Palace.

But Yun Shang remained. She spoke softly, "Father, Her Majesty needs someone to take care of her, and you are too busy with state affairs. I can look after her in your stead."

Emperor Ning paused for a short while, and turned to Yun Shang. Before he spoke, Lady Ming cut in, "Shang'er, you're an unmarried Princess. You can barely take care of yourself. I will find some experienced maids to look after Yiran. You should spend time on yourself."

Yun Shang remained silent for a while before she answered "Okay" in a low voice. A pained expression showed in her eyes. Seeing that, Lady Ming's heart hitched. She wondered what Yun Shang had planned. Did the Princess want Emperor Ning to feel that she was a domineering person? 'What an awful woman! Keep playing innocent then!' Lady Ming thought to herself as she gritted her teeth. She'd like to see what else Yun Shang was up to.

The Emperor's eyes darkened when he heard Yun Shang's low voice.

"Your Majesty..." Lord Zheng called from outside the door. A eunuch as he was, he was once a man, and not allowed to enter Empress Yuan Zhen's chamber as she was the most honorable woman in the State of Ning.

Emperor Ning turned to him and asked, "What's happened?"

Lord Zheng hesitated before saying, "Your Majesty, the Grand Councilor has sent a memorial imploring you to allow him to visit Her Majesty, the Empress. The Grand Councilor said that since they heard the news of Her Majesty's illness, the whole family has been worried. He begged for Your Majesty's mercy. And Prince Qingsu has also sent a letter asking after Her Majesty's physical condition."

Hearing that, Lady Ming was extremely joyful. The Xia and Yelang envoys were still in the capital. The Emperor needed the Grand Councilor's counsel more than before. He would never refuse the Grand Councilor's request.

Noticing the joy in Lady Ming's eyes, Yun Shang flashed a sarcastic smile. Having spent so many years in the Palace the woman should've known that her father resented the Grand Councilor the most. What would an Emperor feel, except for anger and hatred, when he was overtaken by other people? How foolish of the Li Clan to have sent the memorial to her father.

Yun Shang glanced around the room before fixing her gaze on the sleeping Empress. The Empress must've gone to great lengths for this drama. Apparently, she had caught a cold. And to have achieved that, she must have bathed in many buckets of cold water. But what was the Empress's intention? Did she want to maintain her current position?

Yun Shang almost laughed out. How could the Empress reckon her father to have no idea about the entanglements in the Palace? After all, the Emperor had spent so many years on the throne, in which period, a lot of things had happened under his nose. The Empress's plan was in vain. After the drama, the Emperor could only be more disgusted with her than before.

Emperor Ning turned and glanced at the Empress as well. He sneered quietly when he noticed the Empress's quivering eyelashes. Raising his voice, he ordered, "Lord Zheng, inform the Grand Councilor that Her Majesty is ill due to constant overburden. He may not visit her now, for she needs more rest. I will send for them when she recovers. But I'd like to bring Hua Jing here. The Empress has been missing her, and would recover so

oner if she were around. As for Prince Qingsu. Tell him, the Empress is fine. He may rest assured."

Hearing these words, Yun Shang flashed a triumphant smile. She did know her father well! He hated to be coerced by other people.

The smile on Lady Ming's face froze. She tried to save the situation, "The Grand Councilor is Yiran's father. He cares a lot for Yiran. If he doesn't see her, his worry would grow."

Emperor Ning scoffed. Did the Li Clan really think him to be a fool? How had Li Jingyan heard about Empress Yuan Zhen's illness, as the Empress had only just fallen ill, and the imperial physician had recently administered the treatment? How could word spread in an instant? The only explanation was that the Grand Councilor had placed an informer in his Palace.

"According to the physician, the Empress has been overwhelmed by the numerous activities in the Palace. Although in the past few days, you've helped her with many affairs, mother, I don't think you can always help her, given the condition that the Empress can no longer overwork herself. Therefore, I've decided to trust Lady Ya with control of my Palace. Lady Ya is young and new to the Palace, but she's always been prudent and flawless. I always thought that she is as smart as the Zhuangyuan, if not better. Let's say there's no harm in trying. If there's a problem, I will ask for your help, mother."

A fit of petulant sulkiness showed on Lady Ming's face. Why was it that the subject always returned to the control of the Palace? The Emperor didn't take back Lady Ming's power when he rebuked her for she had wronged Yun Shang. Why would he do it now? What had changed his mind?

Yun Shang was delighted to see this. As per the proverb, the Li Clan went for wool but came home shorn.

"Mother, you've always been impartial. Moreover, you've been a moral model in my Palace. I'd like to ask you to help me with another very difficult matter." Emperor Ning frowned and seemed to be in great distress.

Curious, Lady Ming shot a questioning glance at him, "What is it?"

Emperor Ning flashed a smile. "You must have heard of Hua Jing's misdeeds, mother. Nothing remains a secret in this world. And there were so many people at the hunting ground the other day. I can't kill them all to cover up the scandal. And my decision isn't a rushed plan. The Palace is well guarded, and safer than the outer world. I have been worrying about Jing'er as she's been living alone in the Princess Palace. And when she returns to the Palace, please teach her how to behave, mother. I intended to nurture her into a talented young lady, well-versed in the Four Arts, but now she's turned out to be lacking in women's virtue."

Upon hearing that, Yun Shang raised her eyebrows. Her father seemed to have known about Hua Jing and Qingsu's routine rendezvous since Qingsu's arrival, and found an excuse to bring Hua Jing back into the Palace. Although he claimed it was for Hua Jing's safety, in fact, he wanted to cut off her connection with Qingsu.

No matter how modest and courteous Qingsu behaved in the Imperial City, his army was still waiting for the opportunity to attack Ning. And the situation could still exacerbate if Qingsu colluded with the Grand Councilor through his relations with Hua Jing.

As Emperor Ning had finished his orders, he turned to the Empress and said, "Take good care of yourself." Then he walked out of Qiwu Palace.

'Tsk, tsk. Lady Ming, Empress Yuan Zhen, you've always thought about yourselves. But did you ever think of this outcome?' Yun Shang flashed a smile and thought. Then she took her leave and and returned to Qingxin Palace in a good mood.

"Your Highness, it's good for you that Lady Ya is taking control of the Palace." Qian Yin's joy showed on her face. Giggling, she said, "The Empress must be outraged. Oops. It was her choice to pretend faint. She was conscious the whole time though. I saw her eyelashes tremble when His Majesty uncovered her ruse. I can tell you that she almost went mad, but didn't dare to speak. If she did, she would be caught lying to the Emperor about her faint. How satisfying!"

Yun Shang also smiled. She nodded to Qian Yin in consent. When they returned to the Palace, Qin Yi was already waiting for them. She handed an invitation letter to Yun Shang and spoke, "Your Highness, in three days, Prince Jing's birthday party will be held, and his chamberlain has sent you an invitation letter. What gift should we present him, Your Highness?"

"Hmm?" Hearing her words, Yun Shang paused for a short while. Of course, she remembered Prince Jing's birthday. But, was it really a good time to hold a birthday party?

Yun Shang took the invitation letter, opened it, and had a look. She recognized Prince Jing's signature on it. She thought about it for moment, and figured that the Prince intended to lure his enemies out.

Knowing Prince Jing's intention, Yun Shang was a little worried. The person who had hurt him must be a trained warrior. And the Prince's wound would slow him down in a fight.

"Don't worry, Your Highness. The assassin had caught the Prince off-guard. And His Highness will be better prepared this time. He has sent invitation letters to others as well." Giggling, Qian Yin comforted her.

Yun Shang was stunned for a while, before she realized that she had spoken her mind.

She flushed crimson when she saw Qian Yin and Qin Yi look at her with amusement. She grabbed a book from her side and tossed it at them.

Qian Yin pulled Qin Yi aside and giggled. "Are you trying to murder us to prevent divulgence of your secrets?"

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