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And it comes.
Chapter One Hundred and Sixteen A Heavy Blow
The words of Dai Rong shocked many people. Especially Ming He. He felt his legs weaken. If he had known that this Hu Guo Princess was this bold, today, he wouldn’t have done this. If the Empress thought that he had deliberately ushered the person in front of her, then would he have any more good days to live?
The furen of Dong Yu’s envoy stared with shock and wide eyes. She used the teacup to conceal her open mouth. She couldn’t resist looking at the Empress, how would the Empress resolve this matter?
Qu Qing Ju was slightly surprised at the actions of Dai Rong to recommend herself into the Emperor’s bed, but she quickly calmed down. She had heard before about the liberal nature of the country of Jing. Even though she hadn’t thought that this Dai Rong Princess would speak so blankly of the matter, but it wasn’t as though she would lose her composure due to it. Elegantly putting down the teacup in her hands, she used a handkerchief embroidered with a beautiful design to wipe her lips: “Where does the Princess’ words come from? If you are in love with the Emperor, why not tell him, instead of telling ben gong?”
“This one heard that the Empress of Da Long has the power to manage the hougong. Then the expansion of the hougong should be your duty. This one telling you of the matter, it should meet protocol,” Dai Rong Princess stood from the bench and gave a full bow in the style of Da Long to Qu Qing Ju, “Dai Rong sincerely is in love with the Emperor and begs Empress to fulfill this request.”
Dai Rong’s actions were nothing but forcing the Empress to admit her position. At the side, Yin Liu and the others were gritting their teeth, but due to their status, they stood quietly at the side.
The other furen of the envoys from subordinate countries felt awkward inside. Many of them had heard the rumors from before but knew very well how suspicious the rumors were. But they hadn’t thought that this Dai Rong Princess actually had an interest in His Majesty the Emperor of Da Long. Right now, they regretted coming with Dai Rong Princess to tour the gardens. Such an incident as this, they didn’t know what expression was appropriate for this situation.
“Dai Rong Princess isn’t wrong, ben gong has the power to expand the hougong,” Qu Qing Ju smiled as she stood, looking from up high down at Dai Rong bent in front of her, “but ben gong is Emperor’s wife, and naturally cannot neglect Emperor’s wishes and randomly take other women into the palace. If Princess truly is in love with the Emperor, you should confess to Emperor. If Emperor is willing to take you into the palace, ben gong naturally is happy for the palace to have another woman to serve the Emperor.”
Dai Rong didn’t think the Empress would push the matter to His Majesty the Emperor. After a slight pause, she said: “If that’s the case, then please, Empress, act on behalf of this one to express this true love to the Emperor. This one will thank Empress here and now.” Finishing, she lifted her skirts and knelt. Even more, she put out a posture of prostration.
Ming He saw the princess of Jing’s almost wretched-like actions and looked undetectably at the Empress. Right now, the Emperor should be leaving court. He didn’t know if Xiao Gan Zi would manage to lead the Emperor over. If this matter wasn’t solved correctly, it would blow up. Thankfully, the conduct of the Empress was steady and dependable. If one step was wrong, right
“If it is sincere, then why let others tell about it, wouldn’t that tarnish that true feeling?” Qu Qing Ju went forward a few steps, reach a hand in front of Da Rong, and smiled widely, “Princess, please get up. The country of Jing might be a subordinate country of Da Long, but you are still a princess of a country, how can you give such a big greeting to ben gong?”
When the furen of Dong Yu’s envoy heard it, she felt embarrassed on behalf of Dai Rong. The Empress’ words mocked her for lowering her status and being shameless. A princess, regardless of how small the country was, it was still a country. Her conduct represented the country. Right now, she was kneeling and begging just so she could enter the hougong of Da Long to become a feipin. If the Queen of Jing knew of the conduct, what would she think?
Dai Rong had a high opinion of herself but she wasn’t stupid. Naturally, she heard the implication in Qu Qing Ju’s words. Looking at the hand that the other offered to her, she said in a respectful tone: “Don’t dare to trouble Empress.” And then she stood. She sighed somewhat tragically, “This one is a woman, when would there be a time to meet the honored His Majesty the Emperor. It’s just a futile hope to expect to accompany him.”
“Princess has only seen the Emperor only a few times, but lost her heart. It really is deep love, and ben gong is very shocked,” Qu Qing Ju’s face gave a few hints of mirth, was scornful yet proud, “If that’s the case, why don’t ben gong give you a chance for you to tell of your desires to the Emperor?” When she finished speaking, her eyes looked towards the side of the fake mountain. There, standing, was He Heng dressed in the black dragon robes. The other’s face was so calm, it was scary.
Dai Rong seemed to detect that someone was behind her. When she turned to look, she hadn’t thought it was the Emperor. She first stilled and then reacted, given a sweet smile and a graceful bow: “Greetings to the honored Your Majesty the Emperor.”
The other furen of the envoys all followed in standing and making their bows. They were all married women and naturally knew how to read expressions. So it only took just a rough glance and they were able to see that the Emperor’s expression wasn’t too good, and seemed to be indistinctly angry.
The atmosphere seemed to returned back to when Dai Rong Princess recommended herself as a feipin. He Heng walked to sit down next to Qu Qing Ju. He glanced at the princess of Jing dressed seductively and said in a heavy tone: “Furen, please rise.”
Dai Rong, who had been preparing to stand, swayed in her place. She hesitated but in the end still maintained her posture in greeting. He Heng didn’t seem to have seen her, and exchanged a few words with the furen of the envoys before become silent and only drinking tea on the side.
The envoys’ furen didn’t know whether they should leave or sit at this time. They furtively looked at the princess of Jing who was still locked in her position and didn’t dare to breathe. They were all minor subordinate countries. If they encountered any disasters, they had to rely on Da Long to give aid. No one dared to be disrespectful in front of Da Long’s Emperor. Not to mention, even if the Emperor of Da Long found a reason to take one of their lives, they didn’t dare to say anything.
Thankfully, the generations of Emperors of Da Long were not tyrannical, so these years, the subordinate countries had relatively peaceful days. But if they really made the Emperor angry, other than the fall of their country, they had no other road to walk.
Qu Qing Ju was also aware the atmosphere wasn’t good and said: “Why did Emperor come over?”
“Zhen heard you came to walk in the garden and came to look,” He Heng’s tone softened greatly. He glanced at Qu Qing Ju and saw her expression was normal, and not angry due to the actions of the princess of Jing before he smiled and added, “Zhen will wait to eat the noon meal with you.”
When the furen of Dong Yu’s envoy heard this, she couldn’t help but feel disdain towards Dai Rong. The Emperor and Empress of Da Long were in a harmonious relationship, but this Dai Rong Princess was greedy and vain, wanting to enter the hougong of Da Long. It really was both stupid and shameless. Right now, she was a princess of Jing, so the Empress was still courteous to her. If she became one of the feipin of the hougong, with the weak strength that Jing had, if the Empress wanted to sort her out, the Empress would not have the slightest concern while doing so.
“Just now, qie has heard something very touching from the princess of Jing. Is the Emperor interested in listening?” Qu Qing Ju looked cheerfully at He Heng, “after qie heard it, qie was extremely shocked.”
“The successor for the country of Jing has already been settled. Due to the separation of genders, zhen and the princess of Jing, have nothing to discuss,” He Heng put down the teacup, speaking icily, “Your Highness Princess, if your country has something to discuss with my Da Long, then please let your country’s Crown Princess to have an audience.”
“Emperor, this matter has nothing to do with state matters,” Dai Rong looked at the frigid eyes of the Emperor of Da Long. She already felt regret inside, but since the words had been spoken, she had to continue, “It’s this one that is in love with Emperor, and begs for Emperor to take pity.”
Qu Qing Ju’s eyebrows jumped and she raised a teacup to hide the corners of her lips that rose up.
“Zhen heard that the country of Jing is extremely liberal. Seeing the princess today, it does live up to the rumors,” No pity was found in He Heng for the beauty of Dai Rong and her humble posture. He looked at her and said, “The love of the princess, zhen appreciates, but zhen is only in love with the Empress and has no intentions of taking another into the hougong.”
“This one doesn’t beg to be able to receive the Emperor’s favor, but only to be able to serve Emperor,” Dai Rong’s eyes brimmed with tears as she looked at He Heng, “is that also not possible?”
“There are countless women in the world in love with zhen, so does zhen have to take pity and take them into the hougong?” He Heng’s voice became forceful, “If zhen did so, it is not beneficial to oneself nor the person zhen is in love with. Zhen appreciates the intentions of the princess, but asks Princess not to mention this matter again in the future.”
If the words were spoken more clearly, it would be “There’s many women that like me in the world, but do I have to take all of them into the palace, isn’t that disgusting myself?”
Dai Rong didn’t think that when she had said those words, the Emperor would so ruthlessly reject her. He even compared her to other vulgar women, as though she wasn’t different from other women.
She almost didn’t dare to look at the faces of the other furen of the envoys. Because even without looking, she knew that they were laughing at her inside. Because the husbands of these women lost their focus after seeing her, and fawned over her. So these women were jealous of her, and hated her.
“Emperor, the Crown Prince of Jing asks for an audience, His Highness Cheng Wang asks for an audience.” Qian Chang Xin seemed to have not seen this farce and with a peaceful expression walked over, disregarding Dai Rong on the way who was still kneeling on the ground.
“The Crown Prince of Jing?” He Heng glanced at Dai Rong. With a dark face, he responded, “Let the Crown Prince of Jing return. Tell him if the country of Jing still wants Da Long to continue to support them, then to show sincerity. Zhen doesn’t lack for women, and even more, isn’t interested in the women of Jing. Also, tell si di to wait in the Imperial study for zhen. Zhen will be there shortly.”
Those words were like a heavy slap to Dai Rong’s face. She didn’t dare to think when the words reached the country of Jing, how the citizens would think of her. And didn’t dare to imagine if the country of Jing was neglected by Da Long due to her, how bad the situation would be.
“If that’s the case, then Ming He, continue leading these honored guests through the garden. Ben gong should be returning to the palace,” Qu Qing Ju smiled as she stood, telling He Heng, “Since Emperor has other matters, then go early. Qie will wait for you to return to eat.”
“Alright, zhen will be quick,” He Heng lowered his head slightly at the envoys’ furen before leaving with a procession of attendants behind him. From beginning to end, he didn’t look again at Dai Rong.
Qu Qing Ju walked in front of Dai Rong, smiling as she said: “Princess, please stand. The Emperor is always like this, hope the Princess doesn’t mind.”
“This one doesn’t dare,” Dai Rong felt that even her bones were cold. She trembled with fear as she bowed to Qu Qing Ju, “Respectfully sending off Empress.”
“En,” Qu Qing Ju nodded and took Mu Jin’s hands as she turned and walked away.
The furen of the envoys watched as the Emperor and Empress left, then scornfully looked at Dai Ron. One of the furen shook her head, remarking: “Aiya, such a pity.”
A few others followed in laughing. The sound of laughter passed into Dai Rong’s ears, piercing and nasty, but she was helpless.