Chapter 80: A War between Man and Woman (1)
Translator: Storm in a Teacup
The servant of the Da Ming Palace saw me coming with a bowl of soup and was so scared that his face turn ashen. He was probably reminded of the last time when Qi Sheng smashed the bowl into pieces, and so he hurriedly came forward and said, “Your Majesty, the Emperor is still busy attending to the state affairs. Why don’t you give this to me and I will deliver it to the Emperor once the Emperor is free.”
Determined to get what I came for, I waved my hands and smiled, “No need. I will wait outside.”
Then, I turned around and stood at the corridor.
The servant thought for a while and then entered the hall quietly. Shortly after, he backed out of the hall and said to me respectfully, “Your Majesty, His Majesty is asking for you.”
I smiled, took the bowl from Xie Yi and then strode into the hall.
When I entered the main hall, Qi Sheng was sitting by the table, reviewing the official papers, with Jiang shi quietly standing by his side. Upon realizing that someone came in, they all looked up and cast their looks my way.
What a load of crap! It would have been more believable if you two were rolling on the bed.
While I despised them for putting on such a show, I nonetheless wore a light smile and walked up to place the soup on the table. Then, I said to Jiang shi, “You can leave now. I will serve His Majesty here.”
Not expecting that I would be so direct, Jiang Shi paused for a while, and didn’t move a bit. She only looked up at Qi Sheng, as if waiting for his instructions.
Without waiting for Qi Sheng to speak up, I cut in, “Your Majesty, I have something to discuss with you.”
Qi Sheng gently instructed Jiang shi, “You may leave.”
Jiang shi lifted up her lips, swept a courtesy to Qi Sheng and then backed out.
Hey! What’s that look on your face? Couldn’t you at least smile a little bit?
Qi Sheng looked at me for a while and then said, “What’s this about? Another move to get me back to the harem?”
I raised up my head and looked at him, “Your Majesty hasn’t slept in the harem for five days. To keep the harem stable, it’s best if Your Majesty could go there today.”
Qi Sheng cast a look at the bowl and then to me, sneering, “Is that so? That’s why you bring me the soup? So that I would have the energy to do what you expect me to do? Am I that weak in your eyes?”
I was afraid that he might smash the bowl like last time, and so I hurriedly pull it slightly close to me and used my arm to cover it. Then I warned him, “This is my most luxurious bowl. If you break it this time, you would have to pay for it.”
Qi Sheng’s face went dark. After a good while of silence, he slowly replied, “Don’t worry. I won’t break it. But I also won’t come to your place today.”
I lowered my eyelid and then softly replied, “I know. That’s why I am here.”
Qi Sheng paused when he heard me say that.
I then continued, “An Empress can’t not properly run the harem if she is despised by her Emperor. So, no matter how you hated me, I can’t risk being seen that way. It’s my turn now, and I have to do my duty. Even if you won’t touch me, I still have to spend the night with you today.”
Qi Sheng remained quiet. I looked at him and said, “You can still sleep in your chamber. I will sleep on the floor. No one will know what happened between us. If you really mean what you said to me that day about wanting me to remain as the Empress, then you have to do this for me.”
Qi Sheng didn’t say anything, and simply stared at me.
“Like this soup. If you don’t tell, then no one will know who drinks it.” I then smiled, took the bowl and drank it up. Then I wiped my lips with the back of my hand and smiled, “I will wait in the chamber. You do your thing, but don’t forget to go there to sleep.”
After finishing those words, I also swept a courtesy like Jiang shi and walked outside.
After taking two steps, I suddenly remembered that I forgot about my bowl, and so I went back inside regardless of Qi Sheng’s gaze and took the bowl from the table. I said, “Next time I will use a golden bowl for you to throw. Golden bowl doesn’t break so easily.”
Qi Sheng raised his trembling hands and pointed at me.
I pretended as if I didn’t see that and simply turned back and left the palace.
Xie Yi and the servant were waiting outside. I gave the bowl to Xie Yi and instructed her to take care of it. Then I said, “Tonight I will be here serving the Emperor. You told the nanny to take good care of Wei’er.”
Delighted by this news, Xie Yi whispered a suppressed exclamation, “Your Majesty…”
I didn’t pay her any attention and simply told the servant to take me to Qi Sheng’s chamber.
Qi Sheng’s chamber was luxuriously decorated and there was not a trace of femininity to it. Instead, everything in this chamber screamed masculinity. I briefly looked around and told the servant to leave while I stayed here waiting for Qi Sheng’s arrival.
After a short while, Xie Yi sneaked in, with a tinny bag in her arms, “Your Majesty, I bring you a new robe. Please put it on.”
Then, she took out a silk robe from the bag and unfolded it in front of me. The silk robe was so thin that it suspended in the air for a long while before finally settling down to the floor.
It’s quite apparent that a robe as thin as this wouldn’t be able to cover much of a person’s body. If anything, it only served to add an erotic sense to it as the parts of the robe that were supposed to cover the private parts were embroidered with flower patterns.
While I was stunned by how thin this robe was, Xie Yi conjured up several powder boxes and urged, “Your Majesty, I will help you put some makeup on. Let’s be quick. His Majesty will be here any minute!”
Then, she leaned over, trying to put those powders on me.
This is madness! I can’t be seen as if I am trying to seduce Qi Sheng!
I hurriedly pushed her aside and shouted, “Xie Yi, you should go back! I won’t use any of that tonight.”
Xie Yi was baffled by my reaction and asked, “But why?”
I vaguely heard someone talking outside and I assumed it was Qi Sheng, and so without explaining to Xie Yi, I hurriedly shoved those boxes back to her arms and wrapped that robe, along with the bag, into a mess and tucked the whole lot into her sleeve.
As I frantically went through all that, I heard the steps drawing near to the corridor.
I stood up and walked to the door to greet Qi Sheng, while secretly instructing Xie Yi in a lowered voice, “Go, lest someone sees you!”
As soon as I finished talking, Qi Sheng entered the hall.
I put on a delicate and gracious smile, but before I could sweep him a courtesy, I heard a fit of loud clanking noise going behind me. Then, a tinny powder box rolled right beside my foot.
I froze, realizing what just happened.
Xie Yi, you must be doing these on purpose!
Qi Sheng cast me a look, diverted his gaze towards the spot behind my back, and then rested his gaze back on me.
I broke a strained smile and then turned back to scold Xie Yi, “Such a clumsy girl. Sort it out and get out!”
Xie Yi’s face turned pale as she frantically nodded her head and collected those powder boxes from the floor. Then she quickly backed out with lowered head.
Just when she was about to walk out of the hall, Qi Sheng suddenly said, “Stop.”
My heart skipped a beat as he said that, and similarly, Xie Yi’s body froze.
Qi Sheng slowly turned his body sideways and pinched at Xie Yi’s sleeve. He exerted a bit force and… Surprisingly, he didn’t manage to drag the stuff all out from her sleeve.
Qi Sheng was a bit stunned by this. He slightly raised his eyebrows, turned to cast a look at me, and then continued to drag.
There was nothing I could do except watching him slowly drag that thin silk robe out of Xie Yi’s sleeve. At that moment, I wanted to cover my eyes with my hands and pretended nothing had happened.
Qi Sheng, on the other hand, smiled and asked, “What’s this?”
I paused, blinked my eyes and turned to look at Xie Yi, “Yeah, Xie Yi, what’s that?”
Blushing, Xie Yi looked like she was deeply embarrassed as he lowered her head and stuttered, “This… This…”
I could not bear myself to see a girl being embarrassed like that, and so I stepped in to help her, “It looks like a robe.”
Qi Sheng took a look at the robe and then smirked, throwing that robe onto me and then allowing himself to be changed by the servants.
I instructed Xie Yi with a emotionless face, “You may leave now.”
Xie Yi’s eyes turned red. She looked at me apologetically and opened her mouth as if trying to explain something.
I waved at her, gesturing her to leave while I made my way to the inner hall and sat by the bedside waiting for Qi Sheng.
What happened with Xie Yi completely disrupted my initial plan. If I still insisted that I was here to sleep on the floor, Qi Sheng would definitely dismiss it as me being pretentious and hypocritical.
After all, one wouldn’t bring a pajama if one was planning to sleep on the floor.
I took the robe and then observed it carefully under the lantern light. Later, I put it on me to try it out. Well, that robe was so thin that anyone could see through it and recognize the patterns on my clothes. In fact, it was thinner than the mosquito net that Lv Li used to wrap me up last time!
After a while, Qi Sheng entered in his changed clothes and gave me a glimpse. He asked, “What do you want?”
I wanted to burn that embarrassing robe, but when I reached the candle, I suddenly thought that it would be a waste to ruin a perfectly good robe. After hesitating for a bit, I tugged the robe in between my waistband, rolled up my sleeve and yanked the bed sheet off the bed and laid it on the floor. I then sat on the sheet and said, “Well, Your Majesty, go ahead and sleep. I will stay guard!”
Qi Sheng paused, and then smirked. Instead of looking at me, he simply walked on my sheet and got onto the bed. Then he commanded with a cold tone, “Close the bed curtain.”
I got up and walked up to his bedside, closing the curtain as ordered and then laying back on the sheet. As soon as I laid down, I heard him saying, “I need tea.”
I then realized that he was deliberately ordering me around like a maid.