Beloved Empress

水云行

Chapter 147.1

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Chapter 147 Part 1: Don’t Ruin My Vibe

Jun Qian Che knew he couldn’t hide it any longer, so he decided to come clean, “Imperial mother, son’s left arm has indeed been wounded, but it has been healing well. Son didn’t want you to worry, that’s why son didn’t tell you.”

“Is that so, or is it because you want to protect someone else? Imperial mother has asked the imperial physicians’ courtyard; none of them knows you’ve been injured. Even if you didn’t want to tell imperial mother, you should’ve at least seek treatment from them. But you did not do that! Instead, you’ve been running off to the Empress’ palace every night without ever spending the night. How weird does that sound? Imperial mother guess that the Empress has something to do with your injury and you didn’t want people to know that. You refused to seek treatment just to cover up for the Empress, so that Mother wouldn’t know. Am I right?” a.n.a.lyzed the Empress Dowager calmly.

Jun Qian Che refuted what she said, “Zhen’s injury has nothing to do with the Empress. The only reason zhen did not let this be checked by the imperial physicians is because zhen did not think it was a big deal. The injury is in zhen’s arm, so zhen could easily treat it myself. There are a lot of things going on at court lately, so zhen did not wish to make this matter known lest the officials make a mountain out of a molehill. It could lead to an instability at the court.”

The Empress Dowager looked at him in displeasure, “Aijia does not believe what you said. Aijia would like to question the Empress personally.” After saying that, she got up and walked out of the hall.

Jun Qian Che knew his mother’s temper. No one could change her mind once she decided upon something, so in the end, he could only follow her and hope that Mo Qi Qi wouldn’t admit to anything.

Yang Shi Han walked alongside him and poke fun of him, “Cousin brother, Shi Han did not think you would care for the Empress so much. You took Shi Han by surprise.”’

He glared at her, angry at her for spilling the beans.

On the other hand, Mo Qi Qi had been resting on top of the phoenix seat for a while now. After relaxing for a moment longer, she stood up and began walking around. She picked up a bunch of grapes and leisurely ate them as she walked around. She patted her stomach in a motherly manner, “Sweetie, mummy is eating grapes! Eat as much as you’d like!”

“The Empress Dowager has arrived!” came an announcement from outside.

Mo Qi Qi was so shocked that she accidentally swallowed a grape whole. She clutched her throat in panic, “Wuwu—“

Seeing this, Ban Xiang became concerned, “What is wrong, Your Ladyship?”

Mo Qi Qi pointed at the grapes with a pained expression, before using her other hand to point at her own throat, “Argh! –Cough cough-“

Understanding the situation, Ban Xiang immediately patted her back. Unfortunately, her pats were too light and didn’t really do anything.

Mo Qi Qi motioned her to use more force.

She nodded, agreeing. “Your Ladyship, please forgive me.” She took a deep breath and delivered a heavy blow to her back.

–Cough–

Her heavy-handed method caused the grape to flew out of Mo Qi Qi’s mouth.

It just happened that the Empress Dowager was walking in right at this time. The grape flew towards her and would have hit her straight in the glabella had the quick-minded Jun Qian Che not grabbed it in time. He glared at Mo Qi Qi.

She looked at him innocently.

He signaled her to quickly curtsy.

Understanding him, she immediately curtsied in front of the Empress Dowager, “This daughter greets the Empress Dowager.”

The Empress Dowager was furious, “How dare you attack aijia!”

She waved her arms, trying to explain herself, “Your Ladyship, this daughter did not mean to do that. This daughter was too shocked to hear the announcement from outside and ended up choking on a grape. Ban Xiang helped take it out, but it happened right when you were walking in! That really happened! This daughter had no intention to hurt you!”

Jun Qian Che pretended to scold her, “Empress, you are about to become a mother soon, and yet you are still so immature! What if the grape remained stuck inside your throat and couldn’t be taken out? It would also be dangerous to the baby.”

She obediently nodded, “Yes, chenqie knows her fault. Chenqie will be more careful while eating grapes in the future.”

The Empress Dowager remained displeased: how could this even count as scolding her? He was clearly worried about her even though the one who almost got injured was his own mother! It was true what they said: once married, a son would only remember the wife and forget the mother! Right now, all there was in his heart were the Empress and their child.

Jun Qian Che looked at the Empress, “Hurry and invite imperial mother to sit.”

Mo Qi Qi quickly stepped forward and respectfully said, “Welcome, imperial mother. It is Feng Yang Palace’s honor to have you here, right now. Please sit, imperial mother.”

The Empress Dowager gave her a glance of disdain before walking to the main seat in the hall.

Mo Qi Qi looked at Jun Qian Che and tacitly ask what was going on. Why did the Empress Dowager suddenly come? Did something happen? Should she—

Just then, the Empress Dowager settled herself on the seat.

Mo Qi Qi stood there, looking completely dignified and elegant, her lips carrying the trace of a gentle smile. Her heart though, was running wild. The Empress Dowager had never come here ever since she entered Mo Qi Qi’s body. The Empress Dowager had never even come to ask about her pregnancy. And yet, here she was today. Her instinct told her that something went wrong.

Jun Qian Che leaned into her and whispered, “Don’t be afraid. Just go with the flow.”

She looked at him, before nodding.

The Empress Dowager got even more annoyed upon seeing the way those two make eyes at each other. She focused her attention on Mo Qi Qi, “Empress, do you know what brought aijia to Feng Yang Palace today?”

Mo Qi Qi’s eyes brightened as she smiled, “Your Ladyship must have come for your unborn grandchild! Do not worry, Your Ladyship, this daughter will definitely give birth to your grandchild safely.”

The fact that Mo Qi Qi brought up the baby made the Empress Dowager even more furious. Her own son actually turned against her for this child! Why would she even want to see this so-called grandchild of hers? They didn’t even know for sure if it was really her grandchild! She had never liked nor had even the slightest desire to care for the child that Mo Qi Qi was carrying.

“The child isn’t even born yet, what is there for aijia to look at?” replied the Empress Dowager coldly.

Mo Qi Qi continued guessing, “Then, are you here to visit Feng Yang Palace? To visit a palace that you once lived in? Your Ladyship must be missing the late Emperor, and decided to come here to reminisce all your fond memories together.”

“Presumptuous!” snapped the Empress Dowager. “Is aijia’s relationship with the late Emperor something that you, someone from the later generation, could comment on?”

“This daughter is not commenting, and is merely jealous of the love you shared with the late Emperor,” explained Mo Qi Qi.

The Empress Dowager remained cold as she said, “Are you insisting on being glib?”

Mo Qi Qi pursed her lips, “This daughter dares not.”

Jun Qian Che spoke up, “Imperial mother, the Empress is currently pregnant. Please do not scare her off.”

The Empress Dowager glanced at him in anger. She felt like speaking anything more than necessary with Mo Qi Qi would be a waste of words, so she went straight to the point, “Did you know that His Majesty injured his arm?”

Mo Qi Qi was startled, she did not expect the Empress Dowager to found out about it. She was done for, so done for! No, she must calm down! Didn’t Jun Qian Che tell her to go with the flow? It was time to test her acting skills! No matter what, she must not let it be known that Jun Qian Che got injured because of her! The Empress Dowager would skin her alive!

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An arrogant smile appeared on the Empress Dowager’s lips when she saw the stunned look on Mo Qi Qi’s face, “Are you afraid now that things are out in the open?”

Mo Qi Qi immediately stepped forward, “Imperial mother, there is no need to go through all that trouble. This daughter knows how His Majesty got injured. Please let everyone else go.”

The Empress Dowager looked at her son with an expression of surprise before directing her eyes to Mo Qi Qi, “Oh? Didn’t the Empress claim complete ignorance of His Majesty’s injury earlier?”

“This daughter was too scared just now. After seeing so many people about to be implicated for this, this daughter cannot let that happen.”

The Empress Dowager’s face was grave as she said, “Go on then, Empress. Do you have something to do with His Majestys injury?”

Mo Qi Qi was surprised to hear that and immediately explained herself, “Your Ladyship, His Majesty was injured because he was trying to save this daughter, but this daughter definitely did not injure him.”

“Then how did it happen?” asked the Empress Dowager angrily.

Jun Qian Che immediately spoke up, “Imperial mother, this son’s injury is—-“

“Do not speak, Your Majesty. Aijia would like to hear the Empress’ explanation,” the Empress Dowager cut him off furiously.

Mo Qi Qi looked at Jun Qian Che and smiled, “Your Majesty, you don’t have to keep covering things up for chenqie.” Although Mo Qi Qi was a complete coward who fears death, she could not let innocent people die to save her own skin. After all, the Empress Dowager was only making such a big fuss to force her to tell the truth. She might as well do it, who knew, she might even return to her own time after losing her head in this one.

“Your Ladyship, since you want to hear what happened, this daughter will not keep anything from you. On the night of the Qixi Festival, this daughter was curious to see how the common people celebrate the festival in the capital. This daughter begged His Majesty to let this daughter out. He originally said no because he did not want anything to happen to this daughter out there. However, this daughter kept pestering him and in the end, he agreed. This daughter left the palace with a maid and originally planned to return to the palace soon, but then, this daughter b.u.mped into the 7th King. We walked around a little, and on the way to Yue Lao Temple, this daughter almost got hit by a carriage. Luckily His Majesty appeared in time to save this daughter. After that incident, he escorted this daughter back to the palace. On the way back, we encountered a.s.sa.s.sins. The a.s.sa.s.sins were targeting this daughter, but His Majesty saved this daughter again and got injured. That’s why His Majesty has been coming to Feng Yang Palace, to get his wound treated.”

The Empress Dowager was livid, “How bold of you to sneak out of the palace for a date with the 7th King during Qixi Festival! Do you even care for His Majesty?”

Mo Qi Qi slapped her own forehead! How could she possibly be so honest? Why did she tell the Empress Dowager about her encounter with Yue Hen?

Jun Qian Che immediately spoke up on Mo Qi Qi’s behalf, “Imperial mother, the Empress said it loud and clear: she only accidentally b.u.mped into the 7th King outside.”

“A coincidence? You actually believed that?” questioned the Empress Dowager testily.

Jun Qian Che replied her in full confidence, “This son believes it.”

“You—“ the Empress Dowager was momentarily taken aback by the Emperor’s reply.

Mo Qi Qi was touched to hear him vouching for her.

“The Empress has mistreated you to that extent, and yet you are still taking her side! Even if the encounter with the 7th King had been incidental, the fact remains that she caused you to be injured and hid that matter afterwards, depriving you from proper treatment from imperial physicians. Empress, are you trying to get His Majesty killed?” scolded the Empress Dowager gravely.

“This daughter did not!” Mo Qi Qi protested her innocence.

“Imperial mother, it was this son that didn’t allow the Empress to make the matter known to public. This son did not wish to worry you. And this son wanted to prevent gossips as well,” insisted Jun Qian Che as he sided with her.

“Aijia really does not know what kind of medicine that the Empress used to bewitch you. Why do you keep siding with her? Regardless, the Empress snuck out of the palace, which is already breaking palace’s rules. Then, she covered up your injury, which is a crime on top of another crime. If aijia does not punish her today, it’d be hard for aijia to face the public. The Empress really needs to be punished,” declared the Empress Dowager.

“Imperial mother, it was son who allowed the Empress to leave the palace. It was also this son who didn’t let her disclose to this son’s injury to others. If anyone needs to be punished, it would be this son,” replied Jun Qian Che firmly.

Mo Qi Qi slapped her forehead again. Jun Qian Che, this fool. The Empress Dowager was already mad, and all that anger was due to her concern for her only son. That’s why she was so h.e.l.l-bent on punishing her. However, she was pregnant. She believed the Empress Dowager would not punish her too heavily, having taken that into account. At most, she would only be given a house-arrest for a while. As long as he did not speak up, this matter would just end there. The more he spoke for her, the more enraged the Empress Dowager would be. He was only fanning the fire! Jun Qian Che, you have so many women, and yet lack understanding towards women, ah!

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