Get To Know Your Ex-Girlfriend - Chapter 29
The Power of the Court: Just a Hand to Cover the Sky (Arc 2)
The Palace is decorated throughout with colourful lights and decorations and is full of joy.
Only the Palace of the Moon had lived up to its name as a cold palace, and nothing had changed.
But the three of them didn’t care, and Si Tong was pleased that, after all, their meals were better because of the new Empress.
Xin Lan told the two maids to stay in the palace, while she put on her palace maids’ clothes and went out quietly.
Si Tong was curious but did not ask, and after Xin Lan had left, she sat next to Chun Yue who was working on her needlework.
“Sister Chun Yue, are you making shoes for the Master?”
“No, I’m making them for you.”
Si Tong pointed at herself in surprise.
“You were complaining about your shoes being worn out a couple of days ago, so I thought I’d make you a pair since I was free anyway, and I happen to be making the soles of your new pair of shoes.”
“Sister Chun Yue is so generous,” said Si Tong, smiling, lying on Chun Yue’s back, “but where is the Master going?”
“The Master must have her own meaning, she will naturally tell us if she wants to.”
“Aren’t you curious at all?”
“In all the years I’ve been in the palace, I have not learned much about other truths, but one thing is clear: never be curious in a way you shouldn’t be.”
Chun Yue’s expression was light as she worked on the soles of her shoes.
Si Tong nodded, sat beside her and began to read a book.
Xin Lan walked along the trail, the palace was too busy for anyone to care about her.
Xin Lan followed the busy palace staff into the Changqiu Palace, keeping her head down and pretending as if she was busy fetching something.
She had come at the right time, the sealing ceremony was now over and the Emperor and Empress would be here shortly.
As the eunuch’s squeaky voice sounded, the palace staff stopped what they were doing and stood respectfully on either side of the road.
Xin Lan bent her head down in the crowd and watched a bright yellow colour pass by her eyes.
Zero Nine: The scan was successful, the data has been collected and is being analysed.
Xin Lan smiled and hooked the corners of her lips slightly.
The palace staff immediately dispersed after the Masters went in and went back to work on their affairs, while Xin Lan also took the opportunity to leave Changqiu Palace and return to the Palace of the Moon by taking the side road.
It may not seem like it took long, but the palace was so big that it had taken a considerable amount of time to get there and back.
When Xin Lan closed the door of the Palace of the Moon, Chun Yue and Si Tong hurriedly put down the things they were holding and came up to welcome her.
She went to her room and changed out of her palace maid’s clothes, and Si Tong took them, while Chun Yue took her clothes in her hand and handed them over for her to put on.
“Chun Yue, what do you think, will that niece of mine come to see me?”
“I’m sure she will.”
“I think so, Long’er is so simple minded that she will listen to my words.”
Xin Lan untied the beaded hairpin from her head and made her hair loose in a bun, her head full of beautiful silky hair like a waterfall, which made her skin more and more white, and the look in her eyes more and more profound.
Zero Nine: Host, the analysis results are out, the emperor’s sperm is not of very good quality. It is possible that he has taken some suppressive drugs before, but he is slowly recovering.
It’s a surprise to see that the emperor is not only ruthless to other people but also to himself.
The original owner was not able to conceive a child, even though she had been given a medicine that was so concealed that her pulse would not have revealed it, so she had checked herself and found nothing wrong with her.
In order to not let other people get pregnant and let the child be held by the original owner, he actually ruthlessly gave himself a suppressing drug, so that he could not let others get impregnated for the time being, and he was not afraid that the drug was so strong that he would really become sterile.
So it really is true that concubine Liu was just conceived, and according to human psychology, after taking that kind of medicine and now trying to recover, so it couldn’t have been the Emperor who did it, the tiger’s poison doesn’t yet eat the child.
So the Emperor’s happiness at that moment was not feigned, nor was his anger at learning that Concubine Liu had had a miscarriage, but it had just calmed down, probably because he felt that it was better to be without a child rather than to have an extra safeguard for the Xin family.
Just this mastermind behind the curtain, did he know or did he not know?
But someone with that kind of personality probably wouldn’t let go of the person who had murdered his own child, and would only pretend not to know for the time being and then investigate, and even if they did, they wouldn’t do anything about it unless that person had no more use left and would then be ruthlessly tortured or abandoned, just like the original owner, probably.
Such a person is really annoying enough.
Although the whole palace was decorated with lights, there were few people who were cheerful.
After nightfall, all the hustle and bustle returned to silence.
In a rare move, Xin Lan did not go to bed as soon as she could, but waited for darkness to fall.
At midnight, the entire palace fell into dead silence, with only the cicadas chirping now and then under the moonlight.
Xin Lan climbed out of the window and landed lightly on the ground without making a single sound.
She arrived at the palace wall of the Palace of the Moon, and beneath her feet there was a mass of wild grass.
Xin Lan boosted her qi and with a little leap on her toes, she easily leapt to a great enough height, grabbed the wall with her hands and lightly jumped to the top.
The movement was completed in a fluid manner, just a split of an instant.
“That feels good.”
Xin Lan swayed her legs, her shadow clear in the moonlight.
Each mission world has a limitation of power, but this limitation of power also depends on the situation, originally Xin Lan thought that this was only a Palace mission, even if she had to fight someone, she could only rely on her own hands, but she did not expect that there were actually people here who knew wushu, even if there was only a little bit of internal power in Concubine Man’s body, that was still there, so naturally she could also apply to enhance her own ability, Zero Nine had already submitted the the application, and it was passed during the day.
Of course the internal strength she can have is not much, but it is the peak that this mission world can bear, that is to say, the kind of Concubine Man, it is no problem to fight ten.
It was not good to be seen climbing the wall in the middle of the night, so Xin Lan stayed for a while and came down from above.
Nothing gives Xin Lan a greater sense of security than force value.
Used to the powerful qualities that come with her natural genes, no one knew how uncomfortable she felt when she first crossed over to the soft, ancient human.
It was as though her armour had been stripped away to reveal her soft inner self, and that was a bad feeling.
Xin Lan remembered that she had once crossed over into the body of a very sick person, a sick and beautiful person who could not move and vomited blood, and spent most of her time on her bed, vomiting blood while giving the protagonist a hard time.
That mission, even after all this time, she can’t quite remember what it was about or what she did, but the feeling of being so weak and feeble that even the slightest wind chill can make her critically ill is like a shadow over the top, making it too much for a born warrior to take.
So even in a world where she didn’t have to use force powers, she still felt it was important to be able to defend herself and have the ability to beat her opponents up at any time.
After climbing the literal wall, Xin Lan rolled the window back into bed and began to sleep with her eyes closed.
The moon was still high in the sky, and it was a beautiful night, unobscured by clouds, and the silver glow fell on the window pane and stretched into the house, illuminating the square of beauty.
The red candle melts a little, the flame dances on the wick.
Xin Lan sits on the bed with a red veil over her head and sits in a regular manner, her hands on her knees, her spine straight, but her fingers twisting restlessly against each other.
The room was terribly quiet, so quiet that she could not feel the presence of another person, but she knew that person had not yet left.
She held her tongue and waited for her cover to be lifted.
The person finally moved, and she saw a small piece of bright yellow fabric, followed by the cover being lifted from her head.
“Quite a little girl.”
Xin Long heard the man say.
She tilted her head and narrowed her eyes, unable to deny it.
She looked into his eyes and couldn’t help but blink a little.
“Do you know that you and your aunt have a few resemblances.”
Wu Yan Qing looked at the little girl’s face and saw a few glimpses of his ruined wife on it.
The mention of Xin Lan made him a little silent.
She had not done anything wrong, but she was the daughter of the Xin family.
The Xin family was becoming more and more of a threat to him, and although he had known in the beginning that the lending would be like this, he had to do it.
“I haven’t seen my aunt for a long time.”
Xin Long said so.
It had been about five years since her aunt had left home to marry someone else when she was no more than seven or eight years old, and she couldn’t quite remember what her aunt looked like anymore, only that she was a beauty.
When Xin Long said that, Wu Yan Qing also felt the memory of Xin Lan’s appearance blurred up.
It seemed like a long time since he had looked at that person squarely, and whenever he thought of it, he thought of the Xin family behind her, and it was a pang of disgust; no matter how good-looking that face was, he couldn’t like it.
If it hadn’t been for her, why would he have given himself that kind of medicine? If it hadn’t been for him, he probably would have had children around his knees calling him ‘Father’.
So he couldn’t stand it any longer. This time, when Concubine Liu was pregnant, he was glad that his capabilities had been restored, but it wasn’t in his plans for her to have a miscarriage.
Although he knew it couldn’t have been Xin Lan, after all, she wasn’t that stupid, and the Xin family behind her wouldn’t have indicated this, but since the evidence all pointed to her, he went along with it.
He knew the Xin family had another girl, but this little girl in front of him was much easier to cajole and control than Xin Lan, so he would rather have another, and what’s more, with this one in a grade too young for him to share a room and avoid things.
The Xin family wanted to wait for this little Empress to grow up, so let’s wait and wait until it was their time to die.
He regretted that the brat had died before he could find out who was behind it, and he could not find out anything from Concubine Liu.
But he knew that it had to be one of the women in his harem who had done it, and it was only those few who had done it with such a clean hand and erased all traces of it.
It was frightening to think that women who smiled like flowers in front of him, women who seemed so fragile that they would die if they were pinched, could also do such a ruthless thing.
It was the person on the pillow, yet I don’t know which one it was.
Each of them was soft and charming in their own way, and each seemed pure and innocent.
Wu Yan Qing watched Xin Long, but in his heart he was thinking of something else.
This matter would always be found out, after all, it was his first royal child.
Xin Long looked at the Emperor and just stared at him, wondering if her reply just now was inappropriate.
Her father and mother had only instructed her to be careful everywhere when she came to this palace, not to talk nonsense and to be more on guard, but she didn’t know how to talk and how to treat people well no more.
“It’s late at night, you should rest.”
Although Wu Yan Qing hated the Xin family, but the girl in front of him still looked very young, a pair of pure eyes looked at him, he did not want to look any further, and leaving this sentence turned to leave.
Xin Long didn’t stay either, just blinked and collapsed on the bed after the Emperor left.
The young maiden muttered, getting up and beckoning the maid in to disrobe.
When Xin Lan woke up the next morning to be subjected to gossip by Zero Nine that the Emperor had not slept with the new Empress last night, Xin Lan said she expected it.
If the Emperor had been so deranged as to have a go at a young girl… She probably would have felt even more disgusted, even with this ancient background, physiologically uncomfortable.
Zero Nine expressed her approval and continued to watch TV with Xin Lan when she had nothing better to do.
The desert drama had come to its grand finale, whether it was friendship or love or affection that had come to its perfection.
By the time the TV drama was finished, Xin Lan also happened to have her lunch.
It was just such a coincidence that her niece came.
Chun Yue at first cried when she saw the meal that could only be brought for Xin Lan, including Ru Zhaoyi who almost shed tears when she came, and this was the same reaction in her young niece’s case.
“How can they give you this food, aunt, and all these maids ——“
“I allowed it, what is Long’er doing here?”
“Came to see auntie, Auntie I’ll have someone make you something delicious to eat, Ming Xiang, go quickly.”
Xin Lan didn’t stop her actions, does she look like someone who doesn’t eat good food when it’s offered.
Xin Long was dressed in a gorgeous vivid red dress, the beaded hairpin on her head and Xin Lan was concerned if the little girl’s neck would be able to withstand it.
“Auntie, it’s been a long time.”
Xin Long had also been given a whole lot of stuff before entering the palace, but it all appeared to be understood, but she knew that her aunt was innocent and that the emperor loathed their family.
If he hated it, why did he marry his aunt and marry another one?
Her mother gave her a big speech, which made her head ache, and she couldn’t understand it, it was a mess.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you, and now Long’er has become a grown-up girl.”
“No, it’s so exhausting to be an Empress.”
Xin Long pouted as if to complain, looking pitiful with a frown.
“Having to get up so early, I haven’t even woken up yet, I couldn’t even have time for breakfast, so I sat in my seat, a bunch of women were chattering, making my head hurt, each one so much older than me, and still calling me sister against my heart, you don’t know how ugly one of the faces looked.”
Xin Long almost finished dealing with it on a hungry stomach, there was something she didn’t understand, or Ming Xiang answered back for her.
“Was it a magnificently dressed person sitting at the bottom left?”
“Yes, yes, yes, it is the Gui Fei.”
“She is staggering in nature, and prickly like the surface, this kind of thing you better watch out and know that she is not happy with you. Have less interaction with Consort Man and Consort Xi, especially Consort Xi, you can’t even play with her with two brains.”
Xin Lan nudged the young girl’s forehead and watched her nod.
“By the way auntie, yesterday auntie, no, yesterday His Majesty said to me that I look a bit like you.”
“Is that so, and what was your impression of His Majesty?”
“Fierce, but Mother told me to try to please him.”
Xin Lan’s face was unchanged, but in her heart she was sighing.
What was the use of pleasing the Emperor any more, the Xin family had not yet seen how deep the Emperor’s loathing of them had reached, so deep that they would have to be uprooted and then viciously torn apart before they were finished.
The Emperor would still be uncomfortable with a power that is not his own, or even beyond his control, let alone one that is not in the palm of his hand.
Xin Lan: Check the ingredients of the suppressant drug the Emperor took, and the opposing ingredients of the antidote to alleviate the situation, and check which things contain them.
Zero Nine: Yes.
Mingx Xiang returned with a food box full of goodies.
“Master, the imperial kitchen has been instructed.”
“That’s good, Auntie, eat delicious food every day from now on.”
“Good, thank you, Long’er.”
Xin Lan also did not consume the meal in front of Xin Long, but talked to her about some things in the harem, fearing that Xin Long would not be able to remember them, and made a special visualization.
Consort Xi was a poisonous snake, Consort Man was a fox, and Consort Gui was a vicious dog.
It seemed as if the foxes were the most harmless, but those who fell for them suffered stifling losses.
As for the vicious dog, it seems to be moving around in its own lair, but if it locks on to its prey and bites into the poison, it will be powerless to return.
Of course, these are all examples given by Xin Lan based on Xin Long, if it were herself, how could the fox fool her, the vicious dog would have to be injured himself before he could get close, and she always hit the snake by the seventh inch, the poisonous snake didn’t even have the chance to spurt out its venom.
Xinlong remembered them all, equating what Xin Lan said with the face in her mind.
“Aunt, you should eat first, it won’t taste good if it gets cold later.”
“Then I’ll leave first and come back to see you another day.”
“Good, but this scented bag of yours, what’s in it?”
Xin Long reported a few spices and saw Xin Lan frowning slightly.
“What’s wrong aunt? Is there a problem with this scented bag?”
“It’s not a big deal, it’s just that His Majesty doesn’t seem to like this too much, you can match a scented bag as I said.”
Xin Lan said what Zero Nine said about the spices containing that ingredient, and added a little something else.
The inspiration for the spice was still from Consort Man, but what Xin Long was able to play with was only pedestrian.
So in addition to that, Xin Lan also told Xin Long about a food that she should make for the emperor.
The Emperor’s niece is now in a position to make it.
It was a secret that no one knew anyway, the dish Xin Lan said would be well covered with other flavours, and even if the Emperor found out, Xin Long knew nothing about what it did, and even if she were to tell she would be fine.
Xin Long went back with her own maidservant and the Palace of the Moon returned to its usual peace.
Xin Lan asked the two maids to sit down and eat together, and after finishing the delicious meal Xin Long had brought, she began to wait for the day when the original master would die in the subsequent plot.
It was a week after the Empress Sealing Ceremony, and Xin Lan knew that on that day, she would be knocked unconscious by the Emperor’s men and appear in a small forest not far from the Imperial Banquet.
She would not go against this plot, and it could not have been a better opportunity.
When the time came, she would give the Emperor a taste of what it would be like to have a basket of bricks and no water.
And he wants to kill two birds with one stone? Dream on.
The cool night breeze dispelled the stifling heat of the summer.
The musicians played joyful music, the large night beads added colour to the feast, the pretty dancers poured wine in ambiguous positions with their cups in their mouths, the dancers sang and danced to the music, and the people at the table mingled and laughed.
At the same time, a black shadow infiltrated the Palace of the Moon.
Thinking that it was finally coming, Xin Lan pretended not to know and continued to make her bed, when a pain in the back of her neck plunged her into darkness.
Zero Nine watched the outside world nervously, the host was truly dizzy but could also be woken up by her at any time.
She watched as the black shadow led her host out of the Biyue Palace and around seven corners to a place where she set the person down.
The moment Xin Lan was put down, Zero Nine woke her up.
Xin Lan was still lying on the ground, pretending to be unconscious.
The dark shadow did not leave, but stood guard over her, as if waiting for something to come.
Qu Zhi’An put down her glass of wine, feeling a little strange in her heart, she had never been a bad drinker, today it was the Emperor who had given the wine to her colleagues to drink a few glasses, just these few glasses should not be enough to make her drunk, but she did feel a little lightheaded now, becoming a little drowsy.
This was not good, she had her secret in mind and planned to go out to blow off steam and calm down.
In case she collapsed in this palace and her secret was discovered, it would be a great disaster.
Qu Zhi’An, somewhat unable to see the expressions of the people in the palace, made herself known hastily and walked out of the palace.
The cool breeze blew in, which cleared her mind for a few moments.
But soon the drowsy feeling came back, accompanied by a wave of heat.
Qu Zhi’an was a little distracted and pressed her brow.
“Is Daren drunk? There is a pavilion not far away, Daren can go there to rest first, and the servant girl will go and bring you a bowl of sobering soup.”
“Thank you, girl.”
Qu Zhi’An heard a woman talking beside her, and when she looked up, she saw that she looked like a palace maid.
She followed her step by step, but the sky and earth suddenly shook.
The palace maid reached out to support her and led her forward step by step.
Qu Zhi’An was now nearly unconscious. The palace maid put her down, folded her over the fallen man on the ground and left with hurried steps.
Xin Lan opened her eyes and did not pretend to be unconscious again.
Zero Nine: Host, someone is staring not far away.
Xin Lan sat up from the ground, pretending to be somewhat alarmed and pushed the person away, staggering to stand up from the ground, but her hand deliberately pulled Qu Zhi’An up from the ground as well, but to an outsider it appeared as if Qu Zhi’An was tugging at Xin Lan’s hand and staggering to her feet.
“It’s hard ——“
Qu Zhi’An mumbled as she leaned against Xin Lan.
Xin Lan looked at her already all but unconscious and stretched out her hand to poke a certain acupuncture point on her body, the pain waking Qu Zhi’An up for a moment.
“Come with me.”
She only had time to hear such a voice, a nice, calm, seemingly reassuring voice.
Xin Lan walked forward, her fingers holding Qu Zhi’An’s by her sleeves, deliberately pushing her away and pulling her back, in order to give the wrong impression to the person watching in the shadows, as if she wanted to leave in a hurry, but Qu Zhi’An was pulling her on and wouldn’t let go.
It was only after some tangling and theatrics that she went in the direction chosen by Xin Lan.
Feeling herself moving, Qu Zhi’An struggled to open her eyes and saw a strangely beautiful side face.
Something was wrong.
Qu Zhi’An knew she had been tricked, but how, where she was now, who was next to her and where she was going, she didn’t know.
She tried to think but her head felt like mush, like a drunken fog, and she even felt like she was hanging in the air, not having landed on the ground.
If Qu Zhi’An were to look down at this moment, she would see that she was really in the air.
Xin Lan crossed the corridor by means of the rockery then flew up to the roof, tumbled into a palace, pressed herself against the wall to support the person leaning on her, and waited for Zero Nine to say that the person had gone before following the map in her mind to avoid the person and return to Palace of the Moon.
Si Tong and Chun Yue were both dying of anxiety when they found Xin Lan missing from the room, the two of them kept pacing around the room and rushed to meet Xin Lan when they found her walking in.
“Where have you been, master? This is?”
Chun Yue hastily inquired, then frowned when she noticed that her master was also holding someone, and looking at the clothing it was a man.
“Something has happened, explain later, go and prepare a bucket of water, I want to take a bath, quick, it’s okay if the water isn’t hot.”
“I have water for the boil, we’ll go and prepare it now.”
Xin Lan helped the man to his room, Qu Zhi’An was again in a near coma, leaning against Xin Lan with her eyes tightly closed and her forehead sweating all the time, in a very bad state.
Xin Lan was lucky that the Emperor had not given her any aphrodisiac. If he did, it would have been difficult for her.
At the moment, the tanhua has a face like a peach blossom, and if one looks closely enough, one can detect the hint of a woman.
She was so handsome that if she were a man, she would be described as a beautiful woman, but she was a woman herself, so this was not a derogatory term.
Qu Zhi’An felt someone staring at her and opened her eyes with great effort, blinking sluggishly.
The feeling of weakness was so overwhelming that she just had to hold on to the clothes of the person beside her for dear life, only to be pushed away.
She fell to the floor in a daze, looking at the person who had pushed her away with a slightly aggravated look.
Xin Lan was ready to take off her clothes, but this person next to her tugged at her clothes and wouldn’t let go, so she had to push a little, and she didn’t expect that this tangy boy actually couldn’t even stand up, and sat down directly on his butt, falling dumbfounded, and that aggrieved look even looked a little cute and funny.
“Why did you push me?”
Qu Zhi’An asked in a daze, frowning in pain again.
Two voices seemed to be at war in her head, trying desperately to wake up, only to fall into a deeper stupor.
Xin Lan had no choice but to pull the person sitting on the ground up.
When she pulled her hand up, she groped her hand towards the young girl’s breast in passing.
She wasn’t trying to be a rogue, she just wanted to make sure.
But before she could touch it, it was blocked.
Qu Zhi’An grabbed her hand, her dark eyes locked with hers, her lips pursed in a way that looked like she was sober.
Xin Lan laughed lightly and allowed her to pull on her one hand, using the other to continue her exploration of the decipherment.
Then the other hand was grabbed as well.
“Even then so defensive?”
Qhu Zhi’An just looked at her and didn’t say a word.
“Okay, okay, I won’t touch it, let go of my hand.”
Qu Zhi’An didn’t know if she understood or not, but she still held Xin Lan’s hand and didn’t let go.
She was hot, and those hands were also hot, and the grip was soft and cold, so she didn’t want to let go.
Xin Lan would not let her keep pulling like that and forcefully pulled her hand out.
A light layer of mist floated into Qu Zhi’An’s eyes as she stood aggressively in place for punishment.
It was so uncomfortable, obviously being close would make her comfortable.
Xin Lan untied her outer robe and began to untie her own lining.
Qu Zhi’An’s eyelashes fluttered, and there was a nervous step back when she saw a patch of white skin.
Xin Lan was wearing a bib, and underneath she was wearing a pair of profane clothes, and her white arms were exposed.
There was only a candle flame in the room, and her hair was draped underneath, and the light and shadow cast on her side of her face was actually a little gentle.
The hot water was carried in and together Chun Yue and Si Tong put the bucket down, putting the cloth towel over the edge of the bucket, looking at Xin Lan with desire and then at Qu Zhi’An in the room.
“She is not your concern, go out and do not reveal that someone is here with me.”
“Slave servant knows.”
Chun Yue and Si Tong bowed and retreated.
After the door was closed, the two maids were filled with thoughts.
The matter of the master sharing a room with a man, and the master bathing in front of that man, had to make one think deeply.
“The master must have her own considerations, let’s just pretend we don’t know.”
Chun Yue felt that it was something wrong, after all, the master had said bluntly that something was wrong, although she didn’t know what had happened, she thought it was not good, since she was in this palace, she had to learn to be properly blind and heart blind.
Si Tong nodded and they went about their business as usual, as if nothing had ever happened.
In the main hall, someone whispered something in the Emperor’s ear and there was a slight change in his face.
He picked up his wine glass and drained it in one go, clenching it tightly.
If the occasion had not been wrong, he would probably have thrown the wine glass out and cursed at the waste.
I can’t believe that knocking out a woman is not even strong enough to make someone wake up early, and even if they wake up, they actually let her run away.
He whispered a few words to the man, who nodded and retreated.
On the other side, Xin Lan had already taken off her inner trousers and was left with a single pair of underwear.
She looked at Qu Zhi’An and unfastened the last piece of her covering as well.
Qu Zhi’An looked frozen, blushing up to her neck.
It didn’t matter to Xin Lan, she was a woman, so what was there to be ashamed of.
She stepped into the bucket and crooked her finger at Qu Zhi’An.
Qu Zhi’an slowly approached, not looking very sober.
There were noises coming from the doorway and Xin Lan’s eyes flinched.
She stood up, not caring that Qu Zhi’Sn had her clothes and shoes on, and dragged her into the water by force.
The fabric absorbed the water and became heavy, and Qu Zhi’An was uncomfortable moving around.
“Quiet, now sink under the water and don’t make a sound, understand, it will be hard for you and I to escape this if we are found out.”
Xin Lan took Qu Zhi’An by the chin and looked into her eyes.
Qu Zhi’An’s eyes cleared for a moment and she nodded, sinking into the water, her green silk floating in the bucket.
Xin Lan, on the other hand, slowly picked up a cloth towel to wipe her arms, feeling sorry for the bucket of water in her heart.
“How dare you! Who gave you permission to trespass! Is my master also something you can charge at!”
This cry was shouted by Chun Yue, and Si Tong was there to stop her.
“Don’t go in, my master is bathing!”
Yet they still did not stop the intruder, and Xin Lan’s door was kicked open.
“I didn’t know that even a woman’s boudoir is something you can enter whenever you want.”
Xin Lan did not turn around, only giving the person who entered a foggy back, her tone containing an edge.
“Even though I am an Abolished Empress, I am still a woman, and this is still in the harem. I will fight to save face and report to the new Empress, and I can still punish you to death.”
Xin Lan’s face was cold, she would give the Emperor another mark today and make him pay the price one by one in the coming day.
“Your Majesty, I have no intention to offend, but I have only chased the thief here, so I wonder if I can search for him?”
“What if I say no?”
Qu Zhi’An, who had by now been holding her breath to the extreme, quietly revealed half her head and heard such a conversation, and was startled in her heart.
Her mind had cleared quite a bit while she was submerged in the water.
Leaving aside other factors, was it too much of a slight to barge in while a woman was bathing and actually say something about continuing the search?
Qu Zhi’An frowned, her heart pounding with discomfort.
Xin Lan saw her emerge, fearing that the people behind her would look out, and pressed the back of that head against her arms, displeasure still radiating around her.
Buried unawares in the soft bosom, Qu Zhi’An could feel the place swaying gently.
She tentatively blushed to the point of dripping blood, this this this ——
The softness of her cheeks was held up, and Qu Zhi’An pinched her fingertips, making herself try to restrain the urge to escape.
Her eyes looked at the face that was steaming with water vapor and she was a little dazzled.
“I would be offended.”
The man went into the room, searched Xin Lan’s bed and underneath it, and seeing that he had indeed found nothing, went to look elsewhere.
It was only when they had left the Palace of the Moon that the two little maids appeared with red eyes.
“Master, he’s bullying people too much!”
“No harm done, you guys go out first.”
Xin Lan loosened her clenched fist and let out a soft breath of relief.
Once Chun Yue and the girls had gone out, Xin Lan stood up in the water, and Qu Zhi An also got up in a hurry, averting her eyes with some discomfort.
“Your Majesty, you should put your clothes on first.”
“What does it matter, isn’t Daren also a woman.”
Qu Zhi’An didn’t feel angry when her secret was torn apart, she rubbed her nose and looked left and right but didn’t dare to look at Xin Lan.
Xin Lan got up from the water, wiped herself hastily, and put on her belly-band and loincloth.
“Does your lordship ever remember what happened before?”
Qu Zhi’An sniffed and sank, there was something odd in that wine and in the palace maid who had guided her, if this man hadn’t led her all the way, I’m afraid she would have been found out by this time.
“It seems to have come to mind, so do you know who those two people were looking for just now?”
“If I guessed correctly, they must have been looking for me, or have I even dragged Your Majesty into this.”
Qu Zhi’an frowned, she had only just entered the service, who had she offended to be like this.
“Not to say offended, how do you think I appeared there, today is the day of the imperial banquet, how could I, a wasted queen of the cold palace, run there for nothing.”
“Two birds with one stone?”
“Who do you think it was?”
“There is a guess, but it shouldn’t —— I don’t remember when I have offended anyone.”
“Who else in this palace has the ability to knock me out, drug you to lead the way, and have someone break into the Cold Palace to search for me, other than the one sitting up there? Have you ever heard the name of the person who broke in?”
Xin Lan snorted, brushing her fingers through her long, slightly damp hair.
The man had called himself ‘This small official‘, not ‘Slave‘, so he was at least an official, and who else but the Emperor could call on him at this time?
The Emperor’s attitude towards her today was clearly normal, and he had been very amicable during the banquet.
“Could it be that His Majesty knows that I am a woman and is setting me up?”
This was the only answer Qu Zhi’An could come up with, otherwise the rest was unlikely, but this alone was a case of deceiving the emperor and disregarding his superiors, enough to kill him.
Why go to all this trouble when you can reveal it on the spot?
Was it just to kill two birds with one stone?
Qu Zhi’An looked at Xin Lan sitting on the bed, but that didn’t hold water either.
It would be contradictory to frame this woman for fornication, to disrupt the palace, and to reveal her identity as a woman.
Xin Lan made no comments on her speculation and sat quietly by the side.
Qu Zhi’An was caught in a kind of confusion, looking at Xin Lan with complicated eyes.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“How is it that Your Majesty is not at all surprised or angry at all?”
From start to finish this person acted calm, whether it was being knocked unconscious and nearly framed for an illicit affair, or finding out she was a woman.
Except for the two men who got angry when they barged in, it was calm to the point of indifference.
“Unexpected, what’s to be angry about, except that the subject was you, I knew he wanted to torture me, you rather surprised me.”
If the Emperor had wanted Xin Lan dead, it would not have been complicated, but he just wanted to toss and turn, refusing to let people die comfortably and having to make them lose face before torturing them to death.
“Your Majesty does not look like someone who would mutilate the Emperor’s heir.”
colourful lights and decorations 張燈結彩 (zhāngdēngjiécǎi): to be decorated with lanterns and colored banners (idiom)
is full of joy.喜氣洋洋 (xǐqìyángyáng): full of joy (idiom); jubilation
fluid manner 行雲流水 (xíngyúnliúshuǐ): lit. moving clouds and flowing water (idiom) / fig. very natural and flowing style of calligraphy, writing, etc / natural and unforced
little girl 丫頭 (yātou) there’s a xiao before this two characters, but that is self explanatory: girl / servant girl / (used deprecatingly, but sometimes also as a term of endearment)
a mess 亂七八糟 (luànqībāzāo): everything in disorder (idiom); in a hideous mess / at sixes and sevens
Dream on春秋大夢 (chūnqiūdàmèng): grand dreams / unrealistic ideas (idiom)
Daren 大人 (dàren): title of respect toward superiors
main hall 大殿 (dàdiàn): main hall of a Buddhist temple
Tanhua 探花 (tànhuā): candidate who came third in the Han-lin examination, was going to go with prized scholar or third prized scholar.
This small official 微臣 (wēichén): can also be humble servant
Slave 奴才 (núcai)
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