Villainess Wants To Turn Over A New Leaf - Chapter 209
E/D: Spirit Song
During her senior years, the Empress Dowager moved to Mount Wutai to practice Buddhism.
As the winner of the previous harem battle in the last reign, seeing her own son’s harem battles made her very upset. She was already old and no longer wanted to partake in matters like these. Ever since she left the palace, she would be away for a year or two and only returned to the Imperial Palace momentarily only if there were any major events.
Seeing that her son had written her such an earnest letter, the Empress Dowager couldn’t help but to wonder— had she really gone senile with age or was her memory already failing her?
Who is the Little Fifth Princess?
I don’t remember hearing of such a person the last time I went back to the palace?
The Empress Dowager was not to be blamed.
There were many Imperial Princes and Princesses in the palace, so she didn’t have to worry about the Emperor’s heirs at all, which was why she rarely ever asked about them as well. Coupled with the fact that she barely ever returned to the palace, not knowing about the existence of an unfavoured princess was a normal occurrence.
After giving it some more thought, the Empress Dowager decided to pack up and return to the palace. She wanted to see who exactly was the Little Fifth Princess that was capable enough of getting the Emperor to host a birthday celebration the size of a state banquet just for her.
The Empress Dowager’s return to the palace was a big event for the harem as well.
Although the Empress Dowager didn’t have a habit of meddling with the affairs in the harem and she was rarely ever present in the palace, she was still the Emperor’s mother. Hence, her authority was no lesser than that of the Empress. Some concubines who couldn’t find a way to bewitch the Emperor would opt to gain some attention from the Empress Dowager herself.
If a concubine could obtain favours from the Empress Dowager, her life in the harem would be guaranteed even if she wasn’t favoured by the Emperor.
Although the Empress Dowager didn’t seem to meddle with national affairs, when a case of injustice was brought before her, she would handle it with ruthlessly effective methods that would make others gape in awe and cower in fear of her abilities.
But it wasn’t exactly true to say that many people genuinely adored the Empress Dowager.
She was the victor of the previous harem battle after all; the term ‘kindness’ had no longer existed in her dictionary. She had already lost count of the number of lives taken by those blood-stained hands of hers.
Those in the royal family owned endless streams of wealth and the taste of power, but they would never be able to savour the affection and warmth that ordinary people could unconditionally have.
The act of practicing Buddhism only occurred to her in her later ages as she started to recall the incidents that happened in the past, causing her to start worrying about what would happen in the near future as she was engulfed by overwhelming guilt. The practice of Buddhism also emphasised the concept of ‘karma’, which made the Empress Dowager fear that she would descend to the gates of Hell after passing into the afterlife.
When Emperor Lin just ascended to the throne, she actually stayed behind in the harem intentionally to lend him a hand. She knew after all— with her in charge, no matter what sort of troubles were stirred by the women in the harem, ‘things’ , in this case, the war in the Imperial harem, would be carried out with a certain limitation to the excessiveness.
Once her greatest wish of having her son ascend the throne as the Emperor came true, she became relaxed. However, then she began to dream of the people who died at her own hands, making her stir awake from nightmares as she was unable to fully rest properly due to the lingering fear.
After listening to the advice of the eminent monk, she was set on moving to Mount Wutai. Whether it was truly effective or if it was some sort of psychological reason; she didn’t know. What the Empress Dowager did know was that she no longer had nightmares since her stay. Hence, she gradually moved into Mount Wutai, devoting herself to prayers and paying homage to Buddha in the act of cleansing her past sins.
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