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Four slender young women came out from the side hall. All of them were charming and lovely. When they saw Cheng Yujin, they knelt down on the ground, “Greetings to the Crown Princess.”
Seeing the group of beautiful women, Cheng Yujin didn’t look panicked at all. She looked down at them and said: “What kind of rudeness is this? The Empress and Shou Wangfei are also here. Why haven’t you greeted them? Do you want to commit the crime of disrespecting the Empress?”
The four beauties were shocked. They never expected this kind of development. They had been instructed by the Empress beforehand and naturally knew that they were going to be given to the Crown Prince. All of them were excited, so they gave their all when it came to greeting the Crown Princess. They already knew that the Crown Princess was not easy to deal with, but they didn’t care, and it even further ignited their fighting spirit. However, they never imagined that the journey of seducing and winning the Crown Prince’s favor would fail before they even started.
How dare they admit to committing the crime of disrespecting the Empress? The four beauties looked at each other and quickly kowtowed to Empress Yang and Dou Xiyin. “This servant doesn’t dare. This servant pays respect to Her Majesty the Empress and Shou Wangfei.”
Empress Yang originally planned to give these four beauties to Cheng Yujin and had devised a way to force her to accept them. Unexpectedly, just in a blink of an eye, she saw a row of stunning beauties kowtowed before her.
Why did it look like they were going to be given to her… Empress Yang quickly took out the rhetoric she had prepared: “Crown Princess, there is currently not a single concubine in the Eastern Palace. Now that you are pregnant, you need to find companions to share your burden with. However, finding a woman with a clean background and a good character cannot be done easily. This Palace feels sorry for making you work so hard while you are still pregnant, so I found these four people. This Palace has checked their background, and they all are very gentle and virtuous. They will definitely be able to serve the Crown Prince well and can also relieve your boredom. Crown Princess, what do you think?”
Empress Yang’s words were full of high-sounding reasons and sincerity, cutting off Cheng Yujin’s way out. Dou Xiyin smiled from the side, looking forward to Cheng Yujin’s reaction.
“This daughter-in-law is grateful for Your Majesty’s kind efforts.” As soon as they heard this, Empress Yang and Dou Xiyin’s eyes brightened, but Cheng Yujin suddenly changed her tone: “Your Majesty, this daughter-in-law doesn’t understand one thing. As a woman, should we prioritize the order from our parents, or the order from our husband?”
Empress Yang suddenly became vigilant. Although she didn’t understand what Cheng Yujin was doing, her intuition told her that Cheng Yujin was doing her usual verbal trick again. Empress Yang thought for a while, and then answered cautiously: “As a girl, obey one’s parents. As a wife, obey one’s husband. And as a widow, obey one’s son. Everyone should be filial to their parents, wives should be obedient to their husbands, and sons should be filial to their mothers. Moreover, there is no difference between parents-in-law and husbands. To obey your parents is the same as obeying your husband.”
Empress Yang was satisfied. This statement should be comprehensive enough and avoid all the traps. It was too naive for Cheng Yujin to think that she could win twice using the same verbal tactic.
But Empress Yang didn’t expect that Cheng Yujin was still smiling in response. Seeing Cheng Yujin’s smile, Empress Yang suddenly had a bad premonition.
Cheng Yujin finally opened her mouth: “Thank you for Your Majesty’s explanation. This daughter-in-law suddenly became enlightened.”
Empress Yang was dazed by Cheng Yujin’s reaction. A little panicked and a little annoyed, she couldn’t help frowning: “What do you mean?”
Cheng Yujin said: “As Your Majesty said, children should be filial to their parents, and subjects should be loyal to their monarch. His Highness the Crown Prince is both a son and a subject. Naturally, he must uphold the rules passed down by the ancestors as the standard. The founding ancestor has decreed: a man cannot take a concubine unless he is without a son at forty. His Highness respects his ancestors and told this daughter-in-law from the very beginning that we should lead by example and follow in the footsteps of the founding ancestor. Your Majesty is very kind, and this daughter-in-law is very moved. Therefore, this daughter-in-law is determined to be even more filial from now on. His Highness has declared that he won’t take a concubine unless he is without a son at forty, so if this daughter-in-law brought women back on my initiative, wouldn’t it violate the ancestor’s rule? As a wife, how can I put His Highness in the position of being untrustworthy and unfilial?”
The frown on Empress Yang’s face was getting deeper with Cheng Yujin’s every word. She finally realized that she had been tricked. She clearly knew beforehand that Cheng Yujin was going to use word tricks against her. She knew, yet she was still tricked.
Because at the moment Empress Yang responded to Cheng Yujin’s initial question, she was already caught in the trap. If she answered that women should obey their husbands, Cheng Yujin would say that Crown Prince did not want to take concubines and that she should obey Crown Prince. If she answered that women should prioritize filial piety, then Cheng Yujin would take out the founding ancestor’s rules, excusing herself and the Crown Prince on the ground of filial piety, and thus still refused to take the concubines.
Empress Yang understood. From the beginning, Cheng Yujin never had the intention to accept these beauties. No matter what Empress Yang said, Cheng Yujin was ready to fight back. Empress Yang couldn’t even use her status as a mother-in-law to force Cheng Yujin to submit, because she would never dare to refute the founding emperor’s rules.
Empress Yang’s mood at the moment was extremely indescribable. Right after she thought that she would never trip over the same place twice, Cheng Yujin managed to make her fall into the same pit again.
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