As expected, the Mama dispatched by Empress Dowager Yang was here to call Cheng Yujin to the Cining Palace. All the way, they tightly guarded Cheng Yujin’s every step, obviously to prevent her from informing others. Cheng Yujin’s reaction was very calm. Without saying a word, she departed with Empress Dowager’s people.
When Cheng Yujin arrived at Cining Palace, she immediately found the atmosphere was not right. Feigning ignorance, Cheng Yujin bowed at Empress Dowager Yang with her usual attitude, “This daughter-in-law greets Your Majesty the Empress Dowager. Is Your Majesty’s cough better today?”
Empress Dowager Yang looked at Cheng Yujin with a cold gaze. Yet, she couldn’t help sighing inwardly. Look, it was obviously the same greeting, but Dou Xiyin could only say, “Are you feeling better today?” while Cheng Yujin accurately expressed specific concern about her cough.
If Dou Xiyin was as talented as Cheng Yujin, how could Empress Dowager Yang disagree with the Second Prince marrying her? Just a pity. Since Cheng Yujin could not be used, she was fated to be destroyed.
Empress Dowager Yang nodded in response. Her voice was hoarse. “It’s better now. This Dowager heard that the Crown Princess has been staying in the Eastern Palace to take care of your pregnancy for these past few days and has not stepped out of the palace gate once. This is not good. Although pregnancy requires enough rest, basic exercise should not be lacking. Otherwise, there is a danger of difficult labor.”
Seeing Empress Dowager Yang openly express care about her pregnancy, Cheng Yujin immediately knew that today’s hurdle would not be easy, so she became even calmer and nodded with a smile, “Many thanks for Empress Dowager’s teaching. This granddaughter-in-law remembers.”
Empress Dowager Yang tilted her head, coughed softly, and said again: “This Dowager has not been well both physically and mentally and thus has neglected the affairs of the younger generations for quite some time. Truth be told, it is unfortunate that This Dowager was the last to know about the major matter happening in the family despite being the great-grandmother. The fetus in your womb is already six months old, but This Dowager has never seen him well. Sit down. This Dowager will let two Mamas experienced in pregnancy check your condition.”
Hearing this, Cheng Yujin was startled. Her gaze moved slightly, and from the corner of her eyes, she saw two Mamas standing beside Empress Dowager Yang. Both of them were somberly dressed in dark blue clothes, with totally expressionless faces and hair tied so tightly that their scalp seemed to be almost peeled away. The eyes of these two Mamas looking at Cheng Yujin were cold and dark, as if they were looking at a piece of commodity and not a human being.
Cheng Yujin didn’t even need to guess the identities of these two people. Just looking at their hands, she felt chilled to the bone. The imperial palace was the place where unspeakable things happened regularly. Many palace maids or imperial concubines who became pregnant for no apparent reason or had offended high-ranking personages would be forcibly aborted by specialist Mamas. These people’s methods were extremely effective and malicious. With just a bowl of medicine and some hand pressure on the waist and stomach, the fetus would be aborted cleanly, leaving the woman with no possibility of getting pregnant again.
Not even Empress Dowager had the power to order an abortion on the Crown Princess. Cheng Yujin knew this well. Empress Dowager Yang probably got the news today and wanted to use this opportunity to determine whether Cheng Yujin was really pregnant with twins. After all, Cheng Yujin came to the Cining Palace in an open manner, and thus Empress Dowager Yang wouldn’t dare to do any harm to either Cheng Yujin or the fetus in her belly.
Cheng Yujin understood this reasoning, but she still didn’t dare to take the risk. How dare she let these people touch her stomach? Even if Empress Dowager Yang said that it was just a check, who knew what kind of secret trick they hid behind?
Seeing Cheng Yujin didn’t react for a long time, Empress Dowager Yang lost patience and said solemnly, “Crown Princess is young and inexperienced. Go and teach her.”
The two mamas responded in a low voice and walked toward Cheng Yujin. At the same time, several sturdy mamas silently moved behind Cheng Yujin, blocking her escape.
Both Lian Qiao and Du Ruo were frightened and hurriedly stepped forward to protect Cheng Yujin. But here was the Cining Palace, and the two servant girls were quickly subdued by Empress Dowager Yang’s servants. Empress Dowager Yang had been ruling over the inner palace for half of her life, and her subordinates had countless secret tricks in their hands. Lian Qiao and Du Ruo seemed to be just pulled a bit, but the pain was so bad that they couldn’t even stand.
At first, Du Ruo was still trying to avoid the attacks, but after seeing that the two Mamas were approaching, she completely gave up on evading and threw herself between Cheng Yujin and the Mamas. Enduring the pain in her body, Du Ruo reminded, “Crown Princess, when we left the Ciqing Palace just now, Eunuch Liu asked if you wanted him to go with us, but you said that His Majesty’s messenger would be coming today, so you let Eunuch Liu stay. This servant actually forgot to bring something and has only remembered just now. Eunuch Liu is probably on the way to deliver the thing at this moment.”
When Li Chengjing departed, he left Liu Yi behind for Cheng Yujin. Cheng Yujin deliberately did not take Liu Yi with her to Cining Palace so that he could go to Qianqing Palace to report to the Emperor. Du Ruo’s words just now we’re actually a reminder for Empress Dowager Yang, warning her that the Emperor had been notified.
Empress Dowager Yang frowned, but she didn’t care. Although Liu Yi was Li Chengjing’s personal eunuch, the relationship between a servant and a master was not much different from the relationship between a subject and a monarch. When Liu Yi’s master Li Chengjing was in the palace, his trusted eunuch indeed had to be feared. But now that Li Chengjing was absent, no matter how far Liu Yi’s hands reached, it was impossible to break into the Emperor’s presence just by himself.
As long as it was determined that Cheng Yujin was pregnant with twins, Empress Dowager Yang could immediately brand the Eastern Palace with the ominous label and use this as the reason to force Cheng Yujin’s abortion. Even if the Emperor found out later, he would not be able to say a word.
Under Empress Dowager Yang’s watch, Cheng Yujin was gradually cornered to the wall. When her back touched the ornamental shelf, she knew that she couldn’t escape.
The two Mamas saw that Cheng Yujin couldn’t run anymore, so they immediately walked to her without any hesitation. Right before the Mamas reached her, Cheng Yujin suddenly turned around, picked a priceless antique vase from the ornamental shelf, and smashed it hard.
The two Mamas didn’t expect such a fierce attack from the weak-looking Crown Princess and quickly avoided it. The vase fell on the floor and smashed with a deafening sound. Taking advantage of this gap, Cheng Yujin randomly took a few more things from the shelf and threw them indiscriminately.
In an instant, many priceless items turned into a pile of broken pieces of porcelain, shocking everyone in the Cining Palace. Cheng Yujin picked up a sharp piece of porcelain and pointed it outward with determined eyes. “If you dare to touch my child, you better kill me off today. Otherwise, as long as I have this life, I will definitely find each one of you and make you pay several thousands folds.”
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