Cheng Yujin spoke loudly and with full determination. From her words alone, it seemed that she had gone hysteric, but a look in her eyes told everyone present that she was perfectly calm.
She didn’t have a mental breakdown and said those words as an empty threat; she fully meant to do it.
The two Mamas had stained their hands with the blood of countless women. Among their victims, many tried desperately to resist but still lost their children, and ended up screaming and cursing at their assailants. The two Mamas were never unmoved by the vicious words of their victims, but at this moment, facing Cheng Yujin’s calmness and cold gaze, they couldn’t help but hesitate.
The two exchanged a glance, seeing hesitation in each other’s eyes. Cheng Yujin’s status was not the same as the women they had dealt with until now. She was the Crown Princess. Empress Dowager Yang was not the Emperor’s biological mother, but the Crown Prince was the Emperor’s biological son. If Cheng Yujin’s temperament was easy to bully, they could still rely on Empress Dowager Yang to escape the disaster, but Cheng Yujin made it clear that she was very vengeful and determined to take revenge.
In this inner palace, such people were the most dangerous to cross with. Beauty faded away, but a person’s nature did not. Cheng Yujin was the Crown Princess after all. If something went wrong with the child in her belly, Empress Yang might be fine, but they, the two ordinary court Mamas, were absolutely no match for the Crown Princess.
People who lived in the palace were the most ruthless, but they also cherished their lives the most. No one would be willing to use their own lives to pave the way for others, even if the person was Empress Dowager herself. Seeing Cheng Yujin’s resoluteness, it was just natural for the Mamas to hesitate. Their hesitation gave an opening to Cheng Yujin, who once again smashed another vase with all her strength before taking the opportunity to escape from the encirclement.
Empress Dowager Yang frowned and slammed the couch in anger, “A bunch of trash. Now you even dare to disregard This Dowager?”
Empress Dowager Yang was recovering from illness these few days, which made her weak and lethargic. Now that she suddenly raised her voice, everyone was startled. Especially because her voice was old and hoarse, just like a rusty saw cutting through dead wood, its surliness was shocking.
The two Mamas were the first to react. They looked at each other in helplessness and could only continue to corner Cheng Yujin. It seemed their luck was terrible today. They knew that they would suffer after offending the Crown Princess, but if they didn’t act, it was even more certain that they would suffer now. Since there was no way to avoid both sides, it was wiser to take the opportunity to thoroughly defeat an opponent who was presently much weaker.
Seeing these people getting closer, Du Ruo desperately pushed anything she could get on hand in an attempt to halt their approach. However, the servants of Cining Palace no longer tried to avoid the smashing ornaments. Seeing this situation, Cheng Yujin frowned. Hidden under her sleeve, she was quietly pinching the packet of powder she obtained from Imperial Physician Zhao. She could use this powder to sting the eyes of the people who surrounded her and take the opportunity to escape, but if she did that, she would be actively attacking Empress Dowager Yang’s people, an act that undoubtedly would tarnish her name with the infamy of disrespect and unfilial. Cheng Yujin was still weighing the pros and cons when a shout suddenly came from outside. Several people were running and yelling, “There’s fire!” in panic. At the same time, smoke drifted in from the slightly opened windows.
The people inside the hall were caught off guard. Naturally, they were all frightened, especially Empress Dowager Yang, who was already sick. The sudden loud noises outside startled the Empress Dowager, and the sight of smoke made her panic. Thinking that the Cining Palace was truly on fire, Empress Dowager Yang shouted in fright. Hearing her scream, all the servants in the hall turned around and hurried back to their mistress. As a result, they couldn’t see their way clearly amidst the smoke and the panic, causing them to bump and stumble upon each other.
As soon as Cheng Yuji noticed the familiar smell, she knew what was going on. Taking advantage of the brief chaos in the hall, she immediately ran to the door without looking back. Although Cheng Yujin also inhaled the white smoke, she did not panic. This smoke was actually from wormwood. To prepare for Li Chengjing’s departure a few days ago, she used a lot of wormwoods to smoke Li Chengjing’s clothes and luggage, causing her to be very familiar with the smell. Unlike the panicked people of the Cining Palace, Cheng Yujin and her servant girls were able to move quickly and swiftly.
People around Empress Dowager Yang suddenly heard there was a fire and also saw the white smoke, causing them to be in panic. When someone realized that the smoke smelled of wormwood, Cheng Yujin was no longer in the hall.
Liu Yi waited for Cheng Yujin outside, so frightened that his calf trembled slightly. Seeing Cheng Yujin come out, he hurriedly came forward to help her into a step-carriage. “Crown Princess, are you alright? This servant has created a distraction per your order.”
Cheng Yujin shook her head and, without further ado, immediately ordered, “Go to the Qianqing Palace.”
Cheng Yujin had managed to get the report from Imperial Physician Zhao before Empress Dowager Yang’s summon arrived, and thus had anticipated the opponent to make some kind of move today. Naturally, she also prepared a countermeasure. When she departed for Cining Palace, Cheng Yujin deliberately left Liu Yi behind for the plan, and now it seemed that this eunuch indeed didn’t let her down. She only had time to instruct him to create some kind of commotion, but she didn’t expect that Liu Yi would use wormwood to fake a fire, creating panic and plunging Cining Palace into chaos.
Cheng Yujin was pregnant. She was naturally unable to walk with others at full speed and thus had ordered a step-carriage to be prepared in advance. Sure enough, the speed of chair-bearer eunuchs was much faster, and before the people from the Cining Palace could catch on to them, Cheng Yujin and her retinue had already reached the Qianqing Palace.
It was still work hours. At this time, the front Qianqing Palace was full of officials coming and going. The Qianqing Palace, as the main palace where the Emperor worked and lived, was not a place where women could walk in freely, and so Cheng Yujin’s arrival attracted many curious gazes.
Cheng Yujin ignored them all. Under many pairs of surprised and curious eyes, she walked up to the main entrance of the Qianqing Palace step by step, then knelt down with her palms folded above her thighs, saying loudly, “This daughter-in-law begs an audience with His Majesty.”
Disregarding the shape of her bulging stomach, Cheng Yujin proceeded to bow deeply on the ground. Her arrival caused a stir, and someone had already run in to inform the Emperor. After a while, a high-ranking eunuch came out and said, “The Crown Princess is pregnant, and His Majesty won’t like you to do this kind of heavy greeting. Please get up.”
Cheng Yujin selectively ignored the eunuch’s words. Still kneeling on the ground, she once again said in a loud voice, “This daughter-in-law begs an audience with His Majesty.”
With the Crown Princess kneeling in front of the Qianqing Palace in broad daylight, it was already enough to attract many eyes. Now that she even said such words, the effect was not trivial. The eunuch didn’t dare to call the shots. Swallowing back his words, he turned around and quickly went to inform the Emperor.
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