There was no movement in the palace for a long time. Cheng Yujin kept kneeling upright. Although she was here to beg for help, her posture was straight, without the signs of humility and embarrassment. After a while, the Emperor finally came out. Seeing Cheng Yujin kneeling on the ground, his frown deepened: “What are you doing here?”
It was at this moment that the people of Cining Palace finally caught up with Cheng Yujin. A group of people rushed into the Qianqing Palace square and shouted loudly. Empress Dowager Yang was flushed with rage. She never imagined that someone would dare to smoke the Cining Palace’s hall with dried wormwood and pretend there was a fire. This action was tantamount to stepping on her face. Empress Dowager Yang ordered her people to give a chase, furiously demanding the perpetrators be brought back.
Facing their mistress’ wrath, the eunuchs didn’t dare to slack off. On their way, they met a few people in the Eastern Palace’s uniform, acting sneakily, one of whom was holding wormwood in his hand. Seeing this, the eunuchs of Cining Palace were overjoyed and immediately chased after these people with all their might. They originally thought the chase would be easy, especially when utilizing their sheer advantage in number, but the result was too far from expectation. The Eastern Palace’s eunuchs were too elusive; as if playing hide-and-seek, they kept hiding only to show up intermittently in a taunt. The eunuchs of Cining Palace were exhausted, anxious, and angry. When they finally saw their opponents again, they immediately chased behind, but ended up accidentally running into the Qianqing Palace square.
The Cining Palace’s head eunuch had sharp eyes, and at a glance, he saw a bright yellow figure standing on the palace steps. There was only one person in the world who could wear this color, and the one kneeling in front of this yellow figure was precisely the Crown Princess they had been looking for.
The head eunuch was dumbfounded and immediately realized that they had been tricked. He quickly looked at the eunuchs of Eastern Palace again; none of them had wormwood in their hands. The head eunuch’s brain was in a mess, but he didn’t dare to be disrespectful in front of the Emperor, so he and his men hurriedly fell to their knees.
The emperor stood on the steps, looking down at the two groups of eunuchs who crashed in suddenly. He then turned his eyes to the Crown Princess, who was kneeling on the ground and begging for ‘help.’ Furious, the Emperor scowled, “What’s going on here?”
Cheng Yujin had never lost when it came to the battle of rhetoric. Hearing the Emperor’s question, two lines of tears suddenly fell from her eyes. Ignoring her bulging belly, she gave the Emperor a deep kowtow: “Father, this daughter-in-law is guilty.”
Hearing the word ‘Father,’ the Emperor was in a trance. He had multiple children, but no one had ever called him just ‘Father’ before. Even after Li Chengjing regained his identity, he always called him ‘His Majesty’ and never ‘Father.’
Cheng Yujin’s mastery of emotional drama was perfect, doing everything just in moderation. After shedding two lines of crystal tears, she said heartbrokenly but resolutely, “This daughter-in-law was staying in the Eastern Palace to take care of my fetus when Empress Dowager’s summon suddenly came today, calling me to the Cining Palace. After this daughter-in-law arrived, I found that Empress Dowager believed some malicious rumor, saying that this daughter-in-law’s pregnancy was unlucky, and ordered the palace Mama to forcefully abort the fetus. This daughter-in-law was frightened and didn’t know what to do, so I could only risk everything to come and beg Father Emperor’s help.”
As if overwhelmed by emotion, Cheng Yujin fell silent, and only tears kept falling silently from her eyes. At this time, Empress Yang, who heard the news, rushed to the Qianqing Palace, supported by Dou Xiyin. After listening to Cheng Yujin’s teary plea, the Emperor turned his gaze toward the Empress, who seemed to be very well informed. Next, his cold gaze swept across the eunuchs of Cining Palace, who were still kneeling trepidly under the steps. The Emperor waved his sleeve furiously: “Ridiculous!”
Empress Yang came in a hurry. She was not informed of Empress Dowager Yang’s plan today and was caught off guard when the commotion suddenly happened outside. It was not until Dou Xiyin hurriedly rushed into the Kunning Palace that Empress Yang finally knew what had happened. Anxious, Empress Yang quickly ran to the Qianqing palace, but she was still a step too late.
Seeing that the Emperor was really furious, Empress Yang quickly took two steps forward: “Your Majesty, there must be another story behind this matter. Please calm your anger…”
“Presumptuous!” The Emperor roared coldly, “When is it your turn to meddle when Zhen is dealing with matters?”
Empress Yang had never been treated like this by the Emperor. She had been pampered for more than twenty years, and no one had even spoken loudly to her. But the Emperor, in his fury, yelled at her in front of so many palace servants. Empress Yang took a step back in fright. If it weren’t for Dou Xiyin’s support, she would not be able to stand still.
“Your Majesty!” Empress Yang clutched her heart and was about to kneel. The Emperor didn’t even give her a glance as he ordered a eunuch to help Cheng Yujin up, “Summon imperial physicians here. Let them check if the Crown Princess’s fetus is alright.”
He then glanced coldly at the eunuchs kneeling below and said again, “Lock up all these daring servants.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Cheng Yujin was helped by palace servants to stand up and went to the side hall of Qianqing Palace, waiting for imperial physicians to come and check her pulse. When Cheng Yujin was having her pulse checked inside, everyone else was waiting in the outer hall. The Emperor’s face was dark with anger. Empress Yang bit her lips several times, but in the end, she decided to keep silent. Dou Xiyin stood next to Empress Yang, supporting the latter; her head was low, and her eyes secretly flickered.
The result of the pulse diagnosis was not available immediately. It was at this time Empress Dowager Yang arrived, supported by a senior Mama. As soon as Empress Dowager saw the Emperor, she asked with a solemn tone, “Emperor, This Dowager heard that you scolded Empress in anger today?”
The Emperor’s mood was already bad, and seeing Empress Dowager Yang only worsened it. In the end, however, he kept his mood in check and greeted Empress Dowager Yang as usual, “Empress Dowager, why are you here?”
Empress Dowager Yang chuckled, but her voice was very cold: “If This Dowager didn’t come personally, Emperor probably would have punished the Yang family in anger. On the way here, This Dowager heard that the Crown Princess kept claiming that I wanted to murder the imperial heir in her belly and force her to have an abortion?”
The Emperor didn’t say a word, but the silence clearly expressed his stance. Empress Dowager Yang smiled coldly: “This is a baseless accusation, truly a great injustice. How can This Dowager do such an outrageous thing? This Dowager simply wanted an experienced Mama to check on her fetus.”
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