When Cheng Yujin heard the so-called ‘violent’ and ‘ominous,’ she felt cold with anger. This ominous again. Empress Dowager Yang used this tactic to persecute Li Chengjing in the past, and now wanted to use the same method to harm her child?
Empress Dowager Yang had the highest rank and a distinguished status. Of course she wouldn’t be the one to move out, and Cheng Yujin was the only one who had to stay away from the palace in order to avoid the so-called ‘collision.’ However, Cheng Yujin was currently seven months pregnant. If she was forced to move out of the palace, who knew what kind of natural or man-made disasters would she encounter, resulting in one corpse and three lost lives?
However, the low-ranked eunuchs and maids in the palace were very superstitious, and not a small number of imperial concubines also believed in such things too. What’s more, even if they knew that the other party was using superstition for their own self-interest, so what? Back then, when Empress Dowager Yang claimed that Li Chengjing, who was born on the fifth day of the fifth month, was ominous and would bring bad luck to the country and imperial family, didn’t the Emperor know that this was only a made-up reason to persecute Empress Zhong and her son?
Of course the Emperor knew that, but so what? Empress Dowager Yang was honored so highly precisely because she was the empress dowager. Once she said a person was ominous, everyone must treat this matter seriously. Could the Emperor dare to bear the charge of unfilial pity and let the younger generation overcome the Empress Dowager? During the trouble back then, the Emperor was even forced to send Li Chengjing to Qingxuan Temple to recuperate. His original intention was to let his son avoid the limelight for a while, but who would have thought this temporary separation almost became forever?
Now, the same thing was happening to Li Chengjing’s child.
Empress Dowager Yang didn’t care. She had been the empress dowager for a long time. Relying on the power her status gave her, she gradually thought of herself as a god who could arbitrarily manipulate the fate of others. At first, Li Chengjing was forced to leave the palace, and soon afterward, he was lost in a flash flood that engulfed the entire Taoist temple. Now, Empress Dowager Yang had tasted the sweetness and wanted to use the same method to get rid of Cheng Yujin and the child in her belly.
Du Ruo and Lian Qiao also trembled with anger when they heard the rumors. Lian Qiao scolded several palace maids whom she caught gossiping in secret and returned to the Ciqing Palace with her face flushed with anger.
After venting her anger, she looked expectantly at Cheng Yujin: “Crown Princess, they have been talking badly about the little master in your belly. What should we do?”
“Let them do what they want.”
While cutting off the old branches and dead leaves on the potted plant, Cheng Yujin said slowly, “When pruning flowers, the thing you must pay most attention to is to cut off crooked or rotting branches in time. Otherwise, these parts will keep sucking nutrients from the plant. Over time, those previously regarded as important will become the sinners that cause the whole plant to wither.”
As Cheng Yujin spoke, she cut down a leafy branch with a precise determination, “So, we must make up our mind quickly, and we cannot go back once we make a move. If you are hesitant to make the cut or cut the branch only halfway, it’s better not to do anything at all.”
Lian Qiao was confused, but she also seemed to vaguely understand what Cheng Yujin meant. Cheng Yujin put down the scissors and washed her hands with the water in a silver basin. Amidst the crisp sound of water, Cheng Yujin’s soft voice was almost inaudible: “When the time comes, I must make the decision resolutely, but when the time has yet to come… then I can only forbear it.”
The rumor was growing rampant outside, and many people were waiting to see Cheng Yujin’s reaction. However, after waiting for a long time, they found that Cheng Yujin… didn’t do anything. No matter what kind of rumor was growing outside, Cheng Yujin kept secluding herself in the Ciqing Palace and never went out. She spent her time in a calm and tranquil manner; reading, writing, raising flowers, and taking a walk every day.
In the end, it was the Yang family who lost patience first. In the middle of the ninth month, Empress Dowager Yang’s condition suddenly deteriorated, and all of a sudden, she couldn’t even get out of bed. Under this situation, Empress Yang urgently summoned imperial clan members to enter the palace, including Dou Xiyin, who was supposed to be still grounded.
Although the Emperor did not inform Cheng Yujin, in this situation, Cheng Yujin would be accused of being unfilial if she didn’t go. Cheng Yujin would never allow her reputation to get blemished in the slightest, so she deliberately made a big show and brought a large retinue consisting of people carrying soft cushions, sedan chairs, emergency medicine, and many other things. They went with splash and zest all the way to the Cining Palace, informing with great fanfare that the Crown Princess was going to take care of the sickly Empress Dowager.
Once Cheng Yujin arrived at the Cining Palace, her people alone filled almost half of Empress Dowager Yang’s residence. Cheng Yujin had been pregnant for seven months, not to mention that she was carrying twins, and her very bulging belly clearly showed that. When she took her steps into the inner hall with her servant girls’ support, everyone who saw her was sweating nervously.
But Cheng Yujin didn’t care. She dutifully went to Empress Dowager Yang’s bedside, performing a full act of filial piety. However, others were frightened by her action. Anytime Cheng Yujin took something casually, another person would be quick to take it from her hand and do it on her behalf. In the end, despite Cheng Yujin supposedly being here to serve Empress Dowager, it looked like she was the one who was being served.
Empress Dowager Yang stayed silent all the time, and her face was sullen as usual. After a period of time passed, a eunuch’s voice came from the outside, announcing the arrival of Abbess of the Faling Temple.
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