Xiuning Palace.

Wan Xin immediately entered Imperial Concubine Liang's bedroom after returning from the Xinzheku. At this time, Imperial Concubine Liang was half lying on the chaise couch and looking at a picture book. When she heard Wan Xin's hurried footsteps, her eyes flickered. With a slight flip of her slender, white hand, she put the picture book in her hand aside.

"Master."

Wan Xin leaned carefully beside the chaise couch, bent over and whispered a few words next to Imperial Concubine Liang's ear. Imperial Concubine Liang nodded, her beautiful phoenix eyes flashed: "Wan Xin, you did well, remember to be punctual tomorrow."

"Yes."

Wan Xin nodded, and then hesitantly whispered: "Master, over on the Prime Minister’s side..."

"Bengong will send maternal uncle a letter, telling him not to act rashly. His Majesty's actions these past two days were deeply puzzling. The old stubborn fogeys of the Nan faction will probably be restless. Also,... Bengong had also heard that that person in Cining Palace was very angry today, hehe."

With a sneer, Imperial Concubine Liang slowly stood up with support from Wan Xin: "Bengong is truly uncertain on the reason of Imperial Concubine Yu's death, however, Jingyun Palace and the Shangfu Bureau must be involved. You must help bengong find out the truth."

Only through knowing yourself and knowing your enemy, will you then be able to win a hundred battles. Imperial Concubine Liang had been born into a noble family in the Capital. Her father was an assistant minister of the Ministry of Rites. Her maternal uncle was the left Prime Minister. She had been well-studied in military books ever since she was a child. When she was younger, there had been many sons of officials who wanted to marry her, but in the end, she still accepted her maternal uncle's request to enter the palace as a concubine.

Blu: Only through knowing yourself and knowing your enemy, will you then be able to win a hundred battles - this phrase is practically used in every chinese novel, that I’m tempted to stab myself because of how overused it is. /// In the past, there were 2 Prime Ministers: the left and right.

Because of her well-to-do family background, she became an Imperial Concubine as soon as she entered the palace. There was also a period of time where she also loved Dongfang Yao, but over time Dongfang Yao began to alienate her.

In fact, Imperial Concubine Liang knew that the Emperor didn't like her at all, and she was only made an Imperial Concubine for the sake of giving face to her family. Even the initial favor was just to let her have a stable position in the harem.

Even though a woman like Imperial Concubine Liang was smart and talented, Dongfang Yao would never have given her the opportunity to be the most pampered or even let her birth an heir.

In this life, if her family doesn't fall, she would be able to spend her whole life without worrying about food and clothing until she died of old age in the harem. If misfortune befell her family, then what awaited her was the dilapidated Cold Palace.

That would be the case if she was an average woman who accepted her circumstances. She was however, not willing. She had talent but nowhere to use it. She was not willing to be a neglected concubine in this vast harem. The Emperor disliked her? Fine, she could cultivate her own forces. She has to personally cultivate a beautiful pet concubine, and throw the harem into disorder...

In the darkness of the night, most of the people in the Xinzheku had queued up to take a shower after a long day of hard work and could not wait to go back to their rooms to rest.

Su Wan did not return to the room at this time, but was in a daze in the backyard, and soon a familiar figure floated over.

Seeing Su Rui's gray inner servant clothes, Su Wan's eyes widened with a smile on her face: "Your Majesty, what are you doing? Role-playing?"

"Cough cough."

Su Rui coughed twice and spoke with dead earnestness: "What other work do you have to do today? Dear wife, just give your orders."

Su Wan: ...

General Su had really regarded himself as the nation’s most outstanding model worker!

"Tonight, how about serving me as I take a bath?"

Su Wan tugged at her clothes with some disgust: "After staying here for two days, my whole body is dirty. Since Your Majesty loves labor so much, you can help me bathe and change clothes. If you do well, I’ll give you a reward!"

What “reward”?

There were black lines on Su Rui's face: "It can’t be that “very nourishing” soup again?"

Seeing the overly fearful appearance of General Su, Su Wan felt particularly happy: "Of course... not."

"That's good then, very good!"

As soon as he heard that his wife won’t pull such a trick again, General Su immediately took his wife back to take a bath in the large bathroom of the centre palace. After bathing, Su Wan pulled Wang Yi to the small kitchen again and fiddled with things here and there. When she came back, she was holding another bowl of soup.

Su Rui: "Didn’t you say that there was no more “very nourishing” soup?"

Seeing Su Rui's face changed, Su Wan smiled and brought the soup bowl to the table. "Then, will you drink it or not?"

"Drink."

Su Rui nodded vigorously, and as soon as the soup entered his mouth, the aromatic flavor immediately relaxed his scrunched brows: "Wife, this is..."

"To get rid of your anger."

Su Wan shrugged her shoulders with a smile, and then she walked to the desk that was partitioned off. Looking at the memorials piled high on the table, she randomly flipped some of them over, and when she saw the admonishments from the Imperial Censor, Su Wan couldn't help but pout: "It really is tiring to be an Emperor!"

In outer affairs, it was necessary to deal with the major events in the Imperial court, balance the powers of the various factions within the court, and beware of civil strife among the various vassal kings.

In inner affairs, a harem of women fought against each other all day long, and there was also an overly ambitious Empress Dowager covetously eyeing the throne on the side. Sigh, Emperor Dongfang Yao really suffered ah ~

Hearing Su Wan's sigh, Su Rui on the side declined to comment. He had been a vassal king of a transitioning dynasty and a general who led his army to rebel. As for being an Emperor? This really was his first time and General Su frankly didn’t like this position. However, since times immemorial, countless people have fought against each other and exerted a lot of effort plotting and scheming just to sit on the Imperial throne.

Speaking of this, it seems that Dongfang Li will enter the palace again in another few days. That Rui Wang had been covetously eyeing the throne for a long time and had been waiting for Dongfang Yao to slip up. Now, Dongfang Yao's killing in the harem had incurred the dissatisfaction of the Nan faction and the Empress Dowager. If Dongfang Li doesn't take the opportunity to do something, he would be unworthy of his villain BOSS setting.

Blu: Rui Wang - Dongfang Li’s title

Su Rui had a complicated look in his eyes as he thought of Dongfang Li. Should he just kill him to save himself the trouble, or should he let him be for another purpose?

"Master."

Suddenly, Wang Yi's voice came from afar. He walked in quickly from outside the palace, his body still carrying the chill of the night: "Master, the Empress Dowager has arrived!"

En?

Su Rui’s eyes were cold as he looked up. This Empress Dowager really was impatient. To lose her cool so quickly?

Charging into the centre palace in the middle of the night?

"Look, Master, Miss Su she..."

Seeing that Su Rui didn't speak, Wang Yi's eyes looked at Su Wan’s direction.

"I'm going to sleep."

Su Wan shrugged her shoulders, put down the memorial in her hand, and directly entered the bedroom of the Emperor’s sleeping quarters. She let down the embroidered brocade curtain and was completely hidden on the dragon bed.

"The Empress Dowager arrives!"

At this time, the announcement also sounded, and then the Empress Dowager majestically walked in with ten palace maids and ten inner attendants.

"Empress Dowager Jin'an."

Wang Yi knelt straight down and greeted her loudly. The Empress Dowager coldly looked at Su Rui, who was still sitting at the table and drinking soup slowly, and her lips were pursed into a straight line: "Yao’er, did you not see Queen Mother?"

Blu: er - term of endearment, can also mean son/ child /// Queen Mother - mother of the Emperor (though I can’t remember if Princes would use that with the Empress)

"Ah."

Hearing the words of the Empress Dowager, Su Rui languidly raised his eyes: "Zhen’s eyes are not blind, so naturally, I can see you, Empress Dowager."

"You... Yao'er, you have become more and more excessive these past couple of days. This harem is under aijia’s jurisdiction. Forget about the fact that you wantonly ordered Imperial Concubine Yu to kill herself, yesterday you actually killed Imperial Concubine Shu and also killed four other people in the Shangfu Bureau without saying a word. You should know that your atrocities have spread to the court and many old ministers are very dissatisfied. They have already sent in many memorials to aijia’s palace!"

Blu: aijia - used by widowed Empress’

The Empress Dowager's gaze was sharp and her tone was aggressive.

"It was zhen who killed those people. Everything under the heavens belongs to zhen. Zhen can kill whomever zhen wants to kill. If they are dissatisfied, then they can tell me personally and zhen will kill them until they all shut up."

After finishing the soup his wife lovingly made, Su Rui took out the bright yellow brocade handkerchief. While wiping his mouth gracefully, he slightly raised his eyebrows and looked at the ostentatiously dressed Empress Dowager: "Empress Dowager, if you are very idle, you should just grow flowers and feed fishes. If you feel lonely, zhen doesn’t mind if you casually choose a royal uncle to remarry. As for the affairs pertaining to the imperial court and harem, that will be zhen’s business, so as not to trouble Empress Dowager too much.”

"Preposterous!"

Hearing Su Rui’s words, the dignified face of the Empress Dowager changed: "Yao’er, you really are getting more and more ridiculous! Before your Father Emperor died, he entrusted you to aijia! Aijia will never allow the Dongfang family’s dynasty to collapse in your hands!"

Such righteous words full of justice sounded quite reasonable, but...

"Dongfang family? It seems that you, Empress Dowager, still knows that this world belongs to the Dongfang family?"

Su Rui slowly stood up, staring and coldly sizing up the Empress Dowager: "Zhen heard that the Yuan family had been running very rampant in the capital recently. Your family is causing chaos in the country. Empress Dowager, you are not planning to usurp the throne, right?"

"That... that is all slander, all of these are groundless rumours!"

Feeling the icy aura that Su Rui exuded from his body, the Empress Dowager couldn't help but take two steps back, and her tone also weakened: "Aijia, aijia had always wholeheartedly considered the interest of the late Emperor and has wholeheartedly assisted Your Majesty. Do you still not understand that, Yao’er?"

"Oh yes. Dowager Empress, you and Father Emperor were very affectionate and had deep feelings for each other. Zhen thinks you have been missing Father Emperor recently, missing him till you became haggard."

Su Rui suddenly raised his lips and smiled: "Wang Yi, pass on zhen’s decree. The Empress Dowager is sorrowful because she misses the late Emperor and her body is unwell. From now on, Cining Palace will decline all visitors. If anyone dares to disturb the Empress Dowager’s recuperation, no matter who they are, they will all commit suicide by imperial order!"

"You... Dongfang Yao, you want to put aijia under house arrest?"

Hearing Su Rui's words, the Empress Dowager was agitated, and at this moment, she could no longer keep up appearances and even directly called Dongfang Yao's name: "Dongfang Yao, you’re completely out of control! Aijia, aijia...... "

"Someone, come. The Empress Dowager is now in incredibly deep grief and the state of her health is worrisome. Why are you still not hurrying to help her back? If anything happens to your master, none of you should even think of living!"

Su Rui sternly interrupted the Empress Dowager. The inner servants and the palace maids had heard about the bloodthirsty tyranny of His Majesty during these two days. At this time, for the sake of their little lives, they could only listen and obediently help escort the Empress Dowager away…...


Blu: Ooooh, big moves.