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Chapter 73: Leave the Imperial Palace?
The Empress spoke a lot of words of concern towards Ning Shu. There was no doubt that she simply wanted to show that she cared a lot about her sister-in-law. Ning Shu also accompanied the Empress in the small talk for a while.
Then, the Empress shifted the topic seamlessly to how much of a struggle it was for her to manage the Inner Palace and, without a trace of unnaturalness, onto the topic of what consort did what.
To put it frankly, the Empress was telling on those consorts to Ning Shu. There was not a single person that didn’t fear Li Wen in this Inner Palace. The Empress was urging Ning Shu to complain to Li Wen.
The Empress’s words were full of crafty turns but still effectively caused Ning Shu to feel loathing towards those consorts. The original host had ended up becoming the Empress’s shield and errand girl just like this.
Although, she did have to admit that the original host was very suitable for being cannon fodder. The Emperor had also used the original host. However, after he got what he wanted, he did give the original host a noble status. However, the Empress used the original host without giving anything back.
Ning Shu felt that this palace was also full of danger. Her task was Duan Xinghui and Er Ya so she didn’t want to bother with anyone else at all.
Moreover, Ning Shu could see that there was no one in this palace that could help her. It’d already be great if these people simply didn’t add more trouble when the matter of marriage was brought up.
Ning Shu was considering leaving the Imperial Palace.
“Jiahui, what are you thinking about?” The Empress saw that though she had spoken a lot, the person she was speaking to seemed absent-minded rather than indignant and itching to rush to the Emperor like she had always done so in the past.
As a woman, there was no way the Empress was willing to share her husband with someone else. However, her current position didn’t allow her to be headstrong. She was the mother of the nation. She had to be virtuous, magnanimous, and even had to help the Emperor manage these women well so that the Emperor wouldn’t have worries about Inner Palace affairs.
There was no need to mention how much pain the Empress felt looking at these orioles and swallows. For the sake of satisfying the Emperor, she had put out too much. However, the Emperor was still cold and indifferent towards her.
Not only did the Empress hate the women in the Inner Palace, she was also jealous of this princess because Li Wen’s attitude towards her was much better. Not even she, this Empress, enjoyed such treatment.
“The person has already passed away. Jiahui, you must take care of your health. You’re the Emperor’s sister, the only princess of Great Yong. There are countless good men out there for you to freely choose from,” said the Empress to console Ning Shu.
Ning Shu didn’t know if it was her misperception but she actually heard a slight bit of acridness in the Empress’s tone.
Ning Shu felt a little tired of this. She glanced at the Empress. In reality, the Empress had pretty good looks. It was just that she had to keep up her majestic presence as the Empress at all times so her manner seemed a little stiff.
The fact that she deliberately tried to put on the airs of an Empress showed that the Empress was very insecure at heart. That was the only reason why she would so strong in order to clearly display her status and power. However, the original host actually felt that only an Empress like this was good enough to be her sister-in-law.
And thus the original host felt enmity towards the consorts of the Inner Palace and felt like her sister-in-law suffered a lot. From Ning Shu’s point of view, it was simply the Empress making use of the original host’s feelings of sympathy.
Ning Shu acted like the original host and told her troubles to the Empress, “Imperial Sister-in-law, my heart hurts so much. Why did he simply leave just like this?” Ning Shu pressed her handkerchief to the corner of her eye as she glanced to check the Empress’s expression.
A trace of delight flashed quickly through the Empress’s eyes but on her face she had on an expression as if she was feeling the same hurt as she repeatedly tried to console Ning Shu.
Ning Shu silently made a firm vow, and that was to leave the palace. Aiy, Lord ah, this Inner Palace was full of Li Wen’s consorts. If she stayed here, she’d have to keep dealing with these sister-in-laws. It was way too much mental and physical effort.
The consorts either hatred, feared, fawned upon, or tried to drag her, this princess, into things. Due to how much Li Wen doted on the original host, it was inevitable that she was going to be dragged into these Inner Palace women’s quarrels.
She didn’t have the energy to deal with these women. The matter of the marriage laid, in the end, in Li Wen’s hand. Rather than coming here to curry favor with the Empress, it’d be better to just directly focus the efforts on Li Wen. Moreover, the Empress was nowhere as good of a person as she looked. She was simply someone who looked sweet on the outside but was very bitter inside.
Ning Shu dawdled a little longer with the Empress, then used her handkerchief to wipe off her nonexistent tears before heading back to her own palace with Miao Qing and Yuan Dong.