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Chapter 90: Empress, Part-time Expert in Abortion and Director of Family Planning
Right after she stepped out of the Imperial Study, a palace maid came over and curtsied towards her. “This servant pays her respects to Princess. Her Majesty the Empress invites Princess to her palace.”
Ning Shu thought about it for a moment, then decided to go. If she didn’t go, based on how petty the Empress was, she’d definitely hold a grudge. She had probably gotten on the Empress’s bad side ever since she left the palace for the Princess Residence.
When she got to the Empress’s palace, the Empress greeted her with a warm smile. Ning Shu felt like this Empress was quite pitiful as well. She had to manage all the orioles and swallows of the Inner Palace while remaining magnanimous and tolerant. Sometimes she would even have to hold multiple job positions simultaneously, such as acting as an expert in abortion and the director of family planning.
>In China, there’s a ‘family planning’ policy that basically limits the amount of children each household can have in order to lower the population growth. It used to be just one, but now it’s two per household.<
The Empress’s facial color now exhibited a weariness not even her cosmetics could cover up. From the looks of it, the Inner Palace’s situation was causing the Empress quite some trouble.
Ning Shu felt like the Empress was just pointlessly seeking out more trouble for herself. She was the Empress, it was completely fine for her to just remain aloof and distant. What need was there for her to participate in the struggles between the consorts? Frankly, she was just a control-freak that insisted on having all the matters in the palm of her hand. No wonder she was so tired out.
The Empress asked her to come back to the palace with a very sincere expression, but Ning Shu only half-hearted brushed over the topic. When the Empress saw that she couldn’t sway Ning Shu at all, her expression changed a little.
When Ning Shu left the palace, she happened to run into a lot of consorts. Ning Shu found it silly. These consorts were definitely just trying to find out if she was coming back to the palace and when since she had received special attention from Li Wen.
Ning Shu was exhausted from dealing with all of these people, so she just put on an arrogant ‘rubbish like you guys don’t have the right to talk with this princess’ expression all the way until she got back to the Princess Residence.
Not long later, Ning Shu learned about the news that Li Wen had given a decree that dismissed Duan Xinghui from his post as a Standard class, Rank 1 general. So now, Duan Xinghui was just a common citizen without any official position.
Yuan Dong was the one that had brought her this news. Yuan Dong paid very close attention to the general’s residence. When she got news that Duan Xinghui was removed from office, she hastily came here to tell Ning Shu about it. It was clear she was hoping that Ning Shu would go ask the Emperor for leniency.
However, Ning Shu was very happy to hear this news. When she saw how anxious Yuan Dong was, she coldly sneered inside her heart as she asked, “Why do you pay so much attention to the general’s residence?”
Yuan Dong’s gaze flickered as she said, “Princess, this servant was only doing it for you. General Duan is your future husband after all!”
Ning Shu’s gaze turned stern and she said coldly, “Yuan Dong, mind your status. When did Duan Xinghui become this princess’s husband? It is unacceptable for you to ruin this princess’s reputation like this.”
Yuan Dong immediately dropped to her knees in front of Ning Shu, her face deathly pale. “This servant has overstepped. Princess, please be magnanimous and forgive this servant.” She would never dare to say that Duan Xinghui was the princess’s future husband again.
On the other hand, Er Ya had returned to the Duan Residence with Duan Xinghui. The Duan Residence was very large and decorated very magnificently and luxuriously. Er Ya was so awed she felt like two eyes weren’t enough to take in everything.
Madame Duan, Duan Xinghui’s mother, hadn’t even had the chance to revive with joy from the news that her son had come back alive before she was almost made to faint when Duan Xinghui said that Er Ya would be his wife from now on.
Madame Duan almost fell apart when she saw Er Ya, who was wearing cotton garments, had dark skin, and didn’t seem to know any etiquette at all. It hadn’t been easy for her to raise her son all on her own after she was left widowed. However, she had managed to do it so well that he had been about to become the Emperor’s Brother-in-Law. The future had seemed perfect with endless prospects and no obstacles.
So where did this little village girl come from!?
Madame Duan was a very shrewd woman. Although she inwardly itched to just bury Er Ya alive, on the surface she still maintained a warm smile.
When Duan Xinghui saw the smile on his mother’s face, his usually stern expression also softened into a smile as he said to Madame Duan, “Mom, Er Ya is a very nice lady. She’s simple and adorable, and will definitely show you great filial piety.”
Madame Duan’s face twitched and the warm smile on her face almost fell apart. Simple and adorable? Madame Duan looked at the dark-skinned Er Ya. She looked even older than Duan Xinghui!
Madame Duan’s internal organs suffered terrible damage.
Was her son blind?
#comment: If you’re curious about the system of honorific titles I’m using, it’s half-based on European titles. Some stuff I stretched.
His Majesty for Emperor, Her Majesty for Empress.
Her Imperial Highness for favored princesses and high-ranking consorts. Her Highness for other consorts and princesses.
His Honourable for officials and suffix daren.
His Excellency for princes.
Her Grace for prince consorts and non-imperial princesses.