Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter: 104 out of 513 – The throne’s turbulent future (1)
By the time they arrived at the large residence’s entrance, Ji Man already felt as if she was going to collapse. The inner part of her thighs felt a burning pain from being rubbed against the saddle. Her hairstyle had come undone and her fine black hair was hanging loosely behind her back. Fortunately, she had caught her wooden hairpin before it dropped.
Ning Yuxuan seemed to be in a much better mood. He gently helped her down from the horse. Seeing that she wasn’t able to stably stand by herself, he half-supported and half-carried her. In a pleased tone, he said, “You look really pitiful right now.”
Ji Man took a deep breath, then she pushed his hand away and leaned against the doorway to stand by herself. After putting her hair up into a bun at the back of her head, she coolly said, “It wouldn’t be appropriate for this servant to appear in front of the others in this disorderly state, so this servant will return to her room first.”
After saying this, she gritted her teeth and started walking away. Although her legs still felt weak, she didn’t want to stay here and make a spectacle of herself.
This rotten guy simply didn’t understand how to caringly treat other people. Or perhaps, he just didn’t pay attention to someone’s well being if she wasn’t in his heart. Ji Man sighed. The road to accomplishing Noble Consort Nie’s expectations and Nie Sangyu’s wish was a long one.
The person behind her didn’t chase after her. After Ji Man passed through a small garden, she turned around to look. Seeing that there was no one behind her, she grimaced in pain as she sat down by a rock garden to rest for a while.
“Is Jue-er okay?”
“Ning Mingjie protected him. The third prince is fine.”
“It’s inevitable that Zhe-er would feel unhappy over what happened today. With each passing day, the empress’s faction becomes increasingly powerful. In contrast, Nie Clan’s influence has significantly dropped since that last incident. This emperor sometimes worries about the future. If Zhe-er becomes the emperor, will he allow for Jue-er’s continued existence? After all, he should feel a sense of brotherhood.” A voice that was neither loud nor soft traveled over here from the other side of the rock garden.
Hearing this conversation, Ji Man’s entire body stiffened.
Although she wasn’t familiar enough with the emperor’s voice to recognize it, once she heard that person address himself as “this emperor”, her neck felt chilled. She had just wanted to stop here to rest her feet. Why did she end up overhearing the emperor’s conversation with a member of his inner circle?!
Regardless of whether or not this discussion was important, she wouldn’t be able to keep her head if someone found out that she had overheard this conversation. Ji Man tried to breath quieter. She looked around to check what objects might make a sound if it was disturbed and carefully avoided them as she crouched down behind a large rock.
The emperor continued to speak with the minister. It seemed as if they planned to spend the afternoon here. Ji Man felt extremely annoyed at them. Why weren’t they more careful? They should have posted guards around the perimeter to stop people from coming over here and overhearing the emperor’s conversation!
But, as she turned this thought over in her head, she remembered that other than Pengshu, all of the other court ladies and eunuchs had been sent away to experience farm life. And, the guards were standing outside of the main courtyard. There really shouldn’t be anyone else in this inner area. Ji Man sighed. She could only blame her bad luck.
The two people on the other side of the rock garden went from talking about governmental affairs to family matters. The emperor rather ruefully sighed. “If this emperor could live another ten years, I would definitely make Ninglu empress.”
Ninglu was Noble Consort Nie’s childhood nickname. Hearing these words, Ji Man was stunned. Did this emperor actually sincerely love Noble Consort Nie?
“Unfortunately, Marquis Moyu is too shrewd and his position isn’t clear. This emperor can’t tell how he really feels about Nie Sangyu either. Is he wholeheartedly supporting the crown prince, or will he change sides to help the third prince because of Nie Clan and Ning Clan’s relationship?” The emperor sighed. “This emperor is afraid that that the previous generation’s tragedy will be repeated.”
Ji Man didn’t quite understand the rationale behind these words. Whether or not he promoted Noble Consort Nie to the position of empress, what did this have to do with Marquis Moyu? Still, Ning Yuxuan was truly shrewd. He was close friend with the crown prince and a relative by marriage to the third prince. No one could say for sure whose side he would choose. He would only make his decision at the last minute. The possibility of him participating in the princes’ battle for the throne was very low.
It was exactly because of this reason that Noble Consort Nie wanted to use a child to pull Marquis Moyu over to her side.
“Old Master, it’s time for lunch.” Noble Consort Nie’s voice came from far away.
Ji Man’s legs had already turned numb from crouching down, so this voice sounded like a heavenly savior to her. The two people outside of the rock garden changed the topic of their conversation and continued chatting as they walked away. When their voices were far away, Ji Man slowly pushed herself into a standing position using the large rock.
Her legs felt wobbly and she almost fell down. Ji Man grabbed the boulder for support. She felt as if moving was impossible. Her body had felt sore to begin with. It was worse now that she had crouched down for a long time. But, she had to leave this area quickly before someone discovered her here. It would be bad if she attracted the emperor’s suspicion.
“Can you still walk?” Zhao Jue asked.
Frightened, Ji Man turned her head and saw the third prince walking over here from the garden’s entrance.
“Third Young Master…” The corners of Ji Man’s mouth twitched. She really wanted to ask why he was here, but then she had second thoughts. This garden wasn’t big. Had he also been eavesdropping?
“It’s time to eat. Yuxuan was looking for you.” The third prince slowly walked over here and put his arm out. “Let’s go to the dinning room.”
“Oh, okay.” Seeing that he had avoided mentioning the emperor's recent presence, she guessed that he had also heard part of the conversation. He probably wouldn’t tell anyone else about this and get her in trouble for no reason. After all, they were cousins.
She went to the dining room without worries and sat down by Ning Yuxuan’s side. She thought about the emperor’s recent words. She had originally though that the crown prince would definitely become the emperor, but now she thought there might be a bloodbath in the future during the fight for the throne.