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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 306 – The last chance (1)
Before she could make head or tail of it, Ji Man was pulled outside.
Standing in the crowd of people, Ning Mingjie finally let out a sigh of relief. As he saw that person walking farther away from his peripheral vision, his expression became more relaxed. "The third prince and his princess consort have an extremely good relationship. Mingjie will respectfully offer a toast to the third prince and his princess consort. May the two of you live to an old age in marital bliss.”
The third prince loudly laughed. He took a cup of wine and drank it in one gulp. Standing next to him, Zhao Qian wasn't smiling much. Her eyes were filled with sadness and resentment as she looked at Ning Mingjie.
A palace garden was naturally much more beautiful than the ones outside of the palace. Ji Man silently stood with Ning Yuxuan by a pond. It happened to be dusk right now. Although they weren't talking, it felt pretty nice just standing here.
Marquis Moyu suddenly broke the silence by saying, "Mingjie has accomplished great achievements this time. The emperor will definitely want to bestow a marriage to him."
"En." Ji Man nodded, that sounded reasonable.
Turning his head to the side to glance at the person next to him, Ning Yuxuan slightly pursed his lips. "He wants to promote Luoqi to the position of an honored concubine. I heard that their child is already a few months old."
"Oh, yeah." Ji Man nodded again. She had already heard about this.
"This means that he'll also have a harem one day."
Wasn't this true for all men in the ancient times? Confused, Ji Man glanced at Ning Yuxuan. "So?"
Ning Yuxuan opened and closed his mouth. Looking at this woman's undisturbed gaze, he felt as if his heart had let out a sigh of relief. He snorted at himself.
Why had he been so worried? This woman simply didn't have a heart.
"My lord, what was it that you want to say?" Ji Man blinked as she looked at him.
"It's nothing important. I just won't have time to visit you in the upcoming days. Stay in Feiwan Courtyard. Don't get up to anything while I'm not there," Ning Yuxuan friendly suggested.
If you're going to share a spoiler, do a more thorough job. Why bother telling it if you're going to continue concealing part of it? Ji Man felt very dissatisfied, but when she reconsidered it again, she thought it was already pretty good that he was willing to give her advance notice that something was going to happen.
Right now, it was a tricky matter to understand Ning Mingjie's position. On the surface, it seemed that he was still loyal to the third prince. And yet, with Prince Gong's daughter between them, there was bound to be a slight estrangement. The third prince mistakenly believed that as long as he put forth some effort and time, he would be able to slowly draw Ning Mingjie back to his side again.
While Ji Man obediently listened to Marquis Moyu's words, Nie Chenyu seemed have gotten some hidden information too. Thinking that she could rely on the imperial noble consort to support her, Nie Chenyu thought she had endless opportunities. She tried all sorts of tricks on Ning Yuxuan such as dancing to seduce him and drugging him with aphrodisiac drugs.
Ning Yuxuan didn't avoid her and accepted all of her attempts. He even blatantly sought publicity by frequently taking Nie Chenyu outside to look at colored lanterns and stroll around the markets at night. It was all very romantic.
Sooner or later, this day was bound to come; the emperor fell seriously ill, and a prince had to be named as his heir. Once there was a crown prince again, the situation in the imperial court would become clear. And naturally, a large group of people had to be sacrificed, and a great wave of people would rise up as well. In the middle of all this, the members of each of the prince's maternal clan would become implicated.
Ji Man wasn't someone that possessed remarkable abilities. She could only sit and wait as the changes unfolded. As Nie Qingyun rushed about and was deeply troubled, Ji Man could only help him by giving him banknotes using Errong's name.
While the imperial court was undergoing change, money was naturally a resource that needed to be used for bribes. Ji Man took the savings she had kept with Miss Shui and gave it Nie Qingyun by saying that Errong had given this to her.
As a result, Nie Qingyun refused to accept the money and even intensely questioned her on why Errong would have so much money. Unable to fabricate a good excuse, Ji Man could only tell Nie Qingyun about her private business.
Nie Qingyun's face became deathly pale. Squeezing her shoulder, he said, "I'll take the money. You have to quickly sever your relationship with that shopkeeper. As for everything else that she's keeping for you, just treat it as giving her a gift. It's more important to ensure your safety."
Ji Man nodded and planned on finding a day to visit Miss Shui to discuss this matter.
However, before she had time, the emperor's illness rapidly took a turn for the worst. It had only been a few days ago when she heard the news of the emperor's illness.
Two days after her conversation with Nie Qingyun, the death bells tolled inside the palace. The court officials lamented to the Heavens and uttered cries of anguish. Why? It was because the emperor hadn't chosen a crown prince yet!
The struggle between the empress's faction and the imperial noble consort's faction formally started. On one side, there was the empress, who said that the oldest son should be the next emperor. On the other side, there was the imperial noble consort, who had always been favored by the emperor and said that she had a posthumous imperial edict written by the late emperor.
Since the imperial noble consort had the posthumous imperial edict, it naturally didn't even need to be said what was written in the edict. The two factions clashed, and countless people became embroiled. However, at the end, Ning Mingjie and Marquis Moyu, who led a group of old court officials, escorted the third prince onto the throne.
The empress and the imperial noble consort were respectfully given the titles Renxiao Dowager Empress and Huizhuan Dowager Empress, respectively. The first prince was conferred a title and would be sent away to his new fiedom, Yidu.
This was the public news that Ji Man heard, but she didn't know about the stormy behind the scenes development. She only knew that Zhao Jue's wish had been fulfilled; he had ascended the throne. He granted a general pardon to the opposing side as well as declaring Nie Qingyun, Marquis Moyu, and Ning Mingjie as officials that had performed outstanding services. They were given a lot of deferential treatment and bestowed countless gifts.
As Zhao Zhe peacefully departed for his fiefdom with his princess consort and the rest of his harem, he looked extremely unfettered.
It was as if there had been warning rumbles of a thunderstorm and you had already taken your clothes off the drying line and checked that drainpipe was working, but then after only a light drizzle, spring had arrived.
It was difficult to accept this outcome. The emperor had died too simply. What happened to the usual drama of forcing the emperor to abdicate? How could the first prince magnanimously let Zhao Jue become the emperor?
Still, after the third prince became the emperor, Ji Man received a ton of benefits. As the new emperor's younger cousin, she was on the same level of titled prince's daughter.
Like a withered tree that was experiencing spring, Nie Clan had gotten a new lease on life. Nie Xiangyuan also received the new emperor's favor and decided to return to the capital to resume being an official.
Sighing with emotion, Ji Man thought; fate had been changed.