Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Translator: Fuyu Neko
Chapter 432 – Finding a good equilibrium (1)
Hopeful people were the ones that were the most easily annoyed. It was just like when you were looking forward to a date, but then you find out that the other party had completely forgotten about it after you had already gone through the trouble of washing your hair and heading out. It was as if someone had piercing through your bubble of hope. It was like plummeting down from the sky, and there wasn’t even a parachute to soften your landing.
Ji Man hadn’t expected that she would feel so angry. She felt like a young schoolgirl that was feeling an indescribable feeling of being horribly wronged.
Didn’t he say that he cared about her? That he wanted her heart? She had allowed herself to believe that although Prince Charming was late, he was finally here to save the troubled princess. Who could have guessed that those were just empty words? Since he wasn’t waiting here for her, was her only choice to allow herself to be dragged along by Shen Youqing?
Fortunately, Shen Youqing was petty. She probably wasn’t magnanimous enough to push her onto the emperor’s bed.
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“Consort Shen, this humble woman will obediently follow your wish then.” Ji Man gritted her teeth. Step by step, she followed Shen Youqing to the inner palace. She silently cursed Ning Yuxuan all the way from this life to his next eighteen incarnations.
Shen Youqing smiled and said, “The emperor happens to have free time tonight and will be coming over to eat dinner with this consort. You can join us. After all, Miss Nie isn’t an outsider.”
How was she not an outsider? She was totally an outsider! Ji Man maintained her smile as her heart rose up in alarm. Was Consort Shen loopy from taking bad medicine? It was bad enough to keep her overnight in the inner palace. She wanted her to have dinner with Zhao Zhe too?
It got worse when they arrived in the inner palace. Shen Youqing actually criticized her clothing for being too simple and had a palace dress brought over for her to change into. Ji Man started to panic. Holding the palace dress, she knelt down and kowtowed, “Sangyu is only a commoner and doesn’t need to wear such a precious dress. Your Highness, please take back your command.”
Shen Youqing finally put away her fake smile. “Do you think this consort wants you to wear this dress? It’s difficult to go against the wishes of the emperor. Miss Nie, do you not understand why this consort is giving you this order?”
Ji Man pursed her lips. She was silent for a long time before she raised her head and said, “This servant only know that even the fate given by the Heavens can be reversed, much less an order by the emperor. Your Highness, if you’re unwilling, you can think of ways to avoid it instead of yielding.”
Shen Youqing sneered. “Avoid it? Alright, teach this consort, how should this consort avoid this?”
“It’ll be enough to send this humble woman out of the palace,” Ji Man seriously said, “This might upset the emperor, but Your Highness, if you go against your wishes to please the emperor this time, you won’t end up being happy. If there’s a first time, there’ll be a second time. If you do too many unhappy things, your days won’t be good. If doing something against your will won’t lead to a happy ending, why bother doing it?”
Shen Youqing was stunned. Even after a long time passed, she couldn’t circumvent her argument. In fact, she thought Nie Sangyu’s words were very reasonable.
However, before she could recover from her daze, they heard a eunuch announcing from the outside, “His Majesty is here.”
Everyone else in the great hall froze. Ji Man slightly sighed. The gods were out to get her. She turned to kneel in a different direction.
Shen Youqing knelt down too. “Greetings, Your Majesty.”
“En.” Zhao Zhe came inside. When his gaze landed on Ji Man, a smile appeared. “Qing-er, you worked hard. You can all rise.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Shen Youqing stood up. Zhao Zhe gestured for her to sit down on a nearby stool.
“Your Majesty, you came at the perfect time. This consort was just discussing with Sangyu what light refreshments Your Majesty would like for the evening.”
“Oh?” Zhao Zhe happily said, then he turned his head to look at Ji Man and said, “You’re that thoughtful?”
Ji Man smiled. “Back in the marquis’s estate, this humble woman frequently thought about what food the marquis would like to eat for dinner. Consort Shen shares the same trait as this humble woman, a deep steadfast love for her husband.
Zhao Zhe was clearly unhappy to hear these words. He scoffed, “You don’t have a husband anymore.”
“This humble woman won’t marry a second husband,” Ji Man seriously said, “If Sangyu can’t care for the marquis in the future, Sangyu is willing to end my miserable life in order to preserve my innocence.”
Her words were very heavy. She had already touched upon life and death. Zhao Zhe stopped smiling. His expression was somewhat complicated.
There was silence in great hall for a while until Shen Youqing quietly said, “Your Majesty, this place is too small. This consort will withdraw first.”
“En.” Zhao Zhe nodded.
Ji Man stared at her with eyes widened in dismay. Shen Youqing only lowered her head and left the great hall without saying another word. In the passing, she had the doors to the hall closed.
In the end, this woman had gone against her heart just to gain a favorable impression from Zhao Zhe?
Ji Man was incapable of understanding Shen Youqing’s viewpoint. Her body stiffened as she looked at the emperor in front of her.
Contrary to her expectations, Zhao Zhe didn’t rush forward to express his love. Instead, he continued to calmly sit at the table. He rapped his knuckles against the table and went back to smiling. “This emperor gave Yuxuan two choices. Take a guess. Would he choose glory and splendor or you for the rest of his life?”
Ji Man was at a loss. Why did he have to choose?
“If this emperor wants to compete with someone for a woman, there’s no one in the world that can win against this emperor.” Zhao Zhe clicked his tongue. “Even if he has power over the imperial court and the common people, the person on the throne will still be this emperor.”
Ji Man nodded. His logic wasn’t wrong. Even if Ning Yuxuan was above ten thousand people, he was still below one person, the emperor. There wasn’t any reason to struggle against this indisputable fact.