Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...
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“Your Ladyship…. You actually called His Majesty shameless? T-This is disrespectful,” whispers Chu Ling Xiao carefully. Who would have thought that Mo Qi Qi would get braver and braver by the day?
Mo Qi Qi looks at him in contempt, “Hmph, go on and tell him then! Let him kill me!”
Chu Ling Xiao smiles, “Your Ladyship, this official is not one of those loud-mouthed lot. If your mood is bad, feel free to vent on this official, this official promise he will keep your secret.” Maybe if she vents a little more, he can finally figure out what caused her to be this furious to begin with.
“Hmph, stop it with those empty words! Do you take me for a fool? You promised you would keep my secret with the Dong Fei incident, but didn’t you sold me out to Jun Qian Che in the end? You are lucky I forgot to settle the score with you!” glares Mo Qi Qi.
Chu Ling Xiao looks at her in grievance, “Your Ladyship, you cannot blame this official for that. His Majesty was too smart and figured it out on his own, this official had no other choice but to tell the truth. But look, His Majesty did not punish you at all. It means that His Majesty still cared for you!”
“Stop trying to whitewash him! Get lost!” Mo Qi Qi does not want to waste any more words with him.
Chu Ling Xiao looks at her retreating back, his beautiful pair of eyes flashing in apprehension, “Your Ladyship, no one is pure and innocent inside the palace. Do not simply believe what other people say. You should believe in what you see instead.”
Mo Qi Qi stops in her steps for a moment before walking away.
Chu Ling Xiao shakes his head in disappointment before leaving as well.
Mo Qi Qi and Jun Qian Che does not meet for the next couple of days. She heard that a foreign envoy has come to court. The entire court is buzzing over that matter.
Mo Qi Qi does not want to seek Jun Qian Che because she has no idea how she should face him. She used to be thankful to him. After all, he disregarded his own life to save her. But now, the saviour has turned into the enemy. What if she fails to control her emotions and does something impulsive?
These days, other than studying the map, she spent most of her free time teaching the concubines how to seduce men. Her life has been considerably busy that she feels tired and sleepy all the time.
Today, the sun is already high up in the sky by the time she gets off her bed, lazily stretching her waist.
Ban Xiang has already laid out her clothes next to the bed, waiting to serve her. “How is your sleep, Your Ladyship?”
Mo Qi Qi nods, “It’s good.”
“This servant wonder what is wrong with Your Ladyship lately, you keep getting sleepy. You take long hours of sleep everyday. Are you sick? Would you like me to invite physicians over?” says Ban Xiang.
“It’s just a couple more hours of sleep, what is the big deal? Everybody knows that people get sleepy more easily during spring! Besides, I have been so busy that it is normal for me to sleep more! Hurry and help me change! I still need to teach the concubines yoga today!” replies Mo Qi Qi noisily.
Seeing her mistress in a pretty good mood, Ban Xiang mentally admonishes herself for thinking too much.
After breakfast, Mo Qi Qi brings the harem’s concubines to one of Imperial Garden’s pavilions. She orders the servants to place the yoga mats on the floor, before she herself begins practicing some yoga poses. Seeing such a beautiful woman in such a graceful pose surrounded by such a beautiful scenery causes everyone there to gape in surprise.
When it is the concubines’ turn to practice the pose, she personally corrects whichever aspect is wrong, “Yu Jieyu, your arms need to be straight, your waist too.”
“Chun Fei, you are bending too much. Be careful, you might hurt your waist.”
“Huh, I was wondering who is here, turns out it is the Empress,” a mocking voice drifts by. Mo Qi Qi already knows who the owner of the voice is without even turning her head around. No one other than Yang Shi Han dares to be disrespectful towards her inside the palace.
“Ya Xian greets the Empress,” a gentle voice follows suit.
Mo Qi Qi turns around and immediately helps Gong Ya Xian up, “Your health is not that good, no need to have so many etiquettes.”
“Thank you, Your Ladyship,” replies Ya Xian gently with a warm smile.
Mo Qi Qi then turns pointedly at Yang Shi Han, her voice a lot colder now, “You are a Guifei for nothing, Yang Guifei. You don’t even know basic etiquettes. You should learn from Ya Xian.”
Yang Shi Han angrily glares at Mo Qi Qi back.
Too lazy to deal with Yang Shi Han, Mo Qi Qi turns back around and addresses the rest of the concubines, “Continue practicing! Don’t get distracted!”
Seeing this, Yang Shi Han angrily reproaches the concubines, “How outrageous! Bengong is standing right here and none of you are curtsying in front of bengong!”
Just as the concubines are about to pay their respect, Mo Qi Qi stops them, “Continue practicing, no need to stop!” Then, she turns to Yang Shi Han angrily, “Even Guifei cares about rules and etiquettes? Even you yourself cannot follow the rules, who are you to admonish other people? If you want respect, you must learn to respect other people first! Next time, curtsy in front of bengong if you want them to curtsy in front of you.”
“You—–“ Yang Shi Han points at her angrily, wanting to retort back but cannot figure out how.
Mo Qi Qi raises her eyebrows arrogantly. Hmph, this Yang Shi Han always struts around all arrogant, never giving this Empress a face. Does she think that she fears her? She originally did not want to make her an enemy. Having an enemy inside the palace means having internal intrigue, something that she does not plan to engage on. But Yang Shi Han keeps toeing the limit, so don’t blame her for retaliating. Mo Qi Qi’s patience has run out the moment Yang Shi Han tried to trick Mo Cheng Xuan.
When Gong Ya Xian sees the concubines making weird yet beautiful poses, she asks Mo Qi Qi curiously, “What are you doing, Your Ladyship?”
Mo Qi Qi proudly replies her, “Bengong is teaching them yoga! Not only is it a form of exercise, it can help you lose weight and helps you obtain a prettier figure. Your health isn’t that good, is it, Ya Xian? You should try this out! It will make you healthier!”
Yang Shi Han immediately sneers when she hears that, “Make her healthier? More like harm her! Ya Xian’s body is so weak, how is it possible for her to do such a rigorous exercise? What if she injures herself? Ya Xian, she tried to harm you loads of times in the past, she definitely does not have any good intention towards you. Don’t listen to her!”
Mo Qi Qi scoffs back, “Whatever.”
Gong Ya Xian smiles gently, “Your Ladyship the Empress, Your Ladyship Yang Guifei, we are all family, let’s not disrupt the harmony. The Empress is worried about Ya Xian’s health, and Ya Xian is thankful for that. Yang Guifei is worried for Ya Xian’s safety, Ya Xian is also thankful for that. Ya Xian might not be able to learn this yoga thing from the Empress today, but if Ya Xian has time, Ya Xian would love it if the Empress can teach Ya Xian some simple moves. I think my body can take it if it’s something simple.”
“It is still Ya Xian who knows how to speak,” says Mo Qi Qi, implicitly scolding Yang Shi Han. Both of them glare at each other.
Gong Ya Xian smiles.
Mo Qi Qi quietly studies Gong Ya Xian; no wonder she is well-liked by everyone. She is so soft-spoken, so gentle, so kind. No wonder Jun Qian Che actually smiled in front of her; she is so loveable. If only her health is better…..
Unlike that Yang Shi Han, who struts around looking down on people, as though everyone belongs under the sole of her feet.
“Aiya, my waist!” Yu Jieyu suddenly shrieks while Mo Qi Qi is in the middle of a silent war with Yang Shi Han.
“Are you alright, Yu Jieyu?” Mo Qi Qi rushes towards her, personally checking her waist. “It’s not strained, but you should still rest over there.”
A couple of servants escort Yu Jieyu to rest.
Yang Shi Han laughs uproariously, “You lot sure are stupid! Do you honestly believe that the Empress will help you win over the Emperor’s heart? If learning all these can help you obtain His Majesty’s heart, the Empress would have received favour long time ago. Someone who can’t even receive favour is teaching other people how to receive favour! How funny!”
The other concubines who cannot stomach seeing Yang Shi Han so arrogant immediately helps Mo Qi Qi speak, “We believe in the Empress. Even if we cannot obtain His Majesty’s favour, we can still be happy with ourselves if we have good figures!”
“Correct! A woman must pamper herself every once in a while! We love learning yoga!”
Yang Shi Han laughs at them in disdain, “Bengong just pity you all, no matter what, none of you will ever get His Majesty’s love. You lot can only console yourself in this manner, by playing around with the Empress. Who knows, an accident might happen and you will at least get to meet His Majesty! Hahaha! How funny! You lot must have turned dumb from heartache; have you forgotten how she used to treat you all? Should I call you stupid or naïve?”
“Yang Guifei, you—–“ The concubines are furious beyond words now. Despite their anger, none of them dares to be disrespectful towards Yang Guifei. After all, her rank is higher than theirs.
Seeing this, Mo Qi Qi mocks her back, “Yang Guifei is the type that speaks without thinking. How long could you possibly serve the Emperor? Fellow Meimeis are doing this, not only to receive imperial favour, but to also help them understand life better. There are more to life than just fighting for favour. If you put in too much effort on a man, you will end up neglecting yourself, wasting your youth away. At least, if they will be happier if they focus on themselves. A woman must not put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to a man, much less a king. An Emperor’s love is too short-lived. A couple of years later, a bunch of beauties will enter the palace and steal his heart, and then, what will become of you? Are you going to spend the rest of your life complaining? That’s why you must not laugh at them, Yang Guifei. They might not receive favour, but at least they are happy.”
The rest of the concubines nod in agreement, “Correct! Correct! The most important thing is yourself!”
Yang Shi Han looks at them in disdain, “Aiya, bengong really pity you all. Since you cannot receive favour, you can only console yourself in this manner. Ya Xian, let’s not waste our time on these people who are busy licking their wounds in vain. Let’s go.” Yang Shi Han walks away with her chin tipped high.
Mo Qi Qi shakes her head while laughing.
Gong Ya Xian walks over to Mo Qi Qi before whispering, “Your Ladyship, do not take Yang Guifei’s words to heart. She did not have any intention of offending you. Perhaps, she was not in a good mood.”
Mo Qi Qi generously says, “Don’t worry, I will not take it to heart. I will not waste my time on someone like that.”
“Ya Xian should go first,” Gong Ya Xian curtsies in front of her.
Unlike Mo Qi Qi, the rest of the concubines are furious, “Just look at Yang Guifei, Your Ladyship! She really is too much!”