Chapter 125: Want to Stop but Can’t

One of the bolder concubines step out, “Are you joking with us, Your Ladyship?  No one can enter the Emperor’s palace without summon. We will get punished!”

Mo Qi Qi looks at her in shock.  Punished?  Really?  She has been going in and out of his palace without his summon and she has never been punished for it.  Perhaps it’s because she never got as far as to his resting chamber?  But even so, punishing people for that is just too much.

What Mo Qi Qi does not know is that a concubine once sneaked into Jun Qian Che’s palace, infuriating him.  Ever since that incident, he decreed that no one can enter his palace without summon.  Otherwise, a heavy punishment will await them.

As for Mo Qi Qi repeatedly trespassing into his palace yet never getting punished for her transgression, she has no idea why he hasn’t done it yet.  Since she does not know, she can only interpret it as him giving the Mo Clan a face.

As for the concubines, none of them said anything to her because the order was explicitly addressed towards the concubines, and since the Empress isn’t a concubine, the rule does not apply to her.

And as for Jun Qian Che, the only reason he hasn’t punished the women from the past few nights is solely due to Mo Qi Qi.  She is pregnant and it is bad omen for him to punish people, especially those who were following her orders.  Besides he knows that the fight between women could get even scarier than those between men.

Mo Qi Qi continues persuading the concubines in order to give them courage, “Meimeis, there is no need for you to be scared of anything; the Emperor is not a tiger, he will not eat you alive.  You lot are too inactive, that’s why you couldn’t obtain His Majesty’s favour.  You should learn from Yang Guifei!  She plasters herself to his side even when there is nothing for her to do, no wonder the Emperor dotes on her so much!”

The concubines are still scared.  Even if they plastered themselves to the Emperor, he might still not like them.

Seeing their reaction, Mo Qi Qi tries harder, “You should be confident, Meimeis!  Women are the prettiest when they are confident.  You must walk with your shoulders straight and your head held high, only then will men find you irresistible!”

One of the concubines speak up, “Why don’t you teach us, Your Ladyship?  To be able to be favoured by His Majesty until you are pregnant, there must be something about you that mesmerizes him.  You must know what kind of women that he likes.  Why don’t you point us out to the right direction, Your Ladyship?”

The rest agrees with her, “She is right, Your Ladyship!  Please teach us!  Since we are family, better us than the women outside!  Please guide us, Your Ladyship!”

Mo Qi Qi already planned to guide them to begin with, but since they opened their mouths first, she must take this chance to play the good guy, “Since Meimeis personally asked, how could bengong not help you?  Bengong must do my best to teach you all today!”

The crowd is overjoyed to hear that. 

Mo Qi Qi already prepared pretty dresses and gorgeous ornaments for them.  She lets them change and then teaches them the proper way to apply natural make-up.  After the little makeover, all the concubines seem to have changed person.

Their make-up styles were too thick before.  Now that they have washed away the thick powder and rouge, all of them look refreshing and beautiful.  Even Mo Qi Qi, as a woman, completely melts when she sees them, much less Jun Qian Che.  If Jun Qian Che is still unmoved, then the problem lies with him.

The concubines peer at their reflections in the mirror.  They love the new make-up style so much that they curtsies in front of Mo Qi Qi in gratitude.

Mo Qi Qi smiles at them before asking, “Does the new style suits you all?  Do you feel confident now?  Do you think His Majesty will like the new you better?”

 The concubines smile back confidently.  One of them replies her, “Your Ladyship, chenqie feels very confident after changing chenqie’s style.  His Majesty should like the way chenqie currently looks.”

Mo Qi Qi feels comforted by the satisfaction on their faces.  Good that they didn’t waste the effort that she has spent on them.  Next, she would like to make an even bigger proclamation.

She looks at the crowd, “Bengong is very happy to see how confident you have all become.  Today, bengong would like to make a big announcement.  Do you see this box?  Do you know what it contains?”

 The concubines shake their heads.

Mo Qi Qi opens the lid, revealing the treasure hidden inside.

The concubines are shocked to see what is inside.

“T-The phoenix seal,” one of them says.

Although they know the phoenix seal is in the Empress’ hand, none of them have ever seen it ever since it was given to the Empress during the coronation.

The entire seal is made of green jade.  A pair of phoenixes is engraved on it, looking very much alive.  Surrounding the phoenixes are blossoming peonies.  Each and every petal is carved intricately, showing just how precious the phoenix seal is.

The concubines stare at it without blinking, wondering why the Empress brought it out on the first place.

Mo Qi Qi is satisfied to see the utter fascination on their faces.  It doesn’t matter if they are fascinated by it’s look or by the power that it wields, Mo Qi Qi is happy as long as she has their interest.

Mo Qi Qi raises her eyebrows, “Do you like this seal?”

They nod, and then, promptly shake their heads.

Mo Qi Qi frowns in confusion, “What do you all mean by that?  Do you like it or not?”

The concubines exchange looks, none of them brave enough to speak.

Mo Qi Qi seems to be able to read their hearts.  She smiles, “Today, in Feng Yang Palace, we are all going to speak to each other freely, disregarding our identities.  Let’s speak to each other like real sisters.  Bengong will not blame you for anything that you say.”

For a moment, the concubines are all quiet, before one of them steps out, “Do you mean it, Your Ladyship?”

“Of course, so talk freely.  Say whatever you want to say.  Bengong only wish to know if you like this phoenix seal.”

They all nod.

One of them speaks, “The phoenix seal is so beautiful, who wouldn’t like it?  However, we also know that not everyone has the privilege to use it.  You are the Empress, the Mother of the Empire.  Only you are distinguished enough to use this.  As for us, we are but little concubines.  Seeing it from afar is privileged enough for us.”

Mo Qi Qi smiles, “Zhao Pin, you have such a glib tongue.”  Whenever she says Zhao Pin, she always feels like she is saying ‘job opening’ hahaha. 

(TN:  ‘Job opening’ (招聘, zhao pin) sounds the same as Zhao Pin (赵嫔))

Zhao Pin, who has no idea Mo Qi Qi has been secretly calling her such, is embarrassed to be praised by her in public.

Mo Qi Qi looks at the crowd, “Yes, the phoenix seal is special, and not everyone can touch it, however, bengong would like to give you all a chance.  A chance to see how it feels like to carry the phoenix seal for one day.”

The concubines are shocked to hear that, “Y-Your Ladyship, you must be joking!”

Mo Qi Qi looks at them earnestly, “Does bengong look like I am joking?  Bengong means every word.  All of you are witnesses to what bengong is about to say: if any of you manages to serve His Majesty on the dragon bed today, you will get to use the phoenix seal for one day.  You will get to sit on the phoenix seat.  You can experience what it is like to be the Empress for one day.”

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