“Sure. It has been a while since bengong went to visit the grand empress dowager. Let’s go,” Mo Qi Qi decides to put the matter aside, for now. Since she cannot get anything out of anyone, what is the point of stressing over it?
Spring is starting to fade as summer steps in. The weather has gotten a lot hotter, while varieties of flowers are blooming in the imperial garden.
She chats with grand empress dowager in the imperial garden.
“Qi Qi, you seemed very busy these past few days. You didn’t have time to look for imperial grandmother,” the grand empress dowager good-naturedly says.
“It is honestly nothing big. Qi Qi is just busy with a couple of small things,” she does not want to burden the grand empress dowager with her problem.
“Imperial grandmother is really happy seeing you getting more and more mature. Although being an empress is a glamorous position, it is also very stressful. Every little thing in the palace needs to go through you. The emperor is busy in court, so he can’t help much when it comes to the back palace. It has been hard on you.”
“Don’t worry, imperial grandmother. I will share the emperor’s burden,” Mo Qi Qi obediently says.
The grand empress dowager laughs in satisfaction, “If there is anything you need help with, feel free to come to imperial grandmother. You can go and seek for your 7th imperial uncle as well. Although you two are of different generations, you still pretty much grew up with him. He will definitely help you.”
Mo Qi Qi nods, “Qi Qi will remember imperial grandmother’s words.”
When Mo Qi Qi returns to Feng Yang Palace in the evening, her mood has lighten considerably. “Ban Xiang, go and bring all these ingredients from the imperial kitchen. Put it in Feng Yang Palace’s kitchen. Bengong will personally cook, tonight.”
Ban Xiang asks her in surprise, “You are personally cooking tonight, Your Ladyship?”
Mo Qi Qi finds it hard to contain her excitement, “Correct! Bengong will invite someone over!”
Ban Xiang scratches her own head, “Invite someone over? Who? His Majesty?”
Mo Qi Qi’s happy little face turns rigid, “Mind your mouth! I’d rather invite a pig over than to invite Jun Qian Che that trash! The person I am inviting is the 7th wang.”
“The 7th wang? Your Ladyship, it is late at night. Inviting the 7th wang over like this…. What if the emperor finds out?”
“If you and I don’t tell, how will the emperor know? He won’t come to Feng Yang Palace if he doesn’t have to, anyway. I have been good these past few days, I didn’t cause any trouble, so he has no reason to come over. Go to the imperial kitchen first, then go and secretly invite the 7th wang.”
Ban Xiang is really worried about this, “Why are you inviting the 7th wang, Your Ladyship?”
“I have something I need to ask him. Stop asking so much! Just go!” Mo Qi Qi says.
Ban Xiang does not dare to quibble, she immediately goes to do the bidding.
Since they wouldn’t tell her what happened that day, she can only ask Jun Yue Hen. She believes that he will tell her everything she needs to know.
When night comes, everything is ready and Mo Qi Qi is only waiting for Jun Yue Hen.
Jun Yue Hen can be said to be pretty responsive. As long as Mo Qi Qi calls for him, no matter how risky it is, he will do everything he can to go to her.
A little eunuch follows Ban Xiang to Feng Yang Palace. The moment he arrives in front of Mo Qi Qi, he raise his head to look at her.
When Mo Qi Qi sees his face, she bursts out in laughter, “Yue Hen, what are you wearing? If your admirers find out that the most beautiful man in Hua Chen Kingdom has become a eunuch, they will cry themselves to sleep! Ha ha ha!”
Jun Yue Hen seems really embarrassed by her reaction, “Stop laughing at me, Qi Qi. It is not easy to enter the palace at night. Only when I am wearing this will I not bring any trouble to you.”
Touched, Mo Qi Qi pats him in the chest, “You are indeed a good friend! Come and sit! I prepared a feast for you!”
They both sit in front of the table.
He looks at the sumptuous dinner on the table before curiously asking, “Qi Qi, why did you suddenly invite me over.”
“Aiya! You and I are good friends! You took care of me ever since I was little and keeps helping me even after I entered the palace. I am very thankful to you. I can only repay you by cooking you dinner,” Mo Qi Qi does not go straight to the point. She does not want to scare him right off the bat.
Inside the imperial study, Jun Qian Che has finally finished reading memorials after a busy day. There are so many things he needs to take care of in court, so he goes to rest really late every day. Lucky Mo Qi Qi has been good and does not add any trouble.
Eunuch Lin steps forward, “Your Majesty, do you want to have your dinner in Yu Jing Palace or do you want to go to any consort’s palace?”
“Return to Yu Jing Palace,” Jun Qian Che gets up.
“Your Majesty, this servant heard that the empress had sent people to collect ingredients from the imperial kitchen. She personally cooked tonight. Her Ladyship heard that Your Majesty has been tired lately, so she wanted to cook something for you to eat. Why don’t you eat dinner in the empress’ palace, Your Majesty?”
Jun Qian Che laughs mockingly, “Mo Qi Qi and cooking?” He has seen her in the kitchen. The entire kitchen was full of smoke just because she decided she wanted to cook porridge. Hearing about her being able to cook is really funny.
“Alright. Let’s see if the empress has managed to set Feng Yang Palace’s kitchen on fire.” Jun Qian Che heads towards Feng Yang Palace.
In Gui Ning Palace, Yang Shi Han is sitting on her grand seat, looking at her beautiful nails.
Her personal maid, Qian Er walks into the room and says, “Your Ladyship, His Majesty already went to the empress’ palace. He will not come here. Dinner is ready, would you like to dine now?”
“He went to Mo Qi Qi’s?” A haughty smile can be seen on Yang Shi Han’s face. “Good! Extremely good! We will get to see a good show tonight!”
Qian Er cannot understand her, “Why did you send people to tell Eunuch Lin about the empress cooking tonight, Your Ladyship? Eunuch Lin is the person His Majesty trusts the most. Aren’t you basically encouraging His Majesty to go to the empress’ palace?”
Yang Shi Han beautifully smiles, “What do you know? Sometimes, loosening the grip is better than holding tight. Bengong is hungry, serve the dinner!”
Feng Yang Palace,
Jun Yue Hen looks at the dishes in disbelief. “You cooked all these yourself, Qi Qi?”
Mo Qi Qi proudly nods, “Correct! Surprising, isn’t it?
“Very surprising! When did you learned how to cook?” Jun Yue Hen is very touched. She actually cooked for him.
“Recently! Hurry and taste it! Do you like it or not?” She picks up a chopstick and place a piece of sparerib on Jun Yue Hen’s bowl.
Just as Jun Yue Hen is about to taste it, an elderly servant comes by, “This servant greets Your Ladyship the empress, the 7th king.”
Mo Qi Qi is surprised. She scolds Ban Xiang who walks in with that maid, “Such a phenomenal job you are doing, Ban Xiang! Didn’t I tell you not to let anyone in?”
“Your Ladyship, Li momo is the grand empress dowager’s personal maid. The grand empress dowager has something to give you.”
Li momo is a very bright person, “No need to worry, Your Ladyship. This servant is only here to give you the grand empress dowager’s gift. This servant does not see anything else.”
Jun Yue Hen comforts her too, “Don’t worry, Qi Qi. Li momo is imperial mother’s confidante. She knows what she ought or ought not to say. Li momo, what did imperial mother told you to send?”
Li momo puts down a jar of wine on the table, “Your Ladyship, this is a fruit wine that the grand empress dowager brought from her trip. Her Ladyship likes it so much that she brought back 3 jars; one for herself, the other for the empress dowager, and the last one, for you.”
“Go back and tell imperial grandmother that bengong said thank you. Bengong will definitely taste this wine,” Mo Qi Qi elegantly says.
“Yes, please excuse this servant,” Li momo then leaves.
Mo Qi Qi looks at Ban Xiang, “Go and guard outside. Do not let anyone in!”
“Yes!” Ban Xiang retreats away.
Mo Qi Qi picks up the jar and happily says, “The grand empress dowager loves me too much! Yue Hen, let’s taste this wine together!”
Jun Yue Hen nods, “Yes.”
Just as Mo Qi Qi is about to pour the wine for Jun Yue Hen, an announcement can be heard from outside. “The emperor arrives!”
Mo Qi Qi is so shocked that the jar almost slips from her hands. She really wish this is just a dream.
Jun Yue Hen immediately saves the jar before comforting her, “Do not panic, Qi Qi.”
“Why did he come? What should I do? What should I do? Why am I so unlucky? Yue Hen, you go and hide inside my chamber first. I will try and chase him away!” Mo Qi Qi pulls Jun Yue Hen into her chamber.
Seeing the panicking Mo Qi Qi, he grabs her two shoulders before comforting her, “Don’t panic, Qi Qi! You haven’t done anything that wronged His Majesty. Calm down first. Do not let him sense anything off, do not give him reasons to be suspicious.”
Mo Qi Qi nods, “Right! Right! Right! You are right! I need to calm down! I will go and welcome him in, now.” She takes a deep breath and walks out, forcing herself to calm down.
When Jun Qian Che walks in, the smell of the dishes hits him in the nose.
“Your Majesty,” Mo Qi Qi smiles before curtsying.
“You may get up,” both of his hands are placed behind him.
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” Mo Qi Qi continue smiling at him.
Jun Qian Che looks at the table behind her. He is very surprised when he see the dishes on the table. However, when his eyes fall on the two sets of bowls and chopsticks, his eyes turn icy.
When she notices him looking at the bowls, she laughs while explaining herself, “Your Majesty, chenqie made these dishes myself. Chenqie originally wanted to invite you over, but after tasting it earlier, chenqie realized that they didn’t taste that good. Chenqie don’t want you to laugh at my cooking skill, so chenqie didn’t invite you. Who would have thought that our hearts would be in such a harmony, you came by on your own accord. Hehe—“