“Zhen can take it seriously, but can also take it as a joke. It all depends on the Empress’ performance,” Jun Qian Che looks at her, his voice calm and free of any emotion.
Mo Qi Qi looks at him pitifully: what does he mean by that? What does he means by performance? He wants her to offer herself to him? Wuwu, no way! A scene suddenly surfaces inside the imaginative part of her brain: Jun Qian Che tips her chin and forces her to look at him. He wraps his other treacherous hand around her body. Then, he takes off the brocade belt around her waist. Then, he takes off her dress, his treacherous hands continuing it’s treacherous exploration around her body. He touches her cheeks, and then her neck, and then her chest. Then, he leans closer, planting his lips on hers. He presses his body on top of her, completely suppressing her.
She suddenly remembers that sharp pain that she felt during her first time. “No! No!!” she suddenly screams.
Jun Qian Che (the real one) looks at her, perplexed. When she starts screaming, he speaks with a cold voice, “What on earth are you doing?”
Mo Qi Qi is brought back to reality and looks at him awkwardly, “Hehe, Your Majesty….”
Cold air practically radiates from every pore of his body as he says, “What kind of a person zhen is, inside your head?”
Mo Qi Qi clicks her tongue, “Nothing really. Just a little trashy, a little dirty…..”
“Trashy? Dirty?” Mo Qi Qi successfully brings out anger inside his voice.
Mo Qi Qi quickly explains herself, “You cannot blame chenqie! You really did something dirty, did you not?”
Jun Qian Che looks at the bed. That’s the thing he regrets doing the most in this lifetime; forcing her. He really did not have the intention to do that back then, just, he lost control.
He stands up quietly before wordlessly leaving.
Mo Qi Qi sighs in relief once he is gone. When she remembers the way she disrespected him back at the bottom of the cliff, cold wind runs thrugh her back. Had she known that they would be able to return to the palace alive, she wouldn’t have done all that. He is just waiting for the right time to use that action against her. Wuwuwu, she is so done for!
The next day, Mo Qi Qi begins studying the palace’s map again after breakfast.
Ban Xiang looks at her in confusion, “Why are you reading the map again, Your Ladyship?”
Mo Qi Qi sighs helplessly, “Out of desperation-ah!” Jun Qian Che’s mood is too volatile. Living with a man like him is too dangerous. If she really wants to live, she should figure out the way to return to her old world.
“The weather is really good, Your Ladyship. I heard that the lotus in Wangyue Lake has bloomed, would you like to see them, Your Ladyship?” tempts Ban Xiang.
Mo Qi Qi sticks to her map and waves her off, “Nothing to look at over there, I’m not going!”
“Then, why don’t you invite the concubines to chat with you? The viewing tower is the coolest place to be at during summer. Why don’t you drink tea with the concubines over there?” Ban Xiang continues suggesting.
Mo Qi Qi starts getting goosebump the moment she hears the words ‘the viewing tower’. She remembers what Jun Yue Hen told her, about what she did in that place back then. And then, Jun Qian Che’s cold face appears inside her head. She shakes her head, “No, not going. Don’t bring up the viewing tower to me ever again.”
When Ban Xiang sees Mo Qi Qi’s emotional reaction, she carefully inquires, “Your Ladyship— Did you remember anything from your past, Your Ladyship?”
“I don’t remember anything. I simply don’t like that place,” Mo Qi Qi forces herself to appear calm.
Ban Xiang secretly sighs in relief.
Mo Qi Qi originally wants to scold Ban Xiang for not telling her what really happened inside the viewing tower, but for her own good, she keeps her mouth shut.
“Then, why don’t this servant tell a story for you,” says Ban Xiang, continuously interrupting Mo Qi Qi’s concentration.
Losing her patience, Mo Qi Qi glares at Ban Xiang in discontent, “Ban Xiang, can you stop chirping like a cricket next to my ears? I just want to study this map in peace, I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to hear anything either. I just want peace and quiet! Peace and quiet!”
Ban Xiang lowers her head, sulking.
Mo Qi Qi feels like she was too harsh and quickly softens her voice, “I didn’t mean to scold you, Ban Xiang, just this map is really important to me. Why won’t you let me read it?”
Ban Xiang looks up at Mo Qi Qi in worry, “Your Ladyship, this servant does not want you to study this map. Everytime you do that, you will do something outrageous next. You either make a fool of yourself in front of others or ends up angering His Majesty. This servant does not want anything bad to happen to you.”
Mo Qi Qi did not expect that the girl will be worried about that. She grabs Ban Xiang’s hand and pats it repeatedly, “Thank you for worrying about me, Ban Xiang. I know that a lot of you cannot understand why I do certain things, and truthfully speaking, I don’t know how to explain it either. Maybe you will understand me one day.” Once I successfully travelled back to my own time, you lot will finally understand why I hugged this map and wouldn’t let go. Since the place that I arrived at was the imperial palace, I believe that the way out is also here, just, I still couldn’t find it.
“Your Ladyship, this servant only wants you to be fine. Please do not anger His Majesty again, please do not fight with him again,” says Ban Xiang.
Mo Qi Qi smiles, “I understand. I will give in to His Majesty even more, after this. I will do more and speaks less.”
Ban Xiang laughs happily, “That will be great, Your Ladyship! You must cultivate more feelings between you and His Majesty. Once you stabilize your position, you can give birth to little princes!”
Mo Qi Qi simply laughs mirthlessly. Perhaps a lot of women out there would love to give birth to Jun Qian Che’s children, but not her. Definitely not her.
“Ugh,” Mo Qi Qi suddenly gets a bout of nausea, as though the food inside her stomach are rumbling to get out.
“What is wrong, Your Ladyship?” inquires Ban Xiang worrily.
Mo Qi Qi shakes her head, “Nothing. We left the palace for too long and my stomach hasn’t gotten used to the palace’s food yet.”
“This servant better call a physician over,” says Ban Xiang.
Mo Qi Qi stops her, “That’s enough, no need to make a big deal out of something small. This is just a case of unsettled stomach. If we make a big deal out of this, the Empress Dowager will call me spoilt again.”
“Are you sure, Your Ladyship? It is better to get immediate treatment if you are ill,” Ban Xiang is still worried.
Mo Qi Qi laughs, pinching her smooth cheeks, “I am really alright. I feel thirsty, go and help me brew some tea!”
“Yes!” Ban Xiang immediately leaves.
Mo Qi Qi sighs happily, “There is finally some peace. Ban Xiang, that brat, is just too noisy!”
Then, she goes back to studying the map.
At that moment, a little eunuch runs over before reporting, “Your Ladyship, Duke Zhen is here.”
“What?” asks Mo Qi Qi in surprise. Then, she mumbles to herself, “Jun Qian Che was right; the old man really comes. Invite him in.”
“Yes,” the eunuch leaves to invite her father in.
Mo Qi Qi hastily rolls up the map.
“Hahaha—“ a heavy voice that belongs to a man in his middle age fills the palace. Duke Zhen walks in while laughing.
Mo Qi Qi gets up and welcomes him, “Come on in, dad.”
Duke Zhen cups his fists in front of her, “This official greets the Empress.”
Mo Qi Qi lifts his hands up, “No need for so many formalities, dad.”
Duke Zhen stands up straight, “Although I am your father, you are still the ruler while I am still the official that serves you. We must not forgo etiquette.”
Mo Qi Qi laughs. She hears that this old man won’t even bow properly in front of the Emperor. Seems like he will only remember etiquette when he is standing in front of his own daughter. He is doing this to remind everyone of who she is, and to never disrespect her.
Mo Qi Qi is touched by Duke Zhen’s thoughtfulness for his own daughter.
“Hurry and sit, old dad,” Mo Qi Qi personally pulls out a seat for him. No matter what, this old man is still her father as long as she is inside this body. One with power and temper as well. She must never do anything that will displease him.
Duke Zhen looks at his daughter, smiling.
Mo Qi Qi looks at him uneasily, “Why are you looking at daughter like that, old dad? Is there something wrong with daughter?”
Duke Zhen laughs, “Qi Qi, you just called me ‘old dad’. That is the first time you ever called me that.”
Huh! Mo Qi Qi looks at him awkwardly. She was very close with her real father in the past life and got used to calling him that. She never stopped to think that she shouldn’t this time.
She laughs at him awkwardly, “Daughter happened to hear other people calling their father that, during the trip out of the palace this time. Daughter wanted to try it herself. If you don’t like it, dad, daughter will refrain from calling you that from now on.”
Duke Zhen quickly says, “Who says this old dad don’t like that? This old dad likes that term of addressment very much. It sounds very intimate. From now on, call me ‘old dad’!”
Mo Qi Qi laughs happily. Who would have thought that even Duke Zhen have a cute side of him? “Yes, old dad!”
“Ai, hahahaha!” Duke Zhen laughs uproariously.
When Ban Xiang heard that Duke Zhen has come, she walks into the hall while carrying a tray of tea, “Old master, this servant has brought you your favourite tea!”
Duke Zhen takes a sip, “Ban Xiang, this brat’s tea making skill has improved a lot! With her taking care of Qi Qi, my heart is at peace!”
Ban Xiang smiles, “Don’t worry, old master! This servant will do her best to take care of Her Ladyship! This servant is willing to tread on fire for Her Ladyship!”
Duke Zhen nods in satisfaction, “En! Qi Qi made the right decision when she took you to the palace with her back then. If anyone dares to bully her, you must quickly inform Duke Zhen’s manor! Do not allow anyone to bully our Qi Qi, understand!”
Ban Xiang curtsies obediently, “Yes, old master! This servant will remember that!”
Duke Zhen nods happily.
Mo Qi Qi’s heart warms up. Who would have known that Duke Zhen would dote on this daughter to this degree? She smiles, “Don’t worry, old dad! Daughter is the Empress, who would dare to bully daughter?”
“Although you say that, there will always be someone out there who does not know their place. Qi Qi, do not forget that you have our Mo Clan as your maiden home. We will always be behind you. If you face any trouble, if anyone hurts you, hurry and tell dad, alright? Dad will protect you even if it means giving up my life to do so,” says Duke Zhen sincerely.
Mo Qi Qi nods, touched. “Daughter will remember that, dad.” No wonder the old owner was so arrogant; with such a father to pamper and accommodate her, it would be even weirder if she didn’t.
“Qi Qi, did His Majesty take good care of you during the trip this time? Did he protect you well?” Duke Zhen changes the topic. This is his motive of coming today. His heart is not at peace, giving his daughter away to marry Jun Qian Che. Honestly, it is not that he does not trust Jun Qian Che. Just, he dotes on his daughter too much that he feels that no other man could protect her as he could.
Mo Qi Qi is taken aback for a moment before she says, “Yes, yes, yes His Majesty took really good care of daughter! He did not bully daughter at all!” Old dad, what is the point of asking me this? If I tell you the truth, you will stomp your way to him and demand an answer. He will not call you out, but once you leave, I will be miserable under his hand!
“Really? His Majesty did not bully you? He did not threaten you at all?” Duke Zhen finds that a little hard to believe.