Chapter 608 In a Panic, Consort Zhao’s Plan
Consort Zhao’s palace maid, Caichun, hurried back to Consort Zhao’s Mingyue Palace from the Empress Dowager’s palace!
It was lonely around the palace gate, which made her frown. This was not the time when the Emperor had forbidden Consort Zhao to go out. According to the Emperor’s favor to Consort Zhao, there should have been a few consorts coming. But since something had happened to Consort Zhao, it was almost as desolate as the Cold Palace. Those consorts who had been close to her before had disappeared at this time.
It was said that the most frequented place they visited now was Consort Su’s palace!
Having no son was Consort Zhao’s weak spot. She had planned to treat King Xuan as her own son and support him, and she could become the Empress Dowager in the end. To her surprise, King Xuan was not an obedient person. Furthermore, the delicate and weak Consort Xuan, who was said to be ill, was not so easy to deal with either.
She had managed to escape from Consort Zhao’s plans every time. How could she not be angry? Then, the He family had ruined her plans as well, causing her to have no supporter. Now Consort Zhao had no choice but to go and seek refuge with the Empress Dowager. They had already decided secretly that if King Ning were to take the throne, he would acknowledge Consort Zhao as his mother and crown her as Empress Dowager. Even though this was not what Consort Zhao was most satisfied with, it was still the best solution at the moment.
She was alone and helpless.
“Caichun, what did the Empress Dowager say?” Consort Zhao asked hurriedly as she saw Caichun entering. She was really at a dead end right now. She had failed to plot against Feng Yuran and his wife, and caused them to hate her. The tea sent from King Xuan’s Manor was just what she had sent to them previously. The eunuch who sent it even said that King Xuan wanted Consort Zhao to use it.
It implied that Feng Yuran had already known that she had plotted against Mo Xuetong!
She could no longer support Feng Yuran even if she wanted to. That was to say, even if Feng Yuran managed to ascend the throne in the end, it had nothing to do with her. He had even fallen out with her because of Mo Xuetong. Besides, if Feng Yuran discovered what happened to his mother, she would truly die a terrible death!
Thinking of this, Consort Zhao grew hysterical. She immediately got Caichun to go to the Empress Dowager’s palace to get a confirmation. Even though the Empress Dowager had extended an olive branch to her earlier, Consort Zhao didn’t answer her directly because she had her own plans. However, it was different now. Feng Yuran was already on her opposite side, and the Emperor had not visited her Mingyue Palace in the past few days because of what had happened earlier.
If she did not find a backer, there was nothing she could do except die. Consort Zhao had been favored by the Emperor because of Consort Xian for so many years, so how could she be willing to accept that end?
Caichun closed the door of the hall and lowered her voice, unable to hide her joy. “The Empress Dowager has agreed. If King Ning ascends to the throne in the future, you will be the Empress Dowager!”
“Did the Empress Dowager really say that?” Consort Zhao’s eyes lit up.
“Yes, the Empress Dowager told me personally. She even said that she would ask His Majesty to come to visit you later and told you to prepare early. You don’t have to dress up too much, but remember to dress like Consort Xian. What would Consort Xian do in the face of such a situation?” Caichun told Consort Zhao what the Empress Dowager had said.
To dress like Consort Xian, and what would Consort Xian do in the face of such a situation?
“Consort Xian, Consort Xian again, she was just a consort who had been dead for so many years. Not only does the Emperor remember her, but even the Empress Dowager does.” Consort Zhao gritted her teeth in hatred. She felt all sorts of emotions welling up in her heart and hate welled up in her eyes. Both of them were sent to the palace by the He family and both looked stunning. Why was Consort Xian the one loved by the Emperor while she could only be a substitute?
Even though Consort Xian had died, someone kept reminding her that she should learn from Consort Xian and make herself like Consort Xian. She even had to wear the clothes and hair accessories similar to Consort Xian’s. “What was good about that bitch? She was so stupid, but she managed to win the Emperor’s heart. Unfortunately, that woman was so silly that she didn’t even know how she died.”
One day, she would completely suppress Consort Xian, and make everyone only know mighty Consort Zhao and know nothing about Consort Xian.
Since she could poison that woman to death, she would also be able to wipe her from everyone’s memories! She would never be able to turn the situation around!
“Get someone to prepare some plain clothes for me. I want to take a bath and change my clothes.”
Since everyone thought that it would be better for her to be similar to Consort Xian, she could do it for the time being. When her status skyrocketed in the future, she would dig up the grave of that bitch and whip her remains. Then, Consort Xian would become a lonely ghost who had no grave and would not even be able to be a person in the next life. Who could protect her then?
“Yes!” Caichun immediately went to prepare.
Fortunately, she could just take out these things she needed. After all, Consort Zhao had originally acted according to Consort Xian. No matter it was her appearance, behavior, and taste in clothing, they were all the same as Consort Xian’s. This was also the reason why she had been favored by the Emperor before. However, she had been a little carried away recently and she had bought some gorgeous clothes.
Here they were ready, and there the Emperor’s imperial carriage had set out. Two lines of palace maids and eunuchs had already cleared the way to Mingyue Palace.
Consort Zhao was dressed in plain clothes and only had an ordinary hairpin to make a bun on her head. She was waiting at the gate.
Her plain clothes made her elegant and beautiful, just like the person in the Emperor’s dreams. Looking at her, Emperor Zongwen showed a satisfied smile on his face. He got off the imperial carriage and reached out to help Consort Zhao up. “You don’t have to be so polite, my beloved Consort. Please rise.”
“Your Majesty!” Consort Zhao looked up at Emperor Zongwen with tears in her beautiful eyes. She seemed to be excited and happy, but two drops of tears fell down from the corners of her eyes. She hurriedly turned around to wipe them. However, the more she wiped, the more the tears were. She sobbed and could not speak, which made her look even more pitiful.
“Your Majesty, I… I thought you… didn’t want me anymore!”
She turned sideways and cried so hard that her words were almost choked by sobbing.
“My dear consort, what are you talking about? I have been really busy recently. The envoys from the Southern Barbarian Lands have come and I have a headache.” Emperor Zongwen held Consort Zhao’s hand lovingly and wiped the tears at the corners of her eyes with his hand before he explained softly. However, Consort Zhao became even sadder. She threw herself into his embrace and cried bitterly.
As she cried, she muttered, “I… I, I said in front of Buddha that I was willing to be with an oil lamp before the statue of Buddha… and would never see Your Majesty again, but… but I… really can’t bear to leave you. As soon as I heard that you were coming, I couldn’t control myself… If Buddha blames me, I… I’m willing to be sent to hell in the next life and never to be born again!”
Her words were full of love. Emperor Zongwen’s heart softened as he looked at the tearful and miserable Consort Zhao. His displeasure and suspicion because of Lian An had reduced a little. In the past 10 years, Consort Zhao had been staying in Mingyue Palace and had never gone out, so she would not have anything to do with Lian An. At most, Lian An had seen Consort Xian and Consort Zhao in the He family and somehow took a fancy to one of them.
“Alright, my dear consort, don’t cry anymore. I will go with you to pray in front of Buddha for forgiveness. Furthermore, you’re my consort. How can you really stay in front of Buddha? Buddha will not blame you for going back on your word.” Emperor Zongwen coaxed her in a soft voice and reached out to hold Consort Zhao’s arm as they stepped into Mingyue Palace.
Seeing Consort Zhao’s expression, Emperor Zongwen thought of Consort Xian. Every time Consort Xian was upset, she did not say anything, and still pretended that she did not care in front of him. If Emperor Zongwen had not seen it, she would not have mentioned anyone. That kind-hearted little woman had won his heart in this way and had always remained there. And now, his affection for her had become his karma. When he looked at Consort Zhao who resembled Consort Xian, and her aggrieved and sincere look, Emperor Zongwen’s heart softened.
He would not blame her for what had happened before.
Caichun breathed a sigh of relief behind them. She lowered her head and followed them into the palace. Judging by the Emperor’s words, he felt sorry for Consort Zhao. As long as Consort Zhao fawned over the Emperor carefully today and took advantage of Consort Xian’s position in the Emperor’s heart, the Emperor might forgive the matter about her before. In this way, she would have more say in the future when she cooperated with the Empress Dowager.
“Oh, who sent this to you?” Emperor Zongwen saw a jade box on the table the moment he came in. The box was opened, but the tea leaves inside didn’t seem to be fresh. He frowned slightly and asked with anger on his face.
He had not been to Mingyue Palace for a few days, but someone already dared to humiliate Consort Zhao. It made him angry. This reminded him of one time: since he was busy and didn’t have time to pay attention to Consort Xian, then he heard that Consort Xian was punished by the Empress and locked in Anhe Palace and couldn’t go out. When he went there, he saw Consort Xian and her son eating cold food!
“Your Majesty, you misunderstood. The tea was sent by King Xuan and I gave it to him before. Maybe King Xuan sent it back because he didn’t like it,” Consort Zhao explained softly, but there was a trace of sadness on her face.
She was not only Feng Yuran’s aunt, but also the Emperor’s favorite consort. It was a shame that the thing she sent out was returned.
“If he didn’t want it, he can just give it to someone else. Why is Old Eight so out of line?” Emperor Zongwen sat down with a hint of displeasure in his eyebrows.
“Your Majesty, you can’t blame King Xuan for that. He is just a forthright young man. It’s not a big deal. Somebody, why is the tea still here? Put it away.” Consort Zhao pouted. She seemed to be helping Feng Yuran, while she ordered Caichun to put the tea away, as if she was covering for Feng Yuran.
It didn’t matter if a prince was young and straightforward. But what if he was the Emperor? He was young and could not do things properly. How could the Emperor let him run such a great kingdom? Consort Zhao was testing Emperor Zongwen’s attitude. Since she wanted to ally with the Empress Dowager in the future, it was necessary.
Emperor Zongwen was angry at first, but then his expression softened. He gave a sigh and comforted Consort Zhao. “Old Eight was too much. My beloved consort, you’ve been wronged. I’ll send someone to teach him a lesson later. He’s so inconsiderate. Fortunately, no one asked him to do anything.”
Did that mean that the Emperor had no intention of bequeathing the throne to Feng Yuran?
Consort Zhao heaved a sigh of relief and felt rather glad for herself. According to the Emperor’s words, Feng Yuran was just a prince without any position or power. Fortunately, she had not tried her best to push him to the throne. It seemed that she did not have to pay attention to him, but have to pay attention to King Yan and King Chu first. After the Emperor left, she had to send word to the Empress Dowager and tell her to keep an eye on the two men and that Feng Yuran was not a threat.
Feng Yuran had neither the support of his mother’s family nor the favor of the Emperor. Although he was the favorite son of the Emperor, he was just an idle prince for the rest of his life.
“Your Majesty, don’t say that. King Xuan is just young and not very sensible. You can teach him slowly in the future. He will learn it well.” Consort Zhao said softly to Emperor Zongwen but could not hide the pride on the corners of her lips. Feng Yuran would never have his day, which meant that Consort Xian would not succeed. She would become the Empress Dowager when King Ning ascended to the throne.
Then she could kill Feng Yuran and Mo Xuetong with one word!
Even if he wanted to be an ordinary prince in this life, he had to get her permission!
“Consort Xian, even if you have won His Majesty’s heart, so what? Not only couldn’t you keep yourself safe, but you couldn’t keep your son and your daughter-in-law safe!”
She was too happy and her joy shone out of the corners of her eyes. Even though it had passed away in an instant, Emperor Zongwen saw it. No one noticed that his eyes darkened a little.
Outside Mingyue Palace, a palace maid came in a hurry, but was kept out of the palace by several palace maids. The lead palace maid Caichun had already asked people to close the palace gates, claiming that the Emperor seldom came to Mingyue Palace, and it was the time for Consort Zhao to please the Emperor and regain his favor. So no one was allowed to disturb the Emperor and Consort Zhao…
The palace maid stomped her feet resentfully and turned to leave helplessly.