The empress had paved the way for the empress dowager to naturally follow. "Look at that, I was so happy today that I forgot about this troublesome thing."
Han Yunxi smiled coldly in her heart and didn't speak, allowing the mother and daughter in-law to sing and act out their own play.
"Imperial Mother, I say that let's not recognize her as an adopted daughter. We're all one family, so as long as you dote on Yunxi and have her visit often, it's all the same." The empress spoke in such a carefree manner that it didn't even seem to be a big deal.
The empress dowager nodded her head. "Well, that's all right. Yunxi, what do you think?"
"Everything will be as the empress dowager decides. The Duke of Qin is preoccupied with affairs of state, so chenqie won't trouble him." Of course Han Yunxi had to express an opinion. Even if she wasn't relying on the empress dowager, she wouldn't slight her to the level of a criminal offense.
Han Yunxi's words allowed the empress dowager to sole with difficulty. "Hehe, you really are an obedient child." Since matters had ended like this, it was inconvenient for Han Yunxi to linger. She exchanged some polite civilities before rising and taking her leave.
As soon as she left, the empress dowager's face fell as she swept her gaze across Han Yunxi's teacup. "That thing can't tell good from bad!"
"Imperial Mother, don't get mad. It's not worth harming your body with your temper. Chenqie has long said that this girl isn't simple. In the future, we'll have to take it into consideration," the empress soothed the empress dowager.
"Hmph, that disgraceful girl can't tell between the height of the Heavens and the depths of the Earth. For me to use her is showing her favor, but she had the guts to refuse! Just let her wait, one day I'll make her regret it! I just don't believe that she can live well in the Duke of Qin's household! She was lucky this time, but she better not fall into my hands next time!"
The empress dowager really was angry. She really didn't expect Han Yunxi to refuse and couldn't calm herself down for a long time...
Han Yunxi only thought of the whole thing as a joke, but she finally exhaled in relief after leaving the palace. When she passed by the Han house on the road, she halted for a long time. The Han Family in the capital weren't descendants of aristocrats, but still commanded prestige as an old and well-known family.
Currently, its vermillion gates were shut tight and everything looked peaceful, but Han Yunxi knew that once Han Congan was indicted tomorrow, this family would fall into chaos and ruin. The memories of this body kept floating to the surface of her mind. They were all childhood recollections of bullying, shame, and humiliation. Although they were memories of the original person, they'd long joined this body to become her everything and her past.
Everything was as vivid and real as if it happened yesterday.
A long time later, Han Yunxi smiled coldly as she turned to walk away.
It was already the dead of night when Han Yunxi returned to the Duke of Qin's residence. She wasn't even sure if she could knock on the door, but she saw lights in the windows from a distance. Those in the main hall shone the brightest. Her heart filled with misgivings. Had something happened in the middle of the night? With Grand Concubine Yi's personality, she'd rarely miss her beauty sleep! Even if the skies were falling, she might not stay up all night!
Or had something happened to Long Feiye?
Han Yunxi couldn't help but wonder if they were waiting for her?
She reached the gates soon enough and discovered that the old gatekeeper had been waiting for her. One knock was enough to open the doors.
"Esteemed Wangfei, congratulations! Grand Imperial Concubine has been waiting for you for a long time, hurry and go on in," the old gatekeeper was very excited.
Now Han Yunxi was thoroughly surprised. So this really was related to her! Could there be any good in this 'congratulations' proclaimed by Grand Concubine Yi's servant? Preoccupied with doubts, she didn't bother to ask any more but headed immediately for the main hall.
Right when she entered, she saw three large, open treasure chests. One had gold taels, one had silver, and the last was filled with pearls and jewelry. Next to them were various rolls of high-quality silk.
Geez, the sight made her eyes brighten. Where did all this good stuff come from?
The gold, silver, and jewels dazzled her eyes so Han Yunxi couldn't be blamed for seeing them first before spotting Grand Concubine Yi. The grand imperial concubine was currently sitting in the seat of honor, her delicate face so gloomy that it looked like one could wring water from it. Murong Wanru stood by her side, a flash of jealousy, admiration, and hate passing through her eyes as soon as Han Yunxi arrived!
"Mufei, you were looking for chenqie?" Han Yunxi bowed to pay her respects.
"Hehe, the person with meritorious service has returned. Hurry and rise, how could I afford to accept your respects?" Grand Concubine Yi's voice had turned bitter and sarcastic, so she'd likely heard of the events at court.
Han Yunxi rose and glanced at the treasure again, her heart clear. This was probably Emperor Tianhui's reward. Nice as it was, why had it been sent so quickly? She stole a glance at Grand Concubine Yi as her mouth twitched. Her mother had saved the empress dowager while she saved the empress dowager's grandson. No wonder Grand Concubine Yi wanted to flip out.
"Sister-in-law, I never knew your medical skills were so superb. You even cured the crown prince's strange illness, so his majesty and the esteemed empress dowager must be thrilled, right? Look, these were all awarded to you. They sent it over this very night," Murong Wanru said with a smile.
Grand Concubine Yi was still angry, but mentioning the emperor and empress dowager only added oil to the fire.
"Hehe, your life should be easier now that you've made the emperor and empress dowager happy!" Grand Concubine Yi smiled coldly.
What did she mean by this? Instead of sleeping, she'd gotten up in the middle of the night to be mean towards her? She had no tolerance at all!
Han Yunxi couldn't stand the implicit irony in her tone. Grand Concubine Yi had measured her strength against her a few times. If she didn't know Han Yunxi's temper by now, then she didn't mind displaying it one more time.
"Mufei speaks rightly. His majesty and the empress dowager were very happy. The emperor said, if it wasn't for all the rumors in the capital, he wouldn't have known chenqie had medical skills," Han Yunxi smiled.
With these words, Murong Wanru's face turned white.
Grand Concubine Yi paled. She didn't expect Han Yunxi to have the daring to bring this up again. This cheap woman really was getting bolder and bolder.
"Rea...lly?" Grand Concubine Yi said between gritted teeth. "This is your luck as well. With all these rewards, shouldn't I congratulate you?"
"Of course. Chenqie's honor is mufei's honor and the household's honor. His majesty and the empress dowager will definitely remember the Duke of Qin's kindness," Han Yunxi said again.
Compared to Grand Concubine Yi's acridity, she was a poisoned tongue! A sharp knife was stabbed into Grand Concubine Yi's sorest spot. Something like this was humiliation for her, but Han Yunxi actually called it an honor. More importantly, she was still smiling at Han Yunxi.
Grand Concubine Yi was so angry that she clamped down on her jaw, unable to speak. She didn't know why she'd waited until the middle of the night for Han Yunxi. Was it to see her show off or be sarcastic in her face?
Seeing Grand Concubine Yi's silence, Han Yunxi spoke. "Mufei, this time his highness rendered meritorious service as well. His highness risked his life to get the Life Blood Pill. Without it, chenqie wouldn't have been able to start her treatment."
These venomous words pierced Grand Concubine Yi's heart, spleen, lung, and kidneys! Her most treasured son faced danger to get medicine for her enemy's most precious grandson!
"AHH..." Grand Concubine Yi roared with rage. "Enough, Han Yunxi! That's enough!"
Her hands had already clenched into fists inside her sleeves, the nails digging into her palms. Even then, the pain couldn't compare to her aching heart! She thought, if she knew who spread those rumors, she wouldn't forgive them!
Murong Wanru was terrified of being found out and restrained herself for once, too meek to embellish the story further. Han Yunxi saw Grand Concubine Yi's face on the verge of twisting itself in anger and felt excellent. She almost forgot how tired she was. Hmph, she hadn't even acted out. Did Grand Concubine Yi really think she was some sort of mad cat?
"Mufei, it took a lot of concentration to treat the crown prince and I'm tired now. If there's nothing else, chenqie will take her leave. His majesty said to let chenqie rest well."
Han Yunxi spoke the last words especially for Grand Concubine Yi's ears. She wasn't stupid enough to use the empress dowager against Grand Concubine Yi, but the emperor was different. With this, she might get a few days of well-rested peace. She was about to leave when Grand Concubine Yi sent out an order.
"Han Yunxi, you better stop right there!"
This voice was very ferocious, but different from Grand Concubine Yi's usual angry tones. But she couldn't hear where the difference came from. Her steps stilled as she asked calmly, "Does mufei have any other instructions?"
"Han Yunxi, the empress dowager kept you back for dinner in the palace?" Grand Concubine Yi asked coldly, less sarcastic and more serious now.
Han Yunxi was slightly startled. So she even knows about this. Looks like Grand Concubine Yi has eyes in the palace too.
"Yes," she replied honestly.
"Why would the empress dowager keep you back?" Grand Concubine Yi asked. If it wasn't for this news, she wouldn't need to stay up so late to wait for Han Yunxi.
Han Yunxi grew cautious. Did Grand Concubine Yi suspect something? That would be a big deal, especially if Grand Concubine Yi thought she had something with the empress dowager. With her personality, Han Yunxi would never be forgiven.
Though Han Yunxi's attitude didn't change, she was careful with her answers. "The empress dowager's never kept anyone back for dinner before. She said that chenqie did well treating the crown prince, and wanted to reward chenqie."
Grand Concubine Yi's eyes grew dark and gloomy. The empress dowager didn't have a habit of keeping people back, so leaving this girl shouldn't be such a simple matter! Did she tell the girl anything? This brat saved her most precious grandson, so why would she have any excuse to resent her? And now this girl wasn't ugly anymore, and possessed medical skills! She could be used!
Thinking back, the empress dowager had betrothed her lifesaver's daughter to the Duke of Qin just for such a purpose, right?
Grand Concubine Yi's eyes turned even darker as she stared at Han Yunxi in silence. Han Yunxi thought she'd keep interrogating her. Her heart was flurried but cautious. What did Grand Concubine Yi mean? What did she want to do?
Grand Concubine Yi stared at Han Yunxi for a long time before giving a cold smile. She flicked her sleeves and walked away. This smile made Han Yunxi's hairs stand on end. She knew that her days weren't going to be so peaceful, after all.
Yet after battling through all her trials, Han Yunxi recovered herself very quickly. Her eyes were unperturbed, nor did she start at shadows. She wasn't worried if Grand Concubine Yi decided to investigate.
But before she found a conclusion it'd be best not to bother her, or else she'd counterattack with full strength!
Once Grand Concubine Yi had left, the guilty Murong Wanru silently exhaled. What she feared most was mufei investigating the source of those rumors, but luckily Han Yunxi's dinner with the empress dowager had distracted mufei instead. From what she understood of mufei's personality, she'd brood on her injuries for a long while before tracing this matter to the end.
Han Yunxi, so what if you've cured the crown prince's illness? So what if the emperor's backing you up? The emperor's busy with things everyday; he doesn't have time to take care of everything.
Murong Wanru smiled as she walked over with advice. "Sister-in-law, mufei's happy for your sake. But after waiting for so long, of course she'd be in a bad mood. Don't take it to heart."