To Fight for Favor
Early the next morning, all the concubines go to Feng Yang Palace to give Mo Qi Qi their morning greeting. Something out of the ordinary happens this morning, Yang Shi Han who has entered the palace for a couple of days actually goes to her palace this morning. That makes the rest of the concubines really curious, whispering amongst themselves.
“Why is Yang Guifei here? She has never bothered greeting the empress from the day she entered the palace.”
“We will have an interesting drama today. The empress will definitely not let her off.”
Yang Shi Han walks in wearing a white dress while putting on a pure yet noble-looking make-up. Her chin is slightly tilted while a beautiful smile can be seen on her lips. Arrogance and disdain can be seen in her eyes as she sits right next to the empress’ seat.
Seeing that, everyone are immediately upset, “Yang Guifei, you are too bold! You actually didn’t pay respect upon seeing the empress.”
“Correct! Even if you are favoured, you are only a concubine! If you disrespect the empress like that, what will happen to our system?”
“Your Ladyship, Yang Guifei is too disrespectful.”
Hearing the complaints from the concubines, deep down inside, Mo Qi Qi understands that they are trying to pit her against Yang Shi Han, or at least subdue her! Yang Shi Han has been receiving the sole favour from Jun Qian Che ever since she entered the palace. The former empress would have properly schooled Yang Shi Han by now, but the current Mo Qi Qi will not. In fact, she is grateful towards her. It is because of her that Jun Qian Che does not place any desire on this empress of his. That is how she managed to protect her body after all.
Having seen enough of their drama, Mo Qi Qi calmly speaks up, “Do not be angry, meimeis. We are all sisters, why must we fight each other in this manner?”
The concubines are stunned upon seeing the empress’ tolerance towards Yang Shi Han. Zhao Pin does not believe the empress will be that generous, “Your Ladyship, Yang Guifei is arrogant after receiving favour, she does not bother paying respect upon seeing you. How can her disrespectful acts be tolerated?”
Yang Shi Han covers her smile using a fan, “Your Ladyship, it isn’t that chenqie isn’t willing to bow down to you, just the emperor once said that chenqie is exempted from any rules or ceremonial obligation in the harem. Moreover, chenqie’s knees have been hurting these past few days, so it is a little inconvenient.”
Mo Qi Qi looks at Yang Shi Han who is raising her eyebrows before laughing brilliantly, “Bengong understands. Yang Meimei have to serve in the chamber every night, it is understandable that you are tired. It is okay, from now on, treat bengong’s palace like your own home. No need for too many formalities.”
“Your Ladyship—“ the rest of the concubines are not satisfied.
Mo Qi Qi smiles, “Other meimeis should not be too shrewd. Since the emperor said that, we should listen to him. How about this then; all meimeis are now allowed to not pay formal respect in bengong’s palace, if you does not feel like doing it. We are all sisters after all, there is no need to be so formal.”
Yang Shi Han looks at Mo Qi Qi suspiciously before scornfully smiling, “Your Ladyship changed a lot ever since you fell from the viewing tower. Chengie have heard about it from other people, but only after seeing it myself am I now convinced.” She assesses Mo Qi Qi’s expression as she says that. What makes her even more surprised is there is not a single trace of anger in Mo Qi Qi’s face. The former Mo Qi Qi would have thrown tantrum long ago.
“Yang Meimei praises me too much. Bengong was too young and impulsive back then and did a lot of things that hurt all of you. Now that bengong thinks about it, everything is so embarrassing. From now on, bengong wants to have good relationships with all meimeis. Bengong will become a virtuous empress; one that is worthy of the emperor’s approval and meimeis’ respect. Since we are all sisters, we should all get along. Only when the harem is peaceful will the emperor’s troubles lessen; he will be able to focus on the court matters and foster an even more prosperous kingdom.”
Yang Shi Han laughs drily, “Your Ladyship’s words are really touching, hopefully you will really do as you said. Aiya, His Majesty was at it for too long last night, chenqie is still tired from it. Your Ladyship, chenqie will leave first to recuperate. Chenqie still needs to serve His Majesty at bed tonight!” She gets up and sweeps her eyes over the crowd, the corner of her lips raised mockingly.
Mo Qi Qi’s elegant smile did not change, “Since it is like that, meimei should hurry and leave. Serving His Majesty is the most important thing.”
Yang Shi Han’s smile stiffens before she turns around to leave.
“Your Ladyship, just look at her! How infuriating!”
“Your Ladyship, Yang Guifei got all arrogant over being favoured. You must not indulge her!”
“Correct! If this goes on, she will not give face to anyone! Your Ladyship, you are the master of the harem, how can you let her run rampant like that?”
Once Yang Shi Han left, the concubines start complaining.
Mo Qi Qi listens to them until her ears buzz. She digs her ears for good measure before speaking in an amiable manner, “Calm down, meimeis. Speak properly.”
“Your Ladyship, if you treat people like her well, they will think you are easily bullied.”
“Your Ladyship, you really need to teach Yang Guifei a lesson. Show her your abilities.”
“Your Ladyship, you are Duke Zhen’s daughter. You do not have to fear her.”
Realizing that those concubines have no intention to stop, she finally loses her patience, “That’s enough, be quiet!”
Her tone is very imposing, the noisy hall finally silence down. All eyes are on Mo Qi Qi, their hearts quivering in fear.
Mo Qi Qi looks at them unhappily before coldly speaking up, “Do all of you really think bengong cannot see what you are planning for? Since all of you are so angry, why didn’t any of you speak up when Yang Shi Han was here just now? Now that the person is gone, all of you are suddenly brave. You want bengong to fight with Yang Shi Han while all of you watches from the sideline. Even if bengong did what you wanted me to, what will you get in the end? Do you think the emperor will go to your palaces? If you have the time to gossip like this, why don’t you spent this spare time figuring out how to get the emperor’s heart? What is the point of complaining to bengong? If you have the ability to, why don’t you steal the favour from Yang Shi Han?” These women have no capabilities; they only know how to get jealous and muddle things up.
One of the concubines speaks up in grievance, “It’s not that we didn’t try to figure out how to get the emperor’s heart. His Majesty is too cold, we don’t dare to get close to him.”
Mo Qi Qi sighs, “The emperor is not cold, just the person he is warm to is not you all. As long as all of you try your best to get his heart, he will gradually warm up to you.”
The crowd look at each other as they frown, “Your Ladyship, we are willing to try our best to get his heart, but how can we do that when we can’t even see him?”
“Right! And even if we do have the luck to see him, we don’t know his likes and dislikes. We lost before we even began.”
Mo Qi Qi smiles warmly, “Seems like all meimeis have the heart to serve His Majesty.”
“It was hard for us to even enter the palace, of course we are eager to serve His Majesty. As long as we bear him children, our lives will be set. It’s a pity…”
Mo Qi Qi immediately comforts them, “Do not worry, meimeis. You can all count on bengong.”