The Emperor’s Appreciation
Mo Qi Qi gets up and turns to Ban Xiang, “Go and find two people to dig this body out.”
“Yes.” Ban Xiang then instructs two eunuchs to dig out the dead body from the dirt.
Once they dug it out, they realizes that the corpse’s face is rotten beyond recognition. A plum blossom-shaped jade pendant hangs from her waist. One of the consorts yelps in shock, “It is the missing Dong Fei! Look at that pendant!”
All eyes fall on the pendant.
Speaking about it; Hua Chen Kingdom’s harem is arranged in this manner; the one in the highest position is the empress. Below her is the Guifei. And then, there are the four Feis. However, Hua Chen Kingdom’s Feis are not named as ‘Xian’, ‘Shu’, ‘De’ and ‘Gui’ and are instead named as ‘Chun’, ‘Xia’, ‘Qiu’, ‘Dong’.
(TN: Xian (贤), Shu (淑), De (德), Gui (贵)are the titles given to the Feis (Consort) in the Tang Dynasty + some other more dynasties. As for Hua Chen Kingdom’s, the Chun, Xia, Qiu, Dong refers to the four seasons. Chun (春) = Spring. Xia (夏) = Summer. Qiu (秋) = Autumn. Dong (冬) = Winter.)
All four Feis have their very own personalized pendants. Chun Fei’s is one in the shape of orchid, Xia Fei’s is in the shape of lotus, Qiu Fei’s is in the shape of chrysanthemum and Dong Fei’s is in the shape of plum blossom.
Because of that, it isn’t hard to determine her identity after seeing that pendant.
This matter very quickly reaches Jun Qian Che’s ears.
He was coincidentally in the empress dowager’s palace with Yang Shi Han. After he was informed of the matter, the empress dowager and Yang Shi Han follows him to the garden.
After asking about the situation, the empress dowager who is dressing beautifully looks at Mo Qi Qi sharply, “Empress, why did you suddenly go around digging up the ground? Did you know there was a dead body underneath?”
Mo Qi Qi’s head turns like gear; telling the truth is out of the question. If she tells the truth, they will either mistake her as an evil paranormal entity or accuse her of the sin of lying to the emperor. She smartly replies her, “Your Ladyship, me and fellow meimeis are idle and bored. So we decided to come here to pick roses. Chenqie noticed there is an empty land here that does not have any flower, chenqie thought it was a loss. Chenqie was trying to loosen the soil before asking people to plant roses here so this area will not be wasted. Chenqie did not think we would dig out a corpse.”
Yang Shi Han glances at the pit before scoffing mockingly, “Your Ladyship plans to plant roses in a hole this deep? This is the first time chenqie sees someone planting a flower in a pit.”
Mo Qi Qi really wants to hit Yang Shi Han at the moment, but she only holds it in and replies her, “Informing the empress dowager, chenqie has never planted flower before so chenqie did not know how deep the hole should be. It was not even that deep in the beginning. It only got this deep after we dug out the soil after spotting the corpse. All fellow meimeis over here can be chenqie’s witnesses.”
Mo Qi Qi is confident the rest of the consorts will help her. They are all jealous of Yang Shi Han, they naturally will not stand on her side.
As expected, the rest of the concubines agree with her, “Right! Right! The pit is originally shallow.”
Mo Qi Qi arrogantly raises her eyebrows at Yang Shi Han.
Yang Shi Han simply laughs before opening her mouth again, “Chenqie heard, before Dong Fei disappeared, she was called into Feng Yang Palace and was scolded by the empress. After Dong Fei disappeared, the empress said she had been committing adultery and had ran away with her lover. People were sent to look for her, but they failed. The matter gradually becomes forgotten, but we actually found her dead body here today. Your Ladyship the empress, chenqie is dim-witted. Can you please tell me what is going on right now?”
“This—–“ That was all done by the original Mo Qi Qi, what does that has anything to do with her?
Yang Shi Han continues speaking, “The empress has always been at odds with the rest of the concubines in the harem, why did you suddenly bring them here to pick flowers? Are you trying to use Dong Fei’s corpse as a way to threaten them? To tell them to be obedient and listen only to you? If so, don’t you think this is too much? The punishment of harming innocent concubines is death. By doing this, the empress has scared all the meimeis.”
Hearing that, the rest of the concubines are consumed by fear, “No wonder the empress has been treating us so well these past few days! She has this planned out for us!”
“So the empress has been pretending to be kind and generous?”
Hearing what the concubines are saying, Yang Shi Han looks at Mo Qi Qi with traces of arrogance in her eyes. She knows Mo Qi Qi will lose her cool. Even though Mo Qi Qi is downright domineering all the time, as though she does not fear even the emperor, she can be pretty clumsy once something happens. She would not know how to protect herself. The emperor would have thrown her away by now had it not been for Mo Clan.
Now that Yang Shi Han has placed a new offense on top of her head, she is sure Mo Qi Qi’s mind would be a mess by now. Once one’s mind scatters, how could they find the way to shrug off the accusation?
Mo Qi Qi on the other hand, has seen through Yang Shi Han’s intention. She smiles indifferently, her heart calm like water, “Yang Guifei says that bengong killed Dong Fei with your own mouth; do you have any proof? If you do not have any, this can be considered a slander. What punishment should be given to someone who has slandered the empress?”
“You—- I—–“ Yang Shi Han is suddenly at a loss for words.
Mo Qi Qi continues speaking, “Ever since bengong was pushed by Yang Guifei in the viewing tower, bengong starts understanding a lot of things. Bengong realized bengong was too harsh on fellow meimeis in the past, causing feuds in the harem. From then on, bengong made up my mind to be a virtuous empress and got rid of my bad conducts from the past. Bengong was determined to get along with all meimeis, creating a peaceful atmosphere amongst us. That was what bengong has been doing for the past few days. Bengong brought them all here today to appreciate flowers, wishing to take advantage of the warm spring weather to tighten relationships with everyone. Why did bengong’s kind intention comes out so differently when it comes out of Yang Guifei’s mouth? If Dong Fei was really killed by bengong, why would bengong even bother to dig out her corpse and bring trouble to myself?
Bengong is confident there is foul play in Dong Fei’s death. She still has lingering grievance and has taken advantage of bengong visiting here so we could discover her corpse. As for who killed her, we need to investigate it thoroughly first. Yang Guifei has always visited the palace even before you were instated as Guifei, I am sure you are familiar with Dong Fei yourself. Who knows if she has done something to offend you? You even dared to push bengong from the viewing tower, is there anything you would not dare to do? Fellow meimeis, do you agree with bengong’s reasoning?” Mo Qi Qi says while maintaining her composure.
Hearing that, the rest of the concubines immediately stand by Mo Qi Qi’s side, “Correct! Your Ladyship’s reasoning is very accurate! I heard Yang Guifei and Dong Fei both wore the same dress once and that made Yang Guifei really unhappy. Who knows if that incident made Yang Guifei hates Dong Fei!”
“True! The empress is honourable and straightforward. If we have done something wrong, she would just point it out to us; she would not use this kind of method to scare us! We believe in the empress’ innocence!”
“Yes, we believe in the empress!”
Yang Shi Han angrily glares at Mo Qi Qi. She never thought Mo Qi Qi would make those concubines who hated her so much to stand by her side.
Mo Qi Qi is not surprised by those concubines’ support. After all, she only has Yang Shi Han to thank for this. She is solely favoured and has become the common enemy of the entire palace.
Yang Shi Han immediately finds an excuse for herself, “Even though bengong and Dong Fei wore the same clothes once, we were not at odds because of that matter. Bengong is not that familiar with Dong Fei because bengong has not even entered the palace when Dong Fei disappeared. No matter how you look at it, this matter has nothing to do with me. Please do not slander other people, Your Ladyship the empress. We do not know if Dong Fei was really killed by the empress, but what we do know was that the last person she met was the empress. No matter what, the empress cannot dodge suspicion. Your Majesty, you must bring chenqie justice. You must not let Dong Fei die in grievance either.” Yang Shi Han immediately clings onto Jun Qian Che in a spoiled manner.
Appreciation flashes in the quiet Jun Qian Che’s eyes as he looks at Mo Qi Qi. He never thought she would become so calm and level-headed. How surprising.
Serene: Chapter 46 is sponsored by Vivian!