“Hmph!” The menacing Suo Jia didn’t seem afraid at all. Imperial Concubine Hua arrogantly said, “What Empress? I don’t need to pay respects at all. She isn’t going to remain the Empress for long, and soon I will replace her as the new Empress!”
“Hehe…” Suo Jia darkly chuckled and said, “That’s right, that’s right…..what you said is quite true. However…..you seem to have forgotten that no matter what happens in the future, you are currently not the Empress, yet you dare to be so rude. Do you think that this chamber of concubines has no rules?”
Suo Jia shouted, “Men! Drag this rule-breaking, lowly servant away, and slap her 100 times!”
“Hmph!” With an arrogant snort, Imperial Concubine Hua stood up and said in a domineering tone, “Stop deluding yourself. The people here are my people; nobody will listen to your commands. I want to see just who here would dare to even touch me!”
Faced with the arrogant Imperial Concubine Hua, Suo Jia knit his brows and said to the Empress’ two servants, “What are you two waiting for? Could it be that….you two really want to die?”
The two servant girls tightly clenched their teeth and strode over, heading straight towards Imperial Concubine Hua. Seeing this, Imperial Concubine Hua finally lost her calm. She waved her palm and shouted in panic, “Quick….stop those two girls! You must not let them come over!”
As the palace servant girls were all Imperial Concubine Hua’s personal aides, they didn’t dare to show disrespect to the Empress. But faced against two insignificant servant girls, and having been given orders by Imperial Concubine Hua, there was no reason to hold back. They all rushed over together, surrounding the two girls.
Seeing that the girls had been trapped, Imperial Concubine Hua smiled darkly and said in a biting tone, “You act so disrespectfully to me, and even want to hit me? Let’s see just who exactly will be beaten! Servants, slap them without mercy, each one of them 100 times. Don’t miss a single one!”
Following her commands, her servants all began to grab at the two girls, and mercilessly slapped them. Loud sounds rang out as they inflicted the punishment one after another. Seeing this scene, the Empress couldn’t help but feel lightheaded. This was clearly bullying brought to the most extreme limit. Did this palace even have laws anymore?
With tear-filled eyes, the Empress shot an imploring glance at Suo Jia, hoping that he’d be able to help. However, Suo Jia didn’t act at all in response to her plead for help. Instead, he rubbed his chin with a dark smile on his face, and shook his head at the Empress, indicating that she shouldn’t get impatient.
“The Emperor has arrived!” As the Empress’ two servant girls were being slapped 100 times, a loud and clear voice rang out to report the Emperor’s presence. Hearing this, Imperial Concubine Hua immediately panicked, and urgently said, “Quick! Drag those two girls to the back, and don’t let the Emperor see them.”
“Tch…” Suo Jia couldn’t help but sneer at her words as he said in disdain, “Please, you’ve already vented out your anger by abusing your authority, and now you want to get rid of the evidence? Do you really think everything will go your way?”
As he said this, Suo Jia waved his right hand. In that instant…..the Revolving Frozen Gas was activated, wrapping around the 30+ girls. The cold stream numbed their bodies, making it difficult for them to move.
This slightest bit of delay was enough. By the time all the girls had regained their motor functions, the Emperor had already appeared within the main hall. At this point, nobody dared to move around recklessly. They had to immediately kneel down and pay their respects; otherwise, they would be committing a major crime, enough to have even their entire families punished!
With the appearance of the Emperor, Imperial Concubine Hua changed her expression, and said in a pampered and childish voice, “This lowly servant greets Your Majesty. How did Your Majesty have free time to come here today? Don’t you have official businesses to take care of?”
Hearing her words, the Emperor couldn’t help but turn to look at Imperial Concubine Hua. There was a loving expression in his eyes, and it was clear to see that she was quite skilled; she had clearly bewitched him quite strongly.
As the Emperor looked at Imperial Concubine Hua, Suo Jia quickly approached the Empress and whispered, “Start crying immediately. Try to make it look more grieved, and afterwards, according to how you think is best, remind the Emperor of your former glory. In addition… you have to remember that right now, you are the most beautiful woman in the world. No man in this world can resist your tears and grievous expression.”
Woman were all natural born actresses, and they did not need to disguise themselves at all when pretending. Moreover… for the past 12 hours, the Empress had been feeling depressed and half dead. In particular, when she saw the people dear to her act so friendly with another woman, how could she not feel grieved?
After finishing their exchanges, Suo Jia quickly left the Empress’ side. At the same time, the Emperor also turned his body to look at the Empress with a frown. Suo Jia snuck a furtive look and sure enough… after seeing the Empress’ beautiful appearance and grieved expression, the Emperor’s body began to violently shake with a complexion of disbelief.
Was Imperial Concubine Hua beautiful? Yes…she was indeed gorgeous. One could even say that it wasn’t a normal level of beauty. Even in comparison to the Empress’ former days, she wasn’t lacking in any way. However…when compared to the current Empress, how could anyone humiliate the Empress in such a way? Could that thing even be compared to her?
(TL Note: The author actually stuck his own attitude here. The actual text says: “But…if you compared her to the current Empress, I’m sorry, but can you not humiliate the Empress like that? How could that thing compare to her at all?)
A man, even if he could maintain a neutral expression when he had his flesh lacerated from corporal punishment….wouldn’t be able to stay indifferent when such a beautiful woman was staring at him with that level of grief, tears pouring down her face. Moreover….she was a woman that he had once deeply loved, a woman that had lived with him for 30-40 years.
“Your….Your Majesty, haven’t you been working too hard recently? It’s only been a few days since we last met, but you seem to have gotten thinner. You musn’t forget to take your pills.” The Empress choked out, her voice so full of emotions that she wasn’t able to say it smoothly.
Hearing the Empress’ words, the Emperor’s expression greatly changed, and his face was filled with shame and guilt. Seeing this scene, Suo Jia could not help but laugh evilly; men were all like this. It was difficult to refrain from being unfaithful, however, they did not have the courage to face their convictions in front of the woman they loved.
At that moment, Imperial Concubine Hua said expressionlessly, “Your Majesty, this Empress just leaves the palace whenever she wants. Isn’t that too being too brazen? No wonder they say she has significant others outside. Looking at her youthful, glowing appearance, she was probably moisturized by quite a few men. A woman as shameless as her isn’t suitable to be the Empress anymore.”
The Emperor suppressed his guilt and asked the Empress, “Where have you been during these past few days? Why didn’t you tell me you were leaving? Who did you go search for?”
Hearing the Emperor’s words, the Empress widened her eyes in disbelief, and said in a trembling voice, “Your Majesty! You…. you actually question my chastity! Don’t tell me that… that I am so insignificant within your heart? Are you saying that after so many years, you still don’t know what kind of person I am?”
Hearing the Empress’ words, the Emperor frowned. After being married for forty years, he naturally knew what kind of person the Empress was. Claiming that she had gone out to snatch another man was something that he found difficult to believe. However, others had already said it quite plaintively, so what was he supposed to do?
Imperial Concubine Hua harshly said, “Don’t use your relationship with the Emperor to make things difficult for him. As the Empress, you shouldn’t be secretly leaving the palace as you please. Now that this scandal is spreading outside, you won’t be able to rid yourself from it.”
The Empress was suddenly at a loss for words. How was she supposed to justify her actions? It was exactly as Imperial Concubine Hua had said; she had left the palace without informing the Emperor. Now that the scandal was spreading, she had absolutely no way of defending herself. How was she supposed to explain something that didn’t exist?
Suo Jia smiled at the Empress’ reaction. He strode forward and said, “Imperial Concubine Hua, I would really like to know how you heard the Empress had secretly left the palace. And how did you hear of this scandal?”
Hearing Suo Jia’s words, Imperial Concubine Hua showed a panicked expression. In order to conceal her own worry, Imperial Concubine Hua replied angrily, “Who are you? Do you even have the right to talk?”
Pursing his lips in disdain, Suo Jia said without holding himself back, “I don’t have the right to speak. However….I’m just really curious as to how you know all of this.” Suo Jia narrowed his eyes as he shot the Emperor a meaningful glance. He had already achieved his objective, there was no need to speak any further.
Hearing Suo Jia’s hint, the Empress finally aroused from her stupor. She looked at Imperial Concubine Hua and said, “That’s right, I’m also curious to know how you know that I secretly left the palace. Those scandals as well, where did you learn of them?”
Faced with the Empress’ questioning, Imperial Concubine Hua replied with a flustered expression, “You secretly left the palace, and that is something that we all know. Together with that sex scandal that I heard the servants talk about, what part of what I said was wrong?”
“Haha…” Suo Jia sneered at Imperial Concubine Hua and replied, “If everyone knows, then how is it a secret? If the Empress wanted to do something shameless, would she let you know? Also….secretly spreading rumors about your mistress is a sin, I’m sure. Ai….Holy Light Empire’s chamber of concubines really needs to be disciplined a bit.”
Hearing Suo Jia’s cold and and mocking words, Imperial Concubine Hua gnashed her teeth in fury. At the same time, the Empress furiously looked at the Emperor before saying, “It doesn’t matter whether I have committed adultery or not. However… to purposely spread such rumors with no evidence is something that I, the current mistress of the Imperial Concubines, must punish her for!”
The Empress then shouted, “Men! Drag this lowly servant out of here. According to the rules of the chamber of concubines, spreading rumors about her mistress means that….her tongue must be pulled out!”
“Wait!” Hearing the Empress’ words, the Emperor’s expression drastically changed and he impatiently said, “For this matter, we should take our time to discuss it. Let’s not recklessly take action, and slowly talk it out, slowly talk things through…”
Suo Jia couldn’t help but feel shocked. It looked like…this Imperial Concubine Hua had really bewitched the Emperor, quite deeply too. There was no way she could be allowed to stay alive. Suo Jia said in a low voice, “Your Highness, you have to give face to the Emperor. Although you may not fit to be Empress because you are swayed by your own feelings, who asked the Emperor to be so lenient?”
Hearing Suo Jia’s words, the Empress’ entire body trembled. Who wouldn’t understand what Suo Jia was implying? It was already quite obvious; if the Emperor was standing on Imperial Concubine Hua’s side now, who knew what would happen in the future.
Moreover, among the imperial concubines, she was the mistress. Since Imperial Concubine Hua had committed wrongs, then she had to be punished. Even if the Emperor begged for mercy, it was useless. If the Empress could not impartially enforce the law, then she would not be a qualified Empress, and would be ridiculed by everyone.
The Empress looked at the Emperor with a grieved expression. His actions just now had painfully broke her heart; he had actually stood on that little girl’s side. What else could possibly be said about such a situation? Their affection for each other was broken, and she was no longer in the mood to try to recover it.
The Empress coldly said, “Your Majesty, I am currently carrying out matters regarding the imperial concubines, so I ask that you step back. There is no need for you to dethrone me, as tomorrow, I will personally leave the palace and give up the Empress position. However, today, I am still the Empress, and I must take care of this inter-family issue.”