“Halt!” A low, powerful, and aged voice rang out just as a dozen burly guards rushed in from the outside.
The Emperor couldn’t help but quiver at the sound of this voice, as he looked towards the door with an extremely complicated expression. The next moment…an elder woman wearing red ceremonial robes supported by a few servant girls and an ornamental cane walked over from the entrance with a serious expression.
After coldy narrowing her eyes for a brief moment at Imperial Concubine Hua, the elder woman locked her gaze onto the Emperor. She banged her cane onto the ground and angrily said, “What? Did you just fly into a rage out of humiliation? Did this young child’s words strike something?”
“Mother…you! Why are you here?” The Emperor said with a pale face as he stared at her in shock.
“Hmph!” The Grand Empress said coldly, “I didn’t want to come either, but what would’ve happened if I didn’t? The chamber of concubines is in such a mess. If I didn’t show up, then all of our ancestors really would’ve lost face because of you.”
The Grand Empress narrowed her eyes and turned to look at Imperial Concubine Hua, “You’re really amazing and powerful, huh? You’ve really put on a great show for me today!”
“What? You…you saw it all?” Imperial Concubine Hua stammered in shock.
With a nod, the Grand Empress coldly said, “That’s right, I was watching from beginning to end. I witnessed everything, regardless of whether I was meant to or not!”
Imperial Concubine Hua’s face turned as white as paper at these words. At the same time, Suo Jia chuckled, “Imperial Concubine Hua, why don’t you try repeating your answer once more? Why were those two girls beaten up? And exactly why was Her Highness trapped outside of the palace?”
Pressed by Suo Jia’s words, Imperial Concubine Hua’s face turned ashen, and she stayed silent. Seeing this, Suo Jia cried out indignantly, “You won’t say it? Fine then, I’ll answer for you! The people outside the palace were hired by you. Your goal was to first display your power to the Empress, and thus decrease her majestic presence. As for those two girls, they were trying to carry out the Empress’s orders to punish you, but you instead openly rebelled against the Empress and ordered your own servants to slap each of the girls 100 times in front of the Empress. Hehe…those 100 slaps were actually the same as slapping the Empress herself!”
The Emperor looked at Imperial Concubine Hua in disbelief and said in a shocked voice, “Imperial Concubine Hua, he’s lying, right? How could you possibly do such a thing? You’re not that kind of person!”
The Grand Empress suddenly stamped her cane against the ground and said fiercely, “Imperial Concubine Hua, don’t even think of trying to openly lie. My execution style is one that you should know. If you don’t believe that I’ll do anything, just try to utter a lie! I’ll decimate your entire family!”
Imperial Concubine Hua’s face turned even paler. The old woman’s fierce temper was one that everyone in the world knew of. She was a bit better now that she had aged, but when she was young, she had ordered no less than 1000 families to be completely wiped out! She was definitely a Queen of Hell that didn’t bat a single eyelash at taking lives!
Moreover…this woman strongly stuck to her words. She had never dishonored any commitment she had voiced. The Grand Emperor had died early, and she had taken over the current Emperor’s position for 20 years! Only after the Emperor had reached the age of 30 had she handed him the office of the Emperor. Even now, all the current chancellors, who were her old subordinates and trusted aides, were people who would even die for her! That’s why, if she wanted to do something, there really was nobody that could stop her. Even if the Emperor tried to, she would still prevail.
Imperial Concubine Hua suddenly fell to her knees. Her corruption had already been brought to light; if she lied any further now, she’d be directly seeking death. It was a pity…that Imperial Concubine Hua had never realized that if the Grand Empress had really seen everything, she would’ve long since killed off Imperial Concubine Hua in anger.
Trembling as she knelt in front of the Grand Empress, Imperial Concubine Hua said, “I am in the wrong. I was momentarily lost in obsession, and went too far. I beg His Majesty and Mother Empress for mercy. I won’t dare to do this ever again!”
“What!” The Grand Empress shook the cane in her hand as she angrily demanded, “You really dared to do such a thing? What do you think this chamber of imperial concubines is? Do you think Holy Light has no laws?”
Imperial Concubine Hua raised her head in confusion, and looked at the Grand Empress doubtfully. Hadn’t she witness everything from beginning to end? Why was she repeating this again?
But soon…Imperial Concubine Hua realized everything. The Grand Empress had really just arrived. She had just tried to extract information with a bluff just now. Now that Imperial Concubine Hua thought about it, this only made sense; why would the Grand Empress have just loitered around here for no reason!
Seeing the panicked appearance of Imperial Concubine Hua, the Grand Empress said as she shook from anger, “You’re really too brazen. Not only did you fail to greet the Empress, you even ordered your servants to beat up the Empress’s servants in such a state when they were ordered by the Empress to punish you. You didn’t just beat her servants…you were clearly trying to hurt the Empress’s face!”
The Grand Empress suddenly turned around to face the Emperor, and she angrily said, “What this young friend said was correct. Even if you just wanted to depose Empress An Rong, I wouldn’t have objected, but…before deposing her, she was still your wife. As a man, you let your own wife suffer from such humiliation. How can you still call yourself a man?”
The Grand Empress then turned to shout towards the people outside the palace, “Men! Gather the civil and military officials. Such a stupid and useless Emperor isn’t suited for being Holy Light’s Emperor!”
The Grand Empress whipped her head around to look back at the Emperor. She stretched out a shaking finger to point at him as she said, “Right now, I’m not punishing either Imperial Concubine Hua or you. From today onwards, you are no longer a part of the Holy Light Imperial Family. You will immediately leave the palace with her. If you are even one step too slow, you’d better not blame me for changing my mind and beating both of you to death with my cane right now!”
Suo Jia couldn’t help but secretly snicker to himself when he saw the Grand Empress’s fury. This Grand Empress had always been a person of jealous nature during her time as Empress. She had also suffered a bitter experience identical to what Empress An Rong was currently facing. In reality, all of the Empresses in this world ended up facing these circumstances.
However, the Grand Empress back then had been much more spiteful. She had made merciless calculations to kill the Emperor, and then bury all of his women together with him as well. She then independently ruled Holy Light for 20 years, all the way up until the current Emperor had turned 30, before handing the position over to him.
Right now, the Emperor’s and Imperial Concubine Hua’s actions had forced her to recall everything that had happened to her back then. An old woman like her that had been widowed for over a dozen years had originally had a monstrous temper. Now that she was re-facing the same bitter experience she had encountered years ago, with Empress An Rong taking the Grand Empress’s place, she was beyond furious. The only reason she hadn’t beheaded the two people then and there was because the Emperor still shared her own flesh and blood.
The Emperor and Imperial Concubine Hua were stunned speechless for a while. Seeing this scene, Suo Jia strode forward, and respectfully said, “Your Highness Grand Empress, please take back your order. After all, you only have one son. If you chase him out, then who would become Emperor? The empire can’t go a single day without a ruler!”
The Grand Empress strongly banged her cane against the ground. If it were 20 some years ago, she could’ve ruled the empire herself. But at this point, she was already an old woman; she didn’t have enough energy. If she really did chase the Emperor away, who would rule?
Although the Grand Empress had a few grandsons, they were still too inexperienced, and weren’t fit to control the government. Putting the country in the hands of some unqualified child would be a complete joke. By law of the Empire, the Emperor had to at least be 30 years old to take the throne, and he had to pass the throne over to a new Emperor at the age of 60.
Seeing the Grand Empress waver, Suo Jia continued, “Moreover, this matter wasn’t caused by the Emperor. At most, he’d have to suffer from punishment for overseeing crime, but not to the point where he is deposed from the throne!”
“Mm….” The Grand Empress recovered from her anger and nodded, “You’re right. Although the Emperor is greatly responsible, he isn’t ultimately the perpetrator. The one that should actually be punished is Imperial Concubine Hua!”
The Emperor couldn’t help but shoot a grateful glance at Suo Jia. He knew that if Suo Jia hadn’t spoken for him, he’d have been forced out of the palace. The enraged Grand Empress was someone that nobody could stop. Basically, being deposed was guaranteed, and even if the Grand Empress regretted her decisions after he was deposed, there was nothing she would’ve been able to do. The Empress was just like that; she never backed out from anything she did!
The Grand Empress sharply turned her head to look at Imperial Concubine Hua and said fiercely, “Although the Emperor doesn’t need to be deposed, a slut like you that has offended your superiors and brought upheaval needs to be punished. Otherwise, I….”