In Xuan Ji’s head, she pictured herself kicking down the door and slapping these two women in the faces. But in the end imagination was just imagination. She cooly asked, “What are you two doing here?”
Smiling, An Jin said, “Yao Guang jie jie(older sister), listen to Concubine Nian, it’s almost as if she’s the master of this palace hall.”
Yao Guang lifted her hand to cover her smile.
Seeing these two, Xuan Ji became exasperated.
The two maidservants on the side grew concerned and bowed towards Xuan Ji. “Concubine Nian, this servant has already informed these two concubines that you were resting inside…..”
“It’s alright,” Xuan Ji said with a wave of her hand. She then looked at An Jin and Yao Guang and said, “If there’s nothing else, please excuse me. I didn’t get much rest lately, I must go back to catch up on my sleep.”
It was a known fact throughout the palace that Xuan Ji had spent the night at Chuxiu Hall, causing all the imperial concubines to grit their teeth in discontent. Even the Empress Dowager was curious about this matter. However, the Empress, Consort Hua and Consort Hui had yet to speak on this subject thus the other lower ranked concubines did not dare to voice their opinions.
Forced by Minister Nian, Yao Guang had no choice but to come and investigate. In addition, she also missed the young and handsome Emperor. As for An Jin, jealousy and resentment had soon taken root in her heart. In the past, she could keep her true colors hidden. But after keeping it hidden for so long and so deeply, she could no longer restrain herself anymore.
Their mutual dislike for Xuan Ji made them grow close as they discussed their course of action. After coming to a decision, they decided to pay a timely visit when the Emperor had left for morning court.
Smiling, Yao Guang said, “Mei mei(little sister), you don’t intend to beat around the bush do you? Us jie jie(older sister) came to send a bowl of soup for the Emperor. He hasn’t come back yet, how about you let us go inside and set it down first?”
Xuan Ji glanced at the tray in their hands. Silently laughing, she mused that they could truly think of all sorts of excuses.
Seeing Xuan Ji remain silent, An Jin angrily sneered, “Concubine Nian, please excuse us.”
Xuan Ji did not bother to stand in their way. She stood to the side to let them in, then proceeded to walk out, taking a seat on the steps of the stairs.
Sitting outside, she perked her ears and listened closely. Nothing could be heard. In her heart, she was annoyed yet she also found it funny. It seems those two used the excuse of sending food in order to wait for the Emperor.
Since Long Fei Li had not allowed her to leave, she had to remain here. She was upset but she couldn’t just leave and take the risk of angering him, else Yu Zhi’s matters would be done for.
After sitting outside for a while, she began to feel light-headed. Those women were still inside so she didn’t want to go back in. She could only continue sitting there as she buried her face in her knees. The weather was obviously warm but the wind gusting against her back felt chilly making her feel increasingly lightheaded.
Suddenly, a sharp voice sounded in front of her. “Nian Xuan Ji, what are you doing here?”
Xuan Ji looked up. She didn’t know how long Long Fei Li had been standing there but his complexion was a little dark.
Xuan Ji patted her numb legs and tried to get up. But her legs were too weak and they buckled the moment she stood. Before she could fall, a hand had tightly wound around her waist and pulled her towards a warm embrace.
She did not shy away from him and instead tugged on his robes. “Long Fei Li, I don’t feel so well. Can you let me go back to Feng Jiu Palace to rest?”
She had a knack for provoking him. He angrily questioned, “Why are you sitting out here if you don’t feel well?”
After morning court ended, he was walking back to the palace when he saw her sitting on the steps from afar. When she looked up at him, the dark look in her eyes had already made him unhappy.
Xuan Ji’s voice was faint when she replied, “There are people looking for you inside, I can’t go in and rest.”
He knitted his brows and asked in a low voice, “Who?”
As soon as he spoke, he lifted her in his arms and headed inside.
The moment he entered, Concubine An Jin and Yao Guang both stood up excitedly but once they spotted Xuan Ji in his arms their expressions stiffened.
“This concubine greets Your Majesty,” they said in unison.
“Who let you two in here?” Long Fei Li said coldly.
His eyes glanced over at the tray of food on the table. “Take your things and get out of my sight!”
No one had seen the Emperor like this before. The two women were both shocked and terrified. Afraid to say another word, they silently glared at Xuan Ji before quickly withdrawing.
Outside the palace, the maidservants quickly closed the door.
Xuan Ji smiled faintly.
Still in a bad mood, Long Fei Li headed towards the bedroom without another word. As he placed her on the bed, he noticed how warm her body was. He reached out a hand to feel her forehead.
“What are you smiling about?”
Xuan Ji smiled even wider. “You seem to like asking me this question? What’s wrong with smiling? Do you want me to be crying in front of you all day instead?”
Long Fei Li held her chin. “Answer my question.”
“I’m laughing at Concubine An Jin and Yao Guang’s humiliation today. I’ve experienced it before too. I wonder when it will be my turn again?”
Long Fei Li responded coldly, “Nian Xuan Ji, haven’t I been treating you well? You purposely let them in. Wasn’t it to watch a good show?”
Xuan Ji froze. “Good show? You think I did it on purpose?”
Long Fei Li’s eyes were cold with mockery.
Xuan Ji’s body trembled with anger. “Fine! Fine, if that’s the case, why are you still keeping me here?”
She smiled coldly at him and broke free from his embrace to leave. Before even reaching the crystal curtain, she was forcefully grabbed and tossed back onto the bed.
She struggled to get up but her hands were pinned tightly over her head as he pressed his body against her.
His body was rigid above hers. She knew he was truly angry this time. She felt an impending fear and the eyes that were about to glare at him suddenly didn’t have the courage to meet his gaze.
“Long Fei Li, Yu Zhi is your sister, if you don’t care about her happiness then I can’t do anything either! I was crazy to involve myself in this.” She turned her head and struggled as she continued, “You can marry her off to a caveman or to a polar bear in the north pole for all I care! I just want to go back to being an abandoned concubine in my cold palace!”
Startled, Xuan Ji saw that he had smashed the headboard in a fit of rage, the red sandalwood carved with dragons was in pieces, the chunks that remained were scattered all over the floor.
“Nian Xuan Ji, tell me all your demands! What more do you need before you’ll quietly be my woman! I’ll give it all to you!”