The Promotion Record of A Crown Princess Chapter 58: Princesses (5)
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I didn't mind Qi Sheng not visiting me, but something hit me when I heard that he had been busy with the state affairs over at the Da Ming Palace. After thinking about it for a while, I instructed Lv Li, "Whatever the case, he is a little bit unhappy. That much is true. Find a way to sneak some pretty maids into Da Ming Palace and make it look like it is the Grand Dowager Empress's idea. I'm sure we'll have some good news."
Lv Li was tightening up my waistband and upon hearing what I said, her hands jerked, and the sheer force nearly strangled me to death.
I hurried yelled out, "Easy! This is my waist, not Jiang s.h.i.+'s neck!"
Lv Li simply asked, "Your Majesty, we have sent many beauties to the Emperor's side before, but it is said that the Emperor didn't touch any of them. Why would we still want to send more women there?"
Lv Li… You really know nothing about men!
The reason why Qi Sheng didn't touch those women was because they were all sent by me and he feared that they were my spies. But if they were sent by the Grand Dowager Empress, it would be different.
Men would always be needing female company. It would save him from hand jobs.
Plus, he had been busy with the state affairs lately. With those tedious paper works, he was bound to feel worn out and depressed. He must have been in the need to blow up some steam.
Lv Li was standing there waiting for my explanation. But I just simply couldn't bring myself to speak to her about all the nasty and obscene thoughts of men.
I untied the waistband myself and replied with a smile, "Circ.u.mstances have changes. Just do as I said."
Lv Li hesitated for a bit and said, "The way I see it, the Emperor doesn't like you being a traditional domestic housewife. Why don't you be more like Jiang s.h.i.+ and ask the Emperor to dismiss the whole harem. He might agree to it."
What a wishful thinking! To win over Qi Sheng's exclusive affection, Jiang s.h.i.+ has practically gone through h.e.l.l and abandoned everything she had. Look how that turned out? She was allowed to live out the rest of her live in Youlan Hall, and that was only because Qi Sheng felt guilty towards her.
Why would I throw away the prestige of being the Empress and choose to be his pet that lives under his whim?
Getting no reply from me, Lv Li opened up her lips as if trying to further persuade me.
I immediately stopped her and asked, "Lv Li, why do we always talk about man? You are the Empress's most trusted confidant. Why don't you spend more time on politics? There have been emergency reports coming from Yunxi. Don't you want to find out about what happened? Are we going to send troops there to squash the rebellion? If it comes to that, will the Emperor send the local He clan to do that, or will he order my clan to contribute troops in order to weaken our military strength? What about the northern border? If Qi Sheng does send our clan south, the northern defense will no doubt be weakened. Will the tribes from the Northern Desert take the opportunity to invade like they did several decades ago? If the invasion happened, who can lead the defense of the Jingyang City? Will it be the Mo clan from Yu, or the Xue clan from Qing? Or will it be the Yang clan from Taixing? The Mo clan and the Xue clan are not as competent as the Yang clan, and so the Yang clan's Master Yang Yu will be the most obvious choice. However, his son Yang Yan has been a.s.sociating with Chu w.a.n.g lately. Will Qi Sheng trust him?
"Wait!" Lv Li blurted out, "Not so fast, Your Majesty. I am so confused right now. Would you slow down a bit?"
I was amused and smiled, "See, it's only about the rebellion from Yunxi, and the relations.h.i.+ps between a few generals. We haven't begun to cover the struggles among the senior officials yet. If we had, I might have fried your brain already."
Lv Li nodded her head in agreement, and said, "Glad you didn't. I am already confused. I never know that politics can be this complicated. I thought the harem is the most dangerous place in the world."
I shook my head, "What turmoil can a bunch of women cause? The best they can get is the chance to accompany Qi Sheng a few more nights. But how does that help matter? If you don't have a powerful family to back you up, you will be nothing but a toy to the Emperor. In the end, the struggle inside the harem is just the reflection of the changing dynamics between various political factions. Only when the Emperor is weak can a royal concubine be able to share a portion of the power. If you don't have family backing, even if you can outmatch everyone in the harem, you will still end up being a powerless woman in the harem."
By this point Lv Li was utterly dumbfounded. She stared at me with goggled eyes and it took her a while to finally be able to reply, "Your Majesty, if it is like that, then why do we even bother with the compet.i.tion among concubines? Who cares about that Jiang s.h.i.+? So long as the Zhang clan is safe, no one would be able to usurp your position."
I was rather pleased with her answer and sighed, "Good girl, now you are getting there!"
Lv Li took over the waistband and started tying it around my waist. After a while, she continued, "Your Majesty, if what you said is true and the struggle in harem is the reflection of the politics, then how do you explain the presence of the Concubine Huang and Concubine Chen? They are from average family and the father of Li s.h.i.+ is merely a low-ranking official. How is it possible that they represent certain political factions in the court? By your logic, there should be women from those powerful families like the Hes, the Yangs and the Xues in the harem, isn't it?"
I was rather surprised that Lv Li could have a deeper thought about what I said. I began to see her in a different light. Who would have thought that such a young girl could be such a fast learner! If she could ever s.h.i.+ft her attention from the romance between men and women and try to see the bigger picture, she might actually be able to achieve great things!
I thought for a while and replied, "That's why Qi Sheng is a man not to be taken lightly of. When he was the Crown Prince, he had no choice but to lay low and bide his time. Now that he is the Emperor, he simply can't have himself being controlled by anyone and let his harem become the extension of the political battlefield. So that's why he has been meticulous in court and never bring in the women from those powerful families to counterweight the influence of the Zhang clan."
I turned around and looked at Lv Li with a solemn face, "Lv Li, remember. Our target has never been those women in the harem, but Qi Sheng himself."
Being the good girl that she had always been, Lv Li didn't shun away from the eye contacts. Instead, she held up her head to meet my eyes and asked, "Then we should care more about the Zhang clan. Why do you still make contact with Chu w.a.n.g?"
"Balance of power!" I replied in a low voice, "The way of the monarchy has always been about the balance of power. We also can't have the influence of the Zhang clan grow unchecked. That's because I am a married girl living outside the family. To put it bluntly, even if there comes a day when the Zhang clan overthrown Qi Sheng and start a new dynasty, I will not be sharing the benefits. So, we have to keep a close watch on the balance of power if we ever want to maintain our position."
Lv Li nodded, still deep in thought over what I had just said.
I sized her up and noticed what a pretty girl she had become over these two years. She was very pretty with a touch of s.e.xiness to her eyebrows.
My heart skipped a beat as I looked at her, and then I asked, "Lv Li, how old are you?"
Lv Li was still contemplating over the notion of the balance of power and was obviously caught off guard by my sudden question. She paused, and after a while she replied, "I am nineteen."
I was taken aback by her reply. Nineteen? In the ancient society, a nineteen-year-old girl is mature enough and should have been married already!
Lv Li asked, "Any problem, Your Majesty?"
I thought for a while and replied, "Do you fancy anyone?"
Lv Lv was struck dumb by my question, but then she immediately understood the meaning behind it and blushed. She lowered her head to tug at the rim of her dress, "Your Majesty!"
There was tremor in her voice and I continued, "Well, do you?"
Lv Li swept a quick glance over my eyes and replied, "I don't want to marry anyone. I only want to remain by your side forever."
Touched by her words, I nodded, "Good, if that's what you want, then so be it."
Upon hearing my reply, Lv Li immediately switched to another tone, "I haven't met anyone I like yet. I will marry whoever Your Majesty choose for me!"
I was pleased. That's more like it. A girl should marry eventually. It's not like we are lesbians and will spend the rest of our lives together.
I continued, "What do you think of Zhao w.a.n.g?"
Lv Li paused, not knowing what I meant. She widened up her eyes and hesitantly asked, "Which Zhao w.a.n.g?"
Is there more than one Zhao w.a.n.g?
Lv Li continued, "That Zhao w.a.n.g who married Jiang s.h.i.+?"
I nodded, "Yeah, that's the one."
Lv Li shook her head firmly, "No, I don't want to share my husband with that woman!"
I just didn't understand why Lv Li would hate Jiang s.h.i.+ so much. Especially that woman had been defeated and were now staying in Youlan Hall in hopes that Qi Sheng would come through with his promise. Zhao w.a.n.g had no relations.h.i.+p with her anymore.
Hoping that I could use Lv Li to win over Zhao w.a.n.g, I continued, "Never mind about Jiang s.h.i.+. She was gone for good and will never return. You will not see her again. Plus, even though Zhao w.a.n.g has been married before, he is still a prince, and a good-looking one at that. It's not like you are marrying someone beneath you."
Lv Li still shook her head and said, "I am a just a maid, and I don't deserve Zhao w.a.n.g!"
Afraid that Lv Li was playing hard to get, I continued, "Well, in that case, let's drop this topic for now. I will keep an eye out for you and see if there is anyone suitable in the court."
Lv Li still held her head down and remained silent. She went back to helping me with my makeup.
Realizing that she was being genuine with her rejection, I thought perhaps I should drop this idea. There was no pointing in forcing two people to marry.
Who would have thought that after a short while, after tidying me up, Lv Li would whisper to me, "Your Majesty, are you planning on using Zhao w.a.n.g?"
The Promotion Record of A Crown Princess Chapter 58: Princesses (5)
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The Promotion Record of A Crown Princess Chapter 58: Princesses (5) summary
You're reading The Promotion Record of A Crown Princess Chapter 58: Princesses (5). This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: Xian Cheng,鲜橙 already has 222 views.
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