Dark Empress - Chapter 1

Published at 27th of August 2018 08:43:35 PM

Chapter 1

The Situation between Emperor and Empress

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Her new body was Su Xiurong . She was nineteen . And she was the Empress of the Shengyuan Dynasty . Although, history was not Chuwei’s strong suit, she was absolutely sure there was no Shengyuan Dynasty in Chinese History . She had a headache . She rubbed her temples . She didn’t know what to think . Even if she had to transmigrate to ancient times, it should at least be a dynasty she had an idea of; then she could be a prophet of an unknown god . But instead she was in an unknown time and space and the body is the Empress . How did this dark skin become Empress? Please, even if she didn’t understand what the Emperor was thinking, she understood men . A man would not set up such a person as Empress of the country . So there must be value to this person, hence, the Emperor had to close his eyes and set up an ugly queen . As she spent a few more days in the palace, she began to gain a general understanding of the situation . Although Xiurong is Empress, she was not favoured by the Emperor at all . This is normal . There are so many “white bubbles - young cotton” beauties in the harem that he would not want to smash a piece of charcoal . From what she had gathered, this charcoal didn’t actually want to marry the Emperor and vice versa . Xiurong was a distant relative of the Empress . Orphaned in childhood, she was adopted by a childless Lord – and not the kind of useless villian that did this kind of thing to curry favour with the Dowager that was often portrayed on TV . He is a mighty general, brave and good, who won many frontier battles for the Dynasty . When the young emperor ascended to the throne, the imperial power was almost entirely controlled by the Dowager Empress . Although, after the Emperor proved himself, she relinquished the power . However, the Dowager still held a lot of influence in court, even if she was truly his biological mother, the Emperor was still wary, so that when the Dowager presented Su Xiurong for him to marry and make Empress, the Emperor could not refuse . But Chuwei wondered; how could the Dowager allow her son to marry Su Xiurong? Xiurong apparently had a gentle temperament; she played Qin chess well and was well versed in calligraphy . It was too late to spoil, although she looked bad, it was a “moral character first – appearance second” in the Empress of the country . Therefore, Xiurong married the Emperor at the age of sixteen and became Empress . The Emperor did not care for Xiurong . In the past three years, he had only visited her palace a handful of times . The Fengyi Palace where the Empress resided was no better than the cold palace . Xiurong had only two royal maids . And when she fell into the lake a few days ago, only the Dowager cared about her well-being . The Emperor left with barely a glance at her . She had been filled in on the lay of the land by her hand maids . But, Su Xiurong had died when she fell into the lake, now Chuwei’s soul resided in her body . She didn’t expect that she would be going back to her original time and space, for her body had been blown to pieces when the plane crashed . She still remembered the pain; she had been strangling her brother . If it hadn’t been for that damned boy winning a prize ticket for two to go to Paris they wouldn’t have been on that plane . And they dragged along Du Miaofu . And the result? Buried at sea! Thinking of her brother and best friend, Chuwei was deeply sad . She could not help but burst into tears . When her parents had died in a car accident, she and her brother Jiang Yan were left behind . Although, she quarrelled everyday with her damned brother, how could she ever abandon her baby brother? Du Miaofu, her friend who had been dragged around by her; her only female friend . They had a good relationship, like sisters . When Miaofu also lost her parents, it was Chuwei that stood beside her and kept her from becoming a ghost herself . One could cry for days, but it would not change the cruel fact . Chuwei had a strong heart otherwise she would not have been able to resolutely go to school after her parents died . Although there had been a life insurance pay out, after covering the cost of the funeral, what remained wasn’t enough to cover the future living expenses and tuition for both her and her brother . Jiang Yan had wanted to drop out of high school, but she directly raised her fist and flattened him . What a joke! What could a sixteen year old do? She, Jiang Chuwei, did not want a brother who only had a high school diploma . She ordered him to continue his studies and she would be responsible for money . She got a runner job at a magazine . Although she was just an assistant, she had been worked to death . Although she was a young girl, she was treated like a handyman; she ended each day bone tired and damning the names of her senior colleagues, especially those women who saw her as an enemy of women, throwing so much work at her . But she grit her teeth and worked hard . She learnt as she worked . After her income was stable, she began to take night classes and worked part time . She rose from assistant to editor and eventually became the editor in chief . She never cried . She didn’t have the time . If she had time to cry tears best use it to rise up and use her eyes to laugh at the people who bullied her . She, Jiang Chuwei, was an arrogant imperious woman . (Zuben: just my type)After two weeks of arriving in this strange land, she calmed down, reviewed what she knew, and prepared to face what her new future brought . ‘Niangniang, are you alright?’ her two handmaids asked her . Her face was gloomy . The two looked at each other; they were very worried about their mistress . Their mistress had become very strange since recovering from her fall in the lake . She had asked some strange questions, then she burst into tears scaring them – crying for a day, then became quiet . She cried silently, they were worried, they didn’t know what has happened to their niangniang . But after a few days, she stopped crying . The maids breathed a sigh of relief; who could have predicted the mistress started asking them who they were and who she was and said she didn’t have any memory . They were scared and quickly got the doctor . The doctor’s prognosis was; the Empress may have hit her head on a rock when she fell into the lake and had temporarily lost her memory . She may get better, but when that would be even he was not sure . They resolved to take care of their mistress with all their heart, but these days, they began to feel that their mistress’s personality was completely different . They have been serving her since they were all children and therefore, they had a good understanding of their mistress’ personality . It was as though their Mistress had become a stranger . Not only different mannerisms but she also gave people different feelings . Before, their mistress was gentle and placid when facing the coldness of the emperor and the loneliness of her palace . There was always a faint sorrow in her eyes, but they were just little maids they could not do anything for her . But now, she was completely different . Her tone of voice had become strong, her eyes were bright and direct, no longer cowering . Although it was the same person, compared to the previous bleak countenance, their mistress seemed much happier . (Zuben: You would be bleak if you had to marry someone you didn’t want to marry but no one asked your opinion on the matter)
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To be honest, they were gratified by this change . Although, she had amnesia as long as their master was happy, they were happy . ‘Nothing,’ Chuwei replied waving her hand dismissively . She looked at her two maids . They were sisters; Xia Xi and Chung Xi . They had served Xiurong since childhood and grew up together . They entered the palace with Xiurong . They had provided a lot of information to her about the life of her predecessor . Xia Xi was tall and beautiful, steady and a little awkward . Chun XI was petite and cute with a very likeable personality . The point was Chun Xi and Xia Xi looked better than Xiurong . The two maids were unnerved by Chuwei’s stare . Chun Xi could not help but ask,‘Niangniang, why are you looking at us so?’Chuwei could not help but reach out and pinch her cheeks, ‘Look at this beautiful girl! Your skin is so touchable . ’She stared directly at Xia Xi’s full bust and then looked down at her non-existent chest and wondered if there was any green papaya juice to drink . ‘Niangniang…’ the sisters cried . Xia Xi hurriedly comforted her, ‘Niangniang, you have a gentle temperament, you can draw and write poetry . You are much better than Chun Xi and I . ’ (Zuben: haha, just what a girl wants to hear; you have a good personality)Chun Xi nodded immediately, ‘That’s right, niangniang is very clever, not like Chun Xi; I can’t even embroider flowers . ’Believe me, I can’t embroider now, Chuwei retorted silently . Seeing the two girls trying comforting her, she could not help but say, ‘Well that is true, nothing more to be said . ’She touched her face, although her skin was very dark, the feel of it was very good; silky soft . This at least made her happy . ‘From today, prepare coix seed, red dates and white fungus for me . Make into a pastry or a sweet soup . ’ She would try eating more white dishes, see if she could lighten her skin tone . She looked down at her flat chest . ‘For my meals, pig feet, chicken feet and fish . ’ Xiurong was too thin; if she got fat then the asphalt road would at least get a rounded speed bump . As for the 34E she missed, best to forget it . Since she was destined to stay here, she could only go with the flow . First, let’s try and see if this appalling skin could be saved . As for the rest, she would deal with it later . Taking a deep breath, Chuwei made a fist and decided to take each day at a time in this Shengyuan Dynasty . ♛
 As the Emperor of his country, Xiahou Yin was wise . (Zuben: as far as he thinks anyway)He ascended the throne when he was seven years old . At fourteen, he officially took over all imperial powers . Under is rule, the dynasty flourished, the people lived in prosperity and the military strength was high; other countries did not dare invade easily . In addition to his wise governance (Zuben: go me!), the biggest hero was the Empress Dowager . When he was enthroned in his childhood, if it hadn’t been for his mother, everything would have been blocked . Instructing him in politics, guiding him in the governance of the state, handling the power of the military; he was afraid that if it hadn’t been for her, the villains would have won . There would not be prosperity and stability today . And when he was old enough, Queen Mother did not care about holding on to the power . She handed over the reins, no longer managing any political affairs; her only command was for him to be a wise decisive emperor . He was respectful to his mother, although there were rumours that his mother’s family was interfering with politics, and fears the influence his mother had and military authority in the hands of his mother’s brother in law; the great general . But on the day she handed the country to him, his uncle, the mighty general, knelt before him and pledged his loyalty and devoted his life . He knew he had nothing to beware of these two relatives . It was his good luck to have a good mother and a loyal vassal . Therefore he was kind to his two relatives . As long as it was within is power, he did not refuse their demands . So when his mother asked him to take Su Xiurong, he did not argue . He had little impression of her . All he knew was that she had been adopted by his uncle . But, there had not been many opportunities for them to meet and when they did, she spoke little and kept her head lowered . The first time he had a good look at her was on the day of the wedding . Although, he did not pay attention to women, but when he saw Su Xiurong, he wasn’t pleased . In short, when he saw her appearance, he turned off the light performed his bridal night . After that, he didn’t go to Fengyi Palace much . It wasn’t that he wanted to be cold; he had wanted to enjoy newly wedded bliss . So he would occasionally go the Fengyi Palace, but his Queen always had her head down and spoke softly and said little . He felt it was boring and went to Fengyi Palace less and less . (Zuben: Plenty flowers to stop at, so can’t be bothered to cultivate one) At the time, a group of showgirls came to the palace, so he acquired a few concubines, and began to favour one or two . So of course, he would forget he had a Queen, if it hadn’t been for the Empress Dowager reminding him about her . Xiahou Yin reluctantly put down the memorial in his hand and looked at the Empress Dowager sitting in the soft couch before him,‘Mother…’‘Hao? The Emperor finally has time to pay attention to his mother?’ the Queen Mother said as she lifted a bowl of tea to her lips . Her shrewd beautiful eyes looked in askance at him . Although, she had entered her fortieth year, she had no wrinkles on her face . Dressed in beautiful robes that enhanced her noble qualities, she exuded peerless grace and elegance .
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‘Mother, what are you saying? You’re really something, how can Er Chen ignore you?’ Xiahou Yin said with a flattering smile . ‘Is that right?’ she replied coldly not blinded by her son’s smile, ‘So tell me, how long has it been since you have visited Fengyi Palace?’He knew this was the reason his mother had visited his study . But he felt very helpless, he knew his mother would not be satisfied with platitudes . She would not let him get away with anything . ‘Mother, you know that Er Chen has been very busy of late…’‘Busy? Then how come you had time to go to Qing Fei last night? And the night before that it was the Yan Fei, and the night before that…’ (Zuben: Because he wants ready-made 『fufu-haha』, and doesn’t want to try) He coughed, ‘Mother…’ Xiahou Yin nearly laughed . He looked at his mother as rubbed his temples, he was getting a headache . ‘Mother is very knowledgeable about which concubine I visit…’‘My Emperor, if you have time to go to Qingyi Palace, you have time to go Fengyi Palace,’ the Dowager said, dissatisfied with her son . ‘Your Empress fell into the late and almost lost her life, you only visited her once . So is it that you plan on abandoning her?’‘I’m not abandoning her…’‘No? So since the day of her accident, have you gone to see Rong-Er?’‘Oh…’ he really hadn’t . Xia Hou-zhen touched his nose embarrassed that his lapse had been pointed out by his mother, ‘How about when I finish this work, I will go to Feng Yi palace and visit the Empress . ’The Empress Dowager only stared at him, so he added, ‘I will stay there overnight . ’His mother gave a satisfied sigh at that and her expression relaxed, ‘Son, your mother knows that Rong Er is not your favourite, but she is really a good girl . Although, she is left out, she still manages the harem very well . She isn’t beautiful but her personality and heart are good . If you try to get to know her, you will realise she is a good person . ’ (Zuben: How many times do you want to say good? Which man wants to hear ‘she had a good personality?)‘Mother, your son knows . ’ He replied . He had become tired of hearing these familiar words . He knew how much his mother liked Su Xiurong but when he was with her, he could not bring up the slightest interest in her . She always cowered when she faced him . If he said one, she would not dare return two, not dare to meet his eye, he only every saw the top of her lowered head . He wondered if Xiurong was afraid of him? Why did she marry him if she thought he was terrible? (Zuben: Did she have a choice?) With his mother and her father’s love for her, she could have refused they would not have forced her . She had been Empress for three years, and he didn’t know anything about her, to be honest, he couldn’t be bothered to understand . The Dowager knew his reply was only perfunctory, she shook her head and say, ‘You eh, everytime you say “I know”, you obey me, then turn around and use Feng Yi as a cold palace . ’But she could not say much . After all, it is a fact he would never love Rong Er but she could not interfere between husband and wife too much, she could only talk to her son occasionally and ask her son to care . He didn’t want to! It’s not his fault that Xiurong was so silent, so silent that he always forgot her existence . (Zuben: whiney!)Xiahou Yin knew that this was not the best response to his mother, so he looked turned back to his documents that needed reviewing . Trying to say without saying, the conversation about Xiurong was over . The Dowager rose and waved her hand, when she saw her son’s gaze return to the documents, she knew he had lost patience . She also knew when to stop bothering him . ‘I understand, you’re busy, but remember to go to Feng Yi this evening . ’ She said as she left . As soon as the Dowager was out of sight, Xiahou Yin breathed a sigh of relief and picked up the documents again . After working for a while,‘Yongfu,’‘Yes,’ a handsome eunuch entered the study and bowed respectfully . ’‘Giving an order; let Feng Yi palace know I will be there tonight . ’
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‘Yes . ’ Yongfu bowed and left the study immediately . Xiahou Yin pinched the bridge of his nose and thought of Xiurong, he sighted, it looked like it was going to be a boring night . ♛What?! The emperor wants to stay the night?Unlike the joyful surprise Xia Xi and Chun Xi were showing, Chuwei could not laugh at all . Excuse me, she did not misconstrue what that Eunuch had said, the Emperor was coming to spend the night, not just purely have dinner and go . Stay the night, my ass!He really wants to come and sleep with this piece of charcoal? (Zuben: Not really)If he wants to eat, Chuwei has no intention of being eaten!‘Niangniang, the emperor is coming, let’s get you dressed . ’ Xia Xi said excitedly . ‘What good is getting dressed going to do?’ Chuwei sighed unhappily casting a sidelong glance at the girls, ‘No matter how you’re dressed, you and Chun Xi look always beautiful . ’She wasn’t being ironic just factual . (Zuben: whiny)But Chun Xi and Xia Xi got scared . The two exchanged a panicked glance and quickly fell to the ground bowing, ‘Niangniang, please don’t be angry with us . ’What do they mean angry? Chuwei was confused, ‘I haven’t died yet, what are two doing? Get up . ’Xia X and Chun Xi did not dare rise, ‘Niangniang…’ they cried . ‘Yes?’ Chuwei looked at them, her imperious bearing must have scared them for the quickly rose . Recently, their mistress was no longer as gentle as before, her speech was no longer as soft and quiet . She had become bold . If she said something, no one could defy her . And she didn’t allow them to kneel before her . Even when it was time to eat, they had to sit at her table and eat with her . Xia Xi and Chun Xi did not dare at first, but the Empress had stared at them imperiously and said, ‘Sit . ’ And both of them quickly sat down . Chuwei rested her cheek on her hand . The two sisters trembled, she said lazily, ‘I will say it again – but this is the last time I would repeat myself . I don’t like kow-towing, kneel when I am dead . Also, you girls are more attractive than I am, this is a fact, but it does not make me angry or feel inferior, do you understand?‘Yes, we understand . ’ The two sisters said as they nodded . When Chun XI saw that their mistress wasn’t upset, she dared to speak, ‘But Niangniang, I feel that Niangniang had become more beautiful recently . ’ She turned to Xia Xi who nodded,‘Yes, Xia Xi feels the same way too . ’The Empress was no longer as thin as before, but has put on weight . She was still slender, but looked more radiant . Chuwei knew that the two maids were not flattering her, compared to the previous soul, Su Xiurong looked much better now . She looked at her hand - the skin colour was still dark, but she had been eating hazelnuts and white fungus for more than a month . She hadn’t expected to lighten immediately, but it seemed that Su Xiurong seemed to have naturally dark skin . Even if she was upset by it, she could not change . At least, she was getting a bit lighter now by not going to the sun and eating white fungus every day is working . Eating pig feet, chicken feet and large servings had allowed Xiurong to grow some meat, and her skin became more tender and soft like a piece of tofu, which made Chuwei satisfied with herself . This wasn’t something that could be done overnight, she could only work hard . Looking down at her chest, Chuwei sighed, it was still flat . The body was so thin, and she was wearing a gorgeous royal dress, and a headdress of gold and emeralds . She wondered how Xiurong had not been crushed by the pile of clothes and ornaments she had to wear, or her heavy headgear not crushing her head . (Zuben: Maybe that’s why she could never raise her head)After being in this world for two months, she understood the customs of the people . The women here liked to wear bright colours especially the rich and nobles . The dressed beautifully, not only bared their shoulders, also low cut clothes that showed the fullness of their milk white bosoms . Did Xiurong have such a qualification? Of course not, so wearing those bare-chested clothes would not suit her, but expose her shortcomings . In addition, she had such dark skin, she could not wear such brightly multi-coloured clothes, she would just look like a clown . (Zuben: Jewel tones are fine for dark skin; it is just what the pattern is like)Therefore, Chuwei had to forgo the beautiful multicoloured clothes and choose more sedate fashion . She had read costume design in college, so she drew a few designs that would suit her better . She gave the pictures to Xia Xi, and they were made . Now she was wearing a dress of her own design; a light yellow dress with long sleeves but the cuffs were tightened with satin ribbons and tied into lovely bows . Xiurong was thing, so she designed clothes that emphasised her waist which in turn gave her an illusion of a more shapely figure . Chuwei studied the beautiful embroidery on her cuffs, she gave a small smile . The clothing technology in this country was really good . She got the embroidery shop to embroider the cuffs, neckline and skirts . The over-all result was low-key but elegant . As for Xiurong’s over long hair,  she gave it a trim (Zuben: Did she study hairdressing too?) When she picked the scissors to cut the hair, Xia XI and Chun Xi were scared and tried to stop her . In this country, a woman’s hair is her everything, more important than their life; they never cut it . Why attach so much importance to something that will grow again . But since the maids were so distressed, she didn’t do a big chop .   Under the sisters’ squeaks, she cut the knee length hair to waist length . Looking at the maids with their noses red from crying, she felt she shouldn’t go too far . She is now Xiurong, it was better to be low-key . So she thinned her hair, her mother had been a hair dresser when she was alive,(Zuben: of course), so Chuwei learnt a lot from her . Xiuron’s face was small and slender, so she cut shortened the hair on both sides of her face and cut a thin fringe . She tied up the long hair into a half bow and plaited the falling hair and bound it with a ribbon the same colour of her clothes . Her hair was decorated with ribbons rather than hairpins, which gave Xiurong a lighter look . Although, she was just ordinary, it was better than that ugly appearance she had before . ‘Niangniang…the emperor is visiting tonight…’Xia Xi reminded her cautiously . She felt that their mistress was not happy about the emperor’s visit . Knowing Xia Xi liked to study her expressions, she turned to her and smiled with a militant glint in her eye she said, ‘Go to the Emperor, tell him I’m not feeling well tonight . I cannot wait on him…tell him to go and find another scorpion to kill his fire . ’Of course Xia Xi would not repeat the last sentence, but she knew Xia Xi will twist is cleverly . The last remark caused Xia Xi to blush . Seeing the arrogant appearance of her mistress, she felt that she has become very strange but somehow she liked her like this . She smiled and said, ‘Yes, Xia Xi will go . ’‘Good . ’ Chuwei replied with happy nod, then she turned to Chun Xi, ‘The milky osmanthus cake you made yesterday was delicious . ’‘Niangniang liked it? Chun Xi will go and make it again right away, and cook a bowl of gingko fungus soup as well . ’ Chun Xi rushed off to the kitchen happily . After her two maids left, Jiang Chuwei took a sip of her tea, her lips raised in a smirk . Want to come and sleep here?The Emperor should roll! No matter what life she had, men licked Jiang Weiwei’s toes just to have the opportunity to serve her . She? Serve a man? Don’t even think about it .  So I know I have been making snarkies, but as a dark skinned person I was not impressed with this part of the story but I also understand she is Asian and they don’t like dark skin there, hell the only place a tanned skin is appreciated is in the West, everywhere else, they want to be fair . But I wear bright colours, dark colours, light colours - you just need styles that suit your body, the rest is to taste . I wish we found out more about Su Xiurong though, I like quiet characters too .