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Published at 9th of February 2020 08:34:11 PM


Chapter 13
Translated by: RandomAlex
Edited by: Cazhe

When Luo Ran woke up it was already nearly noon . Qing Ru went up to her and said, “Madam, the Empress Dowager asked you to go to Ci Ning palace . ”

Luo Ran’s eyebrows and eyes were still slightly fluttering from sleep . Her jade hand held Qing Ru’s hand feebly and her voice was lethargic: “Empress Dowager?”

Qing Ru bowed her head and said while not looking at her: “Yes . ”

She wondered why this woman wanted to see her . Even in the original plot, the Empress Dowager did not appear for a while and only did for just one moment . The Empress Dowager loved Lu Yu very much .

“I see . ”

 

Luo Ran did not wear her usual favorite plain white blouse but changed into a pale yellow one . The Empress Dowager never liked the white ones even at her current age .

Although she didn’t know what the Empress Dowager was planning, she couldn’t embarrass herself . As soon as she arrived at Ci Ning Palace, she was led in by an old servant . The Empress Dowager was having a meal . Lu Yu accompanied her at her side and Luo Ran came in, squinting at her .

Luo Ran knew instantly why the Empress Dowager wanted to see her .

Luo Ran stepped forward and glanced at the old servant with some embarrassment and hesitated to go forward, —  the Emperor was not with her, currently, there was another male and although it was Xian Wang the Emperor’s brother, she still needed to avert suspicion .

The Empress Dowager noticed her and gave her a cold glance .

Luo Ran did not hesitate . She took two steps forward and bent down to salute: “Have seen the Empress Dowager . ”

The Empress Dowager frowned . She did not want to see Luo Ran . After all, Luo Ran was born as a handmaid . As long as she was not wandering in front of her eyes, how the Emperor doted on her had nothing to do with herself . However, Yu’er mentioned her several times today .


She watched Yu’er grow up . Of course, she knew all of Yu’er’s thoughts . She had long heard that this Concubine Luo’s face was so beautiful that even Zhou Xi, known as a beauty, was terrified of her . Like the Emperor, Yu’er took a liking to her face .

The Empress Dowager was unwilling to let Lu Yu and Lu Chen get into a disagreement, but she had always felt that she was the one that helped Lu Chen ascend to the throne . She felt guilty towards Lu Yu and wanted to depend on him for everything . However, she just wanted to meet Luo Ran, just that .

Luo Ran’s curtsied for so long, her body was shaking . Lu Yu touched the Empress Dowager’s arm lightly . The Empress Dowager stared at him . Lu Yu smiled ingratiatingly . Only then did the Empress Dowager address Luo Ran, “Get up . ”

Luo Ran bit her lips and stood up . The Empress Dowager was not the Emperor . The Emperor might pity her because of her performance, but the Empress Dowager was only bored . Luo Ran did nothing but stand there with her head down . Her identity doomed her to never win the favor of the Empress Dowager . Zhou Xi’s identity in the original plot was not enough for the Empress Dowager’s eyes, let alone her .

The Empress Dowager looked at Lu Yu and he winked at her . She was not satisfied, but she followed him: “Imperial Concubine Luo must not have eaten yet . Sit down and share a meal with us . ”

Luo Ran wanted to refuse, but when she saw the Empress Dowager’s condescending face, she quivered and did not say anything . She sat on the other side of the Empress Dowager, just opposite of Lu Yu .

Lu Yu was amused by the small white flowers Luo Ran put on her head, but he did not expose her in front of the Empress Dowager and cooperated with her in her play .

Luo Ran didn’t eat much . Since the public chopsticks were used to serve food to the Empress Dowager, the food couldn’t be given to her . She only quietly ate the food in front of her without saying a word . Suddenly she felt that her toe under the table seemed to have been touched .

Luo Ran’s actions didn’t reveal that anything unusual occurred, and she continued to eat .

Lu Yu looked at her like this, he thought she must be playing with his heart, and touched her again . Luo Ran’s eyes suddenly became cold, but she lowered her head and blocked others from seeing them .

When Lu Yu touched her again, she suddenly stepped on Lu Yu’s toe and gave it a hard twist with all of her efforts . Lu Yu’s face instantly turned blue and he almost choked on his food but he quickly swallowed .

The Empress Dowager looked at him and saw that he looked pale and locked her eyebrows . “Yu’er, what’s wrong?”

Lu Yu looked at Luo Ran and raised his head when he heard the Empress Dowager’s words . Her face changed from confusion to a worried look . Lu Yu pulled his lips up and said, “I’m fine, mother, don’t worry . ”

Luo Ran looked worried: “Empress Dowager, when looking at Xian Wang, it seems he doesn’t have a good complexion . Why don’t you invite the Imperial Physician to take a look?”


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While Luo Ran said this, her foot was still being merciless . Xian Wang gritted his teeth, his eyes and brow wrinkled together, and finally, he pulled out his feet before gnashing his teeth . “No, no, Benwang is fine . I’m only tired . Concubine Luo is too worried!”

Luo Ran bit her lip, shrank timidly, and tried to smile: “Xian Wang is too polite . ” After saying that, she lowered her head and no longer looked at him .

The Empress Dowager was still concerned about him, but Lu Yu was still thinking about Luo Ran . Luo Ran looked up and he caught a glimpse of her from a side no one but him could see . Very cold .

Lu Yu didn’t care . Even the anger that had just arisen from the pain unconsciously disappeared .

“The Emperor has arrived!”

The messenger suddenly sounded, and all the people in the room except for Luo Ran slightly changed their expressions . Luo Ran chuckled at this, which drew Lu Yu to look at her more .

Lu Chen came in, the first thing he saw was Luo Ran, followed by Lu Yu . Frowning, he came forward to salute the Empress Dowager: “Mother . ”

The Empress Dowager nodded at him a little guiltily . She didn’t dare to look at him: “Get up . ”

When Luo Ran saw him, she gave a reassuring smile and salute: “Seeing the emperor . ”

Lu Chen lifted her up with one hand, then sat down beside her and glanced at Lu Yu . His eyes grew deeper and deeper . He asked casually, “Why did mother seek Imperial Concubine Luo’s company today?”

Although the Empress Dowager felt guilty, she was used to bullying . Now, with a cold face, she answered, “I heard that the Emperor had been very fond of a particular harem woman recently . He even took her with him to the royal study . Aijia was curious and called her to meet with Aijia . Is this wrong?”  

(哀家 [āijiā] = meaning Me/ I ; literally “Mourning Family” typically used by an Empress Dowager to imply that she is forever mourning for the departed Emperor . )

Lu Chen never really put the Empress Dowager’s cold face in his eyes . He knew that the Empress Dowager did not love him and loved Lu Yu more, and was also used to spoiling Lu Yu . However, he still inevitably felt lost, so lost and disappointed that he no longer expected much from her .

“There is nothing wrong with mother wanting to see Imperial Concubine Luo, but why did mother choose a time when Imperial Brother was also here?”


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The Empress Dowager wanted to avoid this question, but he asked her directly . Lu Chen looked indifferent, but his eyes looked straight at the Empress Dowager which did not allow her to dodge it .

The Empress Dowager’s face froze: “Is the Emperor questioning Aijia?”

Lu Chen’s eyes were faint, and he did not speak .

The Empress Dowager took the lead in moving her line of sight away . She was dissatisfied with Lu Chen . He questioned her in front of his concubine, did he look down on her?

Lu Yu listened to the conversation between the two and hurriedly said, “Imperial Brother, your brother just happened to meet Concubine Luo . Imperial brother should not be angry with Mother . ”

His brother was trained as a Crown Prince from his childhood . He spent so much more time with his father than with his mother . He was cold and cheerless since childhood and he was only good to himself . Mother was hard-spoken but actually soft-hearted . How could his brother purposely say such words? Whenever these two met, they would always start a standoff without even saying a word .

Lu Yu didn’t manage to convey his words well . Lu Chen looked at him coldly when he spoke . Lu Yu shrank and did not dare to make a sound . His brother might not be angry with his mother, but he wouldn’t be spared .

“Your Majesty…” Luo Ran gently pulled Lu Chen’s arm, her eyelids quivered and called him out .

Lu Chen looked at the timid girl and pressed down his anger . No one knew but when he came in and saw Lu Yu, anger suddenly rose in his heart .

This was ridiculous!

Mother knew Lu Yu, did she not? It was just that, he didn’t expect that his own mother would agree with Lu Yu’s request in such a matter!

Anger and disappointment merged, and Lu Chen suddenly felt very weak and tired . He pinched his brow, pulled Luo Ran up and looked at the Empress Dowager indifferently: “Don’t ask her to come to Ci Ning Palace in the future . ”

The Empress Dowager wanted to refute, but when she saw his disappointment, she instantly froze .

Even when Lu Chen had walked out with Luo Ran, the Empress Dowager still looked dumbfounded . Lu Yu glanced at the Empress Dowager with a trace of remorse in his eyes . He had no other thoughts towards her, he only thought Luo Ran’s face looked very nice . He never thought his brother would take her so seriously .

Lu Yu said wryly, “Mother, don’t worry . Brother was only angry with me . I will apologize to brother later . I will never embarrass mother like this again in the future . ”

The Empress Dowager wanted to say firmly to Lu Chen to not go… However, he was allowed to leave whenever he wanted . She was afraid . After all, that was her first child . All her expectations were given to him, and all of her love to Lu Yu and she felt even more guilty because of this . Both were her children, but she didn’t treat them equally .

 

Lu Chen left with Luo Ran, without a ride . Luo Ran followed him . Although his face was the same, he was actually not calm at all . He walked briskly . It was difficult for Luo Ran to follow him . Lu Chen suddenly stopped and Luo Ran bumped into his back .

Luo Ran held one hand over her forehead and gasped slightly . She looked at him puzzled: “What’s the matter, Your Majesty?” Her eyes were blank as if she did not understand what had happened .

Lu Chen gathered his wits, took away her hand, and gently caressed her head . He felt a little distressed, but he pressed down his emotions and asked her coldly, “What do you think of Xian Wang?”

“Xian Wang?” Luo Ran’s little face crumpled together, wondering why Lu Chen asked her so .

“Yes . ” Lu Chen squeezed his jade token and waited for her answer . The Empress Dowager’s actions affected him after all . Lu Chen’s drooping eyes were dark . He wanted to say, ‘Why aren’t you trying to avoid seeing Lu Yu?’

Luo Ran frowned and thought hard, but could not think of an answer . She took Lu Chen by the sleeve and said, “I don’t know . ”

Lu Chen was stunned, and the suffocation in his heart dissipated instantly because of her words . How could she have an opinion on him? She had only seen him 3 times .

“It’s all right . I was wrong . ” Lu Chen’s hand rubbed her hair .

Luo Ran hooked his finger, approached him carefully, lifted up his face and asked him, “Are you angry?”

Lu Chen chuckled and denied: “Not angry . ”

Luo Ran was the cleverest when in front of him . She took a peek at him and only replied, “Oh . ” 



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