Chapter 275: Noble Consort Su Falls Out Of Favor
Bai Xiangxiu was soon held down by Noble Consort Su’s men. She wasn’t actually feeling much pain, but her weak and sickly act made her seem extremely pitiful. Saying that she was innocent really helped her case as well.
Xiaoshi had already been coached to act in this situation. She immediately jumped to her mistress’ aid while crying, “Don’t injure our madame! Her old wounds from the enemy soldiers have yet to fully heal!”
Old wounds? Her wounds hadn’t been all that serious and had fully healed a long time ago. However, Bai Xiangxiu was making it seem like she’d once received mortal injuries and they were causing her so much pain that she couldn’t get her breath back.
“Why keep on acting? Everything today has been meticulously planned by you…”
“It hurts! Please stop! My arm is about to break!” Bai Xiangxiu was a very talented actor. She’d managed to trick countless people throughout her life so far. And because of that, a lot of people could no longer stand by and watch when they saw how much pain Bai Xiangxiu seemed to be in.
“Hey! What are you castrated men trying to do! Who in the world would treat two helpless ladies this way? Moreover, she’s Princess Consort Li! The female Zhuge Liang who helped Prince Li defeat the enemy troops!” That one sentence was like a single stone that birthed a tsunami. No one dared be the first to speak out, even though they were angry. However, their mouths could no longer stay shut once somebody got them started.
Some people began to riot as their resentment grew. There was even some friction between the palace soldiers and the citizens that wanted to protect Bai Xiangxiu and the doctor’s wife. The scene became quite chaotic once the people were riled up. Su Yun had always been the type to stop violence with more violence. Without much thought, she quickly yelled, “Subdue these misbehaving citizens! They are all intending to revolt! Spare no one!”
Yu Kuang sucked in a quick breath of air. This was finally his time to shine. He leaned forward, diving from atop a nearby tavern, but Luo Yunzheng’s men had beaten him to the punch. They mixed into the rioting crowd, acting as poor folks from the wulin as they joined the fight. It didn’t take them long to subdue all of the palace soldiers with careful blows. They even scurried left, right and center to keep the citizens safe.
Noticing the situation quickly turning sour, Su Yun immediately ordered the servants to lift her away. She headed for the magistrate instead of the palace to order the palace officials to capture the rebels. The officials didn’t dare tarry when they realized that this was the emperor’s most favored concubine. They quickly dispatched more palace soldiers to the scene.
Su Yun believed that nobody in the capital would ever dare to challenge imperial authority. Therefore, in her mind, Bai Xiangxiu and Prince Li must’ve arranged these citizens to be there beforehand. Things would all be under control once those people were subdued. Unfortunately, she hadn’t realized that so many people were already very dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, even though the capital had been relatively peaceful all this time. Because everyone had kept their dissatisfaction repressed, things quickly got out of hand when the first of the riots started, blowing up like an explosion.
The reinforcements were then naturally embroiled in a full blown conflict with the citizens of the capital. Even Bai Xiangxiu had never imagined that things would get out of hand so quickly. Many of the citizens protected her as she made her way back to the manor. This is strange. These men may be courageous, but I never imagined they’d do such a thing. Come to think of it, their faces do seem a little familiar. However, I can’t seem to remember where I’ve seen them before.
She slumped to the ground immediately after she arrived at the Prince Li Manor. Long Heng quickly came to pick her up and prepared to enter the palace together to plead for mercy. Bai Xiangxiu suddenly grabbed onto Long Heng and whispered. “You don’t blame me for taking things too far? There doesn’t seem to be a quiet corner in the capital anymore.”
“Hah! You’re overthinking things. You’ve done a good job. A very good job indeed. I never thought that you’d do so well.” Long Heng caressed her head. He knew that she must’ve had quite a long day today.
Bai Xiangxiu was relieved when she realized that Long Heng didn’t blame her for anything. It almost seemed like anything was achievable when she was with this man. The couple was then received by a very furious emperor once they entered the palace. When the very confident Su Yun set out to prove that she had nothing to do with anything, he’d never imagined that she’d come back even uglier than ever before. But his problems didn’t stop at just that. Suddenly, he found himself on a very shaky political footing. People had even come all the way to the palace gates to cause trouble.
They managed to arrest some of the major rioters, but quickly realized that they were nothing but common citizens. They just wanted to help after being angered by Noble Consort Su’s actions. They hadn’t done anything overboard and it’d be heresy if he were to sentence them to death after just a day’s worth of trial. So, they were all released with stern warnings.
Noble Consort Su had actually quarreled with him over this and called him a short-sighted pansy. Indeed, he liked the fact that this woman was different from any he’d met before. He liked her boldness, her wit, and definitely her ruthlessness. Because of that, she was the only woman he thought capable of keeping up with his footsteps. She wasn’t like other women who would only hide when there was a problem. However, she’d gone extremely overboard today and seemed to have forgotten her place. Because of that, he furiously stomped out from her room. He didn’t even ask if she’d be able to restore her previous looks.
Seeing Bai Xiangxiu’s face after that horrendous face made him realize the stark contrast between them. He finally realized that a fake beauty would never be better than a real one. Noble Consort Su might seem extremely beautiful, but she seemed extremely unnatural at the same time. The main reason for that was because she hadn’t fully recovered from the various surgeries yet, so she didn’t even dare smile too widely.
“You may rise. The floor is too cold for kneeling. Princess Consort Li, I heard that you were injured. If so, why enter the palace?” The emperor had calmed down a bit, which showed in his manner of speech. He even seemed to be flirting a little.
Long Heng clenched his fist and chose not to rise. “Your Majesty, forgive my wife for being discourteous to the Noble Lady. She only wanted to lend Noble Consort Su a hand, but didn’t imagine that her intentions would be misread instead.”
“I will investigate this matter clearly.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty. I hope that the noble consort won’t bear too much of a grudge for this matter.”
“Why would she do that? I’m more worried for your well-being, Princess Consort Li. Why don’t you stay in the palace and let the palace doctors tend to your injuries?”
“A doctor has already tended to her injuries, Your Majesty. She’s always been a little fragile, but it’s nothing a little bit of rest wouldn’t cure.”
“If that’s the case, you may return and rest. However, the matter in the capital…”
“This subject will announce that Noble Consort Su has forgiven her.”
“Mm. I hope that everything will end here. You are dismissed!” It wasn’t a pleasant feeling to see a beautiful woman falling weakly into the arms of another man. However, Long Heng was protecting her well. In fact, it felt like a luxury to be able to catch even a few extra glimpses of this woman.
Why would such a demure, well-behaved, and most importantly, intelligent, woman stay by his side? The one by my side is simply too arrogant! But I better still show her some concern. I’ve cast my empress off to the cold palace for her, so now she’s the only one keeping my imperial harem in check.
The emperor suddenly realized something. An emperor like him was actually feeling helpless in the face of a noble consort! Upon further thought, he realized that Su Yun was simply too clever. He didn’t know how, but she’d pulled together a few officials to support her at some point. He didn’t think too much of it at first, after all, she might become his next empress…
But now, he finally saw this “empress” of his. Her face was frightening beyond belief. When she wore a veil before, her forehead and her eyes were actually quite mesmerizing. But now, even if she were to cover her face, there was red scars all over her forehead that looked like newly cut wounds which made it impossible to look straight at her. She’d never be able to be an empress like this. It would probably destroy the nation’s image whenever an ambassador from a foreign nation came.
“When will the noble consort’s wounds heal?” The emperor no longer wished to see that face again and turned to the palace doctors. There weren’t too many doctors in the palace anymore, likely due to fear of this noble consort and the rumours swirling outside.