Chapter 63: Entering the Palace: An Imperial Decree from the Empress
Ye Jiuge turned and looked at Ye Ruyi. She saw that the small girl’s face had turned red, and her eyes shone brightly in the direction where Dongfang Que had gone. She looked as though she were under Su Junqing’s Mental Manipulation.
Ye Jiuge had been beside her; she was very sure that Dongfang Que had not even looked in the small girl’s direction. She did not expect Ye Ruyi to become a member of the good-looks club or that her spirit would drift away when she saw a handsome man. However, this Dongfang Que was indeed exceptionally handsome in both looks and temperament, and it was no surprise that Ye Ruyi would be captivated.
Still, he was inferior compared to the evildoer, Zi Shang. If only Ye Ruyi could see Zi Shang. Ye Jiuge did not know if his beautiful looks would enchant the girl or if his demon body would frighten her.
“Elder Sister, are we still seeing the flowers?” Ye Ruyi quickly freed herself from her captivation with Dongfang Que and regained her cynical demeanor.
“No, let’s head back!” Ye Jiuge shook her head lazily. After seeing Dongfang Que, there was not much of a reason to continue viewing the Yaoguang Flowers.
“Okay.” Ye Ruyi nodded with a taut face.
On the way home, she maintained an appearance of deeply ingrained resentment. In her mind, she repeatedly spurned herself for not standing firm; because of one handsome man, she had abandoned her dream of taking revenge on all men.
Ye Jiuge sent Ye Ruyi back to the Yaoguang Residence then returned to her Zhilin Residence and changed into a set of plain, lake-green colored silk robes.
After she finished combing her hair, Zhen Zhu entered from outside the courtyard in an ecstatic mood. She said, “Eldest Miss, a court eunuch has come from the palace. The Old Master wishes for you to hurry and go to receive the imperial decree.”
“Imperial decree? Whose imperial decree?” Ye Jiuge set aside the white jade hairpin in her hands and turned to look at Zhen Zhu.
“I am not sure; I think it is the Empress’.” Zhen Zhu shook her head. She had heard the news from the main residence and rushed to notify the Eldest Miss.
“Eldest Miss, I think you should go and take a look!” Qing Mama said softly.
She quickly chose a long jasper double-flowered hairpin from the red wooden jewelry box and put it on for Ye Jiuge. Then, she selected a pair of turquoise-green earrings, which gave a hint of nobility to Ye Jiuge’s otherwise simple attire. After all, Ye Jiuge was receiving an imperial decree; it was suitable for her to look dignified.
Ye Jiuge adjusted her expression so that she looked like a lady and leisurely led Qing Mama and Zhen Zhu to the parlor. A short, fat court eunuch was sitting in a chair. His face was pale and beardless, and he had kind brows and pleasant eyes.
Ye Yuxuan was sitting on the top seat and interacting with the court eunuch. When he saw Ye Jiuge enter, he immediately said unhappily, “Who relayed the message to you? Why did you let Court Eunuch Fu wait for so long?”
Zhen Zhu, who was standing behind Ye Jiuge, immediately trembled when she heard Ye Yuxuan. She felt weak in her knees and almost genuflected. Before kneeling, she glanced at Qing Mama and saw that Qing Mama’s sharp eyes signaled to her to stand firm. Immediately, she straightened her knees.
During this period, Qing Mama often repeated a phrase – The servants of the Zhilin Residence were the face of Eldest Miss, and they must always bear in mind their obligations outside the residence. They were neither allowed to bully others nor let others bully them. No matter what, only the Eldest Miss could be trusted; the words of other people were like utter nonsense.
Ye Jiuge’s face fell slightly. When Zhen Zhu had received the news, she had immediately returned to the Zhilin Residence to inform her. The entire procedure did not take more than the time needed to brew a pot of tea and should not be considered slow.
Ye Yuxuan’s words were a slap in her face to curry favor with the court eunuch. Earlier, when she had seen Ye Yuxuan forcefully refusing to allow the Crown Prince to visit Ye Shanshan, she had thought that he had finally grown firmer. She did not expect him to cling to the Empress, and even humiliate his daughter to do so. He was just as despicable, sly, and treacherous as ever.
“Father, it is all my fault. I heard that the Empress sent someone to deliver an imperial decree. Not wanting to slight him, I made myself more presentable before coming over. Father, Court Eunuch, please forgive me,” Ye Jiuge curtsied to the court eunuch and spoke in a mild and soft tone, behaving like a well-bred young lady.
“Eldest Miss Ye, this is more than I can bear. I wouldn’t dare blame you.” Although Court Eunuch Fu was beaming, he was surprised by how different Ye Jiuge was compared to the past.
The Ye Jiuge of the past would have shivered in fear when faced with Ye Yuxuan’s anger, and she would not have spoken appropriately. Furthermore, her black scar had imbued her with a sense of inferiority, so she always spoke with her head bowed, making her appear like a yes-man. Now, her demeanor had changed completely.
Although the black scar was still there, her limpid phoenix eyes reflected a bright light, which caused people to overlook her appearance and think that she was not to be belittled.
Ye Yuxuan heard what Court Eunuch Fu said and felt that it was inappropriate to continue picking on Ye Jiuge. He changed the topic and said, “Court Eunuch Fu, what is the imperial decree that the Empress has sent you to deliver?”
“The Empress said that she has not seen Eldest Miss Ye for a very long time, and she misses her dearly. As such, she wishes to invite Eldest Miss Ye to the palace for a chat,” Court Eunuch Fu announced beaming as though the Empress wanted Ye Jiuge to enter the palace and exchange household words with her.
Ye Jiuge believed that Court Eunuch Fu’s words harbored ulterior motives. Previously, she had smacked the Crown Prince in the face twice and taken back the Purple Lightning Wood. The Crown Prince must hate her to the bone and would have said nasty things about her in front of the Empress. The Empress must have wanted to settle the score by inviting her to the palace. She would be a fool if she fell for it.
Just as Ye Jiuge was about to refuse, Ye Yuxuan hurriedly said to Court Eunuch Fu, “It is Jiuge’s honor that the Empress has requested to see her. I represent Jiuge in thanking the Empress for her kindness. Court Eunuch Fu, please return to the palace and report to the Empress that Jiuge will certainly go and pay her respects.”
“Alright. I shall come back in seven days to take Eldest Miss Ye to the palace.” Court Eunuch Fu rose to take his leave.
Ye Yuxuan ordered the housekeeper to see him off. As an Elixir Alchemist, he had already shown due respect for the Empress’ feelings by personally receiving Court Eunuch Fu. He would have lowered his status by escorting the visitor out himself.
Ye Jiuge could not interrupt from the sidelines. After Court Eunuch Fu left, she said to Ye Yuxuan, “Father, do you really believe that the Empress would ask me to go to the palace just for a chat?”
“No matter the Empress’ intentions, you have to go,” Ye Yuxuan straightened his face and said unhappily. “You have been acting out against the Crown Prince recently. You are very fortunate that the Empress has not made a fuss over it. This time, when you enter the palace, cooperate and apologize to the Empress so she will cool her temper.”
F*ck you! Why don’t you go to the palace to cool the Empress’ temper?
Ye Jiuge’s face turned black as she did not bother to disguise her anger.
“It’s fine, the Empress has always been compassionate, and she will not do anything to harm you. When the moment comes, just kowtow to her a few times, and everything will be alright,” Ye Yuxuan comforted her self-righteously.
He had humiliated the Crown Prince out of anger because his elixirs had been stolen. However, he did not actually want to fall out with the royal family. After all, the Dongfang Clan was the royalty of the Lei Country, and there were no benefits to be gained by clashing with them.
Ye Jiuge badly wanted to roll her eyes. She knew that she could not count on her disreputable father, Ye Yuxuan, to help her.
Fine, he wants her to enter the palace? Then, she will enter the palace.
However, when the moment comes, it will not be up to him whether the Empress’ temper is cooled or inflamed.