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Chapter 211 – A Dissatisfied Emperor (2)

A stunned Eunuch Ford hurried to fetch the Xiunu album piled up in the corner covered with dust.

Soon after, Mo Rongzhan was looking through the album. After quite a while, it seemed none of them could please his eyes. He flung it away. The more he looked at it, the more upset he became.

Eunuch Ford was horrified to see them being treated so. Apparently, all these girls were as beautiful as flowers and pure as jade. Although they could not compare to the Third Miss in the Lu Family, they were all beauties in their own right.

How could the emperor not see this?

The said man had not even taken a glance more than necessary before mercilessly tossing them aside.

“What is the Imperial Household Department doing? Do they think they can fool me with this?” He demanded in fury.

“Your Majesty, these are… daughters of aristocratic families in the capital.”

Making a Xiunu album was no less than braving the fiercest winds and harshest rains. The girl needed to be not just exquisite in beauty but also outstanding in talent. She had to hail from a family useful to the crown. Only after being subjected to a series of trials and tribulations, would they find a place in the album and before the eyes of the emperor. As such, a clumsy job would accord death and who would wish one? Needless to say, there was no way that the department had performed their job half-heartedly.

Mo Rongzhan frowned. “Send these Xiunu albums to Cining Palace and let the Empress Dowager choose some concubines for me.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

It seemed that no one could satisfy the emperor.

The next morning, the first rays of sunlight penetrated the clouds. The blue sky was illuminated with layers of golden light, beckoning the capital to a new day.

Pei Shi shook Lu Shiming to wake him up.

“Husband, get up. Quickly.”

Lu Shiming squinted. “I… do not need to get up this early today… I plan on resting.” He pulled the quilt over and turned his back to her.

“Yaoyao did not return yesterday. Go to the academy and check, I hope not something untoward has happened.”

Ever since her daughter had arrived, there was never a day she did not spend with her. Pei Shi had to steel her heart in order to allow her precious daughter to live in the dormitory. She had never been separated from her daughter for so many days. Now that she had not returned as per her schedule, she was worried.

At her words, Lu Shiming was jolted awake. He quickly got off the bed.

“I’ll go take a look.”

Pei Shi hurriedly helped him dress and soon, Lu Shiming was all set to leave. When he reached the gate, he was unexpectedly stopped by Old Madam Lu.

“What? In the palace?” Pei Shi looked at Old Madam Lu in astonishment.

When did Yaoyao go to the palace? How could we not know?

Old Madam Lu revealed a smile. “It’s the Little Prince who requested to see her. These days, the Little Prince’s body is in a bad condition. He and Yaoyao have known each other before. She had saved his life. It’s only natural that he wanted to see her.”

Pei Shi was somewhat bewildered. When did the Little Prince get along with Yaoyao so well? Even if he was ill, he wanted to see her. She remembered the Little Prince was only ten years old.

“Yaoyao is now accompanying the Empress Dowager. You need not be anxious. She will be out of the palace in two days.” Old Madam Lu revealed a smile.

“Mother, why is she with the Empress Dowager again?” Lu Shiming asked in consternation.

Old Madam Lu smiled. “The Empress Dowager conferred Yaoyao a special favor. This time, she let Yaoyao stay.”

This was characteristic of Yaoyao. No matter where she went, she garnered attention. Who knew that the Empress Dowager, who was rarely piqued, would be interested in her. In a way, this would bode well for Yao Yao in the future.

This mother didn’t know whether to be happy or nervous. But she was a prudent lady, who could not be swayed from reality. She knew, as much as the palace was quick to laud, it was unforgiving.

“I hope Yaoyao does not falter.”

“Yaoyao is in the Empress Dowager’s Cining Palace. Nothing could go wrong.” Old Madam Lu reassured.

She understood her daughter-in-law’s heart. She too had been worried last night upon the news. If it was not for the Empress Dowager personally tasking Aunt Cheng to see her, she would not have been as relieved.

“I don’t know why the Empress Dowager is fond of this girl.” Pei Shi let out a soft laugh. Suddenly, she thought about Madam Lu, she was afraid this would upset her. She asked in a low voice, “Mother, does my sister-in-law know about this?”

“What does it have to do with her?” Old Madam Lu said faintly. “It is not up to her to decide the things happening with Yaoyao.”

At those words, Pei Shi was able to free a stone from her heart. Her face regained some color. “Thank you, Mother.”

Before, Madam Lu had asked her to be in charge of Yaoyao’s marriage. At that time, she had refused. However, she was still worried.: would she interfere in the affairs of Yaoyao if she presided over the family’s affairs?

Because of Old Madam Lu, she could at least feel at ease. No matter what the eldest sister-in-law intended on doing, Pei Shi had Old Madam Lu to protect her.

“You return first. As long as you are aware of this matter, no one else has to say anything about this to others,” Old Madam Lu said.

Pei Shi responded with a smile and pulled Lu Shiming’s sleeve. “Mother, then we shall return.”

“Hm, go!” Old Madam Lu nodded with a smile.