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Chapter 254 – For The Emperor’s Harem (2)


“Wang Fei is still learning the rules. The empress dowager is watching over all the significant and trivial matters in the inner palace. She is much busier than before,” Aunt Cheng said.


Oh! It seems that Lu Wushuang is still confined.


Ye Zhen’s mood improved at once. She went to the Cining Palace with a brisk pace and wore an especially sweet smile.


“Ten thousand blessings to Empress Dowager!” Ye Zhen curtsied as she entered the hall. When the empress dowager commanded for her to rise, she discovered that there were other people present in the hall. She recognized one of them.


Unexpectedly, Xu Huiru was among the beautiful and elegant women in the hall.


“Yaoyao has come. If the Aijia did not summon you, you would have not entered the palace to accompany Aijia.” The empress dowager revealed a displeased look and motioned her hand to indicate for her to come closer.


Ye Zhen smiled bashfully. “One was afraid it would bother Her Highness.”


Right from the moment the girl had entered, Xu Huiru’s eyes were fixated on her. At first, she was startled by her sudden appearance. But now, sitting in a high-back chair, she looked flabbergasted.


The way the empress dowager and this girl were interacting was truly shocking. She was one of the few who knew that Lu Yaoyao and Ye Zhen bore an uncanny resemblance. However, she did not know that this girl was quite close to the empress dowager.


Does the empress dowager not know that Lu Yaoyao and the late Wang Fei Ye look alike?


Has the emperor seen Lu Yaoyao? Didn’t they say Ye Zhen disgusted him? Is he disgusted seeing Lu Yaoyao too?


Xu Huiru looked at the girl standing close to the empress dowager. The two looked like they had a mother-daughter relationship. She couldn’t help but be alarmed within by the fact that Lu Yaoyao possessed the capability of making people like her and the empress dowager at that.


Who would have thought that it was not enough for the Lu Family to have a Lu Wushuang in the imperial palace? After Lu Wushuang falls out of favor, they have a Lu Yaoyao to mend their tainted reputation.


“These are the girls for this year’s xiunu selection. They have come to greet Aijia.”


When the dazed Xu Huiru heard the empress dowager talking, she immediately regained her senses, composed and readily flashed her dignified and elegant smile.


Ye Zhen cocked her head, her clear and bright eyes resting on Xu Huiru; the latter was instantly flustered. “Miss Lu, why are you looking at me like this?”


“I’m talking to the empress dowager about the xiunu. When I first came to the capital, my sisters told me that the xiunu are not only brimming with talent but also refined as precious jade. You live up to such a title,” Ye Zhen said with a smile.


Ye Zhen was indeed looking forward to Xu Huiru’s fierce fight with Lu Wushuang in the not-so-distant future. Given the characteristics of the two, and their insatiable jealousy and ambition, she was certain they would not disappoint her and put up a show worth watching.


Xu Huiru’s smile in response was a little reluctant. “I really don’t deserve so much praise. With Miss Lu in the capital, who dares to regard oneself as a beauty?”


“Your Highness, is Xu Xiunu praising me for my good looks?” Ye Zhen turned her head and innocently asked the empress dowager in a low voice.


“You must be proud of yourself.” The empress dowager nodded and smiled.


“Your Highness, is this girl Wang Fei Lu’s sister? Indeed, she is as beautiful and charming as Wang Fei,” sitting opposite Xu Huiru, a woman wearing a beautiful dress said with a smile.


Ye Zhen glanced at that person and immediately recognized that she was one of the girls in the xiunu album from the last time. Her name was An Xiuzhen, a gentle and charming miss from a humble family, the magistrate’s legitimate daughter in Pingliang.


However, if one were to declare one’s own beauty one wouldn’t be as admirable.


“Aijia feels that Yaoyao and Wang Fei Lu are not much alike.” The empress dowager faintly spoke.


An Xiuzhen masked her embarrassment with an awkward smile and said, “Then this maiden must have mistakenly recalled.”


Ye Zhen looked at another silent xiunu, Hu Yue, the daughter of a magistrate of a county. She was born from an ordinary family. Nonetheless, she is also a beautiful and lovely miss.


Seeing that the empress dowager seemed to prefer to talk to Lu Yaoyao, Xu Huiru stood up and with a smile and said, “Your Highness, this maiden shall not disturb you. One will send you the sutras tomorrow after one has finished writing them.”


The empress dowager looked at Xu Huiru, pleased, and nodded. “Then you should go back first.”


An Xiuzhen did not want to leave yet but since the empress dowager had already spoken, naturally, she could not just stay behind. After paying respect, she refrained herself from seeing the woman sitting beside the dowager.


The woman … was the most beautiful one she had ever seen. Could His Imperial Majesty still be able to look at other women when such a person walks in the palace?


When Xu Huiru and all the other girls were dismissed, Ye Zhen asked the empress dowager, “Your Highness, are they all the ones we saw last time?”


“Well, what do you think of them?” The empress dowager asked, smiling.


“They all look wonderful.”

Only

The societal norms dictated a woman’s attributes, attitude, and ambition. Being born in a patriarchal society, one had to heavily rely on first father, husband, and thereon son.


When a woman in a common household was embroiled in tiffs with the concubines over her husband’s attention, what more is to be said of a harem full of beauties vying for favors of the most powerful man in the country. These women were selected based on their virtues, and it would be the very virtues that would force them to fight with each other without qualms. Mo Rongzhan would indeed be tossed from side to side, his precious time being squandered over such petty fights!


The empress dowager nodded. “Although there are some small flaws, it is not a big problem.”


Ye Zhen zealously agreed.


The empress dowager looked at her with a smile. “To tell you the truth, Aijia was not the one who summoned you to enter the palace today. It’s the emperor- “


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