The crowd stared at each other in disbelief, their eyes wide open in surprise. Just what has the world come to?! Not only did she refuse to plead guilty for murder, she even demanded a reward!
After a long period of silence…..Emperor Gong suddenly burst out laughing! He smiled so heartily that no one dared to refute Gong Yi Mo’s words. It had been a long time since the emperor last expressed such openness; he was grinning from ear to ear. The princess was such a clever and intelligent child, so how could he not like her?
“You are right, I the Emperor am the law! I will reward whom I am willing to reward….Changxi!”
“Yes your Highness!”
“Write this decree; from now on the Seventh Princess will be awarded the title of Chaoyang Princess**. She and the Ninth prince will be moved out of the Cold Palace.”
(**translator’s note: 朝阳公主 Chaoyang Princess–a higher title for a favored princess)
Chang Xi gritted his teeth; it was as if his heart was doused with freezing water. The Chaoyang Palace was luxurious enough that a crowned prince or even an emperor can dwell there, and yet he bestowed it to a mere Seventh Princess. With such a decree, it seems that a lot of people won’t be able to sleep well tonight.
Despite the countless people who were jealous of the Chaoyang palace, Gong Jue was quite unhappy. In his opinion, the Cold Palace was his home; he didn’t want to leave at all.
After receiving the emperor’s decree, Gong Yi Mo felt greatly relieved. She gave her father a clever grin, and was about to respond to him, when suddenly her vision blackened! Gong Yi fell to the ground and fainted. She had only been able to stand firm up to this point by using her life force; now that she’s achieved her goal, she could no longer support herself.
In his deep fear, Gong Jue quickly held out his arms to catch Gong Yi Mo as she fell. However, he forgot that he too was seriously injured; how could he possibly support her? The two children helplessly tumbled to the ground! As Gong Jue stared at his unconscious sister, he felt as if his heart was torn between heaven and earth.
If she no longer opens her eyes, if she no longer can laugh at him, then what’s the point of all of this? Gong Jue shakily held her in his arms, his eyes becoming more and more red!
The Emperor frowned and began to feel anxious. “Guards! Quickly bring over the Palace Doctor!”
As the surrounding men turned and rushed out for assistance, Gong Jue sat rooted on his spot, seemingly deaf to the ongoings around him. There was only his sister in front of him. He stared at her pale lips and frail face covered in red. The blood began to scab a bit, so he reached out to her face and wiped it off.
Sister Gong, Gong Yi Mo.
This lovely girl was all his.
Not just Gong Jue, the head physician was also sweating in anxiety; even if the emperor threatens to take their lives in the event that they fail to cure the girl, the Palace Doctor still can’t guarantee that Gong Yi can be saved!
Meanwhile, upon seeing the girl’s dire state, Emperor Gong felt secretly scared! There are a total of twelve fatal wounds on Gong Yi Mo so it was hard for him to imagine—how could a mere ten year old tolerate negotiating with him without fainting! When the emperor was ten years old, he certainly couldn’t do the same thing. If Gong Yi Mo was a boy, the child would definitely be a headache. But now as he looked at his daughter’s wounds, he could only feel distress.
When his beloved Xue Rong died, he sent the bastard daughter Gong Yi Mo straight to the cold palace without regrets. He had no emotional attachment to her; even if she died of illness and neglect, it didn’t matter to him. Never did he imagine that such a child would once again appear before him, and in such a shocking manner that his heart couldn’t help but soften. He couldn’t even bring himself to punish her at this point. In the end she was stubborn just like her mother, although compared to Xue Rong….
…Gong Yi was much more strong-willed.
Meanwhile, Gong Jue ignored the emperor and stubbornly stayed by his sister. She had been with him for so many years, so how could he leave her now? He refused to leave her side as he watched the doctors tear her clothes like a ragged doll, exposing her deep wounds.
Those deep and shallow scars, every one of them, was because he left her side.
Gong Yi Mo was such a beautiful girl; how could anyone in this world be willing to harm her so ruthlessly? As he watched on, every step of the treatment seemed to tear up his heart!
He tightly held on to Gong Yi Mo’s hand. In the past whenever she got insect bites, she would complain to Gong Jue and ask him to come over. To him she seemed like a girl extremely afraid of pain; whenever she was injured she couldn’t wait to announce it to everyone. At this time it was impossible for him to imagine—how could she bear so much pain and suffering!
If he could, he wished that all of these injuries would be inflicted on him instead, so that his heart could be at ease.
The imperial doctor noticed that Gong Jue was too casual in taking the medicine, having messily applied it on himself. “Your Highness, we need to reapply the ointment on your wounds.”
Gong Jue didn’t even spare him a glance, and simply continued to watch his sister being cleaned. As her countenance seemed to turn paler, the prince reached out to touch her face, just to make sure she was still alive.
She…..is his entire world.
When the Empress returned to her palace, she suddenly burst out rage and overturned everything in her sight! She’s definitely not happy! That bastard child!
It makes sense that Xue Rong can get the emperor’s favor, but how can that bastard girl also get his approval?! Chaoyang Princess! Why is it that a wild child can obtain the title for “Princess of Chaoyang”, while the daughter of the empress can only settle for the title of “Princess Qingze”.
She was furious! This was simply unacceptable!
When Gong Che came in, he immediately noticed the debris on the floor and his trembling mother. He shook his head helplessly and spoke to the Empress, “Why is mother so angry?” In his opinion, the one who should be more upset at this loss would be Liu Xian Fei, so why was the empress so outraged?
Upon seeing the prince, the Queen’s anger simmered down a bit. “My child, come here.”
Gong Che obediently came to her side. The prince was currently 14 years old and had a pair of gentle eyes. As he waved to the palace men, they hurriedly left, grateful for the retreat. The mother and son pair were soon left alone to themselves.
Seeing Gong Che’s face growing more and more handsome through the years, the Empress felt slightly appeased. Her son was different from her fiery temperament and from his father’s domineering self; rather, he was a gentle and scholarly boy that was praised by all. Why was it that although she had such a good son, the prince still couldn’t obtain the Emperor’s love? Instead he prefers the children of Long Guifei** and Liu Xian Fei. Even the bastard child Gong Yi Mo was favored, which was abnormal!
(**translator’s note: Guifei 贵妃–senior concubine/imperial consort)
On that thought, the Empress’ face twisted into a scowl! Gong Che who had always been by her side was a witness to all her trials. As he recalled the recent events, he warmly entreated her, “Is mother angry because of the Ninth Prince’s matters?”
In his opinion, a prince is far more threatening than a princess. The Empress gave a cold smirk. Hmph! There was no way an abandoned prince could enter her eyes. “Mother is angry at that bastard girl. Who does she think she is?”
Upon hearing the Empress’ unconscious slip of tongue, Gong Che slightly frowned. He thought that since Gong Yi Mo was the daughter of the emperor, it was only natural for the king to spare her life; he was unaware of her actual origins. In fact, the number of people who knew that Gong Yi Mo wasn’t the emperor’s biological daughter could only add up to five. Thus Gong Che didn’t pay much attention to the Queen’s slip of tongue.
Instead, her words made him think of that small figure that stood proudly, making him feel a little lost. He had seen so many noble daughters—some were gentle and elegant while others were naive and lovely. He always thought that he would be attracted to that kind of a gentle woman. Never did he imagine that one day he would meet such a girl, one so strong willed, that she left a lingering impression in his mind!