Mo Qingli shot Yue Yao a murderous look . Seeing it, Yue Yao could only obediently clear out the crowd in front of them one by one — even if Mo Qingli wanted to do her business in the middle of this public square, Yue Yao was only a servant . She could only do as she was told .
As the crowd dispersed, they revealed a startling scene within . A stout, coarse-looking woman was yanking a man’s hair with one hand, and violently smacking his stomach with the other .
As she beat him, she angrily cursed, “Who told you to run away? See if I won’t beat you to death! You’re coming back with me!”
She grabbed the man’s hair and dragged him towards the crowd that had assembled around them . “What are you looking at? Haven’t you seen someone teaching their concubine a lesson before?”
The woman’s voice was extremely vulgar . She was not holding back in the slightest as she beat the man; it seemed like the man’s scalp was about to be torn off by her .
“Wait . ” Mo Qingli said indifferently . She stepped in front of the woman, blocking her way .
The woman stared at Mo Qingli and saw that she was wearing court robes . Although this wasn’t enough to tell if her position was high or not, the flower pin on her lapel suggested that she was a big shot .
The woman paid her respects to Mo Qingli . “What business do you have with this lowly one?”
“Let go of your hand,” Mo Qingli said . Her icy pupils stared at the hand that was grabbing the man’s hair .
The man heard Mo Qingli’s voice and looked up . His eyes quivered — could it be her?
“Ye Luoze!” Mo Qingli cried, seeing the man’s face .
How did he end up in this state? Didn’t she give him some silver and send him back home? Why did he appear in front of her now? And who was this woman? Mo Qingli’s heart brimmed with questions .
The moment Mo Qingli shouted Ye Luoze’s name, the woman had a bad premonition . The big shot seemed to recognize this man .
“Your Eminence,” the woman said, forcing a smile, “I recently wedded this concubine of mine . This lowly one didn’t know that Your Eminence had previous ties with him before . ”
As she spoke, the woman released her hold on Ye Luoze’s hair . However, just as quickly, she slipped an arm around Ye Luoze’s waist, declaring her sovereignty in front of Mo Qingli .
Mo Qingli’s brows furrowed into a frown .
Yue Yao noticed that the princess seemed to be displeased, and immediately slapped the woman’s hands off of Ye Luoze . “Remove your filthy hands . ”
She pulled Yue Luoze behind her . Throughout the entire ordeal, Ye Luoze did not make a single sound . He bit his lip, silently standing behind Yue Yao .
Mo Qingli studied Ye Luoze for a few seconds . This man was stronger than she had expected .
When the woman saw this, she immediately broke down . She sat on the ground, screeching, “All you government officials know how to do is bully us commoners! This is my husband . So what if I discipline him? This is natural and proper . Why should you intervene?”she’s basically referencing the “natural and proper” hierarchy of Confucianism where the woman was basically property of her husband—except here the genders are reversed (suddenly a little sad at Confucius’s sexism)
Mo Qingli gave a warning glance to Yue Yao, who was gearing up to rush into a fight . She indifferently told the woman, “If you say that this man is your husband, then I’ll say that this man is a manservant from my residence . How did I not know that my servant suddenly became your husband?”
“Hmph,” the woman said, meeting Mo Qingli’s gaze fearlessly . However, upon staring too long at Mo Qingli’s icy expression, she trembled slightly and looked away . She was a little less confident when she added, “Then… then how can you prove that this is your servant?”
Mo Qingli’s lips curled upwards as she looked at the woman . Nonchalantly, she said, “Of course, the person involved should know the most about this matter . Ye Luoze, why don’t you tell everyone if you are or are not the servant from my residence?”
Ye Luoze stepped out from behind Yue Yao, then looked around at the crowd of people assembled around him . Suddenly, he knelt down and kowtowed to Mo Qingli . “This slave deserves death for not being able to properly serve the Sixth Princess . Princess, please forgive me!”
His words confirmed what Mo Qingli had said . Hearing this, the woman’s face turned white .
The Sixth Princess? This was that idiot Sixth Princess?
The surroundings erupted in loud discussion . Mo Qingli could faintly hear what they were seeing, but did not pay much attention to the matter . However, Yue Yao felt extremely indignant when she heard what was being said . She glared at the crowd, then cried, “Is the Princess someone you can so casually talk about?”
Immediately, there was silence . The commoners could only resentfully close their mouths .
“Alright, so why don’t you tell me how the manservant from my residence ended up becoming your concubine?” Mo Qingli indifferently said, addressing the woman who was now trying to slip away into the crowd .
Everyone followed Mo Qingli’s gaze to the woman awkwardly returning back into the center of the crowd . She had been so close — she had nearly managed to excape .
“Hmm?” Mo Qingli feigned an impatient snort .
The woman threw herself with a loud thud against the ground near Mo Qingli’s feet . “Sixth Princess, I… I…”
After seeing the woman in this kind of sorry state, the commoners all knew what she had done . They pointed and stared at the woman, making her feel so ashamed she wanted to bury her face into the dirt .
Yue Yao condescendingly looked at the kneeling woman . With great fury, she said, “You should know that you haven’t only committed the crime of offending a superior, but kidnapping a man as well . With these charges alone, it’s enough for you to sit in prison long enough to wear out the floor . ”
“Princess, spare me, Princess, have mercy,” the woman said . Her entire body shook as she kowtowed again and again at Mo Qingli .
Mo Qingli was planning to let Yue Yao properly punish the woman for her revolting actions . Though Mo Qingli’s expression remained calm on the surface, loathing and disgust emerged in her heart .
However, when Mo Qingli’s eyes met Ye Luoze’s, she found that Ye Luoze was staring at her with an imploring gaze . She was stumped for words . Even when they had met in the brothel, when Ye Luoze pleaded for her to rescue him, he had never revealed this kind of expression . But now… he was begging her?
Begging her to forgive this woman? Mo Qingli didn’t understand . This woman nearly ripped his scalp off, and had beat him to the point of spitting out blood, but he… wanted to forgive this kind of woman?
She didn’t understand, she really didn’t . The hearts of mortals were difficult to understand, and the hearts of mortal men even harder .
Forget it . Mo Qingli stood up and left .
Yue Yao watched Mo Qingli’s retreating back with shock — the Princess was letting such an disgusting and loathsome woman go so easily?! She stared at the kneeling woman with disgust, then helped support the injured Ye Luoze to the palanquin .
“Can… can you lend me a silver?” Ye Luoze asked Yue Yao .
“Yeah, here . ” Yue Yao didn’t hesitate before fishing into her robe and producing a silver coin . In her eyes, he was a penniless man who needed silvers to survive . After all, in his current state, if he didn’t have any silvers he would starve to death sooner or later .
No one could have expected Ye Luoze to take the silver and let go of Yue Yao’s hand . He limped back to the woman . Because one elbow had been broken by the woman, he only had one functioning hand .
He used that hand to throw the coin in front of the kneeling woman . Softly, he said, “Here . This is the money you lent me to bury by parents . I’m returning it to you . From now on… we’re even . ”
Then, in front of the woman’s stunned gaze, he hobbled back to Yue Yao and Mo Qingli’s side .
“You borrowed money for that woman’s sake?” Yue Yao asked . She couldn’t understand why Ye Luoze would do such a thing . That woman was clearly cruel to him and had broken his elbow… and yet he gave her money!!!
Ye Luoze smiled at Yue Yao . Quietly, he said, “She did me a favor . Although she is not kind, I cannot be unrighteous . ”
Yue Yao was greatly moved by Ye Luoze’s words . That kind of light and breezy of appearance of his was so similar to the Princess, it was as if they were cut out of the same mold .
Mo Qingli had Yue Yao take Ye Luoze to the residence first . He had a broken elbow and numerous internal injuries; if they did not hurry to get treatment, it would be dangerous .
Because of the delay, Mo Qingli found that by the time she arrived at the palace, morning court had long ended .
Just when Mo Qingli was about to leave the palace, one of the Empress’s palace maids instructed her to go to the Empress’s bed chamber .
Mo Qingli slowly stepped into the Empress’s bed chamber . Before, when she spoke with the Empress, it was always in the study . This was the first time she had been in this kind of place .
The decorations in the room were extremely luxurious . Large, moon-like pearls shone brightly from the top of the pagoda, while white jade paved the flooring, with life-like lotuses chiseled along the path . As she walked further in, her eyes were drawn to a beaded curtain made of countless pearls .
Mo Qingli stopped and stared at the two figures inside of the curtain . From time to time, there was the sound of laughter .
Silently, she stepped back two steps and turned away to stand silently by the curtain .
After a long time, when Mo Qingli felt her legs begin to become sore, the two people finally stopped their activities . The Empress, now wearing a yellow robe, walked out from the curtain and gave Mo Qingli an indifferent look . “Are you tired of standing?”
“Your child is not tired,” Mo Qingli said, lowering her gaze . She appeared neither servile or overbearing .
The Empress flung out her sleeves and walked to the outside hall . Mo Qingli followed behind her, in thought . When the Empress had opened the pearl curtain, Mo Qingli had vaguely seen the bed inside . The figure inside seemed to be… Xiaoyao Yunshang!
However, she hadn’t had a clear view . Mo Qingli shook her head; it was possible she was mistaken .
She could have cast a small spell to ascertain the identify of the man on the bed . However, she didn’t want to waste her magic on these kinds of meaningless things . From experience, Mo Qingli knew that her magic was like a bottle of water . Once she used too much, it was gone .
There were two ways to recover her magic . The first was to cultivate for dozens of days or even several months, and wait for the mana to naturally recover . The second was to drink blood . However, the blood that she drank had to be a particular kind . Some blood did not return magic but merely satisfied her thirst, like that woman she had fed from in the prison . Other blood was not only able to replenish her magic, but also improve her cultivation, such as that of Feng Chenling, Xiaoyao Yunyan, and Mu Tianlang .
But no matter whose blood she sucked, Mo Qingli could hardly bear it . Therefore, she tried not to waste any magic .
“Today you were late to morning court . Were you purposefully showing Us a show of strength?”