Noble Consort Qing was slightly disgruntled when she saw the vacant courtyard. “Where’s your princess consort?”
Dong Chen was slightly baffled as well. However, he knew her usual whereabouts quite clearly. “Noble Consort, if she’s not in the courtyard, she’ll be in the kitchen.”
“Recently, all of His Highness’ meals are prepared by the Princess Consort since she wants to improve his health. She must be making lunch now.”
Dong Chen quietly gave the Prince a glance after saying that. His Highness, I’ve tried my best to praise the princess consort.
Mu Yexiao was satisfied with his effort. Noble Consort Qing merely replied, “Oh, then let’s head over to the kitchen. When we’re there, none of you shall speak. I’ll enter alone.”
Then, all of them instantly traveled to the kitchen. Mu Yexiao and Dong Chen could not help exchanging nervous glances with one another. How is the purpose of Noble Consort Qing’s visit today?
He had an ominous premonition that his imperial mother was here to stir up trouble.
However, Mu Yexiao soon abandoned that thought. When they arrived, Noble Consort Qing saw that a figure was busy cooking in the kitchen.
The smell of delicious food emanated from within, somewhat assuring her of her daughter-in-law’s capability. She seems quite useful. With that thought, she let out a cough to announce her presence.
When Qian Jiujiu heard it, she reflexively turned around. Seeing that a majestic and elegant lady standing behind her with such grandiose, she knew that this visitor must be someone important.
After a second of contemplation, Qian Jiujiu presumed that she needed to be more well-behaved and courteous. Hong Ling and Hong Chouse could instantly recognize Noble Consort Qing, but they wondered why she suddenly appeared.
Just as both of them wanted to greet her, Noble Consort Qing signaled them with her eyes for them to stop.
Immediately, both of them were muted and could only look at Qian Jiujiu apologetically. Meanwhile, all of Qian Jiujiu’s attention was focussed on Noble Consort Qing.
She took a few steps forward and greeted, “Sister, you’re so beautiful. Are you here to look for me?”
Noble Consort Qing was slightly taken aback by the address, but she was silently pleased. “You have great taste, are you cooking something?”
The surrounding people were absolutely aghast with horror when they heard Qian Jiujiu address her as such. Princess Consort, that’s your mother-in-law, not your sister!
However, they were very impressed when they heard Noble Consort Qing’s reply. You must not abandon your values just because you’re complimented. Aren’t you here to seek troubles?
Noticing that the people in the courtyard had no intention of stopping her, she felt relieved as she could speak freely.
“This is the chicken soup that I cooked, it’s for nourishing the body. The Prince’s health is not optimal and needs to be improved. It should take about a week to see an improvement.”
“By the way, sister. I made a lot, so why don’t you have a try later. My cooking skills are pretty good.”
Mu Yexiao could not help coughing twice and interjected, “Imperial mother, this is your daughter-in-law. This is my imperial mother, Noble Consort Qing. You should address her as imperial mother as well.”
When Qian Jiujiu heard his remark, a look of utter astonishment covered her entire face. What? This is my mother-in-law? Wait, no, what mother-in-law? She won’t be one after I left.
But, she is now. Suddenly, her eyes lit with excitement. So, this is the Emperor’s wife.
Strangely, a rush of excitement overcame Qian Jiujiu. Hence, she looked at Noble Consort Qing and said with a sweet, charming smile, “Imperial mother, please accept my humble greetings.”
“I couldn’t visit imperial mother to greet you, so I’ve been feeling very anxious. Now, imperial mother even has to visit me here, please forgive me.”
Mu Yexiao and the others stared at Qian Jiujiu in utter disbelief when they saw her became a completely different person and behaved in a perfect lady-like manner. Is this still the same person?
Does she have a dissociative personality disorder? Can she instantly turn into another person? Noble Consort Qing was flustered as well, wondering if her presence was really so imposing.
Mu Yexiao coughed awkwardly and looked at Qian Jiujiu, whispering, “Speak properly.”
Qian Jiujiu felt wronged. She had tried her best to put on an act for him, so that her identity would not be exposed.
What did he mean by ‘speaking properly’? With a confused expression, she answered, “I’ve always spoken like this.”
Mu Yexiao could not help staring at the sky in incredulity. You’ve almost exposed yourself to others already, do you think you can continue to keep up an act?
What's wrong with her brain? Mu Yexiao felt speechless at her absurd reply.
Qian Jiujiu lowered her hands in disappointment when she noticed their reactions. “Why do you all look like I’m a stranger. Don’t the other noble ladies speak like this?”
“Was my acting not realistic?”
Noble Consort Qing laughed. “It’s great, but almost too great. I suppose they were surprised because they’ve never seen that side of you before.”
Qian Jiujiu looked very touched. “Imperial mother, you’re a kind person, much kinder than all of them.”
“Oh, imperial mother, do you smell something?”
Qian Jiujiu took a few whiffs, before realizing. “Oh my, my food is burnt!”
The sudden visit caused her to forget about her dish. Hence, she immediately returned to her wok, only to realize that it was completely burnt and inedible.
Noble Consort Qing pursed her lips and stared at Mu Yexiao. “Imperial son, I’ll stay here for lunch with you.”
He did not refuse her suggestion. “Please do, Jiu’er’s cooking skills are very impressive.”
Qian Jiujiu felt a chill down her spine when she heard him. Why do I feel so cold? I’m getting goosebumps! What is he thinking of doing?
How dare he speak about me so affectionately before his imperial mother. Doesn’t he know that mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are the greatest nemeses?
Will Noble Consort Qing find faults with me? It doesn’t seem so for now. Forget it, let’s cook first. If she really finds trouble with me, I’ll just endure it.
After all, she’s so pitiful, having to fight for a man with so many other women. Since she seems pitiful, I’ll be patient.
With that thought in mind, she abandoned her worry and continued to cook lunch. As there was another person, she made more food for everyone.
“Hong Ling, take the food out.”
Hong Ling and Hong Chou hastily took the dishes out. In the dining room, Mu Yexiao and Noble Consort Qing were already seated. Then, Mu Yexiao shouted, “Jiujiu, sit next to me.”
Qian Jiujiu shuddered a little. Are we that close? Hmm, since his mom is here, I’ll just comply.
She merely smiled benevolently and said, “Thank you, Your Highness.”
Then, she sat down, bringing a bowl of chicken soup for him. “Your Highness, your chicken soup. I put a lot of herbs in it.”
“It’s delicious and good for your health.”
Mu Yexiao took her kind offer and instantly downed it. “This tastes quite delicious.”
Noble Consort Qing felt that something was amiss when she witnessed their interaction. However, she could not quite place her finger on it, so she merely lowered her head and continued eating the tantalizing dishes.
Nevertheless, she was still a little troubled as Qian Jiujiu was an illegitimate child after all.
Even though she might be a genius doctor, her status is still too low.
Seeing that she can treat my son, I won’t find faults with her. After all, the others don’t know her status. When he recovers in the future, I’ll find a noble lady that complements his imperial status.
Having made up her mind, she did not reveal her intentions on her countenance. Instead, she continued to look at Qian Jiujiu amicably.
Qian Jiujiu felt a little uneasy. The Emperor’s wives are all seasoned elites of the palace, how can she act so kindly?
Seeing that she’s so friendly to me, should I also repay her with something?
As Qian Jiujiu was submerged in her thoughts, Mu Yexiao looked at her and said, “Jiujiu, do you have the mask that you use every night? If you have, give one to imperial mother.”
Noble Consort Qing was a little baffled. “What mask?”
Qian Jiujiu blinked a little, before replying. “Your Highness, those masks are for my skin. Imperial mother’s skin is already glowing.”
“Furthermore, if she needs it, I’ll create a new one as a present for her. Only then, I can show my sincerity. How can I give her scraps?”
Mu Yexiao coughed awkwardly. “How long do you need? Imperial mother needs to return soon.”
Noble Consort Qing felt dejected by his remark. Why is my son so anxious about sending me back? I just left the palace. It must be that he no longer loves me since he has a wife now, I feel so miserable!
When she glared at Mu Yexiao with contempt, he felt extremely helpless.
Qian Jiujiu merely locked her eyes onto Noble Consort Qing for a very long time, until the person being stared at felt very uncomfortable. Only then, she looked away at Mu Yexiao instead.
“Your Highness, if I make it, I’ll need to head over to the infirmary or ask the butler to procure some ingredients, as I don’t have any available.”
“Imperial mother, please wait for a day. I’ll make it by tomorrow and visit you and imperial father at the palace.”
Noble Consort Qing had no idea what a face mask was. However, she merely replied in a friendly manner, “Hmm, you’re so thoughtful. As you wish, then.”
After that, the butler led a eunuch in. When he saw Noble Consort Qing, his expression seemed a little peculiar. “Imperial Consort, the Emperors has requested you to return to the palace.”
Noble Consort Qing was unhappy and pursed her lips in dismay. “I just left for a moment. Fine, I’ll ho. Oh, my daughter-in-law. Remember to find me at the palace tomorrow.”
Qian Jiujiu nodded. “Have a safe journey home. I’ll visit you tomorrow, Imperial Mother.”
Noble Consort Qing only left after hearing Qian Jiujiu’s promise, while the eunuch took a quick glance at Qian Jiujiu before he left.
Hmm, it seems like Noble Consort really likes the princess consort. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be so unwilling to leave only after meeting for such a brief moment.
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