No doubt, Qian Jiujiu also noticed their obvious glares. Noble Consort looked at the Empress and said, “Empress, this is my daughter-in-law.”
However, she did not claim that the person was Qian Yuge.
However, everyone took it as such and was a little astonished. Consort Xian, the lady who mocked Noble Consort Qing just now, opened her mouth again. “This is the most beautiful woman in the Capital?”
“Why do I feel that it’s overstated? Raise your head.”
Noble Consort Qing retorted, “Sister Consort Xian, the Empress hasn’t spoken yet, but you kept disregarding her. Isn’t that a little out of the line?”
Consort Xian’s expression instantly darkened, and her glare was marred with intense animosity. However, Noble Consort Qing ignored her vicious stare and looked at the Empress again.
Qian Jiujiu merely kept her head lowered. She knew the talkative women as she had seen a few sketches of her face. Surely, she was the Third Prince’s imperial mother Consort Xian.
She was one of the four consorts in the palace. Furthermore, she was given the title of Consort Xian because she gave birth to the Third Prince.
The current Emperor had two sons. However, due to some misfortune, the eldest Prince passed away when he was young. Meanwhile, the Fifth Prince was intellectually challenged. Hence, his position in the palace had always been ambiguous.
Other than Consort Xian who did not treat the Empress with respect, Noble Consort Qing was also eyeing for the position as the Empress. Hence, it was tough to survive in the harem.
At that thought, a look of compassion flashed in Qian Jiujiu’s eyes. However, she quickly became bored. Why hasn’t the Empress asked me to stand up already?
Because of Noble Consort Qing, Consort Xian was rendered speechless. The main hall suddenly plunged into a deafening silence. After some time, Qian Jiujiu heard the Empress’ orders.
“Princess Consort Xiao may rise now.”
Only then, Qian Jiujiu could heave a sigh of relief. “Thank you, Empress.”
After saying her thanks, Qian Jiujiu rose to her feet. However, she was at a loss. After all, all of the people here were consorts, so there would not be a seat for her.
However, since she was a princess consort, she was still much higher ranked than the other noblewomen here. While Qian Jiujiu was deliberating on what to do, Noble Consort Qing gently said to her.
“Princess Consort Xiao, stand by my side.”
Qian Jiujiu swiftly moved to Noble Consort Qing’s side. Seeing that, Consort Xian sneered, “It seems like Noble Consort is very satisfied with Princess Consort Xiao.”
“I’m not surprised. After all, you must treasure her a lot since she agreed to marry someone like Prince Xiao.”
Then, Consort Xian proceeded to hurl indirect insults at Mu Yexiao with her as an excuse. Although she did not love him, they were partners, after all. Additionally, he was a decent man.
Hence, Qian Jiujiu was infuriated by the veiled mockery. However, her status was lower and the person was a senior, so she could not openly argue with her. Thus, she could only suppress her emotions and let the raging misery bubble secretly within her.
After all, it was not worth it to go against these lowly women. In actuality, Mu Yexiao was quite outstanding. However, when she imagined the horde of wives he would have in the future, she started to have goosebumps from disgust.
Noble Consort Qing was vexed as well. However, she would not make a scene and fight in the public with her.
So, she could only hold Qian Jiujiu’s hand gently and said, “I’m certainly quite satisfied with her. Prince Xiao is very content as well. I wonder if the Third Prince can actually find someone as impressive as her.”
Seeing how close they were, a glint of suspicion flashed in Consort Xian’s eyes. Of course, this did not go unnoticed by Noble Consort Qing.
This woman is definitely not the Capital’s most beautiful woman. Yet, she’s protecting the secret so tightly and says that she’s satisfied with her. It’s clear that this is a lie.
This pretentious woman! Consort Xian thought to herself in anger. However, she did not have the courage to expose them. Hence, she could only glare at them menacingly, as though she had swallowed the python’s venom.
The Empress tried to calm the air down with a smile, saying, “That’s enough. Since you’ve all greeted me, you can leave already if there’s nothing else.”
Qian Jiujiu was flustered. Are we leaving just like that? Unbeknown to Qian Jiujiu, vicious conflicts had already erupted among the women in the harem.
Every morning, the Empress would gather everyone there to listen to Consort Xian and Noble Consort Qing argue. Then, she would dismiss them. It was almost like watching a free movie every morning.
As everyone rose to their feet to leave the hall, they found that Consort Yun was still sitting unmovingly while staring at Noble Consort Qing.
It was particularly conspicuous as everyone else had stood up. Consort Yun was very close to the Empress and she was very honest.
Hence, they did not think much of it, until the Empress let out a discernible cough. “Consort Yun, what are you looking at?”
Hearing someone addressing her, Consort Yun suddenly regained her senses. Seeing that everyone else had risen, she hastily rose to her feet with her head lowered meekly.
“Empress, I was merely looking at Noble Consort Qing. She seemed exceptionally beautiful today.”
Noble Consort Qing merely blinked innocently. In actuality, everyone had noticed it when she walked in just now, but they did not want to publicly compliment her.
Also, Qian Jiujiu was verbally attacked by Consort Xian, so the thought was swiftly discarded. They probably wanted to ask her privately in the palace later.
To their surprise, Consort Yun mentioned it before everyone left, reeling the thought back in. Even the Empress was a little impressed when she saw Noble Consort Qing’s stellar makeup.
After all, every woman in the palace wanted to become even more beautiful, especially those in the harem. All of them wanted to stand out and be the prettiest flower in the garden, so that they could dominate the Emperor’s affection.
Consort Xian merely grunted in disapproval, as she knew that Noble Consort Qing would never reveal her secret. However, she did not leave the hall or open her mouth.
After all, it would be useful to hear about the secret to her flawless beauty. Perhaps, she could even use it on herself!
The Empress knew that everyone was equally intrigued by her wonderful makeup, so she said with a smile. “I also think that Sister Qing seems especially different today as well.”
“Did sister find anything amazing?”
Noble Consort Qing answered hastily when she heard the Empress. After all, she had to respect her status. “It’s something that my daughter-in-law made.”
“Look at my skin, Empress. Isn’t it much smoother and glistening? Only after using it once, the effect is so apparent. My daughter-in-law says so.”
“I’ll keep using it, so that I’ll become prettier!”
All the consorts instantly turned around to look at Qian Jiujiu when they heard the revelation. The braver ones even asked her directly, “Where did Princess Consort Xiao find these cosmetic products?”
Qian Jiujiu was a little stunned, wondering if she could reveal its origin. Hence, she glanced at Noble Consort Qing, who replied with a smile.
Qian Jiujiu suddenly realized that Noble Consort Qing merely introduced her as her daughter-in-law and Princess Consort Xiao, but she did not claim that she was Qian Yuge.
Thus, she had an epiphany. The mother and son had never planned to hide her identity.
Furthermore, they wanted to reveal her identity publicly in a positive manner. After understanding their intentions, Qian Jiujiu suddenly felt a wave of relief sweeping through her.
After all, she loathed the idea of living with someone else’s name forever, especially someone that she despised.
Hearing Noble Consort Qing’s words, Qian Jiujiu’s lips curled up into a coy smile as she said, “I made them on my own. I merely wanted to repay imperial mother’s affection and offer her my gratitude.”
When they heard this, all the consorts in the hall started to form wild plans in their minds. It seemed that they had to form a good relationship with Princess Consort if they wanted to acquire it.
Then, they could embellish their beauty and rise the ranks in the harem. Furthermore, she had Noble Consort Qing and the Xiao Manor supporting here, so she must not be trifled with.
Hence, everyone hastily wore a welcoming smile on their faces, afraid of making her the enemy. However, Consort Xian snorted in disbelief, “Just because you say so, it’s definitely true?”
“You must’ve stolen someone else’s creation to appease us. If you truly made it, why don’t you give us a demonstration now?”
Blinking, Qian Jiujiu stared at Consort Xian in exasperated disbelief. Then, she glanced at Noble Consort Qing and spoke in a disgruntled tone.
“Imperial mother, I really made them. I spent the entire day yesterday to make them until it was late in the morning. I didn't have a good night’s rest just so I can make you happy.”
Qian Jiujiu was almost in tears as she wore a pained expression on her face. She almost choked on her words in despair, as beads of tears cascaded down her cheeks. It was a pitiable sight indeed.
The Princess Consort Xiao is so fragile. Even with just a little suspicion, she broke down into tears. She’s dainty and delicate, like a pear flower covered in raindrops. She seems especially adorable!
Noble Consort Qing could not contain her emotions as well and tugged Qian Jiujiu closer to her. “Jiu’er, don’t cry. I can see your filial love, don’t be hurt by jealous words.”
“It’s not worth it, my dear child.”
The other consorts gaped at this touching scene in complete silence. It turned out that even Noble Consort Qing had such a gentle side to her. They knew that Noble Consort Qingcould be quite unreasonable and crude, which was why Prince Xiao was so domineering and relentless.
Of course, in the public’s eyes, Mu Yexiao was the god of war; in the harem ladies’ eyes, he was a domineering Prince.
They could finally see how important Princess Consort Xiao was in Noble Consort Qing’s eyes. Qian Jiujiu did not notice their amazement. However, when she heard Noble Consort Qing’s comforting words, her tearful expression turned into a smile.
After that, the other consorts regained their senses. This Princess Consort Xiao is a professional actor. Her crocodile tears flow effortlessly at her command, without stopping at all.
Noble Consort Qing saw that she managed to calm Qian Jiujiu down, and turned around to stare at Consort Xian disdainfully. “Sister Consort Xian is so vicious, please direct your anger at me only.”
“You immediately bullied my daughter-in-law the moment she stepped into the palace, you really have no respect for me, right?”
The crowd was completely taken aback by this abrupt turn of events. The fight is beginning!
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