The Devious First-Daughter

Lian Shuang, 帘霜More From Author

Chapter 642 - An Invitation from the Empress in the Palace

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Chapter 642 An Invitation from the Empress in the Palace

The news of Prince Yi’s appointment as the Crown Prince sent a shock throughout all levels of society. No one thought that the Emperor would appoint a Crown Prince out of the blue.

It had been so many years. The Emperor’s intention was apparent to everyone, and it was clear that he was enemies with Prince Yi. To suddenly appoint Prince Yi as the Crown Prince was the Emperor’s show of weakness. Moreover, the news from the Lord Guardian’s Manor had spread. Nearly everyone in the capital found out that the Emperor had stolen his minister and younger brother’s wife.

It was an unethical crime that made the perpetrator look worse than a beast. To think that the Emperor would conduct himself like this! It was unbefitting of a monarch.

Thus, the stubborn court officials submitted an official complaint of misconduct, though they didn’t dare to impeach the Emperor. They first impeached Chief Hua of the Imperial Academy of poor character. He had failed to educate his adopted daughter and stop her from marrying three different men. He also treated his daughter as a tool to cling to the rich and powerful, allowing her to marry anyone as long as they could bring wealth and honor.

In ancient times, women tended to die fighting for their honor or following their husbands in death. It was the norm to have only one husband in a woman’s lifetime. And yet, Hua Yueying was still living despite being married thrice. It was unethical and enraging. The court officials demanded that the Emperor issue an imperial decree and punish Hua Yueying and her family.

For a while, everyone in society was demanding the punishment of the Hua family. Chief Hua, who had always appeared refined and courteous in front of everyone, became akin to a rat on the street overnight. Never mind going to the court, he couldn’t even leave his manor. The moment he stepped out, he would be covered in an unstoppable rain of rotten eggs and vegetables.

Next thing he knew, Hua Qiuying’s fiance came to end the engagement. He said that he couldn’t marry the daughter of such a shameless family. To draw a line from Hua Qiuying, he went on to say that he had fallen into her trap that day at the palace. It was Hua Qiuying who tricked him into entering the room. He wouldn’t have gotten engaged with a woman like her otherwise.

His words made Hua Qiuying sound just like her sister, Hua Yueying. Everyone thought that marrying a daughter of the Hua family was unadvisable, for they would just be marrying a harlot rather than a wife. A daughter of the Hua family would plunge one’s house into chaos and cause her husband to lose focus in work. Hua Yueying had even put the Emperor and Prince Yi into such a state.

Some even said that Hua Yueying was the reason that the Emperor refused to make Prince Yi the Crown Prince all these years.

“Master, His Highness said not to prepare and take so much stuff over. He’ll only spend the night there when he can’t return, but he’ll come back whenever he can,” Lanning said, happily packing things up alongside Ning Xueyan. “Master, you shouldn’t pack that much either. Otherwise, His Highness wouldn’t be able to return even if he wanted to.”

She was even teasing Ning Xueyan, evidently in a good mood. She had been much livelier since Ning Ziying’s case was brought to court.

Ao Chenyi had just been appointed as the Crown Prince when the Emperor coughed up blood and fainted, rendering him unable to hold court sessions. Thus, the impeachment documents were sent to Ao Chenyi. He, as the Crown Prince, had to live in the Eastern Palace. However, both he and Ning Xueyan found it more comfortable to live in Prince Yi’s Manor so they chose not to move so soon.

Ao Chenyi told Ning Xueyan to just bring a few necessities to the Eastern Palace. He would stay there if he was preoccupied and couldn’t come back in time. Otherwise, he would still return to Prince Yi’s Manor. He was just busier lately, being a newly-appointed Crown Prince at a time when the Emperor was in trouble.

Besides, Ning Xueyan knew that news of the three princes of Annan’s rebellion would soon reach the capital and a commotion would break out. The people and layout of the Eastern Palace were unfamiliar to them. They might as well stay in Prince Yi’s Manor and deal with contingencies there. So, she agreed with Ao Chenyi’s suggestion. He would stay in the Eastern Palace now and then, while she remained in Prince Yi’s Manor and kept everything the same.

Hearing Lanning’s teasing, a gentle smile appeared on Ning Xueyan’s small and fair face. She knew that Ao Chenyi was worried that it would be inconvenient for her to suddenly live in the Eastern Palace. Moreover, the Eastern Palace had been set in the palace for years and most of the servants there were the Emperor’s men. They would have to eliminate at least a portion of these hostile forces before they could live there safely.

“What’s the situation in the palace? Did the Emperor’s condition improve?” she asked. Yu Jian had visited and spoken to Lanning earlier, likely passing on Ao Chenyi’s message. She was napping at the time, so Lanning didn’t disturb her.

“The Emperor’s condition seems quite serious. I heard that the cause was his injury many years ago. His illness flared up because of the poison this time, and he even coughed up blood and hurt his heart and liver. I don’t remember it that well; all I know is that he’s not in a good condition. He’s comatose most of the time. Even when he wakes up, he’ll just be coughing up copious amounts of blood. The Empress is serving him on his sickbed.”

Lanning stopped smiling and explained to Ning Xueyan in a low voice.

An unreadable emotion flitted across Ning Xueyan’s eyes. The Emperor seemed to be in a dire condition! In his attempt to harm others, he had harmed himself as well. It was he who prepared and consumed the poison. He would probably be fine if it wasn’t for the scandal exposure angering him. With all these factors added together, coupled with his fury, his illness weighed on him like a mountain. He was poisoned, too. It seemed that he was in grave danger this time.

Ning Xueyan never liked the Emperor, a man who was determined to kill Ao Chenyi. So, she simply nodded as she listened.

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Xinmei lifted the curtains and stepped in. Having just returned from the outside, her forehead was covered in sweat. She looked like she was in a rush. The first thing she did was saluting Ning Xueyan and standing up. “Master, someone came to the manor earlier and said that the Empress has invited you to the palace.”

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