Coming Kingly Son-in-Law: Don't Provoke the First Daughter - Chapter 71
Chapter 71 Playacting
The Empress was clear that their love had disappeared and thus felt at ease. But when hearing Shen Zhongbai said she liked Shen Qianshan, she fluttered her long eyelashes. Indeed, she became close to Shen Qianshan recently and cared about him. It was just because she didn’t think he should come to such an end.
“Your Majesty, not everyone around you is bad. The whole country is yours. Please don’t kill an innocent person!” The Empress still lowered her head respectfully and looked at the ground silently. She looked calm, and it seemed that she was not scared of Shen Zhongbai’s sudden rage at all.
“He is not bad? Does it make sense? Do you know how powerful Qianshan is? If he wants to overthrow me, he can do it anytime. It seems that you look forward to that day, right? You think you can still be the empress after he becomes the king, so you seduce him and help him usurp the throne, don’t you?” Shen Zhongbai became more emotional and thought he was right. After he finished, he stared at the Empress in a convinced way.
The Empress frowned slightly. How imaginative he was! Did he think his inference was true?
She knew she should explain at this moment, but she didn’t think it was necessary. If a person was convinced of something, he wouldn’t change his idea no matter what others did.
She remained lowering her head to avoid eye contact with Shen Zhongbai. It was not because she didn’t dare to. Instead, she knew it was useless to explain. He had never believed her. If he did, why did he conclude she had an affair with Shen Qianshan without any evidence?
“Your Majesty, what are you talking about? You think I have an affair with the duke? Do you have any evidence? It makes me sad.” She lifted her cool and bright eyes. She looked calm and was not rattled at all. She had no reason to be afraid.
If she tried to avoid talking about it, Shen Zhongbai would think she had a guilty conscience.
Shen Zhongbai didn’t expect she would rebut it, so he almost burst with anger. But he managed to control himself and said calmly, “If you don’t have an affair with Qianshan, why did you go to his mansion at night? Do you think you did a good job so I would know nothing?”
The Empress could explain it in various ways. She would explain even if Shen Zhongbai didn’t believe her. She hated to be labeled for no reason and give him a pretext to make a fuss.
“Your Majesty, you are always just and clever. If I had an affair with the Ninth Duke, why did I go to his mansion openly? I should have gone there furtively to avoid being seen. I went there because I believe you wouldn’t misunderstand me.” The Empress said unhurriedly. She knew Shen Zhongbai didn’t believe her, but it was enough to leave him no pretext to censure her.
As expected, Shen Zhongbai fell into a long silence. Perhaps he thought what she said made sense. He had no evidence to prove she and Shen Qianshan had an affair. Even if they did, he didn’t see it or catch them in the act.
But he didn’t believe the Empress any longer. As he said before, he thought his inference was true.
He bit his lips and clenched his fists. After a while, he loosened his fists and smiled to the Empress, “I was too sensitive. I should believe you. After all, you are my wife.”
Then he walked over and held her into his arms while looking into the distance. His eyes were fierce, and his smile was sinister. Ling felt a quiver of panic beside the Empress. The Emperor was so evil and crafty that you would think something bad might happen even if he just stood there and did nothing. His character was not worthy of his handsome face.
Shen Zhongbai found someone observing him without scruple, so he turned around. Ling lowered her head at once and didn’t dare to face him.
As the most important person to the Empress, she had a lot of secrets and strong capability. However, she needed to keep a low profile to avoid being noticed. She should be as common as any other servant girl in the palace.
The Empress leaned lightly against the Emperor’s chest. Listening to the heartbeat, she was surprised. The sound came from a human. She had never heard her heart beat so fierily as if fireworks were let off in her heart.
She freed herself from his arms instantly as if she had a strong aversion to Shen Zhongbai.
Shen Zhongbai didn’t care about her attitude at all. He waved his hand and signaled her to go away. She left at once. When Ling turned around, she met Shen Zhongbai’s eyes and then took her eyes off naturally. But it was late. She realized she had caught his attention.
A fool couldn’t draw others’ attention no matter what he did, but a person couldn’t conceal her cleverness. Sometimes you even could see the wisdom in her eyes at a glance.
Shen Zhongbai was not foolish. Ling caught his attention at that glance. It seemed to be out of control.
After walking far, Ling told the Empress, “Your Highness, please send me out of the palace.”
The Empress paused, observed Ling, and found the girl’s forehead was covered with sweat. She used to be calm no matter what happened. Therefore, the Empress nodded and said, “Today is the day. Pack your things quickly and then leave the palace. Remember to send Sha back.”
Ling nodded and went away. When walking past the pavilion before the Weiyang Palace alone, the Empress was stopped by a man.
She raised her head and saw Su Ge reaching out his arm. He said respectfully, “Your Highness, my master invites you to take a rest in the pavilion.”
She turned around and saw Shen Qianshan sitting in the pavilion and looking sideways at the views around. He looked calm. It seemed that he didn’t want to see her.
He couldn’t help talking with her, though. After hesitating, she went to him and asked coldly, “Why do you want to meet me?”
Shen Qianshan waved his fan leisurely. The Empress was refreshed by the faint fragrance of plum blossom.
She knew what was on Shen Qianshan’s mind, but she didn’t want to make it clear. Something was obvious to them. Holding the position meant she was capable and wise.
What Shen Qianshan said revealed that he thought it was a playacting. It was unknown why he concluded that, but in her opinion, Shen Qianshan was not so clever as before.
“Why did you overturn the poisonous alcohol? Did you want me to owe you a favor? My brother is slandered to be a bad guy, and I owe you a favor unexpectedly.” Shen Qianshan snapped his fan shut and stared at the Empress coldly.
Her face was expressionless. She wished Shen Qianshan had been poisoned. Is so, she wouldn’t feel so bad. If it had not been that Gu Qiang didn’t want Shen Qianshan to die, she wouldn’t have saved him.
“If I hadn’t overturned the poisonous alcohol, you would have been dead. I saved you but you returned kindness with ingratitude.” The Empress said slowly. She sounded sulky, but her face remained expressionless. She was extremely calm, which made Su Ge surprised. The Empress didn’t have a good temper because she was arrogant and willful as the eldest daughter of the Prime Minister Mansion. However, she was different now and looked composed. She sounded like losing her temper, but her expression showed nothing.
Shen Qianshan didn’t believe her. He knew she was weird recently and even did something strange. They were not on intimate terms before, but now their relationship became ambiguous. He felt uncomfortable about it.
If he could, he wanted to keep away from her as far as possible.
“How can I believe you? The Emperor treats me as his full brother. How can he hurt me?” Shen Qianshan said.
The Empress found it both funny and annoying. What she did was really unnecessary. It would have been better not to save him from Shen Zhongbai’s poisonous alcohol.
“Whatever you think about me, I don’t care. Just regard what happened today as an accident. You don’t need to take it seriously. Understand?” The Empress said. Then she turned around and left without a backward glance. She didn’t think the man was worthy of her time.
She went farther and farther. Her red clothes disappeared in the Weiyang Palace at last. Shen Qianshan withdrew his eyes while biting his lips coldly. Su Ge looked at his master, saying quietly and respectfully, “Your Highness, did you blame the Empress wrongly? I don’t think the Emperor is as good as you imagine.”
Shen Qianshan turned around and replied coldly, “It’s widely known that the woman should get almost all the credit for my brother’s throne. She is smart. If she hadn’t slandered me before my brother, why did he want to kill me?”
Su Ge frowned, unable to judge if what his master said made sense. It was impossible for him to easily understand his master’s idea. Anyway, his master had the final say.
“Your Highness, what are you going to do?” Su Ge asked. Instead of arguing who was right and who was wrong, Su Ge was more curious about how to deal with it. As an inferior to the duke, he should handle it properly.