Ning Lianchen lowered his head to see the petite body snuggled against his chest. Although I don’t wish to take in any consorts, it’s not appropriate for me to suppress the court officials with the military at the moment. In order to reclaim all of Yun Ruofeng’s power, I can only agree to the officials proposal to conduct the Imperial Beauty Selection to fill the imperial harem.


“Yinyin, although I am the Emperor, there are currently some matters where I can’t make my own decisions. I have to select 10 women for this Imperial Beauty Selection altogether, but no matter what happens, I will look after you.”


Liu Yinyin raised her head and purposely winked at him. “Look after me until I marry? At that time, you must choose the most handsome man in Nanzhao for me!”


“Jeez, you’re so young, but you’re already judging people by their appearances.” Ning Lianchen couldn’t help but gently flick her forehead.


“Who asked you to be so handsome? After getting used to looking at your handsome face, my expectations for other men have naturally become higher. Isn’t that right?” Liu Yinyin pushed him away, a trace of mischief in her eyes.


The corners of Ning Lianchen’s mouth curved up as he affectionately responded, “You’re saying all sorts of nonsense.”


“Your Majesty, let’s have a meal together tonight. Then, you can tell me some stories and play hide-and-seek with me.” Liu Yinyin smiled as she gave the suggestion, grabbing his hands before spinning in circles.


Seeing how she was in high spirits, Ning Lianchen couldn’t bear to refuse her. Liu Yinyin flashed an even brighter smile, but beneath her cheerful exterior was a heart full of sorrow.


I’m afraid that after tonight has passed, I won’t be able to see him ever again.


The two of them had an enjoyable time together, and before they realised it, night had already fallen. Noticing that it was getting late, Ning Lianchen caressed her head and softly said, “You should sleep early. I’ll return to the Imperial Study to go through the memorials.”


Liu Yinyin nodded. “Mmm, I won’t hold you back; go on.”


“Alright.” Ning Lianchen was satisfied with her performance today. 


Just as he was about to stand up to leave, however, Liu Yinyin suddenly leapt up and seized his collar, giving him a peck on the lips.


Before Ning Lianchen could push her away, she had already left him, even cheerily remarking, “Your Majesty, this piece of candy is really delicious.”


Hearing how she treated his lips as candy, he didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry. “Yinyin, don’t fool around.”


Suddenly, a guard hastily came to report. “Your Majesty, the main[1] eldest daughter of the Chief Minister of War accidentally fell down in the Female Selection Palace. Her injuries are rather severe; do you want to go over and take a look?”


The woman the guard mentioned had already been internally selected to enter the palace, and they couldn’t allow any mishap to befall her. In order to reclaim all the military power, I must pacify the Chief Minister of War.


Hence, Ning Lianchen nodded and immediately rushed out of the room.


Watching his departing figure, Liu Yinyin sniffled. Fang Lingdang is right; if things go on like this, I definitely won’t be able to bear it.


Thus, she returned to the inner chamber and packed her items into a cloth bundle when the palace maids weren’t paying attention. He’s given me so many things that I can’t possibly take them all with me, but I can’t bear to throw them away either.


Finally, she chose her favourite jade hairpin to place inside the cloth bundle. 


An hour later, she secretly sneaked out of her repose palace and followed the familiar path to the backyard of the Imperial Kitchen. At this time of night, the Imperial Kitchen would always be in the process of sending personnel to retrieve vegetables that would be required for meals the next day.


While others weren’t paying attention, Liu Yinyin seized the opportunity to board the horse carriage for transporting the vegetables, hiding herself behind a vegetable wicker basket.


15 minutes later, the wheels of the carriage began moving as they headed out of the palace. Liu Yinyin lowered her head, not allowing herself to look back at the imperial palace’s scenery.


Just as the horse carriage was about to leave the vicinity of the Imperial Kitchen, she heard a eunuch anxiously hollering, “Quickly prepare nourishing soup for the daughter of the Chief Minister of War! His Majesty was flaring up in the Female Selection Palace just now!”

Hearing those words, Liu Yinyin couldn’t help but feel a sense of grief fill her heart. I thought that Fang Lingdang was my greatest enemy, but it turns out that she’s actually not; the number of rivals I have is practically uncountable.

1. Child of the main wife

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

What do you think of Liu Yinyin's decision? And what do you think is gonna happen to her now? ><