Who Cares – Chapter 169
Chapter 169 Showing Prestige
Seeing the empress put down the teacup heavily and splash a lot of tea on the table, obviously really angry, Pan Jieyu not only did not feel panic, but instead very happy. She only said that she was rude and straightforward, but she never criticized the Empress even a single sentence. What the other person could do to her? If she was angry, it would only show how petty she was. If you can’t stand even this bit of verbal wit, you should go home as soon as possible, and don’t try to trample everyone under your feet just because Hunnar likes you.
When the rest of the concubines saw that the two were at each other throats, some gloated, some stood by, and some shrank back a little for fear of getting the burnt. Only one person calmly sat in the head seat of the Han Concubine’s side. Neither looking at the top nor looking at the side seats, only drinking tea by herself, with a leisurely demeanor, like an outsider who had nothing to do with it all. She was Shen Jieyu, Shen Shuniang, who was on the same level as Pan Duolan. Her father was an official of Ministry of Ceremonies, Shen Wei. Although he was only a small official with income of four hundred stone, she was considered to be the most noble among the concubines in the harem, second only to Pan Dolan.
The rest of the people came from common origin, and they were selected to serve the emperor in the palace only because of their beauty.
Guan Suyi received everyone in Jiaofang Palace today. If she allowed Pan Duolan to display her strength, then her dignity as the empress would be greatly damaged. Don’t even mention being in charge of the Six Palaces and fulfilling the responsibility as the mother of the country, she wouldn’t be able to manage these twenty or so concubines. What’s the use of an empress who couldn’t even manage her concubines? Even if she was favored by the emperor, sooner or later, she would be chewed to the bone by others.
As the so-called the new official takes office with three fires, now she not only had to set fire, but she also must set the most arrogant Pan Duolan on fire, only then she could truly establish her dignity as the empress.
Thinking like this, Guan Suyi leaned over slightly, stared at Pan Duolan’s hidden smugness inside her eyes, and said word by word, “Pan Jieyu, This Palace asks you, what do you think of yourself now? A female general who follows the grand princess to fight on all side or the imperial concubine who serves the emperor?”
Pan Duolan lowered her eyes and said, “Since has entered the palace, naturally an imperial concubine. Although this concubine never forgot the years of fighting with His Majesty, this concubine will not fail one’s duty.”
Guan Suyi said lightly, “This Palace is also a straightforward person, and likes to interact with women like Pan Jieyu the most, because there is no need to mince words and act in a roundabout way. If This Palace have something to say in one’s heart, then will say it directly. If there’s any offense, please be magnanimous enough to forgive.”
“If niangniang have something to say, please speak bluntly.”
“Very good.” Guan Suyi nodded in satisfaction, “In the eyes of This Palace, where Pan Jieyu not failing her duty, you obviously forgotten this long ago.”
Pan Duolan’s eyebrows shoot upright, seemed wanted to get angry, but she quickly suppressed it and said, “How did this concubine fail her duty? Still ask niangniang to make it clear.”
Guan Suyi spread her palm, and Minglan immediately handed her a cup of hot tea. She slowly skimmed the tea foam and said, “You keep saying that you dare not forget the duties of a soldier even for a day, but do you remember what the duties of a soldier are?”
Pan Duolan said without hesitation, “It’s to protect the family and defend the country.”
“Very good. As a soldier, you should protect your family and defend your country. As far as This Palace know, female generals like you are not a minority among the Jiuli clan, especially those under the grand princess. When the Wei kingdom was established, one after another they took up their duties to defend the border and wasn’t able return for several years, sacrificing almost everything for the country and the people. They never flaunt how noble they are or how loyal they are. And you? You stay in the splendid palace and enjoy glory and wealth, peace and comfort, wake up every day to practice martial arts, and then stop to enjoy the scenery, sit and play the instrument, but still talk about the duties of a soldier. This Palace ask you, have you contributed even half of effort to the peace of the border in all these years? Have you ever shed a drop of blood for the people of Wei? If you haven’t, how can you say it’s your duty?”
Pan Duolan was speechless and subconsciously looked at Shen Jieyu. The other person did not raise her eyes, but only stroked the palace dress she wore. She immediately came to her sense and said with difficulty, “Since this concubine has entered the palace, of course become an imperial concubine, even if has the intention to serve the country, it is in vain. Now the duty of this concubine is to serve the emperor.”
Guan Suyi smiled lightly, “If that’s the case, don’t always flaunt yourself as a soldier in the future. A real soldier can withstand wind and sand, can endure bitterness and cold, and can even sacrifice their lives, will never be like you that covet wealth and comfort. If you pull them out, you will only smear the faces of the soldiers, and even lose the prestige of the grand princess. The female general under her command who’s willing to abandon her merit and duties to enter the palace is only you alone. You and them are not comparable at all.”
These words were equivalent to ripping off Pan Duolan’s military uniform, causing her to run naked in the wild, making her feel ashamed and angry. But so what? She couldn’t find a word to refute the other person, because she did give up her comrades and her merits to become a concubine who enjoy glory and wealth. But she didn’t do it for wealth, she just longed for the emperor. However, this sentence could not be said, saying it was equivalent to cutting open her heart for others’ enjoyment.
It wasn’t over yet, Guan Suyi did not wait for her to calm down her embarrassment, and continued, “Let’s not mention the responsibility of the soldiers for now, just the matter of serving the emperor, you have not fulfilled your duty at all. Look at yourself, you have already become a concubine, but dressed like a man, which is really inappropriate. On one side recall the past and talking about merits, but on other side avoided the emperor and never served even for a day. If you really care about the troops, This Palace can send you out and let you continue becoming a female general. But what you really think in your heart, do you think This Palace doesn’t know? You are just making yourself a maverick in order to attract the emperor’s attention, and using every means to win his favor, so don’t use such high-sounding reasons to hide your true purpose. Whether you are straightforward or cunning, This Palace can see through it at a glance, no matter how pretentious you are, it will only become a laughing stock.”
Pan Duolan didn’t expect her to be so ruthless, and before she had time to flare out, she heard the other person coldly say, “If you really like to dress up as a soldier, after wearing men’s military uniform you wouldn’t smoke some incense, put on some rouge, painted willow eyebrows, and dyed your lips. Look at the grand princess, when dressing in military uniform she always showed her natural feature, that’s what a heroic spirit looks like. Not like you, saying it male it’s not, saying it female it’s not, saying it a goblin it’s not, saying it a flatterer it’s not. You can either wear a military uniform and go back to your troops, or change into a palace dress and become an imperial concubine honestly. Concubines compete for favours is normal. Who do you think you can fool? You just fooling yourself.”
She closed her eyes and sighed, “Do you think you look beautiful like this? It just hurts people’s eyes.”
Pan Duolan almost vomited blood when she heard this, slapped the table and shouted, “Guan Suyi, you cross the line!”
There was a loud crackling sound, and the table under her hand collapsed and fell apart. The surrounding concubines screamed in fright, covering their faces to avoid, but Shen Jieyu didn’t move, only a trace of light poured out from the depths of her eyes. Most of the Jiuli women had irritable character, and since they practiced martial arts since childhood, if people had verbal disputes with them, to lose it was still alright, but if they won over them, it could turn into a real fight. This time there would be a good drama to watch.
However, what happened next far exceeded everyone’s expectations. They actually saw the empress smashed the table with her palm and said angrily, “Pan Jieyu, you dare to call This Palace’s name directly, you got the nerve!”
There was another crackling sound, and two broken tables lay on the ground, causing everyone to gasp for breath. This, what is this? Isn’t the Empress niangniang from a scholarly family? How can her palm force not lose to Pan Jieyu? Could it be that she also has martial arts?
Oops, this is!
Pan Duolan was shocked and horrified, not knowing how to respond for a while. She wasn’t stupid enough to use force with the empress, she just wanted to destroy the table and shock the other person, but she didn’t expect that the other person was not afraid at all, but her force was also not inferior. In this way, the intimidation effect was not achieved, but instead sent her into an embarrassing state, with no room to advance or retreat, and it looked like she was the one that got intimidated.
She lost this game, and lose it very unsightly.
But Guan Suyi didn’t want to sacrifice just one table. She waved her wide sleeves and ordered in a cold voice, “Arrest those who are neither male nor female outside and do a body search!”
“Empress niangniang, you…” Even if Pan Duolan was extremely angry, she couldn’t forget to use her honorary title.
“Pan Jieyu, today This Palace will teach you how to conduct yourself.” Guan Suyi interrupted her, “Do you think you will stand out from the masses if you don’t follow the palace rules? Stupid! Rules are not constraints, but protection! If you step on the bottom line of the palace rules, then no one can help you. Even This Palace, once crossing it, it’s the same as showing weak point everywhere. No need for This Palace to do anything, many people can press you to death! You let those maids wear men’s clothes, if someone has evil intentions and orders a man to mix within, let him accompany you by day, and then accuse you forand defile the harem, how do you plane to clear your name then?”
This sentence completely broke Pan Duolan’s central defense, causing her to break into a cold sweat instantly. She turned her head stiffly and looked at the guards who were neither male nor female. The more she looked, the more suspicious she became, the more she looked, the more frightened she became. The other concubines cried out, inhaled, their faces changed color in shock.
If the empress didn’t say it, they would never have thought about this possibility at all. It turned out that it would be so easy to overthrow Pan Jieyu!
Shen Jieyu finally put down the teacup, lowered her eyes, and made a fearful gesture.
Guan Suyi glanced at her slightly, and continued, “This Palace is a straightforward person, and this is something that needs to be said to you. If This Palace want to rectify you, why give you the upper hand today, just wait until you get carried away and then easily put you to death with just flicking one little finger! What are you still doing? Search to see if those guards are male or female!”
Only then did Jinzi recover from her daze, and ordered the inner attendants to take the people to the front of the hall and search them. The female guards who were still struggling and resisting just now all stopped, for fear they’d bring death to their master. No matter how incomplete the inner attendants were, they were still men, when the female guards’ body were searched by them, one could imagine the shame and embarrassment in their hearts. But no one dared to move, let alone show a strange look, because whoever try to avoid would cause their master to suffer the crime of defiling the harem, enough to annihilate the whole Pan clan.
Pan Duolan was so arrogant when she first entered Jiaofang Palace, but now she looked like a sorry figure. She stared at the hall at the front, with fear, shame, regret and other emotions constantly flashed on her face.
Emperor Sheng Yuan, who had already walked far away, but returned halfway, was standing outside the window, watching this scene with great interest.
Baifu whispered, “Your Majesty, can you rest assured now? This servant has already said that these noble concubine in the harem are not the Empress’s opponents at all.”
“Zhen know,” Emperor Sheng Yuan shook his head and smiled, “Even Zhen can’t win against Madam, then what are these ghosts? Let’s go, go back to deal with government affairs, lest Madam see Zhen being lazy and reprimand again.” That being said, there was a happy expression on his face, as if he was enjoying Madam’s fierceness.