There was no starlight that night. As soon as the sky darkened, the Empress invited Han Lin’er over. After all, she was the Empress and her father and brother were both important figures in court. Liu Futong was also willing to entrust important affairs to them, otherwise the Empress would not be able to break through the siege and become the “mother of a nation”. Therefore, no matter what Han Lin’er had to give his wife a little face.
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Han Lin’er just came out of the study, with a smile on his face, and he seemed to be in a good mood. Recently, Liu Futong had become a bit more “tolerant” towards him, and his occasional ideas could also be supported by Liu Futong.
Even Han Lin’er felt that while he hated Liu Futong he also couldn’t do without him.
He still needed to accumulate strength. Before that, he could not show his claws to Liu Futong.
So even if he didn’t want to see the Empress, he still came after the palace maid came to report to him.
The Empress probably didn’t expect Han Lin’er to actually come. In the past, when she sent someone to invite him, that side always said that the Emperor was too busy with government affairs and asked the Empress to rest earlier. Having heard this a lot, the Empress herself didn’t hold any more hope. If the Emperor was indeed busy with government affairs, how come he still had the time to pamper Consort Li?
When Han Lin’er stepped over the threshold, the Empress greeted with ceremony, and all the palace maids knelt down and waited for Han Lin’er to let them get up.
Han Lin’er supported the Empress up. He was about the same age as the Empress. If one didn’t look at the face and only looked at the figure and back, they appeared like a match made in heaven, but if one looked at the face, the two appeared very mismatched.
Han Lin’er’s face was as fair as jade, his figure tall and straight. Having been an emperor for so many years, it had also brought him a unique aura. He could even be called to have the grace of dragons and phoenixes. He had elegant features and though they could not be said to be compellingly handsome, they were still more handsome than ordinary people’s
In contrast, the Empress was far inferior in appearance.
“Empress does not need to be so courteous.” Han Lin’er lifted the Empress up with a smile on his face.
His movements had never been so soft, and his expression had never been so gentle. The Empress was momentarily dazed. She was a woman who regarded her husband as her life. Facing such a Han Lin’er, she almost lost her reasoning, but she soon quickly returned back to her senses.
His love did not belong to her, and would never belong to her. Even though he occasionally showed tenderness, she was only occasionally brushed by it, and his tenderness was never something that showed up because of her.
The Empress stood up straight, and the maids behind her also stood up after thanking the Emperor for his grace.
Han Lin’er didn’t love his Empress. After he married her, he felt an unprecedented humiliation. Such an ugly empress was not even as good as a mediocre looking empress. What was more, this ugly empress was chosen by Liu Futong for him, and he didn’t even have the power to refuse.
He didn’t love Li shi either, but when he found that the more he pampered Li shi, the more those of the Li family with official positions in court would listen to him. In this way he found the use of the harem.
He could at least gain the loyalty of the Li family when he pampered Li shi, but doting on the Empress? That would only make the people of the Empress’s family follow Liu Futong more loyally.
The imperial court has been putting pressure on him, admonishing him to give birth to a child as soon as possible. Saying that without a crown prince, the country would become unstable. Their meaning was too obvious, they just wanted him to give birth to the eldest son with the empress. The weight of the words “eldest son of the official wife” was not light at all.
As a result, Han Lin’er thought vengefully, “If you want a child, then I will let Li shi give birth to one, the eldest son of a concubine.”
Now that the news of Li shi’s pregnancy had spread throughout the imperial court and the harem, so long as Li shi gave birth to a son, this child was highly likely to be conferred the title of crown prince, and Li shi would also be conferred the title of Noble Consort. At that time, this child would also be raised in Li shi’s palace.
“Your Majesty takes care of mamy affairs every day, and you have to take care of your health. Chen qie is stupid and can’t share the worries for Your Majesty.” The Empress lowered her head and tried her best not to let Han Lin’er see her face. She lowered her head and revealed a jade-like neck.
Han Lin’er’s Adam’s apple moved, and he chuckled softly: “Serve the meal.”
The big palace maif hurriedly curtsied and retreated, calling the people behind to serve the food.
There wrre all kinds of dishes on the Empress’s dining table, lest it didn’t suit Han Lin’er’s taste.
Han Lin’er didn’t eat many bites, and then asked, “Does Empress have any wine here?”
The Empress said warmly: “Chen qie got a good bottle of mulberry a few days ago.”
Han Lin’er: “Serve it up.”
The wine was placed on a wooden tray by the maid. Han Lin’er was a glutton for wine. Rather than say he was a glutton for wine, it was more appropriate to it was because he was going to sleep with the Empress tonight, therefore he had to drink a few more cups so that he could carry out the bed affairs drunk so as not to wilt when seeing the Empress’s face. This was a method he thought of himself, and he was quite a bit proud of it.
Han Lin’er looked over. He did not notice the wine, but noticed the maid serving the wine instead.
This palace maid wore the clothes of a maid in the palace. She had her head lowered so he could not see her face. However, in addition to the beauty of the face, women also had the beauty of their posture and figure. When she walked here, every step was very graceful and light, as if she was walking on the clouds. Her waist also appeared very soft, and the hairpin on the bun she combed seemed to shake slightly when she walked.
Han Lin’er had never seen such a woman before.
Most of the women in the palace were practically carved out of the same mold.
Liu Futong also selected ladies of affluent and aristocratic families for him as well. They received the same education, and there was almost no difference in what they said and did. When they entered the palace, they all seemed to have become kind-eyed and benevolent women who practiced buddhism, holding Buddhist beads in their hands and copying scriptures. Whether they were ugly or beautiful, they could no longer bring any novelty to Han Lin’er.
Hong Xiu walked to the table and quietly put the wine bottle and cups on the table. She seemed to be full of curiosity about everything, and because Han Lin’er was sitting, so her eyes moved to Han Lin’er’s face, and Han Lin’er happened to also be looking at her and the two eyes met at this moment.
But the two quickly looked away, as if nothing happened just now.
Han Lin’er felt his mouth become dry because of that brief eye contact.
Sitting across from him is his Empress and his wife, and he was exchanging glances with her palace maid right in front of her. This feeling of excitement was even greater than that of his covetous desire for the palace maid.
“Chen qie salutes Your Majesty.” The Empress raised her cup and Han Lin’er also drank his refreshingly.
Han Lin’er didn’t eat much during this dinner and only drank a lot of wine.
After drinking three rounds, Han Lin’er was completely tipsy and wanted to go to bed.
The Empress had the maids serve him in washing and undressing, and then asked him: “Does Your Majesty need to go to the restroom?”
Han Lin’er was already a little muddleheaded, and he nodded and said: “Zhen…..shall go first.”
The Empress gestured at her big palace maid, and the big palace maid lowered her eyes knowingly and helped Han Lin’er out with a eunuch. When they passed a corner, the sound of crying came from a house.
The crying was neither miserable nor shrill. On the contrary, just by listening to it, one could imagine an affection invoking beauty crying alone by the bed. Han Lin’er stopped and asked with a drunken hiccup: “Who is…..hic…..crying here?”
The eunuch was about to admonish, but the big palace maid said first: “Answering Your Majesty, this is the place where the maids rest. I imagine that one of the maids is crying because of missing her family.”
Han Lin’er wasn’t angry either, just squinted and said, “This is how it is for people with emotions.”
The eunuch closed his mouth, there was no place for him to speak here.
Just when Han Lin’er was about to continue walking, the door beside him suddenly opened. The woman inside the door had her head lowered and did not look ahead, and ended up knocking into his shoulder. The eunuch wanted to open his mouth again but found that His Majesty the Emperor was currently staring at the woman without blinking at all.
Hong Xiu red eyes and tears in the corners of her eyes, but this didn’t lessen her beauty in the slightest.
Han Lin’er suddenly said, “Are you the maid who served the wine?”
Hong Xiu seemed to realize that she had run into the emperor. She knelt down quickly and looked very flustered. Her hair was messy and she did not look as meticulous as she did at dinner. Her voice was choked as she said: “Answering Your Majesty, it’s this slave.”
Han Lin’er asked her again: “Why are you crying?”
Hong Xiu: “This slave remembered this slave’s father.”
Han Lin’er seemed to be interested suddenly: “Your father?”
Hong Xiu nodded: “This servant girl is Daddy’s youngest daughter and has been favored by Daddy since childhood. Three years ago, Daddy died in an armed confrontation. This servant girl misses him day and night. After leaving home, I always think of Daddy and am often sad that this world no longer has someone who loves this servant girl like Daddy does.”
Han Lin’er didn’t speak. He thought of his own father, perhaps he should be called the late emperor——but Han Shantong did not ascend the throne, he had just raised the flag of rebellion when he died.
He never knew what his father thought of him. Did he think of him when he died? Would he feel uneasy about handing everything over to this son?
In Han Lin’er’s memory, there were always strangers of all kinds visiting his family house. These people were neither servants of the family nor friends of his father. Some of them came often, some not so frequent, and there were often new people showing up as well.
After Han Lin’er understood the matter, he realized that his father, who he had thought was just an ordinary person, was actually the leader of the White Lotus Sect.
He lived under the expectations of many people.
Whether it was when he was young or now, everyone hoped that he could guide and lead everyone like his father did.
Perhaps Liu Futong also had this kind of expectation once, but it was just that he gave up when he found that Han Lin’er was no match for his father no matter what. So instead of handing over the power to Han Lin’er, he might as well hold onto it tightly.
Han Lin’er also didn’t know the difference between himself and his father until he became the emperor.
When his father was alive, Liu Futong never dared to face his father coldly. He was always humble and gentle mannered, and would not oppose any decision made by his father.
But when he became the emperor, Liu Futong changed into a different person, and his eyes revealed his disappointment and contempt for him.
What did his father think of him? If he was looking at him up in heaven, would he be proud of this son, or think that this son was a useless waste?
Han Lin’er was lost in his thoughts for a while.
“Come with Zhen.” Han Lin’er no longer had the urge to go to the toilet. After he said this to Hong Xiu, his steps changed direction.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
Hong Xiu wiped away the tears, and quietly followed behind the eunuch.
The eunuch who tried to speak several times but couldn’t in the end, turned his head and glanced at her.
Perhaps in the imperial palace, there would finally be a figure that could rival Consort Li.
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