The Girl Who Struggled Through Palace Intrigues to Become the Empress - C.105: The Plot 02

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"If that's what this concubine wishes, then the bouquet this concubine received earlier would have been presented to the Emperor instead of coming to find Your Ladyship."

Song Zhao kneeled and paid her respects to Consort Chen with great deference, saying:

"Your Ladyship's gracious act of rescuing me from the Yun Tai platform in the past is something this concubine will always remember. This concubine understands that Your Ladyship may not be pleased with the closeness between the Empress Dowager and me. On the day at the Lianxin Terrace, when the Emperor reprimanded Your Ladyship, it elevated this concubine's status and caused Your Ladyship to lose face..."

"Bold Song Guiren!" Ying Xiang scolded loudly, cutting off Song Zhao's words. "The Emperor has never reprimanded Your Ladyship. He merely spoke to Your Ladyship in a slightly louder voice. Do not speak nonsense!"

The people around Consort Chen knew how much she cared about Xiao Jingheng,

When the master is not clear-headed, the servants also deceive themselves and others, selectively saying pleasant things to please Consort Chen.

Of course, Song Zhao knew that her words were like thorns, precisely piercing the softest part of Consort Chen's heart,

But she must speak these words today, so she completely ignored Ying Xiang and continued:

"This concubine knows that Your Ladyship may not wish to be close to this concubine because of these matters. However, this concubine believes that the person who wants to harm this concubine cannot be Your Ladyship."

"Oh?" Consort Chen looked at Song Zhao with a dark expression, evaluating her. "You have spoken so much about the things that displease this palace. Where does your confidence come from to say that this palace won't harm you?"

Song Zhao said, "Because whatever Your Ladyship does, it is all for the sake of gaining the Emperor's favor. So even if Your Ladyship looks down on this concubine, it is not possible to act against this concubine at this time. If it provokes the Emperor's suspicion of Your Ladyship, it would not be worth it for Your Ladyship."

She paused for a moment, then suddenly knelt in front of Consort Chen without any warning,

"Your Ladyship genuinely loves the Emperor, and the Emperor's treatment of Your Ladyship is also genuine. But it is different for this concubine; the Emperor only sees this concubine as an attractive plaything. And this concubine also has selfish motives."

Song Zhao took a deep breath, as if making a significant decision, and earnestly said:

"This concubine wants to take advantage of the novelty this concubine still has in front of the Emperor and obtain a good position for herself. It would be best to be promoted to a noble consort or a princess, becoming the principal consort."

"Based on what? You?"

Consort Chen clearly did not expect Song Zhao to dare to openly declare her ambition like this. She was momentarily stunned, but quickly sneered and said:

"Setting aside your illegitimate status, just based on the fact that your legitimate mother offended the court, the fact that you can currently hold the position of a noblewoman is already a miracle for your Song family."

"This concubine knows her own situation, which is why this concubine came to find Your Ladyship today."

Song Zhao lowered her body and performed a kowtow to Consort Chen,

"This concubine hopes that Your Ladyship will not dwell on past grievances and continue to allow this concubine to assist you."

Consort Chen squinted her eyes, looking down at Song Zhao from a higher position. "Are you trying to sell this palace a favor?" f𝚛𝚎𝗲we𝗯𝗻ovel.𝐜om

"This concubine does not intend to sell Your Ladyship a favor. This concubine wants to sincerely express her intentions, so as to gain Your Ladyship's protection."

Consort Chen's eyes grew darker as she scrutinized Song Zhao for a moment before suddenly erupting in anger. She grabbed the tea cup next to her and hurled it towards her.

The tea cup shattered near Song Zhao, and the broken porcelain shards grazed her delicate wrist, leaving a bleeding cut.

Consort Chen stood up furiously and pointed at her, cursing, "Do you want me to support you in climbing to a higher position, making it easier for you to compete with me for the emperor's favor? Song Zhao, who gave you such audacity to utter such absurd words to me?"

Consort Chen's imposing presence sent shivers down Song Zhao's spine.

However, Song Zhao remained kneeling, paying no attention to the blood pooling on the floor, and continued speaking with a slightly trembling voice:

"As a concubine in the palace, I cannot neglect my own interests. The emperor's favor towards me is solely based on my appearance. But beauty will fade one day, and the emperor will certainly not lack young and beautiful women during the selection every three years.

I am not as deeply beloved by the emperor as you, Consort Chen. Without my beauty, I am left with nothing.

But if I can become the head of a palace, I can raise the future heir under my care, providing me with a support within the palace. I have never thought of competing for the emperor's favor, let alone becoming enemies with Consort Chen."

As she spoke, Song Zhao suddenly lifted her head, her tearful eyes staring directly at Consort Chen.

With determination, she earnestly said, "I only want to live."

Song Zhao spoke candidly,

She straightforwardly explained her intentions to Consort Chen from the beginning.

Since entering the palace, she had never been cast out by the vortex of harem conflicts.

She feared losing Xiao Jingheng's favor not because she genuinely loved him, but because she knew that being greatly favored would inevitably attract jealousy, and if she fell from grace one day, she might not even be able to protect her own life.

In reality, with so many people holding positions in the harem, one more Song Zhao wouldn't make much difference.

Moreover, she had a point,

If she had really given the bouquet to Xiao Jingheng today, Consort Chen would surely face continuous troubles.

Consort Chen naturally remained cautious of Song Zhao. Even if Song Zhao spoke honestly, Consort Chen only believed her to a certain extent.

However, at the moment, dealing with Consort Shu was the most important task for Consort Chen,

So, Song Zhao still had some value to her; she couldn't outright reject Song Zhao's allegiance.

Consort Chen's expression softened slightly, and she said calmly,

"Rise and respond. Ying Xiang, go and fetch the golden wound medicine to treat Song Zhao's wrist injury."

Later, while Ying Xiang was tending to Song Zhao's injured wrist, she said to Consort Chen:

"Consort, this matter is clearly targeting you. I am just a pawn. It was Consort who arranged my first night in the palace, and Consort who saved my life. I really want to stand behind Consort and do my best to protect you. I just don't know if Consort is willing to accept me..."

Consort Chen fell into silence for a moment, completely ignoring Song Zhao's offer to surrender, and changed the topic:

"I, the palace, prefer straightforwardness and despise those who scheme behind others' backs. I have a few suspicions about who might be responsible for this matter. For now, let's set it aside and pretend you know nothing. Give me three days, and I will ensure that the person who harmed you faces the consequences she deserves."

With that, Song Zhao had to express her gratitude for Consort Chen's protection and then withdrew.

Back at her place of residence, Yun Shan nervously said as she helped Song Zhao rebandage her wounds:

"I was so frightened... There was no Soul-Departing Powder in that bouquet at all. If Consort Chen orders an investigation, won't our secret be exposed?"

"She won't," Song Zhao calmly smiled. "Xi Ying informed her in advance, and she knows how dangerous that thing is. When she saw me holding the bouquet, she was afraid of hurting herself and definitely wouldn't want to keep it for a moment longer."

Yun Shan asked again, "Does the young lady think Consort Chen will take action against Consort Shu? But there's no evidence in this matter, and the young lady, being in the village, couldn't possibly find that Miaojiang poison to frame Consort Shu. This..."

Song Zhao shook her head and chuckled, "No evidence? Consort Chen will naturally find a way to create evidence. Why should we be in a hurry?"

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