Chapter 671 Whether an Emperor Needs Imperial Consorts
Ao Chenyi didn’t try to persuade her this time. This had bothered her for so long that she would continue to suffer for it if she didn’t cry it out now. He held her tighter and allowed her to wet the front of his robe. She didn’t brawl. All she did was close her eyes and let her tears stream down her face. When her tears finally dried, she sat quietly in Ao Chenyi’s embrace for a long time.
It was so quiet inside the room that she could finally calm down.
Her hands were being held so tightly in Ao Chenyi’s hand that she could feel the callus in his palm. He was Prince Yi, the late Emperor’s beloved prince who grew up to be the infamous Demon King. Those who mentioned his name would often be frightened and alarmed. Only she knew how difficult his life had been.
Ao Chenyi was still young when he drew his elder brother’s jealousy and suspicion. He was framed, imprisoned, and nearly died. His fiancee abandoned him at his lowest point, sought shelter with his elder brother, and became his elder brother’s consort. This was a humiliation no man could bear and yet he couldn’t say anything about it and sour his relationship with the Emperor.
The Emperor didn’t obey the late Emperor’s decree to make Ao Chenyi the Crown Prince. Not only that, he even made life difficult for Ao Chenyi at every turn and continued to send assassins after him. Ao Chenyi must have lived perilously under such circumstances. After all, the man who wanted his life occupied the highest position in the nation.
Even if the Emperor couldn’t do it publicly, he had many ways to kill Ao Chenyi in secret.
For many years, Ao Chenyi was forced to toe the line of balance between him and the Emperor and scheme in secret. He seemed glorious as Prince Yi, with influence and power at his disposal. In reality, one misstep could cost him his life.
Just as he took the throne, he had to work tirelessly to deal with Annan’s revolt. She could see how exhausted he was but even so, he would still take the time to visit her. She understood his love and also sensed his wholehearted protectiveness over her.
It wasn’t because she was his Empress or Princess Yi. It was simply because she was his wife.
She quietly wrapped her free hand around his waist. He had become thinner. All those political affairs and governmental work must have kept him busy.
“You must be tired. You can leave Prince Yi’s Manor and the imperial harem to me.” She didn’t want him to be so tired. Her heart ached for him. As his wife, she thought that she had the responsibility to put his backyard—or more precisely, the harem—in order so that he could focus on dealing with those who wanted to revive the previous dynasty.
Suddenly, Ao Chenyi chuckled. His unfathomable eyes became lit up with mischief as he lifted her chin and gently wiped the tears off her delicate face. “Yan’er, you’re mistaken. You’re the only one who lives in the imperial harem. There’s not much that you have to do.”
His eyes were unprecedentedly clear as he looked at her. Suddenly, mirth appeared in his pupils like the blooming of the most beautiful flower.
“You’re the only one who lives in the imperial harem?” Was she going to be the only resident in the imperial harem? Her long, curled lashes shuddered twice as she widened her eyes.
Did he mean that they would be loyal to each other for the rest of their lives? What a wonderful idea! Yet, she didn’t dare to dream it. It was amazing enough that she had his heart…
“But, the ministers will criticize you for it!” It wasn’t until these words burst out of her mouth that she realized how much she wished for it. Her desire even overwhelmed her reason. She blushed and lowered her head. Be it the previous or the current dynasty, all Emperors had their harem of imperial consorts and concubines. The Emperor of the previous dynasty was said to be deeply in love with his Empress but he still had many low-ranking imperial concubines.
“It’s not the ministers who determine whether an Emperor needs imperial consorts, but the Emperor’s power. In front of absolute power, no one will be able to comment about my family matters.” The darkness that crept into Ao Chenyi’s pupils swiftly clouded its previous limpidness. His unfathomable coldness gave her the impression that the room had become colder as well but she didn’t let go of him. Her heart was warm.
He sounded so firm. He was even able to express his thoughts on the matter in such a condescending manner. He had always been a domineering person. No one could force him to do anything he didn’t want to. Even if he had become the Emperor and had many things that he couldn’t do, he was still the most domineering Emperor in history.
What woman wouldn’t be tempted by a man like him?
Ning Xueyan nodded firmly. She forbade herself from overthinking it and told herself that he was right. For as long as he was willing and wanted to protect her, he would be able to. He was domineering but never reckless.
A touched look appeared on her still-teary face. She nodded with force. There was a burning look in her eyes that even she couldn’t stop. Her bright eyes curved into crescents as she said, “I understand!”
She trusted him. Of course, she understood his feelings for her after being with him for so long.
Ao Chenyi rubbed her hair, happy to see her break away from her sorrow. He titled his head and asked, “Does it make you that happy?”
“Of course!” Ning Xueyan pouted her cherry-red lips matter-of-factly. What woman would be willing to share her husband with other people, even if only nominally?
“Then why didn’t you tell me?” Ao Chenyi chuckled, a rare gentleness creeping into his usually-sharp eyes.
“Well, you didn’t say anything! I thought you like having many wives and concubines. You have so many concubines back in Prince Yi’s Manor. Now that you’re in the imperial palace, I thought you’ll fill your harem with concubines so that you have many heirs in the future.” Hearing him teasing her, she rolled her eyes and raised her eyebrow. She knew all the ministers loved saying things like these.
“Is that so?” He thought about it for a moment before lowering his head and whispering suggestively in her ear, “I’m taking back my word. Can I take in a few concubines?”
“Dream on!” Ning Xueyan retorted, rejecting his suggestion without hesitation. She thumped on his chest and protested coquettishly.
He grabbed her hand, turned over, and pressed her under his body. “Since you’re worried about my heirs, I think you can do more for me. You have to give birth to more children so that nobody will pester me about it. Otherwise, I’ll have to take back my word,” Ao Chenyi said.
He leaned in and gently bit her ear. She shivered at his touch, and her face turned beet-red. She tried to push him away, but with his body pressing on her, she didn’t even have the strength to move him in the slightest.
Before she knew it, he had reached into her clothes.
His hand was a little cold. When it came into contact with her skin, she nearly yelped. She had to force herself to swallow the sound. Blushing, she glared at him. “You… You’re the Emperor. How can you do this in broad daylight…”
“If I can’t do this in broad daylight, can I do this at night?” Ao Chenyi raised an eyebrow as he stared at her, who was blushing so hard that she couldn’t form a proper sentence.
“You…” Ning Xueyan was speechless. She was red with embarrassment and shame. How could she forget that Ao Chenyi was so brazen and fall into his trap?
She bit her lower lip. She could sense his breathing becoming heavier. Even though his expression didn’t change, his body was becoming unprecedentedly hot. He had always been cold and aloof. Even the air around him was several degrees lower than the air around other people. Yet, at this moment, she could keenly feel his warmth.
Before she knew it, her eyes were closed and she stopped struggling. She liked him. She was willing to be with him for the rest of her life, so why should she reject him? She knew he would keep her health in mind. She knew he was an attentive, considerate man from the fact that he never did anything to her since she moved into Prince Yi’s Manor.
She believed that he wouldn’t hurt her!
She could feel him pressing down on her. Even with her eyes closed, she could sense his hot breath on her ear as he pressed his head onto the side of her neck. He didn’t say anything, and his hands had stopped moving as well.
After a long time, when her body was about to turn stiff, she secretly opened her eyes. She wanted to see what Ao Chenyi was doing.
Her bright eyes were half-open as she peeked at his handsome face that wore a languid smile. She didn’t expect him to lean against her shoulder and stare at her. She became so startled that she closed her eyes again.
His pleasant laughter reached her ears. She could feel the temperature of his body getting lower.
Ao Chenyi sat up and pulled her up with him. With a playful smile on his face, he said, “Forget it. We have to wait until you grow up a bit more so that nothing goes wrong.”
Her limpid eyes turned red, and she glanced at him with blushing cheeks. She knew it. This man seemed arrogant and aloof about everything, but he would never let anything hurt her if he was concerned. She didn’t have to fear him at all.
She believed that he would always protect her and never let her get hurt. A small but blissful smile appeared on her face.
Before she could say anything, she felt him kissing the corner of her lips. He didn’t go any further. “The next time you tease me, I can’t promise that I’ll let you off so easily.”
Her face turned beet-red. How… How dare he turn around and accuse her! What did he mean, teasing him? When did she tease him? It was he whom…
Of course, she knew she could never beat him when it came to stuff like this. He would surely derail the topic, twist the truth, and embarrass her so much that she couldn’t even raise her head.
She decided to drop the topic so that she wouldn’t feel so embarrassed. She took the initiative to lean on him and talked about more important business. “The Empress said…”
“The late Empress!” He interrupted rudely to correct her.
“Oh. Fine, fine, the late Empress it is!” Ning Xueyan pursed her lips and smiled. This man could be so stubborn at times. How adorable.
“The late Empress told me a secret about Chenyuan Palace,” Ning Xueyan said with a proud smile.
The late Empress used to reside in Chenyuan Palace. Not even the Emperor knew the secret that she had shared with Ning Xueyan in exchange for her family’s safety. This was her final wish.
Though she was the Empress, she was forced to kill the Emperor. Her life was quite tragic!