The Girl Who Struggled Through Palace Intrigues to Become the Empress - C.148: The Royal Son Adopts His Mother

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Counting the days, Noble Consort Xiao had been pregnant for five months.

As a first-time mother, she naturally felt exceptionally elated at every little change.

The Empress also smiled and said, "The other night, the little one in my belly was also making a fuss. At that time I was still groggy and barely reacted. I almost called for the imperial physician and nearly made a laughingstock of myself."

Since it was the first pregnancy for both the Empress and Noble Consort Xiao, and their due dates were similar, there were naturally many things they could relate to with each other.

Later, the Empress and Noble Consort Xiao chatted very agreeably.

Song Zhao watched from the side and blurted out,

"The Empress and Elder Sister Xiao are at similar stages of pregnancy. It would be good if their children could become companions in the future."

She looked at Noble Consort Xiao and pretended to be mysterious, "Elder sister is unwilling to tell the Empress what is on her mind. Should I tell her on your behalf?"

Noble Consort Xiao was rendered speechless by Song Zhao's words.

She had no idea what Song Zhao meant by that.

Just as she was about to ask, she heard the Empress say first, "What is it?"

Song Zhao immediately said, "My elder sister hopes that her child can be raised under the care of the Empress in the future, but she doesn't dare to ask."

Noble Consort Xiao exclaimed in surprise, "I didn't... I didn't mean that!"

But her halting cry of astonishment made everyone think that she was just too shy to admit it.

The Empress was determined to gain the upper hand regarding this "precious son".

Of course she wanted to raise Noble Consort Xiao's child under her own care.

Now that it was out in the open, she said,

"If you trust me to look after your child, I would be more than willing. It takes effort to care for one, but no more tiring to care for two. And the princes would have a companion, which would be great."

Since the Empress had said this, it would be inappropriate for Noble Consort Xiao to deny that was her intention.

So she could only reluctantly agree, "Then this concubine will thank the Empress in advance on behalf of her child."

The Empress smiled gently, "But who the prince's wet nurse would be still needs to be decided by His Majesty. We shall see how His Majesty arranges it."

After leaving the Empress's palace, Song Zhao and Noble Consort Xiao would usually walk together.

But today, Noble Consort Xiao looked upset and walked exceptionally fast.

Song Zhao hurried to catch up with her and asked, "Is elder sister angry?"

Noble Consort Xiao said unpleasantly, "When did I ever tell you that I wanted my child raised under the Empress's care?"

"Has elder sister forgotten?" Song Zhao held Noble Consort Xiao's hand and led her to the corridor. She lowered her voice and said,

"When elder sister gives birth in the future, she would not be able to raise the child by her side given her status. So who does elder sister wish to raise her child?" 𝚏r𝐞𝗲𝚠eb𝚗o𝐯el.com

"I..."

"Is it raised under Consort Yin who has Hu ethnic blood? Or under the careless Consortium Yun? Or perhaps, does elder sister wish to send her child to Yonghe Palace to accompany Consort Chen?"

"Certainly not to Consort Chen!" Noble Consort Xiao said rather agitatedly: "If she raises my child, I would worry day and night."

"There you go. Elder sister must consider the future of the child in her belly. It would be best if the child grows up under the Empress. "

Song Zhao analyzed in detail to Noble Consort Xiao,

"Think about it elder sister, the Empress is the central palace. No matter what, she wouldn't mistreat your child. Moreover, she would have her own child then. She certainly wouldn't stop you from seeing your child.

But if a powerless person raises your child, and spends all her heart and effort on this child, when he grows up, he might not even recognize you as his birth mother. Wouldn't all your suffering be in vain, and instead helped someone else?"

Song Zhao's analysis was reasonable. Only then did Noble Consort Xiao understand her good intentions.

"You were considering the well-being of my child and me. I misunderstood you just now."

Song Zhao did not keep count of the grievances. Holding her hand, she continued,

"I'm close with elder sister, so I must consider everything carefully for you. This matter needs His Majesty's consent before it can happen. Elder sister is quite far along in the pregnancy now. There are many concubines eyeing your child as well. Who knows what tricks they may use to compete in the future? While they haven't made a move yet, elder sister must plan ahead and tell His Majesty your thoughts."

Noble Consort Xiao looked slightly dejected as she stroked her protruding belly. She said reluctantly, "You mean I should tell His Majesty that I want my child raised under the Empress's care?"

Song Zhao said, "His Majesty would at least listen somewhat to the birth mother's opinion regarding the prince. Today, it's elder sister's turn to serve His Majesty. Elder sister can take this opportunity to casually mention this matter to His Majesty."

She held Noble Consort Xiao's hand tightly,

"For the child, being raised under the Empress is the best plan."

Noble Consort Xiao pondered silently for a long time. Weighing the pros and cons, she finally agreed,

"Alright, you're right. My appearance is ruined and I have received all the favor I could in this life. But I absolutely cannot let my child suffer!"

*

Later that day, Song Zhao moved into the main hall of Changle Palace.

This used to be the residence of the Imperial Noble Consort, and it had been renovated. Naturally it was much more luxurious than Yaohua Palace.

Upon entering the bedchamber, Song Zhao immediately ordered Xiaofuzi, "Take this plum cake away and throw it out. Don't let anyone see it."

Xiaofuzi obeyed and left with the food container. Yun Shu was massaging Song Zhao's shoulders and said,

"Today is an auspicious day for Consort's investiture. His Majesty will come later. Let this slave freshen up mistress's makeup."

Song Zhao mildly agreed. By the time her makeup was touched up, Xiao Jingheng had arrived.

Seeing Song Zhao's outfit today, he was nearly entranced.

"The clothes suit you well today and you look very different from before."

Song Zhao scoffed and retorted, "Did His Majesty think I looked ugly when I dressed simpler previously?"

"You look good either way, each has its own beauty. The old saying goes that the appropriate amount of makeup suits the person. That is my Zhao'er."

Xiao Jingheng put his arm around her waist and caringly asked if she had fully recovered and if today's investiture ceremony went smoothly.

Song Zhao smiled and said, "Everything went smoothly, and there is good news. After the investiture ceremony today, Elder Sister Xiao's baby moved!"

However, Xiao Jingheng only blandly replied, "She came and told me too. Her eyes were smiling like crescent moons from joy."

Song Zhao rubbed her own flat belly and looked forward longingly,

"I'm also looking forward to that day... The Empress and Elder Sister Xiao are at similar stages of pregnancy. They chatted very agreeably today. The Empress even suggested raising both children together in the future."

Xiao Jingheng's heart sank, but his expression remained unchanged.

He held Song Zhao tighter around the waist, and asked expressionlessly,

"Oh? What did the Empress say?"

Song Zhao thought for a moment and said, "The Empress also wishes to raise both children together. It would be good for them to have a companion. Children prefer lively environments after all. It's definitely better than being alone."

With her back facing Xiao Jingheng in his embrace, neither could see the other's expression.

But Song Zhao guessed that he probably didn't look too happy.

And as she had guessed, Xiao Jingheng's face darkened like a storm was brewing.

He was puzzled why Noble Consort Xiao would suddenly tell him today that she hoped her child could be raised under the Empress's care.

Hearing what Song Zhao said, it was likely the Empress had secretly said something to Noble Consort Xiao, which prompted her to make this request.

What Xiao Jingheng wanted in his harem was balance of power, not for any single woman to dominate. They needed to check each other to maintain equilibrium.

He had reason to be wary of Consort Chen's background, and it was the same for the Empress's side.

Xiao Jingheng clearly understood the unparalleled status of a "precious son". By wanting to raise both the precious son and the crown prince under her care, the Empress was obviously trying to control the top candidates for heir apparent.

Throughout history, the precious son and crown prince were always the best choices to succeed the throne.

This made Xiao Jingheng suspicious.

As he held Song Zhao by the waist, he kept stroking the ring on his thumb, thinking:

The Empress seems to have far too many private thoughts lately...

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