TOTLS Chapter 82: Arc 5.12

Arc 5: Harem Competing Strategies Chapter 12

Tao Yuan had just returned to Fenghua Palace not long ago when Xiao Junye hurriedly arrived.

Upon hearing the news of Tao Yuan’s pregnancy, Xiao Junye was even more delighted and excited than the Empress Dowager*. He finally had his first child, and it was conceived by the person he loved. How could he not be thrilled?

*If you forgot like I did. Don’t be confused, to differentiate whose who, Empress Dowager = Xiao Junye’s camp/ XJ mother while Queen Mother = Yu Wang’s camp. It was stated before, that both are empress dowager but YW ED is the mother of the dead emperor/father or yu wang & Xiao Junye

“A-Xi!” Xiao Junye walked briskly toward Tao Yuan.

“Your Majesty,” Tao Yuan stood up and looked at him.

Xiao Junye tightly embraced him and asked, “Do we have a child?”

Tao Yuan leaned him head on his shoulder and held his waist, saying, “Yes, he is coming. In a few months, he will be able to meet us.”

“A-Xi,” Xiao Junye’s excitement remained high. He looked at Tao Yuan and said, “Since you came into my life, good things have been happening continuously. I finally have a child, and it’s you who is giving birth to our child. I am truly overjoyed. Can you imagine how happy I am? Even on the day of my ascension, I wasn’t this happy.”

“I know because I love you, Your Majesty. I am also very, very happy to give birth to your child,” Tao Yuan replied.

Xiao Junye lifted him up and walked to the bedside, carefully placing him on the bed and pulling the blanket over him.

“Are you feeling uncomfortable anywhere?” Xiao Junye asked while looking at him. “I will have two imperial physicians come over. They will stay in the side hall and check your pulse three times a day.”

“I am not feeling uncomfortable. I don’t need to rest in bed. Let the imperial physicians come once a day. That will be sufficient,” Tao Yuan held his face and said, “Your Majesty, don’t worry. Both the child and I are in good health. I will definitely give birth to the child safely.”

Xiao Junye held him hand and said seriously, “Not only should he be born safely, but you should also be safe and sound. I want to grow old with you.”

“Yes, I will definitely be safe and sound and accompany Your Majesty till old age,” Tao Yuan smiled and replied.

Xiao Junye looked at Tao Yuan and earnestly instructed him, “Currently, there are still many people in the palace who are loyal to the Queen Mother and the Yu Wang. Before I replace all those people with my own, you should try to stay in Fenghua Palace to nurture the child. Avoid going to the Empress Mother’s place too often. I will explain the reasons to him, and he won’t blame you. However, you don’t need to worry too much. I will increase the number of guards in Fenghua Palace and assign more people to protect you discreetly. Just be cautious and focus on nurturing the child.”

“I understand. I will be extra careful and take good care of the child,” Tao Yuan replied earnestly.

As the Emperor, Xiao Junye couldn’t accompany him all the time. Most of the time, Tao Yuan stayed in the sleeping hall. He had entered the stage of excessive sleepiness and felt drowsy all day long. Even if he was alone and not doing anything, he didn’t feel bored at all.

During that time, numerous tributes were sent to the palace. The Empress Dowager, delighted by Xiao Junye’s ability to have a child, continuously sent fruits and supplements that were scarce throughout the year to Fenghua Palace. The concubines in the harem were envious, their eyes turning red.

In the following days, many tributes were sent to the palace. In her joy, the Empress Dowager sent a continuous supply of fruits and supplements, which were not abundant throughout the year, to Fenghua Palace. The concubines in the harem looked on with envy and jealousy.

This is not only the emperor’s first child but also the legitimate eldest son. The Empress Dowager is happy because Xiao Junye can finally have a child, and Xiao Junye is happy because Tao Yuan is carrying his child. The result of their happiness is the continuous delivery of good things to Fenghua Palace.

Tao Yuan looked at the piled-up treasures and couldn’t help but think that this mother and child pair must be overjoyed. If it were someone else, the pressure would be unimaginable. Can one bear such immense pressure and still be able to focus on nurturing the child? It is uncertain whether a person without sufficient mental strength can successfully give birth under such circumstances.

When Ye Rong returned to Mingcui Palace that day, he flew into a rage and smashed all the porcelain in the room. Because everyone around him was Yu Wang ‘s people, he dared to do so. If it weren’t for Yu Wang ‘s many people planted in the palace, he wouldn’t dare to vent his anger like this. If news of it reached the Empress Dowager and the Emperor, not only would his maintained image be greatly compromised, but the Empress Dowager and the Emperor’s favor towards him would also decrease.

Exhausted from the smashing, Ye Rong sat panting on the bed, unable to dispel the anger in his heart. The one who should have been pregnant with the crown prince was supposed to be him, yet that person took the lead.

Ye Rong couldn’t understand why he had been suppressed by Tao Yuan since entering the palace. He could accept that the emperor clearly favored Tao Yuan, but he didn’t even bother to make superficial efforts towards him. Now, Tao Yuan had managed to get pregnant ahead of him, and he couldn’t figure out why he always fell short compared to Tao Yuan.

With a sinister gaze, Ye Rong thought to himself that he definitely wouldn’t let Tao Yuan smoothly give birth to the child.

Lin Qing walked in from outside, glanced at the shattered pieces on the floor, carefully avoiding them, and walked to Ye Rong’s side. He whispered, “Imperial Noble Consort, Yu Wang has entered the palace and is currently in the Queen Mother’s palace.”

“I know,” Ye Rong said as he looked at the broken pieces on the ground. “Have someone clean this up.”

“Yes,” Lin Qing went out and returned shortly with people, quickly tidying up the broken pieces and replacing them with new porcelain.

Ye Rong placed his hand on his belly, thinking that he also needed to conceive a child quickly. In order to conceive a child quickly, he had to increase the frequency of his interactions with Yu Wang . However, if he went to the Queen Mother too frequently during the day, it would surely arouse the Emperor’s suspicion. It seemed that he could only let Yu Wang secretly come to him late at night when the Emperor didn’t visit him.

In the evening, Ye Rong lay on the bed waiting for Yu Wang . Although it was already late, he couldn’t sleep at all because he had learned about Tao Yuan’s pregnancy during the day.

The heavy curtains were lifted, and Ye Rong saw the person standing by the bed. He immediately sat up and said, “Your Highness!”

Xiao Yuyang closed the curtains and sat down by the bed, tightly embracing Ye Rong. “A-Rong.”

It had been over a month since the two of them last met. Even if Yu Wang didn’t care much about the Emperor, he couldn’t enter the palace too frequently because he still had to consider the thoughts of the ministers.

“Your Highness, do you know that the Empress is pregnant?” Ye Rong asked him.

“I already know. Don’t worry, I will definitely not let that child be born,” Yu Wang assured him.

“I also want to conceive Your Highness’s child soon. Your Highness, please visit the palace more frequently lately,” Ye Rong looked at him and said.

“Alright.” Yu Wang pressed him down, removing his pants. “The Queen Mother hasn’t been feeling well recently. I can use visiting the Queen Mother as an excuse to go to the palace more often.”

“Your Highness, deeper, please let me conceive the child quickly,” Ye Rong held his waist and said urgently.

Knowing that Tao Yuan was pregnant before him made him even more anxious and desperate. He had been unable to conceive a child with Yu Wang all this time, and thus couldn’t engage in a relationship with Xiao Junye. He felt that the reason he couldn’t improve Xiao Junye’s feelings for him was that they had never truly been intimate while Xiao Junye was conscious. If they were intimate while he was awake, Xiao Junye would surely become infatuated with his body, just like Yu Wang did.

After spending over two hours together, Yu Wang left. Exhausted, Ye Rong lay on the bed, thinking before falling asleep that he must conceive a child quickly.

Due to his pregnancy, Tao Yuan didn’t have to go to greet the Empress Dowager early every morning. However, there were quite a few concubines from the harem who came to greet him. Whether he would see them or not depended on his mood.

He generally didn’t see anyone else, as he couldn’t be bothered to waste his energy on them. However, if Ye Rong came, he would meet with him because it was quite amusing to see him struggling to act.

“This painting of a child is specially drawn by this official for the Empress. I hope the Empress won’t despise my poor painting skills,” Ye Rong personally unfolded the painting and placed it on the table in front of Tao Yuan.

Tao Yuan looked at the chubby child in the painting and smiled, saying, “Imperial Noble Consort is thoughtful. The child in this painting is so chubby and cute, and it is drawn so vividly. How could I despise it?”

“This pot of butterfly orchids was bestowed by the Empress Dowager. I thought that the Empress lacks nothing here, so I decided to give this pot of butterfly orchids to the Empress, to entertain herself and pass the time,” Ye Rong took the butterfly orchids from the attendant’s hand and placed it on the table.

When Tao Yuan approached him, he smelled the fragrance on his clothes and pretended to be puzzled as he asked, “What kind of incense is the Imperial Noble Consort using?”

“It’s a blend of several herbs,” Ye Rong looked at him and said, “Did the Empress feel uncomfortable with the fragrance I used? Please forgive me, I will be more careful next time.”

In reality, the fragrance on Ye Rong’s robes was to mask the scent of the medicinal pouch he wore. The medicinal pouch contained a contraceptive drug that he personally prepared. If he smelled it too much during the early stages of pregnancy, it would easily lead to a miscarriage. He planned to visit Tao Yuan more frequently in the future to ensure that Tao Yuan inhaled more of it. He had taken the antidote himself, so it wouldn’t affect him.

“Neither I nor the Emperor likes incense, but I didn’t expect that the Imperial Noble Consort would enjoy such a strong fragrance,” Tao Yuan advised him with a virtuous and understanding demeanor. “The Emperor is burdened with countless affairs, and only when he comes to the harem can he relax a little. Currently, the Emperor has only visited me in the Fenghua Palace and the Imperial Noble Consort in the Mingcui Palace. I am now pregnant and it is inconvenient for me to serve the Emperor. In the future, the Emperor will visit the Mingcui Palace more often. The Imperial Noble Consort should pay attention and learn more about the Emperor’s preferences. It would be best not to use these incenses anymore.”

“Yes,” Ye Rong respectfully agreed.

Tao Yuan placed his hand on his still-flat belly and said, “I am pregnant, and both the Empress Dowager and the Emperor are delighted. The Imperial Noble Consort should put in more effort and conceive the dragon seed sooner. The Emperor visits the Mingcui Palace almost as often as he comes to the Fenghua Palace. However, I have become pregnant while the Imperial Noble Consort still hasn’t. It’s really strange. Could it be that there is something wrong with the Imperial Noble Consort’s body? It might be a good idea to have the imperial physician examine you and diagnose any issues, and then prescribe some medicine to regulate your body, aiming to conceive the dragon seed as soon as possible.”

“Every two or three days, the imperial physician comes to check my pulse, and there is nothing wrong with my body. If I haven’t conceived a child, it’s just a matter of chance,” Ye Rong forced himself to maintain a calm expression on his face, but inside, he was cursing angrily. Did they think conceiving a child was solely his responsibility? How dare they say there is something wrong with his body! Just wait and see who will have problems in the end.

Tao Yuan nodded, “You’re right. Whether one can conceive or not, chance is also very important. I have always believed that even before a child is reincarnated, they choose their parents. Who wouldn’t want to be the eldest legitimate son? As the Imperial Noble Consort, you were also the eldest son, so you should understand, right?”

“Yes…” Ye Rong was infuriated, but he had to endure it in order to let Tao Yuan inhale more of the medicinal pouch’s scent.

Unfortunately, what he didn’t know was that Tao Yuan was immune to all toxins. Even if it was just the medicinal pouch or directly administering the poison to him, it wouldn’t have any effect.

Tao Yuan intentionally made sarcastic remarks towards Ye Rong, wanting to see how long he could endure it.

When Ye Rong took the initiative to take his leave, he left with a belly full of anger. He never expected that, despite his strong protagonist halo, he would still experience such frustration. He thought he was the one who made others suffer, so why did things turn out like this?

Upon returning to the Mingcui Palace, Ye Rong vented his frustration by smashing all the porcelain. He was determined to conceive as soon as possible to release his anger.

As a result, he and Yu Wang’s secret rendezvous became more frequent.

Update: The first few paragraphs still clowning me. I just hope I can fix it soon QAQ

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