Chinese Title: 不臣
It was said that when Cining palace’s empress dowager Qi throws a temper, only great general Weiyuan could take it.
“Ay, you all bully aijia, this old woman. You agreed to go this noon to buy roasted chicken for aijia outside of the palace. In the end, it was still roasted by the imperial kitchen. Don’t think that aijia can’t differentiate the taste!”
- Aijia: I, used by the empress dowager. The meaning is sorrowful house
Great general Weiyuan usually dressed in a golden helmet and black armor. Now, he was kneeling calmly six-feet from the empress dowager. The red cloak was scattered behind him. He said sarcastically, “Empress dowager is only two decades old. Using old woman to address yourself is a bit shameless.”
“Xiang Suizhan! Aijia had repeatedly ordered you to enter the palace to serve. Forget that you repeatedly defied the decree. Now, you dare to scold aijia for being shameless!”
“It’s not that this subject doesn’t want to serve empress dowager. It was just, has empress dowager thought about that when you enter the palace, you need to purify your body?”
- Purify one’s body: get castrated.
“You keep saying that you like aijia. In the end, you still couldn’t bear those two pounds of meat…”
Great general Weiyuan Xiang Suizhan looked up. The words seemed to come one by one through his gritted teeth, “Empress dowager, if you continue to force this subject, this subject can only promise to not beat you to death.”
This is a short story about how an empress dowager fell in love with the great-general of the country.
At the beginning of the story, the emperor and the empress had passed away. Their son succeeded the throne. However, their son was only eight-years-old. The empress decreed for Qi Danyan to become the empress dowager because she didn’t have any powerful background. At the same time, the empress decreed for the great-general’s niece to be the future wife of her son. This was to get his family’s support. The empress also gave the great-general a secret decree to kill off Qi Danyan if she became a threat to her son or when her son comes off age. However, she only gave him half of the decree. The other half, she gave it to someone else. This was to prevent the great-general from eliminating this decree in case he also had a change of mind. The story focuses about how he was wary of Qi Danyan and she also of him. Slowly, they both fell in love. Xiang Suizhan was in a very much dilemma because he didn’t want her to be killed, but he didn’t know who had the other half of the decree.
The eight-year emperor was becoming older by day. He first pretended to be very reliant on Qi Danyan, but slowly he began to show that it was all pretense. Ever since young, he was cunning, calculating and manipulative. The unfortunate thing was that only Xiang Suizhan’s niece saw through his pretense. She tried to warn others, but no one believed her. The emperor had acted very well through all these years.
Unexpectedly, Qi Danyan became pregnant. They couldn’t kept their affair a secret anymore. When the emperor got to know this, he wanted to kill Qi Danyan and the baby. It turned out that he was the one who had the other half of the decree all this time. He was the one his empress mother trusted the most. Since, he had that decree, he could kill Qi Danyan without leaving a bad name for killing his “empress mother”. After he killed Qi Danyan, it turned out again to be all pretense. He let her live on with another identity. She and Xiang Suizhan married and lived happily ever after.
As for the emperor and the niece, it turned out that the emperor does like the niece. However, the niece was always wary of him and his black-bellines since he teased her a lot. They also lived happily.
I will rate it a 4/5 because of lack of character development for Qi Danyan. She was muddle-headed to the end like Xiao Xiang Zi from Seven Unfortunate Lifetimes. The other characters were alright. I liked the emperor the most. If the story was a bit longer, perhaps, the author could’ve given Qi Danyan a bit more development.