Mind Control Techniques
Zhang Yuan entered the palace as a servant. In this life, it had been determined that he could only be able to make considerations for the Emperor. In truth, he was not particularly sided with the ninth prince, nor did he help Imperial Concubine Yun very much. In summary, he was in the Emperor’s faction. No matter what was said or done, he would consider things from the Emperor’s point of view. This included his stopping of Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu’s sedan, as it was to explain to Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu: “His Majesty is getting old, and his condition these past few days has truly not been very good. Although His Majesty will not say it himself, this servant has taken care of His Majesty for many years and can see that His Majesty is exhausted physically and mentally. Even the imperial physicians have said that continuing like this would be bad for His Majesty’s health. That’s why this servant summoned the courage to plead with Your Highness Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu, please let His Majesty rest a bit! Copulating night after night is not sustainable.”
These were the words that Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu wished to hear the least, as she coldly snorted and said: “You mean to say that this One wrapping myself around His Majesty and causing His Majesty to expend more energy than he has? Zhang Yuan, you are being impudent! Could it be that you don’t know the rules of the palace? When has giving favor ever been up to the members of the imperial harem? Is it not just His Majesty’s intention. You doing this is not at all proper. Could it be that this One should immediately turn around and disrespect His Majesty’s order?”
Zhang Yuan felt helpless upon hearing this, but he continued to grit his teeth and say: “If Your Highness can turn back, this servant will take care of explaining to His Majesty.”
“Impudence!” Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu became furious, “You’re just a eunuch, yet you actually dare to go behind His Majesty’s back to chase his imperial concubine away? In the end, is it your word or His Majesty’s word that has more weight in the Imperial Palace?”
Such a heavy implication had been dropped onto Zhang Yuan, causing him to immediately kowtow in fear, saying: “This servant does not have such an intention. This servant is just concerned about His Majesty’s health. Your Highness, please understand this servant’s difficulties!”
Understand difficulties? Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu had found Zhang Yuan to be an eyesore for a long time, and she had been frustrated with not having a reason to take care of this damn eunuch. At this time, she recalled this and came up with an idea, and her tone changed: “Forget it, you’re doing it for His Majesty’s sake. This One can understand it. This One also hopes that His Majesty can quickly recover. His health is more important than anything else. Since this is the case, this One will be going back today! I also will not be accompanying His Majesty for dinner and hope that Eunuch Zhang will take care of His Majesty for this One.” After saying this, she immediately ordered the sedan bearers: “Turn around. We’re going back to Cun Shan Palace.”
The eunuch who had gone to invite Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu glanced at Zhang Yuan but did not say anything. He just directed the palace servants to turn around. On the other side, Zhang Yuan kneeled there and gratefully said: “This servant respectfully sends off Your Highness Imperial Concubine Shu! This servant thanks Your Highness Imperial Concubine Shu for being understanding.” After saying this, he raised his head, and his forehead was soaked with sweat.
Snatching the Emperor from Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu’s hands really was difficult! He stood up and headed toward Zhao He Hall. Along the way, he was wondering how he should report to the Emperor. Privately chasing a member of the imperial harem away was a huge taboo in the Imperial Palace.
As for Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu’s side, the eunuch who had gone to invite her also sent her back to her palace. Along the way, he said with a bit of dissatisfaction: “Your Highness Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu really has a good temperament. That Eunuch Zhang is too much. This sort of thing does not comply with the rules!” Although he was also a eunuch who took care of the Emperor, the Emperor had only favored Zhang Yuan over the years. He never got too close to the others. Things like eunuchs, their bodies were not whole, and they mostly had some perverse minds. Although Zhang Yuan usually did not take care of them too much, they just did not know how to feel satisfied. They were just filled with envy and hatred towards Zhang Yuan for being favored. This was not all. After Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu had gained favor, these eunuchs at the Emperor’s side immediately changed their tune. In addition to Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu and the eighth prince putting in effort to win them over, the Emperor’s side also had a group of people who favored them.
Hearing the eunuch say this, a faint sigh came from Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu, as they heard her say: “What else could be done? He is His Majesty’s personal eunuch. His Majesty favors him quite a bit. Though this One has recently regained favor, every step taken has been with extreme caution. If Zhang Yuan is not given a bit of face, it’s possible that he will go and say something to His Majesty, and it’s very possible that he will have this One lose favor once more. Hah.” She sighed once more, and it caused quite a bit of distress.
The eunuch outside said: “Your Highness has been favored quite heavily recently. This servant has observed from the sidelines and feel that His Majesty has been indifferent towards Zhang Yuan, especially when Your Highness is there. His Majesty does not let him get close at all. It can be seen that Your Highness has a greater influence on His Majesty than that Zhang Yuan. That’s why there’s no need for Your Highness to worry about those things, but some thought must be put into what happened today. If you return to Cun Shan Palace like this, I fear that it might end up the butt of jokes around the palace!”
Yue Xiu asked the eunuch accompanying the sedan: “Then what does the eunuch think Her Highness should do?”
The eunuch said: “This time can be said to be a bad thing, but thinking about it from a different angle, it might be a good thing? Zhang Yuan is such an eyesore at the Emperor’s side. Does Your Highness wish to get rid of him?”
Yue Xiu glanced at the eunuch, and a smile crept onto her face, “How about eunuch comes up with an idea for Her Highness!” Ever since hearing that Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu would be turning around, she had figured that her master would have such an idea. Turning back was not a decision that had been made flippantly, nor was it possible that she would turn back for nothing. This time, it was probable that Zhang Yuan would suffer.
During today’s dinner, the Emperor was very uncomfortable. He even threw aside his bowl and chopstick midway through the meal. No matter what was said, he refused to continue eating.
Zhang Yuan carefully kept him company and repeatedly advised: “Your Majesty, eat a little more. You ate too little today and will feel hungry at night.”
“How can We eat anything!” The Emperor glared at him: “Zhang Yuan! We will ask you, why did Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu not heed the decree and come? Did you know that if Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu is not here, We cannot eat?”
Zhang Yuan complained internally: You never had this problem in the past! But on the surface, he said: “Her Highness Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu was not feeling very well today. Also, Her Highness was worried about Your Majesty. You have already copulated with her seven nights in a row. Even a body made of metal could not handle it! Your Majesty, given consideration for Her Highness’ concerns, you must take care of yourself. Only with you taking care of your health can you happily spend your days with her Highness. Is that not right?”
“My ass!” The Emperor flipped the table in anger, “We are in excellent health! So what if it was seven days in a row? Even 70 days would be fine! Quickly go and call Imperial Concubine Shu for Us!”
“Your Majesty!” Zhang Yuan kneeled on the ground on the verge of tears, “Your Majesty, what exactly has happened to you? In the past, you were not like this! You must not scare this servant. This servant has taken care of you for many years, yet I have never seen you like this. Your Majesty, think a little more about the country of Da Shun. How about… if you truly can’t stomach eating anything else, how about letting this servant accompany you on a walk to Winter Moon Palace?”
“Winter Moon Palace?” Unexpectedly hearing these three words, the Emperor actually became flustered, as he subconsciously asked: “What sort of place is Winter Moon Palace? Why does it sound so familiar to Us?”
Zhang Yuan felt his heart tremble, and he quickly said: “Your Majesty, what exactly has happened to you? How could you have forgotten about Winter Moon Palace? Winter Moon Palace is where Her Highness Imperial Concubine Yun resides! Her Highness Imperial Concubine Yun is your most beloved person and is His Highness the ninth prince’s birth mother!”
Zhang Yuan saw the Emperor suddenly become dizzy for no apparent reason, and it felt like something in his head was being bitten, causing the pain to come around once more. He cradled his head with both hands and began to shudder while muttering: “Imperial Concubine Yun? Imperial Concubine Yun” It seemed as though he wanted to recall something, and there were already fragments that had entered his head. They came in flashes, as some were clear and others were foggy. They were very short and could not combine to form a coherent picture. This made the Emperor suffer greatly.
These days, whenever he was alone, he always felt a little lost. He always felt as though he had forgotten something. Whenever he was in court and faced his children, especially the ninth prince, he would always feel his heart begin to ache. But all of this would vanish the moment Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu appeared. This made him feel that as long as he had Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu at his side, everything would be fine. He felt at ease, and his mind was clear. He thought to himself since someone would allow him to feel good, why would he not spend more time with that person? What was the point of thinking about what he did or did not have?
Thus he favored Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu even more. It had even reached the point that he no longer wanted to see the ninth prince.
Today, when Zhang Yuan suddenly brought up Winter Moon Palace, that uncomfortable feeling welled up once more. It was even stronger than it usually was. It was such that he suddenly had an urge to investigate what exactly was going on and to gain a clear understanding of what the images flashing through his mind meant? What exactly had he forgotten?
Zhang Yuan watched him go through this, feeling both worried and expectant. He was worried that the headache might get too strong and cause something to go wrong. He was expectant because what if he could remember something? Like that, would he not return to being the way that he was before? Like that, this strange atmosphere in the Imperial Palace could be dispelled?
Unfortunately, things would not go as he hoped. Just as it was reaching a critical juncture, a palace servant hastily came from the outside to report: “Your Majesty, something happened in Cun Shan Palace! Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu, she… she hung herself!”
“What?” These words instantly dragged the Emperor back to reality. It was as though the words “Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu” had some magical effect and could quickly have him return to being himself.
The Emperor went crazy in fear. Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu had hung herself? No good! He definitely could not lose Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu. That would mean remaining in this suffering forever. Moreover, at this moment, his mind received a signal, and that signal told him: Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu was his most-beloved person. The eighth prince was his most-beloved son. Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu was his life, and he definitely could not allow himself to lose his life.
“Prepare the sedan! Head to Cun Shan Palace!” The Emperor suddenly recovered and left with everyone toward Cun Shan Palace.
Zhang Yuan watched all of this and bitterly sighed. He thought to himself that things had ultimately just fallen short. He was unable to pull the Emperor back from the edge of abnormality. It seemed that the words Winter Moon Palace carried a little less weight than Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu. He just did not know, would the Emperor improve in the slightest if Imperial Concubine Yun stood in front of him? While followed them over to Cun Shan Palace, he thought about finding a chance to head over to Winter Moon Palace and invite Imperial Concubine Yun to make an appearance.
Cun Shan Palace was filled with the sound of crying, and there was someone shouting: “Your Highness! Your Highness!”
When the Emperor arrived, his legs went soft upon hearing these sorts of cries. He climbed off of the imperial sedan and practically charged into the main hall until he arrived in front of Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu. Seeing that the person on the bed had her eyes opened and was only in a weakened condition, he let out a sigh of relief.
“My beloved imperial concubine! Why did you do this?” He stepped forward and sat on the side of Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu’s bed, “You did not come to see Us, yet you sought to die in the palace? Tell Us, who exactly bullied you?”
Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu saw the Emperor and immediately burst into tears. She grabbed the Emperor’s hand and shot a look filled with resentment toward Zhang Yuan…