Jun Qian Che swept a glance over her, saying calmly: “Was this not what you’ve always wished for?”
Under Jun Qian Che’s gaze, Mo Qiqi reigned in her anger, sat down again, and started to earnestly persuade him: “Your Majesty, this concerns my generous conduct. Tonight is meant for you and sister Yang to spend together in joy. If you stay overnight at my palace, it would make others gossip. I’ve finally decided to reform, but if you stay here tonight, others will say it was surely because I was jealous, that I didn’t let Your Majesty go to sister Yang. Say, wouldn’t that be unfair to me!”
Jun Qian Che looked at her coldly, then got up to leave.
Mo Qiqi was a little surprised: What’s this situation? Did I say something wrong again?
However, seeing him leave, her heart was very happy: “Seeing off Your Majesty.” Finally got rid of this nuisance.
Ban Xiang walked in from outside, asking in confusion: “Empress, His Majesty came to Phoenix palace with great difficulty, why did you make him leave?”
“If I didn’t make him leave, should I have let him stay, huh? Why didn’t you inform me when the emperor came?” She poked Ban Xiang’s head.
Ban Xiang spoke aggrievedly: “It was His Majesty who didn’t let me.”
Mo Qiqi looked at her own hands. Recalling how she’d been held by Jun Qian Che a moment ago, she promptly took off her clothes in disgust, and threw them at Ban Xiang: “These clothes have to be washed well, wash them ten times. No, wait, just throw them away! Don’t let me see these clothes ever again.”
Ban Xiang looked at the clothes in her hands bewildered, and asked: “Empress, how have these clothes offended you?”
“It’s not that they’ve offended me, rather, they were touched by someone they shouldn’t have been touched by. Thus, they need to be discarded.” Mo Qiqi’s face was resentful.
Ban Xiang felt bad for the clothes.
Mo Qiqi continued to wash her hands.
For the following two weeks, Mo Qiqi didn’t meet Jun Qian Che again. Apparently, the imperial court got very busy recently, and Jun Qian Che was occupied with politics during the day, and with Yang Shihan at night, truly balancing the foreign and domestic affairs.
But Mo Qiqi was also not idling away. On one hand, she was trying to understand the theory of relativity, on the other hand, she was looking for a way back home. She had paid a visit to almost all the toilets in the palace.
She had crossed over through a modern age toilet. If she wanted to go back, she needed to use the same method, but with an ancient times toilet. (*toilet/washroom)
But having spent these days searching, she hadn’t found any peculiar toilets. Now only the toilets in the emperor’s Royal palace remained, that she hadn’t seen. And she definitely couldn’t let go of any opportunities to go back.
Nightfall. Ban Xiang walked in, carrying the thing Mo Qiqi had requested: “Empress, the artist spent the whole day without food nor drink, and finally finished the blueprint of the Royal palace that you’ve requested. According to your instructions, he specifically marked the Royal palace’s toilets.”
Mo Qiqi took the map happily: “Great. Ban Xiang, thank you for your trouble.”
Ban Xiang was actually puzzled as she asked: “Empress, why do you need these toilets marked?”
Mo Qiqi chuckled mysteriously and said: “Because the toilet leads the way back home.” Ban Xiang scratched her head confused, she didn’t get the meaning of the empress’ words.
“Ban Xiang, thank you for taking care of me these days, I’m really very grateful to you. I’ll be going, don’t think of me!” She solemnly patted Ban Xiang’s shoulder, as if she would truly never return, then ran out with the map.
Ban Xiang was confused, but she didn’t follow. Each time the empress went to inspect the toilets, she would never let her tag along, saying that she was worried Ban Xiang would see a strange phenomenon and get scared. She was really unable to understand, how were toilets scary? Could it be… Did the empress have an unusual hobby?
“Miss Ban Xiang…” A young man dressed in black panted as he ran over.
“Master (artist) Zhao, why have you come?”
Master Zhao gulped a mouthful of air and wheezed: “Miss Ban Xiang, I’ve come to tell you that on the blueprint of the Royal palace you just took, there’s a toilet at the top that I’ve marked wrong.”
“Which place did you mark wrong?” Ban Xiang asked dismissively. Wasn’t it just a toilet marked wrong! Was it something worth getting so flustered over!
Master Zhao said nervously: “I’ve marked the dragon pool where the emperor bathes as a toilet.”
Ban Xiang nodded serenely at first, then opened her eyes wide in shock: “What? But the dragon pool is a restricted area, the emperor doesn’t allow anyone in. If the empress went in, the consequences… Gosh! Quickly go look for the empress!”
But unfortunately, Mo Qiqi, currently holding the map, had arrived in front of the palace hall called the “Dragon Pool”.
Looking at the magnificent palace hall, Mo Qiqi muttered: “This toilet sure is magnificent, the name is also trendy enough, Dragon Pool! Ha ha ha, could it be that once the emperor is finished with his toilet business, he can go and take a bath? Really economical! Perhaps the way to the modern age is inside here, let’s take a quick peek.” Looking around and seeing no one, she quietly tiptoed and pushed the gate to enter.
Once inside, Mo Qiqi was even more convinced that this toilet was outstanding. There wasn’t any scent associated with a toilet, and the interior decor was splendid. It truly was for royal use, so different from average.
Inside the room were spread relief sculptures and colored motifs. Below, white jade made the floor glitter in the warm light. The roof was made of sandalwood, crystal jade served as lanterns, pearls were used for the curtain, and gilded columns supported the foundation. There was a two meter wide agar wood bed with precious raw silk canopy, embroidered with fine designs, incomparably delicate.
On the bed were arranged jade green fragrant pillows, spread over a soft white silk mat, with piled up folded quilts. On the ceiling was suspended a huge luminous pearl, shining like a bright moon.
Seeing such a grandiose room, Mo Qiqi shook in shock. As an archeologist, she didn’t have the slightest immunity towards these antiques. Following along the palace hall luxuries, she walked step by step toward the inside.
The further in she went, the more she felt that this place didn’t look like a toilet. Mist lingered all around, resembling a fairyland. But when a gorgeous bathing pool appeared before her, she was thoroughly stunned. Could this be the legendary imperial bathroom?
The edges of the pool were richly decorated with agate, while the various appliances in the bath were decorated with amber and pearls. Surrounding the pool was a platform made of white stone with stairs placed on each side, each step gradually descending toward the water.
The sides and the bottom of the pool were made of white jade, fully engraved with decorative scenery carvings that were ever changing. Whenever the water in the pool rippled, the carved pictures also moved along with the waves as if they were alive, hiding underwater.
At the sides of the pool, four copper dragons endlessly poured water inside.
Mo Qiqi stepped forward and held out her hand to touch the water. It was comfortably warm, and even emitting a fragrance. This was probably the “hundred mixed fragrances” recorded in the ancient books.
It was said that when the monarch and his concubine bathed, a hundred scented muslin pouches would be sunk to the bottom of the pool. The pouches were filled with many kinds of herb mixtures, resulting in the “hundred mixed fragrances”. Quietly sitting inside the water, they made the pool surface constantly emit a fragrance.
While Mo Qiqi was curiously studying this pool, an ice-cold voice was heard: “Did you study it well?”
Mo Qiqi was startled: “Who is it?” She waved away the curling white mist in front of her, finding that there was actually someone inside the pool. She was shocked speechless: “Your, Your Majesty…”
Notes: If anything slowed down the translation of this chapter, it was the bathroom description. *grumble*