A woman could be weak or tough, but no matter what her attitude was, as long as she did the following three things, her husband wouldn’t bully her.
First, respect her husband about his choices in his career and his other decisions. Give him sufficient respect. Even if you think he's wrong, don't criticize him and boss him around. Instead, in an appropriate tone, carefully give him suggestions.
Second, don't rely too much on your husband. She could spend her husband's money, but she shouldn't completely rely on her husband to support her.
Third, no matter how considerate and gentle a wife was, she had to have a bottom line and have principles. If the bottom line was ever touched, it was necessary for an explosive scene to occur so that he would clearly remember to not do it again.
Ji Man had forgotten which forum post she had read these words. Anyways, she thought these rules were quite reasonable. If one day, she wasn't happy living with Ning Yuxuan, she could immediately leave him. She wouldn't starve to death without him. She had her rice store. If she wasn't happy, she could go look for Errong and Yurun. He wasn't the only person in her world.
If male chauvinism didn't die, the holy war would simply continue indefinitely!
However, she couldn't just think about taking a stand and fighting Ning Yuxuan. The two of them still had to live together. Her advantage was that she was a modern-day person, so she was more knowledgeable and slightly smarter than the average person here.
Right now, Ning Yuxuan was probably secretly preparing for the major event. As the person standing by his side, she couldn't cause trouble for him. Instead, she had to do her best to assist him.
Men had their battlefields, and women had their own as well. After Erxin was promoted, Ji Man went with Errong to visit her in the palace.
Erxin's rank wasn't considered high, however, other than the empress, Erxin was the only one to receive the emperor's favor in being promoted. Ji Man looked at this young woman's delicate and pretty face. There was a big difference between her and Errong, who had a carefree personality. Erxin seemed like a sensible young lady that strictly adhered to etiquette. It wasn't surprising that she had received the emperor's favor.
Errong remained in the hall to chat with Erxin while Ji Man left to go to the empress's palace.
The ceremony to promote Shen Youqing to empress had already passed. It hadn't been as grand as one would have imagined. The emperor had publicly said it was because he didn't want to tire the empress out now that she was pregnant. However, Shen Youqing knew the truth. Zhao Zhe wouldn't be that considerate of her.
Now that she was pregnant, it wasn't suitable for her to receive favor. With wave after wave of new women entering the palace, Shen Youqing felt awful. And yet, as the empress, she had to be the mother of the nation. She couldn't show her jealousy or casually punish other people. As the empress, she was worse off than an imperial concubine.
Since Ji Man had visited Shen Youqing many times before, Shen Youqing's servants had become familiar with her. She didn't have to say a word before she was led to Shen Youqing to pay her respects.
"Why do you have the free time to visit today?" Shen Youqing wasn't happy to see her. During the past round of selection, the emperor had kept several of the court ladies that looked similar to Nie Sangyu. This woman continued to be her greatest threat.
Ji Man smiled and said, "Sangyu just came here as an ordinary friend to pay respects to Your Majesty. Sangyu heard that Your Majesty has been feeling ill-at-ease, so Sangyu came here to chat with you."
Right now, Nie Sangyu was a mere commoner, but she could freely go anywhere in the palace. If she did anything wrong, the emperor wouldn't blame her. How could it be possible for the women in the palace to not hate her? If Nie Sangyu didn't have the emperor's love as her support, what right would she have to call herself the empress's friend? Or, even be granted an audience?
While Shen Youqing inwardly sulked, her slight smile didn't waver. "How thoughtful of you."
"This humble woman thinks that Your Majesty doesn't have to worry about losing favor," Ji Man seriously said, "Your Majesty's clan has worked hard to make strong contributions for the emperor's benefit. No matter what, Your Majesty's position as the empress can't be rattled."
Shen Youqing nodded. She knew this. However, without the emperor's favor, what would be the point in being the empress?
"Your Majesty doesn't need to avoid these new people and should personally train them. This way, you'll become familiar with them, and everyone will become closer in the future." Ji Man smiled. "This humble woman has said too much. Your Majesty naturally already knows this."
Of course, Shen Youqing already knew that it was important to win over the loyalty of the imperial harem's members. She didn't need Nie Sangyu to teach her this. It was only that she wasn't the type of woman that could tolerate her husband's other women.
Ji Man didn't say anything extraneous. She assured Shen Youqing that her position as empress was unmovable while hinting that she had to instruct and be guarded against these new women. Otherwise, what if they became major threats to her one day in the future?
In fact, not every palace was rife with the competition, even if there was, it wasn't as fierce as it was portrayed on TV. However, after Ji Man carefully stirred these thoughts into the muddy waters of Shen Youqing's mind, other similar thoughts bubbled over. Once Ji Man left, Shen Youqing ordered her servants to bring over the newly arrived court ladies to the eastern palace so they could respectfully listen to her words of edification.
There were people in the palace that were loyal to Ning Yuxuan. They took advantage of this perfect opportunity by playing a few tricks. During one of the empress's lectures, Erxin was pushed from behind and sprained her ankle.
When Zhao Zhe heard that the empress was giving a hard time to someone that he was currently favoring, he was fuming mad as he took Erxin away. Although he didn't reprimand Shen Youqing, a few people in the eastern palace murmured within Shen Youqing's hearing range that the emperor must be harboring a grudge against her. Words like once a man achieves great success, his main wife would become the least favored were also said. Even if the empress was pregnant, she didn't have a strong position in the emperor's heart.
These palace servants were the best at their craft. Instead of saying these kinds of words in front of Shen Youqing, they would sneakily say this on the front staircase leading to the palace's doorway. Even if Shen Youqing didn't want to hear these words, it would be difficult for her to avoid hearing it.
Zhao Zhe no longer cared about her? Shen Youqing covered her lips. Extremely upset, she wanted to directly ask the emperor. She got onto a palanquin and ordered the palanquin bearers to bring her over to the emperor's hall.
However, the palanquin bearers ended up taking her on a detour. Because of their dillydallying, her arrival at Zichen Hall interrupted the emperor, who was in the midst of favoring a palace maid.