Chapter 31: Lou Xi Yan’s Decision
“Long live the Emperor…”
When Yan Hong Tian walked quickly into the Imperial Study, the two person who was waiting in the hall bend down to bow. “You may rise.” He casually waved his hand and interrupted their unfinished words. Yan Hong Tian sitted on the golden dragon seat and asked, “How is the preparation for the celebration on going?”
“The invited countries and honoured guest list are being drafted by the Ministry of Rites. The various time of things that are required for the celebration and the cost has been calculated by the Ministry of Revenue. With the Ministry of Defence and Personnel collaboration, the deployment of troops are arranged and the various departments are all prepared. It will be reported up within these few days.” Lou Xi Yan orderly replied with a peaceful look, without a trace of waiting in the Imperial Study for almost half a sichen (1 sichen = 2 hours).
“Good.” Yan Hong Tian gave a satisfied nod, letting the celebration matters handled by Lou Xi Yan made him feel assured. Seeing the silent Dan Yu Lan, Yan Hong Tian slightly furrowed his eyebrows, “Official Dan, with regards to the death of the Seventh Princess, what was Northern Qi’s reply?” Today during the morning court, Dan Yu Lan also had a preoccupied look, if it was not about Northern Qi using it as a pretext to make a fuss and cause a disturbance?
Dan Yu Lan as if has collected himself, said, “This official has sent a messenger to escort the Third Prince back and informed the Northern Qi King of the entire story and he was not angry with our country and especially brought back a thousand year jasper as a token of apology, hoping to repair the relationship and form an alliance.” Hu Xi Ang poisoned the princess so as to deliberately provoke the relationship between Northern Qi and Qiong Yue and also to retaliate the Northern Qi royalty. Thus with regards to Northern Qi internal problems, the Northern Qi ruler wanted to present the Seventh Princess to the Emperor to please Qiong Yue and definitely will not make things difficult for Qiong Yue with regards to the Seventh Princess death. A small country like that want to be in an alliance with Qiong Yue? Northern Qi really calculated it really well.
After listening to Dan Yu Lan’s words, Yan Hong Tian’s brow slightly narrowed and he coldly replied, “Accept the jasper and do not bring up about the alliance.”
“Yes.” Dan Yu Lan finished speaking and took a step back. He was silent for a while, like he had something to say but yet frowning as he think. Seeing his hesitant look, Yan Hong Tian laughed, “Official Dan, is there anything else to report?”
Dan Yu Lan gave a look at the Lou Xi Yan who was standing beside him and after thinking for a while, he then replied softly, “Recently in the capital there was a murder of a bounty hunter. During the investigation and trial, this official found that also involved the case of the stolen Treasury’s gold and is still investigating. That year it was an existing miscarriage of justice. The one million liang of gold did not flew off without wings..” There are many doubtful points in the case and many of the clues were pointed out after the Qing sisters investigate. Prime Minister Lou is protective of Miss Qing Ling and if he request for them to be involved into the case, Prime Minister Lou will not agree to it.
“Oh?” There was a flash of colour that crossed Yan Hong Tian’s eyes. For what reason did Dan Yu Lan look at Lou Xi Yan when he was reporting about the gold case and why is his two favourite officials collaborating so willingly? Yan Hong Tian glanced at Lou Xi Yan but he still stood calmly. The dark eyes look back and forth between both of them before Yan Hong Tian broke out, “Use all your abilities to get to the bottom of this case. It is a must to track down the whereabouts of the one million liang of gold.”
“Obeying the Emperor’s command, this official will retire.” Yan Hong Tian did not get to the bottom of it and Dan Yu Lan secretly sighed in relief as he performed a hand greeting and quickly left the Imperial Study.
The gold case that year was a hot and bustling topic, which involves a lot of high ranking officials and at the end when the matter rest, Lou Xi Yan was clearly aware of the reason than Dan Yu Lan. Yan Hong Tian did not pursue the case to the bottom so as to listen to Lou Xi Yan to elaborate.
Under Yan Hong Tian’s intense watch, Lou Xi Yan lightly coughed and said, “Emperor, this official has one thing to report.”
“Speak then.” Yan Hong Tian picked the freshly brewed spring tea and waited for Lou Xi Ya to explain.
“This official and Qing Ling have an affinity with each other and is prepared to get married after the celebration. May the Emperor grant it.”
The voice was bright and captivating but it was not about the case that Yan Hong Tian wanted to hear. His hand holding the tea cup stiffen as Yan Hong Tian suddenly look up and gravely asked, “You are marrying her as the official wife?”
“Yes.” Lou Xi Yan replied calmly but Yan Hong Tian’s face became dark and heavier, “What are you going to handle Xuan-er?”
Lou Xi Yan’s brow slightly knitted but quickly resumed its usual and his warm voice replied coldly, “There is no love between this official and the princess, moreover this official health has always been not good, thus to be matched with the princess would be wronging the princess.”
“Lou Xi Yan!” A bang sound that was made by Yan Hong Tian by throwing the warm cup of tea from his hands to the study table. As the force used was great, the tea spilt to the table and drip down from the table. In the big Imperial Study, it was so quiet that only the sound of water dripping on the jaded floor boards were heard. The forehead of the eunuch were filled with sweat as they quickly clean up the spilt tea with trembling hand and almost afraid to breathe. Lou Xi Yan stood silently in the middle of the hall. Even though the atmosphere was frosty, it apparently did not bothered Lou Xi Yan. After quite some time, Yan Hong Tian said in a low voice, “Zhen have never force you to marry Xuan-er, you do not need to rush into marriage.”
Lou Xi Yan signed and in a firm yet helpless tone replied, “This official is not young any more and Ling-er is a female that this official admires thus it is time to get married.” He choose to get married at this time, not all because to avoid Yan Ru Xuan but it is Qing Ling that made him have the urge to get married. There was such a unique female in the word that could make him puzzle, touched and even obsess.
“Do you know who you are?” Yan Hong Tian coldly reminded him, “You are Lou. Xi. Yan.” Additional words were not needed. Yan Hong Tian believe that Lou Xi Yan knows the what does these three words represent. Not mentioning that Xuan-er and his mother will not agree, the entire Lou family elders will not sit by idly. Moreover he is marrying a powerless female from a different country as the official wife, his close aunt, the other Empress Dowager will never agree to it.
Lou Xi Yan’s lips slightly raised and with a smile that clears the sky and a look of indifference, he said laughingly, “And what of it?
And what of it? So suave! Yan Hong Tian suddenly started laughing and teased, “Qing Ling is that enchanting?” The first time seeing Qing Ling, he was stunned with her beautiful features, that gentle temperament, that feminine disposition. It was an absolute beauty that all man would want in their arms but now that Qing Ling’s face is disfigured and her character was not as per before, why is Lou Xi Yan that obsessed?
Lou Xi Yan laughed but did not reply. It is good that only he knows about Ling-er’s good points.
Both of them grew up together since young so he was familiar with Lou Xi Yan’s expression. He was bent on marrying Qing Ling. Yan Hong Tian waved his hand and half-heartedly replied, “This issue needs to be considered in length. You withdraw first.”
“This official will retire.” Lou Xi Yan did not say any more and performed a hand greeting before leaving the Imperial Study.
It is seldom seen for Lou Xi Yan to be that persistent and he was happy to watch the excitement but once he thought about Empress Dowager’s nagging and Xuan-er tears, Yan Hong Tian’s head started to ache.