Happy Lunar New Year!!! May everyone prosper in this year of the Rooster!!!
Apologise for the belated wishes cause I was busy with real life house greetings and then falling sick for half the week… All the New Year goodies and virus spreading got me… 😛
Edited by Kiskaiya
Updated on 7 Sep 2019
Chapter 15: Su Ming Feng
No matter what the East courtyard did, Shen Miao still deliberately alienated the people from both the Second and Third Household. She no longer attached herself to Shen Yue and Shen Qing either. At first, everyone in Shen residence thought that she was only throwing a childish tantrum about the matter of falling into the water, but when Shen Miao started to conduct matters her own way, everyone felt that something was not right.
Gui Momo persuaded Shen Miao as usual not to be angry with the East courtyard and occasionally mentioned how Prince Ding was a peerless man in Ming Qi. But Shen Miao seemed to be unshakeable as every time Gui Momo mentioned that person, she would berate her furiously, giving Gui Momo a headache. However, the West courtyard was still filled with crafty servants from the Second and Third Household and Gu Yu and the rest thought that since Shen Miao’s temper had changed, she would rearrange the matters in the inner courtyard. Who knew that Shen Miao would actually ignore it.
Naturally, Shen Miao had her own plans.
These past few days, she had been going to Guang Wen Tang more diligently. Even though everyone viewed her like she was the lowest of the low, she was not angry and only did her things well. The more magnanimous she was, the more others would feel bored, hence she was able to have some days of peace.
After literary classes ended that day, Shen Miao felt some tightness in her chest so she headed to the garden in Guang Wen Tang for a casual walk.
Although Guang Wen Tang was an academy, it covered quite a vast area. There were three different grades, level one, two and three, and though Shen Miao was in level two because of her age, she unknowingly went to the level one area.
By coincidence, she saw a young boy sitting on the steps wiping away his tears.
This child looked around twelve years old and was fair and plump. Perhaps his body was too bloated as one would think he was a rounded ball at first glance. He was clad in a blue robe lined with silver, a pair of small boots and a collar around his neck. Just like a doll from a new year painting.
Shen Miao was slightly stunned and she walked over to say softly, “Why are you crying?”
That doll did not think that someone would come over suddenly and was so surprised that he rolled down the steps with a ‘pu tong’. He did not cry, but sat up and looked at Shen Miao blankly.
He was naturally fair and plump, with a pair of sparkling eyes and a small crease on his head. With tears still on his face, he looked charmingly naive. Shen Miao could not help but burst out in laughter.
That boy called out in a childlike manner, “Older Sister.”
Shen Miao’s heart almost melted when he called her. She gave birth to Wan Yu and Fu Ming in her past lifetime but she was already in the Qin country as a hostage until they were five. When she returned, both children had already learnt their etiquette and obediently called her ‘Imperial Mother’. Shen Miao herself did not know what her two children were like before the age of five. Even though this child was older and seemed ignorant of the ways of the world, he reminded her of Wan Yu and Fu Ming.
Shen Miao slightly bent down to pat his head, “What are you crying for?”
“The teacher asked me a question and I could not answer so I was hit on my palm.” The child took his hands out, revealing red palms as he said in distress, “It is very painful.”
Shen Miao wanted to tease him so she continued asking, “What question did the teacher ask?”
“The teacher wanted me to write the words ‘the fox grieves when the rabbit dies’ but I am unable to do it,” the child cried.
If one was old enough to go into level one in the academy and did not know to write from memory, it would be somewhat unjustifiable. Disregarding Shen Miao herself, a noble child in Ming Qi at this age would have started to learn to deal with the political affairs at court. Even if it was only pretending to make contacts, many could more or less cope with it. Though the youths in the Imperial family would mature faster, the children studying in Guang Wen Tang were all from aristocratic families and would not mature that slowly.
That child seemed to have not complained enough and continued to chirp, “If I was to return and Father was to learn about it, he would severely punish me. What meaning is there for me to live, it would be better to just die.”
Shen Miao was a little shocked by the tone of the child’s voice, but she also find it a bit funny. Thinking of which family this lively treasure came from and where he learned such a dramatic statement from, she asked, “Which family’s child are you?”
The boy looked at Shen Miao. Although she just passed fourteen years of age, with her youthful appearance, she looked as old as this child. But for some unknown reason there was an indescribable air around her, as if she had seen great winds and high waves and could calm people down with just her presence. Even this child involuntary quieted down and told her his background.
“I am the Second Young Master of the Ping Nan Bo’s family in the capital, Su Ming Lang. My father is Ping Nan Bo, Su Yu and my eldest brother is Ping Nan Bo’s heir, Su Ming Feng.”
He actually came clean about it and detailed his own family background clearly.
Shen Miao was surprised for a moment. The Su family? Ping Nan Bo?
No matter if it was her past life or this life, the Su family and the Shen family had no association as they had opposing political views. The Su family had a good relationship with the Xie family. Ping Nan Bo, Su Yu and Marquis of Lin An, Xie Ding were very good brothers while Su Ming Feng and Xie Jing Xing were friends that had played together since childhood. What was the extent of their relationship? When Su Ming Feng died, only Xie Jing Xing dared to collect his corpse.
Yes. Su Ming Feng died. More precisely, it can be said that the entire Su family perished. The late Emperor dug out evidence of the Su family’s involvement in a conspiracy to sell military horses. As for the matter of military horses, once they were involved, there was no room for any leeway at all.
The Imperial edict came suddenly and swiftly. They were not even given a trial before the army directly confiscated their possessions and executed them immediately. In the middle of the day, the entire Su family’s blood flowed from the East to the West of the Ding capital.
By the time Xie Jing Xing knew about it, it was too late as none of the Su family survived. Those who had a good relationship with them did not appear at all and it was Xie Jing Qing who personally collect the corpse of the Su family members before going to the late Emperor to plead guilty of his offenses and requested burial for them with regards to the meritorious services that the Su family once did for Ming Qi.
The late Emperor allowed it, thus the funeral for the Su family was single-handedly organised by the Xie family. Shen Miao remembered very clearly that Shen Xin sighed for a period of time after learning of the matter upon his return at the end of that year.
The Su family’s demise would occur in about two months. It would be soon that this innocent and ignorant child would also lose his life due to that cold Imperial Edict.
Her expression suddenly became a little cold and her eyes faintly glowed.
Su Ming Lang could not help but shrink back a little. When Shen Miao look back at him, her tone was just as gentle as before, “Su Ming Feng? Is he the heir of the Su family that completed a great meritorious service recently and managed the military horses excellently?”
“Yes!” The child held his head up high and replied, “Father said that His Majesty would definitely reward Eldest Brother with a rank this time.”
Shen Miao smiled as she leaned towards the child to softly say, “You said that if your father knew that you were unable to answer the teacher’s question, you would be punished. I have a method that would allow you to escape punishment.”
“What is it?” The child blinked as he asked.
“You have to promise me that you will not tell them that it was I who told you, then I will speak.”
The child thought for a long while before nodding. “Alright.”