Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 116: No Future (Part 1)
The day that Shen Xin returned from the Palace, Shen Miao personally went to pick him up outside the Palace gates.
Naturally there were other people in the Shen family that were somewhat unsatisfied of this outcome, especially Old Shen Furen who had thought that this time Shen Xin had fallen onto misfortune, and did not think that Shen Xin’s life would remain. However after hearing from Shen Gui that his military tally was confiscated, Old Shen Furen was happy again.
A Shen Xin without military power would at least not be comparable to Shen Gui and Shen Wan in terms of career prospects. Old Shen Furen was short sighted and did not think that currently the entire Shen family was of one body, and from the outside when one looked at the Shen family, they would naturally see Shen Xin first. Now that Shen Xin has fallen, how would the Shen family be able to maintain their usual might.
However most likely, Old Shen Furen did not care about it. In her heart, Shen Gui and Shen Wan who she gave birth to, were many times stronger than Shen Xin. If the Old General was not biased those years ago, how would Shen Xin enjoy such fruits today. Since Shen Xin was approaching dire straits, one could take advantage of it and banish the Shen Xin’s family branch out of the Shen family.
It is just that how the family would be divided was also an ingenious way.
The Old Shen Furen had her mind set of dividing the family, and Shen Miao did not even take it to mind. Matters had come to such a point and finally she had to walk on the path that she previously thought about. It is a grave matter that the Emperor has taken away the military power since without it, the Shen family is indeed inadequate. If one were to continue staying here, with the numerous enemies of the Shen family, they would eventually force them into a desperate situation.
Retreating was still required.
For no reason, Shen Miao thought about the words that Xie Jing Xing said that day. This ‘retreat’ word was indeed the only way out for Shen Xin, and Xie Jing Xing could just pick out that key point with a glance.
The carriage stopped at the corner of the Palace walls, lest to be seen. Those political discontent colleagues of Shen Xin would definitely throw stones at him, and those people who came to watch the commotion would not be at the Palace gates. Shen Miao was clearer than anyone else what kind of people the Fu family was. They would put on a broad-minded attitude, but would take actions in the dark to ensure the other suffered. Shen Xin was famed for his fighting prowess, but now had his military tally confiscated and thrown out of the Palace, this was a scene that a lot of people would like to watch.
Shen Miao had suffered a number of losses in her previous lifetime, and even at the face of Ming Qi’s lack of prestige, she could still endure humiliation, but could not stand her family being treated as such. Thus she stopped the horse carriage here, so as to pick Shen Xin and the rest back.
Just as she was thinking, she heard Mo Qing calling out in a low voice, “Stop.” A burst of wind flew in, and Shen Miao’s eyes were blurred for a moment as someone parted the carriage’s curtain, and all of a sudden there was an extra person in the fairly spacious carriage.
Gu Yu was so frightened that she exclaimed in shock, but her mouth was covered by Jing Zhe. Mo Qing somewhat panicked voice sounded, “Young Lady.”
Shen Miao looked at the person opposite.
In the horse carriage, there was a youth clad in a crimson red official uniform, moving peach blossoms eyes and slightly parted lips. It was a serious an upright uniform but looked especially beautiful and noble on him, that one simply could not move their eyes away from him.
“Mo Qing, withdraw.” Shen Miao softly reproved.
“But.” Mo Qing’s voice beside the horse carriage tightened. That person’s movements were too fast, he simply could not stop him in time, and it was absolutely not acceptable to let a stranger be in a horse carriage with Shen Miao.
“You cannot beat him.” Shen Miao calmly said before looking at Jing Zhe and Gu Yu, “Both of you also go out and keep guard by the carriage.”
Jing Zhe and Gu Yu had seen Xie Jing Xing before, and knew that he had some friendly relations with Shen Miao, but they were confused as to what extent the friendship was. One could not say it was close, since both of them obviously opposed each other with equal harshness, one also could not say it was like enemies, as how would Shen Miao treat an enemy so peacefully.
However after a few experiences, Jing Zhe and Gu Yu had expected that Xie Jing Xing would not harm Shen Miao, and for Shen Miao to allow Xie Jing Xing to stay in the carriage, it had confirmed this point. Thus Jing Zhe and Gu Yu did not say anything, and alighted from the horse carriage as instructed.
In a moment, there was only Xie Jing Xing and Shen Miao in the horse carriage.
“One heard that yesterday in court, the Marquis of Lin An spoke out to help. Many thanks to Little Marquis.” Shen Miao said.
Xie Ding helped Su Yu to impeach Shen Xin. On the surface it was an impeachment, but in fact it provided a way out for Shen Xin. It is no bother if others were unable to see it, but Shen Miao believed that such a profound thinking old fox like Xie Jing Xing, would not be unable to see it.
Sure enough when her half true and half false words were spoken, Xie Jing Xing’s lips raised and he leaned back lazily with his arms slightly loose, “It is the Marquis of Lin An’s own intention and had nothing to do with me.”
“Oh.” Shen Miao looked at him and gently smiled. “Was not the reason for Little Marquis to come uninvited to my horse carriage, to hear a thanks from me.” She deliberately emphasised on ‘my horse carriage’, indicating that she was annoyed by all the times that Xie Jing Xing came uninvited.
Xie Jing Xing stared at her, “You intent to let Shen Xin retreat to the Luo family and guard the Northwestern region.”
Shen Miao’s heart jumped and looked at Xie Jing Xing without speaking.
She had thought like this. Xie Jing Xing had pointed out a route of ‘retreat’, but she just did not want to make such a passive exit. She had not yet reach the end of the Ming Qi’s game of chess, so how could she be willing to lose such a decisive opportunity. Naturally it was not alright for her ambition and her vengeance to be suppressed before it begun.
It did not matter if the military power was confiscated, as Shen Xin was most valued not for the military tally, like the Fu family believed, but for the ability to lead troops and conduct military operations. If one could raise a Shen family’s army, it meant that one could raise another Shen family’s army. At the moment before the military power was confiscated, Shen Yuan’s people had already infiltrated into the Shen family’s army, and those were also Fu Xiu Yi’s people. It would be too tiring to bring along such an army that had people who would shoot cold arrows at one’s back.
Unless one lead another clean and pure army. By starting over, there was not any Shen family’s military power but in Luo Xue Yan’s maiden family, the Luo family still had it. It is just that the Luo family’s troops were not as comparable in combat strength as the Shen family’s, and in terms of defending the frontier, their tactics were not refined and did not attract others’ attention.
It was because of this that Shen Miao targeted the Luo family. She want to turn the Luo family into another branch of the Shen family’s army as a hidden card in her sleeves, a card that no one knew about. The Fu family all long worried that Shen Xin would rebel, so she would rebel for the Fu family to see.
It was just that this kind of hidden thoughts were actually uncovered by Xie Jing Xing’s sharp gaze. There was a moment of panic in her mind, and there was a trace of discomposure on Shen Miao’s face.
If Xie Jing Xing knew her thoughts then would this person, who had been described in Ming Qi history books with colourful language and with attention to details, help her, lodge an accusation on her or kill her?
But perhaps there would not be such opportunity. What kind of person Shen Miao was? She went through such a difficult time in her past life, so even if she was shocked for a short time, she would be able to quickly suppress the feelings. She thought that since Xie Jing Xing would be going on an expedition to the Northern Jiang, and if the journey was the same as last lifetime then Xie Jing Xing will die. He would die with a thousand arrows piercing into his heart. The dateline of ten days would soon come, and fate was like a hand that could produce clouds and rain, thus no matter how clairvoyant he was or treacherous his brain was, he would not be able to escape that outcome.
Shen Miao looked towards Xie Jing Xing.
Xie Jing Xing was truly good looking (Translator: YES I KNOW, Ed: *headdesk #10). In the previous life when Shen Miao was living in the Palace, she had seen a number of talented and good looking youths, but at that time her mind was fully on Fu Xiu Yi and did not have the kind of mood. Xie Jing Xing’s Oblique flying handsome long brows, tall nose, thin lips lightly hooking up and the smile looked slightly evil. His handsomeness was somewhat overbearing and was clearly callous, but he unexpectedly had a pair of bright peach shaped eyes. When looking at others, they were passionate and resembled ruthlessness but had the delusion of a touch of gentleness.
It is just that under the appearance of despising worldly conventions, only the individual would know how black one’s heart was.
Xie Jing Xing was currently still a youth and had a handsome and heroic spirit, but today he was wearing a dark red official uniform which made him appear more mature. Fu Ming once read the Ming Qi’s Xie family history and lamented that he was a highly talented youth, a character through the ages that met a premature death. It could be seen how high an evaluation Ming Qi history books had of Xie Jing Xing.
When Shen Miao really noticed Xie Jing Xing, she was already the Empress and saw him from afar in the Palace banquet. She vaguely thought that he was a very good looking young male, but Fu Xiu Yi’s attitude towards him was not very warm. The current Xie Jing Xing was a refined young man, but who could have thought that this youth smiling so beautifully, would lose his life in the battlefield not long from now.
Shen Miao’s gaze slightly filled with pity. After rebirth, she was not a kind-hearted person but because of Fu Ming’s and Wan Yu’s praises, one had a little more appreciation.
Her pair of changing eyes, sometimes vigilant and sometimes sympathetic eyes, made Xie Jing Xing feel unfathomable. Suddenly he thought of the first time in Guang Wen Tang when he saw Shen Miao, she was also looking at him with a look of pity, thus Xie Jing Xing asked what she was thinking about, “You pity me?”
Shen Miao secretly thought that this person was practically more observant than her, but a gentle smile appeared on her face, “What qualifications do I have to pity others?”
Xie Jing Xing calmly replied with an ‘en’, seemingly finding her words logical. But suddenly he stretched out his hands and lifted the carriage’s curtain.
This was a remote place that no one would come over. By lifting the corner of the curtain, one was able to see the high Palace walls.
Shen Miao’s gaze could not help but be somewhat far-reaching.
She had lived in the deep Palace for so many years and after rebirth, she still could not escape from this fate. But she did not regret it as the purpose of living for one who could not survive, was naturally to take one’s revenge.
Shen Miao was looking very carefully as if each piece of the Palace wall was engraved in her eyes. Xie Jing Xing saw this and his lips raised, “You want to live inside.”
Shen Miao was slightly stunned.
“I can help you if you want to stay in it.” Xie Jing Xing opened his mouth but his tone was inexplicably strange, and his smile seemed to be hiding something even deeper, “At that time, how will you thank me?”
“If Little Marquis can torch down this entire place on fire, perhaps I will be grateful to you.” Shen Miao said.
Xie Jing Xing unexpectedly raised his eyebrows, “I thought you wanted to be a nobility.”
“I want to be a nobility.” Shen Miao turned her head and looked at his sarcastic laughter, “But not the kind of nobility that you speak of. A more respected noble than a nobility.”
“You want to be the Empress.”
Empress. Shen Miao’s eyes were slightly distracted. She had also put on the court robes with the Phoenix hairpins on her hair, and in the coronation of the Emperor and Empress, it was very impressive as the officials all bowed down, and the common people cheered and she had mothered the nation.
At that time, she thought she had all the things she had wanted.
But now it seemed that the higher one climbed, the more painful the fall was and the Empress title was just a mere name.
“It is easy to be an Empress.” Xie Jing Xing said lightly, “But an Emperor is difficult.”
Ming Qi was in an unstable situation as all nine Princes had their advantages and disadvantages, that even the position of the Crown Prince was unstable. Who knew what the future would look like, and whose hands will that position land on. The big noble families married their daughters to the Princes, not to be a brave gambler but to bet on a future.
The rich and noble dangerously gambled as greed was a human instinct. When successful, one becomes a king but when defeated, one becomes a bandit. When a female chose wrongly, naturally they would also follow along.
Xie Jing Xing spoke casually, “Who are you choosing?”
This was asking her which Prince she was optimistic about, which one she wanted to marry to, which one she would be supporting.
“Which one Little Marquis view as having a future?” Shen Miao asked in reply.
“Examining on appearance, no one has any future.” Xie Jing Xing’s words were terrifying to listen to, “What will you do?”
“Then look for one with a future.”
“Then what do you think of me?” Xie Jing Xing raised his brows and asked. His words most probably were to ridicule Shen Miao, thus he did not speak them seriously.
“Little Marquis also has no future.” Shen Miao looked at him seriously.
“…” Xie Jing Xing was choked on Shen Miao’s words for a while, and even though he was not provoked to anger, he was somewhat displeased. He had thought that he had seen females admiring him and males with fear of him, but Shen Miao neither admired nor feared him, and actually scratched herself often against a tiger’s head. Was it that he had been too amiable to Shen Miao, that she thought that he was a person with a good temper?
“What actually does Little Marquis want to say? Please leave quickly when finished.” Shen Miao had already bluntly evicted him, “It is not good to be misunderstood by others.”
“Misunderstanding?” Xie Jing Xing’s eyes had some laughter as he deliberately said softly, “What misunderstanding?”
“A lecher being frivolous to an innocent young girl.” Shen Miao did not even blink and answered angrily. She was able to see that with regards of the establish standards of rules and regulations, Xie Jing Xing was shameless.
Even though Xie Jing Xing had seen a bevy of young females, he was choked on Shen Miao’s words and was somewhat dizzy. He coughed twice, sat up straight and no longer teased Shen Miao, “Retreat back to the Northwestern region, the sooner, the better. The longer it is dragged on, the more disadvantage it is to Shen Xin.”
Shen Miao looked up at him, as she did not expect that Xie Jing Xing would remind her with such a sentence. At least she did not wish to oppose this kind of person like Xie Jing Xing, and it was already very good that he showed no hostility to her.
Xie Jing Xing said, “It will be best if Shen Xin can leave the Ding capital before I leave.”
Shen Miao was somewhat frustrated, “That is if it is successful.” Not everyone had Xie Jing Xing’s ability. Shen Miao had always felt that Xie Jing Xing relied on his background, but not fully on the Marquis of Lin An’s residence, but on something even higher than the Marquis of Lin An’s residence. But in Ming Qi, a power higher than the Marquis of Lin An, was the Imperial family, but the Imperial family and Xie Jing Xing were currently on opposite sides.
Shen Miao could not guess.