Edited by Tnyhy & Angel
Chapter 156: Marriage (Part 2)
Shen Wan suppressed the harsh thoughts and said, “Your Highness… Want to marry Fifth Lady?”
“This Prince?” Fu Xiu Yi laughed as if he had heard a funny joke. He shook his head and said, “Not this Prince, it is this Prince’s Older Brother.”
Shen Wan was startled.
Fu Xiu Yi’s voice slowly drifted to his ears.
“Let the Fifth Shen Young Lady marry this Prince’s Fourth Older Brother, Prince Zhou.”
Shen Wan was shocked incessantly but after thinking immediately, he suddenly felt a slight chill in his heart.
Who was Shen Miao? She was the Di daughter of Shen Xin. ‘Southern Xie, Northern Shen’. The Xie family had truly declined and the Shen family was the biggest in Ming Qi. Whoever married Shen Miao would have the greatest military power in Ming Qi. Shen Miao’s identity had made her destined to be unable to marry to influence and power, as this would cause Emperor Wen Hui to become more suspicious. It would be best for Shen Miao to marry to one who do not hold any government post or is incompetent, but definitely not a military official. Most likely because of such things, Shen Miao had not settled her engagement even at a marriageable age, and if she were to really marry a male without any government post, Shen Xin would definitely feel that he had wronged his daughter.
The nobles were like this and the Princes dared not even think about taking advantage of Shen Miao. It was still alright for the Crown Prince since it was orthodox, but if other Princes wanted to marry Shen Miao, it was almost like directly flaunting their ambition to be the heir apparent. This kind of weight looked like a blessing, but was actually a curse.
Currently in the fight for the heir apparent, the wind was blowing in the direction of Prince Zhou. Prince Zhou’s and Prince Jing’s Consort Mother was favoured and also had some abilities herself. Seeing that their forces were getting bigger, followers started to increase a lot. If they were to be related to Shen Miao, then Prince Zhou would be pushed to where the wind and waves were the fiercest, and Emperor Wen Hui would be displeased while the rest of the Princes would be infuriated with jealousy, thus Prince Zhou would be suppressed. As for the Shen family, one need not continue to stand as a team so openly, one feared that once the people of the Qin country and the Great Liang left, the Shen family would die miserably.
Killing two birds with one stone it would be the point of perfection. Shen Wan’s heart suddenly became timid towards Fu Xiu Yi. This person’s thoughts were too deep and vicious that it was rather scary.
Fu Xiu Yi seemed to have not seen Shen Wan’s expression and smiled gently, “This matter will be handled over to Shen Daren.” Unexpectedly, he did not mention how to do it or to what extent. Prince Zhou already had a consort and if Shen Miao were to marry over, she could only be a side consort.
There was no bottom in Shen Wan’s heart at all but he could not portray that, thus he cupped his hands towards Fu Xiu Yi, “This official will do one’s best.”
Afterwards the two person said some mutually courteous words. Fu Xiu Yi’s attitude towards Shen Wan was not warm and yet not cold. If it was two years ago, Fu Xiu Yi would most probably have treated Shen Wan better, but the past and present could not be compared. The Shen family was not like how they were in the past, and Shen Wan was just a civil official, thus Fu Xiu Yi naturally did not need to value him as before.
After Shen Wan left the residence of Prince Ding, Pei Lang then walked out from behind the screen.
Pei Lang walked over to a position lower than Fu Xiu Yi and looked at the the teacup that Shen Wan drank from before and had left behind, “Your Highness is planning to use Shen Wan?”
Fu Xiu Yi looked towards Pei Lang, “What does Gentleman thinks about Shen Wan?”
Pei Lang shook his head, “Even though he can endure silently and has the means, but he is lacking in strength and had a messy household. If he were to be used, then one fears that there would inevitably be trouble in the future. It is alright to use for minor thing but not major stuff.”
Fu Xiu Yi smiled and looked at Pei Lang with eyes of admiration, “Gentleman’s thinking is the same as me.” He then sighed before saying, “Ever since the Xie brothers died, there are a few things that one cannot instruct the people beside me to do. Keeping the Xie brothers was a good chess piece that is now completely destroyed. Even though it was not an important piece, it could have saved me a lot of trouble.”
Pei Lang frowned, “Your Highness does not plan to use Shen Wan?”
“Grass on top of the wall that sways with the wind.” Fu Xiu Yi’s laugh was a bit empty, “Previously, kept wavering and now due to the current situation one is forced to defect to me. I do not dare to use such indecisive people. One only want to use him to handle small matters.”
Pei Lang added, “Does Your Highness think it is feasible to let Shen Wan think of ways to matchmake the Fourth Prince and Shen Miao?”
“One do not know if it is feasible. It is just that this matter is Shen Wan’s only opportunity, thus he would facilitate it at all costs. The Shen family has invaluable achievements, and Prince Zhou is powerful and it has reached the point where it is enough. If one does not take action now, one fears that it will really be too late.”
Pei Lang no longer spoke. However Fu Xiu Yi suddenly asked, “If I were to marry Shen Miao, what does Gentleman think?”
Pei Lang’s heart jumped, but on the surface he still had a light expression on his face as he said analytically, “One fears that it would not be good as it would attract the Emperor’s suspicion and jealousy from the other Princes.”
Fu Xiu Yi nodded his head and he had some regret in his expression. One was unable to tell the tone of voice when he said, “It is a pity.”
Pei Lang did not understand what pity Fu Xiu Yi was referring to. With regards to emotions, Fu Xiu Yi had never had other feelings for Shen Miao. If there were any feelings, then in the beginning when Shen Miao was chasing him all over the Ding capital, he would not have been so cold. If at that time Fu Xiu Yi had half an intention to protect Shen Miao, the rumours would not have been that unrestrained.
Then what was Fu Xiu Yi feeling pity about? That the Shen family’s military power did not fall into his hands?
Pei Lang did not know what the answer was. After Fu Xiu Yi left, he also returned to his room and seeing that there was no one around, he started to write a letter.
Tonight it was rather somber and desolate in the residence of Prince Rui.
The servants all had a solemn expression and dared not even breathe loudly. Today when His Highness Prince Rui returned, he had an extremely cold expression. Gao Yang and Ji Yu Shu who were following beside him were in a rarely seen solemn expression too, and Tie Yi and Nan Qi brought a person dressed like a guard back, and went into the room with Prince Rui
Even if it was a personal study room, it was renovated to be spacious and with the splendorous and majestic furnishing, it did not look like a study room but had some feeling of a Palace. Only one person was sitting down and was currently playing with the thumb ring on his hand. He was wearing a dark purple lined with gold embroidered robes, and the clothes slowly plastered themself to the large chair, as if it was a purple cloud flowing down from the skies (Translator: I have no idea what I am translating again… lol. Ed: It’s about the fluttering of the clothing, and how its setting itself on the chair. Ed2: Also about how majestic XJX is, that even his clothing gives off an impressive aura)
The person kneeling on the floor was leaning over and could only see the boots in front of him. The green black deer hide boots had straight running seams, which were so fine that the hide did not move at all, were only boots, but it seemed to provide a glimpse of the magnanimity and nobility of this master.
Xie Jing Xing had one leg on the soft couch, as he leant against the seat and looked down towards the prisoner. His brows were unbelievably handsome and when he smiled gently, the romantic feelings overflowed, that even the gardens at springtime would not be able to compete, but when his face was cold, it made others have feelings of chills. Those beautiful peach blossoms eyes were like the water in spring, that instantly became the icy spring on the top of the mountain. He spoke blandly and one was unable to hear joy or anger in his voice, “Speak. Who is your master?”
That person clenched his teeth and did not speak.
Gao Yang and Ji Yu Shu frowned.
Xie Jing Xing smiled lazily, “It is alright if you do not speak. Throw him into the tower prison.” He suddenly stoop down and approached the guard and said in a low voice, “Anyway I know who is it.”
That guard’s expression did not change. There were a number of bruises on his body, seemingly he had endured a good amount of torture before. Xie Jing Xing smiled gently but that smile did not reach his eyes, “Retrieve his order token.”
Ji Yu Shu and Gao Yang were startled at the same time, and could not help but look at that guard.
The guard was startled and a trace of struggle appeared on his face. The words ‘order token’ meant that Xie Jing Xing apparently knew his identity. Who knew that Prince Rui of Great Liang would be this ruthless and unbridled? That tower prison was said to be an even more daunting place, thus his heart was trembling.
The guard simply knelt down and kowtowed to Xie Jing Xing a few times, “May Your Highness show mercy!”
Xie Jing Xing swept his eyes across the other person and sneered, “The people that Imperial Older Brother sends over are of such conduct.” His words had hidden sarcasm, “One thought that the bones will be thicker. Not interesting.”
Ji Yu Shu could not help but say, “What does His Majesty want you to do to Fifth Shen Young Lady?”
This person was caught at the Shen mansion’s doors. This was all thanks to the people that Xie Jing Xing sent to keep watch on the Shen mansion to avoid accidents from happening. This person’s martial arts skills were high, and had a high sense of alertness that Xie Jing Xing’s people had taken several days before they could catch him. Now thinking about it, it was no longer strange, after all he was Emperor Yong Le’s secret agent. If one did not have this level of ability, then the Imperial family of Great Liang would be in jeopardy.
That guard wanted to say something but upon meeting Xie Jing Xing’s half-smiling gaze, he could not help but feel chills running down his back. One had to know that in the entire Imperial family of the Liang dynasty, this person, who always had an indifferent smile, indolent and handsome Prince Rui was the one that could not be provoked. Two years ago when he returned to Great Liang there were a number of undercurrent forces that were moving, but were settled by Xie Jing Xing individually. Those high ranking officials that went against him were all eradicated so thoroughly that even a stalk was not left behind. His means were vicious, his schemes ran deep and no one was able to have any leverage when he took action. Other than handling the fighting in court, he also did a number of tasks beautifully, and made those old guarding officials speechless. This made one both love and hate him.
Now that he was under the sharp gaze, the guard did not dare to conceal anymore and blurted everything out, “His Majesty knows about the matter of Fifth Shen Young Lady, and feared that Your Highness has remained in Ming Qi because of Fifth Shen Young Lady, thus instructed this subordinate to investigate… In no way did he want this subordinate to harm Fifth Shen Young Lady, it is all investigation…”
Without aligning with one another, Gao Yang’s and Ji Yu Shu’s facial expression were somewhat bad. Even though Emperor Yong Le was situated in Great Liang he still had many informants in Ming Qi’s Ding capital. It was not possible to say what would happen after discovering Shen Miao and Xie Jing Xing’s relationship. But with Emperor Yong Le’s character, he would never allow things to happen outside of his plans. Shen Miao was afterall Ming Qi’s people and this identity would bring along a lot of variables. From Ji Yu Shu’s and Gao Yang’s view, it was unlikely that Emperor Yong Le would agree with Xie Jing Xing’s thoughts.
The thing that made everyone have a headache was that these two brothers were both equally stubborn, and would never change anything that they set their mind to. Even if Emperor Yong Le obstructs, how would Xie Jing Xing submit obediently? In addition, compared to Emperor Yong Le, Xie Jing Xing had encountered numerous assassination attempts since he was in Ming Qi for so many years, and his temperament was even more unreasonable and unyielding. If the brothers really started to fight, one fear that there would be foul winds, bloody rain, nightfall during the day and the earth darken.
Sure enough when Xie Jing Xing heard this, he then laughed, “Oh? Since it is only to investigate for information, then there is no need to be locked in the tower prison. I’ll send you back to Great Liang.”
The guard was slightly stunned and before he could speak, he heard Xie Jing Xing’s voice coming from above, “Do you know what to say?”
The guard hesitated. Prince Rui and Emperor Yong Le were both equally fearful. There was a bit of desperation in his heart as he asked tentatively, “There is no relations between Your Highness and Fifth Shen Young Lady?”
Xie Jing Xing looked at him with interest, and there was some kind of profound meaning in that pair of beautiful eyes as he said slowly, “How can Imperial Older Brother’s people lie?”
Gao Yang tightened his hand around the fan and Ji Yu Shu swallowed his saliva.
“Go back and tell Imperial Older Brother that he did not think incorrectly. This Prince stayed behind because of Shen Miao.” The youth’s lips were smiling softly but his brows were unyielding as he said, “Do not have unrealistic thoughts of changing anything, because this Prince will not allow it.”
“Yes. Remember to remind Imperial Older Brother.” He yawned, “Do not forget the agreement with this Prince.”
The tranquil night concealed everything. It concealed the undercurrents in the residence of Prince Rui, concealed the schemes and calculations in the residence of Prince Ding, and also covered up the whispers of the Shen residence.
Someone had entered the inner chambers from the main hall in Qiu Shui Yuan. The original mistress had returned to her maiden family in a fit of anger, and started a lawsuit with her husband’s family. With such incompatibility, everyone knew that it was not possible for Chen Rou Qiu to regain her former glory. Moreover this new YiNiang was gentle and magnanimous. She also has a child in her womb, and one feared that she would climb to the skies in the future. There were a lot of servants who stepped on the lowly and flattered the lofty, thus they immediately turned their heads to flatter this new mistress.
Cang Zai Qing sat in the room, and touched her stomach with a trace of a gentle smile on her face.
Since the Western courtyard was too far away and was too desolate on normal days, Old Shen Furen who had found someone to do a calculation and discovered that it was a son in Cang Zai Qing’s womb, raised Cang Zai Qing up and Shen Wan moved her to Qiu Shui Yuan to take better care.
Cang Zai Qing had became the new female master in Qiu Shui Yuan, and she was also very satisfied with the current situation. Although Chen Rou Qiu had strong abilities but she was old and did not have any sons, thus had less of an advantage in this battle.
Shen Wan entered the room and placed the tonic in his hands on a table, before walking over to Cang Zai Qing and touching her abdomen with a smile, “This is good.”
Cang Zai Qing smiled back and suddenly said softly, “Does Master have some troublesome matters?”
Shen Wan was startled and laughed bitterly, “There is really a troublesome matter.”