Chapter 167: Bestowing a Marriage (Part 1)
“The Young Lady of the Shen family?” The Crown Prince was first stunned and lose his voice saying, “Shen Miao?”
Fu Xiu Yi looked at him and smiled without saying anything.
“No.” The Crown Prince shook his head, “The Young Lady of the Shen family is the pearl on General Shen’s hands and is currently not engage till now. One fear that he view his daughter’s lifelong matter very seriously and importantly so why would he be willing to marry her to the Eastern Palace? Moreover,” The Crown Prince looked at Fu Xiu Yi and smiled, “Everyone in the Ding capital know that at the beginning the Young Lady of the Shen family had Ninth Younger Brother in her heart. I would not be able to gain her affection.”
Fu Xiu Yi laughed and shook his head, “How would she have me in her heart? That was only a joke when one was young. Otherwise you have seen in these few years, she had not given me any special treatment these few years and it was even colder than outsiders.”
The Crown Prince thought about it carefully. It was indeed so. In these two years, it seemed that when Shen Miao saw Fu Xiu Yi, there was no warm like previous and both of them were so cold that it made them princes feel puzzled. Having said that, the Crown Prince still said, “Maybe it was because you are not affectionate with others so Young Lady Shen is angry with you.”
“Eldest Brother better not tease me.” Fu Xiu Yi smiled, “Furthermore the Shen family is not the in-laws that I can climb onto. I am however willing to look for a wife with a less prominent status since it would be much of ease. Speaking of which,” Fu Xiu Yi said seriously, “Why does Eldest Brother have to work from the side of General Shen and Young Lady Shen? The parents will make the decision of the children marriages. The best method for this matter is to give it to Imperial Father.”
“Correct.” Fu Xiu Yi saw that the wine cup of the Crown Prince was empty and filled it to the brim. He then said slowly, “Imperial Father dotes Eldest Brother the most and would definitely support Eldest Brother and will seek a strong support for Eldest Brother. If Eldest Brother want to marry Young Lady Shen, Imperial Father will definitely be happy to make it come true. As such, with an Imperial edict to bestow marriage, everything will be solved.”
“Ninth Younger Brother had thought about it too simple.” The Crown Prince shook his head, “Nothing forcibly done is going to be agreeable. One know that the Young Lady of the Shen family is not willing to marry me and because of the Imperial edict, she had to enter the Eastern Palace, in the future she will have grievances about it. General Shen will also have grievances with Imperial Father. This marriage would not be successful and one will become enemies. Then it would be bad.”
“Why would Eldest Brother think so?” Fu Xiu Yi looked at him with surprise, “All the females in the world only seek for a wealth and peaceful future. Even though one will not be the official consort after marrying into the Eastern Palace, the Secondary Consort identity is not of a lowly position. In the future when Eldest Brother is enthroned, the Young Lady of the Shen family naturally will be raised to a Consort position. Eldest Brother has a warm temperament and as long as one treats the Young Lady of the Shen family well, one’s heart would be seen in the future so why would there be grievances towards Eldest Brother? Just like Eldest Sao who was bestowed to Eldest Brother by Imperial Father, but now is single-mindedly helping Eldest Brother to plan.”
When the Crown Prince heard of it, he felt that Fu Xiu Yi’s words were somewhat reasonable. In the beginning the Crown Prince Consort also married due to the Emperor’s Imperial edict and before that they did not see one another much. Initially there were various unwillingness but now, she had deeply rooted feelings for the Crown Prince and would keep thinking for the Crown Prince.
“Females are all like this. If one marry a chick one will follow the chicken and when one marry a dog, one will follow the dog. As long as one treat her better, she will whole-heartedly follow one’s husband. Eldest Brother is a dragon among people so how could one unable to tame a female?”
The Crown Prince was a little embarrassed with Fu Xiu Yi’s words and waved his hands continuously. Both bothers confide with entire sincerity and exchanging cups of wine. It was really joyous and harmonious.
It was only when the night was deep and after Fu Xiu Yi left the Eastern Palace, the drunkenness was swept away from the Crown Prince’s face. Instead in its place, there was somewhat of a clarity.
The aides walked out from behind and asked the Crown Prince probingly, “Your Highness, just now the Ninth Highness’s words…”
“Ninth Younger Brother is sending a plum to steal a peach in turn.” The Crown Prince laughed and naturally picked up his wine cup, “It is rather courageous. Now that Imperial Father is suspicious of him in his heart, he dared to show goodwill to my Eastern Palace. From this, it is true that us brothers had underestimated him.”
“Then the proposal that the Ninth Highness had mentioned, to let Your Highness seek a relation with the Shen family. What does Your Highness think about it?” The aide asked.
The Crown Prince put down the cup in his hands and a light flashed in his eyes, “Although his heart is not right, his scheme can be used. I indeed need the Shen family’s power. Shen Miao is a good chess piece, it won’t hurt to marry her in.” He then smiled again, “Since one has a good appearance, it is of no matter to coax her a bit.”
The aide nodded his head, “Your Highness is agreeing to the matter?”
The Crown Prince looked at the wine flagon on the table, “This Prince will personally mention this matter to Imperial Father and will also remember the sentiments of Ninth Younger Brother.”
As Fu Xiu Yi expected, within a few days, the Crown Prince really mentioned the matter to Emperor Wen Hui. Emperor Wen Hui did not immediately agree but also did not refused and instead looked at the Crown Prince meaningfully before finally laughing, “Not bad. Zhen kept thinking that you have not improve but you have finally grew up.” Afterwards he said, “Zhen will consider it.”
After the Crown Prince left, Emperor Wen Hui then said to Su GongGong beside him, “Zhen had not think that the Crown Prince would actually want to marry Shen Miao.”
Su GongGong said with a smile, “The Young Lady of the Shen family is excellent in learnings and behaviour. The Crown Prince’s foresight is excellent.”
“Enough of it.” Emperor Wen Hui dismissed it, “Zhen is not one without a brain. It is Number Nine that pointed out a clear route for the Crown Prince so what is the meaning of it?” From his words, he knew that Fu Xiu Yi was the one that came out with the idea of the marriage with the Shen family.
Su GongGong was cautious and did not speak. These family matters of the Imperial family all had a death word in it. She was only a servant and dared not mixed into it.
“However it is good. Zhen wanted to support the Crown Prince since Prince Zhou and Prince Li have no longer put Zhen in their eyes. Zhen also cannot understand Number Nine. With the support of the Shen family, the Crown Prince can balance off with Prince Zhou and Prince Li and also control the Shen family’s military power in one’s hand. It will save Zhen some effort. It is just that…” Emperor Wen Hui smiled as he looked at the memorandum on the table before closing it up and standing up, “Set off to Kun Ning Palace.”
Luo Xue Yan received a message from the Palace to bring Shen Miao to the Palace tomorrow and was confused for a moment. She still thought that there were some issues with Shen Xin’s side and asked Shen Xin but he also could not figure it out. Both husband and wife would be particularly cautious with regards to the Imperial family. However even though one’s heart was cautious, they dare not show it to Shen Miao, fearing that Shen Miao would be scared.
Even though Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan tried their best to say it casually, how could Shen Miao’s heart be able to relax? Without any rhyme or reason the Fu family would definitely not let Luo Xue Yan bring her into the Palace. But she had no clue what exactly this matter was for. Pei Lang had not wrote to her for a long time and if there was a letter, most likely she could still guess Fu Xiu Yi’s next move… Shen Miao’s heard suddenly moved. That was right, why had Pei Lang not written to her for such a long time?
Even if it was the past, even if there was no major event, Pei Lang would also write a letter to her but a long time had passed already. A faint conjecture formed in Shen Miao’s heart, could it be that… Pei Lang was unable to write to her? Was it because Fu Xiu Yi had discovered him?
The more her heart felt chaotic. Ever since the strange encounter with that inexplicably mad priest in Pu Tuo Monastery, it was difficult for Shen Miao’s heart to calm down. She wanted to know who was the benefactor with the fate of ‘a fierce dragon overcomes the Heavens’. She also really want to know who was the person who gave her the opportunity to relive one more time but after thinking back and forth, she had no clue and instead mad her mood much more restless.
Shen Miao could not help but look up at the window. The windows were closed tightly. Xie Jing Xing said that in the future there was no need to open the window and he could still come in but these days Xie Jing Xing did not appear at all. Shen Miao draped her outerwear and walked over to the window to open it. The scene outside was the night wind and cold weather. Shen Miao grabbed onto her outerwear tighter.
Suddenly there was a flash of a figure. Cong Yang had stood up from the corner of the wall and asked as he looked at Shen Miao, “Is Young Lady looking for Master?”
Shen Miao was caught off guard and jumped in shock. She was clutching her chest in annoyance and said, “No.”
Cong Lang seemed not to have heard Shen Miao words and continued speaking in all seriousness, “Master is recently not in Ding capital. Young Lady need not need to wait for him here.”
“I am not waiting for him.” Shen Miao stressed, “I am only letting some air in.”
Cong Yang did not speak and Shen Miao had thought about something and asked, “Cong Yang, if I enter the Palace, can you go in together?”
When Cong Yang heard it, he was stunned for a bit before saying somewhat sorrowful, “This subordinate is not one from the Palace and not familiar with the Palace’s terrain. If one were to follow Young Lady in, there would not be places to hide and one is unable to guarantee that one would not be discovered.”
Shen Miao’s eyes hang down. Since Cong Yang could not guarantee not to be discovered then forget about it. After thinking, no matter what kind of play the Imperial family was putting up, they would not take action in the Palace since Luo Xue Yan was still there. Upon thinking to this point, she was relieved and said, “It’s alright.”
“If Young Lady have anything to say, do tell this subordinate. When this subordinate send the letter over, one will also bring it to Master.” Cong Yang looked at Shen Miao and said what he wanted to say.
Shen Miao closed the window with a loud ‘Ba’. What kind of subordinate would have what kind of Master. Just don’t even listen to what others said.
At the other end, in the residence of Prince Rui, Gao Yang and Ji Yu Shu was studying a map at the moment. The map was densely covered in many places and when one look closely, it was a military defence map.
The guard outside came to report, “Gao Daren and Young Master Ji, tomorrow the Young Lady of the Shen family will be entering the Palace. Must one send a letter to His Highness?”
“Enter the Palace?” Ji Yu Shu asked, “Is there anything the matter?”
The guard shook his head.
Ji Yu Shu sighed, “These days one was busy drawing up this map and did not help Third Older Brother to watch Young Lady Shen. It would be bad when Third Older Brother return since one would not know anything when he ask. You and me will be out of luck.” He hit Gao Yang, “You have people in the Palace , is there anything happening recently?”
“Nothing.” Gao Yang thought about it and said, “Don’t send the letter first. He is currently busy with official matters and cannot have distractions. Since there is no news from Cong Yang, it should not be serious. If something really happen, we can just block it.”
That guard complied and left.
Ji Yu Shu looked at Gao Yang, “Why do I feel that your way of doing things is not proper?”
“There is nothing not proper.” Gao Yang said impatiently, “Look at the map.”
Ji Yu Shu muttered, “Anyways, if anything happens and when Third Older Brother asked why it was not reported in time, I will say that it was you who let…”
On the second day, Shen Miao followed Luo Xue Yan into the Palace.
Everything when they entered the Palace, something would always happen. Luo Xue Yan was somewhat vigilant but Shen Miao seemed to be accustomed to it. This was because she already knew that the Heaven’s family did not have good intentions so she was not nervous.
The palace maid took them directly to Kun Ning Palace.
Upon reaching Kun Ning Palace, one first saw the Empress who was sitting at the main seat. The Consort that was sitting beside the Empress had a gentle smile, with beautiful but plain clothes worn. It was none other than Dong Su Consort.
The Empress and Dong Su Consort? Shen Miao’s heart was up on alert.
The Empress was the birth mother of the Crown Prince and had a conventional husband and wife relationship with Emperor Wen Hui. However most probably because the Empress was born from a wealthy family, the entire journey to the current position was smooth sailing, her whole heart was focused on the Crown Prince’s health and did not have the heart to fight for power in the Inner Palace. Thus it was rather like thunder passing and wind moving. However at the end it was this Consort Dong Su who was the most unobtrusive could not be beaten.
Consort Dong Su had always stayed out of the matters in the Inner Palace, just like Fu Xiu Yi, watching other consorts fight till heads were broken and blood flowed. Naturally there was still one more point, which was she had a bit of power that no one knew of. It was that bit of power that would drive things to the worst. Using another’s knife to kill others, causing the calamity? No one could play it better than Consort Dong Su.
If one were to say that Mei Furen was brazen, fearless, arrogant and rampant, then Consort Dong Su was gentle and warm as she bring a knife with a smile. Therefore when the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law saw one another, Consort Dong Su looked down on Shen Miao but was very appreciative of Mei Furen.
Shen Miao looked at the current situation and knew that the Empress would be used as a knife by Consort Dong Su. After all, Consort Dong Su was the kind of person who ensures that she would have the highest profit no matter what she did.