Chapter 173: Exposed (Part 1)
The invitation that Princess Rong Xin sent had indicated the afternoon on the next day. Luo Xue Yan instructed Shen Xin to prepare a number of gifts for Shen Miao to bring to the Princess residence because Princess Rong Xin had help Shen Miao a number of times thus Luo Xue Yan would like to express her gratitude to Princess Rong Xin.
In order to prevent any accidents during the journey, Shen Qiu had arranged a number of guards and even Ah Zhi and Mo Qing were also following. Despite these, Shen Miao did not have any relaxed feeling during the journey. When Jing Zhe and Gu Yu, who were beside her, saw it and thought that Shen Miao was worried that the journey was not safe and consoled her for a long time.
In the carriage, Shen Miao kept pondering how she should respond to Princess Rong Xin’s words. If Princess Rong Xin asked about Xie Jing Xing then how would she go about dispelling the other party’s suspicion? Princess Rong Xin was a very cautious person and once a doubtful thought formed, it would be very difficult to annihilate it.
SHen Miao felt a terrible headache.
Jing Zhe smiled, “What is Young Lady thinking that is so serious? This servant had not seen Young Lady like this for a long time already.”
Shen Miao was slightly stunned and her heart was somewhat flabbergasted. It was correct. Ever since she was reborn, the route that she was walking on was exceptionally smooth as she relied on information of her previous life’s path. Even it was matters concerning Luo Xue Yan, Shen Xin and Shen Qiu, it was not particularly difficult to deal with. As for other people, she would only be interested one’s interest, just like Liu Ying and Pei Lang. How would she got to do with other people’s business? But now she was cracking her head to think of an excuse for Xie Jing Xing but what was the relationship between Xie Jing Xing and her that she would make an all-out effort?
Shen Miao started to be somewhat angry with herself and she also knew that she had a stubborn personality and would bash one’s head against a brick wall. A voice in her heart said that these troubles were caused by Xie Jing Xing and he should be the one resolving it. The other voice however could not bear for Xie Jing Xing to handle this tricky matter alone.
After all to let Xie Jing Xing reappear in front of Princess Rong Xin with an identity of Prince Rui of Great Liang, no matter if it was to Princess Rong Xing or Xie Jing Xing, it was just too cruel.
Unknowingly, when Shen Miao had not thought of an appropriate countermeasures, the horse carriage had reached the entrance doors of the Princess residence. The servants of the Princess residence had some impression of Shen Miao and naturally welcoming her respectfully. Shen Miao instructed Mo Qing and the rest to remain at the doors to help move the gifts for Princess Rong Xin to the storeroom. Afterwards the palace maid brought Shen Miao in.
She brought her directly into Princess Rong Xin’s room.
Even though Princess Rong Xin’s figure was not commonly seen in court and she was normally low-key, but the Princess residence was spacious and grand. Even since her FuMa (Princess’s husband) passed on, Princess Rong Xin lived as a widow and was not very concern about these mere worldly possessions. Her room’s theme was simple and clean and when one entered, there was a sense of coldness.
Princess Rong Xin was drinking some sweet soup that was sent from the kitchens and when she saw that Shen Miao had arrived, she instructed the servants to bring a bowl for Shen Miao. She smiled as she said, “This is a newly hired chef that makes good snacks and sweet soup. One does not know if you are used to eating it or not but BenGong felt that it is better than the Palace’s. Give it a taste.”
Shen Miao thanked Princess Rong Xin and picked up the bowl to have a taste. She did not like sweet food particularly and because of Princess Rong Xin’s face, it was not good to refuse it. While eating, she was observing Princess Rong Xin’s facial expression.
Princess Rong Xin looked much better than that encounter she had in the Plaace. Her face was rosier and her mood was not bad as there was a smile on her face. Shen Miao said, “Princess looked much better.”
“The medical hall had recently happened to receive a rare medicinal herb and the kitchens would simmer it every day for BenGong to drink. It would be difficult for BenGong not to get better.” Princess Rong Xin sighed, “It is really lucky. Previously one thought that it was already not easy to search for this medicinal herb and did not expect that one actually encounter it at this timing.” There was a bit of a surprise in her tone of voice.
Shen Miao followed Princess Rong Xin’s topic but her heart felt a little weird. Princess Rong Xing was not someone who was concern about trivial matters and even chatting, it would be speaking of one’s view on interesting matters thus there was no need to specifically mention this matter to her. However Shen Miao could not get the deeper meaning of her words.
She had initially thought that Princess Rong Xin would be asking about Xie Jing Xing’s matter today and did not expect that Princess Rong Xin would not even mention anything about it thus she also did not intend to mention it. On the contrary the topic was changed to Shen Miao’s marriage that Emperor Wen Hui had suppressed a few days back.
“Imperial Older Brother had been obsessed with it before and seemed to really want you to be his daughter-in-law that even BenGong felt that it was not appropriate. However after you left on that day, BenGong personally went to Imperial Older Brother to plea for leniency and hope that he would dismiss this idea but Imperial Older Brother did not agree to it. Afterwards it was all thanks to Prince Rui’s lucky influence.” She looked at Shen Miao with a smile, “One had thought that General Shen had inquired about the reason and told you?”
Shen Miao nodded her head and she started to be on guard.
“Even though these words were somewhat treacherous, BenGong also do not wish to see Great Liang having ambitions on Ming Qi. But one had to thank Prince Rui as if he hadn’t said those words, Imperial Older Brother would not have change his mind and your marriage would not be suppressed down like this.”
Shen Miao remained quiet as one would make more mistakes if one were to speak now. However she did not expect that Princess Rong Xin would suddenly take her hand and spoke with a smile, “Previously BenGong saw that the relationship between you and Prince Rui of Great Liang was not shallow and BenGong is after all much older than you and have eaten more salt that you have eating rice, and it is the same for looking at people. Prince Rui has a special identity and BenGong sees that you are still young and inevitably be deceived but one did not expect that he was one of loyally and spoke up at this critical moment. BenGong was thinking that if this was said on purpose then it was somewhat constrained.”
Princess Rong Xin did not have such an attitude on Prince Rui previously. Because the gap between how she was formerly and now was so great, Shen Miao became very cautious but there was no trace of flusteredness on her face as she said with a gentle smile, “Prince Rui is a dragon among people and this official’s daughter is just a mere grass, naturally one is incomparable. This official’s daughter is also not that arrogant to think that Prince Rui would speak for this official’s daughter.” These words was diplomatically denying the intimate relationship with Prince Rui.
“BenGong know that you are shy.” Princess Rong Xin was particularly eccentric today, “BenGong would not tell others.”
Shen Miao wanted to speak but Princess Rong Xin changed the topic at a turn of her head.
Princess Rong Xin was particularly exhilarated today and kept on talking to Shen Mao for a long time. When Prince Rui was brought up just now, Shen Miao thought that Princess Rong Xin would continue to ask but Princess Rong Xin changed topic and asked about the youths that Luo Xue helped to pick for Shen Miao.
From the afternoon till the evening, Princess Rong Xin seemingly did not want to end the day’s chat and send Shen Miao back. Shen Miao was somewhat confused about Princess Rong Xin’s intention.
Jing Zhe and Gu Yu however wanted Shen Miao to return earily as the roads were not easy to travel on at night as one would not be able to see the road that the horse carriage was travelling on. But this was the Princess residence and the Princess and Shen Miao did not say anything about it so how could they, two servants, say anything?
When the last pot of tea was finished, Princess Rong Xin got up and Jing Zhe and Gu Yu gave a slight sigh in their heart as they thought that Princess Rong Xin had a rare interest today and finally they would be able to return. Who knew that Princess Rong Xin pulled Shen Miao’s hands over amiably and smiled, “Accompany me around the courtyard.”
Jing Zhe’s and Gu Yu’s mouth dropped. Princess Rong Xin had lived here for so many years and would have walked around her own courtyard every day, without any rhyme and reason why would one let Shen Miao, a guest, take a walk around the courtyard? Moreover it was currently pitch dark and it was very cold outside, so why the need to take a walk around the courtyard? Wasn’t one afraid of catching a cold? Was it that the Princesses of Imperial families were all so eccentric?
Shen Miao however understood. Princess Rong Xin obviously had other things in mid and today’s invitation to Shen Miao to come over to the Princess residence would definitely not only to let Shen Miao chat with her. Princess Rong Xin definitely had her own plans.
But Shen Miao had no ways to reject it.
She said, “Alright.”
Out of Jing Zhe’s and Gu Yu’s expectation, the ‘courtyard’ that Princess Rong Xin brought Shen Miao to was a side courtyard. There was no lantern at the doors and one could not see clearly what words were on the plaque.
Princess Rong Xin pulled Shen Miao’s hands as she stepped into the room and smiled, “This courtyard is Xing Zheng Yuan.”
Shen Miao heart thumped and she knew what Princess Rong Xin would say next.
Sure enough when Princess Rong Xin entered the room, she picked up the little toys on the shelf in reminisce and smiled while she spoke, “This is where Jing Xing stayed.”
Jing Zhe and Gu Yu who were following behind felt that the words was a little strange. This was where the Little Marquis of the Xie family stayed.
“Jing Xing did not have a mother when he was young. After Yu Qing left, BenGong pitied that he was so young and was angry with the restless side family of the Marquis of Lin An that caused a fire in the inner courtyard. Yu Qing’s life was bitter and at the end had a reputation of being a jealous wife. However at that time Madam Fang exploited a loophole and one could not use the Imperial might to deal with her as it would only bring forth infamy to Yu Qing. Ben Gong was first angry and second fearful that Madam Fang would do take sinister action and carried Jing Xing back to the Princess residence to raise.”
“Jing Xing is very naughty from birth and is very close with BenGong. BenGong did not have any son and thought that it would be good to have Jing Xing raised by my side, thus built this Xing Zheng Yuan for Jing Xing.”
When Princess Rong Xin was speaking about these things, she was still sighing. With her description, Shen Miao could almost see a baby in swaddling clothes. The fortunate thing about Shen Miao was that her parents were safe and sound and doted on her a lot. Even though due to the Second and Third household of the Shen family’s instigation, there were some alienation, it could still be remedied. However when Xie Jing Xing was born, he did not have a mother.
In another words, when he was born, in the false identity in Ming Qi, he played the role of a pitiful and unfavourable role.
“Jing Xing was raise at BenGong’s very well and the Marquis of Lin An came a few time to bring him buck and even did it through Imperial Older Brother’s end but BenGong did not acknowledge it. However later on Madam Fang gave birth to two sons then BenGong returned Jing Xing back.” Princess Rong Xin turned around and looked at Shen Miao, “Do you know why?”
Shen Miao thought of it for a moment before saying, “Because the Little Marquis was the Di son of the residence of the Marquis of Lin An and he should be inheriting the residence of the Marquis of Lin An. If the Little Marquis continued to stay in the Princess residence, Madam Fang and the two Shu sons of the Xie family would exploited it and in the future the position of the Marquis of Lin An will also fall in the hands of the two brothers.”
Princess Rong Xing smiled when she heard it, “BenGong had long knew that you are one who could see things thoroughly. When I was at your age, one would not have think of that.”
Shen Miao smiled gently and did not express an opinion. Naturally a young female who had not given birth would not plan for a child, much less plan in advance. But she was a female who gave birth to two child thus if it was Wan Yu and Fu Ming, she would also let Wan Yu and Fu Ming return. It was originally her own children things so how would one let others take it?
“Although Jing Xing returned, his relationship with BenGong still remained very good. It was always said that blood is thicker than water, so BenGong was afraid that he would get along with the Marquis of Lin An and with vile characters provoking, he would instead be somewhat resentful to BenGong and Yu Qing. But what BenGong was surprisingly delighted was that his relations with the Marquis of Lin An was not been so good. No matter how well the Marquis of Lin An treated him, he would not be indifferent to it. Sometimes BenGong thought that he and the Marquis of Lin An did not look like a pair of Father and Son so how would there be an instance of blood being thicker than water?”
Shen Miao’s heart was hoisted up as the meaning behind Princess Rong Xin’s words was just too strong.