Chapter 180: MeiFu (Younger Sister’s Husband) (Part 1)
The movements in Ming Qi were unable to be hidden from the rest of the world.
One did not know how it gradually began to spread in the marketplace that HuangFu Hao died in the hands of the Crown Prince. Emperor Wen Hui had the thought to place HuangFu Hao’s guards under house arrest but now things had become out of control and if it was not managed, one feared that it would become chaotic.
But how would the people in the residence of Prince Qin be able to sit and wait? News was sent back to the ears of the Qin Emperor and after some short few days, there was someone who rush over to send over a message, wanting Emperor Wen Hui to give an explanation else troops would be sent to level Ming Qi.
If it was the previous Qin country, Ming Qi naturally would be able to compete with them but now with unclear ambitions of Great Liang who was lurking at the side with tiger’s eyes, with the Qin country’s attack, Ming Qi would considered to be finished this time.
Under the conviction of evidence, Emperor Wen Hui had no choice but to send the Crown Prince to prison. Even though he specifically instructed other to take good care of the Crown Prince, at the end it was a move to abandon the chariot to protect the marshal (chess moves).
The older Emperor Wen Hui had gotten the unwavering and firm personality that he had when young were finally wiped off. Not to mention how the other sons would think, even officials would feel chilling when seeing it. In order to protect oneself, even though he obviously knew that there were suspicious circumstances with the Crown Prince killing HuangFu Hao, he still send the Crown Prince to prison.
In fact Emperor Wen Hui was not to be blamed. The reason to why he placed the Crown Prince in prison, other than to show the Emperor of Qin his attitude was to temporarily calm the Qin Emperor’s anger and to ensure the safety of the Crown Prince. HuangFu Hao’s guards were eying him like tigers and had all the intentions to take revenge for HuangFu Hao thus it was highly possible that the Crown Prince would be killed by one of the guards if he was careless on any day. Now that the Crown Prince had become a prisoner and there were so many people guarding in the prison, such things would not happen.
Unfortunately Emperor Wen Hui’s thoughts were not understood and because of this move of his, even the Empress could not sit still.
The Empress stepped into Yang Xin Dian and angrily asked, “Your Majesty knew clearly that the Crown Prince was unjustly accused by others, so why is he being locked up? Did Your Majesty thought of how would the officials look at him in the future?”
Emperor Wen Hui frowned as he did not like the feeling of being questioned by others, “Zhen have one’s viewpoint.”
Emperor Wen Hui still had some affection for the Empress as the Empress was his official wife and when the Late Emperor was alive, the battle of the heir apparent was as fierce as today and if it wasn’t the maiden family of the Empress that was supporting, Emperor Wen Hui would not have necessarily be in this position today. Now the power of maiden family of the Empress was deliberately returned to the Emperor, there would not be any possibility of the dictatorship of a family in the court. Thus Emperor Wen Hui was willing to give more affection to the Empress and moreover the Empress is the birth mother of the Crown Prince.
Privately the Empress was indeed not a bad Empress. She did not get jealous and also managed the Inner Palace rather well.
“ChenQie beseech Your Majesty to revoke the order.” The Empress said, “The Crown Prince would need to face the court officials in the future thus Your Majesty’s action would only let the commoners under the sky misunderstand.” If it was previously, the Empress would have not refuted Emperor Wen Hui’s decision but as a mother, one would always be more sensitive with matters of one’s son. The Empress was not willing to have any mistakes in the Crown Prince’s future, not even a drop of dirty water could stain him.
What was more that this time it was an ordinary fault. Once the crime of murdering the Crown Prince of Qin country was confirmed, one feared that it would even be difficult to ensure the safety of Fu Xiu Yan’s life. Even though the Empress does not interfere in political affairs, this did not mean that she had no knowledge of the matters in the court. Once there was a dangerous seed that was formed, there would also be a seed of elimination.
Emperor Wen Hui had been troubled these days when dealing with this matter and his heart was very frustrated. Of all times the Empress chose to agitate him at this time and he said impatiently, “Zhen do not need you to criticise or give orders when Zhen actions.”
The Empress’s heart jumped. After being husband and wife with Emperor Wen Hui for so many years, she naturally knew Emperor Wen Hui’s temperament. She immediately changed to a warm expressed and removed the questioning expression she had before softly speaking, “ChenQie knows that Your Masjesty is frustrated and it was ChenQie who is impulsive just now. ChenQie is also worried for the Crown Prince. One remembered that when the Crown Prince was young, his studies not not considered good and no matter how the Imperial Tutor taught, he was unable to learn and it was Your Majesty who personally taught the Crown Prince. Now both ChenQie and Your Majesty know clearly in one’s heart that the matter has nothing to do with the Crown Prince. The Crown Prince’s character is gentle and honest so how would he kill another? Even if he did kill another, he would definitely not to be so stupid to assassinate another in broad daylight. Your Majesty, the Crown Prince is innocent and you are the Crown Prince’s father. Could it be that one would watch with open eyes as the Crown Prince was blamed and charged unwarranted offences?”
These appeasing words played a good role and Emperor Wen Hui’s expression eased. Among the nine Princes, the one that Emperor Wen Hui wanted to support the most was the Crown Prince and naturally not willing to let the Crown Prince die like this. Just as he was about to speak, one heard the palace maid outside reporting, “Your Majesty, Her Ladyship Consort Xian has arrived.”
The Empress’s expressions were as usual but the hands that was clasped in the sleeves were nightly clenched. Among the consorts in the Palace, Consort Xian was the most arrogant one as she had gave birth to two Princes, Prince Zhou and Prince Jing, and was favoured upon normally with delicate good appearances. Even though her actions were arrogant, she was able to capture and retained Emperor Wen Hui’s heart.
The Empress was not ignorant of the ambition of the two brothers, Prince Zhou and Prince Jing. Consort Xu Xian naturally hoped that her sons would be able to sit on that position so once the Crown Prince was in trouble, Consort Xu Xian would not let go of the opportunity to throw stones.
One could see Consort Xu Xian coming in seductively from outside. Even though she had gave birth to two sons, Consort Xu Xian’s appearance did not show traces of aging. One had heard that she would use sheep’s milk to bathe everyday so her skin was smooth and firm, even better than young females at the age of twenty eight but had the charms of a mature woman. There were three thousands of beauties in the Palace but Consort Xu Xian’s appearance indeed made others jealous so it was no wonder Emperor Wen Hui would still favour her often even though Consort Xu Xian was domineering and arrogant.
When Consort Xu Xian entered, she said her greetings to Emperor Wen Hui and the Empress. Afterwards she then said smilingly, “Lately Your Majesty’s mood is not good so ChenQie had instructed the Imperial Kitchens’ pastry chef to make some purple snow bird’s nests for Your Majesty to taste. One did not think that Older Sister would also be here.”
The Empress smiled lightly and did not want to talk to her but how would Consort Xian willing to let this opportunity go? She looked towards the Empress and said, “Today for Older Sister to look for His Majesty, is it about the Crown Prince’s matter?”
Emperor Wen Hui had yet to say anything when the Empress raised her eyebrows and said angrily, “Younger Sister is managing too broadly.”
Consort Xu Xian grinned and looked at Emperor Wen Hui, who did not say a word, before looking at the Empress again and said slowly, “Originally these things should not be said my this Younger Sister but His Majesty is worried about this matter so why Older Sister cannot understand His Majesty and still harass His Majesty at this juncture?” She let the palace maid put down the basket as she continued speaking, “The Crown Prince’s matter is not about one person’s life. A perfectly fine Crown Prince of Qin country is involved and that day only the Crown Prince and the Crown Prince of Qin country are present. Younger Sister naturally believe that the Crown Prince would not do such insane and lunatic actions but one have to bring out evidence.”
“If one is unable to bring out the evidence then how could everyone be convinced? Moreover at the Qin country’s end, there are people watching closely. If His Majesty listens to Older Sister’s words and let the Crown Prince out then once the Qin country hear of it, one do not know how much waves would there be. Older Sister cannot just think of oneself and the Crown Prince and have to think of the world.” Consort Xu Xian said thoughtfully but the Empress’s expressions changed.
“Shut up.” The Empress said angrily.
Consort Xu Xian feigned a scared look and stepped back a little before looking at Emperor Wen Hui with grievances, “Your Majesty, ChenQie persuaded Older Sister with good intentions but Older Sister fail to appreciate the favour. ChenQie is wronged to death.”
Emperor Wen Hui was having a terrible headache and did not want to see anyone. How could he not know that Consort Xu Xian’s words were of provocation and it was all to let the Crown Prince not live well but Emperor Wen Hui had no way to deny it as Consort Xu Xian’s words were the truth. The Crown Prince’s matter not only implicate the Crown Prince but also Qin country’s attitude. This time Ming Qi could not make a mistake at all as if this matter was not handled well, no one could tell what kind of disaster would be brought onto Ming Qi in the future.
Thinking about that, Emperor Wen Hui felt troubled thinking about the Crown Prince and became annoyed with the Empress too. He said to the Empress and Consort Xu Xian, “All withdraw. Zhen want to be alone.”
The Empress took great difficulty before Emperor Wen Hui loosen his lips and did not think that when Consort Xu Xian mixed in, her previous efforts were of naught and her heart was unwilling to give up. Before she could say anything, Consort Xu Xian said, “Since Your Majesty is not willing to be disturbed by others, ChenQies would withdraw first. Beseeching Your Majesty to take care of the Dragon’s body and don’t let this matter hurt one spiritually.”
Emperor Wen Hui did not even raise his head as he waved his hand.
No matter how unwilling the Empress was, she could only withdraw out with Consort Xu Xian.
After exiting Yang Xin Dian, the Empress stopped at looked at Consort Xu Xian before laughing coldly, “BenGong knows what your heart is thinking. But the sons you gave birth to would never be able to replace BenGong’s son.”
Consort Xu Xian smiled, “Younger Sister does not deserve Older Sister’s words. The Crown Prince is as respectable as gold and as precious as jade. This Younger Sister sincerely want good things for him. The relationship between brothers are close so what is with the words of replacing?” She then giggled and admired the Empress’s seemingly annoyed expression before speaking, “It is Older Sister that Younger Sister had always wanted to replace.” After finishing she then stroke the pearl flower by her temple and walked away enchantingly.
The Empress remained alone standing in place with gritted teeth.
The matter of the Empress and Consort Xu Xian entering the Yang Xin Dian one after the other, quickly spread to other’s ears.
Consort Dong Shu was sitting on the couch listening to the palace maid playing Qin. She played like mountains were high and water were flowing. The spring water splattering and the tall mountain as backdrop was indeed a wonderful painting. She did not like to fight with outsiders and would pray to Buddha. When she was not normally in the Buddhist hall, she would be sewing flowers and listening to Qin at the side hall, not behaving like a consort but an outsider. Among the four consorts, the one that was most overlooked was her that one would be amazed as to how she became one of the four consorts.
Sitting just below her was a man in jade brocade robes, who was slightly smiling as he tilted his head to the side to listen, as if he was immersed in the Qin for a long time.
At the end of the piece, the maid held the Qin as she said her thanks. Consort Dong Shu waved her hands and the personal palace maid went forward to bestow money and sent the maid out.
When all the people in the side hall had withdrew, Fu Xiu Yi smiled, “Consort Mother is exceptionally happy today.”
“The Empress cannot sit still.” Consort Dong Shu smiled, “She personally went to Yang Xi Dian to plead for the Crown Prince and of course Consort Xian naturally would not miss this opportunity. Prince Zhou and Prince Jing wanted to replace the Crown Prince and Consort Xian would definitely put in effort in the Inner Palace.”
“It is a pity that it is not a good method.” Consort Dong Shu picked up the teacup for a sip, “However, if the sandpiper and clam don’t fight, how does the fisherman profit?”
Both mother and son smiled together.
Fu Xiu Yi’s features resembled more towards Consort Dong Shu and would look cold normally but when one smiled, it would be soft and tender, making others unable to put up one’s vigilance.
Consort Dong Shu said, “How are you lately?”
Fu Xiu Yi laughed, “One had found some interesting secrets and is currently investigating. One think that it would not be long before there would be results.”