Chapter 182: Bestowing Marriage (Part 1)
Consort Xu Xian smiled prettily and asked, “Why is Older Sister not entering? Could it be that one had done something wrong and is currently kneeling and asking His Majesty for forgiveness? Why not this Younger Sister go in and intercede for Older Sister?”
The Empress gritted her teeth, “No need.”
When the court was fighting, it would often implicate the females in the Inner Palace. Prince Zhou’s clique and the Crown Prince’s clique had always competed against one another as this did not only represent the throne but also the people behind them. If the Crown Prince collapse then how long could the Empress sit in that position? There would be a day when Emperor Wen Hui would get old and if Prince Zhou sat on the Dragon throne, what kind of ending would the Empress have?
In ordinary official’s courtyard, there would be a number of dirty means and it was even worse in the Inner Palace as one’s carelessness would cause one to lose their life and implicate one’s family. How would one not live life carefully?
Consort Xu Xian laughed, “If Older Sister is not willing than Younger Sister would not be forceful. However Younger Sister still has things to say to His Majesty and would not bother Older Sister’s interest.” She covered the smile on before instructing someone to report to Emperor Wen Hui.
The Empress only hated that she was unable to disfigure Consort Xu Xian’s face. The Empress had almost guessed what Consort Xu Xian would have said when she went in now. It was nothing more than lighting a flame, fanning it and adding fuel into the fire. Emperor Wen Hui always listened to Consort Xu Xian’s words thus one feared that the anger towards the Crown Prrine would only increase to another level.
However, she was unable to obstruct Consort Xu Xian.
Just as Consort Xu Xian was about to enter, someone ran in from outside in a rush. Upon seeing Consort Xu Xian, he said regretfully, “Your Ladyship Consort Xu Xian, His Highness Prince Rui is currently outside, requesting to see His Majesty.”
Prince Rui? Consort Xu Xian and the Empress were startled at the same time. Why did Prince Rui come here at this time?
Although Consort Xu Xian was arrogant normally, she was not unclear about the importance of things. Those arrogances were just little tantrums that were thrown towards Emperor Wen Hui and she would not dare to be careless on big matters, thus she immediately said, “Then I will come over later.”
The Empress was a few years older than Consort Xu Xian and saw more matters of the court thus her heart sank. Prince Rui did not come earlier or later but just at the time when something happened to the Crown Prince and only after Emperor Wen Hui had handed out the conviction decree of the Crown Prince. One feared that his purpose in coming was ill-intended.
He had a relaxed expression even with the half silver mask on and the Empress felt a little shameful. As the Empress of a country, she let an outsider see her in an embarrassing condition. Consort Xu Xian however had a worried expression on. Some people were born uniquely that even though their appearance might be ordinary, their air of nobility and elegance was able to make other’s admire from the heart. It was as if by just standing there, other’s eyes would not be able to keep away from him.
Prince Rui walked past the Empress and only gave her a glance without much meaning to it and his footsteps did not stop at all, as if he had not seen the scene of the Mother of a country knelling in front of the hall. However this was not because he empathised with the Empress. Even though Prince Rui did not show any expression, the Empress felt that the other party was too lazy to look and the disdain and contempt came from the bottom of his heart.
She felt exceptionally embarrassed.
In the Imperial Study, Emperor Wen Hui was sitting in front of the table. He had a light and flowing appearance but was firm and steady, as if the person who was previously flying into a rage was not him.
It was just that his back was somewhat stiff.
The purple clad youth walked in from outside and lazily and called out ‘Your Majesty’ before directly sat down opposite him, taking it as a greeting. He sat down very casually, as if Emperor Wen Hui was the guest and there were no traces of respect or worship.
Like that, it made Emperor Wen Hui feel that it was as he was worth nothing in front of this not very old person.
That thought only appeared for a very short moment before Emperor Wen Huo recovered to his senses and smiled as he looked at Prince Rui with a smile, “These days Zhen is very busy and did not have the opportunity to ask Prince Rui if living here is alright?”
There were some sense of wanting to be close in those words. Now that the Qin country had a bad attitude towards Ming Qi, if Great Liang have any other intentions at this time, Ming Qi would not have any way to retreat. Thus Emperor Wen Hui did not want to be on too bad terms with Ming Qi, even if he had to be soft or lower his head, as long as the current situation has passed, other matters could be discussed in the future.
So he was in a hurry to please Prince Rui. If the common people of Ming Qi saw Emperor Wen Hui’s current appearance, one feared that they would be scornful.
Prince Rui smiled lazily and said, “With Your Majesty blessing, this Prince is living rather well. However, one heard that Your Majesty is not in a good situation these days.”
Emperor Wen Hui’s heart jumped but on the surface, it was barely noticeable. He only shook his head and smile bitterly, “One had not been able to teach one’s son well and have let Prince Rui see a joke.”
“One cannot blame Your Majesty.” Prince Rui said, “Since Your Majesty has nine sons.” One was unable to hear happiness or anger in his voice, “However the Qin Emperor is truly pitiful. This trip to Ming Qi, the Crown Prince and Princess Ming An lost their lives. It is really a disaster.”
Emperor Wen Hui smile had become somewhat awkward.
Prince Rui was not wrong with his words. The Qin Emperor had kept on requesting the Crown Prince to pay with his life and although that was because of achieving equilibrium but there was another reason. Two countries came to the tribute event but Prince Rui of Great Liang did not have a single injury but both the Crown Prince and Princess of Qin country were dead. What was with this? Was it Ming Qi who deliberately went against Qin country? Or was this subtly indicating that Qin country’s power was low and could not protect a Crown Prince and Princess?
In any case, this was a matter that made the Qin country feel a loss of face and the Qin Emperor was furious about this. So even if the Crown Prince loses his life, in addition of the vanity of a Monarch, the Qin Emperor would hate Ming Qi for a while.
He said, “Zhen is also handling this matter as quickly as possible.”
Prince Rui smiled, “The Qin Emperor will not give up on the matter easily.”
Emperor Wen Hui’s breath was stuck in his chest. He had spoken in a soft manner and during the conversation, he had done his best not to talk about this topic but one did not know why this Prince Rui did not understand and purposely use this topic to block heart and each sentence said was merciless. Emperor Wen Hui naturally would not think that Prince Rui was so stupid that he could not be able to understand the situation so that meant that Prince Rui did it deliberately to disgust him.
Emperor Wen Hui wanted to leave with a wave of his sleeves like he usually did with the officials that did not listen to him or just fly into a terrible rage but Prince Rui was not his officials and even though he was a Prince of First Rank, in some ways, he was more powerful and fiercer than him, this Emperor.
Emperor Wen Hui could only rigidly ask, “One do not know why does Prince Rui come to look for Zhen today?”
Prince Rui did not speak and only used his finger to point at his desk before knocking on it. In a blanket of silence, Emperor Wen Hui’s heart was grabbed by that knocking sound. He suddenly thought that could it be that Prince Rui chose this time to come because there were important things to talk to him?
If Prince Rui mentioned about the border cities between Great Liang and Ming Qi… How would Emperor Wen Hui refuse it?
His back which was initially stiff, broke into a cold sweat. The other party was this silent but it had given him the heaviest feelings.
After a while, the finger that Prince Rui was using to knock paused and he said carelessly, “It is because of this Prince’s lifelong event.”
“What?” Upon hearing these words, Emperor Wen Hui instinctively hesitated and before he could understand it, he heard Prince Rui’s calm voice.
“Imperial Older Brother had always hope that this Prince would quickly form a family as early as possible and had urge this Prince that upon coming to Ming Qi to bring a Prince Consort back. This Prince also has such intention.”
This time Emperor Wen Hui understood. Prince Rui wanted to find a woman in Ming Qi? But why? Emperor Wen Hui felt somewhat strange in his heart and guessed that there was some conspiracy to it but he could not express as such. At that moment a magnanimous smile appeared on his face, “So it is as such. It is of no matter. Even heroes have a weakness for the charms of a beautiful woman. Prince Rui is young and handsome, naturally deserving of a beautiful female. It is just that one does not know which family’s Young Lady did Prince Rui take a fancy to?”
Prince Rui stared at him and the pair of peach blossoms eyes had some smile in it. Emperor Wen Hui was startled when he heard that youth speak.
“Shen Miao of the Shen family.”
Emperor Wen Hui could no longer smile.
His heart was trembling in anger and could not wait to drag Prince Rui out to be beheaded but he could not do so. But he finally could not keep the friendly smile on his face and his expression was exceptionally stiff.
He asked in a hoarse voice, “Who… Did you say?”
“The Di daughter of the Formidable Grand General.” Prince Rui said, “Your Majesty do not remember? Didn’t the Crown Prince want to marry her as a Secondary Consort a few days back?”
He actually pressed others like this! This was going too far in bullying!
A number of thoughts pop into Emperor Wen Hui’s mind in an instant but at the end he could not control his sneer.
This Prince Rui looked lazy and scattered, not taking anything in mind. The alliance between Ming Qi and Qin country did not enter his eyes and would only do his own stuff every day but he was a tiger that pretended to be a pig. His moves were at the back!
Once he thought, it was marrying the Di daughter of the Formidable Grand General. Was he marrying Shen Miao or the military power of the Shen family?
Emperor Wen Hui knew that from Great Liang’s point of view, the Shen family’s military power was not anything big and Great Liang already had a number of outstanding Generals. However from Ming Qi’s point of view, most of the outstanding Generals had been dismissed by him in the early years and now even the Xie family was in decline thus only the Shen family could support Ming Qi. A Ming Qi without the Shen family was like a tiger without its claws and to deal with Great Liang after that, one feared that there would not be a struggle before one was eaten cleanly!
What a good Prince Rui! What a good Great Liang!
Emperor Wen Hui could barely squeeze out a smile, “Prince Rui really have a good eye. However General Shen loves his daughter and this is something that everyone knows. If Prince Rui insist on marrying Shen Miao, one fear that General Shen would feel distress for his daughter and not be willing to marry her far off to Great Liang.”
“How difficult can this be?” Prince Rui played with the thumb ring on his finger and said carelessly, “Since General Shen is not willing then can’t Your Majesty just decree it?”
Emperor Wen Hui was startled.
Prince Rui’s words continued to flow into his hears, “Great Liang and Ming Qi are still considered friendly now so Your Majesty is not willing to give this Prince even this personal favour?” He stretched his waist lazily and said, “So since this is the case then this Prince should report to Imperial Older Brother about the matter of the border cities.”
Emperor Wen Hui had lived for so long and finally understood the feeling of being ‘angry till one’s entire body tremble’.
The Shen family was a piece of fatty meat and not only Prince Rui wanted to snatch this piece of fatty meat, he wanted the owner to serve it up with both hands!
If he really decreed it, one feared that even if Shen Xin stayed in Ming Qi due to his loyalty, there would be grievances in his heart as it was he who decreed for Shen Miao to be married afar!
However if he was not willing to decree it… Emperor Wen Hui looked at the male opposite. As he was wearing a mask, one was unable to see clearly his expression but one had always felt that under this lazy and sloppy appearance, he had extremely power means and tactics. It was not wise to go against Great Liang when Ming Qi and Qin country alliance was in jeopardy.
Prince Rui had given him a difficult problem and there was no answer to it because every single answer was wrong! It would be him that would be in a disadvantage!
That male’s gaze landed on Emperor Wen Hui, just like a cat playing with the mouse that was caught, asking slowly and lazily, “Did Your Majesty think about it?”
Emperor Wen Hui was so furious. Since he was enthroned, he had dealt with countless of tricky matters and there was not once that it was as frustrating as it was now. No one dared to be so rude and arrogant towards him!
For the first time in his life, Emperor Wen Hui began to regret that he should not have dealt with the big clan families’ military power. If Ming Qi had another few General like Shen Xin, was it that he would not need to be humble and servile in front of Great Liang?
But how would there be medication for regret in the world?
When Prince Rui saw that he did not reply, he smiled and stood up, “This Prince understood.” Then he turn around to leave.
“Wait!” Emperor Wen Hui stopped him.