Chapter 197: Aristocratic Families (Part 1)
Consort Jing was used to tyrannise in the Palace. Even though she was arrogant and brainless, no one would dared to touch her that even Empress Xian De would not be bothered to care about her. One did not expect that she would have a bone with Shen Miao, or to say that she have a bone with Prince Rui.
No matter how clever and eloquent Shen Miao was, Consort Jing had the ability to punish her with a crime and it was alright to just find any charge. However she could not afford to offend Prince Rui.
When Prince Rui just came to Long Ye, the officials in court had all opposed to it and would hinder him openly or discretely. Everyone saw his stubborn and lazy appearance and thought that he was just a devil incarnate. No one knew that this person only use two years to make those officials avoid him, like a mouse seeing a cat, that they did not dare to provoke at all. Consort Jing’s father also warned her not to be an enemy of Prince Rui.
No matter how wilful Consort Jing was, she dared not confront Prince Rui. Emperor Yong Le had no way to deal with Prince Rui, much less a Consort like her.
She smiled reluctantly, “Your Highness Prince Rui is so busy, how would there be time to listen to Fourth Younger Sister’s music?” She then turned to Emperor Yong Le for help, “In the future, ChenQie will teach and guide Fourth Younger Sister so Your Highness Prince Rui must not be bothered with it.”
“This Prince do not have the time to be bothered with it.” Xie Jing Xing smiled and held Shen Miao’s shoulder, “WangFei also do not have the energy. When Consort Jing is free, it is better to think of ways to share Imperial Older Brother’s worries.”
Consort Jing bit her lips and looked at Emperor Yong Le awkwardly.
Emperor Yong Le’s face became heavier. No matter what, it made him unhappy that Xie Jing Xing kept on humiliating his consort. Perhaps previously he did not mind but now he did not wish Xie Jing Xing to stand up for Shen Miao. What kind of appearance of doting was this becoming to? He coldly asked Shen Miao, “Rui WangFei, is this what you mean?”
Shen Miao bowed docilely, “The wife follows the husband.”
Empress Xian De looked at Shen Miao somewhat surprised. It seemed that she did not think that Shen Miao would be so stubborn in front of Emperor Yong Le and suddenly thought of something and smiled as she shook her head.
When Emperor Yong Le heard it, he stared silently at Shen Miao for a long time. His gaze could be described as somewhat fierce but Shen Miao’s head was bowed. One did not know if it was playing dumb or one did not see it and always kept a gentle look and turn a blind eye to this gaze.
Xie Jing Xing pulled Shen Miao up and said, “If Imperial Older Brother have nothing else to say then ChenDi will leave first.” He continued, “As newlyweds, us, husband and wife, have a lot of things to do.”
Shen Miao, “…”
Emperor Yong Le said, “Remember what Zhen had said to you.”
Xie Jing Xing said with a smile but not a smile, “Orh.”
It was just that ‘orh’ word did not sound like one had placed Emperor Yong Le’s words to heart.
After Shen Miao and Xie Jing Xing left, Emperor Yong Le seemed to be extremely unhappy and with a brush of his sleeves, he did not bother with Empress Xian De and Consort Jing and left on his own. When Empress Xian De and Consort Jing saw it, they knew that Emperor Yong Le was furious and did not follow him.
Consort Jing looked at Empress Xian De and said, “Older Sister and Rui WangFei’s relationship is rather good and kept on speaking for her just now. If one do not know about it, one would think that both of you had already known one another.”
“Rui WangFei is educated, rational, intelligent and wise. Naturally she is lovable.” Empress Xian De gently smiled.
“Older Sister don’t forget, she is a Ming Qi’s people.” Consort Jing said harshly, “For Ming Qi’s people who come over to Great Liang, who would know what schemes she has in her heart. Since Older Sister want to help her then don’t drag oneself into the water. When His Majesty start to blame, even Older Sister would also be blamed.”
“Since one is married to Great Liang, then one is Great Liang’s people. Could it be that Consort Jing is also going to be suspicious of the residence of Prince Rui? Prince Rui and Rui WangFei are husband and wife and are of one.” Speaking of eloquence, how could Consort Jing be the Empress’s opponent?
Consort Jing smiled coldly, “Older Sister as usual speak fluently and has great trust is placed on Rui WangFei. It seems that one is firm in standing on the side of Rui WangFei.”
Empress Xian De did not say anything.
“But what to do?” Consort Jing suddenly smiled, “Older Sister is able to help her for this moment but will not be able to help her for a lifetime. There will not be only one female in the residence of Prince Rui. Even if there is no opportunity for my Fourth Younger Sister, there would be someone else who will have a chance.” As she looked at Empress Xian De’s face, Consort Jing continued, “Looking at His Majesty, he really do not like that Rui WangFei.”
Empress Xian De said, “The matter of the residence of Prince Rui is not something that you and me can intervene. Prince Rui of First Rank have his own mind.”
“Younger Sister also do not dare to volunteer.” Consort Jing said with a smile, “One only wanted to advise a word with Older Sister. Older Sister is not Buddha, even if one had a kind heart and helps everyone, one have to see if one have the ability to do so. Older Sister’s today is Rui WangFei’s tomorrow.” After finishing, she then put on the air as she said previously and walked away proudly with the maids.
The gentle smile on Empress Xian De gradually sank and a glimmer of grieve appeared in her eyes.
In the carriage, Shen Miao asked, “What did the Emperor said to you?”
“Some trivial matters of court.” Xie Jing Xing said.
Shen Miao knew that if it were truly trivial matters then Emperor Yong Le would not have specifically called Xie Jing Xing over to talk. She need not require thinking to know that it must be related to her. Emperor Yong Le’s attitude was clearly seen that he did not like Shen Miao and did not like that Xie Jing Xing valued Shen Miao greatly. Perhaps it was because of Shen Miao’s identity that was too sensitive or perhaps… Emperor Yong Le had a better choice.
Seeing Shen Miao not speaking, Xie Jing Xing turned his head over and pinched her face, “But today you made me take a second look. One seemed to have not seen such a ferocious appearance like this for a long time.”
“Ferocious?” Shen Miao retorted.
“Otherwise what?” Xie Jing Xing sighed and seemed to be recalling, “At the beginning in Ming Qi, when one saw you in Wo Long Temple, I had thought that the Young Lady of the Shen family is truly ferocious and one do not know which family’s Young Master would have the bad luck in the future and marry this tigress back.”
Shen Miao looked at him calmly, “Do you want a quarrel?”
Xie Jing Xing’s lips were raised and he said, “This is then right. This is then someone from my Xie family.”
Shen Miao was being teased by him like this and all the dissatisfaction of Xie Jing Xing concealing Emperor Yong Le’s works were all dispersed like clouds, “It is fine that you do not tell me what the conversation between the Emperor and you was but who is Consort Jing? The Emperor seemed to be favour her a lot, it just that…” She pondered on the words to use, “From my perspective, it is nothing special.”
Xie Jing Xing almost laughed out. Previous Consort Jing said that Shen Miao ‘did not look anything special’ and now she use the exact phase back. She was spiteful. He said, “Consort Jing is the Di Eldest Daughter of General Lu. General Lu… Just take it as he is the equivalent to the position of your Shen family in Ming Qi.”
Shen Miao’s eyes rose. So it is a family with military power. No wonder Emperor Yong Le was particularly tolerant of her.
Great Liang is different from Ming Qi. There are very few military commanders in Ming Qi thus the Shen and Xie family could hold half of the country. Great Liang’s military and civil positions are equal and there is no deliberate biases. Thus there are many military commanders and it is difficult to centralise it. General Lu was one of those that have a number of soldiers under him and because of this… He is somewhat arrogant.” When Xie Jing Xing spoke till there, there was a hit of coldness that flashed in his eyes.
“Seeing what kind of attitude Consort Jing have in the Inner Palace, one would know what kind of attitude the Lu family have in Long Ye.” Shen Miao said. What the woman in the Inner Palace represent, was not often just a female as they still had the backing of the family clan’s reputation and power. When the family clan was powerful then the more fearless one was. It was most likely not possible to just base on favour. Just like the her in the previous lifetime, if there was not the Shen family behind her, one feared that Fu Xiu Yi would not even give her a look. Fu Chen, who was born from Mei Furen, was able to threaten the Crown Prince, other than because Mei Furen has exceptional means, it was because of that brilliant and intelligent brother that earned his own merits.
Thinking of Mei Furen, Shen Miao was suddenly stunned. In the previous life, Mei Furen appeared years after Fu Xiu Yi ascended to the throne and when she headed to Qin country. This lifetime one did not know if Fu Xiu Yi was able to ascend but Shen Miao had already reached Great Liang, so will Mei Furen still appear?
Xie Jing Xing did not notice Shen Miao’s distraction and praised, “Not bad. Consort Jing is arrogant, the Lu family is impudent and Imperial Older Brother have the intention to suppress but one have to slowly carry out the scheme.”
“Can’t there be checks and balances?” Shen Miao asked.
Xie Jing Xing shook his head, “The Lu family is the Late Emperor’s people. Imperial Older Brother has already cleaned up the rest of the people that the Late Emperor left behind, other than the two families, the military Lu family and the civil Ye family. The Lu and Ye families’ roots were deep and complicated as they have many followers so if one pull the roots up, one fear that it would only hurt the Imperial family. Imperial Older Brother cannot be impatient and they knew of this and thus dared to behave without fear.”
Shen Miao frowned. Xie jing Xing and Emperor Yong Le were brothers and the Late Emperor was their birth father. Why did Xie Jing Xing call him ‘Late Emperor’ and not ‘Imperial Father’? Moreover like what XIe Jing Xing said, the Lu and Ye families were the Late Emperor’s people and even though there would be different officials during different Monarch rule, Emperor Yong Le was the rightfully succeeded the Imperial position and these old officials of two dynasties should do their best to work for him. Why does it seem that the Lu and Ye families have rebellious intentions and Emperor Yong Le had the heart to suppress their ambitions?
Could it be that the Late Emperor was not willing to see Emperor Yong Le governing the country? Or was it the Lu and Ye families had disloyal hearts after the Late Emperor passed on?
Shen Miao sense that she had discovered some secret matters.
Suddenly she felt it was somewhat ridiculous. In Ming Qi, the Shen and Xie families did one’s duty and was sincere but the Imperial family was mistrustful that even if there were no daughters of the Shen and Xie families in the Palace, the Imperial family still tried to suppress them. In Great Liang, the entire thing was reversed. The treacherous officials were arrogant but the Imperial family could only accept a compromise and slowly scheme.
“Which family does the Empress belong to?” Shen Miao asked.
“The Ke family.” Xie Jing Xing said, “The Ke family is a family of historians.”
Shen Miao was startled, “Historians have little power and have no real power. For the Emperor to be willing to
marry a Young Lady of a Historian’s family and establish as an Empress, it is enough to show that the Emperor loves the Empress.”
Xie Jing Xing did not speak.
“But…” She then said, “Since the Empress is in one’s heart then why would one let Consort Jing be disrespectful to the Empress? For Consort Jing to dare to be disrespectful to the Empress, it would be obviously been influenced by the Emperor.” If Emperor Yong Le loved the Empress, because of the favour towards the Empress, no matter how arrogant Consort Jing is, she would not dare to be disrespectful. But Consort Jing dared to be this rude and argue with the Empress, she obviously knew that Emperor Yong Le would not blame her for it.
Since one was not marrying her for power then why did one unable to do the simplest of protecting her?
Xie Jing Xing smile blandly, “Imperial Older Brother is different from me.” He then patted her head again, “Imperial Sao is different from you too.”
Shen Miao waved his hands away, “So the Fourth Young Lady of the Lu family admires you?”
Xie Jing Xing was stunned and smiled immediately, “Why are you still jealous?”
“But there is still one strange thing.” Shen Miao said to herself, “If the Lu family wanted to dominate the courts or have their ambitions revealed, they had already send a daughter into the Palace so the goal is accomplished. So why would they send over another young lady? Moreover.” Shen Miao looked at him, “Even if it is given, why is she sent to you? You are only Prince Rui of First Rank and not the Emperor. It cannot be that the Lu family daughters want to control your Imperial family brothers in the palm of their hands.”
She looked up and paused. Xie Jing Xing was looking at her deeply and she was unable to understand the meaning of that gaze. Before she could ask, Xie Jing Xing hand pulled her in front and hugged her waist with both hands before burying his head onto Shen Miao’s shoulder to half hug her.
He said lowly, and a grumbling laugher was heard by her ears, “If one goes on like this, I would not have any secrets in front of you.”
Secrets? Shen Miao’s heart moved. Did she said something right?