Chapter 199: Secret (Part 1)
“So you be the concubine and I will be the wife.”
Shen Miao looked enquiringly at Lu Wan-er. With Lu Wan-er’s graceful tone of voice, one did not know where did it came from. Initially when she heard Lu Wan-er’s words just now, she felt that it was not false that each of the Lu family was intelligent. However this words made Shen Miao feel that she was unable to know what was Lu Wan-er bottom line as one did not know if Lu Wan-er was really a fool or not to discuss about Imperial matters.
“If Young Lady Lu has the heart, one can talk to His Highness about it.” Shen Miao smiled gently, “It is useless to say these to me.”
“I naturally know of it.” Lu Wan-er looked at her in slight disdain, “I am here to tell you this today, only because that one hope that you have some self-knowledge and take the initiative to speak to His Highness of your willingness to be the concubine.”
Shen Miao almost laughed out. She raise her lips slightly and said, “This is someone I will not do.”
“What did you say?” Lu Wan-er’s eyes widen, seemingly did not expect that Shen Miao would actually refuse.
The volume of their conversation was somewhat loud that the surrounding Furens’ gaze all directed towards them. Shen Miao did not hide away from them and smiled, “With regards to the matter of being a concubine, I will not do it. Matters of brining in concubines for one’s husband to spread out the branches is something I will not do. At the beginning when Prince Rui of First Rank came to my Shen residence to propose marriage, he had already said that there would not be any other female in the Inner Courtyard of the Prince residence. If it wasn’t that, I would not marry so far away to Long Ye.”
The surrounding Furen was stunned when they heard it.
On matters of relationship, it was not fair between males and females. In the Inner Courtyard of males, there would be three wives and four concubines and no matter if it was Great Liang or Ming Qi, it was not that there was no couples without anyone else but it was very rare. Ordinary males would not be able to withstand the temptation, much less the wealthy families, official families and the Imperial family.
Prince Rui of First Rank had a handsome and romantic appearance, with a powerful position that he gained at a very young age thus the world that he faced would be filled with flowers. How could a person like him would only have one woman in his entire life?
This lady from the Shen family of Ming Qi indeed had a really big face and did not know how high the sky was and how thick the earth was!
Lu Wan-er was so angry that her face was ashen as she said word by word, “Rui WangFei of First Rank, this is jealously. A female jealously meant that one has a dereliction of virtue.”
Shen Miao smiled, “Most likely it is. I have always been jealous easily. If Prince Rui of First Rank had not proposed this condition, I most likely would not been tempted.”
Lu Wan-er was so angry that she could not say anything.
Shen Miao’s attitude was like a thorn that made others unable to take action. The surrounding Furens were also flabbergasted. Initially when Shen Miao came to Long Ye, she did not live with her tail between her legs or lowered her head to be insignificant but instead was so arrogant that she even offend the Lu family, that Emperor Yong Le had to restrain from. One did not know where had she gotten the courage from or was she so stupid to such a point.
Naturally Shen Miao was not afraid.
Even if Emperor Yong Le was not satisfied with her and wanted to bestow another marriage to Xie Jing Xing, he would not bestow Lu Wan-er to Xie Jing Xing. Even though Lu Wan-er said that she would provide a boost to Xie Jing Xing’s career when she marry Xie Jing Xing, not to mention that Xie Jing Xing do not rely on female’s ability to climb up, even Emperor Yong Le would not dare to let Xie Jing Xing marry the Lu family easily.
With regards to Consort Jing, most likely one was helpless on it. However if Lu Wan-er also entered the doors of the residence of Prince Rui, then both brothers of Great Liang’s Imperial family would have relations with the Lu family. It was not a good thing for an outside family to have such power. Fu Xiu Yi could use Shen Miao and tie the Shen family together because the Shen family was loyal by nature but the Lu family already had bigger ambitions.
Be it emotions or reasons, Lu Wan-er would not be Emperor Yong Le’s choice. Even if this current moment of Shen Miao strongly rejecting Lu Wan-er’s suggestion was passed to Emperor Yong Le’s ears, it would still be along the lines of Emperor Yong Le’s mind.
When Lu Furen and Lu Wan-er were both frozen in place, one heard a light chuckled from the opposite side, “WangFei of First Rank is indeed one who is disposition. Prince Rui of First Rank is young yet valued relationship and righteousness, he is indeed a rare male.”
Shen Miao looked towards the speaker. That person sat beside Ji Yu Shu’s mother and was a slightly thin Furen. Wearing a tea green coloured robe and had a darker completion with straight eyes but because of one’s mature age, it seemed to make her distance from others. Her eyes were somewhat long that seemed to be studying meticulously when looking at others, as if they could see through others. It made others feel uncomfortable and at first glance, one could tell it was a shrewd and intelligent person.
Ba Jiao took the chance of pouring tea for Shen Miao to softly speak by her ears, “That is Ye Furen of the Prime Minister residence.”
With only this sentence, Shen Miao understood. Civil Ye family and military Lu family. It was assumed that this Ye Furen was a person of the Ye family of the Prime Minister residence, who was the two famous aristocratic family of Long Ye. Unlike the Lu family, which was somewhat arrogant, this Furen of the Ye family was much more restraint but could also let Shen Miao feel that she was even more difficult to deal with
Ye Furen looked at Shen Miao and suddenly smiled, “The relationship between Prince Rui and wife is very affectionate. It seemed that during the Imperial Hunt, WangFei would also be following along.”
Shen Miao said with a smile, “This is still to be discussed with His Highness.” She was unable to talk freely or recklessly. One feared that the entire room of people today in this Bright Summer Banquet had ill-intentions, thus she dared not take anything lightly.
“It is WangFei’s first time here, thus one do not know of the beauty of the Imperial Hunt. It is an interesting event that WangFei most likely could also join in the fun.” Ye Furen continued.
However Lu Furen and Lu Wan-er did not speak as they were blocked by Shen Miao today and was very unhappy in their heart. Now that Ye Furen was speaking, they did not have any intention to help.
Shen Miao looked at that Ye Furen. She seemed to be forcing her to comply to attend this hunt.
Ji Furen, who was sitting beside Ye Furen, spoke with a smile, “Everyone must not force Rui WangFei already. Rui WangFei is young of age and like what Ye Furen said, it is her first time and one feared that there would be some shyness. Those who go to the hunt were all old acquaintances so naturally one have to think about it.
She had taken the initiative to resolve the problem for Shen Miao.
Shen Miao looked surprise over but Ji Furen smiled and nodded at her.
Ji Furen’s husband was the current dynasty Left Minister and the official position was not low thus the surrounding Furen would not refute her words. Ye Furen heard it and it was not good to continue to be aggressive and thus looked at Shen Miao, making Shen Miao frown slightly.
This Bright Summer Banquet then went by blandly. Lu Wan-er most likely was too angry by Shen Miao and immediately left. Lu Furen who remained there treated Shen Miao blandly. Since the host of this Bright Summer Banquet was Lu Furen, the other Furens followed Lu Furen’s footsteps and intentionally treated Shen Miao coldly.
However when Shen Miao was young, she was always been treated coldly and thus did not place it in her heart. As she drank the tea, she listened to Ba Jiao explaining the relationships of all the Furens and remembered it to heart. Not only these cold treatment did not affect her, he allowed her to fully remember these people relationships.
When leaving, naturally no one sent her off. Just as she was to board the horse carriage, unexpectedly someone stopped her.
Upon turning one’s head back, it was Ji Furen.
Ji Yu Shu’s mother had a dignified and amiable temperament but her appearance was similar to Ji Yu Shu. She smiled as she saw Shen Miao, “Yu-er had said to me that when he was in Ming Qi’s Ding capital, one had received Rui WangFei’s care so today I thank WangFei on behalf of Yu-er.”
Shen Miao blushed in her heart and continued to say that she dared not. After all it was her that made used of Ji Yu Shu’s Feng Xian Pawnshop on a lot of matters.
Ji Furen saw that there was no one around and approached her closer to speak softly, “Today WangFei had also seen, the Lu family’s Fourth Young Lady… Single-heartedly wants to marry to the Prince Rui residence but WangFei do not need to place her words to heart. If it was possible, then Fourth Young Lady would already been Rui WangFei. It is only effort on one’s lips. As for the Imperial Hunt that Ye Furen mention today, it is better for WangFei to mention it to the Prince. WangFei mustn’t be scheme into this deep water.” Seeing that there were other Furens that were coming out of the Lu residence, Ji Furen said, “It is inconvenient for me to speak about the rest. If WangFei is free, do come over to the residence to sit. Most likely you are not familiar in Long Ye and I can talk to you about it.” After that she said her goodbyes to Shen Miao and hastily left.
On the road back, Shen Miao kept thinking about today’s matter. She did not put Lu Wan-er’s words to heart but one did not know why, she felt very bothered with that Ye Furen.
She asked Ba Jiao, “In the banquet today, it seemed that one did not see Ye Furen’s daughter. How many young ladies are there in the Ye family? Why did they not bring any out?”
Ba Jiao was startled before she shook her head, “There are no young ladies in the Ye family.”
“Why is there no young ladies?” Shen Miao frowned.
“This is a matter that everyone knew in Long Ye.” Ba Jiao said, “The Prime Minister residence’s Prime Minister Ye and Ye Furen were married young. Shortly after marriage, they had a daughter but unfortunately she died young. Ye Furen was overly grieved and the relationship with the Prime Minister Ye got weaken. Prime Minister Ye later brought in a concubine and the concubine gave birth to a son, which is the current Young Master Ye of the Prime Minister residence.”
Shen Miao frowned, “There are no more other descendants in the Prime Minister residence?”
Ba Jiao shook her head, “After Prime Minister Ye had Young Master Ye, there was an assassination and he hurt his root and thus it was impossible for him to have any descendants.”
Shen Miao was flabbergasted. For such a high ranking aristocratic family like the Ye family, how would there only be one son? She asked, “There cannot be only one Shu son in the Ye family?”
“That is not so. When the concubine gave birth to Young Master Ye, she passed away as she was physically weak… But there are others who said that the Ye family killed the concubine. After Young Master Ye’s birth, he was raised under Ye Furen’s name and have a position of a Di son. But.” Ba Jiao paused, “Even with a Di son position, this Young Master Ye was not valued by Ye Furen.”
“Why is this so?” Shen Miao was curious. Even though it was not one’s flesh and blood but under the situation that there was no other children and that he was raised under her name, Ye Furen should treat this Di son better so that it would be better for the future.
“Young Master Ye was born with a congenital disease and his feet were unhealthy. This kind of people would not be able to enter officialdom thus there were people who said that this generation of the Ye family would fall onto one’s insignificance younger brother-in-law.”
Shen Miao then understood clearly in her heart. So he was a crippled, no wonder Ye Furen did not value him. Thinking about this, her heart brightened. Civil Ye family and military Lu family. The Lu family already send Consort Jing into the Palace but the Ye family did not. It was not because the Ye family did not have ambitions but because the Ye family did not have any daughters. One feared that if one send one’s relative daughter in, it would not be easy to control.
Now the current circumstances… Shen Miao could almost guess Emperor Yong Le’s plans.
The Ye family was unable to be equal to the Lu family due to the descendent matter and if they were to ally with the Lu family, once the ambitions in court were successful, it would only be the Lu family that would gain advantages. People would always have inferiority. Why was it that both of them were aristocratic families but at the end you alone get everyone while one slowly diminish? It is better for me to overturn the water.
Emperor Yong Le most probably want to provoke an internal struggle between the Lu and Ye family and subdue the Ye family before dealing with the military power of the Lu family. It would be much easier like this.
It was just that the Ye and Lu family had good relations for so many years and their interests were intertwined. The Ye family had the Lu family’s weaknesses and how could the Lu family not have the Ye family’s weaknesses? It was not an easy thing to drive a wedge between them.
As her mind was thinking about these matters, Shen Miao did not realise that the horse carriage had returned to the residence of Prince Rui of First Rank. It was only until Ba Jiao call out “Master” and someone knocking on her head and said, “What are you thinking that made you so entranced?”
It was only then when Shen Miao saw Xie Jing Xing. He had returned early today and was still wearing the dark red official uniform with an imposing look. Shen Miao got spirited and pulled his sleeves and headed to the study in a rush, saying, “Just in time. I have things to ask you…”
Xie Jing Xing was stunned first before being helpless and let her pull him forward. It was Ba Jiao and Gu Yu, who were at the side, who were stunned silly. Ba Jiao said in all smiles, “Furen is indeed proactive.”
Gu Yu said, “That is ought to be!”
Tang Shu appeared from behind and said, “Look what look. Still don’t work!”
Ba Jiao and Gu Yu stuck their tongues out and quickly left. Tang Shu looked at the closed doors and shook his head before sighing, “The red has not fallen so how can it be proactive.” (Meaning… The sheets are clean and our Jiao Jiao is still innocent)