Chapter 214: Previous Lifetime II (Part 1)
Time was like an arrow, sunrises and sunsets were as usual.
Flowers had bloom a few rounds, flowers had wilted a few rounds, the moon changed from crescent to a full moon, so what more humans?
For example the Shen family had gotten increasingly weaker and the Empress that that was being treated increasingly coldly. It was as if they were an old man struggling in death.
Princess Wan Yu had died due to illness on the route to the marriage alliance and Empress Shen was unable to recover from it. Even though she was dignified and careful, upon close inspection, there was feebleness in her eyes. It was only when she saw the Crown Prince that it would slightly brighten, like a faint ember in the ashes that would also soon be extinguished.
A beauty clad in Palace attire smiled at the green clad male and smiled, “National Advisor, getting a drop of the Empress’s fingertip blood should not be a difficult thing for you.”
Pei Lang looked at the female in front. She was charming like a cat at night, intelligent and smart, otherwise the Emperor would not be placed in the palm of her hands.
From a female’s perspective, she was undoubtedly seductive and able to hold a man’s thought in her grasp. From one who had power, she did a good job.
She advanced by retreating and would never take the initiative to mention one’s status or demand for money but make one willing to offer things to her. Not only that, she would even snatch what others had. She would refer to others to fight, relying on the Emperor’s heart and borrowing her brother’s support to slowly and quietly grasp everything one wanted in the palm of one’s hand.
She looked as charming as a flower but had a snake-like heart. Wasn’t this one the one that forced the little Princess, who was only a teenager, up the road of death?
In comparison, the Mistress of the Six Palaces was at the end not more vicious that this one. Perhaps because one was from the Shen family that was a loyal military household, no matter how one’s personality change, there would still be some kindness in one’s bone.
But it was because of this little kindness, that made her destined to be always inferior to the other’s means.
Mei Furen saw him in a daze and said, “National Advisor?”
Pei Lang recovered to his senses and thought about it before asking, “Why does Your Ladyship the Imperial Consort want Her Ladyship the Empress’s fingertip blood?”
“You do not need to know what it is for.” Mei Furen smiled like a flower. Even though she was already an Imperial Consort, she still kept her initial title. Mei Furen. When one hear it it was charming and moving that made one forget that deep in the Inner Palace, a delicate flower was also poisonous.
She said, “National Advisor can see clearly Her Ladyship the Empress’s situation now.” She pointed to a vine that was sandwiched between two threes and smiled, “This vine has just sprouted and is sandwiched between two trees. There was no need to choose as one could live well anyhow but when it slowly grows bigger, as one gets taller, the wind and rain would be bigger, thus one would need search for a place to climb up.” She looked towards Pei Lang, “There is a tree to it’s left and right and he could only chose one tree to climb.”
“Both tree occupy the same inch of pace and is competing on the same piece of land. There is only so much land so one tree would be cut off.”
“That vine must make a good choice as if it climbed up a tree that is about to be cut, it would be pulled out in unison.” Mei Furen smiled at Pei Lang, “National Advisor, how do you think that vine would choose?”
Pei Lang stared at the two trees and turned his head around after a moment, “This official understands.”
Mei Furen smiled in satisfaction.
After Pei Lang left, a palace maid walked out from behind to pour tea for her and said softly, “Your Ladyship, will National Advisor really get the Empress’s fingertip blood? The National Advisor and the Empress seemed to have good relations.”
When it comes to friendship, Pei Lang knew Shen Miao much longer then he knew Mei Furen.
“National Advisor is an intelligent person.” Mei Furen picked up the teacup and took a sip before smiling, “Otherwise one would not watch with folded arms during the Princess’s marriage alliance. Moreover… There is an ulterior motive in his heart. He have such noble and benevolent character so he is sensible not to let himself make any slight deviation so naturally one will cut the weeds and eliminate the roots. I am helping him here, naturally he would be thankful.”
The palace maid seemingly understood and nodded her head, “But that monk said that he could borrow the Empress’s life and give it to Your Ladyship. Is it true?”
“No matter if it is true or not, I will sit on that head position of the Inner Palace.” A hint of hatred appeared in Mei Furen’s eyes, “It is only blood from the fingertips. When her life is given to me and when my Prince sit stabile in this Empire, I will be very compassionate and burn sme paper money for them three people.”
The palace maid assented and dared not speak.
Shen Miao’s illness was somewhat serious.
Fu Ming just went over to see her and accompanied her to talk for a while. Shen Miao wanted to ask someone about the situation of the Shen residence but when she stepped out of the courtyard, she saw Pei Lang.
Pei Lang greeted her but Shen Miao was very cold.
With regards to Wan Yu’s marriage alliance, Pei Lang’s cold attitude made one’s heart cold. They had so many years of friend ship and Wan Yu even called him ‘Teacher’. All the hatred towards Fu Xiu Yi was naturally shifted onto Pei Lang that she did not even want to see an additional glance of Pei Lang.
“One had heard that Your Ladyship the Empress fell ill.” Pei Lang handled a small box over, “This… Will perhaps be useful for Your Ladyship’s cough.”
Shen Miao swept him a look and opened the box. It was a herb that was inexplicably familiar. Shen Miao took it out to see when she suddenly felt a pain in her fingertip. When she look at it again, she was pricked by the herbs and beads of blood flowed down from her fingertip.
Bai Lu exclaimed and quickly went to bandage it up. Pei Lang stared at her fingertip and said somewhat woodenly, “This is Hong Xiu Cao that is useful for coughing.”
Shen Miao instead laughed. She threw that herb back into the small box and closed it before returning back to Pei Lang, “There is no need. BenGong once had such a herb but at the end, it withered. However that herb that BenGong raise did not have thorns.” There was an additional meaning to her words, “If one do not wish to gift anything then don’t gift. It makes one disgusted to receive such a gift. The National Advisor’s gift is something that BenGong cannot afford to accept. Please take it back.” Finishing, she did not even look at Pei Lang and she turned around to leave.
Pei Lang held the small box in his hands tightly and looked complicatedly at Shen Miao’s back view. Her health was getting worse and worse and would need to stop to rest every two steps.
But… Pei Lang looked at the small box. One must make a choice. Even when he just entered the courts with nothing, after enduring so much wind, storms and moons, how would one be clean and innocent? The higher one sits, the more one would not be able to make the decision. He was also helpless and had no choice.
The advantages and disadvantages were clearly placed together. From one glance, one could see which tree was about to be cut and which true would be exclusive to the entire land.
He had his loved ones to protect so be it relations or secret thoughts, they could all be placed aside. As to why Mei Furen wanted the blood from one fingertip, it was definitely not for anything good. He was giving succor to the enemy. He was adding frost to the snow (aggravating things).
He turned his head and headed in the other direction.
Those with different principles would not join in a common quest. He could not do anything, he could only… Watch with folded arms. He could only watch as this tree who was working hard in the Palace to grow fall into the mud.
That fire burned for three entire days and nights.
In the entire Palace, only the Cold Palace was burned down. The melancholy feelings, blood weeping complaints, curses that one made before dying and the deep despair, all disappeared in that fire and what was left was the remains of the embers and constructed rumours.
The Empress of Ming Qi had died.
After the Shen family was executed due to betraying the country and the Crown Prince committed suicide after being abolished, Mei Furen became the new Empress and Fu Chen became the new Crown Prince. The lonely Cold Palace suddenly caught fire and burnt the abolished Empress Shen to dust.
It was a matter that made one sighed. The Emperor of Ming Qi was kind and because of the grace of being husband and wife, one did not let the Empress walk the road to the underworld with the disloyal Shen family and spared her life. It was just that after being banished to the Inner Palace, this female did not have fortune and lost her life in the fire.
History was written by the one who won and it is the same in the Inner Palace.
As soon as a dynasty changed, all the traces of Empress Shen were cleaned up. There was not even remains of her as it was all burned in that fire. There was no longer anyone in the First household of the Shen family and it was truly the end of a family.
The new Crown Prince’s Imperial Mother was Empress Li and she had change her former soft and charming temperament to one that was of power. She wholeheartedly support her brother and coax Fu Xiu Yi very well that even the court was faintly in her grasp.
There was some sense of the Imperial relatives were grabbing power.
Some of the officials were slightly aware of it and wanted to warn the Emperor secretly but before any action was taken, they would be either defamed or exiled for some inexplicable reasons.
Pei Lang watched everything coldly but his heart was rather exhausted.
In less than half a year after Shen Miao’s death, Ming Qi was almost turned upside down. He had not misread. Mei Furen and her younger brother had great means that it was difficult to say if the empire of Ming Qi would land in Mei Furen’s hands. He was loyal to Fu Xiu Yi but after warning him a few times, he no longer reminded her and even secretly had the thought that he deserved it.
It was easy to change a human’s heart, an wise Monarch could become a fatuous one and a loyal official would also be dissident.
Every night when Pei Lang slept, he would always be awakened by a pair of eyes. That pair of eyes were clear, bright and had no tears but it made one’s heart heavier then when tears fell.
That was Shen Miao’s eyes.
Pei Lang had once thought that he was doing the right thing. He had ultimately inevitable result and avoided disadvantages and that was the best choice but as time went on, he could not deceive himself.
How was it ultimately inevitable result? He obviously did not want Shen Miao to die like this.
When did he began to feel other emotions for Shen Miao? Pei Lang himself did not know. He was her teacher in Guang Wen Tang and saw Shen Miao from an arrogant and knew nothing delicate female who wanted to marry Fu Xiu Yi, watched her marry into the residence of Prince Ding, learning the things that she did not like for Fu iu Yi, becoming a WangFei, becoming an Empress and then becoming an abolished Empress.
She was actually somewhat stupid and was not considered smart as she learned things slowly but made one fear her stubbornness and was generous toward the Inner Palace. Pei Lang would feel ridiculous at her willingness to give her everything for a person’s heart and sometimes felt envious of Fu Xiu Yi.
It was much later he could not help but pay more attention to her. Even he did not realise himself that he would be more paitent when he was approaching Shen Miao’s problems.
But Pei Lang was a smart person and a smart person would not let oneself make mistakes.
So when he discovered his strange thoughts, he was determined to stop this mistake. It was he who suggested for Shen Miao to go to Qin country as a hostage. But after five years when Shen Miao returned, his thoughts were still not changed.
He coldly looked at Shen Miao fighting with Mei Furen till she was all injured and also saw as her eyes became dimmer and watched her withering.
At the end when Fu Xiu Yi asked him about how to deal with the Shen family’s descendants, he said a phrase without thinking.
Cut the weeds and eliminate the roots.
It was to cut the weeds in his heart and to eliminate the roots in his heart.
He had not expected that Fu Xiu Yi’s cutting the weeds and eliminating the roots was included Fu Ming. Even a vicious tiger would not eat its cubs but Fu Xiu Yi could even take action against his own flesh and blood. One could still use the excuse of Wan Yu had an accident during the journey but Fu Ming’s death was ordered by Fu Xiu Yi.
Pei Lang remembered Shen Miao’s eyes after she knew of Fu Ming’s death. That pair of clear eyes widen so big and there was no tears but made one feel so miserable that other could not bear to look at them.
That fire burned for three entire days and night but it also lit Pei Lang’s regretful heart.
He went to Pu Tuo Monastery’s abbot and asked how to clear the vileness in one’s heart.