Chapter 231: Return Of An Old Friend (Part 5)
Empress Xian De suddenly thought of something and said, “Tomorrow one would dig up the two earthern jugs of snow wine that I buried under the plum trees last year. It would most probably be very fragrant when it is open. Your Majesty should come with me and at the same time bury this year’s one in. WangFei and Young Lady Luo should also come. After digging it out, let us go to Cui Hu Pavilion in the evening to drink and appreciate the lotus flowers while tasting the snow wine.”
Luo Tan was gluttonous so naturally she agreed to it. Shen Miao also nodded her head but Emperor Yong Le was somewhat helpless. Empress Xian De only had nterest in brewing tea and wine so when she was happy, she was like a child. But at the end he nodded his head. When Empress Xian De saw it, she was very satisfied and continued eating while chatting with Shen Miao on some interesting matters.
The next day happened to be a sunny day. Summer usually came earlier in Long Ye but fortunately the mornings were the coolest so Shen Maio and Luo Tan went over early. Shen Miao was heavily pregnant and could not accompany Empress Xian De to dig out personally. Luo Tan was loud and had big movements thus fearing that she would mess things up, Empress Xian De and Tao GuGu dug it up.
Emperor Yong Le said, “Quickly get up, it is not good to hurt one’s hands.”
“In the past years it had always been ChenQie and Tao GuGu that dug out together.” Empress Xian De’s forehead had beads of sweat shimmering but she was in all smiles when she continued, “Snow wine had to be personally dug out for it to taste fragrant. In the future if Your Majesty have interest, one can also personally bury one and dig one out, then one would know how it is experienced.” When she spoke, she and Tao GuGu had dug out another jar.
Emperor Yong Le suddenly frowned and paused before pressing his chest in silence.
Empress Xian De carried one of the earthern jug. That jug was particularly small and adorable thus one did not need much effort to carry it. She did not find it dirty and did not fear that the soil would get onto her clothes, as if one was carrying a treasure, she lifted it to Emperor Yong Le and unblugged the jug under Emperor Yong Le’s nose and asked, “May His Majesty smell if it is fragrant or not?”
“It is very fragrant.” Emperor Yong Le said with a frown.
Empress Xian De looked at him, “Is Your Majesty not find it good? Else why would there be such an expression? Could it be that it had gone bad?” She was somewhat suspicious and went to smell it.
Emperor Yong Le smiled gently and just as he was about to speak, his eyes went black and he missed a step and fell down!
“Your Majesty!” Empress Xian De jumped in shock and the little jug of snow wine fell onto the ground. The grangrant aroma was mixed with the debris, making the area smell lightly bitter.
“Quick call the Imperial Physician!” Shen Miao quickly instructed but there was an inauspicious hunch that rang in her heart.
The gauze was put down and the master of the Gao family had finally arrived.
This was Gao Yang’s grandfather, Gao Zhan.
The Gao family was a lineage of family that practiced medication and was also quite famous in Long Ye. Among the youngest generation in the Gao family, Gao Yang’s medical skills was the most outstanding one he was one that was restless and wholeheartedly wanted to enter officialdom. The Gao family’s leader saw that he was so stubborn and thus simply drove him out of the Gao residence. Empress Xian De was sympathetic to Gao Yang’s talents and afterwards arranged him to head to Ming Qi and become Xie Jing Xing’s good friend and also assisting Xie Jing Xing.
At the beginning Emperor Yong Le’s poison was discovered by Gao Zhan himself. If it was not Gao Zhan that had such high level of medical skills, Emperor Yong Le would not have lived for so many years. However the curse of thirty five years had passed and those who knew felt that it was a miracle but this miracle was not easy to create.
Gao Zhan shook his head towards Empress Xian De.
Empress Xian De’s tears suddenly fell.
Luo Tan did not follow but Shen Miao was present. Upon seeing Empress Xian De tearing, Shen Miao’s heart was sour. Those with clear eyes knew clearly what Empress Xian De’s feelings towards Emperor Yong Le. Moreover Emperor Yong Le was not an unfeeling Emperor. Both of them were introverted but deeply affectionate. Once they lost one, it must be a fatal blow to the other.
“Gentleman.” Empress Xian De suppressed her sobs and said, “His Majesty… How long does His Majesty have?”
Gao Zhan saw everything and sighed deeply, “At most, one month.”
“How can it…” Shen Miao was shocked.
“The Emperor’s illness was accumulated since the early years. In this one year, the toxicity had already invaded the internal organs and he is currently supported by his own sheer will. The Emperor had bore a lot of pain and it is very strong to last till now.” Gao Zhan said, “This old one had had previously seen the Emperor’s sickness. The Emperor is a tough person and bore too much. Even now he is still maintaining his strength. If Your Ladyship have a heart, do persuade His Majesty. He had walk too difficulty and now is suffering too much. He had planned for other for an entire lifetime and sometimes one has to be selfish.” He then bowed to Empress Xian De and spoke solemnly, “These days, may Your Ladyship accompany His Majesty well.”
After Gao Zhan left, Shen Miao wanted to console Empress Xian De but she did not know where to start.
In the matter of pain, it would be no avail for others to comfort. The blade was not at oneself thus one would not be able to feel the pain. People would console lightly for a few sentences like it could solve everything. But it was not always the case.
Empress Xian De forced a smile and said, “You go back first. BenGong… BenGong is good.”
Shen Miao did not say anything and only told her to take care of her health before withdrawing.
Upon returning to her room, she could not help but caress her abdomen and open a sachet on the table.
The red beans looked smooth and whole.
There were so many separantion in life and death in this world. One moment a person was smiling with joy and collapsed the net moment. Heavens was too cruel and was not willing to give humans a good time and good luck. One could only depend on oneself.
She would protect her lover and her loved ones.
Empress Xian De sat in front of the bed as Emperor Yong Le had woken up.
She looked down deep in thought and her face was so gentle that it was as if time had turned back and everything was at the beginning.
“Jing Zhen.” Emperor Yong Le opened his mouth to speak.
Empress Xian De recovered to her senses and looked at him, “The Emperor has woken. Does one feel uncomfortable anywhere?”
“No.” Emperor Yong Le shook his head.
Both of them were silent for a while before Emperor Yong Le spoke, “Jing Zhen, Zhen do not have much time left.”
Empress Xian De looked at him without speaking.
“Zhen…” He paused before continuing, “It seems that one cannot accompany you to bury snow wine this winter.”
“Even though one had smashed a jug, there is another jug. If Your Majesty does not despise, one can find a cool day to go to Cui Hu Pavilion. ChenQie is wiling to drink with Your Majesty. It is just that there is no share with WangFei and the rest. The scenary at Cui Hu Pavilion is very good as the lotus flowers that bloom this year is…” It was like Empress Xian De did not hear Emperor Yong Le’s words at all and continued speaking by herself.
“Jing Zhen.” Emperor Yong Le interrupted her words, “Zhen cannot accompany you anymore.”
His face was pale but it was as beautiful and flawless as before. However there was none of the domineering and coldness of an Emperor but instead was like some noble gentleman. However he was very thin, very weak and looked very sad.
Empress Xian De turned her head and Emperor Yong Le was unable to see her expression and only hear her voice like it was a mist. However it made one’s heart sour as she said, “Your Majesty is always so heartless and unwilling to deceive ChenQie for even one sentence. This is also true. This is a beautiful dream and now one should wake up.”
Emperor Yong Le hesitated before speaking, “Sorry.”
“Your Majesty need not apologise to ChenQie as there is nothing to be sorry about. ChenQie will live one’s own life and it would not have anything to do with His Majesty.” Empress Xian De said, “Just now Gentleman Gao had came over and told ChenQie that His Majesty had been struggling for this one year. ChenQie want to ask why did Your Majesty do so? Why endure the pain with such difficulty?”
“For Great Liang.” Emperor Yong Le said, “Zhen want to see XIe Yuan conquer the Emire and protect Great Liang. Zhen want to see the day where everything under Heavens would be peaceful. With regards to Imperial Mother’s wish, Zhen hope that one would be able to finish it in one’s lifetime. It just that… Zhen do not have much time life and feared that one cannot wait till that day.”
Empress Xian De was silent for a long time before replying, “As such ChenQie understands.”
“Jing Zhen.” Emperor Yong Le said, “You… You should plan for yourself.”
“What does Your Majesty want ChenQie to plan?” Empress Xian De suddenly turned around and there were tears in her eyes as she spoke, “Wwant to let ChenQie wildfully hide one’s name and live on ordinarily? Or simple stay in this Palace for the rest of one’s life? Or find another husband to remarry?”
Every sentence she spoke, the pain in Emperor Yong Le’s eyes got deeper. He grasped the blanket in his hands quietly but said faintly, “As long as you are happy.”
Empress Xian De turned her head suddenly but Emperor Yong Le could see a large drop of tear falling onto the back of her hand. When she spoke again, her voice was however calm and waveless, “ChenQie understands. Many thanks to Your Majesty for thinking so considerately for ChenQie. ChenQie will definitely do it. Your Majesty better think of how the Imperial Edict should be written. Some things have to be arranged earlier.”
She then stood up, “ChenQie still have other matters and will leave first. May Your Majesty take care of one’s body. When one’s health improves, remember to have a drink at Cui Hu Pavilion with ChenQie.”
She then withdraw.
Empress Xian De rarely got angry. It was especially these days where she got along well with Emperor Yong Le and would smile softly every day. However no matter how soft and gentle water was, once it got angry, it would be like a piece of ice and be stubbornly angry.
However one could not bear to be really angry.
After Empress Xian De left, Emperor Yong Le coughed violently. He used the handkerchief under the pillow to wipe his mouth. Deng GongGong who was standing at the side quickly served the hot water up, “May Your Majesty be careful.”
“Deng GongGong.” Emperor Yong Le frowned, “Is Zhen wrong?” An unusual teen like confusion appeared on his face, making Deng GongGong’s nose sour.
Deng GongGong had served Emperor Yong Le for many years as he watched Emperor Yong Le grew up. Emperor Yong Le current appearance made him think of the time long ago where Emperor Yong Le was poisoned by the favoured consort of Emperor Xiao Wu and Empress Xiao learned from the Gao family’s head that he would not live pass thirty five before hugging Emperor Yong Le and crying painfully. At that time it was the young Emperor Yong Le who comforted Empress Xiao and asked Deng GongGong in confusion, “Deng GongGong, is BenGong’s poison very serious?”
The youth grew up from a gentle and elegant Crown Prince to an unfathomable Emperor. But was still a day where he would still ask the people beside him in confusion if what he did was wrong.
Deng GongGong did not speak so Emperor Yong Le sighed again, “Zhen is envious of Xie Yuan.”
“Even though Zhen and Xie Yuan had it difficult, that kid has a little better luck than Zhen. If Zhen can live…” He did not continue it.
There were many things in this world that only ends with the word ‘if’.
It was because there was no ‘if’.
In a period of ten days, Xie Jing Xing seized Ding capital.
Ming Qi Emperor, Fu Xiu Yi, was shot date on the city tower in the chaos.
Speaking of which, it was funny that Fu Xiu Yi became a Monarch of a collapsed nation. He initially said ambitiously that he would exist and perished with Ming Qi and would definitely fight to the last moment with the troops. As long as the fire of Ming Qi was not extinguished, he was still the Emperor of Ming Qi and would not surrender.
However at the last moment, somehow one had changed the mind and wanted to sneak away, perhaps having the idea to stage a comeback in the future.
However, even though Fu Xiu Yi had planned everything, he did not add the people’s heart into the calculation.
Those aides of his had long seen clearly Ming Qi’s situation before him. Those aides knew that Fu Xiu Yi had created an illusion that he would perish with the enemies but escape instead and they became furious.
Speaking of Fu Xiu Yi, he was enmeshed in a trap of one’s own devise. These group of aides were the ones that he had spend gold or use beauties to win over. Those so called heroes would not question one’s origin and Fu Xiu Yi was self declared one who cherished talents and would not look at one’s identity, thus there were people from all trades among his aides. There were robbers, mountain thieves and even people kill others without blinking. There were no distinction between good and evil with these people and they followed Fu Xiu Yi because Fu Xiu Yi could provide them with the wealth and women they wanted and even contribute to a great cause.
Now that the great cause had been destroyed and Fu Xiu Yi wanted to flee, how could one let this be?
The most courageous and ferocious character in those aides thought of tying Fu Xiu Yi onto the city tower and personally took the bow and arrow to shoot Fu Xiu Yi. At the end, he cut Fu Xiu Yi’s head off and presented it to Xie Jing Xing for credit, hoping that one could defect.
One feared that in Fu Xiu Yi’s entire lifetime of scheming, he had not thought that he would end up like this. It was not like how a Monarch would be like. Perishing with the country would at least retain one’s integrity. He did not save his life and could not stage a comeback in the future. Instead he was like a prisoner, shot to death by the people he spend a lot of money on, in front of Ding capital’s commoners and became a token for the enemies.
The last thing he saw was the youth in front of thousands of troops under the the city towers, on a tall horse. His hands was holding the reins as he looked lazily over, as always a frivolous manners but the disregard was clear in his eyes.
However before he could think of anything, he could not see anything else.
His great Empire and his ambitious plans had all stopped at this moment. Till the end he still did not understand. He was obviously the Emperor and this was what he planned long ago but why was it that he lost to an opponent that he had wanted to eradicate?
Most likely this was due to the Heaven’s unfairness. Most likely it was his bad luck that he would lose.
Down below, Xie Jing Xing clicked his tongue in dissatisfaction, “To scatter hearts till like this. Fu Xiu Yi really had such an ability.”
“People’s hearts that are tempted by gold and silver are naturally not long lastly.” Gao Yang laughed, “Lets go! Enter the city!”
“Right.” Ji Yu Shu said, “Princess Rong Xin and the few of the Su family had been rescued. Now…”
Xie Jing Xing’s expression did not change, “Protect them. As for the rest, let them be.”