Side Story 4: A Long Journey – Dumpling Brothers
When Chu Yi and Shi Wu were eighteen years old, Emperor Xiao Jing announced his abdiction.
This was truly beyond everyone’s expectation. Emperor Xiao Jing was fit and in good health, it was a good opportunity so why did he just abdicate just like that?
However for all these years, Emperor Xiao Jing and Empress Shen really solidified the reputation of ‘wildful’. Throughout history, there was no Emperor and Empress that was this casual, not having three thousand beauties in the Inner Palace, with only one Empress. It was not that the officials did not think of any methods but at the end, it tears their interest apart and thus it was impossible for them to move Empress Shen’s position.
Moreover Empress Shen had a strong maiden family. In the course of time, the officials followed along. Anyways Empress Shen had given birth to two sons and there were qualified successors to carry on the Empire of Great Liang.
But even there were qualified successors, one could not abdicate the throne that early.
Chu Yi and Shi Wu official names were Xie Shu and the other Xie Wu. It was because not long after the children’s first birthday, when they were about to be named, Chi Yan Taoist Priest popped up from no one knew where and said that because both children’s birth was difficult, in order to grow up safely, female names had to be used for them. Thus Xie Jing Xing picked such names for both of them.
(The Shu is 淑 and it is usually used for females, with the meaning of warm, virtuous and pure. This character is always used as consorts rank too… Like Consort Dong Shu aka FXY mum. The character Wu used for Zhi Wu official name is 舞 which means dance, which tends to be used for females.)
After Xie Shu and Xie Wu gradually grew up and became sensible, there were numerous of quarrels with Xie Jing Xing with regards to their name but even the easier going Shen Miao was not willing to change their name. Thus they gradually got used to it.
Xie Shu seemed to have Shen Miao’s character, being sensible, steady and matured young. Xie Wu was an exact copy of Xie Jing Xing, hanging in the streets everyday, looking like a frivolous noble gentleman but those people who were familiar knew that Xie Wu had a stomach full of bad water and he was worse than Xie Jing Xing.
However the relationship between both brothers was extremely good. Currently Xie Shu was the Crown Prince and would soon be enthroned and Xie Wu was Prince Dian.
The officials submitted memorandum with tears and snivels as they criticize Xie Jing Xing for leaving so early and that Xie Shu was still young and was unable to hold things down and would deal the matters of court immaturely. They fear that it would not be peaceful.
But would Xie Jing Xing listen to those officials’ words? Xie Jing Xing had an overbearing personality and these officials’ words were just farts to him. Moreover he had already made up his mind on the abdication. It was a decision that nine bulls would not be able to pull back so how would a few memorandums be able to change his mind?
Shen Miao was even calmer after being the Empress for so many years. At the beginning there were many people who wanted to exploit her shortcomings but she was self reliant and everything was steady and stable. It was strange for them as she seemed to have been an Empress for many years. She managed everything cleanly, making others unable to find any small mistake at all and even accidentally gotten the reputation of being virtuous. Those old stubborn ones were also unable to find any faults.
At this moment, Xie Jing Xing was talking to both of his sons.
Time seemed to be very good to him. Even though both of his sons had grown into handsome youths, he was still beautiful. As compared to his arrogance tens of years ago, the current Xie Jing Xing had a restrained domineering air and looked much more dangerous than before.
He discipline his two sons heedlessly, “Eldest one and Second one, both of you guard the Palace well. Your Father, me, will hand over this Empire to you. Do it well and do not make me come back to clean up the mess.”
Privately, he would not refer to himself as ‘Zhen’ in front of his two sons. From outsider’s perspective, there was no differentiation and it was the biggest taboo. However Xie Jing Xing was one who did not care about the worldly etiquettes and just did not want to have estrangement with his sons because of all these levels. Perhaps it was because of experiencing all the unfortunate things in the family clans, one would become more sensitive to such things.
Xie Shu calmly complied but it was Xie Wu who said lazily, “Don’t worry about it. We brothers are not that stupid.”
“It is simple to speak.” Xie Jing Xing raised his brows, “Don’t underestimate the people in this Palace. At the beginning when your Father, me, was enthroned, it was not that easy. Now that there is a change, naturally they would be looking for opportunities. Young ones, you are still too tender but the other parties are old foxes. Words cannot be said that confidently.”
“Father, do rest assure.” Xie Shu did not have a change in expression even with his Father’s intimidation, “This son can handle it.”
“An old fox is after all a fox. Eldest Brother is a tiger.” Xie Wu snorted disdainfully, “Moreover if Eldest Brother really could not do it, is there not me here?”
“You actually dared to say that.” Xie Jing Xing’s eyes narrowed, “Eldest one, watch this child for me!”
Since young, there was no need to worry about Xie Shu as he was very serious at a young age. It was however Xie Wu that made one’s head ache. One did not know how much trouble one created in Long Ye since young. He was like another Xie Jing Xing. It was just that the Marquis of Lin An would cover for Xie Jing Xing in those years. However Xie Wu’s Father was the Emperor and if one was not careful, it would provoke the Imperial censors.
Fortunately Xie Shu would be behind to wipe Xie Wu’s but and help him to clean up a lot of mess. It was just that when Xie Shu gradually grew up, everyone would take note of the Crown Prince’s deeds and words, thus he was unable to help Xie Wu like when they were younger. Xie Wu had to be self-sufficient and most of the time would be creating disasters, compensate things, creating trouble again and make up for it again.
It could be said that among the younger generation of the official families, there was none that did not suffer from Xie Wu’s torment. Xie Wu’s evilness was like a student that surpassed the master.
Now with Xie Shu as the predecessor, Xie Jing Xing would be bringing Shen Miao out to travel but Xie Jing Xing was able to guess what kind of intentions that Xie Wu has. Most likely Xie Wu would have thought that now that most of the younger generations were put in order, it was time to start on the older generations of the official families in Long Ye.
Xie Wu said innocently, “Father, how could you not believe in me? Am I that kind of person? When Eldest Brother really becomes the Emperor and if someone comes to find fault, one would not be able to personally step forth. Special means would need to be used then. Eldest Brother, is it not so?” He blinked his eyes towards Xie Shu.
Xie Whu turned his head over expressionless, avoiding Xie Wu’s hint.
Xie Jing Xing’s lips hook up to a smile, “When you say it like this, I feel that I should let Tie Yi and Mo Qing stay to watch over you.”
“Father, you cannot do this!” Xie Wu immediately spoke out. However after thinking about it, he then said in relief, “But if you want to do it then by all means. Anyways Mo Qing and Tie Yi would not be able to beat me even if they combine forces.”
Xie Jing Xing bang the table, “You rascal, are you rebelling?”
Just as the voice fell, one heard someone outside the door saying, “Who is rebelling?”
Shen Miao came in through the doors.
She did not look like a mother of two children. Instead after so many years, it seemed that the jade was polished that it was very smooth, as if she was made by the Heavens. She was calm and so majesty that one would not be able to turn one gaze away.
Xie Shu and Xie Wu quickly called her.
Shen Miao walked over and glared at Xie Jing Xing before speaking, “What nonsense are you speaking about?”
Xie Jing Xing said, “Me spouting nonsense? You believe this rascal?” He then turned to Xie Wu and scolded, “White eyed wolf. All the milk your Father feed you and diapers changed had gone to the dogs.”
Xie Shu, Xie Wu and Shen Miao, “…”
Speaking of which, that year when Shen Miao was in coma, Xie Jing Xing was indeed treated Xie Shu and Xie We very well. He would personally clean their pee and shit and become their nanny as he would sleep together with them at night. This was a fact a big issue. Other all felt that with Xie Jing Xing’s personally, it was incredible that he could treat a child that gentle. However Xie Jing Xing did it.
Xie Jing Xing’s performance during that period of time was indeed of a gentle and considerate Father.
However after Shen Miao woke up, it was not very pleasing when he looked at these two sons. He kept on saying that the children should grow up to men faster and those training made outsiders’ heart ached when they see them.
It was due to the strong will of Xie Shu and Xie Wu that they did not grew up badly at a young age. When one talked about talents and moral conduct, they were the top in Great Liang. Both of their appearance were inherited from their parents and had beautiful and handsome looks and heavenly bearings. Xie Shu was grave and stern while Xie Wu was romantic and casanovic and there were numerous numbers of Young Ladies of official’s families that secretly admired them. However these children had said to others before that they would want to be like their parents and only marry one female and love till one’s hair turn white.
About that, the parents of those official’s families felt that it was too difficult but those Young Ladies and even the common young females admired this pair of brothers even more. They were the only ones in the world to be so outstanding and righteous. Xie Jing Xing and Shen Miao were famous in Great Liang as the virtuous Emperor and Empress, other than being able to govern the country well, it was also because of Xie Shu and Xie Wu.
Naturally Xie Shu and Xie Wu did not treat this strict Father as closely as this kind Mother. Xie Jing Xing was often angry and complained that these two little fellows were not has knowledgeable and interesting as that ‘Jiao Jiao’ he raised.
Shen Miao said, “Ah Shu, Ah Wu, from the beginning, there are bound to be many officials that would target you both. It is not that they are not good but that anyone would experience would experience it. Don’t focus on arguing with them. Ah Shu, you only need to do well what you need to do. If there are someone who stubborn and unwilling to change, Ah Wu, you are always smart and know what is the best to do.”
This was actually encouraging Xie Wu to use some ‘special means’.
Xie Wu indeed became excited, “Indeed the person who knows me the best is Mother!”
“Furen!” Xie Jing Xing said, “You also want to follow them and make trouble?”
“Ah Wu’s means are much gentler that yours in the past. Moreoever one cannot just do things rigidly in this world and it is naturally good for it to be done smoother. Ah Shu, Mother is not worried about your abilities and there is nothing for Mother to make clear to you. The only is that… If one encounter a Young Lady of your liking, don’t hesitate.”
Xie Shu, “…”
“And you.” Shen Miao stared at Xie Wu, “You better restrained. Don’t think I do not know that there are numerous young ladies in Long Ye that were teased by you. If you do not like them then let them be. Don’t harm anyone’s life.” After saying that, Shen Miao’s anger seemed to burst out and she glared at Xie Jing Xing. Whatever kind of father would have whatever kind of son. All the same type!
Xie Jing Xing rubbed his nose innocently.
Xie Wu saw that the topic had become himself and quickly changed it, “Mother, done say it like this. Speaking of which, how long would you both be traveling for?”
“When your Mother is pregnant with your Younger Sister, we will then come back.” Xie Jing Xing interjected.
“It cannot possibly be like that right?” Xie Wu spoke exaggeratedly, “You are both already so old…” And the rest of the words disappeared under Shen Miao’s severe gaze.
“After seeing good sceneries and gone to great locations, one will naturally return home.” Shen Miao said,
That was a dream that one had when young but in the past, one ran into difficulties in achieving it due to a variety of reasons. It was fortunate that there was still an opportunity and this life was long and one could live fully and satisfyingly.
Xie Shu smiled gently and said, “Father and Mother can leave rest assured. This son would be responsible.”
“And will also find a wife!” Xie Wu added.