This chapter has been brought to you by me, Adnana, and Vivie.
府 fu: compound or estate; (jun)wang fu: prince's estate/compound
氏 shi: clan/maiden name
郡王妃 junwang fei: the official wife of a junwang
郡王 junwang: second-rank prince
王 wang: short for qinwang or first-rank prince; also called wang ye, i.e. "His [Your] Royal Highness"
太监 taijian: court or palace eunuch
世子 shizi: heir apparent to a qinwang (first-rank prince)
王妃 wang fei: princess consort; the official wife of a wang or prince
Chapter Fifty: Suspicions
"What are you thinking about?" Seeing Hua Xi Wan's brow furrow, Yan Jin Qiu's face held concern. "Why are you frowning?"
"Nothing, I just felt strange seeing a certain decoration in Sheng Junwang Fu." The grape decoration was something in Hou shi's room, so it would not be appropriate for Hua Xi Wan to speak of it in too much detail to Yan Jin Qiu. "I don't know why the Crown Princess would give something of that material to Sheng Junwang Fei."
She did not know if the Crown Princess knew that night pearls were unhealthy if they were kept in close contact with people, especially those who were pregnant. The Crown Princess herself wanted children badly, but in front of power, someone else's child would not be so important.
The Crown Prince and Sheng Junwang were at odds to start with, not to mention that the rumor circulating in public was that Sheng Junwang had more ability to rule than the Crown Prince. If Sheng Junwang first had a son, from the Emperor to the Crown Princess, no one would rest easy.
When she thought about this, Hua Xi Wan rubbed the corner of her eyes. No wonder the Crown Princess had hurried to get to Sheng Junwang Fei so early. So she had been going to confirm if the miscarriage was true or not. This was very bothersome.
"If you do not feel well, rest after eating." Yan Jin Qiu saw Hua Xi Wan's expression become uglier, and his worry became more evident on his face. "If I had known beforehand, I would not have let you be dragged into these matters."
It clearly was a very normal sentence, but when it reached Hua Xi Wan's ears, her heart jumped. "Wang Ye seems to have something that you have not told me."
Yan Jin Qiu sighed. "Those who are too smart tire the head." He walked to Hua Xi Wan and reached out a hand to wrap around her from the back. "A few days ago, the Crown Prince and I talked about the night pearl, and I said that it is not good for night pearls to be put in the bedroom as they are unhealthy for the body."
Hua Xi Wan abruptly turned to look at Yan Jin Qiu. Just as Yan Jin Qiu thought she would utter words of blame, she suddenly smiled. "Jin Qiu should be more careful when you talk in the future, otherwise, people will use you."
"Wife is right; this husband will definitely remember." Yan Jin Qiu stole a kiss behind her ear and then said, "In the future, if there is something you want to know, ask me. As long as I know it, I will tell you everything."
Hua Xi Wan looked at his perfect side profile and put a hand lightly on the back of his hand. "Jin Qiu's thoughts always surprise me."
"It is not that I surprise you, but that you do not believe me." Yan Jin Qiu seemed to have changed his method of interaction with Hua Xi Wan, taking off his mask and becoming more direct. "I know that you do not like these matters, but it is a part of being in the Imperial Family—otherwise, our children will live days of decline, with the name of Imperial Family members, but where any prestigious family in Jing is better off than them."
There were many Imperial clansmen in Jing who were in decline. A portion of them were the descendants of wang and junwang who failed in trying to get the throne. There were also people who did not have any ability and just struggled through their days. But most representative were the Imperial Family relatives who were the descendants of the losers in the fight over the throne, or the people who had been disliked for generations by previous emperors. The fate of their lives was almost predetermined from birth. Unless they were truly one of the geniuses found once in a hundred years and loyal to the emperor, they would only be able to live out an average and boring life.
Right now, Xian Wang Fu's position seemed grand, but it was actually wavering. If the Emperor had a few more sons or the Crown Prince had many children, then imperial nephews like Yan Jin Qiu were not worth anything.
The reason why Sheng Junwang had the support of so many people in court was due to this, because no one dared to guarantee that the Crown Prince would not mess up the entire Zhao Dynasty. If the Crown Prince had as few children as the Emperor, then there would only be one path to take in the future: adopt someone from the Imperial Clan to take the throne.
The two branches that were closest in blood to the previous emperor were Sheng Junwang and Xian Junwang, so in the hearts of many people, because the Crown Prince was not a good one, they unconsciously were respectful of these two people.
"I understand what you mean…" Hua Xi Wan already understood why Yan Jin Qiu did not plan on having children in the next two years. One reason was because she truly was too young and therefore unsuited to a have a child now, the other was that the Emperor and Empress would not be willing to see Xian Wang have a firstborn son before the Crown Prince did.
The events of Sheng Junwang Fu were what waited for their Xian Wang Fu.
Some things Hua Xi Wan could guess. For example, while she was in charge of the inner compound, when she found that some taijian and servant girls vanished without a sound, she would not do anything after summoning Mu Tong and asking a few questions.
She never asked where the people who disappeared went to, and Yan Jin Qiu never asked her why she would practice the martial arts of her maternal family. If she thought about it, the two of them were similar in many aspects, but she was more willing to close her eyes and let it pass, while Yan Jin Qiu was truly vicious in mind and action.
The news of Sheng Junwang Fei's miscarriage quickly spread through Jing. Some people felt pity, others felt that the matter was of no concern to them, and some felt the matter was fishy. However, no one asked questions.
Hou shi, however, had a burst of anger a few days later and even smashed the grape decoration that the Crown Princess had given to her.
When Hua Xi Wan's expression had not been right when she asked the question, Hou shi had noted it down. Now she had found out that night pearls were not good for pregnant women, and could even cause miscarriages.
She had been sleeping too well in the previous days. She had originally thought that it was because she was pregnant, but thinking about it now, it definitely was the influence of the night pearls.
In reality, the night pearls did not have such a strong effect. Most of the cause of Hou shi's miscarriage was on her. For example, she still ran the household after she got pregnant, and then she was extremely nervous due to caring too much about the child in her belly. Under such heavy pressure, her pregnancy that was not so stable to start with miscarried.
But after a person encountered an unfortunate event, what they hoped to find was a place to vent. The Crown Prince and the Crown Princess became the targets of Hou shi's hatred.
If it was not for the scheming of the couple, her male baby would gradually take form and then be born, to become a shizi of whom she would be proud.
But all of this turned to nothing. She hated. She wanted to carve out the eyes of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. But she remembered that she was a junwang fei—she could not act impulsively. Everything had to be planned long-term.
When Yan Bo Yi learned of this matter, his expression also darkened. When he finished listening to Hou shi narrate how she had found out, he raised a brow expressionlessly. "You say that it was Xian Wang Fei?"
Hou shi nodded.
Yan Bo Yi sighed. Truthfully, he would rather play against three couples like the Crown Prince and Crown Princess rather than have anything to do with the Xian couple. These two were really experts at acting. No one knew what they really thought inside. Being enemies with people like this meant that one might become cannon fodder in the next round.
For example, this time. The one who implied that there was something wrong with the grape adornment was Hua shi, but she did not say anything directly. She only waited for them to have their doubts and discover it. Then after increasing hate for the opponent, there was nothing on her and she left freely, while the people involved in the matter were conflicted about what to do.
Or right now. He had doubts about whether Hua Xi Wan really knew that the night pearls had negative effects, pretended to accidentally say it, and caused their fu to be on bad terms with the Crown Prince.
However, listening to Hou shi's narration, Yan Bo Yi felt that this was not likely. No one in their Sheng Junwang Fu knew that the night pearls had negative effects on pregnant women. Where would Hua Xi Wan learn this from?
Translator Ramblings: Yan Jin Qiu, I wonder if he predicted that Hua Xi Wan would say something or he had some other way of getting the information to the Sheng couple to point them at the Crown Prince and Princess.