This chapter has been brought to you by me, Adnana, and Vivie.
Chapter Sixty-Four: Fighting
Because of the several major cases that occurred in Jing lately, many officials felt they were in great danger. The rumors about the Crown Prince being deposed grew even stronger, and even the people on Sheng Junwang's side continued to make little movements.
However, Xian Wang Fu still acted high up, as though nothing had anything to do with it. So no matter how strong the conflict between the Crown Prince's faction and Sheng Junwang's faction was, Hua Xi Wan was very idle. She did not care about the invitations she received and refused them with the excuse of ill health.
Ever since the two of them had gone to the old taitai's birthday two days ago, Yan Jin Qiu had a new hobby. When he did not have anything to do, he liked to boil a pot of tea for Hua Xi Wan, and then the two of them would sit by the window, sipping tea as they admired the snow. There would also be some exquisite and delicious pastries on the table, some interesting folktale books, and they would occasionally summon the musicians who were in the fu to make music and sing to add to the atmosphere. Their days were heavenly.
So when husband and wife were listening to a song and admiring the snow, they exchanged a look when they heard that Lin Ping Junzhu was requesting an audience, and found the hint of regret in each other's eyes.
Even though Hua Xi Wan did not want to move, the other was Yan Jin Qiu's jiejie. No matter what their relationship was like, she could not avoid meeting the other. She could only dress up slightly and then walk with Yan Jin Qiu to the main hall to see the guest.
Ever since Lin Ping Junma had been assassinated, it had been rare for Hua Xi Wan to meet Lin Ping Junzhu. So when she saw the fragile-looking woman in the main hall, she almost didn't dare to believe her eyes.
Lin Ping Junzhu was two years older than Yan Jin Qiu, but because she had taken care of herself, she used to look like a woman who wasn't even in her twenties. But she seemed to have suddenly aged by a decade. She was just in her twenties but looked as though she was in her thirties.
Seeing the couple come in, Lin Ping Junzhu couldn't help but tense as she sat on the chair. Then she raised her chin slightly and said, "Now, it is even harder to even meet Didi."
Yan Jin Qiu saw this and did not argue with her. After holding Hua Xi Wan's hand and sitting down, he said coolly, "You would not come if there was not any matter—what happened?"
"What, it is not possible for I, the jiejie, to come see the didi and dimei?" Yan Jin Ling smiled coldly. She played with her painted fingernails and said, "Has Didi not heard the rumors in Jing?"
Yan Jin Qiu held a teacup and did not speak. He clearly did not want to take care of Lin Ping Junzhu's matters. Hua Xi Wan touched the hairpin in her hair. It seemed that it was time for her to come onto the stage.
"What matter is Jiejie referring to?" Hua Xi Wan smiled gently and then took a sip of tea. She had eaten a few additional pastries just now and was slightly thirsty.
"The people say that Xian Wang Fei is outstanding in beauty, of a fine mind. I think that the rumors are false. Because other than these two traits, you also have the ability to speak lies." Yan Jin Ling put down the teacup. "Which of the rumors in Jing is worth my coming to make a visit?"
You make it seem as though I begged you to make this trip. Hua Xi Wan's brow moved slightly. "Haha."
Yan Jin Qiu's hand froze where he held the teacup. He recalled something that Hua Xi Wan had once said. Each 'haha' means that I am too lazy to pay attention to you.
"Zi Ling, it was Jiejie who was wrong in the past, but help Jiejie, even if it is only for your nephew and niece." Yan Jin Ling's expression was not very well. She was only able to say this to Yan Jin Qiu because there was no path of retreat left for her.
Hua Xi Wan looked at the expressionless Yan Jin Qiu and then tilted her face down.
She knew why Lin Ping Junzhu had come to beg Yan Jin Qiu—because in all of Jing, other than Yan Jin Qiu, there was no one left who could save her. The Judicial Office had two theories about the death of Lin Ping Junma. One was that the Crown Prince had killed the junma, the other was that Lin Ping Junzhu had done it. As for the Emperor and Empress, it was best for them to push the matter onto the head of Lin Ping Junzhu. It was profitable in every way to use someone else's daughter to trade for the peace of their son.
If it wasn't because the matter of Li Meiren and the Crown Prince was still unresolved, the matter of Lin Ping Junma would have already been put onto the head of Lin Ping Junzhu. It was a pity that the Crown Prince had done too many things, and the Emperor and Empress had no way of sweeping away this matter even if they wanted to. So right now, Lin Ping Junzhu had a thread of hope.
However, there were only two choices in this case. If it wasn't her, it was the Crown Prince. Who would offend the Emperor for her? If the consequences were serious, they would even be accused of being a rebel or slandering the Crown Prince.
"The officials of the Judicial Office are honest and strict; they will definitely investigate the truth of the matter. I am just a wang ye without any real power. I probably cannot help." Yan Jin Qiu's hand caressed the tea cup. "Jiejie's words make me frightened."
"Yan Zi Ling!" Yan Jin Ling suddenly stood and glared hard at Yan Jin Qiu. Then she dispiritedly sat back down on the chair. "What can make you willing to help me?"
Yan Jin Qiu looked with an insincere smile at Yan Jin Ling. "Jiejie, I have already said that the officials of the Judicial Office are honest and strict. You do not need to worry about this matter."
Yan Jin Ling bit down on her bottom lip. She looked with red-rimmed eyes at this man who was clearly smiling but was cruel and emotionless. "Do you not remember any of our feelings at all?"
"Ha." Yan Jin Qiu laughed lightly. "Jiejie's joke is so interesting. Don't tell me, now that Lin Ping Junma is dead, you forgot what you said when you married him?"
Yan Jin Ling's face paled. She looked dazedly at Yan Jin Qiu and did not speak.
Under such a heavy atmosphere, Hua Xi Wan slowly sipped tea and drawled, "It has become increasingly cold these days."
Hearing this, Yan Jin Qiu reached out to touch the back of her hand. After confirming the warmth of her hand, he said, "We are going to eat hotpot tonight. You were talking about it a few days ago. I have already gotten people to prepare all kinds of game, and the taste when it is cooked will be good."
"En." Hua Xi Wan sighed. "Sleeping in spring and summer, tired in autumn, and lazy in winter—there aren't many days in a year when I want to move."
"Those of lazy personality would feel drowsy no matter the time," Yan Jin Qiu said with a smile. "Looking at the idle days you live, even I feel admiration."
"You won't have them even if you admire them. I have a husband who takes care of me, loves me, and supports me—do you have one?" Hua Xi Wan raised her eyebrow with a challenging expression.
There wasn't a man who would dislike hearing these words. It seemed to be a challenge, but in reality, it was praising one's husband. Yan Jin Qiu was not an exception. He smiled at Hua Xi Wan's words. "You are right. You have such a good husband, you should live days like this."
Yan Jin Ling who was watching the two being lovey-dovey felt her anger burn hotter. She almost could not control it. What did the two mean? Did they pretend she did not exist, or were they mocking the days she lived after she married?
"Even if you are not willing to help me, why are you mocking me?!" Yan Jin Ling stood and said with tears, "You want to force me to die?"
"From beginning to end, the one who is forcing you to die is yourself!" Hua Xi Wan said coldly. "When I first met Jiejie, I was polite and courteous, but you made it difficult for me at every turn. Was it I who was forcing you?"
"Later, in Jing, whenever your were present, when have you ever given me face, and have I ever argued with you?" Hua Xi Wan looked at her. "In the past, you abandoned your young brother and persisted in marrying that man. The people in Jing all said that your mother cannot raise children properly, having only unfilial children. Even Jin Qiu was criticized. Was there someone who forced you?"
"Your junma followed the Crown Prince constantly, was jealous of Jin Qiu's abilities, frequently spoke out of turn. Have you, the elder sister, ever stopped him or given words of advice? You did not, you have always chosen to obey your husband, and for him, you even purposely neglected your didi. You caused the people in Jing to laugh at him that even Jin Qiu's jiejie does not have a good opinion of him. If not for his talent and the favor of the Empress Dowager, there would be numerous people in Jing laughing at him—have you thought of all this?"
"You did not, you only thought of your man, your little family. What is your brother, he is just someone whom you could step on when you needed to." Hua Xi Wan slapped the table and said harshly, "You only think about other people helping you—why don't you think about why other people do not help you?"
"What is the wrong in pursuing what I want?" Yan Jin Ling shrieked. "You are an outsider, you cannot lecture me!"
"I am not an outsider, I am the upright and peerless Xian Wang Fei. As for you, the jiejie who never thought of your brother—you are the true outsider." Hua Xi Wan snorted. "You should rejoice that I never hit women. Otherwise, I would not just lecture you today but hit you."
"A person as rough and crude as you is not fitting to be a wang fei!" Yan Jin Ling who was forced to speechlessness by Hua Xi Wan spoke after a few moments as she pointed a trembling finger at Hua Xi Wan. "You whore!"
"I'm me, so what? Who made it so this person is so blind to like me?" Hua Xi Wan tsked and shook her head. "What, bite me."
Mu Tong who was pretending to be invisible gaped at Wang Fei's words. The maliciousness of her words, the challenge of her tone, the proudness of her attitude—even a person made from mud would be so angry that they would jump up, much less the proud junzhu. He felt that he did not dare to look at Junzhu's expression.
"Good, good, good," Yan Jin Ling repeated. She covered her chest. She managed to steady her body by holding the arm of her chair. She turned to Yan Jin Qiu and said, "You allow your wang fei to speak to me like this?"
Yan Jin Qiu coughed and then looked wryly at Hua Xi Wan. "There is nothing to be done about it—who made it so that ben wang is blind."
Yan Jin Ling stilled. She couldn't understand what Yan Jin Qiu meant. Dumbstruck for a long time, she then gaped at Yan Jin Qiu and almost did not believe that her didi could say something like this.
Hua Xi Wan jerked the corners of her lips and smiled. She seemed very content with Yan Jin Qiu's performance. Then she smiled seductively, "Wang Ye treats qie so well."
"Demoness, calamity!" Yan Jin Ling understood. "So it is you manipulating from the shadows so that Zi Ling is not willing to help me!"
Hua Xi Wan gave an extremely flirtatious smile. "Jiejie, you cannot slander me. Wang Ye is handsome and of martial bearing—how can the words of a weak woman such as qie affect his thoughts?"
Her appearance in addition to her purposefully seductive attitude was the polar opposite of a virtuous woman—a fox demoness.
Mu Tong silently knelt in the corner. Wang Fei, please don't play-act—what to do if Lin Ping Junzhu faints in anger?
"Xi Wan is right, how can ben wang be someone like that?" As Yan Jin Qiu said this, his hand reached towards Hua Xi Wan's hand.
Wang Ye, are you a last hit expert?
Translator Ramblings: Yan Jin Qiu character development. The couple work so well as a team.