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Chapter Eighty-Five: Love Begets Hate
As the widow of the Crown Prince, and with his only child in her belly, the Crown Princess should be a noble personage whom all in the palace treated carefully and with respect. But because the rumors grew stronger as they spread, even the servants in Zhu Que Palace could not resist gossiping behind her back and then looking suspiciously at the Crown Princess's child.
How could the Crown Princess be ignorant of what people were saying behind her back? However, she knew that she could not react to this matter at all. Because if she reacted, in the eyes of the Emperor, it meant that she was guilty.
Two days later, Qilong Emperor finally came to Zhu Que Palace to see the Crown Princess. He saw her sitting by the windowsill making baby clothes, and the gentleness in her eyes was unparalleled. The Emperor's suspicious silently halved. "Why are you doing this yourself? Do not strain your eyes."
"Emperor." When the Crown Princess saw him, she wanted to get up and curtsey. Qilong Emperor softly pressed on her shoulder and said gently, "We do not need courtesies between us."
Lin shi's expression changed slightly, and then she said with a bitter smile, "I did not think that Emperor was still willing to come."
"With you and zhen's child here, how can zhen not come?" Qilong Emperor smiled as he sat down next to Lin shi. He picked up the small article that Lin shi was working on and inspected it. "Do not pay attention to the rumors outside. Just rest your mind and take care of your body."
Lin shi said with red-rimmed eyes, "I don't know who is at odds with qie to spread such evil rumors. Will they not rest until they force qie to die?"
"With zhen here, you do not need to be afraid." Qilong Emperor put an arm around her shoulders and comforted gently, "Do not worry. Zhen will not allow the rumors to keep on spreading."
"Emperor, you are so good to qie." Lin shi smiled through her tears. She moved into Qilong Emperor's embrace, but there was no joy in her eyes.
One day later, the news that over ten palace attendants were beaten to death for gossiping spread and caused many people to close their mouths. Even if they had suspicions, no one was tactless enough to speak them out loud.
When Hou shi heard that the Emperor had over ten palace attendants beaten to death for Lin shi, she said to Yan Bo Yi with a cold smile, "This is called true love."
Yan Bo Yi had a dark expression and did not speak. His position in court had been affected greatly recently due to the rumors. The old emperor was probably very discontent with him right now.
Hou shi saw him act like this and couldn't help but ask the question that had been there for a long time. "Tell me, who is really the father of the Crown Princess' child?"
"Do not think nonsense." Yan Bo Yi stood with slight displeasure. He said coldly, "Rest well, and do not think about useless matters."
When Hou shi saw him leave without a glance back, her suspicions increased rather than decreased. She thought of the Crown Princess' coolness to her, and the concubines in the fu who had features that were similar to the Crown Princess'. It was like there was a rock on her chest and she was not able to breathe.
No wonder he did all he could to make the Crown Prince unable to have a child, and then tried to do all he could to kill the Crown Prince. So it was for that woman. She had thought before that his personality was a cool one—but actually he was just warm to Lin shi, and she was a pitiful person who had the position of his wife.
He wanted the throne so much—was it so that he could possess Lin shi without any constraints?
She gripped the handkerchief in her hand. Hou shi thought for a long time before she methodically wiped the corner of her eyes. Her expression was calm to the extreme. "Someone come, send a card to Xian Wang Fu."
When Hua Xi Wan received Hou shi's card, she was slightly surprised. "Hou shi is actually interested in coming for a visit at a time like this. I have to say that she is someone who is skilled in enduring."
"Sheng Junwang Fei does not have it easy." Bai Xia put Hua Xi Wan's hair up and then neatened the hairpins. "Mistress, are you going to see her?"
"If I do not, I will appear heartless." Hua Xi Wan put down the card and said with a smile, "I also want to see what this husband and wife want to do."
After Yan Jin Qiu heard that Hua Xi Wan was going to receive Hou shi, he did not say anything and only had Mu Tong order the servants to serve carefully.
He believed in Xi Wan's skill. Just like Xi Wan trusted him and would never ask useless questions.
The next day when Hou shi came to Xian Wang Fu, Hua Xi Wan invited her to the pavilion in the middle of the lake to drink tea. Hou shi did not refuse.
Hou shi had come to this Pavilion on the Lake before. That time, Hou shi had implied that she was willing to help Xian Wang succeed the throne, but Hua Xi Wan had pretended to be clueless and moved over the topic. Coming back to this place now, Hou shi felt that she was so laughable for scheming for that man even at the expense of her own body.
Even if she put everything on the line for Yan Bo Yi, maybe she still wouldn't be worth a pinky of Lin shi.
Hua Xi Wan felt that Hou shi was even more dark that in the past. She did not know why Hou shi had come to visit her, so she only talked about some boring topics. She had not expected Hou shi to directly state her intentions.
"Meimei, help me."
Hua Xi Wan's hand that held the teacup stilled. She then smiled and said, "Tang sao, what do you mean?"
"Meimei is so intelligent—how can you not know what I am saying?" Hou shi looked with a burning gaze at Hua Xi Wan."I am not resigned."
The smile on Hua Xi Wan's face faded and became one of conflict. "Tang sao, you are a very intelligent woman. How can you not know that there are many matters which I cannot decide?"
Hou shi fell into a daze. "Yes, the men in the world are the same, all the same." She had thought that Xian Wang was different towards Hua Xi Wan, but since they were all members of the Imperial Family, how could they escape the cruelty and heartlessness of the Imperial Family?
But other than Xian Wang, she could not find anyone else who could defeat Yan Bo Yi. She wanted to see him unable to achieve what he wanted, and never possess Lin shi!
Since her heart had been given to the wrong person, then she would not allow Yan Bo Yi to be happy.
"If you are willing to help me, I can tell you the secret forces that Yan Bo Yi has," Hou shi said in a cool tone. "Who he is truly on good terms with, what secret properties he has, which spies he has arranged, and even what plans he has—I can tell you."
Hua Xi Wan examined Hou shi carefully. Unless the other was the best actor in the world, there was no way that she could use this kind of expression and tone to say these words. But she still did not believe the other completely. "Saozi, you are joking. What Tang xiong has arranged has nothing to do with us. What is the use in my knowing such things?"
"Ha." Hou shi smiled coldly and said, "If it wasn't that Xian Wang is his only threat, you think that I would be willing to do this?"
Hua Xi Wan smiled upon hearing this. "If that is the case, Jiejie, why force yourself?"
"But I have to force myself to do some things." Hou shi widened her eyes. "I want to see his hopes destroyed!"
Sometimes, the difference between love and hate was just a fine line, Hua Xi Wan couldn't help but think when she saw Hou shi like this. Maybe when Yan Jin Qiu had people spread the rumors, it was to make Hou shi give up on Yan Bo Yi or hate him. The Emperor may not have even been the main target.
"Saozi, you cannot believe the rumors. You should not do anything because of words unrelated to you." Hua Xi Wan sighed. "You are too excited now. When you calm down, you will not say this."
"In the past, I was too impulsive and did those things for a man. Now I am calm." Hou shi sipped tea with a calm expression. "I am willing to help you. I have no other request than to hope that my Hou Family will be safe when Xian Wang ascends the throne. I know my paternal family. They are not brave and are worried about trouble, so they are not willing to participate in the fight for the throne. If it was not for me, they would not be touched by these matters. Really, it is me who has dragged them in."
Hua Xi Wan was silent. Inside, she had a new understanding of Hou shi.
"As a woman, can I not know what the person sleeping beside me thinks?" Hou shi sneered. "His heart is not on me, nor on the other women in the wang fu. In the past, I wanted to receive his true love; now I do not need it."
Hua Xi Wan personally poured tea for Hou shi. Her opinion was not the same as Hou shi's. Maybe Yan Bo Yi truly didn't have any love for Hou shi, but it was unlikely that he had a lot of love for the Crown Princess, Lin shi. In Yan Bo Yi's eyes, women were probably tools. He pursued the throne for his ambitions, and not out of love for a woman.
"These are my true words. Three days later, I will show you my sincerity." Hou shi said this before she left Xian Wang Fu without a backward glance.
Hua Xi Wan sat in the pavilion. When she thought of Hou shi's expression when she spoke of her paternal family, Hua Xi Wan sighed and drank the warm tea.
"What are you thinking?" Yan Jin Qiu took the cup in her hand and took a drink before sitting down next to her. "Did Hou shi say something that is of difficulty to you?"
Hua Xi Wan narrated what Hou shi had said before asking, "Do you believe her?"
Yan Jin Qiu raised an eyebrow and said idly, "I will know whether to believe her or not after she shows her sincerity." He reached out to caress her face. "Do not burden your mind with these minor matters. It is not important if Hou shi's words are true or not."
Hua Xi Wan disdainfully slapped away his hand and stole her teacup back to pour herself a full cup. "If you want tea, pour it yourself. Don't steal my cup every time."
The servants in the pavilion: Life is so difficult seeing Wang Ye and Wang Fei being lovey-dovey every day.
Three days later, Yan Jin Qiu received a ledger. Written inside was the detailed accounts of Yan Bo Yi's expenses, of which a huge portion was used to bribe others.
"It seems that Hou shi has truly given up on Yan Bo Yi this time." Mu Tong saw Yan Jin Qiu was in a good mood and carefully asked, "Wang Ye, should we add to the fire?"
"It would be too much." Yan Jin Qiu threw the ledger to the side. "Wait and see."
"Wang Fei's lunch will be ready soon." Yan Jin Qiu waved his hand. "We will talk after eating."
Mu Tong: I keep on feeling that Wang Ye has changed after being together with Wang Fei. This must be a wrong feeling…
In Sheng Junwang Fu, Yan Bo Yi's expression was not good as he said, "You have gone to Xian Wang Fu again. I didn't know that you have such a good relationship with Xian Wang Fei."
"Didn't you tell qie a few days ago to get closer to Xian Wang Fei?" Hou shi said with puzzlement on her face. "Xian Wang Fei is a lazy person, and does not like seeing guests. It is rare that she is willing to see qie recently. If I do not go, wouldn't I be wasting such a good opportunity?"
Yan Bo Yi frowned upon hearing this but did not speak again.
Translator Ramblings: I wonder if Yan Bo Yi just lacks the ability to understand other people.