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Chapter Ninety: The Hua Family's Daughter
The twenty-first day after the Empress Dowager's burial, Qilong Emperor managed to come out of his sorrow. He elevated the Benevolent and Harmonious Empress Dowager to the Benevolent, Harmonious and Humane Empress Dowager. When he spoke of how good she had been to him, he couldn't help but cry.
"Zhen's mother passed away early on, and so zhen was raised by Mother-Empress. Mother-Empress was benevolent and disliked luxury. She did her best to teach the imperial sons and grandsons. She should have been living out her days in peace but…" When he got to this point, Qilong Emperor choked and waved his hand for the taijian behind him to recite the decree for him.
"Zhen has been married to Fang shi for nearly three decades. Fang shi would do everything personally for zhen. Zhen thought that Fang shi was virtuous and bestowed the title of empress to her, never expecting that she would be evil inside and poison the Empress Dowager. Zhen is both pained and sorrowful…"
The imperial decree was very long, and people finally understood what this imperial decree was. Namely, zhen is innocent, zhen has also been fooled by the Empress, zhen also regrets it now but has been married to Fang shi for so long. Therefore, zhen has decided to demote the Empress to a commoner and for her to work in the laundry department. Zhen is willing to take some of the crime for Fang shi and will write out prayers for the Empress Dowager every day in hopes that the Empress Dowager will have both good fortune and longevity in her next life. Furthermore, as for the Fang Family that helped the Empress conduct such evil, those executed will be executed, those exiled will be exiled, some will be sent to the army and some will become palace prostitutes. You don't need to ask mercy for them.
When the Emperor's decree came out, it didn't just absolve him of all guilt but also gave an impression of him being an emperor who cared but was not indecisive. No matter how useful this was regarding the members of the Imperial Family, at least some of the people were fooled and the focus of the discussion was on Fang shi.
The Empress poisoning the Empress Dowager was a shocking matter, so when Qilong Emperor wrote out his decree, it was announced to the world for everyone to see his decisiveness and hardship.
Fang Family had fallen, the Crown Prince was dead, the Empress was demoted to a commoner and sent to the laundry department in the palace to be a low-level servant. Princess Rui He whom no one had dared to touch in the past immediately became low-key. The beautiful manservants in the princess fu were let go, and she said that she was ill and would not see guests.
While she was trying to be low-key, Princess Rui He was still an eyesore for the people whom she had once bullied. No one was moving against her now because they did not want a reputation of hitting a person when they are down. However, after the matter cooled down, it was unknown if these prestigious and noble families would still have such good conduct.
Princess Rui He had the identity of an imperial daughter, so no one dared to move against her now. But Min Huai Junzhu was in an awkward state. Everyone in Jing knew that her support had been the Empress and Princess Rui He. First the Empress had fallen, and then Princess Rui He hid in her princess fu and wouldn't come out. Min Huai Junzhu became the target of mockery for the other noble girls.
A junzhu without any power or any support only looked honored on the surface. She would occasionally appear at poem meetings and banquets. The womenfolk who had once been bullied by Princess Rui He were polite on the surface but were actually making things difficult for her. Yet she could only endure it. Also, because of the identity of some of the women, if she wanted to refuse the invitation, that would give them an excuse to act against her.
Her uncertain status caused her to become even more careful. She rejoiced on the inside that, because they had to mourn for the Empress Dowager, banquets could not be held and she did not need to appear frequently.
After the Hundred Day Mourning Period passed, the prestigious and noble families in Jing started to have low-key events. Even though they could not be too ostentatious, activities such as poetry and tea conferences, funerals or weddings could continue.
The Min Huai Junzhu whom people used to praise for her talent did not showcase her talents. Her poems were average, and she did not try to take the glory from others. But even so, people were at odds with her.
After finishing an awkward poetry meeting, Min Huai Junzhu was sitting on the carriage to go back to the fu when the carriage suddenly stopped. Then she heard the servant driving the carriage say that there was a qinwang procession passing by and her carriage needed to make way.
She raised a corner of the curtain and saw a six-horse carriage with an almond yellow roof embroidered with four-clawed golden dragons passing by. When she saw the character Xian on the jade tablet hanging from the carriage, her expression became slightly dazed.
So it was a carriage of Xian Wang Fu.
Just at that instant, the curtain on the carriage was suddenly lifted up. A face that was unadorned but could dazzle countless men appeared. Min Huai Junzhu's hand tightened around the curtain. Hua Xi Wan?
Hua Xi Wan hadn't expected that she would encounter Yuan Shu Yi in a situation like this. She nodded politely and gave a faint smile to the other.
"What are you looking at?" Yan Jin Qiu moved closer to her and looked outside. Seeing it was a carriage of a woman, he immediately had no interest. He turned away and said, "Just now when I was in the marquis fu's yard, I accidentally encountered the daughter of Assistant Minister Hua's family."
Hua Xi Wan stared blankly for a moment before reacting. Yan Jin Qiu was speaking of her eldest female cousin Hua Yi Liu. Detecting that his expression wasn't right, she frowned and said, "What about her?" She and her eldest female cousin did not have matching personalities, so they were relatively distant. The other hadn't wanted to be close to her recently, so she didn't know what Eldest Tangjie had done to make Yan Jin Qiu unhappy.
"If Assistant Minister Hua doesn't bear to lose his daughter, then he should raise her well." Yan Jin Qiu did not speak too harshly for Hua Xi Wan's sake. "She is a divorced woman; it would be good for her to stay in the fu with a calm mind."
Today, he had originally accompanied Hua Xi Wan back to her paternal family for a visit. In order for Xi Wan to have time alone with her family, he had deliberately said he was going to stroll in the yard and admire the chrysanthemums. Who knew that he coincidentally encountered the eldest miss of the Hua Family, and the other had said some unclear things.
Thinking about his wang fei going to the Zhou Family to play the villain for this woman, and this woman turning around to target his wang fei's man, Yan Jin Qiu felt disgusted. What kind of woman hadn't he seen before, what hadn't he heard before? He could understand what Hua Yi Liu thought.
He felt angered on behalf of Hua Xi Wan, but he did not want to tell this matter to her and dirty her ears.
Even though Yan Jin Qiu was not explicit, with Hua Xi Wan's understanding and a bit of thought, she would understand what he implied.
As she let the curtain down, Hua Xi Wan's brow seemed slightly helpless. She hadn't thought that Hua Yi Liu would have such thoughts. She turned to look at the man beside her. A strong brow, a beautiful appearance, a handsome presence—he really was a calamity that could attract women.
Thinking about this, she sighed. Originally, Second Tangjie Hua Chu Yu's marriage had been set, but because of what happened in the Imperial Family, her marriage to Lin Zheng De had been delayed. In the end, the date was set for one month later.
She only hoped that no other Imperial Family member with status died in this month. Otherwise, this marriage would have to be delayed even more.
It seemed that their Hua Family daughters all had a hard time with their marriages. She only hoped that after the hardship, Second Sister would get a person who could accompany her to the end of her days.
Watching as Xian Wang Fu's carriage moved away, Min Huai Junzhu put down the curtain in disappointment. A moment later, she said, "Go."
The day when Hua Chu Yu married, the sky was blue and without clouds. Hua Xi Wan personally put the dragon and phoenix hairpin in her hair and then took the veil the joy attendant handed her. She slowly put it on her cousin. "While Second Sister is marrying into the Lin Family today, you will forever be a daughter of the Hua Family, always my jiejie. Do not be afraid—we are all standing behind you."
The veil moved slightly. Hua Chu Yu gripped Hua Xi Wan's hand tightly. A moment later, she said, "Meimei, don't worry."
Hua Xi Wan's mind moved and she clasped Hua Chu Yu's hand. At this time, fireworks sounded from outside the gates. She turned to look at Yao shi who was wiping away her tears and patted the back of Hua Chu Yu's hand. "Take care of yourself."
"All right." Hua Chu Yu's voice was slightly choked. The sound of people outside the door came close. She slowly released Hua Xi Wan's hand. When the fireworks were set off outside the door, she was sitting dignifiedly.
As a daughter of the Hua Family, even when she married, she should have the style and presence of the Hua Family. What she represented wasn't just herself, but the entire Hua Family. Also, the Hua Family was the family behind her, so what did she have to fear?
The moment the door opened, Hua Xi Wan saw Lin Zheng De's appearance. He was tall and handsome, the red robes of a groom making his white teeth and red lips stand out. However, his features were strong and gave people the feeling of him being reliable.
Hua Chu Yu's younger brother Hua Cong Pu bent down to carry Hua Chu Yu and help her into the flower sedan among the burst of fireworks.
Lin Zheng De bowed to the elders of the Hua Family before getting onto his horse and leaving with the sedan while beaming with happiness
Watching as the flower sedan moved away, Yao shi finally could not stop the tears and covered her face to cry. Hua Xi Wan comforted her, and when she turned, she saw Hua Yi Liu looking expressionlessly in the direction in which Hua Chu Yu's sedan had left. She didn't know what the other was thinking.
As if detecting that Hua Xi Wan was looking at her, Hua Yi Liu suddenly turned around. She glanced at Hua Xi Wan with a strange expression before turning and entering the gates.
Bai Xia and Hong Yin who were standing behind Hua Xi Wan noticed Hua Chu Yu's gaze and frowned. What did Eldest Miss mean?
"Miss…" Hua Chu Yu's servant girl carefully examined her dark expression. "Wang Fei just now…"
Hua Yi Liu stopped moving and turned to glare at the servant girl. Her eyes were full of dark anger. "So what if she is the wang fei? Do I have to serve her?"
The young servant girl was shocked. What was going on with Miss? Wang Fei clearly hadn't meant anything just now. The miss' words were overboard.
"Of course I cannot compare to Hua Chu Yu who can marry the shizi of a marquis to become the future Marchioness." Hua Yi Liu laughed coldly. "The wang fei and the marchioness are people on the same path. Whereas I, a married and divorced woman—what do I count for?"
"My good miss, this is Third Master's fu." When the servant girl heard these words, she was so frightened she changed expression. She hurriedly turned to look around the surroundings. "Do not say more."
Hua Yi Liu jerked the corners of her mouth in a smile. She looked at the bright red hanging around the yard and slowly lowered her face. She finally recovered her normal calm and stoic appearance.
"Wang Ye?" Mu Tong bowed and said carefully, "Wang Fei is still waiting for you."
"I know." Yan Jin Qiu looked unconcernedly at Hua Yi Liu's back and then lightly to Mu Tong. "After we return, tell this to Wang Fei. There is no need to conceal it."
It would be a simple matter for him to take care of Hua Yi Liu, but he did not want to have unneeded misunderstandings between him and Hua Xi Wan. It was better to have the matter in the open and for Hua Xi Wan to take care of it herself.
It would not be profitable to cause disharmony between husband and wife for such an unimportant person.
Translator Ramblings: Yan Jin Qiu knows his priorities. I like how he doesn't even feel flattered that someone is attracted to him.