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Edited by TnyhyChapter 111: Encountering In The Palace Again (Part 1)
“Why say that?” Ji Yu Shu asked.
Gao Yang touched his chin, “Since she is dealing with Prince Ding, she would not be with Prince Ding’s team. The Crown Prince, Prince Zhou and Prince Li, which side is Shen Miao on?”
“Neither side.” Xie Jing Xing said.
“Oh?” Ji Yu Shu felt strange, “Why not on either side?”
Xie Jing Xing’s gaze was slightly unhurried, “Pei Lang is not a normal person and only have yet to enter officialdom, thus fall over due to his youth. Just now you all have heard, Shen Xin would not necessarily be as meticulous as Shen Miao’s moves and execution.”
Not overly smooth, not acknowledging, neither admitting nor declining and also not accepting. Even officials that had raised and fell in the ocean of officialdom would not be able to be entirely in one’s element like her. Shen Xin was a general and Luo Xue Yan was also a general, so who did Shen Miao learn this skill from? Was there an expert guiding the Shen family in the shadows? Initially he thought it was so but right now, he could be certain that it was all Shen Miao’s own intention. If she was someone with the Crown Prince or any of the other Princes, she would never use this kind of method of planning and preparation for each step, as every Prince had strong power behind them thus they would not use such a stupid method.
However she was able to maximize the achievements within her abilities and scope. One could not help but wonder, if she was given enough connections and power, how big a storm could she create. Even now when she did not have any leverage, she could slowly train her chess pieces up.
The world was like a chess game and in the chess game of Ming Qi, there are too many people playing. However, Xie Jing Xin had never place Shen Miao in it as she was a weak female and had no intentions.
But today Xie Jing Xing was able to look through this young lady’s ability to subdue a hero with a cup of wine, and saw her ambitions.
“But we still do not know how she knew about Pei Lang’s background.” Ji Yu Shu said, “Even the Feng Xian Pawnshop did not dig it out.”
Prefectural Magistrate Pei's residence has spared every effort to protect this son, so naturally preparations were made perfectly. Pei Lang also did not fail to live up to his father’s expectations, and did not seek revenge or hold resentments and lived incognito while also becoming a teacher. No one would notice him but Shen Miao saw through his tricks, and also made Liu Ying a bargaining chip against Pei Lang.
One did not know where the information was acquired, just like case with the Chen brothers.
“Do not mind her.” Xie Jing Xing said, “Is the memorandum to request for commander position written.”
“It is written already.” Gao Yang frowned, “But are you really sure… Once this start, there will be no turning back. And your plans at this end have not yet being received at that side, if it is not accepted…”
“Do as I say.” Xie Jing Xing stood up.
Returning back to the Shen residence, in the Western courtyard, Shen Miao changed her clothes and just as her hair was let down she saw Bai Lu coming in hastily, “Young Lady, Furen request you to go over to discuss some things.”
The end of the year has passed and it was almost time for the start of Spring. Because Shen Xin requested Emperor Wen Hui to stay in the Ding capital for half a year, Luo Xue Yan was much more relaxed. She would often buy clothes and jewellery for Shen Miao or let Shen Qiu bring Shen Miao out to eat and play. There were also times when Shen Miao herself felt that she was being raised like an hedonistic child of rich parents by Shen Xin and wife.
Shen Miao casually styled her hair up and headed to Luo Xue Yan’s room. When she entered the room, she unexpectedly saw Shen Xin and Shen Qiu present. Seeing her enter, Luo Xue Yan quickly pulled her over to sit next to her and said, “What did Jiao Jiao do outside today?”
Shen Miao let Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang remain in her room, and say that she went out shopping if anyone were to ask. “Just went around looking. Upon passing by Kuai Hou Lou, one went to get a few jugs of strong wine for Father and Eldest Brother.”
“Really worthy to be Father’s precious!” Shen Xin’s eyes brightened as he heard this and said, “The wine in the Ding capital is sweet and too smooth, how can it be called wine! Strong wine is better!”
Shen Qiu was also happy, “Younger Sister is thoughtful!”
“Only know how to drink!” Luo Xue Yan rolled her eyes at father and son, ” Let the servants buy those things. Why Jiao Jiao care about them.”
“You married woman!” Shen Xin was not happy, “It is Jiao Jiao’s sincerity, how could a servant purchase be the same as Jiao Jiao’s? Really short-sighted!” It was rare that Shen Miao was close to them so Shen Xin was very happy, that even if Shen Miao brought back two jars of water, he would be as happy as Heavens, so naturally he would refute Luo Xue Yan’s words.
“Short-sighted?” Luo Xue Yan’s eyes squinted at him.
“Furen must not be angry,” Shen Xin immediately said, “I am saying this punk is short-sighted.” Shen Xin slapped Shen Qiu head.
Luo Xue Yan could not be bothered to look at the father and son’s act and said to Shen Miao, “Jiao Jiao, actually there is something to discuss with you here.”
“Mother, please speak.”
“You have already heard about the matter of separation from the family. One think that after a few days the separation will go through, so your Father and me thought of it clearly and will be buying a residence. One had seen one at the eastern side of the city, which was not bad and only require to buy some servants to clean up. It is just…” Luo Xue Yan looked at Shen Miao and said difficulty, “Previously when your Father and I went to the Northwestern region and left you behind, one felt that with the Shen family’s protection you will be more safe and stable. Now with the separation from the family, if your Father, your Eldest Brother and me leave, you a young female will not be safe to be left alone in the entire residence, and one also fear of what others would speak about. So… Jiao Jiao, are you willing to go to the Northwestern region with Mother?”
Shen Miao was slightly startled.
“Younger Sister, the Northwest region is really fun.” Shen Qiu saw Shen Miao nonplussed face and quickly said, “It is not as exaggerated as what they say. In Xiao Chun City, there are mountains on one side and water on the other side. There are also rare birds and animals so when the time comes to hunt, one can hunt some white tiger to make a cloak for you.”
“Nonsense!” Luo Xue Yan smiled as she scolded, “Your Younger Sister is a female, why would she want a white tiger hide?”
Shen Qiu scratched his head, “There are also mines and the gems are so big. Younger Sister can also have jewellery.”
Shen Miao slightly smiled. She originally still has some hesitation because there were still other things to do in the Ding capital but hearing Shen Qiu’s words, she had a little yearning towards the Xiao Chun City of the Northwestern region. Who did not want to live carefree days and who was willing to scheme against other every day when one has opened one’s eyes? She sighed in her heart. Just go along once then, as long as she went there once, it would not be a big deal to not go in the future.”
“Alright.” In everyone’s expecting gazes, Shen Miao nodded her head, “I also want to go there and increase one’s knowledge.”
Luo Xue Yan was relieved as Shen Xin laughed loudly, “I already said that Jiao Jiao will definitely agree! After coming back for so long, when did Jiao Jiao abandon us!”
“Younger Sister, Younger Sister.” Shen Qiu was also excited, “At that time I will bring you to meet up with those brothers of mine. They all know that I have a Younger Sister but had never seen you before. And also Maternal Grandfather’s family. You have not seen them since you were born, so you will not recognise them.”
Luo Xue Yan’s maiden family was located at the Northwestern region as generals and only returned back when Shen Miao was born. Afterwards due to the thousands of Lis (miles) apart, she had not see them before. Shen Miao’s eyes hanged down, in the last lifetime after Luo Xue Yan passed away, the Luo family broke relations with the Shen family and because Shen Miao who originally did not had close relationship with her maternal relatives, she was not clear what was the ending for the Luo family. However thinking of Mei Furen’s ruthless methods, she would have means and ways to ensure Fu Xiu Yi will not let the Luo family off.
After saying more things until the hour was late, Luo Xue Yan then send Shen Miao back to her room to rest.
After Shen Miao washed up and sat in front of the table, she was watching the jumping flames and could not help but sigh. If one were to truly follow Shen Xin and the rest to the Northwestern region, she had to arrange everything well in this half a year period.
If one were to speak about the one thing that was comforting today, it would be the matter with Pei Lang.
She had always been clear that the Shen family was a big tree that attracted winds, so it was not good to be embroiled in matters of court, and moreover she was only an unmarried daughter and normally would not even have the opportunities to have contact with deeper matters. Now that there were many matters that had changed in this lifetime, she could only let Pei Lang be an informant. Fu Xiu Yi had a suspicious nature and would often research much more on things that were sent to his lap and would inevitably discover her. But after a year, Fu Xiu Yi will take the initiative to recruit Pei Lang and Pei Lang will be able to take the opportunity to push the boat with the current, making the entire matter easier.
As for subduing Pei Lang, for the most part it was due to a little luck. That year when Fu Xiu Yi subdued Pei Lang, it was because his subordinate, Advisor Zeng had a friendship with Prefectural Magistrate Pei's residence, and with that he followed the vines and discovered Pei Lang’s background. That time it was because Fu Xiu Yi was able to help settle down Liu Ying, then Pei Lang finally worked for him.
The siblings of the Pei family were people who did not take soft or hard tactics, and had a very strong mind of their own. For example Liu Ying, when she fell into the vicissitudes of life, there was no traces or any shadow of her being an official’s daughter as she set her mind on being in prostitution, perhaps it was due to the pain of recalling her original identity. And Pei Lang, he did not mention about revenge and set his mind on being a teacher.
Liu Ying was not willing to acknowledge her identity, and also felt grievances with the Pei family who abandoned her to protect her Younger Brother so when Pei Lang show up, Liu Ying would resist even more fiercely. However Shen Miao gave Liu Ying a docile way of living. Once one was able to settle Liu Ying, one would be able to control the conscience-stricken Pei Lang.
After a few years, Pei Lang would be more mature due to the arduous training and hard work in the courts, and would only feel that there were plenty of loopholes when recalling Shen Miao’s words today. But the current Pei Lang is yet to enter the official circles and no matter how smart he was, he lacked experience.
“Young Lady, it is better to rest early.” Jing Zhe smiled, “One still need to accompany Furen to take a look at the residence at the Eastern part of the city.”
Shen Miao nodded her head. In this half a year, at least the family could be separated and one need to have another residence.
But she did not expect that the plan could not keep up with the changes at the end.
On the second day’s morning after Shen Miao had eaten, Luo Xue Yan’s personal maid came over, and mentioned to take a look at the residence once Shen Miao changed her clothes. Since it was a residence that one would be staying, the decision should be made after seeing if it was comfortable or not.
However before Shen Miao could finish styling, someone from the Palace came. Luo Xue Yan had to make a trip to the Palace and the palace maid also mentioned if it was convenient, to also bring Shen Miao along.
Even it was said as such, it could be said as an order. Shen Xin’s and Shen Qiu’s face immediately darkened and Luo Xue Yan was somewhat confused. Even though she was a noblewoman in the capital but she was often not in the Ding capital, and was not familiar to those Furen in the noblewomen circles and the person who came said that it was from one of the Ladyship in the Palace, which was even more of a joke.
Counting here and there, Luo Xue Yan had no relations with the women in the Palace.
Shen Xin and Shen Qiu thought further. Luo Xue Yan had no friendship with the women but there was a request to bring Shen Miao. Wine-lover’s heart was not in a cup so could it be that one had some intentions towards Shen Miao. Once the matter involve Shen Miao, they would be especially anxious. Shen Xin said, “It is better for me to also accompany Furen in this trip to the Palace.”
“What are you going there for?” Lou Xue Yan said, “There is no invitation for you to go, are you throwing things into disorder? I will bring Jiao Jiao there.” She hesitated a little, “Matters would not overstep the bounds of what is proper as there are so many people. Moreover I am not a female without strength to truss a chicken, if…” She wanted to say that if anything was wrong and actions were required, one would not necessarily be in a disadvantage.
Shen Xin nodded his head, “Come to think about it, the current situation is not that worrisome. You should go without worries.”
Luo Xue Yan took Shen Miao’s hand and entered the horse carriage that the Palace arranged. Originally the plan was to view residences early in the morning but because of this matter, no one knew if it was a blessing or a curse.
Shen Qiu and Shen Xin stayed at the residence’s door as they watched the horse carriage go further away. Shen Qiu asked unsettled, “Father, Mother and Younger Sister would be alright, correct?”
“I will make a trip to the Ministry of War.” Shen Xin turned around, “You stay in the residence to better provide support if something happens.”
Shen Qiu nodded his head.
In the horse carriage, Shen Miao’s little face was stretched tightly but her heart kept coming out with all kinds of speculations.
She did not felt that she was in any danger. Currently there was nothing to be schemed against her, and moreover she knew more than anyone else about the Ladies in the Palace. If there was any tactics they would not happen today at all. The Imperial family cared more about how things looks like, and thus if anything happened to her in the Palace, the Imperial family was the first one that would be involved.
So if one were to speculate the other way… Shen Miao’s gaze became heavier. The females in the palace were not affiliated to Luo Xue Yan but summoned Luo Xue Yan to the Palace for a chat, perhaps it was to make some inquiries from Luo Xue Yan and the wine-lover’s heart was not in a cup. So was it the Shen family? Or was it Shen Xin?
But why would one suddenly pay attention to Shen Xin? Shen Xin kept a low profile in the capital these days and was not linked to Fu Xiu Yi like the last lifetime. Even if the Imperial family had the intention to suppress the Shen family, they need to have sufficient reason to do it. Could it be… There was already a ‘reason’?
Shen Miao was a little confused. To let Luo Xue Yan bring her to the Palace, it should be a warning as if anything happened, then Shen Miao would not be able to be protected… The more Shen Miao thought, the more she felt it was possible and she could not help but become nervous. There were a lot of things in this lifetime that were different, especially Ming Qi’s large game, she had tried her best to avoid it and delayed the Shen family’s tragedy, but she could still not avoid fate. This time what was the reason?
When Luo Xue Yan saw that Shen Miao’s face was not good, she thought that Shen Miao was afraid and said, “Jiao Jiao must not be afraid. It is only entering the Palace to chat with the Ladyships. It would end quickly, and at that time we can then go and take a look at the residence.”
Shen Miao gently smiled but was preoccupied with her thoughts.