Edited by TnyhyChapter 123: Returning To The Capital (Part 1)
The journey from the Xiao Chun City to the Ding capital was as high as the mountains and as long as the rivers, thus one would need to trek thousands of miles and would take half a year back and forth. When Shen Xin received the Imperial edict, he embarked on the journey the next day. Luo Ling and Luo Tan also journeyed together.
Luo Sui let Luo Ling go along as he was the eldest grandson of the Luo family, and in the future Luo Lin had to hold up the entire Luo family. Luo Sui’s intention was to let Luo Ling go to the Ding capital to learn through experience, and also to gain an understanding of the current situation in Ming Qi. Luo Sa was to stay in the Xiao Chun City to continue to drill the Luo family's army with the elders.
Luo Tan and Luo Qian were not supposed to follow, but who knew that Luo Tan herself secretly climbed up into the carriage and hid in the box at the back of the carriage, and she only appeared halfway during the journey. At that time, it was too late to chase her away, and one could only send a message back and bring her along to the Ding capital.
Luo Tan was filled with longing for the capital, and promised repeatedly not to cause trouble before finally going on the journey with Shen Miao and entourage.
Other than the front section of the Shen family's army that was brought over, this time Shen Xin also brought a portion of the Luo family's army. These people were trained personally by Shen Xin and Shen Qiu and were the most elite of them all. If one were to place any one of them on any sections, they would be considered a section lead. The number of branches need not require to be plentiful. Shen Xin had cultivated them himself, so he brought them along with him under the name of bodyguards.
From the start of the journey in spring to late autumn, all the green trees along the way had changed into withered leaves, that swayed and all onto the dirt with the wind. When the entourage started to increase their clothing, they then were about to reach the capital.
The sky was gradually getting darker and the entourage went to the inn outside the city to rest. Shen Qiu said, “Tomorrow morning we will enter the city. The first thing is to find a residence to stay.”
At that time when they were leaving, they had separated from that Shen family so naturally, it was not possible for them to return to Shen residence.
Previously in the Luo residence, Luo Xue Yan had told Luo Sui about the matter of separating from the family, and Luo Ling and Lu Tan were not surprised. Luo Tan rested her chin on her hand, “GuGu and GuFu, let us find a bustling place to stay alright? I have never been to the Ding capital before. How great it would be to have a residence that will be bustling when one leave the house.”
Luo Xue Yan laughed, “Originally, the east of the city was the busiest place but we had not returned for two years, and do not know if there is any change.”
“That is simple.” Luo Tan asked the waiter who was serving, “Waiter, do you know where is the most lively place in the Ding capital?”
That waiter did not know their status and identity, and only saw that they had so many people and wore fine clothes, especially the Young Lady that was sitting in the middle. She was young but had a remarkable bearing, with one look, one knew that she was a young lady of one of the noble residences. He immediately dared not neglect them and enthusiastically replied, “Young Lady, there are a lot of lively places in the Ding capital.”
Luo Tan was obviously not satisfied with the answer and wrinkled her nose, “Just like that?”
The waiter feared of provoking her unhappiness and thought for a moment before replying, “If Young lady really want bustling, then it will be good to go to the southern part of the city. Recently, the Qin country's and the Great Liang's people have arrived, and the Emperor had set aside residences in the southern part of the city, Yan Qing Lane to stay.”
“What is this Yan Qing Lane?” Luo Tan asked.
“Yan Qing Lane is the most expensive piece of land in the capital.” Shen Qiu explained, “It is an excellent place that even the relatives of the Imperial family cannot stay. Even if those Princes move out of the Palace to set up their residences, would not be able to stay there. Only the first Nation’s Granduncle stayed at the Yan Qing Lane for a period of time.”
Luo Tan was first surprised, “That Yan Qing Lane is actually so expensive.” Then she was somewhat disappointed, “But if it is so expensive then we will not be able to afford to buy a residence there.”
When the waiter heard this, he was first surprised before looking carefully at Luo Tan. Not mentioning about buying a residence in the Yan Qing Lane, even residing there for a few days was considered as rare as an unicorn’s horn or phoenix feathers. Seeing Luo Tan’s manner of speaking, the waiter almost suspected that he had misjudged them, as these entourage was full of only country bumpkins that would be entering the capital for the first time.
“It is alright.” Shen Miao said, “Next to the Yan Qing Lane there is a street that is adjacent to restaurants and outside the lane. The price is not that expensive and one can always afford it. Since it is not far from the Yan Qing Lane, it is not a bad alternative.”
When those words were spoken, the waiter was surprised for a moment before subconsciously saying, “This lady spoke correctly, it is indeed so.”
“Jiao Jiao also want to watch the bustle?” Shen Xin asked. Naturally Shen Miao was not one who liked to get in on the action but with her words today, it seemed that she had some interest.
“Felt that it is somewhat refreshing.” Shen Miao smiled.
“Good, good.” Luo Tan eyes shimmered as she looked at Shen Miao, “Biao Youngest Sister, you are the best!” She thought that Shen Miao deliberately said it for her, and was very grateful of Shen Miao in her heart.
Shen Miao looked up and towards the waiter, “The people from the Qing country and the Great Liang have come?”
Since the beginning, the waiter’s eyes did not left off from this Young Lady who looked like the youngest. He had felt that when she sit there, even the chairs became golden-bright and dazzling. Hearing Shen Miao speak, he immediately replied respectfully, “Yes. The Ming Qi’s tribute will start in a few days’ time, the thus Qin country and the Great Liang had sent over people to give their congratulations. These people are arranged to reside in the Yan Qing Lane.”
“Who did the Qin country and the Great Liang sent over?” Shen Miao asked.
The waiter scratched his head, “His Highness the Crown Prince and Princess Ming An from the Qin country and from the Great Liang, the younger blood brother of Emperor Yong Le, His Highness Prince Rui.”
Shen Miao’s eyes hang down, “Many thanks.”
After that waiter left, Luo Ling asked, “Does Biao Younger Sister have any thoughts on the people from the Qin country and the Great Liang?”
Shen Miao smiled, “Nothing, just felt a little strange.”
Luo Tan beamed, “No matter what, we will reach the Ding capital tomorrow and can also take a look at the hustle and bustle.”
In the Palace in the Ding capital, in the chambers of the Emperor, the thick medicine smell filled the entire sleeping chambers, and the incense in the burner made one's heart heavy and melancholic.
On the dragon bedchambers, Emperor Wen Hui laid on the couch with both eyes half closed. The beauty clad in noble clothes beside was gently moving, scooping spoonful of medicine into his mouth. This was not anyone else but Consort Dong Shu.
She fed very patiently and carefully. Emperor Wen Hui could only drink a tiny spoonful at a time, so she blew on each tiny spoonful till it cooled down and tested that it was not hot, then slowly fed it to Emperor Wen Hui. As she fed, she still gently patted Emperor Wen Hui’s back so that he could breathe smoother.
After finishing feeding, Consort Dong Shu picked a candied fruit from the enamel bowl at the side, and fed it to Emperor Wen Hui’s mouth. Emperor Wen Hui frowned and after swallowing the last bit of the bitter taste in his mouth he then said, “It is difficult for you to even remember this?”
“Your Majesty is not afraid of bitterness. It is this Consort that fear that Your Majesty is afraid of bitterness.” Consort Dong Shu smiled warmly, “May Your Majesty take account of this Consort and eat a little of this fruit.”
Emperor Wen Hui was amused by her and his eyes softened a little, “In this Palace, it is still you that understand Zhen’s mind.”
In the two years, many things had changed. No matter how much energy of a dragon and ferociousness of a tiger he had, he finally could not beat the erosiveness of time. Not to mention that he had so many sons who were younger, stronger and more ambitious than him. With the critical circumstances both inside and outside, he had aged a lot and his body gradually became sickly.
The Crown Prince’s condition was also precarious, and his faction was gradually no match as Prince Zhou and Prince Jing moved threatening towards, while Prince Xuan and Prince Li eyed covetously like tigers watching their prey. Emperor Wen Hui even felt disgusted seeing the females in the Inner Palace and at this time, Consort Dong Shu and Prince Ding, Fu Xiu Yi, who stood aloof from worldly affairs entered his eyes.
Emperors most felt assured with, were sons and women without ambitions. When Emperor Wen Hui was sick, he loved to summon Consort Dong Shu to attend to him. Even with such Imperial favour, Consort Dong Shu was still as cautious as usual, and would not take the initiative to speak about Prince Ding’s matters, thus Emperor Wen Hui was even more satisfied. He would even occasionally talk to Consort Dong Shu about adverse court matters.
“The tribute is about to begin.” Emperor Wen Hui signed, “The messenger said that Shen Xin will return to the capital within these few days. Zhen drove him out two years ago, and fear that there is still a grudge in his heart. If the circumstances were not urgent, Zhen would never lead the wolf into the house.”
“Your Majesty.” Consort Dong Shu smiled, “General Shen is your subject and naturally will work for you and do what you want him to do. Why is Your Majesty tormenting yourself?”
“Subject?” Emperor Wen Hui sneered, “That subject's prestige is bigger than Zhen’s, so how can Zhen believe Shen Xin wants to be a subject. At the beginning Xie Ding was also likewise, but he lost his son and now the Xie family is unable to withstand a single blow, and Zhen is also lazy to eradicate to the last one. This Shen family, after the tribute, it is better… Zhen really feel uneasy.”
Consort Dong Shu no longer spoke. At such a time if she were to speak, then there was the possibility of the Inner Palace interfering with the government. Thus she lowered her head, kept quiet and just fiddled with the enamel bowl.
In Consort Dong Shu’s Shu Fang Palace, there was also someone standing at the moment. That person’s robes and crown were noble and had a grave and magnificent appearance. It was Fu Xiu Yi. As compared to two years before, he became more composed and matured and had an indescribable grace.
“Shen Xin is resting outside the city today, and will be entering the capital early in the morning.” The guard in front of him bowed down to speak to him softly.
Fu Xiu Yi clenched the cup in his hands and one did not know what he was thinking. After a moment, he suddenly smiled, “Gentleman Pei really have the miracle of foresight, for what he said was actually correct. Entering the capital tomorrow…” He said, “Pass the order down, all the guards at the city gates must listen. When Shen Xin return to the capital, the entire city must welcome him.”
The guard cupped his hands and complied before quickly retreating.
Fu Xiu Yi stood with his hands behind him and a profound expression appeared on his face. Two years ago the Shen family’s tactic of taking drastic measures had disrupted all of his plans. Now to return to Ding capital again, Fu Xiu Yi had the feeling that this was also part of the Shen family’s plans. Perhaps Shen Xin long knew, that there would be a day that he would return to the capital, thus at that time, he left so resolutely and unrestrainedly.
In that case, how about putting the Shen family back into the hot fire to roast again? How about letting the Shen family be a target and letting Emperor Wen Hui, Prince Zhou’s faction, Prince Li’s faction and even the Qin country and the Great Liang all watch closely Shen Xin, this piece of fat meat? He was after all a person who hold a grudge extremely well, and hated to be played in anyone’s palm.
To dare to scheme against him, Fu Xiu Yi. The Shen family would inevitable have to pay the price.
Early on the second day, Shen Xin and entourage set off again. Hastening on with their journey from the inn, they could only arrive at the Ding capital before noon. Because they still had to look for a residence, it was ideal to be as early as possible.
When they arrived at the city gates of the Ding capital, the guards at the city gates asked to see Shen Xin identifying placard and suddenly were on awe, “So it is General Shen!” Finishing, they let the rest quickly open the city gates for Shen Xin and entourage to enter.
Luo Tan said, “GuFu, they seem to be respecting you a lot. It seem that GuFu’s official rank is very big.”
But Shen Qiu and Shen Miao frowned at the same time. On the day they left the Ding capital, the indifferent facial expressions that those guards had, were like those who wanted to throw stones when one was done. Now to be that enthusiastic, it is certainly not because of needing him to come back to deter the Qin country people. It was most likely… Instructed by someone else.
Luo Tan parted the carriage curtain and looked out before exclaiming, “This is the Ding capital. So big and so lively. There are a lot more people than in the Xiao Chun City. Ah, Biao Youngest Sister, the young ladies here look very pretty, how could one look that fresh? Heavens, even the gentlemen here are all fair and tender.”
Her noise was heard by those closeby and they looked over. It did not matter if they did not look but once they looked they shouted out, “It is General Shen. General Shen has returned!”
General Shen had returned!