The Empress suddenly revealed this information and let the Shen family caught in an anxious situation. There was no doubt that Shen Xin and wife was not willing to let Shen Miao marry into the Imperial family. The most ruthless was the Imperial family. In addition to the many political considerations, it was because the complicated inner courtyard of the Imperial family. If Shen Miao were to marry in, with the many conspiracies, life would not go on easily. Wealth and honour was not worth the loss.
Shen Xin had the heart to marry Shen Miao off before the Imperial edict arrives. Before entering the Palace, because of Su Furen's matter, Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan had already discussed the need of starting to prioritise Shen Miao's lifelong matter. Luo Xue Yan had already instructed the subordinates to specially prepare a list and in it, there were all the talented youths in Ding capital. The booklet also indicate these people's character, where do they stay, how many people were there in the household and where were their ancestral homes. Everything was inquired carefully and in detailed. Luo Xue Yan attack on the side by inquiring on Shen Miao's thoughts and once she heard that Shen Miao did not mind this method of looking for a husband, her heart settled and she seriously go all out to look for Shen Miao's husband.
The Shen family had military power in their grasp and had a very special place in Emperor Wen Hui's eyes thus it was not easy to casually choose one. Shen Xin did not take into consideration those officials that were powerful so as to prevent Emperor Wen Hui from feeling that they were creating an alliance. Thus the families that Luo Xue Yan and Shen Xin picked were those that had no ambitions with integrity and clean aristocratic families. As Shen Qiu was one who was forthright, he had a group of good brothers in the military and could help him to inquire about those people's character privately.
Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan had planned this for Shen Miao but out of their expectation was that when Shen Xin slightly revealed the intention of marriage, the other party would smile and avoid it, either saying the their son were engaged or they were not in a rush to bring in a daughter-in-law. Shen Xin was one with a violent temper and also placed Shen Miao on his palm to dote. Others did not fancy Shen Miao, Shen Xin would not even look at them and left angrily with a brush of his sleeves.
However in the course of time, what he encountered were always this situation. Those young talents that they had picked with great difficulty would find an excuse of avoid it. One or two times would be coincidences but too many times would make one feel strange. Shen Xin also felt that there was something wrong and it was a General who was close to Shen Xin that told him that currently the officials all knew that the Imperial family had the intention to bestow Shen Miao to the Crown Prince. Shen Xin was finding in-laws at this end but who would dare to fight with the Imperial family for a female? Shen Miao would have avoided the fate of marrying into the Eastern Palace if she marries but it would definitely make the Imperial family displease with Shen Miao's in-laws family.
It was all for self protection. Even if the Shen family was successful and Shen Miao was smart and unflustered, no one dared to marry her.
When Shen Xin knew of the matter, he because pious at home. He only said that first he saw that those aristocratic families did not collude with worldly events but did not think that they were all as coward as tortoises. It was fortunate that Shen Miao did not marry over. How would these kind of irresponsible people hold the skies for Shen Miao in the future?
When Shen Miao heard the words that Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang inquired, she only smiled faintly.
Jing Zhe got worried, "Why is Young Lady not anxious? Now Furen and Master is very anxious. If this goes on, one would not be able to find a suitable person before the Imperial edict comes."
"The Fu family are not fools." Shen Miao picked the cup of hot tea and took a sip, "How would they not know what kind of intention Father and Mother is thinking of?"
Shen Miao knew from the beginning that Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan's method would not succeed. As to how the information that she was going to marry the Crown Prince flow out, needless to say, it was the Imperial family's methods. The Imperial family almost told the world undisguised that Shen Miao was the person they were looking at. How would the subjects of Ming Qi dare to fight with the Imperial family? As for the plan that Shen Xin and wife had thought to marry Shen Miao as quickly as possible, it was destined to be fruitless.
Gu Yu's throat was somewhat sour as she said, "Could it be that Young Lady have to marry His Highness the Crown Prince?"
As personal maids, even though Jing Zhe and Gu Yu did not understand what Shen Miao was thinking, they more or less could feel Shen Miao's emotions. Just like Shen Miao did not like the Palace at all nor the people in the Imperial Palace. Now if Shen Miao were to marry into the Eastern Palace, she would certainly not be comfortable with it.
Shen Miao said, "Watch as one walk." Her heart was however thinking, she had decided not to marry again into the Imperial family of Ming Qi. It was only an Imperial edict, it might be able to control the people and land and if it comes to it, she can ruin her reputation. The Fu family only wanted the Shen family's military power but dared not show their true selves to the outside world. After Shen Miao's reputation was ruined, if the Crown Prince was still insistent in marrying her then this appearance would be too ugly. Wearing a green hat (being cuckold) or the military power was more important? With Shen Miao understanding of the Fu family, it would definitely be military power. But if one really married her despite of the green hat, then the commoners would not feel that the Fu family valued feelings deeply but that the Inner Palace of the Imperial family was in a mess.
Even if the Fu family was not able to gain the people's heart, they dared not let the rumours go on.
It was just that… Shen Miao stared at the floating tea leaves in the cup. Her reputation would be destroyed at the same time.
Fortunately she did not have any sisters else it would implicate them to be scorned like her. The unfortunate thing was that Shen Xin and the rest would suffer from others' pointing and scrutinising.
However this was the most inferior plan and was the only plan left.
Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan did not know that Shen Miao already had her own plans and still looked for a good husband for Shen Miao with their heart. But the Imperial family's message was send out thus no one dared to even do the Shen family business. The doors of the Shen family was so quiet that one could net birds.
Shen Qiu almost grabbed a good friend over to marry Shen Miao. After being stopped by Luo Xue Yan, Shen Qiu, Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan sat in the room and their face were filled with concern when talking abut Shen Miao's marriage.
Luo Xue Yan said, "This tactic of the Imperial family is just too despicable. Previously there were so many people who wanted to be our in-laws and now everyone all detoured. What is this?"
"It's all my fault." Shen Xin said, "At the beginning one should settle a marriage for Jiao Jiao. One had thought that she was still young of age and it would not matter if one were to wait for a few more years. One did not expect this would happen."
Shen Qiu scratched his head, "In any case, Younger Sister cannot marry into the residence of the Crown Prince. How can the young lady that our General residence raised be other's Secondary Consort? One would even pick and chose to be the official wife so how would there be any reason to be a Secondary Consort?"
"Now no one dared to have marriage relations with our family. So what can be done?" Luo Xue Yan's expression was somewhat anxious as she tried to probe, "How about looking outside the Ding capital to see if there are any suitable families?"
Shen Qiu was astonished, "Mother, you want to marry Younger Sister far away?"
Luo Xue Yan said in a bad mood, "I don't have any other options left. One feared that all the officials in Ding capital had known of this news and perhaps it had flowed outside the Ding capital. It is better to search in remote areas that do not know of this matter."
"Cannot." Shen Xin rejected resolutely, "Marrying far away would only cause Jiao Jiao to feel grievances. Moreover with the afar distance and tall mountains, when the in-law family bullies here, what if we in the far away Ding capital unable to help?"
Luo Xue Yan got annoyed, "This cannot do, that also cannot do. Then what can be done?"
Shen Qiu sighed, "When all is said and done, it is these people in Ding capital that are afraid of implicating themselves. Is there not one man who favour Younger Sister over his own life?" Seeing Luo Xue Yan staring at him, Shen Qiu quickly added, "Other than me and Father."
Just as they were speaking, they saw Luo Ling coming in from outside. Luo Xue Yan told him to sit down and asked him eagerly, "Ling-er, did you manage to find a suitable family today?”
Luo Ling shook his head.
Shen Xin and Shen Qiu were somewhat disappointed.
Luo Xue Yan also lowered her head and looked worriedly at the teacup in front of her. But in the silence, one heard Luo Ling softly speaking, "GuGu, GuFu and Older Biao Brother."
Three of them looked up but saw that Luo Ling's expression was somewhat strange like he wanted to say something but stopped.
Shen Qiu asked, "Younger Biao Brother, what is the matter with you? Just directly say what you want to say. It is only family members here."
Luo Ling took a deep breath and said, "There is still no suitable person for Young Biao Sister yet?"
Luo Xue Yan shook her head and said, "These people in Ding capital are all afraid of the Imperial family looking for their trouble and could not wait to get far from the Shen family. It is simply too difficult to find someone suitable at this juncture."
"Then." Luo Ling paused for a moment and gathered his courage before saying, "I am willing to marry Younger Biao Sister."
When those words were said, the room suddenly became silent. Even the maids that were serving dared not speak and silently retreated to the side.
Shen Qiu and Shen Xin stared at Luo Ling but Luo Ling seemed to have suddenly gain the courage to continue speaking, "I know that my right arm is still not good now and talking about the family's characteristics, there are a lot of people in Ding capital that exceeds me but… I am willing to marry Younger Biao Sister. I will always treat her well and not bring in any concubines or TongFangs (higher ranked maids that serve the masters in the bedchambers) and she would be the only one in the inner courtyard. Moreover…" Luo Ling smiled gently, "If GuGu and GuFu worried about any actions from the Imperial family, I can bring her back to Xiao Chun City. Father, Mother and Grandfather is there. They will also take care of Younger Biao Sister and will not let Younger Biao Sister suffer grievances. When GuGu and GuFu make the next expedition, one will be able to return to Xiao Chun City to visit Younger Biao Sister."
"Younger Biao Brother, you…" Shen Qiu could not speak. Not only Shen Qiu, Luo Xue Yan and Shen Xin were in a daze.
Luo Ling's remarks was simple and did not have those flowery promises but the sincerity was the most valuable. Previously Luo Xue Yan did thought about these two children but could tell that Shen Miao only had brother and sister feelings thus she did not thought more about it. Now the situation was different at the moment. Luo Ling was a far better choice than the Crown Prince.
Luo Ling was considered to be watched by Shen Xin and wife as he grew up and his character was gentle and upright, which would be good to accommodate Shen Miao. Moreover it was her Eldest Brother's son and still one family. Thus when Shen Miao marry over, she would not have difficulties from her Father and Mother-in-laws since Luo Lian Ying and Madam Yu liked Shen Miao a lot and might even be biased towards Shen Miao even more. The most important point was that Luo Ling can bring Shen Miao back to Xiao Chun City. The Heavens was high and the Emperor was far away, even if the Imperial family was unhappy, it would be too far away and Shen Miao would be able to be away from the limelight.
As the fight for the heir apparent became fiercer, Ming Qi's situation would become more complicated and the Ding capital would be more dangerous. Shen Xin was unable to leave the Ding capital due to his military power but did not want his children to be involved in this dangerous vortex. Shen Qiu was a male and had already entered officialdom thus he could not escape from it but for Shen Miao, Shen Xin always hoped that she could live peacefully and smoothly.
If she married into the Luo family, it was indeed a good choice.
Shen Xin stared at Luo Ling and his words were sharp, "Ling-er, now you marry to get Jiao Jiao out of this difficulty but what if in the future when you meet with the young lady that you fancy, what will do you then?"
There were deeper meaning to these words but Luo Ling suddenly blushed and insisted, "One will not encounter a young lady that one fancy… I only fancy Younger Biao Sister."
When Shen Qiu heard of it, he was suddenly overjoyed and slapped Luo Ling's shoulder, "Putting it that way, you have long liked Younger Sister?"
Luo Xue Yan was also somewhat surprised. Luo Ling's character was warm and independent and would not expose his emotions to other. Even though he would normally treat Shen Miao well, Luo Xue Yan had only thought that it was an older brother taking care of a younger sister. She however did not expect that Luo Ling had such intentions.
Luo Ling nodded his head.
"It is really convenient for you brat." Shen Qiu suddenly became somewhat dissatisfied and mouthed off.
"Qiu-er, shut your mouth." Luo Xue Yan glared at Shen Qiu before looking at Luo Ling. The more she look the more satisfied she became.