At this night, someone deliberately disturbed a pool of spring water and caused the flowers to bloom even in the cold winds of winter. Naturally there were plans that fell through and currently there were people who were in a thundering rage.
In the residence of Prince Zhou and Prince Li, it was such a situation.
In this evening, someone knocked Prince Zhou's room door and Prince Zhou thought it was the servants and called them to enter but no one enetered. Prince Zhou got up to open the doors and saw two ice cold corpses directly hitting his face. No one knew how the two corpses came into the residence of Prince Zhou. Prince Zhou flew into a rage and punished all the guards that were on night duty harshly before looking through carefully for traitors but at the end it was all without success.
The two corpses were also identified as the assassins who was sent off today to kill Shen Miao.
Prince Zhou's heart was restless and on the very night called Prince Jing over so that the two brothers could research the matter carefully.
As for Prince Li's end, it was even worst. Someone just threw two bodies directly into the residence from the walls and scared guards in the residence of Prince Li. The guards went out to chase but could not even find the shadows of anyone. At the end the found out that the two corpses were the assassins that were sent to kill Shen Miao. Prince Li was very troubled and restless of it. Obviously his assassins were killed and his route was broken and naturally that was his enemy. However for his enemy in Ding capital to be this highly skilled that the entire residence of Prince Li's guards could not even catch one person, Prince Li was extremely dissatisfied.
At the other end, the two brothers, Prince Zhou and Prince Jing, were in the middle of a discussion.
Prince Zhou asked, "Who do you think did it?"
Prince Jing muttered, "Perhaps it is Prince Li."
"I too think so." Prince Zhou nodded his head, "Perhaps he is taking the opportunity to threaten me or perhaps he has the same thoughts as me."
"However Prince Li always has an amicable appearance and would not do such a matter that could tear it apart." Prince Jing shook his head, "It might also be from the Crown Prince's hands."
"The Crown Prince?" Price Zhou paused before nodding his head, "These years the Crown Prince was proclaimed sick but everyone knew that it was just a cover-up. Neither one of us had seen his methods before and if he cause an internal fight between me and Prince Li, the Crown Prince can enjoy the benefits of a fisherman after the fight."
"Correct." Prince Jing sighed, "You better not forget there is another person, Number Nine."
"Forget about Number Nine." Prince Zhou waved his hand without a care for it, "Even if Number Nine make it known, he has no guts to do it as he does not move in the court to gain connections. To be able to create trouble in the residence of Prince Zhou, one's subordinates have to be experts."
"One does not know why but one always feel that Number Nine does not appear as simple as he looks." Prince Jing said, "You should not underestimate him."
"All in all," Prince Zhou signed, "This matter is not that simple. No matter if it is Prince Li or the Crown Prince, the oncoming person has ill-intentions. I will closely investigate it again. One want to know who is the one behind playing tricks."
Prince Jing nodded his head in agreement.
Naturally Prince Zhou and Prince Li did not know that the other party who eliminated both of their assassins and returned it back to them was not the Crown Prince that they guessed but one who had nothing to do with them. However this method of redirecting the waters of calamity to the East was indeed not bad. In the fight between the Princes of Ming Qi, unknowingly it had become fiercer.
And in the passage of time, when everyone in the Shen family was uneasy about seeking 'appropriate candidates' the Imperial edict of the Imperial family of Ming Qi did not come after a long time. This was not because of anything special but because Emperor Wen Hui was troubled by a matter.
He asked the Crown Prince by his side, "What is Great Liang's intention? Is to adopt a confrontational position with Ming Qi? Zhen had never seen such an arrogant person before!"
The Crown Prince did not dare to speak up. Prince Rui of Great Liang made a trip to the Palace and one did not know what was spoken to Emperor Wen Hui. After Prince Rui left, Emperor Wen Hui flew into a rage and threw the entire set of teacup on the table and almost wanted to destroy the Imperial study.
The Crown Prince guessed that some impudent words were spoken else Emperor Wen Hui would lose his self-control like this.
Emperor Wen Hui indeed had flew into a rage. He was clearer than anyone on Ming Qi's current strength and it was no longer as strong as when the late Emperor was alive. Facing the slightly better Qin country and flourishing and fertile Great Liang, there was actually nothing to be proud of. In this tribute banquet, it was done that grandly so as to conceal his lack of confidence and show to Great Liang and Qin country that Ming Qi has some abilities.
It was just that these acts were only burying one's hand in the sand. HuangFu Hao of the Qin country appeared to treat him with respect but in actual it was not. Because of Princess Ming An's death, he did not let the Bureau of Investigations off thus the judicial officers were often working on righting a wrong for the Princess of Qin all the time that one would be laughed at if it was mentioned. However Emperor Wen Hui dared not refuse it as he wanted to win over the Qin country to deal with Great Liang.
One did not need to mention about Great Liang. This Prince Rui did things with his own set of rules. HuangFu Hao at least showed respect for Emperor Wen Hui on surface but Prince Rui did whatever he liked and did not show any indication of respect for him. Emperor Wen Hui comforted himself with that Prince Rui had such a personality like that but did not expect that Prince Rui would make a trip to the Palace and chat in the Imperial Study. Emperor Wen Hui had the intention to establish good relations with Great Liang but was completely rejected by Prince Rui.
Even though it was not indicated clearly, but his attitude did not give Emperor Wen Hui any leeway at all. Emperor Wen Hui was after all a monarch of a country, thus when he loses face, naturally his expression was not good and it became solemn. Who knew that Prince Rui did not even care that he would get angry and even casually mention about the several cities in the border of Great Liang and Ming Qi and the topic was all about taking back those cities.
Emperor Wen Hui's expression changed in an instant.
Those cities were not very big but there were a several mines within the area. Those ore that were mined were used in most weapons. Those cities were just at the border of Ming Qi and Great Liang and previously Great Liang was not at all concern about these as the people who lived in the cities were Ming Qi's commoners. Now with these words, what were their intentions? It meant that Great Liang had the intention of occupying these cities!
With Ming Qi's military strength, it was not possible to compete with Great Liang.
Prince Rui was the appointed envoy for Great Liang and he represented Emperor Yong Le of Great Liang's intention. Prince Rui's seemingly casual sentence had revealed some of Great Liang's ambitions. What made Emperor Wen Hui incessant grievances was that he obviously knew about the other party's ambition but he dared not detain this treacherous Prince Rui because he was unable to withstand Emperor Yong Le's fury. There would still be some confidence if one had strike an alliance with Qin country but with only Ming Qi… He could only tolerate it.
Being an Emperor but without any dignity mad Emperor Wen Hui's heart burn in fury.
"With Great Liang's ambition, who knows what would they do next? Your marriage with Shen Miao is not in a hurry." Emperor Wen Hui said, "Zhen cannot provoke Shen Xin now. It is the critical moment and if Shen Xin is dissatisfied with Zhen, it would not be good as Great Liang would be able to exploit a loophole."
The Crown Prince felt somewhat disappointed when he heard it but did not say much. He understood Emperor Wen Hui's temperament and the more he was like this, the more one should go along with him. Thus he said, "This son is not in a rush and naturally would focus on major events. One did not think that Great Liang concealed such a malicious intent. We must not relax our vigilance with them."
Seeing the Crown Prince as such, Emperor Wen Hui was very pleased and patted his shoulders, "Zhen knows. Don't worry. Even though Great Liang has such ambitions, Zhen would not sit and wait for death and discuss with the Crown Prince of Qin tomorrow on alliance. If the Qin country knew about Great Liang's ambition, they would also be tense. It would be natural for them to strike an alliance with Ming Qi and at that time, one do not need to worry about Great Liang. Zhen will then personally decree that the military power of the Shen family and that girl, Shen Miao, be yours." In the conversation, one took Shen Miao as an item that one was confident to place in another's bag.
The Crown Prince smiled gently and complied but was somewhat resentful with Prince Rui in his heart as he said such things to Emperor Wen Hui just at this timing. The timing was just too coincident. Prince Ding gave him such a wonderful idea but it turned out empty with just a few words from Prince Rui that it made the Crown Prince extremely dissatisfied.
But one could not do anything about it.
The news that came from the Palace indicated that the marriage between Shen Miao and the Crown Prince wwere temporarily suppressed. Even though one did not know the reason behind, Princess Rong Xin was relieved.
That day when she saw Shen Miao in the Palace, she let her personal palace maid sent Shen Miao out of the Palace but she personally went to meet Emperor Wen Hui. Emperor Wen Hui was still courteous with Princess Rong Xin so Princess Rong Xin said that she liked Shen Miao a lot and hope that Emperor Wen Hui would give up the decision on letting Shen Miao marry the Crown Prince.
Who knew that Emperor Wen Hui immediately went on a rage that he even used the words 'females could not discuss politics'. Princess Rong Xin also had a temper and said, "Shen Miao's marriage is just a marriage between younger generations so how does it relate to politics?" She started quarrelling with Emperor Wen Hui on the spot. At the end Emperor Wen Hui was angered and 'requested' her out of the Palace.
On that night, Princess Rong Xin was so angry that her heart illness recurred again.
Fortunately Emperor Wen Hui did not doubt why Princess Rong Xin did it as the few encounters that Shen Miao had were all rescued by Princess Rong Xin. From an outsider's eyes, one would find that Princess Rong Xin and Shen Miao had some fate thus it was understandable for Princess Rong Xin to treat Shen Miao special. No one would have guess that the reason why Princess Rong Xin was protecting Shen Miao was helping Xie Jing Xing care for Shen Miao.
"It is good like this." Princess Rong Xing said to Yang GuGu beside her, "BenGong thought that this time one would not be able to help her and was feeling conscience stricken. Now that it is suppressed, there would be leeway to turn it around. BenGong will tell her about it. Else in the future when one reached the Underworld, BenGong would not be able to face Jing Xing."
Yang GuGu quickly consoled, "If Little Marquis know about Princess's painstaking efforts, he would definitely be gratified."
Just as she was speaking, one saw someone walking in from outside. The palace maid greeted before speaking softly, "Your Highness, someone from the medical hall had sent the medical herbs over."
Princess Rong Xin was slightly startled before asking, "Wasn't it finished?"
She had heart illness for a number of years and there was a specific prescription for it and in it there was a particular herb that was extremely difficult and rare to find. There were only a limited amount in a year and almost all those herbs were sent to the Princess residence. Previously when Xie Jing Xing was around, one did not know what kind of methods were used every year to search for much more of it that Princess Rong Xin was not at all worried.
Later when Xie Jing Xing died, the availably of the herbs in the medical hall returned to the former where one would not know if there would be stock for tomorrow. During winter days, it was even harder to look for it thus Princess Rong Xin had not drank that medicine for a long time. Just a few days back there was no medicinal herbs and one did not think there would be some sent over today.
The palace maid said happily, "The doctor from the medical hall said that yesterday there was a travelling merchant who came to sell medicine and coincidently there was a big batch of it thus the medical hall took all of it. Heard from the doctor that it is enough to use till next year. What a lucky coincidence."
Yang GuGu also smiled, "It is really lucky."
Princess Rong Xin waved her without paying much attention, "Sent it to the kitchens."
The palace maid complied quickly and when the palace maid left, Princess Rong Xin then gave a bottle smile and sighed, "When Jing Xing was still around, there would be baskets of herbs that was sent over. Why is it now that it had became one's luck?"
Yang GuGu knew that she was thinking of Xie Jing Xing and was sadden by it. Just as she wanted to change topics, one heard Princess Rong Xin continue speaking, "Support me to the Xing Zhen Yuan."