Hi peeps!! Please note that there will be no additional releases on Nov as I will be travelling for work for most of the mth… Schedules for the additional releases will be back up in DecChapter 182: Bestowing Marriage (Part 1)
Prince Rui stood still and smiled, "Your Majesty better think it through. The Monarch of a country's word is as heavy as nine tripods."
"Ming Qi and Great Liang have good relations and naturally Zhen would assist in a virtuous purpose." Emperor Wen Hui was smiling uglier than crying as he said, "If the Young Lady of the Shen family marries to Prince Rui, it is the good fortune of the Young Lady of the Shen family and Zhen is happy to see through it. Don't worry, Zhen will write the decree today and announce it in a few days' time in court." After pausing, he then spit out difficultly, "The matter of the border cities…"
"Take that as the gifts for Your Majesty." Prince Rui smiled and left in a good mood
After Prince Rui departed, Emperor Wen Hui became paralysed in his seat and sweat was forming on his forehead and his face was totally extremely red.
Anger, shame, humiliation and resentment were all intertwined on his face. However he was unable to change anything at all.
This was perhaps the most unbearable thing in the world. He was obviously a Monarch of a country but he could not help but admit his incompetence.
Gao GongGong, who was standing at the side, dared not even breathe out deeply. Upon seeing the Emperor being forced into such a situation, as a servant, he was naturally terrified.
"Bring the paper to Zhen." Emperor Wen Hui suddenly said after a while.
Gao GongGong quickly complied.
Emperor Wen Hui's gaze was heavy. Although Prince Rui said that the matter of the border cities would not be mentioned for the time being, it was the temporary peace that was exchanged by the Shen family's marriage. However no one knew how long would the temporary peace last. The most important point was that after Shen Miao married Prince Rui, although Shen Xin was still Ming Qi's people but Emperor Wen Hui would no longer dared to trust Shen Xin.
Although previously he was suppressing Shen Xin, it was due to the fear that Shen Xin's achievements would supersede the masters but for generations the Formidable Grand General was faithful so Emperor Wen Hui was still very trustful of Shen Xin's loyalty. However with his daughter in Great Liang, if Great Liang want to use Shen Miao to leverage on Shen Xin, who would know what would Shen Xin do?
This Shen Xin chess piece was considered to be discarded and the situation in Ming Qi would only be in more difficulty. In order to guard against Great Liang, Ming Qi had to quickly resume the ally relationship with Qin country. With two countries working together, there would be a chance to push back.
The Qin country was still furious with HuangFu Hao's and Princess Ming An's matters so Ming Qi had to show sincerity.
The Crown Prince must die.
Emperor Wen Hui closed his eyes.
To everyone's surprise, the conviction decree of the Crown Prince that Emperor Wen Hui handed out was so fast that it gave no time for others to think clearly. The Crown Prince then committed suicide in the prisons.
Whether it was suicide or not, from the eyes of those that could see clearly, it was all to protect the name of the Crown Prince. One could not let a Crown Prince to be beheaded in front of everyone like a average prisoner, moreover it was a crime of assassination a Crown Prince of another country. If this was the case then on the next day, the majesty of the Imperial family would have disappeared.
The common people were easy to fool but official families knew of the dark ways. Who would know if the Crown Prince really committed suicide? The Imperial family always like to give itself a good appearance but one feared that its body was the dirtiest.
When the news of the Crown Prince's suicide had spread, the Empress disputed it and afterwards fell seriously ill that she was unable to leave Kun Ning Palace so that she could properly recover.
The concubines in the Inner Palace all felt at risk. How would the Empress be seriously ill? It was because that the Crown Prince was gone and the Empress do not have pillar to rely on in her later part of her lifetime thus one was not able to say that this position was stable. The Empress was heart broken due to the loss of his beloved son and one fear that she would hate Emperor Wen Hui thus Emperor Wen Hui would naturally be on guard against. They could only know themselves if she could not leave because she was seriously sick or was under house arrest.
If the Empress fell from power, who would be the next master of the Six Palaces? Looking around, it was still Consort Xu Xian that had the highest chance of winning and Emperor Wen Hui favoured Consort Xu Xian. Consort Xu Xian still had two Princes and even though Prince Zhou and Prince Jing had been fighting to the death with Prince Li's clique, Prince Li did not have a favoured Consort Mother.
For Prince Zhou and Prince Jing, the time, geographical and social conditions were favourable.
Therefore the concubines were all living carefully. At this juncture, one must not let others have leverage against oneself and if one was accidentally caught and used as a spear, that it would not be good.
With regards to HuangFu Hao's matter, other than the Crown Prince and the Empress being implicated, all the other implicated people were also affected. The worst one was the residence of the Minister of Land.
That day it was the the Young Master Wang of the residence of the Minister of Land that proposed to appreciate incense and even brought his wife along. Who knew that HuangFu Hao would stain Yi Feng Pavilion with blood? Wang Bi and Shen Dong Ling definitely could not escape.
But the thing that decided their crimes was not this.
The Minister of Land had been secretly involved in the business of illegal trading of salt. The illegal trade of salt was a heavy crime that the entire Wang residence would be implicated. Wang Bi and Shen Dong Ling were sentenced to be beheaded, the rest of the men in the Wang family were exiled while the females were sent to the border as army servants.
Those discerning people who saw Emperor Wen Hui's move, saw that he was very furious, as if he had been provoked and was deliberately venting one's anger. However an Emperor's mind was always been unpredictable, even though the officials were suspicious, they could only take action as ordered.
As Shen Miao was listening to Jing Zhe on the happenings over these past few days, she was drinking tea. Luo Tan, who was beside, could not stop popping the snowflake candy in her mouth.
The snowflake candy was brought over by Cong Yang. He mentioned that it was made by Great Liang's famous pastries chef and in the entire land under the skies, only the Imperial family of Great Liang could eat it. Shen Miao did not notice it but it was discovered by Luo Tan. Luo Tan was pleasantly surprised when she ate it the first time and asked Shen Miao where did she buy it. Shen Miao only answered without thinking the matter through.
"The troubles that are caused by matter of the Crown Prince of Qin are really not small." Luo Tan spoke as she ate, "So many people are buried with him. It is not enough to exchange it for a Crown Prince." When she spoke till the end, her voice was very soft, as if she feared that there were ears in the wall.
Shen Miao smiled slightly but was not surprised. However her heart was shocked by Emperor Wen Hui's viciousness.
It was indeed that with such a father there would be such a son. That year in order for Fu Xiu Yi to eradicate the Shen family and not leave any future troubles, he did not spare any thoughts about Fu Ming's and Wan Yu's life or death. At that time she thought how would there be such a ruthless person in the world. Now it seemed that Fu Xiu Yi's actions were exactly the same as Emperor Wen Hui's.
In the eyes of their Fu family, family, love or friendships were all not reliable. Only the power of the country was the one thing to be pursued in their life. In order to stabilise this position, it was nothing much to sacrifice a son. Anyways there were still other women who could give birth for them.
This was most likely the unrightessness that was deeply carved in the Fu family's bones.
Luo Tan saw that there was only a small amount of snowflake candy left on the plate and started counting with her fingers, "GuMu and GuFu had eaten it. Older Biao Brother has also eaten it. Only Older Brother Ling have yet to try it. These little bit will be kept for Older Brother Ling alright?" She looked towards Shen Miao.
Shen Miao naturally would not be calculative because of some food and nodded her head. (Translator: Oh… I know of a purple calculative smoke that will hear of this soon…)
"It would be great if you can remember where you bought this snowflake candy." Luo Tan sighed and said in a pity, "I have eating all the snacks in Xiao Chun City and had tried almost all the snacks in Ding capital but it is one's first time eating such yummy snowflake candy. Even though you cannot remember, I plan to personally send people to search for it tomorrow. One must find this shop!"
Shen Miao kept quiet. This was made by the Imperial Kitchens of Great Liang so even if Luo Tan turned the entire Ding capital over, one feared that she would not be able to find this 'shop'. Shen Miao was somewhat regretful that she should have mentioned it was a small stall and not a 'shop'.
Luo Tan sighed again, "Older Brother Ling also likes to eat snacks and would definitely like this." After speaking, she seemed to have thought about something and said, "But these days Older Brother Ling is somewhat strange."
Shen Miao asked, "What happened?" The main concern daily was not on this, thus she really did not know what changes there are with Luo Ling.
"Other than going to the Ministry of Defense, he would not go out upon returning to the residence and just practice martial arts in the courtyard." Luo Ling placed her hand under her chin to support as she spoke, "In the past, Older Brother would not be that harsh on himself. Moreover these days when I talk to him, he would be low-spirited, as if he had suffered a setback." Luo Tan looked towards Shen Miao, "Youngest Biao Sister, you are smart, do you know what happened to him?"
Shen Miao said, "I do not following around him all the time so how would I be able to know what he is thinking?" Seeing Luo Tan's worried look, she comforted her, "Don't worry about it. Most likely it is because the end of the year is coming and it is about to be the busy time in the military. It will be fine after some time."
Luo Tan nodded her head. Just as they were speaking, they saw Shen Qiu and Luo Ling walking in one after another. Seeing both of them were both in the main hall, Luo Tan greeted, "Older Biao Brother, Older Brother Ling, come over to eat snowflake candy!"
Luo Ling entered the room and first looked at Shen Miao. Shen Miao smiled gently at Shen Qiu and his eyes could not help but dimmed as he walked to the side to sit down.
Shen Qiu unrestrainedly grabbed a piece of the snowflake candy to pop it in his mouth and asked, "How is it both of you have such leisure time today?"
Luo Tan laughed as she joked with Shen Qiu when they heard the servant outside reporting that Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan had returned.
Shen Qiu said, "Just at the right time, Father and Mother has returned. We should have our meal."
Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan walked in but this time even the most outgoing Luo Tan also noticed that something was wrong.
Shen Xin's face was pale and he had an ugly expression on, whereas Luo Xue Yan seemed to be very angry. Normally even if there were troublesome matters outside, Shen Xin and wife would not show such expression in front of their children. Moreover both of them were open-minded people and there were little matter that could anger them.
However today, they were obviously very angry.
The servants that were following Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan dared not even breath as they lowered their head to withdraw.
Luo Tan and Luo Ling were relatives thus even though they had doubts in their mind, it was difficult for them to ask. Shen Qiu wanted to ask but seeing his Father putting on an expression of killing whoever that asked, he hesitated and dared not open his mouth.
At the end it was Shen Miao who took the initiative to speak. She looked at Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan and smiled as she spoke, "Why is Father and Mother looking unhappy? Is it that there is something wrong outside?"
When Shen Miao spoke, Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan looked over at Shen Miao at the same time. Shen Xin's gazed was filled with a complex mix of remorse, anger and grievances while Luo Xue Yan had a deeply guilty and helplessness in her eyes.
Shen Miao's heart sank but she very quickly understood that for Shen Xin and wife to display such an expression, one feared that this matter is related to her.
Luo Xue Yan took a deep breath and smiled, "It is nothing. It just that there are some matters in court. Jiao Jiao is hungry right? Let's eat first."
It was just that the smile was so forceful that even Luo Tan's eyes became solemn.
Just what matter had become so serious that Shen Xin and wife who were not afraid of Heavens and Earth and were always outspoken would want to conceal? This matter had become so serious?
Shen Miao did not speak and did not consent but just looked at Shen Xin and wife. With her attitude, she was obviously waiting for reasoning as she did not believe Luo Xue Yan's explanation at all.
Shen Qiu had a burst of shock as he seemed to have seen the Shen Miao a few years ago. At that time, Shen Miao was still arrogant and was not as close to them as she was now but instead was more intimate with the Second and Third household. Every time she wanted something from Shen Xin, she would stand in front of them and not speak a single word and was very stubborn about it.
In fact, from the past till now, Shen Miao seemed to have changed a lot but there were some habits in her bones that had never change.
Shen Xin said, "Jiao Jiao, be obedient." He was rarely that strict to Shen Miao. If he was that strict in the past, Shen Miao would have been in tears.
Luo Ling looked at her somewhat worried.
Shen Miao did not move and still had a bland expression on as she spoke, "Why are Father and Mother not telling me the truth? If I cannot solve it, at least share some of the worries. If I can solve it, wouldn't it be even better? To conceal the matter down would seemed to be alienating one. I am not a child. I am like Eldest Brother, a member of the Shen family."
Shen Xin's lips moved but he did not speak.
Shen Xin looked at him with a pair of eyes as clear as a flowing stream. Under such gaze, it was impossible for others to speak nothing but the truth to her. She continued, "Moreover isn't this matter related to me?"
Luo Xue Yan was stunned as Luo Tand and Luo Ling looked strangely at Shen Miao, while Shen Qiu looked puzzled.
When Shen Xin heard the words, he stared at Shen Miao for a while before finally sighing deeply and said with a bitter smile, "Today during court, the Emperor had passed a decree."
"Bestowing marriage for you." He said with great difficulty. "To Prince Rui."