"Alright." Shen Miao glared at her, "All the incoherent rambling. What exactly do you want?"
"Youngest Biao Sister, I just know that you are the smartest. No one in the Shen residence know me the best like you and even my Youngest Brother, Luo Qian, have a connected heart to me like you." Luo Tan looked at Shen Miao with anticipation, "I just have a wish that when you go to Great Liang, you will bring me as your Older Biao Sister accompanying you to marriage."
Shen Miao almost fainted and said incredulously, "What did you say?"
"I have never been to Great Liang before." Luo Tan said, "One had heard that Great Liang is a great place with lots of good food and things to play. This time Older Brother Ling and I came out to train in Ding capital. The more places one visits the more one trains."
Shen Miao said, "It was obvious that it was you who secretly climbed into the horse carriage."
Luo Tan said, "If one has the code of sisterhood then bring me along."
"Not bringing." Shen Miao's heart was set in stone.
In the subsequent half a shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours), Shen Miao had witnessed Luo Tan's forms of pestering. Even though there was still Xie Jing Xing when she goes to Great Liang, Shen Miao also knew that it would not be smooth sailing. No one was able to say accurately what would happen in the future thus there was no need to drag Luo Tan into it.
After Luo Tan left, Shen Miao sighed and pulled opened the window. There was a hovering tree shadow outside, making the winter night cold and somber.
She thought that Xie Jing Xing was so capable that he did not even give her a heads-up and just act on his own initiative to give her a 'marriage bestowment'. Not considering the Imperial decree, currently he was not even seen. At such a time where explanation was needed, what was he trying to do? Running away after stirring everything up?
Shen Miao shut the windows with a 'Pa' sound. Shameless.
The sound mad Cong Yang rubbed his ears. One thought that Young Madam's period has come, that was why she was so moody…
At the other side, in the courtyard of Shen Xin and wife, Shen Xin was also discussing about this matter with Luo Xue Yan.
Shen Xin said, "Go to Great Liang with Jiao Jiao?"
Luo Xue Yan nodded her head, "We are not at Jiao Jiao's side and if Jiao Jiao meet some troubles in Great Liang, with Heavens so high and Earth so wide, we would not know her grievances. In the beginning… Wasn't there also Young Lady that were married to other country that was harmed to dead by the husband's family but the people at this end did not know?"
"He dare!" Shen Xin was so angry but he immediately suppressed his anger, "I can go but one fear that the Emperor would not allow it."
Luo Xue Yan's voice was lowered, "Now Great Liang's and Ming Qi's situation is so critical, if we also follow to Great Liang, the Emperor will definitely think that we are going to succumb… It is not appropriate. But is there really no other way?"
Without a better option, Shen Xin turned his back towards Luo Xue Yan and looked at the calligraphy on the wall, lost in thoughts.
That was the calligraphy of 'dedicating one's loyalty to the service of the country'.
He was loyal and he served the country but what did he gain? The Shen family emphasis on the Monarch rule all under Heavens. If the Monarch wanted the official to die, the official did not have a choice but to die. But why did he feel regretful at this moment?
This Monarch had always guard against him, suppressed him and controlled him. Shen Xin did not think anything to it, even if the Monarch made used of him.
But why harm his daughter?
Was it that all the Monarchs under Heavens would treat loyal officials like that or was it only just this one? Shen Xin was thinking that if Emperor Wen Hui had a little resistance when he was in front of Prince Rui, or fought just a little for Shen Miao, he would not be this dissatisfied with Emperor Wen Hui as he was now. It was because Emperor Wen Hui's answer was clean and crisp, that because of the land under Heavens, Shen Miao was nothing at all that made Shen Xin felt that there was a lump in his heart.
If Ming Qi was much stronger, was it that there was no need to submit oneself in front of Great Liang and just a Prince Rui would not be able to threaten a Monarch?
Shen Xin suddenly felt a trace of hate towards Emperor Wen Hui's incompetence.
He had not realise that in this transaction, he would have a indignant heart towards Emperor Wen Hui that was far greater than Prince Rui of Great Liang.
He naturally also did not know that his change in mindset was also expected by others a long time ago.
Luo Xue Yan also spoke, "Why does Prince Rui suddenly want to marry Jiao Jiao? Great Liang does not lack of this much of military power and even if it was for provocation, there was no need to be like this."
Shen Xin said, "I will go and inquire about it tomorrow. Sleep first."
But tonight it was destined to be a sleepless night.
Emperor Wen Hui had announced the Imperial decree in front of hundreds of officials in court and thus there was no need to hide. In just a short day, everyone in Ding capital knew about the matter. From officials to the commoners, everyone were discussing about this matter.
The Princess residence was overed in a sheet of solemnness.
Princess Rong Xin sat on the main seat and could not help but laughed coldly.
How could she not see that this Zhi-er (aka newphew) of hers had such abilities?
Xie Jing Xing had clearly viewed Shen Miao in a different light two years ago and after turning into Prince Rui, Princess Rong Xin had thought that with Prince Rui's identity, even if Xie Jing Xing think highly of Shen Miao, it would not be possible for him to be with Shen Miao in this lifetime. One did not think that Xie Jing Xing had such an ability to get what he wanted.
In the afternoon, after Princess Rong Xin knew of this information, she went to the Palace to meet with Emperor Wen Hui. She knew that Emperor Wen Hui would not bestow Shen Miao a marriage for no reason and she must know the reason. Emperor Wen Hui still respected this Older Sister of his thus he told her the ins and out of it.
Princess Rong Xin was unable to tell what her heart was feeling and only felt that her back was somewhat cold.
That beautiful youth who would always call her 'Rong Yi' with all smiles. Far from the way she remembered, the current Xie Jing Xing had an air of unfamiliarity. He could lie for many years in order to get what he wants and he will succeed at the end. That arrogant attitude, the fierce means, the unrelenting threat… He more like one who was occupying the highest position.
Princess Rong Xin's heart was somewhat afraid.
She did not know if she should tell Emperor Wen Hui about Xie Jing Xing's identity.
Even though she had told, nothing would happen. Since Xie Jing Xing dared to come, he was definitely prepared for everything.
If she did say it out, at least the citizens of Ming Qi would know Xie Jing Xing's identity and would not keep on saying that he was a 'heroic youth who died prematurely'.
Princess Rong Xin thought about it for a while and a picture of his childhood floated to his mind. She did not go out during the day and would have little contact with other that even some maids were not allowed to enter her room at night. At that time it happened to coincide with Fuma's (aka Princess Consort/Husband) death anniversary, she had caught a cold and was unable to get up on the second day. Her body was strangely cold and at that time, the five year old Xie Jing Xing went to the kitchens to bring a hot bowl of porridge and fed her spoon by spoon. He even pull a small stool over to sit by her bedside and read poems to her.
Such a beautiful little boy who did such considerate little actions. As long as one was a female, It was not possible that one was not moved by it.
As ten years passed, they were obviously not mother and son but their relationship exceeded mother and son. So how did they reach to such a point?
On one hand he was the country's enemy, on the other hand he was a companion for decades. Princess Rong Xin's heart suddenly felt laden with grief.
What was the better way to handle this?
Princess Rong Xin did not know that these days, every single movements from the Princess residence was being watched and it was not only by one person. As their Princess residence did not have relations with outsiders, the guards were rather slack that Princess Rong Xin's every move was almost monitored and tracked.
In the residence of the Count of Ping Nan, Su Ming Lang watched as the maid served sweet steamed yogurt and rejected it properly, "I am not eating. Bring it to Eldest Brother."
Currently Su Ming Lang had reached the age where he would be 'vain' and compared to the fair and round dumpling that he previously was, Su Ming Lang was more willing to be an adorable snow jade-like 'little gentleman'. Thus although all these sweet things were fragrant, he had decided not to touch any one of it.
However he suddenly thought about something and stopped that maid, "Forget it. Don't serve it to Eldest Brother. If Eldest Brother marry Older Sister Shen in the future, what can be done if Older Sister Shen despise Eldest Brother because he is a fatty?"
The maid was somewhat speechless as he saw Su Ming Lang's little adult appearance and did not know what to do with the plate she was holding. Su Ming Lang say it and sighed deeply, "Since you are in great difficult, I will undertake this difficult job and eat it." He then warned the maid fiercely, "You are not allowed to tell my Mother that I snatched Eldest Brother's sweet steamed yogurt."
The maid, "…"
However in the room, Su Ming Feng had no mood to eat whatever sweet steamed yogurt. He was pacing back and forth in the room with an anxious expression.
Su Yu looked at him sympathetically and patted his shoulders, "Son, Father knows that you feel upset but this Imperial decree was personally handed out by His Majesty. Father is also helpless to it. One can only say that you are unfortunate and there is no fate with the Young Lady that you fancy. However it is fortunate that Young Lady Shen will be marrying to Prince Rui and definitely have to go to Great Liang. What the eyes don't see, the heart won't grieve. After some time you will forget about her."
Emperor Wen Hui had handed out an Imperial decree and Su Yu and Su Furen were most afraid that Su Ming Feng was unable to take this blow and after telling him very tactfully, Su Ming Feng locked himself in his study room. Su Furen was afraid that Su Ming Feng would take the easy way out (aka kill himself), so she specifically instructed Su Yu to go in to advise him.
"Father, can you not create problems for me?" Su Ming Feng said impatiently, "I am not upset because of this matter."
"Son, how could Father not know what you are thinking in your heart?" Su Yu said, "It is a waste of youth if one is not a player. Father also walk through life from your age. It is nothing. There are no shortage of grass in the world. You have to be a little open minded."
Su Ming Feng could no longer bear it, "Alright. Father, I understand. I want to be along to think and would not find an easy way out. Can you let me stay alone for a while?"
Seeing the always mild Su Ming Feng started to look annoyed, Su Yu also feared that by continue speaking, he would provoke that weak heart and thus said, "In short, Father will work hard to find a fairy-like Young Lady for you to take as a wife. Don't be upset." And he left crestfallen.
After Father Su left, Su Ming Feng sat down in front of the study desk and felt inexplicable annoyed.
Emperor Wen Hui suddenly handed out a decree to bestow marriage for Shen Miao? This made Su Ming Feng surprise after all it was only a short period back when Shen Miao was dragged to the Crown Prince with some relations. How was it that today she was together with Prince Rui?
Su Ming Feng did not have time to guess Emperor Wen Hui's mind as he was thinking about Shen Miao. Shen Miao and Xie Jing Xing seemed to have a close relationship two years ago and a few days back because of that Tiger Head Bracelet, Su Ming Feng was confident that there was some special relationship between Shen Miao and Xie Jing Xing. Su Ming Feng even suspected that Xie Jing Xing was alive.
If one want to find information about Xie Jing Xing, one must play close attention to Shen Miao.
But why did the matter of Shen Miao's and Prince Rui's marriage made him feel so uneasy? It seemed that something was going on and something was about to happen.
This kind of strange premonition made Su Ming Feng feel very abnormal today. Just as he was being restless, someone had returned from outside. It was the informant that Su Ming Feng had sent out to arrange for people to monitor the Princess residence and Shen mansion. Su Ming Feng felt that perhaps Princess Rong Xin knew about something and there was no need to speak about Shen Miao.
The informant bowed and greeted Su Ming Feng before saying, "A few days ago, the matter that Young Master had instructed this subordinate to investigate as some progress."
Su Ming Feng's heart was delighted and he immediately sat up straight before asking, "Quickly speak."
"This subordinate's people had followed the Princess residence's guards and discover that there are people who kept on monitoring the movements of the residence of Prince Rui. If this subordinate did not guess incorrectly, it would be orders from Princess Rong Xin."
"There seemed to be some guards from the residence of Prince Rui lurking outside the Shen mansion. One do not know if they were there to monitor or protect Fifth Shen Young Lady."
Su Ming Feng's brows furrowed. Why was it all Prince Rui? Princess Rong Xin was monitoring Prince Rui and now Prince Rui was monitoring SHen Miao?
But he was clearly searching for clues on Xie Jing Xing.
Could it be… A terrible thought flashed through his head.
Su Ming Feng's heart started to beat violently.