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Chapter One Hundred and Fourteen I am Yours.
The incident of the princess of Jing giving a dance at the birthday banquet very quickly spread throughout Jing. Many people who liked to gossip began to speculate on how was the princess' dance, how beautiful she was. There were even people who started to say that the Emperor was going to take the princess into the hougong.
The people of Jing had seen many things and naturally guessed that the Jing princess hadn't simply offered a dance, rather, she wanted to display herself in front of the Emperor. A woman trying hard to show off her attributes in front of another man, if she didn't have any other motives, it was a bit suspicious.
At one time, the rumors about the princess from Jing increased. Some said that they saw the Jing princess buying jewelry at certain stores, and then incense at another store. All of the rumors had one similarity, the princess of Jing was very beautiful and could steal a soul with a glance.
The rumors became stronger and stronger. It gradually became how devastatingly beautiful Dai Rong Princess of Jing was, and how in love she was with the Emperor. But the Emperor was obstructed by the Empress and had to painfully stop himself from taking Dai Rong Princess into the hougong.
The Empress had already been married for two or three years to the Emperor, she even had a child, but she really was too overbearing by occupying the Emperor and not allowing him to take other fei.
Some men felt that the Empress wasn't virtuous enough. Other women had slightly sour hearts and said the Empress wasn't generous enough. By the end, Dai Rong Princess became that innocent and beloved woman and the Empress was the evil wife who used her position to bully the princess.
When the rumors from outside passed into Qu Qing Ju's ears, she was playing with Tun Tun and his small drum. When she finished hearing Huang Yang's report, her face held mirth as she remarked: "Such a good story. When did the Emperor take pity on this beauty that is Dai Rong Princess, and when did he have to endure abandoning her?"
When the room heard the words, the people all held their breath as they stood, afraid that the Empress would get angry.
"The Emperor is master of Da Long, he doesn't need to hesitate if he wants to take a woman. Control the court, balance the hougong?" Qu Qing Ju sneered, "Only a useless emperor will rely on women to govern the court. Ben gong thinks that the people who spread these rumors have ulterior motives."
An unfounded rumor, but it affected both the court and the hougong. Even some of the senior officials that He Heng placed importance were involved in the rumor. Those senior officials became the rebellious officials who had taken control of the court, and herself, the Empress, was the mastermind in the shadows, while He Heng was the trapped and suffering Emperor.
There were many noble families in Jing. Usually when something happened, there were many different versions, yet this time, all of the rumors were so similar, so it meant that someone certainly was manipulating them in the background. The main targets were her and Zhong Yi Gong Fu. If He Heng felt even a hint of dislike for her, then when the rumors streamed into his ear, that bit of dislike would become a lot.
The tactic wasn't clever but very useful. It ruined her reputation, affected the reputations of the strong officials in court, and was also involved the subordinate countries. Right now, the envoys from all the superior countries were still in Jing. If this Dai Rong Princess returned peacefully and safely to the country of Jing like this, what would the envoys of the subordinate think?
Thinking all this, Qu Qing Ju frowned. She watched as Tun Tun's fat hands finally grabbed the rattle-drum, and laughed because of the sounds he made. Her brow steadily smoothed out, and as she rubbed Tun Tun's face, she said: "Since there are so many rumors, let's make them even livelier."
Huang Yan hesitated: "Niangniang means to … …"
"Right now, there are suddenly rumors spreading around Jing, and it happened just after Emperor's birthday. Is it that people are deliberately spreading rumors? This kind of movement will shake the support of Da Long itself, it is too terrifying," Qu Qing Ju sighed, "As a citizen of Da Long, I really feel hatred for this kind of person."
When Huang Yan heard the words, his eyes lit up, and he instantly responded: "Nucai understands."
Half a day later, some of the people in Jing became suspicious. Everyone knew how virtuous and kind the Empress was and how deep her love was with the Emperor. The Emperor had even written on the coronation decree that the Empress was a blessing from the heavens. How was it that after just a few days, it became the Empress was jealous, and the Emperor and Empress were only pretending to be together and weren't really in love? And as for the officials who had been harmed by the rumors, they all had done good things for the public, how did they all become rebels?
Was it those people with ulterior motives that deliberately spread those rumors, wanting to harm the Empress and the other upright and honorable daren? Then who was the person manipulating the rumors, were they enemies of Da Long, or traitors to Da Long itself?
The city of Jing never lacked for intelligent people. The stronger the original rumors became, the more they felt suspicious. When the speculation came out, they threw out many suspects, such as traitors, people from the subordinate countries, Dai Rong Princess who wanted to enter the hougong, the Qin Family who was at odds with the Empress, and the brothers of the Emperor.
Slowly, more and more people began to doubt the past rumors and started to feel righteous indignation. They started to roll up their sleeves to find the true mastermind. As to whether they were really angry, or just wanting to get in on the fuss, it depended on what each spectator thought.
In the Imperial Study, He Heng looked at the major officials under him. They were all the "rebel" officials who had been in cahoots with the Empress in the rumors. Thinking about the ridiculous rumors, He Heng smiled as he comforted: "Aiqing doesn't have to blame yourselves. Zhen never cares about this kind of false rumors. Zhen has eyes to see what kind of people you all really are, and won't just listen to the rumors."
Tian Jin Ke stepped forward with a grave face. He raised his hands in a greeting as he responded: "It's chen who is useless and has caused these kind of rumors to spread, harming the reputations of Emperor and the Empress. Please, Emperor, punish us." He was the Junior Justice of the Supreme Court. Even though he didn't have a direct connection with the matter, there was still some related points..
Commander Sun of the Imperial Guards felt his heart shrink. As one of the "traitorous officials who cooperated with the Empress," he wasn't just a target of the rumors, it was possible that he would be punished by the Emperor because he didn't manage to stop the rumors in time. When Tian Jin Ke had asked for punishment, he knelt down preemptively. He was directly connected to the matter.
"Zhen has already said that aiqing doesn't have to blame yourselves," He Heng stood from the Imperial Table and personally helped them back up, "You are all pillars of the country. Zhen is still hoping that you can do more things for Da Long, and won't punish you for such a trivial matter."
The hearts of the people presents warmed. To be able to have such a wise ruler as the Emperor, it really was their good fortune as officials and subjects. For the moment, many of the old men's eyes were filled with tears, and they all knelt down to thanks the Emperor for his benevolence. Inside, they became even more resolute that they had to clear up the matter. Even though it became a minor matter due to the trust of the Emperor, they wouldn't tolerate this happening again.
"The only thing that zhen is extremely worried about is that the Empress, originally a virtuous person, has been falsely accused by people with malicious aims," He Heng sighed, "Daren must all thoroughly and diligently find out the mastermind behind the scenes to restore justice for aiqing and the Empress."
"Emperor, please don't worry, chen will thoroughly investigate this matter," Commander Sun bowed as he responded, "By now, many people in Jing have already noticed the malicious aims of the villain in the shadows. Not many people still believe the rumors. The virtuousness and kindness of the Empress will not be stained by others."
Luo Chang Qing raised an eyebrow at Commander Sun. Who said that soldiers had no brains? Look how well this one flattered. He raised his head to peek at the Emperor and, as expected, saw that the Emperor's smile had grown wider. He went forward a step, interjecting: "By now, many people in Jing are suspicious of the princess of Jing, Duo Han and …… the wang ye. Wei chen thinks due to how generous Emperor has been to the wang ye, they wouldn't have done such distasteful things."
Luo Chang Qing dared to say this because, one, the rumors were not beneficial to the solidarity of the Imperial House, and two, because his granddaughter was married to Cheng Wang. But no matter what, his suggestion wasn't wrong.
He Heng nodded, agreeing: "Zhen's brothers are all honest people, zhen believes that they aren't that kind of people."
Not long after the daren left the Imperial Study, many of the people in Jing knew of the words the Emperor had said and were deeply moved by the depth of friendship with which the Emperor treated the wang ye. They also felt if the wang ye weren't loyal to the Emperor, then they were really cruel and unscrupulous people.
In Cheng Wang Fu, He Ming finally breathed a sigh of relief when he finished hearing the servant's report. He walked into the room of the wang fei who was in her confinement period. Seeing that she was holding their child, he smiled and asked: "Is Wang'er still asleep?"
Luo Wen Yao saw him coming in with a smile and gave the child to his nursemaid, "Did something good happen?"
He Ming faithfully narrated the events and sighed at the end: "Emperor and Empress treat us so well, but I am limited in what I can do for Emperor."
"Wang ye and the Emperor are blood brothers. Feelings cannot be calculated like this," Luo Wen Yao urged, "A few days ago, Mu Jin, one of the Empress' attendants, had specially come to visit qie, and told me a lot of things. Is this because the Empress expects qie to pay her back for all of this?"
"I had thought too narrow-mindedly," He Ming went forward to hug her, not caring about the unclean state she was in due to her confinement. He said ruefully, "With Yao Yao here, I don't feel sad at all."
Luo Wen Yao laughed quietly, the happiness on her face clear for all to see. She had the fidelity of her husband and a son, what reason did she have to not be happy?
In the rear hall of Tian Qi Palace, Qu Qing Ju took down her hairpins and jewelry. Rubbing her shoulders, she said: "The days are getting colder."
Jin Zhan and Yu Zan sorted the hairpins and jewelry to be placed away in their boxes. Mu Jin used a rhinoceros horn comb to brush Qu Qing Ju's hair. Hearing that, she replied: "It's already deep autumn, the weather always changes quickly now."
"That's so true, winter is almost here," Qu Qing Ju curled her lips, "I heard that the winters of the country of Jing are especially harsh. Once it enters the winter months, it's all wrapped in silver silk, I wonder what it looks like."
"The country of Jing is a poor place. When it's winter, the people don't have good days," Mu Jing's hands were brushing her hair at a perfect pace. She smiled, saying, "Nubi doesn't know much, but feels if the people of the country of Jing saw the prosperity of our Da Long, they wouldn't want to leave."
"Really?" Qu Qing Ju took off the jade bangle on her wrist and suddenly smiled, declaring, "Not willing to leave, then they should stay here."
Mu Jin's hands stilled. She didn't know what the Empress meant. Hesitating, she asked: "Whys hould such people stay here, wouldn't it make more trouble for others?"
"Peaceful days will make people forget the beauty of the past," Qu Qing Ju smiled, "Remaining doesn't have to be a good thing. You have to know that the prosperity of others doesn't have to be yours. You dare to scheme against others, then you have to know that others will scheme back."
When He Heng arrived at the rear hall, Qu Qing Ju had already changed into her sleep robes and was leaning on the bed as she read. He furrowed his brows, going forward to reproach: "Reading so late, it'll harm the eyes."
Qu Qing Ju closed the book in her hands. She smiled, answering: "Just bored, waiting for you to come back to sleep."
Just those words were enough to make He Heng's heart move. He took off his own clothing and made a feast of the beauty.
Afterward, the two of them lay in satisfaction on the bed, Qu Qing Ju on He Heng's chest, "I saw that your mood hasn't been well these few days. Is it because of those words outside the palace? It's just rumors. When the people get bored, they won't pass it on anymore. It's not worth it to be affected by those things."
"For whom am I getting angry on behalf of?" He Heng smiled helplessly, "The rumors are targeted towards you. I can't not be angry."
"These people are targeting me, that means that they hate me inside," Qu Qing Ju smiled, replying, "Only daring to attack from the back, it means that there are many things these people have to consider. Why should I care for such people?"
"Well, look how clearly you think," He Heng smiled. Then suddenly his tone turned cold, "I have already found the people in the shadows."
Qu Qing Ju stared with wide eyes at him, looking curious, "Who are they?"
"The Qin Family and the princess from Jing," He Heng sneered, "That these people from two sides can work together, they really have skill."
Qu Qing Ju stared blankly and then hummed: "I just knew that Dai Rong Princess is interested in you. To do such things for you, she really is in love."
"In love after just one meeting?" He Heng gathered her in his arms, "Don't accuse me wrongly. What she's in love with is my position, not me. I'm innocent."
The tips of Qu Qing Ju's feet stroked on the front of his feet: "Regardless, this Dai Rong Princess is interested in you. But why is the Qin Family meddling in this matter?"
He Heng sighed helplessly: "Did you forget that the Qin Family wanted to send someone into the hougong?"
Qu Qing Ju displayed an expression of realization. A beat later, she teased: "If you were just a wang ye, there wouldn't be this many women looking at you."
Even though he was happy at the possessiveness his woman had towards him, the words just didn't seem right. Was it only his position that attracted others?
"No, that's not right. Even if you are a wang ye, there would be many women looking at you," Qu Qing Ju's brow furrowed as she mused, "Really want to lock you up, and not let anybody else see you."
This complaint made He Heng's heart beat faster. He flipped to push her under him, gently kissing Qu Qing Ju's ear: "I, originally, am yours."
Qu Qing Ju's eyes stared at his. Seeing his two eyes filled with emotion, she reached around his neck.
"En, you are mine."