Leecherleechleech has helped me edit this so please go give thanks over at /r/noveltranslations if you have reddit.
In other news, I love this chapter. It’s really funny. And there’s really nothing to show in pictures unless you guys want stalks of sugar cane.
Chapter Forty Seven The Imperial Knife Corps
The front hall fell into a period of silence. Then Qu Qing Ju heard Qing De Emperor gave a sigh.
"Since that is so, then zhen will allow you to separate from the Count of Bei Lu. As to your children, they will be raised by you. Let your didi help some in the future," Finishing, Qing De Emperor looked at the three brothers, "Do you have any objections?"
He Qi and He Yuan quickly demonstrated they had none. But it was He Heng that stood to ask: "Fuhuang, after separation, zhang jie will be raising two children by herself. Even if us brothers will be there to it, it still might be too difficult. Why don't fuhaung bestow a title on nephew and niece?"
When Qing De Emperor had originally seen He Heng stand, his expression hadn't been good. After He Heng had finished, his face showed a smile, "Lao er is right. It should be like this. We will especially decree Cheng'er to be the Marquess of Ding Zhong, Xuan'er as Ru Yi jun zhu. Both shall change their surname to their mother's. After they grow up, then they will be titled."
This was a true grace. He Heng's nephew and niece would change their surnames from Cao to He, and also received a title. In the future, no one in Jing would slight them because of their father. If they touched the Imperial name, their statuses were drastically different.
Jin An Princess Royal hadn't thought that it would be this smooth. She stood with tears in her eyes to thank Qing De Emperor. After the bow, she furtively looked at He Heng. Qu Qing Ju noticed that glance and knew the other was going to remember the gigantic boon He Heng had given her.
To this, He Qi and He Yuan didn't have any objections but hated He Heng for being the one to do so. Even if this nephew did change to the surname He, it couldn't affect them competing for the throne and had no strong relationship to them. It was better to follow fuhuang's desires and he could do a favour.
Sitting at the side, the Empress who hadn't spoke at all changed the look on her face. Jin An Princess wasn't her blood daughter but she had raised her for many years. They naturally held mutual feelings for each other. Jin An was humiliated, the most hurt was her as the mother. But she wasn't favored by the emperor and could only side. Hearing that the emperor was rewarding the two grandchildren, she had no more worries about Jin An Princess' separation.
After the matter was settled, Qing De Emperor stood: "Zhen still has matters and will leave first. If that boy from the Cao family comes, you don't have to be courteous. The decree that zhen will give him will be sent down tomorrow."
These words meant, the man who bullied zhen's daughter, you can play whatever with, and zhen will take care of it?
Qu Qing Ju quietly shed two large crocodile tears for the Count of Bei Lu. Landing on the hands of the He brothers, if he didn't die, he'll shed layers.
After Qing De Emperor left, the atmosphere in the hall seemed to relax a fraction. Qu Qing Ju picked a small chopped piece of sugar cane and put in her mouth. After she chomped and sucked for the liquid, she hid her mouth as she spat out the remainder into the fine plate that a palace maid held with a bent waist. She ate a few more pieces before she wiped her mouth clean. She felt slightly constrained. Sugar cane, it needed one to bite off a piece and then another to chew for it to be enjoyable. Eating like this, it didn't have the freedom that was present biting the sugar cane off. But the act of eating was much prettier.
Wei Qing E almost couldn't believe her eyes. How did Qu Qing Ju dare to eat sugar cane in front of others, wasn't she afraid of her eating appearance? She watched as Qu Qing Ju crisply chewed on a few more pieces before wiping her mouth. She jerked the corners of her lips: "Di mei has a good appetite."
Qu Qing Ju smiled, "Sweet things are eaten to make one feel better." She handed the dirty handkerchief to Yu Zan who was behind her and took the clean handkerchief Mu Jin handed her, "Da sao should try sometime."
Wei Qing E gave a short dry laugh, "I don't like using such snacks."
"To me, living in this world is for eating and drinking. Da sao, don't laugh at me," Qu Qing Ju laughed unconcernedly.
He Heng heard this and just smiled. He clearly didn't feel that Qu Qing Ju placed too much importance on food but felt that his wang fei was so honest.
Of course, this was due to the fact that when a person held good feelings as they looked at another, whatever they did was good.
He Qi raised his head and coincidentally saw the smile on He Heng's face. He gave a sigh, feeling that his teeth were slightly sore.
"Er sao is very careful about food and clothing," Qin Bai Lu smiled as she looked at Qu Qing Ju. What the other wore was both carefully chosen and beautiful.
"This type of sugar can is both crisp and sweet. I like eating this in the winter," Jin An Princess took a piece of sugar cane as well. After she spat out the piece, she said, "It seems that er di mei has some preferences in common with me." Finishing, she smiled at Qu Qing Ju.
Qu Qing Ju returned a smile, "That's great. In the future, if I find something tasty, there's someone I can share it with.”
Hearing this, Jin An Princess looked at He Heng. She teased: "This is your fault, er di. How could you let di mei experience delicious food alone?" When she finished, she saw Qu Qing Ju's face flush. Jin An Princess roared with laughter.
"Jiejie, don't tease," He Heng gave a bow and pled, "Otherwise someone's face will be like a monkey's ass."
"Nonsense, nonsense, where in this world could there be such a beautiful monkey's ass. What words couldn't you use, that you had to use such a vulgar one," The Empress smiled as she carefully examined Qu Qing Ju's face, "ben gong feels, it looks more similar to the heavenly peaches of the Heavenly Empress." Finishing, she laughed first.
Qu Qing Ju bore a face full of bashfulness as she tilted her head to glare at He Heng. Then she buried her head to drink tea.
That glare she gave caused He Heng's bones to feel soft. He stood and pleaded for mercy from the two. He was subjected to a torrent of laughter. Once again, he understood a truth, a man couldn't participate in the world of women.
When He Yuan lowered his head, he coincidentally saw the glare Qu Qing Ju gave He Heng. It did have that bit of flavour. He raised an eyebrow to look at the still pleading and forcefully smiling He Heng, his eyes carrying a hint of examination.
Just as everyone was laughing, a taijian came in to report that the Count of Bei Lu was asking for an audience.
The mirth on Jin An Princess' face retreated like the tide. She adjusted her clothing and icily held up a teacup.
The Empress' face went cold. She said in a heavy tone: "Let him roll in."
At this instant, Qu Qing Ju felt that the empress was full of maternal protectiveness. She turned to look towards the door and saw a man with an extremely elegant appearance bow slightly as he walked in. Just from the appearance, he was a man who easily created good feelings in women. So, this world had invented a phrase to describe this kind of man, that was "an animal in clothing".
"This son-in-law greets muhou, meets didi."
"Who is your didi? Not just everybody can call ben wang didi." He Yuan snorted and lazily leaned back on the chair. He looked indolent, "Don't try to stick gold to your face. You don't feel embarrassed but I still find it blinding."
Qu Qing Ju silently swallowed a mouthful of tea. This He Yuan's mouth was a knife, and there was poison on this knife.
The Count of Bei Lu hadn't expected that he would be harassed right after he entered. But the other was a wang ye so he could only endure.
"Just this cowardly state, he still dares to womanize outside. He dirties my eyes." He Qi happily added a knife.
"Da ge, your words are slightly wrong. When didi saw the Count of Bei Lu a few years ago, he had proper conduct, and was almost enough to be worthy of zhang jie," He Heng blew at the leaves in the teacup and continued at a sedate pace, "Only now did I know, the Count of Bei Lu is a good actor. I'm afraid that none of the famous corners of Jin can compare to him. Otherwise, how dare he trick us Imperial Family for so many years?"
To compare the Count of Bei Lu to an actor, Qu Qing Ju felt that He Heng had inserted a good knife. It was even more painful considering that when after he spoke his first sentence, the Count of Bei Lu had given him a gaze of hope.
In really, all these brothers were good at inserting a knife while being bloodless. Qu Qing Ju gaze a dry cough. She remarked to Jin An Princess, "Zhang jie, don't be sad. Who doesn't meet a disgusting thing or two in their life. Don't let these things affect your mood and dirty your gaze." She felt that at this, if she didn't add a knife, she didn't fit in with the crowd.
Even Wei Qing E and Qin Bai Lu at this time attacked in the same direction.
"The body is not right, the conduct is not right, it's unbearable," Qin Bai Lu disdainfully moved her gaze aside, acting as though she didn't want to see a disgusting object.
Wei Qing E's words were relatively softer. She said, expressionless: "The Count of Bei Lu daren, when you did such a thing, did you think of Princess and your children? Now that you have hardened Princess' heart, you want to rescue it, do you feel that us Imperial Family members are easy to bully?"
The people who spoke all were of higher status than the Count of Bei Lu. The Count of Bei Lu felt that these words were a humiliation and hatred formed in his heart towards Jin An Princess, but he could only kneel in the hall and beg for forgiveness.
Jin An Princess looked at the cowardly man in front of her eyes. At the beginning in Jing Zhou, she hadn't seen him as regretful as this. For that woman, he had even been angry at her. He was afraid now so he put on such an act, how did she even fall for this man in the first place?
Moving her gaze away in disgust, Jin An Princess stood and said: "Muhou, this daughter is somewhat tired. I'll return first to the back to rest." Finishing, she didn't look again at the Count of Bei Lu and held the hand of a palace maid to leave the main hall.
The Count of Bei Lu's heart froze. He knew that this incident couldn't be resolved. He could only heavily kowtow to the empress, describing how regretful he was, describing how he would repent his ways and started reminiscing about the good of the princess and how he wanted to go back to the time when they had good feelings for each other.
"Ben gong feels that lao er's words aren't right. This Count of Bei Lu isn't some good actor, he's one of the storytellers in the tea shops. Look at his words, if one didn't already know, they would think that the Imperial Family was making too much of a fuss over nothing," The Empress gave a cold laugh, "You don't have to kowtow. Don't bleed on the floor of my Kui Yuan Place. Quickly roll away, when ben gong sees you, ben gong gets angry."
There wasn't a mother that would be happy at a cheating son-in-law. The conduct of the empress was already very constrained. In a normal family, the Count of Bei Lu would have already beaten to the point his mother didn't recognize him.
Qu Qing Ju saw the Count of Bei Lu forcibly dragged away by the taijian and said disdainfully: "Thankfully nephew and niece didn't see this state of his."
He Heng heard this and thought about those two children not even ten years old. He sighed, "Separation is good, better than having such a father." He didn't know why he started thinking about Chang De Gong Fu, his brows unconsciously furrowing.