Leecherleechleech has been wonderful and edited this chapter.
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The consequences of what the Count of Bei Lu did are here.
Chapter Forty Eight Brothers?
After the Count of Bei Lu was dragged out of Kui Yuan Palace, the brothers of the He Family each held their heads down and drank tea. They listened to their wives converse and if they didn't have to speak, they wouldn't say even one additional word.
The conflict between He Yuan and He Qi had been almost pushed to the surface. Recently when lao si and Wei Wen Guang were sent to Jiang Nan to investigate the case, who knew that just a few days after they left Jing, they encountered an assassination attempt. Both Wei Wen Guang and lao si were wounded, stopping in their trip to recover. Many taiyi from the Imperial Hospital had been sent. By this time, the two were in no danger of danger, but a storm was raging in the Imperial Court.
Who would have such daring to assassinate the imperial envoys? Those that would dare, they were either rebel or a person of great power and status. The Da Long Dynasty had already ruled for hundreds of years, there weren't any of the so-called rebels. Those assassins could have only been sent by a personal of great power. Then why would such a person do a thing like this?
There were already people at the court that were guessing the matter was connected to Rui Wang. But this matter had been given to Ning Wang to investigate. This time, Ning Wang's mouth was securely sealed, no news had been leaked. Rui Wang also didn't seem to be acting differently so everyone then felt Rui Wang wouldn't have such daring to do it. That kind of conduct was almost akin to opposing the emperor. No matter how much Rui Wang was worried and how arrogant he was, he wasn't outrageous to this step.
The Empress was clear to the conflict between the three brothers. Seeing that it was almost the noon hour, she said: "It's so rare for you three brothers to gather together. Ben gong is happy, let's go eat together."
The three pairs followed the empress to the table. A short while later, someone ushered the princess and the two children over. The elder child, He Cheng, was only seven or eight. He wore a red cotton robe, a long-life lock around his neck. He looked very adorable. The smaller was He Xuan. She looked almost five years old, her eyes large. Her smile was very cute. The two children together felt very much like the golden boy and jade girl of legend.
"Greetings to Imperial Grandmother, greetings to jiujiu and jiumu," The two children gave a proper bow. It could be seen that Jin An Princess had raised them well. Even Qu Qing Ju, who felt that little children were noisy, liked them.
"Cheng'er and Xuan'er have grown so much," Wei Qing E, who had seen the two before, smiled as she gave the two a meeting gift. She remarked to Jin An Princess, "Last time when I saw these two, Xuan'er wasn't walking. Now she's has grown to be an intelligent girl."
Jin An Princess gave a gentle smile: "Just a naughty child, she's not as good as you praise her to be."
Qu Qing Ju had prepared a meeting gift very long ago. Hearing Jin An Princess say such a thing, she interjected: "Zhang jie, you can't criticize these those children this way, I like these two very much." Speaking, she waved her hand at the two children, "Cheng'er, Xuan'er, come over for er jiumu to take a look."
He Cheng and He Xuan obediently walked in front of Qu Qing Ju, carefully examining this er jiumu. Her face becoming rosy red, He Xuan timidly reached with a hand to pull on Qu Qing Ju's sleeve, "Nice to meet er jiumu."
"Nice to meet Xuan'er," Qu Qing Ju bent to place He Xuan onto her own knee. She took a pendant from Mu Jin's hands to hang on Xuan'er's neck, "Er jiumu is giving you this as a toy."
He Xuan bent down to look at the pendant. It was a blooming lotus flower, the craftsmanship making it appear almost real. And the entire jade stone was transparent like ice. It was very beautiful and suitable for females to wear.
Jin An Princess found that this pendant was carved from an ice jade. This type of jade was extremely rare. It was more beautiful than glass and extremely expensive. She hadn't expected that er dimei would use something as valuable as this to give to a child as a meeting gift.
"Er dimei, she's just a child, she doesn't need to use such a rare jade," Half of Jin An Princess' words were courtesy, half was real.
"Us imperial family's daughters, nothing is too precious to wear," Qu Qing Ju smiled as she touched He Xuan's hair buns, "Our Xuan'er is more beautiful than jade, I was afraid that this jade was too tacky for our guniang." Finishing, she took another jade pendant from Mu Jin's hands, "Here, Cheng'er, this is for you."
He Cheng looked at Jin An Princess and seeing the princess didn't block him, he took it and gave a bow: "Thank you er juimu." He spread his palm. It was a bat carved from a piece of black jade. Bats represented good fortune and were appropriate to give to young children.
Jin An Princess saw that er dimei had given very thoughtful gifts. These two jade pendants had been carved skillfully, the material itself was rare and couldn't be found in normal places. She said to He Xuan, "Xuan'er, come down quickly from er jiumu's knee. Don't crush your er jiumu. Sit beside your mother here and prepare to eat."
He Xuan jumped down from Qu Qing Ju's knee and smiled as she ran to the spot beside Jin An Princess. He Cheng followed her as she sat down. Qu Qing Ju gave a sigh as she watched. The children in the previous life really should learn from these children, the gap was too large.
Wei Qing E had already met the two children before, so it didn't matter if she gave a less weighty gift. But Qin Bai Lu fell into an awkward state. Both she and Qu Qing Ju were newly married. The first meeting with these two children, Qu Qing Ju gave out gifts before her. The gifts she had already prepared were embarrassing in comparison.
Thinking that Qu Qing Ju was purposefully embarrassing her, Qin Bai Lu silently marked down another strike against Qu Qing Ju. She put on a bold face and gave out the objects. Jin An Princess held a normal attitude as she gave her thanks but she felt that Jin An Princess clearly was more intimate with Qu Qing Ju.
The palace maids streamed in with teacups and copper basins as well as towels. Qu Qing Ju and He Heng sat together. After washing hands and rinsing mouths, there were many more maids and taijian that came in. Delicious food, steams, sautéed or fried, were set down like a flow water. The palace maids that held the plates each had pale white hands. Presenting the white porcelain plates, it made for a beautiful image that increased the appetite.
This made her think back to the memoir of a certain last emperor of a dynasty from the previous life. This scene in front of her didn't differ much from that memoir, it might be even more outrageous, since this was the golden age of Da Long Dynasty.
In reality, everything about the meal the nobility used was good, except for the rule that there was to be no speaking while eating. Qu Qing Ju was somewhat unused to such a practice. In the previous life, she always ate while either having a phone call or organizing an artist's schedule during the meantime. Here, she seemed to be in a retired state. There were no cellphones or computers. She could only read, practice her writing and draw. Originally, she had a bit of interest towards the qi, but after a few times, He Heng wasn't willing to play with her. Her life instantly became boring.
After the noon meal, the queen didn't keep the three brothers. The brothers took their own wives as they walked out of Kui Yuan Palace.
Coming out of the main gate of Kui Yuan Palace, He Yuan took Qin Bai Lu with him as he separated from the other two brothers. He Qi and He Heng didn't mind. After He Yuan's figure disappeared, He Qi said: "This morning, news came from outside Jing. Si di's wounds are better, but his arm might have problems remaining, when it's winter, it will ache."
He Heng gave a sigh, and held his hands up to the sky together: "Thank Heavens nothing major happened to si di. Otherwise, there will be one person less among us brothers to play together in the future."
"Exactly," He Qi's words were full of rage as he said, "this evildoer is too daring, too outrageous. He dares to assassinate an imperial son and a prime minister. This is the Imperial Envoy representing fuhuang!"
Walking at He Heng's side, Qu Qing Ju's eyebrow twitched slightly before instantly returning to normal.
"Da ge has to find the person hiding in the back, and get justice on behalf of si di and Minister Wei." He Heng bowed to He Qi with two fists raised together, "Da ge, thanks for your trouble."
"This matter already has some leads," He Qi returned a bow, "It's no trouble, this is what I should do."
He Heng heard this, smiled and didn't reply.
He Qi didn't care if he responded. He raised his hands in a fist: "Gege still has matters to attend to, I'll leave first." Finishing, he strode towards another path. Wei Qing E slightly bowed to He Heng before quickly following.
Qu Qing Ju and He Heng returned a bow. Looking at the backs of the Ning Wang couple, the two sedately walked towards the exit of the palace.
"Da bo seems to be full of life these days," Qu Qing Ju serenely opened, "He seems to be even more majestic than usual."
He Heng detected that Qu Qing Ju had words within her words. He smiled: "It may be that it was the holidays earlier, he ate too much meat and drank too much."
Those normal citizens hoped to touch a bit of oil during the holidays. As a member of the imperial family, when did he not eat well? Qu Qing Ju giggled and said: "Wang ye is right."
After the two got on the carriage, He Heng then said: "Wei Wen Guang comes from the same branch as the Changde Gong Fu lao taitai's maternal family. But Wei Wen Guang is of shu birth. During his earlier years, he was met with much cold care from the Family Wei. Now, he's a bit at odds with the Family Wei. And the entire Family Wei is slowly declining."
Qu Qing Ju hadn't thought that there would be such a connection. She thought about the conduct of the lao taitai of Chang De Gong Fu and had to admit that He Heng's words were reasonable: "Lao taitai was much colder to me. In the past when people from the Wei Family came to the fu, they liked to flatter san mei and brother Wang Zhi. It must have been that time that the Family Wei was already not well."
He Heng knew that his wang fei was, in reality, a very intelligent woman. It could be seen from how she treated others and received gifts. She was able to clearly prioritize and recognize what was important. She didn't demean the status of Duan Wang Fu because Rui Wang Fu was favoured. She didn't slight Jin An zhang jie because she came back to Jing with only her children. When it was time to be aggressive, she never retreated. When it was time to be gentle, she was never wilful. This type of woman most likely took after Tian shi, that she could be so intelligent.
Clearly, in the heart of the most honoured Duan Qin Wang, Chang De Gong Fu was a pile of idiots and his wang fei was a pure white lotus flower untouched by the mud.
"In the future, our fu's gifts to Xiang Qing Hou Fu should increase a few fractions," He Heng's tone was serious as he continued, "The Tian Family's conduct is strict. There is no harm to you in having closer relations with them."
What was this tone that held hints of gladness?
Qu Qing Ju jerked her lips. She nodded and confirmed: "Alright."
He Heng smiled and then gravely said: "In the future, stay further away from people from Ning Wang Fu." He knew that Qu Qing Ju was at odds with the people of Rui Wang Fu and didn't need his reminder.
Qu Qing Ju paused slightly before nodding gravely.