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This chapter has been brought to you by me, vivie and leecherleechleech.

This chapter is an interesting one.

Chapter One Hundred and Three Who Misunderstood Whom

“The crimes that Shu gui taifei have committed cannot be forgiven. Rui Wang, you are asking for mercy for Shu gui taifei, but have you thought of the innocent Han liangdi and the framed Empress?” Muhou Empress Dowager saw that He Yuan’s forehead was bleeding from kowtowing before demanding coldly, “Should we not punish her because she is gui taifei?”

He Yuan stopped kowtowing. He turned to look at the mufei that was being held by the mamas and with a humble attitude, declared: “Mufei is er chen’s elder. If she has committed a crime, it should be assumed by erchen.”

“Injustice has a beginning, a debt has an owner. If the offenses of the elders are assumed by the younger generation, are there still any laws?” He Heng put down the teacup, frowning, “If all the people in Da Long Dynasty are like you, how can zhen rule the world?”

“Feng shi plotted to kill fei and framed the Empress. She has malicious conduct and is bestowed five feet of white silk,” He Heng indifferently declared, “The Feng clan, due to not properly teaching their daughters, are removed of their title and for three generations, cannot enter the court as an official.”

“Emperor, please give a favor, Emperor,” Feng Zi Jin didn’t think that the Emperor wouldn’t care about past feelings, and even her paternal family would be affected. She wanted to kneel in front of He Heng but was dragged back by two palace maids who pressed her into the ground.

“Emperor!” Feng Zi Jin was so panicked she started to sob. She wanted to beg for mercy but her mouth was stuffed so she couldn’t talk.

He Heng looked coldly at her, no emotion in his eyes as though she was just a stranger.

“Drag her down, don’t leave her here to disturb others,” Qian Chang Xin saw the Emperor’s expression and motioned to the person beside him. Very quickly, others dragged Feng Zi Jin away.

Sitting at the side, Luo Yin Xiu watched Feng Zi Jin dragged down like an animal and couldn’t help but shudder. Her eyes when they looked at Qu Qing Ju became even more worshipping.

Qu Qing Ju pinched a piece of pastry in her hands. Even in this noisy situation, she still had the interest to eat pastries. Detecting that Luo Yin Xiu was looking at her, she smiled at the other. Seeing the other lower her head in awe, she smiled carelessly and watched the farce in front of her with indifference.

He Yuan raised his head to look at the three people that controlled his mufei’s life. He felt powerless. There hadn’t been another time when he had felt this hopeless. Kneeling helplessly on the ground, he dazedly stared at the clean floor.

“Emperor, Shu gui taifei might have been accomplices with the criminal Feng shi, but it really wasn’t her that sent someone to kill Han liangdi. Qie thinks that even though Shu gui taifei’s crimes cannot be forgiven, they aren’t worthy of death.” Qu Qing Ju wiped her mouth, her gaze sweeping across Shu gui taifei, “Why don’t muhou and Emperor spare Shu gui taifei’s life?”

“Oh? What is Empress thinking?” He Heng heard Qu Qing Ju speak and turned to look warmly at her.

“Qie heard in the time of xiandi, Shu gui taifei frequently served by his side. If that’s the case, why not let Shu gui taifei go guard the Imperial Tomb, to pray for xiandi every day and reflect,” Qu Qing Ju smiled as she looked at the two Empress Dowagers, “How about that?”

A woman as used to luxury as Shu gui taifei going to the Imperial Tomb, wasn’t that even more uncomfortable than death? Empress Dowager Wei looked at her erxi. Seeing her sincere attitude, it didn’t seem that she was purposefully making it difficult for Shu gui taifei. Empress Dowager Wei thought she was thinking too much. She turned to inquire of Muhou Empress Dowager, “What does jiejie think?”

It hadn’t been a year since xiandi had passed. If they took care of Shu gui taifei now, some people might gossip. Sparing Shu gui taifei’s life but sending her to stay at the harsh Imperial Tomb, it was the best choice. Muhou Empress Dowager looked in approval at Qu Qing Ju. It was perfectly normal that the Emperor was able to fall in love with her: “Aijia feels that it is very good. When xiandi had been alive, he had been very much in love with Shu gui taifei. We have all served xiandi, and aijia doesn’t bear to take your life. It’s good for you to go serve xiandi. At the very least, if xiandi knew in the underworld, he certainly would be comforted.”

He Yuan hadn’t though the person that managed to keep his mufei’s life in the end was Qu Qing Ju. He looked towards Qu Qing Ju, making a full formal bow; “Thanks Emperor, thanks muhou, thanks …… huang sao.”

Hearing the obvious pause in He Yuan’s words, Qu Qing Ju knew the other wasn’t willing to bow to her. But she didn’t care. Smiling slightly as she waved her hand: “San shu doesn’t have to be so courteous.”

However, He Heng looked at He Yuan with a complicated expression before standing and declaring: “Since the case has been solved, zhen will take Empress back to the palace. It’s been cold recently, both muhou should take care.”

Empress Dowager Wei and Muhou Empress Dowager both smiled and nodded. Empress Dowager Wei replied: “Aijia knows, you two should also be more careful.”

Qu Qing Ju and He Heng walked out of Fu Shou Palace. Seeing a yellow plum tree bloom beside the road, she took a breath, the cold wind and fragrance entering her nose: “This scent is so nice.”

“If you like it, then get someone to go to the plum gardens every day to pick fresh ones to put in the room,” He Heng held her warm hand, “I don’t dare to move this one.”

“Who said I wanted to pick the flowers here?” Qu Qing Ju peeked at him from the corner of her eyes, “I’m not Emperor. I’m not interested in any flowers.”

“Why do I find the words strange?” He Heng laughed lowly, disregarding Qian Chang Xin and Mu Jin holding the umbrellas for them from behind. Looking forward, he abruptly declared: “My hougong really is just only you, do you still not know?”

“Just like Yu Ming Emperor of the previous dynasty?” Qu Qing Ju asked him with a smile.

“Qing Ju, I will never become Yu Ming Emperor, and you won’t become Zhao He Empress.” He Heng looked with a solemn expression at Qu Qing Ju. Before she could react, he twisted his head, “I’m going back to the front hall.” Finishing, he quickly rushed off, even leaving the Imperial carriage to Qu Qing Ju.

Watching as He Heng rushed off, Qu Qing Ju’s lips curled but there was no mirth in her eyes. Behind her, Mu Jin detected that her mood wasn’t right and handed the umbrella to Jin Zhan, carefully supporting her, “Zhuzi, let’s go back to the palace.”

Qu Qing Ju saw Mu Jin’s caution and laughed silently: “It’s fine. The Imperial carriage of the Emperor, the Emperor isn’t here, I can’t ride it. You all can accompany me on the walk back.”

Mu Jin looked at the clean swept road head and looked at the shoes on the Empress’ feet. She hesitated before motioning for Yu Zan to come forward, the two of them right and left, protecting the Empress in the middle.

“Huangsao, please wait.”

Qu Qing Ju returned her head and saw He Yuan walked in front of her, bowing deeply, professing: “Thanks, huangsao for just now asking for mercy for chen di’s mu fei.”

“San shu doesn’t have to be this polite. Ben gong didn’t ask for leniency, but spoke the truth.” Qu Qing Ju slowly walked forward. Seeing He Yuan maintain a distance three strides away from her on the right behind her, she didn’t know what the other was doing. But she didn’t speak.

“No matter what, today’s favor, chen di will remember,” He Yuan placed his hands behind his back, his pale face turning ruddy from the cold wind. He looked at the side profile of Qu Qing Ju, “The fact that mufei is alive is due to the Emperor’s generosity.”

Qu Qing Ju stopped walking, turning her head to look at He Yuan’s expression. She found the other was sincere and hesitated before asking: “Ben gong doesn’t understand why Shu gui taifei would spend the effort to deal with ben gong, is it of benefit to her?”

“She was proud for a lifetime, and couldn’t tolerate failure,” He Yuan laughed at himself, “Mufei and I dreamed for so many years. Waking up, not everyone can bear it.”

Mother and son were pretty brazen and proud in their dreams.

Qu Qing Ju continued to walk. Occasionally, palace maids and taijian would be encountered and they would all move aside and kneel, “If a person doesn’t dream, then they wouldn’t have done anything. San shu, have you regretted what you once did?”

He Yuan looked deeply at her: “Maybe regretted once, but now, everything is settled and it isn’t important.”

The delusional person finally healed. Qu Qing Ju felt that he had jumped from his delusional stage of life into the elderly stage, his mentality had changed very rapidly. She remembered the last time she was near He Yuan. That was on Rui Wang Fu. At that time, his delusional state had been very serious.

“History is the best teacher,” Qu Qing Ju smiled, “It’s good that san shu can think clearly now.”

“Drinking, listening to songs, and being idle all day is good,” He Yuan thought about the days he lived now. He didn’t have to go to court, didn’t have to manage any other matters, didn’t have to pay attention to the cards others sent. Closing the doors of the wang fu, he could amuse himself in any way, “Carefree like an immortal.”

Qu Qing Ju didn’t know why He Yuan was saying such things to her, but he didn’t seem to be implying anything. She could only reply, “Those days are very admirable.”

“Huangsao must also like leisurely days,” He Yuan’s smiled, allowing the snow to fall on his head and shoulders.

Qu Qing Ju turned to see his state. She still remembered the first time she went to Rui Wang Fu, she had been in the sedan, He Yuan had been standing like this, black hair, fox skin cap, youthful.

When they neared Tian Qi Palace, He Yuan stopped. He bowed again to Qu Qing Ju: “Does Empress know the ending of Yu Ming Emperor and Zhao He Empress?”

Qu Qing Ju’s eyebrow raised slightly: “The historians of the previous dynasty recorded that the feelings between Yu Ming Emperor and Zhao He Empress was stronger than gold. After Zhao He Empress died due to illness, Yu Ming Emperor died not long after due to heartbreak. In the end, they were entombed in the same coffin. Not born at the same time but to die in the same coffin, isn’t that the final ending?”

“Huangsao might not know that Yu Ming Emperor in his later life had relations with a palace maid. When it was discovered by Zhao He Empress, Zhao He Empress had a heart attack and died. Yu Ming Emperor regretted it greatly, but the deceased cannot be revived and it was too late to repent. Even though the two were buried together after Yu Ming Emperor’s death, where was the meaning? In the end, the two didn’t leave behind a heir and the successor was Yu Ming Emperor’s didi’s son, what kind of fulfillment is that?” He Yuan raised his hand, concluding, “The reality of a story is often harsher than the books. So Yu Ming Emperor and Zhao He Empress weren’t perfect. Chen di asks to be excused.”

Qu Qing Ju looked at his back. She suddenly smiled a beat later. It seemed that He Yuan had heard what she and He Heng had talked about. But was he explaining on He Heng’s behalf or reminding her to not believe the Emperor’s monogamy?

Or maybe both? He might not be willing for her to be hurt over what He Heng had just said and didn’t want her to believe in the Emperor’s monogamy which would cause her hurt in the future?

But, why was He Yuan so good-hearted to remind her? Was it to repay her for saving Shu gui taifei’s life?

“Emperor?” Qian Chang Xin didn’t understand why the Emperor had rushed back to the front hall. He carefully brushed off the snowflakes  on He Heng’s shoulders, tentatively asking, “Before going to Fu Shou Palace, you said you want to have a meal with the Empress. So should the servants prepare now?”

He Heng nodded unnaturally. He rubbed his slightly reddened ears, saying: “Right, go see if the Empress has returned. If she has, come back and tell zhen. Zhen hasn’t finished the weiqi match with her.”

“Yes,” Qian Chang Xin left in helplessness. Since he was thinking of the Empress, then why did he just leave, was he teasing the Empress? The thoughts of the Emperor, it was hard to guess.

In the room, He Heng played with the pouch at his waist. The embroidery wasn’t as good as the handiwork of the embroidery women, but it was his most favored possession.

Thinking about Qu Qing Ju, he couldn’t resist touching his still blushing ears. A man saying words of love seriously, it was slightly embarrassing.

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