I suck at WordPress. I’ve just passed nine months of my blog and 100 posts a few days ago so YAY! But I am a very lowly and ignorant beginner at WordPress and at coding and why are there so many resources for WordPress.ORG but not free wordpress? (I shouldn’t complain because it’s free but they are making some money off me). I was also fixated on textboxes and didn’t realize what I was really looking for was hovertext. Anyways, thanks to a help post from 2009, I finally learned how to embed definitions in the text. So this is a trial run. Both the footnotes and the hovertext is there. Just mouse over the word before the footnote and it’ll appear after a second.
Chapter Twenty Eight Lucky Star
“Er di, san di, let’s walk together.” He Qi smiled as he walked in front of the two, “I heard that a new restaurant opened in Jing, why don’t us brothers make a visit together?”
He Yuan sneered: “Da ge is too polite but didi has other matter and so will leave first.” Finishing, he flung his sleeve and walked away with a cold face, not even leaving behind a hint of respect for He Qi.
This type of encounter had happened more than one. He Qi’s expression didn’t change as he eyed the back of the figure and said unconcernedly to He Heng, “He’s not going, you’re coming with ge.”
He Heng smiled and complied. His attitude was casual as he walked together with He Qi. There were no sparks of the struggle for succession between the two. He understood, He Qi might seem upright and honest but he was definitely one who “pretended to be a pig as he eats tigers”. The reputation spread that He Yuan had of being arrogant and brash, half of it could be put on his head.
It was just a pity that laodaos mother’s birth was too low. This was his greatest challenge in trying to compete for the throne. But the rumor was that the Emperor was planning on bestowing the hougong soon. Nobody know if he would raise lao da’s mother’s position. Based on the fact that she had laoda as an imperial son, she should have been promoted much earlier. It was laosan’s mufei who kept on getting in the way, so that the eldest Imperial Son’s birth mother still only had the title of cairen.
The two came together to the restaurant and left separately after a meal. He Heng didn’t manage to experience the taste of the wine and food before laodao had already hinted at his desire to ally with him against laosan.
Returning to the wang fu, He Heng found that every servant in the fu seemed to have cheer on their faces. He couldn’t resist asking Ming He who welcomed him back: “Did something good happen on this fu?”
“Wang ye, it’s just that it’s almost the winter holidays, wang fei had rewarded some silver to us as servants,” Ming He knelt and answered, “Nucai forgot ourselves in joy, wang ye have mercy.”
“Stand up. Wang fei has rewarded you all, it’s natural for people to be happy,” He Heng waved his hand, “what’s wang fei doing right now?”
“Just now nucai went to zhengyuan to kowtow and express thanks. Wang fei is probably still there, but nucai doesn’t know anything else,” Ming He bowed and retreated to one side to express that he had no intentions of inquiring of news about zhengyuan.
“En,” He Heng nodded, his steps changing direction, “Let’s go see zhengyuan.”
Stepping into zhengyuan, He Heng stopped the servants from announcing him and walked straight into the rooms. Just outside the door, he heard the conversation inside the room.
“Wang fei, this pouch is actually pretty good, why are you hiding it?”
“It’s fine, I know you are comforting me. This thing, I can’t present it as a gift.”
“But … …”
“What thing you can’t gift?” He Heng walked in and saw Qu Qing Ju try to hide something behind her. He smiled and walked behind her. Taking the object for a look, it was a dark blue pouch. Embroidered on one side was a simple design of clouds, on the other, there was a large character for good fortune. The skill of embroidery really couldn’t compare to what he usually used.
“Is this for me?” He Heng looked again and again at the pouch and wouldn’t return it to Qu Qing Ju. Seeing the other in a state of awkwardness, “I think it is very good.”
Qu Qing Ju coughed: “That is, it’s just for amusement, I didn’t say it was for you.”
“Then I am asking for it from you,” He Heng jerked the pouch he had on his body off and personally put on this one. He smiled and commented, “This color is pretty good.”
Qu Qing Ju glanced at the pouch before instantly moving his gaze: “Since wang ye likes it, then use it.” Finishing, she turned to ask, “Wang ye, are you using the night meal here?”
He Heng nodded his head, “The hotpot last time was good, let’s have the same tonight.”
Qu Qing Ju, who had desired to eat hotpot again, naturally agreed. She felt that it hadn’t been a loss to put the effort in. At least now, she could eat good, drink good and occasionally play at being arrogant. She peeked again at the deep blue pouch and curled her lips.
The end of the year was getting closer and closer. The result was that the people at court also became busier. The matter of the examinations had been finally. The Chief Examiner was the Great Scholar Lu Jing Hong, a member of the Hong Yuan Cabinet. This person was one of the two that He Heng had recommended, the Deputy Examiner was one of He Yuan’s people.
When the Imperial Decree came down, He Heng didn’t feel any surprise. Fuhuang might be wary of his sons but he still heavily favoured He Yuan over all. Otherwise, why would he keep the position of Deputy Examiner for him?
It was a pity his fuhuang didn’t know that spoiling was a type of harm. He Yuan’s appetite would become bigger and bigger under his care. He would definitely create trouble.
On the twenty-sixth day of the twelfth month, a decree came out again from the palace. Many of the consorts were promoted. Ning Wang’s birth mother, Tao shi, was promoted to Noble Pin, her title was Wen. Both He Yuan and He Heng’s mothers took a step forward from fei to guifei.
Just when everybody in Jing was preparing celebratory presents, a decree for marriage came down. Minister Luo’s di granddaughter was to be married to Cheng Wang He Ming. The marriage would take place when spring arrived.
When this decree came down, it shocked everybody to the point of seeing stars. They all gave out a lot in congratulatory gifts and then each raised their heads and stretched their necks to gaze and see the mess that Jing would fall into next year.
Qu Qing Ju finished preparing the gifts to send to the Luo Family and Cheng Wang Fu. There were also gifts for the consorts who had been promoted inside the palace. She sat down with a cup of tea and let Shu Kui massage her shoulders, her head revolving around the matter of the Luo Family and Cheng Wang.
The Luo Family was Jiumu’s maternal family. It wasn’t very distinguished, but did have some reputation in the City of Jing. It wasn’t a surprise for a girl of the Luo family to marry into the Imperial Family. But marrying this Cheng Wang, it still couldn’t be seen if it was good or bad.
If it could be said that the three wang ye at the front had hope of succeeding the throne, He Ming was just a passer-by. Unless the three people in front all died, he wouldn’t have a hope of reaching the throne. This person’s abilities were as average as his name. Who knew how much Qing De Emperor didn’t like this son. The three sons in front, one had the meaning of the “good luck of the qilin¸” one was” the beauty of jade,” one was “of profound and deep learning.” Each one was of higher quality than the one before.
But when it came to Cheng Wang, the brain cells suddenly snapped and the skill of naming dropped. He gave a name that was very common. The meaning was “bright” but it wasn’t as dignified and noble. Just as well the Emperor didn’t know of the “Little Student Ming” from the math textbooks of the past life and how busy it was. He was continuously pouring and catching water, continuously walking from place A to B, continuously riding the bike to deliver apples, continuously going from grandma’s to uncle’s.
Thinking about it, Qu Qing Ju shook her head and said to Mu Jin: “Add half more to the gifts to Cheng Wang Fu.” Just that name, it was deserving of sympathy.
Mu Jin confirmed before asking: “Wang fei, just now, the Department of Household Affairs sent over the allowance for the year. Nubi has already checked the items against the list. Should the items be entered into the stores?”
Even though the items from the Department of Household Affairs weren’t rare, but it was still items belonging to the Imperial Family. This was a matter of honor. Qu Qing Ju nodded and thinking that after a few days, she had to enter the palace to kowtow and ask for morning greetings, she felt her knees ache. Disregarding the complicated connections and thoughts of the women inside of the palace, just those two troublesome zhouli, it was enough to irritate somebody.
At the year’s end, the Luo Family was one of the busiest. The people that sent gifts to the fu were endless. Even though the daughter of Luo was marrying Cheng Wang, who wasn’t favoured by the Emperor but he was still a wang ye, and the people in the city of Jing had to pay some respect.
The elder Luo taitai flipped through the stacks of gift lists and commented to her daughter in law sitting under her: “Oh, Yao yatou married to that kind of place, it is … …”
The wife of the Luo Family’s eyes reddened slightly as she replied: “The Emperor’s Imperial benevolence is mighty and broad, it is our family’s good fortune,” Speaking to there, she choked. If she could choose, she would that her daughter married into a normal official’s family rather than suffer in the Imperial Family, “Erxi heard that Cheng Wang is kind and honest. When Yao’er marries, she most likely wouldn’t suffer much.”
“Each person has to live their own life,” The Elder Luo taitai place the gift list down, “Duan Wang Fu isn’t as easy as Cheng Wang Fu but that girl from the Qu family is living well. Duan Wang treats her very well. In the past, our Luo family has treated Duan Wang Fei well, when Yao’er marries, there’s some measure of protection.”
“But Duan Wang and Cheng Wang … …” The worries of the wife of the Luo Family hadn’t finished being said before the Elder Luo taitai interrupted.
“Relationships between women have always been between women,” The elder Luo taitai said in a meaningful tone, “Anything else is the matter of men. Our Luo Family will only be loyal to the Emperor.”
The Luo erxi nodded in a gaze. She was going to speak when she heard the servant report that Duan Wang Fu had sent gifts over.
When the list was delivered over, the elder Luo taitai took the list before nodding and commenting: “Duan wang fei is very good to our Luo Family. We should increase the year-end gifts we send over.” Finishing, she gave the list to her erxi.
The Luo erxi took the list and thought in relief that it was lucky that the Luo Family had been kind to Duan Wang Fei and Duan Wang Fei also knew to pay back. When she entered the Imperial Family, Yao’re will have somebody to guide her, and if Duan Wang succeeded the throne … …
She quickly shook her head and suppressed the idea.
In Rui Wang Fu, He Yuan smashed many pieces of pottery. His beautiful face was full of darkness: “Is fuhuang dim-witted, to marry one of the Luo Family to lao si, isn’t this clearly pushing the Luo Family and lao si towards lao er?!”
The taijian serving him heard this and shuddered in fear. He quickly knelt on the floor, pieces of broken pottery cutting into his knees. He didn’t dare frown even a bit.
“Wang ye, wang fei requests to see you.” A young yahuan stood shakily at the doorway, afraid to even look at He Yuan.
“Not now!” Smashing another piece of porcelain, He Yuan sat down on the carved sandalwood chair. After musing with a dark face he ordered: “Come, prepare a carriage to enter the palace!” Damn it, if he had known it would be like this, he shouldn’t have in the beginning pushed mufei into letting fuhuang bestow marriage between the member of the Family Qu and lao er. Now, it was a boon for him!
As the clear winner in He Yuan’s eyes, He Heng wasn’t as joyful as He Yuan imagined because he knew the conduct of the Luo Family. As to how lao si would choose, that remained to be seen.
Holding a cup of Long Jing Tea, and leaning back on the chair with half-lidded eyes, He Heng thought about He Yuan and He Qi’s possible reactions. He Heng raised and lowered his eyebrow. No matter what, this incident was advantageous for him.
But this was also time to pass the news that He Yuan was giving loans to lao da. As long as the two of them were fighting, they wouldn’t care about lao si’s marriage. That was, in their eyes, lao si wasn’t that important.
“Wang ye, wang fei sent somebody with chicken soup.” Ming He’s voice sounded from outside the door.
Looking at the chicken soup in front of him, He Heng suddenly thought of Qu Qing Ju. Fuhuang’s Imperial Decree said that she was “of plentiful good fortune”. It wasn’t wrong. Wang fei was really his lucky star.
 温: warm, tender, soft, gentle
 贵妃: a position above fei. 贵 means valued, or noble.
 It’s akin to John