The plot thickens. And some more sweetness.
Chapter Thirty Seven Suspicious
Qu Qing Ju saw the paper kite disappear after a while and said with some pity, “Oh, the weather hasn’t turned warm yet but some already have the leisure time to fly kites. It must be such a refined person.”
“What refined person,” He Heng walked in with large steps and happened to hear this sentence. He promised with a thin smile, “If Qing Qu likes it, when the weather turns warm, I’ll take you to the estate to play. You can fly whatever you want.”
“It’s too tiring to run,” Qu Qing Ju disliked it, “if wang ye really cares for me, how about finding a few more chefs for this fu and let me taste all the foods in the world.”
“That’s good too. After a bit, I’ll take you to the estate to taste authentic peasant food,” He Heng pulled her inside and took down his cape to hand to a yahuan, “Those foods might not be as refined as in the fu but it has a special flavour in itself.”
“En, the dried meat that the estate sent over a few days ago was good,” Qu Qing Ju poured him a cup of tea. After He Heng received it, she then sat down on the chair next to him, “I’ll let them send some more over.”
“Even if the flavour of these smoked foods is good, but it isn’t good for the body to consume too much. You still have to abstain,” He Heng took a drink of tea. When he heard what Qu Qing Ju said, he set down the teacup, “Don’t act according to your likes only.”
Hearing this, Qu Qing Ju smiled and turned to trim a short pine tree: “Don’t worry wang ye, I won’t do stupid things.” On the matter of food, the ancients had been experts a long time ago. But He Heng’s words, did it have a double meaning?
“Alright, I know you like good food and will control yourself,” He Heng felt that Qu Qing Ju was still smiling but the mirth had lessened. He could only helplessly change the topic, “The person who was flying the paper luan in the fu, no matter who, you have to lock them up.”
Qu Qing Ju saw his face was slightly stern and slowly nodded: “Wang ye’s meaning is … …”
“Let’s investigate before anything else first,” He Heng raised his cup again but didn’t drink. He looked seriously at Qu Qing Ju, “There is always some people that don’t belong to you or me in this wang fu.”
She hadn’t thought that He Heng would tell such things to her. Qu Qing Ju looked at this man in a new light. This person definitely was decisive and ruthless, but he was gentle and elegant normally and lowered people’s defences, “Wang ye is suspicious that this person has other loyalties.”
“There’s many ways to attract my attention, this way isn’t very skilled,” He Heng smiled thinly, “I saw that paper luan hadn’t flown very high before the string broke and it fell outside the fu. This isn’t something done to attract my attention.”
Qu Qing Ju slightly raised an eyebrow. She had assumed that someone was using this way to attract He Heng’s attentions. She hadn’t thought that someone would actually use this tactic to pass on a message at this special time. Thinking to there, she gave a shallow smile and pointed out, “Maybe it’s a coincidence?”
“Coincidence, on purpose, it doesn’t matter,” He Heng calmly spoke, “We can’t keep this person.”
The hand Qu Qing Ju used to trip the bonsai turned askew and cut down an additional branch. She picked up the pine branch with some pity. This pot was another one she had cut into a failure. In her last life, she had studied dancing and later became an agent in the dance circles. At the very least, she would be considered to be nimble in hand and feet, but how did she become a murderer of bonsai?
Putting down the scissors in her hand, she turned to wash her hands in the copper basin a yahuan was holding. As she wiped her hands, she said: “These things, wang ye can make the decisions. The only thing I can help you do is manage this houyuan.”
He Heng looked at her pale and think fingers rubbing in the soft cotton and felt that this pair of hands was incomparably tempting. He stared in a daze before waking and praising: “You’ve done very well, after you came, this houyang has become much more quiet.”
Putting the cotton cloth back onto the tray, she motioned for the yahuan to retreat. Qu Qing Ju turned to smile at He Heng. She asked: “Is wang ye disapproving of houyang for being too quiet?”
“It’s not quiet, it’s calm,” He Heng stood and pulled the person closer to him, “I actually like the present state of houyuan.”
Flinging a flirtatious look at the other , Qu Qing Ju turned and sat down on a chair by the side, “It’s good as long as wang ye likes it. I’m just afraid that wang ye thinks there aren’t enough beautiful women and is angry at me for not being generous and virtuous enough.”
He Heng walked to her side and smooched a kiss on her cheek before replying: “Ben wang’s Qing Ju is the most virtuous, able, deferent and intelligent.”
Reaching out with two fingers to push the other’s face aside a bit, Qu Qing Ju raised her chin and chuckled: “Wang ye has to remember these words.” Finishing, she saw the other’s face full of smile and, as though it was a great favour, she gave a kiss to his chin.
He Heng was so tempted by this move that his heart was trembling. There had been women that kissed him of their own initiative before, but he just felt that only this woman’s actions were the most tempting. He didn’t wasn’t to resist and bent to pull the other into his embrace.
“Wang ye, we have captured the person flying the paper luan. Wang ye, what should be done?”
He Heng had never before felt that Qian Chang Xin was this unperceptive. He took a deep breath before standing and sitting down at the front, “Come in.”
Qu Qing Ju raised a white and blue-flowered tea cup to hide half her face before she turned to smile cheerfully at He Heng.
He Heng coincidentally saw the look and his heart was tickled again. He gave a deep look at her, sighed in frustration and helplessness before reluctantly move his eyes away.
Qu Qing Ju was very satisfied with He Heng’s response. She adjusted into a more dignified posture and turned her head to watch as Qian Chang Xin come in with a few others. At the very end was two strong mama’s pinning a young woman wearing a pink dress. She looked somewhat familiar.
When everybody had knelt down, Qu Qing Ju finally recognized this person. It was Bai Zhi, one of He Heng’s tong fang. She wasn’t very clear why Bai Zhi had stayed so long by He Heng’s side. This person had never competed for attention and had been compliant for such a long time, was it all an act? She had assumed that people would use she tactics to get favour, it seemed that she was wrong. It seemed, in this fight for the throne, it obviously couldn’t be without the role of spies. Her eyesight wasn’t far enough. This incident, to her, it was a very good lesson.
If she was passing on news to the outside, what was she passing on? She was a minor tong fang, what could she have found?
He Heng scraped the rim of the cup with the lid, making a slightly ear-piercing sound. But just this movement, it was enough to send Bai Zhi into shivers of fright.
“Ben wang remembers that you became a tong fang two years ago,” He Heng blew on the surface of the tea, and said in a calm and emotionless tone, “The paper luan you dropped outside, ben wang ordered them to pick it back. Why don’t ben wang have a good look at that paper luan.”
Ban Zhi’s face slightly changed but she kowtowed as she pled; “Wang ye, forgive me. Nubi didn’t know it wasn’t allowed to fly a kite in the wang fu. Wang ye, please forgive me!”
Disregarding her appeals, He Heng saw Ming He come in with the paper luan. When he took it, he saw a simple picture of a beautiful woman, beside the picture there were two lines of poetry.
“‘she wore shoes embroidered with delicate designs, what trailed behind was a garment as light as the mist’” He Heng looked at the beauty drawn wearing a grand set of clothing, standing at a high place. He gave a soft snort: “Such a good drawing, such a good poem.”
Qu Qing Ju raised her eyebrows as she looked at Bai Zhi. If she didn’t guess wrong, the drawing was pointing at her? “Wang ye … …” Bai Zhi’s expression changed, “nubi hadn’t been thinking clearly and forgot to avoid Wang fei’s name. Please forgive me, wang fei.” Finishing, she started to kowtow repeatedly to Qu Qing Ju.
A difficult expression appeared on Qu Qing Ju’s face and she bit her lips as she gazed at He Heng.
“You don’t have to beg wang fei,” He Heng slammed the paper luan in his hand to the table and ordered icily, “Someone come, Bai Zhi has transgressed against wang fei. Drag her into the firewood room.”
Very quickly, someone came to drag Bai Zhi away. He Heng stood and said to Qu Qing Ju, “I have some matters to attend to, wait for me tonight to eat together.”
Qu Qing Ju nodded and tied his cape for him. She looked at the shambles of the paper luan that had been slammed into the table, “This paper luan?”
“Ming He, take the paper luan and burn it,” After He Heng ordered Ming He, he turned to smiled Qu Qing Ju. He grasped her hand, “Don’t worry.”
The back of her hand was being gently pinched. Qu Qing Ju glared once at He Heng. Seeing him turned to walk away, she finally opened: “The weather is changing fast these days. If wang ye is going out, you have to pay attention to your body.”
He Heng smiled again at her before leaving zhengyuan with his procession. Once he was outside, his face was dark as he commanded Qian Chang Xin: “Pay attention to see who will try to get near to the firewood room in the next few days. We would leave any of them around in the future.”
Qian Chang Xin nodded before informing quietly: “Wang ye, Wang Chang Ming has come.”
“To the study,” He Heng’s face was still heavy. Thinking about the bothersome women in the houyuan, a disdainful smile appeared on his lips.
When he met Wang Chang Ming, He Heng’s face had recovered, “Is there any news from that side?”
“Wang ye, Rui Wang has already entered the palace to meet the emperor. He wants Cheng Wang to go to Jiang Nan,” Wang Chang Ming’s face held joy, “It looks like our plan succeeded.”
“Lao san always felt that he was above us other three brothers. He looks down the most at lao si. Naturally he would want to pick a soft target,” He Heng smiled coldly. “Find a way to spread the news to Ning Wang. With Ning Wang’s personality, if he doesn’t make a ruckus, lao san’s efforts would be such a waste.”
Pretending not to hear the secrets between the imperial sons, Wang Chang Min switched to say, “This subordinate understands. What should be done at Rui Wang’s side?”
“Nobody has to do anything. With his personality, he’ll do something himself,” He Heng responded faintly, “we just have to watch.”
Wang Chang Ming instantly understood and bowed: “Wang ye is perceptive.”
On the second day at court, the emperor send down the decree as expected. He ordered Cheng Wang and the Minister of the Right, Wei Wen Guang to investigate the incident in Jiang Nan and bestowed a gold medal for “As if it was zhen here.” He asked for the two to investigate finely, to prevent those people to mistakenly accuse Rui Wang.
These words boldly broadcasted the emperor’s attitudes. Many were clear. Even though Rui Wang still couldn’t attend court, he was still the emperor’s most favoured and trusted imperial son. No wonder that person was fearless.
A day later, He Ming and Wei Wen Guang left with men and horses under the title of imperial envoy. Everyone in Jing sympathized this unfavored Cheng Wang. Everyone knew that the emperor just wanted to go through the motions. But if he did protect Rui Wang, this was going to put onto his reputation a stain of protecting villains that would be shown to the entire populace. It could be seen just how unequal the emperor favoured his sons.
He Qi sat in a tea shop and looked at the procession as it left the city. His face revealed a disdainful smile. After the procession had disappears, he put down his teacup, and said to the tea scholar that was pouring tea next to him: “On the road, find a chance to attack … … try to not harm Cheng Wang.”