Does the new update time work for everyone? Jing guifei shows up again. She’s such a good mother-in-law. No chapter title these few chapters.
Chapter Forty Two
Assassination of the imperial envoy was a major event. Even though Qing De Emperor had a soft personality, but when he encountered such an event, he felt that he was personally humiliated and furiously ordered for an investigation.
He Heng stood next to He Qi. Hearing He Qi’s righteous and fervent words, as though he was really trying to help fuhuang, his eyebrow moved slightly as he silently lowered his head.
“Since it is already done, then this event will be investigated by Ning Wang and the Ministry of Justice,” Qing De Emperor’s temper hasn’t calmed and his voice was somewhat coarse, “These criminals, they are too outrageous!”
“Er chen accepts the order.” He Qi knelt on one knee to receive the Imperial Decree, the lowered head disguising the satisfaction in his eyes.
After court, He Qi didn’t chat with others like he did usually but quickly left. He Heng looked at He Qi’s rushing figure, a sliver of smile appearing on his face.
“Has His Highness Duan Wang ever heard of the story of the mantis and the cicada,” The Minister of Defense, Luo Chang Qing, walked next to He Heng and bowed to him. He smiled as he looked at Ning Wang’s back, “The story is too common, but it does have some meaning.”
He Heng tilted his head slightly. He praised: “Luo da ren is wise.”
“What wise, it’s just speaking nonsense,” Luo Chang Qing rubbed his beard, the cheer still on his face, “How is His Highness Cheng Wang’s injuries, as imperial subjects, all of us are very worried.”
“Luo da ren doesn’t have to worry. Ben wang’s si di was only wounded in the arm. The messenger said the injury was already controlled,” He Heng put his hands behind his back, leading Luo Chang Qing by half a pace, “fuhuang has already sent the head and the professor of the Imperial Hospital to quickly travel there.”
“That is good. As subjects, we won’t have to worry any longer,” Hearing the answer he wanted, Luo Chang Qing chuckled as he raised his hands together, “Your Highness Duan Wang, this subject still has other matters and has to leave first, farewell.”
“Luo da ren, take care,” He Heng smiled lightly and nodded at him.
Walking as Luo Chang Qing walk away at a sedate pace, the smile slowly disappeared from He Heng’s face. Luo Chang Qing, that wily fox, was worried about his grandson-in-law. He talked for this long period of time just to confirm He Ming’s condition.
Thinking about the ploys that lao da and lao san were playing behind their backs, He Heng curled his lips. No matter how loyal someone appeared, but at certain times, they had to look out for themselves, just like the present Luo Family.
If He Ming really had been mortally wounded, then that girl from the Luo Family would become a widow. Most likely, the Luo Family wouldn’t let it go. Hearing what that old fox Luo Chang Qing had said, he had probably guessed who had been the person that really sent the order. As to why the other would tell him, he didn’t care. He was certain of at least one thing now, which was the Luo Family had negative feelings towards lao da and lao san.
In Duan Wang Fu, Qu Qing Ju looked at the flower lanterns hanging in the courtyard and let the servants take them down. The flower lanterns might be pretty, but each night, someone had to light them. They also needed people to stand watch in case of a fire. It was too troublesome. She might enjoy the luxuries of life but didn’t want to trouble others for such a minor matter. More so, beautiful objects could only be looked at during special times to become even more beautiful.
“Wang fei, nubi heard that there was a fuss at Rui Wang Fu this morning. Rui wang fei was so angry she rode a carriage back to her maternal home,” Jin Zhan walked behind Qu Qing Ju and gossiped in a low voice, “Some people on the outside are spreading the news that Chang De Gong Fu want to send san xiaojie to Rui Wang Fu.” She couldn’t understand. San xiaojie had the skills and the looks and was a di daughter on top of that. Why would she want to be a ce shi?
The hand Qu Qing Ju reached with to hold a flower lantern paused and then, with waning enthusiasm, she took her hand back. She held the other’s hand as she started to walk out of the courtyard, “That year, Liang shi used everything to try to get in through the main door of Chang De Gong Fu. My good father didn’t even wait for a hundred days before welcoming her in. Everyone in this world has their own thoughts. The road they pick, we cannot interfere, but it’s fine as long as they don’t conflict with ours.”
Jin Zhan heard the absence of emotion in these words. She understood that Chang De Gong Fu hadn’t been good to wang fei. She, Yin Liu, and Yu Zan had been inserted into the gong fu by Xiang Qing Hou Fu to serve near wang fei. And Mu Jin jiejie had been taken into the fu when furen had still been alive. After wang fei had been born, she had followed wang fei. Even though they had tried their best these years to protect wang fei, wang fei still had to suffer indignities. Now that wang fei was cold to the people of the gong fu, it was almost expected.
“But nubi is worried that if they did this, it would affect wang fei’s reputation,” Jin Zan thought back to the things that the gong fu had done. Her face showed disgust as she frowned, “It’s so infuriating.”
“What’s infuriating?” Qu Qing Ju smiled, “This entire Jing City, who doesn’t know that this Duan Wang Fei isn’t on good terms with Chang De Gong Fu, and is enemies with the stepmother. Even more, in the Jing City circles, almost everyone assumed that I was raised by aunt. How Qu Yue Su conducts herself, it would only reflect on Liang shi, it wouldn’t touch me.”
Jin Zhan instantly understood. After wang fei recovered, she distanced herself from Chang De Gong Fu, and became closer to Xiang Qing Hou Fu. The incidents of the past had spread through Jing. She said with some joy: “Thank the heavens that these people can’t affect wang fei.” If wang ye blamed wang fei for these happenings, that would be a disaster.
Qu Qing Mu only laughed. There weren’t that many lucky happenings and coincidences in this world. It was all made by people. Thinking about that family, her smile turned cold. And this world didn’t have that many people that repaid grievances with a virtue .[i]
Coming out of the zhengyuan, it was a green stone path. On the two sides of the path were bamboo forests that were hidden behind the fake mountains, creating a clean and elegant scene. After passing through a moon door, it led straight into the main garden of the wang fu. At the end of the right stone path, there was a small stream and a little bridge on top. When Qu Qing Ju had free time, she liked coming to the bridge to feed the fishes. That was more interesting than sitting in the halls and looking at the koi in the lotus pond.
Randomly scattering the fish feed down, she watched as some goldfish carefully and quickly swallowed the food. She pointed at a nondescript black fish, “This fish isn’t as beautiful as the koi, but just swimming quietly next to the stones, if we don’t pay attention, we can’t even find it.”
Jin Zhan took a closer look and said uncertainly: “That one also seems to be a koi, but it’s just so inconspicuous.”
Raising an eyebrow, she scattered anther handful of fish feed. She saw the black koi was like a bolt of lightning, swallowing a series of pellets before swimming away. It was the epitome of fast and precise.
Qu Qing Ju poured the rest of the fish feed into the water with some disinterest. She asked in boredom: “Which ones are going to the Princess Royal’s fu tomorrow?”
“Nubi isn’t clear, but heard that the Princess Royal had invited many,” Jin Zhan thought for a while, “Nubi heard that many young ladies not of age had also received invitations from the Princess Royal.”
Qu Qing Ju nodded and knew what the Princess Royal was doing. Rather than be hurt over a man, why wouldn’t she find people to amuse her?
Women had to treat themselves.
“Did Chang De Gong Fu also receive one?” Qu Qing Ju suddenly asked. If tomorrow both Qu Yue Su and Qin Bai Lu came, she wondered with Qin Bai Lu’s personality if something would happen.
Jin Zhan nodded, “Chang De Gong Fu received an invitation.”
Qu Qing Ju rubbed her chin and observed: “Then I have to be careful tomorrow, and prevent myself from being pulled in.”
Just as she finished, she saw Huang Yang running quickly towards her and reporting that Jing guifei had bestowed some gifts.
What Jing guifei had bestowed, the servants didn’t have the qualifications to receive. Qu Qing Ju could only personally come to receive them. What surprise her was that Jing guifei had let people send over a few palace flower and glass hair ornaments. These were finely crafted and from a glance it could be seen only those of high status could use them.
Strangely, Qu Qing Ju felt that Jing guifei was helping to prop her up. Tomorrow, there would be many womenfolk at the Princess Royal’s fu. When there were many women gathered together, they naturally would like to compare clothing and jewellery. Jing guifei was bestowing down objects from the palace. It at the very least sent a message that Jing guifei, as her popo, was very satisfied with her, as the erxi.
She touched the palace flower. Qu Qing Ju’s face revealed the smile. Maybe Jing guifei wanted to tell the others that she, as her popo, wasn’t unsatisfied at all because of what was happening with Chang De Gong Fu.
What Jing guifei had done was block the insults she might have gotten from the two zhouli tomorrow. And also told the women tomorrow that Jing guifei was on her side.
Even though the majority of the reason that Jing guifei had made such a move was because of Duan Wang, Qu Qing Ju took this offering of good will. Because Jing guifei had many ways to show her side but chose the one that was most advantageous for her.
“Tomorrow, I’ll be using this palace flower and this glass hairpin,” Qu Qing Ju picked two and put them in a small sandalwood box. She gave it to Yu Zan who usually made up her hair, “Pieces from the palace, they should be more exquisite and rarer.”
The most important was that, to anyone with some skill and knowledge, they would know at a glance that these ornaments could only be used by those high up in the palace. Then there was no need to say where these objects came from.
In Zhong Jing Palace, Jing guifei leaned on an armchair and said to Ding mama: “The gifts went out. I hope erxifu will understand.”
“Niangniang, don’t worry. Duan wang fei is an intelligent person, she definitely will understand your efforts,” Ding mama passed her a cup of tea and carefully served as she praised, “niangniang is kind, Duan wang fei will of course remember your good.”
“It’s not important if she remembers,” Jing guifei held her cup and thought about her erxifu. She couldn’t help but frown. Could intelligent be a description for that person?
Bearing a tray of pastries, Wei Ran Shuang quietly stood in her spot, a flicker of sadness and jealously passing through her eyes. Didn’t they say that the relationship between a popo and the xifu was like the sky and the ground, why was even Aunt worrying for Duan wang fei now?
Thinking about Duan wang fei’s conduct and manner of speech and what her aunt had once said to her, Wei Ran Shuang gritted her teeth but the plate she had been holding accidentally fell to the ground.
Jing guifei saw Wei Rang Shuang standing at the doorway and set down the teacup in her hand. She said calmly: “Ran Shuang, you have stayed for a long time in the palace. Your mother is probably missing you. Ben gong will let someone send you back tomorrow.”
[i] The phrase used here was 以德报怨 which is the question that led the answer which created the phrase以直报怨. To repay grievances through virtue was thought by the scholars to be unusable as if they replayed grievances with a virtue/boon, how would people repay a virtue? Therefore, the correct answer was to repay grievances justly and to repay a virtue with a virtue.