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Chapter One Hundred and Six The Letter of Divorce
After the New Year festival passed, it was the time for the families to visit each other. As the Empress in the central palace, Qu Qing Ju naturally received many notices, but due to her pregnancy, she had just seen the members of the two Empress Dowager’s paternal family, Tian Luo shi and others. Today, she needed to meet Ning Wang Fei and Cheng Wang Fei.
“Ning Wang Fei, Cheng Wang Fei, please come in,” Huang Yang hurriedly walked out of the door into the rear hall, a wide smile on his face as he performed a greeting to Wei Qing E and Luo Wen Yao before bowing to lead the two people inside.
“Thanks gonggong,” Luo Wen Yao smiled politely at Huang Yang. She knew that Huang Yang was someone that the Empress used often, so she treated him extremely courteously.
“Cheng Wang Fei is too polite, please,” Huang Yang’s attitude became even more humble as he steadily walked inside, “Empress knew that both wang fei were coming and had woken early to wait.”
Wei Qing He followed Huang Yang’s words with some words expressing her gratefulness. When they reached the door to the room, she didn’t speak anymore. Huang Yang announced: “Empress, Ning Wang Fei and Cheng Wang Fei have arrived.”
“Quickly come in please,” Wei Qing E heard Qu Qing Ju’s voice. And when the curtain in front of them was raised, a very familiar looking palace maid coming out, bowing to them and ushered them into the room.
This was the first time Wei Qing E came to this place. At a glance, she saw that much care had been taken with the tasteful furnishings in the room, and there was nothing with corners, since they were worried that those things would harm the pregnant Qu Qing Ju.
She looked at Qu Qing Ju who sat in front. Qu Qing Ju only had a simple hairstyle, a buyao inserted from the side. With her black hair, it expressed an indolent beauty.
“Greetings to Empress,” Wei Qing E and Luo Wen Yao simultaneously made a bow, their movements full of deference.
“Us sisters-in-law don’t have to be so polite with each other,” Qu Qing Ju waved her hand and got the palace maids to bring a carved stool for each of them. Then she said: “It’s still snowing today, it must have been trouble to make you two visit ben gong.”
“Niangniang’s words are taking good fortune from chen fu,” Wei Qing E added a smile as she said, “chen fu should have come in before to give thanks, but these last few days were so busy so the visit was delayed. It’s lucky that niangniang is kind and hasn’t blamed chen fu.”
“Da sao’s words are too polite,” Qu Qing Ju saw that Wei Qing E was attired even more dignified than in the past and sighed inside. There were many women in Ning Wang Fu. Wei Qing E had a di son herself, and must have spent limitless amounts of attention, “Ning Wang Fu had been empty for so long, it’s natural to spend time cleaning it up. Originally, ben gong should have sent servants to do so, but the Emperor missed da be and summoned you back to Jing as soon as possible. Your family must have gone to great trouble.”
“It’s our entire family’s good fortune that Emperor missed our wang ye,” Wei Qing E smiled, replying, “wang ye frequently mentioned the good of the Emperor and said that even dying won’t be enough to repay the kindness of the Emperor.”
In the beginning, Wei Qing E hadn’t been as antagonistic as Qin Bai Lu who had picked a fight whenever possible with Qu Qing Ju, but she acted as she was the eldest. Now, her words and actions were done to flatter to her, the er dixi. Qu Qing Ju couldn’t see any discontent in her actions and couldn’t help but sigh again. Such a virtuous wife, and didn’t abandon or give up on Ning Wang. Now that Ning Wang returned to Jing, he had taken quite a few women as tongfang. That really wasn’t a good thing to do.
“They’re brothers, there’s no need to speak of kindness,” Qu Qing Ju waved her hand, and said to Luo Wen Yao: “Ben gong heard you have some happy news, this really is a happy event.”
Luo Wen Yao’s face instantly blushed and she lowered her head as she responded: “The taiyi diagnosed it a few days earlier. Chen fu had thought to wait a few days before telling you.”
“Such a happy event, you can’t conceal it from ben gong,” Qu Qing Ju smiled, adding, “ben gong let them prepare some things for pregnancy. When you leave, take it with you. If you are lacking in anything, send someone to tell ben gong, don’t restrain yourself.”
Wei Qing E listened to the conversation between the Empress and Cheng Wang Fei. She could detect the closeness that the Empress treated Cheng Wang Fei with. It was very different from the politeness that was offered to her. One year ago, no one would have thought that even Cheng Wang would have a change of fortune.
“Actually, ben gong heard yesterday that people were saying that Rui Wang Jun Fei was ill, have you two heard?” Three days ago, she had just attended the year end banquet, and then got sick right after. If the news came out, who would be embarrassed?
“San dimei has always been delicate. Yesterday night, it snowed, maybe she wasn’t careful and got sick,” Wei Qing E spoke on the subject. She had an idea what the Empress meant and naturally would follow the direction, “ But san dimei usually doesn’t interact much with chen fu and si dimei, so we also don’t know.”
Qu Qing Ju nodded, looking rueful: “That’s so true, san dimei’s personality usually is proud. Even ben gong, she wasn’t willing to interact much with. In a while, ben gong will get them to bestow some things down, it will be a token of ben gong’s goodwill.”
The words appeared to be concerned about Qin Bai Lu but the implication was accusing Qin Bai Lu was discourteous to the Empress. Wei Qing E glanced around the room. There were many palace maids and taijian standing around. If these words were leaked out, everyone would know of Qin Bai Lu’s haughtiness.
She dropped her gaze slightly so she would not look at the warm smile on Qu Qing Ju’s face. The tone of her voice was assenting: “Empress is kind-hearted and benevolent. Rui Jun Wang Fei’s actions are truly somewhat discourteous.”
Really kind-hearted and benevolent. Even when a jun wang fei was discourteous to her, she would still let bygones be bygones and bestow gifts down. This entire court, who wouldn’t praise her for being virtuous?
“We are all one family, both you and I knew her temperament,” Qu Qing Ju displayed a helpless look, “ben gong will just hope that she will recover quickly now.”
Luo Wen Yao used a handkerchief to cover her mouth as she agreed: “Empress is right, the best thing would be that san sao recovers.”
Wei Qing E felt for a second that the closeness between the Empress and Cheng Wang Fei, perhaps it was because they were strangely similar in some aspects?
“Emperor?” Ming He saw the Emperor walk to the door of the rear hall and then turn to circle back to the front hall, and couldn’t help cautiously asking, “Should nucai go in to notify Empress?”
“No need,” He Heng waved his hand. He took down a book from the shelves and buried his head down. Ming He took a peek. It was still that “Prescriptions Worth a Thousand in Gold” that the Emperor had read for many days. Ever since the Empress had been found to be pregnant, the Emperor seemed to develop an interest in medical books.
A long time later, just as Ming He assumed that the Emperor would keep reading, an attendant of the Empress came to ask if the Emperor was going to go have a meal together. Then he saw the Emperor throw away the book and stand up.
Looking at the medical book that the Emperor had heartlessly thrown to one side, it wasn’t anything. In front of the Empress, it couldn’t compare to one hair strand.”
In Rui Jun Wang Fu, Qin Bai Lu furiously smashed everything that the palace had sent down before she felt her fury had been somewhat relieved. She hatefully looked at the ginseng, sneering: “Pretending to be so virtuous, like I don’t have these things?”
She once hated Qu Yue Su, and after Qu Yue Su died, the one she hated most became Qu Qing Ju. The two sisters of the Qu Family seemed to have been born to be at conflict with her, and disturb her days.
“Wang fei, wang ye is already unhappy that you called in sick to not pay your respects to the Empress. Now, you smashed the Empress’ gifts. If wang ye knew, it won’t be good,” Ru Hua rushed the servants to clean up the room. After the attendants had all left, she urged, “Right now, even for yourself, you have bear it.”
“Bear it?” Qin Bai Lu pointed in the direction of the main building, “He only amuses himself everyday and has never thought about me. Even if I tore down this room, he won’t care!”
“But if you keep going like this……”
“You don’t have to persuade me. In wang ye’s eyes, I’m afraid that even a fingernail of the Empress is better than me. Maybe right now he’s regretting that he hadn’t married the Empress in the beginning rather than me!” Qin Bai Lu was so infuriated that she didn’t control her words, “The Empress is so noble, so beautiful, I’m nothing!”
Ru Hua sighed helplessly. She thought about the rumors about wang fei outside. Jealous, not virtuous, arrogant and bad-mannered, disrespectful of the Empress. There were even people that said wang ye was going to divorce wang fei. If wang fei knew of those things, her sadness would be great.
She just didn’t understand what great irreconcilable enmity there was between Empress and wang fei that wang fei would hate Empress so. It was clear that the two hadn’t interacted much. Was it really because of the rumors about the decree of marriage? But the Empress and Emperor were very well together and wang fei really didn’t need to be jealous of the Empress.
Outside the door, He Fu Er stood behind He Yuan, his legs trembling. He hadn’t thought that wang fei would say such reckless things. If it passed into the Emperor’s ears, wouldn’t it cost wang ye his life?
Thinking about the stories of the love between the Imperial Couple, He Fu Er swallowed. It would really cause his death. He was so unfortunate to have heard these words.
Furtively looking at wang ye’s expression, He Fu Er’s legs grew even weaker. It had been a long time since he had seen wang ye look so terrible. Hearing the continuing complaints of the wang fei inside the room, He Fu Er finally couldn’t stand and knelt down hard.
He Yuan didn’t look at He Fu Er, and with a grim face, went up to kick open the door. Gazing at Qin Bai Lu who had abruptly froze, he ordered icily: “He Fu Er, bring pen and paper.”
“Wang ye!” Qin Bai Lu shrieked, “I’m the wang fei xiandi decreed to you, you can’t divorce me.”
“So you do know that your words would cause ben wang to divorce you, then why couldn’t you control your mouth?” He Yuan looked in disgust at Qin Bai Lu, “Ben wang might only be a jun wang now, but it doesn’t mean having to tolerate a wang fei like you.”
“Pen and paper!” He Heng’s voice grew even more harsh.
Very quickly, someone brought pen and paper. Grinding the ink and laying down the paper, it seemed to have all been done in the blink of an eye in Qin Bai Lu’s eyes.
“Wang ye,” Qin Bai Lu knelt down. She knew that He Yuan was serious this time and couldn’t resist hugging his legs, crying: “You can’t treat me this way.”
“Get her off!” He Heng didn’t even look at Qin Bai Lu. He held up the brush to dip in the ink and fluidly started writing.
“Wang ye, wang ye,” Ru Hua knelt down at He Yuan’s feet, “wang fei wasn’t doing it on purpose, please, forgive her this time, wang ye.’
The two minor taijian saw that wang ye’s face darkened even more and went up to drag and pin Ru Hua at one side.
Ru Hua stared as wang ye wrote the entire letter of divorce in one go as though he had finally vented all the emotions he had suppressed for a long time. She suddenly stopped pleading because she felt that, no matter how she and wang fei pleaded, wang ye wouldn’t change his mind.
“Take it,” He Yuan threw the still wet letter of divorce in front of Qin Bai Lu, coldly gazing down at her kneeling on the ground, “The thing that ben wang regrets the most in this lifetime was marrying you.”
Qin Bai Lu’s head buzzed as though she couldn’t hear anything. She looked dazedly at the man that looked from high up down at her. She suddenly stood, pushing aside He Yuan and was going to throw herself at the wall, before she was pulled back by He Fu Er at the side.
“If you want to die, go back to your Qin Family to die, don’t dirty ben wang’s place,” He Yuan sneered, “Someone come, pack up all of Qin shi’s things and send them back along with Qin shi back to the Qin Family.”
“Yes,” He Fu Er saw that the matter had progressed to this step and didn’t dare provoke wang ye so he started to order others to start packing.
He Yuan didn’t look again at Qin Bai Lu, he turned and walked away.
The news that the daughter of the Qin Family had been divorced by Rui Jun Wang spread through the entire Jing City by the afternoon. Almost everyone didn’t believe that Rui Jun Wang would do it. Right now, Rui Jun Wang didn’t have any real power. If he offended the Qin Family, wouldn’t his days become more difficult in the future?
There were those that felt the daughter of the Qin Family wasn’t worthy of being a wang fei, were moved by Rui Jun Wang who wasn’t willing to suffer, and sighed.
On the second day, there was an Imperial Censor who reproached Rui Jun Wang’s actions. The main idea was that the daughter of the Qin Family had been declared by xiandi. The fact that Rui Jun Wang had divorced his wife, the daughter of the Qin Family, it was being unfilial to xiandi. It ruined the conduct of Da Long Dynasty. Along the way, he praised the love that the Emperor had for the Empress.
“The Empress is virtuous in her conduct, filial to her elders, attentive to zhen, zhen’s love for her is only natural,” The boot-licking had been misconstrued. He Heng’s face was dark as he continued, “The daughter of the Qin Family dishonorably conducted herself, was of arrogant manner, and no virtues at all. Even in front of zhen and Empress, she was arrogant and disrespectful. Rui Jun Wang is zhen’s brother, how can zhen bear for him to be served by such a wang fei?”
The Imperial Censor choked. The terrible reputation of Qin shi had already spread through Jing. It really was somewhat inappropriate for him to compare Qin shi to the Empress. He then knelt down and didn’t say another word.
“Zhen thought, as a man, one should be filial to elders, esteem his wife, and love and protect his children. As a woman, one should have proper conduct, esteem her husband, be virtuous and intelligent. Only like this, can husband and wife be harmonious.” He Heng furrowed his eyebrows, adding, “Zhen heard that the Great Scholar Lu da ren of Hong Yuan Cabinet has a good daughter of both talent and good appearance. Why don’t zhen act as a matchmaker and let Lu xiaojie and zhen’s sandi be engaged and will marry by the end of this year.”
Lu Jing Hong paused and then forced out a smile as he knelt, replying: “Wei chen thanks the Emperor for decreeing the marriage.”
The Emperor was cutting off the Qin Family’s retreat. And also pulled his daughter in. But he could not refuse.
He could only hope that Rui Jun Wang would treat his daughter well in the future. He would thank the heavens and earth if it didn’t turn out like Qin shi’s circumstances.