This chapter has been brought to you by me, Adnana, and Vivie.
Chapter Fifty-Nine: A Suspicious Good News
The case between the Zhou and the Hua Family allowed many people to see a good performance of how to favor the concubine and neglect the wife. The rumors were so powerful that in this recent while, no one dared to enter a marital relationship with the Zhou Family.
There were some people who sourly said behind Hua Xi Wan’s back that she was meddling in the affairs of her paternal family as a woman who had married out, but people quickly objected.
“If she did not act when her own sister endured so, then she would truly be a woman with a poisonous heart. Xian Wang Fei is a magnanimous person.”
Everyone talked about about Hua Xi Wan’s good qualities—half of the people did so because they agreed with her actions, and the other half only did so because of Hua Xi Wan’s status which they wanted to curry favor with. So they wanted to say that she was perfect all around. People were so and avoided dangers to them. Everyone knew that Assistant Minister Zhou had been removed from the position of examiner in the civil service examination because of Zhou Family’s ugly matter of favoring the concubine and neglecting the wife. He was also attacked in court by a share of officials, causing him to lose his position as assistant minister, and was sent off to a poor place to be a local official.
Originally, Assistant Minister Zhou had a chance to become the Minister, but everything was gone now. It could be seen from this just how important it was to teach one’s children well. Many families in Jing sent away their concubines because of this matter, afraid that someone would accuse them of favoring the concubines and neglecting the wife.
Just as this matter settled, waves occurred again at the Judicial Office because of the assassination of Lin Ping Junma. After the complete investigation by the Judicial Office, this matter seemed to be connected with the Crown Prince and Lin Ping Junzhu.
Lin Ping Junma was someone on the Crown Prince’s side. Why would the Crown Prince want to kill him? Lin Ping Junzhu was his wife. Why would she want to kill him? There had to be something else going on.
As the case progressed, there were even more parts that were suspicious. Many people in Jing were found to have a connection with the case. The case of the two red-light district women was cleared up. It was because Zhou Yun Heng had been flirting with these women, causing a concubine in his home to feel jealousy who sent someone to harm these women. Out of fear, she purposefully had the people leave behind clues relating to Sheng Junwang that would muddy the trail.
As to why she had to use things that were related to Sheng Junwang Fu, it was because Sheng Junwang had a position in the Judicial Office. The concubine thought that Sheng Junwang would suppress this case because he would be wary of it. She did not know that the Xian Wang couple discovered the matter that same night, which caused the entire city to learn of the matter. Thereupon, it was impossible to be kept secret.
Since the matter was cleared up, the concubine was arrested. Zhou Yun Heng was also affected by the matter and sentenced to three years in prison.
“This case has ended like this?” Hua Xi Wan lazily leaned back on the chaise. There were two soft cushions at her back. “A little concubine from the Zhou Family dares to kill people in Jing—she is very daring.”
“Who knows what kind of people the Zhou Family has?” Hong Ying was kneeling in front of the chaise as she kneaded Hua Xi Wan’s knees. “It is fortunate that the miss left that pit, otherwise, she would also be affected by the Zhou Family.”
“Calamity and auspiciousness often come together. Who knows if it is good or bad.” Hua Xi Wan had a junior servant girl get an embroidered stool for Hong Ying to sit on. Then she said, “I will nap for a while. If Wang Ye comes, wake me up then.”
Hong Ying responded in a small voice. Shortly after, she saw Hua Xi Wan fall into a shallow sleep. After putting a light blanket on Hua Xi Wan, she lightly retreated into the outer room. Seeing a young servant girl wiping the objects in the room, she said, “Be careful—do not disturb Wang Fei.”
“Yes.” The young servant girl curtsied and then became even more careful in her movements. Hong Ying saw that there was nothing to do, so she started to embroider a handkerchief. The silk threads were brightly colored, and the cloth felt very good to the touch. This high quality cloth was just for the wang fei to wipe her hands.
After about an hour, Hong Ying heard footsteps come from outside. There seemed to be the voices of servants making greetings. She hurriedly put down the things in her hand. When she walked to the door, she saw Wang Ye walking towards where she was. She hurriedly bowed her head and walked out the door before standing with bent knees beside the door.
“Wang Fei is asleep?” Yan Jin Qiu glanced at Hong Ying. Just as he asked, Hua Xi Wan’s voice came from the room.
“Originally asleep, but I was woken up by you.”
Smiling when he heard this, Yan Jin Qiu strode into the room. Seeing Hua Xi Wan leaning back against the chaise and appearing lazy, he walked to sit on the chaise. “If you are awake, sit with me.”
“It is so tiring to sit.” Hua Xi Wan leaned her upper body on Yan Jin Qiu. “How come you returned so late today—you didn’t even eat the noon meal in the fu.”
“It is because of Lin Ping Junma’s assassination.” Yan Jin Qiu put a hand at her waist and said in a cool tone, “The Judicial Office has found that the Crown Prince is connected to the matter, and caused the Emperor to be angry. He lectured the people of the Judicial Office.”
Hua Xi Wan used her hand to cover her mouth in a yawn. “Isn’t the Crown Prince still inside the Heavenly Prison?”
“Two days ago, the Emperor said that he wanted to release the Crown Prince, and then put him under house arrest in the Crown Prince’s fu. Who knew that the Judicial Office actually said at court today in front of all the officials that the Crown Prince is connected to the assassination of Lin Ping Junma and should not be released. How could the Emperor not feel embarrassment?”
“The people of the Judicial Office… are really daring.” Hua Xi Wan felt that this was too much of a coincidence, but she cautiously did not state this. “The Emperor did not punish the Judicial Office.” Since this occurred in the morning, some people already heard this. Hua Xi Wan had heard someone report about this matter before lunch.
“Even if the Emperor has the intentions to punish, he cannot do that unless he wants to leave behind the name of tyrant and despot in the history books.” Yan Jin Qiu’s smile carried some disdain. “If the Emperor had another son, he would probably unhesitatingly give up on the Crown Prince.”
Hua Xi Wan did not respond. With Qilong Emperor’s personality, he probably did not have any more good feelings left for the Crown Prince. But he only had this one son—it really was both pitiful and humorous.
If he really thought for the good of his people, he would depose this useless, brutish and lusty crown prince and adopt an outstanding child from the Imperial House. At least, he could guarantee the peace and prosperity for the people for at least a few more decades.
It was a pity that there were not many emperors in the world who were so generous.
“Wang Ye, this one has something to report.” Mu Tong’s voice was slightly careful as though what he was going to report would not make Yan Jin Qiu happy.
“Come in.” Yan Jin Qiu’s eyes were icy, but his hand at Hua Xi Wan’s waist was still as gentle as before.
“This small one greets Wang Ye, Wang Fei. People from the Crown Prince’s Fu have come to report that the Crown Princess has had good news for two months.”
“The Crown Princess is pregnant?” Yan Jin Qiu’s tone was strange as he looked at Mu Tong. After staring at Mu Tong for a long while, a sliver of a smile appeared on his face. “This is a joyous matter; our Great Zhao Dynasty will quickly have a crown grandson.”
Hua Xi Wan looked in puzzlement at Yan Jin Qiu and Mu Tong. These two seemed to have a strange attitude about the Crown Princess’ pregnancy.
“Since the Crown Princess is Pregnant, then I will visit the Crown Princess with gifts tomorrow,” Hua Xi Wan said with a smile. “The Crown Princess has finally fulfilled her hopes for a child.”
Mu Tong laughed dryly and did not dare to speak more.
“Since that is so, then I will trouble Xi Wan.” Yan Jin Qiu lowered his eyes and said, “The Crown Princess is pregnant with the crown grandson, and she is originally noble. We need to be careful regarding what gifts we give.”
“I understand.” Hua Xi Wan nodded. It was not important if they gave gifts. If something happened to the valuable crown grandson in the stomach, then even if their Xian Wang Fu had numerous excuses, all of them would be useless.
The next morning, Hua Xi Wan sat on the carriage and went to visit the Crown Princess. When she reached the gates of the Crown Prince’s Fu, she found that there were heavy guards stationed at the gates. The armor of the guards flashed with cold light and looked exceptionally intimidating.
When Hua Xi Wan got off the carriage, a female official had come to welcome her. She looked at the carriage next to her and asked, “Which noble personage has already arrived?”
“Xian Wang Fei, this is the carriage of Xu Wang Shizi Fei. Shizi Fei arrived fifteen minutes ago.” The female official originally had been stationed at Zhao Yang Hall, and was one of the palace maids who served the Emperor. However, in front of the nobility of Jing, she did not dare to be careless.
“So that is what it is. She is usually very considerate,” Hua Xi Wan said with a smile. “If I have to wake up this early every day, it is not possible. The colder the weather gets, the lazier people get.”
The female official smiled but did not dare to reply. Inside, she sighed. Xu Wang Shizi Fei had a mother-in-law ranking above her—how could she be as carefree as Xian Wang Fei? Also, everyone in Jing knew how much Xian Wang favored his wang fei. Not just lazing on bed, even if this one wanted the stars, Xian Wang would think of ways to obtain them.
They said that Xian Wang was a stylish gentleman and would naturally be romantic. Now that he had fallen under the spell of this Xian Wang Fei, he was just a normal husband. Some of the palace maids still thought about this Xian Wang who had both appearance and talent. They should look at how beautiful and exquisite Xian Wang Fei was. With their beauty and moves, could they even enter the eyes of Xian Wang?
After guiding Hua Xi Wan into the room where the Crown Princess was waiting, the female official left. As she left, without any reason, she looked back at Xian Wang Fei’s shadow. The hair was inky, the figure was exquisite, and as she stood, grandly dressed, in the room, she caused everyone else to dim.
She hurriedly moved her gaze away. After passing through the door, she sighed. If this one entered the palace, she would definitely be a consort who would rule the inner palace yet be a calamity. Fortunately… The female official slapped her face. What was she thinking—did she not want to live?
“Greetings to Crown Princess.” Before Hua Xi Wan could complete her curtsy, she was held up by the Crown Princess’ personal servant girl.
“Tang Dimei, there is no need for such courtesy.” There was a smile on the Crown Princess’ face as she invited Hua Xi Wan to sit down.
Hua Xi Wan sat down after exchanging greetings with Xu Wang Shizi Fei. She said, “I heard yesterday of the Crown Princess’ joyous news. This subject-wife is overjoyed and has come early to disturb you, Crown Princess. Who knew that Shizi Fei came earlier than subject-wife?”
“If I had known beforehand that Wang Fei was coming, I would have come later, so that you would be first.” The Shizi Fei covered her mouth and smiled. “It really is a crime.”
“No matter. I did not get first, but second is also very good,” Hua Xi Wan said with a smile. “I’m a lazy person to start with, so it is very rare for me to even obtain second.”
“It can be seen the pregnancy of the Crown Princess has caused Wang Fei to change your lazy personality.” Shizi Fei was willing to lend a helping hand to Hua Xi Wan. She turned and said to the Crown Princess, “Looking at how hard Wang Fei has worked, Crown Princess, you need to give her the most delicious pastries. She always likes little things to eat and play with.”
The Crown Princess smiled and said, “Tang Dimei is honoring me so, and I do not dare to neglect you. Shu Yun, quick, put out the best pastries and tea, and welcome our wang fei.”
The trio chatted and laughed. No one mentioned the Crown Prince, and they only talked about good matters. The atmosphere could be said to be harmonious.
However, Hua Xi Wan kept on feeling that the Crown Princess’ smile held another kind of emotion. Was she worried about the father of her child?
After a span of two cups of tea, someone came in with Sheng Junwang Fei. Hua Xi Wan immediately saw more servants present in the room, and the mood became slightly awkward.
Were they wary of Sheng Junwang Fei?
Sheng Junwang Fei gave a proper bow, and there was an appropriate smile on her face. There was no flaw that people could pick. When she acted like this, it caused the people from the Crown Prince Fu to seem overly cautious.
When Xu Wang Shizi Fei and Hua Xi Wan saw this situation, they did not feel it was interesting. They were also afraid that Sheng Junwang Fei would really commit an act which would drag them in, so the two found excuses to bid farewell.
Coming out of the main yard, the two exchanged a look and smiled. They did not speak much as they walked, but they both felt that they were exceptionally well-matched and in-sync.
When they separated, Xu Wang Shizi Fei suddenly bent to Hua Xi Wan’s ear and said a sentence in a light voice. Hua Xi Wan’s expression stilled slightly, and then she recovered her smile.
When she sat on the carriage, the smile on her face finally disappeared completely.
“The rumor is that it is hard for the Crown Prince to have children.”
These were Xu Wang Shizi Fei’s original words. There was too much information contained in these words.
Since it was difficult for the Crown Prince to have children, then who was the father of the child in the Crown Princess’ belly?
Translator Ramblings: Adnana suggested an extra chapter a week … … so here it is.
The assassination case has finally reached a conclusion … … or is it a hiatus.