This chapter has been brought to you by me and Adnana.
Jin Yang did not hear any of the calls by his ears. His mind was occupied by the person in the delivery room. Everything in the surroundings was not in his sight, nor in his hearing.
Someone seemed to stop him, and he kicked the other away. He only wanted to go in and see Jiu Jiu. Why were these people stopping him?
“Your Majesty, you cannot—Your Majesty!” He Ming did not dare to let Jin Yang charge in. He went to hug the other’s leg, and was kicked aside.
“Move away!” Jin Yang looked with red eyes at the palace attendants blocking him. He said, “If anyone dares to block Zhen, Zhen will kill you without mercy.”
“Your Majesty…” Bai Xian knelt in front of him and kowtowed. “Her Majesty will not want Your Majesty to be like this.”
Jin Yang paused in his steps and looked dazedly at the room. He walked to the doorway. Thinking of Bai Xian’s words, his hand stopped on the door.
Jiu Jiu’s cries of pain came from inside the room. His legs almost gave out, but Bai Xian managed to support him in time. “Your Majesty, please take care. Her Majesty is a blessed person and both mother and child will be safe.”
Pushing aside Bai Xian, he touched the jade pendant hanging from his neck with trembling hands. His vision was blurred. He did not want people to see him like this. After closing his eyes for a long time, he opened his eyes and said, “Bring cold tea.”
“Your Majesty, the spring is cold…” Bai Xian wallowed his words under Jin Yang’s murderous gaze, turning and presenting a cup of cold tea.
Ever since Jin Yang entered, Empress Dowager Zhou did not say anything. After Jin Yang took a few gulps of tea, she said, “Emperor, even if you are worried, you cannot do anything.”
“Mother-Empress.” Jin Yang saw that Empress Dowager Zhou was also in the outer room. He looked around and did not see his mother-in-law.
“Mistress Yang is inside with Jiu Jiu. As a mother, one will only be reassured if they are with their child.” Empress Dowager Zhou knew that Jin Yang could not calm down, and did not urge him to calm down, as she knew saying so was of no use.
Seeing Jin Yang like this, she suddenly thought of the previous emperor. They were both emperors of the Jin Clan, but the difference between them was like that between heaven and earth. Back when she had given birth, she had been in pain for a day and night. The previous emperor was even able to eat and sleep well, not to mention being as anxious as Jin Yang.
She rejoiced that Jin Yang was like this. Otherwise, if her beloved niece took the same path as her, she could not die in peace.
“So painful! Ah!”
Jin Yang’s hand shook, and the tea in his cup spilled out. He walked around the door. Hearing the cries grow more painful, he shoved his teacup into Bai Xian’s hand and slapped the door. “Jiu Jiu, do not be afraid. I am outside.
“I am with you—do not be afraid.”
Other than “do not be afraid,” Jin Yang could say nothing else. He tapped the door, wanting Gu Ru Jiu to hear his voice and know he was present.
Gu Ru Jiu was in such pain her vision was blacking out. Hearing Jin Yang’s voice, she could not help but say, “Jin Yang, you bastard!”
The hands of the midwives present shook. But seeing the empress flushed red and her head soaked with sweat, they bowed their heads and pretended not to hear.
Jin Yang nodded on the other side of the door. “Yes, yes, yes, I am a bastard. We will not give birth after this—no more.” His voice started to tremble like he was the one giving birth and the one who was most afraid.
For some reason, Gu Ru Jiu felt that her hearing was very good right now. She could even hear the panic and anxiousness in Jin Yang’s voice, and the trembling that could not be concealed.
Thinking of this man who would not change expression in the face of an earthquake in such a panic now, Gu Ru Jiu suddenly found it amusing and slightly comforting. She opened her eyes and looked at the ceiling. There was a beautiful lantern hanging there with flying dragons drawn on it, full of mystery and majesty.
“Bam!” The door to the delivery room was pushed aside. Jin Yang ran to the bed with a panicked expression. Seeing Gu Ru Jiu so disheveled, his eyes reddened again.
“Your Majesty…” Yang shi looked in surprise at Jin Yang, wanting to urge him to leave. But seeing his eyes red, she silently stood up and moved to the side.
“Jiu Jiu, I came.” Jin Yang grabbed Gu Ru Jiu’s hand and kissed the back of it. He reached out to brush her hair away from her face and said in a choked voice, “I will be with you.”
Gu Ru Jiu wanted to smile at Jin Yang, but the pain coming from her lower half was such that she could only jerk the corners of her lips.
“Your Majesty, this… this…” Bai Xian looked at the tightly closed door, and then back at the empress dowager, not knowing what to do. His Majesty was the monarch of the country. How could he go into the delivery room? It would be troublesome if this spread.
“This Grieving One trusts the people serving here are smart people. If something about what happened spreads”—Empress Dowager Zhou looked over everyone—”then it would not be suitable.”
The empress giving birth was a major matter. The ancestors, relatives, and birth dates of all who were serving had been investigated thoroughly. Anyone who was even the slightest bit unsuitable was not allowed to enter. Empress Dowager Zhou did not fear that anyone here had evil intentions, unless they wanted their entire family executed.
She looked in the direction of the room and said with a smile, “The emperor going in is good. After all… the dragon and phoenix together is auspicious.”
“Yes.” Bai Xian was reassured. As long as the empress dowager had no opinions, then this was not a major matter.
This was the third time Gu Ru Jiu was drinking ginseng soup as she felt weak all over and could not muster any energy.
Some times, when pain reached a certain point, one would become numb. She thought dazedly, once this child was born, she would definitely spank him.
There was another wave of pain. She looked at this man who was unknowingly shedding tears, and gripped his hand tight.
“Wao, wao, wao.”
The sound of a baby crying came.
“Born, born—an imperial son.”
“Congratulations, Your Majesties, congratulations.”
Outside the window, the sun was setting and the red clouds were connected together like there was an auspicious dragon coiling on the horizon.
Gu Ru Jiu dazedly felt someone was speaking by her ear, but she was so tired that she could not even open her eyes. She said, “Don’t be noisy; I want to sleep.”
The people beside her perceptively closed their mouths, and she finally fell asleep as she wished.
“Jiu Jiu?” Jin Yang gently called Gu Ru Jiu. Seeing her unresponsive, he looked worriedly at Yang shi.
“Your Majesty, do not worry—Her Majesty is just sleeping out of exhaustion.” Yang shi wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes and took the child the midwife had swaddled. She found the child had brows very similar to Jiu Jiu’s, while his nose and mouth was more like His Majesty’s. She held the child in front of Jin Yang. “Your Majesty, this is a healthy child.”
Jin Yang glanced at the child Jiu Jiu had taken half a day to give birth to. He was wrinkled and red, but he had good hair. He took the child for a moment. Turning to Gu Ru Jiu, he said in distress, “This boy really tormented his mother-empress.”
“Your Majesty, it is dirty here. Let’s send Her Majesty back to the room to rest,” Yang shi said after a moment of hesitation. “A woman’s body is not clean the first month after giving birth, and it is not very appropriate for her to stay in Purple Imperial Hall.”
“Jiu Jiu has always lived in Purple Imperial Hall. I worry she will not be used to another place,” Jin Yang said. “If it is inappropriate, then I will go sleep in the side hall.”
Yang shi opened her mouth, and did not speak for a moment. In the end, she could only say, “Let’s have someone come and…”
“No need.” Jin Yang handed the child to Yang shi. and then used a clean blanket to wrap around Gu Ru Jiu, carefully pulling her into his arms and carrying her out in the blanket. Because he worried that she would be exposed to the wind, he thoughtfully put a transparent silk cloth over her face.
Yang shi watched His Majesty carry Jiu Jiu carefully out of the delivery room, and thought, shocked—didn’t they say that His Majesty was weak? He seemed very energetic.
A newborn child should not be in the wind. Yang shi carried the child to the empress dowager to see, and then had the wet nurse carefully take the child away.
After everything finished, Yang shi felt weak all over, and covered in sweat. But thinking that her daughter had successfully birthed a son and the court officials had no more reason to demand the emperor take consorts, she sighed in relief.
If… His Majesty could treat Jiu Jiu like this for a lifetime, how good would that be?
The empress dowager looked out the window. The remaining light of the sunset turned her face red. When she saw a certain spot in the sky, she was dazed. She said after a moment, “Spiritual Master Chu Yun… was right.”
The lone dragon would not shine, the lone phoenix would cry blood. Only dragon and phoenix together would have harmony.
Gu Ru Jiu did not have a good sleep. She felt that her body was in a stove, so hot that she could not breathe. When she woke up, she found that she was soaked in sweat.
“Your Majesty, you are awake?” Matron Liu saw her wake, and said, “Stay reclined and do not move. This servant will massage your belly for you. That way, the blood will not congest and be bad for your body.”
The process that occurred was so miserable it could not be described. Gu Ru Jiu thought, aggrieved, it was too hard to be a woman. Why were women the ones who gave birth, and not men?
Before she finished feeling aggrieved, she saw Jin Yang walk in. She blinked and felt more aggrieved.
“What is it—are you in discomfort?” He lengthened his strides to reach the bedside and saw her covered in sweat. He reached out to touch her back. There was so much sweat that his palm was damp. He immediately frowned. “How come you are so hot?”
“Your Majesty, women are like this after giving birth. It will be better after a few days.” Matron Liu came with a dry handkerchief, prepared to wipe the sweat for Gu Ru Jiu, but Jin Yang got ahead of her. He wiped Gu Ru Jiu’s hands and face, and then switched handkerchiefs to wipe Gu Ru Jiu’s front and back. He wanted to do everything himself.
Seeing His Majesty like this, Matron Liu did not try to compete with him for work. She had a servant get a basin of hot water and wiped Gu Ru Jiu’s feet. “Your Majesty cannot touch water during your confinement. So you will have to bear with this for these days.”
Gu Ru Jiu felt slightly fortunate. Right now, it was spring, and she could endure not washing her hair. If this was summer, that would be…
Thinking of that scene, Gu Ru Jiu immediately frowned.
“Since Matron Liu says you cannot wash, then we will not.” Jin Yang wiped Gu Ru Jiu with a wet towel, and said softly by her ear, “In any case, I will not dislike you for being smelly!”
“Humph!” Gu Ru Jiu reached out and pinched his back. “Where is the child—let me see.”
“The child is in the right side hall.” Jin Yang had servants bring the child. Gu Ru Jiu took a look, and could not help but think—why was the child of her and Jin Yang this ugly?!
She reached out to softly touch the child’s cheek. “Chenjun, our child is so ugly—what can we do in the future?”
His father was handsome, and his mother was pretty, so why was he so ugly?! Gu Ru Jiu started to suspect that when she was pregnant, she did not think much about the child’s appearance, so he came out this ugly.
“No matter, I am here. Even if he is ugly, they do not dare to dislike him.” Jin Yang was also pretty worried for his son.
Matron Liu stood at the side, and almost burst out in laughter at the imperial couple. In her view, the imperial son was handsome right after being born. His ears were thick and his hair dense. He was already among the better-looking newborns. Why was he so ugly in the mouths of the imperial couple?
“Your Majesties, newborn children have not grown up. He will be better-looking after a few days.” Matron Liu was here on the order of the empress dowager to take care of Gu Ru Jiu. The empress dowager did not feel assured no matter who was taking care of Gu Ru Jiu in her confinement, so she was sent.
Who knew that on her first day, she encountered something like this.
“Really?” Gu Ru Jiu examined her son closely, and felt him more pleasing the more she looked. At this time, the child woke up with a hum. With his eyes half-lidded, he looked a bit stupid.
“His mouth is like you.” Gu Ru Jiu confirmed thrice before saying to Jin Yang. “His eyes are a bit like mine, but my eyes are not so small.”
“Maybe he has not grown into them?” Jin Yang examined seriously for a long time, and then concluded, “A bit ugly, that’s fine; appearance is not important. What should we call him now?”
“Yes…” Gu Ru Jiu thought for a while, “Zhuang Zhuang. It is fine if he is ugly, as long as he is healthy.”
Gu Ru Jiu spoke, and Jin Yang had no objections. He immediately nodded, and the nickname was decided.
Matron Liu looked at the imperial son in sympathy. As the first imperial son of the imperial house, his nickname was Zhuang Zhuang. It really was… very common.
Three days later, Yang shi saw that Gu Ru Jiu and the imperial son were well. After attending the three days washing ceremony, she suggested leaving. It was not appropriate for her to stay any longer. Gu Ru Jiu knew her mother’s worries, and did not keep her. She just had Yang shi bring lots of good things back for her nephew.
In the recent days, she had not slept well. Because the blankets were so hot, she would wake up because of the heat. She would wake up, and then fall asleep, and then wake up again. She was a bit dizzy.
She lived like this for about a week, and then it finally eased. Every day, she had the wet nurse bring Zhuang Zhuang over, and fed him twice. Jin Yang had not agreed at the start, but seeing her persist, he compromised.
However, looking at his son, he felt slightly envious and jealous.
Because the afternoon that Zhuang Zhuang was born, there were clouds that looked like flying dragons, it was spread as a lucky omen among the people. Some even said that this was a good omen, the heavens protecting Great Feng.
When the news reached the inner palace, Gu Ru Jiu felt that this was just a coincidence. If someone was bored and stared at the sky, then they would find clouds in the shape of all kinds of animals in the sky. But people liked lucky matters. So the people would rather think that it was a lucky omen from the heavens to Great Feng rather than just a coincidence.
Also, such a rumor was beneficial to the imperial house. So after the matter spread, the imperial house closed an eye to this.
Gu Ru Jiu felt that it was so painful to be in confinement, especially that she could not bathe. She did not know if it was just her, but she smelled all over. She did not know how Jin Yang managed to be so close to her every day, because even she could not stand herself.
“Do not think—you can bathe as you wish when you come out of confinement.” When Jin Yang learned what she thought, he kissed her on the lips lightly. “I heard that if one thinks too much after giving birth, it will hurt your mind.”
Gu Ru Jiu touched her lips, and smiled at Jin Yang.
Being able to kiss her like this, Jin Yang had an invincible love towards her.
The empress had birthed a son for the emperor. Not just the imperial house was happy, many of the monarchists in the court were very happy as well. The emperor had an heir. After more than twenty years, they finally had the birth of an imperial son!
Thinking of how the previous emperor had so many women, but only the empress dowager had given birth to twins, and they did not survive, they felt—what was the use in having so many consorts?!
Thinking of the deep feelings between the emperor and empress, many old subjects could not help but think—if the emperor did not want to take consorts, they would not mention it. Otherwise, the entire court would be unhappy, and it was not worth the gain.
Of course, there were people who went to congratulate the Gu Family. Everyone knew of the emperor’s feelings towards the empress. After the imperial son grew up, he would be the next emperor. Then the Gu Family would become the maternal family of the next emperor. If they did not try to gain favor now, when?
As for the Gu Family, they still looked undisturbed. If someone came to congratulate them, they would receive them politely; they would not offend or show off. No one could say a thing.
Many people were targeting the position of Gu Zhi Yu’s wife. The young mistress of the Gu Family had passed away four years ago. Could Heir Gu never remarry?
Heir Gu was skilled in the literary and martial arts, handsome, and did not have a son. If their daughters married, they would be just a stepmother in name. They did not have to be a real stepmother. This was a great choice.
Other people had thoughts, but the Gu Family did not respond. The families with daughters were too embarrassed to raise the topic and could only ask about it implicitly. After hearing the Gu Family did not plan on forcing Heir Gu to marry, they could not help but shake their heads. The Gu Clan were really righteous people.
Time passed quickly. Soon, the imperial son was more than three months old. The palace held a hundred years ceremony for him at Zhaoyang Hall.
The hundred years ceremony was held when the child was a hundred days old. Because the parents wanted the child to live a hundred years, the ceremony was called the hundred years ceremony.
The hundred years ceremony of the eldest imperial son was of extraordinary meaning, so everyone came with gifts that had lucky meanings.
Yang shi sat among the women and watched her grandson being carried over. She could not help but take a few more glances.
Mistress Hu saw this and smiled. “He looks very healthy.”
Yang shi nodded. “Healthy is good, healthy is good.”
Gu Ru Jiu carried the child. He was already more than five kilograms heavy. Her arms would be sore after carrying him for a while. Adding on that she had not recovered completely after giving birth and was still a bit weak, she said to Jin Yang in a whisper, “You carry.”
Jin Yang heard this, and took the child over. Then he reached out to tease the baby, and Zhuang Zhuang laughed and waved his arms.
The people below saw the emperor carry the child with skill, and immediately understood. It seemed that the emperor must frequently carry his child in private. Otherwise, he would not be so skilled.
A child three months old could not keep their neck straight. People who did not frequently carry children would not know how to carry a child like this.
It seemed that His Majesty greatly valued the eldest imperial son. Otherwise, he would not be able to do this.
The men saw this, and the women saw more—that the emperor was a good father. Many men, when their children were able to run and jump, still did not know how to carry them. This was the emperor, yet he frequently carried his child. He was also in love with his wife. Such a man was rare in the world.
If there was no comparison, there was no harm. After they went home that day, many men were looked down on by their women. If someone said that husbands should not take care of such things, women would speak of Jin Yang as the example. Their husbands would then be speechless.
Even the emperor could do this. You cannot?
Therefore many men, regardless of whether they were willing or not, took their children along. After a while, their relationship with their wife and children grew better.
The emperor and empress were in harmony, and there was an heir. For most people in the court, this was a wonderful thing. But for Prince Rui and Li Guang Ji, it was not so happy.
There was a stone table beside the lotus pond. Li Guang Ji looked at Prince Rui with an insincere smile. “Your Highness has come today. Is there a matter?”
“Naturally, there is something to discuss.” Prince Rui said this, and then saw a beautiful woman dressed as a married woman come over with a tray. He stopped speaking.
“Your Highness, Master, please enjoy.” The beautiful woman put down the teacups, bowed gracefully to the two, and then left.
Prince Rui saw Li Guang Ji’s gaze stay a long time on the woman before leaving. He said with a smile, “This is a recent concubine of Prime Minister?”
Li Guang Ji smiled, but did not refute. He lifted the tea lid and scraped the tea foam. “Your Highness, please speak directly.”
“Prime Minister is really refreshing.” Prince Rui laughed. “How has Prime Minister been recently?”
“Prosperous and well.” Li Guang Ji took a sip of tea.
“We should speak clearly.” Prince Rui smiled disdainfully. “In this prince’s view, Minister Li is having a hard time in court, and is suspected by the emperor.”
Hearing Prince Rui say this, Li Guang Ji was not annoyed. He smiled. “Where do Your Highness’s words come from?”
“Back during the time of the previous emperor, all matters of the court could not leave you. Right now…” Prince Rui snorted. “Now, that Zhang Zhong Han who came from a common background has taken the glory from you.”
“Ten years west of the river, ten years east. This is normal.” Li Guang Ji raised his eyebrows, shook his head, and sighed. “This subject has always been loyal to His Majesty. His Majesty will know sooner or later.”
“What if he doesn’t know?” Prince Rui asked with a smile.
“Doesn’t know…” Li Guang Ji put down the teacup, and said coldly, “Then this one has no choice.”
The summer light passed through the leaves of the tree, and left mottled marks on the stone table.