The Situation Has Gone Out of Control
Zhang Yuan did not know if imperial concubine Yun would come. Even if he knew at heart, he did not dare to say it. Over the course of all these years, imperial concubine Yun had always been the one that the Emperor yearned for the most. Although he had taken care of the Emperor from a young age, and the Emperor had treated him even more kindly, Zhang Yuan still knew that there were some things that could be said and others that could not. Especially when it came to imperial concubine Yun, it was best to avoid speaking as much as possible.
Seeing that Zhang Yuan did not speak, the Emperor quietly snorted then fell silent. Turning back around, he turned his eyes back to the report and muttered: “Then just let her kneel! What if she does come.”
Thus the father daughter pair of Feng Yu Heng and Feng Jin Yuan continue to kneel in the square in front of Heavenly Hall. Zhang Yuan stayed in the Hall with the Emperor, helping look over reports.
The Emperor was only thinking of imperial concubine Yun. Once again, he spent a long time on the same report without even turning a page, and Zhang Yuan could not be bothered to expose him.
However, the Emperor was getting up there in age. Although he was thinking of imperial concubine Yun, he could not avoid the need to sleep. Zhang Yuan watched his eyes slowly begin to droop, as the report in his hand was put down. His elbow was no longer able to support his body. In the end, he slumped over the table and fell asleep.
Helplessly shaking his head, he went and covered the Emperor in a coat but did not dare wake him. He feared that there would be some sort of movement from Winter Moon Palace, and he would be unable to react in time. If the Emperor lost another chance to meet with imperial concubine Yun, Zhang Yuan thought that his old master would succumb to this final hurdle.
However, over this night, not to mention Winter Moon Palace, even the other palaces did not make any moves. Not even the Empress had come to visit.
Heavenly Hall was quiet and warm from the burning charcoal. It was very suitable for sleeping. The Emperor slept until the sun had come out the next day. As he was still sleeping, he felt someone forcefully shaking him. Opening his eyes, he found that it was Zhang Yuan.
“What are you doing?” As he was getting up, he was a little irritated.
Zhang Yuan anxiously said: “Your Majesty, quickly wake up. You can’t continue to sleep.”
The Emperor’s eyes lit up and immediately sat up. Grabbing Zhang Yuan firmly with his hands, he quickly asked: “Could it be that she came? We knew it! She treats that girl extremely well, so she would definitely not be able to endure watching her continue kneeling there.”
Zhang Yuan’s expression dropped, “Your Majesty! It’s not imperial concubine Yun. Imperial concubine did not come.”
“She didn’t come?” The Emperor was stunned, as a visible disappointment appeared on his face, “Then what have you woken Us up for?” Saying this, he slumped back down on the table.
Zhang Yuan grabbed hold of him, “Your Majesty! Imperial concubine Yun did not come, but… his Highness the ninth prince returned!”
“His Highness the ninth prince!”
The Emperor raised his hand and slapped his forehead, “It’s over, the situation is out of control! How did that brat get back here so fast?” After saying this, he raised his foot and kicked toward Zhang Yuan: “Why did you not wake Us up earlier?”
Zhang Yuan was on the verge of tears: “I tried to wake you earlier, but you would not wake up!”
As they spoke, there was already a sound that came from the outside. The two both looked over in unison and saw that Feng Yu Heng, who had been kneeling outside, had stood up. She was pushing Xuan Tian Ming’s wheelchair and walking in. One step at a time, it caused the Emperor’s heart to tremble.
“It’s over.” The Emperor quietly muttered, “Say, will Ming’er be mad at Us?”
Zhang Yuan quietly said: “Most likely… yes.”
“Then how should it be resolved?”
“Give a bit of compensation.”
The Emperor’s head hurt. Give “a bit” of compensation? Based on the things those two did, which of them was even remotely close to “a bit?”
With a bitter face, he looked at both Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng. Both of them were now in the middle of the hall. The girl had kneeled for a night, yet she still appeared to be in good spirits, and she did not look very tired.
But Xuan Tian Ming, by comparison, was much worse off. He had rushed back from the military camp and directly entered the palace. A cold aura exuded from his body. Of course, compared to the cold aura, the angry expression was even more shocking.
The Emperor awkwardly spoke, “Uh… Ming’er, you’ve returned!”
“Hmph!” Xuan Tian Ming rolled his eyes in an exaggerated manner, “If I did not come back, would you not have taken my wife out and had her executed?”
The Emperor repeatedly waved his hand: “That can’t be!”
“No?” Xuan Tian Ming became furious, “I don’t even have the heart to bully my wife, yet you had her kneel out there for the entire night? What sort of heart do you have? Huh? What exactly were you thinking? What did you hope would happen?”
This series of questions frayed the Emperor’s nerves, as he loudly shouted: “Impudent! I am your father Emperor, and I am the ruler of the country. Could it be that I no longer have the right to punish a person? Also, she is clear on what she did!”
Xuan Tian Ming was about to explode, but Feng Yu Heng used some force and pressed down on his shoulder, suppressing some of his anger. She then walked around the wheelchair and saluted the Emperor: “Daughter-in-law is guilty! His Highness the third prince was lacking in ability. Thinking more on this matter, how could this have been hidden from father Emperor’s keen eyes. Father Emperor has kept quiet about it for all these years in order to give his Highness the third prince some face, but daughter-in-law was lacking in understanding and actually went to expose it. I hope father Emperor will hand down punishment.”
The Emperor massaged his temples, unable to put his hand down.
Fuck, was this damn girl exactly the same as the ninth child? But this excuse was quite good. How about… using this excuse!
“Hah hmph!” He cleared his throat then sternly said: “A-Heng! If you know your crime, that’s good.”
Feng Yu Heng raised an eyebrow. This matter had been resolved? She reached into her pocket and pulled out the death waiver that she had signed with Xuan Tian Ye, “Father Emperor, please look. Daughter-in-law does not dare hide anything.”
Zhang Yuan quickly walked forward and brought it to the Emperor. Upon seeing it, the Emperor because furious once more: “He truly does not know how profound the world is! Does he not know that he is lacking? To even sign a death waiver, Xuan Tian Ye is simply looking to die! If he died, so be it!” As he spoke, he became more and more spirited, asking Feng Yu Heng: “I heard that you left him within an inch of his life? Hah, you too, you may as well have just whipped him to death to resolve all problems. What is the point of leaving him alive? What is the point of keeping such a worthless person alive?”
Feng Yu Heng thought to herself, if I really did whip him to death, you would not be saying this. But that was just what she thought to herself. She did not dare to actually say this, as she quickly said: “His Highness the third prince is a prince. Daughter-in-law does not dare.”
Xuan Tian Ming was finally unable to endure and continued; however, he said to the Emperor: “Don’t keep urging my wife to kill people. If you have the ability, go kill him yourself.”
The Emperor glared: “If I could kill him, would I still need to use her?”
Feng Yu Heng frowned. What was this situation?
But the two did not continue to discuss this matter, as Xuan Tian Ming said: “Third brother was lacking in ability, and they even signed a death waiver. Being beaten is just his luck. My wife is not wrong in this matter to begin with. Having kneeled for a night for no reason, you need to take responsibility.”
The Emperor thought to himself that he simply wanted to draw imperial concubine Yun out. As a result, she could not be drawn out, but this plague god had been drawn out. Retribution had come too quickly!
“She’s your wife, what responsibility do you want me to take?” He was still angry and could not be bothered with using the royal We, simply referring to himself using me.
Xuan Tian Ming nodded, “Right, you don’t need to take responsibility. I used the incorrect word. It should be pay reparations.”
Zhang Yuan gave the Emperor a look. This look came with the message: See, I said it would be coming.
There was nothing the Emperor could do and simply said: “Then what sort of reparation do you two want?”
Feng Yu Heng did not know what Xuan Tian Ming was planning, and she did not feel that she could request anything from the Emperor, thus she remained silent and looked at Xuan Tian Ming.
Xuan Tian Ming then said: “Of the four countries that border Da Shun, which one does father Emperor find to be most troubling?”
Huh? The Emperor was stunned. Why had it become about this? Thinking a little, he spoke truthfully: “Qian Zhou is the most irritating.”
Xuan Tian Ming snorted coldly, “I don’t know who it is, but when they see that eldest princess, their heart softens. I still have not told imperial concubine mother about this. I will tell her about it later when there is nothing better to do.”
“W-w-w-wait! What are you going to mention to your imperial concubine mother? What are you doing that for?” This Emperor only had thoughts of imperial concubine Yun. As for his sons, he also unconditionally favored Xuan Tian Ming. It had to be said that he lost half of his reasoning when faced with Xuan Tian Ming. When it came to imperial concubine Yun, it directly dropped to zero. Aside from reasoning, there was also intellect. His intellect also dropped to zero. Now that he heard Xuan Tian Ming say that he would go and make up stories to tell imperial concubine Yun, he immediately lost it, “I was indeed a little soft-hearted when I saw the eldest princess of Qian Zhou, but it is not because I favored her. It was because I remembered your imperial aunt.”
“Tsk.” Xuan Tian Ming coldly snorted, “That’s a one-sided statement.”
“It’s not!” The Emperor became furious and pulled Zhang Yuan over, “Speak!”
Zhang Yuan had a bitter expression and thought to himself: Your Majesty, how could my words be of any worth! But he still bit the bullet and said: “Your Highness, his Majesty only gave Qian Zhou’s eldest princess some face because of the late eldest princess.”
The Emperor continued: “That’s right. After that, your wife whipped her daughter into that condition, yet I did not say anything, right? You two collaborated and extorted them of ten million taels of gold, yet did I not pretend not to notice? It’s clear that I do not take them to heart! Ming’er, be obedient and don’t spout nonsense to your imperial concubine mother.” By the end, it was practically a plea.
Feng Yu Heng had become more and more curious about what had happened between imperial concubine Yun and the Emperor. The Emperor actually favored her to such a degree that he did not hesitate in the slightest to put aside his status as the ruler to speak kindly with Xuan Tian Ming. She was truly curious, much too curious!
Xuan Tian Ming nodded and did not trouble him any further.
The Emperor saw him nod, and his mood improved drastically, quickly saying: “A-Heng, push him a little closer. Right, you two come closer to speak with me. Don’t keep standing so far.”
Feng Yu Heng did as instructed, as Xuan Tian Ming spat out: “Don’t we need to observe the rules when interacting with the ruler!”
The Emperor wondered to himself: Did he even care about the ruler? “Don’t bring up such pointless things. Hurry up and get over here!”
Thus Feng Yu Heng obediently pushed him over. Upon arriving, it was Xuan Tian Ming that spoke up first, saying: “Since you do not have any interest in that eldest princess, let’s just take over Qian Zhou!”
The Emperor just happened to have taken a sip of tea. Upon hearing what Xuan Tian Ming had said, he spat it out.
“What nonsense? Take over?” The Emperor wiped his forehead, “Ming’er! Do you view Qian Zhou in the same way as a cup of tea? Can it be taken over just by saying it?”
Feng Yu Heng blinked, “Father Emperor, although it would not be so easy as that, it is not as difficult as you believe.”
The Emperor asked Feng Yu Heng: “I know that you are irritated by the Feng family’s new head wife. If she really annoys you that much, just close the door and whip her some more, but something like fighting a battle, it would be best not to do.”
Xuan Tian Ming’s eyes lit up: “Then what should we do about our reparations?”
The Emperor was puzzled, “What do our reparations have to do with Qian Zhou?”