This chapter has been provided to you by me, and leecherleechleech.
My grammar is probably a terrible thing to inflict on people and I’m so grateful to everyone who helps pick out my mistakes and make the translation a better experience.
A staple of Chinese drama has arrived – the letter written in blood. I always wondered how they would figure out if it was really that person’s blood or if they just faked it. Especially when the person had died already.
Chapter Fifty Rumors
A letter personally written by Rui Wang in his own blood was quickly presented by Shu guifei in front of Qing De Emperor. Shu guifei knelt down in front of Qing De Emperor as she cried, her tears like the pear blossoms in the rain. Even though she didn’t defend Rui Wang, her actions were already worth more than a thousand words.
The blood letter was almost completely splattered with bloody tears. Firstly, its contents showed his concern for Qing De Emperor’s body and secondly, it expressed his longing for the emperor. Because he couldn’t leave the fu, he could only kowtow in the direction of the palace. Thirdly, it defended him, proclaiming how innocent he was and that he was mistakenly accused by others. Lastly, it asked Qing De Emperor to protect his health and not suffer because of this unfilial son.
When Qing De Emperor saw the dense mass of dark red characters on the snowy white cloth, his heart had already half-softened. After reading the entire missive, he sighed and helped Shu guifei up. He patted Shu guifei’s hand and comforted her: “Zhen knows that lao san was wronged. This matter, zhen will have someone to take a closer look.”
Understanding the emperor’s meaning, Shu guifei tearfully replied: “Thank you, Emperor.” Inside, she was a bit smug. For someone as devious as Jing guifei, it didn’t matter how many plots she had. As long as she was favoured, no one would be able to shake her and her son’s position.
Around the same time at Zhong Jing Palace, Jing guifei watched coldly as Wei Qin shi cried in front of her. Technically, Wei Qin shi’s husband was of the same branch as her and she should be courteous, but she really didn’t like the petty-mindedness of Wei Qin shi. She looked shrewd but what she said was so idiotic that she felt nauseous upon hearing it.
“Ran Shuang has been sick these past days. I, as her mother, feel so terrible just seeing her. Niangniang, what should we do?,” Wei Qin shi wiped away the scarce tears lingering at the corner of her eyes. She hesitated before asking, “Chen fu heard that not many people are serving in His Highness’ fu, why don’t … …” When she raised her head, she saw that guifei niangniang’s eyes had gone cold and she swallowed the rest of her words.
“If niece’s body isn’t good, ben gong will send a message for the Imperial Hospital to take a look. Girls should be pampered, the body cannot be harmed. Otherwise, it could affect the heir.” Jing guifei gave an aloof smile and turned to order the person beside her to send a message to the Imperial Hospital.
Wei Qin shi’s face slightly changed. Seeing the palace maid walk out to summon the taiyi, she gritted her teeth: “Niangniang, Our Ran Shaung is a good guniang. Why doesn’t she go to the wang fu to serve? It would help cement old ties.”
Jing guifei raised her teacup to take a sip. After hearing Wei Qin shi’s words, she didn’t fly into a rage. She drawled slowly: “Ran Shuang is such a good girl. How can tang sao bear to part with her just to go serve ben gong’s useless son?”
“His Highness Duan Wang is of magnificent bearing. Chen fu has never seen a more outstanding young person than His Highness,” Wei Qin shi flattered, “To go into the wang fu to serve is our yatou’s great fortune. There’s no such thing as bearing it.”
Jing guifei knew that Wei Qin shi was short-sighted but she hadn’t known that she could be this shameless. If Wei Ran Shuang got married, the husband and his family would treat her well because of her and Heng’er. Now, she was breaking her head trying to get into the wang fu but Heng’er didn’t have any interest in her. This was inviting humiliation upon herself. Furthermore, after this matter, the branch of her tang xiong would only be the lesser maternal family of a qie to Duan Wang Fu and not the elders.
Putting down the teacup, Jing guifei replied with a jerk of her lips: “Heng’er has married his wang fei already. Wang fei is virtuous and able, ben gong cannot allow Heng’er to take a qieshi. Ben gong will not participate in this kind of matter. If niece still wants to be a qie, then tang sao should find Heng’er to discuss it.” She raised her hand in conclusion, “Ben gong is tired and won’t keep tang sao company.”
Wei Qin shi could only stand and bow in farewell. Jing guifei disdainfully looked on as she left, remarking in a light voice: “No wonder their branch had no achievements from the generation of grandfather onwards. What kind of brains do they have? If they request to see ben gong in the future, reject all of them.”
She, a respected and titled guifei, didn’t need to curry favour with a distantly-related tang sao. Even her true tang brother’s wife was full of respect in front of her. This Wei Qin shi was only married to the eldest grandson of her grandfather’s brother, she wasn’t anything. Did she think that because her branch was prosperous and well-mannered, they would also be soft and easy-going?!
To ask for such humiliation, it was disgusting. Because Wei Ran Shuang had this kind of mother, she wouldn’t let her enter Duan Wang Fu.
He Heng didn’t know that others were thinking about him. Hearing that He Yuan had already sent a blood letter into the palace, he smoothed his chin as he opened the curtains of the sedan window. Looking at the bustling crowds, he gave a light laugh.
He had already anticipated He Qi making his move against the imperial envoys. But he still had some decency and didn’t let them seriously harm lao si. Now that the matter had grown in significance, He Qi wanted to take advantage of the situation to suppress lao san. But he still had to consider Shu guifei in the hougong and whether fuhuang was willing to let this charge fall on the head of lao san.
As expected, on the second day, Qin De Emperor expressed his doubt about the evidence He Qi had presented at the Royal Court. In his speech, he even expressed his suspicion that He Qi hadn’t actually fulfilled his duties. Even though He Qi tried to explain further, ultimately he was ordered to continue investigating.
He Heng stood at the side, looking at the humiliation and helplessness on He Qi’s face as he knelt on the ground. He turned to glance at the others at Court. These officials also had their faces facing the ground but this time, they couldn’t help but feel that fuhuang was foolish as well. Just to protect Rui Wang, he deliberately censored Ning Wang. The wounds that the Right Minister Wei and Cheng Wang had received were for nothing.
Thinking about the Emperor’s mediocrity and partialness, and the arrogance of Rui Wang, many of the senior officials present felt cold inside. The Right Minster Wei was one of the emperor’s closest confidants and Cheng Wang was the emperor’s youngest child. The two were wounded so seriously but that didn’t hold as much importance compared to Rui Wang’s few words of complaint. If this continued, what would happen to the Da Long Dynasty?
“Emperor, His Highness Rui Wang is the most suspicious person in this matter. Please, Emperor, temporarily imprison Rui Wang until the matter has been investigated thoroughly before making a decision,” An official moved forward to kneel down, “Please, Emperor.”
“Enough, zhen has already made a decision on this matter. There’s no need to speak anymore,” Qing De Emperor raged, “Get out.”
“Emperor, have you already forgotten Imperial Censor Zhao who had died running into a pillar?” The official kowtowed and asked, “If this matter has no connection with His Highness Rui Wang, who else would try to assassinate the imperial envoy? This official postulates that perhaps Rui Wang had a guilty conscience, and in order to stop the envoys from investigating, committed such an act. But thankfully, Right Minister Wei and His Highness Cheng Wang were not mortally wounded and His Highness Rui Wang did not make a great mistake.”
Was this how Rui Wang’s crime would be resolved? He Heng lowered his head to look at the official. He wasn’t an essential official of the Royal Court. His forehead was beaded with sweat and he looked nervous. He couldn’t help but look at the still kneeling He Qi. This person was one of lao da’s? What kind of blackmail did lao da have against him that he had to step out at such a difficult time?
“Please, Emperor, reconsider.” One of the officials behind He Heng followed in kneeling down.
“Please, Emperor, reconsider!” Within a few minutes, more than half of the people at Court had knelt down. Of these people, only a fraction were lao da’s people. In their hearts, they all believed that the mastermind behind the assassination was He Yuan and were bitterly disappointed by the emperor’s attitude so they decided to came out at this time.
Qing De Emperor hadn’t thought that this many people would oppose him. His face reddened in anger but he didn’t want to let go. He took a deep breath to continue: “These events are only Imperial Censor Zhao’s retelling. Rui Wang could have been mistakenly accused. Zhen cannot sentence without investigating the matter thoroughly.”
Who knew that the officials would still kneel with their backs straight, not saying a word?
Qing De Emperor was so angered by these people to the point that his face changed color. He turned and swept away, leaving everyone in the hall. He Heng jerked his mouth. His fuhuang was always like this. He was narrow-minded, prejudiced and worst of all, he had no great skill at ruling. No wonder lao san had been spoiled by him into his current state.
The news that the Emperor had taken the side of Rui Wang and refused to sentence him quickly swept through Jing. Those who had suffered at the hands of Rui Wang added to the news as they spread it. Soon, the Emperor became known as an unwise and unfair person. One son had nearly been murdered but he still favoured another son.
No one dared to speak the words in broad daylight but nothing could stop the common people from writing this incident into a story with imaginary characters. Some storytellers made it into a performance. Those who heard the story all swore at the parent for being unfair and how innocent and pitiful the youngest son was.
The storm grew bigger and bigger. When it passed into the ears of Qing De Emperor, it had already finished spreading throughout Jing. Even three-year-olds had heard a version of the story. He was instantly provoked into spitting out another mouthful of blood. Inside, he was starting to wonder if this incident had been ordered by lao da. How else would have the rumors spread so quickly in Jing?
He couldn’t scold his son at the moment so Qing De Emperor summoned the commander of the Imperial Guards to scold instead and ordered him to imprison those who were spreading the rumors.
The commander of the Imperial Guard came out of the Imperial Study with a distraught face. Right now, the incident had already spread and yet the Emperor had sent down an order to catch the people. Wasn’t this pouring oil on top of the fire? But since the Emperor gave him an order, he had to do it even if he didn’t want to. He felt his head grow two sizes bigger just thinking about it.
Coming out of the palace gate, he happened to see Duan Wang preparing to enter his carriage. Instantly, his eyes lit up. He strode forward with large steps and performed a greeting, intoning: “Wei chen greets Your Highness Duan Wang.”
He Heng turned his head. Seeing the Commander of the Imperial Guards Sun Bo Hai, he stopped and replied: “Commander Sun.”
Sun Bo Hai didn’t waste any time on pleasantries, stating: “The Emperor has ordered wei chen to manage the rumors in Jing and those who spread the rumors will be imprisoned in jail. But wei chen is afraid of not satisfactorily fulfilling the order, could wang ye give wei chen a suggestion?”
“How about first sending down the order, clearly stating that these people are not allowed to spread rumors? If they are found, they will be sent to jail. Ben wang heard that the rumors at Niu Wei Street were the most extensive. Commander Sun could send someone there to take a look.” He Heng gave a faint smile as he concluded, “Ben wang still has other matters to attend to and will leave first.”
“Great thanks to wang ye for such a clever plan. Respectful farewell, wang ye.” Commander Sun watched as Duan Wang Fu’s carriage travel far away, releasing a breath inside. The Niu Wei Street that Duan Wang had mentioned was the gathering place for local bullies and hoodlums. It wasn’t really unjust to send those people to jail. He could also report to the Emperor about the completion of his duties.
He Heng returned to the wang fu and found that a slightly above-average carriage had been parked outside the gates of the wang fu. He raised an eyebrow and asked the gatekeeper, “People came to the fu?”
“Wang ye, it’s Wei furen and Wei xiaojie. Wang fei is receiving the two.” The gatekeeper replied in a small voice.
Hearing this, He Heng’s brows creased. What was the family doing here?