This chapter has been brought to you by me, ororomonroe90, vivie and leecherleechleech.
The title is a bit of a giveaway.
Chapter One Hundred and Seven Birth of a Son
Lu Yu Rong knelt as she listened to the Ministry of Rites’ official finish reciting the Imperial Decree before respectfully kowtowing along with her family. She watched as her father received the Imperial Decree from the official. Her expression wasn’t joyful nor angry, and no one was able to see her thoughts regarding the marriage.
After the Rites official left, Lu furen looked worriedly at the Imperial Decree: “Lao ye, what are we going to do, Rui Jun Wang’s personality …” Everyone knew what Rui Jun Wang’s personality was like. Her daughter marrying that kind of a person, what good days would she have?
Even more, the Emperor wasn’t close to Rui Jun Wang. Shu gui taifei was at odds with the two Empress Dowagers and had once even done an idiotic thing as to try to harm the Empress. Their Lu Family becoming connected to Rui Jun Wang, it was a great problem.
“Don’t worry, since the Emperor decreed the marriage, it shows that he trusts our Lu Family,” Lu Jing Hong sighed, not knowing if he was comforting Lu furen or himself, “Furthermore, Rui Jun Wang has no real power right now. What does the Emperor have to be suspicious of?”
Luo furen knew that the matter was set in stone and there was no benefit in discussing it anymore. She was only feeling sorry for her daughter, marrying a powerless member of the Imperial Family.
“Mother doesn’t have to be worried for me,” Lu Yu Rong squeezed out a smile, “Rui Jun Wang is still a jun wang. Also, he has no children in his fu. Daughter might be marrying over as the second wife, but the first one was divorced, so I’m not that different from the original. Furthermore, another person might not be better a better match than Rui Jun Wang.”
Lu Jing Hong’s di son, Lu Zhan, heard his meimei’s words and ground his teeth: “Meimei don’t worry, gege will be here. If Rui Jun Wang dares to bully you, gege will go accuse him in front of the Emperor to bring you back.”
“It’s not that scary,” The smile on Lu Jing Rong’s face became brighter. She looked at the Imperial Decree in Lu Jing Hong’s hands, “Life, it’s just like that.”
Once the words came out, the Lu family became silent. No matter what, they felt they had fallen short for their daughter.
When the peach flowers were in full bloom, He Heng, after the officials begged him three times, finally changed the era name to Jia You, and informed the ancestors to use the first year of Jia You to count the years. At the same time, the world started calling He Heng by Jia You Emperor.
In the fourth month of the first year of Jia You, rain continued to come down for a few days, but what made He Heng feel restless wasn’t the fine rain but Qu Qing Ju, who was close to childbirth. As the time grew closer, he became more and more nervous. A woman giving birth, it was like a foot in life and a foot in death. Thinking about the frightening event, he couldn’t calm himself.
It was now the end of the fourth month, but due to continuing rainfall for three days, the weather was slightly cold. He Heng finished reading the memorandum in his hands, and prepared to go to the rear palace, when he saw Ming He rush in, and make a sloppy bow.
“Emperor, Empress is giving birth.”
“What?!” His expression changed slightly, he stood and took large steps, not even taking the time to change the robe he was wearing, which was stained with drops of ink.
When they came to the rear hall of Tian Qi Palace, the door to the delivery room had been closed. He Heng didn’t know that his pale face had frightened all the palace attendants. He looked at the tightly secured door to the delivery room, demanding gravely: “When did the Empress start labor?”
“This morning, the Empress felt her belly hurt and let nubi help her take a bath and then a meal. She walked for a while in the room before entering the delivery room,” Jin Zhan bowed as she narrated, “Please, Emperor, don’t worry. The midwife mama said that zhuzi’s fetus is in a good position and it will be a smooth delivery.”
He Heng’s brain was a mess. He unconsciously raised a teacup for a drink, “Why not tell zhen earlier?”
“Niangniang said that Emperor had many state affairs and to let nubi inform you when she entered the delivery room,” Jin Zhan heard the anger in the Emperor’s words and knelt down fearfully in front of He Heng, “Pease, Emperor, don’t be angry.”
Waving to let the palace maid who’d answered stand, he wasn’t in a good mood, but still recognized that the palace maid was one of Qu Qing Ju’s personal maids. So he didn’t want to lash out at her, and continuously downed tea.
When Empress Dowager Wei and Muhou Empress Dowager rushed over, they saw the black face of the Emperor and a silent room. There wasn’t even much sound coming from the delivery room. Their hearts grew cold as they assumed that the Empress wasn’t well, and asked urgently, “How’s the Empress?”
“Empress Dowager, just now a midwife mama came out to say the Empress was fine and had drank a bowl of ginseng porridge.” Jin Zhan carefully answered, ‘But His Highness would have to take some more time before being born.”
“Childbirth is a hardship for women,” Empress Dowager looked worriedly around the room and walked to sit down on a chair. She even forgot to invite Muhou Empress Dowager to sit down as well. Her brows creased as she said to Jin Zhan, “Tell the other servants to be careful. Anything the midwives want, you have to immediately send it in, understand?”
“Nubi will remember,” Jin Zhan turned to walk outside the hall and pass the Empress Dowager’s decree to the other servants.
Muhou Empress Dowager sat down next to Empress Dowager Wei. She had rarely seen the Empress Dowager Wei be so panicked and could only comfort: “Meimei, don’t be too worried. These days, the taiyi and the pregnancy mama all said that the position of the child is very good. Very quickly, you can hug your big grandson.”
Empress Dowager forced a smile. Her gaze still fixed on the door to the delivery room, not even noticing the bow He Heng gave her.
He Heng saw the two Empress Dowagers arrive but his mental state didn’t calm down much. With a stomachful of tea, he couldn’t help standing and started pacing in circles around the room. After a few minutes, sweat dotted his forehead. He didn’t know whether it was from nervousness or the heat.
The palace attendants in the room didn’t dare to even breathe heavily. Watching as the Emperor becoming more and more jittery, they wished to push their heads down even further in hopes that the Emperor wouldn’t see them.
A shout of pain from Qu Qing Ju finally passed out of the room. He Heng rushed forward a few steps to the door of the delivery room. But after listening, he couldn’t hear any more noises and couldn’t resist asking: “Why hasn’t there been news?”
Ming He looked at the hourglass from the corner of his eye. It had just been half an hour. He might be a taijian but even he knew that it wasn’t so easy for most women to give birth the first time.
“Why hasn’t the Empress made a sound?” He Heng pointed at a palace maid, “Go take a look.”
“The Empress is giving birth, there’s nothing for the other people to do,” Empress Dowager Wei stood to walk next to He Heng. She restrained the panic in her own heart, “Look at the time. That year that aijia gave birth to you, it took the entire night. Don’t panic, no one has come out from inside. That means that the Empress is fine.”
He Heng roughly wiped at the sweat on his forehead and paced around the room twice. If it wasn’t for the stupid protocols of the Imperial Family and his worry that others would say things about Qing Ju in the future, he would have burst in already, and wouldn’t be so frantic outside the door.
The quiet surroundings made him feel it was harder to endure. He didn’t know how much time passed when he seemed to have heard the midwife mama inside the room say something. He couldn’t resist pressing himself against the door, wanting to see from the crack of the door. But to prevent the wind from entering the delivery room, all the curtains had been shut down. Other than a patch of black, he couldn’t see anything else.
An unknown amount of time later, He Heng felt many hours had passed when in reality it had been only one hour, just when he wasn’t able to resist trying to push his way in, cries of an infant sounded suddenly from the delivery room. The wailing was so loud it seemed to burst through the roof.
He Heng exhaled greatly and realized that his entire body felt weak, and the tea in his belly was pushing uncomfortably.
“Congratulations Empress Dowagers, Emperor,” One of the midwife mamas jubilantly opened the door and walked out, another midwife mama behind her carrying a swaddled infant. Kneeling down in front of the three noble personages, she announced, “Empress gave birth to a healthy imperial son!”
“Reward, great reward,” Empress Dowager Wei walked to the doorway and took over the infant from the midwife mama, smiling joyously at the chubby imperial son, “Pretty heavy, good, good, the brows and eyes are like the Emperor, Emperor come ……” Empress Dowager Wei looked in the direction that He Heng was standing and then glanced around the room, where was he?
She looked at the half-open door, paused for a beat and then smiled as she shook her head. Together with Muhou Empress Dowager, they smiled as they started to look at their sturdy grandson.
After giving birth, Qu Qing Ju felt as though she had used up all the strength she had in her life. She tiredly gave a yawn and drowsily watched as He Heng pushed aside two of the midwife mamas who’d tried to block him and strode next to the bed. He was a sorry figure with his head full of sweat. She grew suspicious that the person who gave birth was He Heng, not her.
“Emperor, the blood is thick in the delivery room, you cannot enter……” A midwife mama was still trying to stop him but was paralyzed by He Heng’s icy glare.
“Zhen is in a good mood today, don’t make zhen angry,” he uncaringly sat down at the bedside. After shouting away the midwife mama, he loving held Qu Qing Ju’s hand, “Thanks for your trouble. Do you feel uncomfortable anywhere?”
“Just tired, want to sleep,” Qu Qing Ju gave a yawn, “I’ve used all my energy.”
“Aright,” He Heng looked around the delivery room. He called for a palace maid to bring a clean blanket and wrapped Qu Qing Ju’s hands and feet inside before bending down to lift her entirely with the blanket, “There’s too much blood here. I’ll take you back to the room to sleep.”
The entire room of people watched with gaping mouths as the Emperor just carried the Empress away. Then they recovered and hurried to follow them out.
The midwife mama looked at the gory blanket left on the delivery bed and couldn’t help but be moved. She had delivered for many noble families before, but she had never seen a husband be as attentive as the Emperor. Who said that the Imperial Family had no love, the Emperor treated the Empress much better than those gentlemen of the noble families.
Qu Qing Ju’s room had already been prepared. After He Heng put her down on the clean bed, he took out a handkerchief to wipe the sweat on her forehead for her. In a soft voice, he said: “Muhou had our child carried down to drink milk. Sleep now. Once you wake up, I’ll get them to bring him here for you to see.”
“Alright,” Qu Qing Ju saw that there was still sweat on his forehead and smiled as she suggest, “Emperor should also change.”
Who knew when she finished speaking, He Heng’s expression changed, as though he was holding something back.
“What is it?” Qu Qing Ju asked in puzzlement.
“Zhen drank too much tea just now,” He Heng stood, quickly responding: “Zhen will be back quickly.” He headed in the direction of the bucket in the side room.
Qu Qing Ju stilled and then laughed, her mood unspeakably good.
Mu Jin and the others who were attending Qu Qing Ju in the room saw the Empress laugh. Even though they didn’t know what the Emperor had just said to her, they followed in laughing. No matter what, as long as the Empress was well, they were well.
After He Heng hurriedly solved his problem in the toilet and came back, he saw Qu Qing Ju had fallen asleep. Looking at her sleeping visage, he tucked in the blanket for her and couldn’t help giving a warm smile.
Empress Dowager Wei stood at the doorway. The foot that had been raised went back down. A beat later, she turned and retreated. Looking at the sky that had clearly at some unknown time, she serenely sighed: “This is good.”
“Empress Dowager, the sun came out,” Ding mama beside her exclaimed in shock, “The sky cleared when Little Highness was born. This is very auspicious.”
Empress Dowager Wei peered out at the sun that had came out of the clouds, smiling and declaring: ”Aijia’s grandson will naturally have a good life.”
Ding mama nodded: “Nubi saw that the earlobes of His Highness are big and fleshy, the brow high and clear, the hair black and thick. It is all signs of good fortune.”
Empress Dowager Wei smiled, clearly very satisfied with what Ding mama had said.
“The Empress gave birth to an imperial son?” When Jiang Yong Yu finished listening to what Ai Lu said, she gave a faint smile, “Then the clothing I made will be useful.”
It had been a very long time since the Emperor had ever come to her palace. Luckily, the Empress treated her well. For her, as long as the Empress remained unshakable in her position, she would have good days. Take for example, the rank she held. If it wasn’t for the Empress, what qualifications did she have to be titled a fei in the first place?
“Nubi heard that the Empress had been personally carried by the Emperor out of the delivery room,” Ai Lu informed in a small voice, “Emperor treats Empress so well.”
“That is good,” Jiang Yong Yu finished the sewing on the small undergarment in her hands. Embroidered on it was a chubby infant hugging a gigantic red koi. The size was perfect for an infant a few months old to wear, “The Empress is well, then we will be well.”
The news that the Empress had given birth to the Imperial Eldest Son very quickly made its way to the ears of the noble families. It caused a fuss in every family as they wrote congratulatory messages and prepared gifts. Many women were admiring. The Empress had been the only one favored by the Emperor and in one sweep, got a son. This was the good fortune that others could admire but didn’t have.
In Rui Jun Wang Fu, He Yuan was tipsy. After hearing He Fu Er’s report, he stilled and then ordered: “Send the gifts that ben wang prepared a few days ago to Tian Qi Palace.”
He Fu Er paused and hesitated for a beat before asking: “But wang ye, isn’t it supposed to be a month before … …”
“Send it, don’t be so chatty,” He Yuan drank to the bottom of the wine cup, “Ben wang isn’t lacking those things.”
He Fu Er helplessly complied. He sighed inside. If those things were sent into the palace, he wondered if the Emperor would misunderstand. If he thought that wang ye was trying to use the presents to get back into court, then it would be troublesome.
Oh, he was becoming less able to predict what wang ye thought now.