This chapter has been brought to you by me, Adnana, and Vivie.
府 fu: compound or estate; (jun)wang fu: prince’s estate/compound
郡王妃 junwang fei: the official wife of a junwang
亲王 qinwang: first-rank prince
郡王 junwang: prince (of the second rank); also referred to as junwang ye, i.e. “His [Your] Royal Highness”
太监 taijian: court or palace eunuch
公公 gonggong: how to refer to a taijian
娘娘 niangniang: respectful title for an Emperor’s wife and concubines
朕 zhen: illeism used by the Emperor; equivalent to the royal “we”
妾 qie: I, your servant (deprecatory self-reference used by a wife or concubine)
Chapter Thirty-Five: Hardship
Hua Xi Wan knew that she had just lightly hit her head. Even though there was some blood, it was not as serious as the rumors outside said it to be. She did not know if the rumors had been exaggerated as they passed between people, or if Yan Jin Qiu had intended for this kind of rumor to pass around, so she cooperated with him and rested on the bed. When she became bored, she had the singers in the fu sing for her. When she was irritated, she had the vaudeville people amuse her. She tried to do all she could to make her days on the bed even more comfortable.
“Junwang Fei, a nurse has come to change your bandage.” Bai Xia walked in from outside. She helped Hua Xi Wan sit up and then put a soft pillow behind her back.
Hua Xi Wan had the performers retreat. “Please invite her in.”
The nurse waited for the servant girls in the room to lift up the curtain before she walked in. She was directly responsible for outer injuries. Even though she had spent some years in the Grand Hospital, she had never come to Xian Junwang Fu before. Seeing the different sceneries and drawings in Xian Junwang Fu every couple of steps, she finally believed what the generation before her said: the previous emperor had really favored the original Xian Qinwang.
Xian Junwang Fei’s room was decorated elegantly, but it would not cause people to feel that it lost the heavy reputation of a prestigious family. It could be seen that the person who had decorated the room had put in great effort and thoughtfulness and even greater attention towards the owner of the rooms.
“This one greets Xian Junwang Fei.” The nurse saw a beauty in plain clothing lying on the bed and knew that this was Xian Junwang Fei who was deeply loved by Xian Junwang. She went forward and curtsied. “This one has come under the orders of the Dean to change the bandages for Xian Junwang Fei.”
“Sorry for the trouble, Official.” The voice of the person lying on the bed was very soft and had a slightly bewitching tone. Even as a female, the nurse felt as though her heart was tingling. She couldn’t help but take a few more glances at the person on the bed. She was a nurse of the Grand Hospital, but she had an eighth rank position. Many prestigious families looked down on women in medicine, and there was always disdain in their conduct and speech. There were really not many who were sincerely polite like Xian Junwang Fei.
“Xian Junwang Fei, please do not move. It might be slightly painfl in the beginning..” The nurse went forward and slowly took off the gauze that had been put on before. Seeing that the wound had not become swollen or filled with pus, she sighed in relief. She used a cotton swab to first clean off the dressing around the wound and said in a light voice, “Junwang Fei, your wound is recovering well. Please pay attention to having the room properly aired. Do not get stifled or overheatedt, and your wound cannot get wet”
When she was washing the wound, the nurse became even more careful. However, she knew that no matter how careful she was, it would still be painful. Fortunately, Junwang Fei did not punish her for this, and did not even make a sound. After the dressing was changed, the nurse released a breath. “Junwang Fei, the dressing has been completed.”
Hua Xi Wan gave her thanks again and had Bai Xia personally see the nurse out the door. The status of the nurses was not as high as that of the males in the Grand Hospital. Also, many people felt that a woman’s skills in medicine could not compare to a man’s, so the trust in females in medicine was not very high. Even some of the females in the prestigious families had similar viewpoints.
But in Hua Xi Wan’ view, that nurse had been very practiced when she had been changing the dressing, and extremely open and honest in her conduct. They were all women, and she was willing to give honor to the other.
Bai Xia personally saw the nurse out of the gates, and then the carriage from Xian Junwang Fu delivered her back to the Grand Hospital. It caused many of her fellows to admire her for receiving the favor of Xian Junwang Fei.
Not long after the nurse left, the Empress bestowed gifts down. The taijian who came to announce the decree was the chief steward of the Empress’ palace. He was very polite to Yan Jin Qiu, and his attitude was placed very low.
“How are Junwang Fei’s wounds? The Empress is very concerned about Junwang Fei and has sent this small one to inquire.” Zhao Dong saw that it was hard to detect joy and anger on Xian Junwang’s face and knew that this matter would most likely not be resolved. “The Empress has not been able to eat ever since she heard that Junwang Fei was wounded. If it were not that she cannot leave the palace at will, she would have personally come to visit Junwang Fei.”
“Wife cannot accept such concern from the Empress.” Yan Jin Qiu finally showed a smile, but this smile was slightly cold. “Wife has good luck. Even though her head was injured, fortunately, it is not a major matter.”
Hearing this, Zhao Dong instantly gave a smile and said, “Junwang Fei is someone with good fortune. The Heavens protect her, protect her.”
Yan Jin Qiu’s finger rubbed the teacup as he said sardonically, “Isn’t it really protection from the Heavens?” He slowly took a drink. “Please, gonggong, report to Empress. Wife’s wounds have not healed, and she cannot personally kneel to pay thanks for the phoenix grace. Empress, please have some tolerance.”
“This one doesn’t dare, doesn’t dare, this small one will definitely bring the words.” Zhao Dong laughed dryly and bowed. He felt that he really could not stay here. Xian Junwang’s presence was too much right now. He was the chief steward of the Empress’ palace, but in front of this person, he really was not a significant person.
After Zhao Dong left with some junior taijian, Yan Jin Qiu raised an eyebrow and beckoned Mu Tong over. He said, “Give the list of the gifts to Junwang Fei to read, but do not deliver the things over to Junwang Fei. If Junwang Fei lacks for anything, take it from my stores. These things…” His gaze swept across the Empress’ gifts. “Find a storeroom to hold them.”
“Yes.” Mu Tong glanced at the gifts that had been bestowed down. They were very good, but the Empress’ paternal family did not do good in their actions. Even more of these things could not make up for Junwang Fei’s wound. No wonder Junwang Ye could not bear to look at Imperial Brother-in-law’s attitude.
The intelligence of several generations of the Fang Family was passed onto the Empress, and the remaining members were those who could not be seen in public. No wonder the Crown Prince was the way he was. It seemed he followed the majority of the Fang Family.
Mu Tong quickly presented the list to Hua Xi Wan. Hua Xi Wan swept a glance and then put the list to the side. “Many thanks to the Empress for her phoenix grace.”
Mu Tong bowed his head and did not speak.
“Junwang Ye has been accompanying me these two days—has it delayed the matters on the outside?” Hua Xi Wan was drinking her medicine. After the servant girls served her in rinsing her mouth, she wiped her mouth and said, “Go tell Junwang Ye that I am not in any great suffering. He should not delay.” She did not want to have Yan Jin Qiu in the future mutter, “If it wasn’t for you _____, I would have ____.” She was worried that at that time, she would slap that person’s face with a shoe.
“Please, Junwang Fei, rest.” Mu Tong did not respond if there were matters on the outside and only said, “Junwang Ye is very worried about your wound. As long as you are well, nothing will happen to Junwang Ye.”
No wonder Yan Jin Qiu liked to use servants such as Mu Tong. He was very good verbally. She smiled. “All right, you only help your master say good things to comfort me. The weather these two days is suffocating. You and the servants need to make sure that Junwang Ye does not get overheated.”
“This small one will remember.” When Mu Tong left the main yard, he finally released a breath. For some reason, while Junwang Fei’s personally was clearly very gentle, he did not dare to be disrespectful at all.
Maybe it was… that the spectacle of Junwang Fei kicking a chair flying and breaking off a piece of the fake mountain was too stunning. So he could not help but submit from the bottom of his heart?
Mu Tong finally understood the true core of the saying, “Might is Right.” This was worthy of celebration.
Soon after Zhao Dong returned to the palace, he heard the Empress was summoning him. He did not dare to hesitate, and hurriedly went to see the Empress.
“How are Junwang Fei’s wounds?” The Empress’ expression was unchanged, but Zhao Dong could feel the importance the Empress placed on this matter, so he narrated in detail.
“When this small one came to Xian Junwang Fu, this small one coincidentally saw the nurse from the Grand Hospital come out from changing Junwang Fei’s dressing. This small one pretended to inadvertently, and she said that the wound is not light.” Zhao Dong felt that these words were really lacking in detail, so he could only recite what was originally said. “After this small one entered the fu, this small one did not see Junwang Fei who was said to be resting in the rooms. Xian Junwang was in the fu, and this small one observed that his expression was melancholic, so this one did not dare to stay for long before leaving.” He recited to the Empress his conversation with Xian Junwang. In the end, even he felt that Xian Junwang Fei had a serious wound this time.
After the Empress heard his report, her brow creased slightly. Then she sighed and said, “Has any news come from the court?”
“This small one only heard that people have accused the Imperial Brother-in-law in court of freeing his horse and wounding people. However, His Majesty has not yet decided the matter.”
The Empress’ expression became even more ugly. The Emperor had already been dissatisfied with her due to the matter of the Crown Prince before this. Now her paternal family was not one that brought honor, and caused such a matter. What could she use to beg for the Emperor to show mercy?
Zhao Dong saw the Empress stop speaking and stood obediently.
“You may leave.” The Empress sighed and waved her hand for Zhao Dong to retreat. She felt she was full of worry. Her son was not one who brought honor for her, her paternal family was not one that brought honor for her. If it wasn’t that the Emperor only had one son, the Crown Prince, she probably would have lost her position in the palace a long time ago.
“Empress niangniang, the Emperor has come.” A palace maid hurriedly came in to report. Before the Empress could react, she saw Qi Long Emperor stride in.
“All of you, go out.” The Emperor’s expression was not right, but he also knew he could not vent in front of the Empress’ servants. After all the people had left, the Emperor scolded angrily, “Look and see what your family has done. Now many prestigious families in Jing are reporting that your paternal family is out-of-bounds in their conduct. How can zhen help you conceal this?”
“Emperor, it is qie who has no ability to restrain the paternal family.” The Empress knew that it was not the time to argue with the Emperor, so she first showed weakness. “Right now, qie is also very worried about Xian Junwang Fei…”
“You think he only wounded Xian Junwang Fei?” Qi Long Emperor said coldly, “How many people in Jing are observing how your family acts and conducts itself? If you do not think for yourself, at least think for the Crown Prince. Do you want the whole world to know the Crown Prince has such a maternal family?”
The Crown Prince’s reputation was already bad. If the Fang Family did something, it would make it worse and unable to recover from.
When the Empress heard this, her expression stilled and she was unable to speak. Should she blame her paternal family for not thinking about her, or blame her son for not being good enough? Or blame herself for not teaching the Crown Prince well and not controlling her paternal family?
A long time later, the Empress made a deep curtsey towards the Emperor. “Qie knows her mistakes, and only requests the Emperor to expend some effort to stop the matter of the paternal family from affecting the Crown Prince.”
Qi Long Emperor snorted, threw out his sleeve and left. His heart cooled even more towards the Empress.
The Empress looked at the back of the Emperor. The tears brimmed in her eyes, but they did not fall.
Translator Ramblings: The emperor blames everything on his wife … … it’s like he didn’t have a hand in raising his son.
I feel asleep. That’s the reality and I have no excuse for being late.