Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 54
While Hua Yang filed imperial complaint, Prince Xiang was also not idle. On the day Wu Run left Lingzhou with the prisoners, Prince Xiang summoned two advisers. With the advisers carefully crafting the wording and drawing references, he personally wrote a sincere letter of apology.
This was to apologize for unintentionally harassing Hua Yang.
When the people flocked to Ningyuan to complain against him, and seeing Hua Yang sent a six-hundred-mile urgent letter, Prince Xiang quickly called for his advisers again and wrote a second letter to defend himself. He was not stupid and admitted some “small crimes”, such as the tenant farmers of prince mansion unintentionally occupying the common people’s fields, and then denied all the major crimes of kidnapping women and killing people.
His two letters arrived only half a day later than Hua Yang’s two letters.
Emperor Jingshun could no longer let Prince Xiang go.
Originally the vassal princes of imperial clan were just fat vermin scattered throughout the dynasty. They occupied nearly one tenth of the country’s cultivated land, and that was only the registered one. Only they themselves knew how much land they had privately encroached on the common people.
The vassal princes did not have to pay taxes on their cultivated land. At the same time, they could also get a large sum of salary from the court every year. The money and taxes collected by the court from the common people could barely support the vassal princes and their relatives!
If he could do whatever he wanted, Emperor Jingshun couldn’t wait to remove all the vassal princes and confiscate all the private property of their prince mansions!
But not to mention removing them, he still had to endure them. If the vassal princes made some small mistakes, he would tolerate it in order to show the emperor’s kindness to his clan members.
However, this time, Prince Xiang was going to put his hand on his daughter. If he was still enduring it, he would completely throw the emperor’s prestige at the feet of those vassal prince and relatives, letting them to step on it as they please!
Before the two imperial envoys set off, Emperor Jingshun only told them one sentence, asking them to act impartially.
The imperial envoys worked hard and arrived in Lingzhou City on the 9th of Fourth Month. The first thing they did when entering the city was to go to Ningyuan to pay respect to Princess Hua Yang.
At that time Chen Jingzong was at the military station. Hua Yang immediately changed into a set of bright yellow clothes. Accompanied by two maids, Zhou Ji, the commander of the bodyguards, and Wu Run, who had returned half an hour earlier, she summoned the two imperial envoys.
When the imperial envoys reported their names, Hua Yang realized that these two people turned out to be the two who came to investigate Prince Xiang in the previous life. One was Shi Yao, an old friend of her father-in-law, and the other was Zheng Hong, who did not get along well with her father-in-law.
It goes without saying that Hua Yang admired her father-in-law, but she didn’t regard all his political opponents as bad people. For example, Zheng Hong in front of her. In her previous life, he also agreed with her father-in-law’s thirteen charges against Prince Xiang, only insisted that Prince Xiang had no intention to rebel.
Prince Xiang really did not intend to rebel. He was just stupidly raised a “Redress of Injustice Banner”, so Shi Yao’s accusation of him plotting a rebellion was not considered an injustice.
In the final analysis, both imperial envoys were right, and only Prince Xiang was wrong.
After greeting her, Zheng Hong took a long box from his entourage, while Shi Yao took out a scroll of bright yellow Imperial Edict and said to Hua Yang: “Princess, His Majesty has a decree.”
Hua Yang then left the table and knelt down to listen to the decree.
Emperor Jingshun mainly said three things in the imperial edict. First, he comforted his daughter’s grievances, and then praised his daughter’s benevolence and righteousness in redressing the grievances of the common people. Finally, Emperor Jingshun gave his daughter the. From the vassal prince to the subjects, anyone who offend and disrespect his daughter, or if they harm the people, his daughter could strike this whip. Dawang whip was of great significance. Emperor Jingshun wanted his daughter to use it with caution. If the whip was proved to be unjustly use more than three times, the emperor would take it back.
Although Emperor Jingshun set conditions for his daughter to use it, this was the first time that an emperor of this dynasty had given this Dawang whip, which showed how much the emperor favored Hua Yang.
This “Beating the Prince’s whip” was also given very appropriately. Who let Hua Yang really molested by a vassal prince and actually use whip to beat him?
Emperor Jingshun wanted to use this way to tell the people of the world that his princess fought well, and as a father, he fully supported her!
“Daughter thank Father Emperor for his grace.”
Hua Yang liked this gift very much, even if she probably would rarely use it in her life.
Taking the long box containing the whip with both hands, Hua Yang stood up with the help of two maids.
Zheng Hong’s expression looked solemn: “Princess, this minister has to go to Prince Xiang Mansion to investigate the case. It’s inconvenient to stay for a long time. Please excuse us.”
Hua Yang: “Go ahead. Sirs, please try the case impartially. Don’t judge Prince Xiang unjustly just because I am the one who brought the case, and don’t let the people be wronged just because he is a vassal prince.”
“The Princess is wise, this minister will keep it in mind.”
Wu Run went to see off the two imperial envoys.
Hua Yang told Zhou Ji: “Send someone to Prince Xiang Mansion to take a look. If there is anything unusual, report back immediately.”
Zhou Ji took the order and left.
Hua Yang then placed the long box on the table and opened it.
In previous dynasties, there were also examples of emperors rewarding virtuous ministers with Dawang whips. It was called a whip, but it was actually a truncheon. It was a long, bladeless four-edged weapon that looked majestic but was actually quite weighty. It would require Chen Jingzong or Zhou Ji or other heroic men to use it freely.
Her father must have taken this into consideration. The Dawang whip he gave her was a leather whip made of ox tendon, with a red gold dragon head and about seven feet long.
Hua Yang tried shaking it, and it was quite easy.
Chao Yun smiled and said: “If Princess obtained this Dawang whip earlier, you would have beaten Prince Xiang with you own hands that day.”
Hua Yang: “He doesn’t deserve it.”
She liked this whip, and not everyone could deserve to be whipped by it.
“Put it away.”
When it was almost dusk, Zhou Ji came back and said that the people he sent had been watching outside Prince Xiang Mansion for half a day and found nothing unusual for the time being.
Hua Yang thought of the files she had read in her previous life. At that time, before the imperial envoys arrived at Lingzhou City, Prince Xiang raised the “Redress of Injustice Banner” high and it was visible to all the people in the city.
Why didn’t Prince Xiang raise it in this life?
It was nothing more than treating people differently. When her father-in-law sued him, one was a minister one was a prince, Prince Xiang dared to cry out for injustice. When it was Hua Yang’s turn, Prince Xiang did not dare to act indiscriminately. Moreover, this time, Prince Xiang Shizi and more than twenty guards were taken to the capital first and handed over to Jinyiwei for trial. What kind of thing was Jinyiwei? They could even find out how many cups of wine Prince Xiang drank on that day. Prince Xiang probably knew that his guilt was beyond defense and accepted his fate.
Without the “rebellion”, the crime of “falsely accusing the vassal” that was place on her father-in-law would be completely eradicated.
Hua Yang was in a good mood.
She had done all of this not only to give everyone in the Chen family a good ending, but also to let her younger brother leave a virtuous name in the annals of history.
“.” These words could very well describe meritorious official who denounce a prince.
In Hua Yang’s view, her brother’s treatment of the Chen family had no benefit at all except bringing infamy for him. Perhaps her brother wanted to take back the power that was once held by her father-in-law. But her father-in-law had already died, and all he left to her brother were capable ministers who were worthy to be put in important positions. They were the pillars of talent who followed her father-in-law to assist her brother in starting the years of government resurgence. While her father-in-law was still alive, they may regard him as the only leader, but once her father-in-law died and her brother assuming power, they would naturally align themselves with him. Why use such extreme methods to eradicate all her father-in-law’s party?
Hua Yang cherished the peace and prosperity of those years, the resurgence that was brought by her father-in-law’s reforms. Those ministers who took advantage of her brother’s youth, who on the surface supported but actually instigated him, even wanted to abolish her father-in-law’s reforms, they just wanted to continue on the path of corrupt officials, back to collecting people’s fat and wealth for their own use.
Hua Yang had no ambitions. It was just her maiden family and her husband’s family was her small family, and the world was her big family.
The only thing she desired was harmony within her family, as it lead to prosperity in all matters.
When Chen Jingzong stepped into Qifeng Hall, he saw Hua Yang leaning comfortably on the rocking chair, closing her eyes contentedly and swaying gently under the shade of the tree.
She had a pink peony in her hair, with no other jewelry.
The brilliant sunset fell from the west, only climbing up to the hem of her red skirt.
Signaling Chao Yun and Chao Yue to step back, Chen Jingzong slowly walked closer.
The petals of the peony were delicate and pink, and it could be called perfect. But her beautiful fair face was even more attractive than the peony.
There was a small stool next to the rocking chair, which probably was used by the maids while accompanying her.
Chen Jingzong sat on the small stool. He propped his elbows on his knees, leaned his upper body slightly forward, and his gaze gradually moved down from her eyebrows.
Her skin was better than snow, and her lips were as red as fire and moist.
Chen Jingzong shifted his gaze. He didn’t want to be disliked by her every day, but when she looked like this, which men could resist not having improper thoughts.
Not to mention men, even women and children would be fascinated when they saw her.
Hua Yang opened her eyes and saw Chen Jingzong sitting next to her. His head was tilted to the side, looking at the tree trunk behind her, it was unknown what he was thinking.
The rocking chair was very comfortable, so Hua Yang continued to rock lazily while talking to him.
Chen Jingzong looked at her again and said: “The two imperial envoys also called Xiang Baoshan, Wang Feihu and Lin Yan over.”
Hua Yang was not surprised at all: “Seeing how they ruined the military station, you can tell they are not good officials. One is Prince Xiang’s son-in-law, the other is Xiang Baoshan’s brother-in-law, and the other one is fat and bloated.”
Chen Jingzong laughed: “Let’s not mention Xiang Baoshan and Lin Yan, just talk about Wang Feihu. You can’t suspect that he’s not a good person just because he is fat.”
Hua Yang gave him an angry look: “Who said I judge people by their appearance? Didn’t he invite you to drink flower wine, didn’t he try to bribe you?”
Chen Jingzong: “I knew you still kept the accounts. What would you do if I really listen to them and drink the flower wine that that day?”
Hua Yang smiled and said: “Then I will whip you a few times. It just so happens that my father gave me a new whip today.”
Chen Jingzong only then found out about the whip and asked Chao Yun to fetch it.
It was given to the princess by the emperor, the prince consort’s words had no effect, so Chao Yun looked at her master for instructions.
Hua Yang nodded.
Chao Yun then went to get Dawang whip.
When Chen Jingzong saw that the whip was only seven feet long and looked delicate, he immediately lost interest in trying it out and just played with the whip handle carved with a dragon head for a while. He asked Hua Yang: “This whip is a good whip. Can you use it?”
Hua Yang: “Isn’t this simple?”
Other weapons required practice, but whip was very simple. Just slash it out.
Chen Jingzong pulled her from the rocking chair and asked her to swing the whip against a tree.
Hua Yang felt sorry for the tree: “Okay, why should I hit it?”
The trees that could be planted in Qifeng Hall were both precious and elegant. Hua Yang was reluctant to waste any beautiful things.
Chen Jingzong raised his eyebrows: “Then hit me?”
Hua Yang smiled, held the handle of the whip with one hand and run through the whip with the other, circling around Chen Jingzong, as if thinking about where to hit him.
Finally, she smacked Chen Jingzong’s butt gently.
Chen Jingzong: “If you go to fight Prince Xiang like this, he will think you are teasing him.”
Hua Yang was so disgusted by him that she walked to a corner of the yard and angrily whipped the big water tank placed there.
The whip hit the water tank and rebounded quickly.
Before the whip hit Hua Yang, Chen Jingzong caught it in time.
Hua Yang stared blankly at the whip in Chen Jingzong’s hand.
Chen Jingzong: “Is it still simple?”
Hua Yang pursed her lips.
Chen Jingzong stopped laughing at her, gave her the whip, and began to show her how to strike it.
Hua Yang studied with gusto for a quarter of an hour, but then her arm became sore, and her palms were slightly red from the shock of the force.
When the whip lesson was over, the couple went to the main room to wash their hands and eat.
After nightfall, Hua Yang came over to take a bath and found Chen Jingzong leaning on the couch in his middle coat, holding the whip in his hand.
“Why are you playing with it again?” Hua Yang asked suspiciously. In an ordinary home, such a gift from the emperor would be properly respected. Hua Yang also did not intend to take it lightly.
Chen Jingzong looked at her, then lowered his eyes. After a while, he put the whip back.
Hua Yang thought he was strange.
Half an hour later, Chen Jingzong clasped Hua Yang’s wrists and said in her ear: “Actually, sometimes, the whip can also be used as a rope.”
She gritted her teeth: “You dare!”
Chen Jingzong kissed her flushed face: “Of course I don’t dare now. Wait until you’re willing, then talk about it again.”