Who Cares – Chapter 106
Chapter 106 Persecuted
Because Emperor Sheng Yuan was different from any emperor in the previous dynasty, he started his career with military merit and led millions of troops, and after reorganization of the imperial court and re-establishment of public security offices, he was even more powerful, with fame and power that could shake the world. Not to mention this posthumously conferring his biological mother was really in-line with filial piety and virtue passed down through the ages, even if he occasionally muddle-headed, he would be able to forcibly fulfill his wish.
The next day, the imperial decree to posthumously conferred the late empress dowager was announced to the world. With the brave and courageous late Empress Dowager at the front, who would dare to criticize Madam Guan? Do you wanna get kill? The people who launched a crusade on this matter hurried home, locked the door to the room, and then collapsed to the ground, sweating profusely.
Fortunately, Madam Guan wrote an emotional and mournful eulogy, which greatly reversed people’s prejudice and minimized the negative comments about taking the child by cutting open the stomach, otherwise it would have angered the emperor’s dragon face. In his ear, scolding Madam Guan for practicing the demon way, and scolding Zhao Huai’en for being the reincarnation of an evil ghost, wouldn’t it mean scolding the late Empress Dowager and himself as demon and ghost?
Who would have thought that there was such a shocking inside story hidden here? Madam Guan’s luck was simply against the sky, but it was also because she and the late Empress Dowager had the courage and boldness that was far beyond the ordinary people. If people want to enter the eyes of the person above, they really have to rely on real skills!
In just half a day, Madam Guan’s reputation rose to the level of her father’s, and those who scolded her for having a ruthless heart and black hands had no choice but to try to curry favor with her, there was no other way out. In the second half of the day, the emperor issued several imperial decrees in succession, one was to give amnesty to the world; the second was to reduce the tax and corvée service; the third was to open an imperial examination. The imperial examination which was originally held three years later, would be set up in various provinces and prefectures in the spring of next year. Whether it was the children of high gate family or poor family, all could become officials with real talents and practical learning.
The first two decrees made the common people mad with joy and ran to tell each other; the latter decree provided a way for aspirants to realize their ambitions, and it also highly praised. All kind of benevolent and benefiting policy had been raised in rapid succession, graces even reach the dead, which made the matter of posthumously conferring the late Empress Dowager grand and warmly received.
On the streets, in the poor alleys and dark rooms, the sound of praying for the late Empress Dowagers could be heard everywhere, and the praise for the Emperor’s benevolence and filial piety spread throughout the Wei Kingdom. Since Emperor Sheng Yuan’s ascension to the throne, his prestige had risen again, and it had already begun to, dominating the whole .
The courtiers were all terrified and amazed, and when they heard that he was going to hold a transcending ritual for the Empress Dowager, they all made suggestions and worked hard on it. Soon, the Grand Astrologer calculated the auspicious time, and scheduled the nine, nine, eighty-one day ritual in Jueyin Temple three days later. Due to the heavy government affairs, the emperor would personally presided over the ceremony for the first forty-nine days, and the rest of the ceremonies would be lead by the Empress Dowager.
The matter was already decided, Master Xuan Guang, as the host of Jueyin Temple, received an imperial edict, which deliberately mentioned Ruan shi, saying that the monks should not neglect her sacrificial ceremony, let alone interrupt it at will. She also sacrificed herself to protect her child. She had a lot of fate with the late Empress Dowager, and to transcend reincarnation together was also a beautiful anecdote.
Master Xuan Guang recited a sentence of Buddha, and he more and more admired the emperor’s deep benevolence, but he had no choice but to ask the Zhao family to move the mourning hall out of the main hall, as a place to put the coffin of the late Empress Dowager. The Zhao family did not dare to compete with the late Empress Dowager, so they vacated the main hall in a short time and moved it to the monastery.
“The emperor is coming? Are you serious?” Hearing the news, Ye Zhen’s heart beat wildly. Although she was sent out of the palace, she still had some illusions about Emperor Sheng Yuan, thinking that since he had guessed that the life-saving grace of the year was just a game, why didn’t he kill her or let the palace servants treat her harshly, but instead continued to provide for her in a splendid manner, and then sent her home in a good condition? He was clearly reluctant to hurt her, and there might still some camaraderie in his heart. If she could wake up these camaraderie, she might be able to go back.
Feelings could came out of it. After all, she had stayed by his side for many years, so she was different from others.
Thinking like this, Ye Zhen’s heart, which had been shattered by repeated setbacks, actually filled with wild hope. She stared at her son with burning eyes and explained in a low voice, “Go and find out when the emperor will come and where is his residence.”
No matter how ignorant Zhao Wangshu was, he understood that spying on the Emperor’s trace was a capital offense, said in shock, “Mother, why are you asking about this? If son accidentally reveals one’s tracks, I’m afraid I won’t be able to come back!” He frowned, felt extremely uncomfortable.
Seeing that he seemed very unhappy, Ye Zhen immediately coaxed, “Have you forgotten that your eldest aunt is still suffering in the palace? I and she was born from the same mother, am I not allow to want to see her? She is now wearing the body of sin, and is not allowed to be free. I don’t have a rank, what lowly people think counts for little, your stepmother really doesn’t like seeing me, where is she willing to take care of this? Can’t I figure out by myself? Who else can I rely on besides you now? Your father and sister are circling around your stepmother all day, and your grandmother has always hated me, perhaps she would like me to die outside! If I had known this, I should not have left my adoptive mother to come to the capital to find you after I regained my memory.” While speaking, she covered her face and cried bitterly, her voice was mournful.
Zhao Luli had arranged a life experience for her. Now people outside knew that she was rescued by a kind-hearted old woman after falling into the Yellow River. Because she had lost her children, and her husband died early, she recognize Ye Zhen who broke her head and lost her memory as her own daughter and kept her under her knees. Somehow, Ye Zhen actually regained her memory, and only then did she return to Yanjing to find her relatives.
Zhao Chunxi scoffed at this statement, but Zhao Wangshu believed it to be true. Seeing his mother’s sadness, he almost burst into tears, so he quickly comforted, “Mother, don’t cry, it’s son who has, actually forgot about the eldest aunt in the palace. Son will immediately inquire about some news. But son used to act absurdly, and only now started to study hard, and not very promising, afraid will not be able to inquire about the situation in the palace. Mother, why don’t you let daddy go to inquire? Although he doesn’t have a title now, he has helped many old, disable soldiers and orphans, and he’s quite famous in the army, if you tell him, there’s nothing that cannot be done.”
“How can I tell him? He is like your grandmother, wishing that I never came back! Son, mother is only have you now, please help mother. Also, don’t let your daddy know about this, he already hates the Ye family so much, afraid he will blame me for being a demon, and maybe he will send me back to Hedao County if he is unhappy.” Ye Zhen tightly grabbed the corner of Zhao Wangshu’s clothes.
“Don’t worry, mother, I will never let daddy send you away. Although my stepmother is good, you are my biological mother after all, and no one can replace you.” Zhao Wangshu gritted his teeth, “You wait here, I’ll look for my former playmate to ask for the news.” Once the words fell he hurriedly went out of the room.
However, there was no need to inquire, the emperor’s procession arrived at the Jueyin Temple three days later. The courtiers and titled women of the fourth rank and above in the capital all wore sacrificial clothes and gathered in the Main Hall, ready to recite the scriptures for the late Empress Dowager. The Grand Astrologer presented a memorial, in which he wrote a posthumous title jointly formulated by the ministers for the late Empress Dowager, which was originally “Xiao Sheng Ci Xuan Kang Hui Cheng Hui Ren Mu Jing Sheng Xian Taihou“. Emperor Sheng Yuan thought it was not right, then added a few more characters and changed it into “Xiao Ci Xuan Kang Hui Yong Lie Ji Cheng Hui Ren Mu Jing Sheng Tian Guang Zhen He Xian Taihou” with twenty characters, it could be called as the longest posthumous title in history, and it vividly expressed his remembrance and love for his mother. (TN: not even gonna attempt to translate it. Posthumous title for imperial family are usually like this)
The courtiers did not dare to object, and quickly set the posthumous title. Then someone else came in and said: Why only conferred her as the Empress Dowager and not the Empress? The late Empress dowager was only the emperor’s biological mother, but it did not mean that she was the main wife of the previous emperor, her status was still a little bit worse.
After his mother’s death, the bones were thrown into the deep mountain by his father to feed the wolves, so that now even the body could not be found, and he could only build a cenotaph. If his mother had her spirit in heaven, how could she want to be his father’s main wife and be buried with him in the same tomb? A woman who could cut open her own belly was someone with immense bravery, and could not be bent at all. Something that was considered a supreme honor in other people’s eyes, was probably worthless in her eyes.
Based on this consideration, Emperor Sheng Yuan rejected the proposal to enshrine his mother as the Empress, but was misunderstood by the courtiers as respecting the Empress Dowager and did not want to hurt her face, and praised him more and more for his loyalty and filial piety.
Perhaps even the Heavens felt moved by the late Empress Dowager’s bravery and Emperor Sheng Yuan’s filial piety and sincerity, when the mourning came, it rained. At this time, autumn was coming to an end, and early winter was quietly approaching. Although the rain was as fine as fog, it was wrapped in a cold air.
It stands to reason that women should be arranged in order of rank. The more noble their status, the more inward their seat. They could kneel and recite the scriptures in a dry place in the hall, with braziers scattered around to increase the temperature, and they would not feel uncomfortable at the end of the day. Those with lower rank were out of luck, the more they stand outside, the colder they get. Although there were more braziers, there were no roof to cover the rain, afraid they would be completely soaked through.
However, on such a grand occasion, no one dared to show any resentment, and could only find their own praying mat to kneel down. If they perform well, they might be able to get into the eyes of the higher up, which was also a credit.
But Guan Suyi stood below the porch with a straight waist and did not move for a long time. The female official who was in charge of the sacrifice, guests, and funeral order came over, seemingly polite, but in fact asked aggressively, “Madam Guan, everyone has already taken their places, why didn’t you take your seat? Can you afford disturbing the sacrifice ceremony for the late Empress Dowager?”
Guan Suyi looked at the sky and said indifferently, “You’re thinking too much. There is still an hour before the ceremony begin, and you still have time to rearrange the seats.”
“Why should I rearrange it?” the woman asked angrily.
“I am a first-rank grand order woman, I should be kneeling in the hall, why did you line up me with with third-rank madam?” Guan Suyi didn’t want to care about this, but her seat was obviously deliberately arranged by someone, and it just happened to be outside the roof, where the rain were pouring. As that wasn’t enough, the rainwater from the roof converged along the tile grooves and would be pouring down on her head. In less than a quarter of an hour, she would definitely be soaked all over. The ground under the praying mat was also a damaged green bricks, and there were jagged stones exposed. Kneeling on it was like kneeling on needle felt, and within half a day, her knees would be crippled.
She really couldn’t think of anyone she had a life-and-death feud with in the palace, to the point they wanted to deal with her like this. Emperor Sheng Yuan wanted to rob other people’s wife, but he would never make it public, and when she thought about it, it could only be the Empress Dowager. Because she awaken Emperor Sheng Yuan by cut open the stomach to take the child, and ruined her entire plan, so how could she not hate her to the core?
This woman was probably sent by the Empress Dowager, and she had carefully selected the seat for her. If they tried their best to delay and refused to give in an inch, she also could not to make a big noise in the emperor’s presence and disrupt the sacrificial ceremony, afraid she could only give in. Thinking like this, Guan Suyi was full of anger, but she was helpless.
She had always known the dreadfulness and filth of power, and how it killed people without blood, even if one had iron bones, it could also be broken by its roots. The strong would be easily humiliated, the rigid would be easily snapped, unexpectedly it was right.