Who Cares – Chapter 177
Chapter 177 Beloved Son
The closer it was to the delivery date, the more pressure Guan Suyi felt, not from her own fear, but from outside rumors and persecution. Now everyone was looking forward for her to give birth to a son in one fell swoop, as if the whole Wei Kingdom’s prosperity were all pinned on her belly. Even the empress dowager, who usually didn’t like setting foot outside, visited Jiaofang Palace many times. She appeared to be kind, but in fact, she sinisterly urged her to protect the dragon’s fetus and to give birth to the eldest son for the emperor.
If Guan Suyi was not a reborn person, if she had never experienced all kinds of hardships and thus became stronger, at this time she would be extremely restless, could not sleep and eat, for fear that her belly would disappoint and give birth to a baby girl. However, she understood the pain of losing her lifeblood, so she cherishes everything now. Whether this child was a son or a daughter, it was a favor from heaven and the most precious gift. It was impossible for her not to feel grateful, so how could she dislike it.
Facing everyone’s ardent expectations, or vicious curses, she survived until the ninth month, and one day, she had a contraction in the early morning.
Recently Emperor Sheng Yuan had been very nervous and slept very lightly at night, afraid that his wife and child would have an accident. During the day he was not calm, even if he was in court or dealing with government affairs, he would make Jinzi report Madam’s condition every half an hour. Not to mention on his free time, he almost glued himself to Madam, not allowing her to take half a step away from him.
Whenever he saw her walking back and forth in the palace with her huge belly, he would be worried, and occasionally he would have the idea of never letting Madam have a child again. From the initial vomit, to her swollen legs and sleepless nights, she suffered too many pains and suffered too many hardships. In the end, she still had a life-and-death crisis to overcome.
Because of the anxiety in his heart, he woke up the moment Madam had a contraction, and ran out to call someone in panic. Fortunately, several imperial physicians were all on standby in Jiaofang Hall, and immediately arranged the delivery room and let people carry the empress in.
Emperor Sheng Yuan’s robes were messy and his face was pale. When hearing Madam’s painful moaning, he almost rushed into the delivery room several times, but was stopped by Jinzi and Baifu. Empress Dowager and the others came to visit Jiaofang Palace with lanterns one after another, their faces looked anxious, but it’s unknown what they were really thinking.
“Your Majesty, go back and change your clothes first. Heaven helps the worthy, niangniang and the little prince will be safe and sound.” Shen Jieyu comforted softly.
Emperor Sheng Yuan was reluctant to leave even one step, but he would not appear disheveled in front of other women. He asked Baifu to fetch a robe and put it on the spot. His strong and powerful body was wrapped in black dark coat, his broad shoulders and lean waist, tall and straight posture gave people a great sense of deterrence.
Where the concubines still had time to pay attention to the empress, they all glanced at him one by one, feeling more and more regretful for their foolishness of avoiding him. Fortunately, Emperor Sheng Yuan was staring at the delivery room, and had no time to talk to others, otherwise he would definitely drive away all those women whose mind was not in the right place.
As the night faded and the first rays of morning light appeared, Madam’s groaning didn’t stop at all, instead it became more and more mournful. He couldn’t help walking back and forth at the door, almost breaking a few holes on the floor with his steps.
Baifu saw that it was time to go to court, and then stepped forward to remind him, “Your Majesty, all the ministers are waiting in Jinluan Palace, how about you go to court and come back later?”
“What court?” Emperor Sheng Yuan said anxiously, “Let them all disperse, Zhen want to accompany Madam.”
Baifu knew that he couldn’t persuade His Majesty to go, so he had no choice but to send away the ministers. After walking out a few steps he heard him shout, “Wait, tell Emperor Teacher and Chief of Ceremonies that Madam is about to give birth, and stop by the Emperor Teacher Mansion to bring mother-in-law and Old Madam Zuo into the palace. When Madam come out of the delivery room, she will definitely want to see them.”
Baifu complied with the orders and walked quickly. When the ministers learned that the emperor was waiting for the birth of his di son, they all expressed their understanding of the court dismissal, and they also prayed in the direction of the Jiaofang Palace, wishing for the safety of the mother and son.
Hearing his colleagues shouting “little prince” one by one, Old Master Guan shook his head and sighed, “Nowadays, the court officials are sure that Yiyi is pregnant with a male child, I’m afraid that the emperor also has high expectation. If she gave birth to a son, everyone has expected it, and it won’t come as a surprise; but if it’s a daughter, I’m afraid the emperor will be extremely disappointed. The more favored she was before, the more disappointment and criticism she will get after. I hope Yiyi will have the blessing and can smoothly give birth to the eldest di son.”
Guan Father shook his head and said, “The odds of having a son and a daughter are half and half, it’s hard to say. It’s good to have a son, but if she has a daughter, we have to comfort her and steady her.”
“She’s steady.” The old master said firmly, “Let’s go, go back and prepare for the meeting gift for my great-grandson.” The two were silent all the way, there was happiness, but more, there was anxiety and worry.
After tossing and turning for a long time, in the evening when the rose-tinted clouds fill the sky, Guan Suyi finally gave birth to a child. In order to protect this lifeblood, she did not dare to slack off when raising the fetus. She took all the nourishment she should take, done all the exercises she should do, so that her body became stronger than before, and the fetal position was right. It only took half a day to give birth to the first child, it was considered very smooth.
The midwife patted the baby twice, wiped the child clean, and wrapped it in a swaddle. Then she knelt down with a stiff smile, “Salute to niangniang, Niangniang congratulations, this is a little princess.”
Guan Suyi said weakly, “Is she healthy?”
“The little princess is very healthy and full of breath!”
Only then did she smile with relief, then raised her arms with all her might, “Let This Palace hug the child.”
The midwife hurriedly put the child beside her pillow and complimented her greatly. Although it was not a son, and might be disgusted by the emperor, but she was the eldest di daughter and have the honor of the first-class princess, so they definitely did not dare to neglect her. Originally thought they could get a lot of rewards this time, but it seems that all have gone to waste.
The palace maids serving in the delivery room were very anxious. The birth of a child by the empress was supposed to be a great event, but the emperor was nearly thirty years old and had no children under his knee, so he was definitely looking forward to the birth of a boy. Now that things turned contrary to one wished, the emperor certainly would be very disappointed, only hope he would not show it on his face and embarrass the empress.
Guan Suyi saw that the child was safe and healthy, so she relaxed and slowly fell asleep. Several midwifes pushing each other, all did not dare to go out to report. If it wasn’t for the emperor hearing that there was no movement in the room and asked in a loud voice, they would have wanted to flee.
The concubines felt something in their hearts. Although they didn’t show it on their face, they all gloated and laughed inside. Especially Shen Jieyu, who let out a suffocating breath, secretly pondered: Although the rumors of the past few months failed to overwhelm the empress, making her lost her mind and accidently miscarriage. But Heaven is on This Palace’s side, not let her give birth to the eldest son first. Then what will happened when the emperor heard the news? Maybe he’s going to fling his sleeves and leave on the spot? For the sake of this child, he can even violate the principle of a, which shows how many high hopes are placed on him. The eldest son and the eldest daughter, although there is only one word difference, the treatment is like heaven and earth!
Several midwifes bravely walked out of the delivery room, raised the child with both hands, and said with a forced smile, “Report to the emperor, niangniang gave birth to a little princess, and now both mother and child are safe.”
Emperor Sheng Yuan didn’t even look at the child, walked around the midwifes and went into the delivery room. Seeing Madam lying on the bed with pale face, his head felt dizzy. With trembling hand, he tried to feel Madam’s breath, then he sat on the edge of the bed with weak legs and feet, buried his face in the curve of her neck and took a deep breath. No one knows how he could endure, if Madam in pain, he would only suffer more than her; if Madam afraid, he would only be more afraid than her. He thought of his mother who died tragically, and when he heard Madam’s continuous screams, he almost kicked the door several times and ordered her not to give birth.
He hugged her tightly, and the fear dissipated little by little.
The emperor didn’t even look at the little princess, which made the midwifes, who were kneeling on the ground, very flustered. The concubines were very happy in their hearts, but they all showed sympathy and compassionate expressions on their faces, and whispered, “Poor one, just after being born, she was rejected by His Majesty.”
Zhong shi and Old Madam Zuo, who stood behind them, felt as if their hearts were burning with fire, but due to the etiquette of monarchs and ministers, they did not dare to complain, let alone come forward to look without authorization.
The Empress Dowager stretched out her hand to hug the little princess, but she was quickly picked up by the quick-hand Jinzi. The Empress Dowager didn’t want to bother with a servant, she just smiled faintly, as if she had foreseen the end of the empress’s fall of favor. So what if he’s the emperor? Still can’t have a son? Unlike her three daughters-in-law, the fetuses are all male child.
Shen Jieyu coughed, and was about to hand over the gift and say a few beautiful words, but she saw the emperor rush out like a whirlwind and ordered, “Jinzi, Minglan, hurry up and cook a pot of chicken soup, Madam will drink it when she wakes up! Mother-in-law, Old madam, please stay in the palace to take care of Madam for the time being, and make her feel at ease.”
Then he picked up the child with trembling hands, and asked in a trance, “Is this Zhen’s little princess?” He wanted to hold the child tightly in his arms, but he was afraid of hurting her delicate skin. She was so small, her skin was red, and although her face was wrinkled, she was so cute.
Jinzi taught him how to hold the child and smiled, “Don’t be afraid, Your Majesty, although the little princess is delicate, as long as you have the right posture, you won’t hurt her.”
Emperor Sheng Yuan held the child and stood stiffly in the same place like a wooden statue. He wanted to rock her but afraid that she would be dizzy; he wanted to kiss her but afraid that his beard would prick her, he actually didn’t know how to express his feelings and love. No one knew that, rather than a son, he hoped that Madam would give birth to a daughter for him, one that fully inherited Madam’s intelligence and beauty. The husband and wife would accompany their child from a small pea to a beautiful girl, and the process surely full of joy and warmth.
He would treat the child as a jewel in his palm, even if she wanted the stars in the sky, he would definitely pluck them for her.
Emperor Sheng Yuan’s eyes turned red, he slowly lifted up the little princess, put his ear beside her little face, listened to her weak but steady breathing, and said in a hoarse voice, “This is Zhen’s little princess, named Chaoyang, titled, with the fief of ten thousand households! Baifu, take four treasures of the study, Zhen will formulate a decree to grant amnesty to the world, recall all sinners and refugees, and let them pray for the Princess Zhenguo! Rewards, everyone in the palace will be rewarded!”
Titled Zhenguo, with the fief of ten thousand households, barely born and the position already comparable to a first-rank prince, this didn’t look disappointed and disgusted! Everyone was dumbfounded, and it took a long time to react, then they all knelt down and kowtowed.
The empress gave birth to a daughter, which was far beyond everyone’s expectations. What was even more incomprehensible was that the emperor did not feel disappointed in the slightest, but on the contrary wantonly rewarded and amnesty the world, and it took more than a month for the happy mood to slowly return to normal.
The women in the harem were all stunned. At first, they thought that the emperor just wanted to support the empress, so he pretended to be happy, but after a long time, they had to accept the reality: the emperor seemed to like a daughter more than a son. All day long he held the little princess in his arms, his posture was even more skilled than the empress and the wet nurse, and he even changed diapers and washed the clothes and pants for the little princess himself.
One time in court, he secretly took the little princess with him. Fortunately, the empress found out in time, and hurriedly asked Jinzi to stop him, so as not to let people see the joke. The courtiers often saw the emperor swaying and coaxing the little princess in his arms while flipping through the memorials. From disbelief, it slowly turned into numbness, and from numbness turned to get used to it.
Within two months, the news that the emperor loved his daughter like his life spread to everyone, which made the concubines in the palace jealous and powerless, painful and desperate, and the Guan family finally breathed a sigh of relief.
However, there were always people who refuse to stop. On this day, the grand princess entered the palace with a dark face to ask for a meeting, followed by a few old people with crane-haired and childish looks and a beautiful girl wearing a splendid dress. Emperor Sheng Yuan was holding Guan Suyi, and Guan Suyi was holding Huo Chaoyang. The family of three was laying happily under the grape trellis to enjoy the cool air. Their faces darkened when they heard the report.
“Hugna? Who is that?” Guan Suyi asked anxiously.
“My mother’s niece.” Emperor Sheng Yuan explained, “Ever since my mother was framed to death, the Hu family never interacted with me again to protect themselves. In order to search the truth, I looked for them several times, but they were unwilling to admit it and gave me a lot of wrong clues, so the more I checked, the more I went wrong. However, the Empress Dowager sent me that drawing out of ‘compassion’, which solved my doubts. Since then, I changed my surname to Hu, but I have never gone to the Hu family to look for relatives again.” Talking about the past, Emperor Sheng Yuan was in a very bad mood, but when he saw his daughter’s innocent smile, he quickly became happy again.
“Then she entered the capital at this time, I’m afraid it’s not as simple as recognizing the relatives, isn’t it? Let’s go and have a look.” Guan Suyi took her daughter and kissed her, when she saw her husband bring his face close, she also smiled and kissed it.
When the three entered the main hall, they saw that the Empress Dowager, several prince consorts, and imperial grandsons had also arrived, and they were talking to the old people with a very respectful attitude. A young girl sat bellow the grand princess, her blue eyes were extremely deep, as if it could capture people’s soul.
“What kind of wind has brought several clan elders here?” Emperor Sheng Yuan helped Madam walk over and sat down, not even the corner of his eye look at the girl. The girl’s expectant expression turned dim, her head bowed slightly, and she remained silent.
Even though those several old people were highly respected in the clan, and always acting arbitrarily, they did not dare to make a fuss in front of Hunnar, who was the monarch, and quickly stood up and saluted. The girl also bowed down, her voice was very beautiful.
“Does Your Majesty still remember your cousin Hugna.” One of the elders said, “This subject heard that you have no children under your knees, so then has the intention to send Hugna to serve you. She has the blood of the late Empress Dowager, the combination of the two of you will surely give birth to the purest bloodline of descendants.”
Before waiting for Emperor Sheng Yuan to answer, another person said, “This subject has already inquired about it. Although the Empress was born in a noble family, for many generations the family has only one heir in each generation. In this generation, there is only one daughter, and the bloodline is cut off. It can be seen that the Guan family’s woman is not good at breeding, whether she can give birth to a di son for Your Majesty is still unknown. In order to prevent the blood of the imperial family from dying out, still ask Your Majesty to favor his concubines. If you don’t like the women in the harem, this subject and the others will find a few more good ones in the clan, and they can be sent immediately.”
It was not the first time that others had stuffed Hunnar with women in front of her, but Guan Suyi still felt angry, disgusted, and helpless. As a “virtuous empress”, not only she could not refute, she even had to help persuade a few words, but who could understand the stabbing pain she felt in her heart?
No, Hunnar could understand. Not only could he understand, but he would try his best to protect her, so even if she was angry and disgusted, she could endure it. When she was thinking like this, a large hand quietly reached out and patted her stiff knee, causing her to lower her eyes and smile.
“Clan elders can manage Zhen’s harem, but you can’t control Zhen’s trouser belt. You can send as many women as you want. Anyway, they can only be grass widows. If they don’t mind, then Zhen won’t care.” Emperor Sheng Yuan then hurriedly covered the little princess’s ears, and said in annoyance, “I’m sorry, Madam, for letting our daughter hear such nonsense. I will pay attention to it in the future.”
Guan Suyi shook her head and smiled.
“But the empress can’t give birth to a son…” One of clan elder became very anxious.
“Not to mention that the empress is still young and will be able to give birth to many children for Zhen in the future, even if she can’t give birth to a son, what does it matter?” Emperor Sheng Yuan hugged the little princess and spoiled her, “The Jiuli clan once produced three matriarchs who led our clan to expand the territory and conquer the four sides; don’t mention far, just look at the imperial sister, her ability is not inferior to any man. If Zhen doesn’t have di son in the future, the Zhen will establish a, what do you think, imperial sister?”
Guan Suyi was stunned, she looked at her husband with her mouth open, but he smiled and took her into his arms, and declared, “Zhen don’t want a shu son in this life, you all put down your thoughts.”
The grand princess, who throughout had a gloomy face, suddenly slapped the table and laughed, “Conferring a Crown Princess? Good for you Hunnar, so brave! If the empress remains childless, This Palace’s troops will be the sharpest weapon in Crown Princess’s hands!”
The clan elders were stunned by his shocking thoughts, and their persuasion was fruitless, so they had no alternative but to leave in a hurry with the girl whose face was ashen. These words, Emperor Sheng Yuan had no intention of concealing them, and in a flash, it spread to the whole palace. Only then did the concubines determine the emperor’s attitude, and fell into despair.
He would rather have a Crown Princess rather than a shu son, the emperor was really dead set on the empress! However, this infatuation, they originally had a chance to get it! Regret, truly regret!
Some courtiers admonished, some impeached, and some kept silent, but the emperor was hell-bent on having only di sons, which was not a serious matter for the Han people who attached great importance on di and shu, and it stopped over time. After two years, the empress became pregnant again, and finally gave birth to a prince, and then there was no news. The emperor never favored other concubines, but only held this pair of children in the palm of his hand and loved them.
Princess Zhenguo looked like the empress, and His Highness Crown Prince looked like Emperor Sheng Yuan, but their temperament was completely opposite. Princess Zhenguo was good at wielding weapons, and was taken to the military camp by the grand princess when she was less than ten years old. His Highness Crown Prince, however, was very well-behaved and honest, and his mind was incomparably intelligent. He could speak before he was one year old, and able to recite poetry at the age of three. At the age of six, he was taken by the emperor to the imperial study to manage the governments, as if the emperor could not wait to hand over the heavy burden on his shoulders.
Guan Suyi had a pair of son and daughter, and a husband who never leave and never abandon her. She had no regrets in this life.
TN: It’s finish! At least the main story. There are many extra chapters after this, which is an alternate story to the main one.