Who Cares – Chapter 32
Chapter 32 Make Face
The changes in the palace made Ye Zhen really panic for several days. Up until the time the empress dowager issued a decree, stating that the emperor needed to do good deeds and accumulate virtue when he first ascended to the throne, he now would release the elderly palace women and internal servant to their hometown to reunite with their families, so as to restore calm. And Si Ming, Si Qin, Si Hua, and those snitches that disappeared without reason were all among this group of palace people.
“Really scared this servant to death. It turns out the empress dowager wanted to do good deeds, that’s why she make such a big movement.” Yong He sighed while beating her master’s legs.
“What good deeds? That cunning old woman is deliberately opposing This Palace.” Ye Zhen said fiercely, “She must find something that make her clean up the Six Palaces, but it’s fine, money can get anything done. Even if This Palace has nothing else, but money is still plenty, enough to buy a few more snitches.”
As soon as she finished speaking, an inner attendant knelt down and reported that Grand Astrologer* madam handed over a sign to come to see her, and now waiting outside the palace gate to hear her instruction.
“No.” Thinking of the emperor’s order, Ye Zhen waved her hand without hesitation, but in a flash changed her mind again, “Stop, bring her in.”
Liu shrunk her shoulder and walked into the hall, performing out of place court etiquette, and the appearance of not being able to put on the stage made Ye Zhen feel tight in her chest. Instead of waiting for Liu shi to speak, she said coldly, “In the future, if there is nothing wrong, you must not enter the palace, you don’t have to embarrass This Palace.”
Liu shi flinched and complained, “If there is nothing wrong, I don’t dare to bother niangniang constantly. Speaking of which, there was a problem at the Marquis Zhenbei Mansion. Didn’t niangniang tell me to put Ye Fan in? Zhao Luli has agreed, but didn’t expect Guan shi to play tricks and remove her personal maid’s slave status and also forcibly given her to him, and still chose to pass the door on the same day. Right now, the news has spread all over Yanjing, praising her for being virtuous, kind, gracious, and worthy of being Emperor Teacher’s successor. And reprimanding our Ye family’s merchant background for not understanding etiquette. We didn’t add any blockage to her, but instead got a fishy mess. When Ye Fan and that cheap maid passed the door, I’m afraid I will be humiliated to death by all the honorable people in the whole city. Oh, I don’t know where to put my face. ”
For good effect, Liu shi raised her left hand to cover her face, showed a full grievance expression.
Ye Zhen pondered for a moment, then sneered, “This Palace thought something big happened, turns out it’s such a trivial matter. It wasn’t long since Guan shi pass the door, she must not have deep feelings for Zhao Luli, so she was willing to give him her own close maid. Most women take their husbands as their gods, and it is inevitable that they will fall in love after a long time, but in the end they would only spin a cocoon around themselves. Ye Fan is not someone who is easy to deal with, order her to properly rope in that maid, let the two of them joined attack, and with Xi’er’ help in the mansion, sooner or later, Guan shi will reap what she sown.”
“That’s right, but our Ye Mansion second branch’s di daughter actually passed the door on the same day as a cheap servant, and they are both noble concubines. This is embarrassing.” Liu shi gritted her teeth and said, “If I had known this, I shouldn’t have brought Guan shi to the marquis mansion in the first place, and just found a lecher to kidnap her, ruined her innocence, and then sent her back. It would be better to let her to hang herself. At that time, the Guan family will also be discredited, and let’s see how they can gain a foothold in Yanjing!”
Ye Zhen said sarcastically, “You are just full of drivel, if you have the ability just do it, and see if you can avoid the emperor’s investigation.”
Liu shi had no ability and could only shut up angrily.
Ye Zhen sighed, “Forget it, after all, she is the daughter of the Ye family, how can outsiders bully us. You can go back with ease, This Palace will send someone to make a face for Ye Fan. This Palace want to see, no matter how skillful Guan shi is, how can she be tougher than This Palace?”
“She’s just a little madam marquis, how can she be compared to niangniang? The Ye family’s face is also niangniang’s face. Niangniang must make her face bigger, so that others will know that Ye family is honorable, rich and noble.” Liu shi anger turned into joy, and her words became flattering.
Ye Zhen indifferently agreed, and the conversation changed abruptly, “Recently, the empress dowager cleaned up the palace and wiped out many This Palace’s informers. You also know that it’s not easy to cultivate a useful person, and the cost is huge, still need the family to come to help. As the saying goes one loss, everyone loss, one prospers, everyone prospers. The Ye family now relies on This Palace for support. If This Palace is good, you will be better, if This Palace falls, there’s no need to say the consequences.”
“Pah! Niangniang don’t say these sad words, there is a live-saving grace, no one can make you fall.” After saying this, Liu shi felt a little guilty for some reason, and hurriedly turned over the silver note in her arms and handed it to the grand palace maid, Yong He.
“If something happens in the future, This Palace will send someone to deliver the letter, you shouldn’t always go to the palace, so as not to be disgusted by His Majesty.” Ye Zhen instructed carefully, and finally ordered someone to send the guest off.
At the same time, Emperor Sheng Yuan was meeting with Qin Lingyun, the Marquis of Zhenxi in Weiyang Palace. The two of them didn’t speak, one handing over the memorial, the other flip through it, there was a tacit understanding between the movements.
After reading the memorial, Emperor Shen Yuan sneered, “After restoring the Great Zhou, Xue Mingrui become so daring. When the Wei Kingdom begins to flourish, sooner or later, I will retake Shuzhou and other places he has occupied.”
Qin Lingyun did not open his mouth, just handed over the memorials for expanding the army, stock up the provisions, making weapons, purchasing war horses, etc., and the items and clauses were neatly listed, which showed that it had been planned for a long time.
Xue Mingrui was originally a general of the previous dynasty. After the defeat, he led more than 100,000 soldiers and horses to flee into Shuzhou, where the mountains were steep and the roads were dangerous. He joined the local bandits to form a new army. After repeated expansion, he took the surrounding areas, establishing himself as a king, and wanted to divide the world with Wei., Emperor Shen Yuan was used to being domineering, and he had already planned to counterattack. But because Wei Kingdom had just been established, the people’s heart were still unstable, so they had to temporarily shelve it.
After the two of them took care of the military and country’ affairs, they started talking about the ten days Battle of Words. Emperor Sheng Yuan was not interested in who lost or who won. He opened his mouth and asked, “Has Marquis Zhenbei madam come to listen?”
“Since the news of Zhao Luli taking concubine spread, she has never been there again.” Qin Lingyun took out a Buddhist bead and throw in a teacup. If he hadn’t interested in the emperor’s attitude, he would never waste his words on such trivial matters.
“Concubines are concubines. She has a first-rank order appointed by Zhen, could it be that she’s afraid her position is not be stable enough?” Emperor Shen Yuan didn’t know what kind of psychology he had, and added, “It’s really not worth to tax one’s mind and body, feeling heartbroken and sad for someone like Zhao Luli.”
“Since you know what kind of trash Zhao Luli is, why Your Majesty conferred her the marriage in the first place? Wasn’t this personally push her into the fire pit?”
Emperor Sheng Yuan was stumped by Marquis Zhenxi’s question, didn’t open his mouth for half a day. If he had known that the real Guan Suyi was like this, how could he have, how could he have… extinguished the vague thoughts buried in the bottom of his heart, he muttered, “It was Zhen’s oversight that caused her suffering, for the sake of the Emperor Teacher and chief minister of ceremonies, Zhen will make up for it.”
“How to make up for it?” Qin Lingyun asked with a smile.
“Keep her worry-free for the rest of her life.” After saying this, Emperor Shen Yuan felt a lot more relieved, and waved to Marquis Zhenxi, signaling him to step down.
Qin Lingyun said goodbye and left, walked to the door of the main hall, and suddenly said, “Tomorrow is the last day of battle of words, she may go.”
Emperor Sheng Yuan seemed to turn a deaf ear and looking pensive.
The next day, in the overcrowded Wencui Building, Qin Lingyun and his sister-in-law were still sitting in the hidden corner, watching from the sideline. Opposite the two, Emperor Sheng Yuan, who was originally busy with government affairs, was also seated with a golden sword. A pair of long and narrow eagle eyes stared downstairs, not knowing if he was looking at Xu Guangzhi, who was proud as the spring breeze, or at the blocked door.
Seeing that the battle of words was about to start, a wupeng carriage finally drove outside the door, and a woman wearing a veil hat and plain clothes entered with a little girl of thirteen or fourteen years old. They deliberately avoided the father and son of the Guan family and walked towards the narrow aisle, but they were always surrounded by the crowd and could not move an inch.
“Pick up Marquis Zhenbei madam.” Emperor Shen Yuan raised his hand slightly, and two guards accepted the order.
“Suyi is here?” Li shi looked down, her face full of joy, “I thought she would be sad for a long time, and it would be a few more days before she return to normal. This is good, this is good, otherwise wouldn’t she be riddles with holes from the wound in the future?”
Emperor Shen Yuan felt that his heart had been stabbed, and couldn’t help but blame himself for being too hasty at the beginning. Seeing that she had climbed the stairs safely, he stood beside Marquis Zhenxi and pretended to be a guard.
“Haven’t seen for a long time, I trust everyone has been well.” Guan Suyi clasped her fists with both hands and said with a smile. It was clearly the vulgar etiquette of roaming swordsman, but it add an air of elegance and ease when when she did it.
Qin Lingyun nodded slightly, but didn’t say anything. Li shi repeatedly said yes, and pulled her to sit beside her.
“The matter in the house has been settled? You just accept it like that?” Li shi was an impatient person and asked this as soon as she opened her mouth.
“What else can I do if I don’t accept it?” Guan Suyi smiled slyly, “How can there be a man in the world who doesn’t accept a concubine, I just want to be a good mistress, do my duty, and let nature take its course.”
“Hey, it’s not easy to be a woman!” Li shi said with emotion, “I want to tell you that instead of marrying into an aristocratic family, it is better to marry a common people. At least, the back house will be clean.”
“Where can there be a clean back house? In “Han Feizi: Nei Chu”, there is such a story. A pair of husband and wife from Wey prayed in front of Buddha. The wife asked the Buddha to make herself rich and got five hundred pieces of cloth. The husband who listened felt strange, and asked her why she only asked for such meager things. The wife said: ‘If you exceed this number, when you were rich you will come back with a concubine, then I will suffer.’ So you see, as long as it’s a man, as long as there are surplus of wealth, there’s no reason to not want to take a concubine, unless you follow him in suffering and poverty all your life. Then to suffer hardship and poverty should be the best destination for a woman? If I have to say, it doesn’t really matter who you marry, as long as you are open-minded. Of course, there are also people in this world who value love and righteousness, such as my grandfather, maternal grandfather and father, but among ten thousand unlikely to have one. Rather than wishing to run into that great luck, it’s better to comply with the fate of Heaven and quit.
Li shi was deeply impressed, increasingly more determined to not remarry which made Qin Lingyun almost hopping mad.
Emperor Sheng Yuan didn’t feel comfortable listening to this, and inexplicably added a bit of disgust to Zhao Luli. During the conversation, there were many small eunuchs walking past, carrying huge boxes and cages tied with colorful silk, the banging sound along the way was very lively, luring away a lot of tea guests in Wencui Building.
After a while, someone heard the exact news and ran back and discussed with others with relish, “What do you think? It’s actually Ye Jieyu, the most favored person in the palace, come to make face for her cousin, and gave many tributes, including an eight-foot-tall red coral, the entire thing is crystal clear and bright color, it can be said to be priceless. Such treasures cannot be used by merchants, cannot be bought by nobles, and only worthy of the imperial family.”
“Ye Jieyu niangniang is clearly telling the world that her Ye family’s children has the backing of the emperor, and no one cant bully them, even Marquis Zhenbei madam, the descendant of the dignified Emperor Teacher, have to bow her head.” Some people sighed.
“The Ye family is too deviant. Married for three years without children then can take a concubine, this is the common trend. But their family can’t wait for half a month before put people in their son-in-law’s room. If I was Marquis Zhenbei madam, I would have fainted from anger!
“Yes, this son-in-law is not even a serious son-in-law, no more at least. Really rely on power to bully others.” There were a lot of people who agreed, but because Ye Jieyu was favored, they didn’t dare to talk too much, so they quickly changed the topic.
The Guan family’s father and son were so angry that their faces turned blue, they stood up to bid farewell to their fellow friends, and then left in a hurry. The person involved, Guan Suyi, who should have fainted with anger, was leaning on the railing at the moment, laughing lowly.
Hearing her laughter, whether it was from sadness or anger, depression or numbness, Emperor Shen Yuan’s ears seemed to have been scorched by fire, and it was extremely hot.
*Previously I used the term Grand Scribe for Ye Zhen’s father position, but it changed to Grand Astrologer. I found a Wikipedia page for English translation for official’s titles in ancient China and it’s really save me a lot of headache.