Refusing To Serve Me? Then Off With Your Head! - Chapter 64
Within 3 months, the Man Tribe from Xi Bei caused an unrest in the border. Yan Ping volunteered to deal with the matter.
5 days after he left, Consort Yu seek attendance.
I no longer had any interest to toy with this former enemy of mine. The scar that she had inflicted on me had been healed by His Majesty's warmth.
I regarded her as a totally unrelated passerby in my life.
Consort Yu was dressed modestly;no matter what, if one peel off the layer of loftiness from her, she was just a piece of leaf amongst a mountain of others in this troubled world. She had a pitiful existence, every single movement was not her's to decide.
She respectfully greeted me. As she prostrated herself at my feet, a rare sort of kindness rose in my heart. Maybe my pregnancy softened my heart.
Consort Yu directed her eyes on my round stomach. E Huang anxiously covered my stomach with a cloth, causing me to laugh incredulously.
I smiled as I invited her to sit. She thanked me.
After settling down in her seat, she gave me a bitter smile, ’’Ever since chenqie knows Your Ladyship, you have always been living to your own whim, doing things your own way. So many years have passed and you have not changed. Chenqie envy that part of you.’’
I wanted to boast to her that I had a reliable father who only thought of his daughter, unlike her own that sold her off for wealth. But that seemed too harsh. It was enough for me to know my Father's own good.
Boasting seemed too shallow.
’’Everyone's situations are not the same,’’ I vaguely replied her while rubbing my own stomach. I needed to collect good karma for my child. Hurting others was a sin, the gods would never forgive me if I did that.
She gave me a desolate smile, containing a complex mixture of emotions that I would never understand. She solemnly begged me to send her to Bao Ji Temple to become a nun, to serve the empress dowager.
I never had the opportunity to really know her before. I never had the desire to reconcile with her either. Nowadays, although we were both in the palace, our situations were too different.
Someone once told me that before Yan Ping left, Consort Yu blocked his way in the imperial garden, crying and kicking a huge fuss. Nobody knew what they were talking about.
Even His Majesty knew that matter. But, it seemed like he had grown used to being given the green hat. He was not angry at all, simply entrusting the matter to me.
I once suspected that he had a problem somewhere. I asked him, ’’Your Majesty seemed quite forgiving when it comes to green hats. You are never angry;how comforting. Seems like I can cheat on you one day, and does not need to fear about losing my head.’’
He was so angry when he heard that. He...... pushed me to the bed.
Because of my huge stomach, he could only settle with pulling my ears. He warned me with a dark face, ’’I don't care about other women, but if you dare to cheat on me, I will cut off your legs!’’
He did not care if those women in the harem were having affairs?
What kind of a person were you, Your Majesty? Wasting grains to feed other men's women....
I naturally did not have the guts to ask that out loud in front of him.
Sometimes, he could be really scary when he was angry.
Qin Yu Zheng left the palace during a rainy spring day.
According to the people who sent her away, she left the palace with a face full of tears, looking back to the palace's entrance with an expression of reluctance. They said that Consort Yu must had been in cahoot with the empress dowager, trying to find ways for the latter to return to the palace.
- Children, you think too much.
She was probably only broken-hearted because she could not accidentally bump into her Yan Ping in the imperial garden anymore.
Even after being stuffed inside this golden cage for three years, her heart had never been with Feng Zhao Wen.
Deep inside, everybody knew that.
Back then, when Rui Wang sent her to the harem, everybody knew that she was crazily in love with Yan Ping.
Even Feng Zhao Wen knew that she was just a gift to showcase good relationship.
Consort Yu understood her own heart the best.
But, in this troubled world, not everybody could get what they yearned for.
To be able to be where I was today, it was probably due to my good fortune.
5 months later, Yan Ping sent a news that the military had managed to suppress the Man Tribe. The Man Tribe put up a white flag and offered to send tributes each year. They asked for a marriage alliance in return.
Feng Zhao Wen accepted their offer and offered his sister, Princess Min An to marry the chief of the tribe. They were only waiting for the commander of the army to return. The chief would personally welcome his bride.
On the beginning of the 7th month, the day the commander of the army returned, I struggled with a kind of pain that was worse than death. Under His Majesty's anxious knocking at the door and the hard work of the imperial physicians and servants, I gave birth to a baby boy.
I heard, on the day of the commander's return, all the ministers gathered on the city's gate to welcome him. Only His Majesty was not there, too busy pacing in front of Zhong Hua Hall's door. He was completely unlike his usual imposing self.
E Huang said, ’’The noise that you made was too scary, as though you were going to die from the pain. His Majesty looked like he was in even more pain. He looked so pale.’’
The girl giggled happily, ’’It was so scary now that you could feel pain, Your Ladyship.’’
Seems like she still remembered that I used to be unable to feel any pain.
My son was named Feng Qing Jun.
Feng Zhao Wen said, ’’In a kingdom, the people are the most important. The kingdom itself comes second. The ruler is the least important.’’
(TN: The ruler is the least important = 君为轻;(jun wei qing))
I looked at the pinkish little meatball. It was too early to place that much expectation on him. I felt really tired and went off to my dreamland.
Dreams were beautiful, but reality was often cruel.
As Qing Jun grew up, he became more and more unruly. He liked angering me the most. I was in the hall with my books, my new dresses and some new masks that I bought from outside the palace. One second of distraction from me gave him the opportunity to break all the items.
I was so angry that I chased after him with a cane, followed by a bunch of servants that wanted to stop me but didn't have the guts to.
At that moment, I remembered how my Father used to chase after me with a door latch. A wave of nostalgia suddenly hit me.
Honestly, I was exactly like Qing Jun when I was younger.
Perhaps, Father wanted to be gentle with me too but simply couldn't because I was too mischievous. I always angered him so he could only take it out on me by hitting me.
Behind every temperament parents were demonically mischievous little kids.
He was so cute and fragile when he was just born. But after he started learning how to walk, his full destructive power was unleashed.
His Majesty was already used to me chasing after Qing Jun in anger. He was a good man, that Feng Zhao Wen. Instead of helping me, he would sit on the sideline, watching the show while smiling brightly, even ordering some servants to fan him and serve him tea. He whispered to Tian Bing Qing, ’’The empress has been locking herself up in Zhong Hua Hall for too long. She needs to stretch her limbs a little. This method of Qing Jun is really effective.’’
I waved the cane around before rushing towards him, ’’Are you saying that you instructed Qing Jun to do this?’’
He looked at me innocently, ’’The empress is joking, how could zhenteach Qing Jun to do ill-mannered things? Just, look at you after running around a little. Your skin is pinkish and all, just like what Shi Qing said.’’ He gave me an expression as though he was only doing this for my own good.
Qing Jun rushed out from a shrub behind him, ’’Save me, imperial father!’’ The kid ran into his chest like a little rabbit.
In the end, he still could not escape punishment.
No matter how much Feng Zhao Wen loved his child, he still had a little principle, unlike Uncle Tong who pampered me unconditionally.
He gently blew on Qing Jun's red palm that had been hit by me while scolding him, ’’It is good that you are making your imperial mother exercise, but you shouldn't have destroyed all the things that she bought. Remember, it is okay to make her chase after you, but you must not destroy things...’’
Was that how he was going to teach children?
No wonder Qing Jun had became even more unruly. He wouldn't even listen to me anymore.
I was worried for the Kingdom of the Great Qi. What if the emperor managed the court the same way he disciplined his child?
Qing Jun pursed his lips while whispering to Feng Zhao Wen, ’’Imperial mother sneaked out of the palace and did not bring you and me, you should ground her, imperial father! Make her copy 'The Virtues of Women!'’’ He blinked at me.
I gritted my teeth at him, giving him a fierce expression. He immediately buried his face against his father's chest in fear.
Not long later, what Qing Jun said came true.
I got pregnant again and had fetal instability. Feng Zhao Wen grounded me and forbade me from leaving the dragon bed.
It wasn't completely miserable for me, though. I no longer had to chase after Qing Jun. I only needed to ask His Majesty to bring the kid to me and he would. It was easier for me to hit Qing Jun.
As I raised my hand ready to hit him, the father and son blinked at me.
Feng Zhao Wen: ’’Yi Er, Shi Qing said you need to manage your anger. You need to recuperate properly. Hitting the child requires energy. Why don't you wait a little and hit him after autumn?’’
Did he think I was the authority dealing with a prisoner? Why didn't he offer to hit him instead?
The emperor who had engaged in many wars couldn't even raise his hand on his child?
Qing Jun's dark eyes were watery as he burst into tears, ’’Once imperial mother gives birth to little sister, you will not love Qing Jun anymore.... You must have picked me up from the trash can when I was a baby.....’’
......... Was he doing this to avoid getting hit?
I could not help from laughing as I hit him in the bum, ’’How do you know it is going to be a little sister, little bastard?’’
He stopped crying and wiped his tears before giving my face a couple of kisses, ’’Imperial mother, please give me a little sister to play with. A cute and pretty one, prettier than other people's sisters!’’
During the New Year's banquet, one of the noble madams brought her young daughter to the palace. She was 3 years older than Qing Jun.
Was that where he learned how to call other people 'meimei'?
(TN: Meimei means little sister.)
E Huang told me that he would also call some of the prettier maids 'meimei'. That kid gave me headaches!
In the end, I unconsciously looked forward to giving birth to a daughter as well, hoping to cure Qing Jun from his madness.
When Xin Rui was born, Feng Zhao Wen and Qing Jun were beyond happy.
Xin Rui, to me, was a reward after 4 years of hard work with raising Qing Jun.
My daughter was beautiful and lovable, like a little flower. Other than being a little crybaby, she was very very adorable.
Unfortunately, I grew used to being a little rough after dealing with Qing Jun for 4 years, so it was kind of hard for me to be gentle with this fragile daughter of mine.
Even E Huang was anxious everytime I carried Xin Rui, ’’Be careful, Your Ladyship. The little princess is not the same as His Highness Qing Jun. Be careful not to drop her.....’’ She kept nagging like a mother hen.
Everytime Feng Zhao Wen returned from court, he would personally carry Xin Rui. Now that he had a daughter, he finally realized his mistakes with raising Qing Jun. He started sending Qing Jun to study.
He chose Yan Ping as Qing Jun's tutor and asked for my opinion. Yan Ping was good in both the books and in martial arts. He could teach Qing Jun both. I strongly told His Majesty to convey my message to Yan Ping: Prince Qing Jun was a child full of energy, I hope he could be strict when teaching him martial arts so that Qing Jun could reach his full potential.
In times where the world was peaceful, it was even more important to learn martial arts. Do not pay attention to only literature and ignore physical abilities.
Qing Jun went to his lesson with a bitter face.
The emperor hugged Xin Rui as he laughed, ’’Since Yi Er could not personally chase after him, you want to use other people to do it for you?’’
Since Feng Qing Jun had been cramped inside Zhong Hua Hall, the things he broke were usually my personal belongings. Whenever he left Zhong Hua Hall, he would treat others with courtesy, so his reputation was really good.
I put on the expression that I usually wore when dealing with the harem, ’’Your Majesty is too narrow-minded. Chenqie is only thinking for the kingdom, having a capable heir is a must!’’
Both of us knew very well that this was just an excuse. It was a well-gossiped topic that the empress was violent towards the Crown Prince. People were saying that a child who grew up in an abusive household would become one who inflict the abuse in the future.
The emperor who knew about those rumors could not help himself from laughing, ’’The excuse is not bad! The empress now knows how to plan carefully. Making the tutor teach him both literature and martial arts saves money too;such a virtuous empress!’’
....... He was clearly mocking me!
Thinking about Qing Jun about to experience martial arts makes me laugh out loud. I promptly forgot about Xin Rui who was being hold by Feng Zhao Wen. My loud laughter woke her up from her sleep and caused her to cry. His Majesty tried his best to mollify her while I laughed on top of the dragon bed until my eyes got teary.
My blissful days seemed never-ending. My days were so sweet that it brought tears to my eyes.
On the Qing Ming Festival next year, I could pray on Father's grave and tell him that due to his teaching, life was good.