Chapter 10: Bringing the Prince Back Home (2)
I didn’t say anything more, and just directly used the crystal mirror to slap Heavenly Lord Si Ming’s face.
F***! It’s enough that you let me be bullied by men in this life, but you even let my previous body be pushed down by a man! I, I, I……
I hatefully wanted to swallow Heavenly Lord Si Ming alive, when I suddenly heard someone by my ear call: “Crown Princess, Crown Princess……”
I opened my eyes. That Heavenly Lord Si Ming was long gone without a trace, and instead it was Lu Li who was looking at me with worry: “Crown Princess, what happened with you? What kind of dream did you have?”
Dream? Ah right, let’s just think of it as having a nightmare, I comforted myself.
My mind was still stuck in the throes of my nightmare. Lu Li had fetched some clothes for me to wear, but I was still a bit muddleheaded. She thought that it was because I was going home today, and thus softly advised: “Crown Princess, today you will have to be in the same carriage as His Highness the Crown Prince, Crown Princess has no need to be willful anymore. Just follow His Highness some more, and there will naturally be a change in His Highness’ treatment of Crown Princess……”
I just felt as though I was struck by thunder, and the hands I had stretched out to put on the clothes even froze in midair. Only turning my head, I asked Lu Li: “Together in the same carriage as Qi Sheng?”
Lu Li was oblivious and just nodded her head before saying: “His Highness is willing to accompany Crown Princess back home, of course he wouldn’t let Crown Princess ride a carriage alone which would create gossip. The capital’s carriages are certainly very fast but it will still take at least half a day’s effort for us to reach the outskirts. Crown Princess must take hold of this opportunity, and properly get closer to His Highness.”
Lightning bolts struck the top of my head one by one, striking me to the point that my three souls and seven spirits left my body1. Lu Li then said something else that didn’t enter my ears because there was only a stark-naked back swaying in front of my eyes……
An inner servant came from outside with the message that the carriages had all been prepared and that Crown Prince Qi Sheng was already waiting for me outside the palace gate. Lu Li was unable to continue touching up on my face, and promptly dragged me outside. Reaching out too slowly to hug the pillars, I had to take my reputation into consideration when I was outside the Palace, so I could only obediently follow Lu Li and walk outside.
Reaching the Palace gates, I saw that the Prince’s guards were already stationed there, and a huge, luxurious royal carriage blocked the gate.
Although all the beauties of the Eastern Palace couldn’t return to their family homes as well, they were still dressed up gorgeously as they waited there to send us off. However, my heart was only full of worry, and I didn’t even have the spirit to look at the beauties. In fact, I only looked around for Qi Sheng’s figure.
An inner servant saw me looking around and hurried over to whisper: “His Royal Highness is already waiting for the Crown Princess in the carriage, please get on the carriage Crown Princess.”
Lu Li didn’t know I had already been turned crispy on the outside and tender on the inside by the lightning that struck me, and rushed to help me carefully tidy my make-up again. She then felt that my lips were not red enough, and incessantly reminded me in a quiet voice: “Crown Princess, bite your lips, use force and bite.”
Bite my lips? It’s better to bite my tongue!
The inner servant placed down a clear, golden step stool for me, and I placed a foot on it yet I still couldn’t give up. Turning around, I asked Lu Li: “Can I switch carriages?”
I guess Lu Li was also a bit too anxious for she didn’t even hear my question, and instead only fretfully urged in a whisper: “Bite your lips once, bite once, use some force!”
Her worry had finally infected me and I actually even forgot the problem I just asked her. Listening to her, I used some force to bite my lips, and only felt a quick stab of pain. Reaching out to wipe my lip, astonishingly, I was met with blood. I had bitten hard enough to break skin.
Lu Li was also stunned silly, and was dazed for a moment before she urgently said: “Crown Princess, broken! Broken! Your bite broke the skin!”
She was shouting like this, but in contrast, I was calming down. After all, I wasn’t really that Zhang-shi. A big gentleman sharing a carriage with another big gentleman, what was I wasting the effort to be so anxious for? Since that was the case, I grimaced and lifted the ends of my dress, brushed off both of Lu Li’s hands, and vigorously stepped onto the carriage.
Inside the carriage, Crown Prince Qi Sheng had long been leaning comfortably against a soft pillow. Seeing me come in, he lifted his eyelids to give me an unenthusiastic glance. His gaze paused on my lips for a moment before he looked away, and once again lowered his head to continue looking at the scroll in his hands.
I reached up to touch my still bleeding lip, breathed in some cold air, and then looked for a comfortable place across from Qi Sheng before also sitting down.
Outside, the inner servant asked if he could start driving. Qi Sheng softly replied with an affirmative noise, and while I still hadn’t spoken my opinion, the carriage started to slowly move. Perhaps it was because the shock absorption of the carriage wasn’t that good, because sitting there I surprisingly felt like the carriage was slowly swaying.
Uh, this frequency, it made me think of that shaking back again……how overwhelmingly depressing.
There was music playing outside the carriage, but the inside was completely silent. I thought about it. This Qi Sheng never had much to say to Zhang-shi, so waiting for him to start a conversation had a low chance of happening. Bluntly, it should be me who starts talking.
Qi Sheng finally raised his head from his book and looked at me, but still didn’t say anything.
I adjusted my tone to be as friendly as possible: “Do you have time? Let us……talk for a bit?”
Qi Sheng was expressionless: “What was the deal with Yang Yan?”
I said: “It isn’t a good idea for us to continue being like this. We should meet more regularly.”
Qi Sheng replied: “Next time don’t associate with Ninth Brother and the others that much.”
I asked: “Who exactly is Yang Yan?”
Qi Sheng said: “Stop creating trouble!”
Okay, I’m shutting up, better now?
The moment I stopped talking, Qi Sheng also stopped, and the carriage once again became silent. I could stretch my hand towards him and make a prompting motion: “You first please.”
Qi Sheng rather unexpectedly glanced at me for a moment, before saying: “Yang Yan’s father Yang Yu was originally Mai Shuai’s eldest son but he was given to the martyred Duke Yang Mo for adoption. Because the martyred duke died early, although it was said that he was adopted, Yang Yu grew up alongside Mai Shuai. Afterwards, it’s unknown how but they got entangled with the Northern Desert’s Cui family, and in Yang Yu’s earlier years he also got involved in some trouble. But the previous emperor favored Yang Yu a lot when he was alive, and so everyone had to tolerate him.”
As I listened I thought it was weird. It wasn’t because Yang Yan’s history was so complicated, but I was rather confused as to why Qi Sheng had the patience to tell me these things.
Qi Sheng continued: “Yang Yan is Yang Yu’s youngest son, and in the past he’s always been in Jiangbei. It was only recently that he came to Sheng City and somehow got mixed up with Ninth Brother without me knowing.”
Maybe because of the Eighteen Touches? I guessed.
As the saying goes, the relationship between men can be described as such: first stage is passing through a window together, second stage is hefting a gun together, third stage is visiting a prostitute together, and fourth sharing is sharing the spoils together.
If the first, second, and fourth stages were all crossed out, it’s only the third stage that’s left.
Qi Sheng paused and then stared at me.
I opened my mouth but didn’t say anything.
Qi Sheng saw me like this and thought I had some misgiving, and so faintly said: “If you have anything to say, say it. No need to worry.”
I opened my mouth again, but still didn’t dare to speak.
Qi Sheng’s eyebrows wrinkled before he simply picked up his book again. He lowered his head and stopped looking at me.
I looked at him, and wondered in my heart how exactly I should talk to him. Should I be tactful or should I be straightforward? Should I follow the patient and earnest teaching style or the shouting in your face rough style?
Which style would he be more inclined to absorb?
Ah, I’m not the type that’s good at persuading people.
I cleared my throat and asked: “You……do you have anything else to say?”
Qi Sheng did not reply, and only concentrated on reading his book.
I sat up and adopted a formal appearance: “Then it’s time for me to talk.”
Qi Sheng still didn’t react, and only the tip of his eyebrow slightly rose up.
Okay, I’ll just take it that you’ve been listening the entire time. I quickly went through the words I wanted to say in my mind once, and then asked in complete seriousness: “Do you still have the intention of becoming the emperor?”
Qi Sheng finally raised his head to look at me.
I waited for his words, “What’s it to you whether or not I want to?”
But even though I waited for a long time, I didn’t get them.
Therefore, I could only solemnly follow up on my words: “If you still want to, listen to me for a moment. If you don’t want to, then quickly abdicate. It’d be good if the others owe you a favor.”
Qi Sheng’s eyes moved a bit and finally showed a bit of a reaction. His tone was light as always as he asked: “Listen to you say what exactly?”
I solemnly said: “You’re currently in a very difficult position, outside there are powerful countries that desire this country, inside there’s disputes between brothers for the position of heir. Our circumstances are such that taking one wrong step will consign us to damnation.”
Qi Sheng didn’t say anything. I was afraid I was too vague about it, and just decided to blurt out: “Great men should put their careers first, there are many fish in the sea, why be in an one-side love with a single flower?”
Qi Sheng smiled a bit: “Oh? And then?”
“First put aside Jiang-shi for now,” I said, “In particular, the saying about how a lifetime should be spent with only one pair are words of stupidity. How could this be something an emperor would say!”
Qi Sheng looked at me silently, the emotions in his eyes were very complicated.
I took the chance to strike the iron while it’s hot: “Do you know what’s the least lacking in this world?”
This time Qi Sheng was rather cooperative and softly asked: “What?”
I slapped my thigh: “Women ah! You’re someone who’s supposed to become the emperor ah, with a harem of three thousand beauties, each attractive in their own way, exquisitely dainty and ravishingly beautiful, what kind would be lacking? What need is there for you to hang yourself on a willow tree2? Huh? Just with your situation, it’d be fine even if you tote around your silver spear all day and be a bridegroom every night.”
The edges of Qi Sheng’s lips moved a bit, but he still did not say anything.
I saw that Qi Sheng was still unmoved, so I could only change to another approach and decided to bare my heart: “In fact, it’s easy if you only like that Jiang-shi. Coax a bit, lie a bit and that’ll be enough. This woman ah, you can’t pamper her. You pamper her one day, and she’ll act spoiled. Pamper her two days, she’ll dare to be unreasonable. If you repeatedly pamper her for three days, enough! She’ll have the guts to even go up to the roof and take off the roof tiles3. Besides, right now you are still a crown prince, Jiang-shi is Zhao wangfei. Even if you like her what can you do? It will only let others get a hold of your weakness and pull you from your position as Crown Prince! It is only when you become the emperor that all the women under this heaven become yours. So what if she’s your brother’s wife? Find an excuse to transfer Zhao wang far away, the kind of far where he can’t return for a year. Can Zhao wangfei still refuse to let you steal her from him? The only thing you have to remember is to count the days correctly. As soon as Jiang-shi’s belly becomes larger, you must immediately call Zhao wang back at once. Even if you can’t fool Zhao wang, you’ll still be able to fool outsiders.”
Qi sheng’s face gradually darkened.
I quickly changed the topic: “If you really cherish that Jiang-shi, then just simply let that Zhao wang die in the line of duty and be done with it all. Zhao wangfei Jiang-shi can follow right after by pretending to commit suicide by being buried alive with her husband, and then just hide that Jiang-shi somewhere. After a year and a half, just pretend that some big official at the border regions had sent their niece, granddaughter, or adopted daughter etc etc to the palace. She’ll even have status then. Guifei or shufei or defei, give her whatever title you want! You’d be emperor so who would dare to say no?”
Qi Sheng’s face turned even darker.
1. Within this ancient soul dualism tradition, every living human has both a hun spiritual, ethereal, yang soul which leaves the body after death, and also a po corporeal, substantive, yin soul which remains with the corpse of the deceased. Its a thing in Chinese philosophy– quoted from my trusty TLC Luen.”↩
2. AKA don’t be so stubborn and seek another method.”↩
3. This basically means she’ll court death haha.”↩