The Princess Wei Yang - Chapter 94 part2
The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 94 part2
Nǚ guān – An attendant that serves an Empress Dowager, Empress, Imperial concubine or princess
Private Study, San Huangzi’s Manor
Tuoba Zhen’s study took up most of the space in his courtyard with valuable books, calligraphy, and paintings inside. Outside his study was an area to receive guests. In the past, the door of his study was always quiet and peaceful, but now, the place was full of guards. Under the eaves of the courtyard, a tall, formidable man stood in the main hall. Every guard had their hands placed on the hilt of their blades, their faces stern and vigilant, not allowing anyone to come near the study.
“Dianxia, Xian Fei niang niang sent someone to bring a jade token as proof and even promised the position of Ce fei.”
“Silence!” Tuoba Zhen smashed a cup of tea, and the person reporting immediately fell silent.
That person was He Jing, San Huangzi’s closest adviser, but at this time, he did not dare to face Tuoba Zhen’s fury.
Knowing Li Wei Yang had set him up, Tuoba Zhen felt his blood boil. He only needed to close his eyes to see Li Wei Yang’s disdainful and goading expression, and even the contempt beneath it, he practically lost his mind over it! That girl, she actually dared to do such a thing!
Over the years, Tuoba Zhen buried away his resentment. He resented the Emperor, why did he favor Tuoba Yu like that! He resented his birth mother for her low birth and status! He even resented himself for having to endure the humiliation all these years, only to fall into this trap! He was even brought down by someone like Li Chang Le. Why did Li Wei Yang help Tuoba Yu, failing to understand ambitions and even his feelings towards her!
If the evidence had not been taken care of by Tian Jing, one of Tuoba Rui’s close confidants bribed by three thousand liang of gold, this scandal would have spread all over Da Li. He would have helpless and even more troubled. As if being favored by the Emperor was not enough, Tuoba Yu even had a clever, capable girl by his side, helping him scheme! Thousands of words in his heart accumulated into a monstrous hatred, aggressively twisting his face.
Seeing San Huangzi’s normally refined and reserved face like this, He Jing inhaled sharply and subconsciously bowed lower.
Enraged, Tuoba Zhen overturned the table, sending papers, brushes, and the inkstone to the floor, scattering everywhere.
Seeing the mess in front of him, Tuoba Zhen realized his mistake. He turned around and took a deep breath as if wanting to force out the anger from within. A while later, he turned back, his face calm and cold as jade, faintly smiling as usual. He Jing began to feel that the fuming, enraged face he just saw was a trick of the light.
Tuoba Zhen slowly began: “I was a bit overwhelmed. Scholar, please stand up.” He even personally helped He Jing up. He Jing stood and quietly said: “Shu xia knows San Dianxia is displeased, but the current situation is more than a crisis, it is an opportunity.”
Tuoba Zhen frowned: “How so?”
He Jing smiled: “Everything Xian Fei niang niang has done was for your sake. Marrying Li Chang Le is not necessarily a bad thing.”
Tuoba Zhen was aware of this, but Li Chang Le was not of much use to him. However, he could not stand having to marry a woman in these circumstances. It was humiliating! Even so – “Tian Jing was bribed to be used for more important purposes! Now, three years of preparation have been wasted over such a small matter, how can I not be furious!”
He Jing agreed it was an unfortunate loss, but if he expressed his regrets, it would like fueling a raging fire with oil, so he only advised: “If Dianxia can gain the Jiang family’s support, then it could be said this good fortune is born from misfortune.”
The Jiang family did not have a nu er from the main wife, only a shu nu that had been married to Taizi, who was not favored in the family either. However, the Jiang family deeply cherished Li Chang Le. If they wanted to gain the Jiang family’s support, that would be the case, except this was accidental, and this move was made too prematurely. If he married Li Chang Le, the Emperor and his xiong di would be wary of him! There was still something else in Tuoba Zhen’s heart that could not be expressed; if he married Li Chang Le, then it would be even more unlikely for Li Wei Yang to marry him… He clenched his fist!
“What good fortune is born from misfortune! More like the tall tree is swayed by the wind!” Li Wei Yang, you are ruthless! He took a deep breath and angrily slammed his fist on the back of a chair.
He Jing saw Tuoba Zhen’s murderous face and reluctant words through clenched teeth. He felt his legs were still trembling. He reminded him to be careful with his words and secretly sighed, this was disadvantageous to San Huangzi indeed!
“Dianxia, do not worry, let us reexamine this and stabilize this volatile situation!”
On the other end, Li Wei Yang came back from He Xiang Courtyard, slightly perturbed. If Li Xiao Ran had not acted so quickly, Li Chang Le would be a corpse now.
Cutting the grass does not remove the roots, and when spring comes, it will grow back. If Li Chang Le is given an opportunity, she will continue to cause trouble.
Li Wei Yang spontaneously plucked a peony and held it up. Suddenly, a blinding flash appeared overhead, followed by rolling thunder. It was not just her, Bai Zhi and Mo Zhu were also taken by surprise. Shortly after, heavy rain fell down.
Li Wei Yang looked out the window to see the downpour, blurring the world into a single color. She idly walked towards the window, fixated on the splashes of rain.
“Why is it suddenly raining so heavily!” Mo Zhu muttered, rushing to close the windows.
Thunder rumbled, frightening the young Yatous, who tightly held onto each other. A youth with a wide hat suddenly appeared in the courtyard and came running. Li Wei Yang had been in a bad mood, but seeing this, she smiled, turned and said: “Go prepare clean cloths.”
Bai Zhi stuck her head outside and immediately laughed: “Yes.”
Li Min De went inside, drenched from the rain. Bai Zhi and Mo Zhu rushed to prepare clean cloths for him to dry off with. His hair was also soaked, letting water continue to drip onto the floor. Li Wei Yang softly chuckled: “What are you doing here?”
Li Min De frowned: “In the middle of the night—”
Li Wei Yang waved her hand, gesturing for the Yatous by her side to withdraw. “Zhao Nan tells you everything.” Xiong mei Zhao Nan and Zhao Yue were Li Min De’s subordinates. Reporting back to him was to be expected, but Li Min De felt a bit embarrassed, his face reddening. It must have seemed like he was closely monitoring her actions. Afraid Li Wei Yang would misunderstand, he was prepared to explain when Li Wei Yang shook her head, letting him know she did not mind: “I did not want to hide this from you either.”
Relieved, Li Min De continued: “But Da Bofu did not dispose of Li Chang Le and even sent her back up the mountain, indirectly protecting her.”
Li Wei Yang gazed out at the pouring rain and smiled dryly: “He is wary of the Jiang family. Otherwise, because of her actions during the funeral ceremony, she would have been long gone.”
Li Min De grimaced: “It was Wu Huangzi, now it’s San Huangzi. Either way, Li Chang Le is not at a disadvantage.”
Li Wei Yang suddenly laughed aloud: “Silly. Of course she is faced with a disadvantage, if anything, it is a great disadvantage.”
Li Min De thought for a moment then understood: “Right! Wu Huangzi genuinely liked her and even promised for her to be Zheng fei, but she ignored his sentiments. Tuoba Rui will never forgive her and Tuoba Zhen! Having offended Tuoba Rui, he now has to deal with Wu Huangzi and Qi Huangzi, leaving Tuoba Zhen with a lot on his hands!”
Li Wei Yang smiled thinly: “That is just one of the reasons. Tuoba Zhen will also resent Li Chang Le’s foolishness and for having to marry her like this. Based on his personality, he will repay her with this grudge hundreds of thousands of times over. I wonder how entertaining this couple will turn out.”
When she said this, undisguised satisfaction and relish appeared in her eyes. Li Min De didn’t notice, even if he did, he pretended as if he had not seen it. He would always unconditionally support her and trust her, but – “A lot of things can change in three years. I also heard that Jiang Xu is returning to the Capital.”
“Oh—so, Da jiujiu is coming back.” Li Wei Yang smiled, no wonder Li Xiao Ran quickly changed his mind and spared Li Chang Le’s life. “He must be hurrying back for the funeral.” Losing two meimei, one after the other, could he no longer sit still? She thought and asked: “Who else is coming back with him?”
“It is still not clear yet. The people I sent only found out that Jiang Xu will arrive in the Capital in less than three days.”
Li Wei Yang nodded, looking out the window at the heavy rain and scoffed. The storm that would have come sooner or later finally came.
The next morning, an invitation came from the palace. The Empress Dowager summoned Li Wei Yang to the palace. The news left everyone stunned and surprised.
After applying her makeup, Li Wei Yang followed the eunuchs back to the palace. They arrived at the doors of the Empress Dowager’s palace. She placed a silk bag that had been prepared beforehand into the hands of a nu guan. The nu guan weighed the bag in her hand, then smiled: “Xianzhu, please go ahead.” When Li Wei Yang walked past, the nu guan whispered: “De Fei niang niang came here last night.”
Startled, Li Wei Yang frowned.
Zhang De Fei, what did she want! This woman was always causing trouble for her!
Nu guan saw Li Wei Yang had understood, smiled and led her inside. Li Wei Yang walked into the hall, but this time, her mind was not at ease. The Empress Dowager waited, seated in a high position that was separated by an expanse of sandalwood incense, her face stern.
Li Wei Yang solemnly ceremonially greeted her: “Wei Yang greets the Empress Dowager.”
The last time they met, the Empress Dowager was polite and cordial, but now, she did not seem to even let Li Wei Yang stand up. She quietly sat there, eying Li Wei Yang from head to toe.
Even her own granddaughters lacked such a refined disposition. The Empress Dowager recalled what Zhang De Fei had said and sighed: “I heard your Muqin just passed away.”
“Responding to the Empress Dowager, yes.” The Empress Dowager had yet to permit her to sit, so Li Wei Yang could only stand there and respond.
The Empress Dowager’s voice became stern: “Muqin passed away, a nu er must uphold filial piety for three years. In these three years, you must watch your words and actions.”
“Yes, Wei Yang understands.” Li Wei Yang remembered the Empress Dowager’s favorite grandson was Qi Huangzi Tuoba Yu. Her face did not change as she politely answered, not revealing her frustration. She was actually rather unhappy. Last time, Zhang De Fei did not gain the upper hand, so she turned to the Empress Dowager and wanted the Empress Dowager to stop her from seeing Tuoba Yu? This Zhang De Fei thought too highly of her son, as for what De Fei treasured and sought to protect, Li Wei Yang did not want any of it! Whether it was Ce fei of a Huangzi, Zheng fei, or even to be Empress if Tuoba Yu became Emperor one day, she would not want it either!
The Empress Dowager’s face was formal and stiff: “Good, you are a sensible child. You know what you should do and not do.” She stopped there, but her intentions were clear. Although Li Wei Yang was clever and sensible, she was not worthy of Tuoba Yu and could never be chosen as Zheng fei because she was the nu er of a servant girl. Even if she was clever and the Empress Dowager rewarded her, she could not let her become Qi Huangzi fei.
Li Wei Yang understood what the Empress Dowager had said. She knew the Empress Dowager well enough. That year, the Empress Dowager was distant with her because of her concubine-born status. She spent a lot of time and effort to make the Empress Dowager like her and accept her because Tuoba Zhen was not favored, unlike the Empress Dowager’s precious Tuoba Yu.
Of course, Li Wei Yang understood her sentiments. The Empress Dowager was at the top of the hierarchy in Da Li, she could not directly oppose her, not to mention, it would be irrational and foolish. Li Wei Yang would not do something she was unsure of.
The Empress Dowager began: “Since you came to the palace, then help Aijia copy Buddhist scriptures.”
Li Wei Yang bowed down: “Yes.”
The Empress Dowager’s place of worship was just behind the main hall. The Empress Dowager stood up. A nu guan held her arm and led her out. Li Wei Yang immediately followed. When she arrived at the Buddhist temple, the Empress Dowager began to recite sutras from the Buddhist scriptures. The nu guan gestured to Li Wei Yang, and she went over to the red, engraved table. The young palace maids had prepared paper, ink, and three thick volumes of Buddhist scriptures on the table.
“Xianzhu, please copy these three volumes, then you can go.” Nu guan quietly relayed the Empress Dowager’s orders.
Separated by a heavy, beaded curtain, Li Wei Yang glanced at the Empress Dowager and smiled: “Yes.”
After four shichen, Li Wei Yang continued to diligently copy the scriptures. The words in the volumes were small, so looking at them for a long time will make others dizzy. If it were someone else, they would have complained about the back pain and lose determination, but Li Wei Yang still stood and copied the scriptures, not lamenting that she was tired, nor did she ask for a chair. She solemnly stood there and carefully copied the texts.
The Empress Dowager looked at her, and her frown began to ease. She did not have any ill feelings towards Li Wei Yang. On the contrary, she took a liking to this clever and brave xiao guniang, but her birth mother’s status was too low. In the past, the Emperor bestowed her a title and raised her to great heights. If one did not make her remember her place, perhaps later on, she would even climb the dragon and follow the phoenix.
Tuoba Yu was definitely not someone Li Wei Yang could touch! The Empress Dowager thought to herself, the Buddhist prayer beads in her hand continue to rotate.
Another two shichen passed. It was now sometime between lunch and dinner. The Empress Dowager had a light meal, but Li Wei Yang’s stomach grumbled. The nu guan beside her looked at her, but her hand did not even shake at the slightest. How strange.
How could any of them know that Li Wei Yang had spent so many years in the Cold Palace. Patience and endurance came as naturally to her as it did eating, so she did not mind a small punishment like this. However, as time went on, she began to write faster, and the words began to blur. Eventually, the Empress Dowager lowered her prayer bead bracelet and looked at her as if deep in thought.
Zhou nu guan reminded her: “Empress Dowager niang niang, you should rest.”
The Empress Dowager stood and slowly walked out to the door. When she looked back, she saw Li Wei Yang did not look up at all and continued to carefully copy the Buddhist scriptures as if she had not noticed the Empress Dowager left. The Empress Dowager had some admiration for the xiao guniang’s endurance and perseverance. Pity, she did not have a Muqin of noble birth and status, so she was not qualified to become Yu er’s Zheng fei. Perhaps she should be married to a Huangzi of lower birth or to a noble family, so she will not suffer. The Empress Dowager resigned to her thoughts and left.
When Li Wei Yang’s brush finally stopped, it was almost daybreak.
Li Wei Yang looked up: “The Buddhist scriptures have been copied, does the Empress Dowager have other orders?”
Zhou nu guan immediately went outside to report. A while later, she came back and said: “The Empress Dowager has ordered that Xianzhu place the copied Buddhist scriptures in front of the statue of Buddha. Then, Xianzhu may return.”
There was no resentment on Li Wei Yang’s face. She carefully brought the Buddhist scriptures over to the statue of Buddha, kowtowed, then stood up and left.
The young palace maid said: “This Anping Xianzhu is truly persevering. Last time when Liu Gongzhu was punished by Empress Dowager niang niang and had to copy Buddhist scriptures, she cried for two shichen straight! On the other hand, Xianzhu did not frown at the slightest from beginning to end!”
Zhou nu guan sighed: “This is what is means to have a refined demeanor and determination. The Empress Dowager niang niang punished her but also reminded her that a tall tree will be swayed by the wind. De Fei niang niang stands firm in the palace, not because of luck but because she obeys and understands this. The Empress Dowager will give her a good future, but if one does not know one’s place and hopes to climb the dragon and follow the phoenix, then the consequences—” She did not say anything more and stared after Li Wei Yang’s retreating figure, then turned around, “In any case, she does not seem like a fish in the well. Perhaps one day, fortune will unexpectedly smile on her.”
The palace maid looked at Li Wei Yang’s silhouette, her eyes widening.
Good fortune? What good fortune! Offending De Fei niang niang only meant death! How could fortune smile on her in the future then. Wasn’t this just wishful thinking?
Li Wei Yang was slowly led out by palace maids. They ran into an eunuch at the palace gates, he sharply said: “Who is this?!”
A palace maid quickly said: “Liu gonggong, this is Anping Xianzhu.”
Liu gonggong was a little over thirty, his face pale as a sheet, his eyes cleverly examining Li Wei yang’s face before smiling: “So it is Anping Xianzhu—Xianzhu truly does have a refined air. Xian Fei niang niang is having the palace maids collect morning dew in the Imperial Garden. Since Xianzhu is passing through, Xianzhu should naturally stop by to greet her.”
Xian Fei niang niang? The only person in the palace who would be called that was Wu Xian Fei. Li Wei Yang stiffened, this Wu Xian Fei was Tuoba Zhen’s adopted mother! Why did she want to see her?! Because she happened to be here? No, it was not a coincidence!