Chapter Fifty-Eight – The Emperor (8)
Yan Jing Ze did many things in the palace, and Chu Ting Xiu met with many people outside the palace.
There were many in the imperial court who were not satisfied with being ‘oppressed’ by a military man like him. From time to time, people in the imperial court would talk about him. He wasn’t really having a good time, and the soldiers who stayed with him in the capital weren’t happy either.
As soon as he left the palace, he went to the barracks outside the city to meet his soldiers.
“General, when are we going to go back?” Chu Ting Xiu’s adjutant asked Chu Ting Xiu.
Most of them were born and raised in the North, their families were in the North, and they were always thinking about wanting to go back.
“I’ll make arrangements for you guys to go back in groups to visit family,” Chu Ting Xiu thought about it.
He would have wanted them to bring their families here. But when he thought that he had become involved with the emperor and that he did not know what would happen to him in the future, he did not dare to make such a decision.
Chu Ting Xiu’s subordinates knew nothing and were very happy.
The number of soldiers and horses Chu Ting Xiu retained in the capital were only a few thousand, but they were the best of the best.
He stayed in the barracks for a while before riding back home.
By the time he got back to the Chu residence, it was already afternoon.
Chu Ting Xiu stopped at the door and looked at the front door of his house, a little afraid to go in.
His grandfather was an orphan, and many years ago, the Emperor Taizu gave his grandfather a roast chicken. Then his grandfather went with Emperor Taizu to conquer the world.
During the war years, his grandfather had several women, and several children, but only his father survived, and his father only had two children, one was him and the other was his sister.
Before he found out he liked men, he felt ashamed for having let his Chu family ancestors down.
This feeling is even greater now.
He is already with His Majesty, and if this were known, he would be accused of being a sycophant for a thousand years.
If His Majesty gets tired of him one day, he won’t have a good end, and his family might be implicated as well.
What’s more, his sister Tinglan also likes Yan Jing Ze.
As soon as Chu Ting Xiu became entangled, he saw his sister.
Chu Tinglan didn’t sleep last night, and this morning, although she rested for a while, when she heard that her brother had left the palace, she immediately got up and waited. But she didn’t expect that Chu Ting Xiu would go to the barracks and come back only after half a day.
Because of the anxious waiting, Chu Tinglan couldn’t restrain her anger, but when she saw Chu Ting Xiu, she still made a delicate and weak appearance: “Brother, you’re finally back.”
“Mm,” Chu Ting Xiu responded, shame welling up in his heart again.
“Brother, I was worried when you didn’t come home all-night last night.” Chu Tinglan looked at Chu Ting Xiu worriedly.
To Chu Tinglan, Chu Ting Xiu, her older brother, she doesn’t have a deep affection for him.
Her mother, a lady of a noble family, had a childhood sweetheart. But the late emperor decreed that her mother be given in marriage to her father whose first wife had died.
Her mother was forced to marry in the North, where she lived for three years and gave birth to her.
She was born weak so her mother finally found an excuse and took her back to live in the capital. They never went to the North again after that.
As long as she can remember, she has only met her father once, and she and her brother met for the first time a year and a half ago, so it is naturally difficult for her to have a brother-sister relationship.
Now she is so concerned about her older brother just because she wants to do something for her beloved.
Three years ago, while her brother was away on a war, a dandy of the Zhou clan took notice of her, and the Empress Dowager tried to get her to marry the dandy in order to recruit her brother.
The guy was greasy and obnoxious and she certainly didn’t want to get involved with him. When she went out with her girlfriends to go to the Lantern Festival, she was tricked by her girlfriends into going to the guy’s boat and was almost humiliated.
It was King Ping who saved her.
At that time the Empress Dowager was still around. King Ping himself was in danger but he still tried to mediate for her so that she would not have to marry that man.
Her heart fell on King Ping.
King Ping and His Majesty were both sons of the late emperor. King Ping was far more outstanding than His Majesty, but in the end, it was His Majesty who was crowned Emperor. His Majesty didn’t like King Ping because he was outstanding…
Knowing that the King Ping wanted her brother’s support, she volunteered to help him. Unfortunately, her brother only wanted to hold all the power and was unwilling to work with King Ping and targeted him in the court.
Her brother even tried to marry her off to His Majesty.
Her mother had died and could not decide her marriage, so she had to listen to her brother… She thought, if her brother wanted her to marry His Majesty, then she should marry him!
She even thought that if she could kill the emperor, the empire would be King Ping’s at last!
“I’m fine,” Chu Ting Xiu said.
“Brother, you were injured when you returned late before. This time…” Chu Tinglan did not seem to be reassured.
Chu Ting Xiu felt even more guilty.
“Is it something His Majesty has done?” Chu Tinglan asked.
Chu Ting Xiu said: “His Majesty has done nothing. Tinglan, think about your marriage, and if you like someone, tell me.”
Chu Ting Xiu had talked about this before, and now he brought it up…
Chu Tinglan: “Brother, didn’t you want me to marry His Majesty?” It was obviously her brother who wanted her to marry His Majesty, so she went along with it and said she liked His Majesty.
“When did I ever think of that?” Chu Ting Xiu was stunned. From the very beginning, he had never thought of letting His Majesty and his sister get married, but everyone around him suggested it, and his sister also liked His Majesty, so he could only accept it.
Chu Tinglan didn’t know why Chu Ting Xiu had changed his decision and was a little anxious, but couldn’t help but say, “What if I want to marry King Ping?”
Chu Ting Xiu’s eyebrows furrowed: “King Ping is not a good match.”
Chu Ting Xiu had a bad impression of King Ping. He could sense that King Ping had a group of forces in his hands and these people were not good to Yan Jing Ze. More importantly, although King Ping did not marry a princess, he already had a side consort.
Chu Tinglan lowered her head and did not speak.
Chu Ting Xiu added: “Tinglan, think about it carefully… And if you want to, there’s no harm in recruiting a husband.” In the North, it is not uncommon for a woman to recruit a husband and set up her own business, and she is still comfortable.
Chu Tinglan was so angry that she ended up laughing. What kind of person could she find? Her brother just doesn’t like her!
Chu Ting Xiu stood in the same place, not knowing why.
In the evening, Chu Ting Xiu wanted to go to the palace and thought about it, but he didn’t go.
It is not good for His Majesty’s reputation that he stays in the palace every day.
Chu Ting Xiu didn’t enter the palace. So, after preparing a table of food, Yan Jing Ze ended up eating the meal alone.
Tomorrow, he will definitely make Chu Ting Xiu look good!
The next day, there was a morning court.
Yan Jing Ze sat on the dragon chair and kept staring at Chu Ting Xiu.
Chu Ting Xiu was extremely uncomfortable being stared at.
The political matters discussed were similar, and even the matters discussed the day before were brought up for discussion by the ministers. In the end, it was Chu Ting Xiu who made a quick decision on the constitution.
Then the courtiers… started to talk about the establishment of a queen again.
In the past, Chu Ting Xiu used to either say nothing about this matter, or say a few words of advice after many people had mentioned it.
As soon as someone brought it up, Chu Ting Xiu said, “His Majesty is still young, and there is no hurry to establish a queen.”
As soon as Chu Ting Xiu’s words came out, everyone was stunned.
Is His Majesty still young? Where is he young?
His Majesty is twenty-one years old! Unless the family was poor and could not afford a wife or was in mourning, men of this age were almost always married!
When His Majesty was fourteen or fifteen years old, he had already been suggested to establish an empress, but it was the Empress Dowager who prevented him from doing so. Now the Empress Dowager is not here, and Chu Ting Xiu is stopping him again?
Many ministers in the court looked at Chu Ting Xiu angrily.
Chu Ting Xiu didn’t care about them and said, “Establishing a queen is an important matter and cannot be decided lightly.” He was not with His Majesty before, and he naturally wanted His Majesty to establish a queen for His Majesty’s sake, but now it is different.
As long as His Majesty doesn’t change his mind, he will do his best to stop it.
If one day His Majesty changes his mind and wants to establish a queen… Even if he were to be punished for the crime of ‘stopping His Majesty from establishing a queen,’ he would have nothing to say.
It’s always the path you choose.
He just wanted these days to be a little bit more enjoyable to live with.
“General Chu, what are your intentions in not allowing His Majesty to establish a queen!” Someone looked angrily at Chu Ting Xiu.
When Chu Ting Xiu was speaking, Yan Jing Ze was already elated, but also felt that Chu Ting Xiu was a bit silly… He said something like that and he could be easily attacked…
Yan Jing Ze was busy gesturing to Wang Zhong with his eyes.
At this moment, no matter whether it was the Emperor’s party, King Ping’s party, or the Empress Dowager’s party, all of them were staring at Chu Ting Xiu, analyzing Chu Ting Xiu’s meaning.
Chu Ting Xiu stood there, not saying a word.
Just then, a young eunuch ran in, fell to his knees, and cried, “Your Majesty, the Empress Dowager… has collapsed.”
Yan Jing Ze hurriedly stood up and sadly said, “Imperial Grandmother…”
He was shaken and then he was helped along and sat down again. He covered his face with his sleeve, lest anyone should see that he had no sad expression on his face at all.
Everyone knows that he and the Empress Dowager have a deep hatred for each other, but in this era of filial piety, he has to act, which is quite annoying…
As Yan Jing Ze was thinking about this, he heard the King Ping cry out, “Imperial Grandmother…”
Yan Jing Ze: “…” This guy is a better actor than he is.
The unlucky Empress Dowager had actually died in the morning.
The funeral announcement was specially arranged by Yan Jing Ze, who originally wanted the funeral announcement to be made in the morning. Afterwards, it was logical to keep mourning and not mention the issue of establishing a queen for the time being, but Chu Ting Xiu suddenly jump out and forbid him to establish a queen. He really didn’t expect it.
And now, as expected, no one is talking about establishing a queen.
No matter what the Empress Dowager had done before, she was still the Empress Dowager, and now that she was dead, even the Emperor had to give her a wake. At the same time, all the officials had to get busy with her funeral.
This is something that Yan Jing Ze did not participate in on the pretext of being heartbroken and not feeling well.
He also called Chu Ting Xiu: “You’re a fool to say that in the courtroom today… You see, you’ve been scolded!”
Chu Ting Xiu didn’t say anything.
“Now that the Empress Dowager is dead, I plan to keep mourning for three years, so I don’t have to take care of those who asked me to establish an Empress for these three years. And after three years, I will see who still dares to disobey me.”
In the former dynasty, there were emperors who did not go to court for ten years, and there were emperors who snatched someone else’s wife into the palace, and still managed to stay on as emperor.
As long as he got rid of the unstable King Ping and secured the throne, he doesn’t believe others would dare to question him.