TCPCHW Chapter 58
The Crown Prince Chases His Wife
Chapter 58 Restrain
For several days in a row, Qin Yan went to Taizi Mansion to work and got off work at a fixed time. No longer a situation where she was busy with official work until late at night on the first day, so she never had to stay at the Taizi Mansion.
These days, Qin Yan had gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of Taizi Feng Zhan, the heir to the monarch.
Taizi Feng Zhan, as the heir to the monarch who supervised the country, was indeed busy with official duties. A grand court meeting was held every three days in the imperial city, and a small court meeting was held in the Taizi Mansion from time to time. Occasionally, they also visit various government offices for inspection and receive courtiers at the Taizi Mansion.
Feng Zhan was very good at putting the right people to work. All matters, big and small, were discussed among his subordinates first. He only did the final check and then delegated power to his subordinates, allowing them to do whatever they wanted.
As the saying goes, one should not doubt the person one employs, and one should not use them to the extreme if one doubts the person.
On this point, Qin Yan quite agreed with him.
The affairs that Feng Zhan had in managing the Great Xia were complicated, even more so than the official affairs in Qin Yan’s own hands. If he couldn’t trust his subordinates completely and do everything himself, then the huge and complex organization of Great Xia would operate slower, and bigger problems would arise.
While implementing the decree, monitoring the situation, and making adjustments, this kind of dynamic management method was more flexible and adaptable to the real environment compared to being completely prepared before issuing an edict. It also avoided the closed-door practice of academic courtiers and staff.
Qin Yan’s work in the Taizi Mansion included annotating the compiled memorials sent to him from the Left and Right Prime Minister and participating in meetings of the Taizi Mansion, which was equivalent to half the staff of the Taizi Mansion.
During the days that Qin Yan was walking around Taizi Mansion, she did not find any major flaws in the operation of Taizi Mansion’s operation. Even if things went wrong occasionally, they would revise at an extremely fast speed.
Qin Yan couldn’t help but sigh that it was a blessing for Great Xia to have such an heir to the throne, Taizi Feng Zhan. If he was the emperor in the future, it would be the fortune of Great Xia. Qin Yan and Feng Zhan got along relatively peacefully, handling official affairs together became more harmonious, and their cooperation became more tacit.
Only occasionally did the two have some unavoidable physical contact, such as brushing their fingertips when picking up the memorial, or inadvertently crossing each other breath when looking at a map…
At this time, both Feng Zhan and Qin Yan tried their best to restrain and control themselves and bring their thoughts back to their official duties.
But neither Feng Zhan nor Qin Yan had any romantic experience before they met each other, little did they know that restrain would only make feelings stronger.
Officials from various prefectures who came to the capital to celebrate the birthday of the emperor have gradually entered the capital these days. They also took this opportunity to visit higher officials to inquire about some of the core movements of the court. It would be best to have some insider information about the Imperial family so that they could make some preparations in advance to prevent them from making a mistake when facing the emperor.
Many young masters and ladies of the officials in the capital were also actively preparing to display their talents at the Longevity Festival. If they receive the grace of the emperor, they can strive for glory for their family. If they were lucky, the emperor would bestow them a marriage, and some families could even leap to a higher class.
However, there were also some noble families who, for various reasons, had arranged marriages for their children in advance before the Longevity Festival. For example, the marriage between Qin Nian, the second daughter of the Right Prime Minister, and He Xiao, the eldest son of the Minister of the Ministry of War. Another example was the marriage between Wang Jingheng, the eldest son of the Left Prime Minister, and Han Shuangling, the only daughter of the Marquis of Guannei.
These families did not hide their arranged marriages, and the news quickly spread throughout the capital. Now the teahouses and restaurants became even more lively, and tongues were wagging.
“Hasn’t He Xiao, the eldest son of He Mansion, been engaged to Wang Jingyi, the eldest daughter of the Left Prime Minister Mansion, for many years? Why did he suddenly change to the second young lady of Right Prime Minister Mansion?”
“Yes, I heard that He Mansion and Left Prime Minister Mansion are preparing for the wedding. Why did the bride suddenly change?”
“I heard that Young Master He and Miss Wang’s eight characters were mismatched. It was only when they got married that they discovered that their eight characters were incompatible. The signboard of Dajue Temple was about to be destroyed.”
“Miss Wang is also pitiful.”
“Then Second Miss Qin has bagged a lucky charm. Her mother has been promoted as an equal wife by the Right Prime Minister and thus, Second Miss Qin can become the legitimate wife of the son of the Minister of War. If Second Miss Qin remain as a concubine-born daughter, she wouldn’t have this status.”
“Oh, what do you know? Miss Wang may not be necessarily pitiful, and Miss Qin may not be lucky either. Don’t you know that the eldest son of the He family has many beautiful ladies all over the capital? I also heard that the eldest son of the He family like the eldest daughter of the An family…”
“The Left Prime Minister also acted very quickly. The marriage of Young Master Wang, which was originally delayed, was finalized so quickly. The other party is still the only daughter of the Marquis of Guannei who has been away from the capital for a long time.”
“Why do you and I pity Miss Wang for? No matter how many times these noble young ladies have been rejected, some other high-ranking families would come to their doorstep to seek marriage.”
Everyone was silent for a moment.
Someone in the corner suddenly thought of a question.
“Hey, you say, the Left Prime Minister is Taizi’s uncle, while the Marquis of Guannai is the third prince’s uncle. It’s a bit intriguing that these two families are related by marriage.”
“I heard from my coworkers in the South Study that Princess Zhaoren, the eldest daughter of the Right Prime Minister, recently joined the staff team of the Taizi Mansion, but this Right Prime Minister is the second prince’s uncle…”
“What kind of arrangements… are these imperial relatives doing…”
Everyone was silent for another moment.
Unknowingly someone spoke leisurely, “I’m afraid things are going to change in the capital.”
To prepare for the Longevity Festival, security tasks inside the capital city and the imperial city are extremely heavy. Recently, both Lu Chen and Xie Changyuan, who were the commanders of the Northern and Southern Imperial Armies respectively, had been very busy, constantly checking for loopholes in the guards to prevent any oversights that caused the accident during the last autumn siege.
Xie Changyuan had not returned to the Marquis of Yongding Mansion since the Mid-Autumn Night Banquet. Firstly, he was busy with official affairs, and secondly, he did not want to go back to the mansion to face A Yan, so he spent these days staying at the Northern Yamen Imperial Army Camp.
Xie Changyuan also heard about the news that Princess Zhaoren had joined the Taizi Mansion’s staff team. He knew that Qin Yan’s relationship with Taizi was unusual, but how did it progress so quickly? How could Taizi allow Qin Yan to participate in political affairs?
This movement was very similar to that of Empress Dowager Xiao and the late Emperor back then.
Xie Changyuan was preoccupied while walking around the forbidden area to inspect the guards. At the corner of a palace, he met two men in brocade clothes standing in front of him.
One was the second prince, Feng Xian, and the other… was the third prince, Feng Yi, who had not returned to the palace for a long time.
The two Highnesses seemed to be talking about something and Xie Changyuan was still some distance away from them. He was not in a good mood at the moment and was not ready to step forward. He turned around and started to step back. As soon as he took a step forward, he was stopped by the sharp-eyed second prince.
Xie Changyuan paused and could only step forward and salute, “Second Prince, Third Prince.”
The two princes had some similarities in appearance, but Third Prince Feng Yi was more elegant, while Second Prince Feng Xian always had an air of sophistication on his face.
Third Prince Feng Yi nodded at Xie Changyuan and raised his feet to leave, but was stopped by the Second Prince Feng Xian.
“Third Imperial Brother, since you came back, you have gone to the Imperial Grandmother’s place every day to greet her, but you also have been turned away every day. Our Imperial Grandmother only has the Imperial Brother Taizi in her heart and does not like you and me. Why do you have to do such unnecessary work?”
Third Prince turned around and looked at Feng Xian, with an expressionless face, but his words were somewhat venomous, “Second Imperial Brother, you are still fanning yourself in the autumn. Are you feeling a little feverish?”
Feng Xian was dumbfounded. He didn’t expect that his Third Imperial Brother, who used to be quiet in the past, would be so venomous tongue this time when he came back.
“What do you know? This is a fan made by my cousin Yanyan as a gift to me.”
Feng Xian suddenly thought of something and smiled before saying, “Third Imperial Brother, I heard that your cousin from the Marquis of Guannei Mansion is engaged to the eldest son of the Wang family, right? I always thought that your cousin was the wife appointed for you. Don’t pick up the sesame seeds and lose the watermelon*. If I were you, why should I go to Shou’an Palace right now? I should go out of the palace to visit Marquis of Guannei Mansion to ask your uncle if there is any room for change.”
(Don’t pick up the sesame seeds and lose the watermelon* – metaphor for gain outweighs the loss)
Third Prince Feng Yi remained calm on his face and just casually glanced at the jade fan in Feng Xian’s hand.
The scenery on the fan corresponds to the season, which was a bleak autumn mountain. The composition was light but not thin, sparse but delicate, with excellent artistic conception and brushwork. Feng Yi didn’t take a closer look and turned around to leave. He didn’t want to waste time with Feng Xian, an idiot. But Xie Changyuan caught the inscription in the lower right corner of the fan at a glance, “Leng Qiu.”
Xie Changyuan was shocked. Just as he was about to speak, a male voice sounded quickly.
“I have met His Highness, Second Prince.” He was the deputy commander of the Northern Yamen Imperial Army. After saluting the Second Prince, the man turned to Xie Changyuan and said, “Commander, there is a brother who has had a conflict and fighting with someone from the Southern Yamen outside Xihua Gate. The leader over there is Xie Zhao.”
Hearing this, Xie Changyuan frowned and immediately spoke, “Your Highness Second Prince, excuse me.”
Xie Changyuan strode away.
Tomorrow was the Longevity Festival, and the defense of the Northern and Southern Imperial Army was particularly tense, and there was occasional conflict in defense between Northern Yamen and Southern Yamen.
Xie Changyuan went outside Xihua Gate and saw a stalemate with more than a dozen soldiers on both sides, each with colorful faces. Among the people of the Southern Yamen on the opposite side, Xie Zhao was in the middle.
Xie Zhao was now one of the two deputy commanders of the Southern Yamen Imperial Army and was highly valued by Lu Chen, or rather, by the Taizi.
Lu Chen also heard about the farce here and strode over, “What’s going on? Looks like you got your fill.” Lu Chen scolded his subordinates on his side, but his words also meant to intimidate the Northern Yamen.
At this time, one of the men from Southern Yamen spoke, “They were the ones who caused trouble first. They said that Deputy Commander Xie is… is…” The words that followed could not be said.
Deputy Commander Xie was Xie Zhao.
The man who spoke up was from the Northern Yamen Imperial Army who was a subordinate of Xie Changyuan. The affairs of the Marquis Yongding Mansion were no secret in the capital city. What could the subordinate’s unspoken words mean and what kind of words were there? Most likely they were not good words.
Lu Chen said to everyone, “Tomorrow is the Longevity Festival. Neither Southern Yamen nor Northern Yamen can make any mistakes.”
“Commander Xie, I will restrain my subordinates, and I hope Commander Xie will do the same.”
Lu Chen looked at Xie Changyuan, who had not said a word, with a serious expression. This matter involved family affairs in the Marquis Yongding Mansion, so he couldn’t say much.
Xie Changyuan looked at Lu Chen and Xie Zhao coldly and finally left with his people without speaking.
Lu Chen glanced helplessly at Xie Zhao, who looked unhappy and turned around to leave. The affairs of the Marquis Yongding Mansion have always been a problem, and Xie Zhao’s background might be an obstacle to his rise.
And the worries in Lu Chen’s heart were beyond Xie Zhao’s imagination.
Xie Zhao stood there and remained silent for a long time.
Kunning Palace of the Imperial City.
Since returning to the palace, the Empress has resumed her duties as an empress and regained her phoenix seal.
Empress and Imperial Concubine Xian seemed to have a tacit understanding and never mentioned the miscarriage of Imperial Concubine Xian at the Empress’s palace.
Empress and the Imperial Concubine Xian were just like ordinary imperial concubines, without any sense of sisterly friendship.
Nowadays, the Empress still allowed Imperial Concubine Xian and Imperial Concubine Shu to assist in the affairs of the harem. Since Imperial Concubine Xian and Imperial Concubine Shu made the arrangements for the Longevity Festival in advance, she let them handle it, so the empress became a person with ample time in her hands.
Since returning to the palace, the empress has been receiving official wives every day and feeling rather tired. Fortunately, Feng Yunchao has been assisting the empress in Kunning Palace.
Today, Feng Yunchao was unwavering in accompanying the Empress and also met Taizi Feng Zhan, who took the time to visit the Empress in the palace for the first time.
In the Dongnuan Pavilion of the main hall of Kunning Palace, Empress, Princess Changle Feng Yunchao and Taizi Feng Zhan were sitting and chatting.
Without a few pleasantries, the Empress asked Taizi Feng Zhan, “I heard from Yunchao that Taizi is very close to Princess Zhaoren?” In the empress’s words, the word “very” was slightly dragged out, which meant that kind of relationship.
Feng Zhan narrowed his eyes slightly, glanced at the Empress, and then moved his eyes to Feng Yunchao.
At this moment, Feng Yunchao felt a little uneasy, as the look in her imperial brother’s eyes was as if she had gossiped to Empress Mother. However, only by discussing the matter of Taizi that she could stay longer with Empress Mother. She didn’t talk nonsense, she just told the truth…
Empress said softly, “She cannot be Taizifei?”
Feng Yunchao looked at Taizi Feng Zhan. She was also curious about Imperial Brother’s attitude toward Qin Yan.
Feng Zhan was silent for a moment, then spoke casually and clearly, “She is the only one in this life.”
Feng Yunchao looked shocked.
How long have these two people been in contact? Imperial Brother was so dedicated to her, only Qin Yan in this life?
Without changing expression, the Empress silently picked up the teacup and was about to bring it to her lips when the voice of the momo came from outside the hall, “Empress, Miss An of the Grand Scholar Mansion requested to see you.”
Because An Yanxi had a good relationship with Feng Yunchao, she was granted permission to enter the palace. These days, she often visited the Empress in Kunning Palace.
Feng Zhan frowned in displeasure, and Empress suddenly put down the teacup and spoke with a slightly cold voice, “I’m tired, I won’t see any guests today.”
Feng Yunchao was a little surprised. His mother liked Yanxi very much and had never turned Yanxi away in the past.
Could it be because of what Imperial Brother said just now?
Feng Zhan was busy with official duties, so he left the palace and returned to the Taizi Mansion not long after.
After Taizi left, Feng Yunchao still hesitated to ask the Empress.
“Empress Mother…” Feng Yunchao opened her mouth, not knowing how to ask.
Empress knew what she wanted to ask, and looked at Feng Yunchao with a particularly serious expression, “You and I must always remember that in this deep palace, the only one we can rely on is your imperial brother.”
“We have to admit that you and I are far less knowledgeable than your imperial brother. If we want to rely on him, we must trust him.”
“As long as it’s what your imperial brother wants, all we can do is try our best to help him.”
“Life in the palace only looks glamorous on the outside, but how difficult it is on the inside, Yun Chao, you should know. The three of us are one, and there must be no internal friction.”
“Yunchao, you have to remember what I said.”
Feng Yunchao came out of Kunning Palace and kept thinking about what Empress Mother said just now.
Yes, the only one they could rely on was her imperial brother.
Feng Yunchao decided that she would never help Yanxi again, and she must make Yanxi give up her imperial brother.
Feng Yunchao took a few glances outside the door of Kunning Palace and asked the guard at the door, “When did Miss An leave?”
The guard reported back, “Reply to Princess Changle, Miss An was called away by people from the Empress Dowager’s Shou’an Palace.”
Feng Yunchao: …!
Didn’t Imperial Grandmother no longer see any guests? Why was that?
Feng Yunchao felt a little uneasy, hoping that there would be no more trouble during the Longevity Festival tomorrow.