TCPCHW Chapter 62
The Crown Prince Chases His Wife
Chapter 62 Rewards
At the end of the song, Emperor Hui on the throne applauded and said, “Everyone is rewarded.”
“Is the Empress Dowager satisfied?” Emperor Hui asked Empress Dowager Xiao with a smile.
There was no trace of warmth in Empress Dowager Xiao’s eyes, her face was serious, and remained silent. The Empress Dowager, who once ruled the court alone, was so majestic in this palace hall today but was not given any face today.
Festive palace music started playing in the hall, and An Shifeng, the Minister of Rites, received a signal from the emperor and walked to the front of the hall with a sandalwood tray in his hands.
An Shifeng handed the tray to the palace attendant on the side, took the silver booklet from the tray, and read out on the spot the emperor’s rewards for everyone at today’s banquet, as well as the reward that was supposed to be given at the night banquet of the Autumn Hunting Ceremony.
The list of names and rewards on the silver booklet had been prepared by the Ministry of Ceremonies before today’s banquet and submitted to the emperor for review. At the end of the reading, everyone who received the reward thanked the emperor for his kindness.
“Alright, alright, alright, you may rise.” Emperor Hui wore a cheerful smile on his face.
For many years, the situation where Empress Dowager Xiao suppressed the court seemed to have undergone a subtle transformation today.
Emperor Hui continued to speak, “According to the tradition of previous years, the outstanding warriors at the Autumn Hunting Ceremony can seek rewards from me, as long as they are not too outrageous, I will agree.”
An Shifeng, the Minister of Rites, took another booklet and unfolded it, reading out the names of the ten warriors listed on it.
What was even more surprising was that the list was led by He Xiao, the eldest son of the He Mansion, Minister of War.
And this young master of He Mansion, who was unknown to anyone present, was a famous idle playboy in the capital, who also held an idle position in the Ministry of Revenue. Was it possible that the eldest son of the He family kept a low profile?
What also puzzled everyone was that on this list, there was Xie Zhao, the eldest son of the Marquis of Yongding, who was also the current General of Mingwei.
Everyone began to whisper wildly again.
“How can Xie Zhao, the illegitimate son of Marquis of Yongding, be on the list of rewards for His Majesty’s birthday banquet?”
“The list set by the Ministry of Rites must be submitted to the emperor for review in advance. Why hasn’t he been excluded?”
“That incident of Marquis Xie is a shame to the imperial family…”
“I heard that Xie Zhao has now joined the Southern Yamen Imperial Army and is one of the two deputy commanders. That means the Taizi doesn’t mind about Xie Zhao’s background.”
“So, it seems that Xie Zhao borrowed Taizi’s influence, and the emperor gave Taizi’s face…”
“It should be…”
The soldiers on the list came to the palace hall one after another.
Following the order of the list, the first one, He Xiao, took a step forward, knelt on one knee, cupped his fists, and said, “Your Majesty, I kindly request to go to Shuobei to guard the border.”
After saying this, He Xiao felt as if a big stone had dropped from his heart. He had finally reached this point… Originally, he wanted to ask for a marriage decree with Yanxi… wanted to gamble, but now…
Everyone at the table was surprised.
“Which son from a noble family is not more willing to enjoy himself in the capital? Even if he wants to be promoted, he doesn’t have to risk his life and the dangers of being disabled going to the battlefield like the children from a poor family.”
“What’s more, now that border affairs are peaceful, it is difficult to gain military merit by guarding the border.”
“I heard that the eldest son He just got engaged to the second daughter of the Right Prime Minister?”
“If His Majesty agrees, then should the marriage between Qin and He be postponed or should the marriage be completed in a hurry, leaving Miss Qin a widow?”
“Look at the faces of the Right Prime Minister and Madam Qin, don’t they look ugly?’
Qin Nian was secretly happy when she heard this. Would there be any changes in her marriage?
He Yanming, Minister of the Ministry of War, frowned. He only knew that He Xiao was preparing to return to the Ministry of War recently, but he did not know that He Xiao would ask for a decree to go to the border.
Anyway, it was better than spending all day and night in the brothels of the capital, and it also eliminated He Xiao’s unrealistic obsession with the person from the An family.
Humph, a man should make great contributions. If he still insisted on being attached to Miss An, who only focused on the Taizi as before, he would have given birth to such a useless son in vain.
Emperor Hui on the throne said, “Great, you are ambitious, I consent. Minister He will arrange it.”
“I accept your order.” He Yanming stood up and saluted.
He Xiao took a deep breath and bent down to kowtow, “Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Being bestowed by His Majesty to go to Shuobei and going to Shuobei by the military department on his own have very different meanings. He Xiao would be assigned a practical position that was not too low by the Ministry of War, so the chances of meritorious service and promotion would be greater and faster.
The faces of Right Prime Minister Qin Wenzheng and Song Mei changed drastically. What should Niannian do…
Most of the other soldiers’ rewards were for positions within their capabilities, gold and silver, or houses in the capital, which Emperor Hui agreed to.
Until the tenth place Xie Zhao.
Xie Zhao knelt on one knee, with his back straight and a clear voice, but his words shocked the entire hall, “I sincerely request Your Majesty’s permission to allow me to remove my name from the genealogy of the Xie family in Yingchuan to leave the clan. My descendants will not have their name in the genealogy of the Xie family and will not enter the ancestral hall when they are alive, nor will they be buried in the clan tombs after their death.”
“Please grant, Your Majesty!” Xie Zhao turned to bow down and kowtowed, making a sound as he forcefully knocked to the ground.
This statement surprised everyone.
Marquis of Yongding Xie An stood up immediately with his eyes wide open.
Xie Changyuan, who had been drinking one cup after another, also raised his eyes to look at the stubborn and disgraceful figure kneeling in the hall at this moment.
Xie Qing was also shocked, brother, ….
Everyone at the table started buzzing again.
“Today’s great dramas in the palace hall were one after another. It’s a feast for the eyes…”
“I have only heard of those who have committed serious crimes or been expelled from their homes for violating clan rules. How can anyone request to leave their clan and still ask the emperor for a decree?”
“Xie Zhao is now the fourth-rank General Mingwei and the deputy commander of the Imperial Army. His future is limitless. How could the Xie family let him leave the clan?”
“Then it’s no wonder that he has to seek the emperor for a decree. This is to seek the imperial decree and pressure the Xie family to release him.”
“But this makes the Marquis of Yongding look ugly. Look at the expression on Marquis Xie’s face, he must have no idea that Xie Zhao will make such a scene today.”
A slightly older man sighed and interjected, “The young people of this generation are amazing, so many young talents. His Highness Taizi is one, and Princess Zhaoren is another. I didn’t expect that the concubine born of Marquis Xie would have such courage to risk everything. No wonder Empress Dowager Xiao got frustrated many times today, she has to acquiesce to her old age now.”
Emperor Hui, who was on the throne, squinted at Xie An’s concubine born who was still kneeling on the ground, and looked at Xie An’s seemingly shocked and anxious expression, which greatly pleased Emperor Hui.
Today, when discussing merit and rewards, he was indeed worried that Taizi was using Xie Zhao, so he didn’t ask the Ministry of Rites to tick off Xie Zhao’s name. Unexpectedly, it gave him such a surprise.
Xie An had hidden his precious son Xie Zhao to get married to the imperial family. Today, he publicly requested a decree to leave the clan in front of the imperial palace hall. This was to draw a clear line between Xie An, the Xie family, and the Marquis of Yongding Mansion, surrendering to the imperial family.
With Xie Zhao’s family background, even if Taizi used him selflessly, he would be greatly constrained. Xie Zhao indeed had some courage and determination, which could be considered as his understanding of current affairs.
Xie An took a few steps into the palace hall and immediately knelt, “Your Majesty…” but was interrupted by Emperor Hui with a smile.
“Reward the warrior, I cannot break my promise. Tomorrow, General Xie will receive the decree to be renounced from the clan.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.” Xie Zhao kowtowed again.
Xie An was shocked and his expression changed drastically. He raised his head to look at the throne, then turned to look at Xie Zhao who had already stood up. Xie An couldn’t breathe, it was stuck in his chest with a hint of fishy sweetness in his throat, and he fainted on the spot.
There was some commotion at the banquet, but Xie An’s three children, Xie Changyuan, the eldest son of the Marquis of Yongding Mansion, just drank alcohol with cold eyes, Xie Zhao glanced calmly at the ground, while Xie Qing stood up but slowly sat down again in Xie Zhao’s warning gaze.
The emperor ordered people to help Marquis Xie and take him to the Imperial Hospital.
There was an uproar again in the middle of the banquet. Today’s banquet, full of dramas, wouldn’t have the usual atmosphere of a birthday banquet if it weren’t for the festive music still resounding in the hall.
At a banquet, some people were happy and some were worried, but it was not over yet.
According to the procedures of the Longevity Festival in previous years, after being rewarded by the emperor, marriage might be bestowed on a whim.
That was not the case this time. Emperor Hui drank a cup of wine, put down the cup, and smiled as he spoke, “I heard that the Marquis of Guannei Mansion, the Left and Right Prime Minister Mansion, and the He Mansion have all arranged marriages in the past few days?”
The Marquis Guannei and the Left Prime Minister both froze.
They speculated that the emperor would bestow marriage on the Longevity Festival, for the benefit of the imperial family, to win over courtiers, or to break up factions through marriages. Therefore, they rush to arrange marriages for their children of appropriate age before the Longevity Festival.
Right Prime Minister, Qin Wenzheng, and the Minister of War, He Yanming, both looked a little unhappy on the surface. The marriage between the two families was forced, and neither of them liked the other. It was said to be a happy event, but there was no joy in it.
Emperor Hui spoke again, “I am very envious. I also want to have grandchildren around my knees and enjoy the happiness of family. Isn’t that right, Empress?”
Emperor Hui turned to look at the Empress who had a slightly worried look in her eyes.
The Empress understood that the emperor wanted to bestow a marriage between Taizi and Princess Zhaoren, Qin Yan. This should be a matter of time, but with Empress Dowager Xiao’s presence, would she become a demon and make things hard…
Empress Dowager Xiao’s brow furrowed slightly as Taizi was groomed by her. If the emperor wanted to bypass her and bestowed a marriage for Taizi, he wasn’t that naïve, right? She was the one who relinquished her power at the beginning, and now she could still get it back if she wanted to.
Everyone in the Duan Wang Mansion felt nervous. Duan Wang has one son and two daughters. In addition to the eldest daughter who was married in Youzhou, there was also the marriageable eldest son of Duan Wang Mansion, Shizi Feng Subei, and his second daughter, Feng Ling, at the banquet today.
His Majesty was good at powerplay, so it was possible that he ordered them to bring their family members to the capital under the pretext of marriage, but was letting their children stay in the capital as collateral.
Duan Wang and his wife of Yizhou, who had just been summoned to the capital, were very magnanimous. Duan Wang of Yizhou had no concubines, and there was only one Wangfei in the mansion. They had a problem in recent years, that was, they had no heirs. And the Duan Wang of Yizhou’s biological sister was already married.
If there was anyone in the Duan Wang Mansion of Yizhou who was of suitable age to propose marriage, it was only that person… But that person had been missing for several years, and not many people knew of her existence…
The people from the Duke of Zhenguo Mansion also didn’t look good as the imperial family was likely to let Shen Ci marry a princess. Normally, people from humble families wanted to marry the imperial family to seek higher promotion. However, the noble family, who had a strong connection with the emperor, already had people with titles, mostly seeking stability and unwilling to marry the imperial family. Shen Shiyan and Shen Shiying were lucky at first, but now…
Yanyan and Taizi also made them very worried…
The Marquis of Guannei has an only daughter. He and the Left Prime Minister took the risk of displeasing His Majesty and decided on the marriage of the two families in advance, which allowed them to take a breather at this moment.
The Marquis of Yongding had just experienced Xie Zhao’s turn of events. Marquis Xie had already left the banquet and was sent to the Taiyuan Hospital. Xie Qing knew that her identity was embarrassing, and bestowing marriage at the banquet should not be any of her business. She only looked anxiously at her brother, Xie Zhao, who would not have any family support in the future. If his official career didn’t go smoothly, it would be even more difficult for him.
It has nothing to do with Xie Zhao now. The emperor had summoned the princes to the capital with great fanfare. Today’s birthday banquet should be the highlight of the assassination of Autumn Hunting. Even if it was bestowing a marriage, it should be mainly aimed at those princes who were in the fiefdom and had nothing to do with him.
But Xie Changyuan’s heart was suddenly tightened. He stopped drinking and looked at Qin Yan across from him. At this moment, he was not worried about his marriage.
Would His Majesty bestow a marriage between Taizi and Qin Yan?
There was no change in Qin Yan’s face. What others could think of, how could she not think of it?
At this moment, Qin Yan’s anger toward the imperial family had not yet settled down. If the imperial family wanted to bestow her a marriage, she had many ways to prevent the marriage from happening.
No one could influence her private affairs.
Qin Yan closed her eyes and raised her head to drink a cup of wine. When she opened her eyes, her eyes were full of coldness.
If the imperial family forced her to have a fiancé, she would let that man disappear from this world forever.
They could give it a try!