T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter part.
Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 165.1 out of 171
After New Year, there was upheaval in the imperial court.
Seventh princess Zhao Lin Lang had married Princess Consort Rui’s distantly related nephew, Zhou Yu Ran. Their wedding preparations were very rushed and they married shortly after the Spring Lantern Festival. Zhou Yu Ran had scored third place in the imperial academy’s exam two years ago and was currently working in the Ministry of Revenue. He had a dignified moral character and a handsome appearance. It was rumored that Zhao Lin Lang had personally requested Emperor Chong Zhen for this marriage. Furthermore, she had even threatened that she wouldn’t marry anyone else except Zhou Yu Ran.
After Emperor Chong Zhen had considered this marriage for two days, he asked Zhou Yu Ran for his opinion in private. Since Zhou Yu Ran hadn’t refused, this marriage was settled just like that.
Not long after Zhao Lin Lang and Zhou Yu Ran’s wedding, Prince Rui (Zhao Qi Qing) started having private meetings with fifth prince Zhao Zhang. They worked together with some of the court officials to accuse Zhao Jie of misconduct in order to block Emperor Chong Zhen’s intention of establishing Zhao Jie as the next emperor. Zhao Zhang and Zhao Qi Qing, each had his own ulterior motive. They were both eying the position of emperor covetously. The only reason they were able to work together was because they wanted to eliminate their greatest enemy, Zhao Jie.
Zhao Qi Qing’s intentions were abundantly clear. His heart had been unsatisfied for a long time, from the time that Emperor Chong Zhen had ascended the throne. It had been difficult to wait for so many years, but he had finally reached an opportune time. He couldn’t make a mistake and let this opportunity slip. Zhao Qi Qing had never taken Zhao Zhang seriously. Once they finished off Zhao Jie, it would be as easy as blowing dust away to deal with Zhao Zhang. He could easily find a crime to frame Zhao Zhang with. At that time, the entire world would be his.
While Zhao Qi Qing was daydreaming, he scarcely realized that Zhao Jie had already known about their plans like the back of his hand.
The imperial court was as unpredictable as the clouds and waves.
During this time, Zhao Jie had been staying home to accompany Wei Luo. His days passed by peacefully and quietly.
On one hand, the court officials, who had accused him of misconduct, felt anxious and frightened when they saw Zhao Jie’s lack of response. Did he have a trick hidden up in his sleeve? On the other hand, they continued to recklessly advise Emperor Chong Zhen as if they didn’t fear death. They had very conflicting moods during this time.
At the current moment, Zhao Jie was sitting in his study and listening to Zhu Geng report about the recent matters. After Zhu Geng was finished, Zhao Jie’s hands were placed in front of him, with one hand over the other. His dark eyes were utterly calm without any ripples. A while later, his lips were slightly curved into a hint of a smile. He thoughtfully said, “Prince Rui, that old fox. If he wants to have a share of the power, he has to see if this prince will agree to it first.”
Zhu Geng and Yang Hao were standing shoulder to shoulder. Zhu Geng respectfully asked, “Your Highness, what should we do next?”
Zhao Jie smiled, “For now, let’s wait and quietly observe.” After saying this, he turned the emerald ring around his thumb and slowly asked, “Which court officials sent a petition to impeach this prince?”
Zhu Geng said, “They’re headed by an official named Yang Tai. There’s also people from the Ministry of Revenue.” Zhu Geng also mentioned several other names. Most of them were Zhao Zhang’s followers.
Zhao Jie nodded and said, “Continue to secretly keep a close watch on these people and report all of their actions to this prince.” Immediately after, he waved his hand and ordered, “You two can leave.”
Zhu Geng and Yang Hao acknowledged his order and obediently left the study.
Zhao Jie stayed in the study for a while longer before standing up and walking outside, towards the main room.
The weather had recently begun to warm up again and some of the flowers in the courtyard had blossomed, including the flowers on the yu rui trees. The fragrance of the flowers was very pleasant.
(T/N: Below is a picture of a yu rui tree.)
When Zhao Jie walked into the room, he saw Wei Luo sitting on the couch that was near the window. There were several sets of small clothing and shoes placed on the small, vermillion-lacquered that was inlayed with gold and decoratively carved with spirals. Wei Luo’s left hand was holding a golden necklace meant to bring good fortune and her right hand was holding a silver longevity lock of a Chinese unicorn carrying a baby. She was seriously scrutinizing both objects.
Seeing Zhao Jie coming inside, she held up the items in her hand and asked, “Big brother, which one item do you think is better?”
Zhao Jie sat down by her side, brought her into his arms, and kissed her head. “They're both about the same."
Wei Luo thought his answer was too half-hearted. She muttered, “Yu Rong and oldest cousin Chang Yin’s baby was born a few days ago. I want to go over there to see their child. As the child’s aunt, I have to bring a first time meeting gift…”
Liang Yu Rong went into labor three days ago and gave birth to a baby girl. Wei Luo thought that Liang Yu Rong would definitely feel very weak during the first two days afterwards, so she waited until today to go visit her.
Zhao Jie’s hand rested on Wei Luo’s belly. He said with a smile, “Then, what about these clothes and shoes?”
Wei Luo was now six months pregnant. Her round belly was like a small, half grown watermelon. When she stood in front of the copper mirror, she couldn’t see her toes anymore. Moreover, she could frequently feel her child restlessly moving in her belly. Sometimes it was flipping over. Other times, it was stretching its hands or kicking its feet. If its movement was slightly too much, Wei Luo’s belly would hurt. Sometimes, even her calves would get cramps. Wei Luo would often say, this baby is so naughty, she would definitely be giving birth to a boy.
Wei Luo said, “These clothes were all sent over by fourth aunt. She personally stitched all of them. Since she didn’t know if we’d have a boy or girl, she made five sets for each gender. Look, fourth aunt’s embroidery skills are much better than mine.”
Zhao Jie softly smiled and rubbed her head. “Don’t worry. Even if we can’t use them this time, we’ll be able to use them in the future.”
They would definitely have sons and daughters.
Wei Luo nodded. It could be counted as approving these words.
When Wei Luo went to Duke Ying’s residence in the afternoon, Liang Yu Rong looked very weak and was lying in bed in accordance to post-childbirth customs. Wei Luo only said a few words with her before leaving the room. It wouldn’t be good to disturb Yu Rong from resting.
Liang Yu Rong had given birth to a daughter. The baby was very small with beautiful facial features. Wei Luo had only held the child for a little bit before the baby woke up, opened her bright eyes, and started crying as soon as her small mouth opened.
Wei Chang Yin took his daughter from Wei Luo. His movements were skillful as one hand supported the baby’s neck and the other hand held the baby's waist. It only took a few moments of coaxing before the little one stopped crying. Wei Chang Yin faintly curved his lips and said, “She’s easily scared and shy with strangers.” When he said his words, his face was full of a father’s joy.
Wei Luo smiled, said a few congratulatory words, and also gave a red envelope and a silver and indigo longevity lock. She didn’t stay for long. She returned to Prince Jing’s residence on the same day.