Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 166.5 out of 171
As the time for the birthing approached, Wei Luo’s mood became increasingly tense and nervous.
Zhao Jie had found the capital’s four most dependable and well-known midwifes for her. He had them stayed in Prince Jing’s residence for the time being. As soon as there was the slightest change in Wei Luo’s situation, it would be convenient to summon them to Wei Luo’s side.
Even so, Wei Luo still felt uneasy and anxious all day long. She hadn’t even started to give birth yet, but she had already made herself miserably worried.
Today, Wei Luo came to the study to bring Zhao Jie tea and snacks. Her wrist accidently knocked into the curved part of the red sandalwood table and her jade bracelet cracked into two pieces before falling to the ground. Wei Luo stared at the broken bracelet on the ground for a long time without moving.
Zhao Jie pulled her to his side, ordered Zhu Geng to throw out the broken bracelet, and looked at her as he said, “Look at you, you seem so scared. Why are you so ill-at-ease?” He pinched Wei Luo’s earlobe. He was comforting her as well as comforting himself, “Didn’t we already talk about this? This prince is here and won’t let anything happen to you.”
Wei Luo looked at Zhao Jie and nodded. She climbed onto Zhao Jie’s lap, wrapped her arms around his neck, and said, “I’m scared… I don’t know why. Maybe, it’s because this is my first time giving birth and I don’t have any experience, so my heart keeps feeling uneasy. No matter what I do, my thoughts keep wandering.”
Zhao Jie smiled as he scratched her nose, “There’s nothing to be afraid of. You’re only scaring yourself.”
Wei Luo touched her nose and thought, perhaps.
However, she hadn’t sat on Zhao Jie’s lap for long before Yang Hao hurriedly rushed into the study. He didn’t even take a moment to follow etiquette before saying, “Your Highness, bad news. Bao He Hall caught on fire! Her Majesty was inside the hall chanting sutras!”
Zhao Jie’s expression changed. Fear also gripped Wei Luo’s heart.
Zhao Jie immediately stood up and coldly asked, “What happened? Where is imperial mother now?”
Yang Hao said, “This subordinate doesn’t know the exact details and only knows that Her Majesty hasn’t been rescued yet and is still trapped inside Bao He Hall.”
Zhao Jie’s expression was very ugly. He strode towards the door, “Prepared a horse!”
Wei Luo hurriedly followed after him. She grabbed Zhao Jie’s sleeve and said, “I want to go too.”
No matter how much you tried to avoid fate, the will of the heavens couldn’t be changed. Wei Luo had thought that since Zhao Jie had assigned people to watch over Bao He Hall’s surrounding area, Empress Chen’s death by fire would be avoided in this lifetime. Against her expectations, this event still happened. Wei Luo had felt there was something was wrong after hearing Empress Chen’s words at Qing Xi Palace’s entrance. Empress Chen’s voice sounded as if she no longer cared about anything. This was why she had asked Zhao Jie again to confirm and stopped worrying once he said everything had been arranged. But now… Why did this still happen?
Zhao Jie stroked her face, “Ah Luo, it’s not suitable for you to go there in your current condition. Stay here and wait for me to bring back news. Be good, I don’t want anything bad to happen to you too.”
Wei Luo insistently said, “I know that I can’t help with anything. But, imperial mother is in danger. I can’t just sit here and do nothing. Big brother, please bring me with you.”
Zhao Jie lowered his eyes and stared at her. A moment later, he ordered Yang Hao, “Prepare a carriage!”
The carriage hurriedly drove towards the palace. Before Wei Luo and Zhao Jie reached Bao He Hall, they already saw a raging fire in front of them. The intensity of the fire was like a torrential wave. Almost half of the sky was red because of the fire.
Zhao Jie’s expression was so ugly that it was terrifying. His thin lips were tightly pressed into a line. By the time they finally reached Bao He Hall, the area had already become a sea of fire. The fire had already engulfed the hall’s main doors. The blazing fire was raging. It made people feel intimidated and fearful. They didn’t dare to rashly go forward.
The guards and palace servants carried bucket after bucket of water to put out the fire. They hurriedly passed by Wei Luo and Zhao Jie. At this time, no one paid attention to etiquette. It was more important to put out the fire first.
Wei Luo looked up and saw the emperor standing diagonally from them. He was wearing his golden court robes with a pattern of dragons inside circles. Emperor Chong Zhen stared at Bao He Hall without moving. His eyes had turned red and his arms were faintly trembling at his side.
He probably hadn’t expected today’s scene either.
Emperor Chong Zhen thought that if he slowly and patiently made up for what he had done in the past, Empress Chen would definitely forgive him one day. He had even imagined that he would bring his Wan Wan to various places once Zhao Jie ascended the throne. They would go see Mount Emei and Sun Moon Lake. They would travel the world together as a couple and be as leisurely as wild cranes and floating clouds. They would be an ordinary husband and wife that had a love that was worthy of praise.
(T/N: Mount Emei is one the four sacred Buddhist Mountain in China. Sun Moon Lake is the largest lake in Taiwan and one of the top eight scenic spots in Taiwan.)
He would have never anticipated that Empress Chen would be so cold-hearted towards him. She wouldn’t even give him a chance to redeem himself. She wanted to leave this world before him.
He couldn’t let her to leave like this!
They had taken so many detours and wrong paths until they had gradually drifted further and further away from each other. They had finally started to come back together on the same path. He had so many things that he wanted to say to her. How could she die? Emperor Chong seemed as if he had suddenly achieved enlightenment. He seized a bucket of water from a nearby guard, brought it over his head, and poured it over himself. He headed towards Bao He Hall without any hesitation.
Everyone was stunned stupid by his action. When Eunuch Chu returned to his senses, he hugged the emperor’s leg in fear and panic. “Your Majesty, what are you going to do? Don’t act rashly. People have already gone inside to find and save the empress. Perhaps, she’ll be rescued in just a few more moments and be brought out. You definitely can’t go inside!”
The people behind the emperor all kneeled down and shouted, “Your Majesty, please reconsider.”
Emperor Chong kicked Eunuch Chu away from him. He gritted his teeth and said, “Wan Wan is still inside. How can this emperor continue to wait her? Stop your nonsense. This emperor is a supreme being and won’t die easily.”
After he said this, he paused and looked at Zhao Jie, who wasn’t standing far away, with a complicated expression. “If something happens to this emperor, arrange for throne to be passed onto Prince Jing on behalf of this emperor.”
The group of people sorrowfully shouted, “Your Majesty!”
Zhao Jie’s eyes sunk and he clenched the fist that was hidden in his sleeve tighter and tighter.
Emperor Chong Zhen didn’t pay further attention to them. He turned around and resolutely walked into the sea of fire
The intensity of the fire was as powerful as torrential wave. Several of the hall’s pillars had fallen and there was dark smoke billowing in front of him. He couldn’t clearly see the path in front of him. Other than the palace guards, Zhao Jie had also sent several people inside the hall to rescues Empress Chen. However, no one had been able to find her. Some of those people had even been engulfed by the fire and became departed spirits.
Zhao Zhi Qing shouted, “Wan Wan, where are you?!”
Everyone was waiting outside of Bao He Hall.
Wei Luo tightly clutched Zhao Jie’s sleeve. Her heart felt as if had jumped up to her throat and eyes. Her belly had originally only felt slightly painful and she thought it was only because she was too nervous. However, the painful feeling gradually became more and more intense until she couldn’t ignore it anymore.
Wei Luo’s small face was pale as she helplessly called out Zhao Jie’s name.
Zhao Jie saw that her face didn’t look good. He hastily picked her up and asked, “Ah Luo, what’s wrong?”
Wei Luo clung to Zhao Jie’s robe and slowly said, “I… I think I’m about to give birth…”
T/N: I don’t feel sympathetic towards Emperor Chong Zhen, but I like how the author wrote that it’s Zhao Zhi Qing who yells out Empress Chen’s childhood nickname instead of Emperor Chong Zhen in the last sentence.