Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 168.7 out of 171
Very quickly, a man on a horse stopped in front of Wei Luo. The wind brought over the scent of blood. Zhao Jie flipped over and dismounted from the horse. He hadn’t had time to change out of his full suit of ming guang armor and the sword that was hanging on his waist was still stained with blood from beheading someone recently. Zhao Jie looked at the scene in front of him. First, he coldly swept his gaze across the guards behind Wei Luo, then he looked at her. His voice was clearly gentle as he said, “Why did you come out? Didn’t I tell you to stay at home?”
(T/N: Below is a picture of ming guang armor.)
Wei Luo flattened her mouth and blamed him, “It’s your fault for not explaining things clearly. Why did you hide such a monumental matter from me?”
Zhao Jie curved his lips and said, “I didn’t want to make you worry.”
She complained angrily in heart. She would only be more worried if he acted so mysteriously! But, seeing that he was completely fine, she let out a sigh in relief. She couldn’t help rushing over into his arms.
Zhao Jie instinctively retreated half a step and said, "I'm dirty.”
Wei Luo didn’t care. She tightly hugged his waist. She could feel the heat of his body even with ming guang armor between them. She furiously said, “If you ever do this again, I’ll never forgive you.”
Zhao Jie helplessly smiled. He stroked her hair, “En. In the future, I’ll tell you everything.”
Thus, the group of subordinates watched as their cold-blooded prince hugged his princess consort in front of everyone. His warm and pampering expression made him look as if he wasn’t the same person that had recently beheaded Prince Rui with one slash of his sword. Zhao Jie hugged Wei Luo for a long time without moving. When Wei Luo stopped being angry and raised her head, her face immediately turned red in embarrassment when she saw the numerous soldiers standing behind him.
Zhao Jie chuckled. He turned around and said to the group of people, “Yu Zhi, bring everyone back to Shen Ji Barracks and wait for this prince’s orders.”
Yu Zhi acknowledged his order and led the group of soldiers back to Shen Ji Baracks.
Wei Luo held Zhao Jie’s hand, turned around, and started heading back to their home with hurried steps, “Come with me.”
She hadn’t properly settled the score with him yet.
When the fifth prince and Prince Rui had tried to force the emperor to abdicate, Zhao Jie had killed Prince Rui on the spot and locked up the fifth prince in the imperial prison. He had stripped away his title of prince. After a date was selected, he would be exiled a thousand kilometers away. Prince Rui’s household was also punished for his crime. The men would be exiled and the women would be sold as slaves. Prince Rui’s heir, Zhao Jue, couldn’t endure hardship on the way to being sent to exile and died of exhaustion on the road. Rumors said that he wasn’t even buried with a decent tombstone. He was casually left behind in a desolate area in the countryside.
It was only now that Wei Luo found out about the truth. Emperor Chong Zhen had faked his recent grave illness to lure Prince Rui and Zhao Zhang’s ambitions to the surface.
Zhao Jie had clearly known the truth, but he hadn’t revealed a word of this to Wei Luo.
Wei Luo felt truly angry for a while.
After the attempt at forcing the emperor to abdicate, Emperor Chong Zhen used the excuse of his poor health as a reason to pass his throne to Zhao Jie.
The civil and military officials had all witnessed Zhao Jie pacifying the attempted rebellion and no one objected to Emperor Chong Zhen’s decision this time. After discussing which auspicious day the event should be held, the officials urged Zhao Jie to ascend as the new emperor.
However, Zhao Jie wasn’t as anxious as them. Emperor Chong Zhen continued to be the emperor for two more months while he brought Wei Luo and little Zhao Xi to Jiangnan for a vacation. Because Zhao Jie had promised Wei Luo that he would properly spend time with her after finishing his official work, this vacation ended up lasting two months and made Emperor Chong Zhen and the court officials very anxious.
Emperor Chong Zhen was impatient because he wanted to go to Shan An Temple to look for Wan Wan. The officials were fretful because Emperor Chong Zhen didn’t attend morning court. With no one to take charge of the governmental affairs, the accumulated stacks of reports to the emperor were almost as large as a mountain!
After Zhao Jie finally returned from Jiangnan, Emperor Chong Zhen officially abdicated. Zhao Jie sat on the golden throne carved with dragons. He was wearing the emperor’s ceremonial robes and imperial crown with twelve rows of pearls. His expression was calm as he faced the kowtowing military and civil officials. He raised his hand and said, “You may all rise.”
Zhao Jie only exchanged a few sentences with the officials before hurriedly leaving Jin Hall and returning to Wu Shuang Hall.
Zhao Jie had specially ordered for this hall to be built for Wei Luo. The construction had started before they left for Jiangnan. Zhao Yang Hall would be left reserved for Empress Chen. Also, Wu Shuang Hall was closer to the emperor’s personal hall than Zhao Yang Hall. Of course, in the future, Zhao Jie would probably only stay at Wu Shuang Hall.
Wu Shuang Hall’s layout and ornaments was somewhat similar to Prince Jing’s residence. Everything was arranged in accordance to Wei Luo’s preference.
There was a large greenhouse behind this hall. Inside the greenhouse, there were expensive flowers that Zhao Jie had ordered to people to find and bring back. There was a swing next to the greenhouse. Across from the swing, there was a grape trellis. During summer, Wei Luo would be able to cool off in the shade and easily eat fresh grapes. Wei Luo naturally liked this back garden.
She carried Zhao Xi as she walked around. She asked, “Little watermelon, do you like this?”
Zhao Xi stretched out his short arms that resembled lotus roots and babbled towards the swing. It was evident that he taken a fancy to the swing, so Wei Luo carried him over there to play.
When Zhao Jie came back, he happened to see Wei Luo sitting on the swing while holding little Zhao Xi, who resembled a rice ball. They leisurely swung back and forth.
(T/N: Below is the cover of book 5 with the swing in the back garden. No Zhao Xi though =/)
Wei Luo’s eyes were lowered to look at little Zhao Xi. Perhaps, he was feeling happy from playing on the swing. The little fellow jubilantly curved his eyes into smiling crescents. His smile was infectious and Wei Luo also curved her large eyes in response. She scratched his little nose. This pair of adult and child had similar faces. Zhao Jie stood close by and silently looked them. He didn’t know when his own lips had also curved into a smile.
Wei Luo always brought him a sense of satisfaction; even becoming emperor hadn’t given him this feeling.
Zhao Jie walked forward and asked, “Do you like this place?”
Wei Luo raised her head to look at him. She smiled and nodded. “I like it. Little watermelon likes it a lot too.” She suddenly thought of something and asked, “Don’t you have to meet with the military and civil officers? Why did you come back so early?”
Zhao Jie stopped in front of her, leaned over, gently touched her forehead, and said, “I came back to keep my wife company.”
Wei Luo pursed her lips and cast him a rebuking glance. “You’ve become the emperor and you’re still not acting proper."
Zhao Jie chuckled. He said into her ear, “Properness is for outsiders to see. In front of Ah Luo, I don’t need to be proper.”
T/N: It doesn't feel very final, but this is the end to the main story. Chapter 169 and 170 is a side story for Li Song. Chapter 171 is the epilogue to the main story from Zhao Jie and Wei Luo's POVs.