T/N: Couldn’t get this one out yesterday like I had wanted (ended up having to work overtime, ugh ?). But it’s out today, so Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Boxing Day! Enjoy. ❤️
Chapter 16 – One Year
Rumors such as: the crown prince ordered hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war to be buried alive, the crown prince liked to sadistically kill children, and even, the crown prince liked to eat human flesh, etc, circulated around and continued to spread despite prohibition.
The common people’s ability to differentiate between truth and lies was poor. They tended to listen and believe just like that. When it came to stories about the royalty, they discussed even more enthusiastically. The more a story was prohibited from spreading, the more curious they became.
In Yong Shou Palace, the empress had just gotten Zhou momo to handle several eunuchs who were spreading rumors.
“Don’t be angry, Imperial Mother. It’s not worth it if your anger affects your health.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng said to her consolingly from her side. “Originally, the incident this time was not so serious, it’s because the Xue family is adding fuel to the fire, and that’s why it blew up like this.”
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“It’s that Xue family again, but your imperial father said that they won’t be able to hop around for long.” The empress thought of the crown princess and was able to let loose a knot of angry air. To the outside world, the crown princess was confined to bed due to illness, but the truth was that she had already “died from illness.”
[T/N: “died from illness” – she really is dead, but it’s in quotation marks, because the so-called illness was manufactured and not natural]
“Er’chen would also like to thank Imperial Mother. This time, while I was away on campaign, you helped to clean up my palace. It’s been exhausting for Imperial Mother, I* have troubled you.”
[*T/N: There is no pronoun in the raws, but I add them occasionally to make the sentence smoother in English.]
Xuan Yuan Han Cheng did not bring Yuan Fu on this expedition, but instead, left him at the palace to coordinate with his imperial mother to clean up the crown prince’s East Palace.
While he was not in the palace, many saboteurs had eased up their vigilance. Now these people have been cleaned up, and the crown princess’s people have been secretly taken down. After obtaining the method for how they contacted the li wang, these people were all exterminated. Now the ones in contact with li wang were all Xuan Yuan Han Cheng’s shadow guards, and they did not let li wang find out that there was anything unusual.
“There’s no need for thanks between us.” The empress patted the crown prince’s shoulder.
He said he was not worried, but the empress still could not help worrying when she thought of the impact these rumors would have on the crown prince’s reputation.
At night, the emperor came to Yong Shou Palace to sleep and saw the empress sitting on the bed frowning.
“Your Majesty, look at how cacophonous these rumors have gotten. Originally, I was going to wait for Cheng Er* to come back and help him get a side concubine. Now the rumors are flying everywhere. I’m afraid the ministers will have ulterior motives. This candidate is not easy to decide.” The empress complained to the emperor.
[*T/N: Nickname for Xuan Yuan Han Cheng]
“Don’t worry about it, zhen* is already working on it. In fact, rumors come and go quickly. As long as there is new news, people will slowly forget the old ones. Cheng Er’s body still needs to be conditioned. There is no hurry.”
[*T/N: 朕 zhen – pronoun for the emperor]
“But Cheng Er’s reputation still needs to be mended.” The empress thought about it and suddenly a light bulb flashed in her head. “Your Majesty, you see, in three months it will be the Mid-Autumn Festival. How about having the next imperial decree be reuniting the palace servants with their families on Mid-Autumn Festival. This is an unprecedented grace, which could also help Cheng Er amass some good fortune.”
“This is a good idea. We need to be more attentive to the regulations. We have to properly arrange the time and place for the palace servants and their families to reunite. When the palace servants leave the palace, they must go through a body search, and there needs to be more guards. We can’t let anyone take advantage of loopholes.” The emperor thought more. “Okay, tomorrow zhen will have people arrange it. You don’t have to think about it anymore. Let’s go to sleep earlier.”
In the Royal Snack Kitchen, Lin Jia Bao was kneading the dough while listening to Yu Ling and Yu Long chat. “I heard that His Royal Highness was reincarnated under a murderous star, that’s why his anger is so difficult to deal with.”
Yu Ling, do you want to die! His Royal Highness is a brilliant general and a great hero.” Yu Long heard Yu Ling talking about the crown prince like this and angrily rebutted.
“Please don’t talk anymore, big sisters. If Lin momo came over and heard you, it would not be good.” Lin Jia Bao advised.
“Humph!” Yu Long sneered coldly.
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Lin momo came back with a smile on her face, and Yu Shuang, who came back together with her, could not conceal her excitement. “There is good news, wonderfully good news!”
Yu Ling was the most energetic. She circled around her and asked, “What good news? What good news?”
Lin momo announced with a smile. “This year, the crown prince led troops and won decisively against the barbarians. To celebrate, the empress passed a decree, during the Mid-Autumn Festival this year, the palace servants can reunite with their families!”
“Really? Truly? Everyone can be reunited with their families? Even me?”
“Everyone can. At that time, the palace will arrange everyone into batches. Everyone will have two hours to meet with their families. The notices are posted.”
“This is great! The empress is so kind, ah!” Everyone was very excited and happy. After years of leaving home, there was no better news than reunion with their families.