Thank you to Budderfly for treating me to another coffee during this holiday season o((｡^‿^｡))o
Chapter 86.1 – Cooperation
Silence descended on Ci Ming Palace after the Empress Dowager’s words.
The Chong Ming Emperor narrowed his eyes. His did not expect his grandmother to know so quickly. His mind was in turmoil but his face remained unmoving. He has been an emperor for twenty-seven years after all, so it was easy to hide his mood.
“Yes, there is such a thing. Did you call your grandson just to say this?”
The Empress Dowager also did not beat around the bush and said, “Precisely this.”
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The emperor’s face suddenly revealed a trace of dissatisfaction. Coldly, he said, “Grandmother, could it be that the jun wang specifically asked you to plea your grandson for leniency?”
If that were the case, then he definitely would not be polite.
More than a decade ago, the previous emperor retired and lived in the back courtyard*. After that, he no longer asked after political affairs. Later, the emperor brought the young Fu Wu Tian into the palace to raise him. At that time, the Empress Dowager also liked Fu Wu Tian, almost treating him as her own grandson.
[*T/N: 后宫 hou gong is “harem” but it seems weird to me to say that an emperor lives in the harem, so I’m leaving it as “back courtyard.”]
The emperor had always been very dissatisfied with this point.
Due to their actions, a yellow-haired child* now had control over him, making him completely lose face. Clearly, he was their biological son and grandson, but those two regarded Fu Xiao and his family with special respect. His imperial father even intended to pass the throne to Fu Xiao. This incident has always been a thorn in his heart, and he couldn’t pull it out, so he and the Empress Dowager were not intimate as grandson and grandmother.
[*T/N: 黄毛小儿 huang mao xiao er – literal translation is “yellow-haired child.” It means “young/immature/inexperience.” Thank you to Hikaru for enlightening me on the meaning. ^-^]
“No, the jun wang did not seek out this grandmother.”
The Empress Dowager saw the coldness on his face and finally sighed.
She knew that the emperor resented them. At first she also felt guilty, but after considering all the things he did after he ascended to the throne, even a woman like her knew that he was not worthy of being an emperor. If it weren’t for Fu Xiao and his son, perhaps this country would have fallen already.
Translations by Vanilla Muse
Although the Empress Dowager lived deep within the harem, she was not a woman without eyes. Even if time turned back, she would still support the previous emperor’s decision.
The emperor spoke, “If grandmother still has something to say then just come out and say it. Your grandson still has a lot of government affairs to deal with.”
[T/N: Emperor, you actually deal with government affairs? I thought you just played around with women all day…]
He said the latter sentence in a pompous manner.
If the Empress Dowager were not aware of his morality and conduct, she would’ve believed him. These past few years, her grandson had never seriously dealt with political affairs. He only knew how to indulge in women. So every time she heard such rumors, her heart would go cold, and any guilt or remorse she felt towards him would evaporate into nothing.
The Empress Dowager cleared her throat and said slowly, “You cannot conduct marriage affairs for the jun wang.”
The emperor looked at her sharply. His face was cold like ice. “Grandmother, I am the emperor!”
The Empress Dowager knew that the following words would make him even angrier, but she still chose to say them, “I know, but this is your father’s decree. Before his death, he passed a secret decree, no one can conduct marriage affairs for the jun wang, unless he is willing.”
“Does the previous emperor even consider me as his son? Why? Fu Xiao is not even his biological son. Why does the previous emperor treat him and his son better than me? Even letting them restrict me in all respects?!” As expected, the Chong Ming Emperor got angry.
“Your Majesty.” The Empress Dowager’s kind face gained a few strokes of serious and cold lines. She pinned him with her stare and spoke each word clearly, “Before you say such words, have you thought about the reasons? Have you reflected upon yourself in these past years?”
Which parent and grandparent wouldn’t want to cherish their own child and grandchild?!
The Empress Dowager was really regretful. They shouldn’t have indulged his imperial mother (the empress) back then. Then he wouldn’t have become the incapable ruler of today. Perhaps she shouldn’t have turned a blind eye to Empress Rong Xian’s actions. The previous emperor only had one son, which was the Chong Ming Emperor. Only with competition would it enable people to mature and grow. Without competition for the throne, the current emperor has no idea the value of his status. Indeed, things that are easily obtained are not cherished.
The emperor refused to accept her words and shouted, “I am the emperor! All of Da Ya is mine! I can do whatever I want. Who dares to criticize me? Even you can not, Grandmother!”
After finishing this sentence, the emperor flung his sleeves out in anger and left Ci Ming Palace.
The Empress Dowager watched his angry back as he left and her body swayed a bit.
Bao Zhu quickly went to support her. “Empress Dowager, be careful!”
The Empress Dowager shook her head. “I am old. I can no longer control him. Now, I can only cast my hope on the jun wang, otherwise, sooner or later our ancestral foundation will be destroyed in his hands.”
The Empress Dowager stopped her. “I want to rest.”
An Zi Ran didn’t know what happened in the palace, but after that day, there was no more movement from the other side, and there was no more talented ladies being inserted as spies into the Imperial Fu Palace. It seemed to have really stopped.
However, he really admired the open-mindedness of the previous emperor. He was an emperor that really considered the prosperity and decline of his empire, and didn’t care whether his successor was his own blood or not. In the eyes of the previous emperor, as long as the reigning emperor was surnamed Fu, it didn’t matter to him who sat on the throne.
After that incident, Boss Zhang of Feng Hua Gambling House came to look for him.
The two met at a teahouse. Fu Wu tian had business to attend to, so he didn’t accompany An Zi Ran this time. Only Shao Fei came with him.
Boss Zhang arrived early and instructed the server to keep an eye out for An Zi Ran and to invite the youth up to the private room on the second floor when he arrived. An Zi Ran’s appearance was distinctive, so after hearing Boss Zhang’s description, the server was able to pick out An Zi Ran at a glance, and immediately invited the youth upstairs to the private room.
“An gong zi.”
When Boss Zhang heard knocking at the door, he went to open the door right away. It was really the one he had been waiting for, but this time there was one more person who looked like a bodyguard. He only took a look and withdrew his gaze. In his heart he became more and more sure that An Zi Ran was no simple person.