Chapter 71 Release From Prison
Old Master Guan and Guan Father each took their disciples to travel around townships and counties, vigorously publicizing the benefits of revising the law, with the emperor personally set an example and solved the doubts, a disaster that could have burned the entire Wei Kingdom was extinguished in an instant. The people who spread rumors behind the scene were all arrested, the common people were assigned to the frontier, the officials were dismissed and investigated, and Prime Minister Wang’s faction, which was already weakened, suffered another round of heavy blows.
On this day, Old Master Guan and Guan Father returned to the capital after finishing their errands. Before they could step into the house, they were summoned by the emperor and entered the palace to make a report.
"These days, it’s all thanks to the Emperor Teacher and Chief of Ceremonies to appease the hearts of the people, promote the country’s law, and work hard to make great contributions. Since Zhen ascending the throne, every time there was a problem, always relies on the Emperor Teacher and Chief of Ceremonies to work out strategies for Zhen and the gratitude in Zhen’s heart is indescribable. Hope in the future monarch and subjects will be united and create prosperous world together. These three cups of wine Zhen will drink first as a respect. Emperor Teacher, Chief of Ceremonies, please."
Emperor Sheng Yuan drank three cups in a row, and then stopped the old man who wanted to drink with him, worried that he would hurt his body by drinking too much, then he had no face to explain to Madam. Chief of Ceremonies was good wine, a thousand cups would not drunk, so he actually have a good drink with him. Although he was unable to marry Madam, in his heart, he had already recognized her as his wife, so he naturally treated the two elders with the courtesy of Mount Tai*, and was extremely respectful in both words and deeds.
Old Master Guan had a low alcohol tolerance, and he was tired from the journey, only had half a cup of slow drink, and he was a little overwhelmed. He was helped by two palace maids to rest in the inner hall. While pouring wine for the emperor, Guan Father secretly looked at his spirit, and the more he looked at it, the more satisfied he became. He could never have imagined that this ignorant emperor could grow to such a level in such a short period of time.
Before this, he was also thinking about the trick of "challenging the law", but it was quite dangerous. First, it might cause mob of people to attack. Second, it was possible to attract the assassination from the remnants of the previous dynasty. If something goes wrong it would speed up the collapse of Wei Kingdom, then it would be self-defeating, so it had to be calculated repeatedly to ensure that it was foolproof. When he was still brewing and was about to raise a suggestion, the emperor actually realized this truth himself, and practiced it without hesitation. And the local officials who were supposed to be under great pressure, they got out of the predicament in an instant and quelled the people’s grievances .
It should be said that this person had only studied the culture of the Central Plains for two or three years, but already mastered to this point, he was indeed a natural Heavenly Emperor, really made people admire.
Thinking like this, Guan Father sighed, "Your Majesty is wise and decisive, with extremely high comprehension. This time, can calmed down the whole country without spending a single soldier, and solved the danger of the country’s subjugation. Within five years, afraid there is nothing else this minister and his father can teach you. This world truly belongs to the emperor, others say a hundred sentences, also not as good as a word from the monarch. Therefore, the emperor either does not open his mouth, or when he opens his mouth, his word are powerful and resonating, with power to carry the Nine Tripod Cauldrons*, which is the honor of the emperor and cannot be broken. Although the emperor was born in the wilderness, but when this minister look at this moment, you already have a mighty dragon power and a magnificent purple energy, and in the future will be the Holy Monarch of this whole generation."
Madam also said this, and it made Emperor Sheng Yuan so embarrassed that he did not dare to look up, but his heart was full of joy and excitement. How was this his credit for quelling the chaos this time? It was clearly Madam’s idea, but he didn’t dare to confess to the two elders. After thinking about it, he said seriously, "People in the Central Plains have a saying that learning is endless. If we’re talking about learning, Zhen has not even reach Emperor Teacher and Chief of Ceremonies’ skin and hair*, so how dare be proud of one’s achievement? This time quelling the chaos was guide by an expert, and Zhen just did what was told."
"Oh? Which expert is it? Can the emperor introduce him to this minister?" Guan Father’s eyes lit up.
Emperor Sheng Yuan felt bitter in his mouth, waved his hand and said, "Zhen thought of her day and night, however she and Zhen do not share the same heart. Zhen will introduce her to Chief of Ceremonies in the future when Zhen take her by my side." (T/N: in case you don’t know she and he in mandarin are different character but they sound the same, so unless you know the context you can’t differentiate just from hearing them)
Guan Father understood it very well and comforted him, "Most of the talented people in the world are arrogant and aloof. They don’t care about the burden of position and wealth, and they can’t give up the fun of idle clouds and wild cranes*. The emperor must not be in a hurry to seek success, but have to the other with sincerity and slowly impressed, that is the best method."
Treat the other with sincerity and slowly impressed, Emperor Sheng Yuan chewed these eight words, and couldn’t help but cheer up. The monarch and the minister chatted for another half an hour, the they said goodbye after Old Master Guan sobered up. As soon as the two Mount Tai were sent away, Emperor Sheng Yuan disguised himself and went out of the palace in plain clothes, because today was the day when Zhao Luli was released from prison, and Madam would definitely go to the Heavenly Prison to meet him.
After the civil unrest subsided, the case of Ye Quanyong was put on the agenda again, and within three days, the truth was sorted out and reported to the imperial court, each of which was to be punished. Most of the male members of the Ye family were beheaded, and the children were to be exiled for 3,000 miles. Among the womenfolk, Song shi and Liu shi were guilty of serious crimes and were sentenced to beheaded, and the rest were demoted to untouchable status* and sent to the border to become labor for the army.
The Zhao family was stripped off their title and demoted to the commoner. To outsiders, it might be a tragic ending, but to Zhao Luli, it was equivalent to a redemption. This title, this brocade garment and jade food, glory and wealth, were all obtained by selling out his ex-wife. When it held it scald the hand, it would be more comfortable to just throw it away, so he didn’t care.
As a result, after spending more than a month in prison, he not only did not look haggard, but also became more calm.
Staggering out of the cell door, walking through the dark corridor, and into the brightly lit front hall, his eyes suddenly wet with tears and choked with emotions. It turned out that his mother, wife, and sister-in-law had already waited under the steps with the children, holding clean clothes, fragrant food and a few wicker sticks in their hands. When they saw him, they hurriedly rushed forward to greet him, comforting him.
"Mother, you have been frightened these days." He shook the old madam’s thin wrist, thanked Ruan shi, and finally held Madam and the three children tightly in his arms and hugged them tightly.
"Suyi, I have let you down. Although I have no title, I won’t let you suffer any grievances in the future. If I violate this oath, I will be struck by thunder on the spot." He buried his cheeks in his wife’s sweet and warm neck, only to feel that it had never been so peaceful, never so happy.
Those unbearable pasts and humiliating memories seemed to be far away from him. He had such a respectable and lovely wife, sensible and obedient children, and a family who would cross the river in the same boat. He had nothing else to ask for in this life.
Guan Suyi’s body was stiff, she was stunned for a while before she pushed him away and beat him with a wicker stick, "Apology don’t have to be said over and over again, it won’t show sincerity if it said too much, but like acting. You’ve been in prison for dozens of days, and it’s unknown how much bad luck you have on your body. Hurry up and stay away from the children. I’ll exorcise the evil spirits for you, later step over a brazier when we got home, and take a bath with grapefruit leaves at night and this matter will be finished."
Zhao Luli hugged the children with one hand, and went to pull Madam with the other, with tenderness on the corners of his eyes and brows, "Alright, everything listen to Madam’s arrangement. There’s bound to be good fortune after surviving great disaster, and when the bad luck is gone, the blessings will come to the door. "
"That’s right. Isn’t my son going to turn extreme sorrow into joy? Let’s go, go home quickly, I have asked people to prepare a feast, and our family will sit down and have a good meal to celebrate the reunion." The old madam stared at the couple holding hands and laughed heartily.
There was a lot of joy here, and the whole family was happy, but they didn’t know that somewhere on the street corner, someone was watching this scene intently, with heart full of hatred and sorrow that was beyond words. Marquis Zhenxi just got his sister-in-law’s acceptance word and ended his closed-mouth mantra. At this time he was in very high spirits, and he couldn’t help but say a few more words, "Yo, isn’t this reattaching the broken mirror? Look at the two of them, one tall and handsome, the other with unparalleled beauty and character, when holding each other like this, it seems like a good match. Zhao Luli that guy was the best at pleasing women, otherwise he would have not charmed Ye Zhen, who has eyes above the head, and if he sincerely repent and try to make up for his mistake, afraid Madam cannot withstand."
Emperor Sheng Yuan looked at him coldly, "How is your investigation on the Miao expert? Have you found any clues?"
"Guizhou is so big, and it is also a place where Miao people live, it’s extremely xenophobic. How can I get news so quickly." Marquis Zhenxi waved his hand helplessly.
"Then hurry up and check it. If you don’t find any clues, you don’t need to come back in this life. Zhen will send someone to take care of your sister-in-law, so you don’t need to worry about it." Seeing Madam being carried into the carriage by Zhao Luli, his already gloomy face became even more murderous, the palm of his hand pressed on the hilt of the sword, seemed ready to move. After he restrained it with great difficulty, the carriage had already driven far away. He used light energy (qinggong) to follow, and on the way, he happened to meet the womenfolk of Ye Mansion who were tied together in shackles and being pulled out of the city gate.
"Ugh…" The coachman slowly loosened the reins, slowed down the carriage, and whispered, "Madam, the Ye family’s criminal women is in front of us, should we avoid it or…"
Guan Suyi’s hand was held by Zhao Luli, she wanted to pulled it out but couldn’t, and her whole heart in a bad mood. After hearing this, she immediately said, "Stop and take a look."
"Look at what, just go around!" The old madam was full of disgust. Ruan shi remained silent as always, but Zhao Chunxi and Zhao Wangshu achoed in whisper, "Yeah, let’s not watching, let’s go home soon."
Guan Suyi lifted the curtain and said indifferently, "Master, you were the one who said you wanted to take concubines, these convicted women can be bought as slaves as long as someone is willing to pay, and now Ye Fan is here, will you still keep this marriage contract? Are you still saving people?"
Zhao Luli stared at her, suddenly smiled, "If I save one, what about the others? To redeem one person is twenty-two taels, my Zhao family is in great trouble, how can I afford it? Just as the so-called one liter rice raises a benefactor, a bucket of rice feeds an enemy*, if I only save Ye Fan, not only will they not be grateful, but they will hate me even more. If they kneel in front of the carriage and don’t let us leave and let others watch, then they will scold me for being cruel and ruthless. It’s better not to look, what remains unseen is deemed clean. Madam is right, I gave them a hand, but they stomped on me hard, the grievances have been cleared, and each take care of oneself."
"Good, good, good my son finally wake up, we should cut off with their family clearly, so as not to be entangled in the future." The old madam was greatly relieved and smiled.
Guan Suyi stared at Zhao Luli for a while, and then she said lightly, "Then go around, avoid it, and don’t let the Ye family see it." She was now living freely and comfortably, why would she bring back Ye Fan, this troublemaker, to cause chaos? It was just to test Zhao Luli.
The coachman turned his horse’s head as he complied, and ride slowly along the dark alley.
Zhao Luli whispered in Madam’s ear, "My performance just now, is Suyi satisfied? From now on there will be no concubine, no "dead wife", only you and I will as we live together and die together, inseparable until head turn white."
Guan Suyi heard Zhao Luli spoke love words in such a gentle voice, not only was not touched, but felt extremely terrible, and wished to block his mouth and throw him off the carriage. If this fellow entangled her in the future, how could she live?
Emperor Sheng Yuan suddenly changed his mind after following them halfway. He turned to Department of Justice, found Zhou Tian, and ordered, "Go and redeem Ye Fan and send it to Zhao family with gongs and drums. In addition, You warned her that it’s alright to hook up with Zhao Luli, but she can’t hurt Madam, if she hurts even a strand of Madam’s hair, Zhen can save her from the quagmire, and Zhen can push her into the fire and water."
No concubines? No dead wife? Live together and die together, inseparable until head turn white? It also depends on whether Zhen agree or not! What you owe Zhen will be paid back sooner or later!