Chapter 242: Marriage Matters, A Hundred Beatings with Military Rods
The emperor’s face was now filled with rage. How could the crowd’s expressions possibly escape his eyes? How could he possibly not know about Lin Qianzi’s reputation? Long Heng was trying to humiliate him in public!
“Don’t belittle yourself, my loyal subject. You’ve already done so much for our country. Naturally, you deserve only the best.” As quick as a flash, the emperor’s face returned to a placid smile, seemingly unbothered by Long Heng’s words.
Long Heng could immediately tell that the emperor was up to something. Why else would he suddenly drop the talk about national matters to talk about marriage? It didn’t take long for him to realize what the old fox was up to. They were clearly afraid that he’d take a wife from a powerful family. That would make him an even more powerful foe. Truth be told, if that was his plan, he would’ve turned this country upside down a long time ago. These aristocrats and government officials were nothing more than a bunch of sloths who knew of little other than food, play, and greed. There was not a single person who knew how to fight.
They didn’t even want to control the army, which had ultimately caused Long Heng to develop the army in a way where he held a majority of power. It was not like their laziness was the only reason. The royal family was simply too small. The current emperor was a concubine-born son who had wiped out the entire royal family in his pursuit of the dragon throne. The only person left from the royal family was Prince Rong, an honest man who cared little for material gain. Prince Rong was unfamiliar with military matters as he didn’t desire power. The power he had from his royal blood was more than enough for him!
I wonder how my son is doing. Long Heng knew he couldn’t mention his son, as any mention would be a show of weakness. “Your Majesty, this subject has a request.”
“My success in this war is all due to my concubine, Nèe Bai. She helped resolve the siege by coming up with a unique plan. I believe Prince Rong has already reported on it. This subject owes much to her with no way to repay her. Your Majesty, will you give your approval for this subject to make her my main wife?”
“Oh? Her achievements do sound very impressive according to Prince Rong, which is why he taken her as a godsister. However, I’m sure you are familiar with the laws of this matter correct?”
“The punishment for the unauthorized promotion of a concubine to a main wife is five thousand taels of silver and one hundred beatings of the military rod.”
“And do you accept this?”
“My loyal subject, I understand that your body is not at its best after your journey back to the capital, but rules have to be adhered to.”
“No matter. I only wish for Your Majesty to bestow us with a royal decree.”
“Of course. Men, take Prince Li away to beat him a hundred times and bring him back here to receive the royal decree.”
Long Heng gritted his teeth. It seems he wishes me to receive the royal decree while injured. Not a problem, all the training I’ve done is not for nothing after all. He snorted derisively inwardly and went to receive his beatings. Even though he was being beaten by a group of eunuchs with little to no strength, a hundred rod beatings wasn’t something a normal person would be able to bear. Long Heng was able to endure through the beatings with his internal force. He swaggered back out after the beating and knelt in the palace hall with his back ramrod straight, causing everyone to gasp in astonishment.
Everyone knew that how good Long Heng was in martial arts, but no one ever imagined that he’d be that powerful. He could still walk with fast strides after taking a hundred rods! There wasn’t even a slight tremble when he spoke. He was truly a hero. Many were impressed, but Minister Lin and the emperor could only look on while gnashing their teeth.
“My loyal subject, you may now retrieve the royal decree and get some much needed rest. The autumn hunting day will be held three days from now. Can you accompany me for the hunt? Of course, you must bring the new madame of your household. She’s a heroine who is no less than men.”
Three days? He wants me to accompany him to the hunt in three days? Even though I just received a hundred beatings? Long Heng gritted his teeth, “Naturally. Your Majesty, the person who dared impersonate you must be someone close to you. Please investigate this thoroughly to prevent anything further from developing.”
“This… I will definitely investigate this matter clearly.”
“Then this subject wishes to be dismissed. I will skin the culprit alive if I ever find them. How can I allow such a traitorous person to live while he’s bringing calamity to our nation?”
“Precisely, exactly!” They had just been one step away from taking over the enemy nation, but an imposter had suddenly emerged out of nowhere and sent out a fake decree! The old ministers that were present were all furious.
The emperor was extremely speechless. None of the ministers truly knew his thoughts. In fact, they were even speaking out for Long Heng! Has it never crossed their minds that Long Heng might lead the army to take down the capital after he’s done conquering the enemy nation?
A bunch of useless fools. They don’t even have the foresight of a woman. However, his failure this time was because he’d belittled a woman a little too much. It was rumored that Nèe Bai had been the one to rescue Long Heng. The emperor had thought that this would be a good chance to get rid of the Song family, but he never imagined that there’d be someone even more formidable behind them. Fine. I want to see for myself how formidable Nèe Bai truly is. I heard she broke into the dungeons after causing a furor in the battlefield.
“Your Majesty, we still need someone to oversee the process even though we have the imperial decree. Can I escort my mother home for such a thing?”
“This… The empress genuinely enjoys the company of the young prince. Why don’t we let them spend a couple more days together? I will order someone to escort them to your manor when the time comes.” The emperor was worried that Long Heng might do something rash in the heat of the moment. He wanted to take the general down a notch for a moment. After all, the emperor would be the one with the last say on things when Long Heng’s limelight finally died down.
“It is my honor that the empress enjoys the company of my son. If that is the case, this subject will now take my leave.” Long Heng then took the imperial decree to the manor. When he arrived at Apricot Garden, he crawled onto the bed and didn’t move a muscle.
“Your Highness, you’re back… Why are you injured? Did the bastard emperor punish you?” Alright, Bai Xiangxiu was a little too agitated. She’d forgotten that this was a society where the emperor was most powerful.
Ye-mama quickly covered Bai Xiangxiu’s mouth. She pinched Bai Xiangxiu, “Madame Xiu, it’s better that you don’t speak of such things. We’d better tend to His Highness’ wounds first.”
“You may all leave. I only need the madame to help me.”
“Summon a doctor!” Bai Xiangxiu quickly requested. She didn’t dare to treat his buttocks as she found their condition incredibly horrible. The doctor soon arrived and noticed that Long Heng’s pants had stuck to his flesh due to his wounds. They seemed incredibly serious. The fact that he could still manage to walk back home was simply incredible.
The doctor used a pair of scissors to cut open Long Heng’s pants as Bai Xiangxiu quietly applied medicine on his wounds, tears slowly dripping down her face.
“Stop crying. My wounds are not that serious,” Long Heng said with a pained look on his face.
“Your flesh has turned into pulp! How can it be not serious? Stop talking and let me concentrate…”
“…” Long Heng was depressed. Why was he being lectured even though he was wounded? However, her lecture felt surprisingly good and warmed the cockles of his heart
Little beads of tears kept dripping down Bai Xiangxiu face, but her crying face quickly turned to a frown when she turned her head around and saw how the person on the bed was smiling. She gently pressed down on his forehead and said, “Your forehead isn’t warm at all! I thought they’ve beaten you silly! Why are you smiling so much when your injuries are so severe?”
Sweat was dripping down the doctor’s forehead. The young couple looked so sweet when they were together. He felt a little guilty just by being in the same room as them. What was he supposed to do if they kicked him out the manor for seeing something he shouldn’t have seen? He had a family to feed!
It took some effort before they finally finished applying medicine on Long Heng’s wounds. He couldn’t put on pants for a short period of time, so he lay down on his stomach while wearing only his inner clothing, a thin blanket covering him. After the doctor left, Long Heng handed the imperial decree to Bai Xiangxiu and said, “Take a look at this and guess what it is.”