Chapter 198 – Don’t Do to Others What You Don’t Want Them to Do to You
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Concubine Xiao made a suggestion which made Qi Zhen ponder about it. However, he didn’t agree or disagree with her suggestion. Then, he quickly summoned the princes and ministers to discuss political affairs.
When everyone arrived, Concubine Xiao didn’t leave Fuyang hall and was waiting outside for the news. She summoned a eunuch and instructed him, “Go inside and listen to the conversation. Report to me immediately when the emperor takes a decision.”
“Yes, your Ladyship!” The eunuch quickly went inside the hall.
Inside the hall.
There were three rows of courtiers and the princes stood in front of him. The crown prince, Jing Yi and Jing Rong stood in the front row while the others ministers stood behind, placed according to ranks.
Qi Zhen showed doubt on his face as he asked, “The marriage between Qujiang and Great Lin has caused us many headaches. What do you propose?”
Jing Hua had an idea. He glanced with disdain at Jing Yi and stepped forward. “Imperial Father, since time immemorial, princesses were sent for political marriages. Jing Xuan is our Great Lin’s eldest princess. Sending her to Qujiang is a natural thing.”
How can Jing Yi not destroy his reasoning? Jing Xuan was after all his younger sister from the same mother. Thus, he immediately refuted. “Although Jing Xuan is the eldest princess, her temper is rather impetuous, which makes her unsuitable to be married off to another country. The crown prince’s suggestion is not appropriate.”
“However, only Jing Xuan meets the requirements for marriage. Besides, the fiancé is the king of Qujiang. It’s impossible for him to wrong her. Jing Yi, as her older brother, shouldn’t you be happy for her?” Jing Hua ridiculed his brother.
‘That’s right, shouldn’t you be happy, Jing Yi? The old Qujiang King will be your brother-in-law. Your influence will certainly grow bigger. You should be the one laughing instead!’ It should be said that this result was optimal. However, only an idiot would think this way, while a smart person would think otherwise.
Jing Yi repressed the anger burning in him and calmly spoke to Qi Zhen. “Imperial Father, Qujiang King’s marriage proposal is certainly suspicious. On the surface, we have harmonious relations with them, but if one day we came to wage war with them, how can we face them if they decided to use Jing Xuan as a hostage?”
“Mmm. Jing Yi is right.” Qi Zhen nodded.
“That’s why I beseech Imperial Father to decide on another candidate.”
Qi Zhen had many thoughts in his mind. He recalled Concubine Xiao’s suggestion. His bright eyes swept a glance at everyone present. He inquired, “How about Kong Yu?”
All the ministers looked at each other in dismay when they heard the name. The usually silent Jing Rong suddenly showed a grave expression. After a moment, one of the ministers lowered his head and saluted the emperor before speaking. “The Kong family is the maiden family of Empress Xuanshu, and Miss Kong Yu is known to be gentle as jade. She is indeed an appropriate candidate to replace Princess Jing Xuan.
One after another, they all agreed to the suggestion. “That’s right! The Kong family is a noble family. Sending Miss Kong is appropriate.”
Soon enough, the situation shifted in favor to Kong Yu. Jing Rong immediately stepped forward. He had a frown and earnestly advised, “Imperial Father, please think twice.”
In the past few years, during court sessions, when the emperor didn’t ask for Jing Rong’s opinion, the latter would usually act as if he was invisible most of the time. He wouldn’t take part in any conflicts or voice his opinions readily. Surprisingly, at this moment, he suddenly contradicted the emperor!
Qi Zhen observed his son but failed to understand this sudden move. “Why do you want us to think twice?”
“Although the Kong family is noble, and this marriage is of utmost importance, Miss Kong Yu is the sole direct descendant of the Kong family. Imperial Father had once instructed Son – Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you. So I beseech you to re-think twice!”
Qi Zhen was angered. “Preposterous!” He lashed out. His anger was a deluge. “Although we did teach you that, we also taught you that – loyalty to your roots come first.”
Jing Rong lowered his eyebrows. He retained his calm, but his obstinacy could still be felt. “Son did not intend to contradict Imperial Father’s will, but rather only wished to tell Imperial Father to think twice as the Kong family…”
Before he could finish, Jing Yi cut in. “Jing Rong, we know that you are on good terms with Kong Yu, since you two grew up together. Anyone can see how close you two are. But don’t forget that before your identity as a childhood friend, you are this country’s prince. That distinction should be made loud and clear. Do you know the weight of your position?”
The corner of his mouth pulled into an unfathomable smile, appearing rather hypocritical! His words had pushed Jing Rong into a pit.
Qi Zhen was already angry, and if Jing Rong continued arguing, he was simply digging his grave. Then, Jing Hua planned to keep quarreling with Jing Yi. He intended to tease out the fact that since Jing Yi didn’t want his younger sister to be married off, he was thinking of pushing out his cousin instead?
‘In your dreams!’ Jing Hua looked at his father’s angry expression and raised his chin in an arrogant expression. He berated Jing Yi, “Jing Yi, you said so much, but in the end, could it be that you don’t want Jing Xuan to be sent to Qujiang?” His words exposed the truth.
He turned to his father and said, “Imperial Father, Qujiang King has dispatched people to propose a marriage. If Jing Xuan was married, this is the most appropriate choice. Whether or not we might wage war with Qujiang in the future is still uncertain. Please think about it, if one day Jing Xuan can become Qujiang’s queen, isn’t Qujiang considered to be within our hands? Besides, what Jing Rong said is correct. Kong Yu is the only direct descendant of the Kong family. If Mother Queen is still alive, she would also oppose this matter the same way as Jing Rong did.”
He used his dead mother as an excuse to move Qi Zhen. He was betting on the depth of his father’s love to his mother!
Qi Zhen’s expression darkened. He sighed and frowned.
Jing Yi narrowed his eyes at Jing Hua, and the latter rolled his eyes inwardly but didn’t spare a glance at him.
Fortunately, Jing Yi was a steady person. He calmed down and plead his father, “Imperial Father, Jing Xuan is still young, and her mind has no defenses. If we send her to Qujiang, it’d be the same as breaking her wings. In addition, all the ministers agreed that Kong Yu is the best candidate for this matter. What’s more, it’s an honor for her to be sent to Qujiang. It would be better…”
Qi Zhen raised his hand to interrupt him.
The buzzing noise was causing him to have a headache. If he had known earlier, he would have to think about it in private and make his decision on his own. Instead, he was bombarded by arguments left and right. ‘How bothersome! How infuriating!’
“All of you are dismissed!”
No one dared to refute the annoyed emperor. They all bowed in salute and withdrew.
Jing Rong was one of the last to leave. Just as he reached the exit, Jing Hua caught him.
He patted Jing Rong’s shoulder and spoke with a tint of complacency, showing a mystifying appearance. “So, did I show enough brotherhood? I know that you and Kong Yu have each other in the hearts. That’s why I helped you.”
‘Yes, I really ought to thank you! How about you piss off instead?’
Jing Rong couldn’t be bothered to talk to him, so he remained silent.
“You don’t have to worry too much. Imperial Father has yet to make an imperial edict, which means things can change. I’ll help you in the next two days by reporting to imperial father of your feelings for her, so he won’t make a hasty decision.”
“Alright alright, you don’t have to thank me. Kong Yu is my cousin after all, and I know she only has eyes for you.” He acted as if he knew everything. “I am a generous person. I will forgive you even if you had stood on Jing Yi’s side in regards to that border matter.” Jing Hua added.
‘This Prince has a heart as wide as the ocean!’
Black lines formed on Jing Rong’s face, and he turned. “Thank you, Your Highness, I have some matters to attend to, so I best be going.”
‘It’s none of your business!’ He did not say these words out loud, and so he instead said, “I have to handle some internal matters that require my immediate attention.”
“Oh!” Jing Hua said, and then curiously pulled Jing Rong back to ask. “That’s right, that Teacher Ji that you brought back, the last time I saw him was at Concubine Xiao’s birthday. I didn’t expect that man to be so formidable. He managed to solve that difficult missing girls case. If you have time, introduce him to me, alright?”
“Teacher Ji is not very friendly, so it’s best for you to not meet him.”
“Why? Such a talented person, don’t tell me you intend to keep hiding him forever?” Jing Hua said angrily.
Jing Rong shook his head and sighed. He then absentmindedly said some words before leaving Jing Hua behind.