The Matter Was Over With Just Like That? (1)
As for that previous drama regarding the ‘love triangle', from the start, Li Hong Yuan had been very thug-like about it. He just directly declared, he indeed fancied Sun Yi Lin, so what about it? How about just let him enter the manor together with Sun Yi Jia. In ancient times, there was the fairy tale of sisters serving one husband, and now, he'll make a brother and sister serve one husband. Perhaps many years later, it too can become a beautiful story.
Never mind Le Cheng Emperor and the Ding Duke, even the Empress was quite angered by him. In the past, whenever Li Hong Yuan caused trouble, she although, from the standpoint of an Empress, asked for him to be severely punished, at least seven or eight times out of ten was she only just going through the motions. The remaining two three times she although had anger, it was still only twenty to thirty percent. This time, however, her anger directly rose to a hundred and twenty percent.
Li Hong Yi although wasn't accomplished, he was still her son, the greatest chess piece for her desire to be in power. Without this son, all her schemes will all be for nothing. But Li Hong Yuan instead ruthlessly injured him. Above all, Li Hong Yi even said, at that moment, he really thought Li Hong Yuan wanted to kill him. She didn't think this son of hers would lie to her on this matter.
How can this be good!?
Also, Sun Yi Lin was the nephew she was most optimistic about, and similarly a good chess piece she prepared. The higher his position next to Le Cheng Emperor was, the more beneficial it was to her future. Else, why would she repeatedly create opportunities for Sun Yi Lin to show his face in front of his Majesty. Everything was all progressing very smoothly. Le Cheng Emperor didn't like the Ding Duke Manor, as well as the entire Sun Clan, aside from Sun Yi Lin alone. Moreover, Sun Yi Lin also had a famous reputation outside. With him stepping forth, he'll definitely be able to win over ever more talented people of his age. Then, once things become clear in the future, even if he's fully aware that she, this Empress Dowager behind the scenes, was the one actually in charge, as long as he just remains silent, not even needing to openly express his support for her, then in the future, there will be a lot less of memorandums to abolish her. This way, it'll save her a lot of trouble. There will be a day where she'll be able to rightfully interfere in politics and no one will dare comment.
But Li Hong Yuan wants to ruin him!
With it being like so, how could she not get angry! It was also because of this that this time, she genuinely went against n.o.ble Consort Su.
In contrast to the Empress's faction, n.o.ble Consort Su's side actually felt unusually refreshed inside, especially Li Hong Ming, who inwardly pitied why Li Hong Yuan didn't directly kill off Li Hong Yi. That way, by just sacrificing Li Hong Yuan alone, he not only would lose his greatest rival, in terms of succession, he will also be the most rightful heir. However, he also knew, although Li Hong Yuan was an a.s.shole, he wasn't foolish. How could he easily be stained with his brother's blood.
However, as the consort mother, n.o.ble Consort Su, despite feeling their opponent deserved it, still needed to lecture him on the things one shouldn't do. Thus, different from the Empress, who insistently requested Li Hong Yuan to be severely punished, n.o.ble Consort Su scolded Li Hong Yuan on one side, while pleading to Le Chen Emperor on the other.
And so, the two most honorable women in the harem also began clas.h.i.+ng with their mouths. The Empress said, for Li Hong Yuan to have turned out like this, n.o.ble Consort Su needed to bear the majority of the responsibility. It was her that didn't educate the imperial son properly, failing his Majesty's benevolence. n.o.ble Consort Su said, Li Hong Yuan was merely joking around with Sun Yi Lin, it was Li Hong Yi who striked first. If he didn't resist, could it be to wait to get beaten to death? One has to know, her son still has injuries on his body. Li Hong Yi, such vicious intentions, not concerned for one's own younger brother, a failure as the eldest brother. If her Yuan'er deserves to be punished, then he, Li Hong Yi, further can't escape from the blame.
Just like that, back and forth, it really was awfully lively. In comparison, Le Cheng Emperor was strangely quiet.
Le Cheng Emperor had received a pile of memorandums accusing Li Hong Yuan of misconduct. The matter this time was different from the past; Li Hong Yuan was damaging the Imperial family's reputation. Never mind n.o.ble Consort Su and Li Hong Ming's opponents, even most of the neutral members of the imperial clan all requested for him to be severely punished, or else how can they reestablish the imperial prestige.
Le Cheng Emperor's abnormal att.i.tude this time, don't know if it's because he was used to Li Hong Yuan stirring up trouble from time to time, or because, when he first heard his own son liking the ‘southern wind', he'd already predicted that there would be such a day sooner or later. In fact, he was even in the mood to flip through those memorandums that accused Li Hong Yuan of ‘ten great offenses', happily laughing as he read them, “Guan Guan ah, look at our son, he's just different from others. He's always been this energetic since he was little. If someday he were to not cause trouble, this emperor would even find it strange.”
Seeing such an abnormal Le Cheng Emperor, the close attendants all pretended to be deaf and mute. In any case, every year there would be a few days like this.
“Consort Mother, how will imperial father punish sixth brother this time?” Li Hong Ming asked n.o.ble Consort Su.
n.o.ble Consort Su blanked for a moment, and then opened her mouth, carrying a bit of melancholy, “There won't be any punishments. Yuan'er's birth mother's death anniversary is here. If he hadn't been attacked by a.s.sa.s.sin, this while, he'd still be at the White Dragon Temple praying.”
“The former Imperial n.o.ble Consort, what exactly………”
“Ming'er, this isn't something you should ask. It won't do you any good to know.”
“Imperial mother, how will imperial father punish sixth brother?” Directly recuperating in Kunyi Palace, Li Hong Yi beat against the bed. His eyes were full of resentment as he asked the Empress.
The Empress looked to him indifferently, “This empress had just warned you to not meet with him head on, yet as soon as you stepped out of the palace, you immediately got physical with him. You entirely had this empress's words treated as the wind past your ears, yet now you come to ask this empress? Isn't that too excessive?”
The resentment in Li Hong Yi's eyes immediately scattered, and this grown man unexpectedly looked to the Empress, somewhat at a loss for what to do, “Imperial mother, it's not that this son didn't listen to your words, it's just that Li Hong Yuan, that b.a.s.t.a.r.d, is too infuriating. This son momentarily became muddled………”
The Empress coldly laughed, “The result of your momentary foolishness is having all our advantages lost because of you. Even if you were within reason, it has still become unreasonable, yet you're still thinking of Li Hong Yuan getting punished. Are you still dreaming?”
“This son is already injured like this, don't tell me that it'll just be over with just like that?” Li Hong Yi's eyes reddened in anger.
“That's because your skills are inferior to him and brought it upon yourself. Besides, Li Hong Yuan is the meat your imperial father's heart, what do you count as? If he were to get severely punished, do you think you'll be able to escape the blame? For your imperial father to be able to give you some compensation is already not bad. Moreover, it's nearing Imperial n.o.ble Consort's death anniversary. In these couple of days, your imperial father is the most impervious to reason. It's even possible for him to punish you and then praise Li Hong Yuan. Think about it carefully, how many old ministers genuinely sent in a memorandum accusing Li Hong Yuan of misconduct? Even if they sent in a memorandum, it is still nothing more than for the sake of going through the motions.” After the initial anger pa.s.sed, the Empress also immediately realized that perhaps this time, they had no choice but to suffer silently again. Unfortunately, this matter had already been stirred into a ruckus, and couldn't just stop because they said to, else how will she explain it to the people of her faction. If you ride a tiger, it's hard to get off. They could only continue making noise, and the result of that was probably just angering Le Cheng Emperor even further. It was precisely because of this that made it increasingly suffocating.
“Since Imperial n.o.ble Consort is that important, in these past several years, how come no one ever mentions her? And every year on her death anniversary, how come we never see imperial father offering sacrifices for her before?”
“To say you're stupid, you really are stupid. Must this empress explain it clearly to you for you to finally understand? That woman died suspiciously. Is it strange for your imperial father to not offer sacrifices for her? And how many people would remember someone that has died more than twenty years ago? Because your imperial father is the heavenly son, his each and every move subjected to the eyes of the world, that's why that woman hasn't been thoroughly forgotten. And those old ministers that are aware of this matter, clearly know how much of a taboo this is for your imperial father, who would still foolishly make it known everywhere. They know that your imperial father every year around this time is all but normal, so naturally they won't go stoke his anger. This year, it merely just so happens that Li Hong Yuan stirred up trouble, thus………” The Empress paused for a moment, “Perhaps Li Hong Yuan also picked this exact time, deliberately angering you. And the a.s.sa.s.sination attempt at White Dragon Temple might also be someone wanting to use this special day. But every one of your brothers all suffered a loss, who reaped the most benefits then?”
 This is referring to the story of E Huang and Nu Ying, two sisters who were the wife of Emperor Shun, the mythical sage Emperor, from chinese mythology. E Huang is the elder sister and Nu Ying the younger sister. Their father was Emperor Yao, one of the five legendary Emperors, legendary as in no one knows whether the first five ‘Emperors' actually existed or not. In the legends, he was so impressed with Shun that he bypa.s.sed his own sons and in choosing a heir, and even married his two daughters to him. Their mythology is a bit complicated, and later interpretations had the two written as one person.  Another literary euphemism for gay; I know so many different phrases for gay in ancient literature, though this one is rather hard to come by, since the term ‘southern wind' also has multiple different meanings in different context.  So Li Hong Yuan's birth mother's name also romanizes to Wan Wan (婠婠), however it's p.r.o.nounced differently from MC's Wan Wan (婉婉); to avoid confusion I will romanize it as Guan Guan instead, which is the p.r.o.nunciation of the character [官], as her name is made up of the female radical 女 + 官; if you are familiar with chinese tones, MC's Wan Wan is p.r.o.nounced in the third tone, while LHY's birth mother uses the first tone.  See the historical notes page for rankings if you are confused.  Idiom meaning it's impossible to stop halfway.
T/N: To be fair the Empress is very smart, especially in politics and schemes, but her biggest disadvantage is her son and brother are both idiots. It's interesting to contrast her with n.o.ble Consort Su, who's smart in a different sense. n.o.ble Consort Su is good at gaining favor and manipulating the Emperor. Also there's Shu Consort Qin who I consider is a dark horse in the harem, she's managed to stay in power despite having no son and no favor from the Emperor.
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