Rebirth of the Excellent Daughter of the Marquis Household - Chapter 45
Chapter 45: The girls are growing up
After Yun Xuan left his tent, he was blown by the cold wind at night and his head cleared a little.
Although he was the crown prince now, his situation was not good. His biological mother had passed away and although the current empress was on his side, they were not blood relatives after all and she could abandon him at any moment. The only thing he had now was his status as the crown prince.
His father the emperor had threatened his position in order to prevent the crown prince from being too powerful. When he chose a wife, he had tried to avoid the nobles who were in power in the capital. Instead, he had chosen the daughter of Ding Hai Bo’s family.
Princess Ping Hu was a shrewd person, being able to find the crown princess with just a little investigation, and who was the crown princess if not his wife? All the stupid things that his wife did would be tied to his head.
It was impossible to hide now. He just had to go apologise first. Yun Xuan let out a long sigh and with heavy steps, walked towards Princess Ping Hu’s tent.
Princess Ping Hu heard the news that the crown prince came and could not help but feel a trace of displeasure in her heart, but she still invited Yun Xuan in with patience and grace.
As soon as Yun Xuan came in, he gave Princess Ping Hu a deep bow, “Imperial Aunt, this nephew is here to plead guilty for the Crown Princess.”
Princess Ping Hu raised her eyebrows slightly. She glanced left and right. All of those accompanying her were trusted personal confidants and they withdrew wisely. Princess Ping Hu then got up and walked over, helping Yun Xuan up, “Your Highness, what kind of trouble is this?” She said lightly.
“If Aunt is angry, just place the anger on nephew alone.” Yun Xuan stayed bent over and refused to stand up straight, “This nephew is not good at discipline. The Crown Princess has done something she should not have done.”
“Forget it.” Princess Ping Hu smiled lightly and patted Yun Xuan on the shoulder. “Your Highness the Crown Prince insisting on saluting is making it difficult for this aunt. You’re all aunt’s juniors and the Crown Princess is still young, so it’s nothing to be so competitive.”
“Then is Aunt willing to forgive this nephew?” The crown prince raised his head slightly and looked at Princess Ping Hu.
“We’re a family.” Princess Ping Hu suppressed the anger in her heart. After all, it was not just her nephew standing in front of her, but the crown prince of the Qi dynasty. It was very likely that he would become the future emperor of the Qi dynasty. Even if she felt anger in her heart, seeing the crown prince come and apologise in such a low voice, how could she really do anything? She could only let it be.
Yun Xuan saw that Princess Ping Hu’s face had softened and he secretly breathed a sigh of relief, “Don’t worry Aunt. After returning to the capital, this nephew will punish the Crown Princess.”
Princess Ping hu looked at her nephew with her beautiful eyes for a long time. Then she said slowly, “That would be good.” She waved her sleeves, “it’s getting late today, you should go back and rest early. As for your Crown Princess, since you’re in this position, then you should do something suitable for someone in this position. Fortunately, no one died this time. Otherwise, even if she’s the Crown Princess, she would be punished and it would also damage your reputation. You have to discipline her well.”
“Yes, yes, yes. Imperial Aunt teaches well.” Yun Xuan was also annoyed in his heart. He already had a lot of things going on and there was a group of people outside who were eyeing him with hostility, just waiting for him to make a mistake and impeach him. Fortunately, Gu Yu Qi was fine and fortunately, Princess Ping Hu had concealed it well. Otherwise, it would have been a big mess and who knew what would have happened in the future.
“Tell me, you’ve been married for a few years and the Crown Princess has not had anything. Shouldn’t you think about having a side concubine or something?” Princess Ping Hu looked at Yun Xuan with burning eyes, “There are three kinds of being unfilial and having no male heir is the gravest of the three. Your Father the Emperor also wants to see a house full of children and grandchildren.”
Yun Xuan’s back felt cold from Princess Ping Hu’s gaze. Indeed, it had been three years yet he did not even have a son who could be his heir. In case any of his brothers had a clever child and won the favour of his father the emperor, then how could this be good…
He had given Li-shi three years and it could be considered that he had done his best.
“Then according to Aunt, this nephew should…” Yun Xuan did not finish what he wanted to say. Princess Ping Hu naturally knew what he meant. If he wanted to take a side concubine, this would not be up to Princess Ping Hu to decide for His Highness. The crown prince was asking for her opinion at the moment obviously because he wanted to win her over and have her on his side in the future.
This was what Yun Xuan really planned.
Princess Ping Hu had no children. Among the elders, she was someone who preferred to safeguard the younger generation. With her status, even his father the emperor respected Princess Ping Hu. Her words carried a certain weight on his father the emperor’s side. If he could draw Princess Ping Hu over, then it would naturally benefit him a lot.
Not to mention, Yun Xuan really made the right move this time. He had first come over to give a small apology, then asked Princess Ping Hu for consultation. It was really to Princess Ping Hu’s liking.
She liked her nephews and had no children of her own, so she was always eager to have a go at matchmaking, but it was her younger brother the emperor who had the final say. She could not make the decision for the candidate of the main concubine, but for the side concubine, she might have a say.
Princess Ping Hu really thought about her nephew seriously for a moment and she even forgot that she was in a hurry to drive him away just now. She took the crown prince’s hand and walked over to a chair and sat down.
“According to your Father the Emperor’s wishes, imperial relatives on the maternal side cannot be too powerful,” Princess Ping Hu analysed. “But you’re the Crown Prince. Apart from the daughters of aristocratic families, there are very few noble daughters who are worthy of you.” She thought over and over, until she really thought of someone. “Aunt thought of a candidate, but unfortunately, she’s still too young. However, with her future appearance and her family background, she really meets your Father the Emperor’s conditions for your wife.”
Yun Xuan’s mind moved and a petite figure appeared in front of him, “Could Aunt be referring to… the young miss of the Gu family?” He asked in a toneless voice.
“That’s right. It’s her. There’s nothing to say about that child’s appearance, you’ve seen her, and in a few years she will definitely be a great beauty. She was born in the Ding Yuan Marquis’ residence and is the eldest daughter. As a nouveau riche, the Ding Yuan Marquis does not have the complexities of the aristocratic families. But, don’t you realise? Her mother is from the Liang family in Jiangnan. In any case, they’re a family with a century of history, but they’ve lived in Jiangnan for so long and aren’t very noticeable.” Princess Ping Hu smiled.
Yun Xuan’s heart moved. Indeed, this noble daughter of the dynasty could meet his father the emperor’s requirements. The one with the best conditions at present was Gu Yu Qi.
Even Gu Huai Zhong was a fierce general. If he could stand on his side, it would not matter if he did not have any real power at the moment. He was powerful! Just give him 50,000 troops and it was likely that there was no one in the imperial court right now who could win against him in battle.
There was a saying that a thousand soldiers was easy to get, but one general was hard to find!
If the most capable general in the imperial court was on his side, then would he be worried about not being able to take that position in the future?
“Miss Gu is only ten years old this year,” Yun Xuan still dampened the spirits of himself and Princess Ping Hu.
Princess Ping Hu laughed when she heard this, “And you’re only 18 years old. Can’t you wait three or four years for her? Besides, there can only be one Crown Princess, but you can have two side concubines.”
As soon as Yun Xuan heard this, his face gradually turned into a smile. He had been born with a picturesque face and a noble temperament. His smile was like a spring breeze with thousands of flowers blooming.
“Thank you Aunt for your suggestion.” It was just three or four years. He had already waited ten years, so why should he worry about another three or four years? As for other people, he would not think about them anymore. Gu Yu Qi was the best candidate. Also, she had the name of being a talented genius. If a child came from her belly, perhaps it would be another talented genius. At that time, would he not win his father the emperor’s favour?
He had already given Li-shi three years, so he would give her another three or four years. If she could not have children and he took a side concubine, it would only give him a good reputation.
With such a happy decision, Yun Xuan got up and gave Princess Ping Hu a deep bow, then retired.
The Winter Hunting Festival came to an end, but the names of Gu Yu Qi and Liang Huai Yu spread in the noble circles in the capital. Even Gu Huai Zhong became a celebrity in the imperial court.
There was no way he could not be popular. His wife had flown on horseback to rescue the British duchess, and his own daughter had shone brightly. Not only did she help His Highness Prince Jing solve the assassination case at the inn, she had also found clues about the attempted murder of the British duchess. Moreover, as the daughter of the Marquis, she was able to hunt with His Majesty’s favourite Princess Jing Cheng and even obtained His Majesty’s personal pardon when an accident occurred. Princess Ping Hu had sent her personal carriage to send her back to the capital and also sent her own bodyguards to escort her.
What glory this was and who else in the entire capital could compare?
Even Zhang Wan Yi could not help being jealous of Gu Yu Qi in private and she tore apart a few handkerchiefs. However, she was also secretly glad that when she was in the Imperial Princess’ courtyard, she had chosen to help Gu Yu Qi and that later during the hunt, she had given Gu Yu Qi something to show her sympathy. This meant that she could send messages to Gu Yu Qi in an open and honest way and socialise with her more.
If Zhang Wan Yi’s little thoughts were told to Gu Yu Qi now, Gu Yu Qi would probably die vomiting.
When everyone had returned to the capital, Gu Huai Zhong’s salutations at his residence were like snowflakes everyday. Gu Huai Zhong was so happy he could not close his mouth.
Liu Yue waited for Gu Huai Zhong to come back. Then, she learnt that when Gu Yu Qi went out this time, she had been noticed by His Majesty and had been escorted back by Princess Ping Hu’s people personally. When she thought of what she had said in front of Liang-shi that day, she wanted to dig a hole in the ground and get in to hide. How stupid she was, thinking that Liang-shi and Gu Yu Qi’s early return was because they had made the Marquis unhappy.
Even her children were chatting about Gu Yu Qi and Liang-shi’s deeds in front of her. She laughed on the surface but in her heart, she almost crushed her back molars in hatred.
This mother and daughter pair had such damn luck! Now the most popular ones in the capital were the mother and daughter. She was afraid that her plan would have to be put on hold for a while. If she did something that damaged Gu Yu Qi and her mother, it would be noticeable and it may even alarm His Majesty and Princess Ping Hu. If those two intervened, their fire could not be contained and it was likely she would be doomed even if her plan was successful.
She was someone who wanted to be the madam of the house so she could only endure it longer. She had already endured it for ten years, so she did not care if she had to wait a little longer.
After Liu Yue sorted it out, she immediately brought her two children to greet Liang-shi everyday, and secretly urged Gu Si Yang and Gu Si Yu to have more contact with Liang-shi to win her favour.
Although Gu Si Yang was a bit awkward, the first relative that he saw after he had been kidnapped by evil people was Liang-shi after all, so he unknowingly developed a slight dependence on Liang-shi. Even more so for Gu Si Yu, who after staying with Gu Yu Qi for a few days, had worshipped this elder sister as a god and naturally treated Liang-shi as her own mother.
Although Liang-shi did not like Gu Si Yang and Gu Si Yu at first, after getting along with them, she thought that the two of them were pretty good kids. After all, the one with a grudge against her was their mother and the children were innocent. As long as they did not follow Liu-shi’s mind in the future, Liang-shi was still willing to let the two children get close to her. This also matched Gu Yu Qi’s wishes.
Under the care of Imperial Physician Ning, her toxins were finally flushed out on the fifth day after returning to the residence. After so many days in a drowsy state, Gu Yu Qi felt that she was finally revived and full of blood.
Conflict with Liu-shi would be inevitable in the future. Gu Yu Qi just hoped that her younger brother and younger sister would not be too partial to their biological mother in the future. Seeing that Gu Si Yu and Gu Si Yang also came over by themselves to greet and visit them, she was very happy. She simply took time out to guide Gu Si Yang on his homework when he was free and also taught Gu Si Yu how to read and write.
Gu Si Yang was originally unwilling to let his elder sister, who had once given him a hard time, teach him homework. However, Gu Yu Qi had advantages. She had crossed over once and had been reborn. She was simply an existence with a plug-in opened. She was eloquent in her analysis of today’s current situation. Gu Si Yang listened to Gu Yu Qi revealing information either intentionally nor unintentionally, then he brought it to the academy and talked about it. Unexpectedly, he actually silenced the other children in the academy. Even the director of the Imperial Academy and the Minister of Rites looked at Gu Si Yang with admiration. Gradually, Gu Si Yang experienced what it was like to be thought highly of by others, and he slowly became willing to let Gu Yu Qi guide him just a little.
Gu Yu Qi took the opportunity to occasionally instil in him some sense of justice and ambition. Gu Si Yang, the brat, was still young now but there was a worldly sense about him.
Seeing that Gu Yu Qi taught Gu Si Yang so well, Gu Huai Zhong liked it very much.
In this way, more than a month passed and the end of the year approached.
Princess Ping Hu said that she would give Liang-shi an explanation and she kept her promise. Although she did not speak with Liang-shi secretly to tell her who was the mastermind behind the changing of Gu Yu Qi’s sweet soup, she let Liang-shi see. Just after the new year, the crown princess Li-shi was grounded for three months because she had offended His Highness the Crown Prince in the crown prince’s palace.
Only then did Liang-shi realise that it was Her Highness the Crown Princess who had replaced Gu Yu Qi’s sweet soup.
This made Liang-shi both startled and scared. She did not know what her daughter had done to actually provoke Her Highness the Crown Princess. It was not until after the new year had passed when the crown prince came to their door in person to secretly apologise that Liang-shi found out that her daughter had almost lost her life because of a bet made on a whim by the princes. This made Liang-shi angry. However, the crown prince had already come personally to their door to apologise, so she could not say anything, but she really resented Prince Jing and Yun Ke. The crown prince also looked out for himself and did not mention Princess Ping Hu, only saying what Yun Yi had suggested it. He could not bear to go against Yun Yi’s nature and in a moment of confusion, he participated and it had unexpectedly almost hurt Gu Yu Qi.
The crown prince apologised so sincerely and Liang-shi was not brainless, so naturally she would not publicise this kind of thing. Her daughter had become the subject of someone’s bet. This was not a good thing to be heard, and it would damage her daughter’s reputation. So, Liang-shi asked the crown prince not to mention this again in the future and even Gu Yu Qi had to hide it. This fit right into the crown prince’s ideals.
The crown prince took the opportunity to chat with Gu Huai Zhong for a long time and even invited him as a guest to the prince’s palace.
Liang-shi felt less grievances towards the crown prince, but her resentment towards Yun Yi and Yun Ke grew. Even the crown prince had come to their door to apologise, but there was no movement from Prince Jing and His Highness the Seventh Prince. They really did not see her precious daughter’s life as a life.
During this time, Yun Yi had done something that had greatly satisfied His Majesty the Emperor. He had previously caught the assassins at the inn and when he returned to the capital, he continued to track down the culprit and found out that the mastermind behind the incident was the Rouran’s King Ding Shan. King Ding Shan was an ambitious guy and he actually wanted to initiate a war between the Rouran and Qi dynasty, then he would acquire profit in a time of trouble.
His Majesty was furious when he learned the truth of the matter and he sent envoys to the Rouran. The Rouran king had lost to the Qi dynasty so of course he did not want to fight. Naturally, he pacified the envoy for a while, then abolished King Ding Shan and also paid a lot of things to the Qi dynasty in compensation. This finally calmed His Majesty’s anger.
For this reason, Prince Jing and His Highness the Seventh Prince received a lot of rewards from His Majesty. Even Gu Yu Qi received rewards from His Majesty. This made Gu Yu Qi, whose presence had diminished from the new year atmosphere, reappear in front of everyone.
Gu Yu Qi’s reputation was so great that noble families were already questioning Gu Huai Zhong discreetly, asking if Gu Yu Qi had been promised to another household.
Gu Yu Qi’s worth soared and this angered a lot of people. Zhang Wan Yi and Liu Yue did not need mentioning, but even Yun Ke was sick to the stomach from anger.
Whenever he was with Yun Yi now, he would hear him mention Gu Yu Qi. Hearing it everyday, his ears were almost calloused. Even though he had been born with an icy temperament, there was invariably still a bit of fury in his eyes.
When the Rouran incident stabilised, rumours spread in the palace of Yun Ke’s marriage.
Who Yun Ke was going to marry was beyond everyone’s expectations. After the Winter Hunting Festival, everyone thought that Yun Ke would marry Gu Yu Qi, who he had personally carried. However, they had not expected that His Majesty would give him the second young miss of the Mu Rong family.
In an instant, Gu Yu Qi was pushed to the forefront again. Someone vividly described the Winter Hunting Festival, how Yun Ke had been so impatient, how he had carried Gu Yu Qi out on horseback alone from the forest. It was said that it was improper for women and men to touch. Gu Yu Qi had been hugged by Yun Ke and although she was still young, she had been stained after all so how would she face others in the future? Such news spread in the streets and alleys of the capital and everyone knew of it.
Now, Yun Ke had actually decided on marrying Mu Rong Ling Yan, not Gu Yu Qi. How could Gu Yu Qi, this talented girl, meet people in the future? Even the nobility who had tested the waters with Gu Huai Zhong before and had been rejected by Gu Huai Zhong took pleasure in their misfortune. Your daughter is precious but you did not even see if she had been defiled. She had been hugged by His Highness the Seventh Prince, so what airs are you putting on? Such a woman, even if Gu Huai Zhong nodded, my family would not take her as a daughter-in-law!
Even Gu Huai Zhong felt that the ministers looked at him with a bit of excitement in their eyes.
When Yun Yi heard these rumours, he exploded with fury. For the first time, he threw something in the study, then he sent someone out to check who had spread these rumours.
Yun Ke stood aside and looked at the debris on the ground, a faint light flashing across his downcast eyes.
He had secretly ordered people to spread the rumours. At that time, Princess Ping Hu’s hunting ground was handled by Princess Ping Hu’s personal guards. Those who could get close to the hunting ground were people Princess Ping Hu had chosen herself. They were reliable and naturally, rumours would not spread from their mouths.
Yun Ke looked at Yun Yi’s rare irritated appearance. He could not help the sneer on the corner of his mouth.
He actually had not known his good brother was so obsessed with Gu Yu Qi.
Gu Yu Qi’s reputation had been damaged so naturally, she would not be able to marry Yun Yi as his main concubine. Even if other people wanted to marry Gu Yu Qi, they would have to take these factors into consideration.
Gu Yu Qi had belonged to him in his previous life and this life was no exception. She wanted to escape his grasp? Yun Ke only gave her a word, “haha”.
In her previous life, she died when she said she would die. Did she ask if he was willing or not? In this life, was she going to escape just because she said she would escape?
Even if Yun Ke fell into hell in the future, he would still drag Gu Yu Qi with him.
Yun Ke did everything flawlessly. Yun Yi sent people to investigate the source of those rumours but after checking for months, they could not find any clues at all. It was not that he did not suspect Yun Ke, but everytime he tested Yun Ke, he felt that this kind of thing could not be done by his cold younger brother.
So, not only did the rumours not weaken because of Yun Yi’s intervention, but they intensified instead. Even the restaurants and teahouses took this as a flowery secret of the imperial family and nobles. There were even people who turned it into an opera to sing.
The Ding Yuan Marquis’ residence was hit hard. Gu Huai Zhong had originally thought that Gu Yu Qi had found a path to the heavens, but he had not expected it to flip around. Liu-shi was overjoyed and could not wait to dance with joy.
When Zhang Wan Yi learnt of this, she laughed so much she almost could not straighten her back. She had already regarded Gu Yu Qi as her number one enemy, but she had not expected her reputation to be damaged. How can this kind of girl be worthy of competing with her?
Liang-shi was also anxious, but Gu Yu Qi was sitting like an old god, taking the tense situation calmly.
Although she did not know who was spreading the rumpus, she could say that if she knew, she would want to thank him!
She originally did not want to marry, let alone marry into the imperial family. So this could be considered peace and quiet.
Time passed little by little. In the winter of the second year after Gu Yu Qi’s rebirth, Yun Ke married and was named Prince An. In the spring of the fourth year, there was good news from Prince An’s palace, but of course there was also bad news.
Princess An, Mu Rong Ling Yan, originally was not of good health. The imperial physicians said that she could not give birth, but she refused to believe it and was determined to leave a descendant for Prince An Yun Ke. Princess An died of bleeding during childbirth, leaving behind a healthy boy.
Prince An’s palace was covered in white. At this time, Gu Yu Qi was 14 years old and was blooming, having become a slender and graceful girl.
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