In the blink of an eye it was New Year’s again.
Luo Huai Yuan and Yan Yan had already arrived at the vassal state by this time a year ago and the two had spent a rather lonely New Year’s. This year, the Yun Prince Estate had just been completed and they naturally couldn’t spend it the same way. On the first New Year’s, the Yun Prince would entertain the vassal state’s officials at his estate and lead them in offering tribute to the heavens, officially establishing the vassal state.
Compared to the Yun Prince who had settled quietly for a while, the Jin Prince and the Qi Prince were much more outstanding. Last year Emperor Xi had summoned both of them back to the capital for the New Year’s and he already sent out the edict for this year’s summons as well. They were extremely favored and in the limelight. There essentially wasn’t anyone who could object.
Along with the clearly not favored Yun Prince, there was another person who was favored even less by Emperor Xi. That was the fifth prince Luo Jing who had just been conferred as the Jing Prince.
The fifth prince Luo Jing was mute from birth and was also a block of wood. If the Yun Prince was said to be not favored, the Jing Prince was said to be hated. This was because the fifth prince’s existence reminded Emperor Xi of his shortcomings and inability.
Luckily, many people were aware of the Venerated Concubine’s insanity back then. They all assumed it was due to the Venerated Concubine duping the monarch that resulted in the fifth prince being this way. Otherwise, an innately handicapped prince being born into the royal family would be seen as an inauspicious omen. To exaggerate a little, there was even the possibility of impeaching Emperor Xi.
Therefore, the fifth prince Luo Jing rarely appeared in front of others. Emperor Xi also remained indifferent to him. It was to the extent that due to the Minstry of Rites asking a single question, Emperor Xi had the fifth prince who just came of age leave for his vassal state.
This gave everyone the feeling he was kicking him out of the capital.
Of course, the invisible little fifth prince had never appeared in their eyes. No one felt any derision or sympathy. It was like watching an insignificant person leaving somewhere he didn’t belong.
When Luo Huai Yuan left the capital, he lamented how his procession couldn’t be compared to the Jin Prince and Qi Prince’s splendor and was mocked by Yan Yan for being vain. The Jing Prince’s procession was even more lacking. The guards, palace maids and even the carriages seemed to have been hurriedly thrown together. They were scattered and strung out into a long line, but a closer look showed that everyone was rather listless.
After all, having to travel to the bitterly cold Jing Province in such weather would make anyone look as if their father had died. Even though the people going with the Jing Prince weren’t favored to begin with, the capital still had more opportunities to advance. Going to the Jing Province truly meant being exiled.
The procession had two extremely luxurious carriages that clearly weren’t for someone ordinary.
Within one of them sat the Jing Consort Xiao-shi. At this moment, her face was filled with resentment and she complained with all her might to the palace maid by her side.
She first complained that Emperor Xi was too heartless, kicking his son and daughter-in-law out of the capital during such a time. She then complained about Empress Xiao. Despite being her aunt from the same clan, why couldn’t she take some responsibility? Leaving the capital in such a hurry lost the Xiao clan a lot of face. She complained most about her own husband, the Jing Prince. She complained that he was incapable and also a mute, forcing her to suffer along with him.
The palace maid didn’t dare stop her, knowing the Jing Consort’s personality. If anyone disagreed, she would argue without end. Might as well let her vent a little and leave it at that. Luckily the people on the carriage were all her trusted aides. If the Jing Prince or his people found out….
It was still fine if it were the Jing Prince. He didn’t have much of a temper. But when Xiao-shi’s wet nurse Nana Li recalled the general manager Eunuch Fu’s expression, she couldn’t help but shiver.
“Consort, you should speak a little less. His highness caught a fever yesterday and it hasn’t broken yet. Shouldn’t you send someone over to check on him?”
Nana Li and Xiao-shi’s relationship was extraordinary. She had raised her from a young age. After Xiao-shi got married, Nana Li came as part of her dowry into the palace. She naturally didn’t have to be as reserved with her words.
Xiao-shi’s lips curled mockingly, “Like I said, twisted people like making mischief. Looks like this mute also learned to make a ruckus. Unfortunately, no one loves him and no one cares about him. Even though he got sick, he was still kicked out of the capital.”
Nana Li no longer dared to speak, terrified the consort would say something even more thrilling.
Actually, Xiao-shi wasn’t so harsh normally. It’s just that due to being kicked out of the capital at this time, her resentment from marrying a mute prince became even heavier.
Xiao-shi was the principle daughter of one of the Xiao clan’s side branches. Her marriage had been arranged early on to her cousin whom she grew up playing with. Unexpectedly, Empress Xiao intervened and matched her with the fifth prince.
This marriage wasn’t happy from the get-go. Xiao-shi was filled with resentment. Seeing her mute husband who was also a block of wood without any emotions, she cursed the heavens and blamed others even more. Although the fifth prince couldn’t speak and didn’t show much emotion, he wasn’t a fool. He also had a few thoughts about his wife.
The two didn’t become affectionate as newlyweds and things became even duller afterwards. They gradually became strangers. Of course, Xiao-shi still put on appearances when necessary. For example, within the palace. If things got out of hand, she would be the first to fall.
On the other side, in the fifth prince’s carriage.
This was a long journey so the prince’s carriage was naturally extraordinary. This carriage wasn’t just extremely gorgeous on the outside, it was also extremely spacious on the inside. It was like a moveable room. It had two parts. The front had a small table, chairs, cabinets and a writing desk. It was like a living room. The back had a bed for resting and even a toilet.
In the front part, a palace maid auntie sat there sobbing. A eunuch sat next to her and consoled her.
“Don’t cry anymore. Imperial Physician Hu is following along. Prior to leaving, I also ordered people to prepare some medicinal herbs. Our highness will definitely be fine.”
“Say, how can his majesty be so heartless? Is this not his own son? His highness is seriously ill but was still kicked out in a rush.”
The eunuch looked around forty, his face pale without any hair. There were fine wrinkles around his eyes, showing that he was someone who often smiled. At this time his cheeks twitched and he sighed: “Enough, don’t say such words in the future anymore. Think of it this way. It’s good that we’ve left the capital. Being far from that place would mean smoother days in the future.”
Auntie Qi wiped her tears and said: “I also know that. But I just feel sorry for our highness.”
Eunuch Fu rolled his eyes and said with a dark expression: “What are you feeling sorry about? The one who should be feeling sorry isn’t feeling sorry, but you’re feeling sorry instead.”
His words implied Emperor Xi, but were also a criticism of the consort Xiao-shi who was in the carriage behind them. To Auntie Qi, it seemed he meant Xiao-shi a little more. After all, as the Jing Prince’s wife, she had never come to check on him despite his fever not breaking.
Auntie Qi sighed: “This consort is truly undeserving!”
Eunuch Fu sneered coldly. Only now did his usually smiling face reveal some maliciousness, “Don’t call her that in the future. How is she worthy? Xiao-shi, this one will remember this!”
“Enough, you should consider his highness’s face.”
Luo Jing lay on the bed staring at the carriage roof. His ears listened to the movements outside.
He had a high nose-bridge and thin, pale lips. His side-profile was elegant and his brows seemed to be painted with ink. Luo Jing was an extremely beautiful man, so beautiful he was a little androgynous. The only issue was that he showed no emotions on his face. At first glance he looked like a jade sculpture.
Actually Luo Jing had woken up a while ago. He just remained spaced out.
Many things were going through his mind. These things he didn’t dare imagine, but had no choice but to accept. This was because that person was him, and he was also that person.
Put it this way. Luo Jing was someone who lived two lifetimes. In his past life he had just died from a cup of poisoned wine. When he opened his eyes again, it was the day before his departure to his vassal state.
“…..You spent your entire life muddling along at a loss, without any accomplishments, without any ambition. You were essentially a spineless coward. You wanted peace and tranquility, but is this a peaceful world? You didn’t struggle and didn’t fight for things, yet this is the outcome….”
Xiao-Shi’s face was eerily twisted. This woman who was supposedly his wife was suddenly extremely unfamiliar.
Luo Jing always thought he hated such contempt and disregard. In the past when he encountered this, he always felt uncomfortable despite not showing anything on the surface. Having converted to Buddhism recently, he had found inner peace. However, looking at the twisted face of the woman before him, his actually felt it was preposterous.
“…..your prince’s throne will belong to our Heng’er in the future….his majesty has said that once you are dead, everything will belong to us mother and son….stop struggling, there’s no use in struggling…..”
“…..You’re just a mute. Leaving a mute alive is merely squandering resources….”
Luo Jing merely looked on silently. He looked at her deranged appearance.
“……..how about you drink it yourself. Don’t force me to do it. His majesty has said that if you aren’t willing to drink, I can personally handle it…..”
Luo Jing’s white jade-like yet withered hand gripped the wine cup, and drank the wine inside. He drank in the same way he normally drank wine, his posture normal, his expression normal, his gaze apathetic. Yet he continued to stare at her.
The Jing Consort’s heavily made-up face was suddenly flooded with tears. She seemed to be crying and laughing at the same time. She bent over and used her hands to cover her face, but couldn’t stop the stream of tears from falling.
“Luo Jing, don’t blame me. I had no choice. People are selfish creatures. It was for Heng’er’s sake….If you don’t die my son will have to die…..I only have this one son left, I can’t let him die…..”
Luo Jing felt something leaking from the corner of his lips. He opened his mouth…..
He really wanted to say: you fool….
But was unable to say it out loud….
The story was like a clichéd tragedy. Luo Jing’s past life was the same as his present prior to leaving the palace.
He was born mute and his wooden expression was unable to display emotions. Such a prince was destined to be disliked by the entire palace.
Even his own father shunned him. Could he hope for anyone not to?
Luckily this was also a layer of protection, allowing him to mature, marry and leave for his vassal state.
It wasn’t possible for him not to be resentful. However, resentment was an extremely heavy burden for Luo Jing, so heavy he couldn’t shoulder it. He didn’t know what he would turn into if he allowed the resentment to fester. He could only do his best to ignore everything and wall off all the negativity.
He knew his place and obediently left the capital. He respectfully and cautiously did everything a vassal prince should. All he asked for was some peace and quiet as he distanced himself from wordly affairs. Unfortunately, he misjudged the hearts of others.
In his past life, the Jin Prince had rebelled as a vassal prince. Since he himself had overturned his brother’s throne, he clearly understood the hidden threat posed by the other vassal princes. The moment he consolidated his position, he started dealing with them. The first to go was his own brother the Qi Prince who had helped him onto the throne.
When that happened, Luo Jing knew he was in trouble.
As expected, things closed in one step at a time. The Jin Emperor constinuously used all sorts of excuses to take back the various rights of the vassal princes, only leaving them their hereditary title. He even restricted the vassal princes within their own estate, just like captives.
To dispel the Jin Emperor’s wariness or perhaps to leave his children a path of survival, Luo Jing had chosen to convert to Buddhism. It wasn’t just an act. Apart from not shaving his head and leaving home, he abstained from meat and prayed in meditation. He had no desires or wishes and was no different from a monk. However, the Jin Emperor still didn’t let him off in the end. A cup of poisoned wine ended his life short.
In his past life, Luo Jing died at thirty-three.
Luo Jing moved slightly and parted his lips: “Fu….”
His voice was hoarse and faint. It couldn’t be heard without listening carefully.
Luo Jing still wasn’t used to using his mouth. He stretched out his hand and lifted a golden bell on the small table next to him, giving it a ring. A sound of rustling cloth rang out and the partition doors were opened.
“Highness, you’re awake?”
“It’s good that you’re awake, it’s good that you’re awake. What does highness need? Water?”
Auntie Qi and Eunuch Fu looked at each other with unconcealed excitement.
“Highness really knows how to speak….” Auntie Qi wiped her tears. These were tears of joy.
When Luo Jing fainted yesterday, he had suddenly uttered “you fool” when he awoke, giving Auntie Qi and Eunuch Fu a huge shock. Afterwards, he never opened his mouth again. The two of them assumed they had misheard. Unexpectedly, they got a huge pleasant surprise today.
This voice wasn’t nice, and could even be described as ugly. However, it sounded like heavenly music to the two of them.
Eunuch Fu and Auntie Qi both nodded.
They had both muddled along in the palace for a long time. The reason they could protect the fifth prince until he grew up was because of his status as a mute. Even Luo Huai Yuan was jealous of Luo Jing for being able to avoid suffering much within the palace at a young age. Of course, it was also due to having two loyal and capable servants by his side.
The carriage continued to move and the wheel of fate slowly started turning.
(Starry eyes) Repressed Jing returns….
Little fatty is also about to act.
I remember some readers worrying whether there will be overlap with Repressed Jing’s novel. Don’t worry, there won’t. The overlapping parts will be briefly summarized. The parts that need to be mentioned will be written from a different perspective. For example, this part wasn’t written in detail in the other novel. Used a different perspective to mention the conflict between Xiao-shi and Luo Jing, and also what happened in the past. The Yun Prince and his wife are still the main characters. This author won’t stray off-topic.
Repressed Jing’s novel here as my first translation project. It’s also my only completed project for now….can I say I’m still quite new at this?