This chapter should be called Epilogue 1, but I just continued in case it messes up the Novelupdates.
Auntie Qi couldn’t help but tear up when she saw the two people standing there holding hands.
She glanced at the person next to her and saw his old face was also stretched tight.
She knew him too well. Just by looking at this expression, she knew his emotions were surging inside.
That’s right. They had personally witnessed the empress and his majesty reach this point step by step. No one knew better than them how much the two had experienced during this time.
They had learned to worry at some point…..
When that person was a little child, they worried about whether he could live to grow up. Once he grew up, they worried about his marriage and his offspring, and worried about his happiness. But things were unpredictable, and after many twists and turns over the years, their master had her, had children, had love and everything seemed to be perfect all of a sudden.
Auntie Qi felt a little empty inside and secretly left the Fengqi Palace gates.
The palace roads were empty. Today was the grand conferral ceremony, and those unrelated didn’t dare wander about randomly. Her tears suddenly started flowing…..
After so many years, she wanted to have a good cry for the first time.
Auntie Qi didn’t know how long she cried for. When she gradually stopped, a voice sounded by her side.
“What are you crying for? Shouldn’t you be happy?” Although he said this, she could hear his own voice was also choked up.
This old fellow is always putting on an act!
Auntie Qi wiped her eyes and looked at the person next to her.
A pale face, an upright nose, and tender skin yet with plenty of fine wrinkles….
That’s right, they were both old.
Auntie Qi subconsciously felt around her own eyes. There were also wrinkles there. Suddenly, she felt a feeling of resentment arise in her heart.
She let out a hmph, turned her head and walked away.
Eunuch Fu let out a surprised sound and chased after her.
“What? Why are you angry again?”
Auntie Qi walked faster and faster. After reaching the gates of the esteemed office of the palace, she turned around and said: “Let me calm down.” Then, she went inside.
Eunuch Fu was left by himself. He stroked his nose and stood for a while before leaving.
General Manager Fu and Esteemed Official Qi had gotten into an argument.
This news reached Xiao Hua’s ears.
Not only was she surprised, many people within the palace were extremely surprised as well. Especially those old fellows. Everyone knew that Eunuch Fu and Esteemed Official Qi’s relationship went back many years. How did they end up arguing?
Xiao Hua asked Chun Cao out of curiosity. Chun Cao was the most well-informed within the Fengqi Palace, but unexpectedly she didn’t know the reason either.
Even Yi Yi could tell Eunuch Fu didn’t look quite right, and ran over to find Xiao Hua.
“Mother empress, Fu Fu had a bitter expression the entire day. Did father give him some bones to eat?”
This little thing, ever since she heard the palace maids saying “giving bones to eat” and what not, she learned to use this saying. Of course, she also understood what it meant: to scold or make someone unhappy.
“Mother empress doesn’t know either. How about Yi Yi goes to ask father?”
Yi Yi went to find the Jing Emperor, and secretly asked about Eunuch Fu. Unexpectedly, even the Jing Emperor didn’t know.
In the end, Chun Cao was still the capable one, and received news that Nana He knew the answer. But Nana He wasn’t willing to tell her anything, so Chun Cao went to find Xiao Hua and had her go investigate personally.
After all, the empress and Nana He had always gotten along. Perhaps she could get some clues?
Xiao Hua went to find Nana He to chat, and after getting back her expression was weird.
Yi Yi seemed to have heard from Chun Cao that her mother empress went to investigate, and questioned Xiao Hua after she got back. But Xiao Hua didn’t tell her anything, and only said she wasn’t able to get any answers.
That night, after getting in bed and extinguishing the lamps, Xiao Hua pulled the Jing Emperor over for a conversation.
“Majesty, do you understand Eunuch Fu’s matter?”
The Jing Emperor lay there and his brows twitched.
This was the second time in the past couple days. First it was his daughter asking, and now his daughter’s mom asked about it as well. He hadn’t been curious at first, but now his curiosity was aroused.
“What? Do you know something?”
Xiao Hua laughed awkwardly and cuddled up to the Jing Emperor. “I heard some gossip.”
“Oh? Let’s hear it.”
Xiao Hua told him about Eunuch Fu’s dark past. The information was given to her by Nana He who had known the two the longest….
It turns out that Eunuch Fu was rather shameless.
That year, Auntie Qi missed the period where she could be released from the palace due to the fifth prince. Of course, it wasn’t just due to the fifth prince, but Auntie Qi never revealed the reason. She merely said she didn’t have any relatives on the outside so she might as well remain in the palace.
There was something called “meal partners” in the palace, which was when a palace maid and eunuch got married. This was two lonely people getting together to pass their days and keep each other company. Although Auntie Qi was ordinary looking and wasn’t very beautiful, she was steady and magnanimous, so was still admired by quite a lot of eunuchs.
Therefore, there were no lack of eunuchs coming to ingratiate themselves with Auntie Qi…..
Exactly what Eunuch Fu thought about it, no one knew. Regardless, according to Nana He, Eunuch Fu had played some tricks in the dark several times. It was truly a case where he would deal with each one as they came, and send each one away accordingly….
At first, Nana He had some doubts. Then, she witnessed Eunuch Fu that little fellow invite several eunuchs over to give one of Auntie Qi’s suitor eunuchs a beating. He even told him never to come looking for her again, or else he would break his damn leg. Only then did Nana He realize why the others had never come back again.
Nana He initially thought that Eunuch Fu and Auntie Qi had gotten emotionally involved. But after watching a few years, she felt that wasn’t quite right. Eunuch Fu had never made a move, and Auntie Qi was still young back then. Only when she saw Auntie Qi subconsciously reveal an expression of complaint did Nana He finally realize what was going on.
She had hinted at Auntie Qi several times, but she had always played dumb and never said anything. Eunuch Fu also played dumb. In the end, the young Aunt Xiu ended up becoming Auntie Qi, and no one came to flatter her anymore….
The Jing Emperor’s expression was very surprised after listening to this. This sort of expression rarely appeared on his face, so it was evident how surprised he was at this situation.
After his surprise, he frowned and cast his thoughts back. After pondering a long while, he finally said: “We actually never realized.”
The Jing Emperor’s expression was a little depressed. Xiao Hua said comfortingly: “I heard Nana He say this was something that happened long ago. Majesty was still young back then….”
Only now did the Jing Emperor feel better.
After another while, he suddenly said: “Then what should we do?”
Xiao Hua felt that such a vexed Jing Emperor was extremely cute. She leaned forward and gave his cheek a bite, “What does majesty think?”
The Jing Emperor pulled her into his arms and caressed her, “How about We confer them as husband and wife?”
This simple and crude solution made Xiao Hua choke up, “That’s not too appropriate, right? First of all, “meal partners” are a private thing to begin with. The fact that they had remained deadlocked for so many years means that there has to be an obstacle in their hearts.”
“That’s right.” Xiao Hua nodded, and then said: “Alright, majesty shouldn’t think about it anymore. Leave this to me. You’ve been busy with official business lately, and don’t have time to mind other people’s business.”
The rest of the night was silent.
Actually Xiao Hua already had a rough plan after thinking about it during the day.
To put it plainly, Eunuch Fu had some reservations in his heart and wasn’t willing to take the initiative. As for Auntie Qi, she had been led on for so many years, and was also resentful in her heart. Thus the situation was at an impasse.
How should she break this deadlock?
The next afternoon, Xiao Hua took some time to go to the small kitchen. She wanted to run her thoughts by Nana He.
Nana He understood the two after all, and would be able to give advice.
“No, no, that won’t do. Concubine, you don’t know how shady that Eunuch Fu is. Back then, whenever anyone showed any interest, he would secretly screw with them. To put it plainly, he basically swallowed them whole.”
“Then let’s find someone who isn’t afraid of his shadiness….”
“No one is shadier than him in this palace. Concubine, you don’t understand. In the palace, he’s this one.” Nana He held up her thumb. “No one dares to go against him. Furthermore, that old fellow has a lot of methods. He might just screw someone over without a second thought.”
“This—–” Xiao Hua muttered, “Then let me rethink things.”
What she really meant was to go get some ideas from the Jing Emperor.
Xiao Hua told him her thoughts as well as Nana He’s opinions, and had him help think of ideas.
The Jing Emperor squinted his eyes and put on a mysterious appearance.
“You don’t have to worry about this. We’ll take care of it.”
Alright. Seeing her man’s confidence, Xiao Hua anxiously awaited the results.
Eunuch Su had been responsible for the Jing Emperor’s private businesses back when he was still the prince. Once the Jing Emperor ascended the throne, he was relocated to the internal affairs department.
The internal affairs department interacted with the royal merchants year round. As someone who had personally handled businesses, Eunuch Su naturally knew how much the royal merchants had embezzled from the royal family. Thus, he got rid of them and started his own group.
He made use of his previous team and things operated quite well.
On this day, Eunuch Su came to the imperial study and asked to meet the Jing Emperor.
When he came in, he chattered on about various things before finally getting to the main topic. He asked his majesty to help him out with something. He said that he and Esteemed Official Qi had great affinity with each other. However, as the esteemed official, she was a female official and not a normal palace maid. Therefore, she wasn’t allowed to become “meal partners” in private, and needed the master to make a decision.
Eunuch Fu had been out of it these past few days. In the past he always worked meticulously, but these days he needed the Jing Emperor to give him several reminders before snapping out of it.
Only when he heard someone mention “Qi” did he seem to be injected with stimulants. His eyes widened and he perked his ears up to listen.
After listening, Eunuch Fu wished he could tear this bastard to pieces.
This damn eunuch has designs on Aunt Xiu? I’ll blind your damn eyes!
The Jing Emperor didn’t immediately agree, saying he had to ask Esteemed Official Qi’s opinion. Eunuch Su then left.
The moment he left, Eunuch Fu gave an excuse and also slipped out.
Eunuch Su was walking along the hallway and as expected heard footsteps behind him.
His lips twitched in an undetectable smile.
From behind him, a sinister voice sounded out, “You little fellow. When did you start having thoughts towards Auntie Qi?”
Eunuch Su first put on a surprised expression, and then started saying loudly: “A long time ago! Back then, I was still young when I was arranged by his majesty’s side. Big sis Aunt Xiu was the one who took care of me and I’ve always kept it in mind. You also know I was away most of the time back then. I’ve met many women outside, but none of them were as good as big sis Aunt Xiu.”
“You even know to call her big sis. You know she’s older than you.” What an aggrieved voice.
“That’s fine, an older woman is as good as gold!”
Eunuch Fu grew anxious enough that he couldn’t speak properly anymore.
He truly had reason to be anxious. Who knows when Eunuch Su this little fellow started having these thoughts? Now that he’s suddenly brought this up, Eunuch Fu was truly unprepared. Since it was brought up to his majesty, what if his majesty agreed?
What should he do?
“She’s already so old. Based on your status, Eunuch Su, wouldn’t it be better to find a younger one? This one noticed several fresh and tender low-ranked palace maids in the palace recently. How about I pick some out for you?”
“Older ones have their own flavor. I prefer older ones.”
The sound of grinding teeth.
Eunuch Su revealed a surprised expression, and said in astonishment: “Hey, Fu old bro. What does my business with Auntie Qi have to do with you? Why are you making such a fuss!?”
“Aunt Xiu is from my hometown. This one naturally has to worry.”
Eunuch Su had a face of “understanding” as he looped his arm around Eunuch Fu’s shoulders and patted him, “You should be able to tell based on my character. Don’t worry, I will definitely take care of Aunt Xiu.”
After speaking, he released his hand and walked away with large strides. He even hummed a little tune as he left.
Eunuch Fu looked darkly at his silhouette, all sorts of vicious schemes flashing through his mind. He had even finalized his plans….
However, Eunuch Su wasn’t just anyone, he had been old buddies with him for several decades. His methods couldn’t be used on his own people, Eunuch Fu was aware of this…..
What should he do?