“I don’t understand what the two of you are worried about?” Song Qingshu showed a puzzled expression, “In my opinion, Princess Ake’s visit to the capital will only bring benefits and no harm. Why are you resisting so much?”
“Will bring no harm?” Ake wrinkled her nose and snorted, “If I go to the capital, of course it will benefit my father, it will benefit you, it will benefit everyone, but it will certainly not benefit me.”
“If you enter the imperial palace and become the Emperor’s concubine, maybe one day you will be able to become the mother in the world. What’s the disadvantage?” Song Qingshu asked deliberately.
“Hmph, the position of the Empress may be a goal for other people, but I, Ake, am not interested. The man of this princess should be both handsome and talented. The most important thing is that he can only love me for a lifetime.” At this moment, Ake seemed to be in high spirits, and her face was shining.
Chen Yuanyuan looked at Song Qingshu with some embarrassment. She had been living in the dirt ever since she was young. In the dead of night, she would inevitably have a little bit of such maidenly fantasies. Unfortunately, she would soon wake up to the cruel reality of life. Now she naturally hoped that her daughter could realize her own wishes.
“Since you don’t want to be the Emperor’s woman, then this matter will be easy to handle.” Song Qingshu wiped his cold sweat, “Otherwise, I’d be really in trouble.”
“What do you mean?” Ake glanced at Song Qingshu suspiciously.
Song Qingshu smiled and said, “The princess can rest assured. After you enter the imperial palace, the Emperor might only make you a female official at most, and will never accept you as a concubine.”
“How is that possible, This Princess… This Princess is so beautiful, and that lecherous Emperor will definitely want to bring me to bed when he sees me.” Ake said coyly, rubbing the corners of her clothes with her little hands.
“Uh, actually…” Song Qingshu hesitated, but still planned to tell her the truth, “There are really many beauties in the imperial palace, and there are several concubines whose beauty is not inferior to that of the Princess, such as Concubine Mi and Concubine Yi. Compared to the childi…youthful appearance of the princess, they are more feminine.”
Chen Yuanyuan looked at him with a strange expression, and thought to herself, ‘He actually dared to comment on the Emperor’s concubine like this behind his back! And that tone… it was similar to the guests who lingered along the Qinhuai River commenting on a broth*el girl.’
Although Song Qingshu did not realize that he had committed a crime of great disrespect, he knew that it was not very good to criticize another woman in front of other women, so he quickly said, “Of course these are not the key points, the main reason is that your identity is very sensitive, and it is not convenient for the Emperor to accept you.”
Chen Yuanyuan, who had a bumpy life, had already experienced and seen through the hypocrisy of men. When she heard Song Qingshu’s reminder, she immediately reacted.
Ake’s father was Wu Sangui, the greatest traitor in the world. The Kangxi Emperor always paid great attention to his reputation. How could it be possible for him to tarnish his reputation in the history books for the sake of a woman.
Seeing that Ake was still confused and a little resentful, Chen Yuanyuan quickly said, “Ake, the Emperor will not harm you. You can go to the palace with Lord Song, and do something for your father.”
“No, I don’t want to die alone in the palace.” Seeing that her mother was no longer on her side, Ake panicked, and there was a hint of crying in her voice. She thought about what she would do if the Emperor refused to accept her after entering the imperial palace. Would she become a lowly palace maid? In that case, it would be better to be accepted as a concubine by the Emperor.
“Don’t worry, honored princess, in fact, there are some things I shouldn’t say…” Song Qingshu glanced at Chen Yuanyuan and sighed, “In order to reassure Madame, I will tell you. Actually, sending you into the imperial palace is just a gesture of plea by King Pingxi. The emperor must also understand this, so it is impossible for him to keep you in the palace all the time. After this turmoil caused by the princess passes, the Emperor will find a reason to send you back.”
“What if the emperor keeps me as a hostage!” As soon as Ake said that, she regretted it. Usually, she heard Wu Sangui, the father and son, discussing rebellion quite a lot. She knew in her heart that her father and the Emperor would tear their faces apart one day. And she thought to herself. If she happened to be still in the imperial palace at that time, wouldn’t her life be extremely miserable?
Hearing Ake’s words, Chen Yuanyuan and Song Qingshu both looked at each other. Although everyone knew that Wu Sangui was about to rebel, but at least they still maintained a superficial act of harmony. However, Ake had said such words in front of Song Qingshu, a commissioned minister! If it reached Kangxi’s ears, wouldn’t it become more convincing that Wu Sangui really had had plans to rebel?
Song Qingshu thought for a while, and replied to Ake’s words, so that she would no longer be worried, “You are not your brother.”
The implication was also very clear, if it was Wu Yingxiong who was sent to the capital, the Kangxi Emperor might have really taken him as a hostage. Ake, however, was his daughter, and no matter how beautiful she was, she was only a woman. What’s more, she didn’t have much weight in the family. If Kangxi threatened Wu Sangui with one of his daughters, it would not only have no effect, but he would be ridiculed by the world instead.
“The two of us mother and daughter are really grateful that Lord Song can speak as much.” Chen Yuanyuan’s voice was soft and sweet, and she glanced at Song Qingshu gratefully with her pair of phoenix eyes that were as clear as water.
“If it was in the presence of King Pingxi, this Song would naturally not say these words. But, facing the peerless elegance of his wife, I really don’t want to use the intrigues of officials that may sound perfunctory.” Song Qingshu said.
“Lord Song is joking, this concubine is old and fading, how can she be worthy of words like elegance and beauty?” Hearing the other party’s praise, Chen Yuanyuan covered her mouth and smiled. Her face was flushed, her eyes were full of waves, and her thin lips were trembling. The sadness in her brows disappeared for a moment, and the room was filled with joy. (G: Yes…people, I see great promise. The promise of a mil*fy future.)
“Mother, why are you calling yourself old? If you don’t believe me, ask Lord Song. If we stand together on the street, there would be more people who believe that we are sisters than people who would believe that we are mother and daughter.” Although Ake was conceited and was not afraid to call herself beautiful. She would only concede in front of her Mother. Holding her mother’s arm, Ake rested her head lightly on Chen Yuanyuan’s shoulder. She tilted her head and pursed her lips and smiled at Song Qingshu, “Lord Song, please say something.”
“Honored princess, I thought you were already very stunning, but I never imagined that your sister is even more beautiful than you.” Song Qingshu pretended to be serious and spoke in a manner that caused the faces of the two beauties on the opposite side to flush red.
The three chatted casually for a while, and Ake finally agreed to go to the capital with Song Qingshu. But she was quite reluctant to part with her mother, and suggested that she needed to spend more time with her.
Song Qingshu and the two mother and daughter agreed that he would pick up Ake on the day they were set to leave Shanhaiguan. So they got up and he said goodbye.
After returning to the city and sending someone to inform Wu Sangui of the news, Song Qingshu silently waited for the night to fall. Looking in the direction of Sansheng Temple, he thought in his heart, ‘As long as I get my hands on this copy of “Sutra of Forty-two Chapters”, the only one missing would be the one with Prince Bao.’
As for the treasure map embroidered on Shuang’er’s clothes, he had subconsciously regarded it as something in his pocket.
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