This development left Song Qingshu really dumbfounded. Ake was indeed a stunning girl, and he had the same thoughts for her as a man should have, but that was different from marrying her.
Kangxi was worried that Ake would smear his reputation. But wasn’t Song Qingshu afraid as well? If Song Qingshu just wanted to be a prince and a minister, then he would be able to marry a beautiful girl like Ake as his wife, no questions asked. But it was a pity that he wanted to be a lot more, and he knew that accepting Ake would do more harm than good.
Song Qingshu was about to refuse, but he understood that Kangxi was angry at this moment, and he was worried that refusing this marriage right now would make Kangxi realize his ambitions. So, he was a little lost for words for a moment.
Suddenly, the corner of his eyes swept across Wei Xiaobao’s coffin, and something immediately came to his mind, “Answering to the Emperor, this official and Lord Wei were like brothers. Now that Lord Wei has passed away, he hasn’t been buried in the ground for the peace of his soul. I really have no intention of talking about marriage in this situation.”
Hearing him mention Wei Xiaobao, Kangxi sighed deeply, “I heard that Xiao Guizi also gifted you a house before, and it seems that your relationship is really good. Anyway, the responsibility of Xiao Guizi’s funeral will be handed over to you, and the burial will be in a place with wind and scenery. Xiao Guizi liked having fun the most.”
“This official obeys the order!” Song Qingshu said.
“Wu Sangui’s daughter will first be arranged to live in Chuxiu Palace. When you are done with Xiao Guizi’s affairs, you can marry her.” Kangxi Emperor thought that it would be inappropriate for Ake to live in the palace. Then remembering something, he quickly said, “Also Yes, you can go to the Viscount’s Mansion in a moment and offer my condolences to Xiao Guizi’s widow.”
“Yes!” Ake was really a hot potato, yet Song Qingshu had to bite the bullet and agree for the moment.
When Song Qingshu came to the Viscount Mansion with Wei Xiaobao’s coffin, Shuang’er had already received the news. She was wearing a snow-white filial piety dress with pear flowers, and was waiting at the door .
“Sister-in-law, please accept my condolences.” Looking at Shuang’er’s quiet and beautiful face, and her skin that seemed even paler than the filial attire on her body, Song Qingshu sighed in his heart, ‘If she knew I was the murderer, I wonder how she would react. Would she try to kill me?’
Song Qingshu had already sent someone to invite the monk and Taoist priest to perform the formaties. In the sound of chanting sutras and scriptures, he helped Shuang’er receive the mourners who came after hearing the news.
Prince Kang, Suo’etu, Ming Zhu, Duo Long and other Wei Xiaobao’s friends before his death also walked to Wei Xiaobao’s coffin to say goodbye one by one.
Suo’etu asked his subordinates to bring some paper money and sighed while burning them, “Brother Wei, these are from the other eunuchs and guards who asked me to burn them for you, in return for your forgiveness. You would win every gamble, but you will never take all the money. You would always win 80 taels, and leave 20 taels for them to support their wives and children and make a living…”
Prince Kang also wiped away his tears, asked his subordinates to burn some paper money, and said with sadness, “Brother Wei, these are from the eunuchs and palace maids of this brother’s house, let them serve you in the other world. You won’t be alone there, but I won’t find anyone better to accompany me to gamble anymore…”
Ming Zhu shook his head and said, “I never imagined that Lord Wei, who stood for justice and used his wealth for benevolent charity. But…alas, he was really a wise man, and the heaven is jealous of talents.”
Suo’etu also nodded and said, “Yes, he had the heart of a bodhisattva, and he had made it his duty to help the world.”
Prince Kang was not far behind, “He was open and aboveboard in his work, and he was an upright official. He was really a model for the court.”
When Duo Long heard their words, he felt that he had not spoken enough, and quickly added, “Also, he was not afraid of power, he took the lead in everything, and sympathized with his subordinates, just like his own children, like a parent.”
Song Qingshu rolled his eyes at all the faux praise, ‘Sure enough, birds of a feather flock together.’
Although Song Qingshu didn’t feel anything when he heard them, it sounded extremely warm to Shuang’er. Listening to what they said, Wei Xiaobao’s image was vividly displayed in her mind, and then she looked back at Wei Xiaobao’s pale face in the coffin. Shuanger’s felt another wave of sorrow, and she burst into tears again.
“It’s all our fault, we made Madame Shuang’er even more sad.” Prince Kang and the others looked at each other, Suo’etu hurriedly stepped forward and said, “It is said that we remember the dead when we see his belongings. Madame will inevitably recall Lord Wei when she sees us. We should leave first, lest Madame feels sad again.”
“Several guests…please forgive Shuang’er… She has filial piety, so it is inconvenient for her to see you out.”
“Sister-in-law, let me send them out.” Song Qingshu quickly stood up and said, and Shuang’er gave him a grateful look.
When Song Qingshu returned after sending out the few people, the condolence guests had already dispersed. Shuang’er saw him, got up and said, “Brother Song, please come with me, Shuang’er has something to ask of you.”
Song Qingshu followed her into the back hall, circling around and around, seeing Shuang’er entering a room, he couldn’t help but stop at the door, and spoke with an embarrassed look on his face, “Sister-in-law, now that Brother Wei is gone, and I am a man. It will be convenient for me to enter your room.”
In fact, this was not Song Qingshu being hypocritical, but because he was not strong enough yet, so he always needed to consider the influence of etiquette. He couldn’t just walk into a widow’s room in plain daylight.
Shuang’er was stunned for a moment, then quickly reacted with a bitter smile, “Brother Song, you don’t need to worry about that, anyway…” After saying that, she stopped, and no longer forced him to come in. She walked inside the bedroom , and quickly started to do something.
As his realm grew stronger, Song Qingshu’s hearing became much more sensitive than ordinary people. Hearing the familiar sound coming from inside, his expression turned strange, ‘Shuang’er is actually undressing, what does she want to do? Could it be that she somehow found out that I was the murderer, but she was concerned about my martial arts, and planned to seduce me and attack me while I am fascinated? Or did she arrange for other people to wait for the chance and put me in a perilous situation?’ Thinking of this, Song Qingshu couldn’t help but turn his head and look around, but he did not find any signs of ambush.
“Brother Song, I’m sorry to keep you waiting.” Shuang’er’s voice came to his ears. Song Qingshu turned his head in anticipation. But, seeing that Shuang’er was neatly dressed, he suddenly showed a look of disappointment. Shuang’er handed him a black package. Song Qingshu subconsciously took it in his hand, and he could still feel a certain warmth.
Shuang’er said, “Brother Song, please help me deliver this package to someone who sells plasters in the capital Tianqiao on the fifteenth day of every month. Go and ask him how much for the plasters. He will tell you, ‘This plaster is very expensive, it costs 3 taels of gold and 3 taels of silver’, then you just need to answer him ‘it’s not expensive at all, can you sell it for 5 taels of gold and 5 taels of silver?’ “
“How can there be such a counter-offer? That plaster is so expensive, that guy is practically stealing money, and you actually counter-offer with five taels of gold and five taels of silver?” Song Qingshu showed an incredulous expression. He deliberately faked this reaction to avoid suspicion.
Shuang’er explained, “This is to prevent people from accidentally finding the wrong person. Brother Song, I hope you will help with delivering this thing based on your friendship with Xiaobao.” Her eyes were full of pleading.
Song Qingshu’s heart moved, and he asked in a deep voice, “It seems that this thing is very important, but I don’t understand why my sister-in-law doesn’t deliver it herself? If you are worried about safety, I can protect you in secret.”
Shuang’er smiled lightly, “I want to spend more time with Xiaobao, and I don’t want to leave him for so long, so I can only trouble Big Brother Song.”
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