Concubine Tong shook her head, and softly said, “Song Qingshu asked my sister for this matter before, and I happened to bump into him outside the door… But he didn’t have the guts to ask me to talk to the Emperor. These words are just this Concubine’s thoughts, and I feel the need to remind the Emperor.”
“If you have anything to say, you can say it.” Kangxi regained his energy a little bit.
“I dare to ask the Emperor, who can be regarded as your opponent in the current world?” Asked Concubine Tong while looking at Kangxi with a tactful gaze.
Kangxi frowned, thought for a while, and said, “Speaking of opponents, of course only the Mongolian Khan Temujin is worth mentioning, and the other countries are just dying.”
“That’s right. Now that there are many Mongolian soldiers and generals, if the Emperor wants to win against Temujin, you can do so only by gathering all the talents from all over the world.” Seeing Kangxi becoming thoughtful, Concubine Tong continued, “Song Qingshu is naturally nothing, but Wei Xiaobao is very important. The Emperor is knowledgeable and talented, so you must know the story of the Han people buying horse bones.”
Kangxi nodded, “You continue.”
Concubine Tong smiled and said, “Wei Xiaobao embezzled one million taels of silver, and at other times he would have deserved death. But now, the Emperor is in urgent need of talents. Considering how much you used to rely on him in the past if you treat Wei Xiaobao’s family so harshly after his death, what would the uninformed Han people think of it? I am afraid it will turn their hearts cold, and they will stop thinking of taking refuge in the court!”
Kangxi’s expression became cloudy and uncertain, and after a while, he put his arms around Concubine Tong’s shoulders and happily said, “We would have almost ruined such a big chance if you hadn’t reminded Us! We planned to take this opportunity to lure out the rebels from the Heaven and Earth Society so that We could catch them all in one go. After such a long time, there has been no news from the Heaven and Earth Society at all. If it wasn’t for the guidance of the Noble Concubine, I would have almost missed a such big chance…Little Tong’er, you are really my Empress Changsun!” (G: Wife of Emperor Taizong.)
Seeing that Kangxi was comparing her with the virtuous Empress Changsun in history, Concubine Tong blushed a little, and said with embarrassment, “This Concubine only wants what is best for the Emperor, and this Concubine cannot be compared to Empress Changsun. I only hope that the Emperor can become the monarch in the hearts of all ethnic groups like Li Shimin.” (G: Emperor Taizong of Tang.)
This sentence was just enough to tickle Kangxi’s heart, and he couldn’t help laughing, as he hugged Concubine Tong, “Now that your sister is the Empress, you naturally don’t want to compete with her. When the time is right in the future, it will not be difficult for me to make another Empress.”
When Song Qingshu returned to his mansion, he bumped into Nan Lan, and he couldn’t help sighing from the bottom of his heart, “I haven’t been able to see you for a long time, so the Madame must have suffered.”
Nan Lan’s slightly pale cheeks flushed red with blood, and she said with a strange expression, “I heard that My Lord was busy accompanying Miss Shuang’er from the Jiaofang Division all day long, so how can he care about us outsiders?”
Song Qingshu was taken aback at her words, and quickly realized the meaning, “Lan’er, are you jealous?”
Nan Lan trembled, quietly looked around, then bit her lips and said, “I hope Lord Song will show some self-respecting. If the servants hear such words, they will inevitably start to talk…”
“Don’t worry, I know the limits. I don’t want to lose my charming Madame.” Seeing that Nan Lan’s complexion changed slightly, he quickly changed the subject and asked, “How is Brother Tian?”
Nan Lan’s face became stained with a trace of sorrow, “After this period of rest, Guinong’s injury is almost healed. But I’m afraid he won’t be able to be normal in the future…” As she spoke, she suddenly realized something, then she stopped talking, and stood still with an extremely coy expression on her face.
Song Qingshu showed a smile, leaned close to her ear, and said, “Madame, don’t worry, Brother Tian may become disabled, but I am willing to do my best in his place, and promise to relieve Madame’s lovesickness.” After speaking, he walked away with a laugh, as Nan Lan was left stunned on the spot.
Looking at Song Qingshu’s departing back, Nan Lan’s pretty face turned blue and white for a moment, her thoughts were obviously quite complicated. Although she was extremely annoyed, but she didn’t feel any hatred. Realizing that point, Nan Lan couldn’t help being at a loss for a while.
Now that he was concerned about Shuang’er’s affairs, Song Qingshu was naturally not in the mood to enjoy the nectar from the flower at night. After returning to the room, he closed his eyes and sat cross-legged to regulate the True Qi in his body. Although he had lost half of his True Qi to save Ajiu, after being nourished by Shuang’er’s abundant pure Yin Qi, Song Qingshu felt that his True Qi had recovered a lot.
“With such a quick and incomparably efficient method, why did the predecessors end up setting themselves on fire?”
For thousands of years, people who had practiced the Joyful Meditation Method were either stunningly brilliant or incredibly resolute. Still, they all faced a dismal end because of some unknown reasons. As for figuring out those reasons, Song Qingshu’s attainments were not enough, so he naturally still couldn’t understand them for the time being. So, whether Song Qingshu could really master this Joyful Meditation Method was quite uncertain.
In the early morning of the second day, Song Qingshu was summoned by Kangxi and he hurried to the Imperial Study Room. After seeing him, Kangxi remained expressionless, and calmly asked, “About the matter of Wei Xiaobao’s widow, does Official Song have any objection to Our actions?”
Song Qingshu was stunned at first but soon came to his senses. ‘It seems that Concubine Tong really did something last night. I didn’t expect her to be so kind and innocent on the surface, but she actually had a way to persuade Kangxi…’
He quickly suppressed the joy in his heart, and said without showing anything on his face, “There must be reasons for the Emperor to do this, and this subordinate will just follow orders.”
Kangxi laughed when he heard the words, and glanced at him while drinking tea, “Really? Then why did I hear that Official Song and Orundai had a serious fight over Wei Xiaobao’s widow a few days ago?”
Song Qingshu’s expression remained serious, “It is one thing to obey the Emperor’s order, but it is another thing to try our best to protect the family of an old friend. There is no conflict between the two…”
Before he finished speaking, Kangxi clapped his hands and said with a smile, “Wei Xiaobao can die without regret for having a brother like you. The reason why We gave that kind of order before was just to lure the rebels from Heaven and Earth Society. But they didn’t respond at all after such a long time. Hmph, what kind of righteousness is that? In Our opinion, they are just a group of rebels who are greedy for life and afraid of death.”
Song Qingshu thought, ‘So it was really like that…fortunately, I asked Shuang’er to quietly send someone to inform the Heaven and Earth Society, and tell them to not act.’
“We didn’t expect that after such a long time, the Heaven and Earth Society would not move at all.” Kangxi pondered for a moment, then continued, “Wei Xiaobao made great contributions to the court in the past, so I can’t let him die with regret…Official Song, We could have directly ordered the release of Wei Xiaobao’s family Ourself. But because you have always been a loyal friend, I wish for you to fulfill your deed of loyalty.” Seeing that Song Qingshu was in a daze, Kangxi continued, “You should do it like this. We will go to the court later, and you will directly present a memorial to request that I should reconsider this matter. Then, We will pretend to consider your face, and pardon Xiaobao and his family, how about it?”
Song Qingshu suppressed the joy in his heart, and quickly said, “The Emperor is wise!” But he muttered to himself, ‘Isn’t Kangxi being a bit overly kind?’
Song Qingshu came from modern times, and although he was not lacking in intelligence, he still lacked experience in political struggles. Naturally, he couldn’t see through the fact that Kangxi just wanted to use this matter to show the heroes of the world that he was magnanimous to all ethnicities. Moreover, he also created a good image in front of Song Qingshu. With this, Kangxi wanted him to stay grateful and loyal. However, Kangxi didn’t know about Song Qingshu’s ambition, so all these efforts to bind his heart would naturally be wasted.
As for Song Qingshu, although he had a lot of military power, he was not qualified to interfere in the administration of the empire, but with Kangxi’s permission, he naturally got a place.
Not long after the morning court began, Song Qingshu handed in the memorial as agreed, and before the Tong family had time to respond, Kangxi gave his tacit nod. None of the people in the court were stupid, and the Tong family was just acting in accordance with Kangxi’s ambiguous attitude. Seeing the Emperor’s attitude had changed, Wei Xiaobao’s former friends, Prince Kang Jieshu, Shangshu, Suo Etu, Nalan Mingzhu, and others all spoke up.
When the Tong family saw that the winds had taken a different turn, they also expressed their position and begged Kangxi to pardon Wei Xiaobao’s family. They had blown out enough steam at this point anyways.
Only then did Kangxi take advantage of the situation and pardon Shuang’er and the others for their crimes, but dealt with the dead Wei Xiaobao without pain.
After the morning court ended, Wei Xiaobao’s former friends, Prince Kang Jieshu, Suo Etu, and others approached Song Qingshu and praised him for his recent righteous deeds. Song Qingshu exchanged pleasantries on the surface, but he was a little dumbfounded in his heart.
In just one day, he changed from a famous debauchee who lived in brot*hels, to a righteous hero who defied all odds to save his old friend’s widow. In that instant, he realized something important— it didn’t matter whether something was right or wrong, everything depended on Kangxi’s attitude.
Song Qingshu still had the duty of guarding the palace. Not long after bidding farewell to Prince Kang Jieshu and Suo Etu, he began his routine patrol of the inner palace. By coincidence, he bumped into the bright and charming Concubine Tong in the imperial garden.
Concubine Tong and her sister might look quite similar, but they were easy to tell apart. Not to mention the difference in clothing, Empress Tong had to keep a straight face all day long, maintaining the majesty of the mistress of the imperial harem. Concubine Tong, on the other hand, was different. Although she tried very hard to maintain her words and deeds, she still unintentionally revealed some glimpses of the kindness and innocence of a young girl.
“Song Qingshu, Deputy Head of the imperial guards, has seen the Noble Concubine.” Song Qingshu said with a salute.
“Lord Song, there is no need for courtesy.” Concubine Tong hastily raised her hand and replied.
Because there were palace maids and eunuchs everywhere, Song Qingshu naturally couldn’t talk to her too much, so he waited quietly, and when she passed by, Song Qingshu said in secret, “Thank you!”
Concubine Tong didn’t expect him to be so bold, so she couldn’t help but tremble, but she quickly covered it up, gave a faint nod, and slowly walked away.
When Song Qingshu read the imperial edict at the Jiaofang Division, Tao Hong and Liu Lu jumped up in surprise, and almost hugged Song Qingshu and kissed him as they danced around. Although they were loyal to Shuang’er, which girl would like to spend their whole life in a place like Jiaofang Division? They had seen what Song Qingshu had done for them in the past few days, and jokingly said, “We used to think that the most capable man in the world was Lord Wei, but we didn’t expect Master Song to be as capable as Lord Wei now. Mistress, don’t you think so?” After speaking, they deliberately glanced at Shuang’er.
Shuang’er felt very angry, but found their antiques quite funny in her heart. She didn’t know what kind of soup Song Qingshu had given to these two girls, as they were always trying to match them up whenever they got a chance. Although she had already given her heart to Song Qingshu, after all as a widow, she naturally didn’t dare to let the two maids know everything. So the only thing she could do, was to glare at them, expressing her dissatisfaction.
Song Qingshu also found them quite amusing, so naturally, he was unwilling to expose all of this. Objectively speaking, this situation was the best for him. If the relationship between the two of them were to be exposed, it might cause a lot of troubles. He was afraid that the world would never tolerate their relationship
‘I’m really a fool, I just go around touching such a bunch of troublesome women.’ Having said that, after seeing Shuang’er’s shy expression, Song Qingshu thought to himself, ‘But, if I was given another chance, I would still never hesitate push them down. If a man is alive and can’t even get the woman he loves, what is the meaning of living?’ (G: Dude’s got self-awareness.)
Temujin, the Great Khan of Mongolia, once said, “The greatest joy in life is to defeat the enemy, chase the enemy away, and seize all that he has. Then watching his closest relatives cry, ride his horse, and accept his wives and daughters.”
Song Qingshu asked himself if this was in line with his own values. But, in the end, he preferred what Gu Long said more, “Riding the fastest horse, drinking the strongest wine, and getting the most beautiful women, that is the joy of life.”
“Shuang’er, are you back?” As soon as they returned to the Wei Mansion, Song Qingshu smelled a faint scent of a woman, and Fang Yi’s voice was heard.
Goblin: I’ve caught a cold. Been suffering from a nasty headache and fever. Translation quality and release time might suffer a bit. I hope you will understand. I try to keep things normal.
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6 thoughts on “Chapter 255: The joy of life”
Thank you for the Chapter.
I hope you get better soon and don´t worry about the schedule. If it´s a choice between your health and translating, always choose your health.
Thank you so much for your support! It really means a lot.
Agree with demojin, health first. Get better soon and thanks for translating anyway.
I somehow miss Zhao Zhirou since she is long not to be seen. I bet her Yin Qi would be the best among Song Qingshu women.
She’ll appear before long.