Chapter 290: The Red Lady

As a modern person, Song Qingshu was very familiar with the story of the “cunning rabbit and dead dog cooking”. Song Qingshu had previously thought that there would be many chivalrous heroes in the Qing Empire, and he wouldn’t have to think about such things for now. But the rain of sharp arrows he encountered just now made him suspicious. So what if he wasn’t able to escape when the time came? (G: a story that teaches not to be too complacent and be aware of the situation, among other things.)

So Song Qingshu subconsciously stopped Su Quan, worried that Su Quan would be arrested as soon as she went out. He would be able to protect her better if she was by his side.

“Official Song, do you believe that Prince Bao died of a sudden illness?” Kangxi looked at the two meaningfully.

Song Qingshu remained silent for a while, then shook his head, “I don’t believe it.”

Kangxi smiled, “Only you would dare to say that, that guy Duo Long would have definitely believed it.”

“You are not an outsider, so you must know that for a long time, Shandong’s Golden Serpent Camp, Shanhaiguan’s Wu Sangui, and Shengjing’s Prince Bao have all been the cause of headache for Us.”

“As soon as Yuan Chengzhi, the Golden Serpent King, died, the Golden Serpent Camp was immediately torn apart, and existed in name only. Speaking of which, you are also responsible for this.”

“After that, We betrothed Princess Jianning to Wu Yingxiong. We had originally wanted to win Wu Sangui over to Our side, but unfortunately ‘that’ happened… but it did turn Wu Sangui and Hongli into enemies. Wu Sangui was hated by the Han people. In addition, he was fighting with Xiao Feng, the king of Khitan South Court. He had suffered quite the heavy damage, and he was doomed to fail.”

“So, the most troublesome thing left for Us was this Prince Bao. He had hundreds of thousands of elite soldiers in the Northeast, and he had a large number of capable ministers and generals. What’s more, he was also one of the candidates for the imperial throne in the past. If it were me, I would not be willing to serve a young boy as the emperor, so We both knew that there would be a war in the future.”

“Prince Bao has made great achievements in battle. So, his first reaction would naturally be to use force. In his heart, I would definitely not be able to stop his elite soldiers. His only concern was Alibuge in the north. Some time ago, Alibuge sent someone to secretly negotiate a peace treaty, so he was naturally overjoyed, and he thought of doing something he shouldn’t have.”

“Alibuge had a clear agenda. Both Prince Bao and I could see it clearly. The difference between us was that Prince Bao thought that after he invaded Yanjing, he could calmly turn around and deal with Alibuge, but I didn’t want the elite troops of the Qing Empire to be lost in the civil war, and I also knew that Alibuge’s forces were only a quarter of the entire Mongolian army. Prince Bao was only considering Alibuge in front of his eyes, but I was keeping my eyes on the entire Mongolian Empire!”

“So from the beginning, I never thought of using force to solve this situation, and used a much simpler method.”

“Assassination?” Song Qingshu subconsciously asked, and wondered, ‘Did the Sunflower Ancestor make a move?’ But even if he had made a move, with so many masters in Prince Bao’s Palace, Hongli would not be so easy to kill.

“Two thousand years ago, Li Si, the prime minister of the Qin Dynasty, perfectly demonstrated all available means to deal with the enemy— bribe, alienate, assassinate…” Kangxi spoke with a fascinated expression, “If there was such great talents amongst Our subordinates, the unification of the world would be just around the corner.”

“So I learned from Li Si and bought several key officials under Hongli with a lot of money, then alienated him from some of his subordinates who were really loyal to him. Of course, all these methods could be effective under one premise, that is, Hongli had to die.”

“I dare to ask the Emperor, who has such a level of martial arts? Who can kill Prince Bao in such a heavily guarded place?” Song Qingshu looked at the changing expressions on Kangxi’s face, and suddenly felt a chill run down his spine.

“You have seen that person before.” Kangxi smiled.

Song Qingshu was stunned for a moment, and his mind started to rapidly run, filtering out all the masters he could think of, except for Dongfang Muxue, the rest did not have that kind of ability. But Dongfang Muxue was now seriously injured, and it was impossible for her to leave Yunnan.

Seeing Song Qingshu’s confused look, Kangxi’s face flashed with glee, “You can’t guess it? Then let me slove it for you. Chunhua, come out.”

Soon a beautiful young woman slowly came out. For some reason, there was a hint of sadness on her originally bright and charming face.

“Ma Chunhua!” Seeing the young woman’s appearance, Song Qingshu immediately understood why Hongli died so easily in his headquarters. Considering Hongli’s lustful personality, the rest of the matter was not difficult to guess.

“Miss Ma, I didn’t expect you to be from the imperial court.” Song Qingshu smiled wryly.

Looking at the man in front of her who had saved her life several times, Ma Chunhua showed a bitter smile. During this period of time, she had been applying a special drug down ‘there’, and every time Hongli slept with her, the toxin in his body would increase. In order to achieve Kangxi’s goal as soon as possible, Ma Chunhua also tried her best to please Hongli, and finally succeeded in getting Hongli’s favor.

After experiencing so many things, Ma Chunhua was no longer the indifferent girl of the past. She knew very well in her heart that although she had made great contributions to Kangxi, that contribution could not be made public, not to mention that she had lost her purity to several men, including— Fukang’an, Xu Zheng, and Hongli. She was certain that she would not be able to enter the palace with her status as a ‘defiled flower’, so she couldn’t hide the expressions of misery on her face.

“Besides Chunhua, there is another person who was the key to success this time.” Kangxi patted the back of Ma Chunhua’s hand lightly to comfort her.

“Is there anyone else?” The depth of Kangxi’s scheme had already made Song Qingshu shudder, and he did not expect that there would be another key chess piece.

“If it wasn’t for this person helping secretly, Hongli wouldn’t have sent out all his best troops, leaving the base camp empty, allowing Us to control Shengjing so easily. Miss Wen, come out.”

“This is Miss Yang Miaozhen, who is known as the Red Lady. She pretended to be Yuan Chengzhi’s widow, Xia Qingqing, and gained Hongli’s trust. If it hadn’t been for the news that the Golden Serpent Camp in Shandong was on his side, Hongli would not have sent troops so hastily to attack the Mystic Dragon Cult, leaving Shengjing empty.” (G: she was a female military leader and warrior belonging to the Jin Empire. We’ll see her in the future.)

Looking at the beautiful woman whose face was still bright and charming, Song Qingshu’s hands and feet turned cold. The person who came was none other than the woman he loved and hated— Xia Qingqing.

Song Qingshu thought for a moment, and soon saw through what Xia Qingqing was planning. He had thought that she was really joining forces with Hongli before, and planning to break through the capital one day and kill Kangxi to avenge her husband. Unexpectedly, Xia Qingqing already that not only would it take a long time, but the chance of success was only 50-50. It would be better to use Hongli as a stepping stone to advance, and after gaining Kangxi’s trust, she could directly go to his side and wait for an opportunity to assassinate him.

When she saw Song Qingshu, Xia Qingqing’s face suddenly turned a little pale. As long as the other party said a word, the plan she worked so hard on would be in vain. Not only would she fail to take revenge, but she might die on the spot at the very moment.

Kangxi watched the expressions of the two of them from the side, and his own expression looked quite playful.

“I’ve heard for a long time that the Red Lady in Shandong is known as ‘the pear blossom spear, invincible in the world’. This Song would like to experience it if I have a chance.” Song Qingshu gave Xia Qingqing a meaningful look, and did not expose her identity.

Yang Miaozhen was quite famous, and he had heard of her. In recent years, the Golden Serpent Camp had gradually declined due to internal strife. Which gave rise to the Red Coat Army in Shandong Province, which seemed to be fighting against the court. It was said that their leader Yang Miaozhen was a woman, and her identity has always been mysterious.

Xia Qingqing breathed a sigh of relief, showed her gratitude using her gaze, and followed his words, “Of course this little sister dare not be proud of her skills in front of Master Song, and this one also admires Master Song’s brilliant achievements in recent years. “

“Official Song, don’t be so aggressive. You are the number one expert in my Qing Empire, so why make things difficult for a woman.” Kangxi hurried to smooth things over, as if he was worried that the two would fight if they disagreed with each other.

Suddenly seeing the unreasonably charming Su Quan standing next to Song Qingshu, Xia Qingqing felt a bit sour in her heart, and subconsciously said, “But what I admire most about Master Song is not his martial arts, but no matter where you are, there will always be a charming woman by your side.”

The natural sensitivity of a woman made Su Quan aware of Xia Qingqing’s inexplicable hostility. She immediately realized that there must be something strange going on between Song Qingshu and this woman, but she also knew that this was not the time to question her, so she just smiled lightly and kept silent.

As soon as Xia Qingqing opened her mouth, she regretted it. Song Qingshu has always treated her very well. Instead, it was her who had failed to live up to his affection in order to avenge her husband. The two were destined to have no relationship in this life. She should be happy for him if good woman appeared beside him.

Kangxi didn’t seem to understand the weirdness, and said with a loud lough, “Miss Yang might not know this, but Official Song is the dream man of every young woman. He is a handsome man, and not only is he strong in martial arts, but he has also became an important official at a young age. So this is expected.”

“The Emperor is just joking.” Song Qingshu said embarrassingly.

“Official Song, We have also heard about your personal matters. Since you and that head of the Emei Sect are only a couple in name, I intend to find a marriage partner for you. Which girl do you like? Just open your mouth. We shall help you with the marriage, and see who has the guts to not agree.” Kangxi was extremely happy after getting rid of his serious troubles.

“A man’s ambitions are spread throughout the world, but it will his end when he gets married and settles down. Thank you for your kindness.” Song Qingshu himself didn’t know who he liked more in his heart, so he quickly declined.

“Who said that? If you have a good partner, it will often be of great help to your ambitions. For example, the Master Su beside you is not only beautiful, but also the leader of a faction. If you marry her, she will be a competent and virtuous helper.” Kangxi had long noticed that the relationship between the two was not normal, and considering that the Mystic Dragon Cult was an important force, he planned to use Song Qingshu to completely control this power in his hands.

Xia Qingqing’s expression changed slightly, but she quickly lowered her head, so that no one could see her expression clearly. Su Quan was overjoyed, and when she looked up and saw Song Qingshu’s face full of hesitation, she sighed in her heart, and quickly said, “Thank you, Your Majesty, for your kindness, but this one’s husband has just passed away, so it’s really inconvenient for me to talk about marriage.”

Kangxi was stunned, then he remembered that she was actually Hong Antong’s wife, and he couldn’t help laughing, “It’s true that I was being a bit abrupt, Madame, please don’t take offense.”

“Of course not.” Su Quan bowed slightly.

Kangxi nodded, and suddenly changed the topic, “Official Song, Miss Ma and Miss Yang have made such great contributions. But,  it is not convenient for me to publicize their contributions publicly. How do you think I should reward these two?”

Song Qingshu was taken aback for a moment. This was a really difficult issue. If it were two men, it would’ve been enough to secretly give them an official rank, but for two women…

Suddenly thinking of something, Song Qingshu’s expression turned dark.

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