Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Early in the morning, dark clouds covered the capital of Great Zhou as heavy snow fell. This was the first snow since winter arrived.
In the Prime Minister’s residence, the maidservant, Ning Shuang, was clad in a green robe. She walked up to the entrance of Su Wen’s room.
Ning Shuang had a sweet appearance and was the same age as Su Wen. Since young, she had been the maid in charge of dressing Su Wen.
“Third Young Master, hurry and get up! Didn’t you agree to go to the Drunken Immortal Pavilion with the son of the Grand Prince to drink? It’s almost time.”
(TL Note: In case anyone gets confused, Grand Prince is a title given to a prince. It does not equate to being a Crown Prince.)
Ning Shuang called out softly from the door.
But there was no sound in the room.
Ning Shuang pushed open the door and walked in. She saw Su Wen burying his head in the blanket, having no intention of getting up.
The cold air entering the room from the door only served to further make him tighten the blanket.
Ning Shuang quickly closed the door and walked to the bed. She gently pulled the blanket away, revealing a delicate looking youth. He had a pitiful expression as he muttered, “Ning Shuang, let me sleep a little longer.”
Ning Shuang gently replied, “Third Young Master, quickly get up. We have already agreed that it would be too rude if we were to be late.”
Su Wen said disdainfully, “So be it. The Grand Prince is merely a powerless prince. Even if I am lacking in manners, Zhao Rui will have to endure it.”
His words were domineering.
However, there was naturally a reason for his arrogance.
Su Wen was originally not from this world and had transmigrated here.
And his father was the current prime minister of Great Zhou, Su Changqing.
His authority was monstrous, and he could be said to be second only to a single person and above tens of thousands of people. His shadow could be seen in all matters of the royal court.
On the basis of his father’s authority, even in the Great Zhou Dynasty, the princes had to give Su Wen some face.
Not to mention the son of a prince.
Furthermore, Su Wen and Zhao Rui did not have a good relationship.
The two of them instead were involved in a conflict. Su Wen got his guards to beat up Zhao Rui, but in the end, Zhao Rui still wanted to treat Su Wen to a drink and even invited the Second Prince of Great Zhou to mediate the situation.
It couldn’t be helped. Everyone knew that Su Changqing took offense at the slightest issue, and he was extremely protective of his loved ones. His methods were ruthless, and he never showed mercy when eliminating his enemies.
As the number one minister of Great Zhou, there was no need to mention his ability to accumulate wealth and power. His influence had spread throughout the entire court.
When Ning Shuang saw that Su Wen was unwilling to get up, she continued to coax him. Su Wen was finally fully woken up by her, so he had no choice but to get up.
Ning Shuang helped Su Wen change his clothes and wash his face. Every action was meticulous.
After so many years, Su Wen was already used to having Ning Shuang around him.
After everything was tidied up, Su Wen tapped Ningshuang’s nose and smiled. “You are so virtuous. You will definitely take good care of our family in the future.”
Ning Shuang blushed in embarrassment.
The two of them had been together for many years and had a deep relationship. To Ningshuang, marrying Su Wen in the future was the best outcome and also the one she was most willing to accept.
Even if it was just a concubine.
Su Wen had already made a promise that there would be a position for Ning Shuang in the residence in the future.
After lightly kissing Ning Shuang, Su Wen went to the outer palace.
A middle-aged man was already waiting there. His face was grave and stern, a broken sword hanging from his waist. At the very least, from the scabbard, it looked as such.
However, Su Wen knew that he was an expert.
“Uncle He, let’s go.” Su Wen smiled.
Su Wen was someone with a high EQ. Although he behaved in a domineering and ridiculous manner when he was outside, he never put on airs when it came to his own people.
He Ping’an was employed by Su Changqing to be Su Wen’s bodyguard.
Su Changqing had countless enemies, and there was no lack of people who wished to take their revenge on him.
He thus arranged experts around all his sons to prevent any accidents from happening.
However, to Su Wen, He Ping’an was the best fighter. He Ping’an had always been the one to defeat the other party whenever he had conflicts with others.
As for assassins, he had never met any.
When He Ping’an saw Su Wen, he bowed and said with a smile, “Third Young Master, our old master is still the powerful one. That Zhao Rui is the son of the Grand Prince, he has suffered such a great loss this time, but still has to find someone to apologize to you.”
Su Wen said smugly, “Of course. Uncle He, look at who my father is. He’s the number one official in the Great Zhou Dynasty. What Grand Prince? Wouldn’t it be a piece of cake for my father to destroy him?”
“Cough, cough, cough!”
Su Wen had just finished speaking when he heard a cough.
A middle-aged man walked out from the backyard.
He was dressed in a green robe and looked rather refined. He sported a three-inch beard on his chin, which lent him a more dignified look.
This man was precisely Su Wen’s father, the number one official of the Great Zhou, Su Changqing.
“Su Wen, where are you going?” Su Changqing asked solemnly.
Su Wen cupped his hands and smiled. “Father, the Second Prince is here today to mediate between me and Zhao Rui. I’m preparing to go meet up with them.”
Su Changqing nodded and warned, “Don’t be overbearing when you’re there. The Second Prince is, after all, still one of the current princes of the dynasty. Even though the Crown Prince’s position is firm now, no one can say for sure in the future. It’s better to be polite to the Second Prince. Also, don’t cause trouble when you have nothing to do. Learn from your big brother and second brother, learning more abilities for yourself is the right way.”
Su Changqing had three sons and the one that gave him the biggest headache was his youngest son, Su Wen.
Ever since he was young, he did not like to study literature and did not like to practice martial arts. It should be known that Su Changqing’s eldest son had won the position of the Great Zhou’s martial arts champion five years ago, while his second son had won the position of the top scholar two years ago. With Su Changqing’s support, he had already stepped into the career of an official and seemed to have a bright future.
Only Su Wen did not have any other skills apart from picking and fooling around with the other prodigals in the city.
Su Wen smiled and replied casually, “Thank you for your teachings, father. I will take my leave first!”
With that, he led He Ping’an out of the Prime Minister’s mansion.
Meanwhile in the Capital, the streets were being decorated with lanterns and colored banners.
It was not because of a holiday, but rather due to news from the border. During the war against Yan Country, the Great Zhou General Yan?Ze1?was suddenly afflicted with an acute illness. Thus, his daughter, Yan Luoying, went to war on behalf of her father. She led 150,000 troops and crushed the enemies of Yan Country!
They even attacked and managed to take down the Yan Country’s famed Fort Boulder!
When the news of the great victory spread, everyone was ecstatic!
But just moments ago, another piece of news was sent back to the capital!
Yan Luoying had killed a total of 400,000 people during the war, with some Yan Country citizens included in her kill count!
Such ruthless methods had completely shocked the world!
Many scholars of the Great Zhou were furious at Yan Luoying’s actions. Even the capital of the Zhou Country, which was originally celebrating, was covered in a haze.
Pairing this atmosphere to the coincidental heavy snow, many people linked it to Yan Luoying’s behavior.
When people talked about this female general, they couldn’t help but call her ruthless and heartless.
In the royal palace, Su Changqing arrived at the Earnest Palace Hall.
The Zhou Emperor was lying on his side inside the palace. The moment he saw Su Changqing come in, he waved and smiled. “Changqing, come quickly. I have something to discuss with you.”
Before the Zhou Emperor and Su Changqing ascended the throne, they had a deep relationship.
At that time, the former was just an unimportant prince, while the latter was just a down-and-out scholar.
The two of them started off at the same time. In the Emperor’s path of ascension, there was no lack of Su Changqing’s schemes.
It could be said that the relationship between these two people far surpassed that of an ordinary lord and minister. This was also an important reason why Su Changqing had power over everyone.
Su Changqing arrived in front of the reclining Zhou Emperor and bowed. He had always been able to constantly correct his position, never growing too arrogant because of the Emperor’s favor. This was where he was smart compared to the others.
“Your Majesty, why did you summon me here?” Su Changqing asked.
The Emperor’s eyes lit up and he smiled. “Su Wen turns 18 this year, right?”
Su Changqing’s heart raced when he heard him mention Su Wen.
Su Wen was just a playboy. Why would the Emperor suddenly ask about him?
He cupped his hands and said, “That is correct.”
The Emperor smiled and said, “I heard that that child is quite absurd. Compared to Su Cheng and Su Yu, he is quite lacking.”
Su Cheng and Su Yu were Su Changqing’s eldest son and second son respectively, Su Wen’s two older brothers.
Su Changqing said, “Reporting to Your Majesty, it is indeed a bit lacking. However, this subject won’t force him. A person has their own fate. Whatever he does in the future is his own business. After a few years, this subject will give him some money to get a wife and make him start up his own family. I won’t hide this from Your Majesty. In recent years, this subject has accumulated quite a bit of my family’s private wealth. As long as he doesn’t act recklessly, it will be more than enough for him to live a stable life!”
Su Changqing was greedy, it was a known fact.
Since his reputation was not good, at this moment, he naturally would not hide it from the Zhou Emperor.
Or rather, he had done it on purpose.
The Zhou Emperor was very satisfied with Su Changqing’s words.
He smiled and said, “I called you here today because I have a marriage proposal to discuss with you.”
Su Changqing was stunned and said hesitantly, “I wonder which family’s young miss it is? My child might not even be a match for her.”
A marriage bestowed by the Emperor was a totally different concept. If the bride suffered in the future, the emperor might even bring it up.
The Zhou Emperor stared at Su Changqing’s face before softly uttering, “Yan Luoying!”
Su Changqing’s heart tightened when he heard this name.
This person was not afraid of being bullied by Su Wen. In fact, it would be good enough that she did not bully Su Wen.
But why would it be her?
Su Changqing had to consider this matter properly because her identity was too special.
Not to mention anything else, General Yan Ze was in charge of guarding the border and was a true official of the border. He also had military power in his hands. As for himself, he had power over the entire country. If the two families were to get married, it would make them even more earth-shattering.
But the question was, why did the Zhou Emperor suggest this?
In the Royal Court, the heart of an Emperor was the hardest to guess.
Even Su Changqing was unable to figure out the reason.
The Emperor could naturally see the hesitation in the latter’s heart. He also knew that if he didn’t give him an explanation, this guy would find a way to decline.
Thus, he stood up. The current Zhou Emperor was in his prime, tall and well built with a cold demeanor.
He said in a deep voice, “Changqing, we’ve known each other for decades. You should know of my ambitions!”
“This country, Great Zhou, is still too small!”
“If I want to expand, Yan Ze is an extremely important card in my hands! But Yan Ze is different from you. I’m worried about him!”
The Zhou Emperor was full of mettle!
He continued, “Yan Ze is an unruly person. He guards the borders all year round and has a high reputation in the army. He also holds the country’s military power. If not for the fact that he never had any sons, I’m afraid I would have been unable to sleep and eat in peace. But now, it seems that Yan Ze’s daughter, Yan Luoying, is not simple either. She acts ruthlessly and is extremely good at leading troops. Naturally, I have to guard against her.”
“This woman has just turned 20 this year, yet she has already accomplished such meritorious deeds. Ten years from now, who will be able to suppress her? Moreover, a woman’s thoughts are the most strange and difficult to understand. Right now, she only has Yan Ze as her family, so I wanted Su Wen to marry this woman and imprison her in the Capital, in order to grind down her heart and will.
In addition, when she gives birth to a child, it will also allow her to have some restrictions and misgivings. When I use her in the future, she will be easier to control. This will also allow Yan Ze to have more misgivings if he develops any second thoughts!
The Zhou Emperor openly said his thoughts. He looked at Su Changqing and realized that the latter had not spoken anything up till now.
He could understand why. Just the fact that this woman killed 400,000 people from the Yan Country was shocking enough.
How many people would dare to marry such a woman without any scruples?
Emperor Zhou walked to Su Changqing’s side and patted his shoulder. He sighed and said, “Changqing, I trust you the most among all the civil and military officials in the Royal Court. I believe in you the most as well. If Yan Luoying marries someone else, I will still be worried!”
Su Changqing finally understood why the Zhou Emperor would choose his son.
Only trust would motivate him to do so!