Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Su Changqing sized up this son of his once again. He originally thought that the son in from of him was an unteachable profligate, but now, he clearly spoke about the Su Family’s greatest hidden danger.
How difficult was it to bear the debt of a monarch?
After a short moment of silence, Su Changqing sighed and said, “The Su Clan has no way out.”
Su Wen smiled and said, “I know. In Father’s position, it’s already too late to retreat. Once we lose our power, our Su family will become lambs waiting to be slaughtered. Our former political enemies, allies, and even father’s family members might step on us.”
Right now, Su Changqing’s situation was akin to him walking on a thin wooden bridge with all retreats sealed. There were cliffs on both sides, and only the path ahead had unknown results.
It looked like he would climb to the top, but who knew how many people were actually hoping he would fall.
Su Changqing himself knew that the Su family was currently in the limelight, but in reality, their future was uncertain.
However, he had no choice and no way to retreat.
All these things were kept in his heart, but he did not expect that Su Wen, who was usually a good-for-nothing, would lay them out today.
Su Changqing looked at Su Wen with a gratified expression and said with a smile, “It’s good that you know about this. From the looks of it, even though you’re not good at literature or martial arts, you still have some foresight. Is the bossy and arrogant demeanor outside an act too?”
All along, Su Changqing thought that Su Wen was pretending to be obedient at home. He did not expect that he was pretending to be fierce when he went out.
Su Wen smiled and said, “Father is talented and is favored by His Majesty. Big Brother and Second Brother are considered young talents as well. A family with three talents, who in the Capital would be unaware? Thus, there has to be a rich playboy in the mix.”
From Su Wen’s point of view, with the Su family’s current reputation, one more person in the royal court was not a big deal. On the contrary, it was more help for him to be a hedonistic son who caused trouble. This would allow Su Changqing to have more opportunities to dirty himself.
It was also because of this that Su Changqing had turned a blind eye to Su Wen’s profligate behavior all this while.
At this moment, Su Changqing naturally understood. All along, this son of his had been playing along with his own self-besmirching. He looked at Su Wen in front of him and sighed. “Although your elder brother and second brother are talented, they can’t be considered to be at the top, let alone have profound methods and foresight. The titles of literary and martial scholars were actually given to our Su family by His Majesty, it’s just that he didn’t put it explicitly. On the other hand, your foresight is beyond my expectations. But now that the marriage has been decided, what do you think we should do?”
Su Wen smiled and said, “Father naturally can’t reject His Majesty’s marriage and neither can I. However, if Yan Luoying is unwilling to marry me, then it’s none of our business.”
Su Changqing also broke out in a grin and said, “That is a great idea!”
The father and son had a tacit understanding.
With snow fluttering down on the royal capital, the northern border naturally already blanketed with snow.
Yan Luoying was dressed in blue, sitting on the porch with a military book in her hand.
The snow outside the corridor did not seem to affect her at all.
Warriors were strong. When they circulated their True Qi, they could withstand even the harshest cold.
She was very beautiful. Her years of practicing martial arts did not leave any marks on her skin, it still appeared fair and smooth like jade. Combined with her exquisite facial features, she was considered an exquisite beauty no matter how one looked at it.
“Miss, an ambassador from the Royal Court has arrived. The general wants you to receive the decree in the front hall.”
Yan Luoying, who had been disturbed from her reading, raised her head as she frowned. She looked at the book reluctantly.
Standing up, she spoke curtly, “Lead the way.”
Yan Luoying came to the front hall and saw a eunuch with several of the royal guards standing behind him. He was currently in a conversation with her father Yan Ze.
Yan Ze was tall and had a bust. He had several scars on his face. At a glance, he was a fierce person. When he saw Yan Luoying enter, he smiled and said, “Eunuch Liu, my Luoying is here. You can announce the decree now.”
Eunuch Liu looked at Yan Luoying before praising her with a smile. “Miss, you are really blessed with good looks! Alright, Yan Ze, Yan Luoying, receive the decree!”
Yan Ze and his daughter bowed and cupped their fists.
There was no rule that one needed to kowtow to receive an imperial decree in Great Zhou. Some people showed respect and kowtowed, while others just bowed like Yan Ze and his daughter.
Eunuch Liu unfurled the edict and announced, “Yan Ze led his troops into battle against the Yan Country, obtaining three cities and land spanning hundreds of kilometers. In reward of his efforts to expand the country’s territory, Yan Ze is now conferred the rank of 2nd Class Brave & Loyal Marquis. He is also conferred the title of Valiant General, with a reward of ten thousand taels of silver.
Yan Luoying will be conferred the title of Imperial Army Lieutenant, and will serve as the Commander for the Eastern Patrol Guard of the capital. In addition, she has been bestowed a marriage by the emperor with the Prime Minister’s third son, Su Wen. In a few days. she will follow the squad back to the capital to assume her new position!”
Yan Luoying originally did not have an official position, but the last time she went on an expedition on behalf of her father, she had achieved great contributions. The Zhou Emperor awarded the majority of the contributions to Yan Ze, and in order to officially bring Yan Luoying to the capital, he conferred upon her the rank of Cavalry squad Lieutenant, as well as the position of the Eastern Patrol Guard Commander.
Yan Ze suddenly raised his head, his gaze incomparably fierce, as if he had turned into a ferocious beast that was about to devour someone!
“I will not receive this!”
Yan Ze raged, “Us father and daughter have made such great contributions. Why is His Majesty doing this? You want to transfer my daughter to the capital? And you even want her to marry Su Wen?”
Eunuch Liu’s heart turned cold. He had long since heard of Yan Ze’s arrogance.
He had stirred up quite a lot of troubles over the years. Otherwise, his official rank would not be limited to this.
Who would have thought that he would publicly reject the edict today!
He hurriedly said, “His Majesty heard that Miss Luoying’s military strategies are outstanding, so he specially wanted to transfer her to the capital to further nurture her. As for Su Wen, he is the son of the prime minister and comes from a prominent family. Such a good match was painstakingly planned out by His Majesty.”
A trace of desolate loneliness flashed across Yan Luoying’s eyes.
But that did not stop her from grabbing Yan Ze, who was about to make a move.
Yan Ze looked at his daughter, and their eyes met. Yan Luoying said softly, “Father, it’s our blessing to receive the emperor’s favor, be it as a thunderstorm or a gentle rain. Besides, Su Wen’s family background is enough to match up to your daughter.”
“Why are you so angry, Father? A man should start a family when he’s older, and a woman should marry when she comes of age. This is human logic. Your Majesty also has good intentions.”
She then turned to Eunuch Liu and said with a smile, “Eunuch Liu, Yan Luoying sends her thanks on behalf of my father! Eunuch Liu, please return first!”
She was obviously trying to chase them out.
Eunuch Liu quickly handed the royal decree to Yan Luoying and left under Yan Ze’s murderous gaze.
Even after he left, Yan Ze’s eyes were filled with killing intent. He gritted his teeth and asked, “Why did you stop me?”
Yan Luoying shook her head slightly and said, “Father, even if you defy the royal edict now, what can you do? Kill Eunuch Liu and rebel directly? Become a bandit? Or turn your back and join the enemy? No matter what you choose, our end will not be good.”
Yan Ze said angrily, “But I can’t take this lying down!”
“A general should not be affected by external things. Father, you are too easily angered.” Yan Luoying said calmly, “I killed 400,000 of the Yan countrymen. Although I have made great contributions, I have also incurred countless criticisms. With Father usually already being unruly, His Majesty is worried about you having control of the troops at the country borders. If I return to the capital, His Majesty might feel more at ease. This will be good for the both of us.”
Yan Luoying’s tone was calm, as if she was not talking about herself.
Yan Ze gritted his teeth and said, “But I also know that Su Wen is a famous profligate son in the capital. His father, Su Changqing, is even a treacherous official. He’s greedy for money and accumulates wealth, plundering the people’s hard earnings to line his purse. The Great Zhou is rife with his evil deeds, and even in the northern borders, there’s no one who doesn’t know about it! Daughter, how can you marry such a person?”
Yan Luoying smiled and said, “Whether I marry or not is still unknown. When I arrive at the capital, if this person is really unbearable, I will plead with His Majesty, and His Majesty might not let me marry this person. But if Father goes against the decree, there will be no turning back.”
At this moment, Su Wen and Yan Luoying had the exact same thought: Both did not want to marry each other.
Su Wen did not want the Su family to have a better reputation, but how could Yan Luoying be willing to marry a good-for-nothing?