Because Long Feiye had never brought up the issue of his surname, Han Yunxi forgot all about it. Now it was directly affecting the name of their precious baby.
Drawing lessons from her own naming skills, Han Yunxi didn’t change their son’s surname but only discussed his nickname with Long Feiye. After all, the customs of the imperial clan dictated that imperial prince’s names had to be picked with care. Long Feiye should bestow one personally and then have the divination masters divine it. As he had yet to consecrate his ancestors, the matter of the son’s name would have to be left until later.
Han Yunxi thought for a bit before she grinned. “Since today’s the 15th, why don’t we nickname him ‘Fifteeth?’”
Zhao mama and the others servants were left floored. Everyone shot sympathetic looks towards the little master. As he couldn’t understand his parents at all, his eyes simply darted back and forth while his lips occasionally moved. Despite his foolish actions, it almost looked like he was scheming something.
Long Feiye was also aghast over Han Yunxi’s poor naming skills. Before he could refuse, Han Yunxi laughed and said, “In the future, he’ll learn that his nickname came from the Lantern Festival. So why don’t we call him ‘Yuanxiao?’ Little Yuanxiao?”
Long Feiye suddenly thought of Gu Qishao. His real name should be “Gu Xiaoqi” (Gu Little Seventh) because he was born on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. Although Long Feiye hadn’t reached out to Gu Beiyue or asked after his recent living quarters, he knew the time limit that the doctor gave him last time.
It was already the 15th of the first lunar month. How many days did Gu Qishao have left?
Besides the timely reports from Xu Donglin in Medical City on the fake progress of the illness, Long Feiye hadn’t gotten any letters from Gu Beiyue for a long time. Sometimes, no news was good news, but Long Feiye knew that Gu Beiyue’s “no news” was only bad news.
He lowered his voice and murmured, “He’s the eldest son and the future crown prince. You can’t be careless even when choosing a nickname.”
After some thought, Long Feiye proposed, “Confer upon him a single character of Rui (睿). We can call him Rui’er.”
“Fifteen” and “Yuanxiao” were simply joke names from Han Yunxi. When Long Feiye brought up his Xuanyuan suname, she realized that nicknames couldn’t be a jesting affair like the children of common families.
“Rui…” Han Yunxi thought over the word and quickly nodded. “Alright, you call the shots.”
Every name a sovereign granted his sons was filled with implied meanings and moral messages. It defined the status of the prince in the emperor’s heart and his silent expectations for his future. That was also why empresses’ sons had different names than those born from concubines or consorts.
The Rui character didn’t have much meaning on the surface beyond describing someone clear on matters of principle or deeply conscious of the righteousness of a cause. They would be clear and wise during all their undertakings. The word itself was commonly used in names of ordinary people as well.
But it held greater weight in the imperial court.
One of the meanings of Rui was to show the respect subjects held for their sovereign. For example, courtiers could ask for the emperor’s guidance with phrases like mingjian (明鉴) and ruijian (睿鉴) to show “your brilliant idea, your penetrating judgment.” The emperor’s resolution in turn was called ruiduan (睿断).
Long Feiye had a lot of implicit meaning buried in his son’s nickname!
Everyone would understand his intentions once news of the name spread, especially the southern generals and others with their eye on the throne.
Zhao mama, the nurses, and the servant girls were all simple women with no comprehension of the connotations. As soon as they saw Han Yunxi nod, they added their praises by default.
Han Yunxi held her son and coaxed, “Rui’er...Rui’er, you have a name now. Your father didn’t just give you a simple nickname.”
Hearing this, Long Feiye knew Han Yunxi had understood his goals too. Little Rui’er was still clueless, but he could sense his parents’ feelings and happily stretched out his arms to laugh. Both Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were amused before the latter reached to pick him up. Little Rui’er got to see his father close-up. He was fine at first, but suddenly broke into wails again.
They had lost track of the times this had happened. The disconsolate Long Feiye refused to accept the curse and let little Rui’er cry as he asked Han Yunxi, “How did I offend him?”
Han Yunxi smiled and shrugged. “I don’t know either.”
Everyone said it was hard to read Long Feiye’s thoughts, but it was even harder to untangle his son’s! Long Feiye patiently comforted the baby, but little Rui’er only cried nonstop. Without a choice, he had to return the baby to Han Yunxi. Rui’er immediately stopped his tears as soon as he was in his mother’s arms.
“Maybe you look too fierce so he’s afraid of you. You should smile at him often and more obviously. After a while, he’ll stop feeling scared,” Han Yunxi grinned.
Long Feiye truly did look fierce when he wasn’t smiling. Now his lips twitched silently. Although he doted on his son, he couldn’t bring himself to turn into someone who broke into exaggerated smiles every time they met.
That night, Rui’er stayed with Han Yunxi and Long Feiye overnight. He didn’t know his father was here too and simply cried on cue every hour when he was hungry. Han Yunxi was sleepy to death, but she had no choice beyond getting up. Long Feiye had a sleepless night too. The next night, he ordered the wet nurse to carry little Rui’er away. The baby cried as soon as it left her side, breaking her heart. She had the wet nurse carry him back, and the helpless Long Feiye could only continue to stay by their sides. Zhao mama and Fourth Young Miss Ren were both in disbelief. Leaving aside the fact that Long Feiye had prestigious status, even ordinary families didn’t spend so much time with their children.
When Long Feiye was woken up yet again in the middle of the night, he asked, “Would a girl be more docile?”
“Probably?” Han Yunxi blurted out sleepily. “You should sleep in the big meeting tent, you still have heaps of things to do tomorrow.”
“If you’re willing to stay with him, then I’m willing to stay with you,” Long Feiye intoned. He was lying by her side and wanted to wrap his arms around her waist, but was afraid to touch her in case he hurt her during her confinement period.
Han Yunxi just smiled and wrapped an arm around him. “I have sweethearts big and small To hug one on my left and cradle another on my right really is happiness.”
Long Feiye fell silent before muttering, “When Rui’er grows up and you have more free time, how about giving me a little sweetheart of my own?” In his heart, he much preferred daughters.
Han Yunxi only laughed. “This...I can’t promise that.”
Between sons and daughters, it was still unclear who Long Feiye would favor more in the future. But right now, it was clear he preferred his wife to his son. After Rui’er stayed two nights with his parents, Long Feiye had the wet nurse carry him away on the third day. Han Yunxi’s confinement period passed day by day.
At last, Long Feiye couldn’t stand the suspense and had Chu Xifeng summoned. “Go inquire into Gu Beiyue’s current residence. Also, how is Gu Qishao’s condition?” In the end, he had decided to tell Han Yunxi the truth regardless of whether Gu Qishao agreed or not. After Fourth Young Miss Ren confirmed the end of her confinement period, she would be allowed to go out. He would break the news to her then.
Right now, he didn’t dare hope for anything except that Gu Qishao might wait a little longer! At least long enough to see Han Yunxi one more time.
“Yes! This subordinate will contact Xu Donglin immediately!” Chu Xifeng declared. Once he left, an urgent message arrived from Northern Li from Ning Cheng once more. Last time Long Feiye had gotten his letters during little Rui’er’s birth, so that had delayed things from his end. Despite this, Long Feiye had a good idea of the situation. Northern Li’s snow disasters, combined with its famine, had changed Ning Cheng’s mind about advancing north. He wanted to fight right now and was requesting for food and rations. Long Feiye had long spread the news and predicted that many people would be seeking him out in the next two days.
When he opened the envelope and read the letter, he suddenly smiled. Whatever Ning Cheng wrote to caught his attention didn’t stop Long Feiye from waiting for the other generals to seek him out. He turned proactive and said, “Someone come, call for Baili Yuanlong and have him gather everyone here. Just say this crown prince wants to discuss the Northern Li battlefield with them.”
All of the military generals had been hesitant before, waiting for someone else to talk with His Highness about the matter first and get his views. When they heard about his summons, they all grew excited. A few days later, the various generals were all gathered in the Yunning military tent. Everyone cupped their fists and bowed in respect when Long Feiye arrived.
There were two rows of people in the tent. One half were the military and its various generals while the other was made up of civil officials. Some were old cohorts from Tianning and Tianan who were summoned into Long Feiye’s service out of admiration for the man. A few were secluded talents who had come out of retirement on their own, also because they esteemed Long Feiye.
For the military, Baili Yuanlong was standing in the forefront. For the civil officials, it was a previously secluded talent named He Wenqing.
After Long Feiye sat down, he got straight to the point. “Ning Cheng’s changed his mind and wants to deploy his troops. He wrote to this crown prince requesting for good supplies. Everyone...what are your thoughts?”
Baili Yuanlong was the first to step forward. “To reply Your Highness, this soldier suspects that Ning Cheng might have other plans in play?”
Long Feiye arched a brow at him. “What kind of plans?”
“Ning Cheng wants to rebel!” Baili Yuanlong declared. “Northern Li’s still suffering from snow disasters and plague. Advancing to battle now is simply courting death! Ning Cheng should know better. If he wants grain, it’s likely he won’t head north, but south!”
The various generals behind him began to murmur at his accusation. The civil officials started whispering amongst themselves as well. Ning Cheng really had no reason to attack now. He had plenty of time to stay and wait until the chaos in Northern Li went on for another one or two months. By then the Northern Li emperor would only have two choices: surrender, or kill himself for his country. There would be no more military strength left to fight against Ning Cheng.
Instead, Ning Cheng was looking to mobilize his forces. That was completely unreasonable. Leaving aside the challenge of the weather, just a simple plague was enough to wipe out all of his forces!
The southern General Su stood up as well. “Your Highness, once Ning Cheng heads south and snatches the Three-Way Battlefield, he could establish his own kingdom in Northern Li!”
I took a break yesterday with translations, but here we are again. Looks like a generous donor doubled our donation bar too~
Definitely looks like the artist took inspiration from Han Yunxi's wedding dress as depicted in Legend of Yunxi. Anyways, it's pretty and I'm tempted to use it as cover art, but we've already changed the cover art once... XD
Meanwhile, the clear picture with no words can be found here.
Huh, there sure are a lot of links in this translator's notes...