Chapter 239: Resignation (III)
Weichi Yan set a fast pace and used a great deal of force on Qin Yining. Her wrist was chafed and reddened by the pressure, but the girl didn’t frown at the discomfort. She followed the emperor closely into the main hall.
Li Yanyan and Gu Chang heaved sighs of relief as their servants helped them up. Both cast complicated looks at Weichi Yan and Qin Yining’s departing figures.
With how much the emperor doted on née Qin, would there be any place for them when they entered the palace?
Eunuch Lu followed his master inside, taking up position in the outer hall. Jiao-mama quickly had Little Ning and Little Yang close the doors and retreat to a position far away.
Li Yanyan and Gu Chang also returned to their side wings, not daring to eavesdrop on imperial conversation.
Back in the main hall, Weichi Yan thrust his arm forward fiercely after entering the inner chamber, throwing Qin Yining onto the bed.
“Why do you treat me like this?!”
Someone else filled this girl’s heart, not him!
He didn’t believe that that demon Pang Xiao would so coincidentally volunteer a break in fighting, and believed even less that those rumors in the capital would develop at this precise time.
Weichi Yan knew that Qin Yining was a highly intelligent girl, and that her maternal grandmother was the alliance head of Azure Justice.
Though the rebel organization had announced its disbandment, it was surely doable for Qin Yining to find anyone she needed in order to disseminate rumors. She must be colluding with Pang Zhixi and leveraging the people’s voice to make him let her go!
He’d fumed so badly on the way here that he wanted to choke her to death!
And yet when he actually saw her being bullied, his gut reaction was to stick up for her. Even Weichi Yan started despising himself.
“Why do you treat me like this?!” The emperor dropped all royal pronouns and screamed furiously. “Can you feel not a sliver of my feelings for you?!”
Judging from this display, Qin Yining understood that Pang Xiao had succeeded. She clutched her injured shoulder, aching from the exertions, and slowly knelt down primly.
“Please quell your anger, Your Majesty.”
“How can I quell my anger when you’ve done something like this?!” Eyes shot through with red, Weichi Yan hauled her up by her left arm again. He caged her in, grinding his teeth as he glared into her eyes. “Do you hate me that much? Is Pang that good? How is he better than me? Tell me!”
The two were nearly nose-tip to nose-tip. The musk of an unfamiliar man threw Qin Yining greatly off-kilter. She twisted to get out of his grasp, but Weichi Yan refused to let go.
“Your Majesty, this subject has never toyed with your affections. This subject feels no love for you at all.”
“So you colluded with an enemy commander to lay out this trap for me!”
“You didn’t?! I’ll have the heads of your entire clan for this!”
“If you don’t believe me, Your Majesty, you can investigate everything possible. I didn’t even bring my maids into the palace. There’s nothing I could’ve done even if I’d wanted to. Evidence must be laid out if Your Majesty wishes to pronounce me guilty, or will you imitate the emperor emeritus in turning white to black?”
“How dare you! This insolence!”
“This subject would never dare.” Qin Yining looked down.
Weichi Yan felt his eyes burn as he stared hotly at the figure in his arms. Her delicate fragrance wafted into his nostrils with every breath he took. He tightened his arms, unsure if he wanted to crush her to death in his embrace or snap her slender waist in half!
Undeterred, Qin Yining continued, “Your Majesty, how is the situation outside? You must think of stabilizing the nation after taking your throne.”
The coolly delivered line was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Weichi Yan suddenly broke down.
“What kind of emperor am I?! Held hostage by the people’s will, threatened by my subjects, and I can’t even get the girl I love! What point is there to being an emperor like this?!” Frustrated tears burst forth and he forcefully thrust Qin Yining aside. He yanked his hair and screamed with anguish, “I don't want to be emperor! I don’t want to be!”
The girl stumbled from the motion and tripped over the foot of the bed, crashing into the dresser behind her. The white porcelain spittoon, patterns traced in gold on it, shattered when it hit the floor. Qin Yining’s hand happened to land on some of the pieces, prompting a frown of pain.
She sighed, looking at Weichi Yan with some pity and guilt. But it was either cruelty to this man or unfaithfulness to love.
“Your Majesty, who isn’t bound by fetters in this world? How many can truly live carefree lives of freedom? As is life for an ordinary peasant, so is it for the Son of Heaven.
“Everyone has their own place in life, just like the players on stage have their own duties. Even if we’re unwilling, we must follow the script and act out our roles, or the world would fall into chaos and the show unable to go on. Life would grind to a halt then. Your Majesty was destined to this life when born into the imperial family.”
Weichi Yan had yanked his hair out wildly and tears yet clung to his cheeks. He suddenly smiled jeeringly after momentary blankness.
“Indeed, everyone has their own place.
“We are the emperor, and you are a subject. If we are to be shackled, so must you.
“Alright then, We will respect the people’s wishes.
“Since you are the holy girl who can protect the nation’s fortunes and will lose this ability once married, We will help you in your mission. You are hereby titled Spiritual Master Xuan Su and bestowed a royal residence to be renamed as Xuan Su Temple. A hundred nuns will be given to you as disciples. You may answer the people’s wishes starting from today and pray for the country’s fortunes!”
Qin Yining blinked, then immediately knelt calmly.
“Xuan Su thanks Your Majesty for the honor.”
“Ha, haha, hahaha!” Weichi Yan roared with mad laughter. “If We can’t have you, no one else will! Little Lu! Escort Master Xuan Su to the residence to begin her practice!”
Outside the main hall, Eunuch Lu had clearly heard the entire dispute, all the while trembling with fear and sweating profusely. When he heard the imperial summons, he wiped off a forehead of sweat and lowered himself humbly, walking in to make a careful bow.
“This servant hears and obeys. Master Xuan Su, this way please.”
Qin Yining curtsied and rose to leave with the eunuch.
As Weichi Yan watched them depart, he couldn’t help but call out, “Have the imperial physicians treat Xuan Su’s hands first. They’re injured.”
Qin Yining’s footsteps paused, her heart quavering. Though she closed her eyes, she didn’t turn back.
Empathy welled up in the eunuch’s heart and he quickly responded, “Yes, this servant will do so immediately.”
How was this decree a sign of imperial disfavor? The emperor obviously loved Miss Qin like no other and had been forced to send her to monastic life because of the circumstances!
His nose twinging, the eunuch almost shed tears. He wiped at his face as he led the girl away from the main hall, deeply frightening Jiao-mama, Xingyu, and Bixue.
As Weichi Yan watched his beloved girl leave, tears welled up yet again. He tilted his head in an effort to put them back, but they still trailed down the corner of his eyes into his sideburns. Ticklish and cold, they were an accurate reflection of his heart towards her.
“What?! Granddaughter Yi’s been forced to become a nun?!” The old dowager show to her feet as the teacup in hand fell to the ground.
Née Sun widened her eyes in disbelief. “How could this have happened?!”
Qin Huaiyuan’s face was dark and he said not a word.
The second master’s head drooped with his response. “The emperor wanted to make niece Yi the empress, but with those rumors outside, he couldn’t go against the people’s will. Being unable to get his beloved girl and not wanting others to have her either, he made niece Yi ‘Spiritual Master Xuan Su’ and renamed a royal residence as Xuan Su Temple. Along with a hundred nuns, he ordered her to practice with uncut hair and pray for the nation’s fortunes.”
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