ROHYX Chapter 521 : The Troubled Year (2)


This chapter hasn't been edited yet.



Every household was busy preparing for the festivities at the end of the twelfth lunar month. In the capital, there was no shortage of wealthy and influential families. As long as good things were available, they would be snatched up as soon as they hit the market. However, due to the mourning period, the Duke Han residence remained relatively cold and cheerless.

Han Gao immediately rushed into Han Jianming's study from outside. At that moment, Han Jianming was playing chess with Mr Zhao inside. Not daring to interrupt, Han Gao waited until the game was over before delivering the news he had obtained. "My Lord, the Emperor has suffered a stroke."

Han Jianming stood up and asked, "How did this happen?"

Han Gao shook his head. "I heard it was triggered by an old illness." The exact reason has been concealed by the Crown Prince, and they haven't been able to gather much information. It was mainly due to the Duke Han Residence's limited ability to gather reliable information.

Mr Zhao frowned. "It's already the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth lunar month. They wouldn't be keeping it a secret if it were just a minor illness. It seems that the condition must be quite serious."

Han Jianming pondered momentarily before saying, "Let's wait and see for now!" After all, they were still in mourning, and even if the Crown Prince took action against the Yu and Song families, it wouldn't involve them.

The Emperor wasn't seriously ill; instead, he had set his sights on a charming and beautiful palace maid, intending to favour her. Given his already weakened health, combined with the stimulating substances he'd consumed, he couldn't wait to be intimate with the woman but suffered a sudden collapse before anything happened. Witnessing the Emperor faint, the palace maid took her own life by running into a pillar.

The Emperor was revived by the dedicated efforts of the Imperial Physicians, who worked throughout the night. However, he had suffered a stroke that left him unable to stand or speak coherently.

Upon hearing the news, Yuchen knew something was amiss and instructed, "Find out what really happened." Since the Emperor's previous illness, most of his attendants had been eunuchs, with only a few elderly and unattractive female servants. Seriously, how did his eyes catch sight of a beautiful palace maid? There must be something fishy going on.

Momo1 Gui, however, disagreed with Yuchen's approach and advised, "It is best for us not to get involved in the matter of the Imperial Palace's inner courtyard." She didn't want Yuchen to get involved in the dispute within the Imperial Palace.

Yuchen shook her head and replied, "I know my boundaries."

Although Momo1 Gui was reluctant, she had no choice but to compromise. That evening, Momo1 Gui informed Yuchen of the information she had received: "Niangniang2, this matter has nothing to do with Guifei3. As for the mastermind behind it, we still don't know."

Yuchen's face revealed a hint of amusement as she wondered, "This is interesting. Who could be the mastermind behind this? And what are they after?" It couldn't be the Crown Prince; he was already acting as Regent, so there was no need for him to assassinate his father. As for the Yu and Song families, they wouldn't harm the Emperor either. The Crown Prince had always wanted to weaken the power of these two families so they would both wish the Emperor a long and healthy life. After all, although the Crown Prince acted as regent, he was still a mere heir and many things could be used to restrict his actions.

Momo1 Gui shook her head, indicating that she didn't know. However, noticing Yuchen's peculiar smile, she asked, "Wangfei4, do you already know who it is?"

Yuchen shook her head and replied, "I'm not a fortune teller who can predict the future. But I have a feeling that this matter is no mere coincidence."

Momo1 Gui advised, "Wangfei4, it's best not to investigate this further." If Song Guifei3 or the Crown Prince were to discover that they had informants within the palace, they would be in an unpleasant situation.

Yuchen nodded in agreement. "Let's put it aside for now."

New Year's Eve was a time for family reunions. Usually, it was customary to visit the Emperor and Empress at the Imperial Palace on that day. However, as Duke Han's household was still in mourning this year, they didn't go. On the eve of the Lunar New Year, the family gathered for a meal.

While they were eating, the Chief Steward rushed in from outside without any discretion and announced loudly, "My Lord, Old Lady, the Emperor has passed away."😅

Han Jianming's hand paused as he heard the news. He asked, "The Emperor has passed away?" He had thought that the Emperor would last at least for another three to five months! Yet, it had only been less than three days.

Unlike Han Jianming, Qiu Shi was not as composed. She instructed, "Quickly remove the feast and bring out the white cloth to make mourning clothes." Although they had mourning clothes from the previous mourning period, they couldn't be reused and had to be made anew.

After tidying up, the group made their way into the palace to mourn. It was customary for civil and military officials and various levels of nobility to enter the palace and mourn when the Emperor passed away.

At the palace gate, Han Jianming had to separate from Qiu Shi and the other women. Before leaving, Han Jianming instructed Ye Shi, "Take care of Mother." Han Jianming made this remark because a batch of people would fall ill whenever there was a major funeral. Especially in the current cold weather, mourning would be even more difficult. After each funeral, about half of the people would become sick, and the elderly couldn't endure it and would pass away. Although Qiu Shi's health was still relatively good, it was uncertain whether she could withstand such a funeral.

Han Jianming's concern was not unfounded. Qiu Shi caught a chill that day and developed a fever the next day. Concerned for his mother, Han Jianming immediately went to the ancestral residence to report the matter and requested that Qiu Shi no longer attend the mourning ceremonies at the palace. Meanwhile, Ye Shi and Lu Xiu accompanied Qiu Shi to the palace every day, arriving before dawn and returning only after nightfall. Despite their exhaustion, no one dared utter a word of complaint as they persevered through it.

By the time the Emperor's funeral procession took place, Ye Shi and Lu Xiu had lost considerable weight.

With the Emperor now gone, the Crown Prince would ascend to the throne after the burial. Han Jianming had always maintained a distant relationship with the Crown Prince. In the past, the Crown Prince had tried to win Han Jianming over, but he had refused. Now, Han Jianming felt a tinge of worry and asked Mr Zhao, "Do you think the Crown Prince will hold a grudge?"

Mr Zhao shook his head. "My Lord, you need not worry. The Crown Prince's immediate concern after ascending the throne will be to seize power from Grand Chancellor Yu and the Song family." Although Han Jianming was a duke, he didn't have much influence. The Crown Prince would only seek revenge after successfully securing his position.

A noob translator, きつね, translated this noob translation. Please read this chapter at xin-shou.site. If you read this in another location other than the site stated, it has been taken without the translator's permission. Please don't support this kind of act.

Had Mr Zhao not known about the Crown Prince's involvement in the Tong City tragedy, he would undoubtedly have persuaded Han Jianming to ally himself with the Crown Prince. After all, the Crown Prince was the heir apparent and possessed great abilities. Joining forces with the Crown Prince would have meant a bright future for Han Jianming.

Han Jianming acknowledged this with a murmur.

The two men continued to discuss the situation of the Imperial Court. Before they could go any further, a maid approached with a message: "My Lord, the Old Lady requests your presence."

When Qiu Shi saw Han Jianming, she immediately launched into a tirade, "Yuxi was stabbed and almost lost her life! And you didn't even tell me about such a serious incident?"

A fierce glint flashed in Han Jianming's eyes. He had kept this news to himself, and he couldn't figure out which careless maid or old woman servant had informed his mother. "Mother, Yuxi is fine. She only has a cut on her arm; it's not a serious injury. Please don't worry."

Qiu Shi was furious. "You still want to deceive me? It wasn't just a minor injury! The dagger that stabbed Yuxi was coated with a powerful poison. Are you still trying to hide it from me?" Tears welled up in Qiu Shi's eyes at this point. "Why does this child have to suffer so much?"

Han Jianming deliberately feigned anger and asked, "Mother, who told you such nonsense about the dagger being coated with poison? Yuxi is perfectly fine in Yu City. Who would have such malicious intentions to curse her?" He knew that there was no way he could tell his mother about Yuxi's poisoning that almost cost her her life.

Qiu Shi asked sceptically, "Are you not deceiving me?"

Han Jianming replied, "Mother, why would I deceive you? I believe it's almost the second month, and Yuxi's letter should arrive soon. Once you read the letter, you'll see that Yuxi is safe and sound."

Qiu Shi pondered for a moment and replied, "It was your Er Biao Jiumu6 who told me. She wouldn't talk nonsense."🤔

Han Jianming's eyes betrayed his disgust as he explained the whole incident to Qiu Shi. Of course, he left out the part about the dagger being poisoned.

Qiu Shi recited a prayer. "I wonder who could be so heartless as to use those pitiful children as pawns. They truly have no fear of descending into the eighteen levels of hell after death." Knowing the circumstances, Qiu Shi couldn't bring herself to say that Yuxi was reckless. After all, the safety of so many children was at stake, and it wouldn't be fair to say that Yuxi was wrong.

Han Jianming said, "Mother, it's better to have less contact with the Zhou family. They have now sided with the new Emperor, and we don't know how things will turn out in the future." Han Jianming had no particular fondness for the Zhou family, and now that they had allied themselves with the Crown Prince, he was unwilling to get too involved with them.

Qiu Shi didn't know much about Imperial Court affairs, but she trusted her son's words. "If they come again, I'll have your wife deal with them," she said. After a brief pause, Qiu Shi still couldn't help but ask worriedly, "Is Yuxi really all right?"

Han Jianming shook his head and replied, "Mother, Yuxi is *truly fine. Please don't worry."

As soon as she finished speaking, Han Gao entered and informed them, "Old Lady, my Lord, a letter from Si Gunainai8 has arrived." This letter was sent by an express courier service that could cover 800 li9 in a day.

Qiu Shi hurriedly said, "Give it to me quickly." She would know if Han Jianming had deceived her as long as she read the letter.

After opening the letter, Qiu Shi felt relieved. The handwriting on the letter was Yuxi's. Just by looking at the letter, she knew that Yuxi was fine. A person on the verge of death wouldn't be able to write such strong and powerful characters.

Han Jianming didn't believe that Yuxi would send him the letter in such a hurry, so he said something unrelated, "Mother, I have some matters to attend to."

Qiu Shi replied, "Important matters take priority; hurry and go!" Apart from worrying about Han Jianye in Yu City, Qiu Shi lived a contented life. During the mourning period, Han Jianming would come to Changle Courtyard every lunchtime and evening for meals. Although Han Jianming didn't know how to say pleasant words to make Qiu Shi happy, his mere presence was enough to bring her comfort.

Returning to the front courtyard, Han Jianming opened Yuxi's letter and followed the agreed method of deciphering the characters. He wrote down the deciphered words on a piece of white paper, and when he finished, Han Jianming stared fixedly at the written characters. After a while, he said, "Go and invite Mr Zhao over."

Mr Zhao lived nearby and arrived within three minutes. He asked, "My Lord, what did Si Gunainai8 say in her letter?"

Han Jianming replied, "Drought."

Mr Zhao didn't understand. "What does that mean?" He became speechless when he saw that Han Jianming was also shaking his head. "What kind of riddle is Si Gunainai8 playing?"

Han Jianming wondered, "Could she think there might be a drought this year?" After speaking, he shook his head. She couldn't possibly mean that. Even the Bureau of Astronomy couldn't predict such things. How could Yuxi possibly know? There must be another meaning behind it.

With this thought in mind, Han Jianming continued, "Could it be that someone has discovered our method of communication? That's why Yuxi wrote those this word on purpose?"

Mr Zhao shook his head. He couldn't be sure either.


Footnotes Full List
  1. (dialect) elderly lady
  2. addressing or referring to an empress or an imperial concubine
  3. Noble Consort
  4. wang=king, fei=consort
  5. @Ssavilin, your wish has been granted... albeit with a bit of a delay
  6. er=second, biao=family relationship via females, jiumu=wife of mother's brother.
  7. So... Grandmother's side can also use Biao?
  8. si=four/fourth, gunainai=(respectful form of address for a married woman used by members of her parents' family) married daughter
  9. a traditional unit of length, equal to 150 zhang (市丈), and equivalent to 0.5 kilometres or 0.311 miles





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16 Jul 24
🦊 : I've updated 2 new chapters for ROHYX on my Ko-fi page: Chapters 527 & 528. Those who have sponsored me some teas, you have 30 days of access to all the chapters available there. 😊