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Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang dj. – Discussing the 108 Gameplay Methods of the Name, “Hong”
As soon as the wind’s howl called out, the entire Palace was enveloped in a feeling of insecurity.
In a corner of the imperial garden, a group of maids, long finished their work, gathered and conversed about the recent news they heard.
“Grandfather Xue also said that it’s about time to choose. After all, how could our Emperor, brilliant in mind and sword, not have people in his residence?”
“If it’s true, then it’s a blessing to us sisters!”
“We are also from respectable families, so we don’t necessarily have zero chance with marrying into success like a phoenix. However…”
“What’s wrong? Caiwei, why keep us in suspense?”
“It’s just that the Emperor and the Empress remain deep in love. They have gone through wind and rain in those years, surviving side by side through battles. What do we have that would put us on the same level as the Empress? We mustn’t be silly having…” She seemed to want to continue with, “such wishful thinking.” The final words seemed too heavy, so she swallowed them back down, leaving half the sentence in midair. She changed her words to, “Don’t expect too much.”
At this remark, a silence fell on the area.
Caiwei was considered one of the most beautiful by all of the other maids. Rumours said she was a lady of a major official of Gui Le’s family. The family only fell when war strucked, undoubtedly leading to its ruin and death. It was fortunate that she was even alive although she had to assume the life of a commoner afterwards.
After the chaos of the four countries, the world settled for peace. The new Emperor Chu Beijie set the title of the country as “Ting” and the capital was renamed “Ningjing”, based on the concept “world peace”. From thereon, the four countries were one, to recover as one.
A new Palace was erected, and a group of daughters from respectable families willing to become maids entered. Caiwei was one of these.
Studying everyone’s expressions for a while, Caiwei hesitated for a moment. “In the end, my words were like a pot of cold water that has poured over and chilled your hearts. I only have one thing to say: If you must go and join in the fun, be sure not to have your hopes destroyed and your hearts broken.”
“…You can’t put it that way. From ancient history, heroes have always been with beautiful women. How do you know that the Emperor won’t fancy us?” Another fairly pretty maid protested out, no longer able to hold back her anger.
Caiwei heard this but didn’t say anything in response. She just sighed, picked up the lacquer tray lying nearby, and turned to leave.
Who doesn’t want to marry into success? Several kilograms of worry about the future would be lifted.
Caiwei didn’t think she was eligible at all and couldn’t take one step between such a stunning couple like Chu Beijie and Bai Pingting.
The Palace maids continued to discuss their own matters. Even with Caiwei gone, countless people remained with hearts full of longing.
The day was about to end again, the sun setting like silk covering down onto the ground, casting the red-gold color of evening. The water in the pond rippled slightly as the koi floated upwards to eat, shattering the golden sheet of the pool.
The thousands of varieties all melded into a few colors, their reflections imprinting on the clothes of the people beside the pond.
The grasp of the hand was released, the rest of the fish food casted down, sparking a lively competition.
Pingting looked up and gazed, her eyes glittering like quicksilver. She simply whispered, “I found some time to walk outside, that’s all, without knowing what the world is like now.”
“Naturally, beautiful landscapes of mountains and springs can be seen in any three thousand miles, while ten thousand lights of dwelling families can be seen at any residency.”
The person behind her laughed before replying to her words.
Pingting turned back to see the man standing behind her. He towered like an exquisite statue, with the power of a roaring river and the stability of the Cangshan Mountains. Chu Beijie had his hands together as he stood, enough for his elegance to shine. His eyes hid endless military strategies, while majestic mountains and rivers lie in the palm of his hand. The Chu Beijie today, to everybody else, was different from his former self ages ago, but to Pingting, he remained the heroic and courageous Duke of Zhen-Bei of the past.
When their eyes met, the two stared at each other. Pingting extended her hands and chuckled, “The world has been through a long bitter struggle, and the loss of life can’t possibly be recovered so easily. Perhaps Duke’s words are far too self-confident?”
How could there be such a person like Chu Beijie under the skies?
Usually, wouldn’t normal people shyly offer up, “Although the world is secure, there are numerous obstacles, and although business can be started easily, maintaining them are much more difficult”?
If it weren’t like that, how could Chu Beijie be called Chu Beijie?
Catching a glimpse of what seemed to be an ironic smile in the corner of Pingting’s eyes, Chu Beijie also began to laugh. He walked forwards, putting his arms around Pingting’s waist. He said, “Is Pingting laughing at how shameless I am?”
“If there were ten acts of shamelessness in the world, then Duke has committed eight. How indescribably shameless!”
She teased, covering her mouth as she smiled.
Even though she now wore dark golden thread embroidered moire gowns instead of the plain clothes of the past, Bai Pingting remained the Bai Pingting of the past. She was as sophisticated as the three-quarter moon in the sky and as refreshing as a patch of snow caught between plum blossoms.
Chu Beijie saw this and laughed helplessly. He shook his head, “You’re wrong, if there were ten acts of shamelessness in the world, then I have committed four. Pingting has committed four while the rest are divided by the world.”
“How is Pingting shameless?”
How unfair. Chu Beijie actually dared to say such words, really shocking Pingting.
She had never questioned whether she was a shameless person or not, but she didn’t know why Chu Beijie would make such an irresponsible remark today. With a few traces of humourless laughter, Pingting stared at him determinedly. The corners of her lips lifted, “If you can’t explain concisely, I’m afraid you’ll sleep outside the palace doors again.”
Chu Beijie suddenly choked. He never expected Pingting would say such a thing.
He was now the sole master of the country and a hero that all of the people admired, but to be threatened by the mistress of the country to sleep outside the palace… made Chu Beijie remember the several battles of wits against Pingting in the past, which had no real resolution.
But he also knew that this wasn’t simply a joke between husband and wife. Pingting would be painfully distressed even before he was to sleep outside the palace.
He smiled to himself as he reminiced. He spoke in an earnest manner, “We are husband and wife, and therefore we share everything together. If I, Chu Beijie, have committed eight acts of shamelessness. It’s fair to share at least one to Pingting. Not to mention…I have experienced Pingting’s shamelessness a long time ago already.”
Pingting was confused having lost the meaning of their conversation long ago.
Chu Beijie couldn’t help drag out his sigh. “Under the skies, I have only fallen in love at first sight and remain loyal to one person–Hong. She is my most beloved, do you still remember?”
Pingting could only feel a bolt of lightning striking down, causing every inch of her body to shudder. Why was this name so familiar? A sudden flash of light raged through her mind.
After the House of Jing-An ran into trouble, Pingting fled the border alone. She entered the country of Dong Lin, sold into the Hua Residence and assumed the name…
Pingting’s eyelids jumped and her lips twitched when she suddenly felt a headache.
If she remembered correctly, wasn’t that the time when she fooled Chu Beijie? Yes, she had used the alias Hong back then…
Pingting remembered, and she felt her sight dim a little. Thinking that no one would ever know about this piece of history, she had randomly chosen a name. Why would she care too much about it? It was such a perfunctory action, but now that Chu Beijie mentioned this past incident, she felt rather ashamed of herself.
“If I didn’t bang my head back then…”
Pingting couldn’t help but groan. She raised a hand to rub her temples and saw the teasing grin hanging on Chu Beijie’s lips. She was speechless.
Bai Pingting, Bai Pingting, Pingting…
Such a beautiful name, yet she hadn’t hesitated to use the alias “Hong”!
If the citizens of the world were to know the Empress Bai Pingting who they respected and loved, the woman who had once disturbed and crazed the four countries, had had such a ridiculous alias…
That scene would be quite amusing, really.
Chu Beijie was really laughing. He spoke with laughs between each word, “Hong, do you remember her?”
She didn’t want to remember it for even half a minute!
Pingting’s face couldn’t help fall. Hearing Chu Beijie’s deliberate laughter, she silently cursed herself for being too rash earlier. She shouldn’t’ve mentioned the subject of “shamelessness” for no reason as everyone knew that one shouldn’t complain about the overall picture when they themselves were sloppy with the details. Besides, if Chu Beijie felt any shame, how could he achieve so many great things? This topic should’ve been avoided, and Pingting knew that she didn’t have the skills to retort back.
Pingting only had one desire in her mind.
There were several residents of the palace standing beside the koi pond.
Chu Beijie’s laughter rang out. Occasionally there were a few courageous ones, who couldn’t help but peek at them, only to see their extremely heroic Emperor’s carefree smile, as if no one could possibly oppose him.
The only person who could oppose him…
Bai Pingting’s expression opposite him wasn’t too good at all.
This scene looked very strange for some reason…
The residents who had noticed this assessed the two. Pingting screamed in her heart, if you don’t be careful, the shame of your past will all be exposed here!
She softly coughed once, turning to threaten Chu Beijie with a glare, motioning at him to be silent.
Unexpectedly, when Chu Beijie saw this, his laughter became even more powerful. He clapped and replied, “Dear Hong…”
The more Bai Pingting heard, the more she fumed. Her snow-white jade-like ears darkened to a red.
If Chu Beijie’s laughs went on, her reputation as Bai Pingting may end up impossibly bad.
Pingting clenched her teeth secretly, making up her mind. She had to close the palace doors today so Chu Beijie would have to sleep outside, to eliminate the hatred in her heart!
As for now…
Tidying her feelings aside, Pingting pretended that nothing was wrong. She calmly replied, “The palace is busy, so Pingting will retire first.”
“Hey, does Pingting really not remember Hong?” Chu Beijie refused to let her go, hurriedly stopping her.
Pingting almost clenched her teeth to a shatter, but she mustn’t publically display this troublesome matter or she would become to laughing stock of this palace. How could she face others then?
Thoughts shifting, Pingting’s expression was very profound before clearing like the open sky.
She seemed to not care at all, just gently waved. “Why should I care about such a small matter? Pingting can’t remember what the master of the country has said.”
When she finished, she reservedly covered her laugh with her sleeve before deftly withdrawing.
Chu Beijie watched the beauty stride away. Her back was straight as if looking very honest. He didn’t know when he suddenly had a malicious thought. Clapping as he loudly laughed, “So many potential lovers to choose from numerous beauties, yet the romantic Hong was chosen to be loved. A joy to look, a joy to look. One day apart from her seems like three years instead…”
Although Pingting walked away, she had only gone a short distance hence she heard what he said. Her foot really slipped, causing her to almost fall down!
But there was another thud as Moran collided into Pingting. He had just hurried into the Palace to report, happening to collide into Pingting. She fell, feet towards the air, loudly yelping, “Ow”.
The maids beside Pingting hurriedly helped her up. Seeing her like that, they couldn’t help panick, “Empress, are you all right?”
“….I, am fine.”
Pingting leaned on a maid’s arm and steadied herself. Her face held a gentle smile as she calmly replied.
The maid support Pingting suddenly began to shuddering. Why did she feel…that the Empress’s words seemed to be squeezed through clenched teeth?
How could Bai Pingting not clench her teeth?
She looked back at Chu Beijie, only to see his face full of laughter, just waiting to see how funny she’d get!
Since become the Emperor, he was getting increasingly less serious.
Pingting was exasperated as she turned away. She suddenly had a thought in her heart.
She laughed loudly, saying to herself, that’s enough for you!
At this moment, Chu Beijie didn’t know why he felt a shiver run up his spine, as if someone had tricked him. He thought for a while, but couldn’t come up wth a solution so he turned back to Moran, “There’s no need to give me such a formal bow, since it has been only three days since I last saw you.”
Moran scrambled up from the ground, silent.
Right after entering the Palace, how could anyone stay calm after hearing such startling words from Chu Beijie especially since Moran was one of the insiders who knew Chu Beijie’s past.
What “Hong”, wasn’t she just Bai Pingting?
This alias really did have a taste hard to describe. Who could imagine that the elegantly reigning Bai Pingting had actually thought of such a…
Sigh, the thought must cause bitter tears to her.
Moran suddenly sympathised with Bai Pingting who had just left. He sighed deeply, not daring to think more on the matter. He hurriedly reported the situation of the borders.
When his task was completed, Moran retired himself. On the way out, he remembered what had happened. His face was full of laughter.
The eunuch who led the way didn’t quite understand, “Sir, why are you so happy?”
Moran laughed, “Did you hear what the Emperor just said?”
“Something like…” The eunuch’s heart suddenly thumped, “So many potential lovers to choose from numerous beauties, only Hong is loved…this…”
Weren’t the rumours that the imperial couple were deeply in love, always together, and would never turn against each other? Back then, when the four countries had established the “Ting Army” and now the “Ting Country”, where did “Hong” suddenly pop out from?
The eunuch who guessed everything remained silent, suddenly giving Moran an unprecedent sense of superiority.
He extended his hand, patting the eunuch’s shoulder. “Hehe, you don’t understand do you? If you understood, then what point is there for me to be mixed into it? Hahaha…you can puzzle over that yourself!”
On the paths of the Palace, only Moran’s exaggerated laughter could be heard.
The eunuch watched Moran as he left, before breaking into a cold sweat. Once he had cleared it away, the thought suddenly appeared again. Who is Hong?
The night was drawing in. The Palace of the Ting Country was brightly lit.
A certain piece of news had grown wings, flying through the entire Palace, determined to spread into every Palace maid’s ears. Each and every heart that loved Chu Beijie began to excite.
“Have you heard? Our Emperor is painstakingly in love with a girl called Hong, even more than the Empress too!”
“The Emperor can’t forget this Hong at all. He even said that out of all the possible beauties, he chose her, and that a day apart seems like three years instead. I heard when the Empress heard this, she was so angry that she fell! This…”
“This is our chance!”
“Sigh, the Emperor really is a heroic man. I wonder how exquisite this Miss Hong is…”
“If I were to say, this name is a bit—”
“Shh, do you want to live? Who are you, to criticise the Emperor’s favourite woman?”
The night was long, and its length was even more intolerable to the maids who wanted to marry into success.
Caiwei listened to these people’s words but had no comment to offer. She was aware of what they were thinking, but she shook her head and laughed to herself.
And so, the curtains of Chu Beijie’s “unexpected encounters” began.
That night, Chu Beijie painstakingly cheered up Bai Pingting. When he got up the next day, he kissed the beauty tucked in the blankets and dressed to go to court.
Halfway there, a maid got out from a branching path. She slipped, crying out, “Ow, my foot hurts…”
Although Chu Beijie was a full-blooded man, he never killed the innocent. His menacing atmosphere had decreased a lot, so he was much nicer than before. Even so, all he did was frown when he saw this. “Which department do you work at? To stumble on the paths at this hour.”
This was a road he had to cross to get to the courts. The hearts of these maids were really too obvious, and there were so many of them that Chu Beijie wasn’t particularly surprised.
That maid slowly got up and stepped aside, answering, “I am Hong, and I serve by Madam…”
Chu Beijie was suddenly rooted to the spot and couldn’t process the second half of her words.
When the maid saw this, she thought that she was successful. Overjoyed, she shyly lowered her head, murmuring, “Emperor, what’s wrong?”
Chu Beijie’s entire body felt uncomfortable.
He could restrain his eyes from twitching, unable to speak another word. He dearly wished to jump back into time to yesterday’s sunset and strangle himself for saying such nonsense!
Waving a hand, Chu Beijie forcefully calmed his anger. “Take her away.”
“Ah, Emperor, Emperor—”
The Palace maid had absolutely no idea where she messed up, but she was already taken away by manservants who’d come to help. She was thrown outside, mercilessly.
At that moment, her heart began to plummet. Didn’t the Emperor deeply love “Hong”?
When the cries faded into the distance, Chu Beijie rubbed his forehead, feeling unwell. Although he headed to court with great energy, he was exhausted by the time he discussed national affairs with the officials.
Moran hadn’t left after the session was finished. Seeing Chu Beijie like that, he couldn’t help feel curious. He frowned, asking the eunuch beside Chu Beijie, “What’s wrong with the Emperor?”
The eunuch saw that it was Moran who asked, so he didn’t dare hide anything and reported the morning’s incident to him in detail.
He had yet to finish before he saw Moran’s face deep in thought. He asked, “Perhaps Sir Chu knows something?”
There was a light in Moran’s eyes before abruptly looking at Chu Beijie sitting on the throne. He sighed in compassion, “As expected, it’s not easy being the sole master of a country.”
“Huh?” The eunuch didn’t understand.
Moran turned back and earnestly looked at the eunuch, saying, “With one Hong down, thousands of Hong rise! As a man of everything, why shouldn’t he find a second Hong? This will be fun to watch…”
The eunuch just thought these words were extremely strange, but Moran was a long time subordinate of the Emperor and knew him best. He asked, “I really don’t understand what’s up with this Hong person, but Sir…the harem remains empty today, and the rules are that the daughters of good families are selected into it. Shouldn’t you do something?”
“Me?” Moran’s eyebrows rose and pinpointed his eyes on the eunuch. He coldly replied, “If you dare, you can do something.”
When he finished, he strode right out, the sleeves of his clothing swishing after him, looking quite stylish.
The eunuch rubbed his chin as he stood on the same place, beginning to mumble. “If I dare, I can choose? I’m just an eunuch, how could I…oh! Sir Moran has a really good heart!”
Realisation suddenly dawned the eunuch and he finally understood it. He wiped away his cold sweat. As long as the imperial couple were living in marital harmony, what did the empty harem mean to him? If the Emperor really wanted to expand the harem, the Emperor would naturally say so himself, so what need was there for him to puzzle over?
At this thought, he completely calmed down.
The eunuch gazed at Moran’s back view. With one Hong down, thousands of Hong rise?
This Sir Moran’s words were really too difficult to understand.
He returned to Chu Beijie’s side, “Emperor, are you okay?”
Chu Beijie stood up from the throne, intelligence flickering in his eyes. He knew Pingting remained a person of great wisdom and that everything of this palace danced in her fingertips. How else could there be a Palace maid trying to seduce him like that?
In the end, this was Pingting’s “retaliation”.
Hearing the eunuch’s words, Chu Beijie shook his head and asked instead, “Who were you talking to just now?”
“Sir Chu.” The eunuch carefully peeped at Chu Beijie who indicated for him to continue, so he did. “Sir Chu asked how you were, and when he heard my reply, he answered that when one Hong falls, thousands of Hong rise…”
Suddenly, all was silent.
Who else would know that he, Chu Beijie, only loved Bai Pingting and had used the military power of the four countries for this one woman? Now that this Hong had popped out of nowhere, it couldn’t be helped that people began to dream. Perhaps numerous people who admired Chu Beijie had their hearts delighted by this “Hong” person.
Wasn’t that “when one Hong falls, thousands of Hong rise”?
Numerous scenes of women claiming to be “Hong” appeared before him. He suddenly understood the meaning and the feeling of a “living death”. Only the sky would know that no matter how many thousands of Hong were to appear, Chu Beijie only loved one person, and only that person—
Apart from Bai Pingting in this lifetime, who else could possibly stand by his side, sharing the weight of mountains and rivers?
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