The daughter of the Mu family in Changsha
Many years later, until Mu Fulan grew up, she was still unable to forget the memory of when her aunt said goodbye to her when she was about to die in Fengyi Palace at the age of six, and every word she said to herself that night.
My aunt was the most beautiful woman in Changsha. In addition to her beauty, she was also famous for her virtue and talent. Later, she was selected by the Empress dowager and entered Fengyi Palace to become the Empress of the dynasty.
This seems to be such a glorious thing.
The dynasty has been established for more than 200 years. At the beginning of the founding of the country, in addition to the royal vassal kings who were divided into various places, there were also several other men [with different surnames] who were named kings for their merits.
The ancestor of the Mu clan was one of them.
Because of his unparalleled achievements, he was awarded the king of Changsha to govern Yuezhou and Tanzhou. The Mu family also moved to the south and lived by Dongting Lake for generations.
All generations of Changsha wáng have kept in mind the teachings of their ancestors. The king is contributes to the Spring Festival; manages the state internally and is a virtuous ruler.
The country has continued to this day, though the several kings with different surnames, have been deposed or removed from the country due to various charges, while the rest are in danger.
All except Changsha.
Although the country is small, due to the diligent administration and love of the people by the previous kings of several generations, and the fact that it is located in the remote south, relying on the 800-mile Dongting and Yangtze River moat.
Not only is it far away from the disputes in the Central Plains, the state prospers and the people are at peace.
However, the mèi mèi of the beloved Changsha wàng, has been chosen by the royal family, who is far away in Shangjing, to enter the middle palace.
What a glorious and proud thing this is for the people of Changsha.
Gūgū left Yuecheng by Dongting Lake, and Fulan was born the year after she was sent to Shangjing.
She has heard more than once from the elder wet nurse in the family that she looked a lot like her gūgū. While speaking about the grand occasion of wàng mèi, everyone’s face still has the pride brought by the glory of that day.
Although gūgū has not seen xiǎo Fulan yet, she probably heard about this little niece who looks like her, and she has always been very attentive to Fulan.
Ever since she was born, she has received continuous gifts from the capital. Xiǎo Fulan was also full of longing for the legendary huánghòu gūgū who was far away in Shangjing Palace, and she looked forward to seeing her gūgū’s face.
She often prayed devoutly to Emperor Junshan and made a secret wish.
The gods seemed to hear her request.
At the age of six, her wish finally came true.
That year, the empress was pregnant, and so Changsha wàng and his wife were allowed to enter Beijing in order to congratulate them.
Fulan along with her elder brother were taken with their parents, traveled through mountains and rivers, and walked on the road for nearly a month to finally arrive in Shangjing.
Fulan originally thought that Yuecheng, where she grew up, was the most prosperous city in the world. Her home by Dongting Lake, which is called the “Royal Palace” by the people of Changsha, is the best place in the world.
It was not until she came to Shangjing and saw the prosperity of the capital of the emperor, and saw the “Imperial Palace” where her gūgū lived, Fulan was aware of how ignorant she was.
The imperial palace in front of you, with the high eaves, is endless, and it is impossible to see the end at a glance.
The vast hectares of colored glass, jade steps, red halls. I can’t say enough about the radiance.
Fengyi Palace where gūgū is located is even more so carved with jade and gold.
In a dazzling gilded landscape that captivated people’s eyes, Fulan saw her gūgū, the most honorable woman in the palace.
Gūgū was dressed like a heavenly immortal. With a smile on her face, despite Fulan’s mother’s dissuasion, she let the xiǎo Fulan sit on her lap and placed a warm kiss on her cheek.
Gūgū and Fulan looked exactly alike.
Gūgū was fond Fulan, and Fulan was also fond of her aunt. Later, when her parents brought her brother back to Changsha, Fulan was left behind and continued to accompany gūgū in the palace.
While Fulan was attending to her aunt, her aunt’s belly was getting bigger every day, and it was finally time to give birth.
What Fulan didn’t expect was that her aunt had a difficult childbirth and was dying of blood loss.
The prince, not long after he was born, did not survive.
My aunt was lying on the phoenix bed in Fengyi Palace and had been in a coma for three or four days.
In the past three or four days, Fulan prayed to Emperor Junshan in his hometown Dongting all the time, and prayed to the gods to bless her aunt so that she could get through this difficult time safely.
Emperor Junshan, in the eyes of xiao Fulan, is the most capable and merciful deity between heaven and earth.
Every year on the spring equinox, her parents will prepare five animals, bring Fu Lan and elder brother, as well as officials of Changsha State, abandon the carriage, walk reverently, climb to the top of the mountain from the foot of the mountain, and worship the Emperor Junshan.
It is with the blessing of the gods that the country of Changsha can enjoy good weather and abundant crops.
It was also because of the gods, that she was able to come to the capital and meet her aunt.
However, this time, the Emperor Junshan no longer listened to her prayers.
In the middle of the night, tired of crying, she, who was sleeping beside her aunt, suddenly woke up.
To her ears, there seemed to be a song coming from somewhere in the palace.
“…There is Kunming in the southwest, and the sea comes out to cough up golden birds… The pearls have turtle brains, and spits gold fragments like millet…”
TL: I have no idea what this part means.
Or the legend.
“…If you don’t accept Bihanjin, how can you get the emperor’s heart… If you don’t accept Bihantian, how can you get the emperor’s pity…”
Xiao Fulan didn’t understand the meaning of the song she heard at the time. Afterwards, when she grew up, she was able to understand clearly.
Legend has it that there is a golden bird in Kunming, flying in the distant sea.
During the reign of Emperor Wei Ming, his country came to offer birds and fed them with pearl tortoise brains.
The emperor stopped, pity and love. The people of the palace competed to use the gold vomited by the birds as hairpins. It is called cold gold, because birds are not afraid of cold.
The hall is heavy, the singing is erratic, accompanied by the swaying candles that are suddenly blown by the night wind, the resentment seems to come from the underworld, and in the late night of this silent palace, it is extremely terrifying.
During the six months that she lived in the palace, Fulan had also heard the palace maid tell her centuries of ghost spirits lingering in a place they could not see, called the Cold Palace.
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, the palace servants can even hear grumbling in that direction.
Fulan didn’t believe it.
How could there be resentment in such a bright and upright place as the palace.
But at this moment, she was horrified to find that a strange singing sound really seemed to float into her ears.
What frightened her even more were the palace maids who were on night duty beside her.
They didn’t respond at all. Possibly because of extreme tiredness, secretly napped against the pillar, or in front of the phoenix couch, weeping and guarding Empress Mu who was still unconscious at this moment.
The chorus of discontent, seems to linger.
At this moment, Fu Lan saw her gugu, who had been in a coma for several days, eyelashes tremble slightly and slowly opened her eyes.
Gūgū woke up, staring blankly at the satin tent above her head embroidered with phoenix peony.
After a while, Fulan saw her lips slightly pursed, and murmured something.
Her voice was so weak that it was almost inaudible, but Fulan could see it, her lips were repeating the erratic song just now.
If you don’t accept Bihanjin, you won’t get the emperor’s heart; if you don’t accept Bihantian, you won’t get the emperor’s pity.
Fu Lan called out, and before jumping to phoenix bed, she grabbed her aunt’s hand, tears in her eyes, somewhat surprised.
The nearby palace maids were alarmed and gathered around them one after another.
Gūgū’s face was as white as when a layer of snow had fallen on the top of Junshan Mountain.
After a while, she turned her face slowly, her cold fingers gently rested on Fulan’s little hand, and with a faint voice, ordered everyone around to go out.
The palace maids silently exited the inner hall.
The ethereal singing in my ears came and went without a trace.
Not a sound was heard.
Gūgū said softly, “Lan’er, sing the song when your father climbs the mountain to offer sacrifice to the harvest year, and our people in Changsha sings…”
“Gūgū hasn’t listened to it for many years.
I want to hear it…”
Fulan hurriedly wiped her tears away. She nodded her head vigorously, and sang the song she was all too familiar with: “Emperor Yi, his wisdom is like a god.
Heaven, all four seasons, prosperous harvest.”
The girl’s voice filled the empty and deep palace of Fengyi Palace, tender and ethereal, like the sound of heaven.
The corners of my aunt’s lips slowly turned up slightly.
Fulan sang it over and over, finishing this ballad and singing another for her aunt.
Gūgū listened intently at first, but slowly, as if tired, she closed her eyes.
After a while, Fu Lan heard her mumbling: “… Prime Minister Yuan, is he alright…”
Fulan was stunned and stopped.
She had heard her mother say to herself in a nostalgic tone that Prime Minister Yuan of Changsha was the right-hand man of her father, but he had fallen ill a few years ago.
Prime Minister Yuan never married, leaving only a adopted son who is said to have been picked up in a wolf’s den in the deep mountains during his early years, named Han Ding. After the prime minister died, my mother took the child to the palace to raise him as if he were her own. He was a few years older than Fulan, and he was obedient to Fulan, just like another brother of Fulan.
“Gūgū… Prime Minister Yuan… He’s already ill…”
Fulan didn’t understand why gūgū suddenly asked about Prime Minister Yuan, she hesitated, and answered in a low voice.
Gūgū didn’t move, her eyelashes suddenly trembled again, and she slowly opened her eyes, as if she had woken up again.
“…Yes, he’s gone…I forgot…”
She muttered to herself in a barely audible voice.
“Gūgū! Get up!”
An ominous feeling, like a tide, engulfed xiao Fulan.
She was lying on the side, her little hand tightly holding her gūgū’s soft and clammy hand, crying and calling her constantly.
Gūgū raised a hand with difficulty, and gently wiped the tears that kept rolling down her face with her fingertips.
She stared at her with beautiful eyes and said in a low voice, “They all say that gūgū is the number one beauty in Changsha.
But gūgū knew it at the first glance when she saw you, when Lan’er grows up in the future, she will truly be a true beauty in our Changsha.”
She smiled and said word by word: “Lan’er, you In this lifetime, you will definitely be luckier than gūgū.
Gūgū will pray for you and protect you.”
She held Fulan’s hand firmly.
It seems that only in this way can I convey the wishes of my heart to God.
Behind her, the palace maid hurried in with the imperial physician.
After all, gūgū still had to go, and she didn’t want Fulan to see her dying.
Later, someone forcibly took away the crying Fulan.
When it was dawn, Fu Lan heard from the palace maid that the Empress passed away, and she went very peacefully, as if she had just fallen asleep.
It’s been ten years.
Perhaps, far more than ten years.
After so many years, time has passed like this.
She is no longer the little girl who sang to her aunt back then.
But that night, every word that my aunt said to her, Fulan still remembers it, and it is vivid in her ears.
However, her gūgū’s good wishes on her deathbed were ultimately in vain.
There was a saying at the time that the daughters of the Mu family in Changsha, each generation must have a stunning appearance.
Unparalleled beauty, but ill-fated and with an unhappy death.
This may be the fate of the Mu family’s daughter.
From Dongting into the Yangtze River, along the river against the current westward, crossing Jiangling, Xiazhou, Guizhou, passing through Badong, passing Wushan, next to the difficult Shu Road, is Kuizhou, there is an ancient county under the state, it is said that the earliest county records can be traced back At the beginning of the founding of this dynasty, a group of people with the surname of Xie from the previous dynasty moved to this place to avoid disaster, and they slowly multiplied and lived together.
Today, the county still has many people with the surname of Xie, and it is named Xie County.
The morning light gradually illuminated the scene of the house through an old window that was covered with window paper and carved with patterns.
In the main hall of the Xie family’s ancestral house, on this day, Xie’s mother, Shen shi, sat cross-legged beside the bed as usual, waiting for her daughter-in-law Mu Fulan to come and give her morning greetings. Then she can put on her shoes and comb her hair and the day starts.
Mu shi is the daughter of the Changsha wang who passed away three years ago, and is the sister of the current Changsha wang.
To marry into her husband’s family, regardless of her original status, it is necessary to greet her sooner or later.
This is the daughter-in-law’s filial piety to her mother-in-law.
However every day she puts on shoes and combs her hair for her mother-in-law.
As a daughter of the Mu family, it is inevitable that she is to feel wronged.
In the beginning, when the new daughter-in-law took the initiative to serve herself and do these things, Shen shi was surprised and a little uncomfortable.
But now, it has been more than half a year since Mu shi has come through the door.
She is gentle, graceful, respectful and considerate.
She was not arrogant at all.
Xie mu has become accustomed to it and to go so far as to expect it.
Shen shi was used to getting up early, and her new daughter-in-law followed her.
She is always waiting outside the hall at dawn. Seeing that it’s already past the time and Mu shi has not yet appeared.
The east wing instead sent a girl, saying that the madam got up a little late this morning.
Apologising to the old lady, and will come to give greetings later, In her heart, she became uneasy, and her brows gradually frowned.
On the side, Qiu Ju, the maid who came to serve her from Qi’s house a few years ago.
Her real name is Qiu Lan, she is a bit pretty, and to avoid having the same name as the mistress, she changed it to Qiu Ju.
She observed her, and whispered: ” Old lady, it’s not that nubi is talkative.
Although the lady is married from Changsha Kingdom, it is not what it used to be.
Three years ago, when she first got engaged, the Changsha Kingdom was okay.
But since the old Changsha wang is gone, Changsha has been in decline. Our lord has has been on the rise the past few years.
It is said that at the beginning of the year, when he married her, he was named the governor of Hexi by the court.
Nubi heard that even when the current Empress Liu, sees our lord she will have to smile and say a few good words.
When the lord succeeds in quelling the rebellion this time, he will be even more indispensable.”
Xie mu showed a smile on her face.
“Old madam, you treat madam as your own, and you feel bad that it is not easy for her to marry far away, it is better than a daughter.
She has only been married here for a few days, but there is no old madam in her eyes.
Letting the old madam wait!”
She put the tip of her tongue against the roof of her mouth, slapped it deftly, and made a crisp “tsk” sound.
“Nubi only knows that it’s only right for the daughter-in-law to serve the mother-in-law, it’s the first time I saw the mother-in-law wait for the daughter-in-law to show her face because of her mother’s family.”
The smile on Shen shi’s face disappeared, and her face became a little unhappy, and said: “You go.
Look over there and see what’s going on.
The sun is behind her spine, could it be that she hasn’t gotten up yet”
Qiu Ju responded crisply, and the strode through the corridor and quickly came to the east wing.
The ancestors of the Xie family are the direct descendants of the Xie family who moved here in the previous dynasty. At the time of Emperor Gaozu, he was a local magnate, it is no exaggeration to say that there are thousands of acres of fertile land, accounting for almost half of the land in Xie County. This ancestral home was once one of the most impressive mansions in the county. But his great-grandfather was addicted to gambling and the Xie family began to lose. By the time of Xie Changgeng’s father, Xie’s father had a local government job in the county, relying on a meagre salary to support his family. After Xie Changgeng committed a crime and left home at the age of fourteen, the Xie family’s ancestral house was deserted. It was not until a few years ago that the Xie family regained momentum and Shen shi moved back and the house was repaired. The east wing was rebuilt when Xie Changgeng married Mu shi at the beginning of the year.
Xie Changgeng married the princess of the Mu family in Changsha in the early spring.
More than half a year has passed and it is now autumn.
Although the red letters of double happiness are still attached on the doors and windows, it cannot withstand the sun.
The original great red colour has gradually faded into a bleak, dull colour.
“Mu mama, the old lady got up early in the morning, waited and waited.
She sent me here to take a look.
If the madam has a headache, please tell me, mama, and I will go back and tell the old madam to no longer wait.”
Qiu Ju stood at the corner of the veranda leading to the east wing, and said this to Mu mama who was at the door, her tone sounded respectful, but in fact it implied disrespect.
The princess traveled through mountains and rivers, fulfilling her contract and marrying far away in this bitter land of Badong.
On the night of the wedding, Xie Changgeng entered the bridal chamber, and was summoned by the imperial court’s urgent edict, has not returned yet.
In the past half a year, I have seen with my own eyes the princess who used to be doted on at home to serve Xie mu in the morning and evening.
This Xie mu, if it is a well-informed and considerate person, that’s all, but a person with shallow eyes. Seeing that the princess was submissive and soft, used her sons’ background to take advantage of the situation.
She felt at ease and increasingly did not attach importance to the princess.
Mu mama knew that the princess had a heart and was firmly bound to Xie Jialangjun, so she loved everyone connected to him and was willing to suffer grievances. Although her heart was bitter, it was related to the relationship between her and Xie Jialangjun and it was difficult to say some things clearly.
On some days, I can only raise some secrets in front of the princess.
However seeing that she didn’t mind, I could only bear my anger.
For more than half a year, the princess has woken up early every day, rain or shine.
Some days, she would wait in front of the main house early for the door to open in the morning to go in to serve.
On this day, the princess didn’t get up for some reason, so she feared that Xie Mu would wait and sent someone to deliver the message.
Not even a single cup of tea later and she has come to rush. Not only that, but even this humble servant from the Qi family dared to come here to speak like this.
If this was when she was younger, Mu mama would have slapped her away sooner.
Several maids waiting at the door to serve the princess all had scornful expressions on their faces.
Zhu yu, with the most violent temperament could no longer bear the anger, and said coldly: “In the early morning, he cursed my Weng Master.
What is a mud pig and a dog, today I gained the knowledge.”
Qiu Ju choked, her face Immediately reddened and just about to speak to save face, Mu mama said, “It’s our fault to ask the old lady to wait for a long time, but we have already sent someone to send word, so it’s not out of order.
Even in the imperial court, the emperor allows his ministers to take leave, let alone a family of mother-in-law and daughter-in-law”
After she finished speaking, she turned her face and instructed another maid, Dan Zhu, who was more prudent: “You go and convey my words to the old lady, and apologise to her.
I think the old lady won’t care about such a trivial matter.”
Dan Zhu agreed and turned to leave.
Qiu Ju was a little bit afraid of Mu mama from Changsha.
When she speaks like that, she stares at her in the eyes.
She dared not speak again.
She swallowed, looked down, turned around and was about the return when she heard a squeak from the east wing.
With her eyes raised, the door opened and Mu shi appeared in the doorway.
Her face was pale, her beautiful eyes were slightly red and swollen, but her expression was extremely calm.
It is clearly the same person, but for some reason, the appearance looks different from yesterday.
Her two eyes fell straight onto Qiu Ju.
Go and tell my mother-in-law that I’m leaving for my hometown today.
I will go to my mother-in-law’s place to say goodbye after I have packed my clothes.”
After saying that, she turned to the shocked Mu mama and the maids outside the door.
“Pack up as soon as possible, prepare the carriage and arrange the manpower, and get on the road today, I’ll go back to Dongting.”
She finished instructing and turned around to return to the house.
Mu mama woke up like a dream, hurriedly took a step and followed her in.
That took a lot longer than I expected.