"The two of you must have plenty of things to say to each other. Take your time to chat. This prince won't bother you." Zhao Zhe was smiling as he walked out.
The two siblings bowed as Zhangjun Prince left. Once they were alone, Nie Qingyun grabbed Ji Man and said with a furrowed brow, "Did you know that after you left, Errong was so worried about you that she couldn't sleep well for a long time? She almost miscarried!"
Shocked, Ji Man hurriedly asked, "Is she okay?"
"Errong and the child are doing well. She wanted to come here too, but the child couldn't part with her, so she's staying in Jing Province to care for him." Nie Qingyun let out a long sigh. Seeing his younger sister's face, which had become considerably haggard, he said in a hollowed voice, "I should be the one getting revenge for our family. You don't have to take part in this."
Ji Man grinned at him. "Older brother and father have treated me so well, I can't just stand by and do nothing. So what if I'm a woman? A woman is still a person. Why can't a woman get revenge for her family?"
"You..." Nie Qingyun sighed. Furrowing his brow, he asked, "Do you still like Marquis Moyu that much?"
Ji Man froze in surprise. She wasn't sure how to reply.
From Nie Qingyun's perspective, Nie Sangyu was madly in love with Ning Yuxuan. Nie Sangyu had shared all sorts of her lush feelings to her older brother, ah. But, right now, Nie Qingyun wasn't aware of Marquis Moyu's plans. He thought that Marquis Moyu still wanted to help the emperor maintain his power. Since they were at opposing sides, how could he possibly support their relationship?
Ji Man thought it over before answering, "Older brother, you don't have to worry about me. Let things remained as they are."
Nie Qingyun thought she was torn by two difficult choices, so he didn't question her further. Instead, he asked her how she had been doing during that past two years as well as mentioning stuff about Jing Province.
After that, someone came to report, "The commoners in the capital are rioting. Several thousands of commonfolk have gathered at the capital's gate requesting to be let out of the capital." the person's voice was loud enough that half of the military camp had overheard his words.
Nie Qingyun froze in surprise for a moment. Parting the tent flap, he went outside with Ji Man.
Zhao Zhe was standing outside. He calmly issued the commanded, "Attack the capital!"
"Yes!" roared the soldiers.
Zhao Zhe would personally lead the army. As he was mounting the horse, he turned back to look at Ji Man and asked, "Want to come along to look?"
Nie Qingyun furrowed his brow. "Your Highness, it's dangerous on the battlefield."
"That's okay, this prince will protect her." Zhao Zhe ordered someone to lead over a horse. He grinned as he looked at Ji Man and said, “Come on, this prince will take you to see the how this country will change hands."
Ji Man was slightly stunned. From nearby, Shen Youqing's tent flap was slightly opened.
The soldiers were rowdily heckling, so Ji Man could only put on a brave face and mounted the horse. "Thank you, Your Highness."
"Make sure to follow me closely." Zhao Zhe smiled at her, then raise his sword to the sky and shouted, "Charge!"
Hearing the rising chorus of voices, Ji Man desperately held onto the reins. She was scared that the horse would fling her off. Fortunately, this horse was relatively docile, and Zhao Zhe wasn't going too fast.
When the billowing clouds of dusts had settled, she had disappeared from the military camp with the army.
"Your Highness," a servant girl quietly called out to Shen Youqing, who was standing by the entrance of the tent.
Shen Youqing turned her head back and said with her eyes lowered. "Never mind, let's take off my hair accessories."
The rioting common people were a godsend golden opportunity for Zhangjun's army to break into the capital. Sure enough, having control over the grain supply was the same as having a chokehold on the capital. The families of officials could stave off starvation because they had their own supply of grain, but it was different for the commoners. The common people didn't care who the emperor was. They only cared about having enough food to eat.
Zhao Zhe had personally led the army this time because he had determined that his army would break through the capital's gate today.
Shen Youqing had been by his side since he had been a crown prince as his princess consort. And so, she thought that they would be able to share this moment of glory together. Her hair had been done up in a style that was befitting an empress, and she had on a golden xiapi.
(T/N: Below is a picture of a golden xiapi.)
Ch 413 - xiapi.png
However, he pulled another woman onto the horse.
Back then, Shen Youqing hadn't been able to understand why Zhao Zhe would allow a rice merchant to enter his household and become one of his advisors, or why he had been willing to so simply lend Zhangjun's grain to that person. She had felt even more confused on why Zhao Zhe had been so happy when he heard that person was coming back to Zhangjun.
Shen Youqing had felt puzzled right until that moment when that person took off the mask, then she finally understood everything.
Zhao Zhe had once jokingly said to Nie Sangyu, "If I become emperor, I would want a woman like you as my empress."
Zhao Zhe had said plenty of things in jest before, but this was the only thing that she brooded over. When she had first heard these words from her personal servant, she had stared blankly at her in response.
(T/N: Zhao Zhe's original wording was, “Nie Sangyu, you’re truly a woman that’s suitable to be the empress." in chapter 99. It was a conversation between him and Nie Sangyu/Ji Man, which was eavesdropped by Ning Mingjie and Shen Youqing's servant.)
So, she had remembered Nie Sangyu's name.
Was her worry going to become reality? Her greatest fear was that he would arrogantly smile as he embraced a new woman after taking over the throne. She had already given her best years to him.
Her fingers slightly tightened up. Shen Youqing tried to calm herself down. She had to remain calm. She was someone that weathered through countless women. How could she possibly lose to a divorced woman that had already been thrown away once?
Ji Man repeatedly sneezed while riding the horse. Fortunately, the surrounding sounds of the horses’ hooves were very loud, so no one noticed. This stretch of road to the capital was desolate and uninhabited, but when they got near the capital's gate, they could hear the bellowing voices of the people. It sounded like a cauldron that was boiling over.
"Let us out!" The shouts of thousands of people became increasingly loud. It sounded as if they were going to crash the capital's gate at any moment.