Chapter 16: Did You Think of A Miracle? (7)

When An Fei woke up, light blue curtains were the first sight to greet her eyes.

Craning her head to find herself covered underneath a cotton blanket, the girl blinked her eyes twice before slumping back into the safety and warmth of the blanket.

With the soft scratching of brush on paper audible from the other side of the curtain, it seemed that she had returned to the study once again. An Fei lay on the bed in a haze for a few moments, before bolting upright in a frenzied rush.

“Fei’er, you’re awake?”

A relaxed and leisurely voice sounded, the rustling of cloth soon following.

Smooth footsteps drumming on the wooden floor, the speaker approached the bed to part one side of the curtains, poking his head in to gaze at the girl. Looking at the dazed An Fei with befuddlement evident in her insipid gaze, Wei Xuan revealed a small smile before reaching forward to clasp one of her hands in a soft but firm grasp.

It was a pity that the girl wasn’t of the right mind to complain about the indulgent gaze on Second Uncle’s countenance.

Otherwise, she would have silently and bitterly ripped that smiling face in half in her thoughts. Even when Wei Xuan extended both hands to pinch and pull at her cheeks, the girl forgot to respond.

She was far too preoccupied with the events that transpired in that mysterious crystal throne room.

“…did it actually happen? Or was it an illusion?”

“Huh? Fei’er, did you say something?”

A barely perceptible whisper touched Wei Xuan’s ears, and the minister leaned in with great panic and excitement.

Aiming his ear towards the girl’s lips, the overexcited father could only withdraw with great despondence after hearing nothing for several moments. Wrinkling his brow, the minister lightly patted the girl’s head, before stepping back from the curtain.

“…my daughter, Father will be back in a few hours for the morning court. Xifeng will come in a while to give you breakfast.”

Quickly slipping into his court robe, Wei Xuan then departed from the study with conflicting emotions, his steps sometimes light, sometimes heavy.

When the study doors had slid shut, An Fei abruptly blinked her eyes, vigorously shaking her head as clarity gradually returned. With a frown touching her countenance, the girl leaned back onto the linen bed as she sorted through her memories.

Occasionally, she would puff a cheek with air, a disapproving look on her face.

“Minister Wei, do you have anything in your defense?”

The emperor scowled, thrusting a memorial at the kneeling Wei Xuan’s feet. The surrounding ministers all whispered to one another, several pointing at the kneeling minister.

“Is that the first mistake made by Fellow Wei?”

“No doubt about it, the emperor’s seriously pissed off as well. Didn’t you hear? Yesterday afternoon, Fellow Wei broke three consecutive legislations of Jiang’an for the management of cultivation and martial arts. Violating any one of them is a serious crime, not to mention he broke all three!”

“But…they said he did it for his daughter…if the emperor actually dares find fault with the minister now, wouldn’t he be…criticized by the public?”

“Quiet, quiet! The emperor looks like he’s about to talk. Let’s not anger His Majesty any further…”

Ignoring the various gossip from the officials, Wei Xuan had a peaceful smile on his handsome countenance as he maintained his kneeling position.

Taking a light breath to ponder on a matter for several seconds, the minister deepened his smile as he lowered his head into a kowtow.

“Responding to His Imperial Majesty,” he spoke with a respectful tone.

“This official was overcome with tragic news regarding his family, and could only rush with the greatest haste to check on the manor. After all, Your Imperial Majesty is aware of my fourth daughter’s circumstance…this official was truly helpless and couldn’t restrain himself from breaking a few-“

“So what if I am aware!!” the emperor roared, swatting a jade teacup to the ground.

Watching it break into countless fragments and yet finding himself unable to appease his anger, the emperor speechlessly pointed at the kneeling Wei Xuan. With both anger and admiration for the minister bearing down on his mind, the emperor opened his mouth to berate the smiling Wei Xuan, but all that escaped was more attuned with a child’s bitter whine.

“You-you…you’re an esteemed official for heaven’s sake! Even if your daughter might have suffered a grievous injury from the fire, an official’s dignity-no, Yong’s dignity should be maintained in all circumstances!” The emperor complained.

“I even sent you Imperial Physician Feng Tian Mu to look after that pitiable girl! And you-you won’t even let this emperor scold you a little bit!?”

“By all means, Your Imperial Majesty,” Wei Xuan bowed low, before speaking with a confident, accepting, and arrogant smirk.

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“This minister awaits His Imperial Majesty’s advice and punishments with great willingness.”

The emperor gaped in astonishment, his mouth open as his jaw refused to close. Finally, under the amused glance of the two hundred and ninety-nine standing officials and one kneeling minister, a resigned statement finally escaped the ruling emperor of Great Yong’s lips.

“I can’t even criticize you because of the traditions of caring for one’s family, nor can I criticize you since it was a true emergency, not an angry remark towards one’s superiors…No law, be it military or literary, can even be used…very good, Minister Wei! You aren’t playing this game of Imperial Court very fairly, are you, ah!?”

“This official truly doesn’t dare,” Wei Xuan quickly ascertained with a bow.

“The Imperial Court is a place that can determine the lives of officials and citizens. It is not a game of which this minister can partake in, hence this one begs for Your Majesty’s forgiveness!”

“What forgiveness!?” the emperor shouted, his finger spanning over the entire group of officials in his anger.

“I can’t even criticize you, then what’s the point of being emperor? You take over this seat then, this emperor will truly give it to you, ah! As long as you promise me this one thing, to manage that tigress of a wife!”

“Huh?” Wei Xuan blankly repeated, before extending a finger to dig into his ear.

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“This minister didn’t hear properly. Your Imperial Majesty, can you repeat that once more?”

You-!”

“Hahaha!”

The various officials all burst into laughter upon seeing Wei Xuan reveal a helpless and confused expression, the eunuchs attempting to hide their smile under their sleeves. The emperor showered everyone with a angry glare, the veins bulging on his face as he discovered that the traditional bout of anger was no longer capable of quelling the ministers’ laughter.

Feeling entirely discomfited, he slumped into the golden throne, a sudden thought emboldening his mind.

“Minister Wei, hear the Imperial decree.”

“This minister obeys!” Rising from his kneeling position, Wei Xuan bowed deeply, his previously amused expression replaced with a solemn one.

“Third-Ranking Defense Minister Wei Xuan,” the emperor smirked, his expression quickly morphing into that of gloating.

“This emperor has successfully been enraged by you. Hence, your reward this time is thus: the Fourth Daughter of the Wei Manor shall become Huan’er’s cefei. After all, she is quite the beauty; she would be a perfect match with my Huan’er.”

“Thanking…ah?”

This, time, it was Wei Xuan who paused in the midst of the customary bow of accepting the verbal edict, a look of disbelief on his face.

As the minister gaped at the emperor, his right eyelid twitching, he found himself gazing into a countenance full of amusement and smugness.

“What’s wrong?” the emperor cajoled. “Minister Wei, why don’t you accept the verbal decree?”

“Accept? What accept!?” The minister exploded, his countenance instantly reddening from rage.

“Your Imperial Majesty, you-you-you dare force my daughter into a marriage with-with that Prince Huan? The Prince Huan who is known in the entirety of Great Yong for his reputation of traversing through the flowing springs and flowers, appreciating every flower amongst his path!?”

“That’s right, ah. That Eighth Prince of mine. What, you don’t dare accept it, our little Wei?”

Wei Xuan shivered, his gaze growing fierce by the second. Rising from his kneeling position, a silver light began to ripple on his body.

“Your Imperial Majesty,” the minister enunciated each word as he balled his fists, wrath embroiled in his speech.

“If you dare order an edict marrying my Fei’er to that man, this minister will never forgive. Never forgive!”

“You ah, violating Jiang’an’s regulations once again!” the emperor screeched.

“Have you lost all respect for the law!?”

“Until His Imperial Majesty rescinds the edict, this minister must admit that he has lost respect in the law!”

Faced with Wei Xuan’s forceful declaration, the emperor froze for a moment, before a deep scarlet glow arose from his body.

With a resounding clap of thunder, the emperor and minister collided palms in the center of the Imperial Court, the adornments and jade decorations shattered to pieces from the blast.

The surrounding officials and eunuchs spectated the minister and emperor brawl with great interest, each clamping tightly over their official caps as their eyes glinted with amusement.

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