Chapter 25: One Hundred Floggings
The King looked at Lóng Wei, who had never bowed this way before him, not even when he was sent to the cold palace many times. He always accepted the punishment without any request, but today he was begging for someone elses life.
How could his son fall in love with a palace maid whom he had no interaction with She only touched his hand in concern, and he fell in love with her!
The King could not either ignore what the old monk and his queen said. No one would marry Lóng Wei. If the King forced any official, or minister to give his daughters hand in marriage, Lóng Wei might rebel and would not hesitate to kill the woman. It was a major problem.
Yuzes words that what if heaven decided it for Lóng Wei, had also forced the King if his son was destined to marry a palace maid.
His son was already a weak Prince. Lóng Wei had no support from his mothers side, who was the daughter of a low-rank official.
After Lóng Wei killed his mother, his maternal side called him a beast and broke every relationship with him. Lóng Wei himself tarnished his image to an extent that even the people hated him, let alone the ministers.
None of his children ever favored Lóng Wei, so he wasnt even sure what they would do to Lóng Wei after he passed away.
The King was in a dilemma. He had thought if he would punish Li Hua, Lóng Wei would apologize since he specially asked the King to transfer her to him. Jingfei was also irked because Lóng Wei was taking a stand for a palace maid. Therefore in the Kings eyes, punishing Li Hua was the best.
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If he forcibly made his son marry a woman from a noble class, then she would definitely die. But if he allowed him to marry Li Hua, then things would not be in his favor. He looked at Monk Yuze, who looked calm to him. So, he decided to have a discussion with him.
Qiu Zedong settled on his seat while everyone looked at him in curiosity. The decision that everyone was waiting for. Qiu Mu had no problem if Lóng Wei married Li Hua. He would become a laughing stock and be humiliated only.
Except for the Crown Prince, no one was bothered about who Lóng Wei would marry.
“Your Majesty, whats your decision” Zhu Liling asked, who sat beside him.
Qiu Zedong frowned to see Lóng Wei was still in a kneeling position.
“I will discuss with Monk Yuze first about the Sixth Princes marriage. However, Li Hua will be punished for the mistakes of Lóng Wei. If she had not started it, it would not have happened,” Qiu Zedong announced his decision.
“Royal Father, I would like to say something,” Xiaoming thought to convince his father.
“I dont want to hear from anyone. It is the Kings decision. Whoever will raise his voice will be punished, along with her,” Qiu Zedong stated.
Lóng Wei stood up and clenched his fists together. “I challenge His Majestys decision. Jingfei stepped on Li Huas foot. She did wrong. His Majesty must have punished your daughter as well. She called her a whore. Is this the way the royal children are taught Is this the way the First Princess is taught Justice shall prevail both ways, Your Majesty,” Lóng Wei stated, with a glare.
“Is the Sixth Prince pointing a finger at my teachings” Zhu Liling clutched her hand on the bolster.
“The Sixth Prince has himself not learned manners. At least, we are respectful to him. I dont think that the First Sister did anything wrong,” Qiu Tianjie asserted and looked in the direction of Lóng Wei.
“I never pointed a finger at anyones character, Third Prince. I might be rude, but I never involved anyones character in my conversation,” Lóng Wei reminded him. “You all forget that respect is earned, not begged,” he pronounced, gazing into the eyes of his father.
Yuze had not imagined that Lóng Wei would go this extreme for Li Hua. He decided to intervene.
“Your Majesty, while I came to the palace, I found a few palace maids and servants gossiping about yesterdays matter. They all think that the Sixth Prince is at fault. The ministers must have known about it now. They will also think that the King did an injustice. In my opinion, the King must punish his son instead of this palace maid because hes the one who made mistakes. That is the utmost justice in my eyes,” Yuze affirmed.
Qiu Mu was startled to hear that Yuze asked the King to punish Lóng Wei. He smiled internally.
“I also agree with Monk Yuzes words,” Xiaoming said and tilted his head to look at Lóng Wei. “The one who made mistake, must be punished,” he affirmed.
Qiu Zedong agreed with Monk Yuze and told Gao Bing to take Lóng Wei for the floggings.
“No less than a hundred floggings,” he instructed Gao Bing, who bowed before him and left with Lóng Wei.
Qiu Zedong didnt feel like drinking tea and asked everyone to be dismissed. The Queen stood up first and bowed before leaving the hall, followed by the others.
“What did Monk Yuze mean by its what heaven wants” Qiu Zedong asked.
“Did the King ever notice Prince Lóng Wei standing for anyone” Yuze proposed.
“That is strange, Monk Yuze. I neglected his every fault but marrying a servant, I can never accept,” Qiu Zedong was adamant about not letting his son marry Li Hua.
“The King has forgotten my prophecy for Prince Lóng Wei. He is supposed to make this Kingdom prosperous, but with the help of a woman. The dragon has his bride chosen at the time of birth. The birthmark on Prince Lóng Weis body isnt a normal one. Let the Sixth Prince marry Li Hua, Your Majesty,” Yuze advised Qiu Zedong, who furrowed his brows together.
“If the King thinks that Prince Lóng Wei will have no one to support, then he is wrong. He is destined to rule over the vast lands of the Qiu Kingdom, and he will make it. He has his ways to make impossible things possible, Your Majesty,” Yuze made the King understand.
“Monk Yuze, I also want my son to change into a good person. But his acts make me worry. It has not even been two days for him in the palace, and he created such a mess here. As a Prince, he is not supposed to take a stand for a palace maid. He never did it,” Qiu Zedong was still upset about Lóng Wei standing for Li Hua.
“Prince Lóng Wei never stood for anyone. Thats what makes it more intriguing. The King must think who could be this woman, which made his youngest son behave the other way,” Yuze suggested to Qiu Zedong, who contemplated the old monks words.
Gao Bing was a little worried for Lóng Wei, who was tied to a flat surface on the support of his abdomen. Usually, Gao Bing would be happy, but today he was not. One hundred floggings were no less than death for someone. However, the King was so enraged at his sons behavior that no one objected to it.
The most disturbing thing was that Monk Yuze asked the King to punish Lóng Wei. He always protected him, so why did he do the opposite today
The other Princes had also come to the punishment ground to watch Lóng Wei getting punished. Ai Fen had already left because this was too disturbing for her.
Lóng Wei outstretched his hands, which were tied tightly, so that he would not attempt to get up or stop the person who would hit him with the large flat wooden stick.
Even the flogger was scared if he should hit the Sixth Prince or not. “Hit me, already! This chance you will not get easily,” Lóng Wei told the flogger, who raised the stick and hit his back. He purposely did it lightly when Qiu Mu told him to be firm.
Mingquan looked at the Crown Prince, who was silent. It surprised him that Xiaoming agreed to one hundred flogging punishment for Lóng Wei.
“Do with your entire strength,” Lóng Wei told the flogger, who started to whip his back. Lóng Wei clenched his fists tightly, but there was not a single frown line on his forehead.
“Finally, the Sixth Brother will understand what the First Sister underwent,” Zhang Xi said and looked at his other brothers. Mingquan did not agree with him.
“A leopard never changes its spot. I dont think Brother Lóng Wei will be affected by this punishment,” Mingquan opined. “He will come out as a stronger person,” he proclaimed.
“Fourth Brother, no one can stand after one hundred floggings. The Sixth Brother will remain in his manor for at least a week,” Qiu Tianjie said. Qiu Mu agreed with him and smiled.
Oppositely, Xiaoming found that Lóng Wei easily accepted it for Li Hua. Though he was happy that Li Hua did not get punished, the thought of Lóng Wei protecting Li Hua was making him feel insecure.
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