"Qiu, I have to agree with your mother, she has a point there." Yanjing said. The usually dumb, uhh no, simple-minded Ying also nodded.
The fight for the throne is deadly and life threatening. Whoever sides with a prince also faces the possibility of being killed, so each supporter would do everything they can to help their prince win. As a result, the competitors for the throne tends to have a strong backing behind them. However, for Zong Qiu, because he renounced his right to the throne, he lost a lot of the support. There were still people willing to follow him, like Yanjing and Ying, but he had lost a lot of power. This did not mean that he is safe from the fights and quarrels. The main competitors still viewed him as a threat, because if they were all to die, and only he was alive, then he would inherit the throne. To prevent this he needed someone with a high status and power to help him.
A viscount may be someone of status but compared to the prime minister, his powers are limited and he would not be a strong supporter. The prime minister is someone that each prince wants to be connected with. He is the Emperor's most trusted advisor and can often can influence the emperor's decisions. However he only has two daughters and no sons to inherit his place. He then made it clear that whoever marries any of his daughters can inherit his place in the court. The sixth prince was lucky enough to marry the first daughter but the sixth prince already had the status of a duke in a neighboring country because his first wife was the third princess of that country.
So whoever could marry the second daughter, Chen Jiaming, then they would be sure to have the Prime Minister's seat in court. This was one of the reasons why his mother wanted him to marry Chen Jiaming.
"But I'm not against you two being together though." Ying added.
Yanjing nodded. "Qiu, I support you two being together and I know you don't care much about the throne. But think about it. If one of your brothers inherit the throne, what do you think would happen to you? It goes without saying that if either the first or third prince gets the throne, their first action would be to get rid of you. You are too much of a threat to them.
What do you think would happen to Lady Wei Mingxia if you took her as a wife? She would be stuck on this web and could be killed. You know about the dirty side of this system. In fact everyone knows about the dirty schemes and plotted murders inside the palace, especially in the harem. Do you think she could survive?
Someone with status and power can help you, and your brothers would take precautions when dealing with you because of your allies."
Qiu was silent as he looked out of the window in his study to see the window open in another room. A young girl with black hair adorned with a jade pin had her head down on her elbow with her eyes closed, the wind gently blew over, sweeping the black strands of hair away from her face.
The harem was the worst place a women could go to. It had its walls tainted by blood and no matter how many times you cleaned it, it will never truly be clean. Numerous young girls have died in the harem and Qiu had seen some himself. Each year when the emperor would have a list of girls come into the palace to serve him, only a handful would survive a year. He couldn't let her see that, but little did he know, that the person he held dear knew of the horrors and have experienced them herself.
"So I'm assuming you two do not know of the full extent of the Wei family's power." Qiu said with his back towards his two friends and his eyes on Mingxia.
"Hm? What do you mean Qiu ge?" Ying asked.
Qiu smiled and sat down in his chair. "If I were to count, the Wei family probably has more connections than anyone else in the imperial court."
"Qiu, you know that the Wei family only holds the chair of a viscount, why would they have a lot of connections? " Yanjing was confused. He was the son of one of the generals. Besides his daily training assignments, he was also educated on how the system worked. A small viscount shouldn't have many connections and if he does, then he should have been promoted to a higher rank. It made no sense if one had the connections to have a higher rank but does not.
"I found out only not long ago. Apparently three generations ago the Wei family had a daughter married to a Japanese general. That daughter gave birth to two sons and both became extremely heroic soldiers and achieved many deeds. She also gave birth a beautiful girl that was then married off to a wealthy Indian prince. That girl gave birth to a twin of boys.
The other two sons later became generals and defeated many enemies. One of the sons then fell in love with a princess from one of the east kingdoms. He married her and the two moved back to the land of his mother and father in laws, the two gave birth to four girls and one boy.
As for the son that was left in Japan, he chose to stay in Japan and took over his father's seat. He later married to a Chinese girl and the two lived happily with their two sons and daughter. One of the sons is the Viscount Wei."
"Wow that's a long family tree." Ying commented.
"To think that they had such an extensive network of communications and relations." Yanjing was surprised.
"Now then, I'm not done yet. You remember that one of the sons that fell in love with the princess from one of the eastern kingdoms right? Well, apparently the princess was doted since young because she was the only one her mother gave birth to. Her father was a loyal man and only married her mother and took no concubines. The seat for the throne was passed on the princess's husband which turned out to be the son. The two then had a daughter and guess who that girl was married to." Zong Qiu sat in a comfortable posture as if he was telling a story.
"Is it the prince or king of another kingdom?" Yanjing asked.
"Partially correct. One of the daughters married into the Zong empire and became the empress of that empire."
Ying gasped. "So the Wei family is connected to the empress?!"
"They practically have connections across this land and all are with royalties." Yanjing said.
Qiu nodded. "Not many know about this because some of these records were either completely sealed away or burned. I was lucky to have found them during one of my rummaging in the palace library. The emperor's first consort does not know about this."
Zong Qiu casually added the last sentence but his friends could see the anger and hatred in his eyes.
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