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Published at 20th of August 2022 03:09:08 AM


Chapter 1028: 1028

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Naturally, Madam Li was aware of this particular problem, and she frowned. “We had the perfect chance today—what a pity.”

After pondering for a moment, Li Wei said, “Since Tong’er is back, you should bring her out more so she can increase her visibility. I heard that there are a lot of high-society wives hosting flower admiring banquets recently—you should take Tong’er to attend them.”

Madam Li’s eyes lit up. “You’re right. It’d be a waste to coop our beautiful Tong’er up in the mansion. We need to let everyone witness Tong’er’s exceptional comportment and looks. First, we’ll have to boost her reputation and let everyone discover her presence. It’ll be even better if the news can reach the Emperor—given his interest in her, he might welcome her into the palace very soon.”

Madam Li’s delirium grew as she spoke. She could already foresee the glorious image of Tong’er as the most favored imperial consort, surrounded by high-society wives falling over themselves to grovel before her.

Her words also sent Li Wei’s heart racing with excitement, and he could not help imagining the day when he would become the Minister of Works.

Both husband and wife were lost in their reverie.

Sure enough, from the next day onward, Madam Li started taking Li Tong’er to attend banquets everywhere.

Everyone who had seen Li Tong’er praised her for her beauty, and the exhilaration from all that attention increased Madam Li’s boldness in her efforts to attract publicity.

Soon, the entire imperial capital came to know that Li Tong’er had once been the Emperor’s chosen Empress.

All at once, the streets teemed with animated talk of this revelation.

...

Everywhere Li Tong’er appeared, all the noblewomen, old and young, would swarm around her.

Li Tong’er was undeniably gorgeous, and her sickly, fragile air induced a sense of protectiveness in others easily. Moreover, her youthful appearance—she looked to be only in her early twenties—led everyone to forget over time that she had, in fact, been divorced by her husband.

Even Li Wei was commended by his fellow officials for raising a fine daughter.

Li Wei could not help feeling smug.

However, a few days later, Li Wei found himself impeached by the imperial censorate in court.

He was accused of raising an immodest daughter and, instead of keeping her at home, allowing her to strut around and corrupt social ethos without a scrap of shame.

Li Tong’er’s past elopement scandal was also revealed by the censorate official.

The official’s every word was as sharp as a blade, raining down on Li Wei in a stream of abuse.

The meeting hall was immediately thrown into chaos, and all eyes turned to stare at Li Wei in scandalous disbelief.

Li Wei’s mind went blank, and for a while, he was unable to collect himself.

Only when the Emperor’s cool gaze descended upon him did he recover his senses, and throwing himself onto his knees, he cried out in shame, “Forgive me, Your Majesty.”

The imperial censorate official decided to press home his advantage and said to Long Yang, “Vice Minister Li has failed to raise his daughter properly. He was well aware of his daughter’s immodest conduct, yet he neglected to discipline her and even allowed his wife and daughter to run amok. If everyone follows suit, wouldn’t it lead to social disruption? Not only has Vice Minister Li failed as a parent, but he also failed to acknowledge and correct his faults. I highly doubt his ability to serve the imperial court!

“A person like him is an utter disgrace to Your Majesty’s tutelage and does not deserve to be a court official. For the sake of fairness and justice in the court, I beg Your Majesty not to let him continue to disrupt order.”

Long Yang’s expression remained deadpan as he pondered for a moment, then said, “You make a good case, but this matter isn’t as serious as you described.”

A glimmer of hope rose in Li Wei’s heart.

Maybe the Emperor was speaking up for him because he was really interested in Tong’er?

In that case…

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His breath hitched in his throat.

However, Long Yang’s next words sent him plunging from heaven into the depths of hell.

“The imperial court has always been a solemn place, and all court officials should lead by example. If you can’t even keep your wife and children in check, how are you going to serve the court? Failure to observe self-discipline can easily lead to grave mistakes. Considering the importance of court order and official conduct, I believe that you require more training, Vice Minister Li.

“From tomorrow onward, you shall move to Wuhe and take office there. You shall start from the bottom, and when you finally learn what it means to be a responsible court official, I will transfer you back here.”

Everything went black before Li Wei’s eyes, and he almost collapsed to the floor.

Although the Emperor did not strip him of his court official status, he had demoted him.

Everyone knew that Wuhe was a rural backwater place, and sending an official from the imperial capital to take office there was no different from exiling him.

Besides, he was getting on in his years, and even if he was transferred back to the capital for outstanding political achievements, that would probably be decades later.

Li Wei was suddenly overwhelmed with remorse.

He had thought that the Emperor had fancied Tong’er, but now, it seemed that he had never been interested in her at all.

“Thank you, Your Majesty!” Swallowing the lump in his throat, Li Wei prostrated to him in gratitude.

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