She smiled and said, “What I said to Master Fan was also sincere.
If Zhang Lao is willing to become the Grand Tutor, I will also speak sincerely to Zhang Lao.”

A complex emotion surged within Zhang Qixing, but in the end, she could only smile and say, “Indeed, it is Your Majesty's favor.”

Then she asked seriously, “But how does Your Majesty plan to prevent others from becoming suspicious after choosing Fan Yi?”

Fu Ping'an looked at the document on the table and said, “Isn't this the solution?”

At the end of the month, it is Regent Fu Lingxian's birthday.
Fu Ping'an, the Emperor, specially arranged a feast in the palace and invited the Regent to attend.
After three rounds of drinks, Fu Ping'an brought up the matter of the Grand Tutor and handed the joint petition signed by more than twenty people to Fu Lingxian.

“I didn't expect Fan Yi to have such prestige,” Fu Ping'an said.

Fu Lingxian frowned, “If she has such prestige, she should not be appointed as the Grand Tutor.”

Fu Ping'an sighed, “But the Empress Dowager also hopes that Master Fan will become the Grand Tutor.
It is also the general consensus in the court.
If I insist on going against it, I'm afraid it won't work.”

Fu Lingxian was at a loss for words and didn't know how to respond.

Fu Ping'an looked at her and said, “Perhaps Aunt has someone to recommend.
If Aunt has a candidate, I will choose that person.
Otherwise, Aunt can recommend a few more people.”

Fu Lingxian remained silent.

Of course, this was impossible.
If they acted this way, they would be exposing all their cards.

After a long silence, Fu Lingxian could only say, “…It still depends on Your Majesty's decision.”

After she finished speaking, she turned her head and looked at the hall stage.
There, a solemn and murderous dance was being performed.
The dancers stomped on the wooden platform, creating a drum-like sound.
Her heart couldn't help but beat rapidly.

She began to feel short of breath.

She couldn't help but look at the Emperor.
The Emperor was sitting upright, looking straight ahead with a faint smile on her face.

However, she had a feeling that she wasn't watching the dance but something else.

Perhaps because the Emperor didn't denounce the joint petition, everyone felt encouraged and started imitating.
However, Fan Yi still led by a significant margin due to her extensive network.
Finally, at the end of the year, the result was announced.

In the fifth year of Long'an, the Emperor issued an edict, inviting former Prime Minister Fan Yi to serve as the Grand Tutor.
The edict mentioned how Fan Yi had educated and enlightened her since childhood, and how she regarded Fan Yi as a half-father.
The Emperor expressed her hope to continue the teacher-student relationship.
Fan Yi received the order at Ying Mountain and shed tears of gratitude, composing the “Ying Mountain Ode,” which became a well-known story.

However, since it was almost the New Year, the matter of taking up the position was postponed.
Fu Ping'an first began handling various year-end sacrifices and ceremonies.
Due to the war that took place this year, the ceremonies also included honoring the soldiers who were killed or injured.
In order to oversee this, Fu Ping'an personally went to the military camp near the capital, despite being advised by many ministers, “Your Majesty should not leave the palace without reason.”

But this incident greatly boosted Fu Ping'an's reputation in the military, especially when the Emperor read out the names of the deceased soldiers one by one.
Each name caused people to burst into tears, and the Emperor did not reprimand them; instead, she rewarded them.

With so many matters to attend to and not enough time, the palace banquet for the Lantern Festival was canceled and replaced with a banquet.

Some people breathed a sigh of relief at this decision, while others were deeply disappointed.
Luo Qionghua was among the disappointed party.
She had been looking forward to entering the palace for the Lantern Festival for a month.
She even personally selected the colors of her clothes, which was unusual for her.
After the cancellation of the palace banquet, she felt downcast for a long time and didn't recover until spring arrived.

Fu Ping'an, as the Duke of England, still cherished her daughter.
To make Luo Qionghua happy, he lifted her house arrest and allowed her to regain her freedom.
Finally, after half a year, she regained her freedom and hurriedly went to the Western Market to find Huo Pingsheng to play.

To her surprise, the people in the Western Market said that the Huo siblings had already become high-ranking officials.

Luo Qionghua was momentarily bewildered, but fortunately, Huo Pingsheng had left her a message with an address.
Luo Qionghua followed the address and arrived at a residence located in the eastern part of the city, close to the imperial palace.
It was considered a prime location, even though it was at the innermost part of an alley.
The value of the property was extremely high.


The entrance to the courtyard was not large, but there was already a lintel hanging above the door.
On both sides of the door, two stone pillars were carved with tortoises, indicating that someone with an official position lived in the house.
If it wasn't the result of official status, it would be an act of presumption, and they would be arrested.


Luo Qionghua, followed by Er Ya and Tie Zhu, marveled at the sight.
It turned out that they had indeed become officials.

But in her heart, she thought, it must be because they had saved the Emperor before and received rewards.

She approached the door, and someone quickly came to open it.
It was Zhang Qixing, which surprised Luo Qionghua.
“You're here too.”

Zhang Qixing smiled.
“You've been in seclusion for so long that you don't know how the world outside has changed.”

Luo Qionghua pondered for a moment and nodded solemnly.

Zhang Qixing wore a mysterious smile, and Luo Qionghua happily ran into the house but froze in her tracks.

The Emperor was sitting in the courtyard, staring at a small piece of farmland, her brows furrowed, lost in thought.

Upon hearing the commotion, Fu Ping'an turned her head and saw Luo Qionghua.
She was also taken aback.


It had been a long time since they last saw each other.


Sorry about the lack of updates these weeks, I was quite busy IRL.
Net week might be similar but I hope to make up for it.


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