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it takes two

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A child was born- a prince at that! son of emperor yue and his first husband.

What should be joyous news instead brought a feeling of dread to the people;
women whispered worriedly behind their hands, speaking of the first husbands distaste for children. Some took the opportunity to reignite the rumours of first husband taking advantage of the servants, others whispering of how he poisoned those who got too close to his emperor, quick to get rid of anyone he deemed competition- nobles and common folk alike waited with bated breath for the news that first husband shen had done something horrible to the child- to prevent an heir, keep more attention for himself; anything the people could imagine, they did so, sparing no mind for the fact that it took two to birth a child, and emperor yue wasn't known to be forceful.

Their waiting was for naught, in the end everyone released a collective sigh of relief, and maybe disappointment, that no royal scandal had occurred involving the newborn prince. In fact quite the opposite- a few months after the birth of the child a grand feast was held in the capital- the palace providing food and desserts for common folk and nobles alike! The occasion so lively and full of happiness some suspected it may be a ploy to get rid of the young prince and frame it as an accident.

And yet no accident occurred.

His majesty emperor yue appeared half way through the festivities to greet guests and thank everyone for attending- his presence was expected and welcomed. What was not expected was for first husband shen to appear right next to him! Holding his newborn child! Even more unexpected was the ferociousness with which he guarded his son, refusing to let anyone even look too closely, his killing intent clear to anyone who dared get close enough.

Although he refused to let anyone so much as breathe his child's air, he didn't seem irritated with the child or situation itself. In fact if you asked an observer what they thought first husband shen was thinking that day, they'd tell you that he had seemed proud. Almost happy- if the man could feel such a tender emotion.

While all were refused the right to hold the child, his parents had no problem holding him close to themselves and proudly announcing the child's name to the people-

Shen Yuan! Their son was named shen yuan!

While he had at first brought anxiety and unrest to the people, it was clear now that they'd been wrong- although not foolish- to worry. Rather than bring misfortune, it seemed obvious from the loving smile on their emperors face, and the softened, somewhat tender, look in the eyes of their emperors husband.

Shen Yuan would be their new beginning.