New Daughter-in-Law Offers Tea
When the two entered the palace, noon had already passed, and the Emperor had just finished eating lunch in Winter Moon Palace. He even said to Imperial Concubine Yun: “It seems like that little one Ming’er won’t be able to come today, and we will need to wait until tomorrow.”
Imperial Concubine Yun, however, said: “That might not be the case. What if they came after eating lunch!”
Just as she was saying this, a servant came to report: “Your Majesty, Imperial Concubine, His Highness Prince Yu has entered the palace with Princess.”
The Emperor immediately stood up and rubbed his hands, “Pian Pian, your guess really was accurate. That brat is finally willing to bring his wife into the palace!” After saying this, he looked at Imperial Concubine Yun: “The newlywed wife needs to offer tea. Look, will you come with me to Zhao He Hall, or should they be called here?”
Imperial Concubine Yun waved her hand, saying with a bit of laziness: “I won’t go, and you don’t need to stay. The tea is offered by the prince and princess to the Emperor and the Empress. I will not be participating. Quickly go! Don’t disturb the rules for such a small matter. Either way, those two will be coming to this side later on.”
The Emperor had originally wanted to say a bit more, but Zhang Yuan reminded him from the side: “Just be obedient! Think about the people that His Highness the eighth prince is still communicating with. Which one of those problems was not caused by you, and do you want to cause more trouble for His Highness the ninth prince?”
The Emperor looked sideways at that damn eunuch. He had wanted to say a bit more; however, he felt that what was said was correct. Speaking of this matter, he was indeed wrong. Forget it, he waved his hand: “Let’s go! Set out for Zhao He Hall. Also, have the Empress prepare herself.”
His Highness Prince Yu led Imperial Daughter Ji An into the palace to offer tea to the Emperor and the Empress. News of this had spread around the palace, and many people were happy for them; however, there were also many people that were unhappy. One such person was Noble Lady Yuan, and other examples would be the other concubines of the imperial harem who were not favored. At present, their families were supporting the eighth prince. It was not as though they did not know. They had remained quiet for many years, and their hearts had originally completely given up; however, with the eighth prince’s actions, there came a bit of a stir. Hearing that Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng had entered the palace, those concubines who had been neglected for many years began to gather into a group and mess around with their own little tricks.
The rite of the newlywed wife offering tea to the mother-in-law was something that was paid close attention to by the masses. Naturally, the palace was the same, but the Emperor had always been very casual. In addition to this, the Empress also felt that she herself was not Xuan Tian Ming’s birth mother, and Xuan Tian Ming had never been cordial with others. She did not want to make too much of a scene out of things, which would ensure that the one in Winter Moon Palace did not become unhappy. That was why she requested that everything be done simply. It would just be considered family members greeting each other, and there was no need for so many formalities.
The Empress and the Emperor had always been good collaborators. She was able to figure out what the Emperor was thinking, and the plans for simplicity were in accordance with the Emperor’s desires. After all, the Emperor felt that his relationship with Imperial Concubine Yun had now improved, but that woman, Yun Pian Pian, had the same capricious personality as their son. Who knew when she might become unhappy and give him the death sentence! If this side had a lively offering of tea ceremony, he should give up on ever getting back inside Winter Moon Palace. How could that be handled? That was why the Emperor was very satisfied with the Empress’ arrangements, praising her for the first time: “The Empress is very good at seeing the broader picture.”
Thus Feng Yu Heng’s tea offering ceremony was very simple. She kneeled, kowtowed three times, presented two cups of tea, and that was the end of it. The Emperor and the Empress each presented her with a red envelope, as the Empress said to her: “You’re now a wife. You should not continue to be so plain. When you come back into the palace, wear the phoenix hairpin. That’s something that you are worthy of wearing.”
The ceremony there was very simple. She presented the tea, saluted, then listened to the Empress speak intimately with her. From beginning to end, it lasted less than an hour before they were sent to Winter Moon Palace. Naturally, the Emperor accompanied them.
That night, Winter Moon Palace put on a feast with Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng as the main focus.
Normally, Winter Moon Palace was also quite lively. There were times when Imperial Concubine Yun would call dancers in to perform, but today’s liveliness had an extra topic: Xuan Tian Ming’s marriage. He had married Yao Xian’s granddaughter. To Imperial Concubine Yun, this was the most beautiful thing in the world.
During the evening banquet, Xuan Tian Hua was also present. After the singing and dancing had passed, he quietly sat in a corner and played the zither. Once again, he was wearing white robes, and he still had a refined appearance. When Feng Yu Heng looked at him, her eyes revealed something that slowly became warm affection.
Imperial Concubine Yun said: “Ming’er and A-Heng got married, and this can finally be considered as resolving one big matter.” After saying this, she glanced in Xuan Tian Hua’s direction
Xuan Tian Hua smiled bitterly but did not say anything, slightly shaking his head while continuing to play the zither. He just presented a gift to Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng after the banquet had ended, and it was time to leave the palace.
It was a pearl head ornament made of real pearls. It could not be considered ornate, and it looked a bit aged; however, it was something that was quite likable. It was elegant and plain, and it was not adorned with gold or jade. It just quietly gave off its own aura.
Imperial Concubine Yun quietly told her that it was the only thing that had been passed down by Xuan Tian Hua’s birth mother. After Feng Yu Heng heard this, there was nothing that she could do. Since someone like Xuan Tian Hua had chosen to give it to her, she could not refuse it. After thinking a bit, she simply placed it inside her space. Since it belonged to Imperial Concubine Zhao, she would place it inside a timeless space to preserve it!
News of Feng Yu Heng’s return to the capital had been spread all over. Of course, this included Feng Fen Dai. Over the past few days, Dong Ying had felt that her young miss’ mood was a little off, as she would constantly get mad at His Highness the fifth prince, who had come to visit her. When the two argued, it was usually done while she was in the yard, and she could not clearly hear what the argument was about. She could only faintly hear that they spoke about whether or not they would go into the palace.
It was only on this day that the fifth prince personally came to bring Feng Fen Dai into the palace. Naturally, Dong Ying would go along with them. It was only now that she understood that her young miss had acted out for a few days because she wanted to enter the Imperial Palace. As for her goal in entering the palace, when the three stood before Jing Si Palace, Dong Ying completely understood. It turned out that her young miss just refused to give up!
The fifth prince, Xuan Tian Yan, was already completely powerless against Feng Fen Dai. Extending his arm, he pointed at Jing Si Palace’s gates and said to Fen Dai: “Normally speaking, Jing Si Palace does not allow outsiders to enter, nor would it allow Noble Lady Li to come out, but since you insisted on coming, this prince prepared everything for you. Fen Dai, this prince has already told you my stance. Unfortunately, you would not listen. Then go ahead! Either way, the situation is already exceedingly messy. This prince wants to see just how messy it can get.”
Just as his words came out, Feng Fen Dai ran out of patience and immediately began to step toward Jing Si Palace. When passing by him, she spat out: “Aren’t I doing this for your benefit?!”
Watching Feng Fen Dai bring her maidservant into Jing Si Palace through a small entrance, Xuan Tian Yan watched for a long time with his brow furrowed. Suddenly, he said to the attendant at his side: “Say, is this fate?”
The attendant had been with him for many years. Hearing him say fated, he immediately understood what his master was saying. As the Feng family’s fourth young miss snuck in through a barely-opened door, she looked so resolute and stubborn. When exactly had the Feng family’s foolish fourth young miss become stubborn like that person? And since when had the Feng family’s fourth young miss’ figure begun to resemble that person from that time?
“Your Highness, you’re overthinking it.” The attendant did not know how to advise him, and he could not advise on this matter. Back when the fifth prince had wanted to get engaged to the Feng family’s fourth young miss, he had felt awkward about it. After all, Feng Fen Dai was nothing more than the daughter of a concubine. No matter how one looked, she was not worthy of the spotlight. But after some more thought, his own master had acted wantonly for so many years. Not to mention the Feng family’s daughter of a concubine, but even dancers could end up as secondary princesses. Compared to those girls, the daughter of a concubine from the Feng family at that time was a much better identity. However, who knew that… “Your Highness, you must reconsider carefully!”
“Reconsider, huh?” Xuan Tian Yan smiled bitterly, “I’ve already reconsidered, and I have already spoken with her. She has her temper, and I have my perseverance. She won’t listen to me and insists on believing that her own methods are correct. She insists on continuing, and I am unable to stop her. Then let’s just let her go! Either way, life is nothing more than a game. At the very least, seeing her allows me to see the many things that have been lost.” Xuan Tian Yan turned around and turned onto the main path. Like someone without a soul, he just floated around on the path. Occasionally, there would be some palace servant walking past and would knock him over. They would kowtow, while he would act as though he never saw them. He just walked along on his own. It was only when he reached the palace’s gates that he suddenly turned around and quickly told his attendant: “Don’t follow me out. Go to Jing Si Palace and wait. After that girl comes out, get her out of the palace! You must not allow her to cause a scene in the palace.”
After Xuan Tian Yan finished speaking, he left the attendant behind and climbed into the Li Palace’s carriage on his own.
The attendant accepted the order and turned back into the palace, quickly walking toward Jing Si Palace. If the fifth prince had not reminded him, he really would have forgotten about this matter. The Feng family’s fourth young miss must not be left behind in the palace on her own. What if she came out of Jing Si Palace and began causing a scene? That would truly begin causing trouble.
Inside Jing Si Palace, Fen Dai was in the middle of looking down on the tea brought over by the palace maid: “It’s just some tea dust. How could noble lady drink something so poor?”
Noble Lady Li’s personality was originally a bit weaker, and she had never been able to endure Fen Dai’s harshness; moreover, she no longer had her position as an imperial concubine. She was just a lowly noble lady, and she had been locked up inside Jing Si Palace for such a long time. She no longer had her stature as an imperial concubine. Fen Dai’s words caused her to tremble. Her trembling caused Fen Dai to roll her eyes in contempt.
The palace maid that had brought the tea could not bear to watch her master be bullied and unhappily said: “Fourth young miss Feng, please watch your words. Although my master has been demoted, she is still a noble lady with a prince for a son. Based on fourth young miss Feng’s identity, it’s not such that you can speak like this to noble lady.”
“Is it not?” Fen Dai was no longer a child that would be quick to anger. Who knew when that ruthlessness in her being had been developed. As she spoke, her eyes shifted, and it had a similar feeling as the former Feng Chen Yu. She ignored the palace maid and stopped evaluating the tea. She just looked at Noble Lady Li and drearily asked: “Noble Lady, how long has it been since you were last out of Jing Si Palace? How long has it been since you’ve seen someone else?”
Noble Lady Li frowned upon hearing this and felt as though Feng Fen Dai was a little different from the child that she had met at the hunting ground. It seemed as though she had matured a bit. She did not really want to speak with Feng Fen Dai, but since she had come, she could not really refuse, thus she vaguely said: “His Majesty has not permitted me to leave this place, nor are people easily allowed in. Naturally, I’m not as free as fourth young miss Feng.”
“Oh!” Feng Fen Dai nodded, “No wonder, no wonder you’re still able to eat and sleep peacefully; otherwise, were any other mother, when they found out that their own son had done that sort of thing, they would definitely be unable to sit still…”
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