Mo Qi Qi is just about to lose her temper when she remembers that she is here to beg him. She swallows her anger and put on the good little wife look, “Your Majesty, although chenqie is the Empress, chenqie is also a part of Hua Chen Kingdom. Chenqie wants to see the lives of the common people and how they celebrate festivals.”
“The Qixi Festival is an annual thing, you can go next year. You are currently pregnant, you should not go out,” Jun Qian Che is still worried.
Mo Qi Qi purses her lips in grievance, “Your Majesty, it is because chenqie is pregnant that chenqie wants to see it this year. Ever since chenqie got pregnant, there are so many things chenqie cannot do. Your Majesty is always busy and cannot keep chenqie company; chenqie has no friends here. The other consorts treat chenqie with respect because chenqie is the Empress, no one dares to treat chenqie like an equal. Chenqie is just so bored. Besides, everyone says that giving birth is like putting one foot in the Underworld. Who knows if the delivery will smooth? Perhaps, chenqie won’t even have the chance to attend it next year.”
“Do not speak nonsense!” Other than anger, heartache and worry also dominates Jun Qian Che’s heart upon hearing that. He looks at her earnestly, “You are zhen’s Empress. The child that you are carrying is zhen’s child. You are not the same as other women out there. Zhen will find the best midwife out there. Zhen’s prince or princess will be the most distinguished child in the kingdom, the delivery will be fine. Nothing will happen to you. Do not worry about such things.”
Mo Qi Qi sighs, “Life is unpredictable. Chenqie wants to live in the present time! Chenqie wants to go this year, chenqie does not want to go next year. The festival will be different each year, chenqie plans to attend it everytime. This year, chenqie can take the child there with me. Next year, chenqie will carry him there. The next next year, he can already walk, so chenqie only needs to hold his hand. Life is mystery; who knows, perhaps chenqie could find out about his predestined affinity this year.”
Jun Qian Che scolds her bad-naturedly upon hearing that, “Nonsense! You don’t even know the gender of the baby! What predestined affinity!”
Mo Qi Qi raises her eyebrows confidently, “Your Majesty, chenqie has this feeling that the baby is a boy. Women have sixth sense, you know.”
“Do you hope that the baby is a boy?” asks Jun Qian Che.
Mo Qi Qi shakes her head, “Not really. I’m okay with either. Actually, I’d like a girl better; however, it is not about what I’d like. We can only know after giving birth. Please give chenqie permission to go, Your Majesty. Chenqie just wants to walk around. Chenqie will return real quick. Chenqie will not go to crowded places, in fact, chenqie will only stand on the roadside, watching the merriment! Your Majesty, chenqie has been so bored to the point of getting ill lately. Please give chenqie the permission to go. Your Majesty—–“ Mo Qi Qi takes out her special skills and begins tugging at his sleeves coquettishly.
Jun Qian Che is the weakest when she acts in this manner. Even though he clearly knows that she is only doing all this to get what she wants, he cannot help from falling for her tricks. He sighs, “Alright, zhen agrees.”
Mo Qi Qi jumps up, “Yay! This is great!”
Jun Qian Che glares at her.
She immediately rubs her stomach while laughing, “Hehe, chenqie forgot chenqie is pregnant. Thank you, Your Majesty.”
After seeing her frazzled state, how could Jun Qian Che feel eased enough to let her leave the palace now? “Zhen will go with you,” he helplessly says.
Three black lines appear on top of Mo Qi Qi’s head. What is the point of going out if he is going to come along? He is so uptight, he would forbid her from doing everything she wants. With that in mind, Mo Qi Qi gives him a brilliant smile, “Your Majesty, chenqie knows that you work really hard. Chenqie heard that things are really busy in the court these days, so it is better for Your Majesty to rest. Chenqie’s heart aches for you. How is it possible that chenqie would let you accompany chenqie out, knowing that you are tired? That would be too inconsiderate. If the Empress Dowager knows, she would definitely be unhappy at chenqie! It is better for you to stay here and read. Ban Xiang alone is enough to keep chenqie company. She is a very careful person, Your Majesty need not worry about chenqie’s safety. She will not let chenqie go to places that aren’t safe. What do you think, Your Majesty?” Mo Qi Qi blinks innocently at him.
Now that she has said all that, how could he, the Emperor of the kingdom, thickens his face and insists on following? He lightly nods, “It is up to you, Empress. Be careful when outside.”
“Chenqie will be careful, Your Majesty! Chenqie will return safely, don’t worry! Chenqie will leave first!” she curtsies happily before leaving.
Jun Qian Che shakes his head helplessly. Right now, Mo Qi Qi is indeed loveable and full of life. However, it also means that she is restless. She is currently with child, he cannot help but worry about her.
Mo Qi Qi returns to Feng Yang Palace in joy and told Ban Xiang everything.
Ban Xiang feels like crying when she heard everything. This is not a good news for her. She knows her Mistress the best. Is it really possible that the Empress would sit still upon seeing the crowded streets with her own eyes? If anything happens to the Empress, the Emperor would order her to be killed by a thousand cuts! Wuwuwu, her life is full of trials and tribulations! Why would the Emperor allow the Empress to go, on the first place?
After Mo Qi Qi finished changing, she looks at Ban Xiang who is still sulking there. “Ban Xiang, aren’t you going to change? If you won’t change, bengong will go by myself!”
“This servant will change right away!” Ban Xiang immediately changes to a commoner’s attire.
An hour later, the two beautiful women dressed as men walks down the streets of the capital. The festive air is palpable as they stroll down a huge street.
“How fun! There are so many people here,” says Mo Qi Qi appreciatively.
“True. It is not everyday that young men and women are all free to roam down the streets,” says Ban Xiang.
Mo Qi Qi looks at Ban Xiang before poking fun at her, “Ban Xiang, look around! There are so many handsome men here! Pick one and bengong will put up a proposal for you!”
Ban Xiang looks at her shyly, “You are making fun of this servant again, Miss. This servant won’t talk to you.”
“Hahaha,” Mo Qi Qi laughs, amused.
Mo Qi Qi and Ban Xiang stops under a Marriage Tree. There are true love’s knots and locks hanging on it’s branches. Men and women wrote their wishes on a red strip of paper and tied it to the knots and locks.
Mo Qi Qi looks at the true love’s knots with a curious smile. She reads the wishes while slowly circling the tree. Preoccupies with reading other people’s wishes, she did not bother to mind her way. In the end, she bumps into someone. “I’m sorry! I didn’t—-“
“I’m sorry, I—-“ the person she has bumped into is also apologizing. They look at each other, stunned. Then, they laugh.
“Yue Hen! What a coincidence!” Mo Qi Qi exclaims in surprise.
Jun Yue Hen looks at her in pleasant surprise, “What are you doing here, Qi Qi!”
Mo Qi Qi smiles at him happily, “Ban Xiang told me that today is the Qixi Festival and that the streets would be really lively. I was curious and asked for His Majesty’s permission to leave the palace.”
Jun Yue Hen looks even more surprised, “His Majesty agreed to let you out?”
“Yes! Jun Qian Che could be considered to have done a really good deed this time,” Mo Qi Qi nods.
Jun Yue Hen’s face slowly turns somber.
Mo Qi Qi looks at him in confusion, “What’s wrong, Yue Hen? What is your expression so dark? Is there anything wrong?”
Jun Yue Hen looks at Mo Qi Qi before whispering cautiously at her, “You must be extra careful tonight, Qi Qi.”
Mo Qi Qi looks at him in confusion before comprehension dawns her, “You mean Jun Qian Che purposely let me out of the palace so he could order his people to attack me outside?”
Jun Yue Hen lowers his voice, “This is only a guess. Perhaps he won’t do anything to you since you are carrying his child.”
“I don’t think so. He has so many women in the inner palace, it will only be too easy for him if he wants a child. If he really wants to do something, he would not care about this child! Your assumption is not baseless at all! Jun Qian Che was usually filial to rules and etiquettes, why did he suddenly agree to let me out? He agreed so easily too! There must be something behind this! At first, I was grateful, but now, I kind of regret begging him. Didn’t I basically inform him with my own mouth that I am leaving the palace and will thus be vulnerable! What was I so stupid! I forgive and forget way too easily!”
“Don’t be too pessimistic. Perhaps, we think too much,” comforts Yue Hen.
“Let’s hope so!” mumbles Mo Qi Qi. There is a shred of hope for Jun Qian Che inside her heart. Hopefully, he will not let her down.
Jun Yue Hen smiles, “Qi Qi, since you are already out, let’s walk around! It is so merry tonight, let’s go and release lanterns on the riverside.”
Mo Qi Qi nods, “Alright, let’s go.”
The three of them head towards the city’s moat together.
Ban Xiang sighs as she observe the two of them. How on earth did they end up bumping into the 7th king? If the Emperor finds out that the two of them are spending the Qixi Festival together, he might end up misunderstanding the situation. By then, the Empress will not be able to shrug off blame even if she has 100 mouths. The 7th king is another thing! Even though they grew up together, the Empress is now the Empress, the wife to the Emperor. He is considered her imperial uncle. He should have taken measures to avoid her!
She needs to keep her mouth shut over what transpires tonight. She must never implicate the Empress.
Ban Xiang hurries alongside them.
Upon reaching the riverside, they discover many beautiful lanterns littering the riverbank. There are many more lanterns floating on the river; one is shaped like a lotus, another like a doll. There is even one in the shape of a boat ridden by two paper humans.
She did not expect Hua Chen Kingdom’s Qixi celebration to be so magnificent. In the end, she feels as though her decision to leave the palace today is right. If she did not see this, she would probably regret it until the day she dies. She is sure that Jun Qian Che has never even seen such a merry atmosphere. He is too cooped up inside the palace to deal with political issues to live properly. What a pitiful guy!
Aiya! Why on earth is she suddenly thinking about him! She shakes her head to throw that mental image out of her mind.
Jun Yue Hen looks at her before saying, “Let’s go and buy some Yinyuan Lanterns, Qi Qi.”
(TN: (姻缘灯) yin yuan deng = Predestined Affinity Lantern. That is kind of the direct translation. I tried to find the exact English term for it, but failed haha.)
Mo Qi Qi nods, “Alright.”
After looking around, Jun Yue Hen picks up two lanterns; one in the shape of lotus, the other in the shape of a pair of lovers.
Mo Qi Qi picks the couple-shaped lantern.
Jun Yue Hen hands her a brush, “I borrowed it from the boss. You can write whatever you wish on a piece of paper and stuff it inside the lantern. If someone picks it up, he or she has predestined affinity with you. Your wish will come true.”
Mo Qi Qi laughs, “For real? What if it’s picked up by a villain? Does that mean I’d have to be that villain’s wife?”
He laughs, “It’s just a myth. Even if it’s picked up by someone,, nothing will happen if you don’t like him. It is only considered predestined affinity if you two pick up each other’s lanterns.”
Mo Qi Qi nods and proceeds to write something on a piece of paper. Then, she puts the paper inside the lantern and releases it.
She hands the brush over to Jun Yue Hen, “Why don’t you write something too, Yue Hen? I hope you will soon encounter the wangfei that you like.”
(TN: Wangfei (王妃): a king’s official wife.)
He accepts the brush and begins writing something. He then puts the paper inside the lantern and releases it into the river.
“What did you write, Yue Hen?” asks Mo Qi Qi as she looks at the floating lanterns.
“What about you? What did you write?” asks him.
Mo Qi Qi smiles at him mysteriously, “Not telling you.”
“Then, I’m also not telling you,” replies Yue Hen in a similar manner.
They look at each other and laugh.
Jun Yue Hen looks at the lanterns on the riverside before turning to Mo Qi Qi, “Qi Qi, I’ll go and buy some fireworks. Wait for me here.”
“Alright!” she waves at him happily. Hua Chen Kingdom is indeed prosperous! They already invented pretty fireworks!
At the same time, on the opposite riverbank, a tall and lofty figure picks up a lantern after releasing one. He picks up the paper stuffed inside it and stares at the paper in shock.
‘I hope I will find my other half and that we will never part from each other. –Mo Qi Qi.’
A smile is formed on his lips. He picks up the lantern and leaves.
As for Jun Yue Hen, buying firework is just an excuse. The truth is, he wants to go to the opposite riverbank to seek Mo Qi Qi’s lantern. He also plans to push his own lantern towards her. Although he knows that this method is too childish and unreasonable, he still wants to give it a try.
That’s why he purposely left a mark on her lantern to make it easy for him to find it, a single ‘qi’ character. But even after looking for it for such a long time, he still cannot spot it. He slowly panics.
Mo Qi Qi and Ban Xiang are standing on the riverside, waiting for Jun Yue Hen to return.
“Your Ladyship, what did you write on the paper?” asks Ban Xiang.
Mo Qi Qi smiles at her secretively, “Do you want to know?”
Ban Xiang nods.
“Then go look for it on the opposite bank!” Mo Qi Qi laughs loudly.
Ban Xiang immediately deflates upon hearing that.
Mo Qi Qi quietly begins questioning herself. She was betrayed by a man in her past life, why did she write that?
‘I hope I will find my other half and that we will never part from each other.’
This is too weird! Why on earth did she even think of writing that on the first place! She should have wished for Jun Qian Che’s early passing instead.
Ban Xiang looks at the lanterns floating around the river, “Your Ladyship, based on the rules, you should pick up a lantern after releasing one. Look, there are so many lanterns on the river. Pick one!”
Mo Qi Qi sighs, “I am already married, what is the point of picking up a Yinyuan Lantern? Let these lanterns be picked by those who should.”
Serene: Guys, the chapters are getting longer and longer, I will have to divide them by parts. Otherwise, it will take too long for a single chapter to be released.
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