Seeing Yun Qian Yu supporting Yu Jian, Princess Ming Zhu smile, “Indeed a smart, loveable yatou.”
Yun Qian Yu’s water-like eyes flashes, “Aunt’s palace is close to Qian Yu’s. Why don’t aunt visit Qian Yu’s palace for a moment.”
“Alright.” Princess Ming Zhu turns to all eight maids behind her, “Go and clean up bengong’s palace first. Bengong will be at Qian Yu’s palace for a moment.”
The eight maids curtsey before they leave, leaving only a mama to wait on her.
Guided by the light of the lantern carried by the palace maid, the two people enter the imperial garden. A path in the garden leads straight to Yun Qian Yu’s palace.
Princess Ming Zhu’s appearance is beautiful. She also has a generous personality. Every movement she made embodies the noble air of an imperial princess. She takes care of her skin well, there isn’t a single fold at the corner of her eyes. Her eyes resembles the emperor a little, the rest of her face must have resemble her imperial mother. She is currently over thirty years old, but the years did not leave any marks on her face.
“This place is so quiet.” Princess Ming Zhu sighs.
Yun Qian Yu raise her eyes and looks at the distance; the palace is indeed quiet. She only notice that now. It seems to lack something.
“Has Qian Yu gotten used to this place?” Princess Ming Zhu considerately asks.
“It is okay. Home is wherever one is.”
“Why is your personality so calm?”
“I had been in worse place, this is still considered okay.”
“Aiya, bengong knows that you just had a broken engagement with Situ Han Yi. It is good that your engagement is broken. Situ Han Yi only has a good face, he is not good enough for you in everything else. There are many other men in this world.”
“I think so too.” Yun Qian Yu’s reply is not perfunctory, it actually comes from her heart. The moment she saw Situ Han Yi for the first time, she knows that he isn’t one for her.
“Just look at my Xi Er. No need to speak about his handsome appearance, the entire capital knows how smart he is. Ever since he was little, he only needs to study once to understand everything. His martial arts prowess is also outstanding. Just look at the way he handles Hu Wei Camp.”
Even though Yun Qian Yu is slow in love, she is perceptive enough to realize that Princess Ming Zhu is pushing her own son towards her. The corner of her lips twitches.
The two people reaches Yun Qian Yu’s palace real quick. Seeing the blank plaque on top of her entrance gate, Princess Ming Zhu’s eyes flash. She doesn’t say anything and follow Yun Qian Yu in.
Once they sit, Chen Xiang quickly brew jasmine tea for the two people. After serving it to them, she retreats.
Princess Ming Zhu turns to the mama behind her, “Zhang mama, Qian Yu has only entered the palace so her maids aren’t familiar with the rules of the palace yet. Go and teach them the rules lest they do something wrong in the future and becomes other people’s weapon.”
Zhang mama pauses for a while. Seeing Princess Ming Zhu blinking at her, she agrees before looking over to Yun Qian Yu.
Actually, Chen Xiang and the rest have learned the palace’s rules long ago. Yun Qian Yu watches as Princess Ming Zhu orders Chen Xiang, “All of you follow Zhang mama and listen to her teaching.”
Only the two of them are left inside the hall. Princess Ming Zhu looks around a little.
“There are no outsiders in my place here. There are Yun Valley’s guards guarding the place, no one can come in.” Yun Qian Yu explains to her.
Princess Ming Zhu’s face suddenly turns solemn; she no longer looks like she is looking at her daughter in law. “You must be curious why there isn’t a single consort in the palace.”
Without waiting for Yun Qian Yu’s reply, Princess Ming Zhu goes on, “When bengong was little, there are consorts in every palaces. The never-ending fight, there was always something happening every single day. You can never sleep in peace because you don’t know when something bad is going to fall on your head. Even though bengong was imperial father’s only daughter, bengong was not an exception.”
Yun Qian Yu frowns a little.
“In my heart, imperial father was a hero. When I was little, there was war between the three countries. Father always traveled for military campaigns. Back then, we always thought that Nan Lou Kingdom would be invincible because of imperial father and the old Gong wangye. But who would’ve known, since they cannot shake imperial father, they started to stir trouble from the harem.”
“Because imperial father was often out of the palace and the fights between the consorts were fierce, not a lot of imperial children survive. Only empress mother gave birth to three sons and one daughter. Other than her, Consort Xian and Consort De gave birth to one son each. After them, no other consorts gave birth. Because imperial father was often out of the palace, he didn’t sense anything off. My brothers always participated in the imperial family’s annual hunting event. That year, imperial father lost one son. Imperial father hurried home. He seemed to age a lot that night. My imperial mother got sick one day, she died soon after. Imperial father investigated her death and couldn’t find a single trace of evidence as to what caused her death, that was when I realized that imperial father too isn’t omnipotent.”
“What’s even more surprising is all the consorts in the harem had been fed with infertility tonic. After investigation, it is known that they had been spiking each other with that. The perpetrator was so powerful that he can ruin imperial father’s harem and children. Even though imperial father was only 40 years old back then, he was still healthy and could have bear more children. What is even weirder is the rest of the concubines who entered the palace later all experienced miscarriage. It happened over and over again until imperial father decided that it was enough and sent all the concubines to reflect in one of our imperial monasteries. Not even one is left behind. It was only him and me left, I thought his heart had gotten cold.”
As Princess Ming Zhu’s eyes fall on the palace that is covered by night air, it seem as though she can see the blood that is covering all the red walls.
“In the blink of an eye, three years passed. One day, a woman and a two year old child suddenly appeared. That woman was imperial father’s secret guard. When imperial father was fighting in war, a neighboring country’s princess spiked him with a love potion. It was her who cured the potion. Once he found out she was pregnant, imperial father did not tell anyone, even bengong was not aware of it. In order to protect her, imperial father did not send her into the harem and instead arranged an accommodation for her outside. She was also the reason imperial father clean the entire harem. Lucky she gave birth to a boy and that boy was Yu Jian’s father.”
Princess Ming Zhu appears desolate. She falls into silence for a moment, “Imperial father immediately appointed the boy as the crown prince and did everything he could to protect him. He even conferred Duke Rong’s manor’s youngest daughter as the crown princess. When I was 16, imperial father bestowed a marriage between me and the firstborn of Duke Rong’s manor. When Xi Er was eight, the crown prince and Duke Rong’s most favored daughter, which is also my sister-in-law, got married. Yu Jian was born the next year. Things seemed to be going in a great direction, but when Yu Jian was five years old, even the conjoined effort of imperial father and Duke Rong could not save the crown prince. Lucky Yu Jian survived. After that incident, imperial father took Yu Jian by his side and wouldn’t leave him for even a moment.”
As Yun Qian Yu sits in her seat, her beautiful face does not show any change from the beginning till the end.
The scent of jasmine tea floats from the table, mixing with the fragrance from the incense burner. The entire hall is filled with calming scent.
Seeing the calm look on Yun Qian Yu’s face, Princess Ming Zhu sighs.
“I understand.” Yun Qian Yu finally speaks out.
Princess Ming Zhu looks at her in surprise. She thought her words are too obscure for Yun Qian Yu to get.
Yun Qian Yu gets up and hands Princess Ming Zhu her tea before looking at her surprised expression. “I understand what aunt means.”
Princess Ming Zhu is taken aback before tears of comfort starts to flow out of her eyes. Perhaps her imperial father is trusting the right person this time.
Yun Qian Yu takes out a silken handkerchief before helping her wipe her tears, secretly lamenting that the imperial family is indeed something that no regular people can survive in. The road they are to travel will not be easy.
“Don’t worry, I will do anything to help Yu Jian grow into an independent emperor.” This is the first time Yun Qian Yu is making such a formal promise to someone.
Princess Ming Zhu gradually recovers her composure. She gently stirs the cup in her hand. “Bengong has tasted a lot of famous teas since young, there had been a lot of high quality jasmine tea too. But bengong has never tasted this kind of flavor in jasmine tea before.”
Yun Qian Yu explains to her, “These comes from Yun Valley’s very own jasmine trees. If aunt likes them, bring them back with you.”
“Such a considerate yatou.” Princess Ming Zhu puts down the tea cup before getting up, “It is late. Qian Yu should rest well too.”
Yun Qian Yu gets up to send her off. Princess Ming Zhu suddenly stops walking and turns to her, “You and Xi Er are not compatible, I will not make it difficult on you.”
Princess Ming Zhu addressed herself as ‘I’ and not ‘bengong’; that pretty much express her mind.
“Thank you, aunt!” Yun Qian Yu sighs in relief, she does not have any feeling towards Hua Man Xi.
Seeing the usually indifferent Yun Qian Yu heaving in relief, Princess Ming Zhu walks out, leaving only this sentence: “Bengong heard the elites in the capital are currently searching for a really uncommon painting.”
serene: Chapter 45 is sponsored by Teresa!