Sanctioning a Marriage
At this moment, Qing Le was regretting her rash actions. The banquet had already become a bit of a mess, and if nobody had brought up this matter, the Emperor would have forgotten it. Unfortunately, the one who reminded the Emperor was herself.
“Imperial daughter Qing Le.” The Emperor called Qing Le. This caused not only Qing Le to hold her breath, but it also caused Lord Ding An to repeatedly shake his head.
Even if she held her breath, nothing would happen. It was difficult to disobey an imperial order. They did not have the same courage to do as they pleased that Xuan Tian Ming had.
Qing Le helplessly stood up and went forward, kneeling at the front courtyard: “Qing Le greets your Majesty.”
The Emperor looked at the imperial daughter down below and sneered in his heart. At the time, he was not present for what had occurred at Ding An Palace, but he still understood more or less what happened. This Qing Le tried to frame his most dear son’s woman. In the end, it was anticipated by Feng Yu Heng, and this was truly retribution!
In regards to sanctioning a marriage for Qing Le, the Emperor was extremely keen. Thus he asked: “Did the man that you share feelings with also come?” He remembered to have the Empress specially invite that person.
At this time, a voice came from the side of the male guests: “This servant came!” Then, a very sturdy man ran up to the front and knelt beside Qing Le, “This servant Wang Nuo greets your Majesty!”
Qing Le fiercely looked sideways at this person, but she did not dare say anything.
The Emperor nodded and looked at Wang Nuo for a while before suddenly laughing. After laughing, he said: “Fitting! As expected, it’s fitting! It seems that Qing Le’s eyes are not bad.”
Lord Ding An felt as though his own face were being fiercely slapped by the Emperor.
Wang Nuo had a sturdy body, as he was one of the palace’s guards, and he also was quite capable with martial arts. However, in terms of looks, it was nonsense. This person could not be considered ugly, but he also was not even remotely good looking. All of this was without mentioning the small scar on his chin, which apparently came from training in martial arts. No matter what was said about Qing Le, she was still of higher birth. When put alongside such a thing, how could it possibly be fitting?
But the Emperor had said it was fitting, so who would dare object? Thus, said in unison: “Being able to receive such a husband, imperial daughter Qing Le really has good fortune!”
Qing Le was so furious that she nearly lost her mind, but what could she say? If she did not admit it was a proper relationship, then was it a mix up? Then it would not be a matter of celebration, it would instead be a crime.
The Emperor watched everyone’s reactions for a while then took in Qing Le’s pale expression. After being sufficiently entertained, he once again spoke: “A pair of young children in love, this is a good thing. Lord Ding An, why did you not tell Us sooner?”
Hearing his name be called, Lord Ding An quickly stood up and went to kneel next to Qing Le: “This official… this official did not want bring any troublesome matters to your Majesty.”
“Ah!” The Emperor waved his hand, “How could this be troublesome? You are an imperial lord, and Qing Le is an imperial daughter. In Our heart, this girl and Tian Ge are the same.”
Everyone watched as the Emperor told such bold lies with a straight face, so they decided to overlook his choice of saying “the same.”
The same? It would be odd if they were the same.
Qing Le, however, wanted to make one last desperate stand for herself. She kowtowed to the Emperor and begged, saying: “Qing Le would like to spend another two years at home taking care of imperial father and princess mother. Would your Majesty please permit this.”
The Emperor’s face became rigid: “What is it, too young? We remember clearly that your birthday is in the tenth month. In another two months, you will be a full 15 years of age. The matter of girls marrying out of the family is a celebratory matter in Da Shun. Today, We will set your marriage to be on the day you turn 15. It will be held at the same time as your birthday! You are an imperial daughter, so it is natural for you to have an imperial husband enter your family, thus there is no reason for you to worry that there will be nobody left to take care of your imperial father and princess mother. Hm, Lord Ding An, how do you feel about it?”
What could Lord Ding An say. The Emperor had even chosen the date, not leaving any room for negotiation. He could only bow down: “This official thanks your Majesty for this great kindness.”
Qing Le followed her father’s lead and also bowed down. Gritting her teeth, she said: “Qing Le thanks your Majesty for sanctioning this marriage.”
There were a total of three people kneeling in the hall, and everyone waited for the festivities after the third person gave their thanks; however, at this time, the sturdy man shouted: “This one begs your Majesty to retract the order!”
These words were a great shock.
They shocked Qing Le even more.
At this time, Qing Le simply thought, go on and cause trouble. It would be best if you caused so much trouble that the Emperor simply had you executed. This imperial daughter would rather remain single for life than get married to a lowly servant like you.
However, the Emperor did not get angry as expected. He only looked at Wang Nuo with great interest and asked him: “Do you not wish to marry imperial daughter Qing Le?”
Wang Nuo nodded: “This servant does not wish to.”
“Because…” Wang Nuo glanced at Qing Le, “Because she is too ugly.” As he spoke, he suddenly reached his hand over to Qing Le.
Qing Le was not prepared, as Wang Nuo suddenly tore off the cloth covering her head.
In an instant, her bare head was exposed. On her head were many bloody scabs that were on display for all to see. Some of the madams who were more faint at heart began dry heaving.
Xuan Tian Ge began laughing and tugging at Feng Yu Heng’s sleeve, “Your man caused those burns.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “Look carefully, it almost looks like a piece of art detailing a disaster.”
Xiang Rong could not longer endure listening. Picking up her handkerchief, she covered her mouth and turned around, dry heaving a couple times.
Feng Yu Heng held her chin and admired Qing Le’s head, as her career-focused mind kicked in… Hm, it would not be hard to treat, but even if it were treated well, a type of “dermatitis” would follow Qing Le around for the rest of her life. When the time came, her scalp would be at least as thick as her thumb. A little bit at a time, it would fall down and eventually annoy her to death.
“Ah!” Suddenly, Qing Le’s scream startled everyone present, as she used her hands to cover her head, desperately trying to hide the ugliness. However, how could she hide it. A bare head without a single strand of hair had long since entered everyone’s minds. In their minds, the image of imperial daughter Qing Le had become deeply rooted.
“Your Majesty!” Wang Nuo pointed at Qing Le’s head and said: “I beg your Majesty for your grace! This servant having such a wife will end up having nightmares!”
Lord Ding An nearly exploded with rage. Standing up, he kicked at Wang Nuo “Even if my Le’er’s entire body suffered terrible burns, she is still an imperial daughter, and you would never have a chance to dislike her!”
The Emperor quickly retracted his jovial demeanor, as an angry expression came forth once more. Fiercely glaring at Wang Nuo: “A simple servant dares to be so impudent. Lord Ding An, after today, you must properly manage your servants.”
Lord Ding An hastily knelt once more: “This one understands.”
“Forget it!” The Emperor waved his large sleeve, “Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival and the sanctioning of your Qing Le’s marriage. We do not want to argue with you and ruin the atmosphere for nothing.”
Feng Yu Heng rolled her eyes. The atmosphere had already been ruined by you, ok? Did you forget how you smashed Minister Bu to death?
“The day of Qing Le’s birthday in the tenth month will be your wedding day. When the time comes, We will send a good gift!” The Emperor’s words brought this matter to a close.
Wang Nuo saw that the Emperor was truly angry and no longer dared to argue. Kneeling, he thanked him for his grace.
Qing Le’s mind was an utter mess and she subconsciously looked towards Xuan Tian Ming. THe other side, however, did not even look at her. His gaze was centered on someone on the other side.
Qing Le turned around and saw Feng Yu Heng was currently making faces at Xuan Tian Ming. She was already feeling a little facetious. The faces she was making were quite cute, especially with Feng Yu Heng’s beautiful hair, and it was causing Qing Le to almost go crazy with envy.
She did not even know how she returned to her seat. Only after Chen Yu helped her sit back down and whisper something in her ear, did she recover her mental state.
Seeing that the matters of the Ding An family were taken care of, everyone felt that the banquet’s atmosphere was incredibly strange. It was perhaps best for it to end early. If this continued, who knew what sorts of things could happen.
Thus, there were some people who could no longer endure and took the initiative to push the banquet along: “Empress, this official happened upon a treasure a few days ago and brought it in to the banquet today to present to Empress, hoping that Empress’ beauty will last eternally without wilting.”
Feng Yu Heng understood that this was when they began giving gifts to the Empress.
She turned her head and asked Huang Quan: “Has everything been taken care of?”
Huang Quan nodded: “Young miss, do not worry.”
She lightly raised the corner of her lips into a smile and turned her gaze towards Feng Chen Yu. She saw that Chen Yu currently had her head lowered and was saying something to Qing Le, her face showing a trace of panic.
Qing Le’s head cloth once again wrapped up her head, but it no longer had the fine appearance it did earlier. Now, it was a complete mess, and she no longer had anything resembling an imperial daughter’s aura.
Lightly tugging at Xiang Rong’s sleeve, she leaned close and said to her: “In a moment, there will be a good play. Keep your eyes open and watch carefully.”
Xiang Rong did not understand, “There is still a play? Second sister, Xiang Rong has truly learned a great deal today. So it seemed that the palace’s banquets are actually so exciting. There was even a murder that occurred, so what else can there possibly be?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded: “The earlier plays did not have too much to do with us. The upcoming play is the main event.”
Xiang Rong did not understand what Feng Yu Heng’s words meant at all, but she had one ability, and that was to feel that what her second sister said was correct. Thus, she sat and waited for the play.
Xuan Tian Ge discovered that ever since the gift giving began, Qing Le’s gaze would occasionally float towards them. She said to Feng Yu Heng: “That woman is looking at you, right?”
Feng Yu Heng rolled her eyes, “Otherwise, could she be looking at you!”
“That’s definitely not possible. I have always been kind to people and never bullied the weak. Her vile gaze can not reach me.”
Feng Yu Heng smirked, Xuan Tian Ge, were you not afraid of losing your tongue over such words?
It is unknown when it began, but at some point they began presenting gifts to the Empress during Da Shun’s Mid-Autumn banquet. Previously, when the Empress dowager was still alive, she would also be presented gifts, but the Emperor did not receive these gifts.
Normally speaking, the valuable gifts were given by the officials of the government. The gifts given by the females were mostly just there to show their intentions were good.
Feng Jin Yuan, as the court’s prime minister, naturally had to set a good example. After the first person presented his gift and sat back down, Feng Jin Yuan stood up and brought a wooden box to the middle. Facing the Empress, he knelt down and said: “This official represents the Feng family and present a trunk of multicolored stones for the Empress to enjoy.”
Everyone rubbed their eyes. Multicolored stones? What were those?
Every single person craned their necks and looked towards Feng Jin Yuan.
They saw Feng Jin Yuan slowly open the box in his hands while explaining the multicolored stones to everyone: “These multicolored stones were formed naturally and are considered to be jadeite, but each stone has multiple colors. They are both jade and colorful. Looking at it, it appears to be like a multicolored flower.”
As he spoke, the wooden box was already opened fully. Everyone was attracted by this explanation, including the Emperor and the Empress. The Emperor had always liked rare items, and the Empress like new things. The two stood up from the throne and walked forward a few steps, their eyes staring straight towards the wooden box.
However, the originally very please Feng Jin Yuan became witless upon opening the box and noticing that it was empty.