Chapter 27 – Prince Ying arrives, completely lacking any warning sign
Once the imperial edict for moving one's home came down, it set off a huge whirlwind in the entire capital. It had turned into everyone's topic of idle conversation over tea and meals. Very quickly, Elder Chu's birthday feast had arrived.
In the capital, a lot of people carried curiosity towards Chu family's little Miss, so, one after another, they participated in this birthday feast. Even those that didn't receive a written invitation used every possible means to get one. It was said that these several days, the servants of Chu family had dredged up a lot of profit, and their hands were amply greased!
The day of the birthday celebration, Chu family's front door was as busy as a marketplace. This was something that Chu family had never achieved, even at the height of the family's powers. Elder Chu smiled until one could even see his back teeth, thinking that his status in the capital had risen with the tide.
The servants in Chu family carried all kinds of pastries, coming and going, wishing they had grown an extra pair of hands or legs. Today, the Chu family manor was unusually lively.
Madam Xing and the others of her kind immediately made their children take out their best clothing. They were adorned in a stylish manner that was high class, because a lot of high government officials and nobility had come to attend this feast. Among them, there was no lack of young, talented and handsome men and unmarried daughters from noble houses. As a result, the Chu family planned to take advantage of this chance to give several of their children who were of age the opportunity to look for a marriage partner.
Compared to the scenes of the fervent bustling activities outside, inside the wing in the back courtyard, it was relatively quiet. At this moment, Chu Qing-Yan supported her chin and was yawning away.
"Daddy, you put on your shoes the wrong way." She kindly reminded.
Daddy Chu, having heard what was said, lowered his head to look at his shoes. It really didn’t seem right. So, he started to play the game of switching shoes with himself.
Whereas Mother Chu clasped a pink-colored butterfly skirt and handed it over to her, "This was sent over under Aunt-in-law's orders several days ago, you try it on and let's have a look."
Once Chu Qing-Yan saw this color, the corner of her mouth couldn't help but twitch. Why was it this color? Even though she had a cute girl's body, her soul was still twenty years old ah. She hasn’t worn this color for more than ten years, making her feel as if she had returned to kindergarten once again. However, when she lifted her head to see her mother's face full of anticipation, Chu Qing-Yan, with difficulty, tactfully swallowed her words of refusal. Forget it, in any case. she also had a cute girl's face now, just consider this a revival of the period of time of her early youth!
When she had finished putting on the dress, she walked out under mother's happy gaze and daddy's dumbstruck expression. Looking at the her in the mirror, Chu Qing-Yan couldn't help but sigh. As expected, people depended on clothing. At first glance, she really was a beautiful child that made people feel pleased. She raised her eyebrow, the person in the mirror looked like a spirit, with eyes that looked around with a tranquility that was inconsistent to her age. In the blink of an eye, it disappeared and returned to that pure, innocent smiling expression.
Since this was the first time she would appear in front of everyone, then she should dress her best and strive for the benefits that ought to belong to her parents!
What had happened before in the Chu family could only be regarded as small scale matters. The real battlefield would probably begin today!
She was the granddaughter-in-law personally picked by the Retired Emperor of Western Xuan. Her marriage was also personally bestowed as an imperial edict written by Western Xuan's Emperor. Outside, there was no shortage of people who were curious about her from the rumors. However, she needed to perform well in order to gain more opportunities for routes of retreat.
As the person in the mirror moved slightly, the five-colored butterflies arranged on the shirt seemed to dance gracefully. A sweet, astute expression came to life on her face.
She was prepared to start the first battle!
On the route walking from the back courtyard to the front hall, Chu Qing-Yan gradually sensed the lively atmosphere. She pulled her lips into a smile, because of this bestowed marriage, it seemed that Chu family had gotten a lot of benefits, like reputation, status——
But from Chu Qing-Yan's point of view, this was something mutually beneficial. Later, when she moved to Prince Ying's Manor, her parents would need the protection under Chu family's roof. After all, they were intimately interdependent!
Just as she entered the front hall of the courtyard, Elder Madam Chu, with sharp eyes, saw her. Or perhaps, she was just waiting for Chu Qing-Yan to appear.
"Madam Lin, didn't you just say you want to see our family's Little Nine? As a matter of fact, the person just arrived!" Elder Madam Chu's voice wasn't loud, but those well-informed people who liked to gossip followed Elder Madam Chu's gaze to look in that direction.
One could only see a doll-like girl with a powdered, jade-like face, attired in a dress with a hundred butterflies, slowly enter the front hall. White skin with the luster of gems, a sweet smiling expression that made people feel fondness for her, as if she was an attendant at the side of the great master Guanyin buddha, she attracted everyone's affection.
"She really is a quick-witted, little doll-like girl!"
"That's right ah! She looks really graceful!"
Whispers of praises sounded one after another.
When Chu Yun-Yu and Chu Ying-Yu, who sat not far away, heard this, their faces darkened momentarily. Just a while ago, they were still enjoying everyone's praises, now, the countryside bumpkin they despised the most had become the object of everyone's praises. How could their mood feel good?
"What's the use of looking good, doesn't she still need to be married to that Prince Ying everyone is terrified of?" Chu Ying-Yu blurted out in annoyance.
Chu Yun-Yu nodded her head in endorsement, "That's right. Dressing up in such an unpresentable way, she really is a country bumpkin!"
Although the two people's voices were very low, it still transmitted to quite a few people's ears. A lot of madams from influential families, having heard this, couldn't help but wrinkle their brows. These Misses from a small family and clan like Chu family really had bad mouths, they simply couldn't be brought out in public. A little bit of this scorn also switched over to Chu Qing-Yan. Coming out from the same family, her moral character will more or less be the same as those two!
Chu Qing-Yan also heard these two people's remarks, and could clearly feel everyone's expressions of contempt. She couldn't help but have the urge to slap a brick towards those two cousins of hers. This was a public place under numerous people's eyes, even if there were contradictions within the family, the first priority was still to resist foreign aggression. Where can you find people like these two, who vented internal strife for all to see?!
This was simply going out without bringing their brains! No, it ought to be said that even at home, they wouldn't use their brains!
However, right now, Chu Qing-Yan's main focus wasn't this.
"Wishing Great Aunt well, several Madams well." Chu Qing-Yan raised a sincere, lovable and innocent smiling face, and paid her respects to all of them, one by one.
Only a ten-year-old little girl, looking so adorable and sensible; compared to the pair of cousins who liked to gossip, Chu Qing-Yan's image, all at once, had a good reversal.
"This Ninth Miss really is as clever and intelligent as the rumor says. Elder Madam Chu, having this kind of grand-niece is a blessing, a blessing!" The madam at Elder Madam Chu's left side smiled towards Chu Qing-Yan and turned to Elder Madam Chu to say.
Just now, Elder Madam Chu was about to speak rudely to the pair of Chu Yun-Yu sisters from anger. However, once she heard these words, her feathers were immediately soothed. Even the look she gave Chu Qing-Yan also carried a few traces of fondness.
"Such a young age, she doesn't understand anything. I'm indebted to Madam Lin's praise! Qing-Yan, quickly give thanks to Madam Lin!"
Chu Qing-Yan obediently bent her body in thanks. Her pair of cheeks had a bashful color as she said, "Thank you Madam Lin."
Her voice was sweet and charming, just speaking, she immediately obtained everyone's good opinion.
Chu Qing-Yan listened to everyone's words of praise. In actual fact, her heart was very clear, what they cared about wasn't her, Chu Qing-Yan, nor was it the Chu family, rather. it was the title of Princess Ying of Western Xuan.
However, Chu Qing-Yan still responsibly and diligently played her role as the lovable little Ninth Miss. This made Elder Madam Chu's face light up with happiness from Chu Qing-Yan's behavior that made her look good. Elder Chu, seeing this, also became more cheerful. So, he happily and cheerfully discussed various things with the people here to congratulate him.
And just when the feast was about to start, and when Chu Qing-Yan had given several yawns stealthily, the servant from outside ran staggering in, his complexion pale as if he had bumped into a ghost in broad daylight.
"What matter could be so alarming?"
As the master of the house and also the person this time's birthday feast was celebrating, Elder Chu was the first one to ask in a displeased manner.
"Agreed? Shadow? (1)" Elder Chu frowned.
"Prince Ying has arrived——" He finally finished speaking in one breath!
Eh, the servant lifted his head and saw Elder Chu's pair of eyes staring blankly, his lips helplessly trembling. What was this matter?
1) Agreed? Shadow?: These two chinese characters, when pronounced, all sound like Ying from Prince Ying. Except Prince Ying is the Chinese Character for Hero 英 and the Chinese character for agreed is 应 and shadow is 影.