Early on the next day, Shen Miao entered the Palace.
Luo Xue Yan and Shen Xin were worried about her and let her bring a number of guards. But the guards of the Shen residence could not follow Shen Miao constantly and once they reached the Palace gates, they had to wait outside.
Before Shen Miao's departure, she had put on all the different jewellery that Xie Jing Xing gave. Everything that could be worn were worn. Towards the Imperial Palace of Ming Qi, she could not guarantee that it as the most malicious place and only feared that accidents would happen thus she made preparations.
Once she reached the Palace Gates, Gu Yu and the rest waiting outside with the guards while Shen Miao was led into Kun Ning Palace by the palace maid. Along the journey, the palace maid felt somewhat strange. The journey from the Palace Gates to Kun Ning Palace was not considered easy as one had to walk through a number of long corridors and a few gardens but Shen Miao walked familiarly. Even along those old and loose steps the palace maids need not need to warn her and she would skip the steps accordingly. The palace maid was suspicious in her heart. Could it be that Shen Miao came to Kun Ning Palace once and remembered it so well that not one mistake was made?
One would not expect that this Kun Ning Palace was the place that Shen Miao stayed in her past lifetime that every single grass and wood were all remembered. Thus facing all the Imperial furnishing and delicate displays, she would turn a blind eye to it and if one looked carefully, there was a flash of aversion in Shen Miao's eyes.
These people did not know.
Upon reaching Kun Ning Palace, the servant was styling the Empress's hair and Shen Miao had to wait for quite a while before the Empress invite her in.
Today Consort Dong Shu did not come over and the Empress was the only mistress. She wore a somewhat formal robes with the nine Phoenixes hairpins and put a heavy makeup, to display a oppressive feeling.
Shen Miao took a glance and understood in her heart.
This was treating her as a little girl who had not seen the world and wanted to use the Imperial family's prestige to scare her? Force her to relent voluntarily? No wonder Luo Xue Yan was purposely dispensed. If Shen Miao was truly a sixteen year old young lady and with the Empress formal appearance and some threatening words, one would find one isolated and helpless that in a state of confusion, she would relent accordingly.
But how was Shen Miao a little girl? The person in front was an Empress and in her previous lifetime she was an Empress and was more knowledgeable that this one, had a even bigger airs and suffered more so this little act of a fox exploiting the tiger's might really did not enter her eyes at all. Shen Miao's eyes hang down and a humble smile floated on her face.
The Empress slowly frowned. Shen Miao's reaction was somewhat different than from what she had thought. She did not know if Shen Miao was deliberately acting confused or was originally stupid. Her gaze landed on the bracelet on Shen Miao's wrist and her eyes slightly congealed before she smiled, "That bracelet is classified as high grade, come up and let BenGong take a look."
Shen Miao went up accordingly and the Empress held Shen Miao's hand. One did not know where one had found such a rare jade material, so transparent and exceptionally smooth. Just as she was about to praise a few sentence, she heard Shen Miao speaking with a smile, "Replying to Your Ladyship, this official's daughter's necklace and earrings also looks good."
The Empress was dazed before seriously looking at it and the corner of her mouth could not help but jerk after looking at it. Cat eye hairpin matching with pearl earrings, pearl earrings with amber necklace, and needless to say all the other small jewelry. Each of them were pervious jewellery with exquisite craftsmanship but why did one brainlessly wear all of them? The Empress suddenly did not want to praise Shen Miao's jewelry and even lost interest in that bracelet. There was some despise in her heart as in the beginning everyone said that the Young Lady of the Shen family was a idiot that loves gold but afterwards there was a change. From today appearance, there was no difference from previous. Thinking of marrying Shen Miao to the Crown Prince, the Empress's heart was not happy. If it was for the sake of giving the Shen family's military power to the Crown Prince, the Empress was not willing to let such a coarse female marry into the Eastern Palace.
The Empress released Shen Miao's hand, "Today BenGong only wanted to talk to you." She sighed, "That day one had mentioned it with your Mother that you do not have any engagement and at the right age. BenGong really like you and wanted to be a matchmaker for you. Naturally BenGong would not make things difficult for others, you have to like it too."
Shen Miao lowered her head without speaking.
The Empress patted her hands, "Do you think BenGong live well? Is it impressive or not?"
Shen Miao sneered in her heart but she had a smile on as she replied, "Your Ladyship live well and it is impressive."
"Marrying into the Imperial family would allow the powerful one protect and dote. Every female would be able to live well and impressively. BenGong life is indeed good. If you have this kind of good luck, do you want to live impressively?"
These words had the intention to tempt. Shen Miao's lips slightly rose but her words were instead humble and fearful as she knelt down, "This official's daughter is currently living very well and dare not to look at other things and don't even dare to compare with Your Ladyship. May Your Ladyship spare this official's daughter a life."
The Empress was stunned. She did not expect that Shen Miao would have such a reaction. There were numerous of people under Heavens that wanted to climb to higher branches thus the Empress knew that as long as it was normal females, there would be a little vanity and by using herself as a lure, it would be easy to convince Shen Miao due to her young age and one did not fear she would not be tempted. As long as Shen Miao loosen a bit and follow her words, then the Imperial family would be justified to push the marriage to the Shen family. Since one wanted to be a bandit, one had to conceal some parts of it.
Who knew that Shen Miao would have this kind of reaction? Not tempted, no hesitation and instead fearful?
The Empress did not feel good. Could it be that being an Empress was such a scary thing? Or is it that the Di born Young Lady of the Shen family had a courage of a mouse or was as stupid as a cow and could not understand her subtle hint and thought that calamity was approaching?
One could not make mud rise up and climb the wall (aka useless as mud).
In the remaining of the time, no matter how tactful the Empress spoke or how hash or gentle, Shen Miao still had a humble and fearful appearance on. It was because of this appearance, her mouth was very tight and one was unable to get a single word out of her. At the end the Empress was somewhat angry and let Shen Miao go back in annoyance. She only thought that since this matter could not be targeted from Shen Miao then one had to discuss new approaches with Emperor Wen Hui.
Because the Empress's attitude was not of satisfaction when she let Shen Miao leave, the palace maids that was bringing her also did not care much of Shen Miao and just give Shen Miao to a young eunuch who was passing by to bring Shen Miao out of the Palace.
The young eunuch naturally complied.
The young eunuch brought Shen Miao towards the outer Palace and took a few turns. There are a lot of palaces in the Palace and other than the few palace that was used by the consorts, most of it were the eunuch and palace maids rooms. This young eunuch brought Shen Miao to a walk on the secluded area and after turning into a garden, one was facing an neglected garden, Shen Miao stopped and said, "This is not the direction to leave the Palace. Where are you bringing me to?" Her hands moved towards her bracelet. No one was more familiar than her on Ming Qi's palace and halls as she knew which direction to escape was the most advantages to her.
That young eunuch was startled and quickly whispered, "Gentleman Pei wants to see Young Lady."
Pei Lang? Shen Miao frowned slightly.
After thinking for a moment, Shen Miao still followed the young eunuch. Pei Lang had not written a letter to her for a long time and Shen Miao still thought that Pei Lang was discovered by Fu Xiu Yi. However when she send Mo Qing to inquire, he seemed to see Pei Lang in the residence of Prince Ding and he seemed to be safe and sound. If Fu Xiu Yi were to be suspicious of Pei Lang, he would definitely not let Pei Lang be that unrestrained.
If Pei Lang look for her then there must be something important.
There were many coincidences in the world. What Shen Miao did not know was that the Imperial family had the intention to bestow a marriage, implicating a group of people. Shen Xin, Luo Xue Yan and Shen Qiu were family and would run nonstop with regards to the matter but a few other people also came forward afterwards. For example, Luo Ling expressing his sincere heart, Su Ming Feng mistaken marriage and Feng Zi Xian's reaching out to help.
There were thousands of strands of connection in the world and those connections were as thin as the sparkling and translucent thread that spiders spit out in each respective position. When it criss-cross, it would form a thin and dense network of knots that would become a strange and unexplainable coincidence.
Princess Rong Xin entered the Palace.
Her health had alway not been good and had became thinner in the recent years. She would only enter the Palace in a handful of days in a year and seemed to be somewhat eager today. The palace maid wanted to report it but Princess Rong Xing waved her hands, "BenGong did not have and invitation and just wanted to discuss about some matters with Imperial Older Brother so there is no need to report it."
How would the guards at the Palace Gates dare to stop? Even though Princess Rong Xing did not show up often, she was after all the daughter that the late Emperor doted the most and had a strong temperament. If one made her anger, there would not be good days ahead thus she was immediately let go.
The palace maid wanted to look for a sedan for Princess Rong Xin but was rejected by Princess Rong Xin, "It is not convenient for the sedan when using small routes. Just follow BenGong to walk slowly."
Princess Rong Xin's heart was anxious. She did not ask about matters of the cost and would be in her Princess residence all day. If she did not passed by the courtyard and heard that the servants speaking about Shen Miao's matter, she would not know that the Imperial family had the intention to marry Shen Miao to the Crown Princess. Not to mention about Xie Jing Xing, Princess Rong Xing would still want to protect Shen Miao. Princess Rong Xin herself appreciated Shen Miao and as a person of the Imperial family, Princess Rong Xin knew that for the female who married in, it looks glamorous on the outside but it was not necessarily happy. Moreover Shen Miao was not a female who was keen in wealth and glory so there was no need for such things for her. If one were to married into the Eastern Palace, Shen Miao would not be happy for her entire life.
Princess Rong Xin was in a rush to look for Emperor Wen Hui, hoping that she was able to change her Imperial Older Brother's mind. Thus she headed towards a small route.
Shen Miao had reached a remote pavilion.
That pavilion was nestled in the middle of the words with a long corridor leaning against it. There were several rooms along the corridor which made it convenient to hid. Pei Lang walked out from that room.
The young eunuch stood outside to keep a lookout for both of them. Shen Miao nodded her head towards Pei Lang as a greeting and asked, "Gentleman Pei, is there any urgent matter to be discussed here?"
"Prince Ding had seal the residence, thus one is unable to send you a letter." Pei Lang said, "The idea of the Crown Prince marrying you was brought up by Prince Ding."
Shen Miao's brow raised and when Pei Lang saw that she was not surprised, he asked, "You knew?"
"Guess that it was his handiwork." Shen Miao said blandly, "With the Crown Prince's brains, how would he think of me without any rhyme or reason."
Pei Lang had some doubts about Shen Miao's tone of voice as it seemed like she was very familiar with the Crown Prince and Fu Xiu Yi. But Shen Miao was an unmarried female who would not have any opportunities for interaction with the Princes so how would she be able to understand the Princes' personalities? One fear that even Shen Xin was necessarily as familiar as Shen Miao.
This neglected garden once had a ghostly encounter thus almost no one came here, thus Pei Lang did not worry about people passing by. He said frowningly, "What are you planning to do with the matter of marriage?"
Shen Miao was somewhat surprised. Pei Lang had always been a person who would only analyse the pros and cons about a matter without personal feelings thus it would be rare for him to ask about her marriage matter. After all how she view this marriage matter was irrelevant to the overall situation.
Shen Miao said, "Let nature take it's course."
"You cannot marry the Crown Prince." Pei Lang said.