"You look older than Auntie, how can you be her son? Siblings, maybe," muttered the spirit girl.
The emperor was deep in thought while the empress dowager was just all smiles as if she was very amused. As for the rest, their jaws were on the floor.
"Wait, if you're Auntie's son, that would mean you're interested in me… I don't like uncles like you, just let it go!" the spirit girl looked frightened.
"Ah?!" This time, everyone was confused, including the empress dowager.
"You little brat, what are you talking about?" the emperor frowned. He did not know what was going on at all.
"Ahahahaha…" The empress dowager lost all composure, laughing very hard. Usually, she would never do this- especially not in front of an outsider like Lady Marge. She had to maintain her image as the benevolent mother of the emperor.
However, she was already looking at Lady Marge as her granddaughter-in-law but not an outsider. What Ye Lang said was hilarious.
Think about it. The emperor, ruler of the Vermilion Bird Empire, was just rejected by a fair maiden. How could you not laugh? If this spread, it would be the joke of the year.
"Mother!!" reminded the emperor, for his mother had lost her composure. He didn't like being laughed at either. It wasn't an emperor ego thing, but a son-embarrassed-by-his-mother kind of situation
The empress dowager stopped laughing, sat up straight, then said gently, "Fair maiden, you are a good one! This is my son, but he's not here to be your betrothed. His children are much older than you too. As I said before, I was referring to my grandchildren!"
"Are you serious? You really have grandchildren my age?" asked the spirit girl, cocking her head sideways.
"Yes! That's why you should call me Grandma!" she smiled. She wanted the spirit girl to call her Grandma anyway. She was going to be her granddaughter-in-law!
Unfortunately, this sounded odd to the rest of the people. How could someone call the empress dowager 'grandma'?
Ye Lang didn't think much of it, but he looked at her curiously, "Granny, do you have elfish blood in you?"
According to what he knew, elves were creatures with very long lives, and they never aged. Humans with some elvish blood in them might have human lifespans, but they kept their youths better, ageing slower than regular humans.
However, there was a problem with having elfish blood. It was harder for them to conceive, therefore it was common for female elves to have only one child every hundred years or so.
The empress dowager was a little exasperated upon hearing 'granny', but she laughed again, "Maybe. I don't know why either, I'm the only one like this among my siblings. My children are all the same as regular humans though."
"This could be due to a phenomenon known as atavism! Or, it might be gene mutation!"
"Atavism? Gene mutation? What? Forget it, you both should talk first. I'm leaving," said the empress dowager casually. It's been so many years, did she still care about anything?
"Hey, granny! What do you mean we both should talk? You mean you still want us both to date? I'm not interested, especially not older men you know. And he must be divorced since he has children, so I'm definitely not interested!" exclaimed the spirit girl immediately. There had been a mistake!
The old lady excused herself to leave the both of them to talk, it was a classic trick!
The empress dowager and everyone else almost collapsed, while the emperor's face darkened.
"Fair maiden, have you forgotten what you were here for?" asked the empress dowager, wiping her sweat.
"I remember, the emperor invited me. Why isn't he here yet? That's very rude of him, making me wait," answered the spirit girl very directly. She literally said the emperor was rude.
Everyone fell silent. This Lady Marge was a whole other breed. She called the emperor rude.
Many people don't even have the chance to wait for the emperor, she was utterly ungrateful!
"I think you still don't know that my son here is the emperor!" said the empress dowager, smiling.
"...He's the emperor? Why did he call you mother?" the spirit girl was stunned.
"Yes!!" said the empress dowager and Coldblood Five at the same time, but only Ye Lang could hear Coldblood Five.
"She is (I am) the empress dowager, the emperor's mother!!" answered Coldblood Five and the empress dowager at the same time.
Not all empires/kingdoms in the mainland had such titles for the royal family. Some houses just used 'mother' or 'father' at most.
"Oh...I see… So you're the emperor, I'm so sorry!" said Ye Lang, still controlling the spirit girl. She bowed in respect.
"Granny, no, your majesty, thank you!"
"It's alright! The ignorant are innocent. We didn't get to introduce ourselves, so we can't blame you!" smiled the empress dowager, then she turned to leave.
She wasn't going to ask about the emperor's matters. She was only here to help the little princess get her necklace. Since she wasn't going to get the necklace now, it was time for her to leave!
"Lady Marge, let's get right into it! Did you buy something from yesterday's auction?" asked the emperor solemnly.
"This again? I've already given it to someone else, please ask your daughter to let it go."
"Who? What has that got to do with my daughter?" the emperor was very confused, again.
"The empress dowager just asked me. She wanted the necklace I bought, the one the little princess didn't get. I've given it to someone else. I don't understand you all, did you really have to invite me over just because of this?" said the spirit girl, a little annoyed.
Ye Lang was, indeed, annoyed. So what if they've lost something at an auction? Did they have to send someone to get him over to the palace? That was an awful attitude!
All because of this, Ye Lang would always throw dirty looks at the little princess since this meeting, causing her to be very confused.
"Who wants to talk about the necklace? Oh, so that was why the little brat was so upset. It was about the necklace! You're good, fair maiden, you beat my eighth son, then my youngest daughter!" the emperor finally understood. So that was why the empress dowager was here. The little princess must have gone crying to her grandmother after the auction.
However, from her personality, usually, she would rage at this Lady Marge, probably even using her power and status to threaten Lady Marge into giving the necklace up. Not only did that not happen, but she was also closer than ever with Lady Marge.
What was going on??
2/4 chapters this week
[atavism: a biology term, recurrence of traits of an ancestor in a subsequent generation.]
chapter 200!! woahh yall have been with Ye Lang for 200 chapters already?! that's dedication right there!!
much tenks for reading :*