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Chapter One Hundred and Thirteen The Prosperity Blinds One's Eyes
No one felt surprised by the princess of Jing's proposal. There were even officials who gave dubious smiles that they thought they hid well, as though they knew what the princess of Jing was thinking and were waiting to see a good show.
A princess of a minor country giving a dance of her own initiative in front of this many people. No one would believe that she didn't have any ulterior motives. But right now, the Empress was still present. This method that this princess of Jing took was too straightforward. To try to seduce the Emperor in front of the Empress, was this because she was confident in her beauty, or just that she didn't have any brains?
After He Heng heard the request from the princess of Jing, he didn't immediately agree, but turned to look at Qu Qing Ju. It was as though he was asking her if she was interested in the dances of a different culture.
"Ben gong has heard that the country of Jing's Hu Guo Princess' beauty is the most beautiful in the countries and can dance the world's most beautiful dance. Today, seeing the princess, if we cannot see the princess dance in our palace, it would be such a pity." Qu Qing Ju gave a dignified smile, "Please, Princess, dance."
Dai Rong didn't think that the person who would speak would be the Empress of Da Long and not His Highness the Emperor. She first froze for a beat before standing and bowing, responding: "Great thanks to the Empress, this little woman will display her meager talents." She took off the boots on her feet, and the large robe on her body, revealing a grand attire full of exoticness.
When the men and women present saw her actions, they were slightly shocked. But thinking about the cultural differences between countries, they didn't reveal their reactions blatantly. But inside, they couldn't resist comparing this Hu Guo princess to the dancers. Because in this type of setting, the noblewomen wouldn't lower themselves to display their talents, but would use dancers instead to raise the mood.
Also …… the most beautiful dance in the world? A pellet-sized country dares to boast so. It was really ignorant and narrow minded.
Qu Qing Ju looked at the bare arms and flat stomach that Dai Rong showed after she took off her outer robe and smiled slightly as she raised the teacup. Her gaze swept across the Jing country's musicians who had been invited in, and leaned to whisper into He Heng's ear: "This princess of Jing's waist looks so enticing, it's like a willow branch. It makes one want to go and touch." What she said was the truth. This Hu Guo Princess might have skin that was slightly tanned, it didn't comply with the sense of beauty of the men of Da Long but her features were extremely beautiful, and her figure also extremely hot. She was like a very flavorful pepper. Not a necessity, but when one looked, they couldn't stop thinking about wanting to have a taste.
He Heng carelessly looked at the woman who was twisting her waist like an eel. He thought back to how Qu Qing Ju looked when she had been flying dressed in red and laughed lightly in her ear: "Compared to Qing Ju, she's only just so." In his mind, this Hu Guo Princess did have some attractiveness, but it wasn't something that was rare in the world. On the other hand, it was the intangible charm that Qu Qing Ju showed during her dance that moved his heart. A tasteful woman is like old wine. The more one tasted, the more flavor there was to savor. And not like this kind of strong spirit where there was some taste at first taste, but if more was drank, how was it different from the rotgut liquor sold on the streets?
Dai Rong's movements became even more provocative, like a poisonous viper that unconsciously attracted the gaze of many males. When they looked at her moving waist, there were only two words in their mind, "beautiful creature."
As the drums beat faster, the bare feet of Dai Rong spun even faster. The second the drums stopped, she made a pose with her hands together and one of her feet slightly curled, as though a seductive goddess suddenly took away all her magic, and once again became a noble princess.
He Heng had just focused on talking with Qu Qing Ju and didn't pay any serious attention at all to how this Hu Guo Princess had danced. Seeing her finish, he raised his hand: "This dance of the princess of Jing's truly has a certain style. What do you think, Empress?"
"Emperor is right," Qu Qing Ju smiled as she followed, "The princess is as beautiful as the burning sun. How about ben gong gives that red jade hairpin from ben gong's stores to the princess? It would really mean that this hairpin won't be neglected."
"Many thanks to the honored Your Majesty the Emperor and Empress," Dai Rong saw that He Heng didn't seem to be attracted by her dancing. She did feel regretful but her opinion of He Heng became higher. A man that wasn't easily swayed by beauty, it made her feel that he was more of a challenge than normal men, "But it is one of Empress' favored objects. This one can't take away something from the other."
"The princess is too polite," Qing Qing Ju smiled faintly as she touched the golden phoenix buyao in her hair, "Or does the Princess looks down on ben gong's hairpin?"
"This one doesn't dare," Dai Rong saw that the Empress didn't have a good expression and hurriedly bowed, replying: "Many thanks for Empress' gift."
"No need to be polite," Qu Qing Ju's smile eased, "Ben gong has heard that the queen of your country has been ill lately. Earlier, ben gong has heard many of the queen's wise deeds and is very admiring of her. When Imperial Son and Princess return, please give ben gong's goodwill to the queen."
Hearing the Empress mention his mother, Tu Er also stood up, and stopped beside his meimei. He respectfully made a bow: "Many thanks for Empress' concern. If mother knows of this matter, she would definitely recover due to happiness."
Qu Qing Ju smiled: "Imperial Son is too serious. It does seem that both of you are giants among men, who is the eldest and youngest?" She raised a teacup to sip at the surface of the tea, her tone extremely calm, as though she was only casually asking.
"Empress, this one is the eldest," Tu Er remembered that he seemed to have called Dai Rong by meimei in the hall already. Even without the appellation, Da Long should have already known who was the eldest already due to their envoy status. But since the Empress was asking it right in front of him, then he could only obediently reply.
"So that's how it is," Qu Qing Ju nodded, turning her head to speak to He Heng, "Didn't the queen have a matter for Emperor to decide? Qie feels that right now is a good time. All the major officials and the envoys from the countries are here, it's fitting to settle the matter."
By this time, everyone present became silent, their gaze flickering between Tu Er and Dai Rong. Even though everyone knew what matter the Empress spoke of, but no one had thought that the Empress would boldly take up the topic. But knowing that the letter had been written by the Jing's Queen, it was normal for the Empress to have viewed it.
"If Empress hadn't mentioned it, zhen would’ve almost forgot," He Heng naturally didn't need to spend much time on such a small matter. Furthermore, he was partial to Tu Er as the successor. The kind of woman that Dai Rong was had too much ambition. For the Da Long Dynasty, it didn't need a subordinate country's ruler to have such great ambitions, "Not long ago, the Queen of Jing had sent a letter to zhen hoping to pick a successor between the two of you. Based on what zhen has seen, both of you are very able. It really is hard to make a decision."
By now, the officials who had received presents from Dai Rong beforehand didn't dare to speak. They weren't dumb. Just now, the Empress had implied that the Imperial Son Tu Er was the elder, and Dai Rong Princess was the younger. If they were so blind to help speak for Dai Rong Princess, wasn't that working against the Empress?
"Emperor, Imperial Son and Princess are both di, but there is the order of seniority. Wei chen thinks that Imperial Son Tu Er should be made Crown Prince." The Duke of Zhong Yi stood and raised his hands in a fist, declaring, "If none of the heirs have done anything wrong, the best choice is the eldest among the di."
Once the Duke of Zhong Yi's words came out, many of the senior officials came out to second it. None of them abandoned their standpoint just because Dai Rong was a gorgeous woman.
"Since that is the case, zhen will title Imperial Son Tu Er as the Crown Prince, and write an Imperial Decree for the envoys to take back to Jing to read," He Heng lowered his head slightly, revealing an approving expression, "Since the matter is settled, the banquet will continue."
Dai Rong didn't think that the position of Crown Princess would slip away so silently. Before coming here, mother had clearly implied that the Emperor of Da Long favored her, but at this time, she couldn't see any sign of protection from the Emperor?
She was the most favored and popular princess of Jing. Even her mother had used "Hu Guo" as her title. But why did His Majesty the Emperor turn away and establish her gege?
Tu Er didn't think that the position of Crown Prince would come so suddenly. He first dropped in a daze for a few seconds before remembering to kneel and give thanks. He didn't know if he was thinking too much but he felt that if the Empress hadn't said what she had just said, maybe this position of Crown Prince wouldn't have been delegated to him.
But why did the Empress help him?
He suddenly stared with a complicated expression at his meimei who was kneeling beside him. He had heard that Empress of Da Long was very appreciative of able women. If meimei hadn't given this dance, and became slightly close with the Empress, would he have what he did now?
Earlier, he had said that meimei would use the wrong methods, but she persisted in believing that all the women of Da Long were gentle and virtuous. Why didn't she think, even the women of Jing had many different personalities, so how about the vast and abundant Da Long? Where in this world would there be women who were all the same?
Meimei had lost because she was too egotistical and overconfident. She didn’t believe in the sincerity of the feelings between the Emperor and Empress. But this Imperial Couple before them, they were not what she had expected. Perhaps, this is the so-called fate?
Even as the birthday banquet finished, Dai Rong Princess still hadn't recovered from the blow of losing her position as successor. When the banquet had ended, and she had walked out of Luan He Hall to feel the cold wind and saw the exploding fireworks in the sky, she finally slowly woke up. She really failed. Gege already became the successor recognised by the Emperor of Da Long.
What was the use of a princess who couldn't succeed the throne? After returning to the country, she could only find a fuma, and then have children, and then slowly age away in the Princess fu… …
Those kind of days were too scary. She wanted to be the high up queen. If she couldn't be queen, wouldn't the pride she had before become a joke?
Raising her head, she saw the blinding fireworks. She had heard that it wasn't difficult to make this kind of fireworks but the crucial step was the dosage used. Her country couldn't produce it so they had to spend much wealth buying it from Da Long. So unless it was an important occasion, they wouldn't use such valuable objects, and couldn't have such a show of such duration like Da Long.
It was just a birthday of an emperor yet they would have a fireworks show for this long. By now, the banquet attendees had dispersed, but they still continued to set them off, as though those things were worthless, that even a child on the street could light one and play.。
A prosperous and flourishing Da Long, a poor Jing.
Dai Rong Princess' steps paused. She turned to look at the majestic and luxurious Luan He Hall. Even the jade steps and pillars outside the hall were so tasteful and extraordinary. Then how lavish were the days of the women who lived in the Imperial Palace?
Not far away, a procession held beautiful lanterns as they escorted an unbelievably beautiful phoenix carriage. Following behind the carriage were pretty palace maids dressed finely. Such an extravagant scene made her slightly dazed. She couldn't resist asking a guard outside the Luan He Hall: "Who is sitting in that beautiful carriage?"
The guard saw that it was a princess of a subordinate country and politely answered: "That is the phoenix carriage of the Empress. Because the Empress had already left with the Emperor, so most of the phoenix carriage's attendants have left together with the Imperial Carriage."
This kind of procession when there was no one inside? Dai Rong Princess felt astonishment. If the Empress was sitting inside, then how grand would the scene be?
Was this the life inside the Imperial Palace of Da Long? No wonder mother had always talked about how rich and prosperous Da Long was. She had thought it was just mother exaggerating. Coming to Da Long personally, she finally knew that the actual Da Long was even more prosperous and marvelous than her mother had said.
She watched dazedly as the phoenix carriage proceeded further away, and couldn't help but falling into a trance. If she could also live this kind of luxurious life in the future, it would be wonderful.
Right now, she couldn't become the future ruler of Jing, but if she could become an Imperial fei in Da Long and live such a sumptuous life, it also wasn't a bad choice.
Didn't they say that the women the Emperor of Da Long favored were even more honored than the Empress? If she could become that woman that was even more honored than the Empress, by then, would she still have to send gifts to flatter the minor officials of Da Long? The throne of Jing wasn't anything. Even if gege became king, when he met her, he would still have to bow to her. Moreover, even the Empress wouldn't dare to use such a proud attitude towards her.