Mistakenly Made a Consort (8)
Xi Yan and Mu Yan follows the eunuch along a corridor lined with green plum trees until they reach a towering hall, the name of the hall is written in bold and strong strokes, ‘Liang Yi Hall’.
The eunuch stops in front of the entrance and announce, “Inviting the two maidens to enter the hall for an audience with His Majesty.”
“Yes.” Mu Yan and Xi Yan fixes their appearance that has been made slightly ruffled when blown by wind on the way here, and slowly step onto the jade steps leading into the hall.
The inside of the hall is filled with a gentle, elegant scent. She did not know what incense they used, all she knows it smells nice. Besides, it helps cover her own body scent.
Every summer, she would spend her days in her family manor’s back garden. Her body scent will attract butterflies and they will fly around her as she circles around in pleasure.
However, the side consort started to make deriding remarks and after that, she no longer comes out of the embroidering building during the summer. She was not afraid of the side consort, she just did not want to create trouble for her mother. Her mother had always tolerate the side consort, right from the day the empress dowager bestowed her to their household.
Now that she is about to marry to the far Ye Kingdom, such tolerance is important to her.
She and Mu Yan walk with careful steps and only stop when the eunuch instructs them to kneel while another eunuch announces their name on the sideline.
All these rules had been taught to them by maids sent by the palace half a month before entering the palace. Even though it was a simple rule, they had been taught repeatedly until there are no longer possibilities for them to make mistakes.
Meeting the ruler of the country is a blessing.
“Xiang Qin Wang’s eldest daughter, Nalan Xi Yan. 13 years old.” A eunuch slowly announce inside the hall.
Xi Yan takes a step forward, her eyes looking down on the 3 jin squares of golds on the floor. They are almost like a mirror, she can see her own reflection there.
“This maiden, Nalan Xi Yan greets the emperor. Long live the emperor,” she said. Her voice was low, as though something is blocking her throat.
She bows as part of the ceremony, her palms coming into contact with the cold, golden flooring. Her forehead rests at the back of her hand on the floor, and for a moment, her entire body feels cold.
This is the first time she ever greets the emperor. Other than the slight sound her skirt makes when she bows, there is no other sound in the hall.
“Get up.” For a long time, the emperor did not acknowledge her greeting. Just as she thought he didn’t hear her and was about to repeat when she just said, Xuan Yuan Yu speaks up.
Doesn’t know if it is because the hall is too big or because he is sitting too far away, his voice sounds so distant, carrying the sound of otherworldly echo.
“This maiden thank the emperor for his grace.”
She slowly gets up, head looking at the floor, waiting for the announcement for her betrothal to Ye Kingdom.
“Your name is Xi Yan?” Xuan Yuan Yu asks, and without waiting for her answer, ordered, “Take off your veil.”
“Yes, this maiden is named Xi Yan.” Her voice is light as usual as her delicate hand removes her veil. After she does that, she realize that Mu Yan has actually been shaking beside her. But she has no time to mind Mu Yan’s anxiety. As she lifts her eyes, she realizes that there is actually a yellow curtain in front. Two servants slowly pulls the curtain as an imposing figure from the other side approaches.
His headgear is decorated with twelve white jade beads. She cannot see his face clearly, but within a moment, he is already standing in front of her.
His eyes are fixed on her face, his long slender fingers lightly pulling at her chin to let her look directly at him. He opens his thin lips, “Accept her in the back palace.”
As those words pass her ears, a look of surprise flashes in her eyes, because with that, he made her his concubine, his woman.
There must be a mistake.