The Forbidden City
Xiang Qinwang’s Residence,
Chen Huan Wangfei kneels in the mourning hall as she leans on a pillar helplessly.
Her Wangye is gone! Her eldest child is gone! She must be strong and accept her reality.
She must also accept the fact that her daughter will be marrying far away.
She is already mentally and physically exhausted from the visiting government officials who wished to pay their last respect, but a flashing thought made her even more anxious.
Today is the day Xi Yan enters the palace for the selection. It is only a formality, but she still hasn’t return until now.
She clutches her girdle tightly to support herself.
“Wangfei, why don’t you rest in the back hall? Besides, the funeral procession is tomorrow,” Rong mama gently says as she supports Chen Huan.
“Jiejie, why don’t you rest? You will still need to be in the funeral procession tomorrow. Your body isn’t in good health, you should rest, it wouldn’t be a hindrance anyway,” the side-consort Mo Lan said with frivolity as she enters the mourning hall. The Nalan residence’s second miss, Nalan Qiang is right behind her.
Nalan Qiang is younger from Xi Yan by three years. She has always been the quiet type. Even though she is also a beauty, inside the residence, she has always been overshadowed by Xi Yan.
After all, their lineal descent is different. One is from the official wife and one is not. Besides, Nalan Xi Yan’s beauty is like a bright moon.
Nalan Jing De had been very protective of her for the past thirteen years, keeping her sheltered. And that sheltered and protected upbringing gives birth to her calm personality.
That calmness is now broken by Nalan Jing De’s death.
Chen Huan bits her lips when Nalan Jian’s voice comes from outside; “Wangfei, a decree comes from the palace.”
As Rong Mama supports Chen Huan, Mo Lan speaks up, her voice carrying traces of mockery, “Don’t tell me the emperor likes our princess and decided to keep her? Ah, she has been away for such a long time, looks like——–“
“This is wangye’s mourning hall, can you speak less?” This is the first time Chen Huan rebuts Mo Lan.
“Jiejie, when did I speak too much? Alright, I shouldn’t distract Jiejie from accepting the decree. What if Jiejie says I am purposely delaying you? That is a big offense, I will not be able to shoulder it,” Mo Lan pauses, turning to Nalan Qiang before saying, “You useless thing, go and kneel in front of your father! Ask for his blessing!”
Nalan Qiang quietly kneels as Mo Lan harshly clutches her shoulder. Nalan Qiang did not say a word, already used to it.
Chen Huan ignores Mo Lan’s words and heads to the front of the hall in sorrow. When she realizes that the eunuch carrying the edict is Eunuch Li who is currently a trusted aide of the emperor, she knows that the thing plaguing her heart has finally turn to reality.
A maiden marrying far away will not need Eunuch Li’s involvement.
She staggeringly kneels. Eunuch Li’s thin voice is like a blade that cuts through her heart. It does not hurt, it does not hurt!
Now that the wangye is dead, her heart is immune to pain. Everything is smashed into tiny little powders.
“As ordained by the Heavens, the emperor decreed that Nalan Xi Yan is outstanding and brilliant, talented and capable. She is accepted into the back palace as a first-ranked consort, and in compliance with the empress dowager’s wish, be given the title ‘Zui’. The decree ends.”
Chen Huan’s hands tremble as she accepts the decree from Eunuch Li.
Eunuch Li smiles a face-splitting smile as he says, “Congratulation, Wangfei. This is the first time this happens.”
“Uncle Jian, please take out some silvers,” a pale smile forms at the corner of Chen Huan’s lips as the silvers exchange hands, “I will have to depend on Gong Gong to take care of my daughter from now on.”
“It is I who will have to depend on Zui Fei from now onwards. It’s getting late, I should return to the palace,” Eunuch Li smiles before he turns around and walk away.
As Rong Mama helps Chen Huan up, she notices the green complexion of her face. She can’t help but quietly calls out to her, “Wangfei—-“
Chen Huan slowly takes out a nine dragon luminous snow jade from her chest, coldly saying, “Prepare the carriage——– I am going to the palace to meet the empress dowager.”
This day finally comes. In the end, she has to take this step for her daughter.
She closes her eyes. Her heart has never felt this murky.