Su Guifei knew very well that among all these princes and princesses, apart from her own child, no one was truly congratulating her on her birthday.
When they finished the greeting, she waved her hand and let them withdraw, so as to avoid making things difficult for one another.
“DuQing, accompany JiuZhu around so that she can get familiar with the Palace.” Su Guifei stood up to leave: “The other concubines are still waiting for Ben Gong’s return, so Ben Gong will go back to the MingYue Palace first.”
According to the rules of the harem, the other concubines still had to wait at the MingYue Palace to greet her.
“Respectfully seeing off niangniang.” The princes and princesses hurriedly bowed to send her off, exhibiting a respectful attitude.
Su Guifei stood up holding XiangJuan’s hand.
When walking past Chen Wang, she glanced at him: “Take care of JiuZhu.”
Chen Wang bowed: “Erchen will handle it well.
Please don’t worry, Mother Consort.”
Su Guifei: “…… “
His answer actually made her feel a bit uneasy.
She patted the back of JiuZhu’s hand before leaving FeiFeng Palace’s Hall.
Witnessing this scene, the other princes and princesses each had their own thoughts.
However, their gazes on JiuZhu’s all turned a bit more friendly.
“The autumn scenery today is just right.
Why don’t we take a walk in the Imperial Garden together?” A princess opened her mouth first, “Has JiuZhu guniang ever been to the Imperial Garden?”
JiuZhu turned to look at Chen Wang without answering, it was as if she was only intending to listen to his opinion.
Chen Wang smiled.
It seemed that she was not too foolish; she knew who was worthy of her trust among so many people.
“Do you want to go and have a look?” Chen Wang asked.
JiuZhu nodded, a little curious.
“The golden camellia in the Imperial Garden happens to bloom currently. Ben Wang will take you to see it.” Chen Wang turned to look at his brothers and sisters: “This little guniang is shy by nature and doesn’t like crowds, so Ben Wang alone will accompany her there.
You all can do as you please.”
Qi Wang glanced at Ming JiuZhu, who was standing beside Chen Wang silently, and nodded slightly: “Please don’t mind us, fifth brother and Ming guniang.”
Ming JiuZhu didn’t even look at him when he spoke.
Her sparkling eyes just stared at Yun DuQing, as if she was looking at the sole bright candle flame in the dark.
“Let’s go.” After walking two steps, Chen Wang retreated to JiuZhu’s side and silently stretched out his arm.
“Thank you, Your Highness.” With one hand on the hem of her skirt and the other on Chen Wang’s arm, JiuZhu stepped over the threshold of the FeiFeng Palace’s Hall very carefully.
Qi Wang looked at the door.
Seeing the radiant and shining sunlight pour on the two of them, he slowly closed his eyes.
Such radiance could easily harm the eyes.
“Fourth brother.” Huai Wang looked at Qi Wang with a smile that was not yet a smile, “I feel that fifth brother and the Ming family’s Young Miss actually have a pretty good relationship.”
“They are betrothed.
It is fortunate that they’d be in perfect harmony after getting married.” Qi Wang continued unhurriedly: “If fifth brother gets to know that eldest brother cares so much about him, he will be incredibly happy.”
“I just don’t know which person with the ambition of wild wolves is related to the incident of the Imperial horse farm.
Fortunately, it was discovered in time and didn’t cause a terrible situation.
In case it hurt Father Emperor or the bloodline of the Imperial family…” Huai Wang swept a glance over the younger brothers and sisters present with a peculiar smile and left the FeiFeng Palace Hall in large strides.
The other princes and princesses either looked up at the sky or down at the ground, pretending not to hear the sharpness of the words exchanged by the two.
What did it have to do with them if the eldest quarreled with the fourth?
The Imperial Garden.
As she was gazing at the golden camellia flowers hanging from the branch, JiuZhu couldn’t help but shiver when the cold winds of late autumn blew.
“Still want to continue looking?” Chen Wang took the cloak from the attendant’s hand, shook it, and draped it over JiuZhu’s shoulders.
JiuZhu shook her head repeatedly.
The Imperial Garden was beautiful but the wind was too cold.
Seeing JiuZhu shrink her neck, Chen Wang helped her to tidy up the cloak with a smile that couldn’t be suppressed: “When I was a child, I didn’t want to study and made a fuss about wanting to come to the Imperial Garden to play…”
“What happened after that?”
“After that, I was compelled to return obediently because of the cold wind.”
“Why did Your Highness not let me know a moment ago?” JiuZhu discreetly kicked the pebble beside her feet, pretending that she wasn’t angry at all.
“If I had told you, you would have gotten the wrong idea and thought that I didn’t want to accompany you.” Chen Wang saw the kicked pebble fly away and hit the rockery before falling into the cluster of chrysanthemum and stubbornly springing up.
“Take what you hear to be false, only believe it when you see it1.” Putting away the smile on his face, Chen Wang said seriously: “The Imperial Garden is the most beautiful during spring, so we can slowly stroll around at that time.”
“If it was Your Highness who told me, I would have believed it.” JiuZhu didn’t feel too cold once she was wrapped in the cloak.
She leaned, intending to pick two golden camellia flowers.
Chen Wang plucked it easily, and put it in her palm.
The girl’s palms were white and tender.
It looked especially adorable when the golden camellia flowers lay there.
“Believe what?” Extending his finger and knocking on JiuZhu’s forehead, Chen Wang snorted: “Don’t believe anyone’s words so easily.”
“Then I won’t believe everyone.” JiuZhu covered her forehead and stared at Chen Wang with wide eyes.
“Hmph.” Chen Wang looked up at the sky: “You are still young so there are quite a lot of things that you don’t understand.”
“It’s enough to understand that Your Highness and niangniang are good people ah.” JiuZhu put the golden camellia into the embroidered pouch hanging by her waist: “I don’t care what others do.
It has nothing to do with me.”
Chen Wang looked at JiuZhu and suddenly laughed.
“Why are you laughing, Your Highness?” JiuZhu looked at him in confusion.
“Laughing because of the clear and refreshing autumn weather; it’s fertile.” Chen Wang reached out and brushed off the leaves from JiuZhu’s hair.
Clear and refreshing autumn weather?
JiuZhu wrapped the cloak tightly around her body.
Obviously, it was windy and cold, even the trees shed their leaves now.
As soon as the two returned to MingYue Palace, the person around Emperor LongFeng came to call Chen Wang, saying that His Majesty had summoned him.
“You can do as you wish, no one will dare to upset you here.” Helping JiuZhu take off the cloak, Chen Wang got a headache just by looking at those girls in the yard: “I may come back with the Father Emperor before the hour of wushi.”
Sun CaiYao and other noble young ladies had already seen Chen Wang send the Ming family’s Young Miss back.
A young lady whispered to her companion: “I didn’t expect Chen Wang to Ming guniang so well, given his temperament.”
“Look over there.” The companion furtively pointed to the west: “Assistant Minister Ming’s wife is also here.”
Whether Chen Wang’s gesture was really out of consideration or for the madam to see, only he knew it himself.
In the Imperial family, who couldn’t put on an act?
Sun CaiYao saw that after Chen Wang left, another female official from MingYue Palace greeted Ming JiuZhu.
She couldn’t help but begin to wonder, were Su Guifei and her son really so satisfied with her? Or did they want to win over the three brothers of the Ming family?
Today, Ming JiuZhu rushed to the MingYue Palace early in the morning.
Did she act on her own initiative or did the Ming family tacitly agree?
No, that was absurd.
With the Ming family’s moral values, it was absolutely impossible to get close to this ignorant, incompetent, arrogant and despotic prince.
Ming JiuZhu, this person, signified nothing; the most honorable position in the Cheng State would surely belong to His Highness Qi Wang in the future.
“Ming guniang.” After the female official of MingYue Palace found JiuZhu, she led her to sit at the stone table behind the rockery.
She put down some fresh refreshments and bowed deeply: “Thank you very much for coming to the Palace early to congratulate niangniang on her birthday. Niangniang was delighted.”
“Since it is niangniang’s birthday, chennu ought to come early and congratulate her.” Seeing that this female official was from MingYue Palace, JiuZhu invited her to have tea together.
“This slave does not dare.” The female official declined hastily: “This slave has a presumptuous request, begging guniang to help her.”
“Gugu is being too polite, I’m just a lowly person who counts for little.
I am afraid that I cannot help gugu.” JiuZhu looked at the female official in surprise.
How could she possibly help her?
“Guniang misunderstood.” The female official quickly explained: “It’s just that us sisters feel grateful for niangniang’s care for us over the years, so we embroidered a congratulatory picture for her.
But due to the strict rules of the Palace and our humble identity, we don’t dare to personally give it to her.
So, we request guniang to present it on our behalf.”
Saying this, the female official fished out the embroidered picture wrapped in a handkerchief from her bosom and opened it in front of JiuZhu.
“What skillful craftsmanship!” JiuZhu exclaimed in admiration, captivated by the embroidered picture: “Gugus are amazing.”
“This slave let guniang laugh.” The female officer wrapped the embroidered pictures in the handkerchief and held it in front of JiuZhu with both hands: “Please, convey us slaves’ regards to niangniang, guniang.”
JiuZhu took the wrapped embroidery picture: “Alright.”
“Thank you, guniang.” The female officer looked at JiuZhu gratefully.
She was going to give her another bow, but was stopped by JiuZhu.
“Gugu doesn’t have to do this.” JiuZhu smiled innocently: “All the gugus’ affection for niangniang really touched my heart.
I’ll help you give it to niangniang.”
“In that case, thank you for taking the trouble, guniang.”
Watching Ming JiuZhu leave with the embroidery picture, the female official slowly lowered her head, concealing all the emotions in her eyes.
“Be quick with your hands and feet, but don’t drop and break the things.”
XiangJuan was examining the list of guests in her hand when she turned her head and saw Miss Ming hiding in the corner, waving to her mysteriously.
She put down the booklet and walked towards JiuZhu: “Ming guniang, why are you calling this slave?”
“Something’s not right.” JiuZhu pulled XiangJuan a few steps towards the wall to make sure that no one else could find out what they were doing.
Then, she squatted down and took out the thing from her sleeves.
Seeing Miss Ming squatting on the ground like a tiny dumpling, XiangJuan hesitated for a moment before following suit: “What is this?”
“XiangJuan gugu, I may be overly suspicious about this matter, but if there is something wrong later, please help me say a few good words in front of niangniang, so that she will not be angry with me.” JiuZhu opened the picture: “Someone just gave me this embroidered picture, and requested me to deliver it to niangniang.”
When XiangJuan saw what was embroidered on it, her expression changed: “Who gave it to guniang?”
“It’s a gugu from MingYue Palace.” JiuZhu understood that she had guessed correctly when she saw the expression on XiangJuan’s face.
“As early as she requested me, I found it strange.
Even though the Palace rules are quite strict, with niangniang’s gentleness and benevolence, if she learns that the people around her have embroidered a congratulatory painting for her, she wouldn’t be angry at all.” JiuZhu rolled up the embroidered pictures into a ball, “When I was young, I did good things, expecting others to praise me.
It is unusual to present such good opportunities to others.”
How could she, who had incomparable intelligence, possibly fall for such a stupid trick?
There was no way anyone could deceive her into harming niangniang!
They won’t have any such opportunities!
“That’s right. Niangniang is gentle and benevolent, how could she be willing to punish her subordinates?” XiangJuan took a slow breath.
As early as two months ago, the Imperial Astronomer had calculated that there would be a huge crisis around niangniang’s birthday.
And the picture of an immortal riding a horse absolutely could not appear in her bedchamber.
However, what was embroidered on this was precisely a fairy riding a celestial horse to congratulate niangniang on her birthday.
If Ming guniang presented this congratulatory embroidered picture to niangniang in front of everyone… the consequences were too horrible to even think about…
XiangJuan regained her senses from the sound and discovered that Ming guniang had torn the embroidery into two halves with her bare hands.
She seemed to think that the tear was not thorough enough, so she shook the embroidery again.
With a little force from her hands, the embroidered picture turned into a tattered piece of cloth, which was brutally crushed by her feet into the soil.
Looking at the deep pit of dirt under Ming guniang’s feet, XiangJuan fell silent.
“Gugu, it’s all right now.” JiuZhu smiled brightly at XiangJuan.
“Ah…” XiangJuan found that her voice seemed a little hoarse, she moved her legs and tried to stay as far as possible from the pit.
T/L: Haha our incomparably intelligent (and strong) JiuZhu is really awesome!
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