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   Chapter 15 The Coming-of-age Ceremony And A Gift

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 9404

Updated: 2018-07-24 17:47

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ISBN: 978-1719927130

Yun Shang didn't wake up until noon the next day. She had barely finished her lunch when a sharp voice announced, "His Majesty is here..."

Yun Shang stood up to welcome The Emperor. Although Emperor Ning was outside Qinxin Hall, his voice wafted into the chamber. "Shang'er, Master Wu Na said it is going to rain today, didn't he? But the sun is shining brightly. And there is no sign of rain. Right?"

Yun Shang went to greet The Emperor, "Don't worry, Your Majesty. Master Wu Na told me there would be no rain until dusk."

Emperor Ning went to the middle of the chamber, and sat on a chair. He sighed with a frown, "You went to Ning'guo Temple and brought back Master Wu Na's holy decree. Though many people respect Master Wu Na, today is Hua Jing's Coming-of-age Ceremony. It is her right to have a proper ceremony. But everything has been cancelled just because of this holy decree. Though Hua Jing made a mistake yesterday, and has been under house arrest since, she is, after all, the Princess Royal in this country. Of course, it's good if it rains later. But if it doesn't, I'm afraid that some people will take this as an opportunity to find fault with you. Then, instead of blaming Master Wu Na, they would suspect that you designed all of this on purpose..."

Yun Shang knelt on a chair and used her elbow to prop herself up on the table. She smiled as she looked at Emperor Ning. "To rain or not to rain? It's just a matter of time. And, father, Master Wu Na mentioned that there should be no grand ceremony. Your Majesty can still hold a humble ceremony for sister. Perhaps you can release sister and mother, and invite a few senior officials and their family members? After all, a Coming-of-age Ceremony is important to a girl. Sister shouldn't be treated shabbily."

Emperor Ning looked at Yun Shang for a long while. Then he reached out with his hand to fondle her hair. He spoke in a gentle tone, "You are so grown up. And so quickly as well. Just in a short while, as fleeting as a blink you have become so intelligent."

Yun Shang giggled and jumped from the chair. "Today is the Coming-of-age Ceremony for sister, a big day. I'll wear my most beautiful dress. I cannot bring shame to mother and sister..." Your Majesty, please send your royal decree as soon as possible. Call anyone important to you to partake in sister's ceremony."

Emperor Ning was a little bit at a loss after hearing those words. Raising his eyebrows, he said, "Shang'er is capable enough to send her father, The Emperor on an errand?" He paused for a short while and, after checking his smile, he looked at Yun Shang, "Shang'er, did't you feel angry yesterday when your sister blamed her own fault on you?"

A ray of shimmer shone in Yun Shang's eyes. She said with a smile, "Father, sister has always been nice to me. She must have done it for a reason that was out of her control. There is a saying. I cannot remember when I heard it, but I remember the saying. It goes, a family in peace generates auspiciousness. Your Majesty is so busy and so tired with affairs of the court, so sister and I must treat each other nicely and live in peace. We cannot let Your Majesty be worried."

"A family in peace generates auspiciousness." Emperor Ning repeated it twice. Feeling an ache in his heart, he looked down at Yun Shang, "You are my good girl..." He smiled at Yun Shang, and then continued, "All right. I'll give the order. You go and change your dress."

Yun Shang swept a courtesy, "Take care, Your Majesty."

Yun Shang returned into the chamber after Emperor Ning's figure had faded into the distance. Qin Yi, who had been waiting by the side, frowned and said, "Your Imperial Highness, it was not easy to put Princess Hua Jing and Empress under house arrest. How can you help them be pardoned? Just one day has passed. It will be impossible to send them back once they are free."

Yun Shang was sitting in front of the make-up table. She frowned as she looked at her petite reflection in the mirror. She sighed before speaking, "Do you really think they cannot be pardoned without my pleading? It's just a matter of time. The Empress' family is so influential in court. You still have no idea why Your Majesty came here today, right? The Grand Councilor must have played his part in convincing His Majesty to change his mind. If I plead as His Majesty wishes, he would think I'm a sensible girl, and he will feel sorry for how I have being wronged. But if I'm stubborn and let him down, he would think I'm vile."

Qin Yi pondered for a little while. Then she said with a touch of emotion, "Your Imperial Highness, are you really eight years old? Why do I feel you are quite m

ore sensible than I?"

Yun Shang grinned and, instead of answering her question, she said, "Go and fetch that bright pink dress for me. I will wear it today."

Qin Yi nodded and went to fetch the dress.

Yun Shang stopped smiling innocently, and darkness flashed in her eyes. She had no forces to resort to, nor any person to depend on. That was her biggest impediment. But she would remember today, forever. Never would she pardon anyone from the Li family.

"Your Imperial Highness, do you think this dress is a little too light in color? I think that crimson one is more beautiful." Qin Yi approached with the dress.

Yun Shang saw from the reflection in the mirror that Qin Yi was staring at the two dresses in her hands, the bright pink one and the crimson one. She seemed unable to make a decision.

Yun Shang smiled, "Today is Princess Hua Jing's Coming-of-age Ceremony. She likes crimson. I'd better not wear the same color."

Qin Yi thought for a moment, and then put the crimson one aside. She came over with the bright pink one, and helped Yun Shang dress.

When done with the dress, Yun Shang had the maid comb her hair into a bun. She had dozed off till she heard an eunuch. "Your Imperial Highness, the Coming-of-age Ceremony will be held on the Penglai Island in the Taiye Pond..."

Yun Shang nodded, "Got it. I will be there on time."

She lingered in the chamber until five o'clock in the afternoon. She was well prepared before she went to the Penglai Island with Qin Yi and Qin Meng. As soon as she set foot on the island, she got a glimpse of The Empress and Princess Hua Jing. There were already many people on the banquet. Three chairs had been prepared at the far end. The Empress and Princess Hua Jing were seated on either side of the chair prepared for Emperor Ning. It's not surprising that Hua Jing had indeed worn a crimson robe for today. She seemed more joyous because of the color.

Yun Shang looked at the surroundings before taking her seat at the end opposite from her father, mother and sister.

Yun Shang had been barely sat down before Hua Jing's spoke in a cold voice, "Our Princess Yun Shang went to Ning'guo Temple to pray for the people just a couple of days ago, and brought back Master Wu Na's holy decree, which said it's going to rain today. But as far as I can see, today's weather has been excellent, a blue sky without a single cloud. I wonder on what part of Ning it is going to rain."

Hearing this, some of the noble members and senior officials also chimed in, "That's right. There's no sign of rain today."

But The Empress cut in coldly, "Jing'er, it's time to get changed. Your Coming-of-age Ceremony will start as soon as His Majesty arrives. Go and change your dress."

Hua Jing clenched her teeth to suppress her anger, and left with her maids in obedience to The Empress's order.

"His Majesty is here..." the singing tone of an eunuch alerted all to the arrival of The Emperor. All in attendance stood up to sweep a deep courtesy. Emperor Ning, in his dragon robe, walked to his chair. He turned and spoke, "Dear courtiers, today my eldest daughter, Hua Jing, will come of age, and I hold this Coming-of-age Ceremony for her on this island. Let's celebrate for her."

All guests swept another courtesy before they could sit down.

The praiser invited for Hua Jing's Coming-of-age Ceremony was the granddaughter of the Grand Councilor, and therefore, Hua Jing's cousin. She went to the middle, and looked at Hua Jing, who wore an outfit befitting a teenage-girl. Her hair had been styled in a two-ring bun, which signified that the girl was unmarried. Hua Jing swept a courtesy towards the people. The praiser took a comb from the tray held by a court maid, and started to comb Hua Jing's hair.

(*TN: A praiser is a female guest in a girl's Coming-of-age Ceremony who helps the girl finish the ceremony by carrying out special rituals, all the while, praising the girl's good behavior and qualities, and wishing her good luck.)

After she was done with Princess Hua Jing's hair, the Hand-washing Ritual began. The Grand Councilor's wife and The Empress stood to help Hua Jing.

(*TN: A Hand-washing Ritual begins with elderly people washing their hands before they help girls or boys comb their hair into a grown-up style.)

The Grand Councilor's wife took the handkerchief and hair pin presented by the maids, walked towards Hua Jing, and spoke words of blessing for Hua Jing. Then she inserted the hair pin into Hua Jing's hair. It was at this moment, when everyone was speaking praises and blessings for Hua Jing that the sky began to darken. Before long, thunder roared across the heavens.

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