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   Chapter 98 Marriage Granted at Chinese New Year's Eve

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 16742

Updated: 2018-09-03 17:01

After Yun Shang returned from Lady Ming's Palace, Qian Yin whispered to her. "Your Highness, we just received rewards from His Majesty. There's clothes, jewelry, and accessories for the New Year. I heard that every Palace received the same." Qian Yin looked around before lowering her voice. "Rewards for Qiwu Palace were double..."

"Really?" Yun Shang squinted. "I knew this would happen when His Majesty concealed the Empress's fake pregnancy and punished Lady Shu for causing her Majesty's supposed miscarriage. The Empress miscarried and needed rest. That was all. Of course, she will come back on stage now that she has recovered. Since it was New Year's Eve, all the officials of a rank higher than three would be present, along with their families. On such a day, father will have to show Grand Councilor Li some respect. After all, the Li Clan still enjoys supreme political power and status. But it won't last too long."

Qian Yin knew that many of those whom Her Highness trained would become government officials one day. Maybe Her Highness had foreseen this situation?

"Your Highness, the Zhuangyuan's* name is Liu Qiyan. His name sounds familiar." Qian Yin smiled shrewdly.

(TN*: title conferred on the person who scores the highest in the Imperial examination)

Yun Shang smiled as well. "I heard that you two got along well during the training. Do you fancy him? If so, I can betroth you to him. But he is renowned now. We don't know if his feelings for you still remain the same..."

Qian Yin blushed. She had meant to tease Yun Shang but accidentally drew fire on herself. She hurried to explain. "Don't make fun of me, Your Highness... I'm only 14 years old."

Yun Shang laughed. "It's New Year's Eve. Pick that rouge red dress for me and match it with a decent hairstyle and some exquisite jewelry."

Qian Yin agreed. She fetched the outfit from the wardrobe and helped Yun Shang get dressed. Yun Shang hardly wore bright colors so Qin Yi was stunned when she walked in. Yun Shang's skin looked as white as snow in contrast to the rouge red. The wide train of the dress lent a majestic aura to the dress. All in all, the outfit highlighted the Princess's elegance and grace.

"Your Highness is looking so gorgeous today. Princess Hua Jing is said to be the most beautiful in Ning, but I think Your Highness is even beyond compare. Your Highness is getting more and more beautiful as time passes. Let me make a Cloud Bun* and do some makeup for you. You are going to be the belle tonight, Your Highness." Qin Yi came toward them and helped Yun Shang sit down before the dresser.

(*TN: a kind of hairstyle in which a bun is shaped like a cloud.)

Yun Shang smiled peacefully. In her previous life, she had been so innocent that she believed in the Empress and Hua Jing, who had taught her to wear gaudy clothes and put on as much valuable jewelry as she could. Hence, the ladies from respectable families all laughed at her. She couldn't help sighing in retrospect. Yun Shang looked in the mirror and almost didn't recognize herself. She looked so different in this life.

After dressing up, Yun Shang ate some pastries that Qin Yi had prepared. Since it was a long ceremony, she might not get the chance to eat.

"Your Highness, it's time. It's still snowing outside, so let me accompany Your Highness to Jinluan Hall." Qin Yi put a white cloak on Yun Shang's shoulders, picked up an umbrella, and helped Yun Shang walk to Jinluan Hall with Qian Yin's assistance.

Once at Jinluan Hall, Yun Shang was led to the platform meant for the royals. She was asked to sit on the third seat on the left. Her seating attracted a lot of attention.

Yun Shang didn't grow up in the Imperial City, and she had rarely appeared at public occasions after her return, so not many people knew about her. But it was not hard to figure out her identity based on her seat. Only imperial concubines of a certain grade were allowed to attend such feasts. At the moment, only the Empress and Lady Jin had this honor. If the Empress came, she would undoubtedly sit with the Emperor. The first seat would be for Lady Jin, and the second for Princess Hua Jing, the eldest princess. So the person being seated on the third seat must be Yun Shang.

Yun Shang ignored all their whispering and sat quietly.

Soon afterwards, Lady Jin entered and took her place on the first seat. Yun Shang's expressions became tender after seeing Lady Jin's swelling belly.

"It's Princess Hua Jing..." "I heard that Princess Hua Jing went to the border for her husband. Such a faithful and brave wife." "Princess Hua Jing seems to have pined away. It must be because she worried so much about the Emperor's Son-in-Law." The discussions could be heard clearly. At Hua Jing's mention, Yun Shang looked up and saw the Princess walk toward her. She was dressed in dark green, and her hairband was the only accessory that she wore. She did look pitiful and humble this way...

Yun Shang lowered her head to hide

our Majesty then. Confer Liu Qingya with the title of Zhaoyi, and choose an auspicious day to send her to the Palace."

Liu Qiyan and Liu Qingya promptly expressed their gratitude and went back to their seats. Yun Shang looked down and smiled secretly. The Zhuangyuan and his sister were born into an ordinary family. A woman with no prominent background was much easier to manipulate than those from respectable families. That was the Empress's plan.

Once the ladies had finished the game, it was time for the noble masters to draw lots. Requests mainly included calligraphy, painting, and swordsmanship. Yun Shang carefully observed their performances. Three masters from the Li Clan were present tonight. And from among the others, only the younger son of Prince Shun Qing was outstanding. Prince Shun Qing was the brother of the deceased Emperor. As an idle prince, he mainly stayed away from politics.

Prince Jing was the last one to draw. He received a lucky shot, which gave him a chance to make a request to anyone present.

All the ladies were anxious to see whom Prince Jing, the most eligible bachelor in the Imperial City, would choose. It would be a supreme honor to be chosen by him.

Prince Jing smiled and glanced at the ladies sitting opposite him. Then he fixed his eyes on Yun Shang. "I'll follow instructions. The ensemble with Princess Hui Guo the other day is so unforgettable, so I'd like to invite Princess Hui Guo to play Eternal Love with me..."

Yun Shang was shocked. It didn't help that all the attention was suddenly on her. Hua Jing raised an eyebrow and turned to Yun Shang. "No wonder sister is all dressed up today..."

Hua Jing didn't finish her sentence, but it was enough to invite gossip. People looked at Prince Jing and Yun Shang in astonishment. The fact that Prince Jing was Princess Hui Guo's uncle made them frown...

And Li Yingying clenched her teeth and forced a smile. "Your Highness is lucky..."

Yun Shang had no choice but to play Eternal Love with Prince Jing. The melody was mellow and beautiful, full of love and affection. People stared at the couple in the center of the Hall. The handsome man and beautiful young woman did look like a heaven-made match.

As the music stopped, a light flashed across Emperor Ning's eyes. He clapped and said. "Wonderful. Such a pleasant scene! This reminds me of something I have to announce. Prince Jing and Shang'er, come near."

Yun Shang, though puzzled, knelt alongside Prince Jing. Lord Zheng announced loudly. "Prince Jing is the foster son of the deceased Emperor. Though he is nominally Princess Hui Guo's uncle, they are not related by blood. Prince Jing and Princess Hui Guo have mutual affection for each other, which is pleasant to witness. So, I'm granting the marriage between Princess Hui Guo and Prince Jing, and the ceremony will be held..."

The Hall was silent. Even Yun Shang was too shocked to make a sound. She heard Prince Jing whispering to her. "Both Prince Qingsu and the Prince of the State of Xia are coming to Ning. If you are not engaged at that time, even if you could get away from Prince Qingsu, you would have to marry the Prince of the State of Xia. Our marriage is only a facade. It's your choice. Consider carefully."

"Thank you very much, Your Majesty." Prince Jing said respectfully...

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