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   Chapter 124 An Exotic Young Woman (Part One)

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 9284

Updated: 2018-09-15 09:02

Yun Shang was lost in thought. The deep affection the Empress showed that day crossed her mind and her eyes grew cold. The Empress was calmer than before, but her calmness was a little frightening.

"What? Are you afraid? You think the Empress is now unfathomable?" Prince Jing looked at the girl sitting opposite him. He shook his head and said, "Then why did you deliberately expose her sterility?"

Yun Shang's eyes fell on the teacup in front of her. She watched as the tea leaves gradually unfolded. She gave a wry smile and said, "So, I have to face up to what I've done finally. The Empress had a weakness. She wanted a son. She tried to please my father so that he would frequent her Palace. Now that she knows she can't have children, the Empress doesn't seem to care about which concubine my father favors."

Prince Jing shook his head. "Her weakness didn't diminish. It grew. Without hope of procreation, her direct connection to the Li Clan will be even stronger. They are now bound together for good or bad."

Yun Shang considered that for a moment, and then asked, "You mean, we should start from the Li Clan? But the Li Clan's power is spread throughout the imperial court, and they have planted their people in almost every Yamen*. I don't know where to start."

(*TN: the government office in ancient China)

"You've always been smart. You can't be at your wits end. Slight negligence may lead to great disaster. Just grab their weakest point and strike it with all your might. Then perhaps they would gradually disintegrate. What do all Emperors fear? Think it over." A thin smile played across Prince Jing's mouth, and a faint sense of peace came over him.

'What is it that all Emperors fear?' Yun Shang thought as she squinted. Suddenly, a noise came from downstairs, and she raised her eyebrows. "They're coming?" Then she got up and went to the window to look out. A procession could be seen in the distance. About twenty guards were at the front, followed by five splendid carriages, and behind them, several carriages with large boxes followed. Finally another fifty or sixty guards walked behind the procession.

"They're finally here. I wonder if the person in the carriage is the real Cangjue Qingsu or an impostor." Yun Shang murmured to herself.

Prince Jing walked up to her and looked at the slow procession. The people in the procession were all dressed in the clothes of the State of Yelang, giving them a wild beauty. "Now that they have arrived at the Imperial City, he will be in the carriage."

The curtain of the second carriage was pulled open, and an enchanting face came into the sight of onlookers. The woman had thin eyebrows, big brown eyes, a Roman nose, and slightly pouty lips. At one glance, men were enchanted with her beauty. The crowd immediately gave a gasp of admiration. The young woman, who seemed perfectly satisfied with the sensation she had caused, closed the curtain with a smug smile.

"What a beautiful woman! I didn't hear that the State of Yelang sent the Princess. Who is this woman?" Yun Shang's eyebrows knitted together in a little frown. 'It would be interesting if she were a Princess...'

Prince Jing turned to the table and sat down. "She's the sworn daughter of the Chief Councilor of the State of Yelang."

The daughter of the Chief Councilor of the State of Yelang? Yun Shang pondered to herself for a moment. The Chief Councilor had a special place in the State of Yelang. He had high authority but no real power, and his only responsibility was to supervise the sovereign. Why did the daughter of the Chief Councilor come to the State of Ning?

Seeing Yun Shang's face, Prince Jing knew what she was thinking, "Bringing a woman has no other purpose except intermarriage. As she is not as noble as a Princess, the intermarriage is more flexible. She could marry the Emperor, royalty, or ministers."

Yun Shang nodded. "She doesn't look like a person to be trifled with. I think our state will be busy for a long time."

A loud sound echoed through the room. Hearing the knock at the door, Prince Jing raised his voice, "Come in."

The door was pushed open, and Qian Yin and Wang Shunlai entered. "Your Highnesses, the envoys of the State of Yelang, are approaching the Palace gate. It's time."

Prince Jing nodded and stood. "Come on, let's go to the Palace together. I will go to Jinluan Hall after sending you back to Qingxin Palace."

Yun Shang consented and followed him downstairs. She walked through the door, and found a carriage waiting. They rode to the Palace gate in silence.

Back at Qingxin Palace, Yun Shang lay

on the couch, unwilling to move. Qin Yi walked in, took out the hairpin from her head, and whispered, "Your Highness, while you were out, I saw a eunuch who is in charge of cleaning outside the Palace coming out of the inner Hall. I did not come forward for fear of alarming him. I later found out that the eunuch's elder brother had been Lady Lan's eunuch. And after Lady Lan died, his brother had been taken away by Lady Fu."

Lady Fu... Yun Shang was in a daze, and it took her some time to remember that Lady Fu was the Empress's sister, Li Fuyi. She hadn't heard anything about Lady Fu in a long time.

"What has Lady Fu been doing lately?" Yun Shang looked up and asked Qian Yin.

Qian Yin promptly answered, "Lady Fu has been well-behaved lately. His Majesty hasn't been to her Palace this month, and she often accompanies Lady Ming, helping her copy Buddhist scriptures or something similar."

"Oh?" Yun Shang arched a brow. "The Empress never looked for her?"

Qian Yin nodded and replied, "The Empress has had little contact with Lady Fu other than daily greetings."

'They're sisters, but they're like strangers. This is completely unnatural... Besides, she is a restless woman. She doesn't seem to be in a hurry, even though my father hasn't been to her Palace for so long. She must be up to something, ' Yun Shang thought.

"Keep an eye on the eunuch, and on Lady Fu. If anything happens, report to me immediately." Yun Shang ordered in a deep voice.

"Yes." Qian Yin answered, nodding.

"Lady Ya." The greeting could be heard inside the chamber. Yun Shang narrowed her eyes and sat up straight.

"Is Princess Hui Guo in her Palace?" A soft voice as fresh as a gentle breeze was heard next.

Yun Shang stood to greet Lady Ya with a smile, "You are here, Lady Ya. I've been thinking about asking you to teach me how to dance, but I always feel dizzy in spring and fatigue in autumn. I didn't expect Lady Ya to come here."

Lady Ya smiled and said gently, "I'm sorry for disturbing you, Your Highness. You were very kind to me in the garden the other day, and I wanted to be close to you. I was glad to hear that you asked me to teach you to dance. I've been waiting, but you didn't come, so I came here."

Yun Shang was pleased to see that Lady Ya was not as supercilious as the other ladies. "It's my fault. Please sit down, Lady Ya."

A maid helped Lady Ya to sit down, and Qin Yi hastened to bring tea. Yun Shang smiled at her green clothes. The color was lively and reminded her of the vitality of spring. "This is osmanthus tea made from the osmanthus fragrans that were dried last year. Try it and see if it is to your taste, Lady Ya."

Hearing this, Lady Ya smiled gently. She picked up the teacup, blew a few times, and took a sip. "My mouth is full of fragrance now, " said Lady Ya graciously.

Then she put down her teacup and looked at Yun Shang. "I grew up in a small town. There are so many rules in the Palace that I feel a bit out of place. That day I found you to be a forthright person, so I want to be closer to you. Your Highness, Qingxin Palace looks very elegant."

Yun Shang gave a faint smile and said, "Lady Ya, if you like it here, come any time."

"Don't be so nice to me, Your Highness, or else I'll take you seriously, " said Lady Ya. She giggled and covered her mouth.

"I wouldn't have invited you if I didn't mean it. Don't you believe me, Lady Ya?" asked Yun Shang. She noticed some teasing in Lady Ya's smile.

"How come?" Lady Ya smiled and looked at Yun Shang. "This morning when I went to pay my respects to Her Majesty, she told me that you were a very agreeable person and that you liked my dancing very much. So she asked me to come here more often. I was afraid you might not like to be disturbed. Now it seems that I was overthinking."

Yun Shang squinted and thought, 'The Empress sent her here. Anyhow, I'm still a thorn in the Empress's side.'

"Her Majesty really cares about me. When I am free, I will learn dancing from you, Lady Ya."

Lady Ya raised her hand and covered her mouth with an embroidered handkerchief, and said, "Then I won't bother you anymore. I'm going to take my leave."

Yun Shang gave her a nod. Then Lady Ya got up and went to the door, but as she reached, she stopped as though she had just thought of something. She turned to Yun Shang, "I heard that besides osmanthus fragrans, making tea with plum blossoms is also very unique. The plum blossom in the Empress's Palace is still in bloom. Your Highness, if you like the smell of plum blossoms, you may ask someone to pluck several branches." Then she left.

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