Chapter 141: Ninth World (6)
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Edited by Sulo
After the wedding day was confirmed, the wedding ceremony was held by the Court’s Etiquette Department. Although there was no need for the Bai family to carry out preparations for the princess’s wedding, they still needed to cooperate with the Etiquette Department. They had to obtain the Imperial Decree of Marriage, get a fortune reading for the wedding, and prepare an after-wedding room for the groom and bride. They couldn’t make any mistakes. Everything took a big toll on Bai Duan’s father and him, and they were cautious every step of the way.
Under the leadership of Imperial Counsellor Bai, Bai Duan got the Imperial Decree of Marriage excitedly, and bowed his head to the Emperor with sincerity and gratefulness.
The Emperor sat high on the throne, he looked down at the beautiful Bai Duan, who was tall and righteous, and he felt a sense of pride in his heart. Such an excellent young man had fallen hard for a not especially good-looking, nobody princess in his family. Didn’t that show the greatness of his noble and royal blood?
With a smile and words of encouragement, His Majesty urged Bai Duan to get along well with the princess after marriage. The Emperor was busy in the court’s affairs, so he didn’t keep Bai Duan and his father for long, and he soon pardoned them to leave. But when they were about to leave the room, they were suddenly stopped, “By the way, Bai Duan, you should go down to the Moon Palace to see my beloved.”
Imperial Counsellor Bai’s steps and eyebrows wrinkled, “Your Majesty, this is not in line with the rules…”
“What’s not in line with the rules?” As soon as the Emperor was faced with something related to the Enchantress, he became clouded. “There is no queen now, and the Second Princess’s birth mother is deceased. My beloved concubine is in-charge of the palace harem, so she is basically the Second Princess’s half-mother. Bai Duan, her son-in-law, is going to visit his mother-in-law. What’s wrong with that? Imperial Counsellor Bai, you have a wood for a brain!”
Imperial Counsellor Bai was an upright person. He was used to bickering with the Emperor daily. Now that the Emperor started the fight, he wanted to stick his head out and argue with His Majesty about the difference between the queen and a beloved concubine. However, just before he spoke, he felt his sleeve being pulled.
Imperial Counsellor Bai turned his head reflexively, looked at his beloved son behind him, and then received a patient and soothing look from the other side.
Although the imperial Counsellor Bai was still angry, his concern for his son outweighed his loyalty to the Emperor. Anyway, this was not the first time he had warned the Emperor not to spoil the concubine too much. Warning him one less time probably wouldn’t hurt right? His beloved son’s marriage was more important. If the Emperor got offended by this affair, what would happen to the wedding? He couldn’t let any problems arise in this matter!
In silence, Imperial Counsellor Bai lowered his head and didn’t reply.
The Emperor was in a good mood at having ‘defeated’ Imperial Counsellor Bai so easily. He sat above and saw clearly, and his liking for the teenager, Bai Duan, who stopped Imperial Counsellor Bai from lecturing him, increased tremendously. He did not only think that this young man was clever and witty, he also thought he was way more pleasing than his old-fashioned father.
However, Bai Duan frowned slightly from the bottom of his heart, and found that the Emperor seemed to be a little strange when he mentioned the words ‘beloved concubine’ — Bai
Duan couldn’t say exactly what was weird. He just felt the aura around the Emperor… seemed to turn messy in that moment.
Despite his unwillingness, the Emperor said that Bai Duan should go to the Moon Palace, so he had to go there for a walk. If the Enchantress did not want to see him, then he could just stroll around the palace and then leave. But if the Imperial Concubine did want to see him, Bai Duan would have to chat with her and please her.
Imperial Counsellor Bai heard a lot of rumors about the concubine’s recklessness and unpredictable mood. Naturally, he was not sure about letting his beloved son visit him for fear that he would suffer losses. However, not everyone can enter the palace harem. No matter how worried Imperial Counsellor Bai was, he still had to stop in front of the arch leading to the hall of the Moon Palace and look forward to his beloved son’s return.
Bai Duan followed the palace servants all the way to the Moon Palace where the Emperor’s beloved concubine lived. This was not the most extravagant palace in the Emperor’s possession, but the scenery was the most beautiful and pleasant. It was deeply loved by the Miao woman, and Bai Duan also liked it a lot.
After waiting for a moment outside the palace’s doors, Bai Duan was welcomed into the palace hall by a close female servant of the Imperial Concubine.
Bai Duan bowed his head and kneeled down when the doors opened, then he heard a woman’s charming voice, “Get up! Look up, let me have a look at the most beautiful man in the Capital.”
The Imperial Concubine was not from ZhongYuan, so her wordings were very straightforward and bold. Bai Duan did not dare to refuse. He raised his head up slightly after getting up. So, it was inevitable for him to catch a glimpse of the Imperial Concubine who was leaning on her couch.
The Imperial Concubine was dressed in traditional Miao tribe clothes. The silver crown was exquisite, colorful and complex. It was said that she changed to wearing ZhongYuan clothings when she first entered the palace, but after she was favored by the Emperor, he thought of her homesickness, and allowed her to continue dressing in the traditional clothes of her people.
Miao tribe clothes were not as conservative as those in ZhongYuan. The Imperial Concubine leaning on the couch inevitably showed her tender arms and slender legs. With her charming, affectionate face, she did not look like the mother of three children at all.
However, for Bai Duan, no one but his sweetheart was more beautiful and charming.
Despite seeing the concubine’s arms and legs, Bai Duan didn’t blush at all. He just looked down politely, not wanting to offend the woman.
Seeing Bai Duan’s gesture, there was a glimmer of appreciation in her eyes. Ever since she came to ZhongYuan, she knew how different the culture here was from that in the Miao village. Let alone royalties and noblemen, even the rich families of commoners had multiple wives and mistresses. She disliked such ‘customs’, but she couldn’t compete with it by herself. She especially appreciated men who didn’t ‘follow the masses’ — such as Imperial Counsellor Bai, who only ever had one wife, and never had any affairs or any mistresses.
In her heart, only such a loyal and dedicated man was a good man worthy of entrustment. So even though Imperial Counsellor Bai disliked her and often spoke ill of her to the Emperor, she tolerated him. She did not give him trouble like she would with other pesky officials, since she had control of the Emperor after all.
There was a saying in ZhongYuan called “liking those related to the person you are fond of”. The Imperial Concubine appreciated Imperial Counsellor Bai’s loyalty to his deceased wife, and was naturally fond of Bai Duan as well. Before their marriage was set, she had no impression of the Second Princess, but she did call her up to have a look at her after the news. The impression she had of the Second Princess was that she was a cowardly, careful, and ordinary person.
Bai Duan described the saying “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder” well. Whenever his future wife was mentioned, although the expression on his face remained reserved and polite, his adoring eyes reminded the concubine of how her own eyes once looked when she was deeply in love. Even if the two were extremely incompatible in appearance and personalities, and their identities were also very different, the Imperial Concubine had no doubt about the young man’s sincere feelings towards the Second Princess. She was also sure that Bai Duan was not marrying the princess out of obsession for power.
For a while, the Imperial Concubine did not know whether she should be pleased or envious of the couple.
——She felt total despair for love, but instinctively she still yearned for pure and real love. Even if she was just a bystander, having witness real love pleases her.
Her thoughts flew to her young-self, but quickly returned. The Imperial Concubine straightened up, her lazy smiling face became serious, and her eyes burned as she stared at Bai Duan. Her beautiful voice was also gloomy, “After marriage, you should be faithful and loyal to the Second Princess. If this princess 1 finds out that you got into an affair, don’t blame me for being rude!”
This sentence was not to help the Second Princess, but for her unwillingness to see Bai Duan destroy her fantasy of love. If Bai Duan did so, the princess, who had already stained her hands with plenty of blood, would not be stingy in taking the person who failed her ‘feelings’ to hell.
Bai Duan was confused by the Imperial Concubine’s sudden change of attitude, but he did not panic at all. He looked up at the Imperial Concubine doubtfully, but his eyes were clear, and he did not dodge her words, “I’m a commoner who seeks to marry the princess, I will naturally love her till my hair is all white, and will never accept another in my life!”
Bai Duan’s voice was not loud, but powerful. After listening to his words, the Imperial Concubine’s face suddenly softened and raised a smile, “Good, your promise will be remembered by me.”
After that, she leaned back lazily, and raised her hand slightly. The female servant standing next to her immediately went to Bai Duan and bowed, signaling him to leave.
Bai Duan saluted the Imperial Concubine again and left the palace. The Imperial Concubine looked at his back, with deep sadness in her eyes, which disappeared in an instant. She quickly recovered her usual enchanting and nonchalant self.
Due to the expectations of the concubine for this marriage, the poor little transparent Second Princess got her well deserved ‘princess-level’ funds for the marriage, and the Etiquette Department carefully arranged this wedding, not daring to make any mistakes — after all, no matter how unpopular the princess was, she was still of royal blood. This wedding not only represented the identity of the princess, but also showed His Majesty’s and the royal family’s dignity.
Bai Duan was dragged by the officials of the Etiquette Department outside the palace. He was familiarized with the whole wedding process over and over again. There must be no mistakes!
Cao YuYing, the Second Princess to be married in the palace, did not have it easy either.
As a bride, Cao YuYing only needed to go through the wedding step-by-step under the guidance of the servants, and everything else would be taken care of for her, so her most important task right now was to do the embroidery on her wedding dress.
The wedding gown was an important dress for a woman’s life. Most women began to sew when they were very young and also learned to embroider. Every stitch represented their expectation for the future marriage life, even the princesses in the deep palace had to do it.
However, she had never thought that she would go out of the palace to get married, and to top it off, she had no biological mother to support her. No one told her that she needed to sew the wedding gown, so when the Etiquette Department began to prepare for the wedding, they were shocked when they heard that the Second Princess had yet to make it.
At this time, it was too late to sew the wedding gown from scratch. The Etiquette Department had to give up and ask for help. The work was handed over to the Imperial Tailors’ Department. They only requested the princess to embroider the veil for the wedding as a sort of contribution to the wedding.
After receiving the task of sewing the red veil2, Cao YuYing was totally devastated.
He did pretend to be a woman in his previous worlds before, but it was all to avoid the pursuit of the enemy. What time could he have had to sit down and learn embroidery?
Holding the embroidery needle for the first time, Cao YuYing’s face stiffened and he even felt some pain. However, he did not turn his face to kick the table, and instead moved his hands himself. He also did not use his mental power to make others sew the veil for him. Instead, he embroided the veil seriously himself under the guidance of the maid.
The only thing to be thankful for was that Cao YuYing had a strong spirit. He had excellent learning skills and hands-on ability. Even if he had not learned embroidery before, he could still catch up with others quickly. Except for initially stumbling a lot, he could embroider quickly and well afterwards, which made the maid praise that ‘she’ would be a good wife and mother after marriage.
Cao YuYing, who would marry to be a good wife and a good mother in the future, “……”
The wedding dresses sewn by the Imperial Tailor were bound to be delicate and complex. In order to match the wedding dress, Cao YuYing’s veil could never be simply perfunctory.
After spending ten days sewing the veil, Cao YuYing looked at the exquisite embroidery made by himself. He just felt that his whole person seems to have got some sublimation, and actually had the genuine feeling of getting married as a woman.
——This is just so weird.
- Yes, she basically thinks she is a princess in the raws, i mean with how she speaks.
- The veil here is a red opaque cloth that has a shiny surface. It is used to cover the bride’s head on the day of the wedding, because until the ceremony is all over, no one is allowed to see the bride’s face, traditionally speaking.