Pei Qianhao had already anticipated this, and casually raised his hand. “Let him in.”
A guard took the order and left. He then returned shortly after with Xie Yun in tow, but left so that it was only him and Prince Hao in the tent.
Xie Yun smiled. “Prince Hao, do you not welcome this Prince?”
“Why do you think that this Prince doesn’t welcome you? Please sit, Commandery Prince Xie.” Pei Qianhao’s voice was calm as he gestured for Xie Yun to sit down.
Sitting down in the lower seat, Commandery Prince Xie then said, “Prince Hao, you are probably very clear about what this Prince is here for.”
“Commandery Prince Xie, just directly tell me; you don’t need to go in circles with this Prince.” Pei Qianhao sat down on the upper seat and said with an almost bored expression.
“The Pei and Xie families had an arrangement 12 years ago where the eldest son of the Pei Family would marry the eldest daughter of the Xie Family. However, the eldest son of the Pei Family died during an unfortunate incident only 2 years after the arrangement was made, leaving Prince Hao as the oldest son.”
Pei Qianhao’s eyes were cold. “Commandery Prince Xie, don’t you know how my elder brother died, as well as why our families are currently enemies?”
Xie Yun naturally knew about what had happened, but had brought up the subject because he had an agenda. It happened a long time ago; so what if I bring it up again?
“Of course this Prince knows. The eldest son of the Pei Family died after falling off his horse, and this Prince’s father passed away shortly after. It’s unfortunate that our families stopped visiting each other after that when we had been so close before.” Xie Yun gave a small laugh before he spoke again. “It’s sad that this Prince’s only younger sister continues to think about you every day. This Prince can’t bear for our families to remain enemies, and I hope that you can use your significant power to disregard Lord Pei’s influence over your marriage, Prince Hao.”
Pei Qianhao raised his voice, and the corner of his mouth curled into a mocking smile. “Commandery Prince Xie, you have already said that Lord Pei is unable to decide for this Prince’s marriage, so why would this Prince follow an arrangement that Lord Pei had made for his late son?”
Having already expected Prince Hao’s reply, Xie Yun’s right hand tapped against the table to his side. “This Prince has a third of the military power, and most of the civil court officials are on the side of the Xie Family. If there is a marriage alliance between the Pei Family and the Xie Family, the court will become more stable. Prince Hao, you can’t be rash and careless about this.”
“Are you negotiating with this Prince?” Pei Qianhao’s reply was deadpan.
“As the adopted son of the Pei Family, you have always been an object of debate amongst the court officials due to your unpure bloodline. Right now, only a daughter of the Xie Family can match up to you, and marrying this Prince’s younger sister will cement your position, preventing any of the court officials from dissenting anymore.” Xie Yun deliberately picked at Pei Qianhao’s weakness.
Pei Qianhao’s position and origin had always been things that were privately discussed by the court officials. Every country placed great importance on the purity of bloodlines among the nobles. Even if a noble loved a woman who was from a low-born family, she wouldn’t be allowed to become his legal wife or a secondary wife. She would at most become a concubine.
“Prince Hao, isn’t this Prince right? This Commandery Prince will give you time to think. If you agree, then announce the marriage between the Pei and the Xie families during the palace night banquet held to celebrate the Winter Solstice.” Xie Yun smiled and got up to leave the tent.
Just before Xie Yun could exit, however, he heard a low but powerful voice from behind him.
“This Prince doesn’t care if others question me, but I will eliminate as many people as I need to if they get in my way. Commandery Prince Xie, you can try me.”
A gloomy look flickered across Xie Yun’s eyes before he turned around and flashed a gentle smile. “Everyone says that Prince Hao is arrogant and wilful. I have seen that it is indeed true today. However, you will pay a price for your recalcitrance.”
After that, Xie Yun turned on his heel and walked out of the tent.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sangria: What will Xie Yun do...
Rakumon: *sigh* it's not as easy as it seems to be Prince Hao :/
I feel really sad for the 'star-crossed lovers' in this kind of society man
Imagine if the guy isn't someone like Prince Hao, what's the possibility of them being able to insist on being with the girl they like and at the same time not getting disowned by their families? ><
Featuring comment from Seru:
I don't think thinking depicted in todays chapter was all that uncommon back in the days. People would marry whoever made the most sense for the politically, given that females (but also males) were used mainly as tools to solidify ones power. While that is a certainly awful thing when looking from our modern viewpoint, I don't think it's such a bad feeling for those involved. When you grow up knowing who will be your partner, you will get used to that thought and therefor be much more accepting of that reality. I think people like Pei Qianhao were the absolute minority, doing whatever they felt like not listening to their parents (which I guess makes sense given they're not his parents.)
So I think it's highly likely people either came to like whoever they were married to, or got a concubine/consort/servant that they actually liked, but as an accepted measure, because everyone knew it was a political marriage.