Su Xi-er sat at the edge of the bed with a crimson bridal veil that was embroidered with mandarin ducks, while fluttering red tassles hung at its perimeter.
Marriage was a once-in-a-lifetime event for a woman, and Su Xi-er couldn’t help but be nervous as she tightly clutched the handkerchief. She was wearing the red Chinese bodice that Pei Qianhao had given her a long time ago, and had even rubbed Lingrui flower powder on her body after her bath yesterday.
Despite already being nervous yesterday, sitting at the edge of the bed while waiting for Pei Qianhao’s bridal sedan chair made her even more anxious.
Noticing her hands tightly clutching the handkerchief, Ruo Yuan bent down and whispered, “Are you very nervous?”
Hong Li immediately smacked her head. “How can a woman not be nervous when she’s getting married? You’re only making Su Xi-er more nervous by saying that.”
Ruo Yuan pouted. “I was just trying to help her relax.” Ruo Yuan’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Even if you’re nervous, Hong Li and I will support you steadily. Once Prince Hao holds your hand, you won’t be nervous anymore!”
Su Xi-er couldn’t help but laugh at their banter, causing her red bridal veil to sway.
Ruo Yuan and Hong Li let out a breath of relief when they heard her laughter. The two of them had never seen a woman get married, but now, not only were they seeing one for the first time, they even had to escort the bride. Furthermore, the bride was Princess Consort Hao. How could they not be nervous?
It was only an hour, but the minutes felt like an eternity to Su Xi-er as they slowly slipped by. Every movement and sound from outside the room was practically amplified for her, with the sound of the suona, gongs, drums, and firecrackers being practically deafening. Even when she was charging onto the battlefield in the past, she had never felt so nervous.
She didn’t know how long she had waited when she heard a resounding voice outside the room. “It’s coming! The bridal sedan chair is coming!” The festive sound of the instruments and firecrackers followed immediately after.
The deafening sound and lively atmosphere made Grand Tutor Kong elated, with the tears welling up in his eyes making it seem like it was his biological daughter who was marrying.
Ruo Yuan and Hong Li quickly reminded themselves to calm down and maintain a solemn expression. They turned to look towards Su Xi-er before Hong Li said softly, “Prince Hao’s bridal sedan chair is here.”
Su Xi-er gently nodded, both her hands grasped by Ruo Yuan and Hong Li’s the next moment. A guard called for her outside the door. “Princess Consort Hao, the bridal sedan chair has arrived. Please quickly come out; Prince Hao is getting anxious.”
According to Beimin’s customs, the bride could ‘make things difficult’ for the groom as it wasn’t easy for the bride to walk out of the room. The guards were to call for the bride to open the door so that they would be ‘helping’ the groom marry the bride.
Over the past few days of Hong Li’s stay in the Imperial Library, she had taken some time to read a book about the marriage customs of Beimin. She naturally understood that this step was called ‘calling the door’. However, as it was Su Xi-er’s first time marrying, she was a little nervous and naturally also unaware of this practice.
When she saw Hong Li stopped, Su Xi-er was puzzled. “Why aren’t we going out? The bridal sedan chair is already here.”
“Don’t be impatient, let me make things difficult for a while.” Hong Li giggled before proceeding to explain. “This is a custom.”
Hong Li cast a meaningful glance at Ruo Yuan, prompting the latter to shout at the door. “You should bring out some sincerity if you want to marry the beautiful bride. Otherwise, this servant won’t open the door.”
1. They usually come in pairs, so they are often used to represent a lifelong couple in Chinese culture. You can read more about it here.
Hehe looks like Ruo Yuan is gonna have some fun XD