After pouring the tea, Ye Qingzhu deferentially passed the cup to Su Xi-er. “Princess Consort Hao, please drink slowly. It’s hot.”


“This lass is quick-witted and sensible from serving in the Prince Hao Residence for many years. Prince Hao only transferred her into this Consort Dowager’s palace because he takes pity on this old granny.”


Su Xi-er couldn’t help but laugh. “Consort Dowager, how are you an old granny? Your skin  is so well-maintained that I could’ve mistaken you for a young lady.”


Su Xi-er’s words greatly pleased Consort Dowager Guo, and the latter’s gaze was almost as if she was looking at her own child. “You child, your mouth is so sweet. You even praised this Consort Dowager as a young lady.”


Watching the two of them cheerily chatting, Ye Qingzhu suddenly remembered Pei Qianhao’s expression when he refused her. Her mood instantly hit rock-bottom. “Consort Dowager, this servant will order someone to bring some pastries over.”


“Alright, you may withdraw.” Consort Dowager Guo waved her hand.


Ye Qingzhu bowed as she took her leave, but the fleeting disappointment in her eyes did not escape Su Xi-er.


The sudden call of ‘Prince Hao’ that had come from the hallway had not escaped Su Xi-er’s ears, and it was apparent that the person who had called for him was Ye Qingzhu. She must have begged Prince Hao to return to the residence, only to get rejected. It’s understandable that she is depressed right now.


As Consort Dowager Guo watched Ye Qingzhu’s departing figure, she couldn’t help but sigh. “This lass is hiding something in her heart; such a good lass shouldn’t be so despondent. When the time is right, this Consort Dowager will find a suitable match for her.” 


Curiosity crept into Su Xi-er’s eyes. How has Consort Dowager Guo remained untainted while having been in the imperial palace for so long? I understand very clearly what the women of the imperial harem are capable of from watching Emperor Father’s back then. They could even bear to kill their own children to get ahead.


Afterwards, Consort Dowager Guo was full of praises as she ate some of the corn-flavoured steamed buns. She then took Su Xi-er to the rear garden for a tour before they ate some pastries, and they had eaten dinner before Pei Qianhao returned at about 5:30 pm.


“Prince Hao, you two should head over. This Consort Dowager doesn’t like the noise, so I won’t be going. I hope you can understand.” Consort Dowager Guo took out a string of Buddha beads from the cupboard in the main hall and prepared to walk to the Buddha hall.


“Consort Dowager, please take care of yourself. We shall be going on ahead.” Pei Qianhao courteously bade her goodbye before taking Su Xi-er’s hand and leaving.


Only after they reached a quiet palace path did Pei Qianhao stop and help Su Xi-er tidy up her hair and dress.


Su Xi-er laughed. “Consort Dowager Guo has already helped me tidy myself up this afternoon. Let’s just go there directly.”


“Xi-er, you’re not allowed to dance.” Pei Qianhao reminded her before taking her hand again and continuing down the path.


I know that he’s ‘petty’, and only wants me to dance for him, but it’s inevitable that someone will request it at the palace banquet.


With the various court ministers and envoys from different countries attending, there wasn’t enough space in the garden for them all to fit. As such, the banquet was to be held in the courtyard that was typically only used for the state banquet.


The tall stage had already been set up, and the members from the opera and dance houses had long entered the palace.


Everyone was led to the side of their seats by the palace maids, but remained standing as they waited for the Emperor and Prince Hao.


Even more than this, everybody knew that Princess Consort Hao would be coming, so everybody’s attention would be locked on her as soon as she arrived.


A eunuch announced in high spirits, “Prince Hao and Princess Consort Hao have arrived!”


Everyone’s eyes immediately shifted to the entrance of the courtyard, only to see a tall man clad in black robes holding the hand of a woman dressed in a red dress.


The woman’s footsteps were light and nimble, as if lotuses were blooming with her every step. Every movement was elegant, and the faint smile on her face gave off a noble deportment that left everyone confused. How does she resemble a maidservant with this aura of hers? Even the Eldest Imperial Princess of a country may find it hard to bear such a deportment!


Pei Qianhao took her to their seats, and Situ Lin also happened to enter the courtyard at this moment. When he noticed Pei Qianhao nodding at him, he waved his hand and addressed the audience in an imposing manner, “Envoys from the various countries, leaders of foreign tribes, dear officials, please take your seats and enjoy your meal.”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

Hehe another banquet drama to look forward to? ;)