Everyone bowed and simultaneously replied, “Many thanks, Your Majesty.” Only then did they all take their seats.


It was clear that everyone’s gazes immediately snapped to Su Xi-er, but they understood that the rules dictated that the Emperor had to be the first one to speak.


Understanding the situation, Situ Lin put on a solemn expression before letting out a light cough, grabbing everyone’s attention. “The purpose of tonight’s banquet is to celebrate Prince Hao’s wedding. As Emperor Father passed away early, this Emperor treats Prince Hao like my father. I shall offer a toast to Prince Hao with tea in place of wine, and hope that Prince Hao and Princess Consort Hao will have a long-lasting marriage.”


The eunuch behind Situ Lin immediately went forward to pour a cup of tea for him.


The palace maid behind Pei Qianhao prepared to do the same, but was stopped by a slender hand reaching out from the side. Suddenly understanding, the palace maid handed the teapot to Su Xi-er.


Sitting diagonally right of them was Chu Linglong who let out a soft chuckle, his narrow eyebrows raised with a teasing look. “Princess Consort Hao looks really familiar. Has this Crown Prince met you somewhere before?”  

His words shocked everyone present, with some ministers naturally being curious about the relationship between the Crown Prince of Dongling and Princess Consort Hao. Before Princess Consort Hao married Prince Hao, she had always been in Beimin. If that’s the case, how does she know the Crown Prince of Dongling?


Su Xi-er smiled even under the numerous bewildered gazes, her aura not losing out to the nobility around her in the slightest. “Dongling’s Crown Prince has really good eyesight. I was still a little maidservant following behind Prince Hao when we first met.”


Chu Linglong was persistent, bent on seeing how Su Xi-er would react. “You came to Nanzhao’s state banquet together with Prince Hao. This Crown Prince still can’t forget the Bending Branch Dance performed on the stage at the Water Caltrop River. I wonder if I will be able to witness it once again tonight?”


The officials from Beimin furrowed their brows. Beimin’s customs are different from those of other countries; women of high status can’t dance in public on any occasion besides the state banquet. Dongling’s Crown Prince didn’t even consider the occasion before he spoke. Yet, the eyes of the leaders from the foreign tribes were shining with delight. Some of them were looking forward to watching Su Xi-er’s dance upon realising that she was the one who had performed during Nanzhao’s state banquet.


Before Pei Qianhao could say anything, Su Xi-er pinched him under the table to stay quiet. 


Understanding her intentions, Pei Qianhao did as she wished.


Su Xi-er smiled as she replied, “I am afraid that you will be disappointed, Crown Prince.”


Chu Linglong swept his gaze across the ministers’ faces before asking, “May I impolitely ask why that is the case?”  

Everyone’s gaze immediately concentrated on Su Xi-er. Situ Lin was very impressed by his Imperial Aunt’s response, and was confident that she had a way to deal with the situation at hand. In order to maintain his own status as the Emperor of the nation, however, he continued to keep his expression neutral.


A woman’s soft laughter could be heard, sounding like a silver bell and a breeze blowing at the lake. “Everyone has their bad day, and there isn’t always a complicated reason. I simply don’t feel like it tonight.”


Some foreign tribe leaders couldn’t help but suck in a breath of cold air, and the ministers from Beimin were also shocked; even Pei Qianhao was no exception. The purpose of the banquet was to celebrate Prince Hao’s wedding, and Su Xi-er’s words were beneath her status.


However, Su Xi-er suddenly stood up and bowed to everyone. “I am sure that everyone has seen manifold dances, but no matter how beautiful the dance is, anyone would get tired after watching so many. Instead of dancing, I’ve prepared something else to entertain everyone.”


Everyone immediately perked up again, and even Pei Zheng was curious as to what she was planning to do.


Su Xi-er looked towards Grand Tutor Kong and asked, “Godfather, could you order someone to prepare some writing materials and a desk for me?”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

Any idea what SXE plans to do? ;)