“One should distinguish between what can and cannot be said.” Leaving those words behind, Su Xi-er walked out and caught up with the Grand Empress Dowager.
“Royal Grandmother.” Su Xi-er softly called as she grasped her hand.
The Grand Empress Dowager squeezed her hand. “Rulan, your hand isn’t as warm as this Dowager’s. What exactly did you do in Beimin’s imperial palace to have resulted in this state?”
“Drawing water from the well, sweeping the floor, and getting rid of weeds; that’s all. No matter how tough it was, it is all in the past. I am now experiencing the sweetness that comes after hardship.” Su Xi-er’s face was wreathed in smiles.
“Sweetness that comes after hardship… This Dowager also suffered in the past, but make sure to nourish your body properly.” The Grand Empress Dowager patted Su Xi-er’s hand and headed towards her repose palace.
Upon entering the palace, the Grand Empress Dowager immediately summoned an imperial physician to take a look at Su Xi-er. After a few short tests, the physician came to the same conclusion that others had: Su Xi-er had a cold constitution.
The Grand Empress Dowager’s eyes grew dim. It’s hard for those with a cold constitution to get pregnant. This is a big problem!
The imperial physician added. “Imperial Princess, you don’t have to worry. The warm jade bed in the royal court can alleviate your condition. When used in conjunction with some medicinal soup, your condition can be improved. Just remember that you should stay away from cold water and frigid winds and such, keeping yourself warm at all times.”
Su Xi-er nodded. “I will take note.”
After giving some instructions, the imperial physician left with his medical box.
With an aching heart, the Grand Empress Dowager reached out for Su Xi-er’s hands and tried to warm them while ordering the servants to bring some hot water and pastries. Only when the banquet was about to begin did the Grand Empress Dowager finally let go of Su Xi-er’s hands.
“It’s almost time for the banquet, so Prince Hao should be here any moment to accompany you there.” The Grand Empress Dowager glanced outside the repose palace.
As if the person in question had heard her, the voice of a eunuch sounded out at that moment. “Prince Hao arrives.”
Pei Qianhao stepped into the repose palace clad in black robes with golden embroidery. He paid his respects to the Grand Empress Dowager before taking Su Xi-er’s hand and helping her smooth out her hair.
The Grand Empress Dowager’s smile reached up to her eyes. “The two of you can head over first. This Dowager will be there soon.”
Pei Qianhao nodded and bowed together with Su Xi-er before they left the repose palace.
As the two walked along a palace path, Pei Qianhao stopped. “We won’t be able to avoid drinking wine later, so I’ll drink in your stead.”
Su Xi-er was aware of the frank and heroic spirit of the Western Regioners, and that it was inevitable for both men and women to drink wine during such an important banquet.
At this moment, a few guards walked over and bowed to them. “Imperial Princess, Prince Hao, the King and the officials have arrived.”
Su Xi-er nodded, noting that it was time for the banquet to begin. Exchanging glances with Pei Qianhao, the two continued on their way.
The banquet was a grand sight to behold. Every single official was present, and a veritable army of maids and eunuchs stood to the side while holding platters of prepared dishes.
When the Head Eunuch beside the King spotted Pei Qianhao and Su Xi-er, he immediately announced, “The Imperial Princess and Prince Hao have arrived!”
Everyone’s sight immediately flickered to the entrance where Su Xi-er stood dressed in a golden dress and golden buyao, a jade pearl hanging over her forehead. Pei Qianhao was equally striking in a different manner, his black robes only accentuating his charming demeanour. The two were practically radiating an aura of elegance.
After entering, Su Xi-er smiled at the officials while all of them stood up to bow. “This humble subject pays his respects to the Imperial Princess and Prince Hao.”
“Rise.” Su Xi-er waved her hand in an imposing manner.
Du Ling raised his hand, signalling for everyone to sit. The banquet hall held 6 enormous tables, each large enough to accomodate 20 people. The centerpiece of each table was a roasted lamb that towered over the other dishes. Even more noticeably, each seat had its own wine jar; even the winecups were larger than those of other nations!Previous Chapter Next Chapter