The changes to Huyan Fei’s expression did not go unnoticed by the Grand Empress Dowager, and an unknown emotion flickered within her eyes before she turned back to the sword dance in front of her.
As the song gradually approached its end, the red and black figures continued to intertwine in perfect harmony. Anybody in the audience would think that they had practiced tirelessly, unsuspecting that this was the first time they had even attempted such a thing. Finally, a final smile was exchanged as their swords brushed past each other, their wielders turning to deliver a bow just as the final note was played.
The entire hall was stunned into silence before Du Ling broke it with a sudden applause; the officials and rest of the audience followed quickly after with their own clapping and praise.
The Grand Empress Dowager was delighted. “Despite having lived in Beimin for many years, the spirit of the royal family is still evident in Rulan. This Dowager is impressed!"
The officials concurred. "This humble subject is greatly impressed."
Su Xi-er wore a humble expression. "You're flattering me."
"How can you call that flattery? This Dowager has never seen such a sword dance in all my life!" The Grand Empress Dowager raised her winecup and downed its contents, prompting the rest of the officials to follow suit.
After a while, the opera actors began their performance, adding to the lively atmosphere as the audience partook of their meals. In the end, everyone feasted and drank for four hours until Du Ling finally announced the end of the banquet.
Before Huyan Fei left, he took one final glimpse at Su Xi-er. Right as he turned to walk away, however, the Grand Empress Dowager called out to him. “Lord Huyan, please wait.”
Huyan Fei looked at the Grand Empress Dowager in confusion, his gaze shifting between her, Du Ling, Su Xi-er, and Pei Qianhao. Unfortunately, the Grand Empress Dowager’s cry had attracted the attention of several officials who had been a bit slow in leaving.
“Lord Huyan, the reason your father didn’t come today was not that the Lady is unwell, but rather that he’s furious, right?” The Grand Empress Dowager went straight to the point.
Huyan Fei immediately bowed. “My father really is taking care of my mother at home; he didn’t choose not to come.”
“This Dowager knows what your father is angry about. The Huyan Family has always been loyal to the Du Royal Family; we indeed owe you. It’s just that…” The Grand Empress Dowager looked towards Su Xi-er. “The Imperial Princess has been away for years; there are many things that we have to ask for your understanding about, Lord Huyan.”
Pei Qianhao was naturally aware of the ‘things’ the Grand Empress Dowager was referring to. He gazed at Huyan Fei, recognising the man who had given up so much for his country despite being born with a weak physique.
“This humble subject understands, Grand Empress Dowager. You don’t have to be concerned.” Huyan Fei then bowed at the crowd before turning to Su Xi-er. “The Imperial Princess and Prince Hao are very compatible.” He gave another bow and respectfully informed Du Ling that he would be taking his leave.
Watching Huyan Fei walk away, the Grand Empress Dowager sighed before glancing at Su Xi-er. “We really do owe the Huyan Family, but alas… If only the late King didn’t say those words back then.”
However, even if Rulan wasn’t married to Prince Hao, I still would’ve found it difficult to let her marry Huyan Fei. With that condition of his, he doesn’t have enough qualifications to marry the princess.
“Royal Grandmother, it’s getting late. Let me accompany you back to your palace.” Su Xi-er went forth to support the Grand Empress Dowager.
“Good child, you can accompany this Dowager when sleeping tonight then. Prince Hao, come early tomorrow morning to take Rulan to the Warming Jade Palace. This Dowager will personally teach her some horse riding in the afternoon.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter