Chapter 191 (Part 1) Selecting consorts
However, Feng Cang admired this ‘special’ rival from the bottom of his heart. In any case, Ming Yue Cheng was an opponent worthy to be respected. He would never plot scheme or play trickery. Moreover, he had never play dirty tricks behind the back. As Ming Yue Cheng said before, “I love you, this has nothing to do with you.” Feng Cang thought that if it was him, he wouldn’t be able to do that on the matter of love.
The news of Nan Feng’s new emperor selecting consorts soon spread like wildfire throughout the entire Nan Feng.
These days during the court, Ming Yue Cheng could feel that the expressions of these ministers were weird. They looked at him as if they were looking at a delicious cake. Some people had even put portraits of their own daughter in the memorial to the emperor, hoping that Ming Yue Cheng could see them when he read the memorial and get a good impression of their daughter. Everyone thought highly of Ming Yue Cheng and all wanted to be connected to the imperial family.
So, a spectacular project about selecting consorts began in the capital. All the beautiful girls were arranged to enter the palace to begin the primary and secondary selections. Everyone strived to show the best of themselves and hoped to be selected by Ming Yue Cheng.
“Fu Er, how are things going?” Ming Yue Cheng wasn't affected by the noise of the outside world at all. He still read the memorials conscientiously and occasionally asked one or two things about the matters of selecting consorts.
“Answering the emperor, the primary selection hasn't yet begun! The quality of the beautiful girls this time is very high. Those young mistresses are all outstanding. It seems that this time sir Gu De is going to have a headache!”
“Ha….” Couldn’t decipher whether the laughter of Ming Yue Cheng was happy or sad. After reviewing the last memorial, Ming Yue Cheng stood up and stretched his muscles. Suddenly he said, “Fu Er, today’s weather is just right. Accompany me out of the palace!”
“Yes….” Fu Er had always complied with Ming Yue Cheng’s request. He immediately changed Ming Yue Cheng into the ordinary clothes. Afterwards, Fu Er followed behind Ming Yue Cheng and the two got out of the palace.
It was already early in the spring. The spring in Nan Feng arrived particularly early. Women selling flowers could be seen everywhere on the street. Those beautiful purples and brilliant red flowers were placed in the flower vase. Only by giving a few coppers, a small bouquet could be taken. It was really a good deal.
- Beautiful purples and brilliant red: beautiful flowers
Ming Yue Cheng looked at the spray of flowers in front for a long time. He finally picked a bouquet of peach blossoms. Early spring, it was the perfect time when peach blossom bloomed most gorgeously. Peach blossoms were simple and small, with simple colors and small petal. They strived to flourish under the warm sun of spring as if they would use their whole life to embrace spring.
“Is it beautiful, Fu Er?”
“Beautiful! The peach tree is young and elegant, brilliant are its flower!”
- The peach tree is young and elegant, brilliant are its flower: This sentence is from a Chinese poetry (桃之夭夭，灼灼其华). It means that the peach tree is in full blossom with its flower blooming very beautiful.
“Hm, well said!” Ming Yue Cheng took the peach blossoms and walked aimlessly in the capital. People brushed past him from time to time. Those smiling faces affected Ming Yue Cheng‘s mood more or less.
Just when Ming Yue Cheng was immersed in the beauty of spring, the sound of pipa came over.
[caption id="attachment_92601" align="aligncenter" width="291"] Pipa (琵琶): a Chinese musical string instrument/ a Chinese lute[/caption]
He followed the sound and found a girl in white clothes kneeling at the street corner not far from him. She had a slender yellow straw on her head and a body was lying in front of her. On the ground next to her, there was a piece of paper on which the words ‘selling body to bury father’ were clearly written.
The mournful sound of the girl’s pipa with this harmonious spring was somewhat not matched. Her head was lowered, her clothes were wet at the chest, and tears continued to slide down her cheeks. The girl’s voice was also very choked with sobs, so the sound came out particularly sad.
“Let’s go over to take a look!” Ming Yue Cheng came to the front of the girl. The girl drooped her head and a pair of slender white hands were plucking on the pipa. With her kneeling down like this at the street corner and occupying a small area, her eyes couldn't see the liveliness of the endless stream of horse and carriages at all. She simply lowered her head to play the pipa and her softly singing became the alternative of the busy corner.
- An endless stream of horse and carriages: heavy traffic on the street
“How much money?” Ming Yue Cheng looked at her for a long time and slowly opened his mouth.
“Two taels.” After seeing that somebody had pay attention to her, the white dressed girl raised her head. When Ming Yue Cheng looked at those teary eyes of her, his heart skipped a beat. This pair of eyes, this face, were actually somewhat similar to Feng Qi Qi.
“Yes.” The white dressed girl didn't expect that the person who asked her would be a handsome gentleman. She was a bit nervous after looking at Ming Yue Cheng’s clothes, which clearly was of a nobleman. According to hearsay, the sons of those aristocrats didn't regard women as human beings. A girl from her village was exactly tortured to death after being a slave to them. Is this misfortune coming to her now?
“Fu Er, give her two hundred taels and help her buried the body. Afterwards, bring her back.”
After leaving these words, Ming Yue Cheng turned away and left the white dressed girl in astonishment.
“Girl, let’s go!” Fu er sighed. It seemed that His Majesty was stuck in the magic of Feng Qi Qi. Was this calamity or fate?
After Fu Er was done with everything in the evening, he brought the white dressed girl into the palace.
Before, the girl had imagined for quite a while what kind of person Ming Yue Cheng was. Even when she saw the majestic standing and the gold and jade in glorious splendor of the imperial palace, she didn't link Ming Yue Cheng to the emperor. Just after following Fu Er into the study and seeing a yellow dragon robe on Ming Yue Cheng, did she then know his identity.
- Gold and jade in glorious splendor: a dazzling sight
“You, you are the emperor?” The girl looked at Ming Yue Cheng in astonishment. Fu Er’s brow furrowed as soon as he heard these words, “Audacious….”
That long and stern voice made the girl startled and she quickly knelt down. The girl was more affirmative of her inner thoughts after hearing the tone of Fu Er like this. Ming Yue Cheng was the emperor? What did the emperor buy her for?
Now, anxiety took up most of the girl’s heart. She was already a lonely person as she didn't have parents. Now that she had met Ming Yue Cheng; she really didn't know what would happen in the future.
“How old are you? What’s your name?” Ming Yue Cheng didn't let the girl stood up and just stared at her. A moment ago, Fu Er had already let the girl change her white clothes and put on blue clothes. It actually washed away some of her grief.
“I…no, no, this subject’s daughter is called Lan Cai Yun and is fifteen years old this year.” Lan Cai Yun knelt down and didn't dare to speak anymore.
“Can you read?”
“Answering His Majesty, this subject’s daughter was privately tutored by her father for several years, so had learned a few words.”
“Hm. Stand up and calmly take two steps.”
Lan Cai Yun was surprised at this request of Ming Yue Cheng. However, she couldn't refute anything. She could only stand up and walked around the study according to Ming Yue Cheng’s request.
“Will you be loyal to zhen[1. Zhen:, I, used by the emperor]?”
After Ming Yue Cheng asked the question, Lan Cai Yun immediately knelt down on the ground. “Your Majesty helped this subject’s daughter bury her father, so this subject’s daughter is a slave of Your Majesty and will be loyal to Your Majesty all her life.”
Ming Yue Cheng didn't have any expression after listening to Lan Cai Yun’s words. He single-handedly supported his chin; after his fingers tipped the face twice, he nodded. “Zhen will trust you for the moment! Fu Er, take Cai Yun to rest! From tomorrow on, arrange an elder maid to teach her the etiquette of the palace. Zhen wants you to learn it in three days, or else…you don't have any value of existence. Do you understand?”
“This slave understands. This slave will certainly do her best….”
After Fu Er helped Lan Cai Yun settle down properly, he returned to the study.
“Your Majesty, this slave doesn't understand what you mean?” He was saying he didn't understand, but Fu Er’s heart could more or less guess what Ming Yue Cheng’s intentions were. He just wasn't sure. After all, if Ming Yue Cheng really thought so, then it was really too rashly.
“Fu Er, what do you think of Lan Cai Yun?” Ming Yue Cheng didn't directly answer Fu Er’s question. Instead, this question made Fu Er even more convinced of his inner thoughts.
“Your Majesty, Lan Cai Yun is a bit small-minded. I’m afraid she’s unable to suppress the harem.
Fu Er saying so, Ming Yue Cheng understood. This old man who had followed him for many years had guessed his real inner thoughts.
Indeed, Ming Yue Cheng was planning to let Lan Cai Yun participate in the selection of consorts. Since those people ‘forced’ him to accept woman because of continuing the royal bloodline and because a country couldn’t lack an empress, then he would pick a person who would surprise everyone.
It wasn’t that he didn't understand those schemes of the court. It was just his heart was given to a woman named Feng Qi Qi and he didn't have time to deal with other women. However, the matters about selecting consorts had already been announced to the whole country. He was afraid that if he backed out, he would be unable to comply with the people’s heart. Since this was the case, he just had to find a woman who he could control, such as Lan Cai Yun.
By afternoon, An Ying (a secret spy) had already found out about Lan Cai Yun’s past. She was an orphan girl without parents and didn't have any status nor background. As long as they gave her a new identity and adjust her head and turn her face, she could have a new beginning.
- Adjust her head and turn her face: cosmetic changes
The seat of empress? He had already promised to give it to Feng Qi Qi. Even if she wouldn't become his empress, this seat was tailor-made for that woman. Others weren’t qualified to sit on it!
“Fu Er, did you think that I’m going to marry a lot of women? If she isn’t to zhen’s likeness, then zhen will rather not have her.”
The obstinate loneliness was revealed in the words of Ming Yue Cheng. Fu Er looked at this master’s resolute expression under the light and didn't know how to persuade Ming Yue Cheng. He (FE) had served him (MYC) so many years, so he clearly knew how stubborn this emperor was. It was a pity that fate played tricks on people, otherwise Feng Qi Qi would really have been a perfect match for his master.
“Your Majesty, you really need to think clearly about this matter. The selection of consorts has already started. Miss Lan doesn't have any backing to support her. How do you plan to put her among the lady-in-waiting candidates?”
“This is easy….” The corners of Ming Yue Cheng’s mouth lifted, “The prime minister had tricked zhen. Since zhen has demands, so he shall naturally help.”
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