Chapter 191 (Part 2) Selecting consorts
Three days later, Ming Yue Cheng suddenly called Gu De to the palace, leaving Gu De puzzled. It was almost the primary selection, and the emperor suddenly summoned him. Could it be that there was something to be alerted or was it…the emperor had changed his mind?
Gu De entered the study with a nervous heart. After carefully observing Ming Yue Cheng twice, Gu De didn't sense any strangeness. He hadn’t spoken yet, Ming Yue Cheng already looked up. “Uncle Gu De, sit!”
Fu Er sent people to get a chair and then sent everyone away. There were only Ming Yue Cheng and Gu De left in the room, while Fu Er guarded far away.
After waiting for a long time, Ming Yue Cheng was still talking about meaningless topics, which made Gu De’s heart in a mess. As far as he knew, Ming Yue Cheng wasn't an emperor who would spend time chatting with people. The memorials on his desk were stacked up like hills. It was just too strange for Ming Yue Cheng to put down the memorials and chat with him.
After waiting for ages, Ming Yue Cheng still didn't get to the main topic. Gu De couldn't stand it anymore, so he took the initiative to talk. “Don't know why Your Majesty has called this subject to the palace today? What is the matter? Is it because of tomorrow selection of consorts? Your Majesty can rest assured. This old subject knows what to do.”
“Prime minister really knows what to do?” The voice of Ming Yue Cheng rose and his address to Gu De changed from ‘uncle’ to ‘prime minister’. Such a change and the dignified words of Ming Yue Cheng made Gu De stunned.
“What do you mean, Your Majesty?” Gu De didn't understand and couldn't guess this young emperor’s thoughts. He (MYC) was such a ‘be a gentleman first and a soldier second’ and the pitch of his voice fluctuated. It made Gu De’s heart really uncertain. He didn't know what kind of medicine Ming Yue Cheng was selling from the bottle gourd.
- Be a gentleman first and a soldier second: try peaceful measures first before resorting to force
- What kind of medicine one was selling from the bottle gourd: what has he got up his sleeve
“Fu Er, let her come in!”
When Lan Cai Yun followed after Fu Er, Gu De seemed to understand the thoughts of Ming Yue Cheng.
“Daughter Gu Yun Yao pays respect to adoptive father!”
“Lan Cai Yun went to Gu De and did the curtsy according to the noble etiquettes.
“Your Majesty, you.…”
“Congratulations prime minister!” Ming Yue Cheng interrupted Gu De. “Prime minister’s adopted daughter is really extraordinary. She must be able to stand out in the selection of consorts. Prime minister, what do you think?”
“Haha….” Besides giving a dry laugh, Gu De couldn't find any words to say. It seemed that Ming Yue Cheng had already prepared these at an earlier time and was just waiting here for him to fall into the trap!
Gu De carefully looked Lan Cai Yun up and down and then nodded. She’s a pretty girl, and her appearance revealed virtuousness and gentleness. If His Majesty really liked this girl, as a matter of fact, there was no harm in it! He only gave this girl a noble identity.
“Yao er[1. Er: term of endearment], still not thanking the prime minister?”
“Yao er thanks adoptive father!”
After Lan Cai Yun withdrew, Gu De opened his mouth. “Your Majesty, what do you mean in the end? Could it be that you want Gu Yun Yao to participate in the selection of consorts?”
“That is exactly what zhen[2. Zhen: I, used by the emperor] means. Didn't uncle Gu De say that the palace needs a woman and zhen also needs a woman to justify myself to the whole world? Since that is the case, then this woman will be chosen by zhen personally. Is this not possible?”
“But, but what kind of person is she, Your Majesty? If there’s no good reason, I’m afraid that it can’t convince the masses!”
Ming Yue Cheng laughed at Gu De’s words. “What uncle Gu De said is really funny! Isn’t she your adoptive daughter? She has been kept in her boudoir and was only now let to appear in public. Could it be that uncle Gu De didn't know? What’s there to be afraid if the ministers want to check? Yao er is prime minister’s adoptive daughter. This identity is sufficient to convince the masses!”
At this very moment, Gu De finally understood. Ming Yue Cheng had kept in mind what he (GD) did previously and dug a hole for him now. “Your Majesty, you have really caused destructive trouble to this old subject!”
As soon as Gu De thought that he would be questioned by those colleagues, he could only smile reluctantly. Ming Yue Cheng threw all the problems to him. It seemed that he (MYC) was already prepared at an earlier time.
“Your Majesty, this girl is your crush or is....”
“Or did you find a puppet just for show?” Speaking this way, Gu De felt like he was too harsh. But he did everything for the sake of Ming Yue Cheng. He had never before heard that Ming Yue Cheng had had special feeling for any girl and now, some Gu Yun Yao suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Gu De had no choice but to doubt the reason behind this.
“If it is, then what? If it isn’t, then what?” Ming Yue Cheng seemed to be deliberately going against this stubborn man in front of him.
“Your Majesty, you….” Gu De was completely speechless this time. Could it be that he guessed correctly? This Gu Yun Yao wasn't Ming Yue Cheng’s crush, but a countermeasure after he was forced to marry? Then wasn't it…absurd?!
“Prime minister, zhen still has many memorials to read. Pay more attention to tomorrow’s selection of consorts. If Gu Yun Yao isn’t on the list of the chosen ones, then zhen don't mind leaving the harem empty for several years and wait for the next selection of consorts.”
Blackmail! This was completely blackmail! Gu De wanted to say something. He was on the verge of speaking his mind, but he swallowed it back. If they didn't push Ming Yue Cheng too far, then Ming Yue Cheng wouldn’t be like this. Moreover, the man in front of him wasn’t that boy who called him ‘uncle’ anymore. He was the emperor of a country. If he (GD) refuted again, he feared that he would hurt the camaraderie between them.
Only a moment later, Gu De made a decision. He would properly ‘teach’ Gu Yun Yao so that she would feel at ease as the emperor’s woman.
After Gu De left, Fu Er brought Gu Yun Yao in. “This slave pays her greetings to Your Majesty. Your Majesty, long live ten thousand years, long live ten thousand years!”
“Don't call yourself a slave in the future anymore!”
“Yes, Yao er thanks Your Majesty!”
He had to say, Lan Cai Yun was a promising person. She originally wasn't a small-minded girl. After three days of training day and night, her every movement had gotten the noble air of a girl from a noble house.
“From now on, you are the prime minister’s adoptive daughter Gu Yun Yao. What you need to do and how to do it. I believe that the prime minister will teach you. You must learn well!”
“Yes! Yao er will obey Your Majesty’s instructions.”
“Fu Er, send her to the prime minister’s residence.”
Gu Yun Yao spent the night at the prime minister’s residence. The next day, she was sent to the palace by Gu De and was included in the list of the lady-in-waiting candidates. The lady-in-waiting candidates were very surprised and also curious towards the sudden appearance of the prime minister’s adopted daughter. They had never heard that the prime minister Gu De had an adopted daughter. After seeing Gu Yun Yao, those people couldn't help but look at her.
It wasn't long before those high officials of Nan Feng also knew about the matter of Gu Yun Yao. These foxes were also very puzzled. However, everyone didn't doubt the identity of Gu Yun Yao. Instead, they talked privately about Gu De. They thought that Gu De usually had a noble character and unquestionable integrity, but during critical moment, he (GD) was still unable to hold back his inner desire for power and came up with an adopted daughter. It was nothing more than a desire to compete for the position of empress. To put it bluntly, it was just to consolidate his (GD) position in the court.
These rumors spread to Gu De’s ear but he didn't know whether to laugh or cry. From beginning to end, he was the most ‘innocent’ person. This Gu Yun Yao was forced on him by Ming Yue Cheng. It was just because his status could give Gu Yun Yao a noble identity. Ming Yue Cheng doing so, coincidentally made his impartial image which he had always maintained, ‘destroyed’….
With Ming Yue Cheng looking after her, Gu Yun Yao successfully passed the primary and secondary selections. Soon, it would be the selection at the ha;;.
- Hall selection: the emperor will choose a consort by testing the lady-in-waiting candidates at the palace hall.
In the evening, Gu Yun Yao who was lying down on the bed, still couldn't believe the experiences of these days. Like a beautiful dream, she changed from the daughter of a teacher to the adopted daughter of the prime minister. From an ordinary civilian to a noble woman. All of this came too quickly. So quickly that Gu Yun Yao was still in the dream and didn't wake up yet.
Recalling the situation where she first saw Ming Yue Cheng, Gu Yun Yao revealed a light smile.
Gu Yun Yao knew Ming Yue Cheng. He was once Nan Feng’s crown prince, and later he went to Xi Qi as a hostage. Afterwards, he returned to Nan Feng and started a palace coup d’état, seized the power, and became an emperor himself.
Gu Yun Yao didn't have any special likes or dislikes towards Ming Yue Cheng’s past. She only knew that Ming Yue Cheng is a good emperor. Soon after he ascended the throne, Nan Feng annexed Xi Qi. This was an emperor with outstanding ability and grand vision. It was Gu Yun Yao’s blessing to be chosen by Ming Yue Cheng.
Even now Gu Yun Yao still remembered the words of Ming Yue Cheng. “Zhen will make you the only woman in the harem and will also make you respected by all people. A life of luxury, you won’t be short of it. However, all of these needs to be exchanged with your freedom. Are you willing?”
Gu Yun Yao didn't even think at that time and nodded her head. Instead of wandering from place to place, it was better to follow the path that Ming Yue Cheng arranged for her. Anyway, she was an orphan girl. There was no one anymore in this world that she worried about and was fond of. Ming Yue Cheng helped her bury her father, so he was her benefactor. She had only a grateful heart towards Ming Yue Cheng. She was willing to do anything for Ming Yue Cheng, let alone just losing her freedom!
Gu Yun Yao had thought many times about why Ming Yue Cheng would choose her. There were many girls who were more beautiful than her, more talented than her and had a better background than her. Why did luck suddenly came and landed on her?
When she asked this question to Fu Er, the chief of internal affairs at Ming Yue Cheng’s side. She saw a strange expression from Fu Er’s face. Although fleeting, she still caught it.
That old man who had followed Ming Yue Cheng for more than ten years only said one sentence. “You just need to guard your heart and keep your mouth shut.”
It looked like two simple things, but it seemed to contain a lot of profound meanings. However, the young heart of Gu Yun Yao didn't understand at this moment.
In the expectation of everyone, the hall selection began.
Early in the morning, palace maids came to dress up Gu Yun Yao. In the garden where she lived, there were many official’s daughters who passed the primary and secondary selection. Gu Yun Yao saw excitement and joy from their faces.
Those young girls all dressed themselves up gorgeously to show their most beautiful sides to Ming Yue Cheng. These days, Gu Yun Yao often heard them discussing privately what kind of person Ming Yue Cheng was. What was his appearance like? How was his temper? Was he easy to serve?
Whenever at this moment, Gu Yun Yao would retreat to one side and wouldn’t participate in these girl’s discussion. Their innocent faces were full of yearning for this palace.
Gu Yun Yao felt much better compared to them. At least she had seen Ming Yue Cheng. Although only a few times, but she still had seen him. That handsome and imposing man was indeed what woman would idealize. But for some reason, she couldn't see anything related to love in the eyes of Ming Yue Cheng.
When Ming Yue Cheng told her about her future’s fate, Gu Yun Yao even saw a bit of indifference from Ming Yue Cheng’s eyes. She knew this indifference wasn't because she did anything wrong, but because of other reasons. Gu Yun Yao didn't understand why this young emperor’s eyes would be frozen like the mountains. Could it be that his heart was hurt?
These questions were only hovering in Gu Yun Yao’s ear, she didn't say it out loud.
After everyone was ready, Gu Yun Yao joined the fifty-person group and slowly walked towards the main hall.
Under the sunlight, the capital in gold and jade in glorious splendor appeared more dignified. Lady-in-waiting candidates who were chit-chatting a moment ago, were now all holding their breath and quieted down. Each and every one was cautious, making their heart jumped into their throat.
In comparison, Gu Yun Yao seemed more relaxed. She already knew the result of the hall selection. Although she didn't know why it was like this, but it would be fine if she just follow the orders of Ming Yue Cheng. Towards this benefactor, Gu Yun Yao had no other way of thanking him. She could only repay him with her own time in the future.
The voice of Fu Er came from the hall. The lady-in-waiting candidates walked into the hall in groups of five people.
Ming Yue Cheng sat upright on the dragon chair, playing with the amethyst prayer bead in his hand. His expression was very serious and the hall became chilly because of the aura that came from him.
In such a quiet environment, those lady-in-waiting candidates all lowered their heads and didn't dare to look at Ming Yue Cheng who was sitting on the chair. The exciting appearance of before had all turned each and every one into a dignified appearance now.
Gu De who was next to Ming Yue Cheng looked at the lady-in-waiting candidates while also secretly glanced at Ming Yue Cheng’s expression. Until now, Gu De finally realized that their “forced marriage” made Ming Yue Cheng unhappy. Confronted with so many exquisite women, there was no smile on his face and he was too solemn.
Ay…Gu De sighed in his heart. Although he didn't want to force Ming Yue Cheng, but one in this position would always be without freedom to act independently.
- Without freedom to act independently: involuntarily/ in spite of oneself
Emperors always had inevitably many difficulties and things they had to do. Unless they took off their yellow robe. However, it wasn't easy to wear a yellow robe and it was even more difficult to take off the yellow robe. This was probably the tragedy of being an emperor since ancient times! The higher one is on the hierarchical ladder, the heavier the responsibilities one carries on the shoulders. One who chose the road of emperor, was doomed to be lonely….
After waiting for a long time, Ming Yue Cheng didn't speak. Fu Er had no choice but to let people withdraw, and then a new group of lady-in-waiting candidates came in.
As the word ‘withdraw’ spread out, those beautiful girls who waited outside were more frightened. Already more than half of the people had entered, Ming Yue Cheng still didn't choose one. Was it that this young emperor had very high standards? Many people began to get nervous and there was even a candidate who fainted directly outside the hall.
Looking at the beautiful girl being carried down, Gu Yun Yao had some sympathy towards these noble women. So, it turned out that being born in a noble family wasn't actually so good! They carried the hope of too many families and also needed to devote their lives to live up to these expectations. It was really pitiful!
Finally, it was the turn of Gu Yun Yao’s team. Following the palace’s elder maid’s teaching, Gu Yun Yao walked in naturally and poised.
The moment Ming Yue Cheng who was sitting on the dragon chair, saw Gu Yun Yao, he was absent-minded. Gu Yun Yao who was trained was more and more similar to the woman in his memory. Although the facial features of Gu Yun Yao couldn't be compared to Feng Qi Qi, but their expressions and their presence were very similar.
“What’s your name?” Finally, Ming Yue Cheng said the first sentence in this hall selection.
“This subject’s daughter Gu Yun Yao pays her greetings to Your Majesty. Long live ten thousand years, long live ten thousand years, my emperor!”
It was undeniable that Gu Yun Yao’s gestures were very decent and on point. However, after hearing that ‘long live ten thousand years, my emperor’, Ming Yue Cheng woke up from his dream. How could this person be Qi Qi? Feng Qi Qi wouldn't say such things to him nor would she be so disciplined and respectful to him.
After a closer look, Gu Yun Yao and Feng Qi Qi didn't resemble each other that much. Thinking till here, Ming Yue Cheng couldn't help but smile bitterly. Was it because he missed her (FQQ) so much that he saw the shadow of Feng Qi Qi on Gu Yun Yao?
Words from etvo!
While we wait for the next chapter, come check out our newly finished modern, romance comedy Supernatural Girlfriend! An ordinary girl suddenly has the ability to see ghosts. And now, her neighbor is an author working on unsolved mysteries? Well, hurry up and solve them so these ghosts will get out of my apartment!
If you can’t get enough of transmigration, come check out Transmigration: Of Mysteries and Songs! Having transmigrated, our FL can’t go back to her world until she finds seven ancient zithers and plays songs on them!
And lastly, a plug for my own novel, Return of the Swallow! It’s an ancient China version of Hidden Marriage, full of intrigue, a smart MC, and culture!
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