Didn’t that mean to let Pang Xiao do whatever he wanted?
At this moment, the joyous sounds of gongs clanging and drums beating travelled in from outside the door, immediately followed by the pops and bangs of firecrackers.
Bingtang ran in and stopped at the door. “Madame, the prince’s escort procession has arrived at the front doors. First Master Yu and Second Master Han are blocking him at the entrance. But this maid circled from the back to sneak a peek at the street—His Highness’ procession is really too magnificent! A whole slew of elite soldiers are riding a ton of tall and strong horses!!”
The girl was patently awed by the impressive procession. Her cheeks flushed red with excitement and she jabbered at a fast pace.
The report stunned née Sun. “Bringing soldiers to escort the bride? He’s simply too brutish. Is he here to fetch the bride or carry her off?”
The madame even suspected that if Qin Yu and Qin Han’s questions at the door were too difficult, Pang Xiao might just charge straight into the manor with his men.
Although the prince had shown Qin Yining a high level of care before, and the madame had personally witnessed how he had courted her daughter back in Great Yan, he’d still acted frivolously towards the fourth miss.
When it came down to things, this was a complicated mess that no clear lines could be delineated in.
But since the emperor had bestowed marriage, no one had the right to decline.
As née Sun sat in a fog of worries, Bingtang ran out again to peek at the festivities.
Madame Miao and Jiyun helped Qin Yining up, tidied her marital robes, and prepared the precious vase to be held within the bridal sedan. They also readied the auspicious veil of dragons and phoenixes that was to cover her head.
Qin Yining compressed her carmine-red lips and rubbed her hands clean of sweat on the sleeves that she was gripping. Now that it was finally time for her wedding, she was very nervous.
Née Sun carefully placed the golden phoenix hairpin in the girl’s hair and stabilized the phoenix coronet. She took her daughter’s hand and looked carefully at the bride before she nodded. “Good, good. Nothing’s been overlooked. My daughter, I’ll head out now. They’ll help you to the old dowager’s house in a moment for you to make your farewell kowtow.”
“Understood.” Qin Yining nodded.
Née Sun turned and headed for the door, using her sleeve to wipe away the tears leaking out of the corner of her eyes.
“Miss, miss!” Bingtang flew in again with a smile. “The prince is too amazing! He answered the questions that the young masters asked and passed their test. They opened the door, and the prince awarded all of the servants a silver ingot worth one tael!”
Qin Yining’s heart pounded at the latest update. Seen through the swaying tassels, everything in the room shone with a surreal glow.
The sound of firecrackers approached at this time, and the music to fetch the bride picked up pace.
A bridesmaid called from outside the door, “We welcome the bride to bid farewell to her parents!”
“Miss Qin.” Madame Miao took the bride’s hand to help her up and adjusted the hem of her skirt. “Let’s go, we should head to the main house now.”
The two trod on red carpet laid out beneath the covered hallway as they left Qin Yining’s room. A quick turn brought them to the old dowager’s house.
Many people stood inside, and the old dowager occupied the head seat. Qin Huaiyuan and née Sun flanked the Qin matriarch, and her second aunt and uncle, third uncle and others stood off to the side. Around them stood the womenfolk of the guests.
When Qin Yining’s figured appeared at the door, a hush fell over the scene.
Dots of lantern light formed a background against the backdrop of the night sky. She outshone the multi-hued clad womenfolk on the premises.
As she slowly made her way in, her swaying skirt hem flared as if a red lotus. Dangling gems of the golden phoenix hairpin trembled slightly, like it was ready to take flight. Tassels of ruby beads sparkled brilliantly in the radiance of the candlelight.
However, such opulence did nothing to hide her looks. Hardly robbed of the spotlight because of the precious gems, the jewels only further enhanced her appearance and nobility.
While everyone’s attention was on the bride, Qin Yining was focused on a dashing and perfectly handsome figure dressed in a scarlet python robe.
A small crown of pure gold sat in his flawlessly upset hair, a pair of normally sharp and cutting phoenix-eyes were placed beneath his energetic brows. Today, the eyes brimmed with tenderness and a smile within. The thin lips beneath his tall nose bridge were faintly upturned. The smile clinging to them wasn’t over-the-top, but still imparted his good mood.
The scarlet robes depicted him as a sharp sword drawn from a scabbard.
But the crowd could sense that in the moment he saw Qin Yining, the edge of this veritable ferocious war god immediately dulled.
Bride and groom’s eyes met, and they smiled faintly at each other.
Qin Yining lifted her hem and knelt upon the sateen cushion that Qin-mama laid out for her. She kowtowed first to the old dowager, then looked to Qin Huaiyuan and née Sun. “Father, mother, this unfilial daughter bids you farewell.”
The Qin patriarch was in a rare purple robe. Having paid close attention to his looks today, he looked five years younger and ever more handsome, as if an immortal from the heavens.
Love flowed from his eyes when he looked as his daughter, and he responded gently, “My daughter, you will be a wife of the Pang household when you exit our doors today. You must be filial to your elders and be good-naturedly biddable. You must serve your husband well and be a kind wife. Do you understand?”
“Your daughter understands.”
Qin Huaiyuan nodded. According to custom, the bride’s brothers would carry her on their backs to the sedan after the father delivered his lecture. However, he rose and personally helped Qin Yining up.
“Remember, although you are a wife of the Pangs, you are still a daughter of the Qins. You are the only apple of my eye. No matter what happens, remember that I, Qin Meng, and the Qins are your strongest support.”
Qin Yining lifted her head incredulously, unable to express the stunned state of her heart.
Née Sun’s tears fell wordlessly when she heard this, but she too rose and nodded emphatically.
“Father…” Qin Yining found her voice hoarse and hastily cleared it. “Your daughter understands.”
The guests that’d been invited to witness the ceremony were speechless. Was this lecturing his daughter or provoking the Faithful Prince of the First Rank?
With unspoken accord, the crowd shifted to look at Pang Xiao’s face, only to be met with a smile on the handsome countenance. They all commended the prince for being a loyal subject and being able to adjust to any situation.
“As your daughter cannot fulfill my filial duties to mother and father, and cannot enjoy the old dowager’s company in the future, I pray that my elders take care of their health well,” reminded Qin Yining solemnly.
Qin Huaiyuan’s Adam’s apple bobbed up and down as he nodded silently.
In this scene, even the sulking old dowager wiped tears away from her eyes. “Granddaughter, live well your married life with your husband. That will be the greatest display of filial piety to your grandmother.”
Qin Yining nodded with a faint smile. “Understood, your granddaughter will commit this to heart.”
“The auspicious hour has arrived!”
The bridesmaid’s charged voice sounded from outside, a cue for the music to begin anew and firecrackers to be set off.
Pang Xiao bowed and exited first. When he passed by Qin Yining and noted the tears glistening in her eyes, his heart tightened painfully. I must accompany my darling back home often. She left home when young and didn’t get to enjoy many days of familial warmth before marrying. No wonder she’s sad.Previous Chapter Next Chapter