Qin Yining heaved a sigh when she noted the nervous glances the two snuck at her. She didn’t want to make things difficult for them; they had just been following orders.
Furthermore, she’d never been much picky about food. Without food, how would one stay healthy? Eating was the important thing, whatever it was didn’t matter.
After Qin Yining ate her fill and rinsed her mouth, she gave orders for an outside stroll, but a gaggle of women called upon her as soon as instructions were given.
“...we are princess consorts and naturally have the right to meet the goddess! What, is the goddess so ugly that she can’t be seen?”
“That’s right, so hurry up and get out of the way or I’ll have the prince cut off your heads!” Their delicate voices could be compared to the birdsong of orioles and swallows, if it weren’t for how domineering their words were. Their voices actually sounded exceptionally pleasant to the ear if one ignored their content.
Biyu was a bit worried as she reported lowly, “Goddess, the consorts are here.”
Qin Yining rubbed the center of her forehead before getting up and moving to the outer hall, taking the center seat. “Have them enter then.”
Biyu nodded and was about to greet them when the women sashayed into the hall with snooty airs.
A woman of about thirty years old led the group. A tall and ample figure, she bore clear-cut features set in a long face and square jaw. Hair swept up in a high bun, it was held in place by a pair of gold, ruby-encrusted tasseled hairpins. Peonies bloomed on her outer coat while safflowers on her skirt hearkened to the rubies in her hair. They glittered a little too brightly from the lamps within the hall.
Behind her were two ladies in the fullest blossom of their beauty at roughly twenty-four. The taller one had a more slender body, while the other possessed an average height. Both were dressed in a riot of color and adorned with shimmering jewels. Although their robes were crafted from finest cotton rather than silk, their high status was clear enough from the elegance and designs visible on their clothing.
Biyu whispered in Qin Yining’s ear. “Goddess, the one wearing the peony embroidered coat and wrap-around skirt is the senior princess consort, the one in the blue skirt is the second princess consort, and the third princess consort is the one in floral.”
Qin Yining nodded slightly to acknowledge her words before raising a brow, watching the three princesses and their maids enter.
The three consorts and their maids stopped in their tracks as soon as they saw Qin Yining, their gazes tapering off in a daze.
As the saying went, a beauty under a light looked better the longer one stared.
Under the lamps’ orange glow, the inky locks of the red-clad Qin Yining appeared even more raven black and her skin glowed with the powder of freshly fallen snow. The most stunning were her exquisite features and noble temperament. Even if she just sat there and looked at them silently, she inspired a reverence that was not to be imposed upon.
Only after a long while did the third princess finally cough, breaking the room’s silence.
“Aiya, so it turns out the goddess is such a beauty! No wonder His Grace bestowed upon her the best palace and even visits her twice in one day.”
Qin Yining kept her brow upraised and continued to remain silent. It would appear that these consorts didn’t have a strict upbringing. Despite their status, the way they spoke sounded more like harlots fighting in the market.
Seeing how the goddess refused to speak, the second princess adjusted her light blue cloak. “The third consort’s words are a bit excessive. Since the goddess has descended from the heavens to bring us provisions just like the sacred texts predicted, she is also bound to be His Grace’s official consort. Such are the sacred texts’ decree, so how would our lord disobey?”
Oh heavens, these words are so hysterical! The second consort was much more shrewd than the third consort; her real implications were that the Xiyue prince only granted her special attention due to the sacred texts, not because he really cared about her.
The eldest consort adjusted her gold hairpins and chuckled gently, “The second princess consort is right.”
She slowly walked up to Qin Yining and extended fair, lily-white hands like she wanted to stroke the lady’s face. “Tsk tsk, your skin looks so luminous. It sure is nice to be young.”
Her frivolous words made Qin Yining frown and she moved her face, avoiding the hand. “Is something the matter for you all to have come here?”
Hand left hanging in the air, the eldest consort frowned with annoyance.
At the side, the third consort covered her mouth and laughed. “Aiya, I told you to not bother trying to cozy up to her. She’s a goddess, how can she bear to be touched by ordinary mortals like us? Haven’t you seen how enchanted our prince is by her?”
The eldest consort ignored the provocation and spoke only to Qin Yining. “Although you’re a goddess, you’ll soon be one of our lord’s consorts. You’ll be the fifth consort and as we’re all the lord’s women, we’ll be sisters. We’ll be spending a long time together, so shouldn’t we all get to know each other?”
As she said that, she sat down intimately by Qin Yining’s side and poured a cup of tea for herself. “Come, tell me, where did you come from? Are you really the goddess who is mentioned in the sacred texts? When do you plan to consummate your marriage to the prince?”
Qin Yining had to choke back giggles burbling deep within herself. It looked like the Xiyue princess consorts were just the same as their prince—overinflated senses of self worth mixed in with a heavy sprinkling of hubris.
Qin Yining couldn’t be bothered with a reply and looked at Biyu. “I’m tired, help me rest.” She stood up, indicating for Biyu to lead the way to her inner chambers for sleep.
The eldest consort’s expression changed drastically. She wouldn’t stand for being slighted by a feral brat that’d just dropped out of nowhere! There was no such thing as a goddess in this world! Other people might believe it, but not her!
The prince had just fallen for another woman. Usually, that was fine, but if he wanted to get a beauty’s favor, why couldn’t he have just made up some other excuse? Why’d he have to say she was some goddess and even plan on making her the official wife!
The eldest consort had borne three sons and two daughters to the prince. In the future, the position of crown prince had to belong to her son! She would never tolerate a random brat appearing at this juncture and lording it over her!
She could feel her position being shaken. After all, she was no longer young and there were plenty of young, beautiful girls in the palace just begging for the prince’s favor. However, if it was just the usual pretty girls, she wouldn’t really care. It wasn’t that she was confident in herself, but because she knew that the prince was one who easily grew bored with new toys. Even if they gained his favor, it wouldn’t be for long.
But when she saw Qin Yining with her own eyes, she was no longer as self assured. She even had a feeling that if this so-called goddess really married the prince, none of the other women would have a good ending.
As she watched Qin Yining’s back retreat into the inner chambers, a crazy idea suddenly flourished in her mind. Everything would be perfect if this woman disappeared now!
She gnashed her teeth and glanced at the maid in gray and blue beside her.
Understanding her mistress’ hint, the maid hesitated for a moment before gritting her teeth and dashing up to push Qin Yining.
“How can you be so rude! Don’t you hear the princess consort talking to you?!”
Qin Yining hastily evaded the oncoming movement when she sensed someone behind her, but the force the maid used was too great and Biyu wasn’t so lucky. The maid crashed into the wooden cabinet in the corner, opening up a gash on her head and splashing blood everywhere.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Goodness, what a gaggle of... biatches!