AMTDCPOTEC Chapter 25
After Marrying the Disabled Crown Prince of the Enemy Country
Chapter 25 Wedding Banquet
Congratulations were constantly heard at the wedding banquet, and every important minister of the Imperial Court who attended the banquet was full of joy and smiles. On the contrary, the table of the imperial family where Huo Du and Le Zhi sat, seemed to be much more deserted.
Taking advantage of the recuperation the past few days, Le Zhi familiarized herself with the members of the imperial family of Great Qi. In addition to the womenfolk of the imperial family and courtiers’ noble daughters whom she met when she paid respects to the Empress that day, she also inquired about the deeds of other princes and princesses.
She did not have time to observe them one by one at the palace banquet last time, but today she had the opportunity to take a closer look.
Apart from Huo Du and Huo Xu, there were also two princes and a princess of the same age. The rest were mostly under ten years old and were not at the same table as them.
Unlike the deep affection between Le Zhi and her imperial brother and sister, the brothers at this table were all taciturn.
However, Huo Qingyu, the fourth princess, who was sitting beside Huo Du in a blue palace dress, had a playful smile on her face all the time. Le Zhi raised her eyes a few times and could see her secretly glancing at her.
In the end, Huo Qingyu could not hold back.
She tilted her head and stretched out her fingertips to poke Huo Du’s arm.
Huo Du’s gaze was still in the distance, and his thoughts were interrupted by the little girl beside him. He turned his head impatiently and gave her a cold look.
But Huo Qingyu did not care. She curved the corners of her lips, her round apricot eyes were shining, and lowered her voice and said to Huo Du, “Hey, Imperial Brother, how does it feel to be newlywed?”
Seeing that Huo Du was ignoring her, she turned her attention to Le Zhi again, and added, “Imperial Sister-in-law is so beautiful!”
Although her voice was not loud, Le Zhi still heard it. Le Zhi raised her eyes, smiled lightly at her, and nodded politely.
Huo Qingyu was overjoyed immediately, and the curvature of the corners of her mouth became wider. She did not know what kind of temperament this Imperial Sister-in-law had, but now it seemed that she should have a warm and gentle temperament, which was very appealing to her! She hesitantly pulled Huo Du’s sleeve, “Imperial Brother, how about we exchange positions?”
She really wanted to have a few words with this beautiful Imperial Sister-in-law!
Huo Qingyu, “……?”
She wilted in an instant, drooped her head, and muttered in a low voice of dissatisfaction, “So stingy!”
When it came to disharmony between the members of the imperial family, the brothers did not consider the overall situation and acted according to their own ideas. Although Huo Du was the Taizi, he had not made any meritorious achievements in recent years because of his eccentric temperament and lack of interest in the affairs of the court. Thus, many courtiers had long been dissatisfied with him.
However, the strange thing was that whenever a minister requested Emperor Qi to reconsider the matter of the heir to the throne, that minister was bound to die an untimely death.
Perhaps it was a coincidence when it happened once or twice. However, once the frequency increased, everyone could not help but speculate that there was a hidden conspiracy. When these courtiers died, Huo Du was undoubtedly the only one who benefited.
The Imperial Court of Judicial Review had made many investigations but found nothing each time. Over time, all the ministers even believed that Huo Du was unrighteous and vicious. Since then, no one dared to bring up the matter of the heir to the throne again.
Until Huo Xu returned to the court recently, the courtiers seemed to see hope again.
But Huo Qingyu never thought so. For her, Huo Du was by no means what outsiders said.
Huo Qingyu’s biological mother was Mu Guiren*, and Mu Guiren’s natal family was weak and had an average status in the harem. Moreover, she was always in poor health, so she suffered a great loss of blood after giving birth to Huo Qingyu and passed away soon. Imperial Concubine Hui took pity on her young daughter and took the initiative to ask Emperor Qi for permission to raise Huo Qingyu by her side.
(Guiren* – Highest concubine title, second only to the empress)
Concubine Hui came from the former Shengnuo Tribe and was of the same clan as Huo Du’s biological mother. She had only one son, named Huo Xiang, who was one year younger than Huo Qingyu. Huo Qingyu’s status had improved a lot because she was raised under the knee of Concubine Hui, and Concubine Hui loved her very much.
When Huo Du was eight years old, he accidentally broke his right leg and his birth mother died in the same year. Since then, his temperament had become more indifferent and withdrawn. Huo Qingyu had nothing to do with this imperial brother until one year when she fell off a tree due to her playfulness and broke her leg.
Since she sneaked away from the palace servants to play in a remote corner of the palace, no one found her in time after the fall.
Because of the broken leg, Huo Qingyu was in pain and scared, starting to cry with a trembling shoulder. Not long after, she noticed a figure leaning on a cane appeared not far away.
It was the imperial brother who had not said a few words.
In a split second, she seemed to grab a lifeline and hurriedly shouted, “Imperial Brother! Help me, I broke my leg…”
Then, she saw the figure glanced at her, and left without paying attention to her.
Huo Qing scolded him secretly in her heart. Hateful! No matter what, we’re brother and sister. This person is too cold-blooded!
But before she could finish scolding, Huo Du, who had left, returned with two wooden planks. He skillfully tied the wooden planks to the sides of her injured leg and threw her a walking stick made of a thick wooden branch.
Huo Du did not say a word the whole time and left after throwing her the wooden branch.
But Huo Qingyu remembered it. Since then, whenever there was a palace banquet, she always liked to sit beside Huo Du and said a few words to him. Although he would not give her any reaction…
Huo Qingyu’s thoughts drifted far away, and suddenly her calf hurt.
Huo Du kicked her hard under the table!
Huo Qingyu frowned in pain and glared with her apricot eyes widened. She grimaced in pain while suppressing her voice, “What are you doing!”
“Sit on her other side.” Huo Du said leisurely.
Hearing this, Huo Qingyu was instantly happy, and even forgot the pain in her calf.
Yes, ah! How could she forget that if Imperial Brother would not change seats with her, she could go to sit on the other side of Imperial Sister-in-law!
Huo Qingyu lifted her skirt with a smile and walked to the side of Le Zhi. She could not be more familiar with the person sitting on the other side of Le Zhi.
She coughed softly, took out a bit of the majestic Imperial Older Sister, and said, “Xiang’er, you go take Imperial Sister’s seat.”
Unexpectedly, Huo Xiang did not even lift his eyelids, “No.”
“Hey!” Huo Qingyu was snubbed and said angrily, “I’m Imperial Older Sister, you have to listen to me!”
Huo Xiang looked at her coldly, too lazy to quarrel with her, got up, and walked to her seat. Le Zhi could not help smiling when she looked at the way they fought with each other. She looked at Huo Xiang for a while just now. Although the 15-year-old boy still had childishness, she could still see the handsomeness in his appearance.
Perhaps both their birth mother came from the same clan, Le Zhi found that Huo Xiang’s appearance looked a lot like Huo Du’s.
“Imperial Sister-in-law, I’m Qingyu.”
Le Zhi nodded and talked to this adorable Fourth Princess with a smile. It was rare to meet a lively and cheerful princess in the imperial family of Great Qi who was the same age as her. The two quickly became acquainted as if they had known each other all along.
The noise of the wedding banquet overshadowed the conversation between the two. Huo Qingyu was very excited today and drank a lot of wine, even Le Zhi could not stop her at all. Unknowingly, the topic of the two people went from the funny stories of the women’s boudoir to the people at this banquet.
Thinking that the two were the same age, Le Zhi asked casually, “Have you discussed marriage?”
Huo Qingyu’s cheeks were red, and her manner of speaking was also drunk. She leaned closer to Le Zhi’s ear and whispered, “I don’t want to get married! Don’t want to get married!”
Seeing Le Zhi’s puzzled expression, Huo Qingyu said again, “Sister-in-law, look opposite us. That’s Imperial Eldest Brother.”
Le Zhi looked over following her words and saw an older slightly plump prince holding a wine cup, constantly asking the palace maids to refill wine for him. The imperial concubine, who was sitting beside him, persuaded him several times but was glared back by him. Le Zhi saw that there was a blue color under his eyes, which was the trace left by lust.
The Eldest Prince, Huo Jue, was born by Imperial Concubine Li. Imperial Concubine Li came from a palace maid background. When Emperor Qi was young, he was drunk and made a mistake. He had Huo Jue after having one spring night with her.
Emperor Qi regarded him as his own stain, and naturally, he would not have the kindness to his son, Huo Jue. Although Huo Jue was the eldest son of the Emperor, who would take him seriously? Over time, he began to give up on himself and indulge in lust, because he would never have a chance to ascend to the throne.
Huo Jue knew that everyone had a chance, except him.
“Let me tell you.” Huo Qingyu leaned on Le Zhi’s shoulder and said softly, “There are dozens of concubines and bedwarmers in Imperial Eldest Brother’s mansion. Sometimes he goes outside to listen to music, and he will take the singer back to the house after listening to her.”
“Simply ridiculous! Imperial Sister-in-law used to be so beautiful but now, you see, she’s much older.”
Le Zhi looked at Eldest Prince Concubine again. Indeed, as Qingyu said, her face was full of fatigue and even the makeup could not hide them.
“Most of the princes and nobles are like this. That’s why I don’t want to get married!”
Hearing this, Le Zhi sighed and could not think of any words to comfort her for a while. She reached out to rub her head.
Huo Du’s eyes always fell beside him. Although he could not hear what they were saying, he could feel that they were talking happily. After calculating the time, An Xuan should have done almost everything. He got up with his cane and left the table.
After Huo Du left, Huo Xu found the right time to walk toward Le Zhi. He pretended to offer a round of wine and only then did he walk up to Le Zhi. He called “Imperial Sister-in-law” softly, and raised his glass to toast her.
There was a deep yearning in his eyes.
Huo Qingyu could see it clearly from the side. She also knew that Imperial Third Brother and Imperial Sister-in-law had been childhood sweethearts. But after all, Imperial Third Brother did destroy the mother country of Imperial Sister-in-law with his own hands, and still used such a despicable method.
She frowned slightly and pursed her lips without saying a word.
After all, Huo Xu did not dare to show too many emotions under the watchful eyes of people and left reluctantly after toasting.
The wedding banquet was coming to an end, and Huo Xu hurriedly walked to the wedding room at the auspicious time. The guests also gradually dispersed.
“Pay respects to Taizifei.”
A greeting sounded from behind, this voice…
Le Zhi was terrified. After she turned around and saw the face with a beard stubble, her little face suddenly lost its color.
Huo Qingyu saw the hint, got up, and said, “Yang Heng, you’re really unruly. You only know how to greet Imperial Sister-in-law. Don’t you see this princess?”
Hearing this, Yang Heng’s originally proud smile froze on his face. He bowed and saluted, “This humble servant dare not. Pay respects to Princess.”
“Alright, alright, withdraw.”
After Yang Heng left, Huo Du also came back.
“What’s the matter?” These words were asked to Huo Qingyu, but his black eyes were staring at Le Zhi, who had lost her soul.
“I don’t know.” Huo Qingyu approached him and said softly, “Yang Heng came over to greet her just now and Imperial Sister-in-law became like this.”
There were fewer and fewer people in the palace hall. Huo Xiang got up and saluted Huo Du and Le Zhi, and then said to Huo Qingyu, “Let’s go back.”
Huo Qingyu shook Le Zhi’s hand and said goodbye to Huo Du, “Imperial Brother, we’ll leave first.”
After she finished speaking, she left reluctantly with worries.
Huo Du was not in a hurry to leave and sat down beside Le Zhi. He had only left for a while, and Le Zhi had become like this. In addition to what Qingyu had just said, he could probably guess the reason.
Yang Heng, the Deputy Commander of Shenyi Army of the Great Qi. He was also one of the meritorious officials who assisted Huo Xu in destroying the country Li.