TCPCHW Chapter 61
The Crown Prince Chases His Wife
Chapter 61 The Truth
“Welcome to the Empress Dowager.” Everyone stood up and kowtowed.
In the Fengtian Hall, only Emperor Hui and Prince Taizi Zhan were still sitting at the table.
As a monarch, Emperor Hui did not need to stand up and salute Empress Dowager Xiao during the ceremony, which was in line with the regulations.
But as for Taizi Feng Zhan……
“Presumptuous.” Empress Dowager Xiao’s face was already weathered, but her back was still straight, which showed that the aura of the once superior person was still there. When Empress Dowager Xiao stepped into the palace hall, several strange people were standing in the palace.
Qin Yan still held A Yan’s neck with one hand and looked at her with sharp eyes. She was about to break A Yan’s slender neck but was interrupted by the sudden arrival of the Empress Dowager.
Imperial Master Yishan frowned, turned to look at Empress Dowager Xiao who had stopped walking into the palace hall, and said, “Empress Dowager.”
Empress Dowager Xiao nodded, “Master Yishan.”
The anger in Qin Yan’s eyes had not subsided, and she slowly turned her head to look at Empress Dowager Xiao who was standing not far away.
At the end of the palace hall at this time, there was an Empress Dowager who had been in power for many years and was still powerful now and a newly appointed princess who was born in a noble family and was favored by the emperor and the Taizi. Both of them had sharp eyes, and their eyes met in the middle.
The palace music in Fengtian Hall stopped, and there was complete silence, spreading a tense atmosphere. Some of the people kneeling on the ground trembled slightly under the pressure of this atmosphere, with sweat breaking out on their backs.
Emperor Hui and Prince Feng Zhan, who were at the seat of honor, both looked toward the palace door with cold eyes.
Feng Zhan flexed his fingers slightly and tapped the food table rhythmically. The sound of tapping reached nearby, and the tips of Song Zhi’s ears twitched slightly who had knelt to salute. He immediately understood that he must be ready to receive instructions from His Highness at any time to help Princess Zhaoren.
Finally, some people couldn’t help but secretly raised their heads and peeked towards the end of the hall.
But, what did they see?
This was a remarkable sight.
Did Princess Zhaoren even look down upon the Empress Dowager…?
Faced with the Empress Dowager Xiao who had been in a high position for a long time, Princess Zhaoren’s aura was not suppressed at all.
One was Empress Dowager Xiao, who supported the Taizi, and the other was Princess Zhaoren, who was now highly valued by the Taizi. Both of them were in a stalemate with a frightening aura.
Still, no one was planning to give in even half a point.
Taizi Feng Zhan, who was sitting at the top, just watched with cold eyes and had no intention of intervening.
With a worried expression in his eyes, Yishan took a step closer and said in a low voice next to Qin Yan, “Yanyan, put out the fire first. This is not a good place to deal with this person.”
Qin Yan narrowed her eyes slightly and turned back to look at A Yan, whose face had already turned red. She closed her eyes and opened them again, but her expression was still cold. She slowly released her fingers from holding A Yan, and the weak A Yan fell to the ground in front of her as she lost strength.
After A Yan collapsed on the ground, without calming down her fear, she sat in a sitting position, struggling to hold in her breath, with her legs constantly pushing backward, trying to stay away from the demon Qin Yan who was looking down at her from a high position.
How dared she take action in the palace hall……
Emperor Hui spoke at this time, “Please take your seat, Empress Dowager.”
Emperor Hui wanted to expose what happened just now and helped Qin Yan get out of the siege.
But Empress Dowager Xiao’s face was still serious and cold and did not move forward.
“With such arrogance in the main hall, where is the dignity of the imperial family?” Empress Dowager Xiao’s voice was cold and stern, extremely dissatisfied with Qin Yan’s arrogant behavior in the hall.
Qin Yan lowered her hands, turned around after hearing the words, and looked directly at Empress Dowager Xiao, with bloodthirsty cold eyes.
What an imperial family!
At this moment, Qin Yan was suppressing her anger towards the word “imperial family” over the years.
If it had not been suspicion that the mastermind behind her mother’s fall off the cliff was related to the imperial family, it would have created a dilemma between loyalty and filial piety for the Duke of Zhenguo, affecting the affairs in the northwest. Her mother would not have been wandering alone for so many years without a home to return to.
Another firm female voice came from the top of the hall, “Princess Zhaoren just had two more drinks. She is getting drunk. Someone, help Princess Zhaoren return to her seat.”
Empress Dowager did not let her get up and everyone was still kneeling at the moment, but this voice…
Didn’t it sound like Empress from the platform above?
It was indeed the Empress!
An Yanxi raised her head in shock and looked in disbelief at the master of the harem who had stood up at this moment.
How could the Empress…
Empress Dowager Xiao did not let anyone get up. This audacious act was probably for Princess Zhaoren Qin Yan or the emperor on the throne…
Taizi Feng Zhan said coldly, “Please take your seat, Empress Dowager.”
After hearing this, Empress Dowager Xiao moved her eyes away from Qin Yan’s face and looked at Taizi Feng Zhan, whose eyes were also cold at this moment.
Empress Dowager Xiao withdrew her gaze, glanced at Qin Yan again, whose expression had not changed yet, and said to the palace hall, “Exemption.”
Then she walked forward slowly.
When passing by Qin Yan, a cold light bursts out from their eyes.
The music of the Ministry of Rites began to play.
Everyone then wiped the cold sweat from their foreheads, stood up shakily, and returned to their seats.
Qin Yan didn’t even want to do the perfunctory thing of continuing to look at the painting. She strode back to her seat, ordered the palace attendant to serve wine, picked up the wine cup, and raised her slender neck to drink it in one gulp.
Emperor Hui said, “Anyone who performs talents in the palace today will be rewarded.”
Everyone in the hall returned to their seats one after another.
When Taizi Feng Zhan saw Qin Yan’s abnormality, he instructed Song Zhi on a few things. Song Zhi looked at A Yan who was walking timidly outside the palace hall while no one was paying attention.
Song Zhi immediately followed quickly.
Song Zhi passed by a man and woman in brocade clothes outside the palace hall and turned back in confusion, Yizhou Wang?
After the Empress Dowager took her seat, Emperor Hui ordered people to serve Empress Dowager Xiao wine. Emperor Hui and his concubines paid respect to Empress Dowager Xiao.
After drinking, Empress Dowager Xiao looked at the cold-looking Taizi Feng Zhan. Feng Zhan also cast a faint glance at Empress Dowager Xiao and nodded, then raised his head to drink the wine in his cup. Without saying a word, he moved his eyes back to the middle of the banquet.
The palace attendant outside the hall called out, “Yizhou Wang and Yizhou Wangfei have arrived.”
Everyone looked towards the palace hall entrance, where a young couple about twenty-seven or eighty years old entered the hall side by side.
After entering the palace, Yizhou Wang and his wife bowed their heads to those on the seats of honor, “Long live Your Majesty, long live Empress, long live Empress Dowager and long live Your Highness Taizi.”
Emperor Hui squinted at the man and woman below, without saying anything.
The atmosphere was slightly tense.
Empress Dowager Xiao frowned in displeasure. Anyone with a discerning eye knew the relationship between Yizhou and the Empress Dowager. The emperor was not giving her face.
Empress Dowager Xiao said, “Exemption, you may rise.”
“Someone, show their seats.” Empress Dowager Xiao ordered the palace attendants.
“Thank you, Empress Dowager. Thank you, Your Majesty.” Yizhou Wang and his wife were led forward by the palace servants.
After Yizhou Wang and Yizhou Wangfei took their seats, the palace servants continued to follow the rules previously given to the princes, serving two wine pots of different colors and filling the wine cups on their dining tables.
Perhaps they arrived late and had already received the news from the palace hall. The couple looked calm on their faces, raised their cups with both hands, standing up and saying, “Thank you for the wine, and wish Your Majesty a long life.”
Then the two of them drank the wine in their cups.
Emperor Hui was hesitant. He ignored Empress Dowager Xiao’s wishes and arranged for Ning Wang to enter the palace. On the other side, Empress Dowager Xiao then brought Yizhou Wang to humiliate him.
“Um.” Emperor Hui didn’t look good on the surface, so he ordered the Ministry of Rites to continue arranging the banquet program.
Everyone at the table whispered.
“Yizhou Wang doesn’t look familiar, maybe he doesn’t come to the capital often.”
“What’s so strange about this? The late old Yizhou Wang was a close friend of the Empress Dowager. Except for the annual routine visit to the capital to report on his duties, Yizhou Wang stayed in his fiefdom and couldn’t see anyone.
“Yizhou Wang, the only monarch with a different surname in Great Xia, is under the protection of Empress Dowager Xiao. At today’s birthday banquet, he dared to be blatantly late. Could it be that he also came from the Empress Dowager Xiao’s place? Looks like the emperor was not happy based on his complexion.”
There were palace maids in dancing costumes walking into the palace hall, but Empress Dowager Xiao suddenly said, “I came late. I heard that today there was a talent show by ladies from noble families and young talents. It’s a pity that I missed it. Who played the zither just now?”
An Wenjing didn’t feel good about this. He turned around and saw that An Yanxi beside him had stood up and walked into the hall, saluting to the above.
“I am An Yanxi from the Grand Scholar Mansion. It was me who played the zither just now.”
Empress Dowager Xiao smiled and said, “Good.”
Empress Dowager Xiao turned her head and looked at Taizi Feng Zhan on the other side of the throne, “Taizi has superb zither skills. How about letting Taizi and Miss An play a song together, ‘Phoenix Courting Its Mate’?”
The light in An Yanxi’s eyes couldn’t be concealed. The Empress Dowager indeed didn’t lie to her. With the help of the Empress Dowager, the position of the taizifei could only be hers.
Taizi Feng Zhan’s narrow eyes narrowed dangerously, looking sharply at Empress Dowager Xiao.
Everyone at the banquet.
“Phoenix Courting Its Mate”? It’s a mating song…”
“Is the Empress Dowager trying to bring Miss An and His Highness Taizi together?
“Isn’t His Majesty trying to match His Highness Taizi with Princess Zhaoren? Could it be that His Majesty and the Empress Dowager disagree?”
“His Highness Taizi is supported by the Empress Dowager Xiao and has a close relationship with the Empress Dowager. His Highness Taizi will not refuse.”
“There is nothing to refuse. Princess Zhaoren and Miss An are both great beauties and will be brought into the palace. After all, His Highness Taizi will not only marry one person.”
Everyone turned their attention to Taizi.
Taizi Feng Zhan said coldly, “I’m not interested.”
As soon as these words came out, everyone at the banquet was shocked.
Taizi rejected the Empress Dowager!
Empress Dowager Xiao didn’t look good on her face, and the atmosphere in the palace hall suddenly became a little gloomy.
“Yunchao, you go ahead. Don’t let your imperial grandmother down.”
It was the empress, speaking for the second time today. And these two times, they both used to brush Empress Dowager Xiao’s face, which was quite interesting.
Feng Yunchao stood up, “Imperial Father, I’m not talented and I hope you don’t mind. I wish my imperial father a long life.”
Emperor Hui smiled and said yes, which meant he agreed to the empress’s proposal.
An Yanxi’s face instantly lost all color, and bitterness arose in her heart.
Feng Yunchao walked to the palace hall and took a seat in front of a zither that the palace servants had prepared. She smiled lightly at An Yanxi who was still stunned in the same place, “Yanxi, let’s start.”
An Yanxi regained consciousness with a pale face and sat down in front of another zither in a daze.
The palace music stopped, and the melodious ensemble of two zithers sounded in the palace hall.
Empress Dowager Xiao was angry, her face was slightly tense, and she was not even in the mood to maintain calmness on the surface. She hadn’t left her palace for a long time, but she didn’t expect that both of them would rebel. The Emperor was like this, the Empress was like this, and even the Taizi didn’t take her seriously.
Empress Dowager Xiao looked sideways at Taizi Feng Zhan, Taizi? Did that for a woman?
Everyone began to whisper excitedly again.
“There are so many good dramas at this banquet today, we are in for a treat!”
“The Empress has just returned to the palace, and yet she dares to repeatedly speak out against the Empress Dowager’s wishes…”
“It seems that as for the choice of taizifei, His Majesty and the Empress are interested in Princess Zhaoren, and the Empress Dowager is interested in Miss An, but His Highness Taizi doesn’t seem to be able to be influenced by others…”
“How can Miss An compare with Princess Zhaoren? Princess Zhaoren is extraordinary…”
“Princess Zhaoren is a disciple of Master Yishan, and A Yan from Marquis of Yongding Mansion is a fake one…”
“That A Yan was talking nonsense everywhere, and it seems she stole Princess Zhaoren’s paintings. Tsk, tsk, Princess Zhaoren almost strangled A Yan to death on the spot…”
“Master Yishan scolded that fake disciple A Yan and didn’t even spare her any face. Hey, it’s such a pity for a little girl who has no more face at all…”
“Hey… This time the Marquis of Yongding Mansion has been greatly humiliated…”
“Don’t know Shizi Xie…”
“What you don’t know about me?” Xie Changyuan walked into the palace after inspecting the defense.
When he just passed a few seats at the end of the hall, he heard a few people talking.
The few people who had just been discussing excitedly did not pay attention to the people passing behind them. When they suddenly heard a voice behind them, they were all frightened.
Xie Changyuan heard something more or less. At this time, his eyes were cold and he spoke sternly, “Tell me again what you just said.”
Those people looked panicked. They shouldn’t have been discussing the imperial family at the imperial banquet, but they were too excited to suppress it. There was so much drama today and with their morality, they couldn’t help but keep silent.
Several people looked at each other, and finally, under Xie Changyuan’s knife-like eyes, a chubby young man stood up tremblingly and bowed to Xie Changyuan. He spoke in a low voice and briefly told what happened in the palace hall just now.
Xie Changyuan narrowed his eyes.
What did he hear?
Qin Yan was a disciple of Imperial Master Yishan!
Master Yishan didn’t even admit that he had A Yan as his disciple!
A Yan stole Qin Yan’s painting!
Qin Yan attacked A Yan in the palace!
Xie Changyuan kept repeating these words in his mind, no longer aware of what the person beside him was talking about.
The chubby young man kept floating around, keeping his voice low, but still getting more and more excited as he spoke, until Xie Changyuan raised his hand to interrupt.
Xie Changyuan was greatly shocked at this moment and walked towards his seat in a daze.
Qin Yan was a disciple of Imperial Master Yishan, but A Yan was not?
A Yan stole Qin Yan’s painting…
What about the paintings that he saw in Wanxue House Meishan Mountain that amazed him and the calligraphy on the paintings that he greatly admired…
It was all Qin Yan!
At this moment, the clues in Xie Changyuan’s mind were suddenly connected.
On the Qixi Festival on the Qianshui Lake, Feng Yuyao’s treasured folding fan, the paintings and inscriptions on the fan…
At the hunting ground in the western suburbs, he saw the writing on the paper on the desk of Taizi’s camp…
And yesterday in the palace, the mountain view folding fan in the hand of Second Prince Feng Xian and the words on top of it…
All came from Qin Yan!
The person he should have admired and engraved in his heart was his once legitimate fiancée, Qin Yan!
No wonder, no wonder A Yan rarely painted since she came down from Meishan Mountain and went to the capital. Even if she occasionally picked up a brush, she would never write any inscriptions.
He used to think that A Yan was fascinated by the new things in the capital, only…
He was a fool, a ridiculous fool…
Xie Changyuan smiled bitterly and took his seat, the palace attendant filled his cup with wine and drank it all in one gulp.
“Give it to me.” Xie Changyuan’s voice was slightly hoarse as he ordered the palace attendant.
Xie Changyuan drank one cup after another.
Not knowing whether it was because of too much drinking, Xie Changyuan’s eyes were red at the moment. Finally, he looked at the seat diagonally across him…
At this moment, Xie Changyuan had completely forgotten that his fiancée, A Yan, had disappeared from the palace hall that was bestowed a marriage by the emperor…
However, Shizi Xie took the wrong step and every following step was wrong. Everything was fated, nothing was up to the person.