Nan Yan was astonished.
“His Highness is leaving for Yong Province?”
“Yes, His Highness has already sent a decree to the Ministry of Rites.”
“This— When is His Highness leaving?”
“Since His Highness ascended the throne, this will be the first time His Highness goes out on an expedition. Naturally, His Highness must prepare and this will require at least ten days.”
“Alright,” Nan Yan gently nodded her head.
Suddenly, someone called Ye Zheng.
“Leave first, we will talk again later,” after speaking, he turned to leave.
Nan Yan contemplated his back as he left. Earlier, he had wanted to say to her.
Was it also related to this matter?
It hasn’t been too long since Zhu Feng ascended the throne, yet under the pretense of an inspection, he decided to go to Yong Province. Thinking back to what Zhu Feng had said to her last night, Nan Yan couldn’t help but be lost in thoughts.
What was his purpose?
The next day, Nan Yan was rousing from a nap. After she got up, she noticed that some items on her dressing table were somehow misplaced and decided to sort them out.
However before she could start, a commotion taking place outside distracted her. Nan Yan went to the window to have a look and ended up witnessing a colorful scene.
Shoun An Palace was unexpectedly bustling with activity.
The Empress, Consort Kang, Consort Ning and the other imperial concubines had all gathered which puzzled Nan Yan. She leaned forward to have a better look.
Xia Yunting was hurrying outside to where all her guests waited. It seemed to be her first time experiencing such an affair and she appeared apprehensive.
She kowtowed to each other them, “This servant greets the Empress. This servant greets Consort Kang. This servant greets Consort Ning…”
Xu Miaoyin stepped forward and helped Xia Yunting up, smiling, “There is no need to be so polite. Earlier, Consort Kang and the other sisters invited this Palace for a walk. As we were walking by your Shou An Palace, suddenly this Palace felt tired and decided to stop here for some tea.”
T/N: Bengong = I , of the palace
“Xia Zhaoyi should still have several cups of tea left,” Wu Wan inquired with a smile.
Xia Yunting hurriedly replied, “That’s only natural,” as she spoke she invited them in, “Please, come and have a seat inside.”
All of them followed Xia Yunting into the main hall of Shou An Palace, except for Wu Wan who aimed a glance at Chun Xi Palace first. Then with a sly smile, she turned back her head and also walked through the door.
Fulan and Xique had been flustered for a while before serving them tea and refreshments. Wu Wan took a sip and immediately said, “Well, the tea tastes good.”
“This seems to be the Longjing tea awarded by His Highness a while ago,” one of the imperial concubines, Gao Yu Rong, spoke up.
“Well, a reward bestowed by His Highness will naturally be a good thing,” Wu Wan put the lid back on the tea-pot and added softly, “Just like these strings of red coral we, sisters, all received. They are full of crystals and lustre… One cannot find such fine things elsewhere.”
She rose her pale wrist orned with red beads so Xia Yunting could see.
Xia Yunting looked around and realized that everyone was wearing their bracelet. The Empress and a few others had even attached on their snow-white wrists pairs of round lotus roots that looked good hung together with the red strings.
Gao Yurong seemed to notice something. “Xia Zhaoyi,” she suddenly called, “Where is yours?”
At once, all eyes fell on Xia Yunting’s wrists which had nothing on them.
Wu Wan smiled coldly and said, “It seems that while we all think these bracelets are a blessing, Xia Zhaoyi doesn’t agree.”
Xia Yunting hastened to kneel, “This servant would never dare—”
“Then why are the Empress and all our sisters in the Harem wearing theirs while you on the other hand…”
She did not finish her sentence but that was enough to make Xia Yunting break in cold sweat.
“Consort Kang, please do not misunderstand. This concubine believes His Highness’ reward to be too precious, and thus only intend to keep it as a treasure.”
“Oh,” said Wu Wan faintly smiling, “You should have said so from the beginning.”
“Indeed. Because you are not wearing it, This Palace thought you had lost it.”
Xia Yunting smiled reluctantly.
“This servant wouldn’t dare lose His Highness’ gift,” she refuted before ordering Fulan, “Go get it.”
END OF CHAPTER
Edited by: Anon & Michelicious11