Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 102.1 out of 171
Empress Chen didn't tell Emperor Chong Zhen before she left the palace.
Since she had found out that Zhao Jie didn't succeed when he came here to propose last time, she kept thinking about this matter and planned to personally come here. Today, she finally had the opportunity to leave the palace while dressed in ordinary clothing and come with Zhao Jie to visit Duke Ying's residence.
Everyone was overwhelmed that the Empress had personally come to this residence. While the servants girls and the other servants had their heads lowered, they would quietly look up to carefully observe Empress Chen. Their eyes were full of revere.
Duke Ying's expression was solemn. He could vaguely guess the reason why Empress Chen had come here. If her visit were for Wei Luo and Zhao Jie's marriage, then he would be forced to agree even if he didn't want to agree.
Empress Chen raised her hand to indicate that everyone could stand up. She smiled and asked, "Duke Ying, you didn't leave your residence today? I heard that last time you weren't home."
Duke Ying was usually neither servile nor overbearing in front of other people. Even when facing the Emperor, he still dared to speak his mind. Now that the Empress was deliberately making fun of him, his reaction could be considered unperturbed. He cupped hand in obeisance as he said, "Last time, this subject didn't know that His Highness Prince Jing would be visiting. I was visiting a colleague’s home. When I came back, His Highness had already left. If his reception wasn't satisfactory, I hope that Your Majesty and His Highness will generously forgive me."
Empress Chen felt that his methodical reply was really boring. Fortunately, the reason that she came here today wasn't to see him. It was for something much more important. She looked around and didn't see Wei Luo, so she said, "This empress left the palace at Liuli's request to see Fourth Miss Wei Luo. Where is she right now?"
She said it was because of Zhao Liuli's request, but Duke Ying was aware of her actual reason. With Prince Jing right behind her, her intention couldn't be more obvious.
For her to personally visit this place to see Wei Luo, it was clear that Empress Chen placed a high importance on Wei Luo. Duke Ying wasn't the only one surprised. Everyone else's shock also wasn't small. It could even be said that some people were envious, but happy and there were also people that were jealous.
Duke Ying straightforwardly said, "My granddaughter, Ah Luo, is probably in Pine Courtyard. If Your Majesty wants to see her, this subject will have people call her over here."
Hearing his words, Empress Chen seemed to be considering something.
Duke Ying thought she was going to drop the subject. Unexpectedly, she suddenly said, "No need. This empress will go over there to look for her."
Duke Ying's old face froze. His expression wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. Fortunately, this only lasted for a moment. His expression quickly returned to normal. After he thought it through that it was fine if the empress wanted to see his granddaughter, he properly walked to the front to led the way and said, "Your Majesty, please follow this old subject."
And so, the group of people changed directions and walked towards Pine Courtyard.
Zhao Jie was wearing a sapphire blue robe with a persimmon stem pattern. His tall body was like a pine tree to begin with. But wearing this robe, he seemed even more heroic and his bearing was extraordinary.
Duke Ying led Empress Chen to Pine Courtyard. It was inappropriate for the other madams to follow inside, so they could only curb their curiosity and watch as the Empress entered Song Courtyard. They didn't leave until Empress Chen entered Pine Courtyard. Among the madams, Third Madam Liu-shi's expression was the most interesting. She was in low spirits from envy and jealousy. All sorts of complicated wrong expressions appeared on her face. It made people's eyes feel confused. Other than her, First Madam, Second Madam, and Fourth Madam were all sincerely happy for Wei Luo.
Fourth Madam Qin-shi was especially happy. Since Wei Luo's engagement with Count Zhong Yi's family was canceled, she had been worrying about Wei Luo's marriage. When she talked about marriage with Wei Luo and Wei Luo hadn't seemed enthusiastic, she felt even more anxious. But, now everything was good. Prince Jing wanted to marry Wei Luo. There was no longer anything for her to worry about. She couldn't be any happier for Wei Luo.
Prince Jing's future wife would be from Duke Ying's family. It really was an extremely happy event.
Duke Ying, Wei Kun, Empress Chen, and Zhao Jie entered a room. Jin Lu was currently wiping a glazed white vase that had a red hornless dragon. The vase was on a long narrow table. When Jin Lu turned her head, she was so scared that she jumped. She hurriedly put down the towel and saluted, "Greeting Your Majesty. May you have never-ending peace."
(T/N: Below is a picture of that vase.)
Jin Lu had followed Wei Luo into the palace several times. During these visits, she had the fortune to see Empress Chen a few times, so she immediately recognized her.
Empress Chen gestured for her to stand, then she looked around the room and asked, "Where's Ah Luo?"
Jin Lu replied, "To respond to Your Majesty, Miss is currently resting in her room."
Duke Ying invited Empress Chen and Zhao Jie to sit down in the highest seats and ordered Jin Lu, "Go and bring Ah Luo here."
Jin Lu nodded. Just as Jin Lu was about to leave to bring Wei Luo here, Empress Chen had a sudden thought and said, "Wait. Ah Luo is a girl. It's not good for her to appear in front of other people. This empress will come with you instead. Besides, I just want to say a few words with her. It won't take too long."
Jin Lu became even more nervous. She instinctively looked towards Duke Ying. Seeing that Duke Ying didn't react and seem to be tactility agreeing, she could only bow and say, "Your Highness, please follow this servant."
After they arrived in front of Wei Luo's room, Jin Lu pushed open the door and entered the room. Behind the divider screen that was made of twelve red sandalwood pieces and decorated with joyful magpies, there was a small figure partially lying down. Behind her back, her dark, thick, and long hair seemed like silky and lustrous flowing seaweed. A few strands of her hair slipped down to her cheeks and blocked her soft, cherry lips. She didn't seem to peacefully sleeping. Her long eyelashes were trembling. But, she hadn't woken up yet.
Wei Luo had taken a bath in the morning. Before her hair had dried, she had started to write. She fell asleep while writing.
On the qiao tou an table, there were tools for writing: ink, brush, writing paper, and blotting paper. There was a piece of paper below Wei Luo's hand. Empress Chen walked forward to look. These words were the start of "Fa Yan Yi Shu". Empress Chen couldn't help being surprised. Most girls didn't read this type of book and only studied the Four Books and Five Classics. She hadn't expected that Wei Luo would also study philosophy. It really made her have a whole new level of respect for Wei Luo.
(T/N: Below is a picture of qiao tou an table. "Fa Yan Yi Shu" is a philosophical book about Confucian doctrine. Four Books and Five Classics is a collection of books that illustrate the core values and belief systems in Confucianism.)
Seeing that Wei Luo wasn't waking up, Jin Lu felt anxious and called out, "Miss."
Wei Luo started to slowly open her eyes and sit up. Her long hair flowed down from her shoulders and made her small, white face seem even more delicate. She lowered her head, rubbed her eyes, and murmured, "En. What happened... " Just after she said these words, she looked up and saw Empress Chen. She froze for a moment, then she said, "Your Majesty?"
Empress Chen faintly smiled without saying a word.
Her surprise wasn't small. Why was Her Majesty in her room? She didn't have time to think. She hurriedly stood up and saluted. "This subject greets Your Majesty."
Empress Chen helped her up and joked, "Why are you taking a nap so early in the day? Did you not sleep well last night?"