T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter part.
Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 123.2 out of 171 - Wedding Day (2)
Wei Luo hadn't expected that Elder Princess Ping Yang would praise her. Her faint smile in response was bashful.
There were many people gathered in Wei Luo's small room and they almost seemed to not be able to fit, so Old Madam led the good luck woman, First Madam and Second Madam to the main room to wait for Prince Jing's people that would be here to escort the bride later. Fourth Madam and Wei Ya were left behind to accompany Wei Luo.
Bai Lan held a pair of red satin shoes embroidered with good luck symbols for many descendants and brought it to Wei Luo's feet. She took off the shoes that Wei Luo was wearing and replaced it with the new shoes, "Miss, let me put on the new shoes. The marriage sedan will be here soon."
Seeing this pair of rare shoes, Wei Ya said, "I heard that Ah Luo's wedding dress and shoes were made by Xiu Chun. Xiu Chun only accepts five orders of custom-tailored clothing per year. I had my personal servant girl go over there to make a reservation on New Year, but she wasn't able to make it in time. How were you able to get a reservation?"
Of course, it wouldn’t be good for Wei Luo to say that Zhao Jie had arranged this. Her dark eyes turned and she only silently pursed her lips.
Fourth Madam Qin-shi explained for her, "It's because His Highness Prince Jing is too thoughtful. He prepared everything for Ah Luo and didn't even want her to worry about her wedding dress."
Hearing these words, Wei Ya's face showed envy.
As they talked, they heard a servant girl come inside and say, "Madam, Miss, Sixth Young Master has come."
When Wei Chang Hong walked through the door, his gaze fell on Wei Luo, who was sitting on the red sandalwood couch that was decoratively carved with clouds. The gorgeous red robe that he was wearing today was much more official than his usual attire. A long time later, he finally said, "Father asked me to check if there was anything you haven't prepared yet."
Wei Luo and Wei Chang Hong hadn't seen each other three days. During this time, Wei Luo had been staying in the inner court while Chang Hong was in the outer court helping Wei Kun with managing issues. At night, he would rest in the outer court instead of returning to the inner court. Seeing him now, Wei Luo curved her almond eyes and smiled at him, "Everything is ready. Don't worry."
Wei Chang Hong nodded, but he didn't leave. His gaze was focused on Wei Luo. Not caring that Fourth Madam and Wei Ya were in the room, he said, "Ah Luo, tell me if Zhao Jie bullies you in the future. I'll always help you no matter what.
Wei Luo didn't have the time to hold back her trembling lips. His words had touched her soft spot and her eyes became teary. Wei Luo didn't stop herself from crying. It was normal to cry at a wedding. Her tears fell down as she stretched out her hand to grab Chang Hong's sleeve. She looked up and said, "Chang Hong, I can't bear to part with you."
Wei Chang Hong didn’t want to separate from her either. But, she had to marry one day. He couldn't stop her from marrying because of his personal desire. Chang Hong stroked her head and said, "Don't cry. It'll be bad if you ruin your makeup from crying."
The more he talked, the more Wei Luo wanted to cry. Her fan-like eyelashes fluttered. Her eyes became wetter with each blink.
Chang Hong took the silk handkerchief that Fourth Madam handed to him. He leaned over and carefully and gently wiped the tears from Wei Luo's face. "Ah Luo, I don't want to part with you either. Could you not get married then?”
Shocked, Fourth Madam Qin-shi asked, "Chang Hong, what are you saying?"
Wei Luo seriously considered his words. Things had already reached this point. She couldn't stop the wedding right now. Beside, she wanted to be Zhao Jie's wife. And so, she shook her head.
Wei Chang smiled as if his recent words were only a joke. He said, "I'll have people come over to fix your makeup. You look like a tabby cat with your smeared makeup from crying."
Then, he pinched Wei Luo's cheek and said, "Don't cry anymore."
Wei Luo slowly stopped crying.
The older female servants came inside to fix her makeup. Fortunately, she hadn't cried too much and her makeup wasn't heavy. It only took a brief moment to fix. About ten minutes later, Prince Jing's people had arrived at Duke Ying's residence's entrance to escort the bride. The rumbling sound of the gongs and drums traveled to the inner court and filled it with excitement.
Prince Jing's people came inside the residence to urge the bride to come out. After the third time, the bride went to the main room to formally say farewell to Old Madam, her father, and her aunts. After this, Chang Hang carried her into the marriage sedan on his back.
Wei Luo's head was covered in a veil with golden embroidery, so she couldn't see the scene in front of her. Before she had time to say a few words to Wei Chang Hong, the marriage sedan started to wobble as it was picked up and headed towards Prince Jing's residence.
Sitting inside the sedan, Wei Luo couldn't see the surrounding scenery. She could only hear sound from all directions. The sounds of woodwind, percussion, and brass instruments and the cheers of children traveled to her ears. Her mood became more relaxed as she listened to these sounds during the ride. The swaying sedan finally arrived at Prince Jing's residence's entrance.
Zhao Jie was wearing a crimson robe decorated with golden lotuses and happiness symbols. The flowers on his robe were exactly the same as the ones on Wei Luo's dress. He smoothly and naturally dismounted from the horse. Then, he took the bow decorated with animal bones from a servant boy and shot an arrow at the sedan's door (to signify overcoming difficulty before seeing the bride) before taking the knotted red silk ribbon from Elder Princess Ping Yang's hands to lead Wei Luo off the marriage sedan.
Wei Luo couldn't see the road, so she could only walk slowly. He led her to step over a saddle*, over the fire plate**, bowed to heaven and earth***, and into the bridal chamber...
* symbolizes a safe marriage because one of the Chinese characters in saddle is the same as safety
** symbolizes burning bad luck
*** ancient wedding ceremony, somewhat equivalent to saying vows and saying "I do" in modern wedding
A crowd of people escorted Wei Luo into the bridal chamber. She didn't internally sigh in relief until she sat down on the crimson quilt.
It was finally finished.
Wei Luo and Zhao Jie's bridal chamber was located in the center of Prince Jing's residence. The courtyard was called Zhang Tai Courtyard. The room wasn't outdone by the decorations in Duke Ying's residence. There were dazzling spots of red everywhere: red candles, red lanterns, red quilts, and red curtains. The surroundings cast a light layer of joyful red glow on everyone’s face.
Zhao Jie took the auspicious jade stick from the matron of honor and slowly lifted up Wei Luo's veil.
Wei Luo looked up and finally saw Zhao Jie after being led by the red silk during the ceremony. She hadn’t seen him in half a year. Zhao Jie seemed to have lost weight. His facial features seemed more clearly defined and his heroic spirit was intimidating, but the intoxicating smile on his lips decreased the coldness of his eyebrows and increased his overall warmth.
There were still other people inside the room, so Wei Luo was too shy to continue looking. She quickly lowered her eyes.
A woman teased, "The groom is too overwhelmed by the bride's beauty. He even forgot to blink."
Wei Luo, “…”
A rarely seen uneasiness appeared on Zhao Jie's face. Soon after, he smiled and didn't refute her words.
The matron of honor led the servant girls to sprinkle peanuts, lotus seeds, and other items over Wei Luo and Zhao Jie. This was a symbolic gesture to wish them good fortune in wealth and for them to be blessed with having children soon.
Zhao Jie still had to go to the outer court to deal with the guests. He left after drinking the matrimonial wine. Wei Luo was left in the room with a few women.
These women were all Zhao Jie's elders. Wei Luo had met a few of them before. It wouldn't be good for her to speak, so she just sat on the crimson quilt embroidered with dragons and phoenixes and attentively listened to them speak.
Wei Luo was slightly hungry, so she didn't remember most of their words. She kept her head lowered and showed a bashful smile that was just right.
Zhao Jie's maternal aunt, Marquis Sui Yang's wife, was a warm-hearted person. She introduced the group of women to Wei Luo and Wei Luo greeted them one by one. It was only in this moment that Wei Luo discovered that Zhao Jie had many maternal and paternal aunts.
There was even a few women that were about the same age as Wei Luo. Because she wasn't familiar with them, she didn't have many words to say to them.
Fortunately, they didn't stay for long and Wei Luo could finally rest for a while.
Jin Lu came over and asked, "Miss, do you want to change your clothes and freshen up?"
Wei Luo felt that the ornaments on her head and her clothing weighed ten kilograms (approximately twenty-two pounds). She was so tired that her neck was almost bent over. She listened to Jin Lu's words and went to the cleansing room to take a bath and wash her hair. She wore new clothes after she came out of the bath.
Right at this time, Bai Lan brought inside a purple-lacquered food box. As she took the dishes out of the box, she said, "There were many other types of food in the kitchen. I just took the ones that Miss likes to eat. Miss, come here and eat some. You haven't eaten all day."
On the round rosewood table decoratively carved with lions, there were a plate of sliced honeycomb cake, a plate of glutinous rice balls covered in coconut flakes, a bowl of crab roe and tofu soup, a bowl of slowly stewed soup made with coconut milk, jujube, and hasma, and also a few other small dishes.
(T/N: On the left side, there’s a picture of sliced honeycomb cake. On the right side, there’s a more common and similar type of cake that you can easily find in Chinese supermarkets if you want to try eating one. It’s really yummy.)