Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 125.1 out of 171
Wei Luo closed her eyes slightly and pretended that she didn't see the sight of Zhao Liuli teasing her.
A palace servant girl carried an eight-sided bright red tray engraved with a waterfall scene with both hands as she walked forward. She was wearing a green court robe embroidered with flowers. There were two cups of tea on the tray. Wei Luo would offer these two cups of guanyin tea (a type of fruity oolong tea) to Emperor Chong Zhen and Empress Chen to show respect. Wei Luo picked up a colorful tea cup with a daffodil pattern, then she walked forward to Emperor Chong Zhen and respectfully said, "Imperial father, please drink this tea."
(T/N: Below is a picture of that type of tray.)
Emperor Chong Zhen had past his forty birthday, but he hadn't changed much during the last ten years. His body was healthy and his spirit was hale and hearty. She could see that Zhao Jie's face resembled Emperor Chong Zhen's face in several aspects. The emperor took the cup of tea from Wei Luo's hands, lowered his head to take a sip, and said with a smile, "Very good. This emperor remembers you. You were Liuli's study companion as a child, right?"
Wei Luo nodded. She was only six years old at that time. Almost ten years had passed since then. She hadn't expected that the emperor would still remember.
Since Emperor Chong Zhen had drunk her tea, he naturally had to give her a present. The emperor ordered the palace servant behind him to bring an item forward. It was a set of four burnt red calligraphy items with a flowering lotus pattern. "This emperor has heard that your calligraphy skills are pretty good. This emperor has kept this private collection of stationary items for a long time. Coincidentally, this set of brushes is suitable for writing regular script (a type of calligraphy style), so this will be your present."
Wei Luo walked forward to give her thanks and saw a high-quality ink stone that was placed on the tray. A certain thought appeared in her mind and she blushed.
Last night, while they were doing that, Zhao Jie had deliberately asked her, "Ah Luo, doesn't it seem like we're grinding?"
Wei Luo didn't understand at first, so he bit her ear and explained, "Grinding will produce ink just like your body."
Wei Luo desperately wished that she could kick him off the bed at that moment.
Seeing this ink stone right now and thinking of Zhao Jie's words, Wei Luo's thoughts naturally went crooked. When she looked back, she coincidentally met Zhao Jie's seemingly smiling eyes. Zhao Jie was really hateful. Even at this time, he was still in the mood to laugh at her. Wei Luo looked away, picked up the other cup of tea, and offered it to Empress Chen.
Empress Chen drank the tea and also gave her something. It was a hairpin with golden rats gnawing at young melons from flowering vines and a pair of matching earrings. The hairpin was exquisitely made with clear lines. The golden rats had rubies for eyes and golden flowers surrounded the golden rats. The flower petals were as delicate as a cicada’s wings. Every aspect was very vivid and lifelike. Empress Chen said, “Chang Sheng personally selected this hairpin. Do you like it?”
(T/N: Round melon fruit represents a pregnant woman's “bump”. It symbolizes a wish for many children. Rats are also commonly shown with trailing vine plants like melons to symbolize wish for future generations of children. Below is a picture of a simpler hairpin with that design. )
Wei Luo was momentarily stumped for words. Then, she smiled and said, "Thank you imperial mother. Daughter-in-law really likes it."
Then, one by one, Wei Luo paid her respect to Zhao Jie's aunts. Other than Elder Princess Gao Yang, the other two elder princesses didn't seem like they would be easy to get along with. Actually, they were very magnanimous people and they didn't put Wei Luo in a difficult spot. Elder Princess Ping Yang even gave Wei Luo a pair of golden bracelets embedded with gems. Each of those bracelets were embedded with a thumb-sized ruby, sapphire, and turquoise. On the side, Li Xiang's eyes turned red with jealousy from seeing this.
The three elder princesses had brought along their daughters, so Li Xiang would naturally be here. Elder Princess of An Yang's two daughters, Ji Ying and Ji Qian, were also here. Ji Ying was eighteen and Ji Qian was sixteen. Not long in their marriage, Elder Princess's husband had died. They only had one son called Tang Yun. He recently had his adulthood ceremony this year.
Wei Luo endured her discomfort and gave the presents she had prepared to the unmarried girls. Zhao Liuli happily thanked her, "Thank you second sister-in-law."
Ji Ying and Ji Yang also expressed their thanks. Although Li Xiang didn't like Wei Luo, she couldn't reject Wei Luo's gift during such a joyful occasion. If she did, it would be offending Emperor Chong Zhen and Empress Chen. She naturally wasn't bold enough to do that, so she accepted the bluish-green butterfly and flower hair accessory that was inlayed with gems that Wei Luo gave her. "Thank you second cousin's wife."
(T/N: Below are various bluish-green hair accessories.)
Wei Luo said, “No need to be courteous.”
Emperor Chong Zhen only had a few collateral relatives. Most of his brothers had been exiled when they lost the competition for the position of heir apparent for the throne. Prince Rui was only one prince left. He had a reprehensible moral character and was an inept person that had abandoned all restraint and couldn’t be helped. Because he had the same mother as Emperor Chong Zhen, he was able to survive. Prince Rui's wife had fallen sick today, so she couldn't come to the palace. She had entrusted someone to deliver her present. Wei Luo accepted a precious red coral ruyi carved lingzhi mushrooms.
(T/N: Below is a picture of that type of lingzhi ruyi. Ruyi is a type of auspicious item.)
Empress Chen was able to see that Wei Luo was feeling unwell, so she wanted to let her rest for a while, "Later, you'll have to go worship the ancestors and be entered into the genealogy records. Liuli, bring Ah Luo to Chen Hua Hall to sit for a bit. When the time comes, imperial mother will send someone to call you over."
Just as Zhao Liuli was about to agree, the imperial sons had come here after finishing class. They had rushed from the imperial study to Qing Xi Palace to see their second sister-in-law.
Empress Chen smiled and said, "This group of monkeys had complained to this empress yesterday. They said that Chang Sheng had driven them away before they could even glance at the bride's face. It's still early and they're already rushing over here."
Hearing these words, Wei Luo cast a sidelong glance at Zhao Jie. Zhao Jie's expression didn't change. He seemed very calm.
Not long after, a group of princes wearing traditional han clothing walked into Zhao Yang Hall. They first saluted Emperor Chong Zhen and Empress Chen, then they went to Zhao Jie and Wei Luo's side and properly saluted. "Second imperial brother, second imperial sister-in-law."
The group of people straightened from saluting. They were all mesmerized when they saw Wei Luo.
They all had splendid statuses and had all types of women at their sides. Even their servant girls were beautiful. But, when those people were compared to Wei Luo, they were immediately considered inferior and not worth looking at.
Wei Luo was wearing a pomegranate red wide-sleeve gauzy outer robe embroidered with peony flowers. Her rosy cheeks were glittering and there was a smile on her silky face. Her bright, limpid eyes were curved into crescents that resembled the moon in the sky. She wasn't a lofty beauty. Her beauty was lovely and charming. She was so beautiful that you wanted to reach your hands out. But as soon as you did, she would be like a colorful lucky lao zi waist accessory. You thought you had her in your hand, but when you opened your hand to look, you would see that you were holding nothing.
(T/N: Below is a picture of a lao zi waist accessory.)
Ninth prince Zhao Chen finally returned to his senses, genuinely sighed, and said, "No wonder second brother wasn't willing to let us see."
Who wouldn't want to hide a woman that was this beautiful?
When Wei Luo understood the meaning of his words, her smile congealed.
Ninth prince privately had a good relationship with Zhao Jie. Although the two of them didn't have the same mother, ninth prince's mother had died early and he had grown up by Empress Chen's side. Because he was closer with Zhao Jie than the other princes, he was more likely to put his foot in his mouth.
Zhao Jie looked at Zhao Chan in askance and bluntly asked, "Look not at what is contrary to propriety, has ninth brother not heard of this?"
Ninth prince was used his harsh words, so he wasn't angry or humiliated. He looked at the entrance, laughed, and said, "Ai, fifth brother and Brother Li have also come."
Wei Luo followed his gaze and coincidentally met Li Song's line of sight.
Li Song followed fifth prince Zhao Zhang into Zhao Yang Hall. He was wearing a dark reddish purple robe with a pattern of auspicious clouds. His handsome face was domineering as always. He was sluggish for a moment when he met Wei Luo's faze. Soon after, he indifferently looked away from her. He saluted the emperor and empress, then he saluted Elder Princess Gao Yang before following Zhao Zhang and walking to Zhao Jie and Wei Luo.
Zhao Zhang cupped his hand in greeting and said with a smile, "Second imperial sister-in-law."
Wei Luo smiled, "Fifth brother-in-law."
As for Li Song, he only stared at Wei Luo. He didn't say a word or salute. Wei Luo looked at him. Her pink lips slightly pursed. Although she was still smiling, a faint coldness appeared.
The atmosphere was very awkward.
Zhao Jie's eyes sunk. Without a change in his expression, he stepped forward so that he was in front of Wei Luo and said to Li Song, "Impudent."
This word wasn't said loudly or quietly, but it was full of sharpness and warning. It attracted the eyes of everyone in Zhao Yang Hall over here. Elder Princess Gao Yang hurriedly stood up and asked LI Song, "Song-er, what did you do?"
Li Song retreated half a step back, curved his lips into a smile, and said, "I can only blame second cousin's wife for being too beautiful. I lost my senses and forgot to salute. If I have offended you, please forgive me older cousin Prince Jing."
When everyone heard his words, they thought the matter wasn't a big deal and let out sighs in relief. Even so, Li Song's behavior was too impudent.
Zhao Jie expressionlessly said, "Don't let this happen again."