Why was Zhao Jie here? Was it Empress Chen intention to invite her to palace or was it his? Was there some urgent matter?
While Wei Luo was puzzled, Empress Chen took the initiative in answering her doubts, "Liuli will soon turn fifteenth and have her hairpin ceremony. There needs to be a zanzhe This empress has thought about this for a while, but couldn't think of a suitable person. This empress remembered you after Chang Sheng mentioned you. You and Liuli are similar ages and are as close as sisters. There isn't another person more suitable than you." In the end, Empress Chen was smiling as she looked at her, "Would you be willing to attend?"
(T/N: Zanzhe is the person that assists the person in charge during the hairpin ceremony).
Wei Luo tilted her head and subconsciously asked, "Chang Sheng?"
(T/N: Chang Sheng literally means longevity)
Empress Chen covered the smile on her lips, "This is my son's childhood nickname. I'm too used to calling him by this nickname, so this empress temporarily forgot to modify my previous remark.”
Oh... Wei Luo raised her her head to look at the person across from her and saw a slight change on Zhao Jie's face. She hadn't expected that such an imposing person would have such a cute childhood nickname. It was really unimaginable.
After thinking about it, Wei Luo nodded and said, "Since it Liuli's hairpin ceremony, I would definitely be willing to attend. But, I haven't been the zanzhe before and there are many things I'm not familiar with. I'm worried that I'll mess up the ceremony..."
Empress Chen gently comforted her, "There are still many things to prepare for the hairpin ceremony. Once everything else is done, come to the place and there will be a person who specializes in this ceremony to teach you the steps. You don't have to worry."
Wei Luo felt reassured after hearing this. She nodded her head and met the Empress's gaze. She faintly smiled and said, "Okay, then I'll have to bother Your Majesty for this."
She was a well-behaved and lovable girl. Empress Chen had seen her when she was child. And now, she saw that Wei Luo had grown up extremely beautifully. When she had just entered into the hall, Empress Chen had been startled for a moment.
Empress Chen frequently saw Gao Dan Yang and Li Xiang. They each had their own style of beauty and Empress Chen originally though they had very beautiful faces. But now, after meeting Wei Luo, she felt that they were slightly inferior. This young girl appeared perfect. Her eyebrows were as beautiful as peacock's feathers. Her skin was as white as snow. Her waist was as delicate as tied silk. Her teeth were as white as seashells. Her posture was as beautiful as fairy immortal's. In the end, she was extravagantly beautiful. In addition, her voice was milky soft and would make people's hearts soften when they heard it. It wouldn't be too much to say she was stunningly beautiful girl.
Empress Chen reminisced about past events as she held a snuff bottle with a brightly colored floral pattern outlined in gold. She couldn't help lament, "Time really doesn't spare anyone. Back then, you and Liuli were so small..." She gestured a short height with her hand. “And now you both have already grown up."
Wei Luo curved her lips into a smile and said, "But Your Majesty still looks the same as before without any changes."
This small mouth was so sweet. There wasn't any woman that didn't like to hear these types of words. Empress Chen's smile deepened and her gaze became more affectionate, "Child... This empress has always felt very grateful towards you. Back then, Liuli refused to drink her medicine and only you had a way to make her drink it. Now, her body is much healthier and most of that credit goes to you. When I called you to the palace, I also had the intention to give my thanks."
Wei Luo naturally couldn't bear the empress's thanks. She quickly said, "The energy that Your Majesty expended was far greater than mine..."
A single sentence caused Empress Chen’s eyes to become teary.
In the past years, Empress Chen had spent so much energy and thoughts on Liuli. Sometimes, she couldn't sleep at night because she was worried that when she woke up Liuli would become seriously sick again. During that period of time, she felt apprehensive every day. She didn't know how she passed that time and felt sorrow when she thought of those years. Fortunately, Liuli was now sensible with taking care of herself and she also had Yang Zhen at her side to protect her. So, she currently felt very reassured.
Empress Chen viewed Wei Luo in a new light. The more she looked, the more she liked her. She thought that Wei Luo was a considerate and sensible girl. Wei Luo's words reached the bottom of her heart. She had Mama Qiu bring over a small, carved sandalwood box to Wei Luo. "This Empress doesn't have anything else. My mother gave this head ornament to me when I entered the palace. Now, I'll transfer it you."
Inside the box, there was a head ornament made with golden wires. It had lotus flowers and was embedded with seven transparent rubies. A single glance showed that it was priceless. But, what was even more rare was Empress Chen's intention to show her kindly feelings. When Wei Luo heard about this head ornaments’ origins, she felt as if she couldn't accept the gift. She opened her mouth to refuse, "This subject..."
Empress Chen deliberately stopped smiling and looked serious as she threatened, "If you don't accept it, then you're refusing this empress's gratitude."
When did she have such thoughts? Wei Luo felt slightly wronged. She could only accept this gift and sincerely said, "Thank you, Your Majesty."
After they were done speaking about this, Empress Chen had her stay longer to talk for a bit. Her tone was polite and her manner was warm. It didn't seem like a conversation between an empress and her subject. Instead, it seemed like a conversation between an elder and her junior family member.
About two hours later, seeing that it wasn't early, Wei Luo stood up to say good-bye. Empress Chen didn't keep her any longer. After all, it was raining outside and it wouldn't be easy to walk outside when it became darker. Worried that Wei Luo would get wet from the rain, she had Mama Qiu bring an umbrella to take her to Qing Xi Palace's doors.
At the same time, Zhao Jie put down the lid on his teacup, dusted his robe, stood up, and said, "Imperial mother, your imperial son has something to attend to in his residence and will also be leaving."
Empress Chen didn't have any misgivings. She nodded and said, "I remember that you didn't bring an umbrella when you came here? Wait here until Mama Qiu brings back umbrellas."
He nodded in assent.
Mama Qiu soon came out of the warmed room with two umbrellas in her hand. One was for Wei Luo. The other was for Zhao Jie.
Zhao Jie took both of the umbrellas. Underneath the verandah, he said to Mama Qiu, "You can go back. This prince is going the same way as Fourth Miss and will show her out of Qing Xi Palace."
Mama Qiu didn't think anything of Zhao Jie's words. She nodded and glanced at Wei Luo, then turned around and left.
But, why didn't she think about how Zhao Jie had never volunteered to send a girl off?
Wei Luo look at the departing figure of Mama Qiu and felt extremely helpless.
Zhao Jie lowered his eyes to look at the girl. In a few steps, he walked past her, "Let's go."
Wei Luo could only lift up her skirt as she walked faster to keep up. They were walking in the verandah. There was the sound of rain falling from the roof to the ground and splashing on the verandah. There were gusts of moist dampness.
Zhao Jie seemed displeased as he was walking. He was probably paying attention to her steps and wasn't walking fast or slow in front her. He didn't talk to her or turn around to look at her.
After finally arriving at the end of the verandah, the path in front of them led to the palace doors. Wei Luo walked faster to catch up and stopped three steps away from him. "Older brother Prince Jing, give me an umbrella."
As she said this, her small, white hand stretched out towards him without the slightest politeness.
Zhao Jie stopped. He turned to look at her, then he looked at the distance between them. He slightly curved his lips and joked, "You're standing so far away. How can this prince give you the umbrella?"
After thinking about it, she decided that her only option was to walk forward and she walked a few steps closer to him.
Who would have expected that he wouldn't give her the umbrella? He stared at her for a moment, then he slowly leaned over until he was intimately close to her as his dark eyes kept directly looking at hers. There was only a finger's width of a distance between them.
Wei Luo subconsciously retreated. He always seemed to frequently look at her without any reason.
His thin lips easily curved up and he asked, "Are you hiding from me?"
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Ah Luo: You found out =。=
(T/N: Advance chapters have been updated on Patreon.)