Wei Luo didn't speak in a roundabout way. She went straight to the point by saying, "It'll be Uncle Liang's birthday banquet next month, so I should be preparing a gift. After thinking about it for a while, I still haven't thought of a good gift, so I wanted to directly ask you. Do you know what he likes?"
So, it was for this reason. Liang Yu Rong disappointedly realized. She couldn't immediately think of a good gift. Her big eyes turned as she thought and her eyes finally stopped at the teapot. She clapped her hands and said, "Tea would be good. My father enjoys drinking tea the most. The flavor of this tea is pretty good. If you give him this tea, he would definitely be happy.”
Her selection was good. Although it seemed casual, her vision wasn't the slightest bit poor.
This e mei xue ya tea was one of the highest quality green tea. Emperor Chong Zhen had conferred the title of the capital's best tea to this tribute tea. This tea was grown on the peaks of mountains and there wasn't much produced each year. Most of this tea stayed with the emperor and only a little bit was distributed to the court officials. Earlier this year, Duke Ying's residence only received one and a half kilograms of tealeaves. Duke Ying had kept a quarter of a kilogram for himself and distributed the rest among the other branches. Wei Kun knew that Wei Luo loved to drink this tea and generously gave her his entire share. Wei Zheng had been extremely dissatisfied by this.
Wei Luo had only drank this tea a few times this year and still had most of a quarter of a kilogram of tealeaves left. She was reluctant to give the entire amount to Marquis Ping Yuan.
However, since she was the one who first opened her mouth, even if her heart ached, she could only resign herself to parting with her treasure.
After starting the conversation, Wei Luo asked another question, "I heard that your family also invited Prince Rui and his family? Is that true?"
Liang Yu Rong nodded after thinking about it for a moment. "My father wrote out the invitation cards. I didn't see them. But, I heard him talking about it a few times with my mother. He seemed to have mentioned Prince Rui."
Then, she was right.
That day, if Zhao Jue and Xiang Wu were attending, then Xiang Xuan would also naturally be attending.
Wei Luo thought it was necessary to warn Yu Rong, so that Liang Yu wouldn’t repeat the same mistake of provoking this restless woman.
She had Liang Yu Rong come closer to her and whisper into her ear, "A few days ago, I went out with Liuli and met two people..."
She went on to describe the situation that had happened in the private room. Of course, she only tactfully said there was something fishy between those two people and not the words she had heard on the other side of the wall. Even if it was only like this, Liang Yu Rong still understood her meaning.
Her eyes were as wide as possible when she incredulously said, "I've seen that Zhao Heir before. He looked so proper. Who could have expected that he would be that type of person...."
While there were examples of two sisters serving one man, it was rare. And, when it happened, it was properly and officially done. What those two were doing was too dirty. Behind the back of his wife, he was fooling around outside with his sister-in-law and it was even a public place... It was unthinkable no matter how one looked at it.
Liang Yu Rong's face clearly showed how she despised this type of vulgar matter.
Wei Luo nodded in agreement and warned her, "I'm telling you this because I want you to be careful of Xiang Xuan... If she can fool around with her own brother-in-law, then she might also fool around with other men. On Uncle Liang's birthday banquet, you have to look after your older brother. Don't let him be tricked by her." To avoid Liang Yu Rong from overthinking, she explained, "Even if its unlikely, it's better to be safe than sorry."
Liang Yu Rong understood and felt the same way. She nodded, "Don't worry. I'll carefully watch over my older brother. I won't let him have any contact with Xiang Xuan."
At some point during their conversation, the carriage had passed through the palace gates and stopped at Qing Xi Palace's entrance.
At this time, many people had already arrived at Qing Xi Palace and were gathered inside Zhao Yang Hall.
The women inside the hall were all in the prime of their youth with beautiful, thick hair. They were all dressed up magnificently with brightly colored ornaments. Just as Wei Luo and Liang Yu Rong entered the hall, they saw the three most eye-catching young women.
On one side, there was Gao Dan Yang, and Gao Qing Yang. On the other side, there was Li Xiang.
Gao Dan Yang and Gao Qing Yang were Empress Chen's relatives and their father was Duke Zhen, so there were naturally many people around them. They were also first class beauties. Today, one was wearing a robe that looked like rippling water and the other was wearing a robe with the color of tender green leaves. There were brightly colored flowers embroidered everywhere on their sleeves. They had bright eyes and white teeth. Combined with their dignified bearing, they were very eye-catching while standing at the center of the crowd. They looked like two moons with a group of stars revolving around them.
On the other side, Li Xiang was wearing an apricot robe embroidered with a pattern of golden peony. On the top of her hair, she had a lantern-shaped hair ornament made with golden wires. On both sides of her hair, she had a pair of gold and jade hairpins with stylized cicada. The overall effect was very bright and sparkling. She looked glamorously beautiful. As Elder Princess Gao Yang's daughter, she naturally felt this event was beneath her. She had the cold eyes of a bystander and a displeased expression. Her expression didn't improve until Marquis An Ling's Fifth Miss hurriedly praised her for dressing beautifully today after seeing that Li Xiang was unhappy.
In addition to them, Wei Luo saw Xiang Wu and Xiang Xuan standing in front of a silver divider screen. At this time, their relationship hadn't been broken yet. They looked as close as actual sisters.
Wei Luo and Liang Yu Rong walked further into the hall. Li Xiang saw her first. Dissatisfied, in sour tone, she deliberately asked, "Why did you also come here? I didn't hear that Her Majesty invited you. Could you have come here without an invitation card?"
It hadn't been announced yet that Wei Luo would be Princess Tianji's zanzhe, so very few people knew.
It was normal that the initiation list didn't haven't her name. She was part of the ceremony. She would be putting the hairpin into Liuli's hair.
Wei Luo looked at her. Before Wei Luo could speak, Mama Qiu, who was wearing an autumn-color satin robe, came out from the warmed partition of the hall, saluted, and properly said, "Fourth Miss, come. Her Majesty wants you to go to the back of the hall to prepare. The princess's hairpin ceremony will start soon.”
Li Xiang's face stiffened and immediately sunk.
Wei Luo nodded. Without even looking at Li Xiang, she said good-bye to Liang Yu Rong, then she followed Mama Qiu towards the back of the hall.
After going through a luo di zhao carved with a hundred birds, passing through a scenic verandah, they arrived at the back of the hall. The back of the hall was livelier than the front of the hall. The palace servants were busy preparing the clothes and hairpins that Zhao Liuli would soon be wearing. Every piece had to perfect. They couldn't have any flaws. Other than the palace servants, Empress Chen and her sister, Duke Zhen's wife, was also there. Seeing that Wei Luo had come here, they called her forward to their side to say a few words.
(T/N: Luo di zhao is a ceiling to floor carved screen. Below is a picture of one with a simple design.)
Recalling everything that Wei Luo had done, Empress Chen said with gratification, "Good child, you've been working hard these past few days."
Not much later, a red robed servant girl saluted and brought clothing for Wei Luo, "Her Majesty had ordered us to custom make this clothing for Fourth Miss. Please change into this."
Wei Luo took the clothing. It was a cherry red palace robe with a pink layer beneath. Both the collar and sleeves had finely stitched golden embroidery. The clothing was gorgeous and dignified.
(T/N: Click here and scroll down to cover of book 3 to see the outfit that Wei Luo changes into.)
She listened to the servant girl and went behind a divider screen with a landscape painting and ivory carvings. She put the palace robe down on furniture that had curved legs, then she lowered her head to untie the colorful decorative ribbon sash on her waist. As she was about to untie the sash, she suddenly heard the slight sound of footsteps. She stiffened in surprise. Just as she was about to turn around, a pair of hands came out from behind her and pressed down on her hands.
A tall body pressed against hers. It was clearly a man!
In astonishment, Wei Luo opened her eyes wider. As she was about to call out for help, the man was one step faster than her and blocked her mouth. He leaned over and as if he was placating a startled baby animal, he quietly whispered into her ear, “Hush. Don't move. This prince only wants to say a few words to you."
(T/N: Advance chapters have been added to Patreon.)