T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter part.
Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 099.2 out of 171
Empress Chen saw that Liuli was smilingly foolishly and called her name, "Liuli, where did that sachet come from? You've been wearing it every day, but I haven't seen it before."
Zhao Liuli hurriedly looked up, blinked, and said, "Ah Luo gave this to me. She also personally dried the flower petals inside."
Empress Chen knew that Wei Luo grew flowers in a greenhouse in her free time, so she didn't have suspicious. "It's very unique."
Zhao Liuli brought the sachet in front of her and smilingly asked, "It also smells very good. Imperial mother, do you want to smell?"
Empress Chen waved her hand to refuse. She thought of something else and asked, "I heard that you met Duke Ding's Third Young Master at Zi Yu Villa?"
Zhao Liuli had to think for a long time to remember that person. Confused about this question, she only nodded.
Empress Chen continued to ask, "Do you remember playing with him during your childhood? He had also given you a small pinwheel when you were young. At the time, you really liked it."
Empress Chen didn't like going outside. She would only occasionally walk around in the imperial garden and spent the rest of the time in Qing Xi Palace. When she was bored, the thing that made her worry the most was her children's marriages. Zhao Jie alone was already enough to worry about. She would also occasionally think about Zhao Liuli. For Zhao Liuli to safely grow up to fifteen years old, this was Empress Chen's greatest fortune in this lifetime. Originally, she wasn't willing for Zhao Liuli to marry. It would be the best if she could always keep her at her side so she could take care of her.
However, her daughter had grown up. In the end, she still had to get married. There was a phrase that the common people said that was very good. If you keep a daughter that had grown up at home, she will grow to hate her parents. She didn't want Liuli to hate her. Even if she didn't want to part with her, she still had to start looking for a good husband for her.
Zhao Liuli lowered her head, traced the pattern on the scented bag, and mumbled, "I don't remember."
Empress Chen wasn’t discouraged by her words. Instead, she became talkative and continued to chatter, "I recently saw House Gao's Third Young Master. After not seeing him for so many years, he’s already grown into a handsome young man... He still remembers you. We talked about interesting stories from your childhood. Unexpectedly, he still clearly remembers things that even I've forgotten..."
"Imperial mother." Zhao Liuli interrupted her. She pouted and said, "I don’t want to listen to this. Could we not talk about this?"
She wasn't an idiot. Of course, she understood why Empress Chen was saying these words.
She had reached a marriageable age and had to get married. But, how should she tell imperial mother? She didn't like Gao Cong Xun or anyone else. She only liked older brother Yang Zhen.
Zhao Liuli was very distressed.
Fortunately, Mama Qiu helped her out of her dilemma.
Mama Qiu bowed with both hands and reported, "Your Majesty, His Highness Prince Jing is here to see you."
Empress Chen said, "Oh." As expected, this attracted her attention and she looked towards the entrance. Not much time later, Zhao Jie walked inside. He was wearing a deep black robe with a lingzhi mushroom pattern, a jade waist accessory, and ink-colored boots with golden embroidery. He walked in front of Empress Chen, saluted, and said, "Imperial son greets imperial mother."
Empress Chen called him closer, carefully looked him over, and very curiously asked, "Why are you so neatly dressed today? It couldn't be that you're meeting someone important?”
Zhao Jie sat down on a pine stool, curved his lips, and leisurely said, "Other than paying respect to imperial mother, who else would your imperial son meet in the palace?"
Empress Chen didn't believe his words and coldly said, "You still know to pay respect to imperial mother? I don't know what you've been busy with lately. You haven't entered the palace in a while. I thought you've already forgot about me."
Zhao Jie stood up, smiled, and said, "Your Imperial son wouldn't dare."
She hadn't had time to close the painted scrolls on the couch. As soon as he looked up, he saw them. The first portrait was Taifu Liu's granddaughter. Her name was Liu Yin. Empress Chen had recently said she was too thin. The smiling young woman in the painting was wearing a green, crepe robe and holding a folded willow basket. Her face looked good, but it wasn't full enough. It felt as if there were only bones left in her body. There wasn't the slightest sense of beauty.
Empress Chen noticed his gaze, quickly followed it, and suddenly realized something. Her mind finally went to serious matters. "Since you're here today, take these paintings to look. Do you like any of these girls? If there is, tell this empress. This empress will advocate for your marriage. If there isn't, this empress will look for other girls for you."
She had made up her mind to force him to marry.
There was a hint of a smile on Zhao Jie's thin lips. For the very first time, he didn't refused. Instead, he walked forward, picked up that painted scroll, and seriously looked at it.
Startled, Empress Chen looked at him. She had thought he would definitely refuse and was extremely surprised that he would obediently agree.
Zhao Jie ordered a servant to bring a brush. Holding a purple brush, he looked at the paintings one by one and marked a cross as he looked through them. After looking at more than ten painting scrolls, he still made same mark on each of them.
Empress Chen furrowed her eyebrows. Just as she was about to ask, he put down the painted scroll, stood up, and said, "To respond to imperial mother, your imperial son isn't interest in any of these girls."
Empress Chen thought her recent happiness was a waste. He didn't look serious at all. He had clearly only said those words as an excuse! Empress Chen was very angry and intentionally asked another question, "Then where's the girl that you like?"
He looked and smiled, "She's not one of the scrolls."
Could he be serious? Empress Chen's eyes brightened. She had originally thought he was only trying to fool her. Was she wrong? She impatiently asked, "Who is she? Where is she?"
Zhao Jie's phoenix eyes softened. A long time later, he slowly said, "She’s from Duke Ying’s family.”