Please Remember Your Place, Prince Jin
The moment he walks out of Yan Shou Palace, the smile on Bai Yu Chen’s face disappears, replaced by an icy expression. The way Gong Sun Jin looked at Xia Hou Shang Yue was not normal, it was not the kind of eyes an official would use to look at his princess. There must be a story between the two people in the past!
Thinking about that, the fury within Bai Yu Chen rises incredibly, is this really anger? Ah, what a joke, why should he be upset? In what way does their past relationship concern him?
“Hai Cheng, where will the banquet be hold?”
“Answering Your Majesty, in Qing Hui Palace. The grand empress dowager, princess and Yu Guifei will all participate in the celebration.”
Bai Yu Chen heads towards Qing Hui Palace. Hai Cheng keeps his head low as he follows his lead. The morning sun basks Bai Yu Chen’s entire body. Other than the domineering aura of a king, he also exudes a certain kind of warmth.
After Bai Yu Chen left, the atmosphere in Yan Shou Palace turns abnormally quiet. Xia Hou Shang Yue sits on the master’s seat while drinking her tea, her heart is calm like water while her outward appearance is indifferent.
She never truly opens her heart to Gong Sun Jin, so naturally, she will not put much thought into meeting him like this. She has no idea what Gong Sun Jin is feeling right now. She only views him as someone her imperial father sent to look after her.
“Bengong is now Yue Kingdom’s empress, it will be better if Prince Jin calls bengong by bengong’s identity.” Xia Hou Shang Yue cuts him off. Even though her tone is calm, her words manage to turn Gong Sun Jin’s heart upside down. She calls herself the empress of Yue Kingdom…. She wants him to address her by her position….
Gong Sun Jin laughs bitterly. Perhaps, what transpired between them was just wishful thinking on his part. She has always been this calm and level-headed, she never truly promised him anything.
“’Your Ladyship.’ There, I hope Your Ladyship is satisfied now.”
Xia Hou Shang Yue puts down her tea and smile at Gong Sun Jin. “Bengong would like to thank Wangye for representing imperial father to visit bengong. Is imperial father well?”
Gong Sun Jin retrieves back his wandering thoughts and nods at Xia Hou Shang Yue.
“Your Ladyship is too courteous. This official is His Majesty’s subject, it is this official’s responsibility to share His Majesty’s worry. The emperor is doing fine. He thinks about princess a lot. That was why he sent this king to Yue Kingdom. He wanted this official to maintain the good relationship between the two countries and at the same time, to see how princess is doing.”
Xia Hou Shang Yue smiles. Her heart is at peace now that she knows her imperial father is well. Her imperial father’s doting affection towards her for so many years, touches her to no end.
“After wangye returns to Mu Kingdom, please tell imperial father that bengong is well. The emperor treats bengong really kindly, so imperial father need not worry.”
Gong Sun Jin laughs bitterly as he nods. Heard that? She is doing well. The man she married treated her nicely. You are just a little wangye, do you think you can compete with an emperor? Besides, Yue Er never told you she wanted to be with you. The affection comes from only your side.
“This king will definitely convey Your Ladyship’s message to His Majesty. This official would also like to beg Your Ladyship, on behalf of His Majesty, to care for your phoenix body.”
Xue Wu suddenly gets headache upon hearing their conversation. These two people clearly had the chance to be together back then, but now here they are, shrouded in the courtesies between a ruler and a subject. They are like total strangers.
“Then bengong thank wangye.” Xia Hou Shang Yue sits on her seat and no longer speaks. She only fiddles with the lid of her teacup. For something that cannot have progress, might as well cut it all off from the start to avoid trouble in the future.
“Right, this is a letter from His Majesty to Your Ladyship.” Xue Wu accepts the letter and hand it over to Xia Hou Shang Yue. She did not open it, merely placing it in her body before she continues drinking her tea.
Seeing Xia Hou Shang Yue so silent, Gong Sun Jin smiles bitterly. He downs his tea, no longer speaking as well.
Even though the two did not speak freely to each other back then, at least they weren’t so estranged like right now. Time is really a piece of blade that can cut through everything, even threads of romance.
Silence. Everything is so quiet that they can hear each other’s breathings.
“Your Ladyship, His Majesty invites you and Wangye to Qing Hui Palace to welcome Prince Jin.” Hai Cheng’s low voice enters Xia Hou Shang Yue’s hearings. She puts down her tea cup and nods at Gong Sun Jin.
Qing Hui Palace is a huge palace located in the east of the Forbidden City.
Since it is used exclusively for imperial banquets, they are rarely used. The decoration of this palace is simple and elegant, unlike the flashy and dazzling Yan Shou Palace.
“This king greets the grand empress dowager, Yu Guifei and princess.” Gong Sun Jin pays his respect to the grand empress dowager who brought along Yu Guifei and the princess with her. He uses the ceremonial greeting of Mu Kingdom.
“Forego the formality, Wangye. Please sit.” The empress dowager gives Gong Sun Jin an esteemed seat in the east before pulling Xia Hou Shang Yue to sit on the master’s seat. Displeasure flashes in Yan Ruyu’s eyes while Bai Chu Xun’s face is full of hatred.
“Xun Er, you and Yu Er should sit too.”
On Bai Yu Chen’s left is the grand empress dowager while on his right is Xia Hou Shang Yue. Bai Chu Xun and Yan Ruyu sits opposite Gong Sun Jin.
“Jin Wangye, today, zhen will represent Yue Er to welcome you to Yue Kingdom. Tomorrow, there will be another banquet for you, but from zhen as the emperor of this kingdom.”
Gong Sun Jin has been staring at Xia Hou Shang Yue. She looks calm like usual, but for some reason she looks more indifferent than back then in Mu Kingdom. When Bai Yu Chen speaks up, all of his thoughts are cut off.
“Your Majesty is too courteous, this king is grateful to no end.”
Bai Yu Chen glances at Xia Hou Shang Yue. There is no particular emotion in her face, he can’t tell if she’s happy or not.
And that banquet ends amidst Gong Sun Jin and Bai Yu Chen’s courtesy and Yan Ruyu and Bai Chu Xun’s silent hostility towards Xia Hou Shang Yue. Bai Yu Chen personally send the slightly drunk grand empress dowager back to her Ci Ning Palace while Xia Hou Shang Yue send Gong Sun Jin off.
Underneath the dim light of lanterns, Gong Sun Jin looks at Xia Hou Shang Yue’s exceptionally beautiful face; his slightly tipsy eyes are full of affection. He loves her. He loves her senselessly!
Ever since they first met, it is destined that he will only want her in this lifetime. Gong Sun Jin suddenly seizes Xia Hou Shang Yue’s hands.
Xia Hou Shang Yue wants to pull back her hands, but the force Gong Sun Jin used is really large. She frowns as she looks at his drunken, blurry eyes.
“Let go!” Her cold voice reveals her displeasure towards his action. She is now the empress of Yue Kingdom, she cannot bear to make any mistake. She does not want to implicate her imperial father and Mu Kingdom.
“Yue Er, you are so cruel. Have you thrown away everything that we ever had?” His voice is full of pain. He lets go of her hand. He clearly knows loving her brings nothing but heartache but he cannot bring himself to control his feelings.
“Let bygones be bygones. Besides, nothing ever transpired between us. Jin Wangye, please remember your place!”