Yan Ruyu’s face change at the empress dowager’s words. She merely bit her lips, leaving Bai Yu Chen’s chest and sitting in one of the seats quietly. Her pair of eyes are full of grievance as she looks at Bai Yu Chen while Xia Hou Shang Yue calmly sits at the seat that belonged to her with a simple smile on her face.
Bai Yu Chen eyes the two people while the empress dowager remains silent, merely toying with the tea leaves in her cup. It was a while before she opens her mouth again, “This tea cup and it’s lid must never be paired wrong. Even though the lids all looked the same, but if you pair them wrong, there will be gaps. That’s why they both must always be paired right, what do you think Ruyu?
Yan Ruyu was surprised for a moment, deep inside knows that the empress dowager is using the tea cup as a way to warn her that Bai Yu Chen and Xia Hou Shang Yue is the real pair and she, no matter how favored, is just a consort!
“The empress dowager is right, this tea cup and it’s lid must always be paired right.” When Yan Ruyu said that, her face carries an embarrassed smile. She originally wants to sit together with Bai Yu Chen. Now that the empress dowager said that, the emperor probably won’t sit next to her now.
“What imperial grandmother said is not right. Tea cup and tea lid not matching may not necessarily be a bad thing. If a gap exists, the tea will cool faster. Drinking them is more refreshing!” Bai Yu Chen sits next to Yan Ruyu, his hand grasping hers under the table while smiling attractively. Yan Ruyu, upon seeing his smile, turns red and looks down in embarrassment.
The truth is, she and Bai Yu Chen are not that familiar with each other. Her father did brought up the topic of her entering the back palace back then, but he never really agree. But who would’ve thought that on the third day after Bai Yu Chen took an empress, they received a decree for her to enter the palace.
Yan Ruyu was tempted. Just think about it, what kind of woman will be able to resist an emperor who rules the world, moreover one who is young, handsome and is unparalleled. She had liked him that moment she first laid eyes on him. Even though she knows he may not necessarily likes her the way she likes him, as long as he can continue smiling warmly like that, Yan Ruyu is willing to pay any price.
“Imperial grandmother, Yue Er will sit with you.” Xia Hou Shang Yue sits next to the empress dowager, her delicate face smiling while her eyes sweep past Bai Yu Chen and the shy Yan Ruyu. After that, she didn’t spare them a single glance.
“Only Yue Er understands aijia’s heart!” The empress dowager holds Xia Hou Shang Yue’s hand and pats it gently. Bai Yu Chen’s other hand immediately grasp the chair’s handrail as something indescribable flashes in his eyes, one that was gone immediately. He turns his head and whispers something to Yan Ruyu. She smiles, her face filled with joy and happiness.
“Imperial grandmother, Xuan Er arrives late. Hope imperial grandmother won’t blame me.” A young man at around 18 kneels inside Ci Ning Palace. Xia Hou Shang Yue looks over to him while a smile broke in the empress dowager’s face.
“Hurry get up, this is just a family dinner, why would aijia blame you?”
Bai Yu Xuan gets up, look over at Bai Yu Chen and perform ceremonial formality again. “Chendi greets imperial brother!”
“Forgo the formality. Sit.”
Bai Yu Xuan, the seventh prince, his biggest competitor to the throne back then. Just as he thought Bai Yu Xuan will win the emperor’s seat, the empress dowager received the late emperor’s edict at his deathbed, making himself the emperor.
Over the years, Bai Yu Xuan has always been a great worry to him. He knows Bai Yu Xuan still has control to over 200 000 soldiers. If he has a treacherous heart, even if he fails to obtain the emperor’s seat, he will still be able to give a lot of damage to his newly obtained empire.
Fortunately, Bai Yu Xuan has been living in Cang Zhou. He also no longer seem to have a strong desire for the throne like he used to. But even so, Bai Yu Chen could not put his heart at ease.
“This must be Mu Kingdom’s Princess Yue Feng. Chendi greets you.”
The seventh prince, Bai Yu Xuan. His title is King Yi. He formally greets Xia Hou Shang Yue the moment he saw her.
“The seventh prince is too formal.” Xia Hou Shang Yue gently says with a smile. Bai Yu Chen merely scoff coldly. Yan Ruyu’s expression is not good as well. Even though she is not the empress, she is a Guifei, only second to Xia Hou Shang Yue. Bai Yu Xuan actually turned a blind eye on her! That really cause a discontent in Yan Ruyu’s proud heart.
“Mo Yuan, prepare the dishes on the dining table!”
Mo Yuan replied and then retreated. Not long after, she came back with a couple of maids and started serving the food. With the empress dowager’s signal, this so called family banquet officially starts.
“Yu Er, why don’t you try this ‘drunken chicken feet’. This is the royal kitchen’s signature dish!”
“Your Majesty, chenqie does not tolerate alcohol well, what if I got drunk?”
“If Yu Er got drunk, zhen will carry you back!”
Xia Hou Shang Yue is unbothered by Bai Yu Chen’s and Yan Ruyu’s public display of affection, merely chewing on a vegetable dish slowly. Bai Yu Xuan observes the three people, finally understanding. The empress isn’t favored, the one who is preferred is Yan family’s daughter, Yan Ruyu.
But Bai Yu Xuan can sense that Bai Yu Chen’s preferential treatment and thoughtfulness did not come from his heart. How can it be when he display it so evidently like that. But Bai Yu Xuan did not put much thoughts to it, merely drinking his wine with a smile.
Even though nobody says anything as the affection between Bai Yu Chen and Yan Ruyu continues displaying, someone is bound to lose their temper. The empress dowager slam her pair of golden chopsticks to the table.
Yan Ruyu’s hand tremble, the chopsticks falling into the ground in shock. Bai Yu Chen smiles.
“Imperial grandmother, why are you angry? If you can’t bear to look at grandson and Yu Er, we will just leave!”
As he outstretch his hand for Yan Ruyu, he takes that opportunity to glance at Xia Hou Shang Yue. She remains sitting quietly, completely unaffected by him and Yan Ruyu. Is he really that unbearable to her? She can’t even be bothered to react angrily to him? Bai Yu Chen’s heart grows angrier at that thought. He grabbed Yan Ruyu and walk over to Xia Hou Shang Yue, reaching out and tipping her chin up, “You are a princess, but you are not the woman zhen wants! Yu Er is the one that zhen wants!”
“Your Majesty, you are drunk.” Xia Hou Shang Yue says in an undisturbed tone as she blocks Bai Yu Chen’s hand, smiling coldly at the proud Yan Ruyu.
“Yu Guifei, the emperor is drunk. Why don’t you help him to rest?”
Bai Yu Chen laughs loudly a couple of times, his arms around Yan Ruyu as they both leave the Ci Ning Palace. The empress dowager’s angered face turns white, her lips trembling.
“Too much! This is really too much!”
“Imperial grandmother, don’t be upset. His Majesty was just drunk and was talking nonsense. Yue Er wouldn’t put this to heart!”
The empress dowager pulls Xia Hou Shang Yue’s hand, sighing.
“You were really wronged. The older Chen Er gets, the more insensible he becomes!”