Unexpectedly, Hua Zhu Yu had gained a ge ge1, and that ge ge was Xiao Yin. These turn of events were quite odd. But no matter how odd, she still had to act the part of Jin Se. She didn’t want to be used by Xiao Yin or be hurled on the bed again. She wasn’t confident she could safely escape from either situation.
Furthermore, she didn’t know how to tell Xiao Yin about Jin Se’s situation.
Jin Se, his real mei mei, had died. Don’t know how sad he’ll be if he knew. If he found out his mei mei died in her place she was afraid he’ll choke her to death. She was not afraid of death itself but this life was exchanged for Jin Se’s. She still had many things left undone, she can’t die just yet.
Once Hua Zhu Yu woke up that day, Xiao Yin had taken her to the palace to meet the Northern Emperor. In the magnificent palace of the Northern kingdom, the Northern Emperor Xiao Gan was sitting upright, but there was no longer Concubine Ye by his side. That night Concubine Ye was imprisoned so Ye Qui had gathered his guards to rebel. After an intense fight with Xiao Yin’s men, Ye Qui in the end was killed while Concubine Ye committed suicide.
No matter what, they were still husband and wife for many years so it wasn’t a surprise that the Northern Emperor was distressed. But Hua Zhu Yu appeared, like a ray of sunshine dispersing the hazy fog, alleviating the Northern Emperor’s sorrow.
To be able to finally find his lost princess after so many years, he was truly ecstatic. He had even wanted to publicly restore her status. However, Hua Zhu Yu had refused, her reason being that she was still in a state of shock and had not yet registered this sudden news of reuniting with her family.
Of course, only she was clear of the real reason.
The Northern Emperor and Xiao Yin did not press further and decided to respect her decision. When she had went missing, she was not even 2 years old yet. She doesn’t remember anything and to her they were only strangers. They could even be considered enemies since no matter how you look at it, she did grow up in the Southern Kingdom.
Hua Zhu Yu continued to reside in the crown prince’s residence. Though her status was not publicly restored, the news of her return still spread to the populace. Inside the crown prince’s residence, she was no longer regarded as a servant. Both of Xiao Yin’s concubines no longer saw her as the thorn in their eyes and even came to see her often, trying to curry her favor so that she could put in a good word for them in front of Xiao Yin.
After reuniting the grassland and eliminating Concubine Ye, Xiao Yin’s prestige in the Northern Kingdom continued to rise with every passing day. The Northern Emperor also began to let Xiao Yin handle state affairs so every day he would enter the palace. Although he was quite busy, he would always try to spare some time to spend with Hua Zhu Yu.
Peaceful days continued to pass by just like that, day by day.
One afternoon, Hua Zhu Yu went to Xiao Yin’s study to find a book to read. Now she could freely move about the residence.
At his place, there were many books. Most were written in the Han language so Hua Zhu Yu could understand. While she was retrieving a book down from the tall shelf, a scroll was accidentally knocked over and tumbled to the ground. The scroll unrolled as it fell, displaying the face of a young miss.
Underneath a magnolia tree, the young miss was dressed elegantly, full of grace as she stood there like a heavenly fairy.
She was very beautiful and slightly on the thin side. Her face was like a peach blossom and her luscious black mane was combed into a gorgeous bun. She lifted her head up in a weak smile as white petals descended on her shoulders like snow.
It was a portrait that could pull at people’s heartstrings.
Hua Zhu Yu gaze swept over the portrait. On the bottom left hand corner she saw a single line of poetry: “The brilliance of spring pales with Wen Wan’s gentle smile.”
Wen Wan’s smile could outshine spring!
So this is Wen Wan’s portrait.
She stared at the girl in the drawing who was regarded as the number one beauty of Southern Kingdom. Looks like the rumors were true, she’s breathtakingly beautiful.
At that time, Xiao Yin had seen this portrait and decided on Wen Wan as his Princess Consort. As a result, Hua Zhu Yu was forced to take her place as the bride. It was impossible to say that her current predicament had no association with this girl.
Hua Zhu Yu crossed her legs on the ground and gazed at the girl in the portrait with a complex expression. It felt as though a sticky substance had flooded the depths of her heart, the more she tried to clean it, the murkier it became.
She suddenly felt a cool breeze swept across her face as Xiao Yin’s footsteps could be heard entering the study. He unexpectedly saw her in a daze sitting beside his desk. His gaze then landed on the scroll in her hand and his face became grim.
“What’s wrong, envy her beauty?” Xiao Yin took off his outer robe, and leisurely sat down in his chair.
Hua Zhu Yu lifted her head to look at Xiao Yin, and indifferently laughed. “I don’t envy her looks, but I am jealous of her luck.”
Xiao Yin stuck his legs outward and shifted to sit in a more comfortable position. “Now I also see that appearances are nothing.”
Hua Zhu Yu rolled the scroll back up and stood up. She walked over towards Xiao Yin and narrowed her eyes, smilingly said “I don’t believe you, you men which one doesn’t adore beautiful women, weren’t you bewitched when you first saw this portrait?”
Furrowing his brow, Xiao Yin said, “That was before. Seeing her now I am not the least bit moved. ”
Hua Zhu Yu was a little startled then her lips lifted up in a lazy smile and said “Then I guess you wouldn’t mind if I tear this portrait!”
Xiao Yin didn’t raise his head and instead he took a book off the table. He silently browsed through the pages and calmly said “Tear it!”
Xiao Yin’s indifferent attitude made Hua Zhu Yu lose interest. She placed the scroll back on the shelf and said, “It would be a pity to tear such a beautiful portrait.”
After retrieving a book from the shelf, she said, “I’ll leave first, won’t bother your reading time any longer.”
Waiting till Hua Zhu Yu’s shadow completely disappeared, Xiao Yin placed the book in his hand down, leaned back against his chair and sat there quietly for a long time. A long while later, he grabbed the Hu Qin beside him and played a piece.
There was no specific tune and there was no special meaning either. It was just very gentle like a cool breeze.
In the depths of his heart, he felt as though he had lost something very important, something he could never find again in this lifetime.
From now on, all that’s left (of his life) was monotonous and bland.
When Hua Zhu yu left the study she saw Lui Feng anxiously entering. It seemed like he had something important to tell Xiao Yin. Coincidentally, Hua Zhu Yu also saw Hui Xue arriving so she tightly grabbed onto Hui Xue’s arm and asked, “What’s happened?”
Hui Xue mysteriously smiled and said “Hui Xue will escort you to go see.”
Together they walked over to the front entrance of the residence. Outside was a large caravan, each carriage was full of silk brocades and jewelry. Behind the horse carriages, were trunks stacked like mountains. There were even a few cattles following behind.
“What’s all this?” Hua Zhu Yu turned to ask Hui Xue. This procession was quite large and those things all looked quite expensive.
“They’re betrothal gifts.” Hui Xue smilingly said.
“Lui Feng wants to marry you? Congrats! Congrats!” Learning the etiquette of the Northern Kingdom she gave her congratulations with a slight bow and then embraced Hui Xue. She had known Hui Xue for quite some time, seeing that she could marry the person in her heart, Hua Zhu Yu was also happy for her.
Giggling, Hui Xue calmly said, “Not me, but you!”
- older brother