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Chapter Seventy Five Intelligence Determines Taste
The morning after Cheng Wang’s wedding day, he took his wife to the palace for the formal greeting. The Emperor might have been indifferent to his youngest son, but on the surface, he didn’t slight him. What should have been bestowed down was given.
The Empress didn’t discriminate. What her attitude was when the previous three imperial sons had married, that was her attitude towards He Ming’s marriage. But she seemed to be friendly towards Luo Wen Yao.
Coming out of Kui Yuan Palace, Luo Wen Yao’s face was slightly red as she walked next to He Ming with her head down. Even though she had dreamed of her husband as one who was well educated and skilled in both martial and literary arts, in reality, she felt that Cheng Wang treated her better and was more steadfast than the one in her dreams. Nothing would be better than to have a place in his heart.
“Don’t worry, mu fei is very friendly, she will definitely like you,” He Ming saw his wife’s nervousness and gripped her hand reassuringly, “Don’t be afraid. I’ll be there with you.”
“En,” Luo Wen Yao gave the smallest of nods, her face blushing harder.
An guipin really did like having Luo Wen Yao as her erxi very much. She had a warm personality and a good conduct. The Emperor might have neglected her child for so many years but thankfully the erxifu he had chosen was a good one.
She looked at her erxifu whose face was full of embarrassment and indicated for the palace maid beside her to take out the prepared gifts. She gently grasped Luo Wen Yao’s hand, smiling as she spoke: “Today, I’m putting Ming’er into your care. In the future, if Ming’er does something wrong, don’t let him off. Tell me and I will certainly sort him out.”
“Mu fei is abandoning your son since you have an erxifu,” He Ming stood and raised his hands in a fist, “Mu fei, don’t worry. We will try to live a good life.”
Seeing the situation, Luo Wen Yao perceptively stood and followed in bowing. Her face might have been bashful but her tone was resolute: “Don’t worry mufei. Erxi will definitely take good care of His Highness and have a good life.”
An guipin’s eyes slightly reddened. She put the two people’s hands together, and said happily: “It’s good to try to have a fulfilling life. A person’s life is like a long road. It’s a fortunate thing to have someone to walk with along this long road. You have to treasure it.”
He Ming turned to look at his wife. The hand that held Luo Wen Yao’s hand tightened as he nodded gravely.
The couple let An guipin’s residence and started to head slowly out of the palace. He Ming noticed that Luo Wen Yao kept walking half a step behind him and reached out to grab her hand, remarking: “When we get back, we should go to see to the gifts prepared for the return to your paternal home and check to see if there’s anything lacking.”
Luo Wen Yao shook her head and replied in a small voice: “Your Highness has already prepared everything. How could there be anything wrong?”
“I don’t know what father and mother-in-law like so you have to take a look,” He Ming smiled as he responded, “Otherwise, what will happen if father and mother-in-law aren’t satisfied with their son-in-law?”
Luo Wen Yao heard his words and her hand that was being held by He Ming gripped his broad hand. She smiled as she teased: “That’s even more of a reason not to help you. If you prepare, it’s called being thoughtful. What is it if I prepare it?”
The two smiled simultaneously, their hearts gradually becoming closer.
Qu Qing Ju stood at the side of the fake mountain, looking at the sweet young couple not far away. She couldn’t resist smiling and remarked to Mu Jin beside her: “Those two are pretty good like this.”
Mu Jin smiled as she responded: “Wang fei likes Cheng wang fei very much?”
“I like all the good guniang,” Qu Qing Ju slowly headed towards Zhong Jing Palace. Looking at Mu Jin’s confused expression, she smiled and explained, “A young guniang, she’s more beautiful than the most beautiful flower. A woman’s whole life depends on one man, but that one man might not only have her as his only woman. Society is like this. A woman’s beauty might be very short, or very long, but the only thing in common is that they had all been beautiful. It’s just that they’ve all met different men and had different fates.”
Mu Jin didn’t think that wang fei would say such a complicated speech. She mused: “So it’s good for nubi to accompany wang fei. Many of the men in this world are fickle, and nubi won’t like them.”
Qu Qing Ju felt that Mu Jin was affected by the Duke of Chang De’s actions and the body’s original owner’s mother. She helplessly patted the back of Mu Jin’s hand: “I won’t force you to do something you’re not willing to. But if you meet someone you’ve fallen in love with in the future, you have to tell me.”
Mu Jing smiled as she acquiesced, but she didn’t put it on her mind. The kind of being that was man, it couldn’t even be compared to a handkerchief. At least a handkerchief was useful for wiping things. Men, other than being fickle and emotional, what else could they do?
When they had reached Zhong Jing Palace, Ding mama received Qu Qing Ju and ushered her inside. Only when she had entered did she realise that, aside from Jing guifei, Wen guipin was also present. She went forward to give a greeting to Jing guifei first before greeting Wen guipin.
“Duan wang fei has no need to be so courteous,” Wen guipin hurriedly stood to return half a greeting. Her face was still fragile, but her mental state seemed much better than last time at the gates of Tian Qi Palace.
“Meimei, sit down. Heng’er’s wife, sit down too,” Jing guifei smiled and let the two sit, motioning for a palace maid to serve the pastries her erxi liked, “Why did you think of coming here today?”
Qu Qing Ju smiled as she looked at the pastries the palace maid served. She gushed to Jing guifei: “Mufei is so good to erxi, I like eating all of these.” She reached out to pop one in her mouth, joyfully swallowing before replying, “Because of si di ‘s wedding these past days, erxi didn’t have the time to enter the palace to greet mufei. One of my taijian managed to find a few jars of peach wine. I had a taste and found that the wine was light and sweet, perfect for women so I brought some along to let mufei have a taste. The stuff of the common people might not be as fine as those of the palace, but the taste is unique.”
“Just a few jars of wine, fancy that! You had to send it in,” Jing guifei’s tone was reproachful but the smile on her face became more evident, “Such a child, people will laugh at you.”
Wen guipin, who was sitting to one side, heard those words and interjected: “Guifei niangniang’s words will harm this child’s heart. Look how filial this child is. She remembers you whenever she gets something and brings it to you. Niangniang, what are you unsatisfied with?!”
“You don’t know her. Today, it’s two jars of wine, tomorrow it’s a few boxes of food, the day after it’s some novels. It’s all just petty amusements but she treats them like treasures,” Jing guifei’s face was helpless, “It’s lucky that it’s you here today. If it was anyone else, wouldn’t it be a laughingstock if it got out?”
Qu Qing Ju saw that after Jing guifei said those words, Wen guipin seemed to release a breath. She couldn’t help but think Wen guipin was siding with Jing guifei. Was it that Ning Wang was wagering on the second He?
“It’s the thought that counts, guifei niangniang shouldn’t disdain her efforts,” Wen guipin smiled as she looked at the docilely seated Qu Qing Ju, “Based on what pin qie sees, this is a very rare and good erxi.”
Jing guifei smiled as she pointed at Qu Qing Ju, ordering: “Why aren’t you thanking your Wen mu fei for saying good things on your behalf? You have to pour tea for her later.”
Qu Qing Ju smiled as she stood to bow to Wen guipin: “Many thanks to Wen mufei.”
Wein guipin waved her hand repeatedly as she said she couldn’t accept it. She was very courteous in her treatment of Qu Qing Ju.
Jing guifei smiled as she watched her erxi personally pour a cup of tea for Wen guipin. Then she naturally helped switch her own cup as well. The mirth in her eyes became even more evident.
Qu Qing Ju ate the noon meal at Jing guifei’s palace before leaving. She walked on the black stone paths of the palace and thought about Wen guipin flattering Jing guifei. She couldn’t help but sigh. In the past, Wen guipin might have been warm and courteous, but she wasn’t at this level. This was all for her son.
“Wang fei, it seems that Shu guifei is coming up front,” Mu Jin informed in a small voice as she looked at the procession coming towards them.
Qu qing Ju raised her head to look ahead. On the other side, walking in front of numerous palace maids and taijian, was Shu guifei. She moved sideways to retreat to the side of the road. When Shu guifei drew near, she bowed and greeted: “Greetings to Shu guifei.”
“Isn’t this lao er’s wife?” Shu guifei stopped in her steps. She raised an eyebrow as she looked at Qu Qing Ju who had her head slightly lowered. She said in a sarcastic voice, “After just a few days, lao er’s wife has become even more beautiful.”
“Thanks, niangniang for the compliment,” Qu Qing Ju faintly smiled as she gave another bow.
Shu guifei looked coldly at the woman in front of her. Her looks truly were better than her own erxifu. No wonder she could tempt lao er to not walk when he saw her. Thinking that this was her enemy’s erxifu, her tone was icy: “But a woman’s appearance is not the most important. As a wife, virtue is the most important of them all.”
Even Jing guifei hadn’t said anything, so how could Shu guifei act as though she was her popo? Qu Qing Ju raised her head to glance at Shu guifei, her voice soft as she responded: “Qing Ju only has a fleeting beauty and can’t measure up to the word beautiful. Guifei niangniang’s appearance rivals that of the goddesses. If Qing Ju could even have a fraction, it would be the greatest fortune in this life.”
Shu guifei’s face darkened. Those words were complimenting her for being beautiful on the surface, but its true purpose was to block the words she had said previously. She was going to flare up when she heard another person’s voice come from behind her.
“Greetings to Shu guifei,” He Heng had a slight smile as he walked in front of Qu Qing Ju, his voice reproachful as he said, “You went to bother mufei for the noon meal again?”
“Mufei cares for me, and knows that I like to eat the food at her place so she specially let me stay back to eat,” Qu Qing Ju snorted, “Just right now, mufei said I was filial. How can you say that I was bothering her?”
“Fine, mufei always protects you,” He Heng raised his hands helplessly to Shu guifei, “Mufei is partial to my wife. We have let Shu guifei see a joke.”
Shu guifei’s smile had already disappeared. These two’s words inside and out were implying that they were Jing guifei’s son and erxi and thus, she didn’t have the qualifications to lecture them. A long time later, she suppressed the anger inside before she spoke: “Duan Wang exaggerates.”
He Heng smiled insincerely as he replied: “Shu guifei niangniang is magnanimous.”
“If that is the case, then you should leave the palace early. Ben gong still has to go to Tian Qi Palace, and won’t keep you,” Shu guifei’s hand, that was supported by a palace maid, tightened. That whore Wei shi’s son, he was just as horrid as Wei shi.
After Shu guifei was far away, Qu Qing Ju came to a realization. So this was the type that Qing De Emperor liked. This Shu guifei could be favoured for so many years, it could be inferred that her ancestors must have been generous and virtuous people.
“What are you thinking?” He Heng saw Qu Qing Ju look as though she had an epiphany, and couldn’t help asking.
“Nothing, I just suddenly felt that intelligence could determine a person’s taste.”