I admit that these words of Consort Mi that suddenly came out nowhere, made me feel a little strange, followed by a full of chest of amusement and interest. Turns out my completely placid days have finally given rise to waves, this place that is the Imperial Palace has not a single spot that is peaceful, such words are indeed true.
I do not show a look of panic, nor a look of guilt, only hooking up my red lips and smile more and more sweetly, “What makes your highness say this?”
Consort Mi does not appear as sharp and cold as before, the voice coming from her throat as soft as glutinous rice, so attractive, “An honest person doesn’t speak shady words, since I am able to stand before you and say these words, that shows that I have full confidence in all of this. Since that is the case, why is Princess covering and hiding your heart?”
I innocently blink, “Your highness has misunderstood, my meaning is, why are you so certain that his majesty isn’t giving me sincere doting love, why are you certain that what he’s giving me is false display of affection?” I deliberately act shy as I say: “His majesty, he said his feelings for me are sincere.”
Consort Mi covers her mouth and chuckles, face delicate, posture elegant, “[Younger] Sister is indeed still just a child, how could a man’s words be completely trusted? Not to mention, that person is even the monarch of the kingdom.” Her water-like eyes slightly looks down, tender voice saying: “You ah, how could you possibly be Lian’s opponent? Lian sure is getting more and more out of hand, to even mess with a cute little lass like you.”
I grow increasingly interested as I listen to her, doubtfully asking: “Your highness, you know his majesty very well?”
“Lian ah……” Her eyes are like water, romantic feelings slowly circulating within, “In this world, who else could know him better than I?”
I lightly bite down on my bottom lip, anxiously saying: “Your highness’ meaning is……”
Her white hand touches my face, as she speaks in a warm tone: “He and I have known each other since childhood, also promised one another commitment for a lifetime since childhood……” She abruptly furrows her fine brows, “Just that unexpected problems later occurred, causing a bit of misunderstanding between he and I……”
I blankly look at her, “Ah?”
“Silly Sister, not even a grain of sand can be tolerated between lovers, of course there’d be a misunderstanding, but there will be a day this misunderstanding will be solved ah……” Her slender fingers are slightly ice-cold, yet the smile on her face is bright, “He’d always love to find people to anger me, but these ladies are really innocent. Lian ah, Lian, what is the need in this now?”
I secretly laugh inside, silly sister? I see it’s more like you’re really treating me as silly, treating me like I lived fifteen years for nothing. I want to say something, but stop again to look at her, finally mumbling: “But……”
“En, but what?”
“But……” I slowly say to her: “His majesty never mentions your highness to me ah.”
Consort Mi’s face instantly changes colours, then those quiet and dark eyes show sadness as she says: “Of course he cannot possible mention me, afraid Lian is still mad at me. Sister is Yun Mi’s princess, naturally unaware of Lian’s and my past……” She faintly sighs, “Forget it, forget it, all has already passed by.”
I seem to have also been infected by her sorrows, lowering my tone in saying: “So, so it’s like this……”
“Silly Sister.” She takes my hand, “I know it was Lian’s bad, shouldn’t have captured you here from Yun Mi……but Lian had just been angered by that cousin of yours, then hears that your cousin dotes on you the most, hence capturing you here……Sister mustn’t blame him.”
Tut tut, be it openly or shadily, aren’t you just pointing out that He Lian Chen is only being nice to me to get revenge on her and Yuwen Rui, should I have really been a naive little lass, I sure would be heartbroken by this. But apologies, I am not.
I bite down on my bottom lip, “Your highness, can I ask you a question?”
She says with a smile: “What would Sister like to ask?”
“Just that……” I slightly squint my eyes, furrowing my brows as I ask: “Why does your highness call his majesty with a single word of ‘Lian’?”
She tenderly says: “Because his majesty’s name carries the ‘Lian’ character.”
I blink, “Then why is it that his majesty tells me to call him ‘Chen’?”
Consort Mi surely does make a huge change in expression this time, eyes filled with shock, the deliberately feigned gentleness and calmness from before also disappears with it, “You said he let you call him ‘Chen’?”
I nod, “That’s right.”
“You……” Consort Mi raises her hand high, wanting to fan it over at me, but I unload myself from the original look of uselessness and nimbly take a few steps back. I lightly smile as I say: “Your highness, this isn’t good now, did you not say his majesty is only playing with me, only getting revenge? Since it’s like that, then what is your highness still worried about?”
Consort Mi wanted nothing more than to grit her teeth into shattered pieces, “An Ke Lan, why are you deliberately provoking me when I’m kindly telling you all this?!”
“These words of your highness are not true, when did I provoke you?” I give a wronged look, “It is clearly your highness who’s afraid he has grown sincere feelings for me, unable to restrain yourself, hence coming to give me a warning, also, the words I said before are all true, with not an ounce of lies.”
Consort Mi’s beautiful eyes rounds, “I speak to you so nicely yet you instead ridicule me under the surface, simply don’t know how to accept a drink of toast and only accepts a drink of forfeit (accepting things the hard way). You think what I said before were all fake then?” She mockingly laughs, contempt flashing past her eyes, “Just because of being angered to the extreme by Yuwen Rui, did he capture you – this useless one — only keeping you by his side to play with for the freshness of it, you really think you’ve gotten his liking? Simply ignorant of your own ability!”
I laugh, so she doesn’t know the truth behind this matter, since when was I captured for his revenge? I only became his revenge goods after being captured! I say: “Since your highness is so certain his majesty’s treatment towards me isn’t real, then what is this move of yours today for?” I deliberately feign confusion as I say: “Got nothing better to do after eating your fill?”
Consort Mi hatefully throws back her sleeves, that delicately beautiful face giving rise to a few points of hideousness, “Fifth Princess of Yun Mi Kingdom? Heng, what are you able to bring him? Nothing more than a stinky lass that acts dumb and plays fool, you really think you can actually receive anyone’s doting love?! What he wants isn’t a useless thing like you, nor do you have that capability to stand with him! Only I know what he wants, and only I have the thing he wants!”
“Your highness’ words are correct.” I say with a smile: “I really don’t know what the thing he wants, that you mentioned is, I just know that right now, he wants me to hurriedly send the grapes in the plate over to him.”
Consort Mi’s eyes then settles on the grapes in my plate, then finally, that ferocious face actually cams down, she lightly says to me in a strange way: “This is what Lian said he wants to eat?”
I nod, “Naturally.”
“Good, very good.” She actually sounds a few laughs, “A great An Ke Lan.”
I return a laugh, “Thanks for the praises. Your highness, I shall take my leave first, you take your time wandering around.” After saying that, I don’t look at her again, turning around and minding my own business as I leave. All whilst feeling puzzled by that final change of mood in her, she was clearly worked up to the extreme, why did she become so calm after?
Strange, strange indeed.
This strangeness was finally explained when I face He Lian Chen, only because the handsome man pushes the grapes in front of me, not even raising his head as he says: “Zhen never eats this thing.”
“Eh, your meaning is……” this is for me?
“It’ll be waste to throw it away, grant you it.” He says very casually.
I speechlessly face those grapes of crystal drops for a while, if it’s specially for me then it’s specially for me, why uphold your pride over this? I sit at the table and toss a grape into my mouth, don’t know if it’s the difference in water and soil, these grapes are not as juicy and sweet as the ones I had eaten before, I lick my lips, finally deciding to not be so picky with this ‘imperially bestowed’ fruit. I purse my lips, resting my cheeks in hands as I face the man in yellow robes, who has his head buried in working, saying: “He Lian Chen, I just had a run in with your childhood sweetheart.”
He Lian Chen’s tone of voice shows no change, “En?”
“I’m a little curious, are you and her really as loving as she says?”
He finally puts down the memorial to the throne, handsome face appearing even more good looking under the sunrays, the corners of his lips holds a smile, golden eyes twinkling, “You’re very interested?”
I spit out a seed, “Good to just treat it as a pastime.”
“Zhen and Mi Er……” He rests his chin in one hand, “Had you not mentioned it, zhen had almost forgotten, zhen and her have actually known each other for twelve years.”
I bite the grape, continue continue, I love hearing about these private matters ah, past ah, these sort of things, the most.
His voice is as deep and slow as a cello, “Zhen couldn’t see things when young, moreover, Father Emperor despised zhen to the extreme, so not a single brother or sister was willing to play with zhen. Zhen could only hide in a corner and listen to other people frolicking around back then, also tried to go up and play with them, but would always end up with zhen being ditched on the spot, not knowing where everyone else went off to. It was until the age of six, after zhen caught a little girl that had accidentally fallen from the tree, did zhen have a companion to play with.”
He slightly immerses himself in the memories, “Zhen had only managed to experience then, how fun it is to play with someone else, she doesn’t mind zhen being blind, wouldn’t look down on zhen being neglected, nor would she deliberately take zhen to an unfamiliar place, leaving zhen there and leaves……at that time, zhen thought that zhen can continue to stay with Mi Er like that, until forever.”
“But at the age of eleven, Mi Er was bestowed to Imperial Brother, zhen started to think it was just Mi Er playing a joke on zhen, but only found out it was true later. Mi Er is about to betrothed, yet that man is not zhen, but Imperial Brother.” He sounds a laugh, helpless and furious, “Zhen questioned Mi Er why she must marry Imperial Brother, zhen even rushed up to Father Emperor saying zhen wants to marry Mi Er, but Father Emperor just acted like he didn’t hear anything and walks away, leaving zhen to sound dozens of knocks against the ground whilst kowtowing there.”
“Zhen cannot guard Mi Er, only because zhen is too weak and small, zhen is only a child.” He suddenly emits a type of dangerous air, openly spreading and domineering, “Zhen swore to take back everything that should have been zhen’s, of course, that includes Mi Er.”
“En, congratulations, you succeeded.” I unclearly mumble as I eat the grapes.
He Lian Chen suddenly laughs with disappointment, “Just that, only after taking her back, did zhen find, perhaps zhen did not care about her that much, or perhaps what zhen cares for, isn’t the current her.”
Of course I am not dumb enough to ask him, since you don’t care then why did you still marry her? He Lian Chen marrying Consort Mi is naturally for ‘the thing he wants’ she spoke of, but exactly what it is that He Lian Chen wants, sigh, why didn’t she just directly tell me?
This world, is far too complicated now.
“Ah-Lan.” He Lian Chen’s handsome eyes carries a smile, “You see, zhen tells you everything, are you prepared to stay by zhen’s side for a lifetime now?”
I tug at my ears, “Your majesty, what was all that you said just now? You’re too quiet, I couldn’t hear any of it. Mm, these grapes aren’t sweet enough, needs to be better.”
“……” He Lian Chen twitches the corners of his eyes, then helplessly laughs, “Sneaky lass.”
He Lian Chen ah, He Lian Chen, when it comes to being sneaky, I really cannot compare to you. Everything you’re doing sure is serving two purposes, giving in to me, doting on me, wanting me to develop good feelings for you, whilst on the other hand, being able to provoke Consort Mi, who had kept her troops halted on wait all along (be alert but make no move), this tactic off two eagles with one arrow sure isn’t bad at all.
Childhood sweetheart, former sister-in-law, then appointed as consort, the force backing Consort Mi is certainly yet to fall, this can explain why she is able to be neglected within the palace but remain unharmed, also able to explain why she is able to know about my identity. With the addition of the thing in her possession that she swears by…….
Being the dark horse hidden amongst the many cold consorts, Consort Mi sure is worthy of this.
There is a saying: the enemy doesn’t move, I don’t move. Now that Consort Mi made her move, what will you do?
The facts have confirmed, He Lian Chen is a great hunter, Consort Mi made one little move, but He Lian Chen still keeps his troops halted on wait, continuing with the busy emperor — and occasionally teasing me — lifestyle. The days just hua-la-la trickles along like that, trickling along to the point that when I’m too lazy to bother thinking about when these two people will make their moves, someone finally takes action.
The one to take action this time, is once again Consort Mi, and this action is carried out on a person. And as for this person, such unfortunate coincidence, it just had to be this little one – me.
Speaking of this, on a certain day, that morning, the winds were gentle, the sun shined across thousands of miles, with no cloud in sight, the night came, and the night breeze was also valiant, cool, comforting. I take off my clothes and get in bed, enjoying some sweet sleep, but unsure what time it was, when I was painfully awakened by the twisting pain in my stomach. That sort of pain felt just like my entire intestines in my stomach had been wrung like a wet clothing, I try to cry out loud but could only struggle to breathe, desperate to reduce the pain of my intestines about to snap. I feel my entire body rapidly ooze with cold sweat, then attempt to bite my tongue in hopes of clearing my mind a little, but the final result was falling unconscious.
Later, in my hazy consciousness, I seem to hear someone angrily shout, then someone says “it’s food poisoning, fortunately it was discovered in time, any later and afraid Eunuch would have bitten his own tongue off”.
I gloomily think, I’d rather not become a tongue-less person, then, it would be even more difficult to lick a tooth than it is to ascend to heaven.
Someone constantly pecks my cheeks and lips, big hands securely holding me, a deep voice carries traces of gentleness as it says: “Ah-Lan, it’s alright, I’m here.”
But……who may you be?