Chapter 76 Part 2: Forced to adopt a daughter

    Cao gong gong turned around and left. In no time, Rong Rong and Yun Qian Meng were brought into the hall. Rong Xian taifei and Chen laotaijun carefully observed Yun Qian Meng. They saw that her face was calm like a lake, her expression tranquil. Chan laotoijun repeatedly nodded her head in satisfaction. Because of Rong Xian taifei, she could only keep her satisfaction in her heart.

    Rong Xian taifei's eyes narrowed slightly. Now that she was finally meeting Yun Qian Meng face-to-face, she could not help but feel some admiration towards her. But then she remembered Jiu Xuan **ai's words and it made her heart harden. She couldn't let this girl make a joke of her whole family's fate. She also could not let the nephew she doted on and loved as her own son be ensnared in confusion over this girl!

    As long as she could, she would preserve the current state of peace. Because in case it were to be broken, there w in court there was no other foundation for Rong family to bear the brunt and they would be gobbled up by the other houses. This was Rong Xian taifei's most dreaded nightmare!

    Ron Yung He would not return to his seat and still remained kneeling in the center of the main hall. His straight back made people recount his unyielding perseverance. But at this time Rong Xian taifei was also very determined. She would not even look at him!

    Rong Rong brought Yun Qian Meng into the main hall, saw her own younger brother kneeling before Rong Xian taifei, and realized that the situation was not good. Else, considering how Rong Xian taifei doted on Rong Yun He, how could she not acknowledge him?

    She exclaimed in her heart, Rong Rong saw her younger brother's resolute appearance, and thought to herself, if one is too tough they would be brittle. Unexpectedly, Yun He was in a bad temper. Now she was afraid that this matter would not be able resolve properly.

    "Rong Rong, Yun Qian Meng pays respects to Rong Xian taifei, greets laotaijun!" Both girls greeted. Rong Xian taifei warmly told them to rise and beckoned them to take seat.

    At this moment, Yun Qian Meng finally looked at the kneeling Rong Yun He. Both his knees were touching the floor, his body stiff, his eyes steadfastly looking ahead, making people unable to guess what he was thinking. Even though he still looked like the young man from the previous day, today he seemed very calm and steady!

    Despite not knowing why Rong Yun He was kneeling presently, Yun Qian Meng had a vague understanding that it was because of her. After all, when she had stepped into the main hall, she had felt the unusual atmosphere in the room. Her heart was churning  with raging waves, but, as before, she could maintain a calm expression on her face, so that people could not guess her feelings and exploit them.

    "Yun xiaojie has been to the palace many times, bengong is always attending to prayer so we have never met. Today, Yun xiaojie was invited over, merely because bengong's mother has talked about xiaojie many times. It made bengong curious. Please do not let Yun xiaojie take offense." Rong Xian taifei articulated slowly, her tone of voice was ordinary. It could not be discerned what sort of impressions she had of Yun Qian Meng on their first meeting. But the green prayer beads had retreated back into her hand, the green jade Buddha beads in lightly pinched between her fingers.

    It didn't matter what Rong Xian taifei's motives were, since she had spoken, Yun Qian Meng could not just stay seated. She promptly rose and lowered her head and replied, "Taifei's attentions to chennu is a blessing to chennu!"

    Rong Xian taifei, seeing her modest, and appropriate response, nodded her head and lifted her hand to indicate to her to sit. Then she no longer spoke. The main hall returned to quietness.

    But Rong Rong was very concerned that Rong Yun He kneeling for too long, it was bad on his legs. When she saw that Rong Xian taifei's expression was still mild, she smiled and said "Don't know what didi did to offend taifei! Asking taifei to please consider that didi is still young so please forgive him just this time."

    Only at her words did Rong Xian taifei finally spare another look on Rong Yun He. But then she saw that he still would not yield, anger flared in her heart. Now that she was looking at him she spoke "If he wants to kneel let him kneel!"

    Ever since she was a little girl Rong Rong had never seen Rong Xian taifei angry. And today, not only was she angry, she was angry at, Rong Yun He, whom she had pampered and doted on for so many years. Her brows furrowed discreetly but she quickly recovered and said with a smile, "What did didi do to make make taifei so displeased? Taifei has the heart of a Bodhisattva, if didi owns up to his wrongs, taifei will surely forgive you. Why must you keep hurting your knees and bothering taifei?"

    Rong Rong's words had a deeper meaning. As expected, when Rong Xian taifei heard this her expression became more easy. But then Rong Yun He knocked his head once before Rong Xian taifei and said in a clear voice, "Asking taifei to please take back what she said to zumu. Yun He knows in his heart that taifei is not wrong regarding this matter, but Yun He's wish remains the same. Asking taifei to not mind zhi'r too much. Zhi'r will not let the personal relationships between boys and girls harm the family."

    Hearing his words, Rong Xian taifei turned the prayer beads in her hands. Then she launched a look through her narrowed eyes at Rong Yun He. She saw that he was still fifteen years old, but his face had the appearance of a grown man with reservedness and determination. She sighed in her heart and there was anger in her mind. She pointed a finger at him and said in a stern voice, "Since you are aware that on your back you carry the fate of the Rong family, how can you be so rash and act this way? I can grant your request. But you must listen well to my plans! How can gugu wish to harm you?"

    After these words, Rong Yun He raised his head. He saw that Rong Xian taifei's stern eyes were already turned towards Yun Qian Meng. His heart shook. He was about to speak, but then the voice of Cao gong gong called out from outside the hall, announcing the entrance of the Empress Dowager and Chu Wang!

    "You must rise now! Drop this issue. I will pretend I've never heard it and you, don't even dream of it!" Rong Xian taifei left her seat and rose as she said this to Rong Yun He in a cold voice. Then she immediately turned to look at Yun Qian Meng, saw that she had already risen with the others, her face calmly awaiting the Empress Dowager and Chu Wang.

    "Rong meimei you have quite the gathering here! Did not expect Meng'r to be present too." The Empress Dowager said with a smile as she passed the group and took a seat beside Rong Xian taifei.

    "Chenqie heard mother talk about Yun xiaojie often, so in a moment of curiosity invited Yun xiaojie over. We had not yet said much but Empress Dowager already arrived." She said these words simply. Rong Xian taifei was making the situation clear to prevent any misunderstanding.

    As everybody was taking their seats, Chu wang slowed down as he passed by Yun Qian Meng. Those smiling eyes inadvertently swept a glance towards her. He saw that her expression was normal, and continued to walk forward. He then took the seat of honor of Chen laotaijun!

    Yun Qian Meng was a little curious about what brought Chu wang over to this place so suddenly. His deep violet robes answered her thoughts earlier, the rider that had rushed past them at the palace gates was Chu wang. But at that time he seemed to be very anxious. Could it be just for the reason that the Empress Dowager was going to enter Rong Xian taifei's palace?

    Moreover, early on, when Chu wang appeared before everybody his face looked grave. An malicious aura of killing intent seemed to be emanating from him. It made people feel astonished, since, ordinarily Chu wang pretended to be sick all time. He always conducted himself with his claws drawn in. It should not be this easy to break this demeanor!

    He had whipped his horse to rush ahead so urgently. It seemed as if he went to let Yu Qian Di know, fearing that everything Chu wang had worked for would be for naught!

    "By chance, bengong and Chu wang were idle, so we came to meimei's place. What were meimei and Meng'r talking about just now?" The Empress Dowager's smiling face looked at the people in the room one by one. Her eyes rested particularly on Chu wang and Chen laotaijun for half a prolonged moment then she retracted her gaze. There was a glimpse of coldness in her smile. If the people had heard it earlier they would have shuddered and prostrated themselves for forgiveness. But clearly the the opponents for now where Chu wang and Chen laotaijun. But both people acted as though nobody else was present. They casually brought their teacups to their lips and took a sip, as if the had not received the Empress Dowager's warning eyes.

    Rong Xian taifei already looked like she wanted to be cut off from the rest of the world. After facing the Empress Dowager's questions concealed with daggers, she clutched the prayer beads in her hands and turned the beads fretfully. After a while she said articulated carefully, "The Empress Dowager's words are a little funny. Yun xiaojie hadn't been here for long. chenqie had only said few words to Yun xiaojie when Empress Dowager and Chu wang arrived. But, chenqiu sees Yun xiaojie and likes her, it's rare to see such a thoroughly clever child."

    "Did not know that Yun xiaojie had gained taifei's favor. It would be better for taifei to receive a yatou or adopted daughter, so as not to waste taifei's affections on this child!" at this moment, Chu Nan Shan, who hadn't spoken since he entered, said this with a smile.

    In all of Xi Chu, only Chun Nan Shan could steal the opportunity to speak before the Empress Dowager in this way. Even if they people around had guts of steel they would not dare!

    Chen laotaijun's seniority was equivalent to Chu Nan Shan, even the Empress Dowager was younger than Chu Nan Shan by a generation. Add to that the fact that Chu Nan Shan's family had been respected by three generations of kings. So although the ceremonial rank of the Empress Dowager was technically the most noble, considering all things, Chu Nan Shan's rank was equivalent to hers.

    So, even if she had been beaten to a reply by Chu Nan Shan, the Empress Dowager's face showed no trace of anger. Instead she was full of smiles as she said, "Chu Wang's proposal is very good. Meng'r has not had a mother since she was a child It's heartbreaking tho think about! Just by chance, taifei has no children of own, would this not be the best of both worlds?"

    When the Empress Dowager endorsed the idea, Rong Yun He's face that had remained the same all year finally changed. Filled with anxiety, his eyes showed his intention of standing up but he was quickly stopped by a look from Chen laotaijun.

    Then Chen laotaijun equally smiled and said, "Empress Dowager niangniang's idea is good. But Yun xiaojie's position is very honorable, she is also the Yun xiang's di nu and Empress Dowager's waisunu. Taifei is a simple person with no greed, afraid that she would not know how to pamper Yun xiaojie, and make Yun xiaojie feel wronged!"

    Her speech for declining the offer was tactful and made the listeners feel pleased with the reply. It could be heard from her words that she was only thinking about Yun Qian Meng's happiness. Even the Empress Dowager couldn't use her power to press the issue further.

    "Ha ha ha..." At this moment, Chu Nan Shan laughed brightly. He turned his head slightly to look at Chen laotaijun and smilingly said, "Laotaijun shouldn't trouble herself with Meng yatou's happiness. I have a good husband to pamper her! It would be best for laotaijun to acknowledge this good grandaughter and prepare this yatou's dowry when the time comes for her to marry!"

    But this time, the Empress dowager showed some displeasure at his words. It wasn't clear if it was because Chun Nan Shan once again gained the upper hand by speaking first, or because of the hidden meaning in his speech.

    Yun Qian Meng, whose head had been bowed from the start, was also very displeased!

    She did not know why Rong Xian taifei had invited her over. It took her a while, but now that she heard this bit of speech, and with Rong Yun He's attitude just now, she finally understood!

    In the past few days in Xi Chu, when she was clashing with yiniang she was clashing with more and more enemies. She did not have the luxury to plan for her own marriage!

    In this current atmosphere, her marriage had now become today's itinerary. If they liked her it was fine, or if they hated her that was also fine, xiangfu's di nu, Empress Dowager's waisunnu, could make ambitious, politicking people take notice of her.

    Luckily there was the incident of her cancelled engagement with Chen wang that made the people who put importance on reputation step back, or else there would be more of these inconveniences.

    The Empress Dowager's words earlier were hinting that she did not want to be associated with the Rong family by marriage. So Yun Qian Meng was puzzled as to why she approved of the idea of her becoming the adopted daughter of Rong Xiang taifei.

    The Empress Dowager clearly did not want any relations with the Rong family, so why would she let the taifei take her in as an adopted daughter? Could it be that she was changing her mind about having connections with the Rong family? What was the Empress Dowager planning? Why did she feel that she was being guarded against some danger?

    Yun Qian Meng pondered over how she could decline the Empress Dowager's proposal. But then Rong Xian taifei slowly rose and said with a mild smile, "Since it is the Empress Dowager's and Wang ye's good idea, chenqie will naturally comply."

    At these words, Rong Yun He's face showed despair. His blanched lips trembled but his expression was filled resolve. His eyes momentarily turned towards Yun Qian Meng, and discovered that she was looking with astonishment at Rong Xiang taifei.

    "Since it is like this, bengong will go to the emperor to discuss this matter. Meimei receives Meng'r, then Meng'r naturally must have a jun zhu title to match her meimei as a mu fei! Wangye, let's go together to seek and audience with the emperor. It would be good to go together to get Meng'r a title." Now that the situation was resolved, the Empress Dowager rose from her seat. But Yun Qian Meng nonchalantly spoke up, "Meng'r will also go with you! There will be more opportunities to become intimate with Rong Xian taifei in the future."

    Yun Qian Meng performed her farewell salutations to Rong Xian taifei and Chen laotaijun. Then she followed the Empress Dowager and Chu wang out of the main hall.

    At this moment, the main hall was deathly silent. Rong Yun He stood up with ice-cold eyes, forgetting to perform his farewells. He turned around, his body radiating with coldness, and stepped out of the main hall.

    Rong Rong's heart could not relax. She hurriedly bade her farewells to Rong Xian taifei and went after him!

    "Yun He!" In the peaceful imperial flower gardens she turned the corner to chase after Rong Yun He. She pulled on her younger brother who would not turn his head to face her. She said in a low voice, "Today you were afraid gugu would humiliate Yun xiaojie so you came to help her. Why should you now be so serious?"

    But Rong Rong's placating did not make Rong Yun He turn his head. He only replied in a determined voice, "Jiejie, why can't I be serious?"

    Hearing this, Rong Rong's body shuddered. The hand clutching Rong Yu He's sleeve suddenly slackened. Her eyes watched blankly as her younger brother rush out of the palace.

    When Chu wang had left the taifei's palace he stopped walking and smilinlgy said, "Laochen suddenly feels unwell. Cannot go together with you to meet with the emperor!"

    The Empress Dowager turned her head, and saw the Chu Nan Shan's rosy face. She replied coldly, "Is wangye destroying the bridge after crossing the river?"

    Chu Nan Shan was undaunted "Wasn't the Empress Dowager seeking to acheive her own goals?""

    Saying this, Chu Nan Shan did not spare a look at the Empress Dowager's face which turning ugly. He casually walked over to Yun Qian Meng and said, "Yatou arrived through a horse carriage right? Yeye feels out of sorts, and can only freeload on yatou's carriage!"

    The Empress Dowager saw that after Chu Nan Shan was leaving now that the situation was resolved. At this moment she did wish to see Yun Qian Meng, she waved her hand, "Meng'r has been out for half a day, the weather is hot, you should return to the xiangfu."

    Yun Qian Meng bowed to the Empress Dowager in farewell and went back to the palace gates together with Chu wang.

    They hadn't yet neared the palace gates when a dark reddish purple figure with the robes of a palace official approached. It was Chu Fei Yang. He saw Yun Qian Meng and Chu wang making their way to leave the palace. Chu Fei Yang leisurely greeted them, his eyes catching Chu wang hinting at him repeatedly. Chu Fei Yang smiled and said, "I have troubled yeye. The carriage has been prepared, please yeye, go up and rest."

    This was against Chu wang's plans, he was about to protest but his grandson was earnestly staring at the small yatou beside him. He face formed a smile as he discreetly walked towards the carriage...

    The following is a note left by the author after this chapter:

    Today's chapter took a long time to write. Took almost two days. Because I'm conflicted in my heart. Ay! My heart does not feel well. Don't know if my readers will advice or comments!
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