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Chapter 97 Part 2: The Princess of Northern Qi and Battling in Spite of Sickness

    But Chen wang did not pay any more attention to Chu Fei Yang, he only fixed his gaze at Qi Jing Yuan and continued to speak, "Besides, if Yun xiaojie meets with guests looking sickly, it might appear disrespectful to our honored guests. The Crown Prince is the cornerstone of a nation, and these are the most fundamental rules of etiquette, so I believe I don't have mention them one by one."

    "So you mean to say that wangye and Chu xiang refuse to give me the honor? I didn't expect both of you to step forward so bravely because of Yun xiaojie. I admire such friendship." As he threw out these words, Qi Jing Yuan smiled generously, and it made the group of daughters suddenly nervous.

    After all, just now when Hai Tian had met with trouble, aside from Hai wang, no one had spoken out for her.

    As for Yun Qian Meng, Chu xiang and Chen wang had immediately tried to refuse on her behalf, causing jealousy among the xiaojie. Even though all of them were xiaojie, why would Yun Qian Meng be the luckiest one to have earned such huge favor from the two of them?

    Yuan de taifei's face was completely cold now, even Chen wang would not want to look at her.

    Today's incident would mean extraordinary shame and humiliation for Yuan de taifei, because Yun Qian Meng was the woman that Chen wang had previously refused to marry.

    When Chen wang had firmly declined to marry her, he had not even once look at Yun Qian Meng directly in the eyes ever since.

    But within the brief half year period, that flirtatious vixen had seduced her Chen wang, causing him to offend the Imperial Family of Northern Qi and Hai wangfu without hesitation. Did he even know what kind of damages he was costing them?

    "Bi'er, give wangye a cup of tea for him to sober up since wangye seems to be drunk already." The entire area went completely quiet, after Yuan de taifei's voice slowly echoed. The palace maid beside her quickly carried a cup of hot tea towards Chen wang and immediately held it respectfully in front of Chen wang. "Wangye, please have some tea."

    "No need." How could Jiang Mu Chen not understand his mother's intentions? But he was currently in a bad mood, so he waved his hand. Unexpectedly, the cup of tea splashed onto his clothes, and the angered Jiang Mu Chen's face looked even more unsightly.

    With a loud plop, Bi'er immediately knelt down before Chen wang, her head knocked against the floor as she begged, "Wangye, please spare my life, please spare my life!"

    "You silly girl, you are normally quite clever, why would you be so careless today? Quickly follow wangye out to change clothes." Before Chen wang could speak, Yuan de taifei immediately stood up and reprimanded her with a strict expression.

    Following which, she stood up, faced the Emperor and the Empress Dowager as she bent her body. With an apologetic expression she said, "I'll lead Chen wang out to change his clothes, please excuse me, Your Majesty and Empress Dowager."

    "Go ahead, please don't catch a cold." Yuan de taifei had gotten up to leave, so how would the Empress Dowager force her to stay? Moreover, though the Empress Dowager seemed to dislike Chen wang, but based on today's matters she had to consider the present conditions. There was a difference between important and unimportant thing. The Empress Dowager must thought it reasonable, so she agreed and let Yuan de taifei and Chen wang depart in advance.

    Jiang Mu Chen looked at the tea stains on his clothes. An unhappy expression flashed through his eyes, yet he could only depart.

    And with him leaving, several daughters became disappointed. They had originally planned to attract Chen wang's attentions, but now that he had already left. They were so disappointed that in their thoughts, they wished that Yun Qian Meng was here despite of her illness, so that she would suffer humiliation being in front of everyone.

    "Since the Crown Prince and the Tenth Prince have such magnificent hospitality, Yun xiang, please command someone to bring Yun xiaojie to the Palace." Emperor Yu Qian said, but he slightly paused. Facing the gonggong beside him,he ordered, "Use the red sandalwood carriage to fetch Yun xiaojie. On the way here, please make sure Yun xiaojie does not suffer from the cold weather."

    "As you bid, Your Majesty." The gonggong immediately turned around and left, not allowing anyone to obstruct his way out.

    But Gu Lao Taijun sitting in a corner shot a meaningful glance at Qu Zhang Qing who then quietly left his seat when the moonlight suddenly dimmed.

    "Your Majesty, I am really curious about this Princess Ling'er." Rong Rong, who had recently become guifei, suddenly said.

    Seeing her bright eyes and white teeth, her glorious smile was like the sun and moon that brightened up the dark sky, distracting Emperor Yu Qian who used to see no value in femininity. His eyes were now focused at every frown and every smile of Rong guifei.

    Everyone inside the Imperial Garden had not expected that this guifei who was widely known to be cold since she entered the Palace could look so dazzling when she smiled. People simply could not take their eyes off her.

    When the Empress was her own husband staring obsessively at Rong guifei, although her heart was aching, she could only force a smile and said, "Why did the singing and dancing stop?"

    Upon hearing these words, the palace eunuch in charge of the ceremonial rites immediately instructed the musicians to play the musical instruments in their hands.

    Qi Jing Yuan restrained the vicious currents in his heart and indifferently gazed at Rong guifei's gorgeous appearance, lifted his wine cup to Emperor Yu Qian before they both drank.

    In the meantime, a weak purple figure appeared at the arched door of the Imperial Garden. Her beautiful posture had eventually attracted people's attention. Although this beautiful woman's face was covered with a veil, based on her bright and pure white forehead, this woman was not a person of no talent.

    Looking at her beautiful steps as she walked, her a most cautious bearing, and her rare elegance, it warmed the heart and delighted the eyes of the observer.

    On her plain purple outfit, there was a tree peony, which stood for riches and honor, embroidered in gold thread. The back and forth swaying of the silver muslin made it more discernible and  particularly eye-catching.

    "The Princess of Northern Qi, Qi Ling'er, is here to see the Emperor of Western Chu, the Empress, and the Empress Dowager." A sweet sounding voice said. Carried by the cool wind as it came to the people's ears, how could this sound not be described as pleasant?

    Princess Ling'er stood at the center half-crouching as she made her salutations to Emperor Yu Qian and all the other people present. Her half-drooped eyes were suffused with a gentle charm, while her long and tilted eyelashes were like butterfly wings that made one want to pluck at. For that moment, all the gazes were focused on Princess Ling'er; she already attracted so much attention without even revealing her face yet.

    Looking at everyone's reaction, Qi Jing Han coldly smiled and said, "Apparently, the people of Western Chu haven't seen a real beauty before."

    After he had spoken these words, he saw Qi Jing Yuan shoot a warning gaze at him, intimidating Qi Jing Han until he immediately closed his mouth.

    Qi Jing Xuan's evil laugh swept through them, his gaze seemingly inadvertent as he looked at Emperor Yu Qian's direction, then immediately refocused his eyes on Qi Ling'er.

    "Please stand up, Princess Ling'er." Emperor Yu Qian was after all, the Emperor, and had already seen all sorts of beautiful women. Even if Qi Ling'er had covered her face and was of uncommon beauty, she did not change his mood too much. He only plainly smiled and let her get up.

    "Thank you, Your Majesty." After receiving consent, Qi Ling'er stood up, slowly lifting her eyes, showing a ripple of clear spring in them, undulating people's hearts. They seemed so clear under the moonlight that you could see the bottom. They were truly a pair of rare beautiful eyes.

    At that moment, Qi Jing Yuan nodded towards their insider, who then hurriedly headed out. The soft and gentle sounds then immediately turned into great resounding music. Qi Ling'er's dance steps were gentle and delicate at first but slowly transformed into something coupled with strength and gentleness.

    The stage seemed to have a light purple butterfly, dancing lightly and gracefully inside the Imperial Garden, every movement was perfect and complete. Once in awhile, the sleeves slided down, revealing the carefree and relaxed arm, her flawless and snowy white skin was suffused with sparkling, pure and limpid light, seemed to be more beautiful under the moonlight.

    The veil on her face slightly lifted along with her leaping movements, occasionally revealing her flawless profile. The pinkish color that penetrated through her white cheeks not only displayed the distinctive youthful vitality of a young lady, it also indicated that Ling'er had maintained her beauty in the most proper way. Although she had not yet revealed her face, it had already reflected on the people's minds that she must possess exceptional beauty.

    When the tune ended, Qi Ling'er gradually regained her previous posture, returning to the calm elegance she had had a few moments ago.

    But what seemed to be strange was, although Qi Ling'er had danced for a half stick of an incense's time, her breathing was still steady and she was not in the slightest bit panting. It was quite obvious that Qi Ling'er was an expert in dancing.

    "Please tolerate my poor performance." Qi Ling'er bent her knees towards Emperor Yu Qian, her voice sounded modest and without the arrogance of a princess.

    "It must be exhausting for you, princess. No wonder the Tenth Prince had disregarded the female dancers a while ago, the princess' dance really surpassed them by a hundredfold." Emperor Yu Qian was still wearing a smile on his face and his eyes fully amiable. No one could guess what was really going on in his mind after seeing Qi Ling'er's graceful dance.

    But by comparing a nation's princess to the female dancers inside the Palace, it seemed like Emperor Yu Qian had the intention to pressure the Northern Qi's envoys.

    "Thank you for Your Majesty's praise." But Qi Ling'er just seemed docile and did not display the slightest bit of anger from Emperor Yu Qian's mocking. She maintained her indifferent composure since the moment she had walked into the Imperial Garden.

    "Ling'er, take off the veil on your face. Meeting the Western Chu Emperor like that is really disrespectful." Qi Jing Yuan said.

    Since Emperor Yu Qian was pressuring Northern Qi, then the Northern Qi would not show any weaknesses.

    "Yes." Qi Ling'er responded in an utterly lovable tone. Immediately, she stretched out her hands to remove the light muslin, revealing her beautiful face in front of everyone.

    Hai Tian looked at the outstandingly beautiful Qi Ling'er in front of her and immediately shot a nervous look at Chu Fei Yang. She saw him still staring at his wine cup in front of him as undisciplined as before, so for that moment her anxious heart slightly calmed.

    As for the daughters who were attracted to Chen wang, many of them felt relieved that Yuan de taifei had taken Chen wang away, since even a cold-hearted man like Chen wang might be emotionally affected by this exceptional beauty.

    "Well, well, well! Indeed she would be the most beautiful in Northern Qi, Princess Ling'er is really deserving of such a title." Emperor Yu Qian also had not expected that Qi Ling'er would have such noble and pure temperament to the point that this well-behaved Emperor had immediately blurted out these words of praise.

    Qi Ling'er apparently felt that these respectful words were too excessive, as she only slightly bent her knees. She then proceeded towards the group of envoys from Northern Qi, moving closer to Qi Jing Yuan before she sat down.

    "Hai Tian junzhu, please play us a tune on the qin!" after Qi Ling'er's performance, Qi Jing Han impatiently spoke as his eyes flickered, preparing to mock Hai Tian.

    And at the center of the Imperial Garden, a top-grade guqin had already been prepared. Hai Tian was unable to refuse, she could only stand up and position herself beside the qin, facing the crowd she bent her knees and sat down. Her fine fingers lightly tested a few notes before she spread them out. With a calm expression, she began to play the tune <>.

    Although it was not the usual guqin she was used to plucking, Hai Tian's foundation was very good. Her <> made everyone forget Qi Ling'er's absolutely beautiful dance. Their eyes drooped as they enjoyed the sound flowing into their ears.

    "Songs, So many songs, Such heartless, Truly heartless.

    Disappoint me, Disappoint me, Until now.

    Remembering the old time when we were singing softly and pouring the wine gently.

    Each of my sounds worth thousands in gold.

    Now abandon me at the shady side of this old wall.

    Autumn winds blow the weeds. White clouds cover deeply.

    Flowing water, high mountains, where to find my friend.

    Bitter sorrow, cheerless cold, bitter sorrow, cheerless cold."

    Unexpectedly, Qi Jing Xuan had slowly recited these few lines along with the tune, unraveling Hai Tian's meticulousness as she performed before the crowd.

    Hai Tian's expression suddenly turned pale white as she finished the final note with great difficulty. She stood up with a little rigidly, faced the audience, and made the courtesies. Afterwhich, she calmly said, "Forgive me for my poor performance."

    "I feel that junzhu performance was excellent." Qi Jing Xuan said with a smile, acting as if had not embarrassed Hai Tian a few moments ago.

    This time, the smile on Emperor Yu Qian's face faltered a bit, but since Qi Jing Yuan and his people were present, he could only comment with, "Junzhu, you are indeed an expert of the qin! Too bad the tune was somehow unsuitable for this occasion."

    Since the Emperor Yu Qian was giving Hai Tian the respect, Hai wang immediately move to explain with a smile, "Your Majesty, just like what I have already said, these were merely the amusements that my daughter did to pass the time, it is still unsuitable for big occasions."

    Hai wang was trying to emphasize that Hai Tian was only a woman. Apparently, all her mistakes were caused by the activities she did in her own chambers, yet he had not said anything about Hai Tian's mistake of choosing this tune or how Hai Tian was perhaps using this tune to express her feelings towards a particular person.

    Emperor Yu Qian decided not to dig deeper into it. He only smiled at Hai wang, then allowed Hai Tian to return to her seat.

    At this moment, Qu Zhang Qing had long left the Imperial Palace and had been riding his horse from Fu Guo Gong Fu. Xiao Nie daifu, who had been in the middle of healing another person, was taken with him as they hurried without pause towards xiangfu.

    "Xiaojie, your cousin, the young master, has arrived." Yu Qian Meng had been eating dinner, when Mu Chun rushed in to report

    "Then bring my cousin to the reception pavilion." Although Qu Zhang Qing was Yun Qian Meng's cousin, a man and a woman were still different. Yun Qian Meng would not boldly invite him inside her inner rooms.

    At her words, Mu Chun immediately turned around and left as Yun Qian Meng had just set down the bowl and chopsticks. She suddenly had a bad premonition in her heart, following which she stood up, then walked towards the direction of the reception pavilion.

    "Cousin, Xiao Nie daifu." When came to the doorway of the reception pavilion, Qu Zhang Qing was gasping for breath as he pulled along Xiao Nie daifu.

    "How can we immediately induce sickness?" Qu Chang Qing had had doubts about Yun Qian Meng's cold. She had always been cautious so how could she not be careful this time?

    Now, she had a rosy complexion on her face and was full of vitality. They knew right away that this woman had deliberately avoided the feast and had used such methods to do so.

    "What is happening here?" going as far as to immediately get her sick, why would they need to do this right now?

    "His Majesty has summoned you to the Palace to play a musical instrument. The horse carriage is already on its way!" Qu Zhang Qing said.

    At Yun Qian Meng's healthy appearance, Xiao Nie daifu slightly shook his head and immediately laid down his medicine bag on the round table. He opened it then took out a dark green porcelain bottle from inside. He fished out a pill then handed it over to Yun Qian Meng, and explained, "This is a pill that can warm a person's body. After taking this, for twelve hours, your body would burn hot."

    Yun Qian Meng took the small pill that was the size of red bean, then suspiciously glanced at Xiao Nie daifu. She did not immediately put it inside her mouth, but asked, "What about after the twelve hours? Does it harm a person's body? Aside from this medicine, is there really no other way?" her eyes cunningly looked at Xiao Nie's daifu's medicine bag.

    Xiao Nie daifu immediately used both hands to cover the medicine bag when he saw Yun Qian Meng eyeing it before he said, "My lady, your complexion is too well, only a fever would be able to conceal it. Don't worry, this medicine will not bring harm to your body." He then quickly closed his medicine bag. He always felt that Yun Qian Meng's eyes were too dazzling that he felt the chilliness in his heart.

    Yun Qian Meng seemed slightly disappointed as she looked away. With the water Mu Chun had brought over, she drank the medicine and within a few moments, she felt her body burning, this feeling was indeed similar to having a fever.

    "Xiaojie, the Palace has sent people to come fetch you." By chance, a servant girl came to the doorway to report at that moment.

    Yun Qian Meng looked at Qu Zhang Qing, but he only said, "I will return to the Palace after I bring Xiao Nie daifu back to the Fu Guo Gong Fu. Those from Northern Qi really don't have any good intentions, you must be careful."

    Yun Qian Meng nodded and let Mu Chun bring over the gauze hat to put on. She went back to the inner room, grabbed a red pen that was used to touch up her lips, and placed it inside her sleeves. She then quickly put on a gray color cloak, and headed out of the gate.

    The palace eunuch who had come to fetch her did not talk to her much, and had only invited her to sit inside the horse carriage, before they hurriedly headed towards the Palace.

    The horse carriage shot like an arrow being shot out as it dashed forward at a lightning speed. Yun Qian Meng lifted the light muslin from her face, then asked Mu Chun to take out the small mirror that she carried. Taking out the red pen from her sleeve, she faced the mirror and did the makeup on her face.

    "Xiaojie, you are..." Seeing her xiaojie's face, Mu Chun wanted to laugh yet she could not, and could only restrain herself from laughing.

    Yun Qian Meng only calmly had Mu Chun take the mirror back, and she opened up the carriage's curtain. She quickly threw the red pen out, then immediately she fixed the light muslin and smoothed it down all in one movement. This made Mu Chun sincerely admire her more.

    The speed of the carriage was extremely fast, in only two quarters, they had already reached the doorway of the Palace where a soft palanquin had already been prepared for her. Supported by Mu Chun, Yun Qian Meng stepped down from the horse carriage weakly and sat inside the palanquin. The four eunuchs did not stop as they headed towards the direction of the Imperial Garden.

    "Your Majesty, Yun xiaojie has arrived." The Chief Eunuch had gotten word his subordinate, and immediately muttered in Emperor Yu Qian's ear.

    "Announce it." Emperor Yu Qian ordered after putting down his wine cup.

    "Yes. Allow Yun Qian Meng into the garden." That eunuch immediately shouted at the top of his lungs.

    All the gazes had immediately shifted towards the circular arched door, only to see Yun Qian Meng wearing a veil over her face, and a grey cloak draped over her body. Under the support of two palace maids, she walked staggeringly.

    "Chennu is here to see Your Majesty, the Empress Dowager, and the Empress." With the help of the two palace maids, Yun Qian Meng slowly knelt down on the ground and greeted those few people in honorable seats. Her voice was weak and powerless, she seemed to be extremely tired and weak that it made people feel sad upon hear her voice.
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