Afterwards, the little girl called Zhu’er did indeed come to the Fengqi Palace once every few days.
This was an extremely innocent girl who didn’t understand the implications of being able to serve Xiao Hua in the Fengqi Palace as a concubine.
She was extremely timid, and would often be startled if Xiao Hua made any sudden movements. If Xiao Hua was thirsty, she would fetch water. If Xiao Hua was hungry, she would serve food. If Xiao Hua was tired, she would obediently sit on the couch and massage her legs.
Xiao Hua had asked her in a roundabout manner where she had learned these things. Zhu’er said that she had served her mother like this at home in the past.
The mother she referred to wasn’t her birth mother. Zhu’er was born from a concubine, and because she was cute, her own father had gifted her to the crown prince.
This honest and timid girl was cute in appearance and very likeable. It made Xiao Hua feel that her own son was bullying her. She asked her age and found out she was only fourteen.
Fourteen. This made quite an impression on her. Her destiny had changed when she was fourteen as well.
Therefore, Xiao Hua involuntarily felt some sympathy for Zhu’er, and treated her more and more intimately. Only then did Zhu’er shed some of her timidity and reveal a little of her character. She was sweet and naïve, and was an extremely likeable little girl.
Out of curiosity, Xiao Hua had someone investigate at the eastern palace to see how these little ones were getting along. She found out that the crown prince couldn’t be said to be treating her well. He would go to her once every few days. It was also said Zhu’er had been scolded to tears by the crown prince several times.
After interacting with her for a period of time, Xiao Hua had started to become biased towards this little girl. She couldn’t help but cherish her and scolded her son in her mind for not having tender feelings for the fairer sex.
But since she had given birth to him, Xiao Hua also couldn’t speak ill of Zhuo’er. She could only comfort Zhu’er a little and say that Luo Zhuo was cold to begin with, and that she shouldn’t mind him.
Unexpectedly, Zhu’er was full of sweat from panicking and explained, saying that the crown prince treated her very well. The reason she cried was because she was too timid. She also said that despite the crown prince’s cold face, he was actually quite gentle towards her. Xiao Hua asked teasingly how he was gentle, but Zhu’er stammered and blushed.
Xiao Hua had asked the Jing Emperor what their son’s intentions were.
The Jing Emperor said that he probably didn’t intend anything, and they should just watch.
One day, Zhu’er stopped coming to the Fengqi Palace. Xiao Hua was a little worried and sent someone over to ask about her. Only then did she find out that Zhu’er wasn’t feeling very well these days, and after an imperial physician took her pulse, he said she was pregnant.
Xiao Hua was going to be a grandmother?
Xiao Hua’s emotions were strange, but at the same time she personally went to the eastern palace to visit Zhu’er, instructing her to nourish the fetus properly. If Zhu’er needed anything, she could send someone to the Fengqi Palace.
She then realized that Zhu’er was very young, younger than she herself was when she had Zhuo’er. She thus asked Nana He to come out of her retirement, and also sent over Matron Xu who had helped her deliver quite a few times, and had them take care of Zhu’er.
During this time, Yang Nuo had passed both the city and the court examinations as expected. During the court examination, he was marked within the top three by the proctors, and was conferred his top scorer title, New Field Top Scorer, by the Jing Emperor. It could be said that he became famous due to his merit.
Studying for ten years in obscurity and becoming renowned in a single go.
This saying described Yang Nuo perfectly.
Everyone in the capital knew about the crown prince’s classmate Yang Nuo. But Yang Nuo had remained low-key while participating in the exams this time, and everyone assumed he was just someone with the same name. Only afterwards did they realize that Yang Nuo was that Yang Nuo.
The crown prince’s classmate, the Dingyuan Marquis’s own nephew!
Then, the Jing Emperor passed the decree of marriage and pushed Yang Nuo into the limelight once again.
The Jing Emperor actually gave his most cherished daughter’s hand in marriage to the New Field Top Scorer Yang Nuo, and they would be married the following year. The younger generation of all the rich households in the capital were resentful and envious.
Everyone knew that marrying the eldest princess would mean a meteoric rise. This was his majesty and the empress’s only daughter, and the crown prince’s twin sister. The Grand Xi didn’t forbid the emperor’s son-in-law from holding an official position. Therefore, once the eldest princess became of age, many of the young nobles had thoughts about it. Unexpectedly, Yang Nuo had silently taken the lead.
There were quite a few who spoke sourly, but Yang Nuo was neither overbearing nor servile, and ended up making many eat a loss. Of course, he also had quite a few admirers who said he definitely wouldn’t be ordinary in the future.
The princess’s estate was under construction, and Yi Yi began making preparations for marriage. Zhu’er was raising her fetus and a messy event occurred at the eastern palace. The two palace maids who were supposed to instruct the crown prince in “worldly affairs” actually made a move against Zhu’er in the dark. The two were both old hands within the palace, and had also been there longer than Zhu’er. Seeing the crown prince favor her while ignoring the two of them, their thoughts turned malicious.
Luckily Nana He lived up to her reputation. The old woman’s mind wasn’t muddled and she knew the empress had her come to prevent any accidents from occurring. She naturally kept a close watch. Before the thing reached Zhu’er, it was discovered by her.
After finding out it was the two of them, the crown prince who usually treated his subordinates well revealed a thunderous expression for the first time and order them both beaten to death.
When she heard the subordinates report that Zhu’er had remained unaware of the entire situation and didn’t suffer a fright, Xiao Hua finally felt relieved and then sighed about her fool’s luck. This girl was simpleminded, but her luck was extremely good.
After nine months, Zhu’er gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl.
The Jing Emperor was overjoyed, giving pardons all around and celebrating with everyone.
Xiao Hua was also very pleased. When Zhu’er was giving birth, she had accompanied her son outside the delivery room. When she saw the young and tender newborns, her heart melted.
Zhu’er was conferred as the crown prince’s virtuous wife for giving birth to his children.
After celebrating the one month anniversaries of the royal grandson and granddaughter, Yi Yi’s wedding followed a month later.
The day of the wedding, Xiao Hua held Yi Yi and cried for a long time. Only after the Jing Emperor said “she’s not marrying far, and will often return to the palace” did the two stop crying with embarrassed expressions.
Yi Yi didn’t move into the princess’s estate after her marriage, and lived in the Yang family residence on the capital outskirts. The two were a loving couple and her mother-in-law had also watched her grow up. Her days were naturally smooth.
The crown prince held a grand wedding at eighteen, but there remained no movement regarding his choice of the crown prince consort.
Xiao Hua asked the Jing Emperor in private, to which he replied no hurry.
Two more years passed.
Older ginger was spicier after all, and Luo Zhuo was no match. He took the initiative to discuss this with the Jing Emperor. It wasn’t clear what father and son talked about, but it was said Luo Zhuo’s expression wasn’t too good when he left the imperial study.
The Jing Emperor suddenly passed down an edict, abdicating his throne to the crown prince. The court was shocked, and even Xiao Hua couldn’t quite react to it.
The Jing Emperor actually didn’t discuss such a major thing with her. Only after did Xiao Hua find out that the Jing Emperor and Luo Zhuo had come to an agreement. He could confer Zhu’er as the crown prince consort, but he had to take the Jing Emperor’s position.
Luo Zhuo was helpless and could only agree with a dark expression.
Xiao Hua was amazed. This was the old scamming the young?
The Jing Emperor had already told her early on that he didn’t care who his son chose to be his consort. As long as her background was pure and Luo Zhuo liked her, he wouldn’t care about status.
Luo Zhuo ascended the throne and the Jing Emperor became the retired emperor. Xiao Hua became the empress dowager.
Just as things were a mess, the Jing Emperor suddenly took Xiao Hua and snuck out of the palace.
“We had always promised to take you out for a trip. Now, it can finally happen.”
Xiao Hua’s expression was still embarrassed, and she urgently said: “Tuan Tuan, Nan Nan….”
Tuan Tuan and Nan Nan were the nicknames of the young royal grandson and granddaughter, and they were Xiao Hua’s favorite things these past two years. Zhu’er birthed them well, and they were extremely cute. Xiao Hua held them all day and was unwilling to let them go, making the Jing Emperor jealous quite a few times.
Xiao Hua couldn’t bear to leave her grandchildren!
The Jing Emperor turned Xiao Hua’s face towards him and said with a stiff expression, “There’s no Tuan Tuan Nan Nan. There’s only Us.”
“Yu’er is almost of marrying age, and Qi’er is still young…..”
“Their older brother will take care of them.”
“You’re not willing to go on a trip with Us?” The Jing Emperor’s expression was dark, and was also a little aggrieved. “We are old, you are old too. There won’t be another chance in the future.”
Xiao Hua’s heart suddenly softened. She sighed and felt a little melancholic as well as some amusement. After a while, she moved and cuddled into the Jing Emperor’s arms. “I’m willing. I’m willing to accompany Sir Jing my entire life, in the next life, and throughout all our reincarnations.”
The Jing Emperor had nothing to say to that, and his arms tightened around Xiao Hua.
“Then, when will we return?”
“After a year and a half.”
Xiao Hua relaxed and nodded. She figured that it wasn’t that long, and she could still see her young grandchildren at that time.
She didn’t realize that the Jing Emperor had tricked her. Furthermore, Xiao Hua hadn’t left the palace in many years, and the freedom made her like a runaway horse. By the time the two returned to the palace, Yu’er’s son could already run around.
Of course, that was something for the future….
The royal family’s story is officially finished. The next chapters are truly side-stories, and will be about the fourth young master and Qiao-Shi.
This couple has been stabbing at this author for a while. I intended on writing a separate story about them, but decided to drop it. This author doesn’t like writing about scumbags. However, Ruan Siyi cannot be counted as a true scumbag. His thoughts are just a little strange and his actions are a little scummy.
I won’t tell you that when writing about their story, this author got emotional several times.
Was going to do 3 chapters today and 3 tomorrow, but ended up helping my mom out with gardening. The last chapter was also quite long, especially with the author’s notes. Also, this seems like a good place to stop at. The next four chapters will be, as mentioned above, about the fourth young master and his wife. I’ll try to get all four done tomorrow. As a huge Star Wars fan, the combination of my VR headset and the new Star Wars: Squadrons game is dangerous…..