Only this Murong Feng seemed to be nonexistent.
Her mother Quiwan Yue who was now Madam Murong was also from a major family. When Murong Feng was born, her body had been weak so she was sent to her maternal grandparents’ stable home. Afterwards, her grandmother died and she was taken home. However, due to her passive personality and shyness, she was neglected.
In reality, the Empress and the Empress Dowager were aiming to marry the not-yet sixteen fourth daughter Murong Xue to the Fourth Prince, but Murong Qingliang was not willing to marry his most beloved daughter to the notorious Fourth Prince. Using his daughter’s young age as an excuse, he replaced her with the undesirable third daughter Murong Feng.
However, no one thought that Murong Feng would defy her parents’ will, kneeling in front of the hall and begging not to be married to the Fourth Prince. Unfortunately, it happened to be the rainy season and that night’s cold downpour gave her a coma which lasted for three days. In the end, it still failed to change the engagement.
As for the Fourth Prince with the surname Sima, he was the Empress’s second son. Despite sharing the same mother as the Eldest prince Sima Zhe, his ways were vastly different; the Eldest prince was fair and just, whereas this Fourth prince was irresponsibly promiscuous, only chasing after pretty girls. Despite always being surrounded by women, he had never truly focused on one.
As for why the Imperial Mother and the Imperial Empress selected this second son to match with the Murong household’s daughter, everyone guessed that it was because the fourth daughter’s beauty was widely acclaimed. But why relent and accept the selection of Murong Feng? Everyone speculated that it was the Crown Princess Murong Qian who was behind it all.
But nobody knew exactly why.
Bai Min had learned this from Chun Liu and she had also lain eyes upon Murong Xue.
Even though she had ordered for no one to disturb her, she still couldn’t stop Murong Xue from coming to see her. Everyone treated Murong Xue like an angel and it was due to this fact that she arrived before Bai Min unhindered.
Murong Xue was truly very beautiful, even to point of stopping one’s breathing. But Bai Min simply muttered, “Really is like a flower.” Murong Feng thought that although it was true that Murong Xue’s beauty was exquisite and perfect, that made her generic. Yes, Murong Xue was gorgeous, so much so that she could control city and empire with a single action, but what did this all have to do with Bai Min?
“Third Sister”, Murong Xue’s voice was also tender and moving, her gentle call angelic.
Bai Min let out a soft sigh; she just didn’t have the mood to greet this sister of Murong Feng. Lazily speaking, “Chun Liu, I want to rest. Assist me with sending the Fourth Young Miss back.”
“Third sister”, Murong Xue said again, “I would like a word with sister.”
Bai Min responded with a smile, “I’m leaving the estate the day after tomorrow, so I really don’t have the mood to talk. You really should go.” She looked at Chun Liu, gently saying, “See her out.”
She then turned and left.
Murong Xue watched her go, having the slight feeling that something was off; this wasn’t like the former Third Sister. Mother had told her that her Third Sister was doing her a favor, getting married to the Fourth Prince. She had felt ashamed of herself and took the initiative to come see her Third Sister. Even though her mother had said that the Third Miss had underwent a great personality shift after she had recovered from her illness, she had not expected it to be so cold. Even her face had a constant touch of indifference, as if even though the two were siblings, they had nothing to talk about.
If she had to compare, Bai Min thought that she still preferred the story-less Murong Feng. If it was Heaven’s Will, it was a possibility that she could make this Murong Feng live a worryless life. After all, it had been her soul that had borrowed Murong Feng’s body.
She still remembered a book that she had read when she was still Bai Min and it had said that one would be in great danger after stepping into the royal palace for accompanying the Emperor was like living with a tiger. She had also seen many brutal stories on television relating to the Imperial Family’s life and now it was her turn – she wanted to see just how scary and heart-shaking it could feel.
If it was really as Chun Liu had said with Murong Feng’s parents were sacrificing their unfavored daughter’s lifetime of happiness in order to help their other daughter then it was natural for Murong Feng to be distant from them. Although her soul was now Bai Min’s, she still couldn’t disregard some of Murong Feng’s matters. The two of them were combined; Bai Min thought that she was just helping Murong Feng say the words from her heart.
Murong Feng was a clever woman. Bai Ming had seen her needlework and seen her calligraphy – they were low key but with a clear style. She must have been a clever woman with a warm heart since her grandmother Lady Qiu had also grown up from a well educated family. Lady Qiu had exhausted all of her knowledge to raise her.
It was just that Murong Feng was not good with words, had a stiff character and did things in a cowardly manner. This was most likely related to her childhood as Lady Qiu had her grandchildren there with her. Chun Liu had said that they would often find chances to bully her and she had nowhere to cry, having to endure. It was due to this that she developed a submissive attitude, not wanting to provoke others.
These two days before leaving, Bai Min had Chun Liu deter any visitors. Besides Murong Xue, no one else could take even a half-step into her room. Ever since she witnessed Murong Feng indifferently send the Fourth Young Lady out, Chun Liu did not dare let anyone appear in front of Bai Min, including the Patriarch and Madam.
Everything is ready, all it needed was the east wind* [Translator Note: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictitious_stories_in_Romance_of_the_Three_Kingdoms#Zhuge_Liang_prays_for_the_eastern_wind This is a reference to Zhu Ge Liang, a master strategist in the famous Romance of the Three Kingdoms. When Zhu Ge Liang had prepared many decoy ships and set them on fire, he only needed the east wind to blow the flames onto the enemy fleet, thus wiping them out without effort.]
The Murong Estate had already prepared a generous dowry for Murong Feng early on. There was a few reasons for this; the first was to save face, the second was because they felt some guilt towards their daughter and the third was to prove that they were not inferior to others.
Few individuals knew that the Murong Estate’s Third Young Miss had begged to cancel the engagement; the general populace only knew that the Murong Estate had a new daughter to marry – one that was also was engaged to a Prince. Although this Prince’s reputation was bad, to the common people, marrying the Imperial family was something that they could only dream about.
Relying on the nanny to prepare her attire, Bai Min’s eyes did not open. Her face was as calm as water – without any observable emotion. Only happy sounds could be heard, drums and cymbals crashing, the buzzing of the crowd.
Madam Murong let Chun Liu and Chun Tao accompany her into the palace, as for the decision to stay or not, that was left to them.
Sitting on the sedan chair had made her sleepy as it shook rhythmically. She was unable to remember that the distance from the Murong Estate to the Imperial Palace was so long. Bai Min estimated that it would take about two hours to arrive.
The entire route, she was too lazy to look at the scenery with the veil covering her face that had been decorated with cosmetics and as she reclined on the back of the chair, she took a nap. The red veil made her eyes swim, the Phoenix Crown crushing her so much that her temples were throbbing.
[Translator Note: Here’s a picture of the Phoenix Crown:]
She finally arrived, dazedly led off the sedan chair, following the monotonous process one step at a time. She was like a wooden puppet, following all orders, only wishing to immediately find a place to rest, drink some water, and eat some snacks. She was tired and thirsty and hungry, if she had known beforehand, she would have asked Chun Liu for some snacks before riding the sedan chair.
The groom stretched out his hand, white and slender with well-kept nails. However, Bai Min felt a sort of disguised indifference and rejection with even the red decorative clothing being unable to hide it. She mechanically laid her hand atop the other party’s hand, feeling as though she had put it upon a piece of ice. At that moment, she actually regained some clear-headedness as though she was chilled from her head to her toes.
Without the need to ask, Bai Min knew, the Fourth Prince didn’t welcome his marriage to Murong Feng at all. This was fine too, he didn’t like her, she didn’t like him, and they would be satisfied to keep to themselves.
[Stone: That marriage attire sure sounds like a pain.]