“Isn’t it too simple, Young Miss?”, Chun Liu said with some worry. In her eyes, Bai Min’s getup was even more plain than hers, a servant’s.
“It’s good enough.” Bai Min let out a smile as she took a look at Chun Liu. Seeing the worry on her face, she continued, “Chun Liu, this is honestly good enough. After all, I can’t dress more extravagant than the Empress, the Empress Dowager or the Fourth Prince. After all, they wanted Murong Xue from the Murong Estate. I’m not that person, rather, Bai- Murong Feng, so being more free is better.”
Bai Min thought to herself, this was the second time that she almost said her own name. In reality, a name was nothing more than a label. Bai Min was okay, Murong Feng was also acceptable; they were both alright. Since it was like this, from now on Bai Min would also be Murong Feng. Fortunately this name was pleasant sounding as well.
Chun Liu, pretending to understand, nodded her head.
Taking a look in the mirror, Bai Min… no – to be exact, a new Murong Feng, felt that she was quite satisfied. The woman in the mirror was beautiful, elegant, yet had a plain face with an indifferent expression.
“Shall we go?” Murong Feng brushed aside a few long strands of wet hair from her shoulder, taking a step outside.
“Young Miss…” Chun Liu said hesitantly, “Do you want to wait for the Fourth Prince to return so you can two go together?”
“Why do we need to wait for him?” Murong Feng smiled as she walked outside, her smile appearing as pure as water in the sunlight. Upon seeing it, Chun Liu seemed surprised. Ever since the Young Miss had recovered from her illness, it was as if she were a new person, possessing a refreshing air, clean and refined.
Yan Yu, the maid from the Fourth Prince’s estate guided them, leading them right and left. The trip took around the time needed to sip a cup of tea and they soon stopped just outside the Xiangfu palace.
Yan Yu led them inside, and knelt.
The Empress Dowager and the Empress happened to be chatting at the moment with the Eldest Prince Sima Zhe and Murong Qian accompanying them by their side.
Murong Feng lowered her head as she knelt on the ground as peacefully as if she didn’t exist.
When she entered, the young eunuch had already quietly declared her presence.
She was completely silent, waiting for them to initiate the conversation. Whatever they said, she would be ready to respond
The Empress Dowager had long since heard the young eunuch but she acted as if she hadn’t, continuing to idly talk to the Empress. The servant Yan Yu had originally been her servant whom she had deliberately sent to Sima Rui in order to understand the situation between Sima Rui and Murong Feng. Early that morning, Yan Yu had sent someone to take a message that Sima Rui, her favorite grandson yet the one who gave her the most headaches, had actually not returned that night.
However, to her shock, Murong Feng didn’t cry or pout, rather, she slept until dawn broke!? Could it be that this Murong Feng was really that slow and stupid? She knew that her grandson had originally wanted to marry Murong Xue and she had seen the Murong Estate’s four daughters too in the past. Murong Xue had the best looks in particular, with this Murong Feng being the most plain.
But, Sima Zhe and Murong Qian had previously come to persuade her, coupled with Murong Qingliang’s pleading, repeatedly commenting that Murong Xue was too young, and that she could not marry yet. Finally, the engagement was switched to Murong Feng, as she was at least a daughter of the Murong Estate; if it weren’t for the other three daughters to compare with, Murong Feng would still be considered a decent girl, a pity that she was too stiff.
The Empress thought: if this Murong Feng was really this bad, then I’m afraid that after one year, I’ll have to once again arrange for Murong Xue to marry into the house, letting the two sisters share the same husband.
The situation had lasted almost a meal’s worth of time. Sima Zhe glanced at his wife and saw that Murong Qian’s face was red with sympathy. After all, the one kneeling was her own sister, but she could neither speak nor help – only endure. She also knew that Father had switched in Third sister for Youngest sister, lying to the Emperor. Father loved Youngest sister, and would rather sacrifice Third sister’s happiness. But with Fourth Prince’s character, Third sister would indeed not have happy days, and on top of that, Youngest sister might not be able to avoid marrying Fourth Prince in the end either. Sacrificing Third sister was nothing but a temporary solution.
Sima Zhe lowered his head, looking at the quiet and silent Murong Feng as she knelt on the ground, thinking for a moment before softly coughing, “Grandmother, Mother.”
The Empress Dowager looked up as she glanced at her grandson. Sima Zhe looked at the still-kneeling Murong Feng, then shifted his gaze to look at Murong Qian sitting nearby, reminding his grandmother not to go overboard. At any rate, they still needed to give Murong Qian some face, making sure not to make her too sad.
“It’s Feng’er, correct?” The Empress Dowager suddenly let out a kind smile, as though she had suddenly noticed Murong Feng kneeling on the ground, before feigning rebuking the young eunuch, “Little De, why didn’t you announce it when Murong Feng had arrived?”
The young eunuch wore a fearful expression on his face; though he knew that the Empress Dowager had done it on purpose, he had no idea how to respond.
Murong Feng took this opportunity to raise her head, faintly smiling without any sign of unhappiness as she spoke in a soft and gentle voice, “Grandmother, Little De was just afraid of disturbing your and Mother in-law’s conversation, so he used a soft voice to be careful. Grandmother, don’t blame him. Simply have his next call be a bit louder.”
The Empress Dowager did a double take and it wasn’t only her. The other three inside the room looked flabbergasted as well.
Murong Qian’s eyes were wide, this, this, how could this be the constantly dull Third sister’s actions?
Sima Zhe gently rubbed his brow, never having seen Murong Feng this calm.
Rather, what the Empress Dowager and Empress took note of was Murong Feng’s smile. The two of them had seen Murong Feng in the past, but she had been silent and they never really paid attention to her. However, looking at her today, she was astonished. She wore a pale red dress, with her only adornment being that jade hairpin on her head, elegant but not excessive, especially that smile, clean with a refreshing feel.
The Empress Dowager seemed a bit speechless, “Oh, okay.”
“Would Grandmother allow Feng’er to rise? I’m afraid that the tea on the platter has already began to cool and drinking it would be improper. Would you permit Feng’er to go fetch two cups of hot tea?” Murong Feng looked at the tray in Yan Yu’s hands, secretly thinking that the tea had long since become cold.
“Quickly get up, look, I’m was busy chatting with your mother in-law, Feng’er won’t blame Grandmother, right?” The Empress Dowager returned to normal, speaking with a loving smile.
Murong smiled, her red lips and white teeth seemed clean and delicate, giving off a pleasant feeling.
She stood up, knees a bit sore, but she ignored it.
Yan Yu immediately went to get two new cups of tea, handing them over to Murong Feng, as Murong Feng slightly smiled, “Feng’er specifically getting tea for Grandmother and Mother, hoping that Grandmother and Mother have happy days, never aging”
The Empress Dowager took a sip of tea as she seemed to carelessly ask, “Feng’er, have you recovered from your illness?”
Murong Qian had still been focusing on the Third Miss’s changes, as soon as her ears caught the Empress Dowager’s question, she immediately broke out into a cold sweat. She also knew that the inviting Imperial Doctor Cao to treat Third sister would not escape the Empress and Empress Dowager. Although Doctor Cao was assigned to Eldest Prince’s estate, he was after all an Imperial Doctor, how could he sneak out of the palace without the Empress and Empress Dowager noticing?
They wouldn’t know that Third sister was sick because of rejecting the marriage, right?
“Many thanks for Grandmother’s concern.” Murong Feng was instead calm. A clumsy denial would result in self-exposure. She did not believe for a second that Murong Feng’s rejection of the marriage would slip past those in palace, especially the top brass like the Empress and the Empress Dowager. “Thank goodness Eldest sister had Imperial Doctor Cao come treat Feng Er. It was really a miraculous cure, I have already completely recovered.”
The Empress Dowager had a sudden fright, had she thought too much? Why would Imperial Doctor Cao dare to lie to her? Although he was in Eldest grandson’s circle, the Emperor was the one who gave him the title of doctor. He wouldn’t be able to lie to the Empress and myself even if he borrowed some guts.