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Published at 18th of April 2020 10:23:41 PM

Chapter 28

As the eunuch’s words left his mouth, everyone who was originally standing straight started to kowtow as they gave their greetings in unison . “Long live the Emperor for ten thousand years, long live the Empress Dowager for a thousand years, long live the Empress for a thousand years!”

Those bright yellow ceremonial robes representing the imperial clan appeared before everyone as the Emperor announced, “Today is the Empress Dowager’s birthday banquet . All of my great officials need not be so polite . All of you may rise!” Finishing his statement, the Emperor waved his hand, indicating for everyone to be pardoned .

“We are grateful to His Majesty . ”

The Emperor might have pardoned the courtesy, but how could these elites who were seasoned officials serving in the capital not understand that it was just civility? They who were officials, naturally had to conduct themselves thoroughly and with etiquette . It was only now that everyone crawled back up from the ground and allowed a eunuch to guide them to their seats .

As such, this birthday banquet officially started .

Of course, Bai Luochu wasn’t able to move about freely in the main hall due to the occasion . Since her objective wasn’t here yet, she stood silently beside Pei Qingfeng . If it was possible, Bai Luochu wanted to turn herself into an invisible person .

The birthday banquet had just started and the Emperor immediately gave a speech to everyone present . “Many thanks to all my great officials for offering their blessings . This Emperor shall offer a toast to everyone and also wish the Empress Dowager happiness as immense as the East Sea and has longevity as long as the South Mountains . ”                    

“We wish the Empress Dowager happiness as immense as the East Sea and has longevity as long as the South Mountains . ” Everyone echoed along before drinking the wine placed before them .

“This grandson specially made a trip to a faraway place to search for a birthday gift for the Empress Dowager . As the eldest grandson of the imperial clan, I naturally have to set an example for the younger brothers . ”

The person who spoke had an extraordinary appearance . Even though he had a deep scar above his right eye, it wasn’t able to conceal his distinct and sharp features . The only flaw this person had was that his eyes looked too aggressive and would develop a subconscious feeling of fear after looking at him .

Eldest grandson? Wouldn’t that make him the First Prince? Wasn’t he the First Prince that bought her and provided her with preferential treatment?

When she thought about this, Bai Luochu couldn’t help but lower her head a little more . She might not have seen the First Prince before, but to prevent the First Prince from recognizing her, she better avoid him . . . just in case .

The First Prince asked his men to present the gift and said, “This grandson originally wanted to find a piece of transparent white crystal and paint it with my spirit qi . However, this grandson didn’t expect to have such fate to actually find a mystical stone . ”

As the First Prince finished his statement, the manservant lifted the veil covering the gift .

One could see some colors scattered about within the crystal . It wasn’t considered completely transparent, but when one looked at it from a distance, the colors seemed like they were naturally formed to paint a picture of a pine and crane longevity painting . In the center of the crystal was the crystal clear painting . It was no wonder that the First Prince was in a hurry to present it, as it would probably overshadow all the other gifts .

“Great! This is truly a mystical stone! My good grandson is very considerate . Men! Bestow ten strings of east pearls!” Before the First Prince could even explain his gift, the Empress Dowager revealed a delighted expression and praised the First Prince before bestowing a reward upon him .

After the First Prince, the princes went up to offer their gifts in succession . But with the First Prince’s gift standing at such a height above the rest, all their gifts seemed mediocre at best . The only other gifts that could stand up to it were the Second Prince’s pine tree made with corals and the Third Prince’s spirit medicine which was meant for prolonging the human lifespan . In the end, most of them were just gifts of goodwill and the Empress Dowager didn’t behave ambiguously as she bestowed rewards to all of the grandsons that offered their gifts .

As such, the segment of offering gifts passed .

Immediately after, a young lady wearing a green jade-colored cloud brocade dress stood up and bowed to the Empress Dowager, “For today’s birthday banquet, this official’s daughter wishes to dedicate a dance for Empress Dowager . ”

The one who spoke was none other than the young lady from the Empress Dowager’s birth clan… Su Luoqing .

“Great, Qing’er is really considerate . ” This dance dedication was inspired by the Empress Dowager and there was a reason behind it . Her heart was set on the Second Prince and the Empress Dowager wanted to use the chance to bestow marriage on the two of them .

After Su Luoqing changed into her dancing attire, the main hall echoed with music and she danced lightly and gracefully . A curvy lithe figure floated about elegantly and her pair of eyes were almost glued onto the Second Prince’s body . It was hard not to see her intentions .

It was a pity, the goddess might have intentions, but not the king . From the start to the end of Su Luoqing’s dance, Pei Qingfeng didn’t even glance at her, making Su Luoqing inevitably dispirited . However, she still turned to express her good wishes to the Empress Dowager .

The Empress Dowager noticed and understood the meaning behind the Second Prince’s actions . This Second Prince didn’t have any interest in the Su Clan’s young lady and it was going to be difficult to put forward her intention today .

When the Feng Clan’s young lady saw it, she didn’t want to be outdone and dragged the Li Clan’s young lady to prepare for a performance .

As Young Lady Feng played a tune, Young Lady Li’s paintbrush would follow the tune and swipe at the white screen . The moment the melody ended, the painting was completed . The Empress Dowager knew that this was Young Lady Feng’s expression of goodwill and there was a trace of disapproval in her heart .

However, no matter what, she couldn’t possibly put Young Lady Feng down in front of so many people and she offered a simple praise . As for the Li Clan’s young lady, her praises were much more sincere as she commended, “Your work is amazing . I can see that in the future, you will be able to contest against painters of the great clans . ” After speaking, she even bestowed Young Lady Li with plenty of rewards .

When the noble young ladies saw that the bar had been set so high, they didn’t want to be outdone . They went up and expressed their intentions to show off their talent in order to celebrate the Empress Dowager’s birthday . The Empress Dowager was also glad to see them as all the princes were of age .

The more the event dragged on, the worse the performances became . The only highlight was the young lady from the general’s clan who performed a sword dance which garnered a lot of praise .

“Today is my birthday banquet and it is a happy occasion . Why not make it even happier? What do you say, Qingfeng?” After the Empress Dowager finished watching all the young ladies’ performances, she spoke and was preparing to shift the topic to the bestowing of marriage . The Emperor and the Empress also understood the Empress Dowager’s intention and didn’t say a word, allowing the Empress Dowager to do as she pleased .

With Pei Qingfeng’s intuition, he obviously knew the Empress Dowager’s intentions . He didn’t try to excuse himself as he pretended to be oblivious . He responded, ”Of course . However, this grandson doesn’t understand Empress Dowager’s intention . ”

When the Empress Dowager saw how the Second Prince responded, she immediately understood that the bestowing of marriage wasn’t going to be successful . Since she was already at this juncture, she had to finish what she was going to say . “Qingfeng, you are already old enough to get married . I see that you are rather compatible with Qing’er . Why not let me bestow a marriage on the two of you? What do you think?”

Pei Qingfeng’s expression didn’t change and he acted as though the matter was completely unrelated to him .