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Whilst the Ronghua Palace was lively and full of celebration, another palace that was much more extravagant than the Ronghua Palace was desolate and cold. However, just a month ago, this particular palace was one of the liveliest places in the whole of the Xia Kingdom’s Royal Palace.
It was all because of the information that Gu Lingzhi had revealed. Who would have thought that the Empress of the Xia Kingdom would have colluded with the North Qiu Kingdom? After finding out about the truth, Rong Han did not even bother to verify it with the Empress. Instead, he sentenced both the Empress and the First Prince by banning them from leaving the Yonghe Palace. From this, it was evident that Rong Han had a great amount of trust in Rong Yuan.
This was the reason why the Empress and the First Prince of the Xia Kingdom had not attended Rong Yuan’s wedding ceremony. As for the Second Prince, he had pa.s.sed away some time ago. Rong Yuan was only left with a younger brother and a younger sister who were both not even ten years of age yet. In order to ensure their safety in case anything happened at the wedding, they did not attend the ceremony either.
“Mother, are we really just going to sit here and do nothing while we let those people from the Ronghua Palace steal the limelight and take away whatever that’s ours?” A man who was skinny, handsome and looked extremely similar to Rong Yuan commented. His long and thin eyebrows gave him a feminine vibe.
“What other choice do we have? Do you really think that your father would give us a chance to gain power again?” the Empress of the Xia Kingdom laughed pathetically at her own state. She had schemed for so long in order to finally become the Empress of the Xia Kingdom, yet Consort Rong had so easily taken everything away from her, including Rong Han’s favor. Even her son, whom she was so proud of, seemed talentless compared to Consort Rong’s son, Rong Yuan.
She kept all these thoughts and troubles deep in her heart, which turned out to be a weakness that others could take advantage of. It was how she had ended up colluding with the North Qiu Kingdom. Even if she could not gain the favor of Rong Han, she had to ensure that her son would one day inherit the whole of the Xia Kingdom, and not just become a puppet in the Royal Palace!
In order to regain power from the old advisors in the Xia Kingdom’s Royal Palace, the only way for them was to collude with the North Qiu Kingdom.
However, they did not think that before they could execute their plan, Rong Yuan had uncovered it.
“Your Majesty, don’t beat yourself up for it. Everything has only just begun; how do you know that you’ve lost the chance to regain power again?” a hoa.r.s.e-sounding female voice sounded out, scaring the Empress and the First Prince.
“Who are you? How did you manage to get in here?” the First Prince shot up and stared at the woman who was wearing a bamboo hat, obstructing her facial features.
“Who am I?” the woman repeated after the First Prince. With a cold laugh, she responded, “I’m the ex-fiancée of the Third Prince. If it was not for Gu Lingzhi who had s.n.a.t.c.hed him away from me, it would be me who was getting married with him today!”
Then, the woman removed her bamboo hat. Her face was pale but it was evidently full of hatred.
“Tianfeng…Wei?” the First Prince exclaimed, uncertainty in his voice. She looked familiar, but her aura was nothing like what the First Mistress of the Tianfeng Clan should exude. It was vastly different from how he had remembered her.
“Yes, it’s me, it’s certainly unbelievable that Your Highness was able to recognize me,” Tianfeng Wei lamented in self-mockery. She knew full well about how sloppy she looked.
If it was not for Gu Lingzhi, she would not have ended up like this. Even though she resented the fact that she was forced to marry Lang Jingchen, she would have been able to deal with it. Who knew that right after Lang Jingchen had escaped from the Sacred Lands, Rong Yuan would force him to marry Jiang Feixue of the Jiang Family instead?
Everyone in the Chiyang City knew that Jiang Feixue had liked Lang Jingchen for many years and had once said that she would only marry him. On the first day that Jiang Feixue had taken on the ident.i.ty as Lang Jingchen’s second wife, she had used her family status to humiliate Tianfeng Wei. Yet, Lang Jingcheng did not bother standing up for Tianfeng Wei whilst Jiang Feixue had been mocking her. Just half a month later, Lang Jingchen had begun to spend every night at Jiang Feixue’s sleeping quarters.
For someone as proud as Tianfeng Wei who had come from a prestigious family, she could not stand being treated so unimportantly. She made a big fuss out of the situation which only resulted in Lang Jingchen sternly criticizing her. Jiang Feixue added fire to the fuel by mocking her further, which made Tianfeng Wei feel so humiliated that she wanted to dig a hole and hide in it.
She never thought that her own father would be capable of doing something as cruel as to belittle his own daughter in order to dispel the rumors about Gu Lingzhi.
Knowing this, Tianfeng Wei could finally understand why Lang Jingchen had treated her so coldly all of a sudden. Though the Tianfeng Clan had fallen from power, the Lang Family had often treated her with kindness. Now that Tianfeng Yi, her father, had used such shameful means to please the Xin Family, it was no wonder the Lang Family had stopped treating her so nicely.
The whole Chiyang City was laughing behind Lang Jingchen’s back, mocking him for having to go to great lengths to please Tianfeng Wei whilst worrying about her entire family. Yet, at the end of it all, not only did the Tianfeng Clan not reciprocate his actions, but even lamented that the Lang Family was not as powerful as the Xin Clan.
Though Tianfeng Wei could understand entirely how things had unfolded, her first reaction was not to try to appease Lang Jingcheng. Rather, she had placed all the blame on Gu Lingzhi and Rong Yuan. If it was not for them who had set her up, why would Lang Jingchen treat her differently all of a sudden?
When she knew that the Empress and the First Prince had been confined in the Yonghe Palace, forbidden to leave, she made use of her connections in the Royal Palace to sneak in.
“What are you doing here?” the First Prince dissipated the spiritual energy that he had condensed at the tip of his finger once he had confirmed that the ident.i.ty of the woman was Tianfeng Wei.
“I’m here to bring Your Highnesses out of the Royal Palace, unless you want to be trapped here in the Yonghe Palace forever,” Tianfeng Wei’s lips curled in a cunning smile.
On the other hand, Gu Lingzhi woke up to a body full of aching muscles. Before she opened her eyes, she let out a groan involuntarily, her bones stiff and sore.
“You’re awake. Do you want to sleep a little longer?” Rong Yuan’s hoa.r.s.e and low voice sounded from beside her ear. At the same time, a wave of warm heat spread from her abdomen to the rest of her body, soothing the aches that she felt throughout her body. She awoke from her groggy state instantly and her eyes widened. She suddenly remembered everything that had happened last night and why she had woken up feeling sore all over.
“You…” Gu Lingzhi glared at him. This b.a.s.t.a.r.d did not know how to control himself, going non-stop ever since they had moved into the bridal room. It was almost like he was a beast that could not be tamed, only letting her rest when the sky had turned bright.
“My dear wife, if you look at me like that, I will not be able to control myself any longer.” He looked at her, his eyes full of l.u.s.t. Underneath the blankets, Gu Lingzhi could feel an oncoming erection.
“You’re disgusting!” Gu Lingzhi cursed under her breath and retreated away from him, pulling the blanket towards herself.
“What time is it now?”
“It’s 10.30am, are you feeling hungry? I’ll get someone to send some food over,” Rong Yuan then lifted his head, wanting to call out for the servant who was waiting outside their quarters. Gu Lingzhi gasped and exclaimed, “It’s already 10.30am? Why didn’t you wake me up earlier?”
Gu Lingzhi was about to cry. This was the first day that they had become a married couple and the morning was meant for the tea offering ceremony to pay respects to their elders. She wondered if Rong Han and Consort Rong would be mad that they had not turned up sooner. It would be disastrous if she left a bad impression on them.
It was Rong Yuan’s fault for not having any control over himself which had caused her to be so exhausted that she overslept.
When Rong Yuan saw Gu Lingzhi rus.h.i.+ng to get up to find her clothes, his brows knit together in confusion, “Why are you getting up? Does your body not hurt anymore?”
It hurts, of course it still hurts, but it is more important to pay respects to our elders!
After knowing the reason behind why Gu Lingzhi had gotten up so hurriedly, Rong Yuan shook his head and laughed. He pulled Gu Lingzhi, who was in the middle of getting dressed back to bed. With this action, whatever clothes that Gu Lingzhi had worn also fell to the ground.
“Don’t worry, Father and Mother will not be angry.” To be more accurate, both Rong Han and Consort Rong had already made mental preparations that Gu Lingzhi and Rong Yuan would not wake up so early this morning after they had seen them move into the bridal room last night. Otherwise, they would have sent some servants over to remind them to go to the main palace so that they could discuss some official matters.
If that was the case, why would Rong Yuan force himself to get up? It was more important for him to spend time with the person that he loved.
“Since you have the energy to get up and greet Father, it means that I’m not good enough in bed. If that’s the case then I’ll have to work harder now…” Rong Yuan then gave Gu Lingzhi a kiss on her lips, despite her protests, so she had no choice but to go along with it.
The second time Gu Lingzhi woke up, the sky had already turned dark. Beside her, Rong Yuan was gone. When she thought about how she had spent the whole of her first day as a newlywed in bed, her face reddened. With two hands, she held onto the pillow and buried her head in it and groaned embarra.s.sedly.
It was too embarra.s.sing. Ye Fei and the rest definitely knew what she had been up to. What would she say to them when she saw them tomorrow?
“Are you trying to suffocate yourself using the pillow?” Rong Yuan laughed as he came back into the room, his hands holding a tray that had a bowl of hot porridge on it.
When she heard Rong Yuan’s voice, she buried her head even deeper into the pillow.
When she had awoken the first time, she did not have enough time to react and ended up getting forced to sleep with Rong Yuan. Now that she was more awake than she was the first time, she was immediately troubled by how she would deal with Rong Yuan from now on.
“Are you really trying to suffocate yourself? I can’t let that happen,” Rong Yuan placed the tray on the table and walked to the bed and pulled on Gu Lingzhi’s shoulder. “If you don’t wish to get up, we can always do something more meaningful, can’t we?”
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