Real Empress from a Noble Family - Chapter 301
Chapter 301 How Did She Get Brainwashed?!
“Accordingly, Prime Minister Xue gave Xue Fangmi to this Madame Sun two years ago and forbade her mother Madame Nan from interfering. How come Madame Sun is helping you today?” After changing a corner and having a maid look around the corner, Xin Fubing asked surprisingly, “Even if she doesn’t like Xue Fangmi, isn’t she afraid to make Prime Minister Xue angry on this kind of occasion for supporting an outsider? After all, Xue Fangmi didn’t actually say anything outrageous today.”
Qiu Yelan smiled, “But what I said was also not outrageous. Why Xue Fangmi got mad so quickly? She is a petty person, but she also knows how to act. Don’t you think she purposely came after me?”
Xin Fubing didn’t waste the recent teaching on how to be a Crown Princess. She immediately understood, “They were both intentional? But why? Is it because of your cousin Ruan’s appointment? They picked a fight with you to show the Xue Family’s stand?”
“I would say so. Do you know why I can come to talk to you right after I saw you?” Qiu Yelan squinted her eyes, “Because Princess Yan, Tang Xinqiong, came over to sow discord. Right in front of Aunt Yang and my sister-in-law, she asked me to warn my cousin not to follow what the Dou Family did when he arrives at Shazhou. Then grandmother agreed to let me come over and left Tang Xinqiong there!”
Xin Fubing said with a smile, “Why is Tang Xinqiong always like this? I stayed at the Summer Palace before for a while and heard that this Princess Yan doesn’t have many ideas but loves to use others’ ideas to get credit. Princess Zhou, Gu E’nuo, used this to entrap her every now and then. Every time Tang Xinqiong makes the effort and Gu E’nuo gets the credit! I don’t even know how Deputy Premier Tang and Changping Princess taught her. Luckily she is the granddaughter of Empress Dowager Gu. Even though she always takes a beating, Empress Dowager still adores her.”
Hearing that, Qiu Yelan smiled, “Don’t you think that’s why Empress Dowager Gu adores her, not because she is her granddaughter?”
“Really?” Xin Fubing was dazed. After thinking for a while, she said, “Empress Dowager Gu does like younger people who are more innocent.”
Innocence was just a euphemism. What she really meant was easy to control.
When Qiu Yelan was about to say something, Xin Fubing suddenly grabbed her hand and said quietly, “Thank you! Sister-in-law! This way…” She paused and continued, “I know not everyone who sees it is willing to tell me!”
Qiu Yelan was dazed. Then she realized after a while that Xin Fubing thought too much. Qiu Yelan told her suspicion towards Tang Xinqiong just to warn Xin Fubing not to underestimate her future sister-in-law just because Tang Xinqiong always got set up by Gu E’nuo. She wouldn’t take a beating in the future.
But clearly, Xin Fubing understood it as Qiu Yelan warned her that no matter Empress Dowager Gu or Empress Jiang, they both wanted someone who they could control. If she were too smart, like Gu E’nuo, even if she became the choice of Crown Princess for Empress Dowager’s party, she might still be ditched if necessary!
“How did Empress Jiang and the maid she sent to Xin’s Mansion brainwash her?” Qiu Yelan looked at Xin Fubing. She was making the face of “No more words. I understood it all”. Qiu Yelan’s mouth was twitching, “She thinks everything is a plot… Indeed, not everyone could be a royal wife!”
She knew that since Xin Fubing already thanked her, there was no use explaining. It would just make things awkward. Luckily she didn’t think more and a.s.sumed that Qiu Yelan was here to test her loyalty towards the Empress. She thought Empress Jiang was not that reliable, so it might be good for Xin Fubing to keep an eye out. She would be directly under Empress Jiang. Thus, Qiu Yelan acquiesced in it and changed the topic, “I thought we would be only preparing for the New Year when we entered December. But this is an eventful year. The Tao Family, the Duan Family, and the Dou Family all fell in this month! Will there be any more events happening at the dinner tonight?”
Xin Fubing hadn’t recovered from what she over-thought. Her face was a bit pale. She said, “Since aunt started going over the governmental affairs, they fought at every past dinner. But this year is destined to be quite turbulent. Oh, will the First Aunt and sister-in-law go after you because of Tang Xinqiong? I can go ask grandmother and let you sit with me, away from them! She should grant my ask.”
After all, she was the daughter-in-law that Empress Jiang handpicked. Madame Tao would surely grant such a small ask.
“It shouldn’t be necessary.” Qiu Yelan shook her head, “They should be able to see through this! And you didn’t see them. It’s quite something for them to be able to come. I think maybe they are thinking about using this chance. When the party starts, they will go ask aunt to release those of the Dou Family who are below sixteen. They shouldn’t have time to go against me.”
Even though saying that, Qiu Yelan didn’t wear her guard down against the first branch. She knew it was her husband who got them at this position!
Xin Fubing sighed, “Of course. My marriage is already decided. If you go too near to me, you may actually get into someone’s eyes! These days…”
“She really can’t stop overthinking!” Qiu Yelan thought, not knowing whether to laugh or not, “Have you forgotten that you are still very far away from being in charge? What’s really making the fourth branch a target is Empress’s att.i.tude!”
But if she said that, even though they were good friends, it would hurt Xin Fubing’s self-esteem. So Qiu Yelan again acquiesced and said, “When the dinner just begins, we can’t talk. After a while, when we can walk freely, we can sit together. Who doesn’t know that Zhuang Man, you, and I are close? If we get estranged, that’s weird!”
Xin Fubing naturally took that as consolation. But when Qiu Yelan mentioned Zhuang Man, she laughed, “It’s rare for her to have a moment of being embarra.s.sed to meet people.”
The reason why Zhuang Man didn’t come this year was quite simple. The news that she was nominated to be the Princess of Lu and she failed went out. Meeting Princess of Lu and Tao Yibin after this would be quite awkward. Being pointed at and judged would be even more awkward, so the Zhuang Family left her at home.
Zhuang Man didn’t have any t.i.tle, so she was not required to come to this dinner. If Empress Jiang didn’t ask, the Zhuang Family wouldn’t even need to find an excuse for her.
But Qiu Yelan thought, “I think it’s the Zhuang Family that is feeling embarra.s.sed. I think if Man were here, n.o.body would dare to make fun of her with this business. It would only embarra.s.s themselves!” Zhuang Man was at the same level as her. How would she feel awkward for some discussion and judgement? She was always good at making other people feel awkward!
Even Princess Qi, Jiang Qiyun, who was quite cunning, lost to her. How would Zhuang Man be afraid to come to this dinner? It showed that the Zhuang Family was quite decent. Yet they raised Zhuang Man who was pretty shameless. It clearly proved that being n.o.ble or not was destined.
“So my shamelessness is also destined!” Said Qiu Yelan.
Hearing that, Xin Fubing agreed, “True. But this way we don’t need to worry about her. I heard that Miss Shi is not coming because she’s really sick.”
“Why can’t she get past it?” Qiu Yelan sighed, “I hope Madame Shi won’t be angry with me!”
“Right, the future Princess of Wei, your cousin, did she come? I haven’t met her before. Why don’t you introduce her to me?” Xin Fubing remembered it and asked, “I heard she also learned from Madam Shao? Then we are all schoolmates. Introduce us. When she’s married, we can help each other.” She lowered her voice, “I just wish the fifteenth cousin won’t drag me down. So I’m counting on your cousin!”
Being reminded, Qiu Yelan said, “I’ve been so busy these days that I forgot to ask!’ She knew Xin Fubing was actually being nice. With w.a.n.g Qingqian’s shrewdness and family background, how much could she help Xin Fubing when she became Princess of Wei? Xin Fubing was going to look after w.a.n.g Qingqian because of Qiu Yelan!
But w.a.n.g Qingqian did need this kind of kindness. Qiu Yelan naturally wouldn’t reject, “I don’t know where she is seated. Let’s go find her?”
“Let’s go!” Xin Fubing smiled and went arm in arm with Qiu Yelan.
They went to find her at where the families of level five officials were seated. Even though they found Lian Jianhai’s wife, Madame Fang, they were told that w.a.n.g Qingqian and her mother didn’t come. In front of Xin Fubing, Madame Fang said with a smile, “We’re not a prestigious household. Such grace was given to us so suddenly. We’re in a bit of a hectic. w.a.n.g Qingqian is filial. She serves us morning and night and cares for us. Yet she caught a cold. At this kind of festival, we can’t let her come. In case she would spoil all the fun.”
After poking around, Qiu Yelan and Xin Fubing got the truth out of Madame Fang. w.a.n.g Qingqian was raised as a girl from a just decent household, but now she was suddenly a Princess. She needed to change the way she talked and acted. Her clothes and jewelry needed to be remade. They couldn’t get everything done in such a short time! They were worried that she may be disgraced on such a solemn occasion. After discussing, the Lian Family decided to let her show up later since they didn’t think she could get the approval of the royals tonight. It might be better.
That was understandable. Qiu Yelan and Xin Fubing said something to comfort Madame Fang and left smilingly.
After leaving the seating area, Qiu Yelan exhaled a long breath, “It’s good that she didn’t come today. It’s not going to be a joyful dinner tonight!”
Xin Fubing smiled, “So why a lot of people aren’t satisfied with her becoming the Princess of Wei? I say this is just right. It’s her luck!”
Qiu Yelan was actually unsure about w.a.n.g Qingqian marrying Prince of Wei. After all, she came from a small household and she was raised in her uncle’s house. She actually had more of a temper than those girls growing up in their own home. After all, the Lian Family didn’t have any girl in her generation. They treated this niece like a daughter. She was more favored than Lian Ding and his brothers.
She was not certain that Zhaoyi Miao and Prince of Wei would be satisfied having this naive and willful girl to be the Princess.
But what Xin Fubing said really relieved her, “Ture. Her luck is what matters the most!”
The one with luck wouldn’t need to worry much!
They didn’t have anything important to say, so they just leaned on the handrails outside the hall and chatted while watching the snow falling. They didn’t need maids to stay alert, so they all came up and chatted, too. Suddenly, Qiu Yelan felt there were some movements behind the tree. It rustled in the wind and snow.
She looked back. At the same time, a shining piece dropped into the shadow underneath the tree. In the near distance, in the corner of the corridor, a corner of dark clothing rose up and fell. The person around the corner already left.
“What’s that?” Qiu Yelan felt strange. She looked at the place where the shining thing landed. Su He noticed that. She asked with a smile, “Madame, what are you looking at?”
“Is there something there?” It was night. Lights were hung in the corridor. The outside world was all shining under the reflection. Qiu Yelan wasn’t sure whether something was thrown there. So she asked others quietly, especially Xin Fubing who stood across her.
Xin Fubing just took a peak and smiled, “I guess it’s just the light reflecting on the snow. It looked like shining jewelry.”
Qiu Yelan was about to say she heard some sound and a person leaving from the corner, but a servant came, “Mesdames, the dinner is about to start. If you don’t have anything urgent, please go inside and prepare for the Emperor to arrive!”
“Let’s go!” Hearing that, they thanked the servant hurriedly. They tidied up their dresses and went inside.
After the Emperor arrived, Qiu Yelan was still thinking about what happened outside. But soon, she no longer had the mood. After the procedure before the dinner was finished, the chiming sound was replaced by the sound of musical instruments. Dances and singing started and dishes came onto all the tables. The atmosphere was just getting livelier and someone from Empress Dowager’s party stood up and recommended to award Jiang Yashuang, “The Dou Family was brought to justice all because of Jiang Hanlin. He placed righteousness above family loyalty. I think he should be rewarded!”
Before he finished the sentence, the music went off the beat. The musician tried to cover it up, yet the sound of cups and dishes falling on the ground rang in the hall. They were from the Dou Family’s women, including Madame Dou and Madame Dou Junior. They all looked ashen!
Then, venomous looks shot towards the person who was standing near the emotionless Marquess Qin!
“Jiang Yashuang!” Even though the Dou Family’s women wished they could tear Jiang Yashuang apart, in fear of the Jiang Family’s power and thinking about how the Dou Family was already convicted, they didn’t dare to do anything. It was Jiang Tianao who shouted that.