ngfu3 present, she took her seat quietly, a posture that asserted her desire to not speak anymore.

 

After everyone discovered that the Shen-shi did not bring her daughter into the  Palace, they were shocked inwardly.
To what extent was the Ming family dissatisfied with this betrothal that she did not bring her daughter to congratulate Su Guifei on her birthday?

 

The women exchanged glances, but no one dared to approach Shen-shi.

 

Su Guifei was not a kind and considerate person.
The scene might turn unpleasant since the Ming family didn’t give her some face.

 

Sun CaiYao sat behind her mother, looking at the calm Madam Ming with mixed feelings.

 

The world was full of people seeking profits and advantages for themselves.
Each one of the women present in the hall was afraid of offending Su Guifei, so they did not even dare to approach Shen-shi…

 

A loud sound rang outside the hall, followed by the similarly loud announcement of an internal supervisor.

 

“Guifei niangniang has arrived.”

 

Sun CaiYao got up quickly, bowing towards the door.

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Following the Imperial concubines, the mingfu bowed and greeted: “Congratulations on your birthday, niangniang.
Wishing you a happy and long life, good health, and eternal youth.”

 

“Bow, kowtow, greet.”

 

“Bow again.”

 

“Rise.”

 

Sun CaiYao stood at the back, listening to the ceremonial etiquette officer reciting the congratulatory birthday message written for Su Guifei by the Emperor himself.
She recalled many things related to her.

 

Initially, some court officials had condemned Su Guifei as being unworthy of her position and the mingfu kowtowing to her.
But in a fit of anger, the Emperor personally held a birthday banquet for Su Guifei.
Since then, he would write birthday wishes for her every year and open the main entrance of the FeiFeng Hall, so that the mingfu could pay their respects to her.

 

Among the concubines in the palace, only Su Guifei has this preference.
For this reason, some people accused Su Guifei of being a demoness consort who beguiled others.
However, no one dared to complain in front of her.

 

“Everyone had worked hard to congratulate Ben Gong on her birthday, please take your seats.” Su Guifei sat on the top, looking over at the others: “Ben Gong didn’t want things to be so grand since it’s just a birthday.
However, His Majesty said that Ben Gong is the master of the MingYue Palace and should hold a banquet to entertain the wives of the lords who are our Da Cheng’s backbones; to thank the madams who take care of their backyards so that the lords can work for Da Cheng wholeheartedly without any worries.”

 

The women denied it, saying that they didn’t dare to take the credit.

 

“It is a blessing for my husband to be able to offer his meager contribution to the country.”

 

“Niangniang empathizes with chenfu4 so much.
We are extremely touched.”

 

Ning Fei sneered in her heart. Who didn’t know that His Majesty just wanted that Su Guifei to receive their salutations and gain honor? He hates that he’s not able to celebrate Su-shi’s birthday with the standard of an Empress’!

 

But no matter how much honor she gained, the Ming family didn’t even want to bring their daughter into the Palace.

 

Ning Fei looked at Su Guifei with mockery.
Unexpectedly, she noticed a fifteen or sixteen years old girl standing behind her.
The girl had a beautiful face.
She was wearing a beautiful palace dress and the huadian on her forehead was similar to Su-shi’s.

 

Who is this person?

 

“JiuZhu.” Su Guifei beckoned to JiuZhu, asking her to walk over to her side.
Then, she held JiuZhu’s hand lightly and looked at everyone: “This child is still young but she is virtuous, innocent, and lovely.
I request the madams to look after her in the future.”

 

Before this, the mingfu who didn’t know JiuZhu were wondering who this little guniang was.
How could Su Guifei personally back her up?

 

Ming JiuZhu?!

 

Looking at Ming JiuZhu’s hand being gripped by Su Guifei, Sun CaiYao almost couldn’t stand firm.

 

How could she be by the Guifei’s side?

 

Why was she so close to her?!

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Sun CaiYao’s mind was in turmoil.
By the time she managed to react, the mingfu were already all over Ming JiuZhu, praising her.
So much so that they even praised the weird huadian between her brows with words like ‘spiritually radiant’, ‘full of good luck’, and so on.

 

Almost with the speed of lightning, she turned to look at Ming JiuZhu’s mother, Shen-shi.

 

Shen-shi still had that same calm expression, not happy because Ming JiuZhu was being backed by Su Guifei, nor dissatisfied because she was close to her.

 

Ning Fei, who was sitting on the first seat on the left, looked at the Miss Ming family’s Young Miss who was holding a teacup for Su-shi, with a cold smile.

 

Those things raised outside were not comparable to a noble family’s carefully cultivated real Young Miss.
With such short-sightedness and flattery, she was not afraid of tarnishing her family’s reputation?

 

After the mingfu finished their salutations, they were led by the MingYue Palace’s maids to watch a play and sip tea.
Su Guifei remained sitting above, waiting for the princes and princesses to come in and greet her.

 

JiuZhu wanted to leave with her mother, but was kept back by Su Guifei.

 

“JiuZhu need not go.” Su Guifei smiled at JiuZhu: “In the future, you will spend more time with them, so it would be better for them to get to know you earlier.”

 

This sounded as if she was warning them to behave and not offend JiuZhu.

 

JiuZhu nodded blankly and walked back to Su Guifei: “Oh.”

 

Niangniang is worthy of being called a fairy.
She speaks so imposingly.

 

Soon after, the princes and princesses entered the hall.
JiuZhu noticed Chen Wang at a glance.
Presently, he had changed into a four twirling dragon-patterned robe.
She lifted the hem of her skirt and walked down the steps, bowing to the princes and princesses.

 

Qi Wang nodded to her slightly.
As usual, he was graceful.

 

Chen Wang glanced at the steps and raised his eyebrows at JiuZhu.
Why did she walk so fast when she came down the steps? If she slipped, she would lose face.
Moreover, she would be hurt.

 

JiuZhu assumed that he was greeting her, so she smiled, her beautiful eyes bending.

 

Chen Wang: “……”

 

Ai.

T/N: Our poor ML understood his status was pushed back after JiuZhu showed up.
The MIL favors her dear DIL more! What would be the Emperor’s reaction if his position is also pushed back further? Hahahaha, I’d like to see that  (≧▽≦)

1

Huadian [花钿] – It is the flower pattern drawn on the women’s forehead, becoming a special accessory for women’s makeup.
Typically painted with red color, it has many variations and a plethora of designs.
This type of makeup attained its peak popularity in the Tang dynasty period.
If you’re interested to read further, please click here: newhanfu.com

2

Zhang [丈] – A traditional Chinese unit of length equal to 3.3 m.

3

Mingfu [命妇] – It lit.
means ‘noblewoman’ or ‘court lady’ and was a collective term for the wives of officials, non-imperial aristocrats and collateral clanswomen who were granted titles.

4

Chenfu [臣妇] – A form of self-address used by the wives of the officials when speaking to the members of the Imperial family.

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