Translator: Atlas Studios
Editor: Atlas Studios
Yuan Zhe’s expression froze, and he was speechless.
Everyone around him fell silent.
Others couldn’t say this, but even if they did, it wouldn’t have the weight of thunder.
Feng Yang was older, had a high status, and was the eldest daughter of Emperor Taizu. She had always been doted on by him.
When Emperor Taizu was still alive, be it on the battlefield or on private visits, he often brought his eldest daughter along. Even if Feng Yang refused to marry for the rest of her life, Emperor Taizu would still let her be and spoil her.
Emperor Taizu often said, “My daughter has the right to do whatever she wants.”
This “qualification” not only meant that Emperor Taizu was willing to support his daughter, but also that Feng Yang was far more capable than a man.
Empress Dowager Yuan’s expression tightened, and the corners of her lips trembled violently. She couldn’t bring herself to lose face.
Even if Yuan Zhe didn’t hold a position in the imperial court now, he was still her biological nephew and the future heir of the Yuan family. Feng Yang stepping on Yuan Zhe in public was simply provoking and humiliating the Yuan family!
Empress Dowager Yuan composed herself. Her beautifully trimmed fingers rubbed the side of her sleeve as she said indifferently, “Imperial Sister, that’s not what he meant…”
However, when Feng Yang’s sharp gaze shot straight at her, Empress Dowager Yuan’s lips trembled and her aura weakened.
Even her shoulder hurt slightly as she recalled the whip Feng Yang had whipped her with 20 years ago.
At this moment, Empress Dowager Yuan couldn’t help but recall the previous Emperor’s helpless comforting voice. “Ah Yan, my sister has such a bad temper. When she’s furious, even my father has to coax her. I’ve also been… Cough, my sister is like a wandering crane. She can’t enter the palace twice a year. Just avoid her in the future.”
A thick haze appeared in Empress Dowager Yuan’s eyes. Even her hands in her sleeves were trembling imperceptibly, and her surging anger was about to be released.
Feng Yang casually waved her sleeve, and her calm voice resounded through the pleasure boat. “This book isn’t good. Change it.”
There was a moment of silence, and the air froze.
The storyteller on the first floor had heard it, of course. He quickly shut his mouth. His face was slightly pale, and he gripped the clipper in his hand nervously.
In the dead silence, Feng Yang continued, “Father once said that the public will form their own opinion on right and wrong. After the deed is done, people will judge.”
This sentence was also a famous saying of Emperor Taizu. Everyone present knew it like the back of their hands.
For thousands of years, emperors had been proud of being able to erect a monument after death, and they all wanted to leave their names in history. However, only Emperor Taizu left this last sentence on his sickbed before he died.
It was even quieter now. Even a pin drop could be heard.
Everyone quietly looked up at the phoenix sun on the second floor, thinking about Emperor Taizu’s charm.
Feng Yang smiled coldly and said meaningfully, “My father doesn’t need a ‘storyteller’ to comment on him.”
Of course, Feng Yang wasn’t really reprimanding the storyteller, but the storyteller was so frightened that his body was trembling. He knelt on the ground in fear and trepidation, and the speed board in his hand fell to the ground. His lips were trembling, and he didn’t dare to say a word.
The storyteller didn’t understand, but the others present weren’t stupid. It was obvious that Feng Yang’s words were implying that Yuan Zhe only knew how to gossip all day long and was no different from a storyteller.
Someone sneered. It was so piercing and abrupt.
Some of the royal families and nobles present didn’t lack people who were on bad terms with the aristocratic families. They didn’t hide the ridicule in their laughter.
“…” Yuan Zhe’s elegant face turned green, white, and red.
He wanted to say something, but in front of Feng Yang’s dignity, any words seemed to be quibbling and weak.
Empress Dowager Yuan pursed her lips and forcefully swallowed the blood that was stuck in her throat. She looked at Chu You and saw that his burning gaze had been drifting to the deck.
His distracted look made it obvious that he was looking for Gu Yunrong.
What foxy method did Gu Yunrong use on him to seduce his soul?!
Thinking of this, Empress Dowager Yuan felt a metallic taste in her throat again. She grabbed the armrest of the armchair tightly with one hand, and the veins on the back of her hand bulged.
She held her breath, her breathing becoming rapid and heavy.
A moment later, Empress Dowager Yuan said slowly and firmly, ‘Since my Imperial Sister doesn’t like to read, you can leave.”
This sentence was naturally directed at the kneeling storyteller. It could be considered as saving some face for Yuan Zhe in front of everyone.
The storyteller stood up on trembling feet, bowed, and quickly retreated.
The atmosphere became heavy and oppressive, as if a storm was brewing.
But the Emperor seemed unaffected. Smiling, he asked for half of the orange An Le had peeled and ate it happily, as if what had just happened had nothing to do with him.
Behind Empress Dowager Yuan, the old granny saw her calm expression and quietly gave a gesture to someone.
After a while, the palace maid, Liu Shuang, stepped on the stairs to the second floor of the pleasure boat. She bowed respectfully to Empress Dowager Yuan and said,
‘Your Majesty, the young masters and ladies of the various families are all playing on the deck outside. It’s very lively. Didn’t Your Majesty say for the past two days that Shou’an Palace is too quiet and wants to have a good time?
‘Alright.” Empress Dowager Yuan’s grip on the armrest loosened a little. She nodded slightly and asked the Emperor and Fengyang, “Your Majesty, Imperial Sister, why don’t we go out for some fresh air?”
As she spoke, Empress Dowager Yuan noticed from the corner of her eye that Chu You’s eyes had lit up and his soul seemed to have drifted away again. Her eyes darkened and she restrained her emotions.
The Emperor was also distracted. His gaze drifted from the window to Gu
Yanfei on the deck. Suddenly, he had an idea and readily agreed, “It’s good to go and relax.”
It wasn’t midnight yet, but since it had just snowed, the sky was a little gloomy.
The lake was sparkling. The weeping willows and plum trees on the shore were dyed with a pure white layer of snow. Their branches and flower leaves sparkled like jade branches hanging down and swaying gently in the cold wind.
The wind was bone-chilling, but these young boys and girls were hot-tempered and mostly fearless of the cold. They gathered in twos and threes on the wide deck, bustling with activity.
Some people were gathered together to admire the scenery, some were playing flutes, and some were playing pitchers on the deck.
There were three two-eared iron kettles on the deck, and the air was filled with the sound of arrows falling, mixed with laughter and applause. This lively atmosphere attracted many people inside and outside the pleasure boat to look at them and watch with interest.
Gu Yanfei grabbed a bamboo arrow and casually threw it. Not only did the bamboo arrow enter the pot, but it also bounced back and landed steadily in Gu
‘Yanfei, your Xiao Arrow’ is really amazing,” Wei Jiaoniang and Lu Qin said with a smile.
The so-called ‘Xiao Arrow” was a bamboo arrow thrown into the pot that jumped back into the pitcher’s hand.
Chu Yi clapped gently, and the corners of his mouth couldn’t help but curl up. The corners of his slightly tilted eyes were warm and charming.
An Le mimicked her brother and clapped her little hands a few times.
The palace men on the pleasure boat set up tables and chairs on the aft deck and set up a screen to block the wind.
The Emperor smiled and sat down against the railing.
Empress Dowager Yuan held Granny’s hand and sat down. She followed the father and son’s gaze and looked at Gu Yanfei.
The young girl stood gracefully, her face as beautiful as a spring flower. When she smiled, she was like the most dazzling and beautiful flower. Her appearance far surpassed the other girls around her, and she was quite stunning.
No wonder Chu Yi was so concerned about her.
All of these men were greedy for beauty, even his son.
Thinking of this, Empress Dowager Yuan glanced at Chu You on the right. A cold glint flashed across her eyes, but a kind smile appeared on her face.
‘Your Majesty, this annual banquet naturally has to be held in pairs like the banquet, so it won’t be as beautiful as the Ancestor’s.” Empress Dowager Yuan smiled at the Emperor and said, ‘The Eldest Prince isn’t young anymore. After the new year, he will be 20 years old. It’s the time to start a family.”
‘The Eldest Prince’s marriage should have been handled by the Empress, but his mother passed away early, and the Emperor is busy with government affairs now and can’t be distracted. Therefore, I thought of sharing the Emperor’s burden and specially chose a few girls. All of them are young ladies from prestigious families and are knowledgeable…”
‘Liu Shuang, go and call Miss Yu over..”