Chapter 89: Deliberate Scorn
As Yao Mowan had predicted, Ye Hongyi wasn’t concerned by Feng Yihan’s diplomatic visit. The fact that he assigned Ye Junqing the task of entertaining Feng Yihan showed that the dangers of Feng Yihan’s visit had occurred to him. However, he planned to hand Ye Junqing over to the state of Qi the moment something happened to Feng Yihan. This way, there would be no need for compensation to maintain peace and it would also allow him to get rid of Ye Junqing, this eyesore.
“Master, the prince has already brought Feng Yihan to Harmony Palace. This subordinate has investigated and found that there are fifteen people accompanying Feng Yihan. There are five personal bodyguards that are all first class experts. The other ten are a little weaker,” reported Yin Xue as she stood next to Yao Mowan.
“Fifteen people… It seems that the king of Qi truly wished to get rid of this crown prince. Yin Xue, if you encountered the ‘Seven Phantom Assassins,’ what are your chances of victory?” Yao Mowan’s clear eyes were like a deep tranquil pond that didn’t contain a single ripple.
“On my own, it would be easy to escape. If it was a direct confrontation, there’s thirty percent chance of victory.” The unspoken implication was that she wouldn’t be a match for them.
“En. I trust that Feng Yihan’s followers aren’t good-for-nothings either. With Liu Sha added on, you guys would probably be able to reach a draw. As of now, whether we’ll be able to protect Feng Yihan will have to depend on luck. Remember, no matter what, the Esteemed Prince’s life is the most important. Second after that is your own, understood?” Yao Mowan spoke as she took a sip of tea.
“This subordinate understands!” Yin Xue understood that Yao Mowan was telling her not to risk her own life in fighting with the ‘Seven Phantom Assassins’ if she couldn’t win.
Ye Hongyi only gave the order to prepare a banquet after Feng Yihan had arrived in Harmony Palace for an entire day. In addition, the people who were going to entertain him at the banquet were just Ye Junqing and her. Yao Mowan couldn’t help but scoff. Ye Hongyi really looked down on Feng Yihan too much. Even if he wasn’t favored, he was still a crown prince. The fact that Ye Hongyi sent a fool to entertain him was clearly meant to embarrass him.
He had no idea that he had erred in judgement and that his unbridled act to humiliate the crown prince would one day cause his downfall!
The banquet was set to start at noon in the Harmony Palace. Ye Hongyi’s lack of concern was apparent in the time and location of the banquet. Within Guan Osprey Palace, Yao Mowan had Ting Yue dress her up exaggeratedly. By the time Ting Yue inserted the last golden dangling hairpin into Yao Mowan’s hair, Yao Mowan’s face had already become flushed.
“Niang niang, isn’t it heavy?” Ting Yue asked hesitantly as she looked at the mess of hairpins stabbed into Yao Mowan’s hair.
“Do you know why this consort is doing this?” Yao Mowan still felt that this wasn’t enough, so she patted even more rouge on her face. Her originally elegant features were still beautiful, but it now looked way too gaudy.
“This servant doesn’t understand.” Ting Yue opened her eyes wide as she waited for Yao Mowan’s explanation.”
“It’s very simple. The sloppier this consort is, the more humiliating it will be for Feng Yihan and he’ll resent His Majesty even more for doing this. In contrast, he’d sense Ye Junqing’s sincerity more clearly,” replied Yao Mowan.
“Ting Yue sometimes really can’t understand you. It’s enough that you help the Esteemed Prince without allowing him to know, but you always anger him half to death while doing so too!” Ting Yue grumbled as she started putting away the rouge and powder.
“You’ve seen him angry before?” Yao Mowan lifted her brows in surprise.
“Of course, this servant had heard him curse about you several times when passing by the east wing!” Ting Yue nodded her head vigorously.
“What does he curse about?” Yao Mowan looked towards Ting Yue with interest in her eyes as her lips hook in a trace of a playful smile.
“Mostly about how you’re completely two-faced and bossy. Although this servant didn’t hear the things clearly, that voice was extremely loud so he was definitely angry,” replied Ting Yue with confidence.
“Is that so… It’s about time. Accompany this consort to Harmony Palace.” Yao Mowan silently noted down Ting Yue’s words, then walked slowly out of Guan Osprey Palace.
It was a rare, cool, summer day. The moment she pushed opened the palace doors and stepped into Harmony Palace, the sight of peach blossoms entered her eyes.
She was slightly stunned by the beautiful view. Harmony Palace had always been empty, so back when she was the Empress, she had ordered the gardener to plant peach trees here so that the courtyard wouldn’t seem so desolate and empty. From the looks of it now, her casual act had ended bringing about this paradise-like scene.
As a gust of wind swept by, it carried along a faint fragrance and twirled loose petals into the air. There was only a single figure within the sea of flowers. That person sat by himself on a stone stool and leaned against a peach tree as he slowly perused a scroll. The man’s hair was bound with a purple hair crown and a partially visible green hairband. He was elegant and quiet like a beautiful jade sculpture. A few petals landed on the man’s shoulder, making him appear otherworldly in his pure white garment.
Ting Yue wanted to walk over, but Yao Mowan stopped her. She didn’t want to disrupt this beautiful, tranquil atmosphere. However, it was already too late. The man had already put down the scroll and looked over.
He had handsome and elegant sharp features that gave off a refined air. However, Yao Mowan could sense that the depths of those clear pupils contained deep grief. It was such silent grief and indignation. This look was so familiar. Only a person that had gone through extreme pain would have such a deep and quiet hatred-filled gaze.
“Who are you?” It was originally supposed to be the question of the man sitting in the midst of the flowers, but the voice ended up coming from behind them. At the side, Ting Yue gulped in shock.
“Prince, you can’t even recognize my master?” Ting Yue looked at Ye Junqing uneasily since he knew that her master wasn’t a fool.
“Yao Mowan? Why are you dressed like this?” Ye Junqing walked quickly to them with a stunned expression.
“What’s wrong with the way I’m dressed? This consort feels that this outfit is extremely beautiful!” Yao Mowan puffed up her cheeks as she refuted confidently.
“Ting Yue, are you sure that your master checked the mirror before coming out today?” Ye Junqing stared at Yao Mowan as he asked this. Ting Yue was silent with embarrassment.
“Esteemed Prince, may I ask who this is?” A clear voice arose. Feng Yihan gracefully walked to Ye Junqing’s side.
“Ahem… this is His Majesty’s most favored consort, Consort Yao niang niang.” Ye Junqing’s voice contained embarrassment as he introduced Yao Mowan. However, Yao Mowan didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. After all, even if it was a humiliation, it was Ye Hongyi’s humiliation.
“Consort Yao, this is the crown prince of Qi.” Ye Junqing turned around and formally introduced Feng Yihan to her.
“En, why aren’t you paying your respects to this consort?” Right after Ye Junqing spoke, Yao Mowan lifted her little face that had a thick layer of rouge on it and said this haughtily. Feng Yihan was stunned to hear this, but he didn’t show it much and maintained his elegant and mild demeanor.
“Consort Yao, you should be the one greeting the crown prince!” Ye Junqing spoke in a low voice.
“But His Majesty said that this consort is the most important person in this place, second only to him, so anyone who sees this consort should salute. Oh, that’s right, why didn’t you salute when you saw this consort!?” Yao Mowan put both hands on her hips as she looked at Ye Junqing with a peeved expression. Ye Junqing suddenly felt humilated as if someone had stripped him naked and hung him up outside. If it weren’t for his strong willpower, he definitely would have started shouting at Yao Mowan.
“Feng Yihan greets Consort Yao niang niang. Everyone speaks of Consort Yao’s state-overturning beautiful and untainted innocence. Having seen you today, Yihan sees that the reputation is truly justified.” Feng Yihan’s eyes contained a smiling expression. Yao Mowan couldn’t find a trace of loathing or disdain in those eyes; the expression in those eyes seemed completely sincere as if he truly did respect her. Yao Mowan couldn’t help but sigh. Feng Yihan truly was shrewd.
“You may rise. What about you?” Yao Mowan shifted her gaze to Ye Junqing and her lips hooked slightly. She found that, for some reason, she loved teasing Ye Junqing and making him mad. He only seemed lively enough during these times.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira
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