Chapter 499 Confrontation; Commandery Princess Xianyun’s Weakness
Commandery Princess Xianyun looked at Ao Chenyi while biting her lower lip, feeling ashamed and furious. What had just happened made her too embarrassed to see anyone. It was humiliating to have her, a prince’s consort, and wedding night stolen by an untitled concubine.
Ao Chenyi came this morning and casually tossed the bridal veil that the palace was supposed to retrieve on her bed while she was sleeping. When she was awakened drowsily by her maid and saw that veil thrown carelessly, she felt wronged, ashamed, and resentful.
“Bring that cup of tea to the Princess!” Ao Chenyi raised his chin, his delicate lips curving into a flippant smile that was enchanting but frighteningly cold at the same time.
Ning Xueyan looked around in confusion before discovering the said cup of tea on the table. There was no steam coming from the tea as if it had been placed there for a while. It didn’t feel right to offer the Princess such tea. After thinking about it, she walked up to the table and filled an empty cup instead.
“Fill my cup too.” Ao Chenyi rapped the table to draw her attention. She turned her head and glanced at the cup beside him.
She lowered her head and carried the pot of tea over to fill his cup until it was half full.
When he didn’t say anything, she turned around to offer a fresh cup of tea to Commandery Princess Xianyun. This was her first formal visit to the Princess and this ritual couldn’t be skipped.
To her surprise, Ao Chenyi opened his mouth again just as she was about to reach the Princess. “Just put it there!” He pointed to the table in front of the Princess.
Ning Xueyan didn’t know what he was up to this time, but whatever it was, she would play along. She put down the cup of tea in front of the Princess with a smile.
“The Empress especially sent this tea from the palace. Try it. If you like it, I’ll see if they still have any left when we enter the palace.” Ao Chenyi raised his eyebrow with a cold expression. He gracefully picked up the cup and tasted the tea.
Commandery Princess Xianyun never expected such words from Ao Chenyi. She looked at him in surprise before glancing at Ning Xueyan, who had her head lowered obediently and expression hidden. She picked up the cup from the table and took a sip. A smile gradually appeared on her face as she nodded. “You’re right, Your Highness. I’ll have to trouble you to ask for more tea.”
“It’s no trouble. We’ll be visiting the palace soon anyway.” An enchanting smile appeared on Ao Chenyi’s handsome face. He waved at Ning Xueyan. “You can return. It’s still too early. I’ll call you when it’s time to enter the palace to pay our greetings.”
No matter how strange it was, the ceremony was complete now that the Princess had drunk her tea. Seeing as it wasn’t time to enter the palace, Ning Xueyan excused herself.
Qingyu, who was waiting outside the door, followed her mistress quietly when she came out. The same two eunuchs led them back to their courtyard.
The room fell eerily silent after Ning Xueyan was gone. Commandery Princess Xianyun looked uneasily at the red wedding robe that she had been wearing since yesterday. She hadn’t had time to change before Ao Chenyi arrived and the robe was now wrinkly all over.
“Your Highness, I brought some maids and older female servants with me. Would you like to meet them?” she asked, finally breaking the strange silence. Even without looking at Ao Chenyi, she could sense the coldness in the room. It gave her the same dangerous feeling as he did.
“What? Are you that impatient to send your dowry maids to my bed?” Ao Chenyi retorted with a cheerful voice.
Commandery Princess Xianyun instinctively looked up and met his beautiful but unfeeling eyes. In their beauty was undisguisable slyness and coldness. It was as if he was always sneering at her. Her heart skipped a beat after realizing what she had just said. Her cheeks reddened and she felt a fire burning inside her.
Once again, she felt angry and ashamed.
She must not be in the right mind when she said such things. Some of her dowry maids were indeed chosen for that reason, but it was humiliating for a new bride to suggest sending her maids to her husband’s bed on the first day of her marriage.
“Why did you marry me if you don’t like me, Your Highness? What do you propose that I do in a situation like this?” She could no longer take it. She had felt more despair and dejection in these two days than her entire life added together.
“If I remember correctly, it was the Lord Peace’s Manor that insisted that I marry you. Aunt told me that you’ve always been in love with me. She advised me to treasure your heartfelt feelings and not to waste your youth. I also remember you saying that you’re willing to suffer any grievances as long as you can be with me. Was I mistaken?”
Ao Chenyi raised an eyebrow with a sneer. His sharp, elongated eyes were directed at the Princess.
She understood his meaning well, which was why she was burning red on the face.
She had been the one who told the empress about her heartfelt feelings for Ao Chenyi, saying that she would rather die a bachelorette if she couldn’t marry him. She even went so far as to stop him at a banquet and express her determination to marry him.
Still, he shouldn’t treat her like this regardless of what she had said! She had compromised by allowing him to marry her and a consort on the same day, yet he had run to his concubine’s place on their wedding night. When he showed up in the morning, he threw a veil stained with unknown blood on her so that it could be sent to the palace.
This was unprecedented humiliation for her, one that she couldn’t tell anyone about.
“You’re not mistaken, Your Highness. I… I just don’t want people to think that you favor your concubines over your wife and get subject to similar gossip as the Lord Protector’s Manor,” she said righteously with a blushing face. She didn’t want to keep on compromising like this.
She tried to pressure Ao Chenyi with the Emperor’s name by bringing up the Lord Protector’s Manor. She also wanted to demonstrate her concern and willingness to endure everything for him. Having expressed her feelings for him before, she was sure that he would take pity on her.
Her inability to keep him in her room for their wedding night had affected her position in the manor. It was only natural for her to improve it.
“You’d like to help me?” Ao Chenyi asked, raising an eyebrow at her.
“Yes. I’ll do anything to help you, Your Highness,” she said, her solemn expression replacing the fragility reflected in her eyes.
Ao Chenyi smiled, appearing pleased with her complete lack of hesitation. He said, with rare intimateness, “As the legal wife’s daughter of the Lord Peace’s Manor, your status is a better match for me and my brother. That’s why it’s inconvenient for you to marry my nephews. And if you don’t marry me, you’ll have to enter the palace. With the Empress around, it wouldn’t matter even if you can earn the Emperor’s favor and safely give birth to a son. Your son will be far too young and your family will be doomed to decline.”
His words weren’t harsh and could even be considered as gentle compared to before. Had the Princess fail to read between the lines, she would have thought that he was speaking up for her. However, this was Prince Yi. Her hands and feet turned cold and her face became pale. She looked blankly at him, unable to say anything. Even her hands by her sides were trembling.
She had always known him to be arrogant, violent, and despotic. Even the Emperor was wary about him. Even if the Emperor wanted to leave his throne to his own son, he couldn’t make his intention public and had to keep delaying matters.
Even so, she never thought that Ao Chenyi would dare to say such disgraceful and disrespectful words.
He had even pointed out her family’s intention. While she could set out to do it, she could never speak or even think too hard about it.
His words were full of ridicule. He sounded as if he wasn’t talking about her or the Lord Protector’s Manor but pork freely sold at the market.
She was beginning to regret marrying Ao Chenyi and entering Prince Yi’s Manor. He wasn’t a person that she could exploit! She felt even more stupid after thinking about how she used the Emperor to pressure him. Was he someone who would worry about that? Would he even care that she had the Empress and the Lord Peace’s Manor for support?
She composed herself and lowered her gaze to calm her raging emotions. She heard herself saying with much difficulty, “Your Highness, now that I’ve married you, I’ll put my entire heart into managing the household for you.” Now that things had come to this, she had no choice but to bow her head. For her family’s sake, she couldn’t afford to anger him.
“That’s naturally the best. From now on, the Lord Peace’s Manor will be able to lean onto Prince Yi’s Manor. But if you do any more things to upset me, I wouldn’t mind severing ties.” Ao Chenyi stood up and gently patted the hem of his robe. His enchanting eyes were narrowed and his gaze was so sharp that he appeared almost bloodthirsty when glancing at the Princess. After speaking his mind, he turned around and strode out of the room.
It wasn’t until the Princess heard the crisp rustling of the pearl curtain as it was lowered that she recovered her senses. It was almost summer and the weather ought to be warm, yet her entire body was shivering.
Did he just say “do any more things” that upset him? The word “any” had expressed his meaning loud and clear.
Was he referring to yesterday? Had he found out? He must have found out that she was the one who leaked the auspicious timing!
What did he mean at the end? Severing ties?
Commandery Princess Xianyun was truly regretting everything. His words were gentle but she had no doubt that it would come true if she didn’t take him seriously. It wasn’t a secret that Prince Yi was a bloodthirsty devil; he had even exterminated entire families in the past. He wouldn’t feel bad about something like “severing ties”.
Perhaps, she should really reevaluate her and her family’s position…