Ming He stepped his feet inside the bed chamber. Ru Qing and Ru Ming rushed to the side of the bed after getting instructions from Duan Qin Wang. Both yā huan had to swallow up their embarrassment because both, Duan Qin Wang and Duan Wang Fei were completely naked.
Duan Wang Fei was obviously exhausted. The bed sheet wrapped her naked body. Her eyes were still half closed. She looked like she still needed some time to recuperate. Meanwhile, Duan Qin Wang was standing by the side of the bed. Looked so much satisfied with his new wife. His eyes were tender when he was admiring his wife.
Ming He and Qian Chang Xin were doing their duty just like every other day. They were too trying hard to ignore the tender expression Duan Qin Wang made for his new wife.
Both personal eunuchs of Duan Qin Wang have seen their lord with some other women before. But this scene before them was different from that. Duan Qin Wang was clearly satisfied with his marriage. His face showed some radiant difference from usual. Ming He and Qian Chang Xin have served his lord for quite a long time to notice the differences.
\"The handkerchief…\" Duan Qin Wang glanced at Ming He while he stood up and walked away from the bed.
Ming He bowed down as he stopped doing his duty, letting Qian Chang Xin to take care of Duan Qin Wang by himself. What Duan Qin Wang meant was the handkerchief that acted as proof of how innocent Duan Wang Fei was before they consumed the wedding night.
\"Answering Wang ye, before entering this chamber, nú cai has given the handkerchief that we kept from Luoyang to the palace mama sent by Jing Gui Fei.\"
Duan Qin Wang nodded. Ming He didn't want his lord to get too pleased first without knowing what kind of betrothal gift Jing Gui Fei has given for Duan Wang Fei. \"After receiving the handkerchief, Jing Gui Fei 's subject delivered numbers of gifts.\"
Ming He purposely stopped there and took a glance to point out the underline of the situation. Sure enough, Duan Qin Wang understood this action. He turned his head and looked down towards Ming He. Duan Qin Wang finished dressing up with his morning attire then he glanced to his back. He made sure that his new wife was still too weak to pay attention to him and his personal eunuch.
Ming He followed Duan Qin Wang who stepped out from the inner chamber. Qian Chang Xin followed a step slower behind Ming He. After their lord sat on the chair, Qian Chang Xin sprightly poured warm tea into one cup.
The moment Duan Qin Wang lifted up the cup to scent the aroma from the special tea leaves, Qian Chang Xin retreated and bowed as low as Ming He did. They both stood with head bowed, waiting for Duan Qin Wang.
\"Speak.\" Duan Qin Wang gave the cue calmly.
\"Beside the precious gifts bestowed from Zhong Jing Palace, Jing Gui Fei also bestowed down her personal mama, Ding mama, to serve Duan Wang Fei.\" Ming He explained carefully.
Both eunuchs put their heads even lower than before. They both heard Duan Qin Wang put down his tea cup way more rough than usual. They both knew for sure their lord's mood has changed to even taste the rare tea.
Ding mama was one of Jing Gui Fei's close aides and also the oldest. Ding mama has been serving Jing Gui Fei ever since Jing Gui Fei was still in her maiden residence. To bestow such a high profile and the most important person from her side to a new member of the royal family might look very much touching.
\"Mŭ fēi has already put a liking on wang fei. Mŭ fēi would make wang fei become pampered.\" Duan Qin Wang didn't sound very pleased with this precious gift. There was a pause there. Ming He and Qian Chang Xin were still on their stance.
\"Start to serve breakfast, běn wàng will accompany wang fei to have a meal before receiving respect from people of the fu.\" Duan Qin Wang stood and walked back to the inner chamber. His face was back with a tender smile the moment he saw his Duan Wang Fei already sitting down in front of the mirror and getting ready for their first morning as husband and wife.
Jiang Xi Yu felt dignified and beautiful because of what she was wearing. Her headpieces ornaments was heavy. Her brocade dress was delicate. When she got ready, Ru Qing mentioned to her about how complicated and how long it took for this dress to be made. Each detail of embroideries on her dress has meaning. It showed how precious she was. It showed how prestigious the new title she holds.
Both, Jiang Xi Yu and Li Fei Long sat on the main seat and waited for all qiè shì to enter the main hall to give their respect to them. Jiang Xi Yu knew Li Fei Long kept his eyes on her for a few times before Yu Wan ce fei led Zheng Yiniang and Qing Yiniang entered the hall. Jiang Xi Yu ignored it and maintained her expression calm when she saw the little girl who stood beside Yu Wan ce fei.
Anle duolun gege was a cute little girl. She smiled sincerely and gave deep respect for both Li Fei Long and Jiang Xi Yu. But knowing this little girl was a blood and flesh mix product between Li Fei Long and Yu Wan ce fei. There was a hint of jealousy growing inside Jiang Xi Yu's heart.
Quickly realizing this feeling, Jiang Xi Yu began to feel guilty for this innocent little girl. Since she cannot move her head freely so she just waved her hand to pardon them.
Between the three qiè shì, Yu Wan ce fei was the highest rank and prettier than the other two. Jiang Xi Yu scanned one by one thoroughly. Yu Wan ce fei has this thick natural eyebrow that makes her look intimidating. Zheng yiniang has a voluptuous figure that made Jiang Xi Yu imagine lewd pictures of her with Li Fei Long. Qing yiniang was not a beautiful lady. She was rather skinny and seemed shy.
The oldest among them as Qing yiniang. She was the first one who joined the fu and served Li Fei Long. Qing yiniang was actually has good family reputation and her father hold the highest position among the qiè shì. When she entered the fu, she got title as Qing ce fei.
According to Ru Ming, Qing ce fei got furious when she heard that Li Fei Long got Yu Wan pregnant right after Yu Wan joined the fu. Soon after, the two women contended to gain Li Fei Long's affection.
Their jealousy led to an accident where Yu Wan almost lost her baby on one occasion. Li Fei Long became furious until he had to downgrade Qing ce fei to Qing yiniang and gave Yu Wan highest status at that time as Yu Wan ce fei.
Looking at the three women in front of her, Jiang Xi Yu promised to herself that she won't let herself compete for a man's love.
\"Now ben wang has wang fei to take care of all the matters within Duan Wang Fu.\" Li Fei Long squeezed her hand tenderly. The entire hall was filled with his laugh and everyone in it seemed to smile earnestly with him. Everyone, except Jiang Xi Yu.
\"Wang ye has many loyal and capable people. For this, qie knows very well.\" Jiang Xi Yu quipped Li Fei Long. What she meant was that she was already familiar with the fu because Li Fei Long kidnapped and forced her to live here before they all knew who she really was. From that moment, she knew how well organized and agile all his trusted people were.
Instead of catching her sarcastic meaning, Li Fei Long was satisfied with her response. He nodded then, surprisingly, gave a sweet pinch on Jiang Xi Yu's chin. A gesture that not only shocked Jiang Xi Yu but also the rest of the people within the hall.
\"Wang fei already familiar here. Ben wang is relieved.\" Again, Li Fei Long patted Jiang Xi Yu's hand. \"Ben wang will let wang fei start the morning greeting. Ben wang has some work to do.\"
Jiang Xi Yu held Ru Qing's hand to get up on her feet. Others followed and all in sync bowed to Li Fei Long. Li Fei Long caught Jiang Xi Yu's arms so she didn't need to give him a full bow. After he gave her a smile, Li Fei Long left.
The others waited until Jiang Xi Yu sat back on her chair before they went to sit back on theirs. For the first time Jiang Xi Yu didn't know what to say. The atmosphere turned awkward. It actually felt much better when Li Fei Long was by her side.
Jiang Xi Yu cleared her throat and began her diplomatic voice. \"Ben wang fei prepared some gifts for all of you.\"
Her people started to present gifts that her mother thoughtfully prepared before the wedding day. The three cè fei started to throw some fake grateful exclamation while they were admiring the gifts.
\"Ben wang fei just remembered having a pretty rare bangle the moment ben wang fei saw how cheerful Anle duolun gege. Ben wang fei wants to give it to Anle duolun gege.\" Jiang Xi Yu got the idea out of nowhere. She felt like giving something to that cute little girl and that bangle has come into her mind.
\"Get my ruby bangle from my jewelry box.\" Jiang Xi Yu commanded in a rush. Ru Ming understood which one and she quickly ran the errand.
\"Wang fei, this little brat doesn't deserve to receive the rare gift specially from wang fei's personal belongings.\" Yu Wan ce fei started the conversation with an apologized look.
Jiang Xi Yu was not in a good mood towards all of these women. She can't fake a smile and just hid her face with a tea cup. She pretended she was blowing her tea. \"Anle duolun gege is the oldest granddaughter of the emperor. The first daughter of Duan Wang Fu. Who would say she is not worth wearing that bangle?!\"
Jiang Xi Yu really meant what she said. She always knew her jokes were always cynical but she realized the greater effect was more obvious in this era. Zheng Wan'er and Qing Yu Fei tried to hide their smirk meanwhile Yu Wan ce fei's face got reddish.
Ru Ming backed on Jiang Xi Yu's side and presented the bangle inside an opened box next to her.
Yu Wan ce fei gave a little push to her daughter to receive the bangle. The innocent girl was obedient to do so. She even approached Jiang Xi Yu and kneeled in front of Jiang Xi Yu's feet. Her round eyes were just as cute as a puppy's eyes. Her pretty smile completes her thankful respect. What a good girl.
Jiang Xi Yu can no longer keep her hands off her. She helped the little girl up. Jiang Xi Yu took the bangle from her hands and put it on her wrist. The bangle was still too big for her but the color matched perfectly with her skin tone.
\"What a fortune. Wang fei fall in love with Anle duolun gege. Jing Gui Fei also loves wang fei so much to even bestowed her trusted palace mama to serve wang fei. Our fu is blessed since wang fei joined this fu.\" Zheng yiniang might have sounded like she sucked her up but Jing Xi Yu knew what she actually meant was to provoke Jiang Xi Yu's reaction.
Jiang Xi Yu did not know about the palace mama that had to serve her after she entered Duan Wang Fu. Her logic wasn't that shallow.
Her mother in law even has to bestow her most trusted person just to serve Jiang Xi Yu. It was just a formal excuse for the mother in law to spy on her moves inside the fu. Jiang Xi Yu glanced at Ru Ming and Ru Qing. At that moment Xiao Gan Zi gonggong entered the hall with a palace mama behind him. Xiao Gan Zi gonggong shouted their greetings after he stopped in the middle of the hall. Both servants kneeled down and gave their respect towards Jiang Xi Yu.
\"Ding mama is here to serve Duan Wang Fei from today onwards.\"
There was no smile on that old lady face. Her face was as fierce as the villain character Jiang Xi Yu once saw on some chinese old drama. Jiang Xi Yu gulped unconsciously. To have this old servant behind her was not as fun as an outsider thinks it would be. From that face alone, Jiang Xi Yu already could predict her days later would not be easy.
Her first morning as Duan Wang Fei was not enchanted like others might think. It was exhausting. After the cè fei left, Jiang Xi Yu came out to the main hòu yuàn where people who work in the Duan Wang Fu had gathered.
Xiao Gan Zi helped her distribute the gifts for all her people there. She just watched and received the bows. Her posture was upright the whole time because Ding mama was there. Few steps beside her and keeping eyes on every little thing with her evil facial expression.
When the receiving respect had finished, the sun was already on the top of the head. Jiang Xi Yu sighed and was ready to return to her main room. But that old mama was already next to her with a horrible facial expression.
\"It is unsuitable for a wang fei to snuffle when there are still people around.\" Ding mama started to show her authority.
Jiang Xi Yu just stopped for a moment. She purposely sighed. But this time it was very much obvious she was unhappy. She walked past Ding mama who looked shocked because she chose to oppose Ding mama's authority.
Jiang Xi Yu walked calmly inside her main chamber. \"Ben wang fei can do anything. There's no need to hold back when ben wang fei is inside her own fu.\"
Ding mama trailed her in anger. \"But wang fei need to remember that people talk. The servants will whisper around on how ungraceful Duan Wang Fei is.\"
Stopping her feet, Jiang Xi Yu waited until Ding mama stood before her. Before that old witch could even add more rules in her new life, Jiang Xi Yu opened her mouth. \"If there is anyone inside the fu who whispers around about their master that is Xiao Gan Zi and Ding mama's authority to punish them.\"
\"Jing Gui Fei bestowed this low servant to serve Duan Wang Fei adjust in royal family….\"
\"Jing Gui Fei bestowed Ding mama to serve Ben Wang Fei.\" Jiang Xi Yu cut her off right away. She emphasized the word serve to let this old witch know where her position was. Fate brought her to this high position then so be it. She will enjoy her title as she wishes.
\"To guide Beng Wang Fei is part of to serve.\" Jiang Xi Yu added a hint of a smile while Ding mama looked completely shocked. \"The servant has to be fully respect to the master. Ben wang fei is part of the royal family now. Ben wang fei feels this tremendous sense of respect and gratitude for Jing Gui Fei to let Ding mama serve in Duan Wang Fu.\"
Jiang Xi Yu continued her way into her chamber. She felt Ru Qing's handgrip on her was shaken and she noticed how shocked Ru Ming was behind her.
\"Ru Ming…\" She called.
Ru Ming quickly followed her step. \"Assist Ding mama to register a list of all the wedding gifts. After lunch, I will start to verify it one by one.\"
Jiang Xi Yu sat on the chair and let Ding mama bow down before she left the room along with Ru Ming behind her. Following their departure, Jiang Xi Yu's heart beat fast.
The day Han Hong Yuan went out with the Grand Princess to attend some important event, was the day Pan Xi Yin waited the most. She wore the stolen yahuan outfit. She sneaked and tried her best to find a way towards the main area of the mansion.
Pan Xi Yin kept lowering her head each time she collided with other servants. She tried to hide inside a study room and became Han Hong Yuan's secret mistress. Waiting Han Hong Yuan to elevate her status seems like she was waiting for snowdrops in the middle of summer. She knew she needed to act fast to fulfill her ambition.
Her goal was clear. If the son was useless, then she would aim for the head of the mansion. The grand chancellor, Han Xiu Wen, who has known for his credibility for serving His Majesty since the coronation day. Even though Han Xiu Wen has the Grand Princess as his legal wife. The Grand Princess is widely known as a female warrior.
Pan Xi Yin was dared to claim the Grand Princess's beauty was nothing compared to her. Her body shape must be too muscular for men to be lust for. Her age already passed the maturity date. With Pan Xi Yin's basic knowledge from growing up in the brothel house, no men will decline an offer from a younger and fresher flower. Pan Xi Yin was assured that the grand chancellor, Han Xiu Wen, would be enticed by her youth.
Pan Xi Yin reached the front area of the inner courtyard where the women reside. She believed that the Grand Chancellor often passed around this side. She was confident in her judgement since she had learned so much when she was still friends with Jiang Xi Yu and visited her mansion at that time for multiple times.
Being friends with Jiang Xi Yu builds up more and more resentful feelings inside her heart. That lucky bitch acted so spoiled and silly. Pan Xi Yin has always been wrathful on their much different fate line. That bitch was supposed to be killed but apparently she still has God of Luck beside her.
Considering it was easy to slip around the mansion without anyone stopping her, Pan Xi Yin's confidence was raised. No servants stopped her. No guards in her sight. The next thing was to find this high profile person.
She directed herself to wander around the man-made rocksery. She remembered when Han Hong Yuan casually mentioned his father's fondness for landscape design. Every afternoon the Grand Chancellor would spend an hour or two to adore his pure design courtyard. An information which ended up helpful for Pan Xi Yin.
She counted every single minute which passed. And every single time that passed, the confidence started to fade away. Her heart started to beat faster. After more than an hour wandering around there, Pan Xi Yin began to question herself whether it was better for her to just return back to Han Hong Yuan's study room and wait for the next chance or keep waiting for her luck to shine.
Between her doubt to stay, a whistling sound approached her. She looked away toward the source of the melodious voice and she could not stop herself from smiling. Her chance has arrived.
Walking towards her was this man who should deserve to be her father instead of lover. The Grand Chancellor appeared to have just arrived from his meeting with the Emperor. He was fully dressed in formal palace attire, accompanied by his trusted guard and personal taijian.
\"Impudent! This dirty servant is brazen enough to impair laoye's afternoon stroll!\" The senior taijian enraged at Pan Xi Yin.
With her eyes locked at the person who looked so noble, Pan Xi Yin quickly kneeled. \"This unequal one just happened to be lost.\"
Her eyes glazed as her facial expression became scared. She lifted her chin a little bit more up because she knew her best angle. Just like what she has predicted, Han Xiu Wen wasn't like his son. The mature man won't be that easy to be goaded by beauty.
The senior taijian caught her arms and lifted her up in an ease. \"Which quarter do you serve?!\" He yelled at her. Pan Xi Yin fought back to not be dragged too far from her spot.
\"I'm not serving anyone. I'm the guest of chancellor's son.\" She answered proudly. She looked at the Grand Chancellor in the eye. The man was more wise, has more experiences, has more intelligence.
\"A lowly kept woman who is acting so high.\" The taijian threw her down in an abhorrent manner. \"Lăo ye, nú cai has some ideas regarding this lowly kept woman who has been interfering in the young master's life.\"
The trusted taijian grinned towards his master. Pan Xi Yin kneeled down then dragged herself closer so Han Xiu Wen could see her more clearly. She didn't forget to sway her left shoulder so her loose fabric got even more loose. She lifted a bit her chin while her tears gathered on her eyes.
\"I never have any intention to interfere with anyone's life, including Hong Yuan.\" She called the name so dearly. \"It was only because Hong Yuan saved my life. I think that this is my fate.\" Then Pan Xi Yin began to let her tears come down her face softly.
She felt like thunder had bolted directing to her cheek. She even did not realize her own hand already covering her right cheek. The pain started piercing in after the taijian scolded her harshly.
That scumbag had slapped her cheek.
\"Who are you to dare enough to call our young master like that?!\" The old taijian literally screamed angrily towards her. He lifted his hands once again and Pan Xi Yin could only close her eyes and waited for him to harsh her again.
The elegant voice made Pan Xi Yin dared to open her eyes. Her teary eyes met the pair eyes. \"Send her back to where she belongs and give some gold tokens to bring back. Consider it as a humble gift from the Grand Chancellor's residence.\"
The way he gave that order was calm. His trusted personal taijian nodded while Pan Xi Yin rushed to propound her mind.
\"I, forever, would be in debt towards this noble family. If only Hong Yuan left me behind that day, I might become sustenance for the animal in the woods. I don't have any family or relatives that I know. People found my appearance unique. My whole life was just a state of nightmare before Hong Yuan saved my life.\"
\"So, what do you want?\" Han Xiu Wen cut the act. The Grand Chancellor's chin already on his arm, leaned on the rock table in leisure, listening to the horrible life story from Pan Xi Yin. \"I thought you wanted to run away from my residence.\"
Pan Xi Yin shut her mouth and stared for a while. The man in front of her was old enough to be her father and possessed the highest rank of government officials. He was not a simple man. Pan Xi Yin should act differently then any men she had encountered before.
After a moment of silence, Pan Xi Yin wiped the tears on her cheeks. She lifted her chin up and locked her gaze with Han Xiu Wen. \"I was perplexed between moral duty to serve Hong Yuan and to start a new life, finding the right man to be served. My heart doesn't belong to Hong Yuan but my morals does.\"
They both locked eyes for some more moments until a hint of smile showed off on the Grand Chancellor's lips. Starting from that point, Pan Xi Yin felt she just accomplished something.
Han Hong Yuan was too excited to meet his woman. During three days trips with his mother, he was deathly bored and annoyed. The whole trip was the Grand Princess's marvelous plan to land a marriage degree between him and the daughter of one of the great generals of the empire.
The Grand Princess had set a goal for him to receive a wedding degree from the emperor next year. The bride to be was none other than Kong Mu Liu, daughter of The Great General, Duke of Kong, who was responsible for guarding the east border of the empire.
Duke of Kong was one of the Eight Banners families. Somehow the Grand Princess fancy that family so much to gain opportunities in the future. But after knowing Pan Xi Yin, Kong Mu Liu's beauty and family background status could not compare with Pan Xi Yin's persona. Being away from Pan Xi Yin just three days long already made Han Hong Yuan uncontrollably craving for her body.
Han Hong Yuan ignored all the greetings he received along the way to his private study room. He brought along a velvet box containing a white rare bracelet inside. That expensive gift was purposely brought to cheer his loved one for his disappearance. Han Hong Yuan believed Pan Xi Yin would be missing him as much as he was missing her.
With a hard blow, Han Hong Yuan pushed open the door. He had imagined many times how Pan Xi Yin would react after he gave her a surprise comeback. But that imaginary scene was scattered into pieces the moment he saw nobody inside his study room.
Pan Xi Yin was not the type who would stroll around the mansion. From his understanding, Pan Xi Yin was too lofty to walk around under other servant's scorn about her status. She made a very clear statement about her wish to get people inside the mansion to respect her like she was a legal wife of his.
Han Hong Yuan found his study room was very neat. The bed on the inner side of the study room was neat. Like nobody has lived there before. Usually Pan Xi Yin would use his sitting area as her sanctuary. He would find that area always messy but that moment it was very clean and neat. There were no items that belonged to Pan Xi Yin inside. It was like she was never there all along.
Han Hong Yuan shouted angrily and his personal taijian reached him as quickly as possible. \"Where is she?!\" He shouted. His eyes still wandered around his study quarter. He was surrounding the room with his heart beating very fast. \"Why her things not around here? Where is she?!\"
After confirming what he did was useless. He couldn't find either Pan Xi Yin or her stuffs, without realizing it, he threw away the jewelry box to the floor and grabbed his personal taijian by his collar.
\"Young master, three days ago Miss Pan has decided to go back to her hometown, Luoyang City, to find her brother. She joined lăo ye's entourage.\" The taijian answered him right away.
\"She joined father's official entourage?!\" Han Hong Yuan was outrageously surprised by the news.
His father that he knew had never been unfaithful. Han Hong Yuan never saw his father having another woman beside his own mother. He was less worried about having Pan Xi Yin joining the entourage for sexual reasons. He was more worried if Pan Xi Yin really felt it was finished between them since Han Hong Yuan can't change her status to be his legal wife or even his concubine. What if Pan Xi Yin did not plan to come back to him?
He let go his taijian. \"Prepare for the fastest horse we have in the fu.\" Han Hong Yuan gave his order then left for his living quarter.