On the Mid-Autumn Festival, Cheng Yujin changed into the crown princess’ yanju formal dress and attended the Mid-Autumn Festival banquet with Empress Yang. Empress Yang wore the empress’ formal dress with a red juyi shirt inside, a bright yellow wide-sleeved blouse outside, and a red tasseled cape with gold embroidery on the outermost layer. Cheng Yujin’s attire was very similar to Empress Yang’s, except that she wore a blue juyi shirt, embroidered with Luan bird and auspicious cloud motif on the chest and back. Outside, she wore a red blouse, with sleeves wide enough to almost hang down to the ground. Her shoulders were draped with a dark blue tasseled cape, also embroidered with gold thread, very solemn and long enough that it almost touched the ground.
This kind of wide-sleeved blouse and long cape was very challenging to wear. If the wearer was not good enough, she would be overwhelmed by the attire’s grandness and look unpretentious. However, when such heavy attire was worn by Cheng Yujin, they looked elegant and grand. Different garments were layered on top of another, and from a distance, it looked as if she was wearing a stack of gorgeous clouds.
In particular, Cheng Yujin’s blouse was red. Coupled with her black hair and snow-white skin, she looked so glamorous. Empress Yang was sitting not far away. With imperial gold draped on her body, she should be the most glamorous person in the hall. But unfortunately, Empress Yang’s skin was not white enough. What was especially fatal was that she sat next to a more beautiful comparison. Next to Cheng Yujin’s aura, Empress Yang looked so dark and unimposing.
Especially when the Mid-Autumn Festival banquet was carried on in an orderly manner, with no mistake whatsoever. Dishes were being served one after another, and when the palace servants finally took out the blue and white porcelain mooncakes, Empress Yang’s complexion totally collapsed.
The mooncakes were made from white flour and were molded into various beautiful and elegant shapes. What was especially rare was that the beautiful white crust was fused with blue patterns in a smooth and natural blending. All in all, the mooncakes looked like the finest porcelain art — exquisite and elegant to the extreme. Looking at the entire banquet hall, no two mooncakes had the same blue and white pattern.
Rather than a palace banquet, it was more like a display of imperial grandeur.
When such beautiful, art-like mooncakes were placed on the table, everyone held their breath in awe, and no one was willing to talk.
There were voices of exclamation below as the madams and young ladies learned that everything was arranged by the Crown Princess, including these mooncakes. Everyone was full of praises and amazement. Cheng Yujin was accustomed to being the number one, and the praises made her feel good, but she still had to play modesty: “I’ve made everyone laugh. These are but little things, and I dare not to claim credits. Everything is thanks for Empress Dowager and Empress’ guidance.”
How could these be small things? The grand Mid-Autumn Festival banquet went smoothly with no mishap. The menu was planned well and served perfectly with excellent combinations, not to mention the stunning mooncakes. Mooncakes were a staple for Mid-Autumn Festival, and everyone was more than familiar with them. Yet, the Crown Princess managed to amaze everyone with her new take of the traditional item. Could ‘small things’ sum all these up? The most frightening was that it was only the second month after this new Crown Princess entered the palace.
Everyone present had no words, but they were all convinced by Cheng Yujin. Her bearing was excellent, and her methods were great. Many titled madams were present tonight, but which of them dared to accept the task of organizing the Mid-Autumn Festival banquet after only a month of marriage? It was already a great accomplishment to organize this kind of important banquet without making mistakes, but Cheng Yujin was able to bring forth new ideas and make stunning improvements. Presumably, this new style of blue and white porcelain mooncakes would soon become a trend in the capital, and in ten years, there would never be a Mid-Autumn Festival that could achieve the same effect as this one.
After the banquet was over, the titled madams dispersed in small groups. They were technically allowed to leave now, but it was rare to enter the palace, so most people would stay for a while. Some of them chatted with their acquaintances, others took their daughters to socialize, or meet their in-laws. Among them, many people naturally went to greet the Crown Princess.
Cheng Yujin handled the waves of people coming to her gently and patiently, with a constant smile on her face. Although she spoke only occasionally, she guided the rhythm very well. Anyone who came to greet her didn’t feel that they were treated coldly; on the contrary, they would think they had done a wonderful job and managed to say many witty words in front of the Crown Princess.
Seeing the lively crowd surrounding Cheng Yujin, Dou Xiyin snorted coldly, “Worshipping high and despising low. These small people are too capable.” The girl gritted her teeth and said bitterly.
Yang Yan, who overheard it, quickly covered Dou Xiyin’s mouth. She then hurriedly looked around. Seeing there were no other people around, she sighed in relief before berating her daughter: “Xiyin, this is the palace. You can’t talk nonsense here. Have you forgotten what Empress Dowager told you that day?”
Dou Xiyin tugged her handkerchief and retorted angrily: “Mother, why don’t you feel angry? Look at her!”
Of course Yang Yan was also uncomfortable, but this was the palace. As a mere titled madam, what could she do to the Crown Princess? Yang Yan sighed and said: “Xiyin, I know you feel aggrieved, but she is the Crown Princess. Although the Empress loves you, the Crown Prince is her stepson and the only bloodline left by the previous Empress. On top of that, he has just returned after missing for fourteen years. Even if the Empress is willing to help you, it is not easy for her to do anything.”
Dou Xiyin felt bitter. For so many years, she was the most dazzling and the most beautiful existence at every banquet, and everyone rushed forward for a chance to talk to her. Dou Xiyin was extremely dismissive and arrogant, and she seldom bothered to respond to the people who came to talk to her, not giving even a polite smile. Now that those people finally stopped bothering her as she wanted, Dou Xiyin became very uncomfortable instead.
It turned out that she indeed liked people flattering her, and she couldn’t stand seeing herself stop being the center of attention.
Dou Xiyin bit her lip and suddenly made up her mind. She said to Yang Yan: “Mother, those people used to flatter me in the past, thinking that I was to be the future crown princess. Now that the position has fallen on another person, they are definitely mocking me in secret. If I even lose the position of second prince’s wife, do I still have a face to meet my peers in the future? Mother, you cannot let me become their joke.”
Sorry for the missing updates >_<
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