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After a round of toasting, the Emperor was still not satisfied. He smiled and pointed his cup at Li Chengjing and Cheng Yujin’s seat. “This is Crown Prince’s first New Year in the palace after fourteen years. The last time you sit here, you were not even as tall as the table. But look now, you are already married and started a family of your own.”
Li Chengjing stood up, raised his cup, and said: “It is this son’s fault for being unfilial. Over the years, this son has not been able to fulfill one’s filial piety by Your Majesty’s side. This son is truly ashamed.”
The Emperor was overwhelmed with emotion. He waved his hand and said, “Now that you are back, there is no need to talk about the past. Today is truly a joyous day. Everyone should enjoy themselves.”
Li Chengjing nodded, then took the initiative to toast the Emperor with three cups of wine. Cheng Yujin also stood up and toasted the Emperor with Li Chengjing.
The Emperor looked at the tall and handsome eldest son, then looked at the dignified, beautiful, and well-mannered daughter-in-law. His heart was full of happiness. His son and daughter-in-law were toasting; how could he refuse? The Emperor drank all the wine with a big smile.
This scene naturally fell into the eyes of everyone, all with different thoughts.
Li Chengjing was wearing a light blue attire made from high-quality fabric. Standing under the light, he was like a beautiful jade illuminated by soft moonlight. Next to him, Cheng Yujin was wearing a light pink collared jacket cut from the same fabric. One was in light blue, and the other was in light pink. Standing side by side, the effect was simply brilliant and complemented each other.
Only a husband and wife could wear this kind of attire together, and the two were exceptionally perfect in it.
Empress Yang felt her eyes stabbed. The Second Prince Li Chengjun also silently turned his eyes away, once again finding that the matter of his marriage should be put on the agenda as soon as possible. The imperial consorts and concubines were both envious and jealous. Once they entered the palace, they were all concubines. Even though there was an honorable ‘imperial’ word in front, concubines were still concubines, not a wife. In this lifetime, they would never have the chance to wear the same attire as their husband.
Among everyone present, only the Emperor was truly happy to see the beautiful couple.
Cheng Yujin didn’t know that she had inadvertently shown off in public again. In fact, she didn’t do it on purpose. But all Li Chengjing’s clothes were personally chosen by her. When Cheng Yujin ordered clothes for herself, she always ordered the same set for Li Chengjing as a matter of convenience, so it was inevitable that their clothes were matching on almost every occasion. Especially because the two of them were good-looking, had excellent manners, and also had tacit understanding in their actions. Just standing up and toasting together made others feel that they were deliberately showing off their affection.
After toasting, the two sat down. Li Chengjing handed Cheng Yujin a cup of tea and whispered something in her ear. Cheng Yujin nodded after listening. Their interaction fell into the eyes of others, causing another burst of bitterness and envy. The Noble Consort couldn’t hold back anymore and opened her mouth: “Crown Prince and Crown Princess’s relationship is truly good. I wonder what is the Crown Prince whispering to Crown Princess in front of so many people?”
Cheng Yujin raised her head in surprise. Before she could understand how the topic was turning to her, Li Chengjing had already answered: “Crown Princess is weak to alcohol. Gu is afraid that she would get drunk, so Gu reminded her to drink tea to sober up.”
The Noble Consort silently clicked her tongue. She covered her lips with a handkerchief and smiled: “Young couples are indeed very affectionate. This Palace’s teeth are going to be sore. It seems like This Palace won’t be able to bite hard vegetables today.”
Cheng Yujin could only keep smiling and let everyone make jokes at her expense. Shu Consort, who was sitting opposite Noble Consort, intervened and said: “Crown Prince and Crown Princess are in harmony with each other, and their feeling is very strong. This is truly a great thing. This Consort is looking forward to getting sore teeth.”
Shu Consort was related to Cheng Yujin via the marriage with Chang Duke Manor, so she always spoke in support of the Eastern Palace. Cheng Yujin accepted Shu Consort’s kindness with a smile: “Noble Consort and Shu Consort, please stop making fun of me. If you two go on, I will be too embarrassed to stay. Please let me toast this cup of wine to respect two consorts.”
The Crown Princess was toasting, so Noble Consort had to accept it. After receiving the toast from the other party, Noble Consort naturally couldn’t make fun of her again. Other concubines and consorts also stopped here. Unexpectedly, Empress Dowager Yang, who was listening silently until now, suddenly opened her mouth and said slowly: “Shu Consort’s words are reasonable. You husband and wife are a young couple, and your relationship is very good. This is naturally a good thing for the country. However, as the wife, Crown Princess’ most important duty is to expand the branches for the imperial family. It has been half a year since Crown Princess entered the palace. Is there any good news now?”
Following Empress Dowager Yang’s words, the originally harmonious atmosphere cooled down in an instant. The smile on Cheng Yujin’s face also disappeared. Empress Dowager Yang deliberately mentioned this matter in front of so many people, obviously to make her look ugly. In fact, it was only half a year since she got married, and it was normal not to get pregnant yet. No matter how anxious they were, no decent in-laws would urge their daughter-in-law like this. But Li Chengjing was currently standing on the cusp of the storm, and countless people watched his every move. With a step-grandmother like the Empress Dowager standing behind, even any small matter was especially easy to be taken out to make a fuss.
Cheng Yujin put down the wine cup and was about to say something when a warm palm suddenly covered her hand. Li Chengjing’s fingers were slender, and the joints were well-proportioned — very good-looking. When his palm gently touched Cheng Yujin’s hand, it gave her an inexplicable strong sense of safety.
Without dodging or evading, Li Chengjing looked straight at Empress Dowager Yang and slowly said: “There are three kinds of unfilial piety, and no descendants is the greatest of all. This grandson has passed the adult ceremony, but has not yet had an offspring. This is truly an act of unfilial piety towards Your Majesties, and this grandson is extremely ashamed. If Empress Dowager wants to blame, this grandson will accept the sin without a word.”
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