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The days after the New Year passed day by day, and the Lantern Festival was coming soon. Cheng Yujin still remembered how the Emperor took the Empress and many of the imperial consorts out of the palace to ‘enjoy the festival with the common folks’ last year. Now that the Crown Prince was back, the Emperor seemed to lost his interest to mingle with the common folks and stayed in the palace for the Lantern Festival as per the customary.
Seeing this, Empress Yang snorted coldly inside.
During the Lantern Festival banquet, Cheng Yujin sat as usual on the high platform, performing her duty for everyone to come and greet. What was usual was that Empress Dowager Yang actually gave the honor and attended the banquet this year. She sat on the main seat and called various madams and young misses to have a chat from time to time.
Yes, it was very obvious that Empress Dowager Yang was looking for the candidate for the Second Prince’s main wife. Empress Dowager Yang would say how the young miss of the Zhao family was virtuous, how the young miss of the Li family was gentle and beautiful. In this way, no one attending the banquet failed to read the message: Dou Xiyin, who had been hanged on for seven or eight years, was now completely abandoned by Empress Dowager Yang.
As a result, a gust of wind blew in the capital, resulting in various reactions. Some people were ecstatic, while some deliberately made their daughters ‘sick’ so that they were exempted from attending the Empress Dowager’s banquet, buying time as they quickly arranged their daughters’ marriage in secret. Everyone had different opinions and attitudes about this, but there was undoubtedly a unified opinion regarding one thing—
Both Dou Xiyin and the Dou family had become a complete joke in the capital.
In all fairness, Cheng Yujin felt that Empress Dowager Yang’s action was truly inappropriate. Since she didn’t have this intention from the beginning, don’t give Dou Xiyin hope and hang her for seven or eight years, wasting a young girl’s precious time. Now Dou Xiyin was no longer young, but she was still without a marriage contract. The best time for a girl to find a marriage was at thirteen or fourteen years of age, but both Dou Xiyin and the Dou family only had their eyes on the Second Prince and naturally never took any action to talk about marriage with others. Now Empress Dowager Yang suddenly said that she never meant it at all. She stated that it was just a casual remark when seeing the two adorable children playing harmoniously together. Naturally, this casual remark could not be counted as a marriage contract.
It was true that Empress Dowager Yang’s behavior was unpraiseworthy, but Dou Xiyin and the Dou family were not blameless either. One’s own choice was one’s own responsibility. After all, it was Dou Xiyin who took the initiative to run to the palace every day, and it was also Dou Xiyin who looked down on other men. Now, those who sowed melons would harvest melons, and those who sowed beans would harvest beans. Dou Xiyin not only lost her chance to become a princess consort, but she also missed the best opportunity to find another good marriage. Having nothing in her hands, Dou Xiyin had no one to blame but herself.
Cheng Yujin was a person with clear eyes and rationality. She was ruthless to others but treated herself with the same standard. Unfortunately, Dou Xiyin was obviously not like this.
From the corner of her eyes, Cheng Yujin saw Dou Xiyin quietly go out of the hall, distancing herself from the limelight. As if she hadn’t seen anything, there was not the slightest change in Cheng Yujin’s expression.
Dou Xiyin felt suffocated in the hall. Unable to bear it anymore, she went out to take fresh air. The wind blew coldly, but Dou Xiyin kept walking bitterly. Her footsteps were loud and hard, imagining herself trampling the faces of those disgusting women under her feet. It took her an incense stick of time to finally calm down.
When Dou Xiyin returned to her sense, she was already far away from the banquet hall. Dou Xiyin stood in the cold wind, looking at the red walls and green tiles that she was most familiar with in the past. Looking at the towering grand palaces, she felt pitiful and pathetic.
She originally thought that she also belonged here. Every time she entered the palace, Dou Xiyin felt great honor when she looked at the towering red walls, the splendid green glazed tiles, and the strict access control. She knew that she would eventually be the female master of all of these, standing at the highest honor far above any other woman in this world.
Dou Xiyin never thought that she would marry someone else, let alone that Second Prince would marry another woman. She trusted Empress Dowager Yang wholeheartedly and never suspected that she was lying to her.
Now, look at the result of her trust. Empress Dowager Yang openly slapped the Dou family and Yang Yan in the face. Dou Xiyin became the laughing stock of the capital and was faced with the crisis of finding a marriage. When the rumor was starting to spread in the beginning, the Dou family was indeed suspicious, but they decided to wait and watch the situation for a while. Seeing that Empress Dowager Yang really began to look for another candidate for the Second Prince’s princess consort, they finally panicked, especially Yang Yan. She hurriedly started to look for a suitable marriage for her daughter, only to realize that all good candidates had been snatched away long ago, leaving only the less desirable ones. From the remaining candidates, either his behavior was bad, or the family was full of mess, and there were even some whose status and family standing were far below the current Dou family. At this moment, those people were all rushing up, wanting to climb upward using Dou Xiyin.
In the past, how could Dou Xiyin and Yang Yan put these kinds of people in the eyes? The mother and daughter would even feel dirty having these men pick up their shoes. But now, they turned out to be Dou Xiyin’s best choices.
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