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Du Ruo quietly entered the hall, walked to Cheng Yujin, and whispered something in her ears. Cheng Yujin nodded in response without saying a word.
Sitting above and overlooking the lively banquet in the hall, Cheng Yujin’s smiled from beginning to end. She was graceful and dignified, and her smile was gentle and warm. No one could pick any wrong on the Crown Princess.
Halfway through the banquet, a palace servant entered the hall in a hurry and whispered something to Empress Yang. Empress Yang’s expression changed, and she hurriedly left the banquet without caring about her image.
Everyone saw her left, but they didn’t take it seriously. They only thought that something urgent suddenly happened, and Empress Yang, as the head of the inner palace, went to handle the matter.
But after a while, a middle-aged Mama entered the hall, bent over, and whispered something in Empress Dowager Yang’s ears. Empress Dowager Yang’s face suddenly turned cold, and there was a hint of anger on her expression. At this time, a girl was showing her skill in front of Empress Dowager Yang. She prepared a load of witty remarks, but she suddenly shut her mouth in fear when she looked at Empress Dowager Yang’s expression.
With the help of a Mama, Empress Dowager Yang stood up from her seat with a cold face. Seeing this, all the people in the Yongshou Palace’s hall suddenly quieted down. Empress Dowager Yang hooked up her lips into a shallow smile and said: “This Dowager is tired and will retire first to rest. Crown Princess.”
Cheng Yujin stepped forward in response and curtsied politely, “This granddaughter-in-law is here.”
“The Empress is not here, so you temporarily have to oversee the Lantern Festival banquet on her behalf. If something happens, send someone to deliver a message to This Dowager.”
“Yes.” Cheng Yujin bowed her head and said, “This granddaughter-in-law obeys the order.”
After Empress Dowager Yang finished speaking, she left with her entourage. Everyone in the hall looked at their departing backs. For a long time, the hall was totally silent.
Cheng Yujin raised her hand and said with a smile and said, “Both the Empress Dowager and the Empress are temporarily absent. Let’s continue the banquet with just the rest of us.”
Following Cheng Yujin’s words, the hall resumed its liveliness again. Although the madams present were busy chatting and drinking, they all secretly thought about the strangeness shown by the Empress and Empress Dowager just now.
At this moment, someone suddenly found out that Yang Yan was no longer in her seat.
Shu Consort glanced around. Sure enough, Yang Yan was nowhere to be seen. Itching with curiosity, Shu Consort used the excuse of giving the Crown Princess a toast to quietly come to Cheng Yujin and asked in a low voice: “Crown Princess, what’s happening here? Why did both the Empress and Empress Dowager suddenly leave?”
“How do I know about the Her Majesties’ affairs?” Cheng Yujin picked up her wine cup, gestured at Shu Consort, and smiled, “Shu Consort, let’s toast.”
Shu Consort understood the signal. She drank the wine obediently and stopped asking questions. Cheng Yujin merely made a token gesture. Although she accepted the toasts from the guests, she didn’t really drink the wine.
Cheng Yujin looked down at the transparent wine in the cup. The liquid was clear, reflecting the surrounding carved beams and luxuriously decorated pillars. Cheng Yujin put down the cup as her mind wandered. There were still a lot of matters she had to deal with today, so she could not let the alcohol take the better of herself.
A drunken mistake…huh?
On the afternoon of the Lantern Festival, time passed slowly. The guests attending the banquet were absent-minded, but they all pretended ignorance. Cheng Yujin stayed in the Yongshou Palace’s hall, presiding over the banquet as the only hostess left. Her conduct and behavior were very appropriate. Everyone suddenly discovered that the Crown Princess was actually such a perfect hostess. She oversaw the whole banquet without a sign of stage fright, and she handled some unexpected situations better than the Empress.
The Crown Princess was usually very low-key, giving the public an impression that she was a very beautiful and eye-catching mascot whose job was only to sit and smile. But in the event when both the Empress and Empress Dowager’s absence, it turned out that her ability was exceptional.
Both Empress Yang and Empress Dowager Yang never returned to the banquet. Cheng Yujin oversaw the whole banquet calmly and skilfully, as if she was totally ignorant of the incident currently happening on the other side of the palace. It was not until she returned to the Ciqing Palace that Cheng Yujin finally retracted the smile she had been putting on all day and asked: “Where is His Highness?”
“His Highness is still attending the banquet with the Emperor in the Qianqing Palace and has not returned yet.”
The Emperor always took Li Chengjing by his side on practically every occasion. It was a given that Li Chengjing had to accompany the Emperor during such an important banquet today. Although troublesome, this degree of attentiveness clearly showed the Emperor’s attitude towards Li Chengjing. Hearing the palace servant’s answer, Cheng Yujin nodded. She had been waiting all afternoon, so it would be nothing to wait for a bit more. Cheng Yujin first went to the bathroom to take a wash and get changed. When she returned to their chamber, she found that Li Chengjing had returned. There was a slight amount of remaining water vapor on his body, so he should have also taken a bath in another bathroom.
Seeing Cheng Yujin was back, Li Chengjing held out his hand towards her. Cheng Yujin sat next to Li Chengjing and asked, “Your Highness, how is it?”
Li Chengjing had just taken a shower, and the tips of his hair were still slightly damp. He was only wearing a middle shirt. His slender neck was exposed at the collar, vaguely showing his broad chest. Li Chengjing took Cheng Yujin’s hand into his, placed it on his lap, and nodded slightly, “It’s done.”
Cheng Yujin subconsciously raised her eyebrows. She seemed a little anxious, but she tried to stay calm: “What is the situation now?”
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