Because Cheng Yujin was pregnant with twins, Li Chengjing didn’t publicize the long-awaited news. On top of that, he issued a strict confidentiality order to the whole Eastern Palace, forbidding anyone from spreading the news.
Cheng Yujin received the confirmation of her pregnancy at the end of the fourth month. In a blink of an eye, it was the time for the Second Prince and Dou Xiyin’s wedding.
Until the wedding day, Empress Yang was busy with various preparation. Who knew whether she was intentional or not, but many of the ceremonies for the wedding exceeded that of the imperial prince’s rank and even faintly approached the crown prince’s rank.
Getting married was an important milestone in a man’s adulthood, and a prince was not an exception. Shortly after the marriage was announced, the Emperor summoned the Ministry of Rites to choose a title for the Second Prince and made him Shou Wang.1
During the process, Empress Yang went to the imperial study several times, trying to persuade the Emperor to choose more ambitious characters such as Qin, Han, and such for the Second Prince. Still, the Emperor was very determined and ignored the characters chosen by Empress Yang. In the end, the character ‘Shou’ was selected as the Second Prince’s title.
Shou, meant longevity. This expressed a father’s love for his son, but by no means held the expectation an emperor had towards his heir.
A name was given at birth, but the title was only chosen after adulthood. Many things could be surmised from the choices of title and fief. If a prince’s title was based on the dynasty names, such as Qin, Chu, Qi, Han, and such, it showed the importance the prince held in the emperor’s heart, especially with a strong dynasty name. On the contrary, titles taken from auspicious words also expressed the son’s status in the emperor’s heart, but in a completely different way.
As soon as the title ‘Shou’ was announced, half the court, which previously was bustling with the marriage of the Second Prince, suddenly felt silent upon seeing the character the Emperor personally chose.
The emperor’s intention was very clear. In the Emperor’s heart, he of course loved the second son who grew up under his knees since childhood, but in the end, his love was only as a father towards his son. A safe and long life was what the Emperor hoped for the Second Prince, not the throne. The Crown Prince’s position as the heir in the Emperor’s heart was unshakable.
Empress Yang was heartbroken, but she still refused to give up. As if to compensate her son, she did her best to hold the grandest wedding ever. Things such as dowry and betrothal gifts were all clearly stipulated in the court regulations. How much for a crown prince, how much for other imperial princes, how much for a wang, how much for a junwang… each was clearly regulated, as plain as day. Empress Yang was unable to break the rules, so she was determined to make the ceremonies grander in other ways, even faintly trying to surpass Li Chengjing’s wedding from last year.
On the wedding day, Cheng Yujin also departed to Shou Wang Manor to attend the wedding banquet. As the most important guest, she was the last to arrive. Once she was seated, the wedding process finally began.
Seeing the grand and pomp decorations around her, Cheng Yujin smiled and said nothing. When someone quietly came up to test Cheng Yujin’s attitude, she simply replied with generic responses, “Congratulation for the Shou Wang,” “My new sister-in-law is a happy person,” and said nothing else while maintaining her usual smile. But these few words were enough. Cheng Yujin was the Crown Princess whose marriage was personally bestowed by the Emperor. Even Empress Yang and Empress Dowager Yang couldn’t pick her fault. Cheng Yujin was the future empress; how could she be compared with an ordinary Wangfei?2
Moreover, there was also the circumstance behind this marriage. Although no one said it aloud, who didn’t gossip about it in private? Dou Xiyin made such a big scandal before the marriage, but the whole Yang family didn’t know to be low-key and even dared to show it off pompously, as if they didn’t know the word ‘shame.’
Seeing Cheng Yujin’s magnanimous attitude from the beginning to the end, more and more people felt that this was how the future mother of the country should behave. In contrast, Empress Yang’s attitude was a bit petty and unbecoming.
Inside, many of the guests were half-disdainful, but they still enthusiastically propped up the Empress.
Those who could attend a prince’s wedding banquet naturally came from the highest background, and none of them was a fool. Even so, the moment Dou Xiyin entered the hall, some people couldn’t help but cast a glance at the bride’s stomach hidden under the cumbersome wedding dress.
The wedding was held in such a hurry, could it be that she really…
It was also a coincidence that the wedding dresses were large and overlayered, which inevitably made the bride look fatter than usual. As a result, the preconceived people became more and more certain of the reason behind the rushed-up wedding.
After the wedding ceremony was over, the newlyweds were sent to the bridal chamber. Cheng Yujin had the highest status here and was not of a lively temperament. Now that she was pregnant, she had no interest in going to the bridal chamber herself. After sending Lian Qiao to go on her behalf, Cheng Yujin returned to the banquet hall.
Cheng Yujin was now the most central figure in the crowd. As soon as she returned to the banquet hall, she was surrounded by a large group of people. One after another, the guest came up to greet Cheng Yujin with a smile and only took their seat after a few words of greeting.
Cheng Yujin naturally sat in the main seat at the main table. Thanks to her, the Cheng family could also sit at the main table. When Qingfu Junzhu saw Cheng Yujin, she greeted her with a smile. After subtly but respectfully asking about Cheng Yujin’s recent situation, she sat down quietly.
She was the mother, but had to sit below her adopted daughter. Not only that, but the reason Qingfu Junzhu could sit here today was entirely thanks to this adopted daughter.
Inside, Qingfu Junzhu sighed deeply.
Tuesday’s late chapter
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