After the session was over, Cheng Yujin returned to her room and changed the cumbersome yanju dress into the more cumbersome and heavier diyi dress. After that, she was to wait patiently until the groom’s welcoming team arrived.
Finally able to relax for a while, Cheng Yujin’s mind began to wander. Li Chengjing’s side must be busier and hectic than here.
It was natural. The Crown Prince was the country’s foundation, and his wedding was also a matter of imperial succession, which demanded the most important rites. Especially because this wedding was the first large-scale ceremony held after Li Chengjing’s return to his status as the Crown Prince. It was a perfect opportunity to display his legitimacy. With all kinds of reasons were added together, there was no need to say how grand today’s wedding was.
Cheng Yujin had no idea about the situation outside. She didn’t even know how long she had been waiting when she heard noises from outside. The noises became increasingly louder, and gradually, people’s voices and the sound of music could be heard, which signaled the arrival of the groom.
Cheng Yujin had long memorized every procedure of the wedding perfectly, and she even knew exactly when Li Chengjing should arrive at the gate of Cheng family’s manor. She supposedly was very familiar with the procedures, but at this time, when she finally heard the music from Li Chengjing’s welcoming team, she unexpectedly became nervous for no reason.
She was going to marry. She really was going to marry Li Chengjing… Cheng Yujin was so nervous that even Li Chengjing’s face in her memory was blurred. The last time they met was when she had just recovered from her illness months ago. At that time, she was under too much shock and not in the mood to examine Li Chengjing’s appearance carefully. Ever since she knew that he was not Cheng Yuanjing but the country’s current Crown Prince, Cheng Yujin rarely looked directly at his face again.
As a result, Cheng Yujin’s most memorable impression of Li Chengjing’s appearance was in the early spring of Jianwu’s 22nd year. The wind brought the snow overnight, covering the road ahead. Amidst the white world, his tall posture clad in red clothes was extraordinarily eye-catching.
When the female officials heard the noises outside, they secretly paid attention to Cheng Yujin. Seeing the new Crown Princess was still sitting upright without being disturbed, they were very satisfied.
Cheng Yujin sat on the bed dignifiedly. Her slender hands clasped together and were hidden under her long red sleeves. Her back and neck were straight, supporting the heavy nine pheasants and four phoenix crown on her head without making it sway. She looked extremely calm, befitting the composure demanded from a crown princess. In her heart, however, she couldn’t help thinking. She couldn’t remember Li Chengjing’s face, but did he remember hers? Her makeup today was particularly exaggerated. In fact, she was more beautiful with her usual makeup. If Li Chengjing misunderstood, she would surely be annoyed.
The sound of gongs and music came closer and closer. Judging from the volume of the sound, the team must have entered the manor. Today, Cheng Yuanxian wore his most formal court attire. When his future son-in-law entered the main hall, he must kneel and saluted the Crown Prince before the master of ceremony announced: “The Crown Prince is here to welcome his bride.”
The procession after that was like this: Li Chengjing walked in the forefront, followed by the rites officials, and finally, Cheng Yuanxian as the bride’s father. They walked and stopped in the middle hall. At this time, Cheng Yujin also walked in from the opposite direction. Under the female officials’ guidance, she stopped after Qingfu Junzhu.
Even during this time, the two sides were separated by a screen, preventing them from seeing each other directly. Cheng Yujin had a crown weighing five or six catties1 on her head, which made her not in the mood to look at other people’s faces. She vaguely heard Li Chengjing presenting a pair of wild geese, followed by the master of ceremony announcing: “The rite is over. Your Highness may go back.”
Li Chengjing suddenly became speechless. He glanced at the screen where Cheng Yujin was standing. He was helpless and also annoyed. After so many cumbersome rituals, he was going to be chased out without even taking a glance at Cheng Yujin?
Especially because Cheng Yujin was not far away and that he could see her silhouette at a glance. For the first time, Li Chengjing felt that these old-fashioned and cumbersome protocols to be extremely annoying.
The hall was full of people and there was endless music outside. Logically, it should be noisy here. But with Li Chengjing not moving as prompted, everyone fell into a strange silence.
In the end, Li Chengjing didn’t say anything and finally walked out of the hall. Cheng Yujin secretly sighed in relief. But she was also a bit amused. The corner of her lips was slightly upturned before she quickly put it down again, maintaining the dignified appearance of a crown princess.
After Cheng Yuanjing left, the female officials led Cheng Yujin to the phoenix sedan chair waiting outside. This sedan chair was magnificent and luxurious. Even the people who carried the sedan chair were all women. Cheng Yujin entered the phoenix sedan chair. The curtain was then pulled down, tightly covering her from outside’s eyes.
In the end, Cheng Yujin didn’t see Li Chengjing at all.
Imperial family’s rules were indeed impressive. They paid great attention even to the smallest details.
The Crown Prince’s wedding today was undoubtedly the focus of everyone’s attention in the capital. Countless people were watching the procession along the way. The wedding procession passed through the East Chang’an Avenue and mightily entered the palace through the Meridian Gate2. Here, all the escorts, guards, and officers stopped. Only Cheng Yujin’s guards of honor continued to walk forward and entered the Eastern Gate. As soon as her sedan chair landed, Cheng Yujin heard a knock from the sedan door, and the accompanying female official gently reminded: “Crown Princess, please get out of the sedan chair.”
Cheng Yujin tightly gripped the ceremonial jade tablet between her fingers. She almost instantly realized who was the person knocking on the sedan door just now. Her view suddenly became bright as the sedan curtain was opened. Li Chengjing was wearing an imperial crown with vibrant long tassels, which made it hard to see his eyes. But Cheng Yujin knew that he was looking at her.
Unmarried couples were forbidden to see each other before the wedding. But they were going to face each other day and night after marriage, sharing the same bed during their lifetime and the same coffin after death.
From now on, their fate was tied together for the rest of their lives.
Cheng Yujin’s heart was deeply shaken, and she felt even more emotional than when she accepted the imperial edict. Li Chengjing reached out his hand, as if inviting her into his life.
Cheng Yujin hesitated for a moment before she slowly held out her hand.
Wants more chapters?