Who Cares – Chapter 167
Chapter 167 Big Wedding
Due to the emperor’s urging, the ceremony for conferring the empress was organized in just half a month. The traditions of the Jiuli and Han ethnics were mixed together, which was more solemn and lengthy than the ceremony for conferring of the empress in the past.
Three days before the wedding, the empress had to fast and bathe. On that day, Old Master Zhong and Old Madam Zuo, who had been traveling all the way to the north, finally arrived in Yanjing to marry their granddaughter off. In the boudoir covered with big Double Happiness letters, Old Madam Zuo was threading her granddaughter’s face, Zhong shi was wiping her tears while mixing up the face rouge, planning to dress up her daughter beautifully as she married her off. When several palace maids were driven outside the door, they couldn’t help but sigh.
“I always urged your grandfather to go quickly, so that we can accompany Yiyi more when we get to the capital. But your grandfather wanted to take a detour, saying that he has to collect rice seeds from all over the world and cultivate a good variety. Now look at it, when we just entered the city gate, we heard that Yiyi is about to get married, and her husband is still the current emperor. As the saying goes, once you enter the palace gate it’s as deep as the sea, it will not be easy to see Yiyi in the future.” Old Madam Zuo sighed in a low voice.
Guan Suyi’s eyes were slightly red, she held her grandmother’s hand and said, “Then you and your grandfather don’t leave anymore, just stay in the capital. When you miss me, you can pass the sign to the palace, then you can see if you want to see. If you’re still running around like in the past, while I cannot go far, where should I find you?”
“Yes, mother, you and father should stay in the capital.” Zhong shi persuaded.
“The old man can’t stay. All day long only thinking about how to cultivate the land and how to control the water, where can I manage him?” Old Madam Zuo spread out the red phoenix robe and put it on her granddaughter layer by layer, warned repeatedly. “Marrying into the palace is not like marrying into ordinary family, be more dignified and virtuous. The emperor is also an extraordinary man. When you get along with him, you must take a good measure. You must not be too close or too distant. Too intimate can easily lose your heart, and too far away can be count as disrespectful. Don’t be too devoted or rude. This road you still need to fumble along. If he pampers you, you should be grateful; if he neglects you, you should also treat it calmly. The so-calledand means treating your husband as a guest. When he comes, you should welcome him; when he leaves, you should bow to see him off, come and go follow as he wishes.”
Guan Suyi nodded tearfully. She understood that most men in the world were like this. When they were in love, they treat you like fire, warm and sincere; when the flames burned out, only ashes were left. She only hoped that the fire would burn slowly and for a longer time, even if there were only ashes left, there would still be a little residual warmth, and she would not be completely cold before she died of old age.
She was willing to believe the present Hunnar, but who knows what would happen in the future? He was an emperor, and he had three thousand beauties in the harem. When she was old and her beauty fade, there would always be more beautiful and fresh women to take her place. The so-called “” has never described the love of husband and wife.
Forcing herself to think of some happy episode, only then resisted the urge to cry, Guan Suyi bid farewell to her family, boarded the phoenix carriage, and surrounded by the guard of honor drove toward the palace. Both sides of the street were full of people watching the excitement, across the heavy bead curtains, they couldn’t see the Empress’s appearance at all, but their eyes were full of festive spirit, everywhere decorated with lanterns and colorful banners, gongs and drums sounded to the sky.
The phoenix carriage entered the palace gate. The empress supposed to step on the long red carpet to go to the altar to mourn the ancestors. At the end, she went to the Hall of Supreme Harmony to receive the canonization, and then went to the Jinluan Palace with the emperor, to receive the courtiers and titled women’s worship. This was an extremely long procession, walking for a while and praying for a while, the ceremony of Eight Rituals was exactly this. And the empress’s court dress plus the phoenix crown on her head weighted at least twenty pounds, if persist on following the whole the ceremony, she would lose half her life.
Guan Suyi deliberately wore a pair of soft-soled shoes and was ready to suffer, but when she opened the bead curtain and saw the civil and military ministers and court titled women kneeling all over the ground, she suddenly felt that the weight was not only from the clothes, but also from responsibility. If you never really stand at a high place and see the sight of thousands of people bowing down, like rivers converging into the sea, you will never be able to comprehend the words “the mother of the country”.
At this moment, she suddenly retreated, deeply doubting whether she could bear this burden. After she rebirthed, she originally just wanted to live a more comfortable and happier life. When she couldn’t help but take a small step back, a big hand suddenly reached out in front of her, palm up, as if offering a lifeline.
“Hunnar.” She whispered, and only then did she realize that the man who supposed to be sitting inside the hall was already standing under the phoenix carriage.
“Let’s go, Madam.” His deep voice was covered up by the sound of the bell, and only Guan Suyi, who was close, could hear it.
“Why are you here?” How should the empress conferring ceremony be carried out? Grandfather and father have told her many times these past few days, but she didn’t expect to be disrupted at the beginning. But this change did not make Guan Suyi panic, on the contrary, she quickly returned to normal. With a dignified and bright smile on her face, she clenched Hunnar’s hand and walked forward slowly.
“I don’t want to sit in the hall and wait for Madam.” Emperor Sheng Yuan looked down at her and chuckled, “After waiting for so long, and now only need to wait half an hour, but it feels so unbearable. Besides, I said it before, from now on I will walk together with Madam.”
Guan Suyi completely forgot her previous hesitation and fear, secretly shook the two people’s intertwined hand, and whispered, “Fortunately you come, if you didn’t come, I almost went back inside the phoenix carriage.”
“Madam can also feel scared?” Emperor Sheng Yuan was a little surprised.
“I am human, of course I can feel scared. I’m sacred of not being able to shoulder the heavy responsibility of being the mother of the country, and I am afraid of embarrassing you and ruining Guan family’s reputation. I have never been an empress, and I can’t enjoy the feeling of everyone kneeling under my feet. That dignified yet majestic atmosphere piled up layer by layer, overwhelming me. If you don’t come, I may be able to persevere and finish this journey, but it will definitely not be easy.”
So luckily you’re here. She didn’t say the last sentence, but glanced at Hunnar with gratitude and emotion in her eyes. Under her grandmother’s advice, she had strengthened her defenses over and over again, but the moment she saw this person, it all vanished.
Emperor Sheng Yuan gently squeezed her fingertips and sighed, “Fortunately, I am here, if not Madam would have hesitated. No one is born to be an emperor or empress, and it’s normal for anyone to feel panicked upon seeing such a grand scene. When I ascended the throne, my mind was also the same as Madam’s. I didn’t know what to say, what to do, or even where to put my hands and feet. It was Baifu who accompanied me to practice over and over again, so that I managed to survive. I couldn’t let outsiders see my inner confusion and fear, so I could only keep my face expressionless throughout the whole process. When the enthronement ceremony was over and I returned to Weiyang Palace alone, I found that my face had stiffened and lost its senses.”
He suddenly laughed softly, “Even now, I still feel terrified, because the treasures that I have longed for too long finally fall into my palm, and I am more and more worried of losing it.”
Guan Suyi glanced at him and whispered, “Then let’s walk together holding hands. It’s better than walking alone.”
“I feel very at ease now.” The two said as they climbed the steps and walked towards the altar. The courtiers, titled women, imperial concubines along the road bowed down one after another, Long live the mountain, for thousand years.
After the empress conferring ceremony, Guan Suyi was exhausted. With the help of Jinzi and Minglan, she removed the phoenix crown and phoenix robe, only then she felt relieved.
“I never expected the phoenix crown to be so heavy. After wearing it for a whole day, my neck feels like it will break. Could it be that I have to wear it in every ceremony in the future?” Before Guan Suyi could experience the dangers of harem fight, she had already defeated by luxurious and heavy jewelry. It was really not easy for women to marry into the palace, especially the empress.
“You won’t have to wear it every time, but during festivals or big banquets for foreign guests, you will have to dress up.” Jinzi tried to contain her smile, “Niangniang, you can train your wrists to be so strong, then you can wear this phoenix crown every day, it can also be counted as neck strengthening training.”
“Why would I practice that? To get iron head?” As soon as the voice fell, the three master and servants covered their mouths and laughed softly, most of their exhaustion dissipated.
“Niangniang, please eat something to pad your stomach first, the emperor will come soon.” After helping her change into a lighter dress and setting up a table of wine and dishes, Jinzi and Minglan quietly withdrew from the inner room.
On the night of the bridal chamber, how could Emperor Sheng Yuan dare to get drunk. After three rounds of drinking, he hurriedly went back. Seeing Madam sitting under the dragon and phoenix candles waiting for him, he couldn’t help but feel warm. Guan Suyi’s cheeks were reddened by his gaze, she pointed to the stool beside her and said, “Sit down, have you eaten?”
“Ate, what about you?” The two sat facing each other silently, obviously they had a lot to say inside, but when it reached their mouths, they didn’t know how to say it.
The atmosphere was unspeakably awkward. After being silent for a long time, Guan Suyi bit the bullet and said, “I also ate. Shall we do the wine exchange?”
“Let’s.” Emperor Sheng Yuan’s cheeks flushed, then he poured two cups of wine, but after that he didn’t dare to move. The so-called “being close make you timid” was exactly this, the closer you are to the treasure, the less you dare to touch it.
Guan Suyi also held up a cup of wine and waited for him to wrap his arm around hers. The two stood opposite each other, you look at me, I look at you, their cheeks were redder than the other, looking like they were already drunk. It took a long time for them to react, then they both reached out to wrap around the other’s hand at the same time, but because of the panic, they bumped the wine cups and spilled the wine all over the place.
“Pfft.” Guan Suyi couldn’t help laughing.
Emperor Sheng Yuan put down the cup and said helplessly, “Madam, let’s do it again?”
Doing it again, the two finally drank the wine smoothly. Emperor Sheng Yuan didn’t beat around the bushes. He bent down to pick up the person, and walked straight to the wedding bed. Feeling Madam trembling in his arms, he couldn’t help but stop, “Madam, are you afraid?”
Guan Suyi clearly didn’t want to recall the bad event from the past, but her nerves were pricked by the intimate action. The affair of husband and wife was equivalent to disaster for her. Apart from humiliation and despair, there was almost nothing good left behind. Her mind told herself that this was the experience every woman had to go through, but subconsciously her body resisted, not just trembling, but also having the urge to run away.
Emperor Sheng Yuan put her on the edge of the bed and said softly, “Madam doesn’t know it, but I’m also very afraid.”
“What are you afraid of?” Guan Suyi’s attention was instantly pulled away. What would a man be afraid of? Wasn’t it women who usually suffer?