The Princess Wei Yang - Chapter 7
The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 7
Returning to the Li’s Estate
Having stayed at the Li’s in Ping Cheng for half a month, they then assigned Wei Yang two servant girls and two mamas for her journey back to the Capital. The horse carriage was sent by the Prime Minister’s estate. On the curtain were gemstones of different colours braided together and the silk was a majestic crimson colour, complementing the exquisite embroidering of the peony flower. The interior décor of the carriage were lavish and sophisticated compared to the frugal, plain-looking exterior.
Li Wei Yang tossed it a brief glance and didn’t look at it anymore. She knew the carriage was simply a tool for Da Furen to use and intimidate her.
This was only the beginning.
Inside the carriage, Bai Zhi carefully set the hot cup of tea down onto the small table made out of rosewood. She glimpsed at Li Wei Yang who had her eyes closed and was resting. She was anxious, wondering if she should make any small talks with Wei Yang. She felt San xiaojie didn’t have the typical aura of a lone person travelling on a journey.
She glanced over Zi Yan who was sitting on the opposite side. Noticing the same weird expression on Zi Yan, she became even more nervous. They were both servants sent by the Li’s in Ping Cheng to take care of San xiaojie. However, they didn’t have a grasp of this San xiaojie’s personality so they didn’t dare to open their mouths.
Li Wei Yang gently closed her eyes as her memories flew back to that year when she returned to the Prime Minister’s estate. Cautiously she had stepped into the Prime Minister’s estate as Da Furen scanned her from top to bottom.
A bright and benevolent smile appeared on her face as she said, “Oh! This child really does have good fortune! Go help her change garments.”
Back then she was always timid and fearful, restless and nervous, but when she heard those words she was filled with gratitude. A meager concubine’s daughter like her who was born in February, if it wasn’t for Da Furen’s benevolence, why would father suddenly remember her existence?
Unfortunately back then, she was oblivious to the disdain and callousness hidden deep in Da Furen’s eyes.
When she had arrived at the Prime Minister’s estate then, Li Wei Yang was illiterate. She couldn’t even read a single word. She had been the image of a typical country bumpkin. Should news spread that she was a child born from the Prime Minister’s estate but couldn’t read or write, people would ridicule with laughter.
She reminisced on the past when Tuo Ba Zhen was a prince with no reputation, lacking power and ability to become the next Emperor. For those reasons, why would father and Da Furen marry off her beautiful and fairy-like older sister, Li Zhang Le, to the empty-handed Tuo Ba Zhen? Nonetheless, Tuo Ba Zhen still had his respectable and noble adopted mother, Wu Xian Fei, which was why it was hard to decline the proposal. However, none of them could’ve guessed that later on Tuo Ba Zhen would go on to be crowned the Emperor. Furthermore, the village bumpkin some years ago, who couldn’t even write her own name, was going to become the Empress.
Back then, after her meeting with Da Furen, she had then followed a servant out. When they passed by a study room, there was the sound of someone reciting a poem.
Li Wei Yang had heard the voice resonating:
“The peach tree is young and elegant;
Brilliant are its flowers.
This young lady is going to her future home,
And will order well her chamber and house.”
At that time, Li Wei Yang was illiterate but she felt that the person’s words and tone was soothing.
She was about to listen more, but was frightened by a scream. “Ah! What are you doing here?”
Surprised, Li Wei Yang lifted her eyes and saw a pretty young girl looking at her with wide-eyes.
The xiansheng, who was reciting the poems, also turned to look. Li Wei Yang heard the xiansheng questioning, “Is she a servant in the estate?”
Just a simple question like that had turned Li Wei Yang beet red and speechless.
The pretty girl stared at her. Obviously she had already guessed Wei Yang’s real identity but still covered her mouth and giggled. “Servant! Why would we have such a filthy servant in our estate?” Her words were filled with ridicule.
Li Wei Yang had lowered her head and stared at herself. Compared to the aristocratic young ladies from the noble houses, she was from the opposite side of the world. She clenched her hands, feeling dissatisfied.
The pretty girl was relentless. “What are you still standing here for? Can’t you see you’re disturbing xiansheng’s lecture? Leave!”
“San xiaojie, we should go.” The servant beside her had whispered.
Li Wei Yang had hoped there was a hole in the ground for her to crawl into.
Right then, somewhere, a gentle voice spoke up. “Chang Xi, she’s your san jie – Wei Yang! How can you be so unreasonable?” That voice had relieved her, sounding like a voice from Heaven.
Shortly after, she had discovered the girl who had helped her was Li Zhang Le. Li Wei Yang had stood in the same spot for a long time, as if she was dumbfounded. She had never met such an exceptional person before. She had never heard of a voice so pretty. She had secretly thought to herself: Even a fairy can’t be compared to her. . .
“San xiaojie! San xiaojie!” Zi Yan softly called her name.
Li Wei Yang slowly opened her eyes. She sat up straight and grinned. It was a slight grin but it still made her look spirited and adorable. “What is it?”
Zi Yan smiled and said, “San xiaojie, we’re almost there.”
Li Wei Yang pulled the curtains closed. The horse carriage had just passed the gates of Zheng An and will soon arrive at Changmen where the Prime Minister’s estate was. The Prime Minister’s estate was not located in a busy area, neither was it beside any other noblemen’s manor. When the estate was first built, a certain prince had wanted it and had especially asked for it from the Emperor but eventually thought the location was somewhat undesirable, thus he didn’t live there anymore. Later on, the said prince was discovered to be conspiring to usurp the throne and was unsuccessful. As a result, he had committed suicide via poison wine. His wealth was expropriated and the estate was seized by the Imperial Household Department. Finally, it was sold to the Li’s and passed on for generations.
The estate was originally built by the prince for his retirement. In the garden, there were rockeries and rows of wisteria. It was extremely elegant and refined. When it came to space, the garden could not be compared to other more luxurious manors in the Capital. However, when it came to architecture and design, it was considered one of the best.
It was a short distance, but the cold and monotone sound of the horse’s hooves made it seemed as if time was stretching on.
Eventually after some time, the horse carriage came to a stop.
Outside came the genteel voice of an old female servant, “San xiaojie is here!” Then she placed a small stool down next to the horse carriage. Bai Zhi and Zi Yan stepped down from the horse carriage using the stool. Afterwards they turned around and helped Li Wei Yang down the carriage.
She entered the estate and walked past the corridor. On both sides of the passageway, numerous bamboo birdcages were hung up high. There were robins, larks, red and yellow orioles and even red necks, blue necks, parakeets, doves, etc. The hundreds of varying bird types sang in unison, creating a smooth and laidback melody. Li Wei Yang looked briefly at the eagle and its sharp gaze before calmly turning her attention elsewhere.
Along the pathway, there were a bunch of servants dressed in green with blue accessories. They stood there silently but when they saw Li Wei Yang, they bowed down with respect. The scene was exactly the same as in her previous lifetime.
In the previous lifetime, when she saw those servants, she became nervous and uncoordinated. Thinking back to it, Da Furen could’ve sent someone to teach her the proper etiquette or someone from the Li’s in Ping Cheng could’ve briefly described it to her, but there hadn’t been anyone. Instead they had allowed her to appear uncultured in front of the servants, allowing others to think a country bumpkin could never change its ways.
Li Wei Yang reminisced on those times. She grinned, but didn’t stop walking as she looked at the countless servants surrounding her. She continued to follow the leading servant. Bai Zhi and Zi Yan hurriedly followed in her steps.
“Did you see? That person is San xiaojie!”
“She’s pretty. Even her conduct looks good! Didn’t someone say she grew up in a village?”
“That’s right, xiaojie truly is xiaojie. She didn’t let her upbringing affect her manners and behaviour and turn her into a cowardly person!”
Li Wei Yang had no interest in their discussion. She walked straight towards He Xiang Yuan (Lotus Court).
A servant thoughtfully pulled up the screen when she saw Wei Yang approaching. She cheerfully said, “San xiaojie.”
Li Wei Yang smiled slightly and nodded her head towards the servant then she stepped into the room.
Bai Zhi and Zi Yan followed inside. The floor was made out of yellow mosaic tiles and it was polished to the point it was reflective like a mirror. Over their heads was a beautiful octagonal lantern and the pillars were made out of rosewood with ivory inlays which shone brightly. Everything else was made out of pearwood and/or blackwood with traditional flowers engravings. It was luxurious and hard to look away from.
The two servants from Ping Cheng felt as if they had stopped breathing.
It was so extravagant!
Li Wei Yang, who should’ve been shocked by the luxury in this estate, didn’t even care to spare those things a glance. She gracefully stepped forward. With a smile, she bowed down in respect to Lao Furen who was sitting high up in the middle.
“Wei Yang’s greetings to grandmother, mother and the two aunts.”