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Chapter 1040 Let’s Talk About the Royal Family

Cheers suddenly came from the street outside the window.

They all crowded before the window, looking out. At this time, no one would accuse the three women of standing by the window to watch the fun openly.

This was not the time to be harsh. They just opened the window to watch the show, but there were more women downstairs throwing handkerchiefs, flowers, sachets, and other little items at the scholars. Some more excited women even took off the accessories on their hair, hurling them away.

Cheers resounded like peals of thunder along the way that the top three scholars passed.

Among them, the girls were the most thrilled.

These girls were usually very reserved, but they all shook hands and stamped feet joyfully at this time.

The Number One Scholar of this round was a middle-aged man in his 30s or 40s, and the Number Two Scholar didn’t look young. When these women saw the Number Three Scholar at the tail end of the procession, they feverishly screamed at the top of their voices.

Yan Xi was the youngest and best-looking one among the three. Besides, in high and vigorous spirits, he appeared very eye-catching. Although the two men before him ranked higher, he received most of the attention.

Shao Wanru’s eyes also fell on Yan Xi, and she couldn’t help but sigh with emotion in her heart. In her previous life, she and Yan Xi had already fallen into disrepute.

As a woman, Shao Wanru was universally condemned and suffered more than Yan Xi, though Yan Xi also got a tragic ending and was demoted.

Now, both of them met a different fate.

Yan Xi seemed to have sensed Shao Wanru’s gaze upon him and raised his head. In silence, their gazes met. On the horse, Yan Xi immediately cupped one hand in the other to pay obeisance to her, looking at her with grateful eyes.

If it weren’t for Shao Wanru’s reminder, he might still be in prison. He was very grateful to Shao Wanru for that. Shao Wanru was now Princess Chen, so it was inconvenient for him to visit and thank her. Otherwise, he would have called her house the first time.

Shao Wanru smiled slightly but didn’t do anything else.

“Did Number Three Scholar salute you?” Zhang Qilan looked back at Shao Wanru and asked curiously.

She sensed that Number Three Scholar was looking at Shao Wanru and turned around to see Shao Wanru, only to find that she didn’t seem to have noticed it. Thus, Zhang Qilan couldn’t guess what had happened.

“Maybe he saw us? Was it just now? I was looking at Number One Scholar at the head of the parade, so I didn’t notice him.” Shao Wanru said, remaining natural and at ease. She withdrew her gaze and turned to look at Yan Xi, who had shifted his eyes to the passersby before his horse and smiled back at them.

“I thought he was looking at you!” Zhang Qilan said with a smile.

Luo Xiaowan, startled, looked at Shao Wanru and asked, “Did Number Three Scholar… look at you just now?”

She also noticed that the man glanced in their direction, thinking he was looking at her. Only when she looked back at him did she find he was looking at someone behind her.

“I don’t know. Did Number Three Scholar look at me? Maybe he had seen me when he lived in the Marquis Xing’s Mansion.” Shao Wanru said indifferently.

She didn’t want others to know what had happened between her and Yan Xi.

They were like fellow sufferers in her previous life, but this feeling was difficult for others to comprehend. No one would believe it, even if she said it out loud. On the contrary, it would arouse suspicion.

Since they had taken a different route from their previous lives, they would no longer involve in each other’s affairs in this life.

“Maybe he had met Princess Chen in the Marquis Xing’s Mansion. I heard Childe Yan used to live there but has moved out recently.” Luo Xiaowan smiled, thinking it precisely the same way.

He had seen Shao Wanru. Today, he happened to see her there, so he especially saluted to greet her. After all, Shao Wanru had become Princess Chen. No matter where Yan Xi saw her, he should salute her.

“I was wondering why he suddenly saluted. It is for this reason!” Zhang Qilan also nodded repeatedly and thought it reasonable.

“Did Childe Yan move out of the Marquis Xing’s Mansion?” Shao Wanru asked in surprise. She really didn’t know about it.

Luo Xiaowan said in a soft voice, “It happened not long ago. I heard many more things had occurred in the Marquis Xing’s Mansion. It was not appropriate for Childe Yan to live there after he became Number Three Scholar. His family bought a courtyard for him in the capital city, and now he has lived there.”

But when she finished speaking, she suddenly realized what she had done and blushed scarlet with shyness.

Zhang Qilan leaned close to Luo Xiaowan and said smugly, “You said it was nothing serious. But look at you, you know so much about him. How could you say that?”

Shao Wanru looked at them with a smile. When they came in, she heard what they said and thought Luo Xiaowan must have been considering marriage again.

It seemed that she was thinking about marrying Yan Xi. It was beyond her expectations, but she felt it made sense.

Luo Xiaowan’s matter had provoked much discussion among the public, which was said to have been resolved. But because she had been involved in a boisterous farce, the few well-known aristocratic families in the capital wouldn’t accept her. Beyond that, the wife of Duke Yangqu’s son was so fond of this daughter that she wouldn’t marry her into any family outside the capital. Therefore, choosing a husband from the candidates of the Palace Examination was indeed the best way for Luo Xiaowan.

Yan Xi was the most outstanding person in this Palace Examination. Even though he had been implicated in the Marquis Xing’s Mansion case, he didn’t have anything to do with them now. Yan Xi’s parents were not by his side, so Luo Xiaowan only lived with him once they married. It was the best for Luo Xiaowan, who had been meek and mild.

“You… What are you talking about… No, nothing…” Luo Xiaowan’s pink face reddened all over, and she could hardly lift her head to see them out of embarrassment.

“My mother told me to be as steady and reliable as you. Seeing you have begun discussing the marriage, she asks me to learn from you. It’s only been a while, and you pretend foolishness!” Zhang Qilan made a fuss and laughed. Luo Xiaowan was so ashamed that she couldn’t say anything.

“Well, don’t make fun of Sister Xiaowan. You are going to marry soon.” Shao Wanru smiled, trying to make peace. She turned around and pulled her to watch the fun downstairs. The bustling scene below had gone forward with the movement of the three scholars, and more people were following them along the way. “When you get married, more people will be coming to enjoy the excitement. At that time, Sister Xiaowan and I will also book a private room to see your bridal sedan chair pass by.”

“What’s so interesting about my wedding? It’s nothing special. Haven’t you experienced one?” Zhang Qilan said languidly.

Nevertheless, they changed their topic.

After seeing the fun, they returned to their seats. Luo Xiaowan ignored her previous embarrassment and asked with concern, “Qilan, is there anything wrong? I heard that Prince Yue is handsome. Although he is a little arrogant, he is a nice person.”

“Yes, very good. Even before I marry into his mansion, there is a consort waiting for me!” Zhang Qilan sighed and looked at Shao Wanru with envy. “Princess Chen, you’re much luckier. You’ve been married for so long, but you’re the only woman companying Prince Chen. I heard that Prince Chen didn’t intend to marry another woman. Prince Chen even refused to take in a consort when the Emperor granted the marriage.”

Through the Pageant, each prince should choose a legal wife and a consort. Except for the youngest Prince Xin, the other princes should follow the tradition, but only Prince Chen refused to do so. Zhang Qilan heard the Empress Dowager and the Emperor had picked up most consorts for him, stating that they wanted to get a few more backers for this sick and weak prince.

Of course, they didn’t mean Prince Chen would have to depend on them and just want him to live a better life in the future. The so-called backer was Zhang Qilan’s idea. How could a might person like Prince Chen rely on the power of his wife’s original family? His trip to the Xu State was unexpected.

Zhang Qilan’s father also said that Prince Chen was getting better and better, and he was no longer as weak as others imagined. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been sent on a diplomatic mission.

The Empress Dowager was especially concerned about Prince Chen. If he were frail and couldn’t bear the task, she wouldn’t let him go out, even if he was willing to be just a follower!

Not long after her wedding, the consort would also marry into the mansion. Whenever Zhang Qilan thought of this, she would feel downcast.

“I heard that Prince Yue is nice, and you will marry him first as a legal wife. Why are you worried about this?” As Shao Wanru asked smilingly, her liquid eyes widened slightly. It seemed not an issue Zhang Qilan would concern about. The customary rule of the prince getting a legal wife and a consort had existed for a long time. It was strange that she said nothing about it at first, but now she was full of emotions.

“Well, just marry him and see what will happen!” Zhang Qilan smiled bitterly. She didn’t appear shy as a bride. There were some things that she couldn’t decide, and it was never up to her to make the decision.

She stood up and said with low spirits, “Let’s go. We can’t even see Number One Scholar now. There won’t be much excitement to watch. Let’s go back!”

“Why do you leave so early? Each time we hung out before, you felt reluctant to return home.” Shao Wanru was a little surprised. Zhang Qilan behaved strangely today.

“Before I left, my mother repeatedly told me to come back as soon as I watched the fun. After all, I’m going to get married soon. If Xiaowan hadn’t come to invite me, my mother wouldn’t have let me go out.” Zhang Qilan said with profound resignation, reaching out to touch her forehead. Then she tilted her head to see Shao Wanru. “Among us, only Princess Chen is married. Can you talk about marriage with me? Don’t say those high-sounding words. I want to hear the truth.”

“The truth? What kind of truth?” Shao Wanru asked smiling, her long eyelashes fluttering.

“I certainly want to listen to your marriage life in the royal family. How does Prince Chen treat you? How do the Empress and the Empress Dowager get on with you? What is the character of the consorts in the imperial harem?” Zhang Qilan sighed deeply, and her delicate face wrinkled. “As long as I think about I have to deal with so many relationships in the future, I feel disheartened and unhappy.”

She couldn’t cheer herself up with a lot of troublesome things in her mind. There was more than one thing but many that she couldn’t reveal to others.

She paid no notice to it at first, but suddenly she realized she had to take care of these things. Her father was right. When she became Princess Yue in the future, she would have to face lots of things that she couldn’t avoid.

There was no way out, and she had no choice but to face the challenge! Then she might as well catch up with determination!

“Her Majesties are very easy to get along with. These imperial consorts have nothing to do with us. Princes have different characters, and mine has a good temper. As for Prince Yue, only you know the answer!” Shao Wanru’s heart sank, but she looked calm and answered with a gentle smile.

Zhang Qilan shouldn’t have brought out such questions about the royal family. However, she asked them in a joking way, and Shao Wanru had to answer them.

However, her reply was worthless, so Shao Wanru had no idea why she bothered asking in the first place!