Chapter 6: The auspicious hour’s arrived
Early the next morning, a large crowd had gathered around the gates of the Duke of Qin’s residence. Han Yunxi didn’t know, but at least 30 gambling organizers in and out of the palace had arranged betting pools on whether she’d enter the duke’s gates. Around 1,000 people had placed wagers.
The wedding music hadn’t even started, but the noise of the crowd had already made things lively with their hubbub of voices. Han Yunxi didn’t even have to worry about oversleeping since they woke her up. She stole a look at the color of the sky and gauged that there was still enough time for her to wake up completely and take care of her face.
A small malignant tumor was nothing against a gold standard poisons expert and one night was enough to destroy any evidence of its existence. Han Yunxi tore off the gauze, cleaned up the medicine, and lightly caressed her cheek. The original location of the tumor was now smooth and glossy, the skin exquisite and fine. Too bad there was no mirror, or else she could’ve seen what she looked like.
At the very least, even if she wasn’t beautiful, getting rid of the tumor meant she wasn’t an ugly woman anymore, right?
She took some acupuncture needles from her pocket dimension to hide within her sleeves, then some poisonous powders for self-defense, before cleaning up and temporarily storing the mess inside the dimension. Even if anyone caught a whiff of medicine, they wouldn’t find any traces of it.
Replacing the bridal veil on her head, she sat up straight in the sedan chair, eyes closed to attain mental tranquility as she waited for the auspicious hour.
Time trickled by like a stream while the gathered crowd swelled in numbers. Though this was the second wedding day, the news was still the talk of the capital. Even members of the Han family had disguised themselves to hide in the crowd and see the outcome.
Finally, the auspicious hour arrived!
As the doors to the Duke of Qin’s residence opened, the noisy crowd fell silent, no one daring to make a sound. The duke’s residence hadn’t acted perversely but generously opened the front gates. However, the bridegroom didn’t come, nor was there any parties sent out to escort the bride inside. There was only the old Gatekeeper Liu who walked out to stand by the door.
What…what the meaning of this?
For better or worse, the groom had to kick the sedan chair door before the bride could alight, right?
This situation turned the silence of the crowd into a deathly stillness. Coincidentally, everyone’s eyes turned towards the bridal sedan. No matter which outcome they’d bet on, everyone was nervously awaiting what would happen next.
The disguised members of the Han family couldn’t help but curse Han Yunxi in their hearts. Though marrying into the Duke of Qin’s family was like claiming ties of kinship with those of high social position, it didn’t mean bringing shame and humiliation onto themselves!
Nanny Wang hid a cold smile beneath her lowered eyes, keeping silent on purpose so the situation would turn more awkward as she waited for the auspicious hour to pass. But who knew that someone would kick the sedan chair door with a ‘bang’ from inside? With her phoenix coronet, embroidered tassel cape, and bridal veil, Han Yunxi confidently descended from the covered sedan.
She wasn’t very tall, and a long period of malnutrition had turned her thin so the wedding robes were an ill fit for her body. But she kept her back straight and held her head high, standing in a way that gave her a strength of character so you couldn’t look away.
“The auspicious hour’s arrived, why isn’t there any wedding music?” she asked in a loud voice.
When those words came out, the crowd finally recovered and realized what had happened. Heavens, the bride had actually kicked her own door and left the sedan, how could it be like this? This wasn’t established custom!
“A woman like you is so shameless! You actually got out yourself! Since you can’t be married off, you’re forcing your way through the door, how base!” Within the crowd, someone suddenly shouted.
Echoes of ‘how base,’ ‘shameless,’ and even ‘that wench’ rang through the four corners to curse her. Han Yunxi was still human, and a woman at that. She knew she was being shameless, but what else could she do? Stay in the sedan chair until the next auspicious hour? Could she hold out for that long?
The emperor had gotten angry at the Duke of Qin and acted rashly, commanding him to take a wife. If things got out of hand, what could the emperor do to his duke? In the end, all the fault would lie with her. If she died, then the marriage contract would naturally be annulled. Bitter sadness flitted across her heart before Han Yunxi steeled her nerves.
To continue living was the most important thing.
While they hurled invectives at her, Han Yunxi loudly said, “This was originally something the Duke of Qin should’ve done. But since the duke was too busy to come, I can only stand in for him. You mean to say that the Duke of Qin made me into a base woman?”
As soon as she spoke these words, the crowd exploded.
“Han Yunxi, you’re confusing right and wrong! Vicious slanderer! The Duke of Qin would never want to marry you!”
“That’s right, you really think the duke wants to marry you?! Haven’t you looked at a mirror since you were a child? Don’t you know what kind of beastly face you have?”
Han Yunxi stilled her steps, turning to face the source of the voice. Though her body was thin and frail, her voice was filled with power. “The empress dowager approved this wedding and the emperor commanded it be done before the month’s end. You all say the Duke of Qin doesn’t want to marry me, but how could he go against imperial decree or feign compliance? Who said that, step out for me!”
When the words settled, the entire scene grew quiet. The people who’d just spoken had sickly expressions from fright, looking tongue-tied as they lost the ability to speak. None of the rest made any more comments. Who would dare to slander the Duke of Qin?
Now that the crowd had shut their mouths, everything was calm. Han Yunxi took a deep breath to steady herself and proudly shouted, “Wedding music, play on!”