Reborn Lady: Unparalleled Daughter of Concubine

Chapter 6 - Take Each Step Carefully"

Chapter 6 “Take Each Step Carefully”

Flower Draw was a popular game among the ladies. First, two bamboo tubes were prepared. One was filled with the bamboo sticks with the ladies’ names on while the other was with bamboo sticks with different performance items on.

First, the Empress would draw the name stick, and the girl who was drawn shall come forward and draw the performance stick. Whichever stick was drawn, the girl should perform according to the item written on the stick, and it couldn’t be rejected.

This was a great chance for the ladies to show their talents. Even though General Leng had left, Prince Ray was still present. If they could perform well to leave a refreshing impression to Prince Ray, that would be a great honor.

Every time when it came to this game, Qin Yuzhuang was the proudest of herself. She learnt poems, calligraphy, paintings, music, and all other skills from the best teachers. She mastered all of them so that no matter which stick she drew, she could easily impress everyone.

Qin Yunuan could clearly see Qin Yuzhuang’s smug expression and expectation under her veil. She smiled slightly in response to Qin Yunzhuang’s extremely inflated vanity.

During the banquet, the palace servants had already set up the desk with quite a lot of props on it. All the props were related to the items to be performed in the Flower Draw. All the noble ladies in the hall were eager to try. Empress Chen looked around for a while, thinking that the time was almost right. Just when she was about to speak, a cheesy voice came abruptly, “Oh, sister Empress is about to start the Flower Draw. It seems that I have been late.”

The voice was heard before the person showed up. With a clatter of jade pendants, a woman in luxurious clothes and a red-colored dan came, wrapped up in lotus blue cloak. She walked in among the palace servants. A gorgeous phoenix flower was drawn between her brows. She was the Imperial Concubine Yun who had been the Emperor’s favorite for twenty years.

Empress Chen looked at the phoenix flower on Imperial Concubine Yun’s forehead. The Imperial Concubine Yun was only thirty-six, and she was a good talker who always came up with fresh ideas to impress the Emperor. A few days back, the Emperor even named Yun’s make-up and asked her to put it on for him every day. Empress Chen was inevitably unhappy, but she had to praise Imperial Concubine Yun congenially.

“It’s not too late,” said Empress Chen with a smile, “I heard that you had a cold recently. Are you feeling better now?”

“Much better,” Imperial Concubine Yun covered her mouth with a handkerchief and sat down beside Empress Chen. “It’s just that the Emperor is still worried and he visits me every day. It’s really hard for him to work on the state affairs in the day and worry about me in the night. I dare not to let the Emperor worry so much about me, so I have to rest more and get well soon.” She said as she nodded towards Empress Chen, “That’s why I did not come to the Ciren Palace to visit you these days. Forgive me, sister.”

The Imperial Concubine Yun’s arrogance was all over the place, but Empress Chen still smiled and faced her nicely.

Qin Yunuan was tired of seeing the two acting, so she relaxed her body a bit. However, she heard the two girls next to her whispering something, with some surprised inhalation and subtle plans. She planned to stay out of it, but she heard them saying to Fang Ziying on her left, “Sister Fang, your flower sachet is so pretty. What’s in it?”

“It’s lily,” said Fang Ziying frankly, as she shook the goose yellow sachet in her hand, “It smells pretty nice.”

“Oh, I heard that sister Fang’s favorite is Sweet Olive! It happens that I have Sweet Olive in my purple flower sachet, and my favorite is lily. Perhaps you can change yours with mine, sister.” The girl twitched her eyes smartly, but Qin Yunuan knew exactly what she was up to.

“Oh.” Fang Ziying didn’t think much. Just before she was about to hand over the sachet that she took off from her waist, a slim hand stopped her. She took a glance, and it was Qin Yunuan with a warm and gentle smile, “Sister Fang, did you forget that you got a rash after eating some Sweet Olive cakes at the mid-autumn festival dinner last year? You rested for half a month before you recovered.” Then she smiled, “Don’t forget the lesson, sister.”

The girl who tried to change the flower sachet was surprised, and Fang Ziying didn’t get it at first. At the mid-autumn festival dinner last year, she did eat some Sweet Olive cakes and got a rash. But the rash was merely because of playing with her sister’s cat, which had nothing to do with the cakes.

Just when Fang Ziying was confused, she saw the uneasiness in the eyes of the young girl who wanted to change her flower sachet. She knew immediately that there must be some secrets behind this, so she just kept with Qin Yunuan’s words. “Oh, right, I really forget about this. Thank you for reminding me.” She saw the relaxed smile of Qin Yunuan right after she finished her words, and she blinked back.

This girl Shang still wanted to argue, but she heard Empress Chen calling her name. Empress Chen was looking at Shang dominantly and smilingly while Shang was sweating heavily. She was not afraid of the cold but reasonable Empress. Instead, she was afraid of the Imperial Concubine Yun who played a double game. Besides, it was just now that she knew that Imperial Concubine Yun disliked purple the most. No, it was hate. She hated it so much that there was no trace of purple in the huge Fuxi Palace of Imperial Concubine Yun.

However, the girl Shang still had to present herself as she couldn’t resist the Empress.

“Draw your stick.” Empress Chen took a sip of the tea and seemed to look forward to these young ladies’ performances very much. To her surprise, there was a harsh woman’s voice next to her, “Purple!”

Qin Yunuan sipped some fruit wine calmly, watching Imperial Concubine Yun’s brows ticked into an angry curve. Then Imperial Concubine Yun lazily leaned onto the chair bar and added, “I hate purple the most!”

All the attention was focused on the purple sachet hanging around Shang’s waist. She stood in the middle of the banquet, clenching her hands. Her forehead was covered with sweat, and she felt like a monkey for people’s amusement. She was so embarrassed that all the other girls with a purple sachet took off their sachets immediately and threw them under the table.

“Why, sister?” Empress Chen persuaded, still calm and elegant, “It’s just a sachet.”

“I don’t like it.” Imperial Concubine Yun said unequivocally. Her face was as cold as frost. She was never afraid of confronting the empress. It was no exception this time.

Empress Chen paused for a while. She was very clear that Imperial Concubine Yun didn’t like purple. Even the Emperor would move to her in the past banquets. However, it was her Flower Fairy Festival Banquet at her palace. Imperial Concubine Yun had been the Emperor’s favorite for too long, which made her too arrogant. This time, she wanted to let her know that she was still the Empress of Qi, and she was the first lady in the harem.

“Today is supposed to be a happy day,” said Empress Chen with much dignity, “Even if sister hates it, please bear it this time.” Then she nodded towards Shang, “Lady Shang, draw the stick.”

However, Shang ignored the Empress who was trying to help her and kowtowed towards Imperial Concubine Yun directly. “Your highness, I really don’t know that you dislike purple. It, it was all a mistake this time. I would not use anything purple, not even blue or dark blue or anything related to purple again after I return. Please forgive me.”

Qin Yunuan looked at the slightly twitching face of Empress Chen. She couldn’t blame Shang for displeasing the Empress. If she recalled correctly, this Shang girl was the daughter of a general who served under the brother Meng Hua of Imperial Concubine Yun. She had to kowtow and confess towards Imperial Concubine Yun for her family’s sake.

As for Empress Chen, she could not hide her dissatisfaction anymore, and it was all on her face. However, she still tried to look forgiving, “Get up, lady Shang. It is just a flower sachet. I don’t think Imperial Concubine Yun would blame you for it. Why this?”

Fortunately, Shang confessed hard, and Empress Chen was there watching. Imperial Concubine Yun simply waved her hands in disgust and let the girl go home for her embroideries and never show up in front of her again.

Seeing the absent-minded Shang was dragged out by two nannies, Qin Yunuan slightly lost her focus either. If it were not for the reminder of the fat nanny when she entered the palace gate, Qin Yunuan wouldn’t know the preference of Imperial Concubine Yun. If she did not change her temper, she would not dare to argue with Shangguan Yee and connect with Fang Ziying, let alone caring about the flower sachet swap.

These were all connected. Her reborn life was like a stone falling into a pond, which destined to cause the ripples and change the paths of some events.

The departure of Shang did not disturb the banquet for much. The palace servants served the guests with snacks on high plates. The fruit wine would be immediately refilled by the maids behind them when the wine containers were empty.

Empress Chen drew several sticks in succession. With good luck, all those she picked out were the talented and well-known girls. There was singing and instrument playing. The Third Prince Sima Ray had his smile on while admiring the performances, which melted the hearts of many of the girls. The first half of the banquet was fun and harmonic.

However, Qin Yunzhuang appeared to be a bit anxious. She knew that these performers were reserved, and she must be one of them. However, Empress Chen did not call her name, and she had no idea about the reason.

Qin Yunuan couldn’t be clearer of Qin Yunzhuang’s little thoughts.

“Don’t worry, sister.” Qin Yunuan slowly picked up a golden silk roll and put it on Qin Yunzhuang’s plate, and she soothingly said, “Isn’t the best show always the finale?”

Qin Yunzhuang glanced at her and said, “Naturally,” as she managed a twitched smile.

The conversation between the two seemed to have attracted the attention of Empress Chen. Qin Yunuan raised her head to see Empress Chen holding a bamboo stick and looking towards her. Empress Chen said, “The final draw of today, is the Third lady of the Qin’s family, Yunuan.”

Qin Yunzhuang was shocked, yet Qin Yunuan was even more shocked. She did not get drawn in her previous life.

Qin Yunuan secretly hid her confusion and revealed only a longing and flattering look. She saw a deep and complicated smile of Empress Chen.

“Come here, draw a stick.” Empress Chen said as she waved towards Qin Yunuan.

Qin Yunuan obediently went forward, ignoring the glance with freshness from Sima Ray and the condescending contempt of Imperial Concubine Yun. And she drew a random stick from the bamboo tube. She thought to herself that she just followed the flow.

“Well, this is a nice one.” said Empress Chen with a smile, “The title is blindfolded embroidery.”

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