Intense pressure, similar to the heavy atmosphere preceding mountain rains. Once his words were spoken, Nangong Chen immediately felt a fit of rage assaulting his senses. Even if he was even more mentally prepared, he would still have been scared stiff.
If his gamble was not successful, he would absolutely be destroyed!
Withstanding his father's imperial might, Nangong Chen kowtowed again and again. "I beseech Imperial Father to make me whole!"
"The second daughter, Luo Qing Shuang's appearance is ugly, her bearing vulgar. I have been harassed by her before on many occasions. At that time, Imperial Mother arranged marriage on my behalf also in consideration of General Luo's impressive military glory as well as Madam Luo's education and virtues. But how can Imperial Mother imagine that after their second daughter grew up, she unexpectedly became a love-struck, ugly fool. How can she be the prince's consort?"
"Just because of that, you want to go against your imperial mother's bequeathal?" Western Chu's emperor shouted with anger boiling inside.
Nangong Chen just started to answer when unexpectedly, an indistinct voice sounded from his side.
"Has Your Majesty personally seen the second Miss Luo before?"
This voice came so suddenly, Nangong Chen simply didn't think that there was yet another person in the warm room. His heart gave a start. He already recognized the owner of this voice —- Nalan Ye!
Western Chu's only prince with a different last name, he once commanded one hundred thousand soldiers and defeated the country of South Vietnam, directly promoting Western Chu from being the smallest and weakest country into the second most powerful position. One can well imagine his ability!
If it was another person who had made such a large contribution, they would surely suppress their lord, but Nalan Ye wasn't the least bit reluctant to part with power. Not long after he returned, he handed over the military power. Western Chu's emperor recalled his loyalty fondly and especially bestowed upon him the honorific title of 'Prince of Chu'. He became the first and only prince with a different last name in Western Chu's over three hundred years history.
Nangong Chen is merely an unfavored fifth prince. Last time, he felt uncomfortable all over when Nalan Ye accompanied him to the General's Mansion. Now, he suddenly heard this voice and found himself trembling from head to foot. Even words wouldn't come out of his mouth anymore.
It was clear that Western Chu's emperor was in Nalan Ye's company previously and wasn't startled by the sudden question at all. On the contrary, he smiled slightly. "Oh, is it possible you've seen Luo Qing Luan before?"
Behind a bead curtain, Nalan Ye parted the screen with the back of his hand and came out. Nangong Chen carefully stole a peek and only saw his expressionless face, but hidden in the depths of his eyes was coldness, like an eternally frozen glacier. Just one glance made Nangon Chen's entire body feel ice-cold. He hurriedly bowed his head and didn't dare to continue.
Nalan Ye actually didn't reply but only cupped his hands towards the emperor in obeisance, then sat down at the next to highest position before speaking. "Fifth Prince, do you truly want to break the engagement, because Luo Qing Luan is extremely vulgar?"
His heart skipping a beat, Nangong Chen quickly replied. "Your Highness, Prince of Chu, didn't you also go to the general's mansion last time? That Luo Qing Luan is the general's daughter with his main wife, so she's a noble lady, but she doesn't have the least bit of a noble lady's bearing. She actually fell into a pond and nearly drowned. Her disgraceful situation was something quite a few servants also saw. Such a careless person, how can I marry her?"
"But why did I hear that it's because of saving her own sister that she jumped down despite of risk to her life?"
When the emperor heard this, he was surprised. "So that means that Luo Cheng's second daughter is unexpectedly so brave and loyal? Hmm, that's actually not bad." As he spoke, he nodded his head praising her incessantly, seemingly starting to appreciate his future daughter-in-law.
Once he heard this, Nangong Chen became even more panicked, so panicked he spoke without choosing his words. "But, Imperial Father, I really don't like her."
The corners of Nalan Ye's mouth curved up as he coldly asked, "Then who does Fifth Prince like?"
Things having reached this stage, Nangong Chen braced himself and could only speak about the matter which spread throughout the capital, beseeching, "Imperial Father, even if I'm engaged to the second Miss Luo, the people don't know what's going on at all. Presently, I don't know who the eldest Miss Luo has offended, but she's being toyed by someone who's destroying her reputation, and it even involved me. If I don't give the eldest Miss Luo an explanation, isn't she going to be done for?"
"I have always admired the eldest Miss Luo's behavior and appearance, and now, this matter has come up, therefore……I earnestly request that Imperial Father give your consent."
The emperor frowned deeply and didn't talk for a long while.
In regards to these two young ladies from the general's mansion, the reality is that he hasn't seen them before. It's out of the question for him to say who he preferred. If it wasn't for the fact that the empress chose the second Miss Luo as the future fifth prince consort, he simply wouldn't care about two minor women in their chambers.
After a moment of thought, the emperor of Western Chu turned his head and looked at the expressionless Nalan Ye and asked him, "I wonder what you think?"
After standing and cupping his hands in obeisance, Nalan Ye replied. I have no opinion at all in regards to Fifth Prince's marriage. It's just that our Western Chu view filial piety as first in importance, and the empress has already passed away. It's still better to follow the empress' command."
When the emperor heard, he nodded. "Yes, what you said makes sense."
Nangong Chen's eyes darkened and he almost fainted. Who would have thought that he would hear Nalan Ye continue to speak.
"It's just that there is also some justification to what Fifth Prince was saying. The eldest Miss Luo is the general's daughter after all. If her reputation was destroyed by slanders and rumors, that's also a bit pitiful. Therefore, it's best that we think of a more thorough solution."
Kneeling on the floor, Nangong Chen perspired cold sweat again and again as he listened. He knew well Nalan Ye's influential a place in his father's heart. At this moment, the fate if his own marriage rested on that man's hands. This kind of powerless feeling of decay was truly making him unwell all over.
Given a chance, he must take control of his own fate and absolutely not drop so low again!
The emperor of Western Chu smiled. "My loyal Ye, you clearly have an idea, why withhold it? Let me hear it."
"Since Fifth Prince suggested last time that he wanted to break off the engagement with the second Miss Luo, Your Majesty can just consent to it. As for the older Miss Luo, although she's pitiable, she is not the main wife's daughter……" Nalan Ye continued emotionlessly, "Just let her be Fifth Prince's lesser concubine and everything will be solved."
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