The White-Haired Imperial Concubine - Chapter 28 - There’s Only One Wife[Updated at: 2021-01-11 22:05:28]
Chapter 28 There’s Only One Wife
The candles flickered as the wind blew, their shadows cast upon the tall palace walls. Within the banquet that was full of ulterior motives, everyone felt suffocated. The Emperor of Lintian’s eyes swept over her face as if he was trying to look right through her, causing her to raise her guard. Thankfully, Zongzheng Wuyou did not stay until the end of the banquet before leaving early with her.
The nights of May still carried some hints of coldnes. When they exited the hall, a carriage was already waiting for them outside the palace gates. The two people just got onto the carriage when a person suddenly rushed out from the corner of the palace walls, “Wuyou gege!”
Man Yao started. It was already so late at night, why did Zhaoyun junzhu appear here? She was even hiding in the corner! With her status, if she wated to meet Zongzheng Wuyou, it would not be difficult for her to enter the palace. Seeing how Zhaoyun junzhu‘s face became more gaunt and both of her eyes were red and swollen as if she had cried for a very long time and no longer shined, it was a drastic contrast from the beautiful and cheerful Zhaoyun junzhu she met last time.
The moment Zongzheng Wuyou saw her, his eyebrows furrowed and he took two steps back so Leng Yan could block Zhaoyun. Zhaoyun halted her steps and the tears began to roll out from her eyes as her voice was full of sadness, “Wuyou gege, I’m getting married…”
Zongzheng Wuyou was indiffierent, “Since you are getting married, you should be staying at home preparing for your wedding. Why did you run over here?”
Hearing this, Zhaoyun cried even harder, “But I don’t want to marry that person! Wuyou gege, you know the person I like is you…the person I want to marry is also you!”
In this era, there were very few girls that were as direct as she was in confessing their love, especially to someone as cold and unfeeling as Zongzheng Wuyou. Man Yao couldn’t help but admire her courage. Turning her head towards Zongzheng Wuyou, she only saw his eyes carrying a mocking gaze, “What a joke! Do you think that benwang‘s wangfei(1)…is a position that can be held by just anyone?”
Zhaoyun hurried waved her hands, her red and swollen eyes full begging, “I know that it can’t…Wuyou gege, I don’t need to be your wangfei, I can be a cefei(2), oh correction, even a shiqie(3) is fine…” She was unwilling to marry anyone else and was placed under house arrest by her father for the last three days. Finally, when her father was not at home, she took the opportunity to escape so that she could beg the man she loved to give her a chance, even if she had no status, she was willing.
Zongzheng Wuyou: “Even if you don’t mind, benwang minds! In this life, benwang…will only have one wife, and it will definitely not be you. You should go back home and obediently prepare to be a bride.”
Man Yao’s heart jumped and raised her eyes to meet Zongzheng Wuyou’s. His cold and sinister eyes held a hint of gentleness inside that went straight through her into her heart. The two people turned away at the same time, lowering their eyes as they looked in opposite direction.
Zhaoyun held onto the sword in Leng Yan’s hand that was blocking her way and suddenly sat down, lowering her head and crying. After a while, she raised her head and yelled at the indifferent Zongzheng Wuyou with a voice full of despair, “I won’t! Wuyou gege, how could you be so cruel? To make me marry someone else, I…would rather die!”
Zongzheng Wuyou didn’t bother to look at her, “Benwang hates being threatened by other people the most, if you want to die, then go ahead.” With a wave of his sleeves, he stepped onto the carriage. Zhaoyun stared at his back and gave a bitter laugh, her hopes shattered as she continued to mumble, “Good, good, since Wuyou gege doesn’t want me, then I, I will die for you to see.” Before she finished, she rammed her head into the carriage. Man Yao was startled and hurriedly called for the carriage to stop only for Zongzheng Wuyou to indifferently order, “Leng Yan, stop her.”
Zhaoyun instantly became happy, “Wuyou gege, I knew that you cared about me, right?” She remembered that when she was very little and entered the palace with her father, Wuyou gege would play with her and treat her very well. Afterwards when Noble Consort Yun died, she never saw Wuyou gege give a genuine laugh to anyone ever again. He always had an indifferent expression on and was cold towards others, not letting anyone near him. But she liked him, she liked his handsome demeanor, she liked his noble and refined aura, and she even liked his coldness, his arrogance that didn’t put anyone else in his eyes. She liked everything about him. She revered this perfect man and looked at him with a gaze full of adoration, her eyes carrying glimmers of hope.
Zongzheng Wuyou acted as if he didn’t see and spoke indifferently, “Benwang doesn’t know what care means. If you want to die, the palace walls are right there, don’t let your blood stain benwang‘s eyes.”
Zhaoyun stared at the cold and indifferent man in front of her in disbelief. Her whole body was shaking as tears continuously roleld down her face. The hope that had just isen in her eyes turned into despair, “You, you…Wuyou gege, you’re the…coldest person on this earth! I hate you!!”
Sobbing, Zhaoyun ran away while Man Yao was rooted in her original spot, still not fully aware of what just happened. She dazedly looked at that celestial yet demon-like face, and watched as he took only a few moments to turn a person’s love into hate with his calm and indifferent face. Should she say that he was considerate or ruthless?
Zongzheng Wuyou saw that she was standing in her original spot without moving, seemingly having no intentions of getting on the carriage and couldn’t but frown, “Ah Man, get on.”
Man yao inhaled a deep breath and raised her head to look at the starry night before speaking faintly, “Wuyou, have you ever tried walking back from here?”
Zongzheng Wuyou looked at her in confusion and contemplated for a little bit before jumping down from the carriage. He gestured towards the driver to leave first.
The wind of the beginnings of summer carressed the two people’s hairs, causing their strands to flutter and dance about. They walked side by side on the quiet and deserted path, neither of them talking. Man Yao walked at a slow pace, the road in front of them was immersed in darkness and she couldn’t see what was at the end, just like her future. Her heart was unusually heavy and she had a lot on her mind. The days that she could interact like this were numbered. Habits were a scary thing. In the future, there would no longer be anyone that would listen to her talk about the things that people in this world would not understand; there would also no longer be someone that would play chess with her every day and end in a draw…
“Something on your mind?” Zongzheng Wuyou suddenly asked her.
Man Yao answered honestly, “Yes.”
Zongzheng Wuyou started, not thinking that she would answer like this. Seeing her half-closed eyes not as bright as they usually were, he recalled everything that happened tonight. Her mood seemed to have changed when Princess Rong Le chose Fu Chou. He frowned and stopped walking, firmly grabbing her hand, “Is it because of Fu Chou and Princess Rong Le’s marriage?”
Man Yao looked into his eyes and nodded, “Yes.”
Zongzheng Wuyou was shocked and his frown became even more prominent. Staring into her honest eyes, he pursed his lips and didn’t speak for a very long time while his grip on her hand tightened. Man Yao bit back the pain and didn’t try to pull away, only softly speaking, “Wuyou, treating a woman who deeply loved you like that…it was very cruel.”
Zongzheng Wuyou slowly released her hand and turned back, his voice calm, “I don’t like her.” Finished, he continued to walk ahead as Man Yao followed behind, watching his elegant backside being engulfed in the darkness of the night, cold and lonely. Again, he didn’t like! Because he didn’t like, he could reject so thoroughly without leaving a single shred of hope. This was the type of man he was. If he were to truly fall for someone, what would he be like?
Zongzheng Wuyou suddenly stopped walking and turned around to look back at her and laughed, “Seeing as how you seem to be quite down, let me take you to a place.”
(1) wangfei: The legal wife/principal consort of a prince
(2) cefei: Secondary wife/consort of a prince
(3) shiqie: Concubine of a prince