Chapter 40: He Must Disguise Himself as a Woman
A’mu Le’s words did have some truth to them; if the Emperor were to punish him now, he would seem petty.
Pei Zheng whispered something into the Emperor’s ear, and the Emperor’s expression shifted slightly as he stared at Qi Yirou.
“Someone escort the third princess back to her residence, have an imperial physician treat her as soon as possible.”
Two palace maids came forward to help Qi Yirou up, but the kneeling figure suddenly mustered her strength and slapped one of the maids hard on the cheek.
“Don’t touch me! Royal Father, you must seek justice for me!” Qi Yirou burst into tears.
“Everybody in this palace bullies me and doesn’t take me seriously, not even him! This envoy dared to kick me, Royal Father, he has no respect for the Celestial Dynasty at all…”
Qi Yirou sobbed as she crawled to the Emperor’s feet.
His face was already ashen, but she didn’t seem to notice.
Everyone in the pavilion was silent, as though they were all watching a riveting play.
A’mu Le was still full of smiles.
He recognized the third princess’s skirt earlier; she was the one who had shoved the little man off the stone platform.
At that moment, he could have chosen to hold back his strength, but he decided instead to kick her knee to pieces and watch her roll around in pain before he mercilessly dragged her back to the pavilion.
“Shut up! You are getting more and more unruly with every passing day!” The Emperor was embarrassed and angry; his daughter was still acting so spoiled in front of the barbarian envoys.
“Royal Father, you’re being cruel to me, you’ve never been cruel to Rou-er before.
It’s all because of that stupid fool!” Qi Yirou’s teary eyes were veiled with a layer of rage, and those who saw it all shuddered.
“Royal Father was cruel to me and locked me up, all because of him! He’s the one who should be locked away for the rest of his life! I must get my revenge, I must…”
Qi Yirou muttered to herself; it was as if she had lost her mind.
There was a sudden, crisp “pa!”.
The Emperor had slapped Qi Yirou.
Qi Yirou’s mouth dropped open.
Her cheeks were already swelling red.
Her expression was one of shock; she looked as though she had never suffered such humiliation in her life.
“Royal Father, you hit me…”
The Emperor flicked his sleeves and spoke coldly, “Hurry and take the third princess away.
After she recovers, send her to Nanshan ancestral hall to copy scriptures and recite sutras for a year.
If she still hasn’t learned from her mistakes, don’t even think about letting her out!”
Qi Yirou was so terrified that her cries rose an octave.
She hugged the Emperor’s leg and begged for mercy, but the Emperor was adamant about punishing her.
In the end, a sobbing Qi Yirou was dragged away.
The Emperor sighed.
No matter how unruly his little daughter got, he had always turned a deaf ear and excused her behavior.
But she crossed a line by daring to be so cruel in front of outsiders; who would ever see someone like her as a dignified princess of the Celestial Dynasty
She had embarrassed the entire country with her actions!
Besides, besides, she can’t be allowed to bully that child like this.
“Your Majesty, the third princess kept mentioning a ‘stupid fool’, could she be referring to a certain prince of the Celestial Dynasty”
A’mu Le asked a question to which he already knew the answer.
Everyone was waiting for the Emperor’s response, so he had no choice but to reply, “Yes.”
A’mu Le smiled, “I think that this prince has a very kind and pure heart, and he is definitely not like most people I’ve met in the Celestial Dynasty.
He embodies the same candidness and sincerity that our barbarian tribe values.”
A’mu Le’s subordinates exchanged looks with each other and snickered.
Pei Zheng was still standing at the Emperor’s side, his eyes unreadable.
The Emperor ordered everybody else to leave the pavilion; only the Emperor, Pei Zheng, and A’mu Le remained.
The Emperor spoke, “Envoy A’mu Le, there’s no one else here now.
Whatever you want to say, just say it.”
A’mu Le glanced at Pei Zheng, “Your Majesty, the truth is that it’s not unusual in the southwest for the clan leader to be interested in men.
I believe that the ninth prince Qi Changyi is very much in line with our clan leader’s preferences.”
The Emperor fumbled with his words, “This…It’s not that I’m unwilling to marry out my children, it’s just that, since ancient times, marriage alliances have never consisted of two men; if this precedent was set, wouldn’t our Celestial Dynasty be the laughingstock of the world”
A’mu Le paused, but his tone was forceful.
“Your Majesty, it was your Celestial Dynasty that proposed this marriage alliance.
Our barbarian tribe has already agreed to a temporary truce, and to conduct peace talks.
However, if the Celestial Dynasty cannot fulfill their end of the bargain, I think…”
Pei Zheng suddenly interrupted the conversation.
“Your Majesty, this is not impossible.
No one has ever seen the ninth prince before, and there will be guards escorting him on the way to the border.
The prince only needs to disguise himself as a woman for the duration of the journey; you can proclaim him to be a foreign princess with royal relatives.
You won’t have to worry about it once he enters barbarian territory.”
The prince’s residence.
Li Yu was in distress as he smeared ointment over His Highness’s face.
It was clear that His Highness was in terrible pain as tears leaked from his eyes, but he kept repeating that it didn’t hurt.
Li Yu really wanted to slap himself.
He failed to protect His Highness and let him get injured yet again.
Qi Changyi rolled his tongue against his cheeks.
They bulged slightly, making it easier to apply the ointment.
He resembled a frog with huge eyes.
A little eunuch suddenly ran in and shouted, “Your Highness, the third princess has been punished harshly this time! She was sent to kneel in Nanshan ancestral hall for a full year, and I also heard that her leg is disabled!”
Qi Changyi blinked twice, but before he could say anything, Li Yu and the other eunuch began to laugh.
Qi Changyi joined in, his eyes curved into crescents.
Suddenly, a small group of people came through the palace’s little gate.
The chief eunuch at the head of the group called out, “Your Highness, the Emperor has invited you to leave the palace and go hunting with him in two days.
In the meantime, please make the necessary preparations.”
In the past, although the Emperor had left the palace several times to go hunting, it was usually the other princes, princesses, and ministers that accompanied him; Qi Changyi had never been allowed to go, not even once.
This time, the barbarian envoys would also be there, so it would presumably be a much grander occasion.
Qi Changyi was so excited that he couldn’t sit still.
Two days finally passed by, and it was time to depart.
The other princes and princesses had hundreds of maids and eunuchs accompanying them, but Qi Changyi only had Li Yu.
A long line of sedan chairs stretched outside of the palace gate.
A group of imperial guards on horseback would lead the way.
The Emperor’s sedan chair was in the middle, followed by Pei Zheng and the barbarian envoys.
The rest of the ministers, princes, princesses, and nobles trailed behind.
Qi Changyi’s sedan chair was at the end of the rest of the princes’.
He had been lying in front of the small window the entire time, and secretly lifted a corner of the curtain to catch a glimpse of the colorful outside world, his eyes shining brightly.
He kept counting the sights in his mind, a house, a street, a forest, a lake, everything was so beautiful and novel to him.
The sedan chair suddenly stopped on a grassy plain, and the Emperor ordered everyone to rest for a bit before continuing onward.
Many people climbed out of their sedan chairs and chatted with one another.
Qi Changyi didn’t know anyone, so he stayed quietly inside his sedan chair, leaning his head against the window.
He was tired from waking up early and laid down on his stomach.
He fought against his drooping eyelids but eventually fell asleep.
In his drowsy state, Qi Changyi thought that the sedan had started moving again.
Suddenly, a pair of strong arms reached out from behind and lifted the little man into a tight embrace.
Nothing to see here today, I want to say something funny but I can’t think of anything
The Grammarly face was blushy and happy when Qi Yirou got served
Let me know if you’d like me to start using the ‘this servant’ and ‘this minister’ pronoun things, or if you’re fine with it like this
Thanks for reading~ Do let me know if there are errors.