Chapter 1             The Grand Wedding

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The sky was slightly bright early in the morning.

It was the middle of winter, and the wind was cold.
Even if the doors and windows of the guesthouse of the post station were tightly closed, the cold wind could still get in through the crack of the door.

Le Zhi pretended to sleep on the bed until the maid and ceremonial granny woke her up.

She was groomed and dressed up in an orderly manner.
It did not take long before a delicate beautiful hibiscus face was printed in the bronze mirror.
The most eye-catching thing was her charming fox eyes…

There was always a happy smile on the ceremonial granny’s face, while the maid, Li Yao, served her a bowl of pear soup.

Recently, it has been cold and dry, and Le Zhi’s throat was often dry and hoarse from coughing.

But today, she absolutely could not cough.

She sipped the pear soup bit by bit with her eyes lifted slightly while looking out of the window.

The warm sun gradually brightens, illuminating the yard.
The handymen and servants in the post station all got up.
There was the sound of light footsteps, and at the same time, some whispered discussions.

“Hey, do you think the princess in the room given to Taizi* will be…”

(Taizi* – Crown Prince)

“What nonsense! This time, in any case, the marriage was bestowed by His Majesty.
No matter how you say it, she is Taizifei*, isn’t it?”

(Taizifei* – the wife of Crown Prince)

“Who knows? Who can guess that Highness Taizi’s behavior.”

“That’s true.
Unlike the third prince, a modest gentleman and gentle as jade…”

The discussion faded away.
Le Zhi’s face still had a faint smile, but a trace of disgust flashed through her drooping eyes.

A modest gentleman? Gentle as jade? Ah.

Suddenly, Li Yao strode towards her and said softly, “Miss, the third prince is here.”

Upon hearing this, Le Zhi was slightly startled.
Although one month has passed, she was still a little unfamiliar with this title.

In the past sixteen years, she has long been used to being called “princess, little princess”…

But the country Li no longer exists.

No, she should not think about it anymore.
She pulled her thoughts back forcefully.

Li Yao and ceremonial granny have quietly withdrawn from the room, and familiar footsteps sounded from behind her.

Today, he should accompany the Emperor and Empress of the country Qi to pray for the blessing at the Huguo Temple.

But Le Zhi knew that he would definitely come.

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Suppressing the dampness in her eyes due to memories, Le Zhi turned around and showed her smile as usual.

A man wearing a dark green cotton cloak walked into the room from outside and also brought the cold winter wind into the room.
The cold air invaded her nose and mouth, and Le Zhi’s throat felt a pain.
She could not help but frown slightly and lowered her head to cough a few times.

Seeing this, the man hurriedly closed the door and quickly walked towards her, “Are you all right, Zhizhi?”

Le Zhi looked up and the handsome face was close at hand.
The facial features on this face, although it was impossible to say which one was unforgettable.
If combined together, it was really unforgettable.
She has seen each and every one of these facial features for twelve years.

“I’m all right.” Le Zhi smiled and called him, “Brother Ah Xu.”

A hint of surprise flashed across Huo Xu’s face.
He had not listened to her call ‘brother’ for a long time.
Today, it sounded like a lifetime ago.
His heart was slightly stagnant, silent for a long time, and subconsciously asked, “Do you hate me?”

The corners of Le Zhi’s curled lips froze there.
After a pause, she lowered her eyes slightly and replied softly, “I hated you.”

The slender black eyelashes covered her drooping eyes, and also covered the flash of light from the bottom of her eyes.

This answer was very clever.
There was neither the falsehood of not hating nor the determination to hate.
Hated, which meant she hated him once, but it has passed.

“Zhizhi…” There was a slight tremor in the gentle voice.

Le Zhi raised her eyes, smiled while shaking her head at him, “But I have understood a lot in this month.
Brother Ah Xu, although I still blame you, I can understand your difficulty.”

A warmth flowed through his heart, and Huo Xu’s eyes were finally caught a smile.
Apparently, Zhizhi was still the delicate Zhizhi.
On the day that the country Li was destroyed, her scarlet eyes and the scene of screaming at him hoarsely seemed to be just a dream.

After twelve years of childhood sweethearts, the Emperor of the country Li recruited him as his son-in-law at the hairpin ceremony of Le Zhi… and today, he wanted to watch her getting married without any feeling.

The red dress stung Huo Xu’s eyes, and her beautiful face caused a shock in his heart.
How he wanted to hug her in his arms, rub her into his bones, and love her well, just like in his dream countless times…

However, he could not.

The corner of his eyes caught a glimpse of Le Zhi’s empty right ear.
Huo Xu slowly approached the dressing table and picked up the remaining red agate eardrop from the north sea on the table to wear it for her.
Then he squatted down in front of her with affectionate eyes, “Zhizhi, help me bring the Taizi down.
You will be my only Empress in the future.”

Le Zhi saw his hidden ambition and determination to win from the bottom of his affectionate eyes.
And she, to be precise, was her face that everyone admired and was a pawn in his hand that used to clear the road.

She smiled and answered him softly, “Yes.”

After saying that, she saw Huo Xu’s face rise with joy.
Then he got up and opened his arms to her as if to come over to hug her…

Her stomach suddenly rolled up. Disgusting.

Fortunately, someone outside knocked on the door softly, “Your Highness, if you don’t leave now, His Majesty and Empress would be suspicious.”

Huo Xu’s face sank instantly and put down his arms reluctantly.
Today, he sneaked out of the Huguo Temple in order to see her.
At this time, he could not delay any more.

“Then I’ll leave first.” His face looked worried.
“Protect yourself.
Hou Du, he… is a vicious wolf.”

Le Zhi was stunned for a moment, then nodded in response.

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Holding the round fan, Le Zhi was slowly walked out of the room with ceremonial granny and Li Yao’s help.

The warm sun was shining brightly, illuminating the round fan in front of her.
Le Zhi looked at a pair of flying lovebirds embroidered with gold thread on the fan without any expression.
It could be seen that the embroiderer’s embroidery was excellent, and the lingering feelings between the pair of lovebirds were fully revealed on the fan.
Le Zhi seemed to have just reacted.

Getting married.

Today is her grand wedding day.
But why there is no joy at all?

“Miss, watch your steps.”

Li Yao’s reminder pulled her thoughts back.
Le Zhi saw through the fan the golden-red pheasant sedan chair and the majestic imperial wedding procession.

The Empress of the country Qi specially chose to go to Huguo Temple to pray for blessings on the day of Taizi’s wedding.
Was not she meant to tell the civil and military officials and common people of the Manchu Dynasty clearly how the Taizi was not valued?

She has been in the country Qi for more than one month and Le Zhi knew very little about this Taizi.
She knew nothing about him except when she heard the servants talk about his right leg disease and his eccentric temperament.
In addition, she knew nothing at all besides Huo Xu’s repeated grave warning.

She even dared not ask around.
A subjugated princess could not exceed the rules.
She just needed to comply obediently.

Sitting on the pheasant sedan chair, the procession moved forward slowly.

The post station was outside the capital city, and it took a long time to enter the city gate.
Magnificent bead curtains were hanging down on both sides of the pheasant sedan chair.
Le Zhi glanced faintly at the people standing on both sides watching the excitement one after another.

They have different expressions on their faces, in

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