34 Chapter 34 The Wedding Day
On the day of the wedding, Lin Xulian was dragged by Yin Mei out of bed before the first light of day arrived. It was still around three in the morning so the bride slipped in and out of slumber while her servants bathe her in warm water with rose flower petals. When Xulian is finally fully awake, she's already sitting in front of a bronze mirror and for the first time, Zie Xin, in an unwilling expression plastered in her face, styled her long hair in two buns with two golden ruyi and inserted two jade hairpins with a dragon and phoenix carved at each end. These accessories are part of the betrothal gift that the emperor gave her.
Four servants helped her dress up in a traditional red wedding robes embroidered with images of dragons and phoenixes using gold thread. With the help of Yin Mei holding her arm, she is led towards the main hall to wait for the sedan chair that will carry her towards the palace.
In the main hall, Xulian saw her family, her father, mother and big brothers. The servants of the Lin manor were also there dressed in celebratory red robes. The whole Lin manor is decorated with red lanterns, banners and flags. The whole place has a celebratory feel that matches the occasion. But Xulian knows that there are more people are present hidden in the inconspicuous places around the whole manor. It seems like the whole Lin Mercenary Clan is present to witness the wedding.
Xulian finally can't take it and ask her father. "Father, is everyone here? Will the school be ok? Is someone guarding it? What if burglars will enter the school?"
Her father just smiled at her and scratch his head. "These brothers and sisters refused not to come. It's your wedding after all. It would only happen once and they love you too much to dare miss out on the occasion."
As if sensing her underlying message, her mother butt in. "There are people left to take care of your herbs back home if you are worried about them. They won't die Lian'er." As expected, her mother knows her too well and sheepishly smiled. Xulian can't help it, they're her babies after all.
Xulian looked at her family's reaction. Her mother and father looked reluctant in sending her off to marry but still gave a doting smile. This is her decision and her parents can only support her although they can't accept the fact that she's marrying first before her brother. Her parents married at the later age of their lives that is why they aren't worried about their son's marriage but now that their youngest is marrying first, they are deliberating if they have to pressure Lin Huang to find a wife.
Her brothers on the other hand have an ugly expression on their faces. The reluctance is evident in their countenance. Lin Huang is knitting his brows and his lips are downturned looking like a child who was about to lose his precious treasure. Rui held his head down to hide the sadness in his eyes and his clenched fists is hidden under his sleeves behind his back. Although he would enter the palace together with her, he is still unwilling to admit the fact that his beloved would marry another man. No one does.
In the Heaven Tranquility Palace's main hall.
The emperor, Feng Jun Yi, entered the main hall and headed towards the dragon seat. At the center of the hall, a table was placed along with a scepter, golden scroll and golden seal are laid on top of it. Seeing the golden seal, all the officials, servants and even the emperor's siblings were shocked. Everyone knows that it is the symbol of the emperor's love and favor towards his wife. The previous emperor gave his golden seal to his beloved Imperial Noble Concubine. The people inside the hall felt doubtful of Feng Jun Yi's show of favor.
Once the emperor is seated in the dragon seat, everyone kneeled three times and kotowed nine times as part of the ritual for the emperor's wedding. A eunuch took the golden scroll and placed it in front of Feng Jun Yi to formally write the edict of marrying Lin Xulian and conferring her as the empress as well. After the formal edicts, Feng Jun Yi finally gave the command for the phoenix sedan and guards to proceed and fetch the bride.
Hearing the command, the fifth prince Feng Jun Yun smiled coldly but no one noticed because he was seated at the back of the second prince. The fifth prince also agrees that the union between the emperor and the Lin family will bring disadvantage towards him. He is also the son of Imperial Noble Concubine Li but his mother is only helping his older biological brother in the fight for the throne despite knowing that he is the better candidate.
Feng Jun Yun took the risk this time and made his own move. He is confident that whatever happens to his plan, the blame won't be placed on him since his older brother is the one who is openly opposing this union. He found out about Feng Jun Yu's plan in abducting Lin Xulian few weeks ago from his own spies placed in both Lin and Second prince's manor. So whether his plan is a success or a fail, he would look like a bystander and never take the blame.
Receiving the command, the sixteen guards lifted the phoenix sedan and prepare to march towards the Lin Manor. The phoenix sedan chair's three layered top is decorated with golden and blue phoenixes. The yellow curtain covering it is decorated with phoenixes, colorful clouds and flowers to symbolize good fortune, happiness and longevity. In front of the procession, 72 guards held the dragon and phoenix umbrellas and flags and 30 pairs of imperial lanterns and weapons.
The citizens of Gonglu country watched with awe as the grand procession passed by their decorated homes. Because today is the emperor's wedding, the citizens are obliged to decorate the entrance of their homes with celebratory red lanterns and wedding decorations. Even the temples are decorated. The whole Gonglu country is filled with red celebratory color.
They were all distracted and didn't mind the fact that the guards all wore a mask complementing their imperial guard uniforms. But once the procession arrived at the Lin manor, the hidden Lin Mercenary Clan member didn't miss this detail and became alert.