65 Chapter 65 Emperor’s Birthday Banque
The trial finally ended. Former Empress Dowager Li was stripped off of her throne and the third prince's mother Concubine Yun was brought back to take over. Second Master Lu was imprisoned in the imperial prisoned and the second branch of the Lu family lost their noble title and became an ordinary citizen. Their punishment lightened just as Lin Xulian promised, but Second Master Lu is still devastated. Although he escaped death, he had to spend the rest of his life rotting in the prison cell.
Lu Yina's punishment on the other hand surprised everyone. Lin Xulian suggested that she should serve as Li Shanyao's servant and spend the rest of their time together in the cold palace. They think her punishment is too light, but for Lu Yina it would be better to stay in the prison that spend the rest of her life with the cruel Li Shanyao. She is certain that Li Shanyao will release all her stress and anger on her. And that kind of life will be worse than death.
With Li Shanyao out of the picture, Feng Jun Yi felt like a huge weight was lifted from him. Lin Xulian on the other hand enjoyed her time playing with her in secret. Because of the result of the trial, everyone viewed her as an angel and soft hearted. But Feng Jun Yi knew better. Although he also thought of her as his angel in a sense. In less than a year that she became his empress, she was able to help him in every way possible. She is like a miracle worker for him. Now he could finally focus on improving the empire. And as usual he would indulge her with her obsessions or maybe much more than before.
And now, the empire is bustling in excitement for the emperor's birthday banquet. Their day started early from preparing the foods and the hall. Because it is the emperor's birthday, everyone expected a large crowd of visitors not only from the Gonglu country but also from the Fanrong since they extended the invitation to the neighboring countries. They also invited the Zhixiang country but they only expected an envoy because of the awkward relationship between the two countries. As for the Qiangdu, they never expected anything. They are not even sure if someone received the invitation since they can only leave it in the entrance. The Qiangdu is special after all and is surrounded by walls. It gives off a "keep away" aura.
As the time of the start of the banquet approaches, the hall is slowly filled with guests such as the officials, scholars and other noble families. And as usual, many young ladies are present. One particular lady stood out. It was Han YImei. Before, she would wear bright colored dress to make herself look younger and compete against the younger ladies. But this time she chose to wear a lavender colored dress that hugs her body tightly. The dress gave her a mature and seductive aura that a mature woman can only possess. It doesn't make her look old at all.
Han Yimei chose a different approach this time. Because of the hype of Li Shanyao's trial, the issue of her embarrassing acts previously died down. This gave her the courage to be proactive in chasing after Feng Jun Yi. She will not make a move against Lin Xulian this time. All of her attempts never succeeded and only harmed her anyway. Instead, she will use her own womanly charm to get Feng Jun Yi's attention. She is a beautiful woman and she has to make use of it. After all, even if Feng Jun Yi is capable and respected, he is still a man.
The princes also arrived moments later. But the second prince who usually leads the entourage didn't come. Everyone remained silent understanding that it is reasonable because of his mother's current state. The fifth prince also looked down casted but still made an effort to come. The third prince came with his pregnant wife holding her close to him as if she is a fragile treasure. The fourth prince looked particularly lively while carrying a huge barrel of wine. It is unclear if it is a gift for the emperor or is it for his own consumption. Then later on the crowd burst into an uproar when they notice a ten or eleven-year-old boy entered along with the other princes.
The boy is no other than the sixth prince Feng Jun Ying. There are rumors that the waste and crippled sixth prince is currently undergoing treatment from the empress Lin Xulian. Seeing him now, everyone knew that it is true and she is doing a very good job at that. It is the first time that Feng Jun Ying participated in a grand occasion in the palace. It means that this is also the first time that the empire saw him. And being the emperor's full blood brother, he looks like the smaller version of Feng Jun Yi. His complexion is just a little pale but compared to his appearance before his treatment, he has more mass and taller. The sixth prince totally stole the limelight from his brothers. But other than him, this scene also sparked the awe and admiration of the crowd to their empress Lin Xulian's talent in medicine.
There is also one other person who attracted the attention of the crowd. It is the new Empress Dowager Yun, third prince's mother. She rarely attended any banquet even during the previous emperor's reign. They are surprised with her beauty despite wearing minimal make-up and much simple but proper dress and accessories.
Later on, the crowd stood up when the eunuch announced the emperor and empress's arrival. The moment they arrived in the dragon and phoenix seat, the men kneeled on one knee while the women gave a proper bow to greet the two rulers of the empire. "Long live the emperor and empress!" Feng Jun Yi dismiss them and sat on the throne. The two totally stole everyone's attention. Feng Jun Yi wore a golden dragon robes with silver, red and orange colored thread embroidered to form a picture of a dragon. He looks intimidation but respectable. His aura screams power. Lin Xulian on the other hand wore her signature color red robes with gold and other colorful threads to form the picture of a phoenix and peony flowers. She looks so majestic and beautiful with her angelic face. This caused jealousy among the ladies and hate from Han Yimei.
With the presence of the celebrant, the emperor, the banquet started. He gave a short welcoming and thank you speech then signaled to formally start the celebration. Foods, drinks and music never stopped. Everyone is in festive mood. Then comes the giving of the gifts. But no one anticipated that there would be an unexpected twist.