Lin Xulian's heart is thumping wildly in her chest, not from the excitement of finally seeing the rarest herb she knew but because of the fact that she could finally totally cure the sixth prince. Feng Jun Yi on the other hand is conflicted. Although he wanted the herb, he can't let his guard down even though emperor Xing seems harmless. This is his nature after all, he can't fully put his trust to anyone, even for his empress. But compared to anyone, he trusts her the most although not full.
Xing Wenhe noticed their doubts and explained. "Lord Gong tried to sell the information that you wanted the Buxiu herbs. I refused to buy it but he still chose to tell me for free. What a funny guy." He then laughed lightly that brought an illusion of the morning ray of sun. "Through several generations, our Xing imperial family took care of the Buxiu herb and managed to grow a few stalks. You see the Buxiu herb can only produce one seedling every fifty years. And the Xing family had them even before the fall of the Tongyi empire. Giving you one won't hurt specially if it could help both our countries get connected Emperor Feng."
Sensing an underlying meaning from his statement, Feng Jun Yi probe him further. "The thought is appreciated Emperor Xing. But what do you mean exactly?"
Seeing his seriousness, Xing Wenhe decided to be direct. "This is my younger full blood sister, Princess Xing Baihe. She is currently fourteen years old." He introduced the young lady beside him. "I would like to propose an alliance through marriage Emperor Feng. Please accept her as your wife."
Han Yimei suddenly rose from her seat. "No! I object!" She reacted violently. She can't let this marriage push through.
Some young ladies laughed at her outburst. "Lady Han, the empress didn't even give a tiny reaction despite being the wife. Don't you think you are over reacting? Don't get too ahead of yourself." Said one of the ladies and the rest laughed.
Han Yimei is fuming. She glared at Lin Xulian hoping that she would get a clue and reject the proposal. But Lin Xulian disappointed her. She didn't even notice her outburst and continue staring at the herb. Han Yimei silently cursed. She wonders what's the deal with that stupid stalk of herb.
Feng Jun Yi is taken aback. He expected the possibility of marriage alliance. He would be willing to let one of his younger brothers, the fourth or fifth prince marry the princess. But Emperor Xing specified him as the marriage partner. He is more conflicted now. He then felt a small hand squeezing his large ones. He turned his head towards his empress only to see her eyes brimming with determination. She then looked at the herb. He then understood her meaning, for the sake of getting the herb, she would agree.
Feng Jun Yi felt a bit disappointed seeing that she doesn't mind even a little bit. Then he remembered that she is even willing to fill up his back palace for him. He could only sigh in defeat. "Emperor Xing, don't you think your sister is too young for marriage yet? And too young for me?" Feng Jun Yi still tried to bargain.
"I intend to marry her off at the age of eighteen. She would be mature enough then. This means that once you accept the engagement, we still have four years at most for the wedding." Xing Wenhe said calmly. "You see; she is my only sister so I want to keep her for a few more years. I only brought her this early because we don't know if we could get another chance to meet each other."
Feng Jun Yi is slowly convinced, but he remembered a very crucial thing. "As you know Emperor Xing, I already have an Empress. And I don't plan on taking her out of the throne. I know your sister is a pure princess, but I cannot give her the position of the main wife. Is that fine?"
Xing Wenhe's smile faltered. He was about to argue but the silent Princess held his arm and said. "Big brother, remember your empress? I know you understand Emperor Feng more than anyone. Anyway, being the main wife or not doesn't matter. As long as I could bring peace to both countries it's enough for me."
Xing Wenhe sighed and immediately calmed down. "You are right Baihe. As if I'm one to talk." He then faced Feng Jun Yi and apologized. "Forgive me Emperor Feng. I am just an over protective brother. But I cannot let my sister be a low ranking concubine. How about reserving the position of Imperial Noble Concubine? At least only two people are above her and that is you and your empress."
Hearing the title that he hates, Feng Jun Yi turned silent. He wanted to keep that position empty for the rest of his reign since he believes that only a witch occupies that position. But he can't say it out loud and offend Xing siblings.
But Xing Wenhe misunderstood his silence. "They said the Empress is a business partner and the Imperial Noble Concubine is the true love. But for me it is not true. The woman I love is my Empress and I gave the position of the Imperial Noble Concubine to my maternal cousin so she can live leisurely. You don't have to overthink Emperor Feng. Just think of it as just a title."
Although he misunderstood, Emperor Xing's words help enlighten Feng Jun Yi. He would just think of the Imperial Noble Concubine as a title and nothing more. "I apologize for my narrow mindedness Emperor Xing and also for giving you the trouble of adjusting to my demands."
"Don't mind it Emperor Feng. I am the one who proposed for this alliance so I should listen to your demands. As long as the deal is done then it is fine." Xing Wenhe said with a warm smile. "Anyway, Baihe is known in our empire for her skill in tea ceremony. Why don't you try her tea Emperor Feng, Empress Lin?"
The two didn't reject Emperor Xing's offer. They are immune to any poison anyway. If ever, Lin Xulian could detect it and she would know if the Zhixiang have ulterior motive.
Xing Baihe performed the tea ceremony in front of Feng Jun Yi and Lin Xulian. They didn't detect any suspicious movement from her. When they finally drank the tea, Lin Xulian didn't detect any poison. This gave her a favorable impression of the princess. She didn't mind having the adorable princess in the harem. She quite like her actually.
"This tea is really good. Princess Xing is surely a talented lady. I'll be happy to share the rest of our lifetime together." Xing Baihe blushed hard hearing Lin Xulian's words. The two emperor felt like Lin Xulian is hitting on the Princess. Xing Wenhe became speechless while Feng Jun Yi's mouth twitched.