The day before Lin Xulian's birthday, Feng Jun Yi told her about the banquet. She doesn't want to have a huge celebration but Feng Jun Yi told her that all the preparations are done and she will disappoint the imperial kitchen servants who made a lot of effort for this banquet. "They also made different and new kinds of sweets for you to try. They are really looking forward to your reviews." Hearing about the sweets, Lin Xulian relented.
On the day of the banquet, Lin Xulian woke up early and wore her usual red robes with golden thread embroidered chrysanthemum and butterflies. But her clothes' design is slightly different today. It shows more skin in her neck area and a bit of her collarbone is showing. Nonetheless it still looked dignified and wholesome. The servants said that the emperor personally asked the seamstress to make this specific design.
When she is finally done with her hair and make up, Feng Jun Yi entered her chamber and stood behind her while they both looked at her reflection in the bronze mirror. The servants bowed and retreated leaving the husband and wife alone.
Feng Jun Yi took out the turquoise colored jade box and gave it to her. "Your present. Happy birthday."
Lin Xulian opened the box and saw the gold necklace with the pink pearl pendant. Although Lin Xulian is tough and merciless with her enemies, she still likes adorable and pretty things. And the simple looking but pretty necklace is to her liking. Specially the pink lustrous pearl. "This is really pretty, Jun Yi. Thank you." Lin Xulian said with a beaming smile.
Feng Jun Yi gave her a small smile and took the necklace to personally put it on her. The necklace contrasts well on her milky white skin. It also fits with her angelic face. Seeing the necklace on her, Feng Jun Yi thought that it was made specifically for her. They both stayed there like that until the time of the banquet arrived. Feng Jun Yi offered his hand and they went to the hall.
When the eunuch announced the arrival of the emperor and empress, the whole crowd stood up and gave them a proper greeting. The sight of the two, one is smiling warmly towards the guests and the other looks cold but holding her hand protectively, is a sight to behold. They are the manifestation of a golden couple. They garner different gazes from the crowd; awe, respect and of course jealousy. Specially from an annoying sticky rice cake.
Han Yimei went a step further this time. She is almost twenty and is considered as a left over woman. The right prime minister's household never lacks of marriage proposals but she still refused to get married if not to the emperor. Her grandfather already gave up on her.
Today on Lin Xulian birthday banquet, she wanted to compete with her so she wore a redish orange robes with golden thread embroired roses, almost identical to peonies that symbolizes the empress. Her clothes' design is also a bit more revealing than nomal that shows her full collarbones and a bit of her cleavage. Her make up also accentuated her best features and made her look more seductive. She feels like she is the most beautiful woman at this moment. But those who looks at her thinks that her look is like a borderline between a seductive concubine and a brothel woman.
Since her virtuous and dignified façade already broke a long time ago, Han Yimei threw all her pretense and goes straight to seduction strategy. But just as usual, Feng Jun Yi didn't even look at her direction.
When they reached the dragon and phoenix seat and sat down, Lan Jingjing who is sitting on the side below the thrones greet Lin Xulian. But her eyes caught the necklace she is wearing and her eyes sparkled. "Is that the very rare pink pearl necklace from Fanrong country? I knew his majesty owned one. Did he gave it to you Lian jie?" She said with almost squealing voice.
Hearing those words, Han Yimei's jealousy intensified. 'Does that mean it is one of a kind in Gonglu country? And he gave it to that woman?! That necklace should've been mine!'
Lin Xulian looked at the pink pearl and thought. 'So it is not just pretty but also very rare. How much does this costs then? As expected from a rich husband.' "Yes, he gave it to me as a present earlier." Lin Xulian said with a sweet smile. Then she felt a strong killing intent and saw Han Yimei glaring at her. She felt a huge urge to tease her. "His majesty also personally selected my clothes. As you can see the collar's design perfectly matched the necklace. He must've plan it. I'm so happy." She then bashfully glanced at the emperor who gave her a small smile in return.
Feng Jun Yi of course didn't know that she was just teasing someone and became genuinely proud that he made her happy with the gift.
Lin Xulian is actually getting tired of playing with Han Yimei. All her moves are stupid and even when she have a great idea, it was not planned well. She could only sigh in exhaustiion specially right now as Han Yimei slowly walk towards them while flaunting her well developed breast and thought. 'That's a grown woman's body for sure.'
Han Yimei walked while swaying her hips exaggeratedly. Lin Xulian mentally rolled her eyes seeing her desperate move. "Wishing you a long life your majesty, the empress, on your day of birth." She then presented her gift. It is a white jade statue of a smiling fat man with little toddlers climbing and clinging on him. "This is a statue of fertility. This subject wishes for the empress to bear the dragon seed soon or I am afraid that the emperor might need new concubines."
Lin Xulian raised her eyebrows. 'Even her pretense of having a good relationship with me is gone. She is outrightly insulting my fertility in front of this crowd.' And as Lin Xulian thought, everyone find Han Yimei's words offending on her behalf. But contrary to their expectations, Lin Xulian didn't snap. She instead look at Feng Jun Yi apologetically and agreed to Han Yimei's words.
"Your majesty, it is really Lian'er's fault. It's been more than a year but then…." She then changed her expression from sadness to dedication. "Don't worry your majesty, Lian'er will personally search for healthy women to fill your harem. And I will make sure to find young ones." She then look at Han Yimei while smiling sweetly. "Having an older woman than myself is a big no since there is a possibility that they are not fertile enough, right Lady Han?"
Han Yimei's face paled miserably. Her age is her sore spot after all so she wasn't able to control her emotions. "I am fertile enough! I am not that old!"
The crowd shook their heads. This woman is totally ruined to the core but still this confident. Really baffling.