Semi-conscious, Murong Xue felt a sharp pain in her chest. Every breath felt like a thousand steel needles fiercely stabbing at her heart, so painful that she tightly frowned. She slowly opened her heavy eyelids, but was stunned by the scene that came into her view.
White marble table-tops, red sandalwood chairs, golden pillars, silk brocade marble beds; the resplendent great hall was extremely luxurious. In the corner sat a purple-gold twisted-wire furnace which was an extremely expensive antique; at the window were two 1-meter-tall red corals which were even more precious and almost extinct in the modern era; in addition, the wall was embedded with night pearls, so many that it was overwhelming.
Murong Xue couldn’t help but be stunned. The modern society would have electric lighting everywhere but this was furnished so quaintly old-fashioned. Even the palace halls of the Forbidden Palace in Beijing might not be as elegant and luxurious as this.
“Your majesty, this humble servant requests that your Majesty grants Princess Yuyuan as my wife and Murong Xue as my concubine…”
A cold male voice traveled to her ears, destroying the pleasant surprise brought about by the scene in front of her. Murong Xue turned towards the direction of the voice and saw a man dressed in purple-red brocade robes standing on the red carpet, in the middle of the big hall. His hair, like black silk, was tied up using a purple-gold crown. His expression was calm, his young face handsome beyond comparison, and sharp gaze, ruthless.
Murong Xue felt a thud in her head and received a sudden influx of foreign memories, coalescing rapidly with her original memories. Although she couldn’t believe it, she had no choice but to admit – her soul had traveled.
The owner of this body was also named Murong Xue and was the daughter of the first wife in the house of the marquis. She had been engaged to Prince Jing, Ye Yichen, since young. Three years ago, Prince Jing had led an army to the borders against the enemy while Murong Xue waited bitterly in the capital city.
After waiting for so long for her fiancé’s return, unexpectedly, he had returned together with the Princess of Mobei, Qin Yuyuan. He had even publicly requested to marry Qin Yuyuan as his first wife in front of all the court officials and their families during the welcome home banquet, demoting Murong Xue to a concubine. She was caught off guard. Shocked and angry, her old illness had relapsed and she had died.
In order to give the title of first wife to Qin Yuyuan, Ye Yichen unscrupulously used his military accomplishments to request that the Emperor allow the marriage. But what wrong did Murong Xue do? She had only obeyed her parents’ wishes to get engaged with Ye Yichen. She did not even have a chance to speak to her fiancé before he had demoted her into a lowly concubine. Her ego as the daughter of a prestigious family was stamped upon heartlessly into the ground.
Sharpness gleaned Murong Xue’s eyes. Facing everyone’s looks of sympathy, pity, ridicule, disdain and gloating, she slowly raised her head towards Ye Yichen, “I had an engagement with you first, Princess Yuyuan’s political marriage came second. Don’t you think that you are too much to have me demoted to concubine?”
Astonished looks fell upon Murong Xue. Ye Yichen is a war prince and has many military achievements. Even all the court officials would give in and respect him. Murong Xue is only a sickly girl still in her boudoir, and she dared to mercilessly reprimand him. How audacious!
The middle-aged Emperor sitting on the golden throne also raised his head and looked towards Murong Xue calmly. His sharp and majestic gaze hiding behind white jade tassel, faintly discernable.
Murong Xue turned a blind eye to all these and coldly stared at Ye Yichen.
“Yuyuan is the King of Mobei’s most favourite princess. Making her my concubine would be humiliating Mobei. The two countries, Qingyan and Mobei, would definitely go to war again!” Ye Yichen coldly answered without even sparing her a look. His brows revealed a hint of casualness and annoyance.
Murong Xue begged to differ, and coldly said, “Qingyan is strong as a country with sufficient military strength. If Mobei dares to attack, just send troops to destroy them. Why should the Prince be scared of them?”
“I am not afraid of going to war. I just do not want our border soldiers to die without reason!” Ye Yichen turned around, and condescendingly looked down upon Murong Xue, coldness showing all around the tips of his eyes and brows. “If both countries can settle war through a political marriage, why should we still need to have an intense war and sacrifice so many soldiers?”
Mobei’s army is aggressive and will not easily surrender. If they agreed to a peace treaty and a political marriage, it is likely that the three years of war has caused them heavy losses such that they need to rest and rejuvenate. Even if Qin Yuyuan becomes concubine, they will be vexed and angry, and they will harshly criticize, but they will not easily send troops to the border. Ye Yichen and Mobei have been at war for three years and he definitely knows fully well about Mobei’s predicament but he still used peace between both countries as an excuse. Is it really because he likes Qin Yuyuan and wishes to take her as his first wife?!
Murong Xue’s mouth curved up with a touch of ridicule, and she coldly looked at Ye Yichen, “The princes of the royal family are all young and capable. The nobles of the capital also have many young and talented men. Princess Yuyuan can marry any one of them and form a good relationship between the two countries. She does not have to marry you who already has a marriage agreement.”
Ye Yichen’s act of mercilessly demoting Murong Xue as concubine in the great hall was simply humiliating her and not giving any respect to her as his fiancée. The original person was angered to death by Ye Yichen; she as the precious daughter of a first wife in a prestigious family will not allow anyone to bully her!
“When both countries came to a truce, the King of Mobei had asked that I personally take care of Princess Yuyuan. And I had agreed!” Ye Yichen calmly said, his voice calm and unwavering.
A small condition in return for twenty years of peace between Qingyan and Mobei seemed like a very good deal. Ye Yichen was marrying Qin Yuyuan for the sake of the entire Qingyan. Demoting Murong Xue to concubine was because he had no other choice. If she continued to reprimand Ye Yichen, then she would be considered selfish and unappreciative.
In a few words, he had rebuked her criticism. Ye Yichen’s methods were really to the point and unfathomable. His reputation as the god of war was well deserved! But she, Murong Xue, was also not a weak goat up for slaughter, “In that case, Prince Jing and Princess Yuyuan’s marriage cannot be stopped and has no way of changing?”
Looking into Murong Xue’s cool eyes that were like deep pools, Ye Yichen’s heart clenched, as though something surprising was about to happen. He frowned, and coldly said, “Of course!”
“In that case, I request that my engagement with Prince Jing be annulled!”
As soon as she said that, the crowd was in an uproar. Murong Xue wants to break off the engagement and not marry the prince of war who is young and talented and has many military achievements? Is her mind muddled from her sickness? Qingyan has many young and talented men, but it is impossible to find one who is as accomplished as Ye Yichen! Even as his concubine, she will be better off marrying him than marrying another as first wife.
A gleam of surprise appeared in Ye Yichen’s eyes. When he had decided to ask the Emperor to grant marriage, he had envisaged all sorts of reactions Murong Xue would have and had already thought of all sorts of countermeasures. However, he did not expect that she would actually suggest annulling the engagement. His blade-like brows flicked up slightly, and he coldly said, “No way!”
Murong Xue coldly questioned, “Why not?”
Ye Yichen lowered his eyelids, “If it is annulled, your reputation will be affected…”
“In front of so many people, Prince Jing demoted me to a concubine without any mercy, making me the laughing stock of the capital. My reputation has already been utterly destroyed,” Murong Xue icily interrupted, derision showing all around the tips of her eyes and brows.
“Are you blaming me?” Ye Yichen looked at Murong Chen, danger flashing in his eyes.
“I dare not! I only ask that Prince Jing annull the marriage agreement. We each can marry and no longer have any ties!” Murong Xue casually answered with hints of derision and perfunctoriness.
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