25 Meet My in-laws
After our horse-drawn carriage arrived at the Palace, Zhiqiang Wangye got off earlier than me. When I want to get off the horse-drawn carriage, I realized that the door was high enough from the ground. I sighed. The clothes I wear is beautiful, but it makes me hard to move.
When we leaving Zhiqiang Wangfu (Zhiqiang Princes Manor), Zhiqiang Wangye helped me got on to this horse-drawn carriage. At first, I wanted to ask for Zhiqiang Wangye's help this time. However, I remember he teased me on our journey to this place. His teased make me feel distressed. I became reluctant to ask for his help this time. I cursed the horse-drawn carriage. His horse-drawn carriage is luxurious but does not make the passengers feel easy to enter and exit.
I tried myself to get off the horse-drawn carriage. I lifted my skirt slightly up to ease me
"What are you doing", Zhiqiang Wangye suddenly asked me. He surprised me very much. After getting off the horse carriage, he immediately met the guards in front of the Palace gate. Why was he suddenly near the horse carriage door.
"I want to go down, " I answered in a curt voice.
"Is that how you go down? By showing your feet to everyone? Do you want to tease all the men here?", He asked with satirical words. I followed the direction of his eyes. I realized that he was watching my calf that appeared because I lifted my skirt. Immediately I covered it.
"Damn it!" I cried in my heart.
"My clothes make me hard to get off, " I answered curtly. I'm lazy to argue with him.
"Benwang (This Prince) will help you," Zhiqiang Wangye extended his hand. However, I was so upset because I felt he was mocking me. I ignored his helping hand and turned back on him. I can hear his sighing. I thought he would leave me.
However, something surprising happened. He grabbed my shoulders and then pulled me back. Automatically I fell into his arms. I was speechless because I was surprised. I can only stare at his face that looks upset.
"Why are you so stubborn?" He asked me.
"Let me go," I stammered after overcoming my shock. He slowly turns me off from his arms.
"I helped you because I did not want people to embarrass me because I having a wife who could not keep up her behavior well, " he stated his reason as if he were stating that he was forced to help me.
"If in a public place, act as a magnificent Benwangfei (This Prince Consort). Remember that you have to keep my good name where you are," he continued.
"Good name? You're kidding, huh?" I cried in my heart. I don't like to hear his orders. As if I never learned manners. However, this time I was lazy to argue. Soon, I will meet with Huanghou (Her Majesty Queen) and Bixia (Her Majesty Emperor). If I get pissed now, I'll give them a bad impression.
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"I will remember your words, Wangye," I replied dismally because I was upset. He raised one eyebrow and then turned. He walked first, while I followed him from behind.
We walked accompanied by two eunuchs and two court ladies. The meeting will take place at the Huanghou residence. It is located quite far from the main Palace gate.
Arriving at the palace, the eunuch who was standing guard at the door shouted announcing our arrival. The door is opened. Zhiqiang Wangye and I entered. We immediately saluted Huanghou and Bixia.
"Erchen (This Son) and Erxifu (Wife of son) greet Fuhuang (Father-Emperor) and Muhou (Mother-Empress). May Heaven give Fuhuang and Muhou a long life, " Zhiqiang Wangye greets. I copied it.
"I am happy because you immediately came to greet us today. Especially, seeing my beautiful daughter-in-law," Huanghou said in her soft voice. I'm glad to hear that voice. I remembered my late mother. She always spoke softly like that.
"Thank you, Huanghou, " I replied nervously. Even though I've met her a few times, I still feel nervous.
"Now you are my daughter-in-law, Liu Fang. If you are in an informal situation like this, you should call me Muhou," she said with a serious look on her face.
"Erxifu will remember Muhou's words," I immediately called her Muhou as she asked.
"Good," she said. However, she did not immediately tell me and Zhiqiang Wangye to sit down. I'm confused about this situation. A senior court lady approached me. She whispered in my ear.
"Wangfei, did you bring something to Huanghou?" She asked me. My face immediately turned pale. I made a mistake. As a daughter-in-law, I have to bring a gift to my in-laws on the first day of our meeting after I marry his son. I looked at Zhiqiang Wangye who smiled cynically at me. I know that he intentionally let me make a mistake.
"Damn, you told me to protect your reputation. However, now you are embarrassing me. You are not aware that you are making a fool of yourself, " I told myself. Cursing at Zhiqiang Wangye's actions.
"Erxifu apologizes for not bringing a present to Muhou,' I said in a low voice. I feel so ashamed. Even though I don't like her son, I still have to respect my in-laws.
"Don't worry, I'm not angry. I can understand your situation. You lost your mother too fast so no one taught you this important thing. I'm also sure that Aijia (my son) doesn't teach you this too," Huanghou gave a sentence that comforted me. She also looked at Zhiqiang Wangye with a sharp look in her eyes.
"Erchen apologizes to Muhou," Zhiqiang Wangye immediately said like that after being reprimanded by Huanghou. Huanghou sighed.
"This marriage suddenly happened so you don't have an education about Palace customs yet. However, you must follow palace customs from this time. Gu Mama (Old Servant Gu) teach Wangfei what she must do this time," Huanghou gave her order. The senior court lady who whispered to me before nodded her head. She approached me carrying a tray. Above it, there are beautiful pots and saucers.
"Zhiqiang Wangfei, please pour the tea into a saucer and then give it to Bixia and Huanghou, " Gu Mama gave me a hint. I nodded my head. I nervously carried out the instructions. I try to be as graceful as possible and not in a hurry.
"Hopefully, Fuhou is healthy forever," I said, handing the cup of tea to Bixia very nervously.
"Hopefully, Muhou is always healthy forever," I said the same sentence when giving a cup of tea to Huanghou. Huanghou nodded her head then drank the tea.
"Please sit down," Huanghou ordered. I immediately sat next to Zhiqiang Wangye.
After sitting down, my nervousness became greatly reduced. Finally, I realized that our meeting at this time was not attended by Huangtaiji (Crown Prince) and Huangtaijifei (Crown Princess). This meeting was also made very simple. This makes me feel a little confused.
"You might be surprised because Huangtaiji and Huangtaijifei aren't here. I deliberately did not invite them. I don't want you to feel inferior if you make mistakes like before," Huanghou said. It seems like she understands my confusion because I turn left and right after sitting down. I even looked back. Hearing those words, I felt ashamed. I did not maintain my attitude well in front of her and easily showed what was in my heart. I understand her words well. If the shameful incident was seen by Huangtaijifei, Huangtaijifei might look down on me.
"You two must visit them in person," Bixia gave a suggestion that sounded like an order.
"Erchen and Erxifu will do Fuhuang's orders, " Zhiqiang Wangye replied to his father's words.
"Aijia, I will send Gu Mama to go to your palace. She will teach your wife about court customs. You also have to help your wife so she is familiar with court customs," Huanghou gave an order.
"Erchen will do Muhou's orders," Zhiqiang Wangye replied to Huanghou's words. He looked at me for a moment after that. I did not understand the meaning of his gaze at that moment.