Madam Wang walked into the inner quarters with Su Feng Nuan and found a new dress for her to change into before pulling her aside to question her.
Su Feng Nuan told about exactly of every details of today’s happenings in the Palace today.
After finished listening, Madam Wang reprimanded her, “Child, how can you offend the Empress Dowager just because you don’t want to go to the Palace for her teachings and to protect Feng Sheng, Now not to say you’ve left a bad impression in the Empress Dowager’s heart, if the happenings of today spreads, your reputation will be over.”
“Wai-po, even if today’s happenings are not spread, I don’t have any good reputation either.” Su Feng Nuan reminded her.
Madam Wang listened and became merry, reached over and dabbed her forehead. “You, you are just naughty, like a boy you’ve followed your father to the border and now you’ve come running back, compared to last year when I saw you, you’ve become thinner.”
Su Feng Nuan pouted, carrying her skirt, and her eyebrows twisted. Nudging her body against Madam Wang and said softly, “Wai-po, this dress is very complicated. Since the Emperor has allowed me to dress simply, you can give me another one, let’s not wear this one alright?”
Madam Wang shook her head. “No, if your Wai-gong sees you unproper, he will lecture you again.”
Su Feng Nuan sighed, “Wai-gong is an old antique, even the Emperor is more open.”
Madam Wang pat her merrily, “Let’s go, don’t let the Emperor wait for a long time. He left the Palace today and came to the Wang Manor is also to avoid the Empress Dowager and talk to you.”
Su Feng Nuan nodded, carrying her skirt, and followed Madam Wang out of the inner quarters.
When arriving at the front quarters, Wang Lu was chatting with the Emperor. Seeing Madam Wang come with Su Feng Nuan and took a glance at her. Only until seeing her carrying her skirt and behave in a proper manner, like a lady of a prominent family, his facial expression turned better.
The Emperor smiled and looked at Su Feng Nuan, “Xiao Ya Tou1Endearing term for addressing a younger female looks better this way!”
Wang Lu snorted. “She can’t be praised, since a child hasn’t looked proper. If the Emperor praised her, her tail just might perk up.”
The corner of Su Feng Nuan’s lips twitched, secretly protesting, she’s not a fox, perk what tail?
The Emperor laughed.
Madam Wang glanced at Wang Lu. “Whenever Lao-ye2Master of the House sees Nuan Er3Su Feng Nuan’s nickname, Lao Ye puts on a scary look, and when the little girl sees you is like a mouse seeing a cat, so she don’t dare to return to the Imperial City and come to the manor in the past two years. Last year, I really missed her, and I couldn’t help but leave the Imperial City myself to go see her.”
“You are all spoiling her.” Wang Lu straightened his face and said to Su Feng Nuan, “Now you’ve returned to the Imperial City, your words and actions must be of a Lady from a Prominent Family. Avoid being gossiped about outside and become a laughingstock.”
Su Feng Nuan thought that her Wai-gong still did not know what went on in the Palace today, and silently stepped behind Madam Wang.
Madam Su glanced at Su Feng Nuan with a smile and said nothing.
The Emperor also thought it funny and then switched the topic. He asked Wang Lu, “I want to bestow Xiao Ya Tou4Endearing term for addressing a younger female a marriage, does Official Wang have a person in mind?”
Wang Lu glanced at Su Feng Nuan and saw her ears perked up, he stroke his beard and snorted, “Huang-shang5Addressing the Emperor has thought too highly of her. She is still a foul and haven’t grown up yet. Getting married? These years, her father and mother have spoiled her, and she is used to the outside world. Now she is back to the Imperial City. Who is willing to marry her? Keep her in the manor and raise her up a few more years, after she’s well trained let’s talk about it.”
Su Feng Nuan was overjoyed. She came out from behind Madam Wang and ran to Wang Lu’s side. Giving him a shoulder massage like a goon and nodded her head like hammering garlic. “Wai-gong is so right.”
Madam Wang couldn’t help but let out a laugh.
Madam Su smiled and took a glance at Su Feng Nuan.
Although Wang Lu seems to dislike Su Feng Nuan with his words, but for her initiative to give him a shoulder massage, it is still very useful trick, even his snorting is much lighter.
The Emperor heard and gave a smile, “Xiao Ya Tou6Endearing term for addressing a younger female is now of good age. Although she doesn’t look to have grown up, but she is of age already. Even if not be married, can still set an engagement first.”
Wang Lu heard his words and nodded. “What Huang-shang says makes sense.”
Su Feng Nuan’s hand halted and the movements on the shoulder slowed by half a beat.
The Emperor laughed again, “The Empress Dowager is fixed on Xiao Guo-jiu of the Guo-jiang Manor, so I’m afraid she won’t cast away that though easily. Xiao Guo-jiu is indeed equipped in both civil and military, with no bad traits to pick at. What do the Grand Secretariat think?”
Wang Lu thought deeply about it and said, “The Guo-jiang Manor has two Queens, likely will have many etiquettes and rules. I am afraid that it is not suitable for the girl.”
The Emperor nodded, “I have also given this consideration, therefore, I feel that Xiao Guo-jiu is not suitable. In the entire court, of all the civil and military official’s manors, more or less there are some rules. Only the Rong-an Wang-fu, with only Ye Xiang, so all the rules have already been deposed by him. Therefore, there’s no rules to be brought up. Ye Xiang is one year older than Xiao Ya Tou7Endearing term for addressing a younger female, and his background and age are suitable. He has not been married and no engagements, and definitely no bedroom maids8mistresses like maids in his manor. I have already looked for someone to check the birthdate and time of the two, and is a heaven made match. He is a suitable choice.”
Wang Lu heard so and said, “Huang-shang’s considerations are very precise.”
Su Feng Nuan suddenly used some strength and hammered him.
Looking back at her, her hand’s strength immediately lightened and smiled trying to please him.
Wang Lu said again, “However, Ye Shi-zi has always been wildly unreasonable and very uncooperative, it’s been well known. And this Xiao Yao Tou9endearing way to address a younger female is also very wild, since young have always play with knives and swords. If in disagreement with someone will act upon it physically, if putting them together, I am afraid there will be no peace in the future. Not considered a good marriage.”
Su Feng Nuan quickly gave her grandfather a shoulder rub, the strength was a technique she had specially learned and was extremely comfortable.
The Emperor Nodded, “This is also a problem.”
Wang Lu spoke again, “The Northern Zhou army have just retreated and still unsure if they will come back. Su Che is said to have been seriously injured and the meantime, is taking care of the wounded soldiers, post-war affair, and nurturing his own injuries. In a short time, afraid would not be able to return to the Imperial City. Although Huang-shang and the Empress Dowager both have their preferences, but Su Che only has this one daughter, so about her marriage, he must also have his own considerations. Your old steward also cannot make decisions in his place as a father. Why don’t Huang-shang wait for him to return to the Imperial City and then discuss with him before making a selection for the marriage bestowment. The Empress Dowager also has a heart that is concerned about the empire and its people, so should be able to understand that this matter cannot be rushed, and to prevent a good thing being turned into a bad thing.
The Emperor hearing so nodded, “What the Grand Secretariat says makes sense. In this case, let’s put this matter aside first and wait for the Commander General to return to discuss about it.”
“That is right.” Wang Lu nodded.
Su Feng Nuan winked at Madam Su, thinking older gingers are indeed more spicy.
With just a few words, Wai-gong had stopped the Emperor’s thought on the marriage bestowment. His hidden meaning was, that if the Emperor goes ahead and issues the Decree, the Commander General would be unhappy, the Empress Dowager would be unhappy, and if the Empress Dowager is pushed too far, she might just do something. If the Empress does raise a hand10meaning do something, if light the court would be rocked, if intense would affect the empire, if so isn’t it a good thing turn bad?
After the matter was decided, the Emperor stayed over at the Grand Secretariat Manor for a while longer before getting up to leave.
Wang Lu led the group to send the Emperor on his way out the manor. Seeing that the Emperor’s carriage did not go back to the Palace, but instead changed route and headed towards the East Road he squinted his eyes and asked Madam Su, “The Imperial City have been spreading news that the Empress Dowager and the Emperor wants to bestow marriage for Xiao Ya Tou for some time already. By now should have spread to the border already?”
Madam Su nodded, “Yes, Father. The General by now should have heard of the rumors and daughter have already sent him letter about this matter.”
Wang Lu said, “These years Su Che have been guilty for what happened 12 years ago. The Emperor favors Ye Xiang, I think he will not object.”
Madam Su sighed, “The death of the Duke and Duchess of Rong-an has always been a knot in his heart.”
Wang Lu let out a snort, “Back then if it was not for internal spy leaking out the military affairs, the Duke and Duchess of Rong-an would not have died at the border. However, guilt is guilt, the marriage of children is the marriage matter, each its own matter.”
“Father thinks that Xiao Guo-jiu and Ye Shi-zi not one suitable?” Madam Su said with a lowered voice.
Wang Lu nodded, “Both are not fuel-efficient lamps11Meaning not hassle free, require tending to often, not marrying them is fine!”
Su Feng Nuan hearing so burst into a laughter, “Wai-gong is the best.”
Wang Lu turned his head towards her, his face hardened and said, “Heard that in the Palace, you had gotten physical and fooling around in front of the Empress Dowager and offended her? Is there such thing?”
Su Feng Nuan jumped from shock and immediately glanced at Madam Wang.
Madam Wang shook her head.
Su Feng Nuan thought so too, Wai-po was by her side the whole time and did not see her tell Wai-gong. She immediately turned towards Madam Su.
Madam Su also shook her head.
Wang Lu snorted, “You don’t need to look at them, it’s not them who told me. If I am not even aware of any wind or move of grass in the Imperial Palace and just have my eyes shut and ears plugged this position12Grand Secretariat Position I do not need to sit on.”
After hearing so, Su Feng Nuan looked at her Wai-gong with admiration, that is the meaning of being in a cottage but knowing the world, very impressive.
Wang Lu did not blame her and instead said, “What you did today was not wrong, the Empress Dowager to have doubts is a good thing. Or else with her impetuousness, if she was to go at it with the Emperor who is now stone hearted on the matter, there is no good in it for you, and no good for the Su Manor. However, with her temperament, she will not let it go easily. So, starting today, you will stay at the Grand Secretariat Manor. I will have someone to teach you etiquettes and disciplines. If the Empress Dowager knows you are learning rules, in a short time will not be able to come up with any plans to bring you into the Palace to take care of.
Su Feng Nuan hearing she needs to study disciplines her face collapse, but staying at the Grand Secretariat Manor is still much better than being sent to the Palace.