I’ll Be the Male Lead’s Sister-in-Law - Chapter 245
The Lantern Festival (3)
The Empress, who was sitting nearby, overheard the praises of others for the dragon lantern, and responded with twinkling eyes: “This Empress and everyone else here have been blessed with the Emperor’s presence today, so much so that I got to enjoy such a marvellous lantern festival. Also, I have never seen a dragon lantern in my whole life.”
When the crowd heard the Empress’s words, their joyful praises echoed throughout the square, making the Emperor’s heart filled with pride and delight. “Hearing everyone’s praises and worshipping words is now making this Emperor have high expectations about this magnificent dragon lantern. What happened to the lantern carriage?”
The eunuch who came to deliver the news about the lantern was overjoyed by the Emperor’s enthusiasm and hurriedly replied, “Your Majesty, it is still on the way. If nothing goes wrong, it will soon arrive at Xuande Gate.”
A competition between various lanterns was another custom and highlight of the lantern festival. So before the celebration begins, carriages that transport lanterns should go to relevant government authorities to obtain the approval and register to participate in the festival.
After getting the approval, all kinds of lantern carriages would depart from the streets and lanes. At every intersection, when two lantern carriages met, they needed to fight with each other to see which lantern got the brighter and dazzling lights between the two, and the authority would appoint a special person to be the judge. After that, the winning carriage lantern could continue moving forward in the festival while the defeated carriage would have to go back, and only the last winner was permitted to go to Xuande Gate.
The meaning of what the eunuch said could not be any more clear. As he said, the carriage that carried the dragon lantern was on the way to Xuande Gate, which meant that it had already won the battle of lanterns. “Good good, there’s going to be a reward.” The emperor clapped and laughed to show his appreciation.
While the surrounding was filled with laughter, and praises about the Emperor, Mu Mingtang had lost her enthusiasm about the festival and uncomfortable feelings filled in her heart.
How could she ignore it when people talked about the Emperor being the real son of heaven with dragon blood, when she knew the truth? She didn’t have the heart to listen to such words, so she quietly looked at Xie Xuanchen, but didn’t say anything to him, as if she didn’t hear what others were saying.
After eying him for a while, Mu Mingtang was about to look away but Xie Xuanchen suddenly looked in her direction with an inquiring look.
Mu Mingtang was surprised but she soon shook her head and said, “it’s nothing.”
Because of all the noises, Xie Xuanchen was unable to understand what Mu Mingtang was saying, so he walked straight to the women’s side and asked, “What’s wrong?”
As Xie Xuanchen’s sudden arrival gained attention from others around them, Mu Mingtang felt shy. She was even embarrassed to say to him that ‘you heard it wrongly’. So to get out of the embarrassing situation, she pointed to a small stall that sold sugar figures under the city tower: “Look, that stall’s business is so good. He can make several kinds of sugar figures, not only that he also uses candy silk to draw characters.”
Xie Xuanchen took a look at where she was pointing, and said to the eunuch behind him, “Go downstairs and buy a sugar figurine, and remember to ask him to especially make a monkey zodiac figure.”
[TL Notes: Chinese zodiac, or shengxiao, is represented by 12 zodiac animals. In order, they are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.]
Mu Mingtang just pointed at the stall to prevent revealing her true thoughts, but she actually didn’t expect that Xie Xuanchen would send someone to buy her sugar candies. As they were now on the tower of the Xuande gate, it took a few steps to go down to buy sugar figures. But on the way, the person who was assigned to do the job had to go through imperial guards, so it would be a bit troublesome.
Mu Mingtang quickly grabbed Xie Xuanchen’s sleeve and said, “No need, I was just taking a look, nothing else.”
“What can you even see from such a distance? A sugar figurine is not expensive and it’s not troublesome to buy it. You don’t need to worry about such trivial things.” Xie Xuanchen glanced at the eunuch beside him indifferently: “Why haven’t you gone yet?”
The eunuch, who could not decide whether to listen to Xie Xuanchen or Mu Mingtang, finally decided to follow Xie Xuanchen’s order and went to buy a sugar figurine for Mu Mingtang. As the eunuch went, people around them looked at his retreating figure and whispered to each other: “Why is he going out?”
“I don’t know the exact details, but it seems that he took an errand from Prince An and went downstairs to buy a candy figurine for Princess An.”
People who heard this sighed in their hearts. ‘It is just a sugar figurine that we can buy anyday on the street. So why make such trouble on a day like this?’ This was what almost everyone who saw the scene thought, but who would dare to state their true opinions in case they angered Prince An? Even the Emperor and the Empress didn’t say anything, so how could others? However, their feelings were still sour.
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