Oops! The Black Lotus Can't Be a Female Supporting Character - Chapter 25
Chapter 25: Not A Suitable Match
She absolutely could not go back to how she was in her previous life!
Xiao Luanfei’s hands were tightly clenched together, her neatly manicured fingernails digging into her palm, her breathing rapid.
The heavy, labored breaths resonated clearly in the inner chamber.
After regaining her composure, Xiao Luanfei decisively got out of bed, spread a paper, grounded an ink, and sat at her writing desk, completely absorbed in transcribing the “Heart Sutra.”
In the following days, Xiao Luanfei stayed quietly in her room, not leaving her chambers.
She rose at the crowing of the rooster each day, observed abstinence, bathed, and transcribed the “Heart Sutra” in her small study, maintaining a vegetarian diet.
After transcribing the sutra for three full days, on the fifth day of the fourth month, Xiao Luanfei, who had been in seclusion, finally left her room. She carried the freshly transcribed “Heart Sutra” and a forehead adornment she had personally made for Madam Yin as she made her way to the main courtyard.
“Mother, it’s my fault.” Xiao Luanfei looked at Madam Yin with a touch of apprehension and handed over the neatly written sutra and the forehead cloth herself.
The Heart Sutra was copied three times, precise and meticulous, with beautifully elegant calligraphy that no one could fault.
The one-inch-wide purple forehead cloth was embroidered with delicate honeysuckle patterns and adorned with two gold edges. In the center, a lustrous pearl was sewn.
Madam Yin looked at the forehead cloth and the neatly copied Heart Sutra, feeling warmth in her heart. Her dignified expression softened.
“Mother…” Xiao Luanfei reached out, gripping Madam Yin’s sleeve and swayed like a child seeking comfort, her eyes dim and lifeless.
For her own flesh and blood daughter, how could Madam Yin really harden her heart? Naturally, she felt the pain her daughter was going through.
But this time, her daughter had indeed made a mistake…
Madam Yin asked seriously, “Luan’er, do you know where you went wrong?”
Xiao Luanfei’s eyelashes quivered, and she said in a low voice, “I was too hasty.”
“You and father haven’t spoken for days over my sister’s marriage.”
“That day, I met Yiniang Cui in Ronghe Hall, and she looked truly pitiful. She said that second sister hadn’t talked to her in a long time and asked me to arrange a meeting.”
“I thought that as long as they reconciled, whether that marriage happened or not, Concubine Cui would handle it herself, and you wouldn’t have to worry.”
“It was my mistake. I disrupted things with good intentions, thinking that my sister also wanted to reconcile with Yiniang Cui…”
Madam Yin sighed gently and advised, “Luan’er, as the elder sister, it’s right to care for your younger sister. However, your care should also be accepted by your younger sister. Being self-righteous can be hurtful to the other person.”
“Remember, in your dealings with people, don’t easily believe one person’s one-sided words. Be fair and impartial.”
“Today, while you are at your maternal home, your mother helps you to tidy things up. Once you marry into someone else’s family in the future, those people from your husband’s family won’t treat you as kindly as your maternal family does.”
“Luan’er, do you understand?”
Madam Yin pulled Xiao Luanfei to sit by her side, gently embracing her daughter’s slender shoulders.
When Mama Zhao entered, she happened to witness this scene and couldn’t help but feel relieved. There was no lingering animosity between mother and daughter, and it was unnecessary to strain their relationship for the sake of Concubine Cui.
“Lady, Eldest Miss,” Mama Zhao smiled and reported, “Lady Zheng from the palace has arrived, and she says she’s here to convey a message from the Empress to Madam and Eldest Miss.”
The previously warm atmosphere was shattered, and the mother and daughter exchanged surprised glances.
Someone from the palace had suddenly arrived?!
Immediately, Madam Yin instructed Mama Zhao to lead the visitor to the main hall.
One couldn’t be disrespectful when a trusted envoy of the Empress came to deliver a message. Both Madam Yin and Xiao Luanfei tidied their attire and changed into more suitable jewelry for receiving guests before heading to the hall.
Before long, Mama Zhao returned with a woman in her forties, followed by four palace maids dressed in matching blue-green palace attire.
The woman named Zheng wore a deep purple woven silk jacket, had an ordinary appearance, a plump figure, and walked leisurely, as if she were taking a stroll in her own home.
There’s a saying, “Even a seventh-rank official holds a position of importance when standing in front of a prime minister.” In this case, for a palace official like Zheng, and one trusted by the Empress, no one dared to show any disrespect.
Madam Yin and her daughter rose to greet her, and Zheng entered the hall at a leisurely pace after crossing the threshold.
“Wu’an Marquis’s Lady, Miss Xiao.” Aunt Zheng first expressed her respect with a nod and greeted Madam Yin and her daughter. Her lips carried a hint of friendliness, but her eyes remained distant.
“Aunt Zheng, please have a seat,” Madam Yin politely exchanged pleasantries and invited her to sit at the lower end of the table. “May I inquire about the instructions from the Empress?”
Aunt Zheng sat down without ceremony and said, “I’ve come to deliver the Qianfang Invitations from the Empress.”
An imperial maid in blue palace attire beside her presented a red and gold invitation bearing the words “Qianfang Invitation” to Madam Yin.
As Madam Yin accepted the invitation with both hands, she kneeled in the direction of the palace and expressed her gratitude for the Empress’s grace.
“Ying Luo, please serve Aunt Zheng some tea,” Madam Yin instructed her senior maid.
However, Aunt Zheng declined with a smile, saying, “Marquis’s Madam, there’s no need for tea. I must leave shortly as I have to visit the Duke of Ying residence and the Duke of Yan’s residence.”
“I wonder, Miss Xiao, if you are acquainted with Miss Cheng from the Duke of Ying residence and Miss Yan from the Duke of Yan’s residence?”
Aunt Zheng suddenly turned to Xiao Luanfei, who was seated opposite her.
Xiao Luanfei’s heart skipped a beat, but she gracefully nodded and replied, “We’ve had a few chance encounters.”
Aunt Zheng adjusted her robe and continued with a smile, “The other day, the two young ladies entered the palace together to pay respects to the Empress. They appeared elegant, mature, gentle, and graceful. Her Majesty was very pleased.”
“Her Majesty intends to select a consort for the Crown Prince at this year’s Qianfang Banquet. She has high hopes for the Crown Prince, so the choice of a Crown Princess must be carefully considered. Only daughters of marquises, high-ranking officials, and other distinguished backgrounds will be suitable.”
“These two young ladies can barely meet the requirements for the Crown Prince.”
Aunt Zheng’s smile deepened, and her implication was quite clear —
The Empress did not favor Xiao Luanfei but was more interested in these two young ladies from the Duke’s households to be the future Crown Princes’ consorts.
The Duke of Ying and the Duke of Yan both held military power and had the status of Dukes, which was far from being comparable to a down-and-out Marquis’s residence.
Xiao Luanfei’s pupils slightly constricted.
Madam Yin also understood, her face as calm as water.
Aunt Zheng spoke endlessly, sometimes praising the young ladies from those two Duke’s households for being “tolerant,” and at other times suggesting that Xiao Luanfei should address them as “sisters” in the future. The implication in her words was crystal clear – the Empress thought that Xiao Luanfei wasn’t worthy of being the Crown Prince’s primary consort and, at best, could only be a secondary consort, equal to the primary consort as a sister.
Xiao Luanfei’s face turned pale, her right hand tightly clutching the embroidered invitation, feeling like it had turned into a hot potato in an instant.
Naturally, Madam Yin noticed her daughter’s distress and sighed inwardly.
The disparity was clear to her. She had never intended for her daughter to become the Crown Prince’s consort, as entering the palace was like entering a deep sea. She would rather find a suitable match for her daughter.
In any case, she would never let her daughter become a concubine to the Crown Prince.
Madam Yin’s eyes gradually turned cold as she smiled and said, “Aunt Zheng, there’s quite a difference in seniority here. It might not be appropriate to address each other as sisters.”
Aunt Zheng was taken aback.
Madam Yin, as if nothing had happened, said to Xiao Luanfei, “Luan’er, Miss Cheng is considered a relative of our family, and in terms of seniority, she should address you as ‘cousin’.”
The younger sister of Marquis Wu’an had married into the Duke of Xinkang’s residence, and the Duke of Xinkang was also related to the Duke of Ying’s household. In the capital, there were many such convoluted family relationships among the nobility. In reality, they were mostly strangers.
Aunt Zheng, who had served by the Empress’s side for many years, knew quite a bit about these family relationships in the capital. She made a slight mental adjustment and understood Madam Yin’s intent to deflect the situation.
She didn’t mind it either.
If the eldest daughter of the Xiao family truly consented to being a mere secondary consort to the Crown Prince, then her trip today would have been in vain.
“So that’s how it is.” Aunt Zheng smiled again, her eyes narrowing as she did, a sharp glint passing through her gaze.
“Madam, I’ve heard that your second daughter has also reached womanhood. This invitation is also for the second daughter.”
Yin Shi raised her eyebrows in confusion, not understanding why Aunt Zheng would inquire about Xiao Yanfei. By all accounts, the two had never met, and the Empress should not know about a concubine-born daughter of a Marquis’s household.
Aunt Zheng showed a faint smile and said, “I’ve heard that Miss Xiao is as beautiful as a celestial, a rare and stunning beauty. Even after a single encounter, Grand Eunuch Gao couldn’t forget her.”
Aunt Zheng lightly touched her impeccably manicured nails.
Grand Eunuch Gao was a highly influential figure in the Emperor’s court. In the past, she had worried about establishing a connection with him, and now the opportunity had finally come.
Grand Eunuch Gao had promised her that if this matter succeeded, he would ensure that her nephew passed the imperial examination this year.
Aunt Zheng’s eyes sparkled as she said with profound meaning, “Madam, Grand Eunuch Gao has always held a special place in the Emperor’s heart. When he speaks, one word from him can outweigh a hundred or a thousand from others. If the Marquis’s residence can establish a good relationship with Grand Eunuch Gao, it will undoubtedly reap great benefits!”
“Grand Eunuch Gao lacks nothing except for a beautiful companion. It’s up to Madam if she’s willing to fulfill his wish.”
“I’ll offer a little advice to Madam. People need to see the tangible benefits before they truly understand…”
Aunt Zheng’s face was full of smiles, but her words carried a hint of contempt.
The Marquis of Wu’an’s residence had fallen into decline for many years. Now, it was nothing more than an empty shell, bearing only the title of a marquis’s residence. Whether the Marquis’s residence could produce a prince’s concubine was the pivotal point.
Although the Empress was more satisfied with the girls from the Duke of Ying’s residence and the Duke of Yang’s residence, if Grand Eunuch Gao could persuade the Emperor to agree, the Empress would naturally not object.
It all depended on whether the Marquis of Wu’an’s residence knew how to behave and if they could grasp this opportunity with Grand Eunuch Gao.
“Aunt Zheng, be cautious with your words!” Madam Yin coldly interrupted the conversation, her expression changing instantly.
To give a young girl away to a eunuch, she couldn’t believe she had said such a thing!
Aunt Zheng: “…”
Aunt Zheng stared at Madam Yin in disbelief, her expression stiff.
Madam Yin didn’t mince words and issued the order to leave, “Escort the guest out!”
Aunt Zheng’s face turned dark.
As a trusted confidante of the Empress, she had always been revered, both inside and outside the palace. Being publicly expelled like this was a first.
She wouldn’t linger, though, and immediately rose from her seat, sweeping her sleeves as she left.
Hmph, she didn’t know how to show respect!
The four palace maids hastily followed her.
After a quick glance at Madam Yin’s expression, Mama Zhao hurriedly went out to see the guests off.
The hall suddenly became empty, leaving only the mother and daughter.
The room fell silent for a moment.
“Luan’er,” Madam Yin’s gaze settled on Xiao Luanfei’s absentminded face, her expression becoming serious. She reached out to touch her daughter’s slightly cool cheek and spoke with deep sincerity, “The Crown Prince is not a suitable match.”
Hello! If you’ve enjoyed the novel, I would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to leave a rating or review for this series here or on Novelupdates. Your feedback means a lot to me, and it helps others discover and enjoy the story as well. Thank you for your support! ૮꒰ྀི⸝⸝> . <⸝⸝꒱ྀིა
Translated By: Allthingsfluff
Comments for chapter "Chapter 25"
Support Fan’s Translations
Note: Individual translators usually have their own ko-fi buttons.