Fields Of Gold / Fields of Gold Chapter 563
Zhu Hanwen was afraid his imperial uncle would expose his affairs and quickly cut off the conversation and asked, “Father, Older Sister Xiaocao’s hairpin ceremony has already started. If you don’t go up now, you won’t get to see anything exciting!”
Zhu Junfan glared at him, ‘Little rascal, I’ll settle this when we get back!’ Zhu Hanwen, who understood the meaning in his father’s eyes, couldn’t help shrinking his head down and going to hide behind his imperial uncle. Seeing his father take long strides up toward the third floor, he winked at the friend he just met today and followed his father up like a fox masquerading as a tiger.
Wasn’t it an honor for the emperor to come in person to their daughter’s hairpin ceremony? Who would quibble about whether or not it was in line with customs? The womenfolk on the third floor all knelt on the floor to give their respects to the supreme emperor.
Fang Zizhen quickly told people to add in a mahogany chair in between the hosts’ seats to let this uninvited god sit down. The thick-skinned Zhu Junyang stole the position of a bodyguard, standing tall behind the emperor. However, that pair of phoenix eyes focused on a delicate figure on the stage without blinking.
The lass seemed to have grown up suddenly. The broad clothes couldn’t hide her delicate and exquisite figure. Her eyebrows were lightly swept and her eyes looked deep and clear as if it was a deep pool. If a person had a moment of carelessness, it would be easy to be sucked in. A light pink color had been lightly added to her small mouth and her lips looked as delicate and charming as a rose, making people unable to do anything but fantasize… Zhu Junyang’s soul was about to be hooked out by this little spirit! Faced with the hot gaze of a beautiful man, Xiaocao, who was originally relaxed, suddenly became tense.
At this time, the crown prince also straightened his back, standing behind his father. However, his little partner, Yu Fan, soon brought over a chair so he could sit at the right hand side of the emperor. Yet… Little Shitou also stood confidently behind the crown prince, but his slightly skinny figure was less imposing than Prince Yang.
Su Ran took a look at his position that was currently occupied and revealed a helpless expression. Fortunately, Yu Hai had ordered people to add a chair slightly off to the side, so he didn’t have to stand in the hall at a loss.
The emperor waved his hand and commanded, “You all can continue.” The hairpin ceremony, which was interrupted by the emperor’s arrival, went on. The only difference now was the atmosphere of the room became more restrained.
As the master of the ceremony, He Wanning stood behind Xiaocao. While gently combing her long silky black hair, in a slightly jealous tone she said, “The emperor and empress have come to attend your hairpin ceremony. This is the first for any young lady in the capital! You’re in the limelight now.”
“Is this limelight any good? Having too high a profile might not be a good thing!” Yu Xiaocao murmured into He Wanning’s ear.
“Wow! There’s two Older Sister Xiaocaos!” The crown prince was dazed by the two similar-looking faces in the same dress. He thought that there was something wrong with his eyes and he was hallucinating. He blinked his eyes a few times, but the two figures were still there. The little guy was confused.
Little Shitou, who was standing behind him, bent down and explained in a low voice, “My oldest sister and second sister are twins. They just look alike.”
“Twins? Isn’t it said that twins will compete for each other’s luck and generally only one can survive?” This was a folk myth. Many families sent one of the twins far away so both could survive. In actuality, because of the backward medical conditions of the ancient times, twins were generally born prematurely. The nutrition in the womb couldn’t keep up with two little guys, so they were born weak. Thus there were very few twins who could survive at the same time.
Yu Xiaocao was the weaker of the two. It was Madam Liu, who was a careful mother, that managed to raise her sick little daughter to the age of eight. Unfortunately, that girl managed to survive the illnesses but she couldn’t survive that senseless disaster, which had benefited Lin Xiaowan’s soul from a different world. If it wasn’t for the Little Divine Stone’s help, the broken body carrying the transmigrated soul might not have survived till now.
Zhu Junfan turned his head and gave his silly son a warning look. They were having a solemn hairpin ceremony right now. This fellow was asking for trouble with his questions and exclamations. Zhu Hanwen pursed his mouth, held in his curiosity, and calmed down to watch the girls’ hairpin ceremony.
The two masters of ceremonies finished combing the girls’ hair and placed the combs on the south side of the mat. The empress, as the guest of honor, stood up and washed her hands with Madam Liu and Lady Fang. They then returned to their respective places and sat down.
The pair of sisters, Yu Xiaocao and Xiaolian, turned to the east and sat straight. The empress walked slowly over to Xiaocao and Xiaolian and chanted a congratulatory message, “On this month and this auspicious day, I add on your first robes of adulthood. Leave behind your juvenile aspirations, and let it become your adult virtues. Blessed with longevity, and prosperity be with you.” Then she knelt down onto the mat to comb the sisters’ hair and inserted their hairpins in. Afterward, she got up and returned to her original position.
He Wanning corrected Xiaocao’s hairpin and said in a low voice, “The empress personally added the hairpin for you, so you can’t keep a low profile anymore! However, it’s no problem. In any case, no matter what, your Royal Prince Yang will block any problems for you. Look at him, his eyeballs are following you without stopping. They’ve almost become cross-eyed with how much he’s staring!”
Yu Xiaocao gave her a glare but she couldn’t help looking at the tall and upright figure. She met his eyes, which were full of passion. Her face became hot and she quickly lowered it. The gentleness of her lowering her head was like the modest bashfulness of a water lily. In Zhu Junyang’s eyes, it became another alluring expression.
The two sisters slowly rose to their feet and the guests congratulated them. However, no one knew who was sincere and who was jealous. When they returned to the dressing room, He Wanning took the clothes from her sister-in-law and followed the two sisters into the room to help them change into plainer looking robes to match their hairstyles.
After changing their clothes, the two sisters came to show the guests their clothes and hairpins. Facing their parents, they bowed down solemnly in gratitude for the love and care received from them. After Xiaocao bowed to her parents, she extended the same courtesy to her godfather and godmother, who were waiting at the side.
Lady Fang helped her goddaughter up with tears of joy in her eyes. Originally, her husband didn’t discuss it with her before he took a peasant girl to be his goddaughter. Although Lady Fang never opposed it, she didn’t expect to look after her either. In her mind, the country girl would be naive, simple, and not noble enough.
Yet, when she first saw Xiaocao, she immediately had a good impression of this strange yet funny girl, who had good self-control, even more than her niece who had accompanied her many years. Maybe this was the so-called fate. Although her goddaughter came from a peasant family, she was surprised again and again by her. She was most impressed by her goddaughter’s medicinal food, which had improved the couple’s physiques and allowed her to have a blood-related descendant that she had always dreamed of.
After the little girl came to the capital to further herself, her businesses became more and more prosperous. She, as her godmother, gained a lot of credit. She now had a supply of fresh vegetables and fruits that seemed never ending during the winter, so much that she couldn’t finish them. Furthermore, she also had unlimited access to the rare floral teas from ‘Blossoming Beauty’ and the expensive skincare products she couldn’t even finish. Using them to give to people as gifts to improve relationships had proven to be quite welcomed by the other parties. She had reached the age of forty-five this year, but when she stood next to her childhood friends, she looked almost a decade younger than them. All of her friends regarded her with pure envy now.
Today that lovely and filial girl had finally grown up and become a beautiful young maiden. As her godmother, her heart was filled with incomparable joy, and her eyes couldn’t help becoming moist.
Yu Xiaocao raised her hands to wipe away the shining tears from the corners of her godmother’s eyes. She gently hugged this godmother who treated her better than a mother could treat her own daughter and gave her the biggest smile possible.
Returning to her original position, she continued to sit facing the east. The empress washed her hands again in the gold basin inlaid with jewels. Heir Anning’s wife presented a bright and dazzling hairpin. After a closer look, the main gem on the hairpin was a huge pink diamond. Small diamonds were also embedded around the hairpin, making it seem as if it was decorated with shining stars that had gathered together. The hairpin looked incredibly bright and dazzling.
What woman didn’t love beauty? What woman could resist beautiful jewelry? There was an uproar in the field! Needless to say, the hairpin must’ve been gifted by Royal Prince Yang. There wasn’t any place to buy diamond jewelry besides Royal Prince Yang’s Treasure Pavillion. The unmarried girls present casted odd looks towards the cold Royal Prince Yang one after another. However, they found that the other person’s gaze had never left the pretty figure in the center field.
The noble madams and young ladies present all felt jealous. How could Xiaocao, a small bird flying out of a mountain nest, have the emperor personally come to her hairpin ceremony to bless her, have the empress be the guest of honor, and even have her master of ceremonies and attendant be of such outstanding statuses? Furthermore, the arrogant two beauties of the capital and the eccentric Royal Princess Minglan all became her best friends. However, most of them here couldn’t even find a way to curry favor with these people. Comparisons were truly the quickest way to infuriate oneself!
What really angered them the most was that the most promising new noble in court, Royal Prince Yang, was also fascinated by that girl. He couldn’t even see the beauty of other women! Could it be that this little girl was really the rumored sprite in the mountain or the dragon king’s daughter in the sea, using her magic to blind the people around her and making them willing to dig out their hearts and lungs for her?
No matter how complicated the young ladies in the room felt, the hairpin ceremony still continued. The empress chanted, “On this auspicious month and such day, I affirm your robes. Respect it with dignity. Let grace and modesty be your virtue. May your longevity last a myriad of years, and may you forever receive good fortune.”
He Wanning helped Yu Xiaocao take off the hairpin in her hair and the empress picked up the hairpin that made all of the women’s hearts flutter and put amidst the dark and beautiful black hair. The sisters, under the complicated gazes of the guests, gave the empress a salute. They then, once again, returned to the changing room and changed into robes with long trains. At this point, all the clothes for the hairpin ceremony were in the Han-style and were all embroidered by Modiste Jiang, who was like a sister to Xiaocao. When the girls present learned about this, the jealousy in their hearts became even stronger!