Chapter 138.3 – Consort Yan
“Looks like this An Qiao E encountered a guiren*.”
[*T/N: 贵人 gui ren – usually means a person of nobility or high rank, but can also mean any person who changes your fortune for the better]
In his heart, An Zi Ran has already marked Consort Yan down as An Qiao E. He just felt like the likelihood of two people looking exactly the same to be exceedingly rare.
But his verdict was not just based on pure intuition. There was also the matter of the timing when Consort Yan entered the palace.
Fu Wu Tian would occasionally make visits to the palace, so he had also heard about Consort Yan, but he didn’t pay much attention to it. However, he knew how Consort Yan came to be in the palace. She had distinguished herself during the talent selection [for new concubines].
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At first, Emperor Chong Ming did not take any notice of her. It was when the other candidates were fighting so much that they were about to close the curtains on the stage that she stepped out. Catching everyone off guard, she triumph over all her opponents, and ultimately became Consort Yan.
The timing of when Consort Yan entered the palace just so happened to coincide with when An Qiao E and her mother had left the An family.
An Zi Ran’s mind was so full of thoughts that Consort Yan and An Qiao E might be the same person that he carelessly forgot about the intense gaze that he had felt on his person.
Many attendees at the banquet were also eating absentmindedly, their thoughts otherwise occupied.
At some point in time, Consort Yan had left her seat.
Midway through the banquet, just when An Zi Ran wanted to leave the place with Fu Wu Tian, Consort Yan suddenly appeared in the middle of the banquet hall. She had changed into an almost transparent white gauzy outfit, and she looked like a fairy descended from the heavens to earth. Everyone else was stunned by the sight of her, except for Emperor Chong Ming.
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Accompanied by a group of female dancers, Consort Yan began to dance gracefully. Her body was very light. Her every move seemed to be boneless yet full of seduction. It was not suitable for someone of her station to be dancing in public, but there were still people with their eyes riveted on her, watching without blinking. It was impossible to deny that her dancing was very pleasing to the eye.
“As expected of Our* Consort Yan.”
[*T/N: The emperor is using the imperial “we” to refer to himself.]
Emperor Chong Ming’s lustful gaze was fixed on the dancing Consort Yan. Beneath the white gauzy fabric, her graceful figure was faintly discernable. Just watching her was making him hot and bothered.
Zhang Sun Tian Feng picked up her cup and took a sip of wine. She used her wide sleeves to hide the mocking sneer on her lips. This woman was really uncultured. As the emperor’s consort, not only was she dressed in such revealing clothing, but she was also degrading herself by dancing in front of everybody. This was something that only a prostitute in a brothel would do. Before, the empress thought that Consort Yan was a strong opponent, but now it seemed like she was nothing out of the ordinary.
People who had the same thoughts as the empress included the noble consort and the four consorts. Asides from Consort Shi, the other three came from noble backgrounds. But even for Consort Shi, it was impossible for her to do something like dancing in public before an audience. For people with their noble status, it was degrading to their status. And wearing revealing clothes was even more offensive to public morals!
An Zi Ran couldn’t keep watching anymore. He was now fifty percent sure that she was An Qiao E.
If this Consort Yan really was a person who knew how to scheme, then she shouldn’t do such a self-deprecating thing. And he knew that in order to increase his daughter’s bargaining power in marriage, An Chang Fu had specifically made them learn lots of different talents. Dancing was one of them.
Fu Wu Tian was not interested in watching anymore, so the two of them vacated their seats in a grand manner. With the empress dowager’s permission, they could leave the banquet at will without waiting for the emperor’s approval.
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Although most people’s eyes were on Consort Yan, their actions still attracted the attention of some people. When the people saw the two of them preparing to leave the table, a strange emotion flickered through their eyes and then quickly calmed back down. To dare leave the table so blatantly, they must be going to see the empress dowager.
The empress dowager was also Fu Wu Tian’s paternal great-grandmother.
The late emperor and the laowangye were biological brothers. In terms of blood relation, the empress dowager actually preferred the people of the Fu wangfu. When the late emperor received the young Fu Wu Tian into the palace, the empress dowager was the one who wholeheartedly agreed.
After Consort Yan finished the dance, her white gauzy sleeves fluttered down gently, and out of the corner of her eyes she happened to see the backs of two people who were leaving the table without making a sound. Her delicate eyebrows suddenly gained a gloomy cast. But she did not get to see the two people’s faces. There were too many people at the banquet, so she did not take special notice of them before.
Very soon the banquet resumed its lively tableau.
Not long after, Consort Yan also left the banquet on the grounds that her alcohol tolerance was low. Emperor Chong Ming felt sorry for her and wanted to leave with her, but the empress refused to let him go with the reasoning that he was the emperor and couldn’t leave the banquet. In the end, he could only look on helplessly and count down the time.