After Becoming the Hero's Ex-fiancée - Chapter 45
Mingxuan Hall (1)
“There were so many people in your courtyard just now! All the dignitaries of our Great Liang were gathered; such as Gong Wang1, Jin Wang, and even Brother Crown Prince, they all came.”
Rong Yi’s entire face turned red as she spoke excitedly.
Zheng Wan didn’t know that such a thing had happened. “Oh?”
“What were they doing here?”
“Well, it’s all because they heard that the State Preceptor is here. In the past, I only knew that the State Preceptor was favoured by the higher-ups, but I never imagined that it was to this extent. Even my uncle had come in person.”
Naturally, Rong Yi’s uncle was the emperor.
Zheng Wan listened lazily.
If she hadn’t had that dream, she might have felt that they were all fussing over nothing.
But now she felt that it was only natural——even the emperor, who they regarded as being greater than the Heavens, in the eyes of immortals who could fly, was probably just a slightly bigger ant. After all, he was also just an ephemeral existence.
Rong Yi chattered for a while, then had the good sense to say goodbye.
“Wan’niang, have a good rest. Oh yes, this is an amulet my mother got for you from the temple.”
Zheng Wan received it.
“Please thank Aunt Anqing on my behalf.”
Only when Rong Yi had left did the family have time to chit-chat freely.
To Madame Wang, no matter how one put it, having an unrelated young gentleman stay in her daughter’s room for almost an entire day, was not justifiable.
She had also come to understand that this State Preceptor possessed a great divine power like that of the Bodhisattvas in the temples; they were powerless against him. She could only look at her daughter and feel sorry on her behalf.
“Wan’niang, what do you… intend to do with that person in the future?”
Madame Wang was so angry that she didn’t even want to say the words, ‘State Preceptor’.
“Naturally, I will follow him.”
Zheng Wan’s lips curved. She had worked it out in her mind; she would not insist on things like status and titles, but she would only ask that Cui Wang could take her and her parents to the Upper Realms——oh, and some Moistening Essence as well.
She had already lived through so many trials and tribulations, how could she just give up halfway now?
“He, he said he will marry you?”
Madame Wang asked the same question the crown prince was asking outside. He asked if he was going to marry her, rather than if he was taking her in as a concubine; this obviously concealed a hidden layer of meaning.
How could an immortal of the Upper Realms marry a mortal as his wife?
He understood Wan’niang’s temperament; given how proud she was, how could she be willing to submit herself to being another’s concubine? He had listened to his father’s wishes and broke off the engagement, but he did settle for asking her to be his secondary wife because he was sure she would not agree.
“To marry, or not, what’s that got to do with you?”
The moon was as cool as water, but the crown prince only felt a chill in his throat. The light of the sword was close at hand, and it seemed as though it could slice through his throat at any time.
He was feeling lost, followed by waves of anxiety, sourness, and a great fear that even he could not describe. But his self-esteem, which had been wounded from when his father ordered him to break off the engagement, and the “humiliation” of Wan’niang’s changed affections, gave him a sudden burst of courage——
But when he met Cui Wang’s cold eyes, which seemed to be saying that everything in this world could be cut down by his sword, his courage melted away like snow——Cui Wang had murderous intentions towards him.
Cui Wang’s figure vanished along with the crown prince’s courage.
When the crown prince returned to his senses, there was no one else in the courtyard. Only he remained, drenched in sweat; a gust of wind sent him shivering.
“Your Highness, do you want to bid Lady Zheng farewell?”
The crown prince looked at the servant who had gone god-knows-where just now. “No.”
Before leaving, he couldn’t help raising his head to glance at the brightly lit place.
“Forget it, let’s go.”
By the time Luodai informed Zheng Wan that both the State Preceptor and the crown prince had left, she had already persuaded Madame Wang to retire to her room.
Only then did Zheng Zhai have time to ask her about the events that transpired in the ten days she had been missing.
“Ten days?” Zheng Wan was startled. “I was in that crevice for only one day.”
Zheng Zhai was also stunned; after some time, he sighed.
“Ah, really, ‘a day spent in the mountains is the passing of a thousand years in the world’2.”
Zheng Wan frowned at him, “Father, if that’s really the case, I’m afraid you’d have become a pile of rotting bones when I came out.”
Zheng Zhai tucked in the corners of her blanket. “We will talk more tomorrow when you’re feeling better.”
1 Wang: 王translates literally as King, but this is a title usually reserved for adult sons of the Emperor. Typically when princes reached a certain age, the Emperor would bestow the title of Wang on them (usually named after a territory within the kingdom or after virtues). They may be the princes of the previous Emperor (i.e. the current Emperor’s brothers), so to avoid confusion with the implication of a prince being the Emperor’s son, I decided to keep the pinyin instead.
2 a day spent in the mountains is the passing of a thousand years in the world: 山中方一日，世上已千年; a Chinese expression that means: compared to time spent in the immortal realm, time on Earth passes extremely quickly.