After I Married the Disabled War God As My Concubine - Chapter 48
In March, the day was getting warmer and warmer, while the rain lessened.
The dilong in Anyin Hall was carefully stewed for two days, and finally dispersed the moisture inside clean.
However, a prolonged chill pervaded the room ceaselessly.
All the servants in the room said it felt so deserted perhaps because of His Highness’s absence and the absence of one person in the room.
Only Meng Qianshan knew that the reason the room was suffused with coldness was indeed because of the absence of His Highness. However, it wasn’t only because His Highness was missing, but also because he was lodged elsewhere and left a person behind.
Although the daily diet and daily life of the person left behind remained as usual, he was exuding a do-not-come-any-closer air from head to toe against any approaching stranger.
Because of this, Meng Qianshan was walking on eggshells for several days, fearing that this ancestor would vent his anger on anyone who performed poor service.
This lasted until the day Huo Wujiu had to leave the manor.
Today was the day Chen Ti’s wife invited Huo Wujiu to enjoy the flowers. Jiang Suizhou had already returned the first invitation, but it was resent because of an imperial decree issued during the emperor’s birthday banquet some time ago.
Meng Qianshan didn’t dare to forget. Early in the morning, he waited upon Huo Wujiu to wash and change his clothes.
Huo Wujiu naturally refused his service. Meng Qianshan could only leave the robes and accessories together and waited in the side for Huo Wujiu to wear them properly.
When the time came, a carriage left King Jing’s residence and traveled all the way to Chen Ti’s residence.
The wives of colleagues in the court, especially officials in the same ministry, would often host some banquets in the rear courtyards, inviting each other as an expedient way to socialize.
This practice was very common in all dynasties. However, the banquet at Chen Ti’s Residence today was definitely different from the past.
After all, who among the influential officials in the capital didn’t know about King Jing’s penchant for that kind of food? The Jing Dynasty was also particular about the distance between men and women. The ladies were gathering for tea and snacks, so they couldn’t just invite a man to mingle, right?
Ordinary officials wouldn’t do such a thing. Only the wily old fox, Chen Ti, who was used to flattering Pang Shao, knew that if he wanted to please his master, he had to give up his face.
His wife, of course, would advance and retreat with him.
Chen Li stood in front of the house early in the morning, on pins and needles deep inside.
Her husband had already instructed her a few days ago. The purpose of inviting King Jing’s male concubine in their residence as a guest was not to befriend him, but to get him into trouble and have him make a fool out of himself. It was best to cause a stir that would reach His Majesty’s ears.
As a lady from an eminent family, Chen Li was raised in the rear courtyard since she was young. Before she married, she had barely even met a few stranger men. Now that she was suddenly asked to invite a man to the house and also to manipulate said man into making a fool of himself in her house, Chen Li momentarily panicked and didn’t know what to do.
After all was said and done, how else could a man make a spectacle of himself in the rear courtyard? The guests who would come to appreciate the flowers were all wives of officials. Damaging anyone’s reputation because of it was something Chen Li didn’t dare to do.
Consequently, Chen Ti felt exasperated at her failure to meet his expectations. He chastised her in a fit of anger and asked Qin Liu, his concubine, to step forward with her to host the banquet.
This meant entrusting the affairs of King Jing’s concubine to Qin Liu.
Chen Li was somewhat relieved and led Qin Liu to wait at the door for the guests’ arrival.
When the day dawned, the ladies of each family arrived in their carriages one after another. Qin Liu welcomed each of them, while Chen Li directed her maids to wait in front of the door.
After a long time, a carriage came around the corner and stopped in front of Chen Ti’s house.
The carriage’s design was unique to the royal family.
Chen Li held her breath, and with a smile on her face, she stepped forward to welcome Huo Wujiu.
The young eunuch sitting outside the carriage jumped down from the carriage, commanded the coachman and the servant to open the curtain, and lifted a wheelchair from the carriage.
There was a tall man sitting in the wheelchair.
Chen Li’s gaze only drifted cautiously towards him, with a hasty sweep.
She found that although the man’s eyes were downcast and he exuded an indifferent demeanor, he had a very handsome appearance. His sharp and bold eyebrows, angular face, and the sharp edge-like scar across his eyebrow were as incisive as a sharpened sword, making people too scared to take a closer look.
It was as if the general she had read from a book in her boudoir had come to life.
Chen Li hastily retracted her gaze. She didn’t dare to look any further and only cautiously averted her eyes. “You’re here, Madam Huo. All the ladies have arrived, so please follow me into the house as well, Madam Huo.”
The man in the wheelchair didn’t lift his eyes, let alone respond to her.
Instead, the eunuch following him diligently responded with a smile, “Sorry for bothering you, Mrs. Chen.”
Chen Li nodded, and with her maid’s support, she led the way.
The Chen Residence’s garden was not too big. It had a pond inside, but it wasn’t the lotus blooming season yet. The lively garden was set up with flowering trees and bonsai that were common in Lin’an City everywhere.
At this time, a lot of people had gathered in the yard. From a distance, they were dressed in beautiful clothes and hairdos. The crowd of women chattering together pleasantly was even more eye-catching than the flowers and plants.
The ladies in the capital knew each other quite well, so when they arrived, they chatted animatedly.
Just then, a subtle sound of a wheelchair rang out from the courtyard entrance.
For a moment, the crowd stopped, and a brief silence fell over the garden.
Several gazes fell on Huo Wujiu, and then moved away instantly as if they hadn’t seen him.
The ladies in the courtyard also had a score in their hearts.
Lord Chen was trying to secure a personal gain. In order to please His Majesty at his birthday banquet, he asked His Majesty to bestow a decree to get the man in the rear courtyard of King Jing’s residence to attend the flower viewing. The man who arrived wasn’t just any man, but a captive from Northern Liang; the same man who fought on battlefields and killed people like one killed flies.
Men and women were seated separately at banquets, so none of the ladies had ever seen Huo Wujiu. But just from his reputation they heard in previous years, he probably resembled Qin Shubao1, the door-god they stuck on doors.
But never did they imagine…
Some of the close noble ladies exchanged looks with each order while maintaining their composure.
General Huo…How could he be so handsome?
1 Qin Shubao – a general from China’s Tang Dynasty that was later deified in Chinese mythology. As legend goes, the emperor asked them to stand guard over his sleep to ward off a ghost that had been troubling him in the night.
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