Tao Ti glanced out the window at the sky that was now slightly brighter and clicked her tongue.
He was truly diligent to have woken up so early to study.

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She sat up, swept her eyes over the palace maids in the hall, and was silent for a moment.
Then, she asked, “Are these palace maids all from the Eastern Palace? Did my maternal family not send any servants here?”  

Linglong was silent, as if thinking about how to reply.

Right at this moment, a deep, clear voice came from beyond the curtain.
“Your personal maidservant and nanny were a little bent out of shape yesterday, so I asked someone to take them to rest.”

The bead curtain swayed; a slender figure in moon-white robes approached slowly, a picture of handsomeness.

Pei Yan looked warmly at Tao Ti, raised his eyebrows and asked, “Are the palace attendants in the Eastern Palace not serving you well?”

As soon as these words came out, the expressions of the palace maids in the hall all changed.

Naturally, Tao Ti could sense the shift in the atmosphere, and said hurriedly, “No, no, they are all very good, I’m just asking casually.”

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“If you still prefer the people you’re familiar with, I will ask them to come back to serve you later.” After a pause, Pei Yan looked over at her with a warm gaze and smiled lightly, “You look very good dressed like this.”

Being praised by a beautiful man early in the morning, Tao Ti hung her head with some embarrassment, “Thank you for the compliment.” 

The corners of Pei Yan’s lips lifted.
“Go have breakfast.
We still have to go pay our respects to Imperial Father and the empress later.”

“Pay—pay our respects…?” Tao Ti was startled.  

Pei Yan saw her astonished face, and only thought she was being worried about last night’s events.
He said softly, “Don’t be nervous, Imperial Father will not make things difficult for you.
As for the empress… it is even less likely that she would do so.”

Tao Ti’s heart was still unsettled.
She lowered his voice and asked, “Your Highness, about what happened yesterday… Do His Majesty and the empress know?”

Pei Yan said, “They should be aware of it.”   

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Yesterday, the bride was carried directly back to the bridal chamber by the servants, without even going through the ceremonial rites.
Anyone with a bit of brains could guess that there was something fishy about that.
But it was one thing to think about it in one’s head, and another thing entirely as to whether one dared to say it aloud.

Hearing him answer in the affirmative, Tao Ti’s little face paled, and her heart dropped. Heaven wants me dead!!

Both the emperor and the empress knew that she had ingested poison, so wouldn’t her favourability with them be immediately in the negative? In a state of confusion, she had offended the big bosses of this era, how was she supposed to live now!

But what should be faced will have to be faced; there was no escaping it.

After a tasteless breakfast, Tao Ti recited inwardly, “Don’t panic when things happen”, as she followed Pei Yan like a little quail towards the Imperial Palace.


The crown prince’s new wife was coming to pay her respects, so Ganquan Palace was particularly lively today.

Empress Zhou wearing a phoenix guan and golden silk brocade phoenix robes, sitting upright in the phoenix chair.

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She was very well maintained; her skin was delicate and tender, and there was not even a trace of a wrinkle at the corners of her eyes.
Her body emanated a mature charm, and she looked to be thirty at the most—it was impossible to tell that she was approaching forty.

On either side of her sat the highly ranked Consorts Gui, Shu, De.
In addition, there were five unmarried princesses, among which Second Princess Pei Lingbi, the daughter of Empress Zhou, was the most outstanding.

Pei Lingbi, who was usually always dressed in fine brocades, was even more colourful and resplendent today.
Those who didn’t know better would think she was the day’s main character. 

Seeing that the crown prince and the crown princess had yet arrived, Pei Lingbi toyed with the gilded filigree beaded tassel hairpin in her hair and said lazily, “It’s been a while now and there’s not even a shadow to be seen.
Making Queen Mother and all Your Highnesses wait for her alone, this second sister-in-law of mine can really put on airs.”

Empress Zhou looked sternly at Pei Lingbi, and said in a voice edged with some warning, “They’re newlyweds, it’s fine for them to be a little late.
You mustn’t talk nonsense.”

Pei Lingbi’s lips curled; she grumbled inwardly, What newlyweds, such an unlucky thing happened in the Eastern Palace last night, who doesn’t know about it?

That infinitely stupid Tao Ti actually committed suicide by taking poison.
Tsk tsk, Crown Prince must’ve vomited blood from anger, right? I heard that an imperial physician was sent for, but I don’t know if they managed to save her.
But even if she was saved, why would that Tao Ti still have the face to come out and meet others?

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She was still gloating to herself when a shrill voice suddenly came from outside the hall, “The crown prince has arrived, the crown princess has arrived——”

Everyone in the hall sat up straight and looked towards the door in unison.

Pei Lingbi’s beautiful brows knitted slightly, No way, she really came?

The hall was illuminated by the morning light, and in that warm spring light, a beautiful couple entered side by side.

Naturally, there was no need to speak more about Crown Prince Pei Yan’s looks.
Yet, even if everyone in the hall knew him well, they still couldn’t help but be amazed at the first sight of him.
Only after looking at him for some time did their gazes shift to the woman beside him.

The woman was wearing a misty pink broad-sleeved dress; her hair was set in a Flying Immortal Ji1 and accessorised with a set of festive and exquisite ruby hairpieces.
She had bright eyes and white teeth, a delicate face, and a clear aura between her brows.


Flying Immortal Ji:  Ji (髻) refers to any hairstyle involving pulling hair on top of the head.
This hairstyle, which consists of two tall twin loops on either side of the head, first appeared during the Han dynasty.
Legend has it that during that time, the Heavenly Mother of the Jade Palace visited Emperor Wu Di.
He was so astounded by the visit that he recorded the flying immortals’ hairstyle, and asked his court maidens to imitate it.
The Flying Immortal Ji is thus commonly used in depictions of immortals. 

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