Chapter 6 – Criteria For Choosing a Prince Consort

Qi Yang was not joking about the Prince Consort matter, nor was she joking about taking her home.

The carriage entered the city without delaying, then immediately headed towards the palace.
Lu Qipei was detained inside Qi Yang’s carriage and could not leave even if she wanted to, so she was taken back to the palace by Qi Yang.
Although there were many guards and maids who saw Lu Qipei being pulled inside the carriage today, they were all smart and knew what to say and what not to say.

Lu Qipei was still in a trance until the carriage drove into the palace wall, and she could she the grand palace in the distance.
She did not expect that she would meet Qi Yang during her escape, nor did she expect that Qi Yang would bring her to the palace, but the outcome might not be so bad.

At least, it was impossible for the Lu family to find her before the Spring Exam.

That was the only thing Lu Qipei could say to comfort herself.
She then took a look at Qi Yang who was still smiling, and wanted to sigh helplessly.

After entering the palace, the carriage was replaced by a sedan.
Qi Yang took Lu Qipei with her, and then the sedan carried them all the way to Jingchen palace where Qi Yang lived.

At this time, Lu Qipei didn’t realize that she was more or less being influenced by her previous life.
Because she trusted Qi Yang, she stayed in her carriage with a peace of mind and did not really try to escape.
And because of she subconsciously felt guilty and pampered her, even though entering the palace secretly like this was a huge matter, she went along with her without thinking about the consequences.

As for the future, Lu Qipei couldn’t think about it for the time being, because Qi Yang’s appearance had disrupted all her plans.
And she had a premonition that the impact of the little princess in front of her would not stop just here.

Of course, it would not stop here.
After all, Qi Yang never thought of letting her go again!

The two arrived at Jingchen palace.
Qi Yang did not have to worry about anything in her own palace, and naturally led Lu Qipei off the sedan personally.
She led her to the main hall and said, “You stay here first.
As long as you don’t leave Jingchen palace, you can go anywhere here.”

Lu Qipei looked at Qi Yang’s back with a complicated expression.
After hearing what she said, she could not help but ask, “Your Highness, is it really fine for you to randomly take someone back to the palace?” Why had she never noticed that the little princess was so willful and unsuspecting before!?

Qi Yang walked with her back to Lu Qipei, leading the way.
When she heard this, she could almost imagine Lu Qipei’s confused and helpless appearance.
Her lips lifted and she turned her head, smiling to the worried Lu Qipei, “This isn’t random, and you’re also not just a random person.”

Lu Qipei wanted to say that it was the first time they met today, and even more wanted to say that she was “kidnapped” by her from the roadside.
How was this not random?

Unfortunately, Qi Yang seemed to understand what she was thinking before she could say anything, and solemnly added, “As I said, you’re a good match for me.
You should be my Prince Consort!”

Hearing these words again, Lu Qipei really didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
However, the maids around them were shocked when they heard this, and their eyes immediately fell on Lu Qipei.
They were frightened, suspicious, critical, and dissatisfied; almost none of those gazes were kind.

Lu Qipei felt a chill on her back from those gazes.
It was not until Qi Yang glanced back that those gazes were temporarily restrained.
However, they were definitely still sneakily scrutinizing her.
Lu Qipei could feel it clearly and felt a headache coming.

Qi Yang didn’t worry about anything.
Although she admitted that she had been naive when she was young, she believed that she was not lacking in means.
She at least had her Jingchen palace under her control, so she took Lu Qipei into the main hall with confidence.
But before she could make further arrangements, a maid came from the outer room to call her.
The Emperor found out that his daughter had returned to the palace ahead of schedule and was worried, so he called her for questioning.

Left with no other choice, Qi Yang quickly left a few words and departed.
Before leaving, she left the matter of settling down Lu Qipei to Zhi Ting.

When Princess Qi Yang left the palace, Zhi Ting looked back and finally had the opportunity to take a good look at Lu Qipei.
She admitted that the other party was good looking, and that her ragged clothes could not hide the charm of the person in front of her.
But her princess was never someone who would judge a person from their appearance.
So why did she give this youth who she met by chance on the roadside such a special treatment!?

Zhi Ting approached Lu Qipei, thought for a bit, then asked, “Young Master Lu, have you met Her Highness before?”

She always felt that the atmosphere between them was strange, as if they were familiar with each other.

Lu Qipei said in her heart that she had met her before, but that was in a previous life.
So, she shook her head and said, “Today was the first time we met.”

Hearing this, Zhi Ting couldn’t help but show a confused look for a moment.
“Why did Her Highness suddenly decided that she wanted you to be the Prince Consort?” After saying that, as if afraid that Lu Qipei would misunderstand, she hurriedly added, “Her Highness has always been pure and had never had any ambiguous relationships with others.”

Lu Qipei could only smile bitterly at the question and answered with innocent eyes, “I don’t know either.”

Qi Yang left the palace two days ago.
It was not easy for her to persuade the Emperor to let her go to Tangquan Palace on West Mountain alone.
The hot spring there was secondary, the primary reason was that she was bored of staying in the palace and wanted to go to the West Mountain to play and relieve her boredom.

The trip was originally scheduled to take half a month, but it had only been two days since Qi Yang left the palace.
Counting the time, she basically returned home as soon as she got there.
Let alone playing and relieving her boredom, there was probably not enough time to even take a dip in the hot spring.
Since she came back in such a hurry, it was no wonder the Emperor would ask her why.

However, could Qi Yang tell her father that this morning, she was reborn from seven years later?

Of course not!

When she saw her father, who still doted on her and was much younger, she was filled with emotion.
Facing the Emperor’s questions right now, she could only find some excuse to say, “Father doesn’t know, last night, I dreamt that Father fell ill.
I felt very uneasy this morning, so I came back early1.”

Only Qi Yang dared to say something like this.
After all, it sounded as if she was cursing the Emperor to be ill.
Any other person would be suspected of having ulterior motives.
However, people’s hearts are biased, and the Emperor happened to catch a cold last night and felt a little uncomfortable this morning.
Right now, hearing what Qi Yang said, he only felt that their hearts were connected as father and daughter.
Moreover, Qi Yang especially came back from the West Mountain because of this, so he felt that his daughter’s filial piety was very commendable.

Therefore, the emperor laughed and comforted Qi Yang, “My child, you’re worrying too much.
Father is in good health.
I caught a cold last night, but I’m all right now after taking medicine.
You don’t need to worry.”

Qi Yang quickly responded with a few words, and then reminded the attendants serving the Emperor to pay attention to the weather and take care of the Emperor’s daily life.

Such a reminder was actually useless nonsense, as the Emperor’s attendants would naturally take care of the Emperor more carefully and attentively than the princess.
However, hearing such words of concern still made the Emperor feel good.
The father and daughter did not say much, but the atmosphere between them was already very good.

At that moment, the Emperor suddenly said, “You are now sixteen, it’s time for you to get a Prince Consort.”

Qi Yang was slightly shocked when she heard this, because she was still in Tangquan Palace right now in her previous life.
After returning to the palace, she learned that the Emperor had been ill and had not heard the Emperor say these words.
At this moment, her mind wandered a little, and then she calmed down again.
She lowered her head slightly pretending to be shy, “I’m still very young, why did Father suddenly mention this?”

The emperor couldn’t help laughing when he saw her like this and teased her with a few words before continuing, “You’re a grown up now.
Like the saying, if one family has a daughter, a hundred families will come to ask for her hand.
The number of people concerned about you in the court is not small.” After a short pause, he continued, “It just so happens that this is the year for the Imperial Examination.
Talents from the whole country are gathered together, it’s a good chance to choose a husband for you.”

Qi Yang understood from the Emperor’s pause that her father didn’t want to marry her into a noble family.
Instead, he preferred to get her a talented youth who did well in studies.

If it was someone else who didn’t understand, they might feel that the Emperor was being cruel and would not let her daughter marry into the family of a good official, and instead had her marry to a poor family to suffer.
However, Qi Yang knew very well that there was no family more noble than the royal family in the world.
Unless it was a political marriage alliance, a princess would not bear any hardship no matter where she was married to.
Moreover, a princess could handle a poor family, but they would need to make a lot of concessions in a high ranking official’s family.

Most importantly, the Emperor did not want his little daughter to get involved in the whirlpool of politics.
A safe and happy life was the best that a father could choose for his daughter.
It was a pity that Qi Yang ended up being taken advantage of in her previous life and didn’t end up well.

Qi Yang thought a lot for a moment, and finally remembered Lu Qipei who was in her palace at the moment.
She pulled on the Emperor’s sleeve and asked, “Father, I’ll follow your arrangements, but please let me decide the choice of Prince Consort myself.”

The Emperor knew that she understood and was glad that she was so obedient.
Then he stretched his eyebrows and nodded his head with a smile, “Now you’re not shy talking about a Prince Consort?” After teasing her, he said, “But the Prince Consort is chosen for you in the first place, it’s indeed necessary that it is someone you like.
Father will promise you that when the time comes, you can choose them yourself.”

Qi Yang happily agreed, and then talked to the Emperor about her criteria for a Prince Consort without being shy at all – it was all based right on Lu Qipei.
At the same time, she was wondering if Lu Qipei would be able to take part in the Imperial Examination without Lu Qicheng’s identity this time.
Will she once again shine brilliantly and come out on top?

Author notes:

The Emperor (discussing): Child, how goes the Prince Consort selection among the winners of the current Imperial Examination?

Qi Yang (proudly listening): My Prince Consort and I are indeed a match made in heaven.
Even if we didn’t meet earlier, this first-place scholar is mine!!!

Lu Qipei (weakly reminding): Your Highness, other than the first-place champion, there’s still the second-place and third-place winners…

PS: anyways, Little Lu Xiaolu still needs a good identity.
Otherwise, how could she be qualified to be a Prince Consort? So she’ll probably still need to slip into the Spring Exam, but we’ll talk about how later.

Translator notes:

She’s using palace-speak when she addresses the Emperor and herself.
She calls the Emperor “Father Emperor/Royal Father” and refers to herself as “(This) Daughter”.

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See you on tomorrow’s chapter!

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