Gluttonous Crown Princess - CH 18.1
Gluttonous Crown Princess Chapter 18.1
The next morning, after a simple breakfast, Tao Ti sat in front of the dressing mirror to get dressed.
She was wearing a lotus-coloured long skirt paired with a moon-white satin long tunic embroidered with silver silk and her hair was set in a flying immortal hairdo. With clear, gleaming eyes and a fair and smooth complexion, she was like a budding lotus after the rain, pure, gentle and graceful.
Linglong studied her and privately felt that while tasteful, it was too simple, and gently suggested, “Crown Princess, how about wearing a beaded flower ornament or a tasselled hairpin?”
“This is just fine. We are going to give greetings to the empress, there is no need to dress up too lavishly.” Tao Ti looked in the mirror and made sure she was dressed in a low-key manner without falling short of her status, then stood up slowly and said, “Let’s go, it’s better to be early than late. Let’s try to go early and return early.”
“Understood,” Linglong replied and followed behind her obediently.
The sky outside was not yet fully bright; there were still faint tinges of dark blue. Sitting on the sedan chair, Tao Ti yawned lazily with one hand supporting the back of her head. She thought inwardly that she really had no energy at all in the early morning, and really admired Pei Yan for being able to get up so early every day… If she had to wake up early every day, she was afraid her mental state would’ve collapsed long ago.
When the sedan car stopped at Ganquan Palace, the sky was bright, and several princesses were also arriving one after another.
Tao Ti exchanged greetings with them and they were immediately led into the main hall by the palace maids where they each took their seats.
The few princesses were either gentle, quiet, lively, or shy, each with their own beauty. Although this was only her second time meeting them, the sisters-in-law got along pretty well. Everyone chatted casually, and the atmosphere was very pleasant.
Not long after, a eunuch announced in a shrill voice, “The Empress has arrived——”
At this, Tao Ti and the princesses hurriedly got up to give the ceremonial greetings.
Empress Zhou, who was dressed in a purple-red phoenix robe embroidered with gold silk, slowly walked out from behind the seven-foot-tall phoenix and peony screen with the support of Second Princess Pei Lingbi. Her well-maintained face was wearing its usual kind smile, and she said in a gentle voice, “Please rise. I got up a little late today and caused you all to wait.”
Everyone said, “We didn’t take long,” and only after seeing Empress Zhou take her seat did they proceed to sit down one after another.
As the crown princess, Tao Ti was naturally nearest to the front. As soon as she raised her head, she was met with Empress Zhou’s smiling face, and Pei Lingbi’s face that was full of loathing——
What are you glaring at? Not afraid your eyeballs will roll out?
Tao Ti cast Pei Lingbi a dark glance, then did not look at her again, and only exchanged pleasantries with Empress Zhou.
Since ancient times, there’s never been much to talk about between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, not to mention that she and Empress Zhou were not actually proper mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Their conversation was no more than the sort of standard small talk, such as ‘how is everything in the Eastern Palace’, ‘how is the crown prince’s body’, ‘how are you two getting along’… and so on. It was a little like how a leader of a company would convey their regards to the new employees.
Tao Ti was amused by her own metaphor and felt a lot more relaxed.
The two exchanged mutual pleasantries for a while and the atmosphere was good. However, Pei Lingbi, who was on the side, seemed as if she was growing hair all over and extremely uncomfortable. When she found a gap, she quickly interjected, “I heard that Crown Princess is cooking away in her small kitchen all day, and even cook your daily meals yourself. Could it be that the cooking skills of the Eastern Palace’s imperial kitchen are so bad that a crown princess like you is forced to become a cook? Humph, if news of this spreads, others would think that our imperial family is treating you badly…”
Empress Zhou frowned slightly, “Is this true? If you are not used to the meals in the Eastern Palace, I can send some new chefs over…”
Pei Lingbi said, “Exactly. It’s just a matter of changing cooks, was it even necessary for you to cook personally? Really, how low…”
Realising that the occasion was wrong, she didn’t finish saying the word, ‘lowly’, and forcibly swallowed it back.
Tao Ti met Empress Zhou’s caring gaze, smiled and said, “There’s no need to trouble you, Empress Mother. The Eastern Palace’s imperial chefs are all very skilled. It’s just that I can’t stay idle, and I enjoy coming up with various things to eat whenever I’m free, so I asked His Highness to allow me to have a small kitchen.”
After a pause, her black eyes curved into a smile and gave Pei Lingbi a “gentle” gaze, “I didn’t expect that Sister Lingbi is so concerned about the Eastern Palace. To even care so much about such a trivial matter, as your sister-in-law, I’m really touched.”
Pei Lingbi’s face turned green, Who is caring about you? What the heck are you being touched about?! Why have I never realised how good at acting this woman is before?
As the champion of her generation’s palace harem battles, it was only natural that Empress Zhou could immediately hear what Tao Ti meant. A meaningful look flashed across the pair of beautiful eyes, and with the loving smile still on her powdered face, she praised, “I didn’t expect that you are good at cooking, Ah Ti. It seems like Yan’er has really married a virtuous good wife.”
“I don’t deserve so much praise, Empress Mother,” very cooperatively, Tao Ti made a bashful expression and lowered her head, saying softly, “Empress Mother is the mother of the country, the role model of all women in the world. This daughter-in-law still has much to learn from you.”
This mutual flattery made the awkward atmosphere a harmonious one again.