A few days later, Empress-niangniang smoothly gave birth to a daughter in the palace. She became the first princess of the dynasty.
When Xiao Wangye heard about it, he couldn’t wait to hold the baby. It so happened that the Emperor and Yan-daren were also there, so the three of them lined up and took turns in carrying the baby.
Xiao Wangye had never carried a child before, so his movements were awkward. The little princess kicked and cried constantly in his arms. Xiao Wangye was at a loss. He tremblingly handed her to Yan-daren.
Then as soon as Yan-daren took her in his arms, she stopped crying. She even grinned at Yan-daren.
Xiao Wangye thought it was amazing. Yan-daren, who was cold when wielding swords and spears during the day, was actually quite skilled when holding a baby.
The Emperor smiled and said to Xiao Wangye, “That’s because when you were young, you’d often let Yan-daren carry you.”
Hearing this, Xiao Wangye’s face suddenly turned red, and Yan-daren also coughed unnaturally.
Less than half a month after the birth of the little princess, the Emperor suddenly issued a decree appointing the Prime Minister’s daughter as his Imperial Concubine.
When Yan-daren heard it, he subconsciously reached for the jade pendant on his waist. However, the moment he touched it, he suddenly realized that this piece of jade was no longer the previous one.
Yan-daren traced over the blue and white cloud patterns, and in an instant, he was in a daze.
The establishment of the Imperial Concubine soon spread widely in the palace, and there was a lot of discussion. Some said conflicts arose in the relationship between the Emperor and the Empress, while some said the Emperor was anxious for a son.
One day, as he was returning from the imperial court, Yan-daren happened to come across the Prime Minister. He cupped his fist in the other hand and said, “Congratulations.”
The Prime Minister accepted the courtesy, then hurriedly left without saying anything.
Yan-daren frowned. Sending off a daughter to enter the palace was normally a happy event. How could Prime Minister-daren look so worried that his hair turned white?
In the afternoon, Yan-daren and Xiao Wangye circled the palace as usual. They overheard two imperial guards also secretly discussing this matter.
One person said: “It is said that the Emperor’s move is to win over the Prime Minister.”
The other said, “The Emperor is the Son of Heaven. Who dares to oppose the Son of Heaven? Why win him over?”
The person in front lowered his voice. “Don’t you remember those days after the Late Emperor died?”
“Aiyo, don’t speak carelessly.”
The two guards drifted away, but their conversation had been noted by Yan-daren, and doubts suddenly broke out in his mind.
Yan-daren turned his head and asked Xiao Wangye who was bowing his head and playing with the corners of his clothes. “Didn’t Wangye say before that Prime Minister-daren intends to betrothe his daughter to you?”
“That’s what he said.” Xiao Wangye raised his head and looked at Yan-daren with bright eyes. “But I told him that this Wang’s heart already belonged to someone else, and so he never mentioned it again.”
These four words, “heart belonged to someone,” suddenly popped out of Xiao Wangye’s mouth without any warning. For some reason, Yan-daren’s heart was suddenly stirred.
To cover up his inexplicable embarrassment, Yan-daren asked casually, “Then in the past days, has he still come to visit Wangye?”
Xiao Wangye recalled briefly. “It seems he hasn’t come here in a while.”
Yan-daren nodded. He actually still had quite a few questions in his heart, but he didn’t know what to ask at the moment, so they walked for a while in silence.
At this time, Xiao Wangye opened his mouth again and asked nonchalantly: “If Emperor-gege and I have a quarrel, who would you side with, Yan-gege?”
“Why would you quarrel with the Emperor?”
“I have such a good temper, so of course I won’t take the initiative to quarrel. What I’m saying is, what if it was Emperor-gege who wanted to quarrel with me?” Xiao Wangye seriously elaborated.
Yan-daren jokingly said, “If I don’t side with the Emperor, then I’ll be beheaded.” The implication was that he would certainly side with the Emperor and not with him.
Xiao Wangye pouted his lips in anger and instructed Yan-daren, saying, “You should’ve said that, even if you were beheaded, you would side with me.”
Yan-daren couldn’t help laughing, and after a while he said one word: “Okay.”