In the pavilion, the tea and snacks had been set out on the stone table.
On the side, there was a small stove with a pot of water boiling on it.
The seats faced the sun, and the wind was blocked by a light blue curtain behind them.
Admiring the fine view of blooming peonies, one must feel relaxed and comfortable.
It was indeed a good place to enjoy the flowers and the scenery.
No wonder it had been occupied so early.
“Sit down first!” the imperial concubine smiled and reached out to lead Shao Wanru to a chair.
Shao nodded and sat down gracefully without hesitation.
The imperial concubine picked up the teapot beside her and poured a cup of tea for Shao Wanru, asking with a smile, “Would you like to have a taste of my tea”
Shao Wanru reached for it and took a sip.
She was surprised.
She didnt know what kind of tea that was, but she had just drunk the same in Empress Dowagers palace.
The taste was particularly light and mellow, so she couldnt forget it.
“Your Highness, the tea is really good,” Shao Wanru put down the teacup and said calmly.
“Princess Chen, Im glad you like it.
I still have some, and Ill give more to you later!” the imperial concubine said with a smile, showing her kindness.
However, for Shao Wanru, this kindness was indeed inexplicable!
How could the tea drunk by the Empress Dowager be an ordinary one Now, this imperial concubine even asked to give her some more, which was too generous!
With long eyelashes fluttering to hide emotions in her eyes, Shao Wanru shook her head with a smile and said, “I dont dare to accept your gift, Your Highness.
You are my elder, and I am just a junior!”
Since she was called “Your Highness”, she was naturally an imperial concubine and thus was Shao Wanrus elder.
“Since its a gift from me an elder, you can accept it.
You have just accepted the gift from Empress Dowager, havent you” the imperial concubine said with a smile as if she didnt hear Shao Wanrus refusal.
The identity of Empress Dowager was unique in the imperial palace.
Now, this imperial concubine didnt mention the Empress but talked about the Empress Dowager who was higher-level than the Empress.
Shao Wanru became more and more curious about who this woman was!
“Is this your welcome gift for me, Your Highness” Shao Wanru tilted her head slightly, which made her look more playful, lovely, and more approachable.
“In fact, that tea is not my gift for our first meeting! What I have prepared for you is this.
Here you are,” the imperial concubine said with a bigger smile on her face seeing that Shao Wanru was easy-going and gentle.
She reached into her wide long sleeve, took out a small jewelry box, and gave it to Shao Wanru.
“Today, its the first time youve entered the imperial palace.
I happened to have something to do just now, so I didnt attend your acceptance ceremony.
Take it as my compensation!”
As she said, she pushed the small jewelry box to Shao Wanru.
She really prepared a gift.
Had she truly missed what had happened in front of the Empress before
The curiosity in Shao Wanrus eyes became more and more intense.
She didnt take the jewelry box that was handed over but looked at the imperial concubine with a burning and questioning gaze.
She was confused.
“Your Highness, why do you send me a gift for our first meeting I dont even know who you are.
How dare I accept your gift!” Shao Wanru said.
Seeing that Shao Wanru did not accept the gift, the imperial concubine sighed softly, raised her head, and looked into the distance with disappointment and sadness.
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“Its been too long.
Im afraid… nobody in this palace could remember me!”
“Please tell me, Your Highness!” Shao Wanru said softly.
The imperial concubine did not answer at once.
After a long while, she said slowly, “Have you heard of Consort Lan, Princess Chen”
All of a sudden, Shao Wanru felt as if someone had hit her in the head, and some deeply buried memories came rushing back.
Consort Lan had once been the most favored one in the imperial harem.
Shao Wanru had once heard of her from Shao Yanru, who had said that although Consort Lan was the most favored, she was still grounded eventually.
In this life, she thought of Consort Lan because Chu Liuchen mentioned Shao Yanru.
At that time, Shao Yanru liked to visit Consort Lan when she came to the palace.
“Is the person in front of me Consort Lan whom I have heard of in both my last and current life”
“Have you heard of me, Princess Chen” Consort Lan smiled and looked at Shao Wanru with her beautiful and shining eyes.
Shao Wanru shook her head at first and then nodded.
After that, she hid her surprise and said, “I did hear of Consort Lan, but I dont know you exactly!”
“What do you mean” Consort Lan took a sip of tea and asked softly.
She seemed to be interested in her words.
“I heard that Consort Lan… has been grounded…” Shao Wanru said.
She looked Consort Lan up and down and couldnt help marveling over her beauty.
No wonder Consort Lan had been the most favored one in the imperial harem.
How could she not be favored But why was she grounded and not allowed to go in and out at will Even guards were sent to follow her.
“Did Prince Chen say that” Consort Lan raised her eyes and asked gently.
She was still elegant, but her eyes seemed to glitter with something beyond Shao Wanrus understanding.
“Not Prince Chen… When I entered the palace, I heard someone mention it occasionally!” Shao Wanru shook her head and said, “So its not true”
“In fact, its true, but there is another reason!” Consort Lan smiled and slowly lowered her head with a touch of sadness.
Obviously, this Consort Lan had her story.
“Well, lets stop talking about these things.
Those past events only give rise to sadness!” Consort Lan said.
She pushed the jewelry box to Shao Wanru, and cast her a more amiable look.
“This is a gift for our first meeting.
Please accept it, Princess Chen.
It is not expensive, just a little accessory!” she added.
Then, she stood up and said, “Ive been out for a long time.
If I dont go back now, Im afraid someone would discover!”
“Your Highness, are you going back” Shao Wanru asked, involuntarily standing up as well.
“Im leaving!” Consort Lan looked back with gloomy eyes.
Although she was still smiling, her smile looked woeful.
“I rarely have a chance to come out now.
Even if I do, its inconvenient for me to meet others.
When you go back, please dont mention this to Empress Dowager.”
Did this mean that she sneaked out
In the pavilion, everything was carefully prepared.
But now, all those exquisite decorations were just left behind.
Consort Lan was indeed an imperial concubine.
Even at this time, she didnt look embarrassed at all.
If she hadnt revealed it herself, Shao Wanru wouldnt have thought that she was out of favor in the imperial harem.
“Farewell, Your Highness!” Shao Wanru said softly.
Consort Lan smiled at her and started to leave.
After taking two steps, before she reached the entrance of the pavilion, she suddenly turned around and walked back.
Shao Wanru was surprised to see Consort Lan coming back and holding her hands.
Consort Lan looked at her, opened her mouth to say something but stopped.
The calmness in her eyes seemed to disappear in an instant.
Now, her beautiful eyes were full of emotion and unspeakable sadness.
“Your Highness…” the palace maid outside the pavilion suddenly called loudly.
Consort Lans trembling lips stiffened as she shouted.
“Your Highness, you should go back now!” The palace maid suddenly came in and reached out to hold Consort Lan.
Consort Lan, who was emotional and about to say something just now, immediately put her hands down and forced a smile on her face, as if she wanted to make it seem kind to Shao Wanru.
But a teardrop unexpectedly fell from her eye.
“Your Highness!” The eunuch also entered the pavilion in a hurry.
Shao Wanru took a few steps back and made way for him.
“Your Highness, its time for us to go back!” the eunuch said in a low voice and held Consort Lan on the other side.
“Your Highness, if we dont go back now, we will be discovered.
At that time…” the palace maid also said in a soft voice with a touch of anxiety that Shao Wanru could hear clearly.
Were the two palace servants stopping Consort Lan from doing something Shao Wanru slowly narrowed her eyes.
It was very strange.
Not only Consort Lan but also the two palace servants around her seemed odd!
“Lets go!” After a long while, Consort Lans voice calmed down.
With two palace servants holding her arms, she turned around and left without saying a word to Shao Wanru.
Seeing them leave, Yujie came in and said, “Miss, Consort Lan was so emotional just now.
Did she try to do something”
Although Yujie stood outside the pavilion, she had been paying attention to what was happening.
Of course, she heard what Consort Lan had said before.
Just now, when Consort Lan suddenly turned around, she was also shocked and thought Consort Lan wanted to do something to Shao Wanru.
“This Consort Lan… is very strange!” Shao Wanru didnt know why she described such a gorgeous woman in this way.
This Consort Lan was very beautiful.
Despite her age, she was still incomparable in the imperial harem.
She was not only good-looking.
Her beauty was condensed over the years, which could make people fall in love at first glance.
Shao Wanru had seen and painted a lot of beauties in her last life, but none of them could compare with her.
Such a woman was destined to be extraordinary in the palace.
However, she only had the title of “Consort Lan” now.
Most people in the palace could not recognize her.
It was so in the last life, and it remained unchanged this life!
“Miss, why is she wearing a veil in the palace” Yujie suddenly asked.
Shao Wanru stopped her deep thought and looked at the three people who had gone far away.
She could only see their blurred backs.
They seemed to have stopped there, and the palace maid helped Consort Lan put on a veil.
There was really no need to wear a veil in the palace!
“Maybe she sneaked out and was afraid of being known by others.
I heard that the Emperor has grounded Consort Lan and sent guards to keep the gates of her palace,” Shao Wanru said in a low voice.
She seemed to explain to Yujie but also to herself at the same time.
However, her doubt did not melt away with this explanation!
This was too strange!
Shao Wanru looked back at the stone table.
Everything had been set up properly.
The water just boiled on the stove with steam rising from the teapot.
The tea on the table was still hot.
It could be seen that everything had been well prepared and they should have sat here and enjoyed the scenery together.
But now Consort Lan left in a hurry, as if somebody was chasing her…
This Consort Lan was really strange…
But today, Shao Wanru was destined to meet more than one person like Consort Lan…
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