The Emperor chuckled a little reaching over to brush his fingers along the petals of a nearby flower. "Princess Jinghui's favorite flower is jasmine. She always complains that they blow away when she tries to touch them. I don't have the heart to tell her that jasmine is a temperamental flower." Jinghui herself was rather temperamental, but perhaps it was because he spoiled her far too much.
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 8, 2019 22:23:53 GMT -5
"Well, perhaps with time she will learn to appreciate them from a distance." Feiyan joked, drifting away from the Emperor slightly to exam a bloom, as he hadn't tried to take her arm back yet. She commented on it thoughtlessly, not considering how such a suggestion could be construed as a negative comment on the princess and her current upbringing. She had a terrible habit of that, getting relaxed enough that she let her carefully crafted shield down, and said something that could be taken differently from how she meant it.
The Emperor let out a small tsk. It was true, Jinghui was willful, and without a mother he was afraid she would become even more willful. However, there were very few that he'd trust to raise her. He'd have to send her to the various palaces to have her get a mother's love and care every now and again. "You have a point. Maybe I should invite her to tea with us.
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 8, 2019 22:37:46 GMT -5
Feiyan glanced up from the flower, turning to look to the Emperor again. "If you believe it could help her, Your Majesty, I will do what ever you ask," she said, though the thought of being entrusted with that kind of guidance so early in her life was a little scary. To most, nineteen was a full adult, of course, but she had little experience raising children. Even as the eldest of four, most of that work had been handled by her mother or the one maid they could afford to higher.
" You are technically her step mother. Besides.. the Princess is old enough, she shouldn't be so haughty. A little socialization won't be so bad. " He paused for a moment, turning to face Feiyan. He snapped his fingers and nodded. " Right. Li Wei! Go and summon the First Princess and her nannies. Have her come and greet her father and Noble Lady Qiao."
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 9, 2019 0:45:11 GMT -5
Feiyan jumped sightly at the abruptness of the command, though she tried to pull herself together immediately afterwards. Even if she didn't know much of children, she did know that they'd pick up instantly on any sign of weakness she put forth. She stepped closer to the Emperor again, turning to speak to him as soon as the eunuch had scurried off to fetch the princess. "I am sure that she is not as rough as you say she is. Her age is a hard time to face such change, but surely she will grow past it."
The Emperor nodded again, clearly oblivious to Feiyan's anxiety. Either he didn't notice, or didn't care. He made his way back over to the table. The man was rather.... dense it seemed on picking up little cues. He sat, motioning for Feiyan to sit close to him or in his lap.
A few moments later, Li Wei came and brought the young princess out. She stood proudly for such a little girl, and curtsied. " Greetings to you, Royal Father!" She smiled and then turned to Feiyan. Her expression seemed to shift, and her tone soured a bit. "Mother Qiao."
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 9, 2019 1:10:42 GMT -5
Feiyan sat next to the Emperor, nearly in his lap, but not comfortable with pushing the little princess that far. From their few previous meetings, Feiyan knew that the girl was possessive of her father, and didn't really like all her stepmothers fawning around him. And, as she was his first child, she'd always hold some sway with him, meaning that making her too angry could be treacherous. "Good afternoon, Princess Jinghui. You look lovely today," she offered, trying her kindest, hopefully motherly smile.
Jinghui held her head up high, as if she knew that she looked good and that she certainly didn't need some concubine to tell her that. The Emperor frowned, giving Jinghui a little nudge. " Come now, Jinghui. Thank Lady Qiao.." Jinghui huffed a little and gave another curtsy and a forced smile. "Thank you for the compliments, Lady Qiao."
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 9, 2019 1:25:34 GMT -5
"Why don't you come and sit at the table with us, Princess Jinghui? If you would like, the servants can bring you a cup of tea as well," Feiyan offered, gesturing towards the table and the two cups of two. Before Jinghui had arrived, she'd moved her own cup closer to where she sat, so it appeared they'd been sitting this close for a long time, and that it hadn't changed just because the princess had arrived. She'd easily caught on to the reluctance to accept the compliment, remembering all to well her own childhood, and the berating she would have received from her mother, so much harsher than the gentle prodding she'd just witnessed. Feiyan wondered then, if she and the little princess were more alike than she'd realized before, and if the main difference had been a mother who showed her love by teaching proper expectations, and one who had died before she'd been given the chance.
Jinghui frowned a bit, looking over at her father in hopes the man might have an answer. He did, however it was not the one the princess wanted. The Emperor gave a small nod and a smile as he gently pushed her forward, indicating he wanted her to accept Feiyan's proposal. She finally turned her glance back to the other woman and gave a small sigh. "Thank you Mother Qiao for your care. I would love to join you for tea."
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 9, 2019 1:41:17 GMT -5
Feiyan called one of the maids over, and sent her off for another cup of tea. Then she turned back to Jinghui, doing her best to hide the little bit of hurt that had flared up at how completely annoyed by her the little girl seemed. She understood it, of course, but that didn't keep her from being hurt by it. "And how has the day treated you, Jinghui? I'm sure if it has been hard, your mood must be at least somewhat improved by the beauty of the garden."
(Hey, it's getting pretty late here, so I'm going to head off to bed. Goodnight!)
Jinghui let out a small huff as she sat and drank her tea. She took a moment to look out and truly admire the flowers. They were beautiful, Jinghui would admit, but it was hard to fight back how sour her mood felt. "The gardens are fine. My day has been fine. Thank you for asking."
The Emperor put his hand down on the table and cast a glance in his daughter's direction, a clear indicator he was displeased. "Jinghui!"
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 9, 2019 13:22:41 GMT -5
Feiyan frowned slightly. Jinghui showed little interest in respecting her, obviously, and there wasn't much she could do to encourage her down the right path without that respect. And building that respect was not likely to happen in the Emperor's presence, because the princess was clearly not going to let her guard down, or believe any overtures of friendship when there was a chance Feiyan was using this as a way to gain favor. "What have you done today, then, for it to have been meerly fine? Surely you've had a nice lesson, or a game?"
( Yeah! I'll write up a reply. I'll be on tomorrow too, but from around 6-9 pm central time I'll be spotty because i have to go to the Synagogue, so just a heads up! )
"Nanny Rong had me recite a passage from the Admonitions for Women. " Jinghui rocked back and forth on her heels, clearly not fond of her lesson. The Emperor on the other hand seemed pleased with his daughter and her education. He nodded and smiled, giving her shoulder a fatherly pat. He then reached over to grasp Feiyan's hand, a clear show of affection that he hoped Jinghui would respect. " Good. Recite it for us."
Jinghui wrinkled her nose a bit, but still did as she was told. "Let a woman retire late to bed but rise early for her duties;let her not dread her tasks by day or by night. Let her not refuse her duties whether easy or difficult, and let her do them tidily. With this, she may be said to be in... industrious!"
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 10, 2019 20:12:09 GMT -5
"Good," Feiyan said, offering Jinghui an encouraging smile. "You remembered it very well." She shifted slightly in her seat, some how even closer to the Emperor, the fact that he was most likely taking her hand to prove a point to his daughter not lost on her. She remembered her own days spent memorizing passages from the work, although she'd be lying if she said she could remember them as clearly as she was supposed to. "Is that all that you have done today? Tea in the garden must be a welcome break then."
(I'll be on pretty much all day until next Monday, but then I start classes again and I'll be really spotty during the day.)
Jinghui seemed to beam a little. Though it's true she wasn't fond of his father's other wives, she was VERY fond of praise, and would certainly put aside her petty dislike if it meant that she could earn praise for her school work. " Nanny Rong taught me calligraphy today. She taught me to write the word 'filial' and 'respect'. "
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 10, 2019 21:09:55 GMT -5
"Lovely. I have always thought that well done calligraphy is truly an art." Feiyan had noticed the way Jinghui perked up at the compliment, and she attempted to hide a genuine smile of her own. She had finally gotten through a little, even if it was only through compliments, and was unlikely to give her any room in the future. Figuring out how to get through was almost as important as getting through, in the beginning.
" Good! Very good. In the palace, Dowager Consort Fan is the best at calligraphy, Noble Lady Jing is best at the pipa. " The Emperor squeezes Feiyan's hand and puts the other on her shoulder, effectively pulling her into an embrace. "You should visit them and learn from them if you can, Jinghui. And I'm sure Feiyan has a hidden talent of her own."
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 10, 2019 21:37:41 GMT -5
Feiyan blushed, leaning into the Emperor's embrace in an attempt to hide it. "I have always enjoyed weaving, though I do not know if I could really be considered talented at. For all that I enjoyed it, there seemed to be many more important interruptions," she admitted. She wasn't being completely truthful, for though she did sometimes enjoy weaving, when she had good company to weave with, or any other job she despised more waiting on her to finish, she had never really had the patience for it when there were more fun things to do.
"Weaving and embroidery are excellent arts, something a woman should hold dear. Jinghui!" He squeezed Feiyan's hand and held it up with his." In the future, I want to you take weaving and embroidery lessons from Noble Lady Qiao. Understand." Jinghui's smile faltered a bit, but the girl was eager to please her father. So with a bit of reluctance, she gave another curtsy and nodded. " Yes, Royal Father."
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 11, 2019 12:24:10 GMT -5
"Well, it may take me some time to come up with a lesson, and I would have to get the servants to arrange for another loom, but it would be quite nice to get to know Jinghui, and lessons would be a fine way to start," Feiyan said, though the look of reluctance the princess had shown was not lost on her. At least, the lessons should give her some alone time with the princess, which might make the her more likely to lower her guard.
The Emperor nodded, motioning for Li Wei to approach. " Li Wei. See that Noble Lady Qiao's requests are met. And bring Jinghui back to Xiefang hall. Bring her a bowl of ginseng soup, have her rest well. I want her to go to Yongshuo Palace tomorrow to speak with Lady Qiao."
Li Wei nodded, offering his hand to the Princess. The girl glanced at her father and then to Feiyan but didn't say much. She gave another curtsy, announcing her departure and followed the eunuch back to her room.
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 12, 2019 18:31:03 GMT -5
Feiyan turned back to the Emperor after the princess's departure, a look of serious consideration on her face. "She seems as if she would be quite sweet, if she were not so caught up in acting as though she needed no one. I think she fears losing any of your attention, as she sees you as her only living family." She stopped then, hoping she had not over stepped her bounds in speaking so bluntly.
The Emperor turned to give Feiyan a small look. "Jinghui has plenty of step mothers in the palace. She has you, and Noble Lady Jing. I am by far her only living family. She knows that, and so do you!" Though his voice isn't raised, his tone is serious. He knows Feiyan was only speaking the truth, a truth he should be willing to face, and yet, her words seemed to strike a nerve in him, one that dampens his mood almost immediately. He removes himself from their embrace, moving to admire the flowers instead.
Post by LiliesoftheDawn on Jan 14, 2019 17:16:49 GMT -5
Feiyan recoiled, as exactly what she had feared would happen happened. The anger in his voice was terrifying. She knew how easily she could be tossed aside, like a child with a broken play thing. And yet, something snapped, and she couldn't hold back her sharp reply. "I know she has other family. But I have hardly been around her long enough to build a connection, and I suspect the same is true of Noble Lady Jing. Your Majesty, you must see, for her sake, how hard the loss of her mother must be, when her father's attention is lost to women she is supposed to respect but can't bring herself to trust!" Feiyan rose from her seat as she spoke, the little control she had left barely enough to keep anger out of her voice. Then, she stopped dead, realizing how much worse she was likely making this with her out burst. She drew in on herself, stepping to make sure the table was between them, and waited for the anger he was likely about to direct her.
(Sorry I didn't respond last night, I was already asleep since I had class today.)
" Does she think that she's the only one who is having difficulties after the death of her mother? Her mother was my WIFE. I had promised my wife that we would grow old together and she broke that promise. "He huffs, dusting off his coat and putting his hands on his hips. " If I neglect my concubines, I am accused of being a heartless man who does not love his wives. If I regret my children, I am considered lecherous and how I don't care about the future of the Great Qing. Jinghui will learn to get over her mother's death...just as I have.
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Arrow↠Deirdre: I'll take some writing. I'm also available to roleplay for a few hours tonight ^-^
Feb 16, 2019 23:13:34 GMT -5
Arrow↠Deirdre: Just shoot me PM if you're still up for it
Feb 16, 2019 23:14:58 GMT -5