Chapter 462

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Chapter 462: On the Day of the Grand Wedding, the Empress Calls Him “Imperial Husband”!

When the auspicious time arrived, Lin Beifan and the Empress, dressed in their finest, set off from the imperial palace.

Along the way, the streets were packed with commoners, and the crowds were enormous, cheering and celebrating. “Your Majesty and Prime Minister, we wish you a hundred years of happiness and eternal unity!”

“Your Majesty, Your Highness, we wish you eternal happiness and hope you will soon bless us with royal descendants!”

“Your Majesty and Your Highness, the future of Great Wu depends on both of you!”

Sitting in the luxurious carriage, Lin Beifan and the Empress held hands, waving to the crowds outside and receiving their blessings. “Your Majesty, look, people from all over the world have come to witness your grand wedding. You’re the happiest woman in the entire world!” Lin Beifan said with a smile.

The Empress couldn’t hide her smile either, and she playfully glanced at Lin Beifan. “Aren’t you?”

Lin Beifan shook his head. “I’m not.”

The Empress raised her eyebrows and stared at him. “What did you just say? Say it again!”

Lin Beifan shivered in fear. “Your Majesty, you misunderstood me. I’m not the happiest woman in the world; I’m the happiest man in the world. My gender can’t be wrong!”

The Empress’s face went from cloudy to clear, and she gave him another glare. “It’s already this late, and you’re still being so cheeky!”

Underneath her hand, she discreetly pinched the soft flesh around Lin Beifan’s waist.

It hurt so much that Lin Beifan’s face twisted in pain. The Empress, with a smug expression, said, “It’s your wedding day. Don’t cry; smile!”

“Your Majesty is right; I should smile!” Lin Beifan endured the pain and forced a very fake smile.

“Hmph! Let’s see if you dare in the future!” The Empress finally released her grip. It was as if nothing had happened, and they both continued to smile and wave to the people outside.

The journey from the imperial palace to the Temple of Heaven was not far, but it took them nearly an hour to reach their destination. Following the rituals, they paid their respects to heaven and earth, and then they proceeded to the Imperial Ancestral Temple to honor the ancestors of Great Wu.

Standing in front of the late emperor’s memorial tablet, the Empress’s eyes became slightly moist. “Father, under my efforts, Great Wu has already united and expanded its territory, increasing our dominion by more than thirty percent! Within the borders of Great Wu, the people have plenty to eat and wear, living in peace and prosperity! I believe that Great Wu’s future will only get better and stronger!”

“And, I’ve found my lifetime partner! His name is Lin Beifan, the Prime Minister and Supreme Commander of the military. He’s the hereditary Lord of Loyalty and Valor. We couldn’t have emerged from the quagmire and achieved rejuvenation without his significant contributions!”

“Father, you can rest in peace now. I’ll come to visit you again another day!”

Lin Beifan held the Empress’s hand and said, “Lord Father-in-law, I will definitely take good care of Her Majesty. Please rest assured.”

They bowed again and then left the Imperial Ancestral Temple, returning to the imperial palace.

Next, under the witness of court officials, foreign envoys, and the entire city’s population, they performed the ceremony of exchanging vows as husband and wife.

At this point, they could truly be considered a married couple. “Your Majesty!” Lin Beifan called out.

“Imperial Husband!” The Empress corrected herself, her cheeks blushing as she said the new title.

“The ceremony is complete!” The chief officiant announced loudly.

The entire hall erupted in thunderous applause and cheers.

At this moment, civil and military officials, as well as foreign envoys, began presenting their congratulatory gifts. Gao Tianyao, the Minister of Personnel, offered a white jade sculpture of a dragon and phoenix. He loudly declared, “Your Majesty, Your Highness, this is a wedding gift from your humble servant. Wishing you a harmonious union and a hundred years of happiness!”

The Empress smiled and nodded, “Minister Gao, your thoughtful gift is much appreciated!”

Next was Qian Yuanshen, the Minister of Revenue, who presented a pair of golden jujubes. “May Your Majesty and Your Highness have many children and grandchildren!”

The Empress smiled again and accepted the gift, “Indeed, this gift is also accepted.”

After the civil and military officials had presented their gifts, it was the turn of the foreign envoys.

“Envoy from the Mo Kingdom, we greet His Majesty of Great Wu and His Highness, the Lord of Loyalty and Valor! This is the wedding gift that our monarch has sent, a red coral sculpture. We wish His Majesty and His Highness a harmonious marriage, peace, and happiness!”

“Envoy from the Great Peng Kingdom, we greet His Majesty of Great Wu and His Highness, the Lord of Loyalty and Valor! This is the wedding gift that our monarch has sent, two night-bright pearls. We wish His Majesty and His Highness good fortune and a deep and loving relationship!”

One foreign envoy after another presented their gifts. The gifts were diverse and dazzling, overwhelming the audience with their grandeur.

Finally, to everyone’s astonishment, it was revealed that there were already over a hundred envoys who had come to offer their congratulations. Even countries located far beyond Great Wu’s borders had sent representatives. The scene resembled the grandeur of the many nations paying homage to the court.

The last time such a scene had occurred was over a hundred years ago during the height of Great Wu’s power.

The citizens of Great Wu felt an immense sense of pride and honor in their hearts. Great Wu had truly risen once again!

Just as this was happening, three generals arrived, dusty and disheveled. The Empress was puzzled, “General Liu, General Zhao, weren’t you in the Great Yan Kingdom, fighting in a war? How come you’ve returned?”

Only Lin Beifan showed a faint smile.

The three generals cupped their fists and respectfully said, “Reporting to Your Majesty and Supreme Commander, the Great Wu army has advanced southward to attack the Great Yan Kingdom. We have been conquering cities and territories along the way without any slackness. Three days ago, we successfully captured the city of Annan. Therefore, we have returned to report this good news to Your Majesty and the Supreme Commander. We wish you both a joyful wedding and eternal harmony!”

The entire hall erupted into a commotion.

“The land of Annan has been captured so quickly?”

“It took just over a month!”

“Expanding the territory again, Great Wu has become too powerful! Great Wu is mighty!”

The Empress burst into laughter and said loudly, “I really love this wedding gift! Generals, please have a seat and enjoy some fine wine! After the wedding, we will discuss merits and rewards!”

“Thank you, Your Majesty and Marshal!” The three generals were overjoyed.

Then, the foreign envoys continued to present their gifts, their expressions even more respectful.

The Empress continued, “Today, I am getting married, and it’s a cause for universal celebration. Therefore, I have decided to grant a general amnesty throughout the realm, and the curfew will be lifted for seven days! In addition, all those imprisoned for minor offenses of less than three years in the dungeons will be pardoned and allowed to return home.”

“Your Majesty’s wisdom!” The officials echoed in unison.

The Empress went on, “To our friends who have come from afar, I have prepared fine wine and delicacies to entertain you! I hope you all can enjoy the feast without restraint and return home uninebriated.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty!” Everyone exclaimed.

Just at that moment, an elderly man with white hair entered the palace as if entering an empty space.

Standing above the palace, watching the scene before him, he sighed, “It seems I’ve come at the wrong time! But entrusted by others, loyal deeds must be carried out. It’s just that this wedding is bound to be bloodied. Sigh!”

The court’s experts were greatly surprised and gathered around.

“Who are you, and what are you doing here?”

“Her Majesty is having a wedding now; you must not be disrespectful. Come down from the palace immediately, or we will charge you with a serious offense!”

“Descend at once and confess, or we won’t be polite!”

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