Days passed by and soon, the day of the coronation finally arrived. True to what they discussed a couple days ago, nobody mattered more than the Emperor, Empress, and Crown Prince.
There wasn't a single argument in the family about who would be the Crown Prince. The title effortlessly went to Li Chenyang without qualms.
Entire streets of the Capital were rimming with celebratory flags. The black and white mourning colors were long stripped away, replaced by bright colours of yellow, red and white. Citizens took days off from their work and daily chores just to catch a glimpse of the founders of the new Li Dynasty.
"Oh my, I see them now!"
Screams and cheers could be heard from miles on when the golden carriages rolled through the streets. The carriages' curtains were drawn as the Li Family waved to greet their people. The sound was deafening as people jostled to catch a glimpse of the Li Family.
Who thought the Prime Minister was the one behind the country's achievements? The ruler behind the curtains no longer had to hide his face. It was his turn to sit upon the throne forged for him.
The announcement of the previous Imperial Family's deeds had traveled far and wide. The People's Representatives who were of middle-class wealth had outdone themselves. As promised, they spread word of the Wang families' wrongdoings throughout the communities.
There were some people who whispered that Wuyi flourished because of the Prime Minister's innovative ideas. Such rumors traveled faster than the distribution of newspapers detailing the Li Family's contributions. It didn't take long for many people to instantly start supporting the new Imperial Family.
- - - - -
"The stairs to the Palace suddenly seem even more daunting from here," Li Xueyue whispered to Li Minghua who stood beside her.
Li Minghua nodded, but found it difficult to move her head much. Her neck was hurting from the amount of accessories slipped into the overly complicated hairstyle.
Her outfit was also heavy, and it dragged along the ground as she walked, but her mother had it worse.
Empress Wang Qixing was a sight to behold. She was in a whirlwind of red, white, and gold. They were the colors of this country and she wore it with pride.
Even with the ornaments adorning her head, neck, and wrists, she held herself with the utmost grace. After all, the Empress was the Mother of the country. She must set an example for every woman in her kingdom.
"Father is first, and then comes Mother, then Chenyang, Wenmin, and finally, it's our turn," Li Minghua murmured. "Why am I not surprised?"
Li Xueyue's lips twitched in agreement. "We're daughters, not sons. The twins will forever be praised first, but we shouldn't compare ourselves to them."
Li Minghua slowly nodded. She kept her eyes glued to the back of her older brothers. Li Chenyang bore the colors of the skies, with his bold navy and silver, whereas Li Wenmin embodied the flourishing Earth in his emerald green and golden attire.
"They look so near, yet so far…" Li Minghua trailed off. "I hope nothing changes between them."
"Nothing will," Li Xueyue firmly said. "Wenmin never wanted the throne in the first place."
Li Xueyue wanted to crane her head and glance up, but couldn't. Everything was too heavy, but she forced herself to look up, even if it hurt her neck.
She glanced in time to witness their Father take the first step up the enormous staircase. Banners of red, white, and gold flashed before them. The sun shone brilliantly upon the new Royal family whose accessories created a heavenly glow on their figure.
Li Xueyue herself was dressed in colors that were dimmer than the Emperor and Empress.
There were hundreds of layers in her hanfu, all to create the illusion of the heavenly clouds. Pearls were sewed into wisps of white fabric as flowers fluttered from her dress, much like cherry blossom petals against the spring breeze that warned of approaching summer.
"You look like Spring and Summer," Li Minghua mused. "Whereas I embody Fall and Winter. We get the seasons, but the twins get to represent the most important parts of this world—the skies and the earth."
Li Xueyue smiled. "Without the seasons, this world can't thrive." She found it interesting that this was one of the first conversations where they didn't bicker. Perhaps it was all a facade, to show the people how stable the family was.
As everyone climbed the staircases leading to the front entrance, soldiers were prominent everywhere they looked.
Some blended into the crowds, others lined the staircases. She didn't realize exactly how many people were in this kingdom until she reached the top of the staircase and looked back.
"Wow," she murmured upon seeing the mass of people gathered.
"Keep your eyes forward," Li Minghua instructed. "Father is ascending the final steps to the Palace."
Li Xueyue turned her head just in time to see the event happen. She felt the air knocked out of her system.
The second Emperor Li Shenyang placed his foot onto the small steps leading to the Throne Room, a powerful rush of wind coursed through the trees.
The branches swayed wildly, but nothing was more eye-catching than the event unfolding before them. Flags waived from the poles that reached the highest points of the Palace.
In bold, daring letters, "Li," was proudly displayed before everyone. The symbols, the design, everything changed—for the better.
These flags that marked the beginning of the Li Dynasty. Flags that solidified their reign. Flags that meant they didn't have to hide in the shadows with their robbed spotlight.
Nothing could ever be more momentous for the Li generation than this exact moment. Even now, the Li Family felt it—the joyous stares of their ancestors from Heaven, praising and celebrating their victory.
"All hail the Emperor of Wuyi, he whom the Heaven shines upon, he who shall bring this country to its eternal glory!"
"Praise the Empress of Wuyi, the Mother of our nation, she who wields the scales of justice!"
Nothing but the shuffles of clothes could be heard. Sleeves flapped rhythmically as everyone dropped to their knees. Their foreheads touched the ground as everyone simultaneously kowtowed before the new Imperial Family.
Hearts raced, stomachs lurched, but everything was set in stone. The Wang Dynasty had come to an official end. The old had made way for the new.
Li Xueyue felt at a loss of words. What was everyone thinking right now? Every person in this country was kneeling before them. She glanced upwards at the sky, where sparrows flew and the clouds swayed.
Without a doubt, this was an event to be remembered. And it would be one that went down in history books of every century to come.
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