Chapter 8: Deliberately Creating Difficulties (Part 1)
It was the Qing Feng’s only feeling.
After the guards threw her into this simple and crude shack, they did not appear again. She too, did not have enough strength to look at where is she at. Qing Feng lay on the cold stone floors motionlessly. Her hands were numb with pain that there was no feeling if no one touched it. Her chest felt as though there was a thousand jin (1 jin = 0.5kg) of stones weighting it down, causing her to have difficulty in breathing and constantly drift off. With tears flowing down from her thin cheeks to the stone floor, she hated herself at this point of time. As she though of dying like this so that she can return to her parents side and no longer be alone in this cold world.
Qing Feng wearily closed her eyes and drifted to sleep. Her head was filled with images of her parents, sisters beside her, their family finally got back together again. Just as she wanted to be fully indulged in it, a “PA” sounded by her ears and her family disappeared in a flash. Qing Feng fearfully open her eyes, to only see blue clothes being thrown in her face.
“Wake up and quickly change your clothes.” Qing Feng turn her head with great difficulty and saw a over forty year old fat mama impatiently continued, “Quickly wake up and don’t dawdle about.”
From the half opened doors, the first glimmer of light can be seen. After much urging from the mama, she finally came forward and drag her out by her shoulders and reached out to undress her.
Qing Feng woke up at that moment. Mama was strong, causing her right hand and shoulders immovable and she could only struggle. Qing Feng’s left hand was holding on to her collar and her legs kept kicking while she shouted loudly, “I will do it myself!”
As Qing Feng was struggling for her life, the mama was being kicked by her several times. Finally she released her hands after much toleration and scolded, “You better be quick, if you dawdle, don’t blame me for being impolite!” Mama then left the room after scolding.
The clothes on her back was already in shreds and tatters, Qing Feng grabbed the clothes on the floor and wore them piece by piece. Because of the inconvenience caused by her right hands, she took a long time to get fully dressed before exiting the room. The impatient mama looked down at her and sneered, “You are now the lowest grade of all palace maids, don’t think that you are still a Beauty. Now is not the past, is there a need for grooming before leaving the room?”
Feeling bouts of pain at her chest, Qing Feng did not bother about mama’s cynicism and mama also stopped nagging and lead Qing Feng through many corridors and turns before reaching a familiar courtyard. Mama swept away her mean stance and solicitously shouted through the half open door, “Xu Gonggong, the person you wanted is here.”
Qing Feng lifted her head slowly, surveyed her surroundings and immediately thought. This place is the… Imperial Kitchens!
Xu Ji slowly walked out of the hall and with a look of delight, he glance at Qing Feng who was behind the Mama and with a undisguised contempt in his eyes, Xu Ji taunted, “Ze ze (sound of tongue clicking), this one heard yesterday that Miss was awarded a Beauty title and wanted to congratulate Miss. But just a night, how did Miss reduce to such a state?” He previously said that this arrogant woman will not last long!
It really is true that enemies run into each other frequently! Qing Feng coldly hurmph as she tilted her head. No matter how far she fall, it was also not a eunuch turn to mock her.
Even at this time, Qing Feng still has a proud and arrogant look, which did not even place any importance to Xu Ji. Xu Ji frowned and the mama beside immediately pushed Qing Feng’s shoulder and snapped, “Gonggong was speaking to you! Don’t think that you are still a mistress!”
“Ah!” The place that the mama was shoving was where Yan Hong Tian gave a blow. Even after a night, the pain did not diminish but however worsen. Qing Feng’s brow furrowed and retreated many steps before she could firmly stand up with her forehead covered by a thin layer of sweat and a look full of pain.
There was a trace of cold smile across Xu Ji’s mouth as he spoke, “Since you are at the Imperial Kitchen, then work hard and this one will take great care of you!” Looking at Qing Feng right should, Xu Ji coldly laughed, “Since you just arrive, you do not know how to do many things in the Imperial Kitchens, so just fill up the two water jars in front of the kitchen. Xiao Hu Zi, carefully monitor her, if it is not completed, do not give her food to eat!”
A youngster, who was standing behind Xu Ji with heads bowed, quickly replied, “Yes.”
After seeing Qing Feng’s face paled when she heard the task of carrying water, Xu Ji instantly felt his mood lifted and strode back into the compound in high spirits. The mama who saw that Xu Ji did not even look at her before leaving, also embarrassingly left the Imperial Kitchens.
There was only Qing Feng and that youngster left in the courtyard. After watching her not moving, the youngster walked to her side and whispered, “The bucket is over there. I will show you where is the nearest well.”
Qing Feng lifted her heads towards the direction where Xiao Hu Zi pointed the bucket is at, and could not help but frowned, the two large empty wooden barrels are at least twenty over jin (1 jin = 0.5kg), if it is filled with water… There should be around one or two hundred jin.
Xiao Hu Zi thought that she will act shamelessly or quit, if she behave as such, Xu Gonggong will then use the whip to discipline her. At that time, she would still need to carry water and in addition endure a round of beating in vain. Xiao Hu Zi wanted to persuade her to tolerate but Qing Feng has headed towards the bucket.
Both her right hand and right shoulders have sustain injuries, thus Qing Feng can only use her left shoulders to raise the pole, perhaps it was because she was already mentally prepared, Qing Feng did not feel that it was very heavy when she lifted the wooden bucket. She turn to Xiao Hu Zi and coldly said, “Let’s go.”
Unsure if it was Xiao Hu Zi or Xu Ji who is messing with her, that so-called nearest well, was in fact two long palace alleys away.
Reaching the side of the well, Qing Feng was already perspiring profusely and there were blisters on her shoulders due to the pressure. As her right hand do not have strength, Qing Feng could only use her left hand to draw the water up and each time she could only lift less than half a bucket of water. Xiao Hu Zi shook his hand and said, “You better hurry up, else you will not be able to fill a water jar up before it gets dark.” The water jar in front of the kitchen required at least twenty dan (1 dan = 50kg) to fill up. Normally it would take ten gonggong a whole morning to fill up the two water jar and for her, who is such a weak female, would take an estimated three days to fill it up!
Qing Feng stared at Xiao Hu Zi. Easier said than done!
Although she could only carry a little water at a time, she was able to fill up two buckets up to two-thirds full. She took a deep breath before raising her left shoulder. This time she almost couldn’t stand up. Finally with great difficulty, she stood up but her legs kept trembling. After walking a few steps, she felt as though her chest is burning up in pain, but breathing heavily, Qing Feng continue to walk forwards. However, the scene in front of her eyes was getting blurred. Once she walked into the palace alley, she almost couldn’t see anything in front of her and could only hear her deep breathing. While walking, Qing Feng suddenly felt that her surrounding darken…