Chapter 16: Banished To The Imperial Prisons (Part 2)
After Lou Xi Yan and Zhou Qing left, Yan Hong Tian’s eyes coldly swept to the female standing quietly by the door. The moonlight shone from behind her, casting a long shadow of her slender figure. Different from the initial look of hatred and revengeful, different from the prudent and trepidation that she just displayed. She stood there silently with an indifferent expression on her face. Yan Hong Tian hated that expression. She should be afraid, should feel lost, should be fearful but not indifferent!
Gao Jing, who was always waiting by the door, respectfully replied, “Here.”
“Send someone to Hao Yue to verify the matter, if there was anything false in her statement, immediately execute her!” The heartless words were spoken by the ice cold voice but Yan Hong Tian was still unable to see a trace of panic on that face like he wanted.
“Yes.” Gao Jing quickly turn to Ming Ze, who was standing outside the hall, and said, “Send her to the Imperial Prison!”
Ming Ze hesitated for a bit and the guard beside her replied, “Yes.”
With her back straight, Qing Feng turned and strode out of the hall and did not even look at Yan Hong Tian, she only left him a proud isolated view of her back. A faint smile crosses his eyes, the Qing family sisters are quite interesting. If she is still alive when the truth of the matter is verified, he’d be interested to play with this sharp clawed kitten.
Three long shadows, one in front of the other, walked along the dark Palace road. ZiShi (modern timing: 11pm – 1am) has passed and the silence at the Palace Courtyard was far more bleak and dreadful. Except for the sound of rustling of the leaves cause by the blowing win, they could only hear one another breathing. Ming Ze slightly frowned. With his current martial arts abilities, it is not hard for him to hear that the breathing of the female in front of him is very rapid and disorderly. With her haphazard steps and gradually crooked shoulder, Ming Ze concluded that she has a problem.
Just as he expected, Qing Feng suddenly stop after taking a few steps. With one hand propped against the wall, she slowly squatted down. It was already late, thus the guard, who was escorting her with Ming Ze, impatiently step forward and kick the squatting QIng Feng before saying, “Walk faster, don’t play dead!”
The guard did not use much force but Qing Feng fell onto the floor and took a long time to stand up. Just as the guard wanted to kick her the second time, Ming Ze came forward and crouched beside her. Only seeing her already sick face, pale lips and gradually shorter breathe with a thin layer of sweat on her forehead, Ming Ze frowned. She do not look like a sick person is normally like, but her current situation and identity does not allow her to be treated by a physician.
The guard from behind urged lowly and Ming Ze seized Qing Feng’s arm to pull her up.
After Eldest Sister left the Imperial Palace safely, Qing Feng’s heart finally settled and now the pain in her lungs has reach to the point of unbearable. For her to leave the hall, she has already taken most of her energy up. Dry lips and scorching hot lungs made her wish that she has fainted so that the pain will not torment her any more. But the Heavens did not pity her even in such great pain, that made her tremble, her mind was still clear.
Her shoulders was suddenly gripped and the force behind it make Qing Feng recover her senses. When she looked up, she again saw that pair of indifferent but compassionate pair of eyes. Its him… That guard!
His back is still facing towards the moonlight, Qing Feng was unable to see his looksand she also did not have the mood to observe others. Even though she stood up, she could only lean again the Palace wall. There was a low sigh beside her ear when the guard suddenly reach his hands out, grabbed the back of her robes and pushed her forward. From other’s view, it seems that she was carried forward by the guard but in fact his other hand was holding her shoulder firmly and supported her when she walk.
Qing Feng was somewhat surprise. Why… Did he help her?
She looked toward that pair of eyes but he did not look straight at her, instead keeping his sights forward. Qing Feng wanted to ask for his name but as there were others around, Qing Feng was afraid that she will bring him trouble thus she did not ask.
With the support of Ming Ze, Qing Feng moved forward with great difficulty. The three took about half an incense stick time (1 incense stick time = 30 mins) to reach a stone house before stopping. The surroundings were dark and Qing Feng did not know where is it located in the Palace.
Two lower ranked guards in green stood in front of the door. After seeing that it was Ming Ze and the rest, they let him through after asking a few questions.
Behind the stone doors, there was a large covered area which was lighted by two torches but the area was darker than outside. In the middle of the area, a male was seated there. The other guard who was escorting Qing Feng went forward with a smile, “Zhang Daren (title of respect toward superiors or anyone of higher status), you are on duty today!”
Zhang Chen Yang turn around and his eyes past the guard greeting in front, onto the female that was carried by guard Ming Ze. That female was dress as a palace maid, her face was as white as a sheet and under the light, the two deep scars looked hideous. Zhang Chen Yang asked cautiously, “Who is she? Why is she sent to the Imperial Prisons?” If it was the usual palace maids, it would usually be the eunuchs or mama who will bring them over. But this female was someone who brought here by the Imperial Guards, he has to cross-examine carefully as the Imperial Prison is not like other places!
The guards quickly step forward and replied with laughter, “She is a tribute from Hao Yue. It was said that the Emperor wanted Miss Qing Ling from the Qing family and she is the impersonator Qing Feng, the second daughter of the Qing family. The Emperor has sent someone to verify with Hao Yue and she will be held in the Imperial Prisons. It is indeed true, she will be a dead person!”
“So I see.” Zhang Chen Yang gave a clear nod and he understood that this woman’s face is disfigured and have committed that much offences that even if she did not die in the end, she will not have the opportunity to climb up again. If one does not have a beautiful face in the Inner Palace meant that one do not have the qualification to fight for favour! Zhang Chen Yang loudly ordered, “Someone come and take her to the dark rooms.”
Ming Ze’s face slightly changed. There are differences between the Imperial Prisons and the Ministry of Justice’s prisons. The former was managed by the Emperor and the two Empress Dowagers. Those in the Palace, from the concubines to the servants, as long as they commit a mistake, they may be sent to the Imperial Prisons. Some may leave in one or two days, some will be imprison till death, thus Zhang Chen Yang asked such questions. The dark rooms are the deepest and most ghastly part of the prison, for Zhang Chen Yang to hold her there, it would seem to him that she will not be able to emancipate herself in the future.
“Yes.” Two green clad guards came forward and stood on either side of Qing Feng. Without the slightest pity, both of them dragged her towards the furtherest prison cell.
Qing Feng was so weak now that she just let them drag her forward. Ming Ze slowly recovered his line of sight and turned to walk out of the Imperial Prison. With her such a weak body and the merciless and heartless prison, perhaps he will not be seeing her ever again.
The green clad guard did not have any tender or protective feelings females as once both of them reached the last prison cell, he open it up and pushed her into it. Qing Feng fell to the ground in a bending position (on her hand and knees) and from behind her, a “bang” sound was heard indicated that the heavy prison cell doors were shut.
Qing Feng lay on the ice cold floor motionlessly. To her the pain at her palm and knees does not matters. In fact the coldness from the floor help her burning lungs to feel better.
Sitting quietly on the floor, Qing Feng felt that her body became colder and her pale lips started to smile. Perhaps… She will die in this prison! It would be good if she died, she will then be able to be reunited with her parents. Eldest Sister and Youngest Sister are alive so she is able to be accountable to her parents.
Just when Qing Feng closed her eyes tiredly, an ice cold hand suddenly grab onto her ankles tightly. With a sudden pull, that force has dragged here all the way to a dark area, towards hell. The panic made Qing Feng scream.