Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 18
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Chapter 18: Mysterious Stranger (Part 1)
During the warmth of the spring sun all the flowers bloom, a thrush which was just learning to fly was nestling in the branches above the chaos and finally landed on the tree branch just in front of the small window. It started chirping, as if it was telling the people behind the window to come out and view the wonderful spring scene. The sunlight shone through the small window on the the cold stone floor and also on the weak body. Even though the sunlight was warm, the body was still shivering slightly with eyes closed as she has yet to wake up.
“Bang!” The tightly closed cell door emitted a sound, alarming the bird at the window that it flew off and also awakened the still sleeping Qing Feng.
Qing Feng open her eyes to see a sheet of whiteness and could not see anything clearly. After staring at the sheet of white light till her eyes hurt, Qing Feng then used her hands to cover her eyes. The scenes from last night flashed across her mind. She is currently in the Palace, in prison! Qing Feng immediately sat up but perhaps she got up too quickly, her chest suddenly pained and Qing Feng started to cough violently. With every cough, her chest thrashed, that kind of pain almost made her wish to continue sleeping and never wake.
Qing Feng difficultly caught her breath when a “Kuang Dang” sound was heard. A bowl of porridge was thrown into the cell through the small opening at the bottom of the cell door. Because of the large force, much was spilt out. She has not eaten anything for a day and night, not even a sip of water. Qing Feng struggled up and ran over to pick up the bowl of porridge to eat. The porridge was not even at her mouth when a stench of rotten whiff could be smelt, making the already thirsty throat retched up.
This food is something that even dogs will not eat. In this huge Palace, could they not even afford a bowl of plain porridge? Or was it that the people held here are worst than dogs! Qing Feng sneered and was about to throw the rotten food away when the cold female voice again sounded, “If you don’t want to die then you must stuff your stomach up!”
It was the voice from yesterday night! Qing Feng’s hand which were holding the bowl shook and she quickly turn her head over. The first thing she saw was not a human figure but hand hugging one of the trunks of the wooden barriers. The wooden barriers were very close to one another and could only allow a hand to pass through. The prison cell she was located in was on the top right and there was a palm-size window where the sunlight could pass through. As the window is too small, the light that shone into the cell was weak and the surrounding areas of the cell did not have additional windows which made it even darker. If that female did not make a noise, Qing Feng will not notice there there was a person at all.
So it turns out that there was a fence between two prison cells. Qing Feng was still nervous but as compare to yesterday, she was much calmer. Placing the bowl down, Qing Feng slowly approach the direction of the fence and squinted her eyes, trying to see the female there.
After searching for a long time, Qing Feng finally saw a shadow at the dark corner. Under such circumstances, it was hard to differentiate if that was a female or male much less able to see clearly her looks and age. Qing Feng could only guess that she should be a middle aged female around forty years of age with her vague stature and voice.
That female was currently holding a bow and her had was as if it was buried into the porridge and poured the porridge into her mouth. And at the end she licked the edges of the bowl clean, as if it was the most delicious thing in the world. Qing Feng’s brow furrowed as she looked that the rancid smell of the rotten porridge and then back at the woman at the corner. Her hands that were holding the bowl tightened and she threw the bowl to the side of the prison door, spilling the porridge all over the floor and also made a hole in the bowl.
The female at the corner shuddered and turned around to look at Qing Feng. Qing Feng stared at her coldly and thought about how this female scared the hell out of her yesterday night. A night of terror. With an unknown anger emerged and Qing Feng coldly asked, “What do you exactly want?”
The female also looked at her for a long time and Qing Feng could feel the cold sight upon her. Just as she thought that the female will ignore her, the female suddenly laughed and replied in a neither heavy or light tone, “Once you are here, there will not be a chance for you to get out alive. But you will not die immediately so slowly endure it.”
Her current look was indeed quirky but as compared to the madness of yesterday night, she is not so different from a normal person now. Qing Feng started to get curious about this person and took a step forward and asked, “Who are you?”
“Who am I?” The female coldly laughed but she did not continue her words.
Even though she cannot see her expression, Qing Feng did not missed the tone of disdain and unwillingness. The story behind this person must not be ordinary.
Not sure if it was hungry or tiredness or some other reasons, Qing Feng felt a bit dizzy and the waves of pain in her chest reminded her how ruthless the blow Yan Hong Tian gave. Qing Feng did not forget how crazy the female was the night before and retreated a few steps. Seated with her back against the cell door, she casually asked, “Have you been here for a long time?”
“Not long.” The female was silent for a while. Just as Qing Feng thought that she will not speak any more, she replied softly, “Only seven or eight years.”
Only seven or eight years? She was crouching and hiding in the shadows. Qing Feng could only vaguely see that she is really thin and the prisoner clothes were tattered and dirty till the original colour cannot be seen. Her dishevelled loose hair was all over her back and covered her facial features.
Seven or eight years…
The spilt rotten porridge emitted a stench of bad smell with the always dark cold prison cell, it would never be warm here or hope. Seven or eight years… Perhaps she will not even last for seven or eight days. If she were to spend the rest of her life here, she would rather die!
The metal door suddenly moved a little and the small square opening below once again open. The person outside paused and he seems to have seen the spilled bowl of rotten porridge on the floor
“You don’t want to eat, then don’t eat for these few days.” The man angrily shouted from outside the door. The corners of Qing Feng’s lips raised not caring about what he has just said. This kind of rotten food, she would rather starved to death than to eat.
Just as Qing Feng was laughing arrogantly, the guard standing outside brutally kicked her. Even though it was not kicked directly at her, but she was leaning against the cell door and that force from the kick went through the door an onto her chest. Qing Feng felt that her surroundings turned dark and a bout of heat flowed out of her throat.
Qing Feng gently raise her hands to wipe her lips and the dark red blood stain her fingertips. Qing Feng frowned, it seems that she will die in this prison is not even seven or eight days.