And they both meet!!! 😀
Chapter 27: Trust (Part 3)
During early summer at noon, the sunlight penetrated through the foliage on both sides of the palace roads. When it shone on anyone, it would not be scorching hot but still remained dazzling. Fu Ling’s head was slightly lowered as she silently followed the Gonggong, who was walking in front. She did not make any inquiries on where she will be taken to, not because she doesn’t care but because even if she ask it would be useless. If the destination was a place that could not be told, her questions will not bring her any answers but make others feel burden, so why bother?
The Laundry Bureau was the furthest courtyard in the Inner Palace, they have walked so far and only just stopped in front of a palace hall. Fu Ling lifted her head to look at the palace door and could recognise that this was Shu Yun Palace, where Imperial Concubine Shu’s Palace. After Imperial Concubine Shu died due to a difficult delivery, no one has been residing there. When she saw the palace plaque indicated “Qing Feng Hall” in large new characters, she could not help but secretly sighed. That year Imperial Concubine Shu was the only favoured one in the entire Inner Palace, which was so noble and respectable, but now after she is gone for less than three years, not even the Emperor, but afraid that not many eunuchs and the palace maids would have remembered her.
When Fu Ling walked into the hall with her head down, a young female came up to her and secretly sized her up before asking politely, “Are you older sister Fu Ling?”
Older sister? The palace maids are also divided into third, sixth and ninth grades. Looking at her light blue palace uniform and accessories, it can be seen that she was one of the palace maids closer to one of the mistresses. Even though her rank is not as high as a female attendant, but there was no need to call her, a low ranked palace maid, as older sister? Fu Ling was filled with doubt as she cautiously replied, “This servant is indeed the one.”
As she kept her head down, Lan-er could not clearly see her looks and after hearing herself calling her older sister, she also did not show any signs of surprise or take any advantage of the verbal comments. She has a calm temperament and humble attitude thus should be very good to get along with. After all she is a specifically requested palace maid by Concubine Qing and would be a favourite. By pleasing her, in the future her life would be significantly better to get by. Putting on a smile, Lan-er smilingly said, “I am Lan-er, older sister please come with me.”
The heart that was as calm as a lake the entire time started to feel waves forming. Fu Ling quietly speculated, when she was in the female medical courtyard, she have provided diagnosis to a number of unfavoured Talents (fifth-ranked palace lady) and Beauties (fourth-ranked palace lady) and it was never her turn to treat Jieyus (婕妤 – third-ranked palace lady). After she went to the Laundry Bureau, it is impossible to have any contact with any mistresses. Who exactly wanted to see her? Fu Ling did not have time to think in detail as Lan-er has brought her in front of a big screen and softly respond to the other side of the screen, “Your Ladyship, older sister Fu Ling has arrived.”
Even though she doesn’t understand what was going on, Fu Ling still acted in accordance to the palace etiquette and knelt down to greet, “This servant, Fu Ling, greets your Ladyship.”
“Lan-er, you can withdraw.” A muffled female voice was heard from the room. As the sound was too soft, Fu Ling almost could not hear her words but Lan-er who was standing beside her, bowed before retreating out of the room.
The person inside did not speak for quite some time. In the big hall, it was so quiet that she could only hear her own breathing and Fu Ling felt her heart beats increase which was a never known type of fear. Its a good thing that the person inside did not let her wait for very long before saying, “Fu Ling, come in here.”
“Yes.” This time the voice sounded lightly louder and Fu Ling felt that it was familiar. However she could not remember where she heard it before and did not dare to delay for too long. Fu Ling walked through pass the screen and lifted layers of curtains and stood at the corner.
“Come over and give me a hand.” That female voice, quite pressed for breath, sounded again. Fu Ling lifted her head and looked towards the bed and saw a white-clad female clutching the bed frame on one hand and the other hand holding on to the bedside, trying to stand up. Her black hair scattered down and her white clothes made her face look even more paler. That pair of eyebrows, proud nose and delicate lips were so pretty that even her side view is beautiful to alarming proportions.
It’s her? Until the female turned and look at her, the other side of her face with the hideous scars were seen, Fu Ling only then dare to confirm that she is Qing Feng. No wonder this place is called Qing Feng Hall. Fu Long sighed secretly, life is indeed not for one to speculate. Half a month ago, she was a “gift” that was sent over by Hao Yue for peace and now she is a high and almighty Concubine.
Fu Ling stood at the corner motionlessly staring at her, with eyes filled with unconcealed surprise. Qing Feng could not help but laughed, “Was this so surprising?” It seems that her turning into a Concubine overnight has indeed scare a number of people.
After Fu Ling recovered, she lowered her head as usual and walk toward to supported her before respectfully replied, “This servant know her sins.”
After standing up, Qing Feng frowned and look at the female standing at her side. She was unable to read what she was thinking through her calm face but she could feel the alienation from Fu Ling respectful reply. If she only want one more palace maid, why would she have specially picked her? Qing Feng originally thought of walking to the lounge chair by the window to sit but now she changed her mind.
Qing Feng once again sat down before holding on to Fu Ling wrist to pull her over and sat her down together. Fu Ling was surprised and wanted to get up but Qing Feng grabbed her hands tightly and did not release. She did not dare to struggle and after some deliberation, Fu Ling eventually sat down.
It was only when Fu Ling obediently sat down then Qing Feng released her hands. She remained silent and Qing Feng did not beat about the bush and directly said, “You are the first one I saw when I came to this Imperial Palace and also the first one that did not flee from me but lend me a helping hand. I hope that you will stay by my side but of course if you are unwilling, I can help you to to go back to the female medical courtyard. I know you were a female medical practitioner before.”
Fu Ling continued to sit quietly and look indifferent, as if what Qing Feng said did not affect her any bit. She replied respectfully but coldly, “This servant is only a lowly palace maid with average medical skills. Staying here will not be able to resolve any grief for your Ladyship.” She helped her out of the compassion of her heart, not because to cling to the powerful. If she wanted to do so, she would not need to be a lowly palace maid at the age of twenty.
Qing Feng laughed as she asked, “You think I keep you by my side is to get you to do what?”
Fu Ling in fact was unable to guess the reason for Qing Feng to keep her and neither does she want to think about it. She just remained silent.
When Fu Ling was silent again, Qing Feng did not get annoyed. She lean gently at the head of the bed and ask randomly, “Fu Ling, in the entire Imperial Palace, is there someone you can trust?”
Fu Ling’s heart fluttered and her different eyes showed some traces of waves. Even if it passed quickly, it did not escape from Qing Feng’s eyes. With one hand propping her forehead, Qing Feng patiently wait for her answer. After quite a long while, Fu Ling whispered back, “No.”
Qing Feng shook her head and chuckled, “Really sorrowful.” Even it was said with a smile, the words and tone indicated dissatisfaction and sarcasm towards the Imperial Palace was not disguised one bit. Fu Ling’s lips could not help but hook up slightly. This female is unyielding and straightforward which is considered unique in the Palace. However, one will not know how long can this uniqueness can be maintained.
“The most distressing thing is that I am being caught up in this misfortune but…” Qing Feng paused and her clear eyes looked towards Fu Ling who was sitting beside. Qing Feng whispered, “I don’t want it like this.”
What does that sentence mean? Does it mean to trust oneself or to tell her that she will be absolutely loyal? The word trust is easy to say but it is the most valuable gift in the world. Fu Ling is unable to guess her thoughts and do not know how to answer, but Qing Feng’s expression was similar to hers, their sharp gaze made others hard to escape. Fu Ling mumbled back, “This servant is dull, don’t know…”
“Fu Ling.” She looked pained thus Qing Feng have already guessed that she either pretending to be foolish or rejecting her. Qing Feng interrupted Fu Ling’s words and frankly said, “There is a possibility that I will once again be imprison in the Imperial Prisons and in the next time, I would not be as lucky to be able to survive it. Do think about it carefully before deciding to stay or not. I will wait.”
“The Empress has arrived!”
Qing Feng hardly finished her words when the eunuch’s sharp voice from the outside of the hall sounded. It sounded piercing but everyone could hear it clearly.
Qing Feng’s brows firmly knitted. What did she come here for?