Chapter 28: To Be Referred As Sisters?
The Empress? What did she come here for?
During the Palace banquet, she was only a “gift” and was demoted to a palace maid. Xin Yue Ning was already so aggressive, thinking of ways to ensure her demise and now she is conferred a Concubine title, how would Xin Yue Ning let her off. Qing Feng looked at Fu Ling who was standing by her side and lightly pat her shoulder before whispering, “There is a space for clothing behind the curtain, you can withdraw there first.” She can tell that Fu Ling is reluctant to stay, in that case it would be better for her to hide so that she will not be dragged into any trouble.
Qing Feng used a hand to prop herself up with the bed frame and struggled to get up in order to walk towards the screen. These few steps has already used up all her energy and she did not notice that from the moment that she told Fu Ling to withdraw, a look of surprise crossed Fu Ling’s eyes and she was… Touched.
Although Qing Feng do not know Palace etiquettes, but as she was born in a noble family, she is aware of how to receive when the Empress arrive. In order to avoid Xin Yue Ning to find trouble for her when she comes in, Qing Feng walk out in front of the screen and knelt down. As she has not gotten out of the bed for a long time, when her knees bend, her entire body almost fell flat to the ground when a slender arm reached out and held on her shoulders.
Qing Feng looked up and saw Fu Ling kneeling beside her with that familiar calm expression and she did not release the hand that was supporting her. Why did she not leave? Two of them look at one another but before there was any opportunity to say anything, a golden embroidered shoe has already stepped into the hall.
“Tens of thousands fortunes for the Empress.” (It’s a form of greeting.)
Qing Feng’s head was bowed but she was not thinking of how Xin Yue Ning will make things difficult for her. Instead she was thinking about Fu Ling who was beside her, she was indeed someone who is soft-hearted. For her to achieve such level of indifference, how much deception and disappointment did she experienced?
“Younger sister is unwell so please don’t stand on ceremony and quickly get up.” Even though the bright and clear female voice was not warm, but it was not piercing to the ears. Qing Feng lifted her head and saw that Xin Yue Ning did not bring many palace maids and mama as she expected. There was only a twenty odd years old young female. She possess a tall lean figure with a gentle yet sober temperament who just stood there quietly, yet does not seem to be like a servant.
Fu Ling supported Qing Feng to the wooden chair beside for a seat while Xin Yue Ning took a look at the decorations in the hall. She lightly shook her head and put on a deeply sorrowful face and smiled, “To think that three years have passed but this Shu Yun Palace did not change at all, the Chinese peonies still bloomed that well. It’s no wonder. That year, in order to help find the best Chinese peonies for Imperial Concubine Shu, the Emperor has sent people all over the six kingdoms. The memories are still vivid but it has turn into Qing Feng Hall, it is indeed the new generation replacing the old one.”
The words sounded emotional but ridicule can be heard between the lines. Qing Feng felt impatient and softly asked, “For what reason does the Empress come here for?”
The corners of Xin Yue Ning’s mouth spreads as she said, “Bengong heard that younger sister health is badly affected thus made this special trip to see you.”
Since when were they this affectionate to each other? Qing Feng remain calm even though she could not unveil Xin Yue Ning’s hidden intentions and instead politely reply, “It’s only a small cold. Dare not trouble your Ladyship.”
Sighing softly, Xin Yue Ning laughed softly, “The Emperor has already conferred you as a Concubine. This Inner Palace is now your home and since Bengong manages the Inner Palace, naturally will also take great care of you. Younger sister need not stand so much ceremony and refer one another as sisters. There are so many rules and regulations in the Inner Palace, wait till your health is better, Bengong will let Shui Xin come over to guide you on the palace rules. Bengong may be harsh but is all bark and no bite, only afraid that you have carelessly offended those vile characters without knowing.”
To be referred as sisters? Qing Feng wrinkled her nose, she only have Eldest Sister and Mo-er, these two sisters. Xin Yue Ning today’s performance and that of the banquet was vastly different but the tone of superiority and contempt for others are still the same. Qing Feng sighed and replied, “It is indeed that I oddly often meet monsters and demons.”
Xin Yue Ning’s face instantly turn cold. Fu Ling was secretly scared and handed Qing Feng the tea next to her before lightly shaking her head. Qing Feng curled her lips and did not continue to talk. After drinking a sip of tea, Qing Feng then replied, “Thanking the Empress for reminding.”
“It’s easy to see the Underworld King but the little demons are hard to deal with. Younger sister should be even more careful. Bengong still needs to go to Imperial Concubine Hui’s palace so younger sister must rest well and recover quicker. The Emperor like you this much, you must live up to his divine grace.” Xin Yue Ning’s expression was still not good and it seems that she is in no mood to continue with her, thus got up and walk out the hall.
“Respectfully sending the Empress off.”
Shui Xin follow behind Xin Yue Ning, when she stepped out of the hall, she glance upon the female beside Qing Feng. She actually dare to step forward to stop when Qing Feng was insulting and Qing Feng actually listen to her. The clothes that she was wearing was what low ranked palace maid wore, why would she appear in Qing Feng Hall? Who is she?
Feeling a gaze upon her, Fu Ling looked up and crossed Shui Xin vision. Both of them watched one another for a moment before Shui Xin smiled at her and turned to walk out of the hall.
Fu Ling’s brow firmly knitted. That female just now should be Shui Xin, the Empress’s dowry female official who has been with the Empress since she entered the Palace for about ten years and is now the close female official of the Empress. She did not have any interactions with her but heard all about her. From the two Empress Dowager to the palace maids and eunuchs were all full of praise for her and today, she was indeed gentle and elegant. But that smile of hers, what does it mean?
Qing Feng propped her chin up and shook her head while smiling, “Did not think that trouble will come so quickly.” The brows of Fu Ling, who was beside her, were almost knitted to a knot. After staying in the palace for so long, she knows that the Empress’s actions were not done for no rhyme or reason. “You can leave. I will get Gao Jing to transfer you back to the female medical courtyard.”
Qing Feng was about to call Lan-er who was outside when Fu Ling suddenly said, “This servant is willing to stay at Qing Feng Hall.”
Qing Feng was stunned, “Why?”