Chapter 36: Failing To Appreciate Favours (Part 2)
Everyone started to retire, as Qing Feng stood up, Yang Zhi Lan suddenly said, “Concubine Qing just entered the place a short while ago. Do stay behind and speak to Aijia.”
Qing Feng’s steps slips, indeed, what needs to come will definitely come. Yang Zhi Lan failed to keep Eldest Sister here so now she should be venting it out on her. Qing Feng coldly went back to her original position to sit down and did not fear much in her heart. She will adopt measures appropriate to the actual situation and do not think that the Empress Dowager is more terrifying than Yan Hong Tian.
Chen Zhen walked by Qing Feng’s side and looked at her. The complex look in her eyes made Qing Feng puzzled. It was not pity and neither was it rejoicing in her misfortune. That moment was too short of a time for Qing Feng to identify what emotions it was before she left.
Imperial Concubine Hui… Is it because of her extraordinary intelligence that got her the title? Qing Feng could not help but to be curious about this elegant and sophisticated female that one was not able to figure out.
“Concubine Qing, come closer to Aijia’s side.”
Qing Feng was still watching the retreating figure of Chen Zhen when Yang Zhi Lan gentle voice sounded behind. Qing Feng turned herself back and only realised that the people in the hall has already left, save for one old mama standing behind the Empress Dowager, the palace maids have all been brought away. Fu Ling who was standing behind also disappeared and was most likely also driven out of the hall.
Qing Feng walk to Yang Zhi Lan and stood by her side. Not before finding out what the Empress Dowager was thinking, Qing Feng lowered her head and her sights were courteously on Yang Zhi Lan’s waist and below, thus not offending her
Yang Zhi Lan secretly sized up this female beside her. Her body is as delicate as a willow, her creamy skin, the side of her face without the scars was so beautiful that it made one’s heart palpitate. Even though her head is bowed and she was looking down, it was neither servile nor overbearing and her conduct was natural and unrestrained. The Qing family in Hao Yue was not of blue blood but they were a family with a literary reputation. The upbringing of the daughters that they brought up should not be bad. Yang Zhi Lan felt that her performance so far was quite satisfactory and she said smilingly, “Sit down.”
Qing Feng complied her words and sat down.
The serving mama handed a cup of hot tea over as Yan Zhi Lan smilingly said, “Are you getting used to staying in the Palace?”
Qing Feng unenthusiastically replied, “Used to it.”
“Its good that you are used to it. Once a female enter the Palace, she will only live surrounded by the four walls. Aijia was afraid that you will be bored.”
Far more than being bored! Qing Feng’s scoffed in her heart. Yang Zhi Lan made her stay back not only to talk about these irrelevant stuff. Qing Feng hope that she would finish quickly as she wanted to leave this place as soon as possible to inquire about where did the East Empress Dowager brought her Elder Sister to.
Qing Feng was always silent and her brows are knitted. Yang Zhi Lan have been living in the Palace for a long time and read numerous number of people thus she know that she no longer have any patience and also did not want to go through the pleasantries. Yan Zhi Lan bluntly said, “Aijia understands that it is difficult for you sisters to come to Qiong Yue from Hao Yue and Aijia felt pain for you. Xuan-er and Xi Yan are childhood sweethearts and they have a good relationships thus marriage between them is a matter of time. Ling-er, that child is clever, for her and Xuan-er to take care of Xi Yan together, it will make Aijia feel assured.” She saw Lou Xi Yan growing up. He has the appearance of modest, easy-going and harmless but in reality he has his own thoughts and is hard to read and manipulate. It is not possible to stop him from marrying Qing Ling but the most important thing is to protect Xuan-er official wife status. It is hard to convince from Lou Xi Yan thus she could only start from the Qing sisters.
Take care together? The Empress Dowager meant… To let Princess Chao Yun and Elder Sister marry Lou Xi Yan together? For them as a non-local female it would not be possible to marry Lou Xi Yan as his official wife and be of the same rank with the Princess and marrying into the Lou family at the same time is considered a good alternative, but… It will wrong Elder Sister. Yang Zhi Lan saw her seriously considering, her mouth slightly curved. If Qing Ling married to Lou Xi Yan, it also meant that Qing Feng is related to this country Prime Minister and her position in the Palace will also be solidified. She wouldn’t to be so stupid not to grab on this big support!
Lightly sipping a mouthful of tea, Yan Zhi Lan softly sighed, “Ling-er able to receive Xi Yan’s affection and become the Prime Minister Lou’s concubine, it is her good fortune and also your good fortune. But you must know how to make good use of this blessing. The most important thing no matter what you do or live is to be clear to your heart and act cardinally.”
She wanted Elder Sister to be a concubine?! Qing Feng lifted her head and looked at Yang Zhi Lan and only saw the white jade teacup in her hands, looking relaxed as she sipped and appreciated her tea. The mouth showed a faint smile, even though she was dressed plainly and her words were gentle, but the look that she gave naturally showed her superiority.
Be clear to your heart and act cardinally! Qing Feng mocked herself, she finally understood. She really presumed too much. In this Imperial Family who is more noble than anything else, letting her be a concubine is already flattering to them! Qing Feng suddenly got up and look alertly towards Yan Zhi Lan, who was sitting on a wooden chair, and clearly said, “The Empress Dowager is right, we sisters never wanted to receive favour with the rich and powerful in the hope of any advancement. It’s just that Prime Minister Lou is the head of the family and the Prime Minister of a country and it’s not for women to decide on who he wants to marry.”
That word women was spoken louder by Qing Feng, with her eyes particularly looking at Yan Zhi Lan coldly. The meaning was implied clearly. Lou Xi Yan was not someone she can offend so she comes to trample on them sister. Don’t even think of it!
Suddenly it was like Qing Feng was a different person. Yang Zhi Lan was shocked for a moment and Su Mama, who was behind her, recovered and scolded lowly, “Insolent!”
This is considered insolent? Qing Feng sneered and gave a side bow before saying, “It is late, Qing Feng do not dare to continue disturbing the Empress Dowager’s rest and will retire.” She already understood the Empress Dowager’s mind and she will not be able to persuade her Elder Sister to be a concubine so that she have a better life in the Palace, thus staying behind any longer will be useless.
The Empress Dowager did not give any orders and she said she wanted to leave. In this entire Inner Palace, there was no one who dare to be so rude and simply lawless! Su Mama took a step forward and wanted to punish Qing Feng but Yang Zhi Lan lightly raise her hand to indicated her to withdraw.
Yang Zhi Lan have recovered and saw the arrogant and obstinate Qing Feng infront of her but she continue to give a kind smile and said, “You are tired too, retire then.”
Qing Feng turn away and walked off. Seeing her arrogant figure striding away, Su Momo could not help but spit out, “This Qing Feng really failing to appreciate favours.”
“Don’t mind it. The females who just enter the Palace, which one was not filled with arrogance.” Yang Zhi Lan did not even attach any importance to Qing Feng. It would be too easy to settle her but the most difficult was Qing Ling. Lou Su Xin came over to Xi Xia Palace to bring her out tonight, it must be because of Lou Xi Yan’s request. What is exactly so attractive about that female that made Lou Xi Yan so infatuated till like this?! Xuan-er… What should be done?
The night wind gradually picked up, sweeping up the humid weather, making it not refreshing. The lotus filled pond started to also sway with the wind. As one look from afar, one can see the stem bending so much as though it could be broken by the wind. It would seem that there is a possibility of a large storm coming. Many twigs were blown onto the paths. Chen Zhen lowered her head and kept quiet throughout the walk and not look at the greenery by the side of the roads. Just as she was about to step on it, Qu-er quickly came forwards and supported her arms and urgently said, “Your Ladyship, please be careful.” Her Ladyship usually drink lesser tea during the night, but in tonight banquet, she did not eat much and keep drinking tea and now she put on a face full of restlessness. Wu-er could not help but ask, “What is your Ladyship worrying about?”
Chen Zhen paced slowed down significantly as she was staring at the lotus leaves in the lake. She suddenly asked softly, “What do you think of Qing Feng?”
“She…” So the reason behind her Ladyship entire night of uneasiness was because of Qing Feng. Wu-er pondered for a while before she replied, “She has some qualities that make her stand out from the crowd.” She did not see such a female being so calm with a ruined face. It was heard that she disfigured her own face. How ruthless she has to be for it to be hurt like that? Just the thought of doing it with a knife on her face and her hands started trembling. Wu-er’s words were just spoken and Chen Zhen pace slowed down a bit and her body stiffen. Wu-er sense that she have spoken the wrong words and quickly consoled, “But your Ladyship should not need to be too worried. Even though Prime Minister Lou really married her sister Qing Ling and be her support, she is still non-local and will not shake your Ladyship position…”
Wu-er panic explanation did not widen Chen Zhen’s heart, instead it made her smile bleakly. Chen Zhen softly sighed and replied, “The Emperor favourite… Is exactly this standing out from the mass.” The soft voice was almost dispersed by the blowing wind as Wu-er face turn to a shade of white and she scolded herself stupid secretly. How can she forget her mistress character. Her Ladyship care the most of the Emperor, the socializing that she do normally was done to please the Emperor only. What status of power did her mistress care for? Wu-er anxiously spoke, “Your Ladyship, even though she stands out from the crowd, it will only a fresh perspective. After a long while, it would not last for long. Your position in the Emperor’s heart is not a place that anyone can replace!”
Irreplaceable? Chen Zhen mouth hooked up and a smile filled with bitterness appeared. Didn’t she replace Imperial Concubine Shu and became the Emperor’s most favoured female in this entire Imperial Palace? In this Imperial Palace, which female is not irreplaceable? The gentle wind started to make a mess of her hair near her ears and Chen Zhen softly remarked, “Look at the skies, it seems that the weather will change. Lets go back.”
Wu-er look up the skies and saw the dark night like a the thick black ink from the ink-slab. She could not see the clouds but heard the muffled rumblings of the thunder. During the early summer, isn’t it common to have a rainy night? Wu-er did not understand why her mistress is in such a melancholy mood. It was only the same kind of rain…
The kapok tree in the courtyard of the Xi Xia Palace has faded and the snow white veils drift with the wind. Under such a night, such a landscape would be unique but unfortunately Fu Ling did not have the energy to appreciate the view. The Empress Dowager made Qing Feng remain behind to talk and she was chased out of the hall early on. Princess Chao Yun was beloved flesh and blood of the West Empress Dowager! For the Princess, the West Empress Dowager will dare to do whatever it takes. Qing Feng is still remain in the Palace, how would she cope with it? The more Fu Ling thought, the more anxious she got and she kept looking towards the hall. She initially thought that the West Empress Dowager will not let the matter drop so easily but she did think that in time of less than half a cup of tea, Qing Feng will be out.
Although Fu Ling did not heard what the West Empress Dowager said to Mistress, but looking at her depressed expression and her eyes burning with rage, it must not be anything good. Fu Ling did not dare to ask more and quickly followed her out of Xi Xia Palace.
Both of them walked out of Xi Xia Palace barely when the rain started to fall from the skies. At first the rain was not big but Qing Feng’s health just got better, if she get caught up in the rain all the way to Qing Feng Hall, afraid that she will be seriously ill.
“Mistress, you should go back to Xi Xia Palace for shelter from the rain. This servant will go back for an umbrella.” Fu Ling pull Qing Feng to walk back but Qing Feng was unwilling to head back. She squinted her eyes and found that there was a small pavilion in a short distance and replied, “There is a pavilion up ahead, lets head there for shelter and wait for the rain to stop before continuing.” She would rather be rained upon then to return to Xi Xia Palace.
The rain started to get heavier and the small pavilion was built for decorative purposes and could not shelter them much from the rain. Unfortunately Qing Feng did not wait for Fu Ling advise and lifted her skirt and ran to the small pavilion. Fu Ling could only follow her and hid in the small pavilion.
In the small little pavilion, both of them stood there quietly, neither spoke anything and their ears were filled with the pitter-pattering sound and very often there would be a flash of lighting bursts. The night wind and rain kept blowing in and the pavilion was only that big and there was nowhere to hide thus both of their skirts were wet. Fu Ling cautiously look at Qing Feng, she stood with her back facing her. That slender back was very straight and atmosphere was like she was few thousand li away, the cold rain hit her but she was motionless.
The rain was dense and light and did not get heavier. But it would also seem like there were any signs of stopping too, thus this rain will continue for quite some time.
“This servant… Had better go back to get that umbrella.”
“Fu Ling?” When Qing Feng recovered, Fu Ling was already joggling towards Qing Feng Hall and it was futile to stop her, thus Qing Feng did not bother about managing her.
The East Empress is Lou Xi Yan’s paternal aunt and for her to come that sudden, what is her exact intentions? Is Elder Sister still in the Palace? Or has she already left safely? She did not see Princess Chao Yun today, what kind of female is she is? If finial there was no other choice but to marry Princess Chao Yun and attend to one husband, will Elder Sister be bullied? There are numerous questions in her heart but she could only guess blindly without any alternatives. Qing Feng’s heart started to get more restless and she did not want to wait in this small pavilion thus she lifted her skirts and walked out into the rain.
After she exited the small pavilion, Qing Feng only realised that the rain was actually heavier than she has expected. Her skirt has already pasted itself to her pants and she can’t even open the legs up to walk. The rain water went into her eyes, making Qing Feng unable to see the road ahead clearly. She wanted to fasten her pace to reach Qing Feng Hall but she accidentally trip over her dress and fall forward. When Qing Feng was in a state of shock, there was a cold and different voice with a slight helpless tone that sounded by her ear, “Do you walk without seeing the road?”
Qing Feng was surprised thus she suddenly raise her head and saw that pair of indifferent eyes again, “It’s you?”