Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 43
Chapter 43: This Is Considered As Seduction (Part 1)
The small booklet in his hands was slowly brought down and behind it was a pair of deep black eyes. It was slightly amused like a black panther watching its prey and it was of no hurry to devour it but the prey absolutely have no escape. Xiao Yu could not help but to have goosebumps everywhere but that “prey” is taking a leisurely pace towards the person who was seated on a higher level.
Walking to the front of the large table, Qing Feng stop her steps and gave a proper bow, “Chenqie greets the Emperor.”
Chenqie? The sudden obedience and colloquialism made Yan Hong Tian surprised. After what happened yesterday, he thought that what she did was to vent her anger and since he was in a good mood today, he could play with her but he did not think that she has some other tricks up her sleeves? Holding a hand towards her, Yan Hong Tian softly said, “Come here.”
Qing Feng got up and magnanimously placed her hand onto Yan Hong Tian’s palm. By allowing his hands to hold her, Qing Feng knows that Yan Hong Tian’s eyes was observing her. Leaning lightly on the throne, she deliberately did not look into his eyes and set her sight onto the study table until her sight landed on a half-finished tea. She gently breathed in before smiling, “Qishan’s jasmine accompanied with early spring’s green tea. The Emperor do have a lot of good things here.”
It was rare that Yan Hong Tian has such patience like today. With one hand overbearingly embraced her, he looked at the astonished Xiao Yu and laughed, “Xiao Yu, it seems that you have met your soul mate.”
Even though the tea was taken care of by the palace maids and was still warm thus there was nothing strange about being able to smell the tea, but being able to know the mixture of tea by merely looking and smelling was indeed not easy. The curious thing was that she was even able to tell the origin of the tea and when was it picked. Xiao Yu felt some sense of excitement and wanted to see how much knowledge she has and thus turned around to pour a cup of tea and served it to Qing Feng, smilingly, “May your Ladyship try this servant’s handiwork.”
Qing Feng took the tea cup and took a light sip. Facing Xiao Yu’s awaiting eyes, she replied, “Spring water is from Spring Equinox and tea is picked during the Summer Solstice. It is indeed a good tea.”
She… Only took a sip but could say everything exactly as it is? Xiao Yu felt amazed and also felt some sort of admiration.
The female beside him lowered her head to drink the tea with a leisurely look. She seemed to have forgotten her “presumptuous” action she did this morning. The hand which was ringed around Qing Feng’s waist tightened and Yan Hong Tian coldly said, “You sure have a lot of guts.”
After finishing the tea in her hands, Qing Feng then only slowly raised her head and looked into Yan Hong Tian’s eyes for the first time after entering the Imperial Study. Qing Feng’s eyebrow slightly furrowed but her lips raise, “Not sure to which issue is the Emperor referring to?” There were indeed too many gutsy things that she did.
She even put up a show of fake alarm that Yan Hong Tian felt amused but he did not show it on his face, “You uprooted the peonies?”
“Yes.” Qing Feng nodded her head.
“I don’t like it.” The tea was finished and Qing Feng wanted to place the cup back on the table but her waist was enveloped by someone very tightly. Her pupil moved a little and Qing Feng place the empty cup from her hand to Yan Hong Tian’s hand. She sat on the armrest of the throne and laughed, “Moreover… If it is not so, how would the Emperor summon me?”
There was never one who dared to sit on his dragon seat. Even the most favoured Imperial Concubine Shu and Imperial Concubine Hui also didn’t dare, let alone place an empty cup onto his hand. She indeed have a lot of guts. Comparing the obvious hatred that she previously had, Yan Hong Tian rather like how she is now. She seems to have found the method of surviving in the Palace. Gently pinching her chin, Yan Hong Tian laughed, “You wanted to see Zhen?”
“All the female in the Inner Palace, which one do not want to see the Emperor?” Qing Feng went along with Yan Hong Tian’s words but she did not admit that she wanted to see him. Yan Hong Tian laughed out loud as he was a bit fascinated by the appropriateness of her answer.
The delicate skin under Yan Hong Tian’s touch made him very satisfied. With his thumb caressing her chin, Yan Hong Tian said softly into her ears, “You change your attitude too quickly. It is very easy for others to guess what you are plotting.”
The warm breath at her ears made it look like a pair of lovers whispering but Qing Feng felt a shiver up her body. Silently taking a deep breath, Qing Feng lean forward just like he did and place her lips close to his ears, laughing softly, “Does the Emperor care about what I am conspiring?”
Yan Hong Tian laughed again. He certainly did not care about what a female is conspiring. What she plots, he definitely knew well. But now he has a different idea. With regards to the Inner Palace structure, there should be a change. With his arms around her waist and placing her in his lap to hug, Yan Hong Tian meaningfully chuckled, “Zhen likes… Female who are a little scheming.”
His words… What did it mean? Qing Feng’s heart speculated Yan Hong Tian’s thought when suddenly her hands ring around Yan Hong Tian’s neck and in a rare tender moment, she exclaimed, “The Emperor is willing… Stay at Qing Feng Hall tonight.”
She is indeed someone who can be taught. Yan Hong Tian’s lips captured a delightful smile and place a kiss on her rosy lips before loosening his grip on her hand. Yan Hong Tian clearly ordered, “Xiao Yu, send her Ladyship back.”
Qing Feng got up and deliberately arrange her dress and slightly bowed. She did not continue pressing for an answer and left like she drifted away.
Walking out of the Imperial Study, Xiao Yu still continued walking with her. Qing Feng stop her steps and said, “You do not need to continue sending me off. I want to walk around.”
The female standing behind did not leave and after a while, she could not help but spoke, “There is one thing that Xiao Yu does not understand and would like to ask your Ladyship.”
Qing Feng turned around and smiled, “You wanted to ask me, by just taking a sip, how would I know that the spring water is from Spring Equinox and tea is picked during the Summer Solstice?
Xiao Yu also did not continue conversing and complied, “Yes.”
“The water that was used for the tea was not completely boiled, thus it must be an extremely pure spring water that is used and after the tea is infused, you added a shao (modern : centilitre) of water inside then blend and adjusted the temperature of the tea. This will help in removing the harsh taste of jasmine. Dew is also known as heavenly water and should not be heated. The dew from summer lotus would feel refreshing in the heat, thus I presume that the spoonful of water is that.”
Xiao Yu gently nodded but she was still puzzled, “But how does that prove that the spring water is from the Spring Equinox and tea is picked during the Summer Solstice?”
Qing Feng smiled and replied, “Seeing how much thought and effort you put in the tea arrangement, it shows that you are an elegant female who understand and love tea. With regards to the knowledge of how to cook the tea water, only Spring Equinox would be worthy for you to use in your tea.”
“So it was like that.” Xiao Yu covertly admired, Qing Feng is not just a female talent. Even if she does not try a sip, she would still say the same thing. “This servant will withdraw.” After performing a greeting, Xiao Yu did not speak anything more and turned to leave.
It was only after Xiao Yu has walked far away then Qing Feng could remove the smile that she kept on the entire morning. She was gambling, gambling on Yan Hong Tian’s thoughts and it is clear that she has won with her move today. It was only just one morning and it had made Qing Feng feel so tired. Previously she did not even care about Yan Hong Tian’s feeling as if he wants her life, she has only this life to spare. But now she has to constantly figure him out and every step seem like she was walking on thin ice. Living this kind of life is much more tiring and frightening than when she just entered the Palace.
Apparently her feet have its own consciousness as once again Qing Feng walked to that lotus pond that made her see clearer. It was just a day and the collapsed wooden stage was fixed and everything was quiet and calm as if everything that happened yesterday was just a nightmare she dreamt of. Qing Feng stepped onto the wooden stage and stood where her sister fell into the water. There were lotus flowers surrounding her and there was a touch of lotus scent in the air. Even though the sun that was shining should warm one’s body up, Qing Feng felt the chill and suffocation from the lake.
“The higher platforms are unstable, it is better not to get too close.” A smooth and light voice fluttered behind her. Qing Feng turned her head to look and saw Chen Zhen’s graceful figure slowly walking over. Qing Feng slightly lowered her eyes and hid the waves in her heart before bowing and giving her a greeting. After which she continued, “Heard that Imperial Concubine Hui is sick. To come out at this time, one will need to be extra careful.”
The female in front has an air of elegance and appropriate bearings that no one would be able to find fault with her greetings. Chen Zhen saw her twice and in both times she was clad in blue. That time she was like flowing clouds, only meeting and leaving but aloof and proud. But now she is like flowing water in the mountains, slowly trickling into deeper pools which still could not remove the bone chilling coldness that one felt.
Standing side by side with Qing Feng, Chen Zhen pretended to be casual and smiled, “Thanks for your care. Bengong body is weak and when the wind blows, naturally one must hide from it. Actually… The wind is actually nothing, the thing to fear is which direction the wind is blowing towards.”
It seems that there was something more than just the apparent meaning of her words? Is she sounding her out? Qing Feng continued the conversation, “Imperial Concubine Hui has been in the Palace for so many years and of course will see things clearer than Qing Feng. It is just that after blowing a direction for a long period of time, the wind direction should change.”
Qing Feng secretly observed Chen Zhen’s expressions but after a long time she only sighed softly and whispered, “Extreme strength is easily broken, the strong also humiliate.”
Is this considered a reminder? Qing Feng hesitated a bit as she was unable to see into her thoughts as her eyes did not show any change. Qing Feng haughtily replied, “By striking first one will gain the initiative. By striking later meant that others is in control.” Restraining one’s emotions is indeed a good method but it was unfortunate that no one gave her time to conceal her strengths and bide her time.
Chen Zhen shook her head and did not continued Qing Feng’s words. Speaking to Wu-er behind her, “It would seems that the wind is starting up. Wu-er, support Bengong back.”
“Yes.” Wu-er distractedly supported Chen Zhen to leave this lakeside. The exchange between her mistress and Qing Feng made her very confused. The sun is shining so brightly, where was the mentioned wind?
Seeing the disappearing back view, Qing Feng started to be suspicious. What is Chen Zhen purpose of deliberately coming over and saying those words? Is she… A friend or foe? Qing Feng mocked herself, she has indeed started to be silly again. In this entire Palace where would there be a friend?
When Qing Feng went back to Qing Feng Hall, it has already passed noon. She just entered the courtyard when she saw Fu Ling braving the midday sun and wait for her in the courtyard with her forehead full of sweat. Seeing that she has returned, Fu Ling greet with full of relief, “Mistress, have you had your lunch yet?”
Her heart felt warm as Qing Feng took the handkerchief from her sleeves and place it onto Fu Ling’s hands, replying, “Wipe the sweat away. I do not have any appetite and want to rest a while.”
Even though Qing Feng had put on makeup, she looked tired and upon closer scrutiny, one can see the gaunt look on her face. Fu Ling supported Qing Feng towards the chamber and along the way Qing Feng saw that there was still a patch of dirt where the Begonia was not planted yet. Fu Ling quickly said, “Mistress do rest assure, it would be finished before dinner time.”
“En.” Qing Feng did not say anything more. When she returned to her room, the room has been tidied up and the mess that was created last night was no longer there. New curtains of Vallisneria Spiralis that were hung are swaying with the wind making the room feel clean and fresh. By the window stood a small pot of begonias. As it is still summer, the flowers have yet to bloom but a touch of verdant green made one feel warm. Qing Feng gently touched the fresh leaves and smiled, thinking that Fu Ling is indeed very considerate.
The bed was cleaned up tidily and the pillow that she had smashed the previous night was placed at the top of the bed. Qing Feng reached her hand out to feel the depths of the pillow and felt a small brocade bag. Qing Feng’s hand that was holding the brocade bag tighten but she still left it at its original place.
Qing Feng lay quietly on the bed, everywhere on her body hurts and even though her eyes were closed, she could not sleep. Her mind have never been so clear. She knows what she want and will not hesitate or be at a loss at what to do–
Qing Feng, even if you don’t play tricks, you must be the pillar that everyone look up to and not let others trample on again!