Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 44
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Chapter 44: This Is Considered As Seduction (Part 2)
When Qing Feng woke up it was time to light the lamps. Fu Ling served dinner and she hastily ate a little before letting them withdraw.
“Fu Ling, prepare for me to bathe and freshen up.”
“Yes.” Fu Ling thought that Qing Feng was tired because of these two days and wanted to go to bed to rest earlier. Thus she quickly ordered the staff to prepare hot water. When the hot water was sent in, Qing Feng did not quickly start bathing but instead was choosing her clothes as she casually asked, “What colour do you think Yan Hong Tian would like?”
Fu Ling was stunned for a moment. Is Mistress waiting for the Emperor? Afraid that she will be disappointed, Fu Ling softly replied, “JingShiFang did not mention that the Emperor will be coming…”
“He will come.” Qing Feng said it with confidence and Fu Ling dare not reply back. She picked a black chiffon dress and smiled, “This one then.”
After bathing, Fu Ling helped Qing Feng into the ink-black long dress. The material was not able to cover much, other than the areas covered by the dudou (female’s under garment), her arms and her entire back can be seen clearly. There were layers upon layers of gauze materials, making it not transparent but when she walk, her slender legs were faintly discernible. When Fu Ling saw it, she felt embarrassed that she looked elsewhere.
Sitting down in front of the bronze mirror, Qing Feng smiled, “This time you have to put it on prettily.”
Dressed in all black with long black hair, Fu Ling really did not know how to start to make her up. In addition, whatever that could be added would not be able to match up to this dark black colour. Picking up a coral red hairpin, Fu Ling was about to help pull her hair up in a bun when Qing Feng suddenly took the hairpin from her hands and said, “There is no need any more.”
Qing Feng stared at her reflection in the bronze mirror and tap some cinnabar on her lips. It was after a long time before she asked, “Does it look good?”
Look really good. She have never thought that when a female wears black, she could be that beautiful and enchanting. Just that bit of cinnabar was able to create such amorous feelings. Eventually Fu Ling only nodded her head and did not reply if it looks good or not. She did not forget the last time when she said that she was beautiful, there was a shearing hate in her eyes. Perhaps today she would not be like that day but the pain in her heart would be even deeper.
Fu Ling looked out the window and saw that the moon had risen high up above. She is afraid that the Emperor would not come. Just as Fu Ling was thinking about it, a shrill voice cried out, “The Emperor has arrived.”
“Long live the Emperor.” In a short while, the voice of every palace maids in the courtyard rang out.
The Emperor… Indeed came. Fu Ling thought about the scenario when the Emperor came the last time and could not help but worry. She whispered, “Mistress, should the door be opened?”
That pair of eyes was focused on the facial appearance reflected in the bronze mirror with a light chill. The corner of Qing Feng’s mouth raise to a faint smile as she replied, “Of course it needs to be open but there is no rush.”
Getting up and walking to the door, QIng Feng said to Fu Ling who was behind her, “You can withdraw.”
When Yan Hong Tian stepped into Qing Feng Hall, he thought that it would be a mess inside and did not expect it to be cool and refreshed. There was no peony or scent of the elegant flowers but instead it was a sight of greenery. The Chinese peony was indeed uprooted cleanly and the shorter begonia showed a certain kind of grace that was different and unique.
Calculating that the person outside would have enjoyed the scenery enough and his patience was almost running out, Qing Feng then slowly opened the doors, “If the Emperor wants to come, why did no one came to inform? Chenqie did not have time to do any preparation.”
This was considered as did not have time to do any preparation? Yan Hong Tian squinted his eyes as he saw Qing Feng in a black gauzed long dress, with a cinnabar-touched lips looking so gorgeous and enchanting. Coupled with her haughty temperament, it complement very well together. She was indeed attentive.
Entering the room with the flickering candlelight, Yan Hong Tian could then see clearly that her black gauze was only that thin. Yan Hong Tian could not help but laugh, “Are you so sure that Zhen will come?” The extreme things that the women in the Inner Palace has done to please him did not surprise him but what she has done so far, he felt that it was a bit interesting.
Qing Feng smiled brightly and did not reply to Yan Hong Tian’s question. As she reached out her hands undo his buttons at the side, she continued docility, “The Emperor had a tiring day and have to go to bed early.”
Yan Hong Tian lightly raised his eyebrows, looking amused at the especially docile female in his arms trying to change out his clothes but he did not say anything and just observe if she have anything up her sleeves. He wondered her slow movements of undoing the buttons was unintentional or there were additional meaning to it. Just like that slowly unbuttoning each button, it causes the exquisite body that was under the layers of black veil be closer. Looking down, one can see the panoramic view of her chest and yet the view of her flack and that ink-black hair coupled with the sheerness of the layers of veils made one want to cover up in shame.
This is her newly thought method to seduce him? It’s very good. He likes it. Yan Hong Tian suddenly leaned over and one of his hands slowly picked the strands of hair by her ears, brush his lips lightly against her ears and with one hand running across the thin belt across his waist.
“What you wish to have, Zhen can give it to you but… You will not be able to handle it.”
Qing Feng’s hands which were undoing the buttons paused and her chest tightens. The words that he just said, what meaning is there to it? Is it that she is unable to handle him favouring her with his grace or is it that she is unable to handle the splendour behind his favouring or was it saying that she is unable to handle the hidden traps and claws?
Slowly taking her hand back, Qing Feng raise her head to look into Yan Hong Tian’s eyes and deliberately lowered her voice and coldly responded without a tremble, “Do you remember what you told me that night? ‘As someone who is struggling for her life, you are not qualified to care about the life and death of others.’ I do not wish to die and also do not want them dead, so I must be able to withstand everything.”
What a good ‘must be able to withstand everything’!
Yan Hong Tian started laughing out and carried the person in his arms towards the depths of the bed. He would later let her know, if she can handle it or not…
Fu Ling waited in the courtyard and it was once again a sleepless night. Seemingly getting used to walking to ease her mind, she kept walking around the tree for the entire night. When it was dawn, Wu Gonggong from JingShiFang, per usual, brought a number of eunuchs and appeared in the inside of Qing Feng Hall.
Fu Ling saw the bowl of medication in the last eunuch’s hands and secretly sighed. With her body slightly bent, Fu Ling greeted, “Wu Gonggong.”
Wu Zhi Qiu took a look at her and nodded back. He did not spoke to her like the other time but walked straight to the main house and stopped when he reached the front of the house. Wu Zhi Qiu lightly knocked on the door twice and softly spoke, “Emperor, it is Chenshi (modern timing: 7 – 9 am).”
“En.” There was a soft hum from the room and after which there was no more sound or movement. Wu Zhi Qiu silently waited for a while before crying out softly, “Emperor?”
“Come in.” This time his voice is a little louder and that deep voice is a little hoarse but was still distinctive.
“Yes.” A bunch of people went into the room but Fu Ling did not follow them in and stood at the side of the door quietly. After a while, Yan Hong Tian walked out of the room with Wu Zhi Qiu following closely behind and quietly asking, “Emperor, to keep or not to keep?”
Yan Hong Tian lightly brandished his hand and Wu Zhi Qiu took a step back understandingly. Fu Ling felt a wave of coldness in her heart. As a female medical attendant, she has a thorough understanding that if this concoction was taken over a long period of time, it would be harmful for the body. As Fu Ling was wondering how to restore Qing Feng’s health, that pair of yellow boots that have walked down the steps suddenly stopped.
“Wait.” The deep voice stopped the eunuch who was heading inside to deliver the medication. The eunuch was so scared that he immediately knelt down. Wu Zhi Qiu quickly went forward for additional orders but it was only after a long time before Yan Hong Tian softly said, “Keep it.”
“Yes.” Wu Zhi Qiu gave a look to the eunuch kneeling on the floor and the eunuch who recognised it, quickly carried the bowl of medication and ran out the hall.
After finishing speaking, Yan Hong Tian strode out of Qing Feng Hall. Wu Zhi Qiu, however, was in no hurry to go and walked towards Fu Ling. The previous coldness was swept away and a low voice laughed, “Congratulations, Miss Fu Ling have to take great care of your mistress. In a while, this one will order the Imperial Kitchens to send over some ginseng soup for her Ladyship.”
Seeing that old face filled with smiles, Fu Ling could not help but to sigh again. The people in the Palace… Covering the contempt in her heart, Fu Ling gave the usual slight bow and replied, “Yes.”
This time Wu Zhi Qiu did not treat her indifferently and instead nodded with a smile, after which he swaggered out of Qing Feng Hall with the group of eunuch.
Waiting until they were all out of the courtyard, Fu Ling then only hurried into the house. Thinking of the bruises that Qing Feng was covered in, Fu Ling’s steps quickened. In the room, separated by screens and layers of draperies, a lean figure sat straight on the bed. Fu Ling called out softly, “Mistress?”
Qing Feng with a somewhat hoarse voice whispered from inside, “The medication?”
Fu Ling shook her head gently and replied, “There is no medication. The Emperor said… To keep the Imperial Seeds.”
Separated by the curtains, Fu Ling was unable to see Qing Feng’s expression and could only hear her voice with a bit hasty, “Prepare the hot water for my bath.”
In the big wooden tub that was filled with crushed roses and steam, Qing Feng immersed her entire self into the hot water. That kind of hot and stifle feeling in the water made her feel strangely calm. Last night she did what she could to please Yan Hong Tian and he maniacally possessed her. It was just a night and no one has any intention then but individually both have different thoughts. Between her and him, there was enmity, confrontation, exploitation. Whatever it is, it was their ill-fated relationship. But… Children? She doesn’t want to have his children, really don’t want…
Qing Feng has submerged in the water for far too long thus Fu Ling parted the roses floating on the surface and pull her out of the water.
Coming out of the water, Qing Feng took deep breaths and the cool air made her cough over and over again. After managing to recover from the bout of cough, Qing Feng grabbed the towel to wipe her body over and over again. The skin that was reddish due to the hot water was almost torn by her wipes and the love bites behind her ears became even darker. Fu Ling could not bear to see it and stepped forward to hold on to Qing Feng’s hand and took the towel over. She sighed, “Let this servant do it.”
Qing Feng did not try to be stubborn with Fu Ling and sat there quietly, letting Fu Ling serve her. After the bath, Qing Feng’s emotions gradually calmed down and she suddenly spoke, “Dress me up and put on the makeup.”
“Mistress, you want to go out?” She had not been resting properly for the past few days and endured many emotional upheavals thus she should be resting instead.
Seemingly expecting what Fu Ling will say, Qing Feng smiled and replied before she could comment, “Imperial Concubine Hui is sick, we should visit the sick and return in just a while.”
“Yes.” Even though Qing Feng said it softly but it was assertive. Fu Ling was helpless to it and could only help to wash and dress up.
As the morning sun shone one’s body, it was warm and also rarely comfortable. Qing Feng walked really slowly and from afar, someone saw them and immediately turned around to walk away. Qing Feng squinted her eyes and with her lips arcing to a smile, she loudly shouted, “Stop there.”
That person stiffen and refused to turn around. Qing Feng had already walked before him before he was compelled to perform a greeting, “This servant, Xu Ji, greets your Ladyship Concubine Qing. May your Ladyship have innumerable safety!”
Qing Feng smiled, “I was wondering who was it and it turned out to be Steward Xu.”
Xu Ji trembled and quickly continued, “This servant wouldn’t dare.”
“Oh?” Qing Feng pretended not to know and softly asked, “What don’t you dare?”
Qing Feng’s tone was not high but Xu Zhi broke into a cold sweat. It is widely spread in the Palace that Prime Minister Lou was bent on marrying Qing Ling. Even if her elder sister was not the Prime Minister Lou’s Furen, she will still be a CeFuren (direct translation: side-wife, usually use for the next highest ranked wife but not official wife). Which brother-in-law will not protect their sister-in-law? Moreover the Emperor stay last night at Qing Feng Hall and Wu Gonggong came by the Imperial Kitchens early in the morning to ensure that the ginseng soup is prepared. This was only done for concubines whom the Emperor allowed to get pregnant! If she were to bear the Emperor’s heir… Aiya, his life would be hard to maintain! The more he thought, the more he grew afraid and Xu Zhi went down on his knees and repetitively lay down his sins, “This servant deserve to die. Previously, this one was senseless and have offended your Ladyship, would your Ladyship be kind as to forgive this lowly one.”
“What is Steward Xu talking about, is Bengong such a narrow-minded person?”
“This servant did not mean that! Seeking forgiveness from your Ladyship!” Xu Ji became so much more terrified that he almost wanted to kowtow.
Seeing enough of his fear and trepidation like a servant, Qing Feng then waved her hands and smiled, “Lets drop the matter since you and I seem to have some fate, As I only entering the Palace for a short while and we stroke such a relationship. The last time the meals that you arranged was towards Bengong’s liking, in the future, would need to bother you more on Bengong’s meal. Do raise.”
Surviving and climbing up in the Palace for all these years, Xu Ji is considered a smart person and could hear what Qing Feng’s words meant. He immediately respectfully and flatteringly replied, “Thank you your Ladyship! This servant will definitely serve the Emperor and your Ladyship even better. More effort will be used to serve your Ladyship!”
“Yes.” Xu Ji took a long breath and retreated with a shaking smile on his face. He did not think that he would be so lucky today that Qing Feng would actually let it go. If it was like this, it is actually a good thing that she is favoured. Maybe he can get some sweet deals out of it.
Seeing that vile look on his face, Fu Ling worriedly whisper her cautions, “Mistress, Xu Ji is narrow minded and will bend as the wind blows…”
Qing Feng started to laugh out, “Smart people knows how to bend as the wind blows.”