Chapter 48: The Cold Arrow Behind (Part 3)
“The Emperor has arrived–”
It was late at night thus the announcement sounded sharper than usual. The servants in the courtyard all knelt and greeted, “Long live the Emperor..” Before everyone could finish greeting, that pair of yellow boots had already stepped into the courtyard and quickly walked into the house.
He, actually came? Qing Feng’s brows furrowed unconsciously. She initially wanted Lan-er to relay the message to Zhen Yang Palace but she did not expect that Yan Hong Tian would come over in the middle of the night.
“What is the matter?” Qing Feng was still secretly surprised when Yan Hong Tian’s voice sounded by her ears.
Qing Feng looked up and saw that familiar figure pulling open the veil in the chambers and stood in front of her bed. Reckoning that he came over too hastily, he did not comb his hair and only casually tied it up with a black band. His pair of eyes coldly stared at her but she was unsure if it was worry or anger and could only hear that there was a bit of hastiness in his voice. Qing Feng slightly bowed her head and did not look into his eyes before softly replying, “Chenqie’s stomach ache.”
Stomach ache? Qing Feng’s entire person was curled up under the thick quilt and only her head was visible but it was already ashen and turning green. Yan Hong Tian reach his hand out to feel her forehead and even though Qing Feng pulled back, she was unable to escape it. The cold that was felt made Yan Hong Tian’s heart burst irritably, the entire room of servants and there was no physicians at all. Yan Hong Tian impatiently scolded, “Where is the Imperial Physician?”
Xia Yin quickly stepped forward and replied, “Answering your Majesty, Fu Ling had went to invite him over.”
After listening to Xia Yin’s words, Yan Hong Tian’s face got even more colder. He had already arrived here but the Imperial Physician was actually harder to invite than him, an Emperor?! “Gao Jing, summon Huang Jiao!”
“Yes.” Just as Gao Jing was about to leave, he saw Fu Ling dragging Huang Jiao to storm into Qing Feng Hall.
When Huang Jiao entered the chambers, he was not surprised to see Yan Hong Tian inside and greeted him breathlessly, “This official, Huang Jiao, greets the Emperor.” If it was not the good condition of his old bones, his old life would have been gone with the way Fu Ling drag and run all the way here.
“Dispense the ceremony, quickly check up on her.”
Huang Jiao just held Qing Feng’s wrist when his face changed to dignified yet cautious look. For an old Imperial Physician to look like that, Qing Feng had already guessed that what Fu Ling had said was indeed correct, she is — Pregnant.
Huang Jiao’s expression was not as per normal, not only Qing Feng saw it, Yan Hong Tian also saw it clearly, “How is she?”
Huang Jiao let go of her hand and got up to clasp his hands to Yan Hong Tian before seriously replying, “Congratulating the Emperor, Concubine Qing has a pregnant pulse.
“What?” Yan Hong Tian was apparently taken aback. Before coming over to Qing Feng Hall, he thought that for Qing Feng to create such a commotion in the middle of the night, there must be some tricks in play. With her character, if she was truly ill, she will absolutely not let anyone ask for him. He was only interested to come over to look because he was curious of what tricks she was playing. Seeing her ashen face filled with cold sweat, he was really worried if she was poisoned by someone. He never would have thought that she was actually… Pregnant?
Huang Jiao reply with certainty, “Concubine Qing has a pregnant pulse.”
Qing Feng pretended to look stunned at Huang Jiao and dare not look at Yan Hong Tian, thus she did not see that faint smile on his lips after his surprised look.
The entire room of servants suddenly knelt down and chanted, “Joyous occasion for the Emperor, joyous occasion for Concubine Qing.” The Emperor has few offspring, not mentioning the princes, there were only a handful of princesses. If Concubine Qing was able to give birth to a prince, the mother’s honour increases as her son’s position rises. Even if it was a princess, she would also be part of the Imperial lineage and her position would be much different.
During the well-wishing, Qing Feng raise her eyes and glance at Xia Yin who was kneeling by the side of the bed. She was prostrating on the ground with her head facing down. Even though her expression cannot be seen, one can see her slightly shaking hands that were placed on the ground.
“Why would her stomach be aching?” Yan Hong Tian’s cold voice suddenly sounded and Xia Yin’s hand shook even more.
Huang Jiao stroked his beard and calmly replied. “The Emperor need not worry about it too much, Concubine Qing was previously and was unable to fully recover thus her body condition was not good and with her worries and incorrect positioning of the foetus, it has caused the unbearable pain. This official will prepare some medicine for pregnancy and also supplement it with acupuncture which would alleviate the pain.”
“En, go and prepare it.”
“Yes.” Huang Jia went out of the chambers to prescribe the medicine and when he passed Fu Ling, he suddenly said, “Come with me.” Fu Ling was stunned for a moment but after some thought, she followed Huang Jiao out of the chambers.
Hearing Huang Jiao’s words, Qing Feng’s hanging heart finally settled down but there was no improvement in terms of the pain she was feeling. She herself was also unable to differentiate if it was the cold or the pain and kept on shivering till her teeth were chattering. Yan Hong Tian sat on the side of the bed and leaned over to whisper, “Really painful?”
No kidding! Qing Feng took a deep breath and continue to stubbornly close her eyes as she reply, “Still all right!”
Her jaw was already tightly clenched and she still say she was all right. Seeing her acting brave, Yan Hong Tian laughed softly, “There is no need to talk tough at such a time.” Leaning against the head of the bed, Yan Hong Tian gently lifted Qing Feng’s neck and let her use his legs as pillow with one hand holding her ten cold fingers and the other hand stroking her spine.
Yan Hong Tian was rarely that gentle and Gao Jing saw it quietly with a complex look, unsure if it was happiness or worry.
A warm hand appeased her aches and stiff body by the slow strokes. At this moment, she was reluctant to think more about his warm embrace and Qing Feng gently lean against Yan Hong Tian’s embrace and closed her eyes, it should be almost Maoshi (modern timing: 5 – 7 am) now.
In the middle of the night, Fu Ling ran to the Imperial Medical Court and practically woke everyone up and also stubbornly dragged Huang Jiao all the way back to Qing Feng Hall. Lan-er even went to the extent to disturb the Emperor in Zhen Yang Palace in the middle of the night. Qing Feng arranged such a commotion so that before dawn came, everyone would know that she was carrying the Imperial line.
At the first quarter of Maoshi (modern timing: 5 – 7 am), a crisp and clear noise sounded from the Empress’s chamber. From the weak candle flame, a figure can be seen walking irritability to and fro. Shui Xin quietly stood at the side of the screen with eyes firmly staring at her feet and there was five faint fingerprints on the side of her cheek, stretching from her eyes to her neck.
Xin Yue Ning was so angry that her face was so red but she could not scream and could only bear with it and scolded her, “Qing Feng is pregnant! She was actually carrying the Imperial line! What exactly are you doing?” When Shui Xin took actions, it was seldom for it to fail but Qing Feng manage to escape from her past attempts and now she was actually carrying the Imperial line. The more Xin Yue Ning thought about it, the angrier she became, the females in the Qing Family were all demons!
Shui Xin was silent as usual but Xin Yue Ning was too impatient as she whispered, “Was the arrangement tonight completed?”
Taking a hidden deep breath, Shui Xin calmly replied, “It has been completed. The news of Qing Feng being pregnant is too much of a coincidence and the circumstance is odd. It is better to wait…”
“Still wait?!” Not waiting for Shui Xin to finish her words, Xin Yue Ning interrupted her and glared at Shui Xin before scolding, “Bengong should not have listen to you from the beginning. Wait wait wait wait wait. Wait any longer, the child would be born.” She will definitely not allow anyone to have the opportunity to shake Jing-er’s position of the Crown Prince, even if it was one in a million chance, she will not allow it!
“You better act in accordance with the plan. As long as the charge of harming the Empress becomes true, even if she has a child to protect her, Bengong will still be able to send her back to the Imperial Prison once more!” This time when Qing Feng goes in, she would not have the luck to come out alive.
Chen Zhen and Qing Feng had became thorns in Xin Yue Ning’s heart and for the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, she would not miss out on it. Shui Xin knows that whatever she say now will not be heard by Xin Yue Ning and since that thing was already placed in Qing Feng Hall, there was no choice but to fire the arrow out. Looking at the sky, it was already third quarter of Maoshi (modern timing: 5 – 7 am), Shui Xin softly replied, “This servant understood.”
During dawn, there was a loud shrilling scream sounded from the Empress chambers, causing the entire Yi Lan Palace to fall into chaos.
After Huang Jiao gave her an acupuncture treatment, her abdominal pain was relieved by a lot and the medicine was quickly brought up. Yan Hong Tian took the bowl of medication from Fu Ling’s hands and sat by the bed side to scoop a spoonful and gently blowly it cool. After which he delivered it to Qing Feng’s lips with a faint pleasant smile on his face. The long serving servants of the Emperor could not help but to sigh secretly as they only saw few times how considerate the Emperor was, when he let Concubine Qing sleep on his lap for one shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours) and to personally feed her medication, which was extremely pampering. Qing Feng also worked hard and carried the Imperial line. It would seem that the bestowal of Imperial Concubine would be a matter of time.
With the entire chambers filled with servants and with so many pair of eyes looking, Qing Feng felt that the sudden tenderness by Yan Hong Tian was unbearable and gently cough out, “I will do it myself.”
Qing Feng wanted to take over the bowl but when she touched it, she felt that it would scald her hands. Thus Qing Feng withdrew her hands and let Yan Hong Tian hold the medicine bowl. She picked up the spoon and slowly sipped the medication. Even though it was very bitter, thinking of that someone who was still holding such a scalding hot bowl, the medicine was no longer that bitter. Qing Feng’s pleased look was seen by Yan Hong Tian and the corner of his mouth unconsciously perked up slightly. Apparently seeing him suffer, she will be very happy.
Outside the courtyard, there were several shouts heard from afar. The incoming person was shouting as he was running into Qing Feng Hall. Yan Hong Tian’s expression darkens and Gao Jing rushed out of the chambers and scolded loudly, “Impudent. You dare to yell and scream in the Imperial presence.”
An eunuch went down on his knees in front of the door and replied breathlessly, “Something happened to the Empress!”
Gao Jing felt that it was strange and whispered, “What happened to the Empress?”
The eunuch cautiously looked towards the chambers and as if afraid that the Emperor cannot hear, he loudly replied, “Before the dawn broke, with unknown reasons, the Empress suddenly scream and then started to smash everything violently in Yi Lan Palace, as if… As if as one is being possessed! Both Empress Dowager was alerted and the East Empress Dowager order this servant to invite the Emperor to quickly go over.”
The sharp voice flowed into the chambers easily and Qing Feng glanced at Yan Hong Tian. From his deep black eyes, she saw the dark look and the need to enquire. From Yan Hong Tian’s keen and profound thinking coupled with the many events from last night (believe that the author was referring to that night but refer as last night since Qing Feng slept at Yan Hong Tian’s lap which makes it the next day), he should already felt that something was wrong. Qing Feng broke eye contact and fished out the silk pillow to place it below the bowl and took the medicine from Yan Hong Tian’s hands. She lowered her head to drink the medicine as she replied, “Emperor, please go over to take a look. It is no longer serious for Chenqie and will be fine after a rest.”
Yan Hong Tian quietly watched Qing Feng feeding herself and did not look at him face to face like usual. Yan Hong Tian slowly got up and smoothed his ruffled robes and without saying a word, strode out of Qing Feng Hall.
Qing Feng held the bowl of medicine and continue to send spoonful of medication into her mouth as if what she was drinking was not medicine at all. The quiet suppressed atmosphere made the entire room of eunuch and palace maid not dare to breath loudly. Until the medicine was finished, Qing Feng then softly said, “Fu Ling stay behind, the rest can withdraw.”
“Yes.” Everyone secretly sighed and quickly exited. When the chambers was quiet again, Fu Ling took over the medicine bowl from Qing Feng’s hands and asked, “Mistress, how are you feeling?”
Qing Feng looked out the window and saw a red flush in the sky and quickly asked, “What time is it now?”
“Third quarter of Chenshi (modern timing: 7 – 9 am).”
Third quarter of Maoshi (modern timing: 5 – 7 am), third quarter of Chenshi (modern timing: 7 – 9 am), for the Empress to be possessed at this time, it is definitely not a coincidence. Was it really the Empress? Imperial Concubine Hui, what role will you place in this conspiracy? She would have to wait and see.
Qing Feng was silent for a long time before she suddenly asked, “What did Huang Jiao said to you?”
“He said, from now onwards he will come over every other day to take your pulse and let me go over to the Imperial Medical Court daily to collect the medication. Upon returning to Qing Feng Hall to cook the medicine, it must not be delegated to others. And he also said…” Fu Ling hesitated for a moment before replying in a low voice, “Your unborn child is very precious. One must be really very careful and even more careful.”
Be really very careful and even more careful… Didn’t he say in front of Yan Hong Tian that there was no major problems? Qing Feng suddenly understood and laugh grimly, “It would seem that it is unknown if this child can be safely born.” When Qing Feng’s words were spoken, there was a sudden clamour of noises sounded at the courtyard, as if a crowd of people has rushed in? In a short while, Lan-er’s clear voice was heard shouting, “What are you all doing? Even dare to trespass Qing Feng Hall.”
Hearing the orderly footsteps, it did not sound like eunuchs. With her hands lightly rested on her flat belly, Qing Feng whispered to Fu Ling who was beside her, “Go and see what is going on.”
Fu Ling nodded and opened the door to see that there was a dozen guards standing at the courtyard and the one leading them was… Him?