Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 57
And we are halfway through the novel!!! YAY!!!
It’s a shorter chapter but it took me a long time to translate as I dreeeaaaaaad to translate or read anything about this Princess. I don’t get it why she needs to be like this… And the Empress Dowager is a heck of a planner with her evil schemes…
Chapter 57: Reaching Out A Helping Hand (Part 2)
Xi Xia Palace
In front of the hall there was a small garden, the flowers have fallen and there were only a few clusters of flowers left. A dark purple clad woman held a pair of scissors as she carefully trim the leaves and there was a gentle loving smile on her face.
The old mama briskly walked over and greeted behind her, “Mistress.”
The look of joy was apparent but Yang Zhi Lan did not turn her head back and continue focusing on trimming the flowers as she laughed, “Is there any good news?”
The old mama was all smiles as she replied, “Lou Xi Yan’s illness relapsed again and the Imperial Physicians went over to diagnose and treated him. He only say that if it erupt repeatedly, the physicians would not be able to help. It would seem that he would die in prison before the investigation is completed.”
Mistress indeed had foresight. Over so many years, on the pretext of looking for doctor and medication for Lou Xi Yan, the medicine that she gave him to supress the illness in fact also make him addicted. For the many years that he was not able to quit, it was handy today.
Everything were within her expectations. There was no joy in Yang Zhi Lan’s face but her brow knitted slightly as she asked, “What did the Emperor say?” Tian-er and Lou Xi Yan grew up together since young and she was well aware of the deep feelings. She was afraid that this bout of sickness will cause him to relent.
Seeing Yang Zhi Lan’s worry, the old mama quickly replied, “Mistress do not need to worry. The two Lee Darens, who were present, lead the entire court officials to pressure and thus the Emperor did not allow Lou Xi Yan to receive treatment out of prison and only decreed to change to another prison cell.”
“Good.” In successive dynasties, the crime of rebellion against the Royal Family was intolerable and Tian-er did not even hesitate when dealing with his own younger blood brother, what more a subject. She really worried too much. Yang Zhi Lan’s eyes darken but it was unsure that if was joy or sorrow of if it was pain or wound.
“Get people to watch over that two rebels and make sure they do not talk nonsense. If they are unable to stand the interogation and want to speak. End them. No flaw is tolerated in this matter.” Yang Zhi Lan’s hands were arranging the flowers delicately and was full of warmth but the words that were out of her mouth was bone chilling and void of any emotions.
“Yes.” The old mama heart trembled and dare not show any hint of hesitation.
Yao Chan just brought back the water from the well and was preparing to head towards the room to change the water at the Buddhist altar. This was only once chance to be close to the chambers. If this opportunity was missed, even if the Empress dowager is not in the palace, she would not have any chance to steal the seal. She looked up secretly and saw that the Empress was still at the small garden talking to the mama and it seems that there was no intention of them leaving. Youshi (modern timing: 5 – 7 pm) was almost here and Yao Chan’s heart was anxious and in panic.
At this time a palace maid in her teens suddenly ran haphazardly into Xi Xia Palace and knelt in front of the Empress Dowager with a red face and hasty breath that made one suspect that she was almost unable to catch her breath.
Yang Zhi Lan’s hand that was holding cut flower slightly raise and there was no change of expression on her face but there was a trace of displeasure across her eyes. The old mama’s palm hit the girl’s vest as she scolded lowly, “What are you panicking like this. So ill mannered.”
The palace maid was in so much pain that her face knitted together but she dare not cry out and knelt flat on the ground. After catching her breath, she replied, “Reply Empress Dowager, without any reason, Princess Chao Yun rushed out of Qing Xuan Temple and ran towards the Imperial Study. The servants were unable to stop her.”
This time, Yang Zhi Lan expression finally changed as she urgently spoke, “What happened?”
The palace maid express difficulty and she was not ale to explain anything even after stammering half the some. She was just a palace maid in Qing Xuan Hall. It is the Princess’s afternoon nap time after lunch and no one would have guess that the Princess, who was dispirited all these few days, would suddenly rush out of Qing Xuan Hall. Older sister Lian-er was unable to stop it and made her come over to ask for the Empress Dowager’s help. She really did not know what happen.
Yang Zhi Lan threw aside the flowers that she was trimming and without asking more, her cold voice said, “Lead the way.”
“Yes.” The palace maid got up shaking and walk half a step behind the Empress Dowager and lead the way with a bend. Yang Zhi Lan brought the old mama and several palace maids and hurried out of Xi Xia Palace.
Yao Chang was the time and it was Youshi (modern timing: 5 – 7 pm). Secretly taking a deep breath, Yao Chan walked slowly into the praying hall with a bucket as usual.
The Emperor’s Zheng Yang Palace was in front that there was a large lawn. This was so that when the Emperor look out from the main hall, he would have a broad vision and also able to see from afar who was approaching Zheng Yang Palace as there was no opportunity to hide one’s whereabouts.
Usually during the day there will not be anyone in this large lawn. but today one could see a group of palace maid surrounding a female but dare not pull or stop her and only uniformly knelling on the ground and blocking her way forward.
Xiao Lian pulled tightly onto Yan Ru Xuan’s sleeves and she urgently said, “Princess, you mustn’t go in!”
Yan Ru Xuan was stopped all the way and with her anxious heart, she has already long forgotten about a princess’s dignity. She shouted, “Let go. I want to look for Imperial Elder Brother.”
“Princess, I beg of you to go back with Xiao Lian.” Along the entire way, the tugging and pulling failed to block the Princess so Lian-er could only knee down and hold on to Yan Ru Xuan’s legs tightly.
“Impudent!” Her leg was tightly held on and Yan Ru Xuan was unable to move. Her heart started to get anxious as she starred at Xiao Lian angrily, “You actually dare to block Bengong’s road. You don’t want to live any more?”
“Princess, you absolutely cannot go! Even if you want Xiao Lian’s head, Xiao Lian will also not let you go.” Just ahead was the Emperor’s Zheng Yang Palace and the pulling and tugging might had already alarmed the Emperor. No one could help on the matter with Prime Minister Lou and if the Princess rush in like this, it would only anger the Emperor.
Xiao Lian’s face was already bathed in tears. Facing this person who was following her for so many years, it was not possible for Yan Ru Xuan to have her head and thus she could only struggle more and almost fell to the ground for a few times.
“Xuan-er, what are you doing?”
A anxious cry of filled with affection called from behind. The Empress Dowager had arrived, Xiao Lian gave a sigh in relief as she gently let her hand go.
When her feet were freed, Yan Ru Xuan immediately ran towards Empress Dowager and tugged on Yang Zhi Lan’s hand while speaking incoherently, “Imperial Mother, Imperial Mother, tell me, is Older Brother Yan locked up in prison? Why did Imperial Elder Brother imprison him? Older Did Brother Yan’s illness has erupted again? What did the Imperial Physician say? Imperial Mother, please speak?”
“Who told you these?” Yang Zhi Lan face turn gloomy as her eyes looked at the servants kneeling on the floor and could not wait to tear all these people apart.
“Imperial Mother, accompany me to see Imperial Elder Brother all right? How can he imprison older brother Yan? We will go and plead to him all right?” Imperial Mother’s expression changed, this must be true. Yan Ru Xuan’s heart felt more anxious as she pulled Yang Zhi Lan and wanted to run to Zheng Yang Palace.
The afternoon sun in early autumn was hot and dry and too add on running all the way emotionally, Yan Ru Xuan’s face was red, there was panic in her eyes and the heat made that previously dull eyes to sparkle. Comparing to the ashen look for the past few days, she was more agile and alive but all this was because of Lou Xi Yan. The hate in Yang Zhi Lan’s heart of Lou Xi Yan increased but her face remained clam and collected. Gently patting Yan Ru Xuan’s hand, Yang Zhi Lan smiled and consoled, “Xuan-er must have listen to all the nonsense talk. The Emperor is a wise and enlighten ruler, how would he imprison a nation’s Prime Minister?”
Yan Ru Xuan was somewhat taken aback and she stopped her steps to think about Imperial Brothers usual actions. He would not just put anyone in jail but this was related to Lou Xi Yan. She was still not assured and asked, “Older brother Yan was really not imprisoned?”
Yang Zhi Lan only smiled and nodded but did not answer her. Instead she softly asked, “Where did you heard it from?” Xuan-er stayed at her own place and she had already ordered the people in Qing Xuan Hall not to mentioned anything about Lou Xi Yan. How did Xuan-er know about it? This was really strange.
Yan Ru Xuan thought about it and shook her head, “I heard it when two palace maids were talking about it. I do not remember who were they.”
There were so many palace maid in the Palace so it was not surprising for Xuan-er not to remember. But these two palace maid dare to talk about Lou Xi Yan infront of the Princess and also able to recount so clearly which was very strange. Yang Zhi Lan gave a look to the old mama and the old mama quietly withdraw.
Yan Ru Xuan grabbed Yang Zhi Lan’s hands but her heart still beating hard, “Imperial Mother really did not lie to me right?”
Yang Zhi Lan smiled as she coaxed her, “Would Imperial Mother lie to you about it?”
“Then… I want to go to the Prime Minister Manor to see older brother Yan.” She still did not feel settled, what if older brother Yan was in danger, what can she do?
How did this daughter become so obstinate, Yang Zhi Lan started to get angry but she did not blame her and instead sighed before speaking, “Xuan-er has forgotten that he just got married?”
That sentence suddenly pulled out all the strength from Yan Ru Xuan and she stumbled into Yang Zhi Lan’s arm. Her tears started to fall uncontrollably, “That is right, at this time older brother Yan should be accompanying his wife to tour around. Where would he have time to bother about me.”
The mournful murmurings seem to be mocking herself and Yan Ru Xuan’s face once again lost vigour. Yang Zhi Lan’s heart ached as she gently pat her back and softly spoke, “All right, Mother will send you back.”
This time Yan Ru Xuan did not make a commotion and woodenly followed Yang Zhi Lan towards the direction of Qing Xuan Hall.
Fu Ling had been hiding behind the big tree next to Xi Xia Palace. Only after seeing the Empress Dowager and her party leaving in a hurry, she then walked over to the back door which servants use and waited. Fu Ling was only there when she saw Yao Chan carrying a bucket out. Yao Chan looked at the surroundings for a while before placing the bucket by the door and ran towards her.
She came out in such a short time which made Fu Ling worried as she urgently said, “Did you get it?”
“En.” Yao Chan took a white jade seal from her sleeve and handing it over to Fu Ling. With a look, Fu Ling confirmed that it was Empress Dowager Yang Zhi Lan personal seal. Fu Ling took out several similar letterhead from her pockets. Before she open them, she looked at Yao Chan and Yao Chan immediately understood and quickly turned around, not daring to peek or glance. Even though her back was against Fu Ling and she was two to three steps away, she was looking around alertly and covering Fu Ling.
This person was discreet and know when to retreat. She was someone that can be of use to Mistress and this was definitely a good thing. Due to time constraint, Fu Ling dare not be distracted and the most important thing was to stamp quickly. As Fu Ling uses the seal, her eyes inadvertently glance at the contents. This… This turns out to be the private letters between the Empress and the Seventh Prince of Liao Yue? Fu Ling’s hands could not help but shake. Lou Furen’s tacit of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth was indeed very smart.
After ensuring that everything was stamped, Fu Ling handed the seal back to Yao Chan and urgently said, “Quickly put it back.”
“Yes.” Yao Chan’s palms were filled with sweat and she did not speak any more when she quickly went back to Xi Xia Palace on the same route she came from.
For Yao Chan to steal the seal today, it was considered that she had truly seek refuge under Mistress and considered as one of Mistress’s people. This way she did not need to die any more. Fu Ling was secretly relieved. Folding the documents and placing it in the chest pocket, she quickly ran towards the northern gates.
Fu Ling was very cautious and prudent along her way. When she finally saw the northern gates, her footsteps got bigger.
“Stop there.” A harsh male voice berated. Fu Ling stop in her steps and her mind started to spin. This is the northern gate and listening to the footsteps behind, it should be a team of guards patrolling at the gates. Fu Ling look down at her clothes and after determining that it did not look abnormal, she then turned to face the people behind.
Behind her was a platoon of over ten Imperial guards. The person standing in front should be the one that call her to stop. Fu Ling look up slightly at that person and immediately meet up a pair of cold and silent eyes.
Ming Ze… Fu Ling silently cursed, how did she meet him again! Fu Ling unconsciously clenched her hands.