Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 63
I tried my best to illustrate the song but it seems a little choppy… Please bear with it…
Chapter 63: Hidden Battle
After reaching Yi Yan Palace, Qing Feng then found out that Xin Yue Ning did not only called her over. In the spacious main call, there were more than thrity tables, with the host seat in the middle and the rest of the tables lined up in two rows on each side. Behind each table, there sat a female who were all beautify and elegant bearings. There was a palace maid standing behind the female and they were too young and pretty. Glancing across the hall, the entire scene was dazzling. Unfortunately Qing Feng was not a man and she felt dazzled. Thinking that all these were Yan Hong Tian’s women, her heart was quite out of sorts.
Qing Feng entered the main hall and the initially harmonious atmosphere atmosphere was destroyed. The people who were chattering did not dare to continue talking and every single pair of eyes was staring at her. Some with jealousy, some with admiration and there were some with suspicion. Even with all eyes on her, Qing Feng continued calmly to the host seat and slightly bowed to greet, “Qing Feng greets the Empress. May your Ladyship have thousand of fortune and peace.”
When her vision landed on that obviously protruding belly, Xin Yue Ning’s heart wanted to kick that thing twice but her lips still politely said, “Younger sister would dispense on ceremonies. Your body is precious, quickly come over and sit beside older sister.”
In the entire main hall, there was only an empty table beside the Empress. Qing Feng walked to the right side of the table and sat down, unsure of the reason the Empress called everyone over for but she decided to remain silent.
Xin Yue Ning did not want to continue the pleasantries with her and called out, “Shui Xin.”
Shui Xin brought a plainly dressed female into the main hall. The female was carrying a specially made jade and jasper seven-stringed Qin. The female had a elegant bearing and was well mannered as she walked to the front of the hosting seat and greeted the Empress before sitting at the left side of the table. The Qin was placed across the table and her slender finger were floating above the strings.
The tune started to flow from the swift fingertips. The tune started out smoothly but chilly which made anyone hearing it feel refreshing and revel in the melody of the tune. But the female’s hand suddenly reversed and it sounded like the galloping of the hoses and with bronze drums and gongs sounding. The sound fluctuated, sometimes sounding implicitly dangerous, sometimes as though one was winning. The seven strings under the female’s hands was able to make so much changes. When the music finally died and everyone thought that it has ended and wanted to praise, when suddenly the Qin cried out in a desolate tone which shredded the listener’s heart and made one feel inexplicable pain.
Qing Feng carefully listened until it sounded like the string was breaking ended. Qing Feng gently applauded and smile, “What a good piece. The song is good and the Qin skills are also good.” This piece was very difficult to perform and she only heard Eldest Sister performing it once. For this female to perform it like this, her Qin skills were outstanding and adept. But it was unfortunate that the piece was about the story of hunting. The hunters’ ambition was to win and control the preys from the back of his hands until the prey have nowhere to escape and end up being slaughtered. As a precious daughter like Elder Sister and this lady, they failed to vividly express it out in their performance.
Yu Han Dan was surprised for a moment and raise her head to look at the person. The two obvious scars was unable to cover her stunning looks and she was able to tell that the female identify was Qing Feng with just one look. Yu Han Dan was surprise that she could actually identify it from listening? This piece was chosen as it had an aggressive and thriving atmosphere and would be suitable to be performed in the ceremony. This piece is actually a leftover piece that was from a few hundred years ago and there were not many people who know about it. In order to perform it during the celebration, she also had to deliberately rearrange it. Shd did not think that Qing Feng actually could effortless hear it out. Especially applauding during the last part, it would seem that she knows the essence of the song well. She had long heard that the Qing family sisters were stunning world beauties and were also highly learned. From today’s meeting, it seems that they truly deserved their reputation!
Yu Han Dan got up and elegantly bowed towards Qing Feng before replying with a smile, “Thanking Imperial Concubine Qing for the praise.”
Qing Feng also smiled lightly and nodded, “This Qin of your must be expertly customised.” Else for that last part, the Qin would definitely be broken.
Yu Han Dan showed a surprise reaction but finally smile regretfully, “Yes, it seems to be difficult to play.”
As both of them were appreciating the mutually admiration, no one else in the main hall was chatting. Xin Yue Ning was unable to take this level of neglect and softly coughed before clearly speaking out, “This person is Yu Han Dan, the precious daughter of the Assistant Minister from Ministry of Rites. Before the East Empress Dowager headed to another court to recuperate, she had decided to let Han Dan perform in the ceremony. What does everyone think?”
Everyone finally recovered and they watched the Empress expression as they cautiously praised.
“His Highness the Prince has arrived.”
The eunuch’s shrill voice just ended when a seven or eight years-old boy rushed in. That child was wearing a white jade golden crown, a small purple lined overall and there was a gold belt round his waist as a green imperial pendant hanged from it. With a defiant look, he walked to the head seat and greeted, “Er-chen greets Imperial Mother.”
“Rise.” Xin Yue Ning’s face lit up with a smile as she got up to welcome. With full of pampering and gentleness, she asked, “Why did Jing-er come here?”
That child cast a sidelong glance at Yu Han Dan and her jade and jasper Qin and said in disdain, “The various countries’ envoys come over to pay their respect to the court and to present just a pitiful and childish Qin song and dance, how would it portray the awe-inspiring Qiong Yue. Er-chen just learn a set of swordplay, why not let Er-chen perform it during the celebration and let the rest experience the glory of Qiong Yue.”
What an arrogant tone! In the golden era of peace, it was not needed or necessary to brandish swords. Playing the Qin was a way to highlight a country’s magnanimous and in the book , there were many mentions of different majestic moments to wow the crowds. If he truly step up to perform, how would seven or eight child’s sword play be able to illustrate the glory of Qiong Yue?
Qing Feng scoffed but Xin Yue Ning felt proud and smiled happily, “My child is naturally able to win glory for Qiong Yue. It is just that you are a dignified Price of Qiong Yue. How can you step forward to perform for the envoys of small nations!”
Yan Jing thought about it and agreed. He would be the future monarch of the entire nation and it would not be appropriate to perform to these envoys. But he was uncomfortable if he was unable to show off the swordplay that he had just learnt. After thinking a while, Yan Jing laughed, “How about letting Er-chen perform for Imperial Mother?”
Xin Yue Ning smiled approvingly, “Good.”
Yan Jing walked to the middle of the main hall and an eunuch handed over a two che (1 che = 1 yardstick) sword. The edge of the sword was not yet open (I think it means it was not the type that could kill) and the body of the sword was as white as snow. The patterns on the steel blade reflected colourful rays on to mosaics and the fanciful swordplay was well done. It would seem that this sword was specially created for him.
Seeing that triumphant look on the child, Qing Feng was vaguely distracted. Is this the method of how the Imperial Family raise their children? When Yan Hong Tian was young, was he too like this? Not possible, thinking of that aggressive and man who only needed a look to stop someone from breathing, Qing Feng immediately rejected the speculation.
If this child was raised like this, in the future he would only become an ignorant and spoilt fatuous monarch. Why did Yan Hong Tian not discipline? Isn’t this his son?
“Mistress, be careful!”
Qing Feng was deep in her thoughts when she suddenly felt a gust of wind hit hear and only heard Fu Ling’s warning by her ear when someone pull her shoulders back harshly. Qing Feng slid backwards and sat on the floor awkwardly.
Recovering herself, she saw that sword pointing straight at her and it was less than a che (1 che = 1 yardstick). Due to the sudden turn of events, the other concubines were so scared that they gasped. Qing Feng was silently angry. He actually use the sword and point it to her! I even dared to shout at your father, what more a rude and spoilt child who use power to intimidate others!
Under the cold stare from Qing Feng, Yan Jing withdraw his short sword timidly but he immediately felt that he had lost his face when he withdrew his sword just because he was stared by a female. Thus he raise his head and sneered, “I thought which absolute beauty have entrance Imperial Father. It is just an ugly person.”
“Jing-er must not be rude.” Xin Yue Ning walked over in an exasperatingly slow speed to Yan Jing’s side and look at Qing Feng who was still on the flow. With a expression without any trace of guilt, she said, “Is younger sister all right? Jing-er truly naughty and mischievous. You mustn’t take it to heart.”
Qing Feng suddenly lowered her head and softly groan as she clutch her stomach with a pained look.
“Mistress?” Fu Ling hurriedly went forward to support but Qing Feng leaned against her shoulder.
Xin Yue Ning brows slightly tighten as she feigned her concern and asked, “What is wrong with younger sister?” Humph, it would be best that she had lost the child!
Seeing that Qing Feng did not get up for a long time, Shui Xin’s heart felt a sense of uneasiness and she quickly step forward to support. This child of Qing Feng cannot remain alive but it but not be removed in such a way today. The Empress would only bring trouble upon the Prince and herself.
Qing Feng clutched Fu Ling’s hand and got up before pushing Shui Xin aside. Qing Feng stared at Xin Yue Ning before telling Fu Ling, “Return back to the palace!”
Qing Feng’s glare did not make Xin Yue Ning angry but made her mood was lifted up. Seeing Qing Feng walking out swaying, Xin Yue Ning did not allow anyone to help out.
It seems that Qing Feng was suffering as she was leaning herself fully onto Fu Ling. Fu Ling was unable to fully support her and walked to a table front. Qing Feng tripped and almost fell down. Beauty Yu who was sitting behind the table quickly got up to support but unsure if Qing Feng was confused due to anger or pain, raised her hand and slapped Beauty Yu. Beauty Yu feel onto the ground on her knees and Qing Feng pointed that the currently kneeling Beauty Yu and hollered, “You all want to kill Bengong right?”
Wu-er had been with Chen Zhen’s side for so long and she was not a stupid person. Qing Feng would not slap anyone for no rhyme or reason and moreover it’s Beauty Yu. After thinking for a moment, Wu-er stepped forward to help up the trembling Beauty Yu and complained softly with a look of unconvinced, “It was Imperial Concubine Qing herself that knock over and now blame it on my mistress.”
This complain was not loud enough to be heard everywhere but it could be heard within earshot. Qing Feng’s face sank as she angrily scolded, “You… Impudent!”
The blue clad female standing behind Beauty Yu, who should also be the rank of a Beauty, naturally wanted to add insult to her injury. Previously Imperial Concubine Hui protected Beauty Yu and she had to suffer quite a bit. Seeing Qing Feng’s pale greenish face, the blue clad female looked at Wu-er and said, “So it is Wu-er who was always by Imperial Concubine Hui’s side. No wonder. You really think you are still serving Imperial Concubine Hui?”
“Someone come!” Qing Feng pointed to Wu-er, unsure if it was because of the pain or anger, the voice was trembling, “Throw her to the Cold Palace, let the mistress and servant be reunited!”
The guards at Yi Lan Palace looked at the Empress and it was only when they see the Empress smiled and nodded then they immediately dragged Wu-er out of Yi Lan Palace.
Xin Yue Ning went to Qing Feng’s side and when she saw her ashen face, her heart was jumping for joy but her lips continue the hypocritical words, “It’s only just a worthless servant, there is no need for younger sister to be angry. Your health is important.” Humph. At that time she wanted to join hands with Chen Zhen to go against her. Now she wants to see who will deal with who!
Qing Feng did not even look at Xin Yue Ning and left Yi Lan Palace with Fu Ling’s support. When she was walking on the Palace trail, Qing Feng’s expression resume back to normal but she still continued to let Fu Ling support her. Qing Feng softly asked, “As of this moment, the Emperor truly only have one son?”
Fu Ling gently nodded her head, “Yes.”
No wonder that child was this arrogant. Xin Yue Ning had nothing to fear. Even if he were to cause her to miscarry today, Yan Hong Tian could not do anything to that child as Yan Jing was Yan Hong Tian’s only son. First he would be the future Crown Prince and the monarch of the entire nation. If Yan Hong Tian meet up with anything, he would be the Emperor. Yan Hong Tian was such a shrewd and far-sighted person, how did he allow this situation to occur? If that child takes the throne seat, don’t even talk about her not having a way out, even officials like Lou Xi Yan and Su Ling would eventually be wiped out by the Xin clan.
The joyful mood that she enjoyed the past two days died down and she clenched Fu Ling’s hands. Qing Feng whispered, “It is almost time for Chen Zhen to give birth. Go and find a good midwife and wait for Wu-er’s news. Both mother and child must be safe and sound.”
“Yes.” Fu Ling expression was especially serious, if she did not manage to pull Mistress away in time, that sword would have really hurt Mistress. What will the Emperor do then?