Chapter 66: The Celebration (Part 2)
“What?!” Give birth now?!
Qing Feng was frantic and this low shout attracted a few pair of surprised eyes. Qing Feng quickly controlled her state of mind and pull Fu Ling to the side for a few more steps. With a suppressed whisper, she anxiously said, “Quickly bring the midwife over to deliver her baby.”
Fu Ling had a distressed expression but she still nodded and replied, “Yes.”
Just as she was about to leave, Fu Ling felt a sudden pain in her wrist. “Be careful.” The suppressed voice and the pain on her wrist indicate that Qing Feng was panicking and Fu Ling nodded her head with force, “Rest assure Mistress.”
Today was the celebration where the various envoys have audiences with the Emperor thus there were doubled the number of guards. Even around the Cold Palace where is normally inaccessible, there would also be Imperial Guards patrolling at this timing. Qing Feng was cursing in her heart. Chen Zhen, why did you not give birth earlier or later and purposely pick this time to give birth!
“Is there anything happening?” A soft voice was questioning from her back. Qing Feng was taken aback and she turned around. Her Eldest Sister was looking at her worriedly so Qing Feng quickly replied, “Nothing.”
Her lips said nothing but her face was still wearing a shock expression. Zhuo Qing softly sighed and said, “If there is anything, don’t keep it in your heart. Say it out and we will do our best to help you.” After all, Qing Feng was young and had a stubborn character who would not think about the consequences behind her action. Seeing that the scars on her face were deeper than Mo Yun’s and hers, Zhuo Qing always had an alarmed feeling. She reckoned that because the last time she helped to steal the Empress Dowager’s personal seal, she was in a perilous position. Since she has possessed her Eldest Sister’s body and enjoy her feelings towards her Eldest Sister, Zhuo Qing had already long decided to take Qing Feng as a younger sister to care for.
The clear cool voice was not considered gentle but it was much more confident and certain than the past. Eldest Sister was really unlike the past. With a wave of warm in her heart, the panic subsided and Qing Feng nodded her head before replying, “I know. It is really nothing.”
It was evident that she was reluctant to say and thinking of the things that happened in the Inner Palace, it seemed that she would not be able to help much. Zhuo Qing did not asked any more and both of them casually chatted a few more sentences. Qing Feng’s mind was absence so Zhuo Qing also stop talking. At one tenth after noon, an official from the Ministry of Rites walked towards the stone steps and stood on top of the stone steps without saying a word. The originally space that was bustling with noise quickly quieten down. The people around her was also immersed in their own thoughts. Zhuo Qing gently nudged Qing Feng’s shoulder and said, “It appears that the celebration is starting, you should go over.”
“En?” Qing Feng’s mind recovered and she looked up. She say rows of hundreds walking out from the back of Qing Yang Hall. Seeing that procession, the person coming should presumably be Yan Hong Tian. Qing Feng looked apologetic to Zhuo Qing. It was hard to get a chance to get close to her Eldest Sister but she herself was… Qing Feng face was filled with sadness and Zhuo Qing only gave cool smile, even if she couldn’t bear it, Qing Feng could only walk towards Qian Yang Hall. The empty seat at the bottom of the white jaded stone steps was then her position.
“The Emperor has arrived!”
Qing Feng just stood up when unlike the usual, a deep shrill male voice sounded and it was passed over from afar. Except for the Imperial Guards who were standing still and mightily, the rest of the people were bowing down with their knees bent.
Qing Feng was pregnant and it was not convenient for her to greet thus she could only half kneel. At the moment when Yan Hong Tian appeared, she could see him with one glance. Yan Hong Tian today was wearing an ink-black official robe and on the sleeves, golden threads were use to embroidered two flying golden dragons. There was a red jaded belt on his waist and t he purple golden crown was shining dazzlingly in the sun. The usually cold eyes look even deeper at this moment and slight smile on his lips did not make him look friendlier. It was a smile but not a smile that reflects the majestic air of a monarch. Xin Yue Ning and the long time not seen Lou Su Xun walked on the right and left of Yan Hong Tian. Both of them was adorned with beautiful robes and excludes luxury. Xin Yue Ning dark red robes was spread out on the floor and there was a hundred year Phoenix that was embroidered on it, matching Yan Hong Tian’s golden dragons.
“Long live the Emperor Wu.”
“Long live the Qiong Supreme Emperor.” (My thoughts: I believe Yan Hong Tian’s subjects greet him as Emperor Wu, his official title?, and the envoys from other nations greets him as Qiong Supreme Emperor)
From the moment Yan Hong Tian stepped on the white jaded stone steps, thousands of people was greeting at the top of the voices. The voices resonated onto the skies and Qing Feng’s ears trembled and her heart also tremble with it. Qing Feng looked up slightly and saw the him on the Qian Yang Hall, standing up tall and his gaze was calm and cool as he viewed bowing people. At this moment, Qing Feng only then felt what was the monarch of the six nations, what was called the dignity of the supreme royalty. Yan Hong Tian only stood there quietly, like in the entire world he was the only one standing, receiving worship from all around.
Yan Hong Tian seated down and the voices stopped.
“Rise.” After a long silence, the deep male voice rang out and Qing Feng seemed to hear herself, like everyone else, taking a deep breath.
“Thanking the Emperor.”
“Thanking the Qiong Supreme Emperor.”
Yan Hong Tian slightly raised his hand and the long horns that were on the palace gates facing the city sounded. The resonant sound of the horns lifted the spirits of those who heard it. In a short while, the horns stopped and a group of strong men, in a group of three carried a large drum and ran ino the large space in the middle of Qian Yang Hall. It was only at this time that everyone noticed that there was a Zhang (1 zhang = 10 feet) tall stage that was built in the middle of the empty space.
The brawny men started to beat the drums and at this time a female wearing red slowly walked from outside the palace gates. She was carrying a green jade jasper Qin. She walked really slowly so everyone’s gaze landed on her. Her slender figure walked on till she was in the beside the brawny men, the strong contrasting the weak, revealed a gripping type of beauty. The female walked to the front of the stage and placed the Qin on her lap and her hand gestures showed a touch of chic and aloofness.
The empty hands lifted and the drums stopped. A string of light notes sounded and a melodious tune was form. Like the female on the stage, there was a few bits of freeness in the gentleness. The sound of the Qin was soft and when the drums was beaten, it broke the Qin’s music. From listening to the piece, it was somewhat different from the performance previously and there was a harmony between the drums and the Qin. had a grand momentum which fits the celebration atmosphere and showed Qiong Yue’s strength as the lead nation. Yu Han Dan’s piece will be widely talked about for the next three years.
The performing was marvellous but unfortunately Qing Feng’s entire heart was on the matter of Imperial Concubine Hui’s child and did not have the mood to enjoy or appreciate.
The performances during the previous year’s celebrations were determined by both the Empress Dowagers and Ministry of Rites and there was nothing really special about it. This year’s performance, however, seemed to interest the Emperor. Yan Hong Tian’s eyes were rarely like everyone’s, fixed on the red cladded female. Because listening to this piece of music, he would inexplicably think of the hunting painting that Qing Feng drew. The music and painting complemented one another but there were some differences. The music had a vigorous atmosphere, like a team of hunters were obviously chasing the prey that were as good as in their bag. Whereas Qing Feng painting of the hunt was much more interesting as it reflects the showdown between the brave and fierce warlike hunter and the cunning and savage prey.
His lips hooked up to a smile and Yan Hong Tian look towards Qing Feng who was below the stone steps but he saw her staring at the tea in her hands, thinking of don’t know what.
Qing Feng had been waiting for more than half a shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours) and Fu Ling finally returned. Not daring to make big movements, she was sitting still as before but her hands was holding the teacup tighter as she softly asked, “How is it?”
The sounds of bells and drums were very loud that it would not be clearly heard if one were to speak normally. But Fu Ling still cautiously lowered her voice and spoke very near Qing Feng’s ear, “The midwife is still helping her to give birth but she is not delivering. I fear that it would be a difficult birth…”
Her heart which was hanging from the beginning sank and the cup that Qing Feng held in her hands fell onto the table with a “Pa”, spilling the tea onto the table.
The noise was not considered loud but it still attracted the attention of many gazes and one of which was from a male sitting high up. Qing Feng dare not look at him. With an inspiration, she clutch her stomach and put on a pained expression.
Fu Ling said surprisingly, “Mistress?” It shouldn’t be that the shock interrupted the foetus energy right?
Just as Fu Ling was anxiously trying to take her pulse, Qing Feng grabbed her hand and slightly tighten. She still had a pained expression but her voice was calm when she replied, “I am fine.”
Yan Hong Tian had already recovered his line of sight and his dark eyes was back on the red figure who was performing on stage but he was not enjoying like he did previously. He softly called, “Gao Jing.”
“Yes.” Not needing Yan Hong Tian to say more, Gao Qing quickly walked over to Qing Feng’s side and softly asked, “Imperial Concubine Qing, what happened?
Qing Feng’s hand was clutching her stomach and her brows were slightly knitted as she smile reluctantly, “Nothing. It’s just… My stomach suddenly ache a little.”
“Someone come and summon Imperial Physician Wang.”
Qing Feng did not expect Gao Jing would summon for Imperial Physician Wang and urgently said, “Don’t!” Other than Huang Jiao, Imperial Physician Wang was Yan Hong Tian dedicated personal Imperial Physician and naturally there was no need to talk about his medical skills. But if he were to come, won’t her circumstances be revealed? Sensing that the tone was very anxious, Gao Jing started to get suspicious but Qing Feng pressed her waist and explain with a smile, “It is not a big deal, it would be fine with just summoning for Imperial Physician Lin. These days he was the one who was diagnosing and treating Bengong and understand more about Bengong’s health.”
Gao Jin stared at her for a moment before telling the eunuch behind, “Summon Imperial Physician Lin over to treat her Ladyship.”
“Yes.” The eunuch hurried away but Gao Jing did not returned to Yan Hong Tian’s side and stood about one zhang (1 zhang = 10 feet) behind of Qing Feng. It would seem that if he did not heard the physician explanation, he would not leave at all.
Confirming that Gao Jin was not able to hear her speak, Qing Feng continue to whisper, “How is she exactly now?”
Pretending to pat Qing Feng’s back for her to ease her breathing, Fu Ling replied seriously, “It is not very good. There is no hot water in the Cold Palace and even though Wu-er brought some last night, it was no longer hot now. It is already in the late autumn but they were only covered with a thin quilt and their diet are sparse. Imperial Concubine Qing was already sick for half a month and the midwife said that she orginally do not have enough energy to give birth and now the position of the foetus is wrong, which made it even more difficult. Before this servant came over, Imperial Concubine Hui… Kept losing blood. If this continues on, the child definitely cannot be saved and even she will also die.”
The heavy drums rang with the sounds of the Qin but Qing Feng only felt that every note was hitting her heart. If she did not bother about it now, it would be a corpse with two lives. If she get involved, how would she manage? If she were to now tell the Emperor, Chen Zhen was currently in a difficult birth and the child was yours? Needless to say the Empress would definitely meddle and just the fact that a concubine in the Cold Palace was giving birth during the celebration and no one in the entire Palace knew about it, where would Yan Hong Tian’s face be left? What would remain of Qiong Yue’s face? She cannot say, at least it should not be said now. Qing Feng’s hands habitually caressed her abdomen as her gaze drifter to the man on the highest seat. The more she thought, the further and deeper it became. She may not necessarily be able to give birth to a son and it was indeed very dangerous and strange for Yan Hong Tian to have only one son for the past ten years on the throne. Chen Zhen’s child must definitely be born!
There were innumerable twists and turns in her heart and after she have thought for a long time, Qing Feng finally spoke, “Then… Let’s take a risk!”