And the time of reckoning is here. Do you think Qing Feng will safely deliver her child?
Chapter 76: Premature Birth (Part 2)
Shu Chuan Courtyard
Four Imperial Physicians took turns to take her pulse and the medical attendants were waiting at the side for further instructions. The palace maids and eunuchs were all standing in the house and the originally not large wooden house was filled with people. The house should be noisy but instead it was scarily quiet. Except for the occasional painful cries from the chambers, every one of them could only hear their own beating heart as there stood a tall figure just outside the screen.
Xiao Yu and Ru Yi only suffered from minor injuries and after Ru Yi’s wounds were bandaged, she went in to accompany Qing Feng. However, Xiao Yu did not go in and just stood outside the main door and saw an expressionless Yan Hong Tian standing outside the folding screen. He seemed to be awfully calm and deep in thoughts and not in panic like he was when he just returned to the wooden house. His calm and deep black eyes was slightly narrowed and no one dare not look at as they were scared that if one were to accidentally disturb him, in the next moment they would be decapitated.
“How is it?”
A deep voice suddenly sounded in the quiet wooden house and everyone jumped in surprised. The four Imperial Physicians however were trembling in the chambers.
Imperial Concubine Qing’s condition was not complicated and they had taken her pulse many times but because they did not know how to explain to the Emperor. Four of them looked at one another and finally their sights landed on Wang Zhi Yang and Wang Zhi Yan was secretly lamenting. Who let him be the Imperial Physician specifically attending to the Emperor only and also possessing the best medical skills among them. This time it was natural for him to go and explain to the Emperor.
Taking a deep breath, Wang Zhi Yang walked out from the screen and bit the bullet and honestly replied, “Replying the Emperor, Imperial Concubine fell from the stairs and had suffered a great fright and her abdomen had collided repeatedly thus the fetal lining had been broken. She can no longer wait for the full term to deliver and the option is to… Induce labour.”
“Induce labour?” Yan Hong Tian’s brows gradually knitted together and his voice went much lower which frightened Wang Zhi Yang so much that his body was trembling and his heart felt incessant grievances. He quickly explained, “At this time if labour is not induced, both mother and child would not be saved. If it is successful then there is a possibility that both mother and child will survive.”
Possibility?! Receive the cold vision from Yan Hong Tian, Wang Zhi Yang silently cursed. He had been by the Emperor’s side for so many years and naturally understood the Emperor’s temperament but premature birth was an extremely dangerous thing and it was only a small chance that both the mother and child would be safe, thus he naturally did not dare to promise success. Wang Zhi Yang plop down on his knees and waited for Yan Hong Tian to unleash his anger.
Wang Zhi Yang waited for a long time that his back was wet with seat. As he did not hear the expected fury, Wang Zhi Yang looked up slightly and saw that bright yellow boots still standing infant of him. Stunned, he immediately bowed his head lower and dare not even breathe.
“Ah!” The low cries suddenly came out from the chambers and that pain wrenching cried broke the repressed atmosphere in the room that even Yan Hong Tian’s expression changed. With a voice not as low as before called out agitatedly, “Where is the midwife?”
Two fifty plus year old women quickly stepped forward and replied quaveringly, “Servants are here.”
Another shrill cry sounded which made Yan Hong Tian frowned and head towards the chambers.
Wang Zhi Yang saw that pair of bright yellow boots striding into the inner chambers and he quickly raise his head up and urgently said, “Emperor…” Before he could even say anything, Yan Hong Tian had already opened the curtains. What can they do about this! When women give birth, not to mention the Emperor, even in normal families, men absolutely cannot see it. They cannot even go near the delivery room. Else they would be stained with bad luck and would incur calamity!
Wang Zhi Yang wanted to go in to discourage Yan Hong Tian but a pair of hands stopped him. “Imperial Physician Wang, this is not the Palace and some regulation should be avoided. The most important is to save the patient.” The female voice was very soft but there was a trace of deterrence. Wang Zhi Yang looked up and saw Xiao Yu.
Looking towards the chambers, there was no one who dared to say anything. If the Emperor really loses his temper, he was only a small Imperial Physician and now could only kneel on the ground. What qualification did he have to persuade? He was afraid that before he even open his mouth, he could no longer say anything.
“Qing Feng…” Yan Hong Tian stood in front of the bed and stared at the female on the bed. The female was still crying in pain and she looked worse than when she fell down in the morning. It was currently in the beginning of winter but her sweat has soaked her clothes and her face was so pale like there was no blood. She bit her already white lips and that pair of eyes remained constant staring at the bed frame.
Turning to her head to the side and seeing Yan Hong Tian standing in front of the bed, Qing Feng grabbed his sleeves and pulled. She did not care that her actions would be offending the Heavens, “Yan Hong Tian… The child, the child…”
Her Ladyship actually addressed the Emperor by his name! Ru Yi who was kneeling at the side to wipe Qing Feng’s sweat was so shocked that her hands were trembling. She looked up a little and saw the Emperor’s black robes had been pulled down by her Ladyship and her Ladyship kept on calling the Emperor’s name. Ru Yi quickly kept her head bowed and dare not look at Yan Hong Tian’s expression and she could not help but to take two steps back.
Just when Ru Yi was so scared that she did not know what to do, the Emperor actually squatted down and held her Ladyship’s hand before clearly saying, “The child is alright. The Imperial Physicians and midwives are here. You and the child would be alright.”
The Emperor’s voice was so loud that every single person could hear it clearly and each word were heavily weighted down in one’s heart.
“Really?” The pain had long blurred Qing Feng’s eyes but she could hear clearly that calm and clear promise.
The fear of pain during birth was at this moment appeased. She believed him and could only believe him.
Placing down the concerns and fears in her heart, the pain seemed to be even more ferocious that Qing Feng could only scream out.
“What are you all standing there for!” Yan Hong Tian shouted out lowly and all of the people in the chambers who were frozen finally recovered. The Imperial Physicians quickly took out acupuncture needles, medicinal concoctions and got ready for the delivery. The midwives also ran to the bed hastily.
Yan Hong Tian stood silently by the bed and that pressure was overbearing everyone. The other Imperial Physicians looked at him pleadingly and Wang Zhi Yang’s heart tighten as he walked to Yan Hong Tian to say, “Emperor, it would be better for you to rest outside. We officials will put in every effort to keep her Ladyship and child safe!”
“Just now you all should have heard clearly the words Zhen said to Imperial Concubine Qing. A monarch’s words are not a joking matter!” This time Yan Hong Tian did not make things difficult for them and only leave that sentence behind before he stepped out of the chambers and headed towards outside.
A monarch’s words are not a joking matter! If… Something goes wrong with Imperial Concubine Qing or the child, it meant that they caused the Emperor to break his promise, then… They would have to make it good with their lives! All of the people there were alarmed. This time without Yan Hong Tian’s presence, time quickly flew by but no one dared to neglect as they only have one thought. They must not let anything happen to this mistress on the bed as no one wanted to be buried with her.
When Yan Hong Tian stepped into the courtyard, Ming Jian was already waiting there.
“What did you find?”
“There were a few large chunks of rocks above the platform but there was no rain recently thus the soil was not slippery. From the rocks, it seemed that they were deliberately loosen and ropes were used to fix their positioning. Only when the timing was right then the ropes were cut and the rocks would roll down. When this official went up, there was already no one there and that person was very cautious. Other than the small traces of touched soil and some traces of loose rope, there was nothing left.”
One monarch, one official. One was undemonstrative, one was unyielding. Both had the same gloomy expression.
They sure came prepared and the attack was directed at Qing Feng. The timing was just right that it was enough that no one had any chance to save her. It could be seen that in addition to the high level of martial arts that person possessed, they had put in extensive thought into it this time. That person was also aware of their whereabouts and preferences, knowing that Qing Feng loved painting and also knew that he loved beautiful landscape and would definitely stand on the stone recess to appreciate the bamboos.
“Did the guards near the residence found anything unusual?” Yan Hong Tian’s voice was consistently low which made Ming Jian’s expression darken and he knelt with one knee on the floor, “This official has neglect his duty.”
Xiao Yu dared not step into that courtyard and her hand unconsciously tightened as she was a little worried for Ming Jian. If what happened today was not a natural disaster and was man-made, it would be different from the situation with the Imperial Physicians. No matter how Qing Feng and the child was, Ming Jian had already neglected his duty.
The midday sun was shining down on them but there was no warmth as the cold atmosphere enveloped both men. At this time a young guard ran in from outside the courtyard and when he saw the both of them in the courtyard, the guard also keenly felt the atmosphere was not usual and did not know whether to go forward. Xiao Yu walked over and quietly asked, “What is the matter?”
The guard whispered a few words to Xiao Yu’s ear and her brows knitted but quickly released. After waving her hand to the guard, she turned around and headed towards both of them, one stand and one kneeling. After stopping about two or three zhang (1 zhang = 10 feet) away, she said, “Emperor, the Empress Dowager and Empress have arrived.”
Yan Hong Tian looked up and saw an entourage of people coming from afar.
“Go investigate.” Yan Hong Tian only said two words and did not blame Ming Jian. Xiao Yu was secretly relieved but Ming Jian’s expression was colder than before.
Ming Jian just left the courtyard when the Empress Dowager and Empress came in together. Yan Hong Tian was already too tired to deal with it and his mood was not good but the person coming was Lou Su Xin, so Yan Hong Tian had to go up to greet, “Why are you here?”
“Aijia heard that Qing Feng fell down the stairs and specially came over to see. How is the child?” Lou Su Xin only thought about her precious Imperial grandchild and that made Xin Yue Ning happy and at the same time bitter. In their eyes, the most important thing was still the Imperial line and would not even care about the female who was carrying the child. So she must protect Jing-er’s position, as long as there was a day with Jing-er, no one could touch her!
Yan Hong Tian supported Lou Su Xin into the house and replied, “Imperial Physicians and midwives are still inside.”
“Midwives?” Xin Yu Ning was surprised, “Is she going to deliver?”
Like in response to her words, a loud cry came from the chambers and this time the four Imperial Physicians also withdrew from the chambers. Lou Su Xin asked worriedly, “Imperial Physician Wang, what is exactly going on? Isn’t this not the full term yet?
Wang Zhi Yang just walked and was welcomed by the Empress Dowager’s questions. It was fortunate that the delivery was induced successfully and Wang Zhi Yang’s hanging heart was stabilised, thus he could calmly reply, “Replying to the Empress Dowager, Imperial Concubine Qing’s abdomen sustained impact and could not wait till it was full term to deliver. Just now these officials had performed acupuncture to induce labour and now the midwives are delivering. Her Ladyship is doing well and the Empress Dowager do not need to worry.” Finishing his words, Wang Zhi Yang stealthily looked at Yan Hong Tian’s expression but could not see any joy or anger.
How was this possible? Qing Feng’s child… Was it not… Xin Yue Ning looked back at Shui Xin and Shui Xin shook her head gently to tell her not to be impatient. But she came here to exposed the news of Qing Feng’s miscarriage and now with this kind of situation, how could she be assured?! Xin Yue Ning stared at Wang Zhi Yang and snapped, “Are you sure that there is no problem with the child? This is a big matter to the Imperial bloodline!”
Wang Zhi Yang understood inexplicably in his heart but dared not take it lightly as he ensured, “This lowly official words are all true and would not dare to deceive the Empress Dowager.”
Xin Yue Ning initial intention was to verify if the child was still in existence but Lou Su Xin thought of another aspect and urgently said, “If the child is born prematurely, will there be any problems?” The Emperor’s lineage had been thin and it was very difficult to have this child. If there was an issue upon birth, what can be done?
Wang Zhi Yang deliberated repeatedly before replying cautiously, “A premature child’s health tend to be relatively weak but with excellent conditioning and care, there would not be any difference to that of a child born in full-term.”
As long as the child can be recuperated it was good. Lou Su Xin’s heart was relieved. But Xin Yue Ning was not resigned to it and she wanted to walk into the chambers to see what was happening. With her hands balled up, Shui Xin pretended to help be but was firmly pulling and holding Xin Yue Ning back.
A baby’s wails pierced through a restless room.
“Delivered?!” Lou Su Xin was filled with joy and after a short while the midwife came out carrying a baby wrapped with a red coat and said repeatedly, “Congratulating the Emperor. Congratulating the Empress Dowager. It’s a prince!”
A prince! Lou Su Xin immediately went up and smiled, “Quickly bring to Aijia to carry!”
Xin Yue Ning also took a step forward and saw the baby in Lou Su Xin arms. The small face was crumpled up and his eyes were tightly shut and it seemed that there was no vitality. Xin Yue Ning’s heart was very resentful but she still put on a pleased look.
The soft and tender baby was obediently lying in the embrace which made Lou Su Xin like it so much and repeatedly said, “Thank the heavens and earth! The ancestors had blessed and protected!” The Emperor finally had another son!
A group of people surrounded Lou Su Xin and repeatedly congratulated but Yan Hong Tian did not go over to look at his own newborn son. He instead softly asked the midwife, “How is she?”
The midwife replied softly, “The Emperor can be assured that Imperial Concubine Qing had fainted due to the exhaustion and there was no big issue arise. After resting for a few days, she would be fine.” After finishing, she quickly turn to her side to make way but who knew that the Emperor did not enter the chambers to visit Imperial Concubine Qing. The midwife was confused. Before her Ladyship delivered, the Emperor was so anxious and everyone could tell that the Emperor favoured and felt tenderness towards her Ladyship but why was he this cold now? He even did not take a second glance at that new born baby.
Satisfied with the baby in her arms, Lou Su Xin spoke, “Well, well. Its good that she is fine. It seems that with Qing Feng’s condition, she would not be able to take good care of the baby. And since the condition is so humble here, Aijia will bring the prince back to the Palace.”
Yan Hong Tian’s voice was calm and low as usual which gave a shock to Lou Su Xin and Xin Yue Ning.