Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 78
Chapter 78: Congratulatory Gift
When Chenshi (modern timing: 7 – 9 am) came, Yan Hong Tian woke up like usual but that pair of opened eyes was not as clear as usual. Even during the busiest period during the celebration, he was not as tired as this. Yan Hong Tian propped his head sideways and saw this round horizontal little thing in the center of the bed. After rearing for a few days, his skin was much rosier and that closed eyes were like a crescent moon and that small little mouth was slightly pouting. When he was quiet, he was rather lovable but once he cried, it would be vexing. Not mentioning during the daytime, he would cry and fuss about two or three arounds at night. Yan Hong Tian had never knew that children are such troublesome things. Only three days had pass and he was already tormented like this, not to mention Qing Feng who has no experience as a mother but still want to do everything personally.
Yan Hong Tian just wanted to get up when that little rascal sleeping in the middle suddenly moved. Even though his closed eyes were not open but that small little mouth started to draw back as it got bigger and it appeared that he would be crying again. Yan Hong Tian’s face froze and he called out, “Someone come!”
Ru Yi gently pushed open the doors and just walked into the chambers when she heard the Emperor deliberately lower voice with some traces of anxious, “Carry the child to the wet nurse.”
“Yes.” Ru Yi suppressed her laughter and quickly walk over to the side of the bed. When she carried the Prince, Qing Feng who was lying in the bed propped herself to sit up even though she was so tired that she could not open her eyes and murmured, “What is wrong with him…”
“You have not been sleeping well these days. Just get them to carry the baby over when you wake up.” Yan Hong Tian waved his hands to Ru Yi to let her carry the child away. Even though the already badly tormented Qing Feng did not say anything and lean again the edge of the bed yawning, seeing her haggard face, Yan Hong Tian softly humph, “Brought trouble for oneself.”
Qing Feng lazily stretch her back as she criticised in her heart, the child make noises every single night but he still come over every day to rest. She don’t believe that in this entire large residence there was no other rooms. He say that she brought trouble on herself but it did not seem that he was anywhere better. But Qing Feng only dare to swallow down these words, in case someone fly into a rage out of humiliation.
After sitting for a while, Qing Feng’s spirits were better and seeing that Yan Hong Tian’s mood was not bad, Qing Feng brightly look towards his direction and smile, “There is something that I want to discuss with you.”
“Say it then.” Rarely seeing her putting in effort to fawn, Yan Hong Tian vaguely guessed what she wanted to say.
“After returning to the Palace, I was thinking… To bring up this child myself… Before he is three, can he stay with me in Qing Feng Hall?” Qing Feng spoke very carefully, specially that ‘three’ word, she struggled a lot before finally saying it.
“Each Prince would have their own palace after they are born and would not live together with his mother. Do you want to spoil this rule?” Yan Hong Tian’s brows slightly furrowed but he did not get angry. However that cool tone indicated that Qing Feng’s proposal was a wishful thought.
Qing Feng had earlier guessed that it would be this outcome but her heart was still very disappointed. She knew finally understood Chen Zhen’s feeling, not to be able to be with one’s child daily was the greatest torment to a mother. Letting out a heavy sigh, Qing Feng replied, “Alright, I will not spoil your rules.”
So easy to talk to? “What do you want to do again?”
Qing Feng shrugged, “What can I do?”
According to his understanding, even though she was not considered someone who would be unscrupulously to reach her goals, but was one that would not give up easily. Yan Hong Tian sat down on the couch and lifted her chin so that she would look directly at his eyes and smiled, “Say it for Zhen to listen, to avoid your shocking actions that would offend the entire society and for Zhen to roughly know how to deal when the Empress Dowager and Empress come looking for trouble.”
Xiao Yu calculated that Yan Hong Tian would have gotten up at Chenshi (modern timing: 7 – 9 am) and when she was at the door, she found that it was not closed. When she entered the outer chamber, she was able to hear the Emperor’s voice, with a touch of teasing, coming from inside and look into the room from the screen. The morning sun shone on the two of them sitting on the bed and talking but naturally she was unable to see their expression clearly as it was still dim. However she could hear the rare indulgence and favouring in the Emperor’s voice. Xiao Yu gently smiled and quietly backed out, not forgetting to close the door.
Yan Hong Tian himself probably did not notice that he was indulging Qing Feng this much and Qing Feng definitely did not grasp it so she naturally did not feel grateful and directly rolled her eyes at him and push his hands away before she softly humph, “I dare not offend the entire society. It’s just that since the Prince cannot stay over with me then it is alright for me will go over to his residence to stay.”
“You…” Yan Hong Tian was dumbfounded. For a concubine to move to live with the price, was something unheard of in the this and the previous dynasties. Was this what she was referring to as not spoiling the rules?
Qing Feng thought about it and found that it was a little too much but she was not willing to resign to this unfeeling regulation. After pondering for a long time, she came up with an idea, “If this also does not work then I will go and see him every day at Chenshi (modern timing: 7 – 9 am) and head back to Qing Feng Hall at Haishi (modern timing: 9 – 11 pm). This would be alright then. In your Imperial regulation, there is no rule on how many shichen a mother can see the child for right?”
“The Prince is your child and even if you are not accompanying him, he is still your child. You don’t need to do everything by yourself.” What was the difference with going there at Chenshi (modern timing: 7 – 9 am) and returning at Haishi (modern timing: 9 – 11 pm) and staying there? As someone born in the Imperial family, Yan Hong Tian was used to how mother and son getting along in the Palace and really did not understand Qing Feng’s stubbornness.
She did not want her son to become like Yan Hong Tian, so hard to fathom his joy and anger and be so cold and ruthless. She especially did not want him to be like Yan Jing that arrogant and ignorant. She wants to personally accompany, care and teach her child so she had to convince him.
“Because… I don’t want in the future, my child to ask me what is the feeling of between a mother and child.” Qing Feng know that she had made a risky move and sure enough when she finished, Yan Hong Tian’s face immediately sank. These few days that face was filled with smile and now that dark and deep eyes were filled with brutal cold force like an ice knife, slicing her a little at a time.
“Your nerve is getting. Bigger. And. Bigger!”
This was the so called fury of a monarch and she had definitely stepped on his pain. But it was only like that then there would be an opportunity to move him. Qing Feng clench her fist tightly and use the pain that she felt in her palms to ease the fear in her heart, “Yan Hong Tian, I am his mother, I do not want to only see him every day during greetings. I do not want him to be closer to the wet nurse than me and definitely do not want my son to be brought up by mamas and eunuchs!”
Both of them kept staring at one another without giving in. That pair of black eyes looked into that seemingly placid eyes and say the undercurrent it hid. Staring with such intensity, it would make one forget to breath. Just as Qing Feng was about to suffocate, Yan Hong Tian coldly spit out two words, “One year.”
What one year?
He was saying… The child could stay with her in Qing Feng Hall for one year? Qing Feng’s eyes lit up, he actually agreed? Qing Feng’s face was filled with joy, “Thank…”
Before she could even finish, Yan Hong Tian strode away without even looking at her. When he left, that overbearing pressure was also dispersed and Qing Feng clenched fists also slowly relaxed. She took a long sigh of relief. Whatever it was, one year was also good. Within this one year, she could still find the opportunity to convince him even though it would be difficult.
Qing Feng laid on the bed. Even though her body was exhausted, she could not sleep and did not want to move. So she just stayed like that staring at the top of the bed dazing until Ru Yi came in to ask her if she wanted to have lunch, Qing Feng then recovered, afternoon came so quickly.
After letting Ru Yi bring a few dishes over, Qing Feng appetited was still not very good and she only ate a few bits before instructing Ru Yi, “Ru Yi, let the wet nurse carry the child over.”
“Yes.” Knowing that her mistress misses her son, Ru Yi quickly left and in a short while lead a female back. This female was not the wet nurse a few days again. She did not look young, seemingly in her early thirties, with a clean look and very quiet.
“Let me carry.” Qing Feng stretched her hands out and that female immediately placed the Little Prince from her embrace to Qing Feng’s hands and quietly stepped aside.
The little guy slept very peacefully and the light herbal fragrance indicated that he had bathed. Qing Feng sighed. She indeed did not know how to care for a child. The day before she bathed him and that took more than one shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours) and he also cried for over one shichen. Seeing this, she only lay down for a while and he had a satiate look and his body was refreshed. Qing Feng found it funny and angry at the same time.
Qing Feng wanted to ask the female a few thing and when she look back, she saw her with her head slightly lowered as she stood at
“Replying to your Ladyship, this servant’s name is Shen Yao.”
Quiet with only a few words and was restrain and gentle. Qing Feng took a few more look at her and was thinking of letting her come to Qing Feng Hall to serve after returning to the Palace. As such, she would not be flustered with everything.
Qing Feng was thinking about it when Xiao Yu came in carrying two boxes, one big and one small. Qing Feng laughed, “Xiao Yu, what good things are you holding?”
Placing both boxes gently on the table, Xiao Yu then smiled and replied, “Naturally good stuff. The Prime Minister’s Residence and General’s Residence send the congratulatory gifts over.”
“Congratulatory gifts?” Qing Feng was taken aback and did not react. Xiao Yu placed the two gift boxes in front of Qing Feng and smile, “En, for the Little Prince.”
The child was only born three four days ago and gifts were send over so hurriedly, it should be her sisters borrowing Lou Xi Yan’s and Su Ling’s name to send it.
Ru Yi curiously picked up the white brocade box on top. The box was only palm-size and it was light. The wooden box below was much larger and when she touched it, it did not move. It seems that the thing inside was not light at all. Ru Yi chuckled, “One light and one heavy. Wonder what kind of gifts are they?”
“Then open it up to see what treasure it is. Zhen is a little curious.” A deep rough voice came from outside and Yan Hong Tian tall figure appeared at the door. Qing Feng was apprehensive but Yan Hong Tian’s expression had returned to normal and there was a faint smile on his lips, like the morning events did not happen. Qing Feng slightly lowered her head and saw that his shoes were stain a little by mud and there was some yellow bamboo leaves. It turns out that he went to the bamboo forest.
“Long live the Emperor.”
“Raise.” Yan Hong Tian sat by Qing Feng and Ru Yi picked up the small square box and gently opened it up. There was a slightly larger than a thumb-size jade pendant wrapped in red silk brocade. Ru Yi took the jade pendant out and handed it over to Qing Feng’s hand and praised, “Look at this your Ladyship, this jade pendant is really beautiful. Prime Minister Lou is truly an elegant gentleman.”
Qing Feng looked at the jade pendant in her hands and there was not the usual carved flowers or auspicious patterns on the jade. It was just a plain and simple piece of oval jade which was very delicate and white. The most special feature is that in this cold start of winter, this jade was warm and when one place on the palm, that warm heat would flow from the up and warm up the heart.
Rong San Nuan Jade (literal translation: Melting Mountain Warm Jade)? Yan Hong Tian only took a glance at it and instantly recognised it. According to legends, when a child was young, if they have the Nuan Jade close to them, it would prevent the cold or evil from entering. When Xi Yan was young, his health was not good so that year in order to get him a piece of Rong San Nuan Jade, the Lou family used all their effort and energy. He did not think that he would eventually give it to this child.
Ru Yi saw Prime Minister Lou’s gift and was staring curiously at the big heavy wooden box. She smiled, “Wonder what gift did General Su send?”
Xiao Yu opened the wooden box and saw an golden ornament laying quietly inside, no wonder it was this heavy. Xiao Yu had to use both hands to in order to pick the item up. When she say the shape of the ornament, Xiao Yu could not help but called out lowly, “Ya Zi?!”
That ornament had a dragon body and a beast (wolf) head, its mouth was biting a treasured sword and it was an awe-inspiring and majestic heavenly animal. Although this may be one of the nine sons of the dragon, it naturally loved to kill and fight thus it was usually fixed on weapons so as to deter the enemy.
Qing Feng’s face paled, this gift is obviously not sent by Mo-er, so it was sent by Su Ling. After staying in the Inner Palace during these days, she understood that even though she was favoured, most people still do not take her seriously and waited to see her make a joke of herself and also waited to see how she would end up like without the Emperor’s favour. Now with Lou Xi Yan and Su Ling open declaration of support, even without Yan Hong Tian favour and protection, she would not have a difficult time in the Palace. Qing Feng thank Su Ling in her heart but also started to worry for him.
How would Yan Hong Tian see it? Su Ling was had two-thirds of the military power of Qiong Yue under his command and to send this kind of hostile animal as a gift to a Prince…
Ru Yi did not understand why Xiao Yu’s and Qing Feng’s expression had become so solemn and the atmosphere of the room was instantly weird. The Emperor only took the golden ornament in his hands and suddenly burst out laughing, “Its indeed a gift from the General’s Residence.”
Qing Feng was unable to guess if he was so angry that he laughed or was it truly an approval and kept quiet. She slightly look over at Xiao Yu, since Xiao Yu had been by Yan Hong Tian’s side for so many years, she would be able to gauge his intentions. Her face had resume to her usual. Did it mean that Yan Hong Tian was not angry at all?
A guard soldier hurriedly ran over and anxiously look into the house. Yan Hong Tian lightly nodded and Xiao Yu walked out the door. The soldier whispered some words and there was a surprised flashed across Xiao Yu’s eyes.
Returning back to the house, Xiao Yu half knelt down to whisper a few sentences to Yan Hong Tian’s ear. His sharp brows slightly raise but his black pupils turn cold first before showing some signs of interest.
What issue made Yan Hong Tian put on that expression? Xiao Yu just look at her a little, did it mean that whatever thing that had happened was related to her? As Qing Feng was guessing, Yan Hong Tian suddenly got up, “Zhen had been staying in the residence for quite some time and will go directly back to the Palace later. You should prepare in advance. Three days later there will be someone who will pick you back.”
After leaving that sentence, Yan Hong Tian left again but this time in a more hurried pace. Qing Feng was secretly relieved and felt a sense of loss at the same time. At the end, she had to return. The plum blossom trees outside were started budding and should turn out beautifully. Unfortunately she was not fated to see it this year. As her eyes swept pass the dazzling golden Ya Zi, Qing Feng quietly sighed, this gift is very precious and also a headache.
Ming Ze was guarding outside the courtyard and when he saw Yan Hong Tian’s hurried pace, he guessed that the Emperor would probably go out and thus instructed the soldier behind to prepare the carriage. Ming Ze went up and followed behind but Yan Hong Tian took two steps before suddenly stopping. He abruptly turned his head around and that black pair of eyes stared at Ming Ze. Ming Ze was shock but was not terrified and just stood there bowed.
“You are called Ming Ze?”
The deep voice sounding from above his head and Ming Ze was startled before he replied, “Yes.”
“Ming Jian’s younger brother?”
After a brief silence, Ming Ze softly replied, “Yes.”
“From today onwards, protecting Imperial Concubine Qing and the Prince is your responsibility.”