Chapter 81: The Empress’s Trap
Qing Feng sat half leaning the bed and her heart which was hanging the entire evening was about to be place down when a voice came from outside the courtyard reported, “The Emperor has arrived. The Empress has arrived.”
Qing Feng suddenly sat up, why would they… Come over together?
“Long live the Emperor. Long live the Empress.”
Yan Hong Tian and Xin Yue Ning came into the house one after another. Other than the Empress Dowager who was carrying the Little Prince and the slightly stunned Qing Feng who was sitting on the bed motionless, the rest of the concubines and servants all knelt down.
Yan Hong Tian crossed the screen and his view met with Qing Feng’s puzzled and slightly surprised eyes. After both of their eyes met for a while, Yan Hong Tian indifferently broke eye contact and said, “All raise.”
The inner room was originally not that big and now the Emperor and Empress came, it was much more crowded. A few of the concubines that came with the Empress Dowager were sensible enough to get up and retreated to the living room.
Yan Hong Tian sat down on the deck chair near the window and drank the tea that was freshly brewed by Fu Ling, portraying a leisurely image. In this room, the only person that Qing Feng was most afraid of was Xin Yue Ning. With her head slightly down while sitting on the bed, Qing Feng looked up and saw Xin Yue Ning putting on a smiling face with a ruddy complexion, like she was not at all ill and that brows were actually a little pleased with herself. When she entered the house, she went to the Empress Dowager and smiled, “Chenqie greets the Empress Dowager.”
This group of people came in, a moment bowed, a moment greeted, and had somewhat scared the already sleeping little obedient grandchild. Lou Su Xin saw him moving uncomfortably like he was about to wake up and quickly patted and coax him . She did not even gave Xin Yue Ning a look as she reply in a whisper, “Did the Empress said that she is not feeling well and will rest in Yi Lan Palace? Why come over with the Emperor?”
Xin Yue Ning did not mind the Empress Dowager’s displeasure and still smile and laugh, “Chenqie’s health was not a big matter. Today younger sister Imperial Concubine Qing just returned to the Palace, Chenqie should come over to visit. Thinking that after a short period it would be the Little Prince’s full month and younger sister’s health have yet to recover, these things Chenqie have to manage. Chenqie went over to the Emperor’s to invite him to visit younger sister and the Little Prince and also to consult with the Empress Dowager to discuss about the full month celebration.”
Originally when there was an arrival of an Imperial child, the Palace was naturally prepared for it but who knew that Qing Feng would give birth prematurely and everyone temporarily panicked. For Xin Yue Ning to be this meticulous, Lou Su Xin could not help but praise and smiled, “It was still the Empress that was thoughtful. The day is no longer far, did the Empress though of how to celebrate the Prince’s full month? Say it out for Aijia to listen.”
Xin Yue Ning turn back and looked at Qing Feng with a brilliant smile which made Qing Feng’s heart trembled as she saw it. Presumably, Mo-er had brought harm to Xin Yue Ning material uncle’s family and Su Ling publicly refuted her so even if Xin Yue Ning did not glower at her, she should not be that amiable. The more she was like that, the more nervous Qing Feng became.
Qing Feng’s face became solemn which made Xin Yue Ning’s heart pleased. Humph! You will suffer more in the future! Turning back to look at the Empress Dowager, Xin Yue Ning put back that radiant smile and replied, “For the Little Prince’s full month banquet, the entire spectacle must be grand and festive. The officials in court must also come and the commoners should also take the opportunity to have a nationwide celebration for three days. Just now the Emperor mentioned that General Su will be heading off to crush the pirates in half a month time so Chenqie thought of why not taking the occasion and hold it with the Little Prince’s full month banquet. As such the scene would be even more lively.”
Sure enough, it had to do with Su Ling. Qing Feng’s mind concluded that Xin Yue Ning had some conspiracy planned and before the Empress Dowager could say anything, she immediately replied, “This is not right. General Su will be taking the troops to suppress the pirates and it is a major event for Qiong Yue. How can it be held together with a small child’s full month celebration? Afraid that this would cause the soldiers to be dissatisfied.”
As she had expected Qing Feng would have said as such, Xin Yue Ning chuckled and walked over to the bed and grabbed Qing Feng’s hand to pat a little and laughed loudly, “Younger sister remarks is incorrect. The Emperor is happy to have a prince and this is a thing to be celebrated. The pirates have been pushing the borders and Qiong Yue’s auspicious omen of the Little Prince is born, for General Su to besiege the pirates now, it would definitely be a victory. For it to be held with the Prince’s full month banquet, first to celebrate the Prince’s full month and also to boost the army’s morale, it would indeed be the best of both worlds. Moreover, younger sister have not seen your own sisters for a long time and can take the opportunity to let Prime Minister Lou and General Su to bring them in the Palace. At that time all you three sisters can catch up and they can also take a look at the Little Prince. Why is younger sister hesitating?”
Xin Yue Ning said it reasonably and Qing Feng actually should not have any hesitation but she felt that things was not as simple as it it but she was unable to tell at this moment what was wrong with it.
Qing Feng was silent but Lou Su Xin was instead extremely satisfied, “Aijia finds that the Empress’s idea is not bad.”
“The Empress Dowager also felt that it is good? This is great.” Loosening Qing Feng’s hand, Xin Yue Ning happily turned around and look at Yan Hong Tian, who had been drinking tea the entire night, to ask, “What is the Emperor’s thoughts?”
Yan Hong Tian did not even look up before he casually replied, “Then just follow the Empress’s wishes to hold it.”
“Thanking the Emperor.” Xin Yue Ning’s face was filled with happiness but Qing Feng’s heart sank. Did they already discussed it? No wonder they came together, it was indeed an affectionate husband and wife! Her heart could not get away from the nervousness and Qing Feng stared at Yan Hong Tian fiercely. She did not think that Yan Hong Tian, who was looking down at the cup in his hand, would suddenly look up and their line of sight crossed. Qing Feng was stunned and at that moment she panicked but after realising that she did not do anything wrong, she stared back. Yan Hong Tian raised his brows slightly and the faint smile, but not a smile, expression in his dark eyes made Qing Feng inexplicably irritated.
Seeing the two persons flirting with their eyes, Xin Yue Ning jubilant mood went down to rock bottom. Xin Yue Ning coughed once and took a few steps forward and block their line of slight before asking in a reluctant laugh, “After the Little Prince is a full month old, he should be moved to his own palace and should now start to pack else when the time comes, it would be a rush. Not sure the Emperor had bestowed which palace for the Little Prince to live?”
When the topic of her child was made, Qing Feng’s nerves once again tighten and after some thought, she carefully replied, “The Emperor has been busy with state affairs and have yet to bestow.”
“Like this…” Xin Yue Ning glance at the little baby soundly sleeping and pretended to ponder about it for a while before saying, “Why not choose Chu Xiu Palace? It is near to Qing Feng Hall and in the future would facilitate the Prince to come over to greet. Does younger sister like it?”
Yan Hong Tian had agreed that she would be able to have her child by her side till a full year old and now with regards to the Prince moving out after the full month, he did not say a word about it. Was he backing out of it? Qing Feng was somewhat flustered and took several deep breaths before she could calmly reply, “The Empress already said that the place is good, naturally Chenqie would like it. But the Empress should not be troubled with the arrangement of the Palaces. After a few days when the weather is much better, Chenqie will send someone to take care of it, after all it would need to wait for the child to be a full age before moving in.”
Xin Yue Ning’s face sank and she urgently continued, “For what reason?”
Yan Hong Tian did not really speak for the entire night and no one could figure out the look on his face. But now he did not even lift his head up, seemingly to let her self-destruct. Qing Feng clenched her teeth secretly. Good, since you were not bothered by it then don’t blame me! Qing Feng slowly lift her head up and put on a little sadness on her face before sighing and said, “On the second day after the child is born, there was a physiognomist (person who read face and tell the fortune) who came to the other residence and read the fortune of the child. He said that since the Little Prince was a pre-mature baby, he has a deficiency of Yin energy and should remain by the mother’s side for a year so as to protect his safety.”
Concerning about the Little Prince’s safety, Lou Su Xin anxiously said, “There was such a thing?”
Xin Yue Ning knitted her brows, “The Little Prince’s life is noble and if the fortune for the Little Prince was to be told, then it should be done by the enlightened monks from Yu Quan Temple. How can anyone believe the physiognomists from Jianghu.”
Qing Feng gave a weak pretence smile and sighed, “Chenqie is slow-witted and naturally do not know if the depths of the physiognomist skills but the Emperor had a long talk with him and said that the physiognomist could accurately predict life and an expert.”
Handing the child in her arms to Shen Yao, who was standing at the side quietly, Lou Su Xin worriedly asked, “Emperor, is Imperial Concubine Qing’s words are true?”
Yan Hong Tian finally put the tea down after drinking the entire night and there was an unfathomable flash in his dark eyes before he faintly smiled, “He was indeed an expert!”
Hearing Yan Hong Tian said that, Qing Feng secretly gave a sigh of relief and at the same time her heart was complaining bitterly. Seeing that smile of his, it meant that he will settle scores at an opportune moment.
Lou Su Xin naturally believed Yan Hong Tian and did not hesitate any longer and directly said, “If so, then would rather believe it to be true and to believe otherwise. Since the Emperor and the physiognomist said it as such then let the Prince stay in Qing Feng Hall till he is a year old.”
“But…” Xin Yue Ning refuses to accept it and wanted to refute but Shui Xin, who was standing by the screen, looked up and shook her head slightly at her. At the same moment of pause, Qing Feng already hurried thanked, “Thanking the Empress Dowager’s grace.”
At this point, whatever she said would be in vain. Xin Yue Ning tightly clenched her hands, how can she not be mad? When the prince was a month old, he should leave his mother’s side. This it the Palace’s regulation but today Qing Feng had broken it. That year she plead with the Emperor and Empress to let Jing-er say by her side for one more moth but neither of them agreed. Why did the Emperor followed her wishes every single time?
The atmosphere in the house became heavier thus the Empress Dowager no longer had any mood and waved her hands before saying, “Alright, the time is no longer early so everyone can leave. Don’t disturb Imperial Concubine Qing and Aijia’s little obedient grandchild’s rest.” Finishing she left the house, leaving the roomful of people.
“Chenqie will retire.” After the Empress Dowager left, the concubines in the living room also hastily retired.
Shui Xin walked to Xin Yue Ning’s side and supported her as she said softly, “Mistress, your health just got better and should go back to the palace to rest.” As Shui Xin held tightly to her arm, Xin Yue Ning pressed down the hate in her heart, “Younger sister do need to rest well as the leads are the main stars of the full month celebrations.” Anyways, Qing Feng would not be complacent for too long so she will just tolerate her today.
“Thanking the Empress.” The full month banquet was inevitable and what she could only do now was to be very careful with her actions.
“Chenqie will retire.” After greeting Yan Hong Tian, Xin Yue Ning snorted and ignored Qing Feng to leave with Shui Xin.
In a short while, the houseful of people left and Qing Feng took a long breath to only find out that the quietness in the room was somewhat frightening.
“Beloved concubine not only know how to fake an Imperial decree and also improved your storytelling skills.”
The two words ‘beloved concubine’ made goose bumps rose up all over Qing Feng’s body. This settling of scores at an opportune moment came a tad too soon…