Chapter 84: Qi Yu
Talking about this topic, Fu Ling could not help but to think about that cold person…
She obviously could feel that he was actually not an unfeeling person but why did he put on a cold shoulder constantly. The thing that make other at a loss was, what exactly was he thinking about? Fu Ling was so engrossed in her thoughts that she did not find out that someone was walking towards her and did not also realise that there was a big pair of gardener’s shears by the palace road.
These days Ming Jian had been investigating about Ling Shui Alliance and finally found some leads thus at this moment he was rushing over to report to the Emperor before lunch. Initially he had met a few palace maids in the palace roads and he would usually not pay much attention to them but the female walking over was a little weird. Not only was she carrying a large basket, she was walking very slowly even though she used a single hand to carry the basket and thus it was not heavy. If she continued to walk like that, she would probably take half a shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours) to finish walking this not so long palace road.
Ming Jian walked nearer and found that it was the female officer from the Qing Feng Palace – Fu Ling. Seeing her like she was thinking about something, Ming Ze did not want to disturb her but if she were to walk so distractedly a few more steps, she would have kicked the sharp shears on the road. Ming Qian thought for a bit and decided to give a warning, “Miss Fu Ling, be careful.”
The bright and cool male voice sounded by her side which made Fu Ling stunned momentarily. As she looked up, she saw a face with features about a third identical to who she was thinking about and Fu Ling took a few steps back in shock.
obviously he had scared her so Ming Jian squatted down to pick up the large shears on the floor and place it by the flowers before smiling, “It would be good not to think about things when walking, else it would not be good to hurt one’s foot.”
Not mentioning about not looking when walking, he kindly warned her but Fu Ling was rude about it and thus felt very embarrassed thus she quickly bowed, “Many thanks to Commander Ming.”
Ming Jian lightly laughed, “Miss Fu Ling should not stand in ceremony.”
As Ming Jian entered the Palace in a hurry, he did not change into his official uniform. The casually dressed him had a white jade hanging from his waist. Fu Ling felt that it was familiar and could not help but to look at it a few times.
Ming Jian felt that it was a little strange that Fu Ling did not get up after greeting and when he took a closer look, he was surprise to see her staring at the hems of his clothes. Ming Jian asked curiously, “What is wrong?”
“This jade pendant…” And the one that Ming Ze had was very similar. The difference was that Ming Ze’s one was smaller and it was oval in shaped and tied with a red string. Ming Jian’s piece was hung at his waist and had used a dark green silk knot to tie it to his belt which made the jade white like the snow.
“You’ve seen it before?”
“I…” When Fu Ling’s met Ming Jian’s surprised eyes, she then felt that she had forgotten herself. If she were to say that she did not see before, it would only look suspicious to others. Fu Ling calmed herself down and lightly smiled before she replied, “This was all blame on my tenancy not to look where I walk. Two days ago in Qing Feng Hall, I had accidentally bump onto Guard Ming and he dropped a piece of jade pendant like yours, which I am unsure if it was broken or not. Now that I have seen you carrying it, I then became curious and took a second glance.”
Fu Ling tried to say it casually as she feared that Ming Jian will sense anything but she did not think that the usually calm and quiet Commander Ming would suddenly stared at her anxiously and said, “Are you saying that, Ming Ze also carried this jade pendent with him?”
Fu Ling did not know why Ming Jian had such an expression and this time only replied, “Yes.”
Fu Ling words just came out when Ming Jian suddenly laughed heartily and seemed to be in a very pleasant mood. Fu Ling wanted to know the origins of the jade pendant and know that it was practically impossible to know it from Ming Ze and since Ming Jian knows about it, she might as well ask, “Not sure if Guard Ming’s jade pendant was broken. Where do you buy this jade pendant? If it was truly broken, it would be idea for me to buy one to apologize to him.”
Ming Jian’s mood was especially good and he smile while he was shaking his head before explaining, “For the males in the Ming family, the Head of the family would gift a jade pendant to him. All the jade pendant comes from the same piece of jade so this cannot be bought outside.” Ming Ze, this kid, even though he refuse to admit it, his heart still cared for his family.
So it was not a gift from others… Fu Ling unconsciously sighed in relieve. Thinking about the words behind the jade pendant, Fu Ling curiously asked, “Was there any special meaning to the words carved behind the jade pandent?”
“At the back of the jade pendant, there are carvings of our ‘words’.”
No wonder his jade has the carving of… Qi (means tall)…” It’s a pity that she did not see the words after that so Fu Ling deliberately only spoke half of it and stopped and Ming Jian indeed straightforwardly continued, “Qi Yu.”
How can Ming Jian not tell that Fu Ling was digging information from him. His own younger brother’s charm was indeed not small. He was only in Qing Feng Hall for a few days and was able to attract a beauty’s interest. Fu Ling had been in the Palace for many years and with regards on dealing with people, her character was also good. Since she was interested in Ming Ze, Ming Jian generously told her.
“Qi Yu…” Fu Ling repeated the words softly. Fu Ling felt uncomfortable under the smiling bright eyes of Ming Jian’s that she coughed lightly and smiled, “Such a precious jade could not be bought outside so one hope that the jade pendant was not broken. Commander Ming should have things to do so Fu Ling would not continue to bother.”
It was indeed quick of her to not want the Monk after receiving the alms. Ming Jian laughed in spite of himself but did not make things difficult for her, “Goodbye.” Finishing, Ming Jian headed towards the Imperial Study as he did have things to do.
Until Ming Jian had walked far, Fu Ling then exhaled in an upset. What was wrong with her today? To be so impatient to know things about him. If Ming Jian go home and tell him…
Fu Ling smile bitterly, so shameful! “Qi Yu” the two words were repeated in her heart for several times and she suddenly felt that the two words sounded family. Where did she heard it or seen it before?
When it almost Wushi (modern timing: 11 am – 1 pm), Qing Feng had just finished feeding the baby when Fu Ling returned. Qing Feng saw her carrying a big basket and curiously asked, “So fast?” The Inner Palace was not a small place and each and every small palace needs to be delivered, thus it would take at least two to three shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours) to finish and she still need to make a trip to the Cold Palace, unless she had met with some trouble?
Afraid that she would get worried, Fu Ling explained, “The mistresses of each palace empathized with this servants hard work so they had sent someone to retrieve them, thus this servant can come back earlier.” Fu Ling handed the empty basket over to Ru Yi who was standing at the side and walked over to Qing Feng before whispering, “Mistress, come over here.”
Qing Feng hand the child over the Shen Yao and both of them walked to the living room. Fu Ling took the small bag from her sleeves and handed it to Qing Feng.
As Qing Feng took it, she whispered, “This is?”
Since Shen Yao was still behind the screen, Fu Ling did not explicitly explain and just replied softly, “She let this servant pass it to you, saying that it is a gift for the Little Prince.”
Chen Zhen? Qing Feng looked at the small bag in her hands. The needlework was fine and the stitches were very detailed thus the Qilin looked lifelike and had the essence of it. Only Chen Zhen’s skills would it be that realistic. Holding the small bag with her palms, Qing Feng sighed softly, “She is truly considerate.” When that little baby was born, she did not gift anything thus by comparison she was not as thoughtful as Chen Zhen.
“Yes.” Fu Ling thought of Xiao Liu Zi that she met outside Qing Feng Hall and quickly said, “Lou Furen had sent word that she and Miss Qing would like to visit you together.”
Qing Feng’s eyes were filled with joy but after some thought, she replied, “No. Let them wait till the baby is a month old then come together with Lou Xi Yan and Su Ling.”
“Yes. This servant will reply in a moment.” Mistress was definitely worried about the Empress making things difficult for her own sisters thus did not allow them to enter the Palace alone. It was really envious to see her caring and loving to her family.
Qing Feng only spoke a little with Fu Ling when there was a clear and bright cries coming from the inner chambers. Both of them looked at one another and Qing Feng helplessly smiled and spoke with a hint of pampering, “Why is this little ancestor crying again…”
Even though it sounded like Qing Feng was complaining, her legs immediately headed toward the room. After taking two steps she stopped and passed the small bag to Fu ling, “Help me to keep it well.” Finishing, she headed toward the child without pausing her steps. Fu Ling looked at the small bag in her hands and Qing Feng who was carrying the baby with a soft smile, she suddenly felt how nice would it be if the days continued like this.
Outside the Imperial Study, Gao Jing looked at the two person playing chess difficultly and was secretly lamenting. When the Emperor and Prime Minister Lou plays chess, if it was not of great urgency, one must never disturb them. But just before Prime Minister Lou came, the Emperor specially instructed him that if Commander Ming return, he was to immediately report it up thus placing him in such a dilemma now.
When Xiao Yu finished serving the hot tea and came out, she passed Gao Jing and whispered, “Go in to report.” Finishing speaking, she walked towards the side hall even before he could speak.
Since Xiao Yu let him enter to report, it would seem that the Emperor’s and Prime Minister Lou’s chess game was not at the most critical point. Gao Jing was secretly relief as he immediately entered the hall and spoke softly behind Yan Hong Tian, “Emperor, Commander Ming request an audience.”
Sure enough, there was no anger in the Emperor’s face as he replied blandly, “Announce.”
Gao Jing bowed as he exited out the hall and after a short while, Ming Jian quickly walked into the hall and saw the Emperor and Prime Minister Lou playing chess and was also surprise for a moment. Before he could greet, Yan Hong Tian had already asked, “How did the investigation went?”
Ming Jian faintly felt that the Emperor seemed to be a little impatient. But seeing the black piece in his hands and the firm and steady placement of the chess pieces, it did not seem like it.
“Pa” sounded as Yan Hong Tian placed the black chess piece in his hand down and produced a clear sharp noise. Ming Jian quickly collected himself and did not dare to speculate about the Emperor’s interest and immediately inform him of everything he had investigated. “In the list of assassins of the Ling Shui Alliance, currently there are three who are in the capital, two male and one female. A few days before the incident, they were spotted near the residence but they all appeared alone and never once appeared together. The two males were cautious and almost stayed indoors all the time but the female often wondered within the city. These two days she was often moving around in the vicinity of the Darens of Ministry of Justice.”
Ministry of Justice? Yan Hong Tian’s brow slightly narrowed and the chess piece in Lou Xi Yan’s hands also paused for just a little. The subtle facial expressions only lasted for a brief moment and both men focus back on the chess game as usual.
Both of them played a few more turns before Yan Hong Tian seemed to remember that Ming Jian was still standing by the side and replied, “Since they are still in the capital then monitor them closely and don’t arouse their suspicions.”
“Yes.” Seeing that the Emperor did not have any other orders, Ming Jian was just about to leave when Lou Xi Yan;s muffled voice suddenly sounded, “The Sect Leader of Ling Shui Alliance had been famous in Jianghu since forty years ago and his age should not be average now.”
It was casually said like a whisper but Ming Jian secretly complained about it. This Prime Minister Daren was obviously saying that Ling Shui Alliance usually only had information in Jianghu but now could grasp the Imperial Court, perhaps the one in charge was substituted and now making him identify who the person was. Even though Ming Jian’s heart darken, he still said clearly, “This official will investigate as soon as possible who exactly did the Ling Shui Alliance collude with and who is the current leader of Ling Shui Alliance.”
“You can withdraw.” Yan Hong Tian wanted to laugh at Ming Jian’s helpless voice and Lou Xi Yan’s leisurely expression and only lightly cough as he supressed his lips to arc but there was still a faint smile in his eyes.
“Yes.” Ming Jian quickly left, for fear the next moment this seemingly harmless Prime Minister would think about other situation.
The room quieten down and it seems to be quieter than usual as both of them held a chess piece. Yan Hong Tian’s black chess piece was already placed down but Lou Xi Yan’s white chess piece was not placed down for a long long time.
Yan Hong Tian waited for a long time before finally giving an inaudible sigh and spoke loudly, “Gao Jing, summon for Dan Yu Lan.”
Lou Xi Yan slowly put down the white chess pieces in his hands and his lowered head finally looked up. With a calm expression and even voice without the usual gentleness, “The matter is not completely clear yet, should he be moved?”
Yan Hong Tian drew the black chess pieces into the chess boxes and coldly spit out a few words, “It is long enough.”
Twelve years. He had waited long enough.