Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 86
Chapter 86: Stirring (Part 2)
The winter in the capital of Qiong Yue was not considered chilling but as compared to the year-round spring in Hao Yue, it was indeed much colder. The sun finally came out at noon today so Qing Feng planned to bath the little fellow. Because she was scared that the child would feel cold, the entire house full of people were busy preparing; raising a brazier, heating up water and the sorts. After running around in circles, the little fellow finally finished bathing and rest comfortably in Qing Feng arms. The little eyes kept looking around and when he saw Ru Yi looking at him, that little fellow generously smile at her.
Ru Yi was overjoyed and laughed, “Your Ladyship quick look, the Little Prince is smiling!”
Seeing the spray of water on the floor and the few cloth diapers around, Qing Feng scolded dotingly with a smile, “Of course he laugh, he had made everyone busy.”
Qing Feng dotted the little fellow’s nose as she speak and he twisted his head to the side and manage to dodge his mother’s hand, which made Qing Feng laugh out. As Qing Feng’s mood got better, Ru Yi started to speak more casually as she crouched by the bed and smiled, “In another two days, it would be the Little Prince full month, at that time the Emperor will bestow a name. Wonder what name will the Emperor choose for the Little Prince. It would be best…”
Just as Ru Yi was excitedly speaking, a slight scold came from behind, “Ru Yi!”
Ru Yi looked up and saw Fu Ling entering the inner chambers with a unseen cold expression with a tightly knitted brows. Ru Yi finally realised that she had overstepped and quickly lowered her head, “This servant had speak out of turn.”
Although Qing Feng felt that Ru Yi words were innocuous but Qing Feng would not say anything about Fu Ling scolding her. Firstly, Fu Ling had the highest authority among them and secondly, there should be more discipline among the palace maids so that in the future they would not overstep and give her problems.
Qing Feng looked at that serious Fu Ling and asked, “You have been busy the entire morning doing what?”
“Mistress, now the study is empty and unused. Why not let this servant tidy it up and place a small bedding in the study. The days have become colder and it would be better to have someone in the room to take care of you and little master.” Taking care of a child was indeed difficult. After Mistress gave birth, she had mellowed down from previous but she looked worse than before.
Originally she did not let them wait on her at night because she did not want to be watched all the time. However now she needs someone to be around to help about so Qing Feng nodded her head and replied, “That is also good. Do accordingly to your intentions then.”
“Were those paintings kept? Or are there still some on the shelves?”
Most of the paintings in the study were her pieces and there were masterpieces of her favourite masters. Qing Feng thought for a bit and said, “I will go with you to see.”
Qing Feng passed the child to Shen Yao to carry and walked into the little study area by the living area with Fu Ling. Fu Ling had earlier tidied the place and the paintings and books were place neatly on the shelves. Qing Feng said, “Pack up the brushes and ink slabs on the table. I will look at these paintings.”
“Yes.” Qing Feng had the habit of painting at any time so the brushes and ink were place on the study table neatly. When Fu Ling was packing the table up, she discovered that some of the ink was not cleaned and poured some water over to clean. At this time Qing Feng, who was standing behind her, suddenly said, “Fu Ling, bring the bamboo painting that is not yet framed over to me.”
“Yes.” Fu Ling looked up and saw a rolled scroll at the end of the table. Perhaps it was because there was water on her hands and she wast momentary distracted, the ink slab fell off her hands and overturned on the paper by the side, leaving traces of dark and shallow ink. Fu Ling lowly called out, “How terrible!”
Qing Feng turn back and saw Fu Ling was busy tidying up. As she flip to the paper that Fu Ling pick up, there was a mark that was left on the paper. Qing Feng’s eyes brighten as she excitedly said, “Fu Ling, grind the ink.”
Mistress suddenly had the mood to paint? Accustomed to the Qing Feng’s passion for painting, Fu Ling shook her head and concentrated to grind the ink.
Qing Feng pack up the paper that was splashed with in and took out a clean sheet of paper to place it in the middle of the table. As if she had thought of something, she suddenly shouted to the room, “Ru Yi, bring a brazier into the study.”
“Yes.” Ru Yi’s voice came from within the room.
Fu Ling brought the ink to where Qing Feng’s hands could reach and said, “Mistress, it is grinded.”
Qing Feng glanced at it before replying, “The ink is not enough. Grind more.”
Not enough? Fu Ling was puzzled, usually when painting, these amount of ink would be more than enough. Even though she was curious, Fu Ling did not continue asking and continue to grind more ink.
Just now the Little Prince was taking a bath so there was already lit charcoals. Hearing Qing Feng’s orders, Ru Yi quickly brought a brazier into the study, “Your Ladyship, the brazier is brought over. Where shall it be placed?”
Qing Feng pointed at the front of the table and replied, “Put it here.”
“Yes.” Ru Yi placed the brazier down and increase the heat from the charcoal. In a short time, the entire study was warm and toasty.
Seeing that the ink has been grinded and the paper was ready, Qing Feng faced towards the inside of the room and shouted, “Shen Yao, carry the child over.”
“Yes.” Shen Yao carried the child into the study. It was rare that the little fellow was not asleep after bathing and when he was brought into a new room, his eyes were glancing around.
Ru Yi finally guessed what her Ladyship wanted to do, it was definitely to do a painting of the Little Prince! Guessing her Mistress’s intention, Ru Yi immediately pull out a chair and place it in front of the table so that Shen Yao can sit down as she was carrying the Prince so that her Ladyship can concentrate on painting. Who knew that when Ru Yi moved the chair over, Qing Feng instead said, “Shen Yao, carry the child over to the table. Ru Yi, make sure his hands and feet are exposed.”
Ru Yi was at a loss, Fu Ling also did not know what was going on and Shen Yao was as quiet as usual but they all saw Qing Feng excited look.
Just as Ru Yi exposed the child’s little hands out from the thick padded jacket, Qing Feng picked up the largest brush from the table and filled it up with ink before grabbing on the child’s little hand and painted onto it. Ru Yi was surprised, “Mistress, this is…”
Feeling a cooling and soft sensation, that little guy took his hand back and giggled. After difficultly coating both hands with ink, Qing Feng called out, “Fu Ling, bring the paper over.”
It was only then that Fu Ling recovered and placed a clean paper on the study table. Qing Feng gently grabbed the child’s ink-stained hands and stamped onto it. A small hand print was left on the paper.
In the large paper, that little handprint seemed so small that Ru Yi cannot help but exclaimed, “This little handprints are really cute!”
As his hands was being grabbed by someone, that little fellow was not happy and began to struggle which made Qing Feng’s hands filled with ink. Using the brush to slowly paint, it would seem that the little guy had ran out of patience and would cry so Qing Feng simply place the child’s little feet and lightly made it step into the ink slab. Quickly the feet became back which made the little fellow stunned. Qing Feng took the opportunity to place his feet onto the paper but perhaps he felt that the ink was very refreshing, not only did he step on a footprint, he also shook his feet. Thus that perfect footprint became a mess of black ink.
The group of people were busying around for quite a while and all they got was a piece of ghostly talisman, making a few of them laugh out.
Qing Feng found it funny as she scolded, “This little boy is really not obedient!”
Seeing the messy ink glob on the paper, Qing Feng felt a little dishearten and said, “Print another one.”
There was still a little ink on the child’s hands and feet and this time Qing Feng dare not let him put his feet in the ink slab. Changing to a new piece of paper, she looked at her own black hands, Qing Feng could only tell Ru Yi, “Ru Yi, grab on his hands and feet to print another piece.”
With both hands and feet firmly caught, this little fellow was unable to do anything bad and could only neatly print two hand and footprints on the paper.
Ru Yi released the child’s little feet and took a deep breath and smiled, “This print is perfect!”
“The water is here.” Fu Ling went out of the house sometime before and now led two palace maids in with two basins of hot water in. This pair of mother and son played so happily and did not see what climate it was now. Fu Ling did not say anything but when Qing Feng saw the dark fingers of hers and her son’s, she shrunk her shoulders and fawningly laughed, “Fu Ling is indeed considerate.”
It was indeed that both mother’s and son’s hearts beat together. Just as Qing Feng finish talking, that little fellow shook his two little hands and giggled twice. Fu Ling was between laughter and tears, “Alright, quick give him a wash and do not catch a cold.”
Ru Yi and Shen Yao quickly washed the hands and legs for the child and Fu Ling stepped back. When she look back, Qing Feng had already finished cleaning her hands and was looking entranced at the two pieces of paper with hand and footprints in her hands. Fu Ling walked over and pointed at the perfectly printed paper and whispered in her hear, “Why not… Gift this piece to the Emperor.”
As her thoughts were seen by others and was even spoken out, even it was done by someone close to her, Qing Feng’s face redden and she lightly coughed and stared at Fu Ling. Qing Feng pretended as it was something minor and replied, “That’s good.”
Fu Ling cannot help but laughed, she was already a mother and she was this awkward. Hearing Fu Ling’s laughter, Qing Feng’s face got redder and Fu Ling quickly rolled the painting and exited, just in case someone’s embarrassment became anger.
Just as Fu Ling walked to the middle of the courtyard, a sudden burst of cold wind blew and changed the form the soft paper in her hands. As Fu Ling protected the painting in her arms, she shouted, “Lan-er, bring a tube for the paintings over.”
The wind kept blowing and the painting had long distorted so much that it would not fit into the tube. Fu Ling walked to the corner of the courtyard’s door where the wind was much smaller. Fu Ling unfolded the paper and wanted to reroll them but even though the wind was smaller, the thin paper still kept shaking. The paper was already wrinkled by the wind and it would be difficult to straighten it.
When Fu ling was thinking if she should call someone to help, a large hand reached over and helped her to pull the end of the paper. Fu Ling looked up and saw that the owner of the hand was the man that was purposely avoiding her for these past few days.
He still had that cool expression on and did not glance at her at all but his eyes were staring at that the hand and footprints on the paper. Fu Ling did not know why but her heart started to involuntarily jump quicker. After freezing for a long time, she finally squeezed out a sentence, “Thank you.”
Ming Ze did not reply to her words and waited till she roll the paintings up before taking his hands back and walked out of the courtyard.
Is this also considered as him helping her?
But why was he this indifferent?
He… Was like this? Or… Did she think too much?
In order to print the child’s hands and feet, Qing Feng’s dress was also soiled with ink. Just as she finished changing, Ru Yi came in and said softly, “Your Ladyship, Beauty Yu is here.”
What was she doing here? She did not have any interaction with her at all.