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Chapter 106: Losing The Soldier To Protect The Chariots (Part 2)
Gao Jing investigated for over half a month and finally confirmed that Yan Han was indeed the flesh and blood of Yan Hong Tian. Qing Feng concealed the pregnancy of a criminal and was punished with half a month of confinement and half a year of expenses. Chen Zhen was already in the Cold Palace and unless her death was required, there was nothing else to be punished. Afterwards, the Empress Dowager called the shots and punish her to abstain from meat like a vegetarian for three years.
Even though Qing Feng was confined, ever since then, Yan Hong Tian will stay over at Qing Feng Hall every night and at the end, Yan Han was also handed over to Qing Feng and Yong Hua Palace was bestowed. As such, Xin Yue Ning was so angry that she came to Qing Feng Hall to look for Qing Feng’s trouble and wanted to scratch her face but Qing Feng was not easy to deal with. After several encounters, Xin Yue Ning was unable to get anything out of it. Shui Xin was also behaving weirdly. When she wanted her to think of ways to deal with Qing Feng, she always told her not to be impatient and to wait and observe. Xin Yue Ning was recently very irritated.
In Qing Feng Hall, Qing Feng passed Yan Han to Fu Ling’s arms and softly instructed, “Fu Ling, from today onwards you will go to Yong Hua Palace to take care of Han-er. Be careful on the food and everything must be done by yourself. Nothing must happen to him.” Seeing this child, she would think of Chen Zhen, would think of Zhi-er. She fight to get this child but did not want to see him.
Qing Feng smile faintly, “Don’t worry, I have Ru Yi by my side.”
Fu Ling’s heart became bitter, thinking of that time when she called her over, it was also in this room. They talked about trust and also discussed about mutual support and care. There was a double that was hidden in Fu Ling’s heart for a long time but she did not and dare not asked. This time she could not help but asked, “Is it that you do not need this servant?”
Qing Feng froze for a moment and looked at Fu Ling’s sad expression. Qing Feng smiled as she held her cool hands and said softly, “Taking care of this child is helping me. In this entire Palace, the only person that I can trust is you and only you.”
Qing Feng’s hand was also cold but Fu Ling’s heart gradually became warm again as she replied with a nod, “Yes.”
Qing Feng gave a few more instructions before sending Fu Ling and the child out of Qing Feng Hall. Qing Feng had requested Yan Hong Tian to transfer Ming Ze to Yong Hua Palace. With Fu Ling and Ming Ze looking over that child, Qing Feng heart could then ease a little.
Qing Feng kept on looking as they leave, till they disappear at the end of the Palace trails before Qing Feng turn around and headed back to the room. Ru Yi stared at the direction of Fu Ling disappearance and she felt very jealous. Fu Ling had left and she herself would be regarded highly by her Ladyship but there are many sinister things in the Inner Palace and she naturally understood that if one touched it, one’s hands would be dirty. Her Ladyship send Fu Ling to look over Prince Han because she was afraid that to get her contaminated. As long as her Ladyship was in power for a day, Fu Ling would enjoy one day of life but even if her Ladyship were to really fall from power, the Little Prince was single-handedly brought up by her and naturally would feel the closest to her and definitely take care of her in the future.
Her Ladyship’s heart towards Fu Ling, would never be used on her so she was jealous. But now staying by her Ladyship’s side was her. She will definitely slowly replace Fu Ling’s position in her Ladyship’s heart!
Ru Yi secretly took a deep breath and followed Qing Feng back into the inner chambers before softly saying, “Your Ladyship, Shen Yao is found.”
Qing Feng just sat down and immediately stood up again before urgently said, “Where?”
“She was hidden eighty Li (1 li = 500m) in the suburbs of Hui Xian. But when she was found, she was really very ill.”
Qing Feng’s brows twisted. She had no interest in Shen Yao’s health, she only wanted to know one thing, “Did you find out who incited her.”
“In the beginning, she kept denying. Afterwards…” Ru Yi paused for a moment and quickly looked at Qing Feng’s expression. Seeing her expressionless face, she then continued, “She finally said it but she died the next day.”
“Who is it?” Qing Feng naturally knew that there were a lot of things that happened in the ‘afterwards’. She choose to have Ru Yi by her side and not Fu Ling because she regarded highly of Ru Yi’s unscrupulous ways and eagerness for success.
Ru Yi suppress his voice even lower and replied by Qing Feng’s ear, “It’s the Empress.”
It was indeed her! Qing Feng had guessed it earlier but hearing Ru Yi say it from her mouth made the hatred flood her heart. Qing Feng felt nauseas that she wanted to vomit. Qing Feng held one hand on her chest as her face turned pale. Ru Yi rushed forward to support Qing Feng and quickly said, “Your Ladyship? What is wrong? Is a physician needed to be invited over for a look?”
Qing Feng reach her hand out and held on to the warm jade that was hanging around her waist. She took a few deep breath and that nausea feeling dissipated before Qing Feng shook her head, “Nothing is wrong.”
Xin Yue Ning would need to pay one life with another. She would not let it go just like this.
In the Imperial Study, Yan Hong Tian was in front of the study table, holding a report in his hand as his usually expressionless face darken and that murderous air was felt by Gao Jing who was standing guard outside the Imperial Study. Gao Jing slightly raise his head and look in and saw that Prime Minister Lou was still standing in the Imperial Study and his worries and anxieties reduced.
“The Xin family would actually sacrifice the soldiers to protect the chariots and temporarily unable to grasp on their weakness.”
Before Lou Xi Yan could finish, Yan Hong Tian swept the entire table of books and memorandums off the table with his hand in a wave of anger. Gao Jing could not help but shiver. The Emperor had not thrown such a huge temper for many years already.
Lou Xi Yan smiled bitterly, Su Ren had followed Su Ling back to their ancestral home to pray and Dan Yu Lan suddenly ran to Qi Province for investigation, leaving him to face the anger from Yan Hong Tian. He couldn’t not say that Xin Sui was indeed an wily old fox as he cut his own ‘limbs’ in order to escape. Seeing that the report was almost crumpled by Yan Hong Tian, Lou Xi Yan lightly sighed and said, “Actually this time the case of the Army rations did have some rewards. The Xin family no longer have the Lin family’s financial support and in the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Revenue and Minister of the Ministry of Defence are important positions that because of this case of the Army rations are now dismissed. The Xin family suffered losses and their power in the Imperial court had greatly reduced and would not dare to act rashly.”
As a monarch, he had known what was stop while one was ahead. The Xin family had thrived for hundreds of years and in order to contain them, the best method was to slowly cut them off. What kind of position would need different kind of consideration. Sometimes the throne was also a shackle that one cannot do as one pleases.
Prime Minister Lou did not speak more and the study was so quiet that Gao Jing could hear his heart beating but only for a moment that deformed report fell in front of Prime Minister Lou.
“Xi Yan, you know that want I want was not just this outcome.”
Yan Hong Tian was covered with an air of violence but his voice was surprisingly cold. Prime Minister Lou frowned as he bend down to pick up the report on the floor and inadvertently saw that in the middle of the memorandums that were scattered on the ground, there was a beautifully framed picture that rolled to the side. On the paper there were a couple of hand and foot prints. It was small but looked vibrant.
Lou Xi Yan’s heart slightly sighed and he did not continue to persuade. If that child did not die then this result would be what they had previously expected. But now, this result was not enough to heal the pain that Yan Hong Tian felt.
The summer nights were the hottest and most of the windows and doors were open but it seemed that that did not cool the down at all. Qing Feng sat by the window as she held the fan. The slight breeze did not blow away the heat but instead made one feel stuffy as it somewhat breathless. She did not know if it was due to her irritated heart or was it because the weather was especially hot this year, Qing Feng felt so hot that she was unable to sleep.
There was a sudden noise outside the door and Qing Feng looked over to see the door was rudely pushed opened and a dark figure walked in rickety. The eunuch on night vigil quickly came forward to greet. “Zhen want you all to leave!” The eunuch heard it and was so scared that he scampered away.
Yan Hong Tian was stumbling in his steps but he did not let anyone support him as he held a jug of wine. Qing Feng remembered that the last time he was drunk was when the West Empress Dowager was sent to the Imperial Tombs. What is the reason for this time? Now Qing Feng was no longer that ignorant female. Although she may not be fully aware of everything in court, she always follow it closely. This time the Army rations case was perfected closed, shouldn’t he be happy? Why was he so drunk?
When Qing Feng was in the middle of her thoughts, Yan Hong Tian had already walked into the house and sat down on a chair in the living room while downing alcohol. Qing Feng walked out and even when she was far away, she could smelt the strong scent of alcohol.
Seeing Qing Feng standing beside the folding screen, Yan Hong Tian squinted his eyes and shook the jug in his hands before saying, “Come over.”
This time Yan Hong Tian seemed to be more drunk than the last time. The usually deep and unpredictable eyes seems to be somewhat misty. Qing Feng thought about it before walking over. When she reached nearer, her waist tighten. Yan Hon Tian had already carried her into his arms and his face was leaning against her chest as he looked like he wants to sleep.
The alcohol scent on his body was very heavy and Qing Feng struggled with it for a while but unable to free herself. Just as she was about to call for others to help when Yan Hong Tian buried his head to her chest. It was really hot this year and it was currently summer. Qing Feng only wore a thin middle piece and Yan Hong Tian’s breath heated breath made Qing Feng’s body stiffen as she felt it on her skin. The deep and shallow breath was strange and Yan Hong Tian seemed to be saying something. Qing Feng lowered her head and could barely hear his voice
“Zhen is the Emperor… Zhen is the Emperor… Cannot do whatever one wanted…”
Qing Feng could not believe her ears, Yan Hong Tian kept repeating these few sentences to himself and Qing Feng did not understand what he meant but the hand around her waist tighten which made Qing Feng difficult to breath. Qing Feng used force to push Yan Hong Tian shoulders away and quickly said, “You are drunk, quickly rest and recover from it.”
Yan Hong Tian still kept his eyes closed but loosen his grip on Qing Feng waist as he raise the wine jug to continue drinking.
Qing Feng frowned as she reach over to the jug and place it at the side and guided him into the inner chambers. Perhaps Yan Hong Tian was truly drunk and let her pull him away. Both of them headed to the front of the bed and Qing Feng had no more energy left and pushed him on to the bed, thus he directly fell down.
Looking at the drunken Yan Hong Tian who was laying horizontally on the bed made Qing Feng feel some frustration. She really had no more strength to move him so Qing Feng grabbed a pillow to cushion his head and move his hanging hands and feet to the edge of the bed. When she was lifting Yan Hong Tian’s arms, there were visible signs of him clenching his jaws.
Qing Feng’s hand paused as she squatted by the bedside. It was her first time looking at Yan Hong Tian like this. He seems like he had slimmed down and his cheeks and chin became much sharper as the black traces under his eyes was more obvious. Qing Feng stared at him and the drunk person suddenly moved. Qing Feng was also surprised and quickly stepped back but fortunately Yan Hong Tian did not wake up as he continue mumbling.
Qing Feng was relieved but she was also curious what would Yan Hong Tian say when he was drunk. She bit her lips and leaned closer to listen —
“Zhen… Will not let Zhi-er die in vain…”
Yan Hong Tian’s vague and deep voice pierced into her ears and Qing Feng’s mind was blank for a moment. The hand that was holding Yan Hong Tian unconsciously tigheten as she stared at the sleeping Yan Hong Tian for a long time before Qing Feng whispered her question, “Really?”
Her voice was so soft that she could almost not hear it herself and naturally there would not be an answer. Qing Feng thought about the mumblings that Yan Hong Tian said in the living room and Qing Feng’s expression turn cold immediately. He said that he could not do what he wanted. But what she wanted was Xin Yue Ning to die! Could he do that?