Chapter 113: A Presumptuous Request (Part 2)
In the spacious room, there was a beautiful carved wooden screen in the middle, dividing the room into two. There were only two lamps in the room which was not bright at all. A barely visible female sat on the couch with a cup of tea in her hands, was portraying some laziness while a flustered male paced the other side of the screen in stark contrast.
“That Qing Mo is pushing in every step and actually investigate into the guards. If this continued on, sooner or later she would investigate me!” After the last time Yi Yue heard his and Shui Xin conversation, he now no longer dare to speak casually outside. Thus he came over secretly tonight as he was upset and wanted to discuss it with Shui Xin.
Half leaning on the couch, Shui Xin leisurely replied, “Who told you to use arson to murder. You really think she will just do nothing.” If the enemy don’t move, I would not move. If the enemy advanced, its correct for me to make my first move. But it depends on who the enemies were, what action to make and if they would move. Guo Yi this idiot would sonner or later be defeated at the hands of that girl.
Listening to the casual voice of Shui Xin, Guo Yi got angry, “If I do not do it, if she really dug out anything from Hui Jun’s mouth, what can be done?!”
“Did you not think that even though she dug whatever out from Hui Jun, you can just clench your teeth and deny everything when she question you.”
The voice from the inner chambers had a laughing intent in it which made Guo Yi’s face turn black. He stared at the person at the other side of the screen and said quickly, “Shui Xin, you would just look on without lifting a finger?”
Look on without lifting a finger? Shui Xin’s lips hooked up and she sighed with a hint of helplessness, “The old man did not want me to interfere, how do I dare to make the decision myself?”
“You!” Guo Yi knew Shui Xin more than one or two years and knew that her means were sinister and her mind is unpredictable. Since when would she listen to others plan. Seeing that Shui Xin wanted to disregard him, Gou Yi panicked and crossed the screen and scolded Shui Xin, “Shui Xin you better not be so proud. If this matter is exposed, no one can escape from it!”
“Really?” A low hum sounded and Gou Yi suddenly felt a flash of silver and quickly avoided it. His shoulders felt a sharp pain which caused Guo Yi to retreat many steps back. At the position where he just stood, there were a row of needles on the screen and half of the needle were hammered into the word. Gou Yi broke into a cold sweat as he saw them.
“Get out.” A low voice sounded from the inner room. Gou Yi did not dare to stay any longer and immediately ran out. This Shui Xin is getting more and more perverse. He want to go and look for the old man!
As time was fleeting by, everyone was busy with their things and winter came. In the General’s residence study, Gu Yun and Su Ling was standing at each side of a leather map. Their eyes focus on the map as their brows showed moodiness.
“How come both the East Sea and Northwest border would simultaneously request emergency assistance?” Gu Yun did not understand, the pirates of the East Sea was already exterminated a year ago, so why would it be in chaos a year later? The Northwest border had always been Mu Cang’s territory and she was not the type that would pick a fight thus considered to be living in peace for so many years. Why would the Northwest garrison be fighting at this exact time?
Su Ling did not answer her question but only asked, “Will you be going with me?”
Gu Yun thought for a bit before shaking her head in reply, “No. Not this time. Both of their delivery date are in another ten days so I cannot go.” The last time she left, Qing Feng’s child died when she returned. This time both of them will be giving birth at the same time, she cannot stop worrying for them.
Su Ling seemed to have guessed that she would say that and nodded in reply, “It’s also good but you have to be careful when you stay in the capital.”
Be careful? Gu Yun looked up and slightly raised her eyebrows as she asked, “Be careful of what?”
Su Ling lowered his head and continued to look at the map on the table with some unnatural look on his steadfast face, “Nothing. Just worried for you when I am not around you.”
He avoided her line of sight so Gu Yun felt that something was wrong. She walked to Su Ling’s side and leaned against the leg of the table as she asked, “Is there anything else to handover?”
Su Ling finally raise his head and turned around so that the table was between Gu Yun and him as he replied, “There is nothing to handover. Just that you must carry Bing Lian (the sword name) everywhere. First for self-defence, second point is that even though it cannot command the Su family army, the Su clan will obey you.” The usual sharp eagle eyes were now jumping due to anxiety. Even though it was well hidden, Gu Yun still found it out. Su Ling did not speak clearly like he did not finish his words, was it because he did not want to say it or was it that he was unable to say it? Gu Yun did not continue to ask but she suddenly felt as if there was an approaching storm.
The Imperial Concubine Qing was in a bad mood for several days that her temper was very fiery. Many people were thrown out by her thus the main doors of Qing Feng Hall was tightly closed. Everyone knew that Imperial Concubine Qing’s temper was increasing erratic but in fact it was a different circumstances in the house.
Ru Yi held a towel and gently wipe the sweat on Qing Feng’s forehead as she anxiously said, “Your Ladyship, how are you?”
“So painful!” Because of too much force used, the hand that was clutching the sheets turn white. Qing Feng dare not call out too loudly as she bit her lips till it broke and stain her white teeth scarlet, making other people worried. Ru Yi thought of the last time where Qing Feng gave birth prematurely and find that it was almost the same but that time there was a group of Imperial Physician beside and the situation was dangerous. But now in the house there was only her and a midwife. Ru Yi hands were trembling and her voice was tearful, “Your Ladyship, let this servant go and invite a Imperial Physician.”
“No!” Qing Feng grabbed Ru Yi’s hand forcefully, making Ru Yi’s hand feel so much pain that the towel that she was holding fall. There were tears in Ru Yi’s eyes as she quickly said, “Your Ladyship, this servant will not go, don’t worry!”
As her hands loosen her grip, Qing Feng’s conscious was somewhat blurred due to the pain as she continued asking, “Qing Mo… Qing Mo is here already?”
Ru Yi wipe the tears from the corner of her eyes forcefully as she replied, “Had went to inform early in the morning.”
“Alright, just wait…” She believed them. They had already agreed to it and since they agreed to help her, they would not go back on it! The contractions became increasing frequent and longer as Qing Feng struggled to tolerate when suddenly a sharp pain was felt at her abdominal and Qing Feng could no longer bear it as she shouted, “Ah ——“
The midwife who was by the side quickly flip the quilt over and immediately exclaimed, “Your Ladyship, this cannot wait any longer and must be delivered.”
“Bang bang bang!”
The smooth rhythmic knocks on the door made everyone in the room hesitate. Qing Feng half propped herself as she anxiously said, “Go… Quickly go and see… If it is her.”
“Yes.” Ru Yi ran out and soon ran back in. Qing Feng saw that it was Gu Yun who followed her in and her hanging heart finally settled after the entire day. She fought back the almost unbearable pain as Qing Feng asked weakly, “The girl… Is the girl brought over?”
“En.” Gu Yun place the basket carefully on the table by the window and walked over to the bed. Seeing the pale green face of Qing Feng as she laid on the bed, Gu Yun asked, “How are you?”
Qing Feng shook her head, that excruciating pain made her speechless. Gu Yun was pushed aside by the midwife and Ru Yi as she was of no help and could only wait outside the screen. Gu Yun actually felt conflicted, even though Zhuo Qing and Lou Xi Yan agreed to Qing Feng’s request, she did not expect the outset as she felt that this was not the best method but yet could not do nothing about it.
Fortunately Gu Yun only waited for half a Shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours) to hear the midwife cries of joy, “Congratulation your Ladyship, it’s a Prince!”
It was indeed a son. Gu Yun smiled as she walked into the inner chambers. Qing Fen was laying on the bed as she looked dreamingly at the midwife cleaning the baby up with eyes full of nostalgia. Gu Yun walked over and supported Qing Feng to lean against the bed before saying, “Carry the baby over here.”
The midwife wrap the child quickly and carried over to Qing Feng. Not caring of her weak condition, Qing Feng immediately carried the baby and as she look at the little fellow obediently laying in her arms, Qing Feng’s heart warmed. She was very clear that the next thing that would happen was separation and even though her heart aches, she would not change her decision. At the moment her eyes did not stray from the child as Qing Feng asked softly, “How about that girl?”
Gu Yun was supporting Qing Feng and was unable to move, so she pointed the bamboo basket to Ru Yi. Ru Yi nodded her head and gently open it up to see a small bright eyed baby and she praised, “What a beautiful child.” The baby girl also looked very small and fair as she quietly slept. The most eye-catching feature was the mole at her brow, which was against a snow white skin. Such a beautiful baby like this, no one will suspect when one say it’s her Ladyship’s child.
Ru Yi carried the baby girl over to let Qing Feng see. When Qing Feng saw this beautiful and well-behaved girl, fondness grew in her heart. In the future, this was… Her daughter.
The skies turn dark early during winter and Gu Yun reminded softly, “It is getting late.”
Qing Feng trembled, what should come would still come. Her heard turn cold as Qing Feng gave the baby boy to Gu Yun and took the girl from Ru Yi. The action was completed at one go as she knew that if she did not do so, she would not be able to let go the next moment.
As Gu Yun carry the baby boy and stood up, her sleeves suddenly tighten.
“Let me… Let me see him one more time.”
Gu Yun sighed in her heart but she still squatted down and place the baby boy in front of Qing Feng. Qing Feng reached her hand out and touched the child’s delicate face, as if carving it into her heart.
Holding the girl tightly, Qing Feng controlled the sadness in her heart and nudged Gu Yun lightly as she turned her head the other side so that she would not look at that new-born child. She said in tolerance, “You should quickly go… Quickly leave!”
Gu Yun wrapped the baby efficiently and place him in the basket and carried it away without giving Qing Feng an additional look. Since separation was decided, an addition moment of pause would meant an additional moment of cruelty.
Only upon gearing the doors of the room opening and then closing, Qing Feng then looked up. The room seemed like it was suddenly empty like her heart. Qing Feng sat on the bed with a dejected expression until the child in her arms moved, most likely because it was held too tightly. Qing Feng then recovered to her senses as she stared at the beautiful baby girl in her arms. Finally Qing Feng said in a little anger as she looked at the two person, who did not know what to do, beside her, “Midwife, you stay here. Ru Yi, go to the Medical Court and say that Bengong is about to delivery. And you both must keep in mind that Bengong delivered a daughter. Understand?”
“Yes.” Both of them replied softly and do their own work as they know in their guts that what happen today must be buried deep in their heart.
Because of the investigation, Gu Yun have been entering and exiting the Imperial Palace many times in these past few months. As most of the soldiers at the gates recognised her, no one made things difficult for her when she carried a bamboo basket in this morning. So when Gu Yun carried the basket out now, she should not attract much attention but just when she was about to walk out of the palace gate, the basket shook and a cry similar to a small animal came out of the basket.
“Wait up!” The leader of the guards raised his hand to stop Gu Yun and stared suspiciously at that small bamboo basket to ask, “What is inside the basket?”
Gu Yun stopped and replied plainly, “A kitten.”
“Kitten?” Gu Yun had an indifferent look and did not seem to be lying but the leader of the guards felt some doubts and kept staring at the bamboo basket.
Gu Yun let him look as she explained in a smooth voice, “Imperial Concubine Qing felt bored in the Palace so she wanted to rear a cat to play with.”
“Then why it is brought out?”
“It is almost time for her Ladyship to delivery and will now not have any desire to take care of the kitten so she doesn’t want it now.” Gu Yun had never been nervous and there was not the slightest change in her facial expression but her back was already wet. If this continued on, the baby in the basket would cry and the secret would be revealed. Just as Gu Yun got anxious, a male voice sounded from behind, “What is this about?”
The lead guard looked up and his expression stiffen as he immediately stood at attention and respectfully called out, “Commander Ming.”
Gu Yun looked back and saw a tall young man standing behind her. As he saw her, he laughed heartily, “It’s Miss Qing.”
He was… Yan Hong Tian’s Commander of the Guards, Ming Jian?! The hand holding the bamboo basket tighten as Gu Yun nodded in his direction and said, “It is getting late and there are still matters in the General’s Residence. I need to hurry back.”
Ming Jian did not say anything and waved his hands slightly as he smiled, “Then I would not delay Miss Qing.”
“Release.” Ming Jian gave an order and the few guards that were in front of Gu Yun immediately stepped back and a path was formed.
Gu Yun looked at him and could not see anything in his smiling eyes. Without any delay, she left a word of “thanks” and quickly walked out of the gates and boarded the carriage that was waiting by the side.
Until the carriage was out of sight, Ming Jian still stood at the Palace gates with a pensive look.