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ChubbyCheeks

Translating my thoughts one post at a time…

Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 115

LAST CHAPTER!!! This is the longest chapter yet even after separating 2 epilogues from it… ENJOY!!! 🙂

Chapter 115: Happiness Is A Circle

After Qing Feng was brought out of the Palace, she was immediately taken to the prison of the Board of Investigations and locked in a very big cell. It was empty inside and there were straws spread out on the floor as the sunlight shone in from the large square window, brightening up the area. At the same time the cold wind also blew in from there making the entire cell feel cold. Qing Feng lean at the corner of the cell and laugh self-deprecatingly. Once again Yan Hong Tian threw her into a cell. The only consolation is that this was much better than the Imperial Prison but unfortunately her mood was very much different.

When she was thrown to the Imperial Prison, even though she felt pain all over and worried about her Youngest Sister’s situation, her heart was calm. But currently now her heart was in utter chaos and grief. Yan Hong Tian’s distrust made her disappointed and at the same time felt resentment. Shouldn’t she be happy when she saw him spitting out blood when she was leaving? Why then was her heart feeling pain like it was being hammered?

Her feelings towards Yan Hong Tian was like having a thin fish bone stuck in one’s throat. One was unable to swallow and it may not be very painful but every time one swallow or breath, it would hurt her without any peace.

When the cell doors were pushed open, Qing Feng knew that someone came in but she stubbornly kept her eyes closed as she lean against the corner. She did not want to be bothered by anyone.

Zhuo Qing and Gu Yun entered the cell and saw Qing Feng curling herself in a corner. Zhuo Qing asked softly, “Qing Feng, are you alright?”

Qing Feng did not answer which made Zhuo Qing worried that she was injured. She walked over to take a closer look and found her with her eyes closed with a look of indifference.

Zhuo Qing also just gave birth a few days ago and was currently in confinement. Gu Yun gathered the straws on the floor and piled up the other corner before supporting Zhuo Qing to sit. Zhuo Qing half leaned on the heap of straws to sit. Even though it was not all that comfortable, it was very warm. Zhuo Qing look towards Qing Feng’s direction and gave a look and Gu Yun lightly nodded. Gathering another pile of straw, she walked to Qing Feng’s side and made another pile as she asked, “What happen in the Palace? Why were charges of being spies suddenly emerge?”

Qing Feng still remain silent with a look of cannot be bothered about anything. Gu Yun was not in a rush. After she piled up the straw, she then talked to herself, “This should be related to the Empress’s secret.”

The person leaning against the wall moved a little but still remained silent. Gu Yun continued, “Maybe it can be said that it is related to Guo Yi.”

Qing Feng open her eyes big as she looked towards Gu Yun, “You… Found it out?”

Seeing her reaction, Gu Yun had confirm her theory that Qing Feng was not unaware of everything. Pulling her to the heap of straws to sit, Gu Yun lean against the wall in the middle of them and said softly, “I was initially speculating and did not have conclusive evidence but it seems now that what I said was correct. I have investigated the cloth material in the hands of the deceased and found that it was part of the uniform that the leader of the Imperial Guards and above rank would wear. Like that only four people including Guo Yi was suspected. When the Imperial Prison caught fire, the other three had an alibi for it but Guo Yi did not have one. In such a coincidence, he was also on duty that day. This person was too suspicious so I started to focus on investigating him. Apparently he used to be Xin’s residence guard and…”

Gu Yun turn the other side to look at Zhuo Qing as she smiled in delight, “Remember the letter that Hui Jun mentioned about? I found it.”

“Where?” Zhuo Qing also smiled and asked, “Really at Yi Lan Palace?”

“No. She was all along hidden in the Imperial Prison. After the fire, I went back to the scene of the fire many times and once to see if Hui Jun had left behind anything, I found that there was nothing much in the cell after the fire but I discovered that in the deepest corer of it the dirt was particularly higher and especially firm. If Hui Jun often squatted there then it justify why the dirt have harden but because of the long term of pressing, the area should be concave in so I felt that there was something wrong at that time. I dug down for more than a Che (1 che = 1 foot) and found the letter.”

Zhuo Qing nodded her head and asked back, “What did the letter say?”

“After so many years and going through a fire, most of the areas were destroyed but one can probably see the meaning which is the Empress commit adultery with someone. With the clues combined, the adulterer is most likely Guo Yi.” After Gu Yun finished, she turned to look at Qing Feng at the corner.

Listening to Gu Yun’s analysis and meeting her seemingly all-knowing eyes, Qing Feng was lauding her as she also felt that there was nothing else to hid. She replied, “What you say was not wrong. Yan Jing is not Yan Hong Tian’s son. He is the child of Xin Yue Ning and Guo Yi.”

“How did you know?” Xin Yue Ning actually committed adultery and Yan Jing was not Yan Hong Tian’s child was not anything strange but Gu Yun was curious how did Qing Feng spoke so clearly of the matter. She had been investigating for months before able to find out that the Empress committed the adultery only.

Gu Yun stared at her as if she wants to see her through. Qing Feng suddenly laughed, since they have come to this point and want to know so she would tell them. She leaned deeper into the stack of straws and replied slowly, “Yi Yue was discovered after hearing the conversation between Shui Xin and Guo Yi. She bump into me when running away and told me everything. I had seen Hui Jun when I was confined in the Imperial Prisons and after investigating a little, I then know her identity. Thus I was suspicious of the Consort’s death. I also went to look for Hui Jun and according to her, that year the Consort was also suspected that the Empress was having an affair and sent someone to investigate but at the end she was killed. This letter was sent into the Palace from the person that the Consort sent to investigate but it was intercepted by Xin Yue Ning. Hui Jun wanted to steal it but was caught. Actually Hui Jun was not that insane as you have previously seen. When I pressed her for the letter, she was unwilling to disclose. After that she suddenly shouted and became crazy so nothing else can be dug out.”

Zhuo Qing stared at Qing Feng calm and indifferent face and asked, “Since you know everything, why not tell Yan Hong Tian or us?”

“Tell?” Qing Feng looked at her with eyes full of irony, “How could I tell? Just based on a low rank palace maid or a female who was imprison for seven to eight years till she is delirious to testify? Will Yan Hong Tian believe me? Tell you both? You all will not believe me. Xin Yue Ning murdered my Zi-er, I want her to die! So I can only set everything up and wait for you to slowly tear open Xin Yue Ning true colours. You all have Lou Xi Yan and Su Ling as your backing and if you dug out anything, the results would make others believe.”

“You…” The Qing Feng in front of her was unfamiliar. Zhuo Qing looked at her and for a moment did not know what to say.

“You no need to put on that look.” Qing Feng stared fiercely at Zhuo Qin and laughed coldly, “I had already known that both of you are not my sisters at all. All the things I have done from the start to the end was only using you.”

Qing Feng turn her face away and not look at them as she waited for both of them to accuse or scold her. As the time passed, the cell became much calmer. They actually did not even want to scold her? Qing Feng slowly turned her head over and saw Gu Yun half leaning against the wall and look at her calmly. Zhuo Qing was even smiling as she said softly, “Using us but you still feel assured to hand me your own child.”

Just one sentence was able to break Qing Feng’s indifferent pretence into many pieces. Yes, she had handed the most importing person in her heart to them. In fact, even though in her heart she knew that they were not her real sisters, she could not help by trust and rely on them but was also scared that once the truth was exposed, they would look at her with despise thus she could only cover herself up with an icy exterior.

“What you have all done was just to take revenge for the child and we can understand it. Moreover we had never thought of deceiving you. Since you had guessed that we are not your sisters, it was also what we also wanted you to know. As for the so-called making use, if it was to find out the truth then it would not be considered as making use.” Gu Yun dissolved all of Qing Feng’s guilt, anger before squatting down to look at her at the same level to ask, “Qing Feng, I will only ask you one question. Did you kill the women in the well?” She sympathised with her and can tolerate her but if she kill someone due to her own selfish interest than she would be a murderer. No many how much difficulties and reason she had, it would still be punishable by law.

“No.” Qing Feng answered very quickly and firmly, “That is someone I found in the death row which has a similar stature with Yi Yue.”

“Where is Yi Yue?”

“I have sent her out of the Palace.” Under Gu Yun clear eyes, Qing Feng felt glad the first time that she did not do the wrong things for the sake of revenge at that time, else this pair of eyes that she was facing would be filled with rejection.

Gu Yun nodded her head lightly, “Alright, I believe you.”

A word believe made Qing Feng’s heart tremble as her eyes were lightly affected when looking into Gu Yun’s eyes. Lowering her eyes, Qing Feng took a deep breath and asked, “I also want to ask you both a question. My Eldest Sister and Youngest Sister, are they… Already dead?”

Gu Yun look at Zhuo Qing and after Zhuo Qing wrestle with how to respond for quite some to minimise the damage to Qing Feng, Zhuo Qing then whispered, “We are not your sisters, we do not know where Qing Ling and Qing Mo went to. When we woke up, we were already in these bodies.”

“They left me after all.” Zhou Qing did not use the word death but the ending speaks for itself. The night at the ruined temple became a farewell. The gentle Eldest Sister and the shy Youngest Sister would never come back to her. In this world, from now onwards, she will be the only one left.

As tears filled her misty eyes, Qing Feng stared at the two persons in front of her as their face blurred. They were after all not… Not…

Tear wet that beautiful face and the endless grief and despair filled her eyes. Even though it was separated by tears, it still hit both Zhuo Qing’s and Gu Yun’s heart. Both of them look at one another, as they could not bear it. Zhou Qing stood up and Gu Yun went forward to support her. Both of them walk to Qing Feng’s side and reached out to hold onto Qing Feng’s ice cold hands before softly saying, “If you are willing, we are still your sisters.”

With eyes filled with tears, Qing Feng was unable to see both of their expressions and could only hear their low voices in her ears and felt the warmth from their pairs of eyes. Qing Feng closed their eyes and leaned gently against Zhuo Qing’s shoulders as her tears continued flowing silently but she had a place to rely upon.

Gu Yun could see that even though Qing Feng could not let it go, she did accepted them and she was secretly relieved. She also did not want to see that even though they were in the body of three sisters but became enemies with one another. As for the knot in Qing Feng’s heart, it finally was able to unravel slowly. Qing Feng cried until she was tired and looked up, even though three of them were not emotional people, at this moment they were also lost for words. Gu Yun lightly coughed and changed the subject, “Alright, now let’s discuss about what exactly is the spies issue?”

Qing Feng recapped what happened the entire morning in Qing Feng Hall. Gu Yun listened seriously and her brows tighten as she reached the end, “You say that Yan Hong Tian spit out the poisoned blood?”

Thinking of the scene when she turned her head, Qing Feng’s heart tighten as she softly made an “En” sound.

Gu Yun shook her head, “This is not quite right. If one were to set you up, one do not need to poison Yan Hong Tian.” A flash of thought crossed her mind and Gu Yun looked towards Zhuo Qing and urgently said, “Did Lou Xi Yan went to Bian City yesterday?”

“Yes.” And he left in a hurry saying that there was a sudden influx of refugees that the local government cannot handle.

“Su Ling had been sent to the Northwest border half a month ago to handle the unrest, Lou Xi Yan was sent away yesterday and today Yan Hong Tian vomited blood due to poisoning. All these are too coincidental.” Gu Yun’s expression became solemn. There were not so many coincidences in this world.

Yes. These were too much of a coincidence. As Qing Feng listened to Gu Yun’s words, her expression turned pale as she whispered, “Yan Jing is not Yan Hong Tian’s son. The more you all investigate, this secret would be dug out sooner or later. Could it be that the Xin family are cornered and bit back by attacking Yan Hong Tian?” If it is like this then the one who was most dangerous is Yan Hong Tian. Just now she was angry because of Yan Hong Tian’s mistrust but now she was filled with anxiety, fearing that her prophecy was true.

Gu Yun lightly pat Qing Feng trembling back and consoled, “Things might not be as bad as you think. Both of you just gave birth recently and should not think too much. Lay down and rest for a while. Now what we can do is to wait and observe.”

Three of them were trapped in this little cell and after discussing for the entire day, many unclear areas were straightened out. Zhuo Qing and Qing Feng was after all in their confinement period and their body lack of energy. When the skies turned dark, both of them lean against one another and fell asleep as Gu Yun sat near the door with her eyes closed.

When it was almost fourth of the five night watch periods (modern timing: 1 – 3 am) Gu Yun heard light footsteps in the large quiet prison. When Gu Yun heard that it did not sound like the bailiff, she opened her eyes in alert and call out softly, “Who is it?”

Gu Yun shout awakened both Zhuo Qing and Qing Feng who was lightly sleeping and three of them stared alertly at the dark passage.

“Fu Ren, it is us.” The deep voice sounded as Jing Sa’s and Mo Bai’s figures appeared at the cell door.

Three of them sighed in relief at the same time and Zhuo Qing asked, “Mo Bai and Jing Sa? Why it is both of you?”

“Master let this subordinate to fetch you all out.” Jing Sa took a strike with his sword and the strong locks on the wooden door broke and fell on the floor.

“Xi Yan has returned?”

“Yes.”

Hearing that Lou Xi Yan had returned, Zhuo Qing was first delighted but after some thought, she guessed that Xi Yan must have returned after receiving the news. It stood to reason that three of them were only framed as spies and Yan Hong Tian only handled them to the Board of Punishments and not imprison them in the Imperial Prison so they should not be in any danger temporarily. For Xi Yan to return this anxiously, the matter was not as simple as they thought. Zhuo Qing was still rearranging her thoughts when she asked, “We were only in jail for a day and not even interrogated, how can we leave like this?”

Gu Yun glanced at the broken lock and frowned, “Is this a prison break for us?” At that time she obediently let the officials lock her into prison was first to figure out what was happening and second, not to blow things up and make things difficult for the Su family. If they were to escape now, wouldn’t they be further mired in controversy?

Jing Sa opened the cell doors and even though his voice was suppress lowly, one could hear the impatience. “The situation is critical and cannot be explained easily. Will speak more after leaving.”

Usually Lou Xi Yan had a stance and position when he did things and within this entire day and night, they did not know what was happening to the situation outside. Three of them finally decided to leave the prison first before saying more. Under Mo Bai’s and Jing Sa’s shields, three of them smoothly got out of the prison and sat on a small horse carriage. The carriage was not big but its’ speed was very fast. The carriage speed all the way and only stopped after a Shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours).

When three of them open the curtain up, they discovered that they were already in the suburbs. The skies were not bright yet and they were surrounded by darkness as Lou Xi Yan stood waiting for them by a large horse carriage.

Lou Xi Yan stepped forward to support Zhuo Qing out the horse carriage. When her feet were firmly on the floor, Zhuo Qing immediately asked, “Xi Yan, what exactly is going on?”

Lou Xi Yan shook his head as his expression was never this solemn, “The situation is now very tense. The Xin family is mostly forcing the Emperor to abdicate.”

Forcing the Emperor to abdicate?!” Three of them were taken aback. Just a day passed, how could it become like this!

“Yesterday evening, I requested an audience with the Emperor immediately after I came back but was unfortunately unsuccessful. The Empress said that the Emperor is ill and refused all the audiences of all ministers. Ming Jian was also given a sentence of ‘unable to protect the Emperor’ and was imprisoned.”

Ming Jian was also imprisoned. Then… Qing Feng urgently said, “Now the Imperial Guards are currently in the hands of Guo Yi?”

“En.” Lou Xi Yan kneaded his brows and replied tiredly, “If there was not another existence of Prince Han, I’m afraid it would not be forcing the Emperor to abdicate but to kill the Emperor and crown Prince Jing as the Emperor.”

At this moment the Imperial Guards were in the hands of Guo Yi, wouldn’t Han-er be in danger? Qing Feng’s heart immediately tugged, “How is Han-er?”

“Yesterday evening, Prince Han escaped the Palace under the protection of Ming Ze and Fu Ling and is currently hiding in the General’s Residence safely.”

If the Xin family really want to force the Emperor to abdicate then Prince Han is the biggest obstacle. How would they let him escape the Palace with a guard and maid? And the three of them were sent at the same time to prison which was very strange. Gu Yun felt that this was already longed planned. Gu Yun looked at Lou Xi Yan and speculated, “Could it be that this imprisonment was arranged by Yan Hong Tian?”

Under Gu Yun sharp watchful eyes, Lou Xi Yan’s bright eyes shimmered as he nodded as frankly replied, “Yes. The Emperor made use of their plans to defeat them. The Emperor was already determined to get rid of the Xin family, and the Xin family must have felt it thus they took such a risk. The Xin clan’s influence must not be underestimated. At that time me and General Su was not in so the Emperor felt that he would not be able to protect you all thus he imprison all of you all and handled over to Dan Daren. Like this, first to temporarily stabilise the situation with Xin family, second since all three of you will be at the same place, it would facilitate the rescue. I am afraid that as it goes on, you all would be in danger, thus decided to save you all out first.”

So he sent her to the prisons was not because of not trusting but was for protection. This made the pain in her heart that she felt the entire day lighten. Lou Xi Yan had been secretly watching Qing Feng’s expression all along and seeing her furrowed brows loosen, Lou Xi Yan suddenly took a step forward and consoled, “Your Ladyship shouldn’t be too worried as the situation today have yet ended. You all should leave the capital to hide and wait till everything pass. The Emperor instructed this official to protect you and the Prince well. This official will definitely…”

“What?” Qing Feng gradually relaxed face became pale after listening to Lou Xi Yan’s words, “You are saying… He… He knows… That I exchanged the child?”

Lou Xi Yan thought for a moment before he sighed softly, “Naturally he knows. Else how would a official like me would dare to place an Imperial line under the Lou clan. How would Qing Mo able to bring the child out of the Imperial Palace out so easily.”

Gu Yun thought back of the situation that day and exclaimed, “No wonder when I took the child out of the Palace, coincidently Ming Jian came to my rescue. So it was all not a coincidence.”

He knew… He knew everything!

How nice would it be if our child is able to grow up in an ordinary family and not as a Prince or Princess?

Qing Feng thought about that day when she told him that sentence, the look of both anger and pained expressions that Yan Hong Tian had and her numbed heart since two days ago started to heart and her feet weaken so much that she almost could not stand. Gu Yun, who was standing beside her, quickly supported her as she gave a slightly disgruntled look to Lou Xi Yan. He must have done that on purpose. Gu Yun did not understand why would Lou Xi Yan deliberately agitate Qing Feng at this moment?

After finally steadying her mind, she suddenly thought about the scene of him spitting out blood and Qing Feng hurriedly seized Lou Xi Yan’s hands to ask, “He was really poisoned? Or was it also something that he had arranged?” Qing Feng truly wished it was the latter. Unfortunately Lou Xi Yan shook his head and replied with some concern, “The Emperor is indeed poisoned and is feared to be under house arrest. This one do not know what is the current situation.”

When the two words house arrest was heard by the three persons, it was automatically interpreted to three different meanings. Qing Feng’s heart was in chaos as she thought of Yan Hong Tian being poison and also under house arrest. With his violent temper, she was afraid he would suffer a lot. Gu Yun had a thoughtful look on her face while Qing Feng felt that if Yan Hong Tian was under house arrest, it meant that his life was currently not critical.

Lou Xi Yan seemed like he did want to give them too much time to think and say after looking at the skies, “Alright, the skies are about to brighten, you all should change to another carriage. Chen-er and Xi-er is already inside and it will leave immediately.”

Gu Yun who had been silent all this time suddenly spoke, “I will not leave with you all. I want to head to the barracks of the Su family army.”

When Qing Feng recovered to her senses, she pulled Gu Yun’s hand and said urgently, “If you return now, I am afraid that there would be danger.” Even though this person was not her doted Youngest Sister, she knew that this girl was kind-hearted and tenacious good female. In her eyes, she already treated them as family and did not bear to see her take risks.

Zhuo Qing also had a concern look on her face which made Gu Yun’s heart warm. She turned towards them and smiled, “Do rest assure. If it wasn’t me willing, they would not be able to catch me so easily. Now Su Ling have yet to return and Yan Hong Tian is poisoned, Su Ren would not dare to pass down certain orders but it would be better with me there.”

Finishing, Gu Yun looked at Lou Xi Yan and asked in a not heavy nor light tone, “Elder brother in-law, what do you say?”

Lou Xi Yan slightly raise his eyebrows but did not stop her as he replied, “That is also good. Go ahead.”

“No need to be too worried, everything will pass.” Gu Yun had always been someone who respond with action she said those words by Qing Feng’s ears before removed a horse from the horse carriage. She got on the horse and lightly kicked the horse and the black horse immediately galloped away. Zhuo Qing did not have a chance to tell her to be careful when the person and horse disappeared into the night.

Lou Xin Yan lead Zhuo Qing towards the side of the large carriage but Qing Feng still stood at her original place thinking of something. Lou Xi Yan gently called, “Imperial Concubine Qing, let’s go.”

Qing Feng remained motionless and it was fast approaching Chenshi (modern timing: 7 – 9 am). The sunlight had not yet pierce through the clouds and the skies were greyish blue. Qing Feng looked up like she was searching for something. She finally found that brightest star and looked at it foolishly for quite some time before a light smile dawn on her very pale face.

Lou Xi Yan did not call her again and stood by the horse carriage with Zhuo Qing quietly. After a long time, Qing Feng finally walk to them but faced Zhuo Qing to say, “I would like to speak to you.”

Zhuo Qing loosen the hand holding Lou Xi Yan and followed Qing Feng to another side. Both of them stood face to face as Qing Feng look at Zhuo Qing for a while, as if she was looking at her own Eldest Sister yet also like she was looking beyond the body and seeing the person inside. She only spoke softly after a long time, “In the future, would have to bother you with Xi-er.”

“What do you want to do?” To say these things at such a time like this, Zhuo Qing had already guessed that she would not leave with them.

“I… Want to return to the Palace.”

Sure enough as she had expected, Qing Feng still wanted to go back. Zhuo Qing’s brows twisted as she wanted to persuade her but Qing Feng suddenly smiled brightly. That smile had too complex emotions behind it that Zhuo Qing was unable to say what was it but she could not seem to say any words of persuasion. She only hear a light soft voice speaking, “Me and him are all too stubborn. I put up a brave appearance, he is overbearing and both of us did what we thought were correct. Both of us are like hedgehogs. When anyone come closer, we will close our hearts and hurt the other but… Every time we would not be able to help but to be closer.”

“You love him?” Zhou Qing asked in doubt. This kind of helpless and sad tone, was it love?

She did not even need to dwell if it was love or not, she only wanted to return back to see him now. Can this be counted as love? Qing Feng shook her head, “I do not know. In this world, if one is able to fall in love at first sight and hold one’s hand for the entire life together, it should be the most fortunate thing. But just how many people would have this kind of luck? It is predestined fate to meet him in this life.”

Predestined fate? To Zhuo Qing, a person from the modern world, those words were mysterious but she did not know how to refute them.

Qing Feng directly bypassed her and walked to Lou Xi Yan calmer than previously, “Lou Xi Yan, I want to request something from you.

Lou Xi Yan seemed to have guessed that she would say that and replied, “What is the matter?”

“I want to return to the Palace.”

“Now?”

“Yes.”

“Is your Ladyship worried about the Princess?” Lou Xi Yan’s voice had always been gentle and had the ability to console others, “The Princess should currently be by the Empress side. The Xin family did so many things in order to force the Emperor to abdicate and not to rebel so they would not harm the Empress Dowager openly. As the Princess is not a Prince, her life is not in danger, thus you need not worry.”

Qing Feng shook her head gently, “I want to go back and see him.”

Lou Xi Yan was silent for a while before he replied, “You should know that if you were to return now, nine out of ten would die.”

Qing Feng firmly said, “I want to return.”

Lou Xi Yan was somewhat hesitant and Qing Feng did not wait for him to think and just said softly, “If you are not willing to help me, I would still think of other ways to return. Just help me to take care of Xi-er.”

“Alright.” Lou Xi Yan could not win against her and finally said, “Wait here for a while, I will arrange it for you.”

“Many thanks.” Qing Feng was secretly relieved. Since Lou Xi Yan was willing to help her, there would be a higher chance of her to be able to see him.

Lou Xi Yan called Jing Sa over and whispered a few sentences into his ear. Jing Sa nodded and brought another house over to replace the horse that Gu Yun took from the carriage and moved the carriage in front of Qing Feng. Qing Feng did not think much of it and immediately went up the carriage.

Seeing the small carriage galloping swiftly towards the direction where they came from, Zhuo Qing sighed, “Perhaps we should not let her return back to the Palace.” At such a dangerous time, Qing Feng would not be of use if she were to return and it would be an additional person that was thrown into jeopardy.

“Don’t worry, there is no harm.”

There were some smile in his voice which made Zhuo Qing frown. They were already a couple for quite some time and she more or less understood Lou Xi Yan’s temperament. Even though during times of crisis he would behave calmly but at this moment he was obviously feeling good about something and what he said about the crisis situation was clearly inconsistent. Recalling Gu Yun’s look before she left, Zhuo Qing faintly felt something and stared at Lou Xi Yan’s eyes. Zhuo Qing lightly coughed and said, “You should have something to tell me clearly right?”

Seeing that a lot of things had happen in the entire day and night, he would have a lot to explain.

As the view of the West side gates appeared from the carriage, Jing Sa stopped sixty to seventy paces away and handed her over to a sixty over year old gonggong. Qing Feng had never seen him before but he took a glance at Qing Feng but could not see any special expression from her. The old gonggong disguised Qing Feng as a eunuch and put her together with the eunuchs who had done the purchase of the day before returning to the Palace.

Chenshi (modern timing: 7 – 9 am) had passed and the Imperial Palace was exceptionally quiet today. Usually one would be able to commonly see the guards but at this moment, not one could be seen. Qing Feng kept her head low and dared not look around. She walked all the way to the Imperial Kitchen when a eunuch walked to her and said, “Follow this servant.” The old gonggong gave her a look and Qing Feng quickly step forward to keep up.

The eunuch lead her to the main doors of Zhen Yang Palace and softly tell her, “You go in yourself.” Without waiting for her response, he quickly walked towards the side road.

Qing Feng stood frozen on the spot, what if it was heavily guarded inside and if she was to just walk in like that, she would fall right into the trap. But if she did not go in… She was already here, where else would she go if she did not enter? Qing Feng steadied her mind and shifted her hat down a bit before walking into Zheng Yang Palace with her head bowed. She held her breath as she entered but no one stopped her from entering. Qing Feng felt that it was abnormal and raised her head slightly and found that there wasn’t a single person in the entire huge Zhen Yang Palace. She did not see Xiao Yu or Gao Jung. Did the trusted people by his side were all taken away? Even though it was not heavily guarded, what could he do without any trusted people by his side when he was poisoned?

She was anxious but dare not call for anyone. Qing Feng walked to the Imperial Study and did not see Yan Hong Tian so she went to bed chambers. The doors of the bed chambers were open but there was no one on the bed. As Qing Feng felt disappointed, her gaze swept over to the windows and saw a Yan Hong Tian in a black robe half leaning on a couch. He did not look very well as his eyes were lightly closed and brows furrowed. Even though he was just half laying down and there was no one at his side, he still look overbearing from afar. However upon a closer look, in that forever cold face revealed fatigue.

Qing Feng stood at the doorway for quite a while before her feet started to move on its own consciousness and walked towards that person.

Yan Hong Tian felt that someone was walking over and scolded, “Withdraw.”

Yan Hong Tian did not expect that that person would not only not leave but walked over to him. Who was that bold! Yan Hong Tian opened his eyes as his cold gaze landed on the oncoming person. After seeing clearly that it was Qing Feng cladded as a eunuch, a look of surprise flashed on Yan Hong Tian’s face. It was very quick but he regain his usual look, watching her quietly with his deep black eyes.

Both of them just look at each other coldly and the surrounding air seemed to freeze around the, Qing Feng finally moved and half knelt as she looked at him expressionless and said coldly, “Yan Hong Tian, I hate you so much.”

If sounds were weapons then that sentence would be a sharp dagger. She come here only to say this sentence? Yan Hong Tian felt somewhat tired and continued to lean again the couch and not look at her as he said deeply, “Then why have you returned back? Want to take action yourself?”

“Did you know that your one word of ‘want’, cause my parents to die and we had to leave our hometown. I finally with great difficulty put my hate down and had Zhi-er. You said that you will protect us but at the end you broke the promise with me. Even though I said from my mouth that I hate you, after so many days and nights, I did not really hurt you. You however did not believe me and throw me to prison before even giving me a fair hearing. Yan Hong Tian, you are so hateful.” Her eyes were clear like dead water, her mouth speaks of hate but her face was filled with hurt as tears fell down her fair cheeks and landed on the wooden handle of the couch. Her voice was very soft but when Yan Hong Tian hear it, it was a different experience altogether.

Yan Hong Tian frowned as he got up helplessly. He raised his hands and tried to help her to wipe away her tears but his hand gestures were not particularly gentle. As he wiped, he said, “Since you hate me and want to kill me, just do it now. Why are you crying?”

Hearing him say that, the calm Qing Feng suddenly fired up and grabbed his hand before shouting, “I do hate. I hate that you obviously knew that I want to send our flesh and blood out of the Palace and you let me be that unruly. I hate that you were already aware that danger is approaching but did not thought of warning me. Do you know how much despair I felt in the prison? I resent you for not trusting me, I… I am more afraid that you did not trust me! You made my heart go from ice to fire, what exactly do you want to do?! Why is it when others love another, they are able to be childhood sweethearts and playmates? And can be filled with tenderness and filled with love for a long time? But I would need to be entangled with life and death without a moment of peace with you?!”

Qing Feng almost broke down in tears and when she got to the end, she herself did not know what was she even saying. She had refused to admit that in those endlessly entangled days, this man had already walked into her heart. When she heard from Lou Xi Yan that he was really poisoned, at that moment her heart was in so much pain and distress as she was suddenly afraid that she would never see him again.

The various complex emotions that her heart underwent the past few days were like a large rock pressing on her heart. At this time it was like she had vented it out. Qing Feng could not help to cry as she was not willing to let Yan Hong Tian see her being useless. She squatted at the side of the couch and tightly grabbed on the handle as she bend her forehead down to her knees, letting the tears wet her clothes as she refused to look up.

He looked at this crying female in front of him. Every sentence of hers said that she hated him but at this time, she still come back to his side. Yan Hong Tian carried her into his arms and whispered, “You should not have come back.”

Hearing footsteps from afar, seeming from a group of people. At this moment Yan Hong Tian sighed but it was a different meaning in Qing Feng’s ears. Feeling the spring’s sun warmly shining on her, Qing Feng suddenly smiled and went in deeper into Yan Hong Tian’s embrace and said lightly, “I am tired. Be it love or hate, I do not want to go anywhere else. To die with you together would be a clean cut.” This was in fact good. Perhaps only at this moment, she would truly feel close to this man.

Yan Hong Tian heard the mumblings that the woman in his arms were saying with a lightest of light smile on her face, which was more dazzling that the early spring sunshine. Yan Hong Tian was flabbergasted. She… Actually came back to die with him? Yan Hong Tian could not tell clearly what he was feeling and could only hug the female in his arms tighter and at the same time his heart was deeply doubting what exactly did Lou Xi Yan said to her…

As the footsteps came nearly, a group of people stood outside the door and saw the Emperor hugging a person clad in an eunuch attire with eyes full of affection. That shocked everyone as they stood there stunned, not knowing what to do.

“Emperor…” The approaching person saw this scene was shocked and did not know if he should make his report.

Hearing the familiar voice, Qing Feng was surprised and looked over puzzled. She saw Ming Jian wearing his official robes and standing upright, with thirty to forty Imperial Guards behind him. Qing Feng was shocked, “Ming Jian, you. Aren’t you…” Locked up in prison? Qing Feng was still at a loss when Yan Hong Tian aske with a faint deep voice, “How is it?”

Seeing that the person clad in the eunuch uniform was Qing Feng, Ming Jian secretly let out a breath and replied sternly, “Reporting to the Emperor, last night at Zishi (modern timing: 11 pm to 1 am), General Su had captured all the rebels at fifty Li (1 Li = ½ km) outside the capital. The Xin residence and all the related Xin clan related officials were all thrown into prison today at Maoshi (modern timing: 5 – 7 am). The Empress and Prince Jing is currently confined in Yi Lan Palace, awaiting for the Emperor to dealt with.”

Last night? Su Ling was already back last night? If till here Qing Feng did not hear any inkling, she would be stupid. “What is actually going on here?” Qing Feng wanted to sit up and take a good look at the man hugging her.

Qing Feng wanted to move but the hand around her waist tighten and Yan Hong Tian laughed, “You still need to wait tens of years later to die with Zhen.”

Looking at the man smiling with mischief, Qing Feng coldly said, “Aren’t you under house arrest? Aren’t Ming Jian also thrown into prison?”

Yan Hong Tian vaguely guessed it and faintly smile at her already cold face with dried tears and asked, “Who told you Zhen was under house arrest?”

It’s… Lou Xi Yan… Lou Xi Yan! It was at this moment that Qing Feng knew she was being fooled. That man with a mouthful of nonsense should die! So hateful! Last night when he took them out from the prison, it was not because of any critical situation but because the influx of officials that were sent to prison and transferring them out only! In the beginning they had already arranged it well. She was actually fooled by these men. The more Qing Feng thought, the angrier she became. She reached her hands out to wipe the tears from her face and wanted to get up to run out.

“Today you have walked right into the trap, where else can you run?” How would Yan Hong Tian let her run away? Qing Feng felt her wrist tighten and before she could stand up, she fell into the arms of the person behind and the voice by her ear made her go crazy. Qing Feng go more annoyed, “Yan Hong Tian, you let go of me.”

Yan Hong Tian did not only not let go but tighten his grasp and whispered into her ears, “You yourself said that you will struggle with Zhen in this lifetime. How would Zhen let go?”

“You…” That warm breath by her ear was very itchy and she thought about the words that she said to herself incoherently. Qing Feng’s face was so hot as if it was on fire. If she did not think that he was poisoned severely and was also under house arrest, her heart would not be in chaos and she would not have said all those words! In a feat of anger, Qing Feng raised her hand and beat Yan Hong Tian’s shoulder.

This punch was not light. Yan Hong Tian stared at Qing Feng, “You dare to beat Zhen?”

“Beat you… I… I also want to bite you!” She who was usually bad tempered was now in the fit of anger and to be shocked by Yan Hong Tian, Qing Feng immediately lowered her head and bit directly down on Yan Hong Tian’s neck.

“Sssss–”

She really bite?!

Ming Jian quietly back out with the guards he brought, as he was afraid that the Emperor would not have time to settle the matter on the traitors… “Yue Ning of the Xin clan, brought disaster to the Inner Palace and brought harm to the Imperial descendants, that crime itself is punishable by death. The entire Xin clan substituted the army rations and wreck the country and brought ruin to the people and thus is punishable by death to nine branches of the family. However due to the benevolences of his Majesty and taking into consideration of the many years of services by the Xin clan, it would be lesson. Today the Imperial family would be merciful and not put the sins onto the nine branches. The entire branch of the Xin family will be exterminated and the rest of the relatives of the Xin family would be demoted to commoners, with their assets confiscated and expelled from the capital. End of the decree.”

An Imperial Decree shocked the entire court as the mighty Xin family fell down from disgrace.

After the Xin Yue Ning was stripped off the title of the Empress, Yan Jing was also stripped off the title of a Prince and were thrown into prison with the rest of the Xin clan members to be executed. But afterwards, Ming Jian searched the entire Palace and even the entire capital, yet could not find the shadow of Shui Xin at all. She just disappeared like that.

The Xin family was prosperous for hundreds of years and were the moving force of the court but now that tree has collapse and disappeared. This made everyone have a deeper understanding of the rise and fall of a favourite and it was all a game from someone at the top. He can make people admire you and let you enjoy the glory but at the same time can also make you feel hopeless as if your life was worthless. All the officials in the court felt insecure and Yan Hong Tian also took this opportunity to re-arrange the officials of the various ministries. Even though it was a dangerous turn of events but it allowed Yan Hong Tian to be fully control the power and not be subjected with any family influence.

After the East Empress Dowager knew that the children that died prematurely were most likely murdered by the Empress, she fell ill and bedridden. The Empress was dethroned and the only eligible person to sit on that position was only Impress Concubine Qing. The rest of the concubines naturally dare not act rashly and hid in their own palace and got out lesser. Therefore even with the many changes in the court, the Inner Palace was exceptionally calm.

Spring was actually a beautiful season as it stands for rebirth of all living things as it swept away the winter call and brought warmth back to the world. Unfortunately Qing Feng did not particularly like it as she stood in the warm spring sunlight. Qing Feng was in high spirits painting the winter plum blossoms.

A huge piece of paper was spread across the stone table and almost reached the floor. The dark outline of the plum tree was thick as the shades of ink fell into designated trails and each winter plum blossoms vividly moved on the paper. Perhaps at this moment, Qing Feng’s feelings were different thus the plums blossoms that were drawn were wild with a touch of casual.

“What are you drawing so early in the morning?”

The familiar male voice behind had some laughing intention and Qing Feng treated it as though she did not hear it. Although Lou Xi Yan came over to confess, saying that even though the situation had indeed stabilised, the danger that day was indeed real and if Yan Hong Tian did not take precautions and act decisively, the master of country would have changed but they have deceived her so badly. Seeing Zhuo Qing’s and Xi-er’s face, she would not care about Lou Xi Yan but Yan Hong Tian… Hmmm. She still want to ignore him.

Qing Feng was as usual, giving a sullen face as Yan Hong Tian comfortably seated on the stone table. After waiting for half a day, the plum blossoms were almost finished but she did not even cast a single glance at him. Yan Hong Tian felt unhappy in his heart and reach his hand out to grab her waist but suddenly he thought about something. He then retrieve his hand back and lowered his head to cough.

Qing Feng’s hand that was holding the brush paused a little as she looked over. Yan Hong Tian was crouching as he coughed violently. Thinking of the Imperial Physician mentioning that he was truly poisoned and it was yet fully cured, at the end Qing Feng did not bear the grudge at him and said softly, “Why come over if your body isn’t feeling well. Return to the palace to rest.”

“Zhen finds that coming over to disturb you for a bit will feel much better.” The person who said that did not look sick at all as his hands took the opportunity to go round her waist.

“You!” Qing Feng really wanted smash the brush over and see if it would shatter that annoying smile on his face. Taking a deep breath, she could not bear to be apart from her brush thus Qing Feng lifted her foot and stepped on his food with her hell severely. Her lean physique made that painful but Yan Hong Tian put up an act and grunted, “Your temper is really not small.”

“Try being deceived by someone!” Every time she thought of how anxious she ran back and said so many things made him tease, Qing Feng felt very angry.

Qing Feng started to struggle but Yan Hong Tian placed his lips at her ears and whispered, “You never deceive Zhen before?”

“I…” She naturally deceived him before, especially on the matter of Xi-er, she acted on her old and felt guilty towards him, “I am sorry…”

Yan Hong Tian seized the opportunity to bring her tighter into his embrace and the beauty finally became gentle. Finally achieving his purpose, Yan Hong Tian deviated from the topic, “You particularly like painting plum blossoms?”

Qing Feng was moved with his rare consideration and let him hold her as she added the last strokes on the branches before smiling, “I do paint other flowers but it was only recently that I especially like plum blossoms.”

“When would you want to paint peonies?” (Peonies is said to the Queen of flowers, which also indicate Yan Hong Tian intention for her to be the Empress)

Qing Feng’s spine was somewhat stiffen as she coolly replied, “Have never thought of it.”

The concubines in the Palace usually have big hairdos so that they would look solemn and virtuous but Qing Feng love to keep her hair down all the while. If it was not for an important occasion, she would only use a hairpin to pull her hair together and leave the end of her long hair hanging behind her. Yan Hong Tian hugged her from the back and her mischievous hair often brush against his arms. Curious to what the black satin-like hair would feel like, Yan Hong Tian loosen the hand around Qing Feng’s waist and played with the passing wisp of black hair as he seemingly casually said, “You don’t like it?”

The long hairs were captured in his hands and it was moving from time to time. Qing Feng felt somewhat unnatural and she rolled her eyes at him before replying, “Why do you seek the hardship? To confer the title of an Empress to a foreign female, your those loyal officials would definitely oppose to dead and at that time it would make me seem like I am an evil spirit that have seduced the monarch, bring damage to the country and cause suffering to the people.” For no reason he mention about peony and use that kind of questioning, Qing Feng naturally could guess his intention. It’s not that she did not like it but it was that she cannot be bothered about it.

Yan Hong Tian laughed out loud indicating his good mood. He would like to see who would oppose to death! But… “Seducing the monarch?” Yan Hong Tian laughed muffled, “Aren’t you doing that?”

After finishing painting the last red blossom, Qing Feng put down her brush in satisfaction and wisely did not continue Yan Hong Tian’s words. She said, “The empty position of the Empress position should not be a long term thing. I feel that… Chen Zhen is suitable for the Queen of flowers.”

A hint of a smile crossed Yan Hong Tian’s eyes as her cooling hair brushed against his fingertips. Seeing that he did not speak, Qing Feng turned around and removed the hair from Yan Hong Tian’s fingers and seriously said, “Chen Zhen has the ability and political skills and she also delivered Han-er for you. Moreover Chen family does not have any power in the court, which would remove the possibility of another Xin family to occur. Am I right?”

She was right. The two sisters of the Qing family were now the Prime Minister Furen and the General Furen. Naturally the Lou family and Su clan would be tied together with Qing Feng. If she were to made the Empress, it would also meant that the Lou and Su family would be pushed to the position where the winds and waves were sharp. Qing Feng had always been a very intelligent person and also thought things thoroughly. Yan Hong Tian put his hands round her waist again and laughed, “You don’t want to be the Empress, then what do you want?”

Her eyes fell on the just finished painting of plum blossoms before Qing Feng sighed, “I missed that sea of bamboo.”

The winter the year before last, he had promised to bring her to view the plum blossoms last year but at the end the trip was not made. This time he would definitely satisfy her thus Yan Hong Tian out rightly replied, “It is already spring and the plum blossoms would have already wither. After a few days, Zhen will accompany you to see the spring bamboos.”

“There is one thing that I always wanted to ask you.” After enduring it for so long, Qing Feng still asked the question that was entrenched in her heard for so long, “Why did you… Agree to send Xi-er out of the Palace?”

“At that time the Xin family colluded with Liao Yue and many officials were also eager to make trouble. Zhen was afraid that protection for both mother and son would not done properly at that time. If you deliver to a Prince, the Xin family would use endless variety of methods and Zhen was afraid that danger will fall upon you and the child. If it was a Princess, with the Lou family and Su family backing you up, perhaps you would still be safe. If in this world, anyone was to be the father of Zhen’s child, only Lou Xi Yan have that qualification. Zhen is considered assured to pass the child to him.” The East Sea and Northwest border had unrest and even though the troops can protect the bothers but the Capital defenders was reduced from fifty thousand to less than ten thousand. If the troops were not deployed, then Liao Yue would take the opportunity to conquer more territory. If so, how would Qiong Yue be able to claim to be the leader of six nations in the future.

A smile was constantly on Yan Hong Tian’s lips and his voice was soothing as if the situation then was as light-hearted as he spoke. Qing Feng felt the bitterness hidden in the smile. He even let her send his son out of the Palace, obviously he was also gambling with chance. Qing Feng lightly leaned into his embrace and whispered, “It was I that was too selfish.” That time he only thought about her own fear and did not even thought about the feeling of him as the father of the child and understand his situation. Both of them were always like this. Would Yan Hong Tian talk to her if this kind of situation occur again? Would she go to Yan Hong Tian for help? Maybe… It would not happen…

Qing Feng was rarely gentle and agreeable so Yan Hong Tian carried her and stroke her long smooth hair. He suddenly felt that the sunshine from the early spring was so beautiful that made one intoxicated. After another period of cup of tea (modern timing: 15 mins), Qing Feng still let him hold her motionlessly. Yan Hong Tian felt that there was a hint of something wrong and lowered his head to look. He only saw Qing Feng leaning against him but she was staring over his shadows at the red plum blossoms painting on the stone table with her thoughts flown to somewhere else.

She did not hide the yearning in her eyes at all and Yan Hong Tian felt a stab of pain in his heart. He pushed her leaning shoulders and coldly said, “You want to leave the Palace right?”

Qing Feng was surprised for a moment. She did not think that he was able to see it through with her been so careful. Qing Feng no longer wanted to hide, “This Imperial Palace have too many unpleasant memories. There are not too many rules outside the Palace and I can often go to Eldest Sister’s and can also see Xi-er. If you are free, then come over to the residence to take a look at us, both mother and daughter. Without the Palace’s schemes, conflicting interest , we would be able to have a normal life. How nice would it be?”

Again with the normal life? He as Yan Hong Tian could have anything he wanted except for an ordinary life. It would never belong to him. The warmth faded from Yan Hong Tian’s face and anger flashed in his dark eyes. The atmosphere between tem seemed to have gone back to the first time where they first met. Qing Feng looked down and laughed self-deprecatingly. She was truly raving like a lunatic, how would Yan Hong Tian possibly…

She felt a sudden pain on her shoulder and was already tightly hugged by Yan Hong Tian. His breath instantly occuplied her senses and for a moment Qing Feng’s mind went blank. When she finally recovered she only hear a sigh by her ear.

“You are truly selfish.”

The entire Xin clan was executed and Chen Zhen was vindicated. Even though the Emperor did not restored her Imperial Concubine Hui title, he let her return to Ling Yun Palace. As Ming Ze’s arm was injured by swords when he was protecting Fu Ling and Yan Han, he rested for half a month before returning back to Yong Hua Palace for duty. When he return, everything inside was changed.

Yan Han has begun to learn to walk and Chen Zhen’s caregivers refused to leave his side. The servants in Yong Hua Palace had been changed and it should be the Chen Zhen’s trusted ones thus Fu Ling was no longer in Yong Hua Palace.

Ming Ze leaned against the palace doors to guard. He did not know why but he was feeling a little bored.

Where did she go?

The next morning, after he has hand over the duty with the guards on morning duty and was about to leave, he saw Fu Ling carrying a basket and walked over. Both of them saw one another and immediately broke eye contact. Fu Ling handed the basket and quickly came out to see that Ming Ze was still standing by the door and walked over after some thought, “Is your injuries better already?”

Ming Ze awkwardly gave a sound “En”. Because of his usual indifference, Fu Ling was not bothered by it. Both of them fell into silence again and it was Fu Ling again who spoke, “After a few days, I will be following Mistress out the Palace and in the future, perhaps there would not be any opportunities to meet again. You… Should take care.” She actually did not want to speak with him but it was because that day he saved her, or maybe he was saving Prince Han and she was creating unrequited feelings again, she was grateful to him. Anyways she was about to leave already, so she should treat this as… A goodbye.

“You want to leave the Palace?” Ming Ze himself also did not discover that this usual low voice was somewhat higher.

“I actually have reached the age to leave the Palace.” Two of them just stood there, Ming Ze was in eternal silence and Fu Ling also did no know what else to say as she felt somewhat awkward, “There are many things to pack up, I will leave first.” Fu Ling walked away so fast like she was fleeing. Ming Ze look at her back view as his heart felt uncomforted. As to why it was uncomfortable, he was unable to say so until Ming Jian came to find him three days later and asked, “Imperial Concubine Qing will be permanently staying at the other residence and the Emperor is worried about her safety, so currently suitable personnels are selected to go along for protection. Previously you did protected Imperial Concubine Qing and after that you receive merit for saving Prince Han. If you were to go, you should be able to be promoted three times to the rank of upper forth rank. But I hope that you will stay by the Emperor as it would be more beneficial for your career. What do you think?”

Ming Ze did not think more before he replied, “The Palace is not suitable for me.”

Towards Ming Ze’s choice, Ming Jian was somewhat helpless. It was not easy for this younger brother to talk nicely to him so he exclaimed, “Alright. Then you will go to the Shu Mountain Residence.”

Shu San Residence. Not bad. The depressing heart that Ming Ze felt these days were swept away.

Xiao Mountain outside the capital

Winter has passed and spring was coming. The fragrance of spring spread across the land and on the summit of Xiao Mountain, a female clad in black was standing in the early spring light, holding a letter in her hand. There was a touch of a smile on her lips but there was no pleasure at all in her smile and instead had some satire in it.

The strong male who was standing behind her was quietly paying attention to the female’s expression and a thin layer of sweat surfaced. The wind was very strong on top of the mountain so the female place the letter on her palm and suddenly waved her hands and with her inner power, she had turned it to scraps of paper.

Shui Xin folded her hands in front of herself as she watch the scraps scattered in the win with sharp eyes. The information that Lin Shui Alliance sold to Liao Yue was correct but that did not mean that they would be able to be controlled by them. Without her pulling the strings, how would the Xin family be able to gang up with the Imperial family of Liao Yue. Bai Yi actually reprimanded her in the letter for not helping the Xin Sui to force the Emperor to abdicate and being an incompetent. Humph! She was not even afraid of Yan Hong Tian, Bai Yi that newly titled Crown Prince, she did not put him in her sight at all.

“What are the status of the matters?” A clear cold female voice was heard and one was unable to hear any emotions from it. The strong man quickly bowed and replied, “It is completed. The Xin family bones have been buried and Furen was also buried with Xin Sui per Master’s instruction.”

After hearing it, Shui Xin suddenly laughed heartily. She was an illegitimate daughter and she really didn’t know what charm Xin Sui possessed that made her mother bear constantly in her mind that her dying wish was to be able to be buried in the Xin family tombs and be a Xin family member upon death. If not for her particular wish, she herself would not have stayed at Xin Yue Ning’s side for almost ten years with her own free will. Unfortunately that old man really treated her as a pushover and made use of her time after time but did not put her mother’s ashes in the Xin family tomb. Since it was as such, that one cannot blame her. Now it was better this way, not to mention the Xin tombs, even to let them be buried together and scatter all the ashes of the main family, who else could stop her?!

Hearing Shui Xin’s frenzied laughter, the strong male standing behind lowered his head and dare not speak. He waited until she finished laughing before cautiously asking, “Currently, Master’s wanted notice is pasted everywhere, does Master want… To escape for a while?”

Listening to the strong male’s words, Shui Xin’s expression did not change and her mood seems to be much better, “It’s also good. Set off tomorrow, towards Liao Yue.” It would not be so easy for them to find her!

Before Shui Xin went down the mountain, she looked back towards the direction of the capital and the smile on her lips widen. The only person that caught her eyes was only one. Qing Mo, I hope that we would have the opportunity to compete.

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86 thoughts on “Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 115

  1. Pingback: A Mistaken Marriage Match: Mysteries in the Imperial Harem | Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 115 - Light Novels Feed

  2. wait, I’m confused, and correct me if I’m wrong.. she gave birth to a son right? and then substitute the baby for a daughter right?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. fielna on said:

    … is it finally… the end?

    thank you for your hard work (ノД`)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reader on said:

    thx for the chapter! So does that mean the true prince isn’t going back to the palace and and the substitute princess would go be a commoner w qing feng? What’s going to happen w her and the emperor then? Her suggestion of chen being the empress was pretty good tho.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you so much for your hard. Really enjoy this novel. 😘😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I still want her to be the empress….but despite not being empress Xi-er can be still prince right…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sxiong on said:

    Thank you for the chapter! I enjoyed your dedication and your work! I cane wait to read more translations from you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Passerby on said:

    Super long chapter!! Thank you so much for translating this !! My phone was died when I want to leave a comment ;3; .
    Thanks Thanks and Thanks again for keep translating this novel till the end, Unnie ! *worship worship*

    What a great chapter and QF love-hate story :3
    Although the Shui Xin part make me quite curious but this is a great chapter!
    And epilogue is coming right?? 😀 thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for supporting and leaving a comment!! There are 2 epilogues left before the new novel starts so we have one more week to indulge in this story… 😛

      Like

      • Passerby on said:

        Thank you for translating, and again! Might be nice if you could finish the other series tho, but well, that might not to your liking.
        Btw I read the intro/summary to your next novel that you’re plan to translating! Its sounds SO INTERESTING!! Lol might be nice if you can let out one chapter soon somehow :3 xD

        Liked by 1 person

  9. “Why is it when others love another, they are able to be childhood sweethearts and playmates? And can be filled with tenderness and filled with love for a long time? But I would need to be entangled with life and death without a moment of peace with you?!”

    I officially cried here.. so sad~

    Is this really the end?? Is there any epilogue??

    And this Shui Xin… is she that snake lady from Gu Yun part of story??

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you so much for the new update :😍 waoow it’s final chapter, i’ll be missing YHT & QF story 😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. FableCat on said:

    I rather Xi er be Lou’s son so he won’t hv to deal with twisted greedy ministers or nobles that would pit the royal brothers. Even though Xi er wouldn’t want the throne, the other party would feel threatened just because he is alive. So this kind of ending is best.

    Thank you so much for your hard work. Author and translator team.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. humbledaisy1 on said:

    Thanks for taking on this translation project. It was a much more complete “time/body travel” novel than most.

    My favorite lines of the author’s were “Her feelings towards Yan Hong Tian was like having a thin fish bone stuck in one’s throat. One was unable to swallow and it may not be very painful but every time one swallow or breath, it would hurt her without any peace.”

    So much of the story was how liking someone without wanting to can hurt – I had to be glad that middle sister QF ended up in the palace because, quite frankly, I think her sisters would have killed that frustrating man, YHT!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the compliment! *Hugs* There are many lines in this chapter that summarises their relationship and for sure they are not the normal couple one would see/read. I guess that’s why I love this novel. Glad you also think that her sisters would have killed him… Cause I think so too!!! HAHAHA…

      Like

    • Got to agree.. you know we modern people mostly are too independent and impatient… ha..ha.. and considering both of them personality… especially Gu Yun… ha…haa…

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Thank you….
    Xi er will be protected by LXY….a mother’s love and sacrifice

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Alienation on said:

    Thank you so much for translating this wonderful novel. I continued reading fron the last chaptet i left in one sitting. Tho i hate YHT, i feel sad for him since he can not claim zhi-er as his son. What a very sad life he has. As for Qing Feng, i hope she will live the rest of her life peacefully and happily and hoping that YHT will love her till the end.
    Will wait for the 2 epilogues.

    Hope you will pick up new project and share it with us soon.

    Than you!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ❤️❤️❤️ Thanks for the hard work!!! 👏😄
    Gosh I can’t believe that it’s really The End!!!! I’m gonna miss this bitter love couple! 😩😭

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanking you so much Zazajunnie for this super long n super angst novel from beginning to nearly the end. I hate the angst but I enjoyed every single minute of reading every single chapters that you’d translated.

    The last two epilogues…will it be about YHT n QF right?? This is the first novel that I have ever read that talked more of other insignificant people than the both MC’s themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for supporting throughout the entire novel!!! The 1st epilogue would have YHT and QF but the other two couple would also have an appearance. The 2nd epilogue would focus on the next gen and would serve as a short teaser for the next 3 novels.

      Like

  17. bobolander on said:

    Thank you for finishing this novel~
    It surely was a long and difficult ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. its finished!!!!
    as always thank you for the amazing chapter :3

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Such a long chapter. Thank you for your hard work…..

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m a silent (and loyal) reader of this lovely novel. Although there are 2 more epilogues I want to congratulate you with the finishing of this translating novel in advanced. *big kudos*
    I started my Mondays and Thursdays with reading your chapters – it’s a nice morning routine. :o) To read a chapter within minutes while you must have put hours to translate and edit for just 1 chapter. Thank you so much for your hard work!
    Greetings from Holland

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you for translating this novel till completion. I enjoy reading it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow. Can’t believe we’re at the end. Thank you immensely for the time and work you’ve put in to share this great work with us. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I still find it bittersweet. Do you have any idea if Xi-er ever finds out the truth? All I can think is how painful it would for him to think of QF as only a loving aunt. T_T And YTH is also sad. He’s the Emperor but he can’t do what he wants and the woman he loves would rather stay away from the palace where he has to be.

    Thank you so much for your hard work. One more week left!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank you so much for all of your efforts in translating this novel for us! It’s been an angsty and spellbinding read. I’ll miss having a new chapter update notification!! Congratulations on reaching the end though!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thanks for the translation of this long novel, Zazajunnie with all the palace schemes and angst. As a silent reader, I truly appreciate each and every chapter that you had translated even though I rarely comment (I am lousy in expressing myself in writing 😢)
    Looking forward to turn next project to share with us soon after the 2 epilogues…*hugs*….

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thank you very much for long long chapter….gave us a beautiful ending & closure.
    Can read that you put a lot lots of times & passion in translating for us, non Chinese readers.

    Many Thanks, kisses & look forward to your new novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Last chapter… Wohooo… LXY, the fox, I love it that he was teasing QF. We could finally see a little bit of “affections” in both QF & YHT in this last chapter. Thank you for your dedication in sharing this bitter sweet translation…

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I want QF to be queen and XI-ER to be the crown prince 😢😢😢😢😢

    Liked by 1 person

  29. 王ntxhee on said:

    Ahahahahahaha! It’s comming to an end omg! 😖😖😖😖😖 Gosh I hope that the real son and the fake princess have a good life and that Chen does becomes empress and QF and YHT still love each other dearly. Hopefully the other book you translate is also good. ❤❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  30. walnutty on said:

    Thank you very much for your hard work that I am able to read such a good story.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Syilie on said:

    Congrates and many thanks 4 ur traslation. Ive finish reading in 2 days 🙂 🙂 hook to this series since discover su ling and gu yun. Desperately waiting for those 2 complete being translate 🙂 🙂 . by the way, why you give up on 4th novel? Is it boring??

    I will wait for your next project .. Fighting!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Hello…there!!I have been silent reader for entire time…Congz and many thanks for finished the translation …We all reader really appreciate your hard work and looking forward (more like eagery waiting) your other project😄😄😄…Btw i have the sneak peek of the grow up version of xi’er in LXY and QL’s daughter novel…I must say that he sure grow up like handsome,intelligent,clever,cunning fox but not like the LXY more like mini YHT.Everyone who saw him would doubt much or less.b’coz he is so much like young YHT and even the King Bai Yi thought so.*sigh*😅

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Yunchii on said:

    . ∧,_,∧ 
    .(`・ω・)つ━☆・*。
    .⊂   ノ   ・゜+.
    . し’´J  ☆*・ °。。
    .     /\   Thanks!! Nepu!!!
    .    / ★∴ \  Merry X-mas!
    .   (人_人_人)   And A
    .   / ∴∵★ \ Happy Nepu Year!
    .   (_人_人_人_)   ∧ ∧
    .   / .☆∴∵∴. \ ( ´・ω・)
    .  (_人★人☆人_) /  ⌒ヽ
    .     ̄凵   (人___つ_つ
    It’s seems Gu Yun and Shui Xin road cross intensively in GOMC!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. First of all, zazajunnie, super thank you for translating this novel! I’m gonna rant below about some issues I got with it, but overall, I did enjoy it and found it intriguing. LOL.

    I’m super disappointed Shui Xin gets away without any problem!! SHE’s the one who killed Xhi, but she just left unscathed. ARGH! But it seems she’s interested in Gu Yun. I know Zhuo Qing’s book ends when she marries, so long before this point in the timeline, but I don’t know at what point book 2 ends…but since it’s only 44 chapters, I strongly doubt it’ll get to this point?

    Xi Yan, I’m so angry with you! How dare you lie to Feng to help out Hong Tian?! You may be best friends, but do you really condone Hong Tian’s attitude towards Feng? If anything

    Liked by 1 person

    • If anything, he should give Hong Tian a push in the back towards becoming a better husband and learning to communicate with his own wife!

      This book’s couple is soooo frustrating. Both are intelligent but still very stupid when it comes to being a couple.

      I honestly can see why Hong Tian would be happy to pay Feng back for trying to deceive him about their own child. Feng was wrong to do that. Still, didn’t he stop to think WHY she would act like that? WHY she wouldn’t trust him? Even after all is over, it doesn’t feel like he has ONCE apologized for having hurt her by leaving her out of the loop. He gets mad that she wants to leave the palace, which is somewhat understandable, but how can he STILL not see why she would want to leave? It’s not only because she has gone through much pain in the palace, or because she doesn’t want to be in conflict’s way; it’s also because, though she loves him, she is weary of putting up with the consequences of being with him. He tries to make up for it, but by refusing to tell her what he’s truly thinking, he’s denying her reassurance too! And it really gives the impression that he brushes off the pain she went through in the beginning because of his whims as something really trivial, which makes me feel indignant on Feng’s behalf. I hope he gets better in the epilogues. He HAS gotten better than at the beginning, though, so I do give him a bit of credit where due…but then he undoes his own accomplishments with foolishness! Hmph. Seriously, even Su Ling in all his prejudiced glory is more endearing than this man. Makes it hard to root for him, but I am glad he finally became free from the chains of the Xin clan, which kept killing his children left and right. At least, it should be easier for him to open up now that it isn’t so dangerous.

      Actually, as a whole, though I know the author didn’t show much of his POV to keep the suspense, I feel she overdid it and, as a negative effect, made it harder to relate to the character. Compared to this book, the other two show more of the male leads’ thoughts and feelings.

      Feng… How to say this? She made me feel grieved on her behalf all throughout. Really, she deserves to be happy (which makes it more frustrating that she’s with a self-righteous guy, but at least he’s rich and likes her for who she is). But I wish she had played a more active role rather than just wait until her enemies moved against her to try to break away… And I wish she could’ve stood her ground, refusing to not be taken seriously by anyone a bit more. That way, Hong Tian may have had a harder time leaving her out of the loop and, more importantly, he might have opened up more by now if she had acted as such. Think about it, since he and Xi Yan tricked her into being honest about her feelings, then why not press him fiercely too? “And what about you? How do YOU feel about me? Why do you think I could not trust you before? Why should I trust you now? How are you going to prove to me that it’s safe to do so? If you don’t answer, I won’t trust you.” That way, he will know better than to deceive her again! I hope SHE also gets better in the epilogues.

      Whatever happened to Chen Zhen and Feng’s relationship? Will Chen Zhen forgive her for having taken her son from her? Will Chen Zhen become Empress? I personally could care less who’s the Empress, though.

      Ah, how I wish there were more interactions shown between Ming Ze and Fu Ling. Rather, how did Ming Ze come to like Fu Ling to the point he chose to protect her over a promotion? What exactly were his thoughts in their previous conversations to get him to that point?

      I AM happy that Feng became sisters with Yun and Qing. It’s what I always wanted…! But I wanted to see them interacting openly while knowing this more often! I’m sad they only reached this stage when it’s ending! I was even hoping the three of them would join forces to pull off a prank on Lou Xi Yan to get back at him for deceiving Feng… 😛 😦

      I hoped the Empress Dowager was actually aware of what was going on and following the Emperor’s plan… It turned out she really was an idiot who believed Xin Yue Ning. How can a relative of Xi Yan be so dumb? That woman has been in the inner palace for decades, seeing how hardly any children were born, and then the attempts against Qing Feng and Chen Zhen and their children, and she didn’t ONCE suspect the Empress? She didn’t even bother to read the letters that supposedly set Feng as a spy, not to mention the poisoning accusations had very little substance. I would’ve even thought she was actually colluding with Xin Yue Ning! Lame.

      Whatever happened to Xiao Yu and Ming Jian?

      Speaking of Ming Jian, I never truly understood why he and Ming Ze are not in good terms, or rather, why the latter refuses to be in good terms, except only on a superficial level. And will there be no resolution to it? Will Ming Ze never move on?

      Will Ru Yi’s heart become dark in the end out of ambition and jealousy towards Fu Ling? Or will she remain loyal to Feng?

      Ah, I wonder if the sequel books will answer these questions.

      Overall, I prefer the other two books because they’re funnier. The mood in this one was grim most of the time, and I became paranoid, suspecting everyone at one point. LOL.

      I’m looking forward to the epilogues ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you also think there is too little of Fu Ling and Ming Ze… I REALLY WANT TO KNOW HOW THAT DUMB GUY FALL FOR FULING!!! Tbh, FL and MZ should have their own story too and Xiao Yu and MJ can also be the supporting couple…

      I felt that other than the happy ending of QF and YHT, there are also lots of open ending, like FL & MZ, Xiao Yu & MJ, Ru Yi (is she dead? she was not mentioned after QF went to prison), Shui Xin (I want to know how she is punished..), Han-er and Chen Zhen. I do hope that someone will translate the following novels so I can just binge read it (its hard to read Chinese, I usually take around 3 times more time/effort to do it as compared to Eng) I guess its the way the author is trying to get us to read her other books.

      Thanks for supporting all this time and I hope the epilogues will help to relief some of your frustrations.

      Like

  35. Killer Ninja on said:

    Finished reading it .There”s a book 4 and – Pirates Daughter. I love the series…

    Liked by 1 person

  36. This is a complicated feeling that I have after finishing this amazing novel. Probably cause I’m not really too familiar with stuff and most historical dramas ive watched or read they all became the empress, the one and only of their beloved emperor with their little princes and princesses. But somehow with this story it just feels sooooo different. It’s like a different kind of happily ever after where one can’t help but feel the ambiguity and solemness it leaves with the ending between the male leads. Really I’m just hoping that at least the little Prince will know who his real parents are. And it’s just a childish thought but really i would be able to see the typical ending and not a realistic one…like this. Every moment and it of this novel twinges right at the kokoro. Sigh…now I’m feeling all melancholy and stuff. 😌 Nonetheless, this is a beautiful novel. Anyways THANK YOU for translating this novel and despite having busy RL…(and though there were cliffs and slow updates) IM really thankful cause you never drop this novel 😭 And thank you for the absolutely amazing and easy to understand translations.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Hi zazajunnie, thank you for your translations. I was so hooked and ended up finishing in 3 days. Looking forward to your next project =)

    Liked by 1 person

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