Chapter 201: Descending (Part 2)
Ji Furen called her, “Jiao Niang, it is cold outside, come into the tent first.”
Shen Miao smiled and went in. Master Ji was not in the tent as the high ranking officials were in groups of threes and fives, sitting together and drinking. It was a rare leisure time, so how would one let this opportunity go?
Ji Furen poured a hot cup of tea for Shen Miao, “Don’t worry. Nothing will happen to them. It is however you, if you catch a cold because of this and Jing Xing blame it to me. I cannot afford to bear it.”
Shen Miao laughed, “He would not dare.” After speaking, she thought about something and hesitated for a bit before finally asking, “It seemed that His Highness and the Late Emperor’s relationship is not good.”
Hearing it, Ji Furen was suddenly stunned. She smiled, “Why suddenly ask about the Late Emperor?”
Even though Ji Furen was concealing her very best, Shen Miao could feel the hate that flash in Ji Furen.
Shen Miao had always been curious what kind of role the Late Emperor played in the courts of Long Ye and in Xie Jing Xing’s and Emperor Yong Le’s lives. Since Ji Furen was sisters with the Late Empress, she would definitely have some knowledge of the Late Emperor. Could one be able to know some information relating to the Late Emperor from Ji Furen?
Shen Miao did not conceal and said simply, “One heard His Highness mentioning it but it was not said clearly thus one’s heart is somewhat curious.”
Ji Furen looked at her in amazement and immediately said, “One did not expect that he even tell this to you.” She then smiled, “In the end, this is Jing Xing’s family matters and it would not be good if I tell you about it. In another day, you can ask Jing Xing frankly about it and you will be able to know everything.” This was indicating that she was unwilling to speak about it.
But it was preciously Ji Furen’s attitude that Shen Miao could confirm her conjecture. The Late Emperor indeed was somewhat oppose to the two brothers. Seeing Ji Furen’s attitude, one thought that he also did not treat the Late Empress’s maiden family well.
As she was thinking in her heart about these matters, Ji Furen also fell into her deep thoughts and only reacted after a long time and said to Shen Miao, “Don’t mention about these without any rhyme or reason. Jiao Niang, take a nap first, if they come back tomorrow morning and you waited till then, then one’s body would be harmed.”
How could Shen Miao sleep at such a time? She only had thoughts in her mind, “I will sit here for a while since I cannot sleep anyways.”
Seeing her stubbornness, Ji Furen did not persuade more. After talking a while, Ji Furen herself became tired. She was not as young as Shen Miao and could not stay up late thus she nodded off in the tent. Shen Miao covered her with her coat and sat in the tent.
Who knew that one sitting would last the entire night.
As the morning light slowly peeked out, the birds and beasts were heard from the distant forest. Master Ji was drinking with his colleagues yesterday and now had already woken up from the alcohol and headed towards the tent when he coincidentally saw Shen Miao coming out of it. Unknowingly Shen Miao smiled at him and said, “YiMu is not awake yet and is currently sleeping. May YiFu keep the noise down.”
Master Ji nodded his head and said to her, “You should go and eat something first.”
Shen Miao complied and walked out.
Outside, there were some Furens that were awake and there were signs of fatigue on their expression. They were all people would be respected like gold and as noble as jade thus it was difficult for them to stay in a tent. Those especially delicate ones would have gone back to their residence and those who stays was only here to flatter Emperor Yong Le or to experience a rare leisurely time.
Hui Xiang brought over a bowl of porridge to Shen Miao. As Emperor Yong Le was out, there were a few chefs from the Palace that came and specially cooked for these female family members of the officials. As Shen Miao drank the porridge, she asked Ba Jiao, “Is there any information on His Highness?”
Ba Jiao shook her head.
Shen Miao looked away at the distance. The sun has already emerged from the mountain and in another shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours), the skies would be completely bright. Even if Xie Jing Xing spend the night in the mountain, they should also return at this time. There was no precedent for hunting for two days in the mountains.
Even though they were not just only hunting.
“Do you have any signal from Mo Yun Army?” Shen Miao asked, “With regards to this matter, your master did not arrange with you that once the matter is successful, there would be any signals for indication?”
Ba Jiao and Hui Xiang were startled and both of them looked at one another before shaking their heads together. Hui Xiang said, “Master did not inform us, two servants, of this arrangement.”
Shen Miao was helpless and could only say, “One do not know what is the situation now.” She then looked out to the distance with a stretch and saw Ye Mao Cai and her head ached.
Just as she was thinking, a familiar figure walked over from the other end. Shen Miao was startled and did not care about drinking the porridge anymore. She passed the bowl to Ba Jiao and quickly chase after the person.
Ji Yu Shu asked, “What does SaoSao mean?”
Shen Miao frowned, “Aren’t you together with Xie Jing Xing?”
Ji Yu Shu was very surprised, “No. I am at the outer fields as only the Imperial family can enter the inner fields. Even though I am half a Imperial family, but one is still not qualified at all.”
Shen Miao was shocked as she had thought that Ji Shu Yu was here to help support Xie Jing Xing. Now that Ji Yu Shu did not go, could it be that only Xie Jing Xing and Emperor Yong Le was fighting alone? She said, “Tell me honestly, what does Xie Jing Xing want to do this time?”
Ji Yu Shu rubbed his nose with grievance, “SaoSao, you really ask the wrong person this time. Third Older Brother would not bring me along when he handle big matters and the more dangerous a matter is, the more he would not let me touch it. When in Ming Qi, I only manage Feng Xian Pawnshop matters and he would not allow me to intervene with other matters. In the hunting grounds yesterday, it was Gao Yang that was with him. Third Older Brother would only bring Gao Yang for any matters that even if I want to follow, Third Older Brother would not allow.”
“Gao Yang?” Shen Miao asked, “Gao Yang is also an official so how can he go?”
“Gao Yang can go as Third Older Brother’s subordinate.” Ji Yu Shu said, “His has a quick brain and has medical knowledge so if there is any matters, he would be able to help.”
Shen Miao’s heart tightened. Gao Yang has medical skills so Xie Jing Xing would bring him along with him, so could it be that the situation had become so dangerous? She then looked at Ji Yu Shu and she understood in her heart. Even though Xie Jing Xing’s mouth was bad, he was one who shielded his shortcomings. Ji Yu Shu was also his Younger Biao Brother, just like treating Su Ming Feng, the best way of protecting Ji Yu Shu was not to involve him and perhaps it is also to protect the entire Ji family.
Ji Yu Shu looked at Shen Miao’s expression and this time he became smarter and asked, “SaoSao, has something happened to Third Older Brother?”
Shen Miao said, “No. I am just anxious that he have yet to return after so long.”
“That cannot be.” Ji Yu Shu was resolute and decisive when he spoke, “SaoSao is not someone who does not know propriety. You are really too strange just now. Yesterday when I went to look for Gao Yang, Gao Yang was also very mysterious. Every time when they have something going on, they would be like that. It was still alright in Ming Qi but upon returning to Long Ye, they are drawing the line clearer with me. Is it that he want to do something?”
Shen Miao looked at Ji Yu Shu’s angry expression and signed with sorrow. Xie Jing Xing was already used to push the people around him away to take on everything himself, just like when in Ming Qi, dealing with the Marquis of Lin An, Princess Rong XIn and Su Ming Feng. Now it was Ji Yu Shu’s turn but there were some things that was truly a blessing if one did not know of it.
She said, “Apologies. I have no way of answering you because I too do not know what he wants to do.”
“Only the Imperial family people can enter the inner fields of the hunting ground. Could it be that there are dangers inside?” Ji Yu Shu said, “Third Older Brother and the Emperor are always so mysterious. SaoSao, you really don’t know?”
“Don’t know what?” Before Shen Miao could answer, a female voice was heard from behind and it was Ji Furen who walked over. One did not know how much she had heard but she looked at Ji Yu Shu before looking at Shen Miao again and her expression become strange. She asked, “What happen to Xing Zhi and Jing Xing? What is the meaning of what you just said?”
Ji Furen originally wanted to call Shen Miao over to return to the capital with her but who knew that she happened to see Shen Miao pulling Ji Yu Shu over. Ba Jiao and Hui Xiang were busy monitoring Lu Chun Zheng and Ye Mao Cai, and thus were not vigilant of Ji Furen and thus Ji Furen had heard the conversation between Shen Miao and Ji Yu Shu.
Ji Yu Shu said, “Mother, it is nothing. I am only joking with SaoSao.”
“Don’t fool your mother.” Ji Furen looked at Ji Yu Shu and said angrily, “At the beginning one let you go and look for Jing Xing in Ming Qi, you went and did not return and one did not know what you did in Ming Qi. I do not care what you do since you are the Young Master of the Ji family. I ask you, what exactly do you know and why do you say those words? Are Jing Xing and Xing Zhi in danger?”
Ji Yu Shu was at a loss for words with his mother and looked at Shen Miao for help. Shen Miao quickly said, “YiMu, you have misunderstood. I am only joking with Ji Yu Shu. It is just that His Highness has not returned yet till now, thus one’s heart is a little anxious and asked Yu Shu about it. Yu Shu does not know anything about it and it was me that has thought too much. YiMu mustn’t blame him.”
Ji Furen looked at Shen Miao again and her gaze was a little strict, “Jiao Niang, this matter is not trivial. I…”
Just as she was speaking, Ba Jiao suddenly ran over and did not care about Ji Furen’s presence, “Furen, they have returned. The Emperor has descended from the mountain.”
Ji Yu Shu was like he had gain an amnesty and quickly said to Ji Furen, “You see. I said that nothing happened to Third Older Brother. Mother, don’t think too much. Let’s go. Let go and take a look at the lion that Third Older Brother and the Emperor hunted.”
When Shen Miao heard that Emperor Yong Le and entourage had returned, she sighed with relieve and smiled towards Ji Furen, “Let us go over.”
Ji Furen wanted to say more but after glancing at Shen Miao’s calm expression, she swallowed back down and let Shen Miao pull her over.
One then saw that a group of Imperial army walked out of the outer fields and was headed by Emperor Yong Le. But the strangest thing was that Emperor Yong Le did not ride the horse but walked out personally. Those with sharp eyesight would be able to see that there were a bit of blood at the sword on Emperor Yong Le’s waist.
But this was an Imperial Hunt and even though it was said that the Emperor would personally hunt, it was a beast thus how would one let the Monarch head towards danger? It would be the guards that would aim with arrows with the Emperor instructions.
The meaning of it was that Emperor Yong Le personally shot it.
Emperor Yong Les expression was the same and one could not see if he was happy or angry. Consort Jing had been waiting in the luxurious tent for a long time and immediately greeted delicately and sweetly, “Your Majesty finally came out. ChenQie had been waiting here an entire night that one eyes are red already.”
Emperor Yong Le only looked at her blandly and did not speak. Shen Miao saw it clearly that Ye Mao Cai’s expression was as usual but Lu Chun Zheng’s expression was somewhat hazy.
The Imperial army behind pulled out something from behind the horses and threw it down in front with a thud, causing the females around to exclaim in shock. That thing was none other than a corpse of a lion that was filled with blood on its head and countless of arrows were shot into its upper abdomen. It looked like it was a fierce battle.
Immediately there were officials that were flattering and came out to congratulate, “Your Majesty is wise and divine. It is the blessing of our Great Liang.” Everyone followed suit and went along the words and knelt down to sing praises.
Shen Miao also got down to her knees and Emperor Yong Le gestured for everyone to get up.
But Shen Miao did not see Xie Jing Xing’s figure at all.
After everyone got up, Lu Chun Zheng suddenly spoke, “Your Majesty, why do one only see His Majesty only and not see His Highness the Prince of First Rank?”
Everyone then seemed to remember that Prince Rui of First Rank was not present.
Emperor Yong Le stared at Lu Chun Zheng and his gaze was as cold as ice, “Prince Rui of First Rank is injured and has returned to the city for treatment.”
Everyone was in an uproar.