Concealed by Brocaded Clouds, Frost on the Roads: Volume 01 Chapter 11

October 22, 2021 Oyen 0 Comments

Daily chapter here, enjoy~
Chapter 11: Jade Cloud and Dusk, Opposite to Each Other
translator: Oyen

The Lanlin Hall was the quietest place in the entire palace. The flowers and plants were scattered and the green trees formed a forest, hence the name.

Liu Lan leaned on the brocade couch to rest, and the maid beside her shook the brocade fan. Because of the extreme silence, the footsteps of the maid in the corridor outside could be heard vaguely. She squinted her eyes halfway. Just listening to the maid walking to the front, very quietly said, “Mistress, Xiao Lu-zi is here.” Liu Lan opened her eyes slightly, “Oh”, and said. “Tell him to come in.” The maid responded and ordered him to go in.

Xiao Lu-zi was Shi Quanyi’s subordinate, the head of chamberlain, and had always been a servant in Chengqian Hall. It seemed that something was going on today, so he came here specially. Xiao Lu-zi was a clever person. As soon as he came in, he knelt down and saluted, “Greeting concubine Liu!”

Liu Lan sat up lazily holding the maid's hand and waved her hand slightly, “Come, take a seat!”

Xiao Luzi quickly saluted, “Thanks concubine Liu!”

Sitting down, he hurriedly approached Concubine Liu and said, “The last time Mistress asked about Ziyi Pavillion, this slave heard some wind in the past few days and hurried to tell Mistress.”

Interested, Liu Lan raised her almond eyes and said, “Oh, what's the wind?” For more than a year after the Empress was grounded, Concubine Yin became increasingly popular in the harem, and her power soared in the palace. If the newly-built Ziyi Pavillion Emperor gave her a place to live, it would undoubtedly make things worse for the other three concubines.

Xiao Luzi lowered his voice and said, “This slave today listened to head chief Shi’s instructions to some people to move some things in the Prince’s mansion where the Emperor lived before, saying that they would be furnished according to the layout of the mansion. In this way, this slave guessed that this Ziyi Pavillion must be for the Emperor to live. What did Mistress say?”

Liu Lan hesitated for a moment, her hanging heart let go slightly, and smiled shallowly. “Come, reward Xiao Lu-zi an ingot of gold.”

From the time when the crown ceremony was held to the time when the Emperor ascended the throne, the Emperor always lived in the Prince’s mansion outside the palace. The mansion had been empty since the Emperor ascended the throne. Now it was also possible for the attendants to move some of the old furnishings. After all, he had lived for more than ten years, and some things had some feelings. As long as the Ziyi Pavilion didn’t reward the other three people, especially concubine Yin.

When Xiao Lu-zi heard this, he hurriedly knelt down and thanked her with a smile. “This slave thanked concubine Liu for the reward.” He raised his head and remembered something, and then said, “I heard head chief Shi also said that this long letter hall to the west of Ziyi Pavilion, in the future It is for the crown prince.”

Liu Lan nodded, and didn't care much. After the Empress fell out of favor, the Crown Prince did not move out of Zhaoyang Hall, and had been living with the Empress for more than a year. However, the Emperor didn't go in and out of Zhaoyang Hall because of the relationship with the Crown Prince, but let people carry the Crown Prince to Chengqian Hall from time to time.

Since the four of them entered the palace, even if they were favored like concubine Yin, they had failed to give birth to a son and daughter for the Emperor. So the position of the Crown Prince was still as solid as a mountain. Perhaps there was also this reason, Ruan Wushuang still maintained the position of Empress.

People in the palace were still puzzled about why the Empress was grounded. But her father said, maybe the Empress didn't make the Emperor angry at all, but some people and things existed just to get what they wanted in their hearts. If they got it, the value of these people and things would disappear.

The Empress’ family was also one of the largest families since the beginning of the Baili dynasty. It reached the top in the hands of the late Empress Dowager Ruan. Ruan Wushuang’s two elder brothers were both son-in-laws and important positions, and Father Ruan was the prime minister. However, the Ruan family had always been strict in tutoring. Therefore, the court officials, including his father Liu Shilang, still respect the Ruan family. Everyone also understood in their hearts that if it weren't for the current Emperor who married Ruan Wushuang back then, who would be on the Dragon Chair throne today?

From her father's words, she vaguely heard that the Emperor seemed to be attacking Ruan's family. But it had been more than a year since the Empress was grounded. The Emperor didn’t move at all... and it was really strange!

In the afternoon, there was not a trace of blue in the sky, but dark gray lead clouds wandered around the horizon, pressed heavily.

Baili Haozhe played with the jade hairpin in his hand. This was a treasure that had just been tributed. The jade color was deep and the tassels were gentle. The rarest one was that the butterfly carvings on the hairpins were lifelike, and the butterfly wings were lightly spread, as if they were about to fly away from the hand in an instant. She had never liked fancy and complicated tassels. In the past, whether in the palace or in the Prince’s mansion, as long as she was in her small world, she liked to pull her hair lightly and insert a jade hairpin obliquely.

After playing for a long time, he raised his head and called out, “Shi Quanyi.” Shi Quan was waiting outside the hall. As soon as he heard the Emperor’s voice, he hurried in, bowed and said, “This slave is here. What can I do for the Emperor?”

For a while, the Emperor said nothing. Shi Quanyi raised his head slightly, only to see that he was looking at the object in his hand in a daze. Shi Quanyi stared at the object for a moment, and found that it was a hairpin. Only then did he remember that yesterday the Ministry of Rites presented a batch of tribute items from all over the world, among which there was such a hairpin in the jade ornament. He also only saw it, but the jasper butterfly on the hairpin was made to look like it was real, and it left a little impression.

Suddenly, one thing suddenly occurred to him. For more than a year, among the various objects presented by the Ministry of Rites, the Emperor seemed to particularly like objects such as jasper jade. There were often a few of the items presented each time, but he didn’t see any concubine who kept it.

While he was thinking, he only heard the Emperor's voice pass over in a low voice. “Pass my message…” He paused, and touched the hairpin with his fingertips, which was warm and greasy, and was unable to keep his hands, just like her skin... The only difference was that her skin was slightly warm...

As soon as Shi Quanyi heard his tone, it seemed that he had not yet made a final decision. he was wondering if he should answer. After a while, the Emperor's voice sounded again, “Pass on my message that the Crown Prince's residence will be moved to Changxin Hall from now on.”

Shi Quanyi replied, “This slave obeys!” Before leaving the hall, he could almost imagine the Empress's reaction. There was a bit of sympathy in his heart. In this deep palace, as an Empress that was no longer favored by the Emperor. It was already the greatest punishment. Now he had to take away the Empress’ family happiness...

Like everyone in the palace, Shi Quanyi had been speculating about what the Empress did. But even if he was so close to the Emperor, he couldn't find any clues. The Empress had always been dignified and virtuous, and she looked elegant and moving. According to his observations all the time, the Emperor cared about the Empress, and ordinary trivial matters would never be so... Shi Quanyi often didn't dare to think deeply.

In Zhaoyang Hall’s courtyard, the flowers of the courtyard tree garden contain fragrant spitting stamens, brightly blooming all over the garden. Black bamboo was pushing a swing to amuse the Crown Prince when he saw Shi Quanyi leading people over from a distance. During the period since the Empress was grounded, few people had entered or left the Zhaoyang Hall. Most of the people who used to flatter in Zhaoyang Hall dispersed as birds and beasts. Although they did not care much about it in the past, they were still somewhat chilled.

However, head chief Shi was still one of the few people who continuously came to greet the young miss. One day, she talked to her young miss about it. She only said faintly, “What do you think head chief Shi can climb to such a position in the palace? But he is also a kind-hearted person.” But today seemed to be a little different from the past. There were too many attendants behind him.

After Shi Quanyi saluted, he announced the Emperor's message. When he looked up, he saw the Empress' face as pale as paper, her body trembling, and she could hardly stand firm.

Ruan Wushuang held Mo Ran, her feet as soft as cotton, and she had no strength. He wanted to move Chengxuan to Changxin Hall... No! no He wasn’t going to do anything to Chengxuan. She shook her head desperately.

Shi Quanyi bowed his head and said with some compassion, “Empress, the Crown Prince is growing up day by day. According to the imperial rules, the Crown Prince is almost old enough to study. The Emperor did this because he wanted to train the Crown Prince in person, and this was also for the sake of the Crown Prince in the future.” After saying that, he said again, “Empress, please forgive. It is this slave who is talkative. This slave will retire!”

She still shook her head and watched the maid behind Shi Quanyi take Chengxuan from the wet nurse's hand, then saluted her again, and bowed and excused herself.

Chengxuan was still young and naturally didn't know what was going on. He laid on the shoulders of the maid, showing round eyes, and looked at her softly. After walking for a lot of steps, as if he realised something was wrong, he started to struggle, “Mother... Mother…”

As soon as the maid turned around, Cheng Xuan's face disappeared at the door, as if her heart was about to disappear. All she heard was his cry, “Mother—— I want my mother…”

The rule in the palace was to call her Mother Empress, but she always felt too unfamiliar. So from the beginning of learning the language, she taught him to say ‘Mother’. But now the sound of the mother, as if like a knife, knife after knife, cut in the heart… She clutched her chest and leaned against Mo Ran and could hardly breathe.

Shi Quanyi bowed and saluted, preparing to withdraw from the hall. After a few steps, he raised his head slightly, and saw that the Empress’ face was hidden in the crescent-colored sleeves, and the cuffs were embroidered with golden hibiscus, which was very ingenious. The gaze was slightly facing upwards, but only a jade jade hairpin was inserted obliquely on the side of the queen's cloud-like hair, which was set off by the black hair, and it became more and more exquisite and translucent.

The third floor of Ziyi Pavilion was quite unique. The windows could be opened on all sides. The Emperor stood alone in front of the window, silently staring into the distance. It rained during dinner, which was quite cool. At this time, the second watch had passed, and the chill was everywhere. Shi Quanyi looked up several times, only to see that the Emperor's face seemed rather gloomy, and he never dared to step forward to disturb him.

At this time, he had to take a few steps forward and bowed and said, “Emperor, it's time to go to bed.”

The Emperor didn't move, as if he didn't hear it. Shi Quanyi was there, holding his breath, bowing his head thinking about what he had overlooked. During these days, the court was quite peaceful, and the harem concubines were also in order, and nothing special happened.

While he was thinking, seeing that the Emperor had already turned around, he hurriedly winked at the waiting maids. The maids went forward one by one, changing clothes for the Emperor.

Shi Quanyi breathed a sigh of relief, and took a few steps forward to close the window. Because it was on the third floor and slightly east of the center of the palace, they could see most of the palace halls at a glance. Although it was night at this time, the lights in the halls and palaces were clear at a glance, and the first thing that caught his eyes was Zhaoyang Hall...

He suddenly shuddered. After the completion of the Ziyi Pavilion, the Emperor ordered him to send people to the Prince’s mansion to fetch many objects. Among them, the room of the Prince’s mansion was moved almost intact to the third floor of Ziyi Pavilion. At first he thought that the Emperor was nostalgic, after all, he was given a mansion after he was given a title at the age of eighteen. After so many years, he had more or less feelings for many used old things.

He always thought that the Emperor lived here to appreciate the beauty of the entire palace, which was just a fresh picture. After all, each Emperor had his own preferences. He had been with the Emperor for several years, and he only felt that the Emperor seemed to be indifferent to everything, even to women.

It was rare that such a pavilion would be built next year. But what he didn't care about was that up to now, the Emperor had always opened the west window, and the position... The position was directly facing the Empress’ Zhaoyang Hall.

It was as if he knew everything and knew everything! The Emperor obviously cared about the Empress. Otherwise, why bother so much?
Thinking about the jade hairpin a few days ago, he knew it now. According to the previous rules, the Empress was the first to choose the tribute presented. The Emperor rewarded some to the other four concubines as appropriate, and the rest was filled into the imperial treasury. The Emperor took care of everything every day and even noticed that the Empress liked jade hairpins. And kept the treasures from tribute to the Empress every time...

And after the Empress was grounded, concubine Yin became more favoured... Could it be because concubine Yin looked a little like the Empress?

This was clearly the performance of loving the Empress to the bone. But why put the Empress under house arrest in Zhaoyang Hall, but never set foot again?

Mo Ran and Mo Zhu came in after having dinner. Although they knew that the Young Miss was definitely not asleep, their steps were still extremely light. There was no trace of movement in the delicate pastries in the room. Young Miss laid on her side in the brocade couch, her eyes closed tightly, tears still on her face. Ai, Young Miss must be thinking of the little Crown Prince again and crying!

It was already night outside, and Mo Ran lightly lit the red candle on the gold-plated candlestick. The light cut through the darkness of the room and curled up the smoke.

Mo Zhu carried the plate and begged in a low voice, “Young Miss, please eat a little.” Young Miss had hardly eaten anything these days. Ruan Wushuang didn't seem to have heard, even her eyelashes hadn’t been affected at all.

Mo Ran also walked over and persuaded, “Young Miss, the crown prince just moved to Changxin Hall to live. Changxin Hall is very close to here. Besides, the Emperor will still let the crown prince come over to greet you, you can still see the crown prince.”

Ruan Wushuang’s eyelashes moved, tears slipped down again. Having said that, she still seems to have been taken out of her backbone, and her heart hurts like a knife...

Mo Ran lowered her voice and said, “Young Miss, Changxin hall is near here. If Young Miss wants to see the crown prince every day and stay with the crown prince, there is still a way to think of…”

Ruan Wushuang suddenly opened his eyes and looked at Mo Ran, waiting for her to go on. “This slave has inquired about it, and the chief bodyguard in charge of guarding the hall is Lin Xiaoshu. When the Empress Dowager was around, this Lin Xiaoshu was the guard in charge of the Cining Hall. Aunt Mu must have been very familiar with him... Let Aunt Mu go to accommodate and think of a way…”

After the death of Empress Dowager Ruan, Mu Qing was recalled to Zhaoyang Hall by Ruan Wushuang, nominally responsible for teaching the etiquette rules of the maids, but in fact, after the Empress Dowager left, Mu Qing seemed to be a different person, chanting sutras and chanting Buddhas all day long. Ruan Wushuang also treated her as half an elder. He originally wanted to send her out of the palace, but Mu Qing disagreed. It was said that she had lived in the palace for most of her life, and she didn’t know what to do when she went out. She would rather die in old age in the palace. Ruan Wushuang also agreed, specially assigned two maids to her. She didn’t know why, Mu Qing's body was also getting worse day by day. These days, it was even more lingering in the sickbed and difficult to get up.

At this moment, Mo Ran mentioned it as if a bright light had been lit in the dark night. She heard from Mo Ran Mo Zhu that the Changxin Hall was only a few steps away from Zhaoyang Hall, and there was a long corridor leading directly there. It was just that he didn't let her out of Zhaoyang Hall... Thinking of him, it seemed that even her breathing hurts...

It had been almost two years, more than 700 days and nights... As long as she thought of him, her heart was always sore... Whenever the night was quiet, the pain hit again and again, making people caught off guard. ...

Mo Ran carried a red paint basket and greeted the guards of Zhaoyang Hall cheerfully, “Brother Zhu, it's your turn to be on duty today?” The guards had been here for more than a year, and they were familiar with Mo Ran and others. He smiled and replied, “So it's Mo Ran. Where are you going?”

Mo Ran smiled and said, “The Empress gave this slave order to give some snacks to the crown prince.” Then, said to Mo Zhu in the back, “Go and get some snacks to invite these brothers to enjoy and taste.” Mo Zhu responded. The guards smiled and thanked, “Miss Mo Ran is considerate. Thank you very much.”

In the voice of thanks from the crowd, Mo Ran led a maid with bowed eyebrows to the Changxin Hall. Therefore, the time was at noon, and most of the palace owners had to take a nap after lunch, so there were few people in the Imperial Garden. And the road from Zhaoyang Hall to Changxin Hall wasn’t even a single figure.

Crown Prince Chengxuan had already left the study for lunch at this time, and was memorizing the simplest three-character scripture. Only Lin Xiaoshu waited on him. Seeing Mo Ran coming in, he smiled slightly and bowed to the people behind Mo Ran before exiting the hall. Seeing the crown prince climb down from his seat and run towards the maid behind Mo Ran, “Mother…”

Ruan Wushuang crouched down, and then Chengxuan flew in and she whispered, “Shh, keep your voice down.” Chengxuan held her tightly and lowered his voice sensibly, “Yes, they can't hear it.”

Ruan Wushuang picked up Chengxuan's soft body and asked softly, “What did the teachers teach today?”

Chengxuan replied, “They taught the three character classics.” So he began to recite what the teachers taught today.

Ruan Wushuang had taken some snacks and fed him bit by bit. While eating, Chengxuan kept chattering about how the attendants played with him yesterday, how to accompany him to stick cicadas in the garden, and how to catch insects.

Ruan Wushuang asked about his schoolwork, and when he saw Cheng Xuan's usual nap time, she held him in the back bedroom. Coaxing for a long time, she saw he was still in high spirits, there was no sign of going to sleep. Pretending to be angry, she said, “Why don't you sleep now? If you don't sleep, mother is going to leave!”

Hearing this, Chengxuan grabbed her sleeve and said, “Mother, I'm good. I'll sleep now.” Then, he closed his eyes. Ruan Wushuang would only come to accompany him every few days. Knowing that he was unwilling to sleep, so she wanted to pester him.

Sure enough, but for a moment, Chengxuan opened his eyes again and looked at her with small round eyes. “Mother, you sleep with me, you haven't slept with me for a long time…” The soft eyes were begging... She looked at the door hesitantly, a little worried that she would be seen through…

Ruan Wushuang's nose surged with familiar sourness again, she looked at the child distressingly, inhaled, and nodded. “Okay, mother will accompany you to sleep, then close your eyes.”It was a stolen luxury to accompany Chengxuan like this.

Every night in the deep silence, when she thought of Chengxuan, when she thought of him, it was always painful to sleep. Sometimes even when she fell asleep, she would wake up from her dream. The whole person would be dripping with cold sweat, as if pulled out of the water.

How was he going to deal with Chengxuan? Looking at him now, it seemed that he still regarded Chengxuan as his own flesh and blood. But she clearly knew her day of conceiving with Chengxuan was strange.

Perhaps it was his unpredictable mind that made her feel so frightened that she was restless every day.

Well, she didn’t have to think about it anymore. Mo Ran was guarding the door, and any movement would come in immediately, there shouldn't be anything wrong. She hugged Chengxuan tighter, smelling the familiar smell on Chengxuan, and sighed quietly. Is it a blessing or a curse? Nothing, it's a curse, you can’t avoid it!

The mother stood by the child, and Chengxuan seemed to have a sense of peace of mind. His breath soon became even and soon fell asleep. Looking at the child's innocent sleeping appearance, her eyelids slowly became heavy...

In the dream, she vaguely heard Mo Ran's voice pass over softly but anxiously, “Young Miss… Young Miss… The Emperor is coming!” Like thunder and lightning, Ruan Wushuang trembled and woke up from the haze.

It should be his noon time, so she would choose the safest time to come here every day. But today... Looking around the room, this bedroom was located at the back of the whole Changxin Hall, and there was no way out, and there was no hiding place. Now only hope that the Emperor was still on his way to Changxin Hall.

But Mo Ran's words broke her fantasy, “Young Miss, the Emperor has entered the front hall…” That meant there was no way to retreat…

While she was still thinking, she only heard footsteps outside the door. Someone had pushed the door open and there seemed to be no way to avoid it. She winked at Mo Ran and knelt down according to the rules of the palace. The man seemed to pause for a moment, and it took a while for him to come slowly.

But she didn’t know why, he only took so few steps, but she felt that she had the illusion of a lifetime. She lowered her head, and the scope of her eyes was only such a small place. The hem of his apricot Yellow Dragon Robe brushed slightly past her, and the five clawed Golden Dragon on his boots swam gradually with his very slow, very slow steps…

This scene was so familiar, and familiarity could easily provoke the familiar pain in the heart... everything seemed to be as lifelike as it was still happening in front of the eyes... It was him and her that day, and she was the same, with her head down, the only thing she could see, yes, it was just his boots...

He stopped in front of her. She bowed her head and learned the posture of the maids. She didn't dare to move. Everything seemed to stop and stand still. It seemed that after a long time, she almost thought she was a stone statue. He just moved his steps, and the voice came from her head. It was familiar and seemed strange, “How long has the crown prince slept?” Mo Ran fell on her head and replied, “Replying to the Emperor, the crown prince has just fallen asleep.”

The Emperor didn't speak again, and Mo Ran seemed to have a drum beating in her heart, up and down, only feeling that her back was wet and her palms were in a cold sweat.

After a moment, the Emperor said, “Get up.” They got up, stood on the side with their heads down and hands down. Mu Ran secretly looked up and saw that the Emperor's eyes were falling on the small dishes on the edge of the couch. The dim sum was small and delicate, and the color was very attractive.

The Emperor picked one up and looked at it carefully for a while, as if to say casually: “It's a lot of effort. Why didn’t it come up?” Shi Quanyi, who was waiting on the side, said, “I’ll send someone to ask.”

Mo Ran bowed her head, thinking about how to take Young Miss out. At this time, when he heard the Emperor ask, she replied, “Emperor, these snacks are made by the Empress herself. This slave will have another one to send over.”

The Emperor was silent for a few moments. Shi Quanyi guessed the emperor's mind and made an expression to Mo Ran. Mo Ran knew what he meant by sending someone to Chengqian hall later. Just about to salute and retreat, the Emperor's voice came faintly, “No need.” Ruan Wushuang unconsciously squeezed her hand and her heart seemed to sink to the bottom of the well.

Mo Ran saluted, “Yes, this servant will retire.” Both of them bowed their heads and retreated. Shi Quanyi's eyes inadvertently swept to the figure of the maid behind Mo Ran, and suddenly felt a bit familiar, but the figure was too slim. He was surprised when a shadow flashed through his mind. He glanced at the Emperor and saw that he was in a trance in the direction of the figure.

The Emperor clearly saw it. But why pretend to be ignorant?

After a long time, the Emperor still kept his original posture, fixedly looking at the door. Shi Quanyi sighed in the bottom of his heart, wondering what the Emperor was doing? Truly awkward!

While he was thinking, he only heard a noise outside. Looking up, the Emperor frowned slightly and seemed extremely impatient.

Shi Quanyi hurriedly retreated to the door and asked his men in a low voice “Who has eaten the heart of the bear and leopard has the courage? Didn’t know that the Crown Prince is sleeping and the Emperor is here, too? How could it be so noisy?” Seeing that Xiao Li-zi had come running from a distance, he came close to his ear and said, “Eunuch Shi, it was Empress’ maidservant who accidentally knocked over the snack made by concubine Yin herself. Concubine Yin is angry and says she wants that person to be severely punished.”

Shi Quanyi frowned and said, “Go and talk to Concubine Yin, saying that the crown prince is asleep. If the crown prince wakes up, it’s hard for this slave to explain to the Emperor…” It occurred to him that Mo Ran and that person hadn’t gone for too long. It wouldn’t be so coincidental!

He hurriedly grabbed Xiao Li-zi by the arm and asked anxiously, “It's not Mo Ran who just went out, is it?” 

Xiao Li-zi replied, “Isn’t it them!”

Shi Quanyi's heart thumped for a moment and said hurriedly, “Quickly, come and take a look.” 

At this time, the Emperor's voice also came, “What’s the matter?”

Shi Quan said, “This slave… this slave will go and have a look, and then go back to report.” The Emperor didn't speak, but seemed to agree. Shi Quanyi quickly stepped out of the hall door.

In the imperial garden, the sun was shining brightly, and the glazed tiles in the distance and nearby were shining with golden light, as if it could splash fire. It also made people feel abnormally hot and stuffy.

Under the feather fan, concubine Yin was wearing a pretty face, while the handmaid Dong Yan was cursing, “It's really something that doesn't have eyes. Do you know that this is made by concubine Yin herself and is going to be sent to the Emperor to eat.”

Mo Ran had already knelt down and kept confessing her mistakes and said, “Concubine Yin, forgive me, it is this slave's fault, please concubine Yin to punish me alone.” Mo Ran also knew in her heart that this was Concubine Yin deliberately looking for fault. Just now, she and the young miss saw them coming, and stood aside with their hands down, ready to salute them. Obviously this girl ran into her, but she ran into her young miss who was closest to them.

Dong Yan glared and said, “Neither of you can get away with it. Don't think that you are the people around the Empress, and we, concubine Yin’s people, will punish you. Somebody—— give me a hand!” The two Chamberlains on the side replied, “Yes.” Lifting his hands to both of them who lowered their faces, Mo Ran desperately pushed away the Chamberlain next to Ruan Wushuang, but how could it be more powerful than the Chamberlain...

Shi Quanyi saw it from a distance, and hurriedly shouted, “Stop it.” After hearing the two sounds of “Pa pa”, Mo Ran and that person already had a palm on their faces.

Shi Quan said angrily, “Stop it.”The two Chamberlains stopped as soon as they saw that it was head chief Shi.

Shi Quanyi looked at a pile of things scattered on the ground, turned to look at that person, saw that she still bowed her head, and saw only the dark bun of the maid's hair. Knowing in her heart that she was also afraid of others finding out her identity, she dressed up as a maid and kept her head down. Therefore, concubine Yin must have not discovered her identity, otherwise even if she had the courage, she would not dare to throw a slap.

But now there was no way to explain it. It was a serious crime for the Empress to go out of the hall without permission in violation of the heaven will. The Emperor knew about it just now in the Changxin Hall, but he also pretended not to know. Then he naturally must not tear the facade. After the salute, he had to intercede with Concubine Yin. “Concubine Yin, it's unintentional to come to these two slaves. Please spare these two for this slave.”

Yin Shuiya had been trying every means to attract Shi Qunyi, then hearing him say so, naturally eager to sell him a favor, then smiled and said, “Since head chief Shi said so, then the matter is over. Why don't you two slaves thank  head chief Shi. If head chief Shi hadn't pleaded with you today, I would have sent you to the aunt in charge of Xiaomen.”

The so-called ‘Xiaomen’ punished the maids who made mistakes in the palaces, which was extremely severe. The aunt in charge had heard that there were all kinds of things in her hands, so that the maids couldn't survive or beg for death.

Shi Quanyi bowed again. “This slave thanked Concubine Yin.” Mo Ran and that person only kowtowed again. “Thank Concubine Yin for her kindness.” Yin Shuiya was in a good mood, turned her head with a bright smile and asked. “The Emperor is in Changxin Hall, lead me forward.” 

Shi Quan replied, “Yes.”

At the entrance of the hall, Xiao Li-zi came out and stopped Yin Shuiya who was about to enter the hall. After paying a salute, he said, “Concubine Yin, the Emperor has ordered that no one will be seen now.” Yin Shuiya glanced at him and lifted her chin. He pointedly said, “Help me pass the message!”

Xiao Li-zi smiled carefully and said, “Concubine Yin, it's not the little one who refuses to pass it on. It's just that the Emperor said it, and he would see no one.” As he said, he looked up at Shi Quanyi in a pan-reluctant way.

Yin Shuiya then turned to Shi Quanyi and said, “Please tell the Emperor that Shuiya is here.” Shi Quanyi knew that the Emperor didn't want to see concubine Yin when he saw Xiao Li-zi. However, he still said to concubine Yin, “Yes, this slave is going to report it now.”

The Emperor was standing by the west window, Shi Quanyi saluted from a distance and reported. “Emperor, concubine Yin is begging to see you outside the hall.” The Emperor's cold voice came, “I said, I will see no one!” The tone was extremely cold, as if still carrying thunder and anger.

Shi Quanyi looked up gently and saw a picturesque view of the imperial garden outside the west window. Just concubine Yin and others' positions were clear at a glance.

In the evening, the color of the day was getting thinner, and it was sprinkled obliquely, with slight residual heat. Liu Lan and Tang Qiaoyan were watching fish in the pavilion in the middle of the lake in Lanlin Palace. Liu Lan's father Liu Shilang and Tang Qiaoyan's father Tang Hanlin were scholars in the same year and had always had contacts. The two had known each other since childhood. Since entering the palace, the two of them were naturally closer to the other two concubines and moved around more frequently.

Tang Qiaoyan crushed a piece of lotus root powder honey cake and sprinkled it in the sparkling pond. She saw all kinds of Koi swimming and competing for food. Liu Lan carried a white jade tea lamp, and from time to time she used the lid to fiddle with the tea floating on the water again and again, occasionally taking a sip.

The gaze stayed on Tang Qiaoyan's delicate hands. “This nine-wire gold bracelet on my sister's hands is also extremely exquisite.” Tang Qiaoyan smiled but turned her head and said, “It's just leftover by someone else's family, what is so exquisite to speak of?”

As soon as these words came out, Liu Lan already understood, and it was estimated that it was a reward from the Emperor in the past few days. Among the four concubines, concubine Yin was the most popular among the four concubines. In every season, the Emperor was the first to reward concubine Yin. At this time, from Tang Qiaoyan's smiling mouth, a few traces of sour taste could be heard. People in the harem were most keen on these. It seemed that someone would secretly bite the silver teeth.

Liu Lan still made a gesture of relief. “Sister, if you are on the first day of the Lunar New Year, I will be on the fifteenth…” Liu Lan’s personal maid Ru Ye walked hurriedly, calling out, “Mistress...” There was something quite anxious to report.

Liu Lan blew slightly towards the tea cup, and reprimanded, “What's the rush, didn't see concubine Tang is here.” Looking up at Tang Qiaoyan, she smiled. “This slave doesn't understand etiquette, let the sister laugh.”

Ru Ye saluted to concubine Tang. Liu Lan said, “Let's talk. What's the matter?” Ru Ye reported, “Mistress, the news that just came from Chengbi Hall, the Emperor ordered concubine Yin to move to Shangshui Hall.”

Liu Lan's hand only felt hot, and the hot tea in the tea cup had already swayed into her hand. Tang Qiaoyan's whole lotus root powder honey cake fell into the pond with a thud. The two looked at each other, only to see that the eyes of both sides were surprised, and they said hurriedly, “Why is this?”

The Shangshui Hall was located close to the Cold Palace, and the four gates isolate it from the imperial garden, remote and uninhabited for years. This imperial edict made it clear that concubine Yin had fallen out of favor. But there was no wind in the palace before, and only a few days ago, the Emperor gave a lot of things to concubine Yin. So as soon as they heard the news, they were shocked and appalled.

“Concubine Yin doesn't know what she has committed,” Ru Ye replied, “She is crying in the hall and making a noise to see the Emperor.” Liu Lan twitched slightly. The palace's success was due to one person, and the failure was due to one person. Naturally, concubine Yin had offended the Emperor. She couldn't help but sighed, everyone said that a woman's heart was a needle on the bottom of the sea. But the Emperor's heart was probably thousands of times thinner than the seabed needle.


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