Concealed by Brocaded Clouds, Frost on the Roads: Volume 02 Chapter 05

1:17 PM Oyen 0 Comments

Double chapter for today! Enjoy~
Chapter 5: Half of the Dream Are Lost
translator: Oyen

The weather was getting colder. The summer was over and autumn was coming in full swing.

The court held a rare ‘Chrysanthemum Appreciation Feast’, and all the Imperial relatives and ministers of the third rank and above were ordered to attend. For a moment, the whole imperial garden was filled with the traditional songs and dances continuously.

The feast was surrounded by colorful chrysanthemums in splendid bloom, floating wicks and stamens, swaying in the gentle sun, and burning its brilliance, with the sense that autumn was better than springtime. Adding the cool wind that blew from time to time, the scent of flowers permeated in the air and made people intoxicating.

The Emperor sat on the Nine Dragon Golden Imperial couch, accompanied by the harem’s favored concubine Ning. She was dressed in a heavenly and blue palace dress, even the wisp of shawl wrapped between the arms was only embroidered with a shallow touch of woven silver chrysanthemum, elegant and simple to the extreme. The most colorful on her whole body was the hollow flying phoenix golden tassel between the black and green silk, embedded with several groups of pearls and jade spikes of string ornaments, which were falling between the dark sideburns, and the faint daylight seemed to curl down, graceful and elegant, a different kind of feminine charm.

Meng Lengqian’s sitting position was at the back of the line, looking so far away, he couldn’t help but feel slightly frightened for a while. But in the end, he didn’t dare to look closely, only one glance and he hurriedly lowered his eyes. Maybe he was too careful, he only felt that the Emperor’s eyes always swept over from time to time.

Since the beginning of the feast, Meng Lengqian had been in a dazed state. At a glance, he only felt that the laughter in front of him was pervasive, the Emperor was laughing, the concubines were laughing, the ministers were laughing… All kinds of laughter, as if there was nothing else in the world, only laughter.

The ministers came up one by one to toast according to the ranks, and Mu Ningyan originally couldn’t hold the alcohol. But because she saw her family, she couldn’t help but feel happy in her heart, and unconsciously drank several cups in a row.

Before the feast, the eldest cousin Princess Yong Shou and the second cousin Princess Yong An had met with her privately. She couldn’t help but feel a little sentimental, but she could only try her best to suppress it. She only asked the Princess to tell her two cousins, aunt and uncle that she was alright and shouldn’t be worried.

Princess Yong Shou naturally knew that she was favored in the harem and covered her smiles with her sleeves, and bent her eyebrows. “The Emperor’s son-in-law also asked me to tell concubine Ning that everything is fine at home, don’t miss them. You’re in the harem now, be careful in everything. And also… also, don’t forget to plan everything for yourself…”

What could she… she plan for herself? Once she entered the palace gate, she was already at the mercy of all.

“The Emperor's son-in-law also said that many things in this world are in a single thought. Life is like the morning dew, and the days that go by are bitter! Nothing is but a few decades in a hurry.”

In the soft sound of moving silk strings and soft music, the dancers were constantly changing their beautiful and graceful dance postures, like colorful butterflies and like flying swallows.

Older male cousin said, “In one lifetime, like the morning dew, the coming day is bitter!” Many things in the world were in a single thought, Mu Ningyan bewildered out of mind, a thought, a thought…

Unconsciously, it was Gentleman Meng’s turn to bring the newlywed madam. That is, King Anding, the county lord, and both came forward to toast. Li Huaixue, Lord Anding, the county lord, was dressed in a crimson palace dress with exquisite eyebrows. Standing by the side gracefully, really a couple with Meng Lengqian.
Baili Haozhe had a thin smile and tilted his head to drain the wine in one go. He put down the jade cup and looked at Mu Ningyan with the corner of his eyes without a trace. He saw her looking in the direction where Meng Lengqian was located, seemingly somewhat bewildered, and only after a long time did she cover her sleeve, which then drained the wine in the cup.

Then, both Meng Lengqian and his wife took a seat. Mu Ningyan stared at them for a long time, only giving them a light blessing in her heart.

Baili Haozhe stared at her and squeezed the jade cup in his hand.

In the end, she drank more, just drinking half of tea, and the wine took effect, she was already a little dizzy. Baili Haozhe naturally found that she was slightly warm, leaning on him so softly, not moving, this was definitely not the way she was when she was awake. She was usually most upright, and even with him, she was eager to draw a line, distant from each other. The things that the other concubines liked the most, she avoided the most.

Embracing her, he couldn’t help but smile and feel better again. He asked in a low voice, “Do you want to go back to the hall to rest first?” Mu Ningyan nodded and let the maids help her get up, and bowed in accordance with the rules. “Emperor, please forgive this concubine. This concubine will leave first.”

Going back to the hall, she waved away the attendants, lost in thought alone. Her two cousins mentioned that her aunt told her tightly and gave her a scented sachet, saying that it was embroidered by her aunt’s hand.

Mu Ningyan’s fingers rubbed the delicate sachet, and her eyes couldn’t help but feel sour. That big blessing word probably contained all of her aunt’s wishes. Hopefully, she would be alright and blessed.

Sigh, her aunt was so old, but still put her heart on her. She was in the palace, even meeting would be difficult.

In the past, her aunt always ordered someone to boil all kinds of soup and bird’s nest for her, and sometimes she would personally stare at her to drink it all. At that time, she either disliked the taste of Chinese medicine in the soup or found it sweet and greasy… Nowadays, nowadays, it was a luxury to want to taste it again.

That was about it. Sometimes she didn’t know how to cherish it, but now she didn’t have it, it was so hard to bear!

If… If she didn’t enter the palace, she thought even if she married, she could still go back to visit her aunt and uncle from time to time. But now… No matter how much she thought about it, she could only see each other in her dreams.

Thinking about it, thinking about it, she couldn’t help but feel sad from it. Unconsciously falling into tears in a daze.

In the midst of the confusion, someone lifted the curtain and came in. Mu Ningyan was busy wiping the tears from the corners of her eyes with one hand and hiding the sachet in her sleeve with the other. Looking up, she saw Baili Haozhe standing in front of the bed.

Her body trembled, not knowing if the way the tears had fallen had already entered his eyes, so she got up and bowed her head deeply. “This concubine greets the Emperor.”

Baili Haozhe had already seen her eyes gleam of tears. When Meng Lengqian toasted in the Imperial Garden, she and Meng Lengqian looked at each other and smiled lightly.

Was she just shedding tears for Meng Lengqian? When she first entered the palace, she kept pushing her illness, unwilling to serve in bed, and even unwilling to carry his heir. Was it because of Meng Lengqian? She couldn’t forget him…

By this thought, he stared coldly, as if one clue led to another.

Although he already knew that she and Meng Lengqian had a marriage contract, even before entering the palace, the two met privately. But at this time, the fire of jealousy had begun in his heart. He loved her so much that he spoiled her, not expanding the harem for her, but spoiling her alone, but she replied to him like this?

Just as he was about to turn away, a picture suddenly flashed in his mind—— she seemed to have something hidden in her sleeve, and his heart couldn’t help but sink. What could not be seen by him? Could it be that——

He stretched out his hand and lifted her up. “You may rise. Didn’t you say you were tired? Why don’t you lie down and rest too?”

Mu Ningyan thanked him and asked lightly, “Why did the Emperor come over?” The atmosphere at the feast was very strong, and he was also very interested.

The Emperor sat down on the bed and took her hand. “I have drunk a bit too much, and my head is dizzy.” His tone gradually became softer and lower. “Come, accompany me.” She only felt a heat in her face, and finally she couldn’t resist his strength and fell into his arms.

He laid on the side beside her, hands and feet like vines, holding her tightly. Listening to his heartbeat, she only felt that the air around her began to thin, trying to struggle to move slightly, but he didn’t let it, and his hands reflexively hugged more firmly. The voice came muffled from her hair, faintly said. “I’m tired, accompany me to rest.”

He had never spoken to her so wearily, probably because he had drunk too much wine, but in a few moments his breathing actually evened out, but his hands and feet were still domineeringly wrapped around her, not letting her move for a bit.

Leaning so close, his warm body temperature, his steady heartbeat, one after another, she could feel it all. Listening and listening like this, she also felt drowsy.

After a long time, Baili Haozhe opened his eyes, and his eyes were refreshed and radiant. There was no haze that he had just woken up. His hand moved gently and probed into her sleeve.

It was a red brocade sachet, embroidered with a large ‘blessing’ character on both sides, and the handiwork was fine and exquisite. He sniffed lightly, the scent of bergamot came faintly, calming and quiet, and it smelled very good.

It was just a sachet, so why did she secretly hide it? He frowned, he had never seen this before, but she actually shed tears at it. It was hard to believe, hard to believe that it really had something to do with Meng Lengqian.

At the feast, she paid attention to Meng Lengqian. She looked in his direction several times, and then she was in a daze for a long time. She was already his concubine, hadn’t she forgotten the one with the surname Meng?

His mind couldn’t help but fly back to the scene of her meeting with Meng Lengqian privately before entering the palace, the scene where they were whispering to each other.

If he was a step later, would she have already become Meng Lengqian’s wife? In this way, would it have been Meng Lengqian who brought her to toast him at today’s feast!

And she had been using musk all the time. Naturally, she didn’t know that he had already replaced it, but he could still smell something close to musk from her every day.

That was how much she resented him and hated him so much that she would never want his heir!

He looked at it coldly for a long time, and his thoughts couldn’t help but fluctuate. Furious to the extreme, he raised his hand and threw the sachet toward the gilded copper furnace, smashing the furnace, and it was rolled down to the thick carpet…

Mu Ningyan only felt that there was something warm looking for her lips, after a light touch, kissed hard, sucked har, and nibbled hard… She only felt pain, and woke up faintly…

He draped himself over her and kissed her without any affection, so roughly, as if to confirm something.

She pushed him and hissed. “Um.. hurt…” He ignored it, harder and harder, and then wriggled down…

What was wrong with him? He’d always been careful and gentle, never treated her like this.

It was only when she was in a trance that she seemed to have sensed it, but only with this entanglement, lips and teeth, did she seem to be alive, just like in memory.

She was his, and she really was his.

Only by being in his arms did he seem to be able to rest, to prove that she was really his, never again would he be left alone in this cold palace. He would never be left alone in this cold palace again! 

Before it was known, it was already afternoon. In the afternoon, she flipped through a book of poems on the bed, and unconsciously fell asleep tired. When she opened her eyes, the maid was already holding a lantern in the corner. The hall was deep and silent, and with her half-closed eyes, she fell asleep again in the haze.

Suddenly, his voice came low. “It’s time to get up, you’ve slept all afternoon. If you sleep again, at night… at night you will wake up until dawn.”

She turned her head in shock, and it turned out that he had come. She saw him standing quietly on the edge of the bed, as if holding something in his hand. Only after staring closely did it become clear that it was the sachet that her aunt had given her. It was probably falling out of her sleeve while she was asleep!

She remembered to behave according to the rules, and he waved his hand. “No need, you sit back for a while, and be careful.” He held it and looked at it for a long time before he said casually, “Unexpectedly, your needlework is so meticulous. When will you make one for me too?” 

She lowered her eyes. “Let the Emperor see the joke. This concubine is idle, just passing the time, where can this concubine go to do tablework? If the Emperor needs it, the weaving bureau Ming’er can rush eight or ten of them out tomorrow,” She didn’t want to mention that the scented sachet was a gift from her aunt.

Her side profile was very beautiful, because of the curtain, the dark and thick eyelashes on her eyes were like two pairs of butterfly wings slightly closed. The begonias were sleeping in spring, infinitely delicate.

Baili Haozhe had already pinched her fingertips, the soft, and smooth as silk, but at that moment like the skin of a hedgehog, none of which hurt to touch. Was the word ‘blessing’ embroidered at the sachet really something she had embroidered for another person, so she wore it on her body everyday?

He paced slowly. The gilded copper furnace burned lilies and fine smoke. She still got up, sat on her side by the bed, took the poem that was resting on the side, moved her fingertips slightly and turned a page. When he looked at it like this, he saw only ten fingers as if scallion, and fair like jade. Her black hair was pulled obliquely into a bun, and only a gold hair ornament was inserted imposingly, with the fine gold tassel hanging, and occasionally moved, trembling and shattering. It was rippled at the starting point.

He shuddered, and only then did he lift his feet again. The steps were slow and tight, but only he knew in his heart that he was irritable to the extreme. He vaguely squeezed the sachet and burned it. Unconsciously, the deerskin boots actually kicked into the carbon burning furnace. His mind moved, and his hand was loose and the red sachet fell into the carbon furnace with a soft sound.

At this moment, his hand also touched the edge of the copper furnace, and he cried out. She raised her head and asked, “Emperor, what’s the matter?” Her eyes were instantly drawn to the copper furnace, and she sprang to her feet and ran towards him.

He was slightly shaken, hir heart warmed up at once, removed his hand from the hot copper furnace. Touching it for such a long time, it was estimated that it would blister, but he saw that she wasn’t even looking at him, coldly brushed his sleeves and reached out with her hand, about to go to the copper furnace to get the half-burned scented sachet. A maid stopped her…

In his life, he finally knew what the heart was like dying ash. The temperature of his body cooled down little by little, and he stood silently, watching her turn around and call. A maid and an internal servant came in, a group of people were busy dangling in front of their eyes and finally, although the sachet was taken out, only a corner was left. However, she still took it out of the basin of water, and slowly stroked her fingers over it with a slight frown.

He stood there so quietly, the burning pain on the back of his hand couldn’t be felt at all, as if the whole person was no longer his own. For a long time, about a few lifetimes ago, he turned his head and commanded, “Shi Quanyi, go back to Chengqian Hall.” Shi Quanyi answered, “Yes,” from afar, through several heavy curtains. 

She looked sheepishly at the direction of his disappearance. After a long time, she came to the bronze mirror and looked at the clear and delicate person with flowing eyes inside.

She had seen the red swelling on his hand, but.. But she acted as if she hadn’t seen anything.

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