I Am Begging You
Xiangrong did not expect that hear this invitation at all. For a while, she was a little dazed, looking straight at Xuan Tianhua, asking: “Why do you want me to stay here?”
Xuan Tianhua answered: “Because my Imperial Concubine Mother lives here and usually has no one to keep her company. Just consider it as being kind and do me a favour by keeping her company, alright? I am begging you.”
Xiangrong waved her hands continuously, “Your Highness the Seventh Prince, you must not use the word beg. For Xiangrong to do something for Your Highness and having the chance to stay at Her Highness Imperial Concubine Yun’s side, this is my fortune.”
Xuan Tianhua smiled, stood up, raised a hand and lightly patted Xiangrong’s shoulder, saying: “In the manor, everyone calls her Madam, you don’t need to address her as Highness all the time. Anyway, for you to agree, I……thank you.” After saying this, he reached out and picked up the container Xiangrong brought over, keeping the unfinished treats into the container, “I will take these back to eat, it’s cold outside, you should return soon! After Ming-er returns later, we still have to eat dinner together.”
After he finished saying this, he left alone. His back looked desolate and lonely.
Watching that back, Xiangrong suddenly cried. Those tears starting falling drop by drop, then she could not hold it back no matter how much she tried, and the dots became patches, to the point that the figure started to blur.
She was frustrated and kept using her hands to wipe them away. The light make-up on her face was smudged, yet she could only see that white figure slowly become one with the flying snow, until she could no longer see him.
Xiangrong covered her face with her hands and started sobbing, but she did not know, the white clothed figure within the flying snow had already stopped walking, looking back.
This was the child born in the Feng family who resembled Feng Yuheng the most! Xuan Tianhua thought this and immediately smiled wryly. Did he lose his mind? He had always possessed a calm heart, but he did not expect that when he saved her that year when she fell into the water, his reclusive heart was messed up. What, should he do?
Xuan Tianming made it back before dinner. The chefs at the Chun Palace produced a table of good food, and everyone ate in a lively manner. During dinner, Xuan Tianhua proposed to have Xiangrong stay to keep Imperial Concubine Yun company. Imperial Concubine Yun was very happy, Xuan Tianming also raised an eyebrow, as if he felt his Seventh Brother had finally grown wise. Only Feng Yuheng told Xuan Tianhua before she left: “If Seventh Brother does not have sincere feelings for her, then please let Xiangrong off! I do not wish for that child to sink even deeper, she should have a better place to belong to.”
Xuan Tianhua also did not know why he did this, when Feng Yuheng said these words, he had an instantaneous urge to ask Xiangrong to go back with her second sister. He also felt that he did not have sincere feelings towards her, yet he also could not come up with a clear reason why he wanted Xiangrong to stay. Only until Xiangrong softly called out to him: “Your Highness, let’s go back to the manor, His Highness the Ninth Prince’s imperial carriage has already gone far away.” It was only then did he come back to his senses, and as he looked at Xiangrong again, he could not tell her to go back to Yu Palace.
The two of them walked back from the palace entrance. Xiangrong’s residence was arranged to be at the east side room at Imperial Concubine Yun’s courtyard. She knew it was originally Xuan Tianhua’s courtyard, and that he only moved because Imperial Concubine Yun came here to live. Now she was now living in that courtyard, so her mind could not settle down at all.
And to Xuan Tianhua, there was an additional young girl in the manor, she was quiet, did not affect his life in any way and was even able to make Imperial Concubine Yun happy. This was a good thing. However, he still lost sleep that night. He stood in the yard alone and did not even practice swordplay. He just stood there, facing the direction of Imperial Concubine Yun’s courtyard. Even if the lightly falling snow had covered his shoulders, from sunset to sunrise, he was thinking of the same question: He used the method of begging to have Feng Xiangrong stay here, but why did he do so?
The next day, everyone went to attend morning court, only the Fourth Prince in the Ping Palace did not have the right to attend morning court. The pageboy next to him advised: “If Your Highness is truly curious about the happenings in the Imperial Palace, you can follow someone attending morning court to take a look.”
Xuan Tianyi scoffed coldly, “I’m not going to look! What is there to see, it’s not as if I do not know, what is the point of validating it once more? Just based on the messed up Imperial Palace lock-down, anyone would know that this is true.”
That pageboy heard what was said and no longer advised him to enter the palace, but told him another piece of news: “I heard that the Feng family’s Third Miss went to Chun Palace together with Princess Yu, but when going back, only His Highness the Ninth Prince and Princess Yu came back, Feng family’s Third Young Miss was left at Chun Palace.”
“Hah?” Xuan Tianyi thought he had misheard, “She was left where?”
“Chun Palace? Did you hear things wrongly? Is it Chun Palace or Yu Palace?”
The pageboy replied, rephrasing this time: “The information is not wrong, she stayed at His Highness the Seventh Prince’s palace, and it looks like she will be staying there for a long time. Because last night, Yu Palace sent servants to deliver a large amount of clothes to Chun Palace, saying that it’s for the Feng family’s Third Miss to use.”
“Damn it!” Xuan Tianyi stood up suddenly, circling around in anger, “What is Old Seventh doing? This whole time, he has not looked at a woman directly, right? What do all of you call him? Deity! But why is a deity keeping a young girl in his palace for? Has he set his eyes on our girl?”
That pageboy broke out in cold sweat when he heard this, since when did she become your girl? Had His Highness already forgotten? That Feng family’s Third Miss had always seen you as an annoyance! She had never shown him a pleasant attitude in the journey from Ji An Prefecture to the capital, not to mention the rebukes from time to time in Ji An Prefecture, avoiding him whenever she could. She would rather talk to His Highness the Sixth Prince than talk to you at all?
He had those thoughts but did not dare to say this out loud. He should find a way to placate his Master: “Don’t be anxious Your Highness, maybe it is not convenient to stay at Yu Palace. After all, His Highness the Ninth Prince and Princess Yu are already married, what does it mean when the wife’s younger sister move in? In addition, with just that face of His Highness the Ninth Prince, wouldn’t he have frightened the Feng family’s Third Miss? In the end, they are relatives, just based on the fact that His Highnesses the Ninth Prince and the Seventh Prince are close, this servant thinks that the Feng family’s Third Miss is just staying there, with no other intentions.”
“Bullshit!” Xuan Tianyi sometimes definitely had the exact same style as the Emperor when he spoke, he pointed to that pageboy, speaking: “Can you use your brain more when you analyse an issue? If she feels that it’s inconvenient to stay at Yu Palace, she can stay at the Princess’ Palace! If not, there’s still the Yao Manor, you know? No matter how you look at it, Old Seventh wouldn’t be involved. There is something strange about this! I have to think about this properly, I can’t let Old Seventh take advantage of this just because I have returned to the capital.” After saying this, he asked the pageboy: “Tell me, do you think Old Seventh has set his sights on that girl?”
The pageboy waved his hands quickly: “No, no, she is not some immortal deity, how can everyone set their sights on her?”
“Say that again to me!”
“No, no! He does, he does!”
“You’re saying Old Seventh has set his eyes on her?”
“No……” The pageboy was close to losing his mind. He felt that the outstanding Fourth Prince should be quite understanding in other matters, but in these few years after he met that Feng family’s Third Miss, he seemed to have changed? Should he say that others have set their eyes on her or not? This was so confusing! What was he supposed to do?
This pageboy was so panicked that he was covered in sweat, yet Xuan Tianyi started to talk to himself: “That girl is muddled, but that is fine, one of these days, I will let that girl know who treats her the best in this world!”
Because of Xiangrong staying at Chun Palace, Xuan Tianyi stewed in his anger for the whole day. And on this same day, in the imperial harem, because of the impending New Year Imperial Banquet, the concubines gathered at Chun Shan Palace, proposing a shrewd idea to Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu: “Your Highness, since it’s the New Year Imperial Banquet, then everyone should come out and participate. In this imperial harem, other than those who have been banished into the cold palace, no one can be excluded!”
“That’s right, our Highness Yuan Shu and Jing Ci Palace’s Empress are on sitting on each side of the Emperor, how can someone pull an exception?”
Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu drank her tea, and asked: “All of you are talking about……”
“Naturally, we’re referring to Imperial Concubine Yun in the Winter Moon Palace!” The woman chattered one after another, “That Imperial Concubine Yun has not shown her face in more than 20 years, depending on the favour and concessions from the Emperor, but right now, she no longer has that favour. The Emperor’s heart have already shifted to Your Highness Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu and even the Ninth Prince has lost favour, how high and mighty can she act now?”
“She can’t! Right now, everyone in the court knows that Your Highness Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu is the person closest to the Emperor’s heart, the Eighth Prince is the Emperor’s favourite child, what Imperial Concubine Yun, what Ninth Prince, they have already been pushed to the back of the Emperor’s mind. There was nothing she could show off based on her current position, as long as Your Highness says one word, she would need to obediently come out of Winter Moon Palace during the New Year Imperial Banquet and obediently attend the banquet with us. She will no longer be given any special treatment.”
“Your Highness can also mention to the Emperor, on what grounds can she live in such a good Winter Moon Palace on her own? She should be moved to other palace courtyards instead!”
With all of them talking at once, they said bad things about Imperial Concubine Yun, clearly trying to make Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu take action to force Imperial Concubine Yun out of Winter Moon Palace. These women have already accumulated a lot of anger for Imperial Concubine Yun for more than 20 years. All of them hated that they could not personally tear Imperial Concubine Yun to pieces. She even knew that these people must be thinking, if Imperial Concubine Yun was not here, it would be impossible for the Emperor to only have these nine sons, they might even have their concubine positions raised because they produced a child for the Emperor, have a son by their side at this age, and always have someone to depend on.
Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu could understand their pain, didn’t she experience the same things as well? But to chase Imperial Concubine Yun out from Winter Moon Palace? She did not dare!
Imperial Concubine Yun had to be taken care of, but it was not now. The time was not ripe, the Emperor would still get headaches when Winter Moon Palace was mentioned. That pain caused her to become afraid of trying to mention Imperial Concubine Yun. She did not know how the Emperor would react after the words Imperial Concubine Yun were mentioned. After all, this was a person who was imprinted in his heart for more than 20 years, the person he truly loved. Once she acted with undue haste, once the Emperor broke down due to this, everything would have gone to waste.
With the reason of being magnanimous, she rejected asking Imperial Concubine Yun to come out to attend the Imperial Banquet and used the Emperor’s name to explain: “The Emperor’s heart is not that good now, if he sees Imperial Concubine Yun and remembers the past…… the losses would be too huge.”
Her actual intention was to say that the Emperor should not be angered, however what these concubines thought after they heard this was that the Emperor might rekindle his old feelings when he saw Imperial Concubine Yun. Once they thought that this possibility did exist, all of them quietened down and no longer mentioned this. Although Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu monopolised the Emperor and they did not have a chance, there was at least some hope, at least they could curry favour with Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu, and she also said that she would give them a chance in the spring welcoming next year. But once Imperial Concubine Yun regained her power, everything would be the same as it was before, that was Hell, they did not want to return to that again……
After sending that group of women away, fire was burning in Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu’s heart. She brought her palace maid Yue Xiu with her for a stroll and walked until they reached the palace gates of Winter Moon Palace.
Looking at that palace, she mumbled to herself: “Imperial Concubine Yun! Just you wait! This one will trap you in this Winter Moon Palace forever, until your death!”
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