This time, the mournful sound of bell resounded inside the palace, presumably Emperor Yu Qian had already issued the decree, all the people of every palace hall have all run out from their own halls and go to the front hall, probably they were all inquiring about the information.
“Your Highness, be careful!” Although there were palace lamps leading the way, but some of the dark corners still appeared to be hazy, Yun Qian Meng was about to sit inside the soft palanquin, yet by the time she passed through the side palace hall, she heard a low reminding voice.
“Stop!” In a soft voice informing to stop, Yun Qian Meng lifted up the curtain as she looked outside towards the center of a side palace hall, yet she saw two figures walking slowly inside the courtyard of the side palace hall, that location was evidently the place where Qu Fei Qing almost fell down yesterday.
“Who's there?” That person ahead evidently did not expect anyone to show up in the side palace hall during this time, the palace maid who produced a sound earlier called out again, facing Yun Qian Meng’s direction while she interrogated in a strict voice.
Yun Qian Meng looked ahead following the light of the palace lamp that Ying Qiu was holding in her hand, when she was able to see the person in front of her clearly, she immediately walked down from the soft palanquin, facing that person she saluted “Yun is pleased to meet Gui Fei Niang Niang!”
Hearing Yun Qian Meng uttered, the figure ahead slightly paused, aftewards a slightly cold voice echoed “It is actually Chu furen, please stand up!”
“Thanks, Niang Niang!” Yun Qian Meng stood up straight, this time Rong Gui Fei was already in front of her.
“Chu furen, are you going out of the palace?” Looking at the direction where the soft palanquin was headed to, Rong Gui Fei inquired in a plain voice, with coldness in between her brows, but her tone of voice was not offensive.
A simple smile exposed on Yun Qian Meng’s face, aftewards she answered respectfully “Niang Niang, I am going out of the palace. But why is Niang Niang here, it’s already late, Niang Niang only had one palace maid, it would be better to be more careful.”
Hearing Yun Qian Meng’s reminder, yet nothing changed in Rong Gui Fei’s facial expression, but the expression in her eyes was unlike the coldness she had earlier “Thanks Chu furen for your concern, I just wanted to see the winter plum flower which bloomed very well in this area, which was why I came to pluck some branches of it to put them inside my palace hall.
Following Rong Gui Fei’s words, Yun Qian Meng had actually saw a few branches of twisted and curved branches in her hands, the winter plum blossoms were producing bursts of fragrance, which exactly similar to the cold feeling that Rong Gui Fei had given the others, blooming all by themselves.
The lamp in Ying Qiu’s hands was originally used to lead their way, its height almost reached the ground, Yun Qian Meng’s both eyes slightly dropped down, looking at the spot where the lamp shone enabled her to catch a glimpse of Rong Gui Fei’s edge of her skirt, then she smiled and reminded “Such kind of things, Niang Niang you should instruct the palace maids to do it! Look at your skirt it was already messed up by the snow, after a while when you’ve reached the inner hall with burning charcoals, the snow will melt on your skirt, Niang Niang you must be careful that you might catch a cold! Fortunately it is already night time now, if someone sees you like that in the broad daylight, would it not let them secretly laugh at you?”
Yun Qian Meng’s words contained a deeper meaning, although the sky was already dark, the masters in each of the palace halls will be improbably to come out from their palace hall, but strange things usually happened inside the palace, the walls usually had numerous ears, Yun Qian Meng had naturally had chosen words that would not easily make other people misunderstand yet also being able to make Rong Gui Fei fully comprehend while she talked.
Indeed, having heard of Yun Qian Meng’s words, Rong Gui Fei immediately lowered down her eyes and looked at her own edge of skirt. Her face suddenly turned slightly pale, aftewards she lifted up her head and looked at Yun Qian Meng. Seeing her smiling warmly and respectfully at her without any malicious scheming intention, her heart could not help but feel confused.
“I shall take my leave now” And Yun Qian Meng bent her knees to bid her farewell this time, aftewards she sat inside the soft palanquin, proceeding towards the direction of gates of the inner palace.
“Xiaojie, you have been gone a long time!” By the time when Yun Qian Meng and the other two sat inside the horse carriage, the sky was already completely dark, Mu Chun immediately handed over the small warmer in Yun Qian Meng’s hand, Ying Xia took out the hot tea and the pastries that were prepared earlier and laid them down in front of Yun Qian Meng, permitting her to temporarily focus her attention to the food.
“We came across Rong Gui Fei. It’s strange, she was actually out at night picking winter plum blossoms! Within the palace not only place like the imperial garden had winter plum trees, but she had actually went around the entire palace to go to that place, that truly confused me!” Yuan Dong really was notmuch of a talker, but she was the one being very keen in observation, in addition to staying beside Yun Qian Meng for a long time, she obviously knew that her xiaojie would not say anything useless, but she truly could not understand why Rong Gui Fei would do that, and why her own xioajie would remind Rong Gui Fei those words.
Yun Qian Meng took a sip of the hot tea, feeling a bit hungry she ate one or two pieces of pastries and fruits, yet she did not clarify anything for this servant girl, although Mu Chun and three others were all close to her, but some things she just needed to keep them in her own mind.
“Xiajoie, nubi heard from the imperial guards in the palace that the old master of Wen family had already passed away. Who is that Old Master Wen?” Seeing Yun Qian Meng did not eat anything more, Mu Chun kept all the remaining pastries in the small desk inside the food box, aftewards she asked this question feeling puzzled.
Yun Qian Meng pondered, thinking about Wen family slowly in her mind, hearing the mourning sound of bells in the palace becoming farther and farther away, she then spoke “The Wen family old master was Guan Ju Imperial Tutor! He was the late Emperor Xi Jing’s teacher. He was also Emperor Xi Jing Empress Cheng Xian Wen’s father! Yet unexpectedly, he had actually passed away today!”
“But xiaojie, why do us servants rarely heard about the things concerning Wen family?” There’s no incident inside the capital that would ever escape from the people’s eyes, and as the servants of the huge influential family, they were more likely to know about these things that the common people wouldn't be able to know, but Mu Chun and the three others actually had never even heard of Wen family, that was truly strange!
“There's nothing strange about it! Since the late Empress had passed away, Wen family had gradually turned silent. Although Imperial Tutor Wen was Emperor Xi Jing’s teacher, but after the late emperor ascended to the throne he no longer needed his teacher, Imperial Tutor Wen’s position as the Imperial Tutor became just merely a title, but didn't have a real authority. All these years Imperial Tutor Wen had aged, moreover he never went out of his home, we naturally wouldn't hear anything about the Wen family!” But, in order for Emperor Xi Jing to prevent Yuan De Fei to seize the power, he had tried to win over Qu family and Ruan family. But after the Empress Dowager adopted Emperor Yu Qian, he had never bestowed the title of Empress to Empress Dowager, that was a little strange. Could it be because Emperor Xi Jing had loved Empress Cheng Xian Wen so much that he had especially reserved that position to Empress Wen? But soon after the Wen family’s silence made people unable to figure out whether Emperor Xi Jing had treated the Wen clan favorably. Truly as the saying goes that the heart of a monarch is like a needle at the bottom of the ocean, truly unpredictable!
“Xiaojie, all the officials have white lamps lighted outside their residences!” This time the horse carriage was slowly driving through the long road, Ying Xia gently lifted up the carriage curtains and looked outside, then she reported.
Having heard what was said, Yun Qian Meng nodded her head.
Imperial Tutor Wen as the teacher of the late emperor, was the role model of every scholar, his source of wisdom as well as his rigorous family background and character, were highly respected by all the scholars, every residential place lighting up the white lamps during the new year, had also proven their respect towards this Imperial Tutor.
With this it could be clearly seen that, although the Wen family had already lost its fame for so many years, but it still had a very strong influence on the imperial court.
“Let’s head back to prepare the dresses, tomorrow we shall visit Wen family to give our condolences!” Yun Qian Meng was a bit tired as she leaned on to the soft cushion behind her, then gently instructed the servant girls, seeing Yun Qian Meng was truly tired, Yuan Dong took out a blanket from the short cabinet then put it on top of Yun Qian Meng’s legs, the four of them sat inside the horse carriage in silence, never to disturb Yun Qian Meng ever again.
“Today we shall end our journey here, I presume the Crown Prince as well as the First Prince and Tenth Prince were already tired, let's just stay in the relay station for one night, tomorrow we shall continue on to our journey!” Already hurrying along the journey for the entire day, they had finally reached the next relay station that was assigned to them, Chu Fei Yang started to speak to Qi Jing Yuan.
“Then we have to trouble Chu Xiang once again!” Qi Jing Yuan looked at the relay station which had already been prepared for them, his eyes did not seem to have any movements, but he just quickly flew down from the horseback, only taking along with him his personal bodyguard as they walked inside the inn, and had completely ignored Hai Tian.
And following closely behind them the two women respectively walked out from their own separate phoenix palanquins, Qi Ling’er being covered by a veil in her face and Hai Tian wearing a wedding dress, the two of them were both supported by the palace maids as they walked inside the inn to take their rests.
Chu Fei Yang, Jiang Mu Chen and Hai Chen Xi were assigning work to their staff. They had to make sure everything was absolutely safe, so as to avoid causing incidents.
“Xiang Ye!” Inside the horse stable, Chu Fei Yang was feeding grass to his own horse, a guard quietly approached beside Chu Fei Yang, whispered a few words beside his ears. Chu Fei Yang’s hands which were caressing the horse head slightly paused, his expression became a bit serious, his voice sounded idly lazy “Got it, you may leave now”
And during the same time, Jiang Mu Chen and Hai Chen Xi also received the same news, both of them were similar to Chu Fei Yang, all of them had calmly sent away the guards who came to report, after the three of them were done with their business, they met each other once again at the lobby of the inn.
Watching the domineering Qi Jing Yuan occupied all the rooms in the first level, even Hai Tian who was supposed to be his imperial wife was being driven out of his way as she stayed inside the room of the next level, the corner of Chu Fei Yang’s lips slightly pursed up, looking at Hai Chen Xi he smiled and said “Hai Jun Wang, do you need to go and comfort Princess He Shun?”
How could Hai Chen Xi not being able to hear Chu Fei Yang’s mocking voice, yet he did not get angry even in the slightest bit, but instead he smiled calmly “The person who lives inside the princess’ heart, I presume Xiang Ye knew who he was better than anybody else! If I were to go over there, it will only make the princess feel even more annoyed, it would be better for Xiang Ye to go over there, we might be able to see some positive results!”
Jiang Mu Chen watched the conversation between the two of them, afterwards he sneered as he lifted his feet and climbed up the stairs, planning to get back to his room to rest. But how could Chu Fei Yang just let him slip away. His lazy voice immediately echoed behind the back of Jiang Mu Chen “Speaking about the person who had most of his heart on the princess, it was actually Wang Ye! During that time the princess rarely visited Chen Wang Fu, but too bad a lot of things had become different, Tai Fei’s beautiful dream was already shattered!”
Jiang Mu Chen’s movement climbing up the stairs slightly paused, aftewards he moved his body sideways, looking at Chu Fei Yang below who laughed more evil, he coldly said “Chu Xiang and Hai Jun Wang, if you have no other things to do, might as well return to your room to rest, if you were not sleepy, then you may patrol outside!”
“Imperial Tutor Wen had passed away, I presume if His Majesty is compassionate towards the Wen family, he would allow the children of Wen family to join the court as officials!” This time, Hai Chen Xi plainly spoke.
Having heard what was said Chu Fei Yang just laughed without speaking, and Jiang Mu Chen’s facial expression became even more ice-cold.
Imperial Tutor Wen could be considered as the big Confucius of the literature, when he was still living his disciples were thousands, although during these few decades the Wen family was already out of the imperial court, but the majority of the current literary officials of the court were previously Imperial Tutor Wen’s disciples. Such kind of family, if they were being used properly, then all the scholars in the world might be owned by him. If one was to go against him, perhaps he will be drowned by the saliva produced by all the scholars in the whole world.
Yet unexpectedly Imperial Tutor Wen had actually passed away during this time, which was truly beyond all the people's expectations. Perhaps each and every official residence was waiting to see Emperor Yu Qian’s attitude.
Jiang Mu Chen’s eyes could not help but turn towards Hai Chen Xi who had mentioned this matter, his heart was wondering about Hai Chen Xi’s intention, aftewards he sneered and said “Hai Jun Wang if you have too much time, it will be better for you to show your care for Princess He Shun, don’t make the Crown Prince lose his affection for her even before becoming his wife, it will only cause the war to break out again between Xi Chu and Bei Qi, wouldn't it become Hai Wang Fu’s fault?”
Hai Chen Xi superficially shrugged her shoulders, before he could speak again, the expression of the three of them suddenly tensed up. One by one took out the long swords which were carried in their waists holding their breaths as they focused their attention to the surrounding area.
‘Boom……’ The wooden windows inside a guest room in the second level were being kicked open by someone……
“Ah……” The screaming sound of a palace maid suddenly echoed from within the room, but before she could finish screaming, her voice suddenly stopped just like the string of a kite being cut, without guessing everyone knew that she already got herself killed.
“It’s the room of the princess!” The guards on the second floor had already taken their quick actions, the three of them together with Chu Fei Yang had also planned to run up to the second floor, yet unexpectedly numerous warriors wearing black surrounded the entire area of the inn, these men were holding long swords in their hands, when they intruded inside the inn they initially killed three men, and during this time the imperial bodyguards who were patrolling outside the inn came rushing in after they heard the movement, both sides engaged in the midst of battle.
Regardless of the number of guards, the men in black were all highly trained in martial skills, for a moment both sides were equally matched.
“Wang Ye, Jun Wang, the princess will be your responsibility, I will soon follow!” Chu Fei Yang rushed to the stairway, blocking off the men in black’s path, at the same time he spoke to Jiang Mu Chen and Hai Chen Xi.
But, having heard what was said their face turned serious, even though they were unwilling yet they needed to go, having no choice they turned around and rushed to the second floor, this time the imperial guards on the second floor were gradually being defeated, seeing the long sword in the hand of a man in black was about to pierce into Hai Tian’s chest, Ning Feng suddenly threw out the long sword, instantly stabbing the man in black on his chest, after which he dodged and positioned himself in front of Hai Tian to protect her, allowing no man in black to come near her.
Because Jiang Mu Chen and Hai Chen Xi had joined the fight, the men in black retreated back to the place where they came from after a few rounds of fight.
“From now on all of you should stay awake to guard the area at night, the incident today should never ever happen again!” Chu Fei Yang lifted up his eyes to observe the third floor without any sound of movement, then he commanded the imperial guards who were cleaning up the site.
“Xiang Ye, those men in black!” This time, the deputy commander of the city defense troops who was assigned to protect Hai Tian asked.
“Don’t chase after the cornered enemy, wait and lure them out of their hiding place!” Chu Fei Yang left as he uttered this statement, then he turned around then proceeded to the third floor.
“The Crown Prince is truly bold and cautious!” In the midst of the huge commotion outside, Qi Jing Yuan who was inside the room was surprisingly meditating himself while reading a military book in his hands, causing Chu Fei Yang to laugh more brilliantly upon seeing this situation.
“What is your intention, Chu Xiang? I really don’t understand!” Slowly putting down the military book, Qi Jing Yuan lifted up his gloomy both eyes and glanced at Chu Fei Yang who directly intruded inside his own guest room, his eyes contained a strong murderous spirit.
“With your actions, Crown Prince, perhaps you were trying to figure out how many persons we had brought, and how good their skills are!” Chu Fei Yang’s face as clear as the spring breeze, not being in the slightest bit of being frightened by the ferocious expression of the person in front of him.
“Oh? Why did you make such kind of judgement, Chu Xiang?” Seeing Chu Fei Yang was able to make such kind of statement, Qi Jing Yuan’s eyes had shown a bit of interest, her both eyes closely glared at Chu Fei Yang, observing how he will explain.
Without consulting anyone Chu Fei Yang approached the table, then sat down in front of Qi Jing Yuan, speaking with foresight he said “I’m afraid that the presence of generals was just a pretense for Crown Prince to enter the capital openly! The one that truly controlling the Crown Prince, is probably another person!”
Having heard what was said, Qi Jing Yuan just laughed, after laughing the murderous spirit in his eyes overwhelmingly rushed towards him, without hiding it charged directly towards Chu Fei Yang.
Chu Fei Yang just lifted up the teapot on the table, pouring a cup full of hot tea for himself, he slightly took a sip, then slowly spoke “It seems like my analysis is completely correct!”
Yun Qian Meng slept for a long time until late morning, when she opened her both eyes, the sky outside was already in its brightest.
“Mu Chun!” Feeling her throat a bit dry, Yun Qian Meng gently called out for Mu Chun, then the servant girl immediately carried in a teacup then sat down beside the bed, supporting Yun Qian Meng to sit up straight, when Yun Qian Meng was drinking the water she draped a long coat over her shoulders.
“Is the dress used for mourning already prepared? Why did I sleep that long?” Giving the teacup to Mu Chun, Yun Qian Meng immediately stepped down from the bed, washing herself in the copper basin in front of her.
“Xiaojie, you were very tired yesterday, that's why we didn't wake you up. My lady, do you want to immediately go to Wen Fu?” Putting down the teacup, Mu Chun laid down the dress used for mourning on the table, then she helped Yun Qian Meng wash up, assisted her to put on layer by layer of the mourning dress, her mouth continuously said “I heard the other servant girls talked about last night, there were a lot of people who had gone to the Wen Fu to send their condolences.”
Hearing these words Yun Qian Meng did not say anything further. A person like him would naturally earn a lot of people's respect, this was not really something rare!
Wearing the mourning dress, Mu Chun fixed Yun Qian Meng’s in simple bun, picked up a few simple silver hairpins then inserted them in the hair bun, putting on a pair of beaded dangling earrings, the dress up was completed.
“My lady, you must have your breakfast before you go over there! Now that there might be a lot of people, once you've gone there you will not be certain as to when you will be able to get back, don’t allow yourself to get hungry again!” Seeing Yun Qian Meng’s face still slightly looked pale, Ying Xia brought a few light food inside the inner room, then assisted Yun Qian Meng to sit down.
“Is there any activity at Wang Fu?” Lifting up the porcelain bowl in front of her, Yun Qian Meng ate a mouthful of hot porridge, then slowly asked, she was thinking if she needed to go to Wang Fu for a while prior to anything else, then go together with Madam Xie. Although Chu Fei Yang had already separated from them, but in the eyes of the outsiders, they were still as one family!
“Early in the morning Guard Jiao had already came here to inform Guard Xi that Wang Ye will allow xiaojie to go to Wen Fu on behalf of Xiang Ye, there’s no need to go to Wang Fu anymore!” Mu Chun beated her own head, if her lady master did not ask about it, she might have already forgotten all about this matter!
Yun Qian Meng finished the breakfast meal in front of her, retouched her make-up once again, then sat inside the horse carriage of Xiang Fu, proceeding towards the direction of Wen Fu.
With still half a road distance before they reached Wen Fu, they were able to hear faint sorrowful music playing and some crying sounds, and driving again for a longer period of time, she heard Xi Lin reminded her in a low voice “Madame, there are a lot of scholars kneeling down in front of the gates of Wen Fu, our horse carriage will not be able to pass through it!”