Liu Er answers each and every questions she asked, attributing her loss of memory to her illness. Feng Feng is bewildered and amazed at the same time. Facing such a grave situation, her priority lies in saving herself first. She should try to find a way to leave first, the rest comes later. Once she made up her mind, the fear in her heart dissolves by half. Now that her heart is somewhat at peace and she later recuperates for a couple of days, her spirit is renewed.
She tidy herself up that morning, combing her hair and washing her body meticulously. She even puts on a beautiful clothes. But upon a look in the mirror, her face still has that sallow sickly look even though she already put on face powder.
She is depressed. In the end, she decides to stroll in the garden with the company of Liu Er. Seeing the blooming flowers of different colors is refreshing to the eyes. She was admiring a bunch of full-bloom azaleas when she hears Liu Er’s delighted voice, “Your Ladyship, the emperor is here………”
Feng Feng turns around and sees a large number of people walking towards them. The man in front seems to be around 30 years old. He is very tall, very good-looking and is wearing a bright yellow robe with dragon embroidery. A yellow belt with red stone is hung on his waist. Other than palace maids and eunuch, there is a monk walking behind him.
Such a big parade, what are they planning to do?
Myriad of thoughts flash in Feng Feng’s mind as those people reaches her.
The emperor’s eyes are indifferent and emotionless, “Aifei, how is your health?” (TN: Aifei means beloved consort.)
She is momentarily taken aback, she did not answer his question. She just stands there like a log.
Liu Er who is by her side whispers to her in panic, “Your Ladyship, hurry and pay respect to His Majesty….”
Before Feng Feng even gets to kneel, the emperor waves his hand, “Forego the formality, aifei isn’t in good health.”
Feng Feng is happy she doesn’t need to kneel in front of this stranger. Her eyes turns towards the monk behind him who has been putting his head down while bringing his palms together in front of his body. He seems to be around 25-26 years of age, he looks really good and tall. He is wearing a jiasha with a headgear on top of his head. His eyes are deep and calm and his face is wearing a distant and compassionate expression.
She unnervingly stares at him, her heart suddenly racing. Her mind wanders around, as she speechlessly stares at him.
“Cough…. Cough….. Cough.”
She retrieves back her gaze and realize that the emperor is staring at her in wonder before turning to the handsome-beyond-words monk, “Ga Ye guoshi, is there any essence of evil spirit here?” (TN: Guoshi is a formal way to address a monk.)
“Answering Your Majesty, the evil spirits in this mortal world has reason and has retribution. This courtyard is deep, cold winds can easily seeps into the bone marrow.”
Turns out the emperor isn’t here to ‘treat’ his aifei, but he is actually here to invite a monk to perform exorcism. Feng Feng inwardly panics: Is Feng Zhaoyi a fox spirit or a white bone demon?
The emperor ask him, “Dashi, is Feng Zhaoyi suffering from pestilential qi?”
Ga Ye steps forward and glance at her, “Your Ladyship, please lift up your hand.”
She hesitates, not daring to outstretch her hand.
Ga Ye repeats, “Your Ladyship, please lift up your hand…” His voice is so calm, it makes her heart races once again.
She outstretch her hand. She lifts her head and makes an eye contact with him. His eyes are calm, full of compassion and benevolence. Her pacing heart immediately calms down as she put down her head, she is almost like a lost lamb.
He did not touch her hand, he only gives it a look as if he is searching for a particular airflow in her body. Her heart suddenly turns cold, what if he says anything about ‘evil spirits’ and the like?
“Her Ladyship has been suffering from a poisonous illness, one that causes haematemesis…..”
She heaves in relief, slowly retracting her hand and placing it by her side.
“Guoshi, is this illness curable?”
“Answering Your Majesty, Her Ladyship is suffering from a lung disease. It is very hard to completely cure this disease. She must slowly recuperate and rest…..”
Upon hearing that it cannot heal, a disappointed expression pans out in the emperor’s face.
She carefully weighs in his expression, her heart heading out to bad places. Now that she’s ill, she no longer has ‘any use’ to people, if she didn’t leave fast, she will be left to die in this cold palace.
“Aifei—“ She can see pity in this emperor’s eyes, something that is actually useful for her. She slowly steps forward and bows to him, “Your Majesty, chenqie has been in the palace for a long time, chenqie is getting homesick. Chenqie would like to beg Your Majesty to let chenqie recuperate at home.”
Her every moves and action seems strange and weird in the emperor’s eyes, he is a little surprised. “Alright, your personality is originally lively, living so long in this Bie Li Palace, even a healthy person can fall ill. Zhen will immediately dispatch people to order your father to receive you. Once your health gets better, zhen will receive you back…..”
She gets excited and repeatedly thank him, “Thanking the emperor! Thanking the emperor!”
The emperor then leaves, his entire entourage trailing after him. Her eyes follows the grandmaster Ga Ye, from her spot, she can only see his clothes and back profile that resembles a jade tree in the wind. (TN: It means he has a good looking back profile TT)
She breaths out. In the modern time, most handsome men are gay. In the ancient time, they actually becomes a monk! Aiya!
Once the people are far away, Liu Er grimaces, “Your Ladyship, I heard the empress is pregnant. She can’t sleep well these days. Some of the fashi said that it is because there is an evil spirit doing mischief in the western side. (TN: Fashi means Master of the law, the people who mastered the sutras.)
The cold palace is in the west. Turns out the emperor was really here to ‘protect’ the empress’ pregnancy.
“In the past, all the concubines who faced such situations were either killed or was driven out of the palace…. Lucky the emperor still remembers your past affection. You have to be careful, Your Ladyship. The empress has always been grudgeful towards you!”
Feng Feng starts sweating out cold sweats. Feng Miao Lian and Feng Miao Zhi are still siblings even though their mothers are different. Why are they so incompatible?
According to this dynasty’s system, under the Empress is Zhaoyi. In the beginning, the emperor had a favourite consort called Zhang Guiren. She gave birth to the first prince of the dynasty. According to rules, the mother of the first prince are to be killed. After the first prince was appointed the crown prince, Zhang Guiren was strangled to death. Back then, none of the consorts dared to bear the first child, now that Zhang Guiren had, they are all relieved. Since having many children is considered a blessing in the ancient times, the emperor wants to add more princes. He initially planned to have Feng Miao Lian conferred as the empress. But she fell ill and lost favour. So in the end, Feng Miao Zhi enters the palace as the empress and the two sisters became hostile with each other.
Translator’s Note: Ga Ye’s name can also be pronounced as Jia Ye.