Cunning Old Liar
Upon hearing what Feng Yu Heng said, Zhang Yuan happily went to spread the message. The Emperor smiled so much that his eyes closed. In his mind, he repeatedly thought of how great a daughter-in-law she was. This daughter-in-law really was great!
Not long later, the Empress arrived with a group of imperial concubines to the inner hall of Heavenly Hall. When they were still quite far away, the one that acted most spoiled, imperial concubine Hua, began screaming: “That group of murderers from Qian Zhou, this One will definitely skin them alive!” She then quickly rushed forward and kneeled at the Emperor’s side: “Your Majesty, are you alright? This concubine was worried to death.”
The Empress helplessly had her palace maids go forward and pull imperial concubine Hua back. She then said: “His Majesty was already given a shock. With you shouting like this, be careful to not scare his Majesty.” She then turned to ask Feng Yu Heng: “How exactly is his Majesty?”
Feng Yu Heng saluted everyone then said to the Empress: “Qian Zhou’s attack came suddenly. Father Emperor was rejoicing from having seen the steel knife. Going from elation to shock in an instant, his body was unable to endure it. This illness… is quite tricky.”
Hearing her say this, the Empress also became worried, quickly going forward to take a look. But the Emperor kept his eyes closed, ignoring everyone. All of the imperial concubines went forward to speak, but they did not receive a single reply.
Imperial concubine Hua wiped away tears and began crying, causing all of the other imperial concubines to also begin crying. The inner hall had become a mess.
Feng Yu Heng’s gaze, however, focused on imperial concubine Gu. She then very naturally retracted her gaze. At the time that she had cooperated with the eldest prince to take a swipe at the third prince. Now that the third prince had been beaten to his current condition, his power was rapidly disappearing. The soldiers in Gan Zhou were unable to receive any food, and Xuan Tian Ming had already secretly sent people to disrupt their morale. Now, they were more or less scattered, and they no longer had their former grandeur.
Everything had gone as she had planned. Feng Yu Heng was thinking that it was time for her to pay up the bargaining chip that she had used on the eldest prince.
While the imperial concubines were surrounding the Emperor and Zhang Yuan asking all sorts of questions, Feng Yu Heng quietly walked over to imperial concubine Gu Xian’s side and quietly said: “Heng was away from the capital for many months. Has imperial concubine’s health been well? Has eldest brother been well?”
Imperial concubine Gu Xian’s brow moved. Feng Yu Heng was able to take the initiative to speak with her. This meant that this girl had no intention of evading the issue. Hearing her deliberately mention Xuan Tian Qi, imperial concubine Gu Xian was a little bit more satisfied. Thus she nodded and said: “All is well. When Qi’er came to visit this One a few days ago, he mentioned that he missed his ninth brother. He was thinking of having a nice get together when you got back.”
“Their brotherly relations are deep. They naturally need to get together.” Feng Yu Heng calmly said: “Before leaving the capital, eldest brother advised me to bring back some mountain fruits. They are still in the imperial carriage outside the palace. When the matters in the palace have been taken care of, I will personally send them to eldest brother.”
Imperial concubine Gu Xian nodded, a rare smile appearing on her old face.
She waited a little longer and saw that almost all of the imperial concubines had gone up to say a few words. Only then did she clear her throat and say: “The Summer days are hot and stuffy. I invite all of the imperial concubines to wait in a side hall. The patient requires air to flow, and it truly is not good to have so many people surrounding him.”
The Empress heard this and also said: “That’s right. Us staying here will cause things to be rowdy, making it difficult for his Majesty to rest. As this One sees it, it would be better like this. We cannot do much to help out here, so it would be better if my younger sisters come with this One to Bao De Hall to pray for his Majesty’s recovery. How does that sound?”
None of the imperial concubines wished to leave. Their chances to see the Emperor were already very few. They had been called over to take care of him, but now they had to go pray for his recovery. Was this not too much of a loss?
But the Empress had spoken, so they could not choose to not listen. Moreover, imperial concubine Gu Xian added: “Thinking of his Majesty is what really matters. It is not staying around and going through the motions. In fact, that will trouble his Majesty’s recovery.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled apologetically to the imperial concubines then said to the Empress: “Your Highness, do not worry. Heng will do everything possible to treat his Majesty.”
The Empress glanced at her then nodded. In her mind, she sighed once more. That old Emperor had found another powerful helper! They had quickly gathered and come to Heavenly Hall. Thinking now, the desired effect should have been achieved. At this time, news should have definitely made it around the inner palace. The person who should have heard it would naturally hear about it. She just did not know if she would be worried or just feign ignorance.
She looked one last time at the Emperor then stood up, leading the way out of the inner hall. The imperial concubines behind her, seeing that the Empress had left, also felt that they should not stay, so they could only follow her out.
Feng Yu Heng went with Zhang Yuan to send them out partway before turning back. Zhang Yuan sent away the officials that had been called in to act. Only then did he return to the Emperor’s side and poked his arm, quietly saying: “They’re all gone.”
The Emperor did not speak.
Zhang Yuan smirked, “When this servant sent people to spread word of this around the inner palace, I specially informed them to shout it. I also sent people in that direction to spread the word. Everything that should be done was done.”
The Emperor continued to remain silent.
Zhang Yuan looked at Feng Yu Heng and was a little embarrassed. Feng Yu Heng smiled and shrugged, “It’s fine. You can continue.”
Zhang Yuan continued: “Get up and sit for a while. If she really comes, you will need to pretend. Would that not be extremely uncomfortable. Quickly get up, quickly get up.”
He added some strength and pulled the Emperor, but he still maintained his condition and remained lying down without moving. Zhang Yuan was stunned and filled with shock. Turning to look at Feng Yu Heng and seeing that she did not react much, he found some courage and checked the Emperor’s breathing.
He was breathing!
He was puzzled. Why did he not wake up? Thinking a little more, he simply went to pinch the Emperor’s torso, finally managing to get him to react with a shout.
The Emperor became furious, ‘What are you doing?”
Zhang Yuan was given a fright and immediately leaped far away. Looking again at the Emperor’s angry expression, he was blinded, “This servant saw that your Majesty would not wake up no matter what and began to feel a bit afraid, so…”
“Was it not said that I was unconscious? What should I wake up for?” He even had an excuse.
Zhang Yuan helplessly said: “That is just a performance for others to see. Right now, it’s just the three of us in the inner hall. Your Majesty, just stop pretending.”
“Is this considered pretending? We are practicing. Little Yuan, say, Our pretending earlier…. was it realistic? Can it deceive that woman?”
Zhang Yuan nodded, “It looked realistic, too realistic. If this servant still could not wake you up, I figure I would have asked county princess to do something.”
The Emperor waved to Feng Yu Heng: “Girl, come, come, come and give it a try. See if you can find any flaws.”
Feng Yu Heng spoke truthfully: “Father Emperor, if eunuch Zhang truly asked daughter-in-law to do something, daughter-in-law would not just keep shouting. I would just go straight to using needles…”
Some black lines appeared on the Emperor’s forehead, “Alright, alright, you two are no fun.” Saying this, he looked out the window, “Has the sky already turned dark?”
Zhang Yuan told him: “It happened long ago.”
The Emperor was a little unable to sit still, “How about you go over to receive them. It’s dark out, don’t allow her to fall.”
Zhang Yuan very helplessly looked at the Emperor. After forming his sentences for a long time, he finally said: “Your Majesty, it’s not that this servant is attacking you, but you are thinking too much. It’s not certain whether or not imperial concubine Yun will come. Also, even if she did come, there would be servants carrying a sedan. She would not be able to fall.”
The Emperor glared at him: “If you said that she would not come for other things, then that would be fine, but We are already in this condition! How could she possibly not come?”
Zhang Yuan began to argue with him, “In the past, you have been targetted by no shortage of assassinations! Did she come at those times too?”
“That’s different. This time, it was people from Qian Zhou, and they have actually happened. She cannot possibly not think about it.”
Zhang Yuan no longer advised him. He knew that it would be pointless. This old Emperor’s heart was completely focused on Winter Moon Palace, but her personality made it very hard to say anything for certain. He simply moved to Feng Yu Heng’s side and quietly said: “Either way, we have nothing to do. County princess, how about we make a bet?”
The Emperor suddenly threw his pillow: “Damn piece of trash! You actually dare to use Us for a bet!”
Zhang Yuan did not fear him at all, picking up the pillow then saying: “This servant will bet ten taels of silver that imperial concubine Yun will not come.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled and said: “This county princess will be 100 taels of gold that imperial concubine mother will come.”
“What?” An emperor and a eunuch spoke at the same time, as looks of disbelief appeared on their faces. Zhang Yuan advised her: “County princess, it’s been so many years. Imperial concubine Yun has never come to see his Majesty. Are you pitying this servant for being poor and wanting to give me some gold?”
The Emperor poked at him: “Don’t waste your breath!” He then said to Feng Yu Heng: “Heng is good. Say, why do you believe that your imperial concubine mother will come?”
Feng Yu Heng pondered a little then said: “In truth… daughter-in-law just wanted to give eunuch Zhang some money to spend.”
“Oh well!” The Emperor did not believe her, “Do you believe that We do not know how much you two love wealth? Previously, old ninth was not this serious. Now, under your guidance, his eyes turn red at the sight of gold. Saying that you want to give little Yuan 100 taels of gold seems unlikely. Unlikely.”
Feng Yu Heng wanted to say that the Emperor had not been completely blinded by love. He was still able to understand basic reasoning, thus she said to him: “In truth, it is as father Emperor said. This assassination attempt by Qian Zhou was indeed something that had happened, and it had happened suddenly. The disturbance caused at Heavenly Hall was not small. Although imperial concubine mother has locked herself away for these years, never coming to visit you, once united as a couple, you will always be united. In this sort of time, imperial concubine mother is definitely unable to sit still in Winter Moon Palace.”
The Emperor thought about it and felt that Feng Yu Heng was quite reasonable, thus he quickly waved to Zhang Yuan: “Quickly, help Us get changed into something slightly better looking. My beloved loves the color white. Go get a set of white clothes for Us!”
Zhang Yuan was on the verge of crying, “You were already supposed to be unconscious. If you were to wear a set of white clothes, what would that become? No good, no good. As this servant sees it, this set of clothes is best.”
“That’s no good! My beloved likes things to be clean. We have worn these clothes for an entire day. There is a smell of sweat. Quickly go change Our clothes.’
Zhang Yuan was truly unable to disobey him and could only go find him another set of clothes to wear. The Emperor put on these clothes while saying: “Heng, if your imperial concubine mother really comes this time, We will definitely reward you!”
Feng Yu Heng had a bitter expression, “Daughter-in-law just wanted to give father Emperor some hope and did not really do anything! Father Emperor, you absolutely must not push this matter onto daughter-in-law.”
“Hah?” The Emperor was puzzled, “Receiving a reward is a good thing. Why are you dodging back? Help Us…”
“I did not help with anything!” Feng Yu Heng told him seriously: “Daughter-in-law really did not do anything.”
Following this, a voice came from the front hall to the inner hall that was extremely beautiful to the Emperor’s ears: “I knew that an old thing like you would not die so easily! Hmph, you liar! So cunning!”
At this very moment, the person that had been caught lying was the Emperor. In his mind, countless curses surged forth. All of these words formed a single phrase: “Well, fuck!”